Current State of Rap Music in New York: NY vs Everybody

New York was once the center of Hip-Hop.

     New York-based magazines publications and albums coming out in the 1990s decade were usually met with considerable favor and/or intrigue. For example, The Source magazine used to be THE source (no pun) for Hip-Hop news and albums reviews that all Hip-Hop heads could appreciate. However, as the West Coast and South began putting their unique spins on Hip-Hop (funk samples and funky synths from the West and heavy bass and 808 drums from the South), the culture began to spread its wings, rather than relying on NY media as a crutch to stand.

     Nowadays in New York, it doesn’t seem like the “old-heads”, or the more traditional NY Hip-Hop purists, can connect with the younger New York audience musically. The younger NY audience seems to be more moved by heavy bass and static hi-hats, dance music influenced by Southern Hip-Hop, while the more traditional audience appears to despise this movement. This leaves an entire generation of NY artists and creators in flux with a hugely segmented audience.

Luckily for them (and us) the internet age gives artists capacity and resources to spread their diverse music for all regions to celebrate.

Anticipated Albums out of NY 2017

     NY has some highly anticipated albums for 2017: including Junglepussy’s follow-up to her 2015 release Pregnant With SuccessKa released Honor Killed The Samurai in 2016 to enormous critical acclaim and his fans are hoping for a 2017 release from him as well as spit-kicker Roc Marciano. Onto the newer artists…

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Junglepussy // 25 // East New York, NY // Hip-Hop

     New York’s rap scene is on the come up, but is still hurt. Even the new young NY rappers like Desiigner, Young M.A., Joey Bada$$ and A Boogie still sound like derivatives of the past and of contemporary rap (A Boogie sounds like Drake, Desiigner like Future, Don Q sounds like Biggie) but its still early in their careers and they can fix that.

Current State of NY Hip-Hop

     Young M.A. has nice freestyles (but what else?) and Joey Bada$$ been holding the traditional NY boombap sound on his back for 4-5 years now. There’s a sect of NYers that seem to believe that Bobby Shmurda and GS9 was their next savior but his/their discography is extremely mediocre. NY has mostly been run by A$AP the past half decade, whose sound didn’t seem to resonate with traditional NYers at the time due to its Southern influence. Flatbush Zombies dropped an acclaimed project in the underground (3001) that I had no urge to listen to based on their previous work. Smoke DZA & Pete Rock have a good album “Don’t Smoke Rock” from last year. ATCQ released the best rap album of 2016. Troy Ave and BSB can make dope records but are pretty hit or miss (or 1 time listens). Westside Gunn is post-Wu Rap that I’m sure many East Coast Hip-Hop purists can get behind and, speaking of post-Wu-Tang rappers, Action Bronson is still cooking up projects chock full of obscure lyrical references with his infamous Ghostface-similar vocal inflection. Leikeli47 is an example of a NY artist with good variation but she’s still extremely underground and I doubt anyone here has heard of her yet.

     Personally, I really liked the Highbridge The Label project from ABWTH and Don Q and that was my fav NY album of 2016 (not counting legends’ 2016 releases like De La Soul, Tribe, and Mos Def).

NY Rap is on the come-up but from a macro level they havent seemed to stumble upon originality. If NY were a rapper right now it’d be Tory Lanez  or A Boogie – no distinct sound or originality, just a merger of contemporaries trying to find its own sound but still good and up & coming overall..

NY vs East Coast vs West Coast vs the South

     Compared to other regions, NY is FAR behind California, ATL and the South as a whole. Even a state like Tennessee is arguably hotter than NY rn with Dolph, Blac Youngsta, Isaiah Rashad, Juicy J, Starlito, and Yo Gotti. Also, Chicago very quickly surpassed NY in terms of quality music coming out the city (Saba, Noname, Chance, Joey Purps etc).

I’d even argue NY is behind Pennsylvania at the moment (Meek DC4 top 25 album of 2016, Mac Miller blossoming, Wiz, Jahlil Beats, and Lil Uzi being hottest rapper rn, etc), and even Toronto has arguably surpassed NY (PND, Tory Lanez, Drake, Shad). UK’s Grime scene is even more interesting than NY Rap right now bc of its niche sound.

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