[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