In late January, VladTV released a portion of their interview with the Georgia-based rapper Russ that touched on the ongoing debate about the quality of hip hop music today. Russ made somewhat of a controversial stance about why we have wack music out:
“People blame the rappers for the state of hip hop, but rappers are not making the music. You gotta blame the producers. If a producer sends me a pack of 20 beats and they’re all wack and sound the same, I just have to pick the best of the worst. It’s not the rappers fault”
Russ also alluded to previous great producers such as, Timbaland, Scott Storch, Swizz Beatz, Kanye West, Just Blaze (my favorite) and others, for reason why theirs lack of quality and diversification in hip hop today.
While I feel Russ has partially a good point about not enough of lack of diversity, a great point brought up a while back by DJ Akademiks commentary on the polarizing rapper Lil Yachty, people are forgetting the roles of how fans play into the state of hip hop. Similarly to some hip hop fans’ disdain for Yachty, we’re overlooking the segment of the rap community that genuinely likes Lil Yachty’s music and the same argument can be made for the quality for rap production.
In today’s internet/social media era, fans dictate the demand and interest for the type of music the like and want. Fans are the ones who help create the audience and platform for someone like Russ or Lil Yachty’s music (lyrically and/or production wise) to thrive in this era. So if a fan of Future Hendrix wants to a hear a three–peat mixtape series that provides similarly produced stylistic trap beats, someone like Future or the Migos will provide that demand. The fact those projects or song releases produces hits or songs that has staying power, creates the trends for other aspiring rappers, who may not get access/afford beats from Metro Boomin, Mike Will Made It or etc, to seek out a secondary market for producers to fill that need, depending on their market niches, which results to many of today’s beats sounding similar or “140 bpm” as Russ mentions.
So who is producers to blame? Or rappers?
You let us know what you think below.