The Instigator
Dash-The-Philosopher
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
D.Wolf
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Hip Hop is DEAD!!!

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/15/2013 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,736 times Debate No: 36698
Debate Rounds (3)
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Dash-The-Philosopher

Pro

Forget the nice beats, the catchy hooks and the flashy jewels.. Lets talk sheer Lyrical Talent and value. Look at that and tell me with a straight face that Hip Hop isn't dead.
D.Wolf

Con

It is apparent that hip hop is certainly not dead, in fact, it is alive and well.
If you wish to discuss lyrical talent and value, then that is precisely what we will discuss.
Firstly, hip hop is defined as the popular subculture of big-city teenagers, which includes rap music, break dancing, and graffiti art (http://dictionary.reference.com...). Now, if one simply watches a single rap music video, it will most certainly fit this criteria.

If you could give specific examples of particular hip hop artists whom you feel posses the lyrical talent you feel is necessary for hip hop that would be superb. Though, I feel you will illustrate examples of hip hop artist such as Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. One must remember that although these men are figures of hip hop of a older school, the value of their lyrics is subjective.

There are many hip hop artists that discuss issues going on in the world today. Is this what you mean by lyrical talent?
Lastly: the value of hip hop. It it noticeable today that hip hop (rap) music is more main stream than it has ever been, thus, more people are inspired to start rapping and in turn, respect hip hop more. We must also keep in mind that music progresses. Hip hop is till alive today, but it has also paved the way for new genres of rap.

In conclusion, hip hop is well and alive. There are more rappers than ever before, thus drawing a larger audience and mainstream following. Lyrical talent is subjective, so it can not be pin pointed down, but it is a fact that there are more award winning hip hop artist than ever before. As for the value of hip hop, this is also subjective. But we can infer that due to the large number or rappers today, the respect and value for hip hop has gone up, especially due to the large amounts of money record companies are paying rappers. Companies wouldn't pay mass amounts of money to rappers that didn't have talent or were not valued by fans.
Debate Round No. 1
Dash-The-Philosopher

Pro

Firstly I would like to thank my competitor for accepting my Debate.

Now lets get to it. As far as the rap videos displaying what he defines as popular subculture which is includes rap music, break dancing and graffiti art... I would like to know exactly WHAT rap videos is my competitor watching?? Rap videos today only display cars, diamonds and big booty models. NONE of which is what he himself describes as the popular sub culture which defines Hip Hop. Don't believe me, watch 106 & Park or MTV Jams, the proof is in the pudding.

Secondly, what I mean by lyrical talent is simply the rhyme scheme in which a rapper uses to form his verses. In the 90's with Nas, Wu-Tang clan and YES the Notorious B.I.G. rhymes schemes were more complex.

"Flaming Gats, aiming at
You fu$king Maniacs
Put my name in raps
What part of the game is that
Like they hustle backwards, I smoke Blackwoods
And Dutchies, you cant touch me
Try to rush me, slugs go touchie-touchie
Your bleeding lovely, with your spirit above me"

(Notorious B.I.G.) - Long Kiss Goodnight - Life after Death (Album)

This is what I mean by lyrical talent. A complicated rhyme scheme where the words and lines just flow. (Flow which is also a slang term for rap) Nothing like what we have today.

Work, work, work, work, work.
What chu twerking wit
Shorty bust it open, show me what you working wit.
A$$ so fat need a lap dance.
I'm in that white ghost serving Pacs Man.

(French Montana) - Pop That - Excuse my French (Album)

Yes this is what we have today. Simple nursery rhymes with cute little metaphors. White Ghost referring to a white Rolls Royce Phantom (Ghost) and Pacman whom eats ghost. Yeah I get it, amusing, but how is it complex? And what exactly are we learning from this. How to own a $500,000 car and still feel the need to sell coke. It's nonsense. If you have the power to reach a large audience with your music, then why not teach something valuable? Jay-Z believed this and today he is a living legend. Why cant other MC's adopt that same ideology?? It's because he prevailed in an era where Hip Hop was meaningful and today there is no need to deliver any message in your music what so ever. You will still gain popularity simply by rapping about BS.. (Hoes, Jewels and Cars)

As for the abundance of people you mentioned wanting to rap, well that's typical and expected. Because Rap is such an easy field to break into, every little two-bit hustler from the streets suddenly wants to do it and sees it as an easy way out. And NOT as a form of artistic expression in which all genre of music is intended to be, including Hip Hop. They see the girls, cars and clothes and they want that. It has NOTHING to do with respect for the culture or history of Hip Hop. Ask these so-called inspiring MC's to name Sugar Hill Gang's first album and see if you can get an answer.

