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luka
21-07-2015, 11:18 AM
superope100 8 months ago
Joey Bada$$, Kendrick Lamar, Lupe fiasco, Big K.R.I.T, Logic, Dizzy wright, Hopsin, Schoolboy Q, Ab-soul, Swizz, Isaiah Rashad, King los, Jay rock, Mac Miller, Chance the rapper, Noname Gypsy, Cassidy, Yelawolf, Vic Mensa, J cole, Action Branson, Jon Connor are lyrical masterminds.

BBM BigBlackMiles 7 months ago
Freddie Gibbs, Earl Sweatshirt, CJ Fly, Logic, Eminem, Slaughterhouse, Drake, The Underachievers, Jay Z, Ab Soul, ScHoolboy Q, Mick Jenkins, Tyler The Creator, Domo Genesis, Tech N9ne, Childish Gambino, Vince Staples, Royce 'Da' 59, A$AP Rocky, Jay Electronica, Danny Brown, Flatbush ZOMBiES, Big Sean, Pusha T, J Cole, Nas, MF Doom and that's all.

Redsparrowe123 6 days ago
+superope100Decent list, but missing Aesop Rock, who sits on top with Lupe, looking wayyyyy down at EVERY other rapper

luka
21-07-2015, 11:20 AM
Kurono Sensei 1 month ago
What's this genre?!
· 3

Hide replies
Dwa Pak 1 month ago
+Kurono Sensei Cloud rap/trillwave or trip hop
·

S N V Records 1 month ago
I think a little deep/future house
·

nikolaicholev 3 weeks ago
+S N V Records HOW IS THIS HOUSE WTF..
· 1

S N V Records 3 weeks ago
XD
·

noor mk 2 weeks ago
+S N V Records future bass*
·

Kurono Sensei 2 weeks ago
I don't know, that future bass and chilltrap was a little to wild for the mood I was in. I think trillwave is closer.
·

noor mk 2 weeks ago
I know that this can't be future bass, but I'm correcting him only.
·

noor mk 2 weeks ago
To make his answer closer.
·

Dwa Pak 2 weeks ago
It's definitely trillwave or cloud rap
·

nikolaicholev 2 weeks ago
It's cloud rap
·

S N V Records 2 weeks ago
+nikolaicholev ya

luka
21-07-2015, 11:27 AM
Dyllon Freeman 2 months ago (edited)
"I wouldnt give a hoe 10 cents to put cheese on a whopper"
- Big L

"I'll spend a check on that pussy"
-Future


BLVCK LORD BEATS 2 months ago
Spend a check on that pussy? That's some simp shit
8

Hide replies
James Dempsey 2 months ago
+BLVCK LORD BEATS bruh if u got a bad bitch u gone spend money on her. He's a millionaire so he gotta spend more. Plus he's just smashin hoes. No romance. Comes with a price tag for a A1 type bitch
6

BandzUp C.E.O. Rondoひ 2 months ago
+James Dempsey He wouldn't know because he Aint Got No Checks Or No Good Pussy .

luka
21-07-2015, 11:33 AM
Tyler Durden 2 months ago
+Kentral #NorthMemphis well this is trash, the beat is dope but the lyrics are fucking garbage, honestly he should hire someone to write lyrics for him, I can tell you like this though cause usually people who like this kind of music can't spell or write worth a damn. you lack mental fortitude so your reaction when someone doesn't agree with you is to "smack the shit out of ppls" cause your just a little ignorant fuck head, you probably listen to chief keef and migos too I bet

luka
21-07-2015, 11:38 AM
Ideal Trades 21 hours ago
chief keef is another rapper made by the united states government to kill real, positive hip hop and turning it in to negativity, hes no different then a lil wayne and another way to start violence within the black community because of his lyrics

Dismas Beats 7 months ago
this is not rap music, it's drill. Why do people click here just to hate
· 238

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x Frog 7 months ago
drill rap you mean. idiot.
· 7

jamase787 6 months ago
dumbest shit what i ever heard
· 7

x Frog 6 months ago
most of it is just death threats and drug dealing. not much substance.
· 1

Shogun973 6 months ago
+Jimmy Merciless stfu faggot only thing you said thats accurate was that chicago copied of the south. Its drill music and it gets you hype

