Music: Hip-Hop's Next Wave

They break rules, party like it's 1999 and make CDs that matter. Meet the coolest performers in rap

Don't call it alternative hip-hop. Don't call it neo-rap or jazz-rap or anything that would separate it from itself. What it is, straight up, is hip-hop. Call it underground hip-hop, if you have to; call it the Next Wave, if you need a name; but whatever you call it, it's already arrived.

Three acts--the Roots, Q-Tip and Mos Def--are at the front of hip-hop's new movement. All three have recently come out with accomplished albums. And all three are creating hip-hop that's more personal, political and spiritual than the bulk of what passes for Top-40 rap today. These are young acts...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!