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

by Raheem Karim
Masta Ace

Juice Crew rapper and legend Masta Ace 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. Masta Ace felt he was unable to make his point during the interviews so he penned a open letter via instagram called has Hip Hop lost it’s soul. For those who are not familiar with Masta Ace he 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 went the independent route.

Read the letter in full below.

“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.”

“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.”

"HAS HIP HOP LOST IT'S SOUL???" -Open Letter This past weekend I appeared as a guest on "Street Soldiers" with @LisaEvers which aired on @fox5ny Saturday night and a affiliate Radio Station WQHT #hot97 early Sunday morning. As part of agreeing to be on the show I was asked to write a few paragraphs on the topic 'Has Hip Hop Lost its Soul'. Unfortunately the conversation never really lead down a path where I could make some of the points I wanted to make. I thought i would share with you all the paragraphs I submitted to the show regarding this topic: When I think about the state of today's hip hop I am reminded of Sister Souljah's iconic phrase "We Are At War"! 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. We notice the lack of balance in the music and messages being broadcasted to the masses of young influential fans. 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.

A photo posted by mastaacepics (@mastaacepics) on

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