For decades, supposed hip-hop “purists” have been adamant about determining what is or is not “real” hip-hop. Everything from southern hip-hop music to the poppier sounds of artists like Ma$e has been dismissed as not being authentic to some of the genre’s more strident fans. In a recent interview, Public Enemy‘s Flavor Flav weighed in on the subject and stated unequivocally that he doesn’t feel that any of today’s biggest American rappers record hip-hop.
“I think the element of hip-hop left when rap music started being created on a slow tempo,” Flav explained during an interview with Gigwise. “It’s just stayed there for years. Right now, a lot of rap music today is being created at very low tempos.”
“There’s no more of that, ‘Wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care,’ you know, something that makes you wanna get out there and break-dance,” he said. “Rap music has lost that element right now, mainly over in America. There’s not too many great hip-hop records out there, but there are some great rap records. Lil Wayne is making some great rap records, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Ludacris, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, Snoop [Lion]–everybody is making great rap records, but it’s not hip-hop.”