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What is the Current Direction of Hip-Hop?

Jasiri X and Pharoahe Monch at the Brooklyn Bowl for the Sandy Relief Concert (Photo by Paradise Gray)

On “Our World with Black Enterprise“, hosted by Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, we discussed the current state of Hip-Hop and it’s future, with Hip-Hop artist Pharoahe Monch, Dr. Tricia Rose, chair of the Department of Africana Studies at Brown University and myself. I still believe it’s the best of times and the worst of times in Hip-Hop.

On one hand, critics and fans agree the most impactful albums of 2012 were “Good Kid M.A.A.D. City” by Kendrick Lamar, “Life is Good” by Nas and “R.A.P. Music” by Killer Mike, all of which contain intelligent lyrics and powerful messages. On the other hand, the year ended with Def Jam giving a $2 million record contract to walking minstrel show Trinidad James.There are even reports that the creators of the TV sitcom “Martinare suing Trinidad James for stealing the character “Jerome”.

Personally I had a great year. From performing at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, NYC and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, to recording a historic cypher at the US/Mexico border. I was also blessed to criss cross the country, having critical dialogue with our community prior to the presidential election on the League of Young VotersIgnite 2012” tour and Rap Sessions hosted by Bakari Kitwana.

I believe 2013 will see Hip-Hop taken to even greater heights, and I plan on contributing to that with my upcoming album “Ascension“.