Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Zeroes: The Decade of Rap?

Rap was incredibly popular in the 1990s also, and even in the 1980s to a much, much lesser extent, but the '00s are overflowing with hip hop.
The first "real" rap song was Rapper's Delight by the Sugarhill Gang, way back in 1979. By 1988 rap was a household word.
During the early 1990s there was a hip hop explosion. At first, this was dominated by cheesy acts such as MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, and Tone Loc, but by about 1992 rap became more hard-edged and controversial. This period, from about 1993 to 1996 was the era of Gangsta Rap.
By 1997, Puff Daddy and Bad Boy Records brought about a new genre of hip hop for the incoming Gen Yers: Pop Rap. By 1999, the term "Bling Bling" was coined, and by 2002 hip hop surpassed rock and roll in sales.
Now, in 2006 rap is everywhere. No matter where you go, you can't escape it. Even little kids listen to it. Hip Hop slang can be heard on Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. There is a Bling Bling Barbie. During most weeks of the Zeroes, more than half the pop chart is dominated by rap, hip hop and R&B.
There's even Indie Hip Hop.
Will hip hop continue to be popular in subsequent decades? I think the genre will always be around, but I also think that the "glam rap" of the Zeroes will die during the early 2010s as Generation Z comes of age.
Then, there will be an "Alternative Hip Hop" revolution, and eventually rock and roll will again be King.

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