From the Streets to the Studios: How Hip Hop Has Changed in the Last 20 Years

hip hop history

The Take Off

As a rapper, you know that hip hop has come a long way since its humble beginnings on the streets of New York City. Over the past two decades, hip hop music has experienced an evolution that would have been unimaginable back in the days when rap first took off.

hip hop

Making that Dough

The commercialization of rap music was one of the major changes that occurred over this period. As record labels and radio stations began to recognize its potential to make money, they invested more money into promoting rap music and signing artists who could bring in large profits. In response, many rappers started creating songs designed to appeal to popular tastes rather than staying true to their own unique styles. Which is arguably the main problem with hip hop in 2023!


A New Era of Hip hop

The production process also changed significantly during this time. The introduction of digital recording and editing software allowed producers to create intricate beats with complex layers and samples from various genres. This led tothe development of a new style of rap characterized by faster tempos and more complex rhythm structures.

The lyrical content of rap music also changed over the last 20 years. Many rappers began to focus on themes like crime, materialism, and violence. They often sought to portray themselves as hardcore criminals or gangsters in their songs. Although this type of rap still exists today, it has begun to decline in popularity in recent years due to its negative connotations.

Commercialization on an Art Form

Finally, rap music has become much more commercialized over the past two decades. Major record labels have signed popular rappers and pushed them into the mainstream spotlight in order to make money off their music. As a result, many artists have sacrificed their creative freedom in order to gain financial success.


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Overall, hip hop music has changed dramatically over the last 20 years due to technological advances, commercialization, and changing lyrical content. While some changes have been positive for the genre(such as the ability to sample and mix music more easily), other changes have been viewed negatively (such as the rise of rap becoming commercialized). Despite these changes, hip hop will continue to evolve and remain a popular form of music for years to come.

Boundaries Need to be Pushed!

So to all the rappers out there: keep pushing boundaries and creating new sounds! Hip hop is alive and well, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Embrace change and stay true to your own unique style – that’s what makes hip hop great!


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