Originally Posted by Al Bundy
I'm going to respectfully disagree. I think it is significantly weaker mainly because of the guys I listed. There are some very talented MC's and some very talented producers, but those guys have been around for over 10 years. Just my humble opinion.
I've been pondering this a lot over the last few days. I think there are a few things that are contributing to my current ranking of hip hop as extremely interesting right now:
1) Drugs: It's in a psychedelic era due to the type of drugs in the scene right now. The culture is dominated by molly (x), lean, and weed. All of those give varying degrees of mind alteration, but they've contributed to some seriously trippy and experimental music being made.
2) Crossover: for better or worse, hipsters are into hip hop. This has had a validating effect on the artistic value of the music (it's not just pop anymore). This has led to a lot of crossover of genres with things like Justin Vernon showing up on Kanye albums. It's also led to a lot of interesting production work and choices (also heightened by #1 above).
3) Maturity: we're in like the 3rd generation of the culture now. As such, we get non typical people like Kanye West, Danny Brown, Kitty Pryde (who I can't stand), Odd Future, ASAP Rocky, who have a broader world view than the ghetto-centric vision of much of hip hop in the past.