Older generations often malign hip-hop’s move away from serious lyrical content and the “classic” sound of the Golden Era, the death of the true school that gave rise to traditionalist nightmares like Young Thug and Lil Yachty. Far less maligned: The precipitous decline of gleeful, joyous hip-hop. The critique implicit in a lot of “rap ain’t what it used to be” arguments is that the genre’s lost its serious, socially conscious edge. They came for Makonnen because he was joyful, now the bell tolls for Yachty.
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