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Hip Hop 50


MC JB (J.J. Fad) on who’s going to be remembered 50 years from now, and an unsung hero
Juana "MC J.B." Burns of J.J. Fad (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for Fan Rebellion)

Chuck D once famously called hip-hop the CNN of the Black community, the way people got the news. Is it still? If so, what is the news coming across, who is telling it most profoundly?

I don’t think hip-hop today really touches on things going on in our communities, as it did in the past. It’s more self-indulgent and self-promoting. Gone are the days of teaching and getting the news out. Great examples of the artists who really told you what was happening in the Black community are Chuck D, KRS-One, and N.W.A. 

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

This one is difficult because so much of the music today sounds the same. The standouts for me and most likely to be remembered are Drake, Migos, and possibly Cardi B. 

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Looking back over the last 50 years, who is an unsung hero, someone who made a big impact on hip-hop who doesn’t get credit? 

One of the biggest unsung artists over the last 50 years, besides ourselves, is Heavy D. He was a total movement in the ‘80s and appealed to all audiences — not just the hip-hop community. 

Interview by Kyle Eustice