#ThrowbackThursday: 3 Ways That YOU Can Truly Contribute To The Hip Hop Community


[Originally Published 3/2013]

Words by Tony Grands

Everybody wants to be a part of something, especially when that something is associated with disposable money, big booty bitches, unnecessarily fast cars, & comic book-like adventures…

Welcome to the wide world of Hip Hop, where a dollar & a dream can eventually get you somewhere. (Or so it seems.) For those who can’t rap or dance or haven’t been to jail or shot enough times to qualify for entry into the game, I have three ways that you can still actively participate in the culture even if you aren’t on the front line.

Tell Your Wack Friends They’re Wack
Most rap careers start with the alleged artist asking their closest friend or associate for an honest opinion on their music. Depending on your perspective of current rap music trends, this may be where it all goes wrong. If you have a friend who swears that the rap life is his destiny, yet has no factual talents or famous relatives, it’s your civic duty to stop them from making “music” at all costs. There’s enough bullshit floating around already & the last thing we – the people – need is something else to flush. The gratification may not be instantaneous, but your grandchildren will be better off in the long run.

Stop Supporting Bad Music
First & foremost, “support” means help. When young rappers solicit support over the Internet, they want help spreading their gospel & require your assistance. This can be done in one of two ways; positively, where word of mouth gains momentum to eventual popularity, as with Kendrick Lamar’s rise to prominence, or negatively, where the artist is bad-mouthed continually to anyone willing to sit still long enough to listen. The fact of the matter, though, is that both of these achieve the exact same thing: promotion & publicity, be it good or bad.

If there’s music you don’t like, regardless of your beer-googled point of view, don’t talk about it. There are some people on the world who want to try the things that nobody else likes. By not mentioning the name of the terrible rapper, you are denying the universe a piece of it’s energy.

& by no means is this “hate,” (unless you’re doing it with malice intent, like the dude boned your ex-girl or owes you money) it’s just that there are enough wack “rappers” outchea already.

Do Something Instead Of Rap
I rapped when I was a kid. I carried that passion with me into my teenage years with the intention of becoming a professional rap star & getting paid to spit hot rhymes. Had I stuck with it, who knows where it would’ve taken me. But, at some point, I realized that there are other avenues in life that I could take. That was years ago, before Hip Hop music became the overcrowded, standing-room only, after hours spot that it is now. Though the Internet makes the dream more tangible, it’s harder than ever to achieve notoriety because of the vastness of participants. Every urbanized person in America (& beyond) under age 40 knows at least five people that rap. Just by doing loose multiplication, you can see the enormity of MCs chomping at the bit for their spot in the next online rap music debate.

With odds comparable to those of inner-city kids making it to the NBA, it’s worth mentioning that the technical skills applied to rap (writing, story-telling, creativity, etc.) can be used in a variety of other career fields. Seriously, Hip Hop is a state of being, not a slot on the Top 40 charts. I’m not going to say the world needs more doctors (or cashiers), because that sentiment is redundant in 2013, but just think about what I’m illustrating.

By just doing one of these three things, you can help make a difference. It all starts with the man, or woman, in the mirror.

photo courtesy of balinbrandt.com

Words by Tony Grands


4 comments on “#ThrowbackThursday: 3 Ways That YOU Can Truly Contribute To The Hip Hop Community

  1. markdub7 says:

    One of my oldest friends and I have become rather respected hip hop afficianados in our area. As such, a LOT of the local youngsters trying to get into the rap game will talk with us about their projects, ask for help with things like allocating beats, booking shows….etc. With jigg rap being the predominant form of the art in Baton Rouge (see: Boosie), it’s hard for cats trying to get in to what I believe to be more authentic hip hop to get any kind of break around here, so we do what we can. Believe me…when a cat is whack, I do my best to try to suggest ways he could step up his bar-game as tactfully as I can. My homie, on the other hand, pretty much does it your way, Grands. He’ll tell them that their shit is whack, and UPS is hiring. LOL! And you thought that I was a hater. LOL


  2. realnagan says:

    Yeah i’m pretty bad at not telling rap cats they aren’t very good. Twitter gives me followers and i try and like their shit… but they just aren’t “special”. Hip hop muzak to be kind. Just too many cats to listen to, and if i am not feeling it in the first song i have no will to sit through anymore of their work. Can be considering hating i guess. but it’s so bland i don’t even hate the music. just been done better elsewhere.

    I think along the lines of this post just can’t be arsed with ‘net arguments saying why i don’t like a particular cats music. Though really it would benefit lovers of the art for many cats, to do the Point 3 and do something other than rap.

    Great to read another post of yours ,Grand$. And to read fellow ‘net denizen Markdubs comments. Peace y’all


  3. #2 is the truth. I keep telling people that’s how Lil B got so popular. I call it the trap and we fell, hard. These days I try to ignore people and music I don’t like as if it didn’t exist.

    I think its safe to say that everyone that hears hip hop wants to participate in it. Once I realized how much money really goes into this industry to even do a decent demo, I stopped taking my rap dreams seriously. There’s many other ways to get your point across and your voice heard these days. Sure I’d still like to do some events and little internet shit but far as rap star? Hell no.


  4. Capital G says:

    Thank the gods Grands and company are back! I can’t add to the post because the above 3 comments are so spot on anything I would have to say would be repetitive. Nice to have you all back in the neighborhood, it’s been quite some time.


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