I’ve been wanting to write this piece for a while – if you have had the privilege of hanging around me then you’ve heard me rant about this at some point. Cutting to the chase scene; If you grew up on 90s Hip-Hop and you hate on today’s rap, then you have become the haters and disgruntled OGs that we hated when we were growing up. Imagine the old-head uncle running up on you telling you that rap was trash because they came up on 70s soul-music – comparing ATCQ to the Gap Band. Yeah you’re him. Go look at yourself in the mirror and spit at your image please.
Without getting too much into the history of Hip-Hop – I’m going to lay the frame-work from which the culture was built upon. Then do some nice comparisons of our rappers of old to the ones of today and leave you standing there looking stupid as you read.
In it’s inception, Hip-Hop was trailblazed by the DJ – spinning and keeping parties rocking till the break of dawn. They found the break beat on a record and stayed in the groove. They creatively made a lane for the MC/emcee to get on the mic and MOVE THE CROWD. The MC kept the party going, they hyped the people up. There were certain emcees that grabbed the mic, and when the people heard their voice – they knew the party was going to be lit (wait…they didn’t say lit back then…my bad). In short..the first emcees (sans Zulu Nation and GM Flash and the Furious 5 coming with “The Message”) weren’t conscious. They rapped about PARTY and BS….PARTY and BS…PARTY and BS – (sorry had a BIGGIE moment). It wasn’t until the 90s that there was an onslaught of conscious vibe coming from the Hip Hop community. You had sprinkles of it here and there but overall we had legends like LL rapping about his gold, his chains, his women and BOOMIN SYSTEM, Beastie Boys fighting for a right to party, the famed ATCQ made a song about LEAVING THEIR WALLET IN EL SEGUNDO! But we want to judge someone for saying PANDA 90 billion times. Here’s my point. If you’re in the groove (unless you’re at some low-key backpackers gathering where purists bob their head to the stylings of J DIlla and GangStarr) then you want to get on them MILDs and that YAK (shout-out to our new Black Delegation House Leader; Shannon Sharpe) and you want to PARTY! NO ONE WANTS TO GO OUT AND HAVE A GOOD TIME AND LISTEN TO BLACKSTAR OR COMMON. Now the DJ can throw a set and sprinkle some of that in there…but let Sir OFFSET come on with his comrade TAKE-OFF and QUAVO and they will do what? MOVE THE CROWD!
—————The NIGRAS will lose their ever-loving minds ———————–
DIGRESSION: I had the chance to see DJ ESCO perform at “The Stage” in Seattle – one of the best parties I’ve been to in my life – and then Future came and just stood while his music played. EPIC!
Ok – back to the point…
What really spurred me into talking about this, was recently I had the awesome tasking of blocking another annoying person on FB – He goes by the rap name “Japhia Life”. He got nasty with me because I commented on his post because he was attempting to destroy Cardi B. I’m like…chilllllll – “why are people mad at her because she makes music and people listen to it?“. Most of the RAPPERs that hate her, are made because they haven’t reached the level of success that she has – and with her recent billboard success, she’s made history and accomplished something that only our beloved Lauryn Hill has done. She gave the folks something to party to, and BODAK YELLOW is top of the charts. So emcees….If it was THAT garbage no one would listen to it….like they don’t listen to your trash music….(or Casual Savage for that matter).
I could give you all a lengthy list of rap music from the 80s and 90s that talked about the same thing; Sex, drugs, and with a rock-n-roll attitude. The fact that the older generation as a collective can’t stand them – shows you how HIPHOP they actually are. This generation gets them, understands them and relates – and there are a couple of us old heads that do to – and that’s all that matters.
Lastly, I find it interesting that I now have this stance considering about 5 years ago this wasn’t the case. I enjoyed a ratchet ballad or two from time-to-time but it wasn’t filled with sonic debauchery. Till this day, if I’m around my sister Sydney and best friend Tina, and “No Hands” comes on – ISSA RAP. My increased interest in “less than conscious” music grew as I actually became more conscious. Years ago, I had a mind to be conscious and so the music fed that urge. Now that I’m actually active in causes, and I write and speak so much on plight and etc…me putting on “Slippery” by Migos takes me to a happy place and helps me escape for a couple of minutes. So, hats off to the new REAL EMCEES.