The final piece of our Hip-Hop Family Tree segment.
Family is everything. The odds are uncontrollable, and blood binds a family together, creating an inseparable bond. Hip-hop artists are no different than the rest of us when it comes to family, and entire waves of cousins, brothers, sisters, and parents have shared success in the rap game. Sometimes it’s difficult to discern who’s related for real, and who’s just a close friend or mentor that has earned the title of “cousin” or “uncle.” For the purpose of this family tree, blood or marriage are the only determining factors of relation.
For the final chapter of our Hip-Hop Family Tree segment, families that have found success in The New School Era are the focus. The New School guys catch the most heat, many rap fans and critics have been vehemently vocal regarding how they feel about today’s leading artists. Clothing went from baggy to fitted, and melodies have become the most important engine behind successful rap singles. Although lyricists like J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Wale, and an assembly of others, have enjoyed success in the 2010’s, the charts don’t lie. Rappers that rely more on swag, vibe, and melody, such as Young Thug, Migos, Lil Uzi Vert and Post Malone have taken the game by storm.
Now, this isn’t the first time in hip-hop history that the overabundance of melodic tunes has come under fire. 50 Cent ran an entire campaign that derailed Ja Rule’s talent for creating chart-toppers that heavily relied on sing-song raps. Nelly, arguably one of the most successful melodic rappers ever, lost his reign on the charts after hip-hop fans became weary of his sing-song antics. Still, the 2010’s revived the commercial viability of the melodic rapper (Drake was the direct catalyst for this revival).
The most famous hip-hop family in 2018 is Migos. The rap crew ascended the charts and reaffirmed Atlanta’s stranglehold on Billboard. The follow-up to their rap rattling album Culture, appropriately entitled Culture II, was released last week. Migos isn’t the only family that was able to capitalize on the hip-hop game during this decade. During rap’s most eclectic generation, these are the relatives that held it down.