Elias Saybe 6 months ago
It is... Its called street rap

JasonJeezyJeff 6 months ago
+Dismas Beats
You know I can't rap off beat and call it as I like "drill", "nut" or "bolt" it will still be shit. :)

javon3394 2 days ago
What if Taylor Swift made a song like this, same voice and everything, do you think white girls would still listen to her music or no

luka
21-07-2015, 11:41 AM
EconomicSuicideTheGreat 2 months ago
+Mr. Coffee i lost? Hip-hop is comprised of various sub-genres and styles, as well regional scenes. Learn about the different forms of rap. lets break it down. hip-hop has 4 main branches. Deejaying., emceeing, break dancing and graffti art. emceeing which is more popularly known as rapping, breaks down into many other branches such as lyrical, trap, hype, drill, based, freesytling, battle, gansta, random weird styles people create like chance the rapper and etc. you sir are a fucking idiot., you are such an idiot i must say it twice. you sir are an idiot. you talk about embarrassment yet don't know the basics. hiphop snobs don't even know about hiphop yet are confidant to call people bad or stupid.

luka
21-07-2015, 11:49 AM
The Salty Spittoon 6 days ago
How to rap:
1) make a catchy beat, or just recycle it, no one will be able to tell the difference
2) look like a scrawny ass bitch and talk about how gangsta you are
3) focus on money, bitches and killing people... In everything you ever release... That's all rappers can really talk about nowadays so who cares?
4) give yourself a stupid name or give your track a stupid name, just make sure something sounds stupid
5) rhyme 'nigga' with 'nigga' as often as possible
6) if you cant figure out how to rhyme words just make them rhyme by saying them stupidly
7) for your music video do absolutely nothing over then chucking money around and making gun signs at the cameraman
8) talk about how meaningful your music is to you and how you want to change the rap game so your fans think you spend more than five minutes writing this shit
9) sell out
10) sell out again
11) if you're actually performing illegal activities behind the scenes make sure you go into detail about them in your songs to make the police's life much easier
12) then become the victim in your arrest pleading about how you get a harsh sentence because you're a famous rapper and shooting people and supplying coke isn't really a big deal



Congratulations! If you followed these steps you are now a famous rapper! Go fuck yourself you useless one hit wonder!

luka
21-07-2015, 11:54 AM
"Rap_Game_El_Chapito" 2 weeks ago
1. KRS-One
2. Ghostface Killah
3. RA the Rugged Man
4. Gift of Gab
5. Black Thought
6. Blu
7. Ka
8. Brother Ali
9. Rakim
10. Aesop Rock
11. Phonte
12. Nas
13. Homeboy Sandman
14. Sean Price
15. MF Doom
16. Talib Kweli
17. Evidence
18. Shad
19. Killah Priest
20. Buckshot
21. The Notorious B.I.G.
22. Grand Puba
23. The D.O.C.
24. Celph Titled
25. Big Pun
26. Immortal Tech
27. Common
28. Ice Cube
29. Redman
30. Lupe Fiasco

e d e n [Krustt] 複雑な 2 weeks ago
You know Kendrick Lamar or ?
· 1

"Rap_Game_El_Chapito" 2 weeks ago
Hes in my TOP25 "Currently"...Still working on that list. This is only "All-Time." After all is said and done K Dot may make the All-Time list. Not just yet though.... I suppose I couldve included him at this stage but its a hard list to make.....
·

"Rap_Game_El_Chapito" 2 weeks ago
K. Dot makes the "All-Time Greatest Lyricists" list if you expand it to TOP60 or 75...
· 1

Andrew Wilmer 1 week ago
+dimlampley_951 This a pretty solid list. But, what about Mos Def, Eminem, Elzhi, Big L, Andre 3000, Scarface, Percee P, and Big Daddy Kane?
·

"Rap_Game_El_Chapito" 1 week ago
Yes. Yes, indeed, kind sir. I have the majority of those emcees in my TOP60 All-Time Lyricist List.... This list is not in any specific order. I suppose a few of the artists you mentioned could very well be in a lot of heads TOP25 lists.

