Thursday, December 17, 2009

So What's the Deal With Rap Anyway

So what's the deal with rap anyway? I'm coming from a white, lowermiddleclass background, and this is my take. First off, I'm not gonna differentiate between rap and hip hop. Why? Well, maybe it's cuz I don't see such a clear distinction between the two, and maybe that's because I'm white. Hip hop is supposedly about telling stories and stuff and rap is supposedly a lot of shit talkin club music. How am I suppose to know if what somebody's saying is just shit talk or if its true? What I enjoy about this music is how well these artists put rhyme and rhythm together using words. Wether its true or not true, wether its meant for dancing or not, makes no difference to me.

The big question, I think is this: What redeeming quality does music which seems to advocate violence have? This is the question, because there are a lot of people out there who still don't like most rap and this is one of the main gripes. I was thinking about this. Rap might give us an insight into the criminal mentality. Maybe this is helpful. Also, it shows us the struggle for power in a different sort of light. Next time your listening to some hardcore gangsta rap, think about how this guys point of view is no different from the biggest richest sheistiest people in the world. You can look at rap as their dirty inner thoughts or something. There's this harmful but common mentality out there that goes, look out for yourself and your family. Make sure that they're taken care of and that's all that you need to do. This is the thug mentality, and if its your mentality, you might as well be a thug. This line of thinking makes things nice and simple, but its wrong. We are all one community working and living together interdependently.

Rap can also be looked at as anthems. Its a genre of music that was once reserved to give respect to a whole country, so it would only make sense that nowadays allegiance has shifted. Patriotism is seen for what it is: some 1984 shit and the stuff of Nazis. A rapper writes anthems about himself and how great he is, and naturally its way exaggerated which is in the tradition of anthems. This idea fits good within the postmodern view of things which is all about the individual.

Another good thing about gangster rap is it helped to create and sustain a certain thuggish, primal attitude that refuses to be stepped on, even if it means violence is necessary. As the government becomes more powerful and the media more coercive and the bullshit machine gets bigger and tries to dehumanize humanity, there is a solid front of people who are first and foremost human and ready to fight if and when the time comes. Alright. That's about all I got. Well, I don't know how well I summed up my thoughts on this, but there you have it. When it comes to gangster rap I have to recommend Brotha Lynch Hung. He's the hardest nastiest, rapper with the most agile writing and spitting like I could never imagine till I heard it.

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