Message Board from 2003 Predicts the Future of Hip-Hop with Scary Accuracy

11 years ago, a few rap fans took to a message board to figure out the future of hip-hop. They may have been time travelers.

First spotted today by the eagle-eyed guys of R/HipHopHeads, the short thread hosted on an “alt.rap” Google Group hits brilliantly on the music, fashion, and sociological changes rap would undergo over the next decade. It touches on the fall of the throwback craze. The rise of Kanye. It even predicts that beats will be more electronic and less sample-based.

But maybe the weirdest moment comes when one user predicts that Kanye and Pharrell will be two of the three acts still relevant in 2013. Kanye hadn’t released his first album at that point, Pharrell was just known for the Neptunes—if the 2003 rap fan had predicted Pharrell’s exaggerated mountie hat, I’d be scared right now.

So I think by 2013-2014, rap in America will still be predominantly black, but more diversified. You’ll see more whites and Hispanics, and maybe a few races that you might perceive as being out of the ordinary for rap, like Native Americans, Arabs, Asian, etc. Some will find this as positive for Hip Hop, and others won’t. As a result this will create new warring faction in Hip Hop and might generate something interesting.


Also this throwback craze will die out, and like Hip Hop’s predecessors, the heads of the future will invent their own style. Hip Hop went from afros to flat-tops to high top fades (gumbys, slopes, etc) to jherri curls & perms on the West Coast to close-cut fades. Now most cats just rock the even stevens with the tight line-ups with the v-point sideburns. Or the mini-fro with the taper or the short dreads. And those who grew their hair out rock the ‘rows. It seems like there is only so much you can do with hair, so who knows where it will be years from now.

No throwbacks, more simple haircuts. Yep.

And I think the music will be less sampled, and more “created beats”. It will be easier for independent up-and-coming cats to produce their own albums with technology these days, with beats, editing, touching up, and giving it that studio-quality sound; the whole nine…

Think of every artist discovered after uploading their beats online. So yep.

> Which of today’s key players will still be relevant?

The Neptunes, Kanye West, 50 Cent/G-Unit (just to name a few)….

Well, two out of three ain’t bad.

Anyway, the discovery prompted a similar question to be asked at HipHopHeads, and this comment won the day.