Finally, as for the companies paying out mass amounts of money to rappers that have so-called "Talent", trust me it has nothing to do with talent. The general public has changed throughout the past decade or so. Now they are obsessed and entertained by complete Bullsh%t.. (I.E. Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Lindsey Lohan) Companies don't make decisions based on personal feelings, they make decisions based on what's good for business. What is selling at the time. And apparently, at the current time, this s what's selling.

DON'T Drop that Thun, thun, thun
DON"T Drop that Thun, thun, thun
DON"T Drop that Thun, thun, thun
DON"T Drop that Thun, thun, thun

(Finatticz) - Don't Drop that Thun, thun, thun - (I don't know if they even have an album to put this on)

But this is what the public is consuming in 2013. Ten-Million views on Youtube don't lie.

http://youtu.be...

Thus proving my point that Hip Hop is in fact DEAD!
D.Wolf

Con

The definition I gave of hip hop was extrapolated from http://dictionary.reference.com...; I used this source because it is reliable and it is a necessity to agree on a definition if we are to establish a common basis. I would not define hip hip strictly to the definition that was cited, but since you are saying hip hop is dead, you should give your definition of hip hop, which you have not done thus far.

"Rap videos today only display cars, diamonds and big booty models"- You must remember that a majority of all hip hop songs include this type of lyrical content. Songs from The Notorious B.I.G's "Big Booty Hoes", to Nas featuring Dr. Dres' "Nas Is Coming", where he articulates several lines about his car. If one googlies any single rapper, they can find a multitude of photos where that rapper is wearing a chain or "diamonds". Music videos were no where near as prominent as they are now before the 2000's, and rappers were not as paid the inordinate amount they are today, but the ones who earned enough to afford such things, did not hesitate to buy such things, take The Notorious B.I.G for example, who bought several cars and mass amounts of jewellery. Though, to say rap videos only display the things that you just listed is an over exaggeration. Take a look at Eminem's' "Stan" or Tyler the Creators' "French"; these are rap videos and have no sign of flashy cars, diamonds, and "big booty models".

As I stated above, lyrical talent and the "rhyme scheme" is subjective. The lyrics you cited from The Notorious B.I.G's' "Long Kiss Goodnight" discusses guns, drugs, and harming someone. Since you stated these lines are an example of lyrical talent, lets look at Earl Sweatshirts' "Earl" lyrics, this resembles similar lyrical content, and this is rather recent, therefore, is that lyrical talent? We cannot affirm anything, because lyrical talent is subjective and therefore not a reliable aspect to base an argument off of.

"How to own a $500,000 car and still feel the need to sell coke."- I'm not exactly what you mean by this, or even whom you are referring to. A great majority or rappers, even before the 2000's", consumed illegal drugs and even sold them; or what about Tupac shooting a cop or sexually assaulting a woman in his hotel room? Or DMX who sold cocaine in the late eights and throughout the ninety's? Why is it the even rappers from an older era made a large sum of money and still felt the need to commit crimes? So even rappers of the older class are not exceptional role models by any means. But your statement does not have much to do with purely lyrical talent and value which you strictly wished to discuss.

" If you have the power to reach a large audience with your music, then why not teach something valuable? Jay-Z believed this and today he is a living legend."- To teach one something valuable they must be in accordance to the set of values being proposed. Rappers such as Eminem, Tyler the Creator, and say, Kanye West - they are discussing issues such as the problems in society, government, and corruption; I would say that these problems are of some value. However, I feel the meaning of value, especially relating to hip hop, is subjective. Lyrics of the song you cited by French Montana could be more meaningful or of more value to someone than any of the other songs you cited, but it is subjective.To base a conception on a precarious set of assumptions or subjectivity is not reliable to prove a point.

"As for the abundance of people you mentioned wanting to rap, well that's typical and expected. Because Rap is such an easy field to break into, every little two-bit hustler from the streets suddenly wants to do it and sees it as an easy way out."- The point I was making when I said more people are rapping than ever before is, that hip hop is more mainstream modern day, that is, reaching a larger audience, thus, more people would have to respect hip hop if they wanted to start rapping. One does not have to know the history of something to respect it in present form. More importantly, if hip hop is dead, than there wouldn't be any hip hop artists today. As I stated in round one, there are more award winning HIP HOP artists than ever before, thus, creating a wider appreciation among society and these modern day artist are seen to have talent, which is precisely what you wished to discuss.

