Last year, Cardi B‘s Invasion Of Privacy secured the number one spot atop Time Magazine’s “Album Of The Year” list. While it’s a testament to the crowd-pleasing strength of Cardi’s debut, we took umbrage with the fact that her album represented the lone hip-hop inclusion – especially in a year as strong as 2018. Of course, such is but one exhibit that the minds over at Time appear to devalue the cultural contributions of hip-hop. Regardless of the fact that rappers regularly top the Billboard charts, acting as pioneers in both the music and fashion worlds. Some are even prominent entrepreneurs behind the scenes and out in the open. In any case, none were deemed worthy of Time’s inclusion in this year’s Most Influential People.
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It’s not as if Time has a historical beef toward emcees. Across the years, the institutional magazine has previously named Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Chance The Rapper, and Childish Gambino. Yet this year, despite the inclusion of names like Khalid and Ozuna, hip-hop largely went unrepresented. Of course, some self-loathing hip-hop fans will make excuses as to why rappers caught the snub, subconsciously alluding to rap as a lower artform. Yet the truth of the matter is evident. Hip-Hop is a global phenomenon, given power by some of today’s sharpest writers. In matters such as this, it seems wise to stand on the right side of history.
That is not a slight at Time Magazine, nor any of the year’s chosen inclusions. Yet it would be a shame to see The Most Influential play out similarly to The Grammys, consistently looking beyond the rap world in favor of a more “audience-friendly” option. Little did they know, the audiences are more than willing to give their favorite rappers the time of day.
See Time Magazine’s full 2019 lineup here.