"Rap_Game_El_Chapito" 1 week ago
TOP62 list lol
1. KRS-One
2. Ghostface Killah
3. RA the Rugged Man
4. Gift of Gab
5. Black Thought
6. Blu
7. Ka
8. Brother Ali
9. Rakim
10. Aesop Rock
11. Phonte
12. Nas
13. Homeboy Sandman
14. Sean Price
15. MF Doom
16. Talib Kweli
17. Eminem
18. Shad
19. Killah Priest
20. Buckshot
21. The Notorious B.I.G.
22. Grand Puba
23. The D.O.C.
24. Celph Titled
25. Big Pun
26. Immortal Tech
27. Common
28. Ice Cube
29. Redman
30. Lupe Fiasco
31. Kool G Rap
32. Del
33. E Sweatshirt
34. MURS
35. Cappadonna
36. Big-L
37. Busta Rhymes
38. Evidence
39. Mos Def
40. Canibus
41. 2Pac
42. E-40
43. Too Short
44. Sean Price
45. Freddie Foxxx
46. Jeru The Damaja
47. GURU
48. Cormega
49. Pharaoh Monch
50. Big Daddy Kane
51. Chino XL
52. David Banner
53. Vinnie Paz
54. Lewis Parker
55. Kurupt
56. Rass Kass
57. GZA
58. Sadat X
59. PerceeP
60. AZ
61. Jadakiss
62. Mac Dre

luka
21-07-2015, 11:57 AM
Young Intellect 5 days ago
Bruh why you got rakim at #9 hahaha and ra the rugged man at 3
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xX_ChaoticFace_Xx 5 days ago
+dimlampley_951 No Tupac? This list is retarded...
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"Rap_Game_El_Chapito" 4 days ago
Tupac wasnt a lyricist. He was an icon. Dumb cunt.

luka
21-07-2015, 11:58 AM
Zulos sG (Leader) 1 day ago
So this is what rap came to? We need biggie n tupac rip :(

Corpsey
21-07-2015, 04:02 PM
Thing I find amusing is how say fifteen years ago the self-appointed "REAL HEADS" (me included probably, the fifteen year old white suburbanite from south east England, if you please) were saying Jay-Z/Rocafella, Puffy, Master P etc. was the death of hip-hop, commercial sellout music etc. And then comes the next generation and suddenly those same artists are the ones people hearken back nostalgically to. Goes on and on... Latest thing is Young Thug causing people to say "This ain't hip hop! LIL WAYNE is hip-hop!" When for a long time (and probably still now) you'd see nothing but hatred for Lil Wayne under his videos.

I guess there is a genuine concern with hip-hop that the culture HAS been debased by the mainstream, and there's less consciousness and so on... and this is why I feel very deeply conflicted about liking drill music e.g., which is incredibly entertaining and powerful music to me, sitting in my safely cloistered suburban enclave over here, but which is arguably not only reflecting but fuelling gang violence (I know this is kind of a bullshit argument btw, obviously these issues are primarily socio-economic and racial not musical). But to return to the main issue, it's not as if there weren't Schooly Ds and NWAs in the 90s and not everybody was lyrically spiritual miracle-ing.

I used to be totally into that idea that only "intelligent" lyrics and - ideally - sampled beats were legitimate hip-hop but nowadays I'm of the opinion that the more variety the better. The rap I'm most interested in these days tends to be stretching the notion of what rap can be with autotune/singing.

Saying all this I was listening to 'Liquid Swords' yesterday (also Fabolous recently) and I do miss that style of rap. It still exists but it can't help but make you think ''this was done better twenty years ago."

End of the day though I think rap is "up to" the young (mostly black/american) audience.

Corpsey
21-07-2015, 04:03 PM
Luka what is your top 20 rapper list looking like

luka
21-07-2015, 04:04 PM
Yeah I think so too largely.
I did start this thread with quite high minded intentions but I've got a cold and it's hard to think clearly. I thought I had loads of meaningful things to say

luka
21-07-2015, 04:05 PM
All time or present day? Lool

luka
21-07-2015, 04:10 PM
I couldn't do a present day one tbh I'm too out of touch and all time would be very generic 35 year old englishman list. No surprises.

rubberdingyrapids
21-07-2015, 04:11 PM
i dont really see the 'true schoolers' as winning in this battle tbh. i think a lot of people who used to hate jay-z, lil wayne, puffy etc, all had a collective moment of embarrassment around 2004/05 and then, perhaps tragically, started to hate anything that resembled or reminded them of their old indie-rap-supporting days. def jux fans suddenly started talking about mannie fresh and so on. i think i went through a phase like that myself, though it was also just motivated by buying loads of indie rap 12s and never listening to them or reading HHC then buying dilated peoples cos it was what i thought hip hop was meant to be then realising i didnt actually like lootpack or dilated peoples. after a while, i just stopped listening to rap ideologically, and just as music, which is maybe healthier (or maybe just about lowered expectations).

luka
21-07-2015, 04:19 PM
Battlelines shift but there's always a war going on. One of my best mates is still true school as it gets though. They still exist. I went to a homeboy sandman show with him the other day.

