August 27, 2008

Bridging The Gap: Old School vs. New School

KRS-One was recently invited to BET’s Rap City to discuss the new generation of Hip-Hop and how to steer the culture’s future in the right direction. Soulja Boy was also invited and they laid the foundation for a dialogue between old-school and new-school rappers. Because of the beef that Soulja Boy was recently in with Ice T, KRS-One explained that generation gaps have been around since the mid-‘80s. When he was coming up they thought that old-school Hip-Hop was in 1977, in 1997 they thought old-school was ’87, and today we think that it’s anything from the mid-‘90s.

I’m proud that BET would even step up to have an interview like this. It reminds me of Fab 5 Freddy’s conversations with artists during the Yo! MTV Raps era, and it’s good to take it back every once in a while so the new generation doesn’t forget where our culture came from. I also appreciated Soulja Boy’s humble approach when talking about Ice T. He could have reignited the entire beef but instead he just told his side and let the topic die.

In some ways I feel that there is going to be a re-emergence of KRS-One. Not like he ever went anywhere, but Hip-Hop is in such a state of disarray you’re beginning to notice a lot more artists reach out to him on a personal level. 50 Cent, Fat Joe, Nelly, Redman, Talib Kweli, and many others have jumped on board with his Stop The Violence movement. Also, The Temple of Hip-Hop and its mission are becoming much more relevant when it comes to connecting the TRUE roots of Hip-Hop to those who are born with only a mainstream knowledge of the culture. Those roots are peace, love, unity, & having fun and they are expressed through the MC, DJ, B-Boy/B-Girl, and Graf artist.

Much respect to KRS-One, Soulja Boy, Q45 of Rap City, and BET for setting off a continuing dialoge, and remember that The Teacha is the one with the blueprint.

- Steve Tyson Jr.

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