I feel for the upcoming generation. At one point, music used to change people’s lives. You could feel the emotion from an artist. You never had to question their authenticity because their music came from the heart. Luckily, I got to grow up in the last decade where both of my favorite genres R&B and Hip Hop were thriving. The 90’s. Today, most people admire Shawn Carter as the greatest Hip Hop artist, but I remember when I first heard the music of these two young men, and I find it hard to compare their heart, emotion, and personality to anyone else. Tupac Shakur changed Hip Hop.
Today he just a Hip Hop martyr. Along with his sometimes volatile lyrics and public outbursts of anger about his community, we had never heard such a storyteller. He spoke about the common man struggling. The single mothers who had nowhere to turn trying to raise a family on their own. Christopher Wallace’s metaphors and lyrical flow is still unmatched today. And those who think they are now better than him, mimic him. These two men accomplished in a few years what it took legends of Hip Hop today, decades to build. It was not all about the cash and women, they spoke about the reality of life. Being frustrated about not having money, not the continuous parade about how great life was.
Also, in the nineties female rappers had to prove their ability to hold their own with men. Unlike today, being a Barbie was not idolized. With her debut album “Hard Core” Kimberly Jones, AKA Lil’ Kim showed women that she could just as powerful lyrically, sexually, and financially as men. She could wear the outrageous outfits and her fan base did not just consist of women, but men recognized her talent.R&B divas relied on their beauty and talent to entertain, not their lack of clothing.
Everyone could not wait to see the beautiful Aaliyah dance in her latest music video. It was more about leaving something to the imagination, being mysterious yet, understood.All the girls wanted to be just like TLC and had our favorite member that idolized more than the other.They showed young women it was okay to have your own identity and to be proud of who you were. All in all, I miss being inspired by music. There had to be a certain factor that made an artist appealing. Not just their physical appearance or their boasting about their possessions. But those days are gone and so are the majority of these artists. 90’s. I miss you.