By Jaynene Moreno |Staff Writer|
While some enjoy listening to mainstream hip-hop, others are choosing to listen to what isn’t getting played every day on the radio known as underground hip-hop.
Underground hip-hop includes artists who aren’t signed, who are independently signed, or who aren’t widely known in popular culture.
Rhymesayers Entertainment is an independent record label from Minneapolis. who has signed many talented artists such as Atmosphere, Eyedea & Abilities, and Brother Ali.
While these artists are signed they are still not widely known in the mainstream music world.
“Underground hip hop is not the typical radio song you may hear but rather the ones who inspire you and have meaning,” said Cindy Medina, CSUSB student.
Many young adults listen closely to what the underground emcee has to say in his/her lyrics and at times apply it to his/her own life.
“Without underground hip hop I would not be the person I am now,” said Jacob Calloway, fifth year student at CSUSB. “It has opened so many doors for me and introduced me to the friends I have today.”
Some listeners get inspired and take underground hip-hop into their own personal work lives.
“Underground hip-hop altered my life in more than one way,” said Gianna Ford, fourth year student at CSUSB,
Most underground hip-hop artists make sure their music has a message and that they’re not just spitting out random words but actually speaking to their listener.
“I would have to say ‘Yesterday’ by Atmosphere is my favorite,” said Abrahim Abdalaziz, fourth year student at CSUSB. “It makes me think about my loved ones and how I could see them one day and the next day they could be gone.”
Immortal Technique, Binary Star, and Jedi Mind Tricks are all great examples of artists whose music have a message.
They speak about expressing themselves honestly, about war violence, and other political movements.
“Underground hip-hop has taught me that being different from the norm isn’t something that I should worry about,” said Aaron Flores, a fifth year student at CSUSB. “I can express myself whichever way I want to.”
Many hip-hop artists who were once widely heard are now considered to fall under the underground category because they aren’t played as often as they use to.
This includes artists such as Wu-Tang Clan, Biggie Smalls, and A Tribe Called Quest.
In Common’s “I Use to Love H.E.R” hip-hop is being talked about as if it was a girl Common once loved.
In this song, Common said, “She’s just not the same letting all these groupies do her”, meaning to say that almost anyone is writing hip-hop songs nowadays.
The Underground hip-hop community continues to grow as listeners turn off their radio and discover a hidden gem.