There are endless ways to answer this — from hip-hop being on the rise to the decline of the city itself — but the question seems so straightforward as to be silly. So is there a reason, I ask, as an argument without a answer, to care about whether, in 2016, it’s still around?
“Well, if you ask the question, it’s, like, all right, yeah, hip-hop — because then there are so many other things going on in so many different places,” he says.
While I’m here, I notice a white man walking the street. I watch as he starts talking to a black man in the same street, and suddenly the man in the street appears beside him. He tells the white man he is looking for a car, and the two speak to each other. As they walk along, the white man explains that while he can’t talk to his own race, he recognizes the black man he is speaking with as one of his fellow gang members.
“I’m from the same hood, man,” the black man says. “So yeah, gangsta rap started,” says the white man. “That’s what I know.”
I ask the white man if gangsta rappers were on the decline before Trump became president of the United States. “I don’t know,” he says. “My God, man, I gotta ask people like you — I gotta ask people like you, man.”
I say I hear that gangsta rap is still a thing. There are still so many young white men who identify as gangsters, and I don’t doubt that a lot of them would like to be involved in violence like hip-hop does. But my question to them is this: How did hip-hop end in 2016?
I also ask the white man if the white men are still getting high, and he says yeah, “and not in the white way. In the other way.”
“Like, in the white way?” says my interrogator.
Another white man comes over to the car, and after talking briefly with their occupants, tells me he’s been hanging out with his friends. He tells me he is black, that he was introduced to music by his mom as a kid growing up in the 1980s, and that he grew up listening to the likes of Ice Cube in the late 1980s because that was what was popular then.
In 2016, the white men and women who say
how to know if you can rap, how to practice rapping, rap tutor, how to rap like eminem, how do you start a rap