Corpsey
21-07-2015, 05:09 PM
Thing is true-school rappers are always going on about how shit commercial rappers are and how the music they make is intrinsically better, which invites contempt when you realise they aren't intrinsically better at all, particularly when it comes to making music that is fun and makes people dance.

When you're in on it though it gives you this feeling of superiority to think that only YOU and a relatively small audience worldwide KNOW what the "truth" is.

It's also funny when you get people like Mos Def/El-P or whoever admitting in interviews that they always really liked Juvenile or whatever. And then their fanboys can't type a rebuttal through their tears.

I do know what RDRapids is saying though cos I turned on my past quite considerably once I got into Gucci Mane et al. I do still think some of that old Rawkus stuff is good, especially in that first wave around 1998. Dilated Peoples were one of those groups I always liked IN THEORY more than I did in reality, but they did have some wicked beats (''Worst Comes To Worst''). Just now I listen to Evidence and because I don't care so much about how "worthy" a rapper is I just hear him as being pretty boring and unjustifiably self-righteous. I suppose that self-righteousness is just the indie rap spin on the pop rapper's arrogance.

Corpsey
21-07-2015, 05:14 PM
Also worth noting that these sorts of wars are going on in most, if not ALL, genres.

rubberdingyrapids
21-07-2015, 05:55 PM
yeah the battle lines still exist, and one thing that old school/true school east coast style still has its a kind of historical significance/importance attached to it, and a certain respect as 'classic' hip-hop. but i dunno if say, someone like young thug really cares about that, all that much (im thinking of his comments about not wanting to be an old rapper like jay-z). i think they might want the older generation to give them props but i doubt when they hear gza say he doesnt think much of todays lyrics (not that i think he even had much of a point - who wants rappers to still rap like its 1989?) that they think about what that era had that isnt there today. like, you will get big name rappers doing a few classic style songs here and there (like wayne had that alchemist produced song on carter 3, which sounded kinda weird to me but n/m) but i think those are just token tracks, sort of like a necessary thing, just to show they can do that too, rather than maybe to please the genres self appointed guardians or whoever. though i dunno, maybe secretly every big popular rapper secretly has guilt about being culturally debased or whatever in a way their predecessors werent.

luka
21-07-2015, 06:03 PM
I did find the shiny suit era difficult. Haven't really come round to it either despite what claims Kanye might make for Ma$e

rubberdingyrapids
21-07-2015, 06:06 PM
im still not that into the second biggie album

dont like what happened to his flow and delivery

OTOH i never thought the blueprint was jay-zs best album (or reasonable doubt), i reckon hard knock life (vol 3) is the best one (or maybe the shawn carter one after, even)

luka
21-07-2015, 06:09 PM
I found it enervating and bewildering. Couldn't understand how it happened

luka
21-07-2015, 06:09 PM
That era of bad boy dominance I mean not life after death

luka
21-07-2015, 06:12 PM
So I understand and sympathise with that backpacker tendency. no good music came out of it but I shared the sense of betrayal.

In two years to go from the infamous, Cuban linx, etc to looping huge chunks of 80s r&b. I didn't understand

rubberdingyrapids
21-07-2015, 06:19 PM
prob just that the mid 90s was too serious and somber
people wanted something a bit lighter
also after sampling the 70s for so long, it was just time to move to the next era

luka
21-07-2015, 06:23 PM
I didn't. I wanted music for alienated adolescent Skunk addicts

rubberdingyrapids
21-07-2015, 06:25 PM
east london listeners prob werent at the forefront of puffy's mind at the time

luka
21-07-2015, 06:26 PM
But then after that brief puffy moment good stuff started happening again even though that brand of lyricism was gone for good
I liked all the weird stuff. Goofy swizz keyboard mashing beats like money cash hoes

luka
21-07-2015, 06:28 PM
Yeah I accept puffy wasn't making music for me, I'm making a personal confession

luka
21-07-2015, 06:29 PM
Remember it coincided with a lull in the UK underground too. Waiting for garage to come to fruition. It was the musical equivalent of a weed drought

rubberdingyrapids
21-07-2015, 06:31 PM
that tunnel era was a good reaction to the bad boy stuff
dmx, the lox, camron etc, the harder new york stuff (and not totally divorced from bad boy either actually)
like a last gasp for new york

tbh i disliked a lot of that stuff at the time, apart from the songs i felt were 'hard' and 'real hip hop' (lol) like money power respect or get at me dog (it had an epmd sample lol) but i realised how wrong i was about 10 years ago, grime actually had a lot to do with making me check my assumptions

