I was having a convo with a colleague of mine, Manov War, the other day and he was expressing his feelings of expectation and hope about New York school of hip hop regaining prominence through the direction of a few key players dropping overwhelmingly better material than their currently major exposure counterparts from other schools (namely, southern rappers). When you consider the work of these individuals and the dynamic of Hip Hop today it runs like this:
Gods were established/discovered in the 90's. These gods decended to earth and revealed or claimed their existence and dominance to the world or mortals. The gods fell silent in the age of man. mortal emcees who's work perishes in their own lifetime took the spotlight. However, every so often a god returns to show us that it is still here.
No matter how you feel about Raekwon, Jay-z, Prodigy, Nas, Ghostface, etc's..album. whether you think the album isn't as good as their 1st or 2nd or whatever...you cannot deny that their albums are of a higher lyrical quality than that of your run of the mill bullshit rapper...more refined skill than your dummyhead NYmixtape/ringtone/club music/dopeboy rapper or pseudo-rapsinger.