The success of rap music has made it into a financial powerhouse. Billions in revenue is now generated every year from the sale of rap and hip hop music. While it has long been the voice of the streets, today's rap has changed the identity of rap as a tool for the underprivileged. Some feel that rap is no longer focused on the art. Instead rap music has become an avenue to be used for profit. Some feel commercial rap music has probably led to the downfall of its power as an art form. Its a far cry from old school rap which was created over two decades ago. A long way, folks, from 'Rapper's Delight' by The Sugarhill Gang to 'Bed Rock' by Young Money.
It was always easy to produce rap music. Rap has always had a do it yourself mentality. Remember, in the beginning, all you needed were two turntables and a microphone. A large recording budget from a major label was not needed. Though rarely given credit, rap is indirectly responsible for the resources and technology now readily available and more affordable to many artists. From drum machines to record manufacturing. From selling CDs out of the trunk to selling MP3s on the internet. No matter how small the budget, any rapper can start their own label. Today's new school rap can be run with the efficiency of a large company.
The power of rap music has changed corporate sponsorships. Businesses that once steered clear of rap now have no problem pouring millions of advertising dollars into the pockets of rappers who promote clothes, shoes or other merchandise. I sure you have seen commercial jingles with a G Funk beat. Rap is so integrated into society that even those who do not listen to rap music can perform most of the top songs. Hundreds of movies, serious or not, have rap music as part of the storyline. People used to think or hoped that rap was just a fad. It has instead become a big part of American culture.
Rap music has created lots of financial opportunities for street smart individuals. It has also created many young millionaires. Rap has also provided an opportunity for some to blame rap for society's problems. As if these problems didn't exist before rap. We are not going to go into them with this article. It has been debated long enough and will continue to be debated. Recognize that it is only distraction from the real causes. Rap is a powerful form of expression but it is also only music. Music has always been what the musician wants it to be, and it has always been what the listener wants it to be.