L.L. Cool J. Kool G. Rap. Big Daddy Kane. Rakim. KRS-One. Slick Rick. These six hip hop icons will forever be linked as some of the best to ever be a part of a musical phenomenon. There is NO question in my mind that each of these individuals influenced an entire generation, directly or indirectly, with their style, lyricism, and flavor. But would you consider them to be the main branches of today's hip hop tree? I came across a dope dissertation on this very subject, courtesy of Mr. Mecca and JumpOff TV. In this informative video, you will hear very convincing arguments for each of the subjects in question. To be truthful, there are other names that can be dropped that are influential on today's modern emcee, such as Ice-T (arguably the godfather of so-called gangsta rap), Ice Cube, Kool Moe Dee, Chuck D, Run (and DMC for that matter) and others. What I believe Mecca was trying to outline was that any hip hop artist/lyricist that is currently in the driver's seat in the urban vehicle can find bits and pieces of his style in the aforementioned forefathers. Of course, tracing Jay-Z back to Big Daddy Kane and Nas back to Rakim is relatively easy. You can hear elements of Kool G. Rap in artists such as Crooked I and Joell Ortiz. From a storytelling standpoint, Snoop Dogg owes a great deal to a dynamic force known as Slick Rick. The list can go on and on. Take a peek at the video to get more insight into this notion, and afterwards spark up some conversation with friends, colleagues, fellow hip hop heads, and the like. Hit me up on Twitter under @wisdom31 and Facebook at Wisdom1970 for further discussion on this topic, and many others.
Special thanks to Mr. Mecca, Jas Fly, Valerie Lora, Susie Juan, DJ Snips, Lowkey, and the fine folks at LRG for the sparked dialogue, courtesy of JumpOff TV.