Not all Rappers are Lyricists

Now a lot of you might have noticed that when it comes to HipHop , I rant a lot about how most well-known mainstream/commercial rappers ain’t shit compared to most underground rappers in terms of lyricism and content.

As much of a hater or an asshole those rants make me seem as, I assure you that most of them are based on certain aspects of rap which I’ve noticed a lot of people overlook and try to avoid talking about usually because those aspects involve naming artists they like.

But *insert influential rapper’s name here* is a legend!! He keeps it real and represent real HipHop!!

Well yes, being a legend who made a mark in history and being part of a certain era and all that shit are not to be overlooked and are definitely important and noteworthy  I agree, BUT…. being a lyrical wordsmith is a different ballgame altogether.
And regarding the “keeping it real” and “real HipHop” part,  ‘real’ is way too subjective and ironically, a very artificial word to use in HipHop in my opinion.

HipHop and Rapping is not just about projecting yourself in certain stereotypical images such as rocking steel toes and snap-backs or speaking in ebonics or slangin’ drugs or rocking a Wu Tang t-shirt or flashing expensive blings and cars or dropping music videos with semi-naked women dancing in the background.
Similarly, HipHop is not always just about going through struggles and being gangster and shit NOR is it just about being political, rebellious, anti-establishment and shit. That is something almost anyone can do really. Any rapper or even artists from other genres can and do project those same elements in their musical content too.

I’m not implying that those projections are bad (or good) but what I’m trying to  say is that they are not the measuring scale for a rapper’s lyrical ability and skill.

So wait, how can one measure a rapper’s lyrical ability and skill if not by his shitty childhood struggles, his shoe-brand or his misogynistic music video?

A certain aspect of rapping that is generally slept on in HipHop is an artist’s capability to be creative and lyrically incorporate certain poetic elements to his music like complex rhyme-schemes, wordplay, allegories, internals, punchlines and such while at the same time, maintaining a control over the flow, vibe and delivery of their music. That, in my opinion, is how one can measure how talented a rapper is.

So yes, what shoe-brand a rapper wears or what kind of car he drives or how gangster he is, is irrelevant and nothing but a facade or if not that, a reflection of who he is/was and like I said, it SHOULD NOT be confused with how lyrically good his rap is.

If an artist’s lyrics and flow is creative, on point and dope, then that’s all that matters. Period.

Oh and yeah, before I end this, just wanted to pick on one more thing and that is regarding how “everybody is a rapper now”. It’s so easy to just wake up and suddenly call yourself a rapper today and that is because of two main reasons:

The first reason is quite obvious. Easy to record and easy to release.

With vocal recordings made possible (and affordable) on home pcs and laptops, just about anybody with a torrent client and some extra money can download the latest Mixcraft recording software or some other similar tool and buy an ok-ish mic for recording. Now all one needs is a reverbnation page for their recordings and boom you’re good to go!!

The second reason why it’s so easy for anyone to ‘get in the game‘ is because this genre is arguably more diverse and versatile as compared to most other genres out there. HipHop can vibe to just about anything under the sun. You can bump HipHop in a nightclub, go on a long-drive while listening to HipHop, write a novel while listening to HipHop, make love while listening to HipHop, get drunk or high while listening to HipHop, fight through addiction with the help of HipHop or even bury a fucking body while listening to HipHop.

This versatility as well as the cost factor makes it more appealing for every Tom, Dick and Harry to get their name in the music industry which in turn makes it harder for serious artists to promote themselves due to over-saturation of rap in the industry. This over-saturation is kind of a double-edge sword though and might be in favour of serious artists too because even though it might be harder for them to promote themselves, they can actually market their music to a bigger fan-base by finding like-minded artists and promote and market their music by networking and linking with each other in the form of music collaborations, mutually sharing each other’s work in social networking platforms, online/offline mentions, shout-outs, etc.

I’ll just end this rant with a really dope video by Vox.com on how well-known rappers rhyme and how rhyming has evolved through time. Do watch it as it is relevant with what I’m ranting about here. Much love.

 

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Raiot

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Rapper | Web Developer | Entrepreneur | Street Scum

3 Comments

  1. A M Passah
    June 9, 2016
    Reply

    My queries are directed to the author and subject both but maybe one can answer when it is relevant to them have read both raiot and sbcltr versions
    1. I read and it seems somewhat negative your portrayal of young people in Shillong, some are seen with a bottle in the foreground in a photo, the rappers themselves seem more interested in drinking and verses about violence than anything else. The point is sure Mainstream has a problem but who will sustain these young people later in life? They are getting older and can’t keep living at home their whole lives, cribbing about society and the evils of work. So what do the rappers plan to do then and would they have to compromise (or grow up)? I am assuming the author is employed to write, i.e. that is her vocation what them.
    2. If Soulmate and Lou can brand themselves why cant you guys ? will empty wallets and real bitter experience make you start doing this ?

  2. June 10, 2016
    Reply

    “I read and it seems somewhat negative your portrayal of young people in Shillong. some are seen with a bottle in the foreground in a photo, the rappers themselves seem more interested in drinking and verses about violence than anything else.”
    – What negativity are you talking about exactly? A bottle of beer? And what does my drinking and the topics or words I reference in my similes have anything to do with lyricism or being an independent artist from Shillong anyway?

    “They are getting older and can’t keep living at home their whole lives, cribbing about society and the evils of work.”
    – Wow so speaking out (or in your words “cribbing about society) against injustice or oppression (in various forms) is immature and the sole purpose of people is to do what? Get a job, start a family and die? Sheeple much? And I do most of my work from home (I’m an unemployed web developer working on a few online ventures).

    “Grow up”
    – Yeah cause conformity is growing up right? No thank you.

    “I am assuming the author is employed”
    – No I’m not employed. As I’ve mentioned, I have been trying to start a couple ventures here and there but most of them aren’t really working out unfortunately. Guess I should have just attain some shitty degree and get a cushy 9 to 5 so I wouldn’t have to whine so much eh?

    “If Soulmate and Lou can brand themselves why cant you guys ?”
    – I do brand myself as well as my label ‘Cryptographik Records’ yes. I just do it differently and independently.

    “will empty wallets and real bitter experience make you start doing this ?”
    – start doing this? I’m not sure what you mean by ‘this’ but yeah, an empty wallet and bitter experiences can really make you want to refuse conforming to mainstream ideologies and stick to being an independent artist recording music in makeshift studios inside garages and basements (yes, I’m being a tad bit sarcastic).

  3. Ron
    June 12, 2016
    Reply

    Let the Conformist believe in the written script of their lives. If growing Up means conformity to preset values and thoughts then better The Rebels who stands out and do shit differently – hence the brand!!

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