The Hip-Hop Highway: Identifying The Current State Of Hip-Hop


Today’s Hip-Hop is much different from what it was in the 80’s. So different, that old school MC’s have a habit of publicly denouncing the new generation. What started with bars and break dancing has evolved into auto tune and dabbing. We went from focusing on word play to focusing on melodies.

Hip-Hop has always been a universal form of music. Hip-Hop is the one genre that can mix with all genres. Over time we have heard it all – from beats made with guitars that could have easily been a rock and roll song to R&B samples; from country music to classical orchestras. Though, some do not believe that this is Hip-Hop’s purest form. They actually believe this is doing nothing but diluting the culture, but all successful music does have a purpose right? I mean it has to have a fan base some where. If it’s selling, someone has to like it. Maybe this song wasn’t made for you? Maybe the artist wasn’t aiming at your generation? Kind of makes you feel left out. I wouldn’t be surprised if my grandmother didn’t want to watch Belly and she probably would never ask me to watch All My Children. So why would we expect Funk Master Flex to enjoy a Lil Yachty mixtape?

Maybe some people are having problems identifying they’re culture in today’s mainstream Hip-Hop. Maybe your not as gangster as Gucci Mane or as lit as Future, but that’s doesn’t mean your a softy or your the biggest Drake fan. Maybe your not as complex as Kendrick Lamar but your not as simple as Lil Yachty. I bet once upon a time you were a a huge fan of Jay Z, Eminem, or Lil Wayne and are currently disappointed in one of the 3.

Well, we here at are here to help you out by helping you learn to stay in your lane. We believe that Hip-Hop today has three lanes, like a highway.

Lane #1: The Entry Lane

This lane is the new school, the younger generation, and pretty much the new wave. This lane consist of more auto tune and simplicity today vs. heavy bars and metaphors. Though, this lane sound may change with each new generation that enters. Today this includes artist like Future, Young Thug, Migos, YFN Lucci, Lil Yachty, 21 Savage, Fetty Wap, etc. Honestly everybody starts in this lane but some people remain and eventually exit the highway. What we would call one-hit wonders, but if you’re consistent eventually you merge to the next lane.

Lane #2: The Middle Lane

This is usually the lane where stars are born. This lane is a mix of all three lanes and usually can work with either side. Most artist in this lane can either do both or find a way to fit in with both lanes. This lane doesn’t have a defined sound. These artist are kind of doing their own thing. Artists like Drake, Chance The Rapper, Kanye West, Rae Sremmud, School Boy Q, Big Sean etc. Artist like Lil Wayne, Eminem and Jay Z were accelerating through this lane so well that they have now crossed over to lane 3.

Lane #3: The Express Lane

Now last but not least, the most important lane of them all, The Express Lane. To get to The Express Lane you have to cross all the way over. this is the legendary lane. If you made it to this lane you got drive and you’re here to get straight to the point. This lane consist of the purest rap. The best rappers from 2 Pac, Biggie Smalls, NWA, RUN DMC, LL Cool J, Nas, Bone Thugz N Harmony, Jay Z, Eminem, Lil Wayne, etc. I’m willing to bet that J Cole is riding in the car with Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar is riding with Dr. Dre; I have no idea how they got in that lane so fast. We’ll just call it legendary.

We call this The Hip Hop Highway concept because this is a fast moving business. There’s always a new wave. There’s something out here for everybody, maybe your looking over artist who aren’t really main stream. The new generations of lane 2 and lane 3 need to gang up and start a movement like the new artist in lane 1. It’s always the new artist that start a movement. When Jay Z was first getting hot in 2001 he had Rocafella. No one knew that he would branch off to be solo in lane 3. When Wayne first started getting hot with Cash Money in 1999 he had the Hot Boys, but today in lane 3, we see Wayne alone. So if everyone would just support the artist they love everyone would be happy. please stay in your lane.

-Article Written by DBoy –