I know many of you are overhearing comparisons about old school and new school Hip Hop, but this one might bring something a little different to the table. Over the years many have complained that newer Hip Hop has strayed so far away from old school Hip Hop. In these cases, many don’t sit back and analyze what other aspects, besides lyrics, have changed. Where am I getting at? Song structure!
I have many people disagree with me, in this regard, but I miss tracks that were four plus, minutes of dopeness. Notice I said “dopeness”. I don’t wish to hear five minutes of rambling and boasting, unless you’re amazing at either of them. I believe part of the reason you actually had to be talented to be an emcee before was because it required you to keep listeners engaged for four, or more minutes. Most emcees today can barely survive three minutes on a track! Hip Hop should never be about barely having your head above the water. Hip Hop should be about delivering quality work every breath you release on a series of coexisting elements. In other words, Hip Hop should never be about half-assing a track. Some people say three minutes is good enough to keep the listener engaged, but also leaving them wanting more. I think, why not have your listener be completely satisfied? Why not give them that extra minute or two?
The other aspect about old school Hip Hop I still wish I seen more often is four verse songs. This might be interconnected with the song being nearly five minutes, but I think if there were more verses, it would challenge the creativity of every emcee. This would also challenge the artist’s ability to stay on topic, while testing fluency.
It seems like hooks and choruses are completely shunned now-a-days, which is sad because it’s such a crucial part of a song. Many people forgot about being able to write a hook that might be repetitious, but not annoying, then following with an actual chorus. Now-a-days, I see tons of people using choruses with no hook or a hook with no chorus. I know they’re difficult to write, but that’s part of what seperates the greats from the simpletons.
I think what has led to all these elements being minimized, or even extinct, is laziness. Nobody wants to put in work anymore and it’s been accepted, not only by fans, but in our society over the years. If we made emcees follow this criteria, I guarantee so many rappers would be out of jobs. Good! UPS needs workers!