On the eve of a transparently orchestrated retail showdown this coming Tuesday that pits a new release from Kanye West against a new release from 50 Cent, the mainstream media as of late have upped the volume on the chorus to that old classic, “Hip-hop is dying.” To wit:
- Hip-hop’s Down Beat by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Time magazine)
- Can rap regain its crown? by Steven Jones (USA Today)
- The Great Hip-Hop Bake-Off! … is the era of rap superstardom over? by Jonah Weiner (Slate)
I’ve yet to see any major publication refute these claims, but I’ll keep my eyes open for one.