Ever since the murders of young men like Oscar Grant and Trayvon martin, a lot of awareness is being built up for America’s 400+ year relationship with “minorities”, particularly black people. Fast-forward to 2015, black pride is probably the strongest it has been in this whole generation. And hip-hop, one of the most dominant forces in our modern society has reflected this in a truly powerful way.
Rappers have stepped up to the political forefront as champions for the cause for equality. Killer Mike has appeared all over news channels, sharing his articulate insight on the current sociopolitical climate
As he has, very fervently, in his music
Him doing so has created a powerful visibility for a number of things, namely the Run the Jewels brand and the movement. Needless to say, hip-hop is proud.
Another example of engaged rappers is Talib Kweli. The legend has been sharing wisdom all over his social networks, as well as appearing on CNN. Just follow him on social media to see this.
In fact, social media has been a pivotal point in this new movement, as we see many celebrities and artists share their thoughts and feelings in a way that has never been shown and shared before. Twitter posts by artists surrounding incidents around police brutality or screwy media quickly hit headlines. Anything you see on the internet quickly spurs huge conversations, for example, Azealia Banks’ fiascos.
Most profoundly of all, this has leaked into the music of many artists, underground and mainstream. The commentary presented in Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” video is powerful and potent.
Many have taken his last album to be a “pro-black” composition, although it’s moreso a story of Kendrick Lamar’s revelation after conquering his bouts of depression and simply brushing and bumping past the concept of “pro-black”. And his messages has transcended circles of hip-hop into mainstream media, albeit misconstrued. Big name artists team up to make posse tracks. Up and comers deliver powerful passion of these incidents hungrily. Benjamin Starr, for one, deserves a huge mention that’s packed with black pride and empowerment from front to back.
It’s refreshing to see that as much to see that things have evolved and changed, a lot has stayed the same. Hip-hop is still the voice for those who wouldn’t have had one otherwise.
Watch the lyric video for “Thuggin'” by Glasses Malone
This is most universally-acclaimed album I’ve ever experienced, and for good reason. I mean this album is a arrival into the mainstream that has profound subject matter, which really isn’t something you hear on the radio and just being popular in general. This album can subsequently “save hip-hop” in a sense of words.
Kendrick is one of the more technically proficient hip-hop artists of this era and is shows in his delivery. He shows this in songs like the highly popular “Backseat Freestyle” in the last verse where he switches up his flow multiple times with incredible rhythm. This good kid also goes in in his song “m.A.A.d city” where he’s just spittin’ hard as hell and raps fire like:
“Pickin up the f*ckin pump
Pickin off you suckas
Suck a dick or die, a sucker punch
A wall of bullets coming from…”
And just rappin heat from there, you feel heatwaves comin out your earbuds.
With that delivery he still doesn’t sacrifice subject matter. His amazing single “Swimming Pools” is a anti-drinking song, he has songs about people in strife that he’s making music about, being real, effects of peer pressure, etc. Not the typical cars, clothes, hoes type stuff that Hip-Hop is occasionally stereotyped with.
Production on here is amazing too, being assisted by by superproducers like Sounwave, Hit-Boy, Just Blaze, Pharell, and DJ Dahi (one of my favorites) you can’t help but bob your head. But ya’ll already knew that, Kendrick Lamar is one of the most popular rappers out today and you can see why with an album like this.
If you interact with a lot of other hip-hop fans then you’ve probably ran into a dickrider. Most popular rappers have dickriders, stans, biased fans, what have you and it’s pretty much one of the worse things in the hip-hop community. Generally this wouldn’t be something to care about, but it is in hip-hop because of the competitive nature of the genre. The presence of dickriders deeply hurt the progression of rap music. The voice of these kind of fans squelch the voice of unbiased listeners who would generally criticize the artist when they’re at fault. This essentially is what makes artists like, Lil’ Wayne or Kanye West decline in talent or at least in the quality of their music because stans will approve of anything they put their name on.
There are also worse cases when these guys sort of squander other artists. A good example is when an Eminem stan says “K-Rino sucks!!1” because he made a diss to Eminem concerning a song he made disrespecting black women (which I feel was justified, but that’s not the point). When you mention other artists to a close-minded listener, they often won’t even listen to said artist or consider that they may have good music; but even if they do they do with a skeptic ear. They’ll hear one song and be like “this isn’t THAT good” and stop because they’re so far on their favorite rapper’s dick.
Regional fans are pretty bad too, actually they’re absolutely awful. An extreme example is the East vs. West coast beef back when Tupac and Biggie were still alive. These type of fans are usually from New York, rap purists who hold on to the fact that New York was essentially the birthplace. Again this hurts everyone because people who are subject to this NY exclusivity dislike the place, while NY pretty much disregards everyone not from the place.
So basically if you want hip-hop to flourish please stop this dickriding. These kind of attitudes are contagious, and lots of people don’t even realize their doing it. When you point it out, they get defensive so they never really notice how biased they are. Always be open to other music and opinions, you never know what you might be missing out on because of your stubbornness.
On a side note, some of ya’ll may have heard of a “hood rapper” on worldstarhiphop, making beats by pounding and tapping a pen. Well he’s still here, check one of his newer videos and subscribe to his youtube: