This year marks huge milestones for the genre! While the genre is technically something like 35 years old, we are now in place where we can see that the once young innovators in the genre are now true elders of the field. With the the return of De La Soul, and 20th anniversary releases of both Illmatic and Enter the Wu, hip hop is a certifiable venerated source.
But as pointed out by Jay Z in his interview with Forbes, the very face of a hip-hop generation, as the artists who make the music mature, so does the genre. And we have seen in the work of Jay and Kanye West as of late, they assert themselves as artists. In this assertion, their is an ask- a demand even- to value the cultural merit of their music. In this vein, Once Upon a Time Shaolin asks the same questions about itself. Where does hip-hop stand in culture and art?