Is Rap Dead?

A few days ago I was driving home and I came to the realisation that I’m not into Rap music as much as I once thought. I always thought I was a Hip Hop head, Hip Hop yes, but when it comes down to it, Rap does my head in. I can always listen to Illmatic, Reasonable Doubt, Ready To Die, The Infamous, Beats Rhymes and Life, Midnight Marauders, and a lot of other nostalgic cuts from a particular era in Hip Hop, but modern contemporary Rap is something I seldom have time for. I’m never in the mood to listen to it, I tend to resort to it when my back is up against it and I require some theme music but again, it’ll be a playlist full of songs from my favourite era of Hip Hop rather than a bunch of drunk, drugged up and derogatory assholes make me feel shit about myself because I don’t do irrational things like:

  1. Throw thousands of dollars at strippers, spend astronomical amounts of capital on fizzy wine.
  2. Believe their post modern relationship mantra of mistrust, these hoes ain’t loyal.
  3. Wear garish jewellery, overpriced massed produced child labour assembly line garments and sports shoes.
  4. Refer to my partner or any other female as a ‘bitch’ or a ‘hoe’.
  5. Use the word n**** as a term of endearment or even at all

I’d hate to think what one of their hang outs are like, I’m not one for ‘the clurrrb’; you know the places where people go to take selfies to post on Instagram, which feature hashtags such as #turnup, #poppingbottles, #tablelife. If I wanted to go to a place where buying a table with drinks became the status symbol, I would of ventured to IKEA picked up a £15 basic table and made a pit stop at the off licence on the way home, setup an iPod docking station and ‘turnt up’ in my kitchen. It’s pretty regressive and I doubt these artists represent the common folk by rapping about stuff they don’t yet own. Some will say that it’s an aspiration thing, I disagree because they create a regressive cycle of decline as the emphasis is on materialism as opposed to sustainability. I feel like no one wants to make a change anymore, don’t get me wrong there are your Kendrick’s, Talib’s, Common’s, and to a subversive contradictory on an observational angle, Kanye’s but the rap that I hear is pretty pretty corporate.

Who would of thought that when Run DMC had a whole auditorium lift their Adidas in the air as a demonstration of Hip Hop’s influence back in the ’80s, that the corporations, brands, jewellers, liquor and automobile companies would have us in mental, physical and aspiration all bondage. I don’t listen to Rap out of choice, I don’t wish to be corrupted or have my consciousness polluted by such nonsense. I’d rather listen to House instead… Which brings me back to the beginning, I realised whilst driving home that I’ve always love House music, even when I thought it was what they called ‘Old Skool’ Garage. At least you can dance to it and get lost in the musical loops. It’s trance inducing, allows you to meditate and if you go out and rave to it you’re in a zone. I kinda was under the illusion that I loved Rap music due to growing up and embracing Public Enemy and the greats from the classic era, alongside films and docs about the culture, but the fact is House is a far more dominant force in my ears. My musical taste is purely dependant on my mood, a majority of the time I just want to relax and get lost in something upbeat. Rap doesn’t do that for me, it’s more of a distraction, or an infomercial on how to dumb down. Maybe one day Rap will get better again but until then I’ll be avoiding Road Rappers, Trap Rappers, Pimp Rappers, and all sorts of consumerist negativity.

These are just my thoughts, slightly exaggerated but let me know what you think, are you pro modern Rap music or avoid it at all costs?

Written By Khalid Golding © Up In The Ear 2014

ko@upintheear.com

@upintheear

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4 thoughts on “Is Rap Dead?

  1. Pingback: The Regressive World of Rap | RapRehab

  2. Thank you very much for this article! I’m an ‘improv’ vocalist/recording artist in the US. To me, the future of hip hop is the amalgamation of science (specifically, neuropsychology) and music. I’m more interested in how a beat or instrumental piece can evoke particular emotions like confusion, clarity, love, fear, etc.. as well as the application of logic to a written piece. I’ve found that it is much harder to freestyle grounded, sound statements than it is to freestyle abstract ones. To me, it’s a way to see what my true psychological potential is, as well. Thank you again for this article! I know a lot of people who would greatly appreciate your work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your comment articulates a similar train of thought and I’d love for you to elaborate or potentially write a guest piece for the blog exploring your theory in great detail. Please email me and let me know if you’d like a guest spot on the blog 🙂

      Like

  3. Pingback: Is Rap Dead? « Brand Newz

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