Friday, January 2, 2015

My Rappers Delight

Hey Guys,

Finally...finally done with this semester (notice I was writing over two weeks ). I broke my phone, so no Instagram for a little bit.  Happy New Years! Comment below if you have a New Years Resolution! Anyways, been listening to a lot of west coast R&B or some call it Alternative R&B, and yes, this is actually a genre thanks to Frank Ocean.  Also, I have been listening to Hip Hop (Rapper have no talent?...You mean today's Mainstream Rappers right) and K-pop (everyone leaving their labels), yet everyone seriously "hate it" or "it's overrated" by using fallacious rhetoric to make a point.  Most rap lyrics have hidden meaning or metaphors but Hip Hop culture is like onion, it has layers. Hip hop culture hasn't really evolved simply because Diddy, bringing in that "Bling Bling" era in late 90s. I was listening to a song from a notable rapper collab about "Shaking your ass" and then I went to another song of the same artist and went to read the comments for example something like  this," Rappers today only talk about "this and that this" (stereotypical) he/she raps doesn't do that, she/his real." Aah, that's the internet for you. And yeah there are Hip Hop songs (like nursery rhythm) that are lyrically not appealing but the beat just makes you want to get up and dance without a care in the world these days and it's funny when that songs ends up being number one on a chart, I guess that's why so many people are up in arms.

As a person who loves music, including Rap which is to me has value, Rap is not simple, it's modern day poetry, it fast and slow and it has it's good (what's going on in your neck of woods) and bad (materialistic) lyrics. Major forces(i.e, relevancy) in Hip hop culture, affected what Rappers say, what they portrayed to their audiences and their expectations. Here I go ranting again just keeping it 100 or "300 like the Romans" (Cool, Calm and Collected)- Kanye West. But put yourself in that person career(shoes), could you write your own lyric, practice day and night make sure it flowed, had rhythm, on top of that learn as many words and metaphors and analogies to take your rapping skill to the next level, also picking music that fits on top of that like I said before it needs relevancy to get peoples attention so there is a lot sample sounds used from Hindi to James Brown which is in a way is making the old relevant. But at the end of the day if you don't like it what you see click next, or back button or thumbs down because the world needs constructive criticism not a black or white perception or plain old hypocritically comments (man, were such visual culture). In Rap videos is one thing but the lyrics will really tell you what's really going on but more than 50% of time it's just imitation, rappers are trying follow their idols foot steps to the Tee (Drug dealer of the 80s, Scarface, Nino Brown) because in reality that all Hip Hop had to lean on back then. It makes sense why we had/have so many beefs. But without Hip Hop culture and rap...No without R&B a.k.a Rhythm and Blues leading to Rock 'n' Roll  and then Rap you wouldn't have so many people from around the world doing it today, from K-Pop to Reggaeton. Of course music isn't what use to be, but this is a different time but I think there are are three types of Rappers, which are the mainstream Rappers, alternative/underground rappers, and conservative rapper are either hate or loved by the world because of truthful lyrics.

Me personally, I like rappers that can tell a story, I mean that's how Rap use to be that is relevant to me. I consider Rappers like Slick Rick , Q-Tip (A Tribe Called Quest), NAS, Talib Kweli, Common, Mos Def, and Lauryn Hill  modern day poets/narrators of the life they live, some may call them "Conservative Rappers." Now, in a way this more of a liberal thinking in the approach to conservative thought of society in which the lyrics are a set of rhetorical questions to get people to understand their two sides of every story so don't believe the hype. Also, the music video try address the situation from serious to exaggerated to get people attention on the issue.

My second storytelling archetypes, I consider Alternative Rappers like Kanye West, Outkast, Lupe Fiasco, Kid Cudi (even though most of his songs are about drugs), J Cole, Frank Ocean, and Childish Gambino. Your probably thinking..What... Kanye West are freak'n kidding me, some people don't know how to exactly label him even though he's some what of a mainstream rapper but the dude is Smart, but a tried and true Gemini, arrogant by nature. Oh and "Bound 2" video was joke video that he wanted to do, which he already cleared that up in an interview, but those five minute interviews don't do him justice. So people calm down but the rest of his videos are hype (Mercy), deep (Jesus Walks/Diamonds are Forever), and  abstract(Runaway/ Lost In The World ).

 I have Graduation (with Takashi Murakami, who designed the cover, so I had to get that), and Heartbreak Hotel, and both albums as a body work is well done and deep if understand matrix of how society works (If you don't, I recommend you read some Michelle Alexander). I love the fact that collab with Talib, Common, and even though I'm not huge fan of Jay-Z or Lil Wayne, I'll give them some credit. The other reason why I consider these cats alternative is because most of their videos and lyrics represent a new generation of abstract yet in your face type rappers. For these rappers lyrics are one thing but watching the videos you see the full picture.

My third and finally archetypes, which I would consider the real(istic) mainstream like Notorious B.I.G., Tupac (2pac), NWA, Wutang, Warran G, Nate Dog, Too $hort, Busta Rhymes(90s), Missy Elliot, and saving the best for last Enimen. I really like Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliot unique music videos especially Missy Elliot, I have all her CDs except her singles. Both have their serious moments but they also have their songs that made you want to move. All these artist have made their name for themselves from Dr. Dre to Wutang.

Lastly, their is also this group of cats that I like but I'm unsure where to place them since they exhibit all three archetypes but they clearly are mainstream like Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and A$AP Rocky and they even did a song together with freak'n 2 Chainz and every time I hear 2 Chainz  rap I can't take him seriously, I find myself laughing hysterically. Anyways, Drake to me is anthem type Rapper with a really nice flow and narrative lyrics like "Started from the bottom, now we're here" was uplifting, even when he talks about pass relationships like "Best I Ever Had." Kendrick also has unique voice and lyrics, but just like Drake, they have been doing too me feature in other people songs lately. Now, I found out about Rocky from listening Tinashe new song "Pretend" but I had seen him before in a Lana Del Rey video. At first, out of the A$AP mob, I thought he has some really dark lyrics, take a look at videos like "Phoenix" and "Long.Live A$AP," which has mixed reviews at same time it's paying to homage to the late Tupac's "Hail Mary." But these guys are slowly growing on me as long as they don't start some mess with each other in terms of beefing.



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