So, my 16 year old son Evan has a pretty high hip hop IQ. I mean, he's as enamored with today's lame rappers and as any other teenager, but he does have an interest in the broader culture and a healthy respect for old the school MCs who've made rap what it is today. I like his curiosity and his interest in what these guys are saying, how the music gets made, and how it impacts him and his friends.
And quite frankly, he knows a whole lot more about what's going on with today's emerging hip hop scene than I do. I can name a lot of good music that he's introduced me to over the past year or so (of course it helps that he's a teenager with massive amounts of free time on his hands). Overall though, I think he has a good ear, and he definitely has some interesting observations about current events and new music.
In an effort to advance his critical thinking skills and to get him to focus in long enough on one topic to actually write something down, I asked him to create his "Top 10 Rappers Right Now" list to compare and contrast against mine (still in development). The deal was, he couldn't just list them out, but he had to also articulate his reasons for selecting the rappers on his list . Below is his submission . I can certainly take issue with a few of his selections (Rick Ross, seriously?), but in general I found it to be fairly insightful. Enjoy.