Hip hop music is a genre that can progress towards new age, old school, and modern sound through different varieties of style. There’s potential in any emcee to put his pen to the pad and create a piece of music that’s surrounded by enticing production, confounding lyrics, and a staggering flow. What puzzles Hip hop fans is the path of succession white emcees have followed in the independent rap scene. With an extreme change in today's Hip hop audience, the white emcee is starting to do more than just fit in.
In 1990, Vanilla Ice dropped the song that makes us all cringe, Ice Ice Baby. Let’s be honest, nobody respected this dude; not just because he was white, but also due to the fact that he couldn't rap. Many Hip hop fans felt as if it was a backhand to the culture; placing a white “rapper” in the middle of an African American culture.
In the case of Mac Miller, who is officially the world’s number one independent Hip hop artist, he most likely wouldn’t have been given a second look either. Originally, Hip hop was meant as a mouthpiece for the underprivileged minority both socially and economically. Today, it still is, but it's become a megaphone for many more.
When 1996 came around, Eminem was introduced to the world. When his album Infinite dropped, critiques were provoked in spite of his complexion, not his talent. What the fans of Hip hop didn’t know was that the genre would forever change. Fan skepticism quickly converted from excluding him to including him. The world of Hip hop started looking past his complexion; listening to the violent, comical and touching words he spoke in a diversely intricate flow. When the Slim Shady LP was released in February, 1999, it sold 283,000 copies within its opening week. Fans started to realize that Hip hop needs him; he was finally looked upon as a father figure for Hip hop music, being the first white emcee to actually be widely accepted amongst a predominately black audience.
The beautiful thing about Hip hop music is the realization of how much it’s progressed. Now everyone's story is heard; 2012 is a perfect example of this.
Action Bronson, Rhymesayers ENT, R.A. The Rugged Man, Apathy, Iron Solomon, Diabolic and plenty of other white emcees are dominating the independent Hip hop music scene. It shows how much Hip hop culture has really changed. Today everyone is given a chance and skill is skill, no matter who you are.
Hip hop now is what America was in the early 1900’s; a melting pot. White, Black, Spanish, Asian now coincide within the basis of skill, hard work and dedication above everything else. Not all white emcees given shine are talented and same goes for the African American emcee. Everyone is now given an opportunity and this is the meaning of progression. - Kamron Bahani