By Seandra Sims
All Hip Hop.com
“You can’t talk about slinging crack rocks and having a wicked jump shot. The left digit in your age is a four,” Questlove of The Roots says with eery frankness. “You can’t talk about, ‘What up, boo? Come around my way. Your subject matter has to be a lil’ bit different.”
Straight up…a lot of Hip-Hop fans are sick and tired – tired of “candy-coated” songs with nursery rhyme-inspired hooks and redundant talk about diamonds, cars, and women. Rap’s diverse styles have their place within the genre, but some fans are calling for music with more meaningful content that speaks to the triumphs and struggles of everyday people.
With the popularity and longevity possessed by some rappers, such as LL Cool J, members of Wu Tang Clan, The Roots, and Jay-Z, both old and young rap fans are slowly growing accustomed to a maturing hip-hop sound. And, as rappers and fans alike evolve gracefully to the beat, an emerging market for rap aficionados is taking shape.
Adult Contemporary Hip-Hop is defined as rap infused with content relevant to rap’s “mature” listening audience.
The ACHH rap movement isn’t so much about age as it is about satisfying the evolving tastes of rap fans of all ages.
After more than 30 years of evolution and accolades, rap – even old school – has substance these days, and its core urban market has grown up along with it.
Rapper Dres from Black Sheep fame – who is making a comeback with a new solo CD called From the Black Pool of Genius – is relishing in the buzz about his grown man sound. His album features collaborations with MCs such as old school Native Tongue posse members Q-Tip, Dave from De La Soul, and Mike Gee from the Jungle Brothers on the track “Birds of a Feather.” To older rap fans, Black Pool may sound a bit like nostalgia mixed with plain good MC’ing and production; to newbies, it will be a brand new experience – what Dres calls “nouveau-retro.
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