The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

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The Battle Between Classic Hip-Hop and Modern Hip-Hop


In the ever-changing world of the hip-hop genre, the argument on whether classic hip-hop or modern hip-hop is better continues to spark debates.

Hip-hop has been around since the mid-1970s and has been growing and evolving ever since with different sounds and the development of more advanced technology.

Classic hip-hop can be considered to be hip-hop music from up until the early 2000s. Some notable classic hip-hop artists are Tupac, Dr. Dre, Easy E, Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, MF Doom and Notorious B.I.G.

Modern hip-hop, in its current form, has a variety of sounds and subgenres like trap, lo-fi, emo rap and alternative hip-hop. Some famous modern hip-hop artists include Tyler the Creator, Kanye West, J Cole, Travis Scott, Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Doja Cat.

Sean Dougherty, an 18-year-old video production major from Trevose, states, “If I had to pick between the two, I would pick modern because it’s kind of what I grew with, and I like how hip-hop has evolved, and became what it is today rather then stay the same.”

“I like how modern hip hop is experimenting with their sound and bending what it means to be an artist with artists like Travis Scott and Lil Yachty really experimenting with their sound,” Dougherty added.

Yusef Bektas, an 18-year-old engineering major from Levittown, has an opposing view, “Right now, I’ve been listening to some more classics, so I would say I like them better. I like the earlier rap elements from back then, especially the beats.”

Carter Sherian, an 18-year-old criminal justice major from Levittown, has a more balanced view on the matter, “I do not think that either is necessarily better. I think both have unique elements that make them both amazing,”

“I like that modern hip hop has a great variety of sounds. With electronic production, it is easier to make different kinds of beats,” Sherian said. “I like the old school type beats and the raw sound that old hip hop has.”

Dougherty said, “I do think old hip-hop does have more compelling lyrics, but recently, more people care more about the beat than the lyrics,” referring to the common argument that classic hip-hop has more intricate lyrics than modern hip-hop.

“Classic Hip Hop lyrics talk more about serious topics that they are experiencing in the world, such as racism and police brutality. Modern rap also has intricate lyrics, but not as often or as much as classic hip hop,” says Sherian.

Sherian continued, “I am hopeful for the future of hip hop, as a lot of really good artists are starting to make music and be creative with their production, lyrics and sound.”

Dougherty said, “Music as a whole is more than what people think it is. It’s an art form to highlight a story someone wants to tell. It’s a rabbit hole that never ends and one I never wish for it to end,” expressing his passion for music.