"Finally, as for the companies paying out mass amounts of money to rappers that have so-called "Talent", trust me it has nothing to do with talent. The general public has changed throughout the past decade or so. Now they are obsessed and entertained by complete Bullsh%t." It certainly has to do with talent; companies pay hip hop artist whom attract the most attention and will be popular, and they are popular for a reason. They attract fans whom admire their talent. This also has to do with subjectivity again. Since musical talent is subjective, along with lyrical value, fans are attracted to certain hip hop artists' who they simply like because they find them to be good artists. The general public certainly has changed throughout the past decade, and this has led to hip hop attracting a larger audience and more mainstream success, as well as different genres of hip hop. To say that society is obsessed and entertained by complete BS, that is by no means an objective observation that you can back up with facts. What is BS to you may be phenomenal talent to someone else.

Lastly, the topic being discussed is "Is Hip Hop Dead?" You listed above how Jay-Z is a living legend, you also stated that artists such as The Wu Tang Clan and Nas; and they are symbols of hip hop as you stated. Since they are alive and symbols of hip hop, and hip hop artists, and if they are living symbols who preform the music, how can hip hop be dead when you stated they are living symbols of hip hop, and they are every much alive?

Hip hop is alive and well. Hip hop is intertwined in the mainstream and has, and is, attracting a larger audience than ever before. Hip hop music videos on YouTube are generating millions of views. Since lyrical talent and value are subjective we have to dismiss this fallacy, because to argue subjectivity would led us nowhere. With the success of hip hop from the beginning into modern day, it is inspiring more people to become rappers; these people who chose to start rapping have to have some respect for the art they are preforming, or else they wouldn't do it by choice. My friend here, that is, my opponent, has even given three example of living examples of hip hop, thus, if living figures are alive, and they are original figures that represent the music in modern day, in turn, hip hop is not dead, but alive and well, and progressing.
Debate Round No. 2
Dash-The-Philosopher

Pro

First off, let me start by saying that my opponent is taking some things in this debate very literally. In round 2 he made a reference to one of the statements I made in round 1 about Jay-Z, Wu-Tang and Nas. My opponent said "Since they are alive and symbols of hip hop, and hip hop artists, and if they are living symbols who perform the music, how can hip hop be dead when you stated they are living symbols of hip hop, and they are every much alive?" Well, obviously that's not what I meant. When I say Hip-Hop is dead, that is in no way being related to prominent artist such as the ones I mentioned earlier, literally being six feet under. What I meant was that the true practice of Hip-Hop that made them great in the first place is now dead. The only one able to adapt to the changing of times was Jay-Z but he alone does not constitute the survival of Hip-Hop as a whole.

As for what my opponent is saying as to why record labels pick up artist "It certainly has to do with talent; companies pay hip hop artist whom attract the most attention and will be popular, and they are popular for a reason. They attract fans whom admire their talent." My opponent is gravely mistaken. Labels do what's good for business. Period! The entertainment world is extremely shallow. One can simply have a decent look and the label will push them. And as for fans admiring the artist talent, as a promoter myself I can tell you first hand, the public will consume anything if you force it on them enough. Any marketing company will tell you the same. The idea is to stay in the public's face. If they hear your song on the radio enough eventually they will learn to like it. That's why up and coming rap artist pay Dj's to play their records. And the Dj's play them. Why? Not because of the artist "Talent", but simply because they're getting paid to do so. It's business.

Question: When a person mentions Hip-Hop to you, what's the first thing that comes to mind? What is the first thing that one envisions? Is it the Break Dancing or Graffiti art that my opponent previously mentioned? In 2013 my guess is NO. So what's the first thing that comes to mind? Let's start by analyzing within the definition of Hip-Hop that even HE himself gave in round 1 of this debate. Which defined Hip-Hop as:

"The popular subculture of big-city teenagers, which includes rap music, break dancing, and graffiti art."

Now first, let me start by saying that I AGREE with this definition. So me and my opponent have a common ground on that. Now lets (how they use to say back in the days of REAL Hip-Hop) break it down.

The Break Dancing, Hmmmm?? Where do you see it? How often do you see it? And even when you do happen to see it, it's more less to pop music, Lady Gaga and so on. Break Dancing throughout the years has become detached from Hip-Hop and became it's own entity. So much so that when one even thinks of Hip-Hop, Break Dancing does not come to mind at all.

