Hip Hop Culture for Grown-Ups
Every eight months or so, a new trend or style of rap music seems to surface. How long it sticks around is purely up to the Internet, but that’s neither here nor there. The point is that it’s here, & we as fans of rap music are forced to deal with it.
From all the complaining, I can decipher that the current wave sweeping the nation is bad rappers getting all the shine. Definitions of what’s “bad” (bad meaning bad, not bad meaning good) may vary, but for the most people, the general Hip Hop public seems to all hate the same core group of individuals. & it’s for the same base reason; they sound “bad.”
Whether the music is labeled bad for technical reasons, as in Waka Flocka Flame’s case where the critical audience demands more intense songwriting, or like in Chief Keef’s situation, where real-life drama may be the true reason why he’s recorded songs with 2 of your Fav 5 rap ninjas already, it’s more than apparent that the actual music has taken a back seat to the hype[rbole], no matter the person or place.
As much as we love to hate ourselves (I call it Rap on Rap crime), like it or not, we need bad rappers & bad rap music as much as we need stupid friends, dumb criminals, & carbohydrates. If you don’t believe me by now, read these 5 reasons why bad rap music is necessary.
5. Most people don’t listen to music to think. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, they just don’t. Music is used for cleaning up or riding on the enemy or having sex. Rarely is it with the intention of gathering useful information. (Although “useful” is a very flexible word nowadays, but my point remains. I guess.)
4. Complex rap music (winding stories, morality lessons, ethical sound-offs, etc.) sounds great in the headphones, good in the car, but pretty lousy in a club or party setting. There’s something about unveiling America’s hypocrisies or stalking one’s next sex crime victim that doesn’t translate well when people just want to vibe with the beat. Exceptions to the rule exist, but I’ve been asked to turn off NaS at a party in my lifetime. More than once.
3. Who’s to say that producers don’t occasionally deal with a rapper or a group based on the act’s mediocrity? It’s actually a genius concept. Take an overzealous, moderately talented rap cat, give him a beat that’s hot enough to get him hype enough to let everybody hear it, & viola. Promotion up the wahzoo. At that point, whether or not they chose to continue business is an open option. Like prostitution.
2. The “average” (not to be confused with the ‘run-of-the-mill’) rapper keeps a constant rotation of the same three topics: money, hoes, murder. Saying that these are less than scholarly subjects is an understatement, but who amongst us doesn’t love a little ignorance from time to time? For example, Inception is an awesome movie, & I’m positive Leo DiCaprio is my favorite
White guy ever actor, but there’s no way on Jehovah’s green earth that I’ll ever see that film as many times as Menace II Society. Why? Because carnage is king where there are no rules. That’s why. There’s a time & a place for everything. But – much like Jello – there’s always room for guilty pleasure.
1. A “bad rapper” is essentially the least liked or skilled in comparison with the upper echelon, cream-of-the-crop dudes. In other words, a bad rapper is only as bad as his competition is good. Let’s try an experiment: Take all the rappers you dislike, bunch them up, & wish them into the cornfield. Return back to the stable of artists that you have left, & you’ll notice that there is a new batch of bad rappers. & it’s not that they’re especially worse or somehow downgraded, but a bottom must be isolated in order to identify the top, if you smell my cologne.