On Rap: The dumbing down of music

6a010536846743970c0120a50a3de4970b-800wiI have a love/hate relationship with rap music.  I’ve guiltily enjoyed Eminem and Dre tracks since high school, much to even my own chagrin.  Recently I sat myself down for a little one on one chat and came to the conclusion that not only is rap arbitrarily aggressive as Mr. Mike Birbiglia has said, but lyrically it is mostly a big fat pile of conceited stinky crap.  

Now I think we all knew this deep down, but those of us who enjoy a hip hop beat now and again let it slide for the most part.  Unfortunately this makes us inconsistent logically and hypocritical, because I don’t suppose most of us would like, agree, or even tolerate the things being said by popular rap douche bags today.  “Drake”, a rapper I put in quotations to hedge up the douche-baggery from spilling forth, just laid down a new track entitled, “Forever”.  The beginning of it starts:

It may not mean nothing t’yall

But understand nothin’ was done for me

So I don’t plan on stopping at all

I want this shit forever man

Not only does “Drake” go on to rap about making it in the music industry all by his little self, but he purposefully mispronounces words to express his individuality.  Instead of saying, “man” during the chorus, he says, “maien”.  That’s right, “maien.”  God he’s such a tool.  On top of this, the lyrics of one of his guest rappers, Kanye West, raps about exactly opposite of what Drake is trying to say.  Namely, that once he’s made it, he’ll never stop.  Kanye on the other hand raps about having sex with life and the world (his imagery, not mine), but now that he’s become the Voice of a Generation, he’d give it all back.  He, unlike Drake, doesn’t need the rap game anymore.  He also told Jay Leno about the same thing when he announced a break from the music scene.  

But it doesn’t stop there.  Drake is only one example of the rap pollution.  Kanye, Jay-Z, Eminem, and, well, every single other rapper in existence today, are all hazardous to society.  Think about it.  Rap is about three things:  Hustling (drugs and ho’s), haters, and hawesomeness (that’s a trick Jay-Z uses when something doesn’t fall into one of his rhyming patterns.  He just adds words, sounds, letters, etc. until they rhyme.).  Most rappers start out first as drug dealers.  For instance, Gucci Mane reminisces “I was trippin’ like a bitch.  Sellin’ lots a bricks”.  Jay-Z recounts in the song 99 Problems, “It’s ’94 and my truck is raw (he is carrying drugs), in my rearview mirror is the mother bleeping law”.  Z goes onto complain about the cops picking on him because he’s black.  His logic is flawed though because he actually was breaking the law, so the cop was right in being suspicious.  Really, there’s about 99 problems with Jay-Z’s lyrics.  If rappers want to be more respected, they should stop selling drugs.  Now I’ve seen some of the shit hole projects certain ethnic groups can grow up in.  I worked in Jersey and the Burrows of New York, and I wouldn’t be in those places after dark.  But come on, guys.  You have more opportunities then a white dude can shake a fist at.  Straight C’s can get a person of color into an Ivy League school with all of the Affirmative Action out there, so you really can’t say you have no alternatives to drugs.  Plus, you propagate your position by selling drugs and trying to make it as a rapper.  

kanye-westMany rappers spit about drugs.  All rappers spit about taking over the universe.  Maybe there is a rapper gene which causes the ego to inflate like a big hot air balloon.  I truly am dumbfounded by the words and actions of Kanye West.  He actually said, “I realize that my place and position in history is that I will go down as the voice of this generation, of this decade, I will be the loudest voice. It’s me settling into that position of just really accepting that it’s one thing to say you want to do it and it’s another thing to really end up being like Michael Jordan.”  Later, in another interview, he said, “I’m doing pretty good as far as geniuses go… I’m like a machine. I’m a robot. You cannot offend a robot… I’m going down as a legend, whether or not you like me or not. I am the new Jim Morrison. I amthe new Kurt Cobain… They feel like, yo, you know ‘he’s got a God complex, because he said if they wrote the Bible again that he would be in it’. Duh, yeah, I would be in it. I feel like I’m one of the more important people in pop culture right now… The Bible had 20, 30, 40, 50 characters in it. You don’t think that I would be one of the characters of today’s modern Bible? And people have their own forms of bibles now. It’s a new day and age….”  I honestly can’t express my disdain for this man.  I can only re-watch Fishsticks again.  For more Kanye quackery, click here.  

Kanye’s not the only dome.  Lil’ Wayne says of himself, “I just do this shit for my click like I’m Adam Sandler, I control hip hop and Ima keep it on my channel.  Bitch, watch me.  Bitch, watch me.”  Mike Jones uses examples to show how talented he is.  He argues, “Back then hoes didn’t want me.  Now I’m hot hoes all on me.”  He repeats this line seventeen or eighteen times in a single song to hit the hoe on the head so to speak.  Jay-Z raps:  

 

You can call me Cesar
In a dark Czar
Please follow the lea-der
So Eric B. we are
Microphone fiend
It’s the return of thee God

jay-zVery nice comparison, Jay.  Caesar and God in the same stanza.  Jay-Z also says he is the next Sinatra.  Maybe, but more likely not.  I could go on.  Thus, the ego’s of rap are unprecedented.  Included under the category of hawesomeness is the plethora of made up terms to describe money.  Stacks, bills, papers, G’s, greens, etc.  Also, wealth is represented for rappers by cribs, rims, and expensive liquors.  Popular brands include Baccardi, Hennessey, and Grey Goose.  

Rappers think they have apotheosized by their own merits.  I have never heard so many songs about how every single person that surrounded said rapper was there to “holmedahwn” (from Kanye’).  

“Drake’s lyrics sum it up:    

Last name ever 
First name greatest 
Like a sprained ankle boy I aint nothing to play with 
Started off local but thanks to all the haters 
I know G4 pilots on a first name basis 

Good for you, douche.  But the fact is nobody gets anywhere by themselves.  Everyone has the cards against them.  The majority of people in the world, even in America, aren’t wealthy.  We work our asses off to make a living, and most of us do it legally.  Unfortunately pop culture has an oral fixation with rappers right now.  I predict though that rap will die in the next few years like the fad it is, and new forms of music will take it’s place.  Already the older rappers are upset with the way the “game” has changed, and pretty soon it will be different altogether.

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5 thoughts on “On Rap: The dumbing down of music

  1. Cinders says:

    Don’t you just LOVE it!?

    Kanye just came onto my tunes…gotta bounce.

    ps would you be mad at me if i became a female rapper like unto missy eliot and rapped about more important things, like getting my freak on and so on?

  2. Ben says:

    True dat. True dat. I guess I would support you in this if it was your wish. Only if you gave a props and shout-out to your boy.

  3. blake says:

    I like this little ditty from Lil Boosie’s Wipe Me Down

    Hey!
    it mrs.leelee in dis biatch down ya heard me Foxx-a-million
    This one be the reeemix!
    Badazz, Savage live, Foxx-a-million
    Man you already know what it is ya heard me
    We still on, we still ridin on chrome, we still pullin up

  4. Buddy says:

    Funny that you wrote about this. Becky and I just watched this(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTK0kFXJjd0) on youtube a couple of days ago and I was thinking to myself how ridiculous most rap songs are, especially without a beat to go with them

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