Op-Ed: Can New York Rap Reclaim Its Top Spot In Hip-Hop?

Posted on January 20th, 2016
Staff Editor

The year was 1996, and New York City could not have been placed in a higher regard as far as the hip hop community. Sure, this was a time when music streaming was a figment of imagination, forcing record sales to sky rocket in today’s comparison, and the Godfathers of rap were still rolling out albums. However, the spirit of the big, bad New York sound was ruling the charts, and it was easy to see, and hear, why that was. With numerous spitters like Nas, Jay Z, The Notorious B.I.G., Method Man, and even DMX all dominating the game, the East Coast was in a magnificent, and almost untouchable, place.

Fast forward 20 years later, and a new golden era in hip hop seems to be slowly transforming, but unfortunately, New York has slid out of those “top lyricist” spots a bit. This past year, almost every rapper imaginable released an album or project, including a fair amount of veterans of the game. From Joey Bada$$ and A$AP Rocky, to Jadakiss and Raekwon, there were a select number of authentic rap projects to go around coming out of New York City. So why were the charts showing the South and the West Coast coming out on top?

It’s no secret that the East Coast has fallen off in recent years. With the demand from consumers rising rapidly for trap beats and addicting hooks, it’s been a struggle for New York to climb back up the mountain of hip hop’s admiration list. Of course, artists such as Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole were able to defeat the trend of club bangers and catchy dance tunes with their conscious content matter and lyrical whit, but New York still fell short of many Best Albums of 2015 lists, despite including innovative and deep artistic concepts.

While other coasts and areas of the country may be rolling their eyes at New York fans who are continuously rooting for their city, 2016 may be the year they put their foot in their mouths. No, we may not have to rely on our veterans like Nas and Hov to boost the city’s rep, because we are slowly but surely forming a population of raw spitters, and building a bigger, unbeatable buzz along the way.


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