Houston rap collective The Geto Boys were the original pioneers of Southern rap in the US, especially concerning Houston. Comprised of Scarface, Willie D and Bushwick Bill, The Geto Boys’ origins are rooted firmly in the late 1980s, and their music reflected the high calibre of music released during the decade.
However, the frontman of the Texas collective Scarface recently insisted that current rap music is of low quality compared to that released in previous eras and believes it is reaching an all-time low. Furthermore, he believes other genres are seeing their own golden ages.
Opening up about contemporary hip-hop, the emcee (real name Brad Jordan) stated, “The Rap shit [is] sounding stupider and stupider, and country music is sounding more brilliant, rock music is sounding more brilliant and alternative music is sounding way more brilliant. Shit sound good as fuck!”
Addressing how the majority of new rappers are becoming more superficial and performative, Jordan exclaimed, “Everybody [in hip-hop] wants to turn up now, even in R’n’B. Who stole the soul? The soul is gone. Twenty-five years ago, it was called soul. Thirty years ago, it was called soul. Then they turned it into rhythm and blues, R’n’B. What is it now? Is R’n’B gone, too?”
During his interview with XXL, the ‘Guess Who’s Back’ rhymer expressed how, when he grew up, the high-quality artistry of the musicians played in his household shaped who he was as a rapper, unveiling, “I think that the music that I listened to turned me into the artist that I am.”
He continued, “I grew up listening to great music that moulded my character and my artistry, that helped me. You got to look at it. Look at the music that came out 25 years ago. Now, match it up to the music that came out today. There’s no comparison to it. I go back to the same question that I always ask. Who stole the soul?”
Scarface is far from the first artist to criticise the new generation of hip-hop artists. Last year, Pete Rock spoke out against drill MCs, calling them “trash” and insisting they have “no talent”. However, legends such as Dr Dre have asserted that criticising the current direction of hip-hop does nothing but create more division.
You can hear Scarface speak about his past and the current state of hip-hop in the video below.