So maybe it's the Graffiti. But once again, WHERE do you see it? Certainly not in music videos. And honestly ask yourself, when you think of Hip-Hop these days do you envision Graffiti art on walls and on T-Shirts?... Well do you?

My opponent said in round 2 of this debate that "Hip hop is intertwined in the mainstream and has, and is, attracting a larger audience than ever before". To say that would mean that ALL facets of Hip-Hop were mainstream including Break Dancing and Graffiti art. If this were so, then I ask one last time, WHERE ARE THEY?? And when you hear the words Hip-Hop, do you immediately associate it with those two things? In this day and age you do not. Just more proof that Hip-Hop in it's purest form is no longer existent. At least two thirds of it anyway.

Which brings us to the third part of the definition which includes "Rap Music". An MC reciting lyrics over a beat. Now THAT is what mostly comes to mind when one thinks of Hip-Hop these days. And Hip-Hop cannot be considered "mainstream" if only one aspect "Rap" is the only thing that makes headlines in 2013. But let's dig a bit deeper shall we? What is the definition of "Rap".

Rap: A musical ART form broken down into three components, content, flow (as I stated in round 2), and delivery.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Ok, now lets break this down as well.

First, the "Content". I am an avid listener of all types of music. And I believe all music, including Rap to be a form of expression. To tell your life's story and/or experience. Fine and well. So if drugs, guns and women is a part of your life then by all means explore that in your raps. However, when that's ALL a rapper knows and all he/she promotes, it presents a problem, maybe even a hazardous one. For instance, my opponent stated in round 2 " I feel the meaning of value, especially relating to hip hop, is subjective".. Meaning the value of the content in rap music today is strictly judged by matter of opinion. So lets talk facts.. Subliminal messages. Big advertising and marketing companies use them #Fact.. Psychiatrist and Therapist use subliminal messages to plant positive thoughts in the minds of those suffering from depression #Fact..

Please listen to this song:
http://youtu.be...

The song is called "Drug Money" by Yo Gotti featuring Future. The hook goes as follows:

Drug money it can buy ya what you want,
drug money its gonna buy ya what you want,
drug money its gonna buy ya what you want,
drug money its gonna buy ya what you want,

The youth are the main consumers of today's version of so-called Hip-Hop. Even stated so in the definition of Hip-Hop that my opponent and I both agreed on. (Popular subculture of big-city teenagers) When they hear content like this it becomes more than just "Subjective". In their young undeveloped minds it becomes "Subliminal" and encourages them to do what they hear. Can you really call content that encourages kids to sell drugs subjective? Would you want YOUR children listening to content like this every night before they went to sleep? And also where is the ART in it? This is what I meant by content in case my opponent did not understand.

Flow and delivery. Basically meaning how the words come together. Rap originated on the corners. You would go toe to toe with another MC and battle over who could recite the best verses or who had the best flow. No fancy beats, no catchy hooks, just raw, rugged rap. However now that is not the case. MC's no longer display lyrical talent, rhyme scheme or flow. The art is DEAD. Listen to any one of the rappers of today. It's all beats and catchy hooks. Prime example, listen to this track below from a current rapper.

French Montana - Ain't Worried About Nothing:
http://youtu.be...

Now listen to this track from a ninety's MC

Canibus - Get retarded
http://youtu.be...

Notice I decided to use a track with the ninety's rapper rhyming acapella (No beat). If you listened to the track I posted of the current rapper and listened to his rhyme scheme and flow, ask yourself. Would the rapping ability of the current rapper (French Montana) hold up in a acapella battle rap on the corner with the ninety's rapper (Canibus)? Be honest? I know rap has changed and now beats play a heavy role. But this question is still relevant. In order to call yourself a rapper today you have to be able to rap in it's purest form back then. When it relied on strictly on lyrical and rhyming ability. No beats. Rappers no longer practice this art thus making the art of "Rap" dead!

