Skip to content
Hip Hop 50


Cutmaster Cool V on who is the true voice of hip-hop today
Cutmaster Cool V
(Credit: Nate Farrior)

Chuck D once famously called hip-hop the CNN of the Black community, the way people got the news. Is it still? 

Killer Mike is the voice right now because he’s national and for the people. That’s the voice. 

Fifty years from now, in 2073, who will people still be talking about from hip-hop in 2023? Who will have a lasting impact?

  1. Drake 
  2. Kendrick Lamar
  3. J. Cole

They are the usual suspects, but they’re setting the standard with Pulitzer Prizes and No. 1 hits. These are the names for the next 50 years that are going to be relevant. The next female? There will be so many. I think there will just be a wave of females that will come in so many different packages—they’re just going to dominate. It’s totally going to flip. It’s already flipping. There are so many different voices being heard. Most women’s voices have always been suppressed. That’s why Queen Latifah, Roxanne Shanté, and MC Lyte stand out because they’ve never been suppressed. 

What’s a classic hip-hop album that flew under the radar? (And why do you think it did?)

Right off the top of my head, it would be Capone-N-Noreaga’s The War Report. I knew N.O.R.E. was gonna be big. When I heard his voice, I said, “N.O.R.E. has a voice you’ll hear from now on.” And I love Capone. That CNN album was hard. 

Interview by Kyle Eustice.