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There’s a new Drake album out and as usual, it’s dominating the discourse online as fans parse what it means for pop culture at large. However, this time, there’s a whole new angle for that discussion, as Honestly, Nevermind eschews Drake’s usual mopey R&B and passive-aggressive raps in favor of a genre experiment in the vein of house music alongside executive producer Black Coffee. And as usual, Joe Budden has thoughts, which he shared on his podcast along with call-in guest Vince Staples.
While Joe wondered whether the album meant the elimination of rap music as a whole (because Joe Budden, again, is not a journalist and has no real frame of reference for such things), Vince’s response was more measured as he pointed out that such genre-hopping projects are nothing new in hip-hop — not even for Vince himself. “I did that in 2017,” he reminded the host. “N****s was on me… That Big Fish Theory, n****s was mad at that. ‘What’s up with this n****?’”
Vince expanded on his views (no pun intended), comparing music to Instagram: “Everything looks the same, everything moves the same, everyone dresses the same, everyone talks the same,” he explained. “So the genre sh*t is gonna have to go out the window eventually. It’s too hard to separate culture because the internet is kinda pushing everything in the same little bubble.”
He’s got a point: Besides himself, a number of artists have blended genres including dance genres like house and techno into hip-hop, with some artists distancing themselves from the “rapper” label altogether. However, the thing that hasn’t gone away is rapping as a lyrical style, and there are still plenty of artists — arguably way more of them, to be honest, who release music primarily in that mode regardless of trends. And considering some of the responses to Drake’s album, it doesn’t look like hip-hop fans were quite ready to make the switch — which didn’t stop it from topping Apple Music’s Dance chart on release day.
Basically, no rappers should be restricted solely to rapping or making music according to popular trends, but rap as a genre probably isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
You can watch the full episode of The Joe Budden Podcast above.