Watching hip-hop's evolution over the years has been spellbinding. Since its inception in the mid to late 70s, rap music has consistently mutated with each passing decade. With every transition, rap always feels as if it's losing a vital element. In the 80s, it felt odd to see a rapper or group without a DJ, whereas the inverse has become true in modernity.
Even though rap is perpetually stuck in the Darwinian process of purging the more redundant components of the genre, the memories of those components are still potent and palpable in contemporary hip-hop. With the correct historian at the helm, it's impossible to ignore the traces of old-school hip-hop in modern rap music.
In the video linked above, the mesmerizing lyricist, Black Thought of the legendary Roots crew, performs a captivating spoken word poem that acknowledges all of rap's various eras and iconic talents. And, as one would expect with Black Thought, the talent on display is unbelievable.