So with the art of rap no longer practiced, break dancing and graffiti no longer playing a major part, if any in Hip-Hop, where does that leave us? My opponent and I both agreed to the definition of Hip-Hop being "The popular subculture of big-city teenagers, which includes RAP music, BREAK DANCING, and GRAFITTI ART". So with those three aspects of Hip-Hop either no longer connected or no longer practiced, what does that make Hip-Hop itself?... DEAD!... Thank you.
D.Wolf

Con

"Well, obviously that's not what I meant. When I say Hip-Hop is dead, that is in no way being related to prominent artist such as the ones I mentioned earlier..." Why waste your time refraining from saying what you mean? I am going to read the words you wrote, and base a judgement off of them, and of course I am going to take what you are saying literally, especially when they are not metaphors. When you say hip hop is dead, and it relates no way to the prominent hip hop artists you listed, especially when they are living figures-speaking both physically and figuratively, it is paradoxical. Living hip hop artists that are figures that represent hip hop (even of an older school) makes it so hip hop cannot be dead. This of course, is exclusively referring to your statement of the three living hip hop artists (of the older school,however, in this debate we are discussing is hip hop as a whole dead based off of lyrical talent and value) .

I must clear up the attempt made to make it seem as if I agree with the definition of hip hop that was cited earlier. "My opponent and I both agreed to the definition of Hip-Hop being "The popular subculture of big-city teenagers, which includes RAP music, BREAK DANCING, and GRAFITTI ART", but as I firmly stated in round two: "I would not define hip hip strictly to the definition that was cited, but since you are saying hip hop is dead, you should give your definition of hip hop, which you have not done thus far." So re-illustrating this precarious definition,-one I asserted I did not agree with- is an attempt to frame my words with the wrong picture.

"What I meant was that the true practice of Hip-Hop that made them great in the first place is now dead." This statement diverges from the original statement that you wished to debate; and that was "forget the nice beats, the catchy hooks and the flashy jewels.. lets talk sheer lyrical talent and value." You wish to strictly discuss sheer lyrical talent and value. Since I have elucidated lyrical talent and value is subjective- since one persons garbage could be anthers treasure- you are unable to prove your point that hip hop is dead as a whole while basing your points on something that is subjective like lyrical talent and value. Anything that is being argued besides lyrical talent and value is irrelevant.

One cannot prove hip hop is dead while basing their views on something as subjective a lyrical talent and value.

Furthermore, since my opponent is unable prove hip hop is dead because they are basing their argument off of lyrical talent and value- which is subjective, they are failing to fulfil the goal that was to prove hip hop is dead, therefore, PRO cannot prove his point. Although I could submit my comment just as it is now, for my own amusement, I shall go one step further to adding more points proving that hip hop is alive, referring to a hip hop industry and hip hop artist.

Hip hop is not dead because there is a whole industry that is identified as the hip hop industry. There are award winning hip hop artists, such as Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Eminem (just to name a few). Record companies that sign hip hop artist ( such as A&M Records,Aftermath Entertainment,Aggro Berlin,All Star Records,Allido Records,AlphaPup Records, Amalgam Digital,Amaru Entertainment, B-Boy Records, and etc. etc.) state that the genre the artists they have signed are hip hop artists. Hip hop is very much alive because there is a hip hop industry where hip hop record companies sign hip hop artists, and those hip hop artists produce hip hop music.

On another note of excess, and irrelevant information (seeing we have realized PRO cannot prove hip hop is dead while basing is argument of lyrical talent and value because it is subjective) there are still hip hop artists that rap acapella, here is an example with the rapper you cited earlier (in the top video) . As well as another example (see second video) . As for the "fact" of subliminal messages, that does not have to do with lyrical talent nor value.

In conclusion, PRO cannot prove hip hop is dead because he is basing what he strictly wanted to discuss originally (in the outline for this debate) that is, lyrical talent and value, on subjectivity, thus, failing to prove hip hop is dead. The subjectivity on lyrical talent and value cannot back up, nor deny, that today, there is a whole hip hop industry with hip hop record labels and hip hop artists. Hip hop as a whole (artists, record labels, the industry, awards for hip hop artists, etc.) is valued by a great deal of people, and we cannot deny that there is a hip hop industry with hip hop artists, and these hip hop artist have fans because these fans admire something about these hip hop artist, whether it is their lyrics, clothing style, or image, fans respect them and like the music because they see them to have talent and value there lyrics ( Eminem voted 100 greatest artists because people like his music, lyrics, etc. http://www.rollingstone.com...). People can argue if they like or dislike the value of lyrics in the song; one may say they find the lyrics meaningful while the other does not, but this does not prove hip hop is dead, especially when it is conspicuous that there is a hip hop industry, hip hop artists, and hip hop record labels with a fan base.
Debate Round No. 3
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