A few years back, pretty much everyone declared that hip-hop was dead due to declining record sales, lack of industry diversity, and the stream of terrible content that damn near every rapper was putting out at the time. Well it’s 2014 and we’re halfway through another year that our beloved culture managed to somehow survive despite the aforementioned. I’ve had some observations over the past few months that were left out of various blog posts for reasons, but now I’d like to share them with y’all, and of course, you’re more than welcome to share yours with me on Twitter.
So without me rapping y’all up, here are my completely random thoughts about the rap game:
· 90’s Babies: Not completely sure where the constant slander for 90’s babies or those of us who spent our childhood in the 90s stems from, but it’s quite stupid. I was born in 1990 so perhaps I’m biased but, ignorance knows no age. The fake indignation towards us younger adults because we may be unfamiliar with something that happened before we were conscious enough to be aware of it is lowkey trolling. I know everyone’s an expert on Twitter, but you’d be surprised at how many real life 80’ babies have no idea who Afrika Bambaata is or couldn’t pick The Leaders of The New School out of a line-up. Just Saying.
· Hip Hop Journalism: 1) Listening to hip-hop and having a blog does not solely make you a journalist. 2) This industry is just as political and manipulative at times, as is any other major economic power in the world. Pick your battles, be creative with your phrasing, and learn to separate your personal truth from the reality of your subject.
· The Producer/Rapper: Listen, I’m all for rappers being multi-talented and relying on themselves for success. That said, there needs to be way more diversity in some of these producer/rappers catalogs. If I can pull up your discography and here the same five concepts, with the same five flows, over the same 5 cycles of beats in your repertoire then guess what? YOUR MUSIC IS NO LONGER INTERESTING. Adaption is necessary for sustainability which is necessary for evolution. Stop being scared to piss off your “core” fan base, they’ll tweet about your music all day but won’t buy an album or concert ticket if they’re life depended on it. Make good music, make interesting music, and most importantly, make music that can advance the culture, not take it back it to the “underground” days.
· Delusional Stanning: I have no idea why it’s so difficult for you new niggas to accept that everyone is not going to like your favorite artist, but that is reality. IDC if you think said rapper is the best rapper in the world, he’s not. That is not a fact, it is your opinion. If you have the type of self-esteem issues that you believe your opinion is not sufficient enough for you to enjoy things that make you happy, then may Allah bring you peace. Unfortunately for your troubled soul, however, music is subjective, and people like/dislike things according to their experience. If I were you, I’d try to do the same.
· Rap Beef, Proving Yourself, and Talking Out of Turn: The spirit of competition is alive and well in the rap game right now, with disses, beefs, and Control verses being made all wild. Some of you all are a little too late to the show however. Don’t make a freestyle about how overlooked you are in the game and how you could kill every rapper on the track if your mixtapes are barely going silver on Datpiff. You had your buzz and you let it die, so who’s fault is it really?
· Chiraq, Drill Music, and Social Indifference: Are we ever going to seriously acknowledge that Chicago’s urban neighborhoods might actually have an epidemic on their hands? Everyone was all jokes when Lil Durk dissed Tyga, but the central components to those jokes were the real possibility that Durk could get Tyga killed in Chicago. I know some of you like to believe that all rappers live the life they’re talking about but, that would be stupid, because everybody would obviously be dead or in jail. Drill music, Chief Keef, and all of them may be entertaining to you, but I just wonder how Chicago residents who have lost several family members to senseless violence feel about you jigging to a life they have to live daily? Couldn’t be me.
Send me your random thoughts! @MiaDaDeva