Kings and Jokers

Everybody was saying, “This is the worst year for hip-hop. Hip-hop is terrible this year. Nobody’s selling.” And that — forget the sales. “Nobody’s good. The albums are trash.”

J. Cole on NPR Hip-Hop’s Microphone Check

Every year is the worst year in the history of Hip-Hop. Every year is the dumbest year in tech. Every year culture hits a new low and we can find 100 songs or shows or products or anything to confirm our suspicions that the sky is falling.

But our worsts don’t matter. Our trivialities don’t stick. They may have a bad odor, but the wind blows them away.

Our greatness is what endures and our quality is all that transitions into timelessness. Today’s trivialities rarely even make it into tomorrow’s trivia.

So if you want to see what’s important. If you want to know where things are going. Or if you want to judge the state of a scene or an ecosystem:

We shouldn’t judge our quality by our jokers, but by our kings.

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