I used to love H.E.R.


Photo illustration by Zach Tierney

Photo Illustration by Zach TIerney

Walter Jones and Walter Jones

She used to say, “Yes, yes y’all and you don’t stop.” Hearing these words always ensured me that she was going to take me to a place of beautiful bliss. This girl was hip-hop. Growing up in the 1990s and the early 2000s, hip-hop seemed so passionate and full of life. It had culture and meaning behind each song.

The demographics of hip-hop have since changed over the years. They’re more artists coming from so many different areas than before. In the 90s hip-hop was all about East Coast versus west coast. The East Coast had artists like The Notorious B.I.G., Wu Tang Clan, Jay-Z, and Nas. The West Coast was represented by Tupac, Snoop Dogg, Mac Dre, and E-40.

In the early 2000s, hip-hop seemed to surface as more of a mainstream sound. As time went on it lost its true meaning. Everything from the way people rhymed to the culture of hip-hop. There are some things as a fan of this we have to ask ourselves. What happened to the competition? Most importantly, what happened to the lyrics?

It seems like this new era of artists all want to dance or brag about what kind of drugs they take or how much money they have. “Ask me about swag, I’m-a change the topic to lyrics and then brag” said Joe Budden in the song “Move On”.  Artists and Labels today are more about themselves what sells and not what the people need.

At some point people need to wake up because the girl I love is dying. We have very few new artists (Kendrick Lamar, Big KRIT, J. Cole and Hopsin) who try to reach out to the youth and encourage them to exceed society’s expectations of a professional athletic career or a life of crime.

In the late 90s and early 2000s we had a variety of labels: Roc-A-Fella, Cash Money Records, Ruff Rhyders Entertainment, No Limit Records, Murder Inc Records, Bad Boy Records and Death Row Records. Now we have so little diversity in labels.

This girl is so lovely and gentle to me to this day I reminisce on the good times we shared. She always took care of me no matter if I was mad, sad, or glad there was never a time I felt like she couldn’t reach my mind body and soul, but now I just don’t know. All I can say is that I used to love H.E.R. (Hearing Every Rhyme).