Masta Ace Pens Open Letter: Has Hip Hop Lost Its Soul?

Masta Ace Pens Open Letter: Has Hip Hop Lost Its Soul?


February 3rd, 2016


“The Golden age of hip hop was a truly balanced representation of hip hop,” Masta Ace writes. “We balanced 2 Live Crew with Public Enemy.”

Masta Ace has penned an open letter asking “Has Hip Hop Lost It’s Soul???” The Brooklyn, New York rapper appeared on Street Soldiers and Hot 97 programs this weekend and was asked to write about whether or not Hip Hop has lost its soul.

But the Juice Crew rapper says that the interviews didn’t enable him to make some of the points he felt noteworthy, so he shared his comments on Instagram yesterday (February 1).

“When I think about the state of today’s hip hop I am reminded of Sister Souljah’s iconic phrase “We Are At War”!” Masta Ace writes. “We are at war with ourselves. We realize the importance of hip hop having a place at the table of today’s music genres. We feel the need to celebrate today’s successful hip hop artists because they are representing our music and culture. At the same time we are torn because when we dissect the prevailing images and messages dominating the forefront, it disturbs us. We know all too well the influence OUR music has on the next generation of young people.” 

Masta Ace, who emerged in the 1980s under Marley Marl’s tutelage, delivered two genre-shifting albums with Masta Ace Incorporated in the 1990s, the Gangster Rap treatise SlaughtaHouse in 1993 and the East and West Coast-blending Sittin’ On Chrome in 1995. In the 2000s, he emerged as one of rap’s most insightful independent acts thanks to 2001’s Disposable Arts. He says that the type of Rap music that gets played on the radio today lacks a certain component that the music had in the 1980s.

“We notice the lack of balance in the music and messages being broadcasted to the masses of young influential fans,” Masta Ace writes. “The SOUL of hip hop has never left. The broadcasting of that SOUL has disappeared from radio and television. The Golden age of hip hop was a truly balanced representation of hip hop. We balanced 2 Live Crew with Public Enemy. NWA was balanced by Heavy D and the Boyz. Ice T balance by Big Daddy Kane and Rakim! Many of these groups even toured together in those days. There is an unannounced agenda to the playlists that exist at today’s commercial radio stations. Hip Hop’s SOUL is intact…we just need MORE of it played for our children.”

To see the Instagram post from Masta Ace, who penned a Has Hip Hop Lost Its Soul open letter, see below:

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