Questlove Says Hip Hop Isn't Challenging Culture Or Channeling Change

posted May 23, 2014 02:00:00 PM CDT | 17 comments

Questlove Says Hip Hop Isn't Challenging Culture Or Channeling Change

The Roots' drummer says that his music and writings are his way of trying to help Black America through Hip Hop.

In his latest column for Vulture, Questlove answers questions from readers regarding his "How Hip Hop Failed Black America” series of articles.

The Roots’ drummer says that Hip Hop is losing steam and explains why he feels that way.

"When Hip Hop is everywhere, it’s nowhere,” Questlove says in the Vulture column. "In the aggregate, the genre isn’t challenging culture or channeling change in any real way, and it’s even losing steam as a commercial concern. Look at the brute sales numbers. Ten years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for major albums by major Hip Hop stars to sell 3 million copies. Now the commercial heads aren’t doing big numbers anymore. Big Sean went from selling more than 300,000 copies to under 150,000.”

A reader wanted to know what Questlove was doing to help Black America given the musician’s assertion that Hip Hop had failed Black America.

”This is hard to answer, but also sort of easy to answer,” Questlove writes in his column. "What I’m doing about it is writing these columns and making records. The new Roots record, …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin, is just out. I can’t say that it solves any of the problems that I’ve discussed. That would be arrogant. But I can say with confidence that it tries. It’s an example of how, even within our own ecosystem, we’re trying to strike a balance between things that are more commercial and things that are more artistic."

RELATED: Questlove Discusses Rappers In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

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