Had “Happy Birthday Hip Hop” been written around the time of Nas' “Hip Hop Is Dead” this cut would have been a rap version of “It's My Party And I'll Cry If I Want To”, but as it stands, a new generation is resuscitating the artform. It's not quite a renaissance era, but artists like Big K.R.I.T. and Yelawolf are part of a DIY movement via blogs that's managed to create a balance between the digital and the street. It is a movement that's Internet-based purely in distribution, the new popped trunk at the 7-Eleven, but rooted in expressing the tribulations of their Southern upbringings. Hip Hop had its awkward phase with the Internet in the early Aughts, but it's mastered the market and pimping it for all it is worth now.
Produced by K.R.I.T., “Happy Birthday Hip Hop” is the first leak from K.R.I.T.'s Last King 2: God's Machine mixtape presented by DJ Wally Sparks. The song was recorded at Tree Sound Studios in Atlanta the night that Big K.R.I.T. and Yelawolf first met a little over a year ago. The two discussed their Southern influences and mutual respect for one another, then took their appreciation to the next level with “Happy Birthday Hip Hop”.
Download the song at Big K.R.I.T.'s website for free.
Last King 2: God's Machine is out August 18.