Chris On…

Gangsta Rap and Hip Hop in General:
There are many aspects of (QUALITY) Rap and Hip-Hop that I love, but two things have always stood out to me more than anything: 1) The harshness in the lyrics, sometimes sound, and most definitely the delivery. This is what I adored in old school Gangsta Rap groups like N.W.A. and Wu-Tang Clan, amongst several others. In general, I really have an affinity for confrontational art and these artists certainly got the job done and scared all the White Folks. 2) The dark, caustic and occasionally absurdist humor that one can find in said harsh lyrics. One of the first rap songs I ever heard that hit me hard was Eminem’s “My Name Is,” I saw its video on MTV when it was “Brand Spankin’ New” at the wholesome age of 8. I then went out and purchased the entire record. I fell in love with the Slim Shady “character.” I was frightened and simultaneously amused. And the rest is history… Nowadays, I don’t like as many rap artists, especially those that call themselves “Gangsta Rap.” Now, it could just be my taste and I’m sure there are plenty of awesome underground rappers, but certainly the state of mainstream hip hop has taken a turn for the worse in the past 10-15 years or so. Modern rappers that I dig include Immortal Technique, Dead Prez, and Necro. All of those artists have been around for a while however, but they are still holding the intimidating/militant character of rap music/culture that I cherish. I’m sure there are others out there as I already said, but they simply haven’t caught my attention; rap/hip-hop is a style of music I enjoy, but makes up a small percentage of my eartime. Anyway, in mainstream hip pop the production is far too clean, commerical and the songs are just poppy dance numbers. Really wimpy, pussy shit. Even people like L’il Wayne do very little to nothing for me. ME! I’m a privileged, little, white suburbanite that knows nothing of “street life” and has no gangsta credibillity whatsover (don’t want any for that matter) and yet these supposedly tough guys on the radio do not initmidate me with their craft. There’s nothing threatening about it. I’m sure in real life they are “tough,” but with their music they have no balls. In short, for me Hip-Hop shares the same story as Rock and Roll, but in way less time and far less pleasing too my taste, albeit some very classic material. It’s like both started out as small, underground, regionally based, black music that was threatening and rebellious to white people. The style became popular and hit the mainstream, then matured (sonically, lyrically, aesthetically,etc), then slowly became more and more mainstream until there was a massive chasm between commercial and underground Hip Hop, with the former sucking massive Corporate Cock. The only thing is the Rock story lasted way longer (Early 50s- Mid 70s- started to go downhill in the mainstream) than Hip Hop (Early 80s- Early-Mid 90s). I know I know Hip Hop technically started wayyyy before then, but it didn’t really take off until the early 80s. So, in other words to the silly Mainstreamers out there in Rap and/or Rock and Roll, in the fine words of N.W.A. “EAT SHIT AND DIE!”

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