Corpsey
21-07-2015, 06:57 PM
Yeah there was a reaction but Bad Boy tunes ran the tunnel too apparently (All About the Benjamins, Hypnotise, Who Shot Ya etc.)...

Puffy has always been a horrendous rapper.

Nas - It Was Written is a great example of the goalposts moving cos for years it was seen as the massive disappointment post Illmatic but now on rap forums I read it seems like people are saying its a classic. And Trackmasters to them are more hip-hop than Metro Boomin or whoever.

luka
21-07-2015, 07:15 PM
There was also for some a sense of here's a thing where my kind of verbal intelligence and pub quiz general knowledge is a virtue, and then some mean and crass bullies take it over and laugh at me for knowing big words

luka
21-07-2015, 07:17 PM
I want a version of ready to die with puffys ad libs removed

luka
21-07-2015, 07:21 PM
I feel like now we're far enough removed from that very polarised time to reassess the arguments and check to see which babies were thrown out with the bathwater

CrowleyHead
21-07-2015, 07:30 PM
Rawkus was so fucking terrible, lololol Corpsey no....

Ultimately rap fans who aren't actually in the communities (multiple) will always try to tell you what is GOOD ENOUGH FOR THEM, and that might not be the best of the bunch.

But a lot of these lines are imaginary.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PdqQ3i9QtsU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Fans are corny, IDK, this subject isn't my favorite rn.

luka
21-07-2015, 07:38 PM
I like the subject cos it's still live. You were barely conscious at the time crowley but it would be disingenuous of you to deny a lot of your rhetoric is informed by debate over these very imaginary lines I think

Corpsey
21-07-2015, 07:38 PM
Soundbombing 1 will always occupy a sentimental place in my heart even though in the cold light of day it is probably piss.

The worst thing about Rawkus was it made me spend a big portion of my teenage life listening to Mr Eon.

luka
21-07-2015, 07:42 PM
There's no redeeming 'underground' hiphop I'm not interested in that btw

luka
21-07-2015, 07:47 PM
Although I didn't actually want to just make it about 1997, I wanted to talk more generally about fights over what hiphop should mean but i feel sloppy today so I started reminiscing

Not capable of thought

luka
21-07-2015, 07:55 PM
Was it Puff Daddy et al who ushered in this era of greed exoneration with their “player hater” hating?

Just reading corpsey blog while I wait to see if anyone can be dragged into an argument to distract me temporarily from the awful futility of my own existence and saw this right up the top

Corpsey
21-07-2015, 08:08 PM
I feel like somebody is reading my embrassing teenage diary now

luka
21-07-2015, 08:15 PM
I'm using carefully selected extracts for public shaming purposes on my twitter account as we speak

luka
21-07-2015, 08:17 PM
J/k lol

Corpsey
21-07-2015, 09:53 PM
I read it back and its self deprecating enough for me to disavow it easily. Phew

I wish you blogged luka if I was shipwrecked I would take a live feed of your opinions over the complete Shakespeare all day

luka
21-07-2015, 10:27 PM
That's kind thank you mate. I would like to get back into writing but a blog for someone with my non existent profile feels futile and I don't write for the sake of writing. I need attention and some level of interaction.

rubberdingyrapids
21-07-2015, 11:47 PM
rawkus wasnt all terrible. i know its cool to disown underground rap these days but thats as bullshit as people disowning anything that isnt for 'the real heads'.

luka
21-07-2015, 11:55 PM
I've been thinking about that and I'm not sure it's true. That underground movement was basically all bad
I was trying to think of an exception and could only think of Dr octagon which only half counts

Oh just remembered Simon says but again that only half counts

luka
22-07-2015, 12:05 AM
I would be Interested in and not instantly dismissive of an argument to the contrary though

luka
22-07-2015, 12:38 AM
For me the unfortunate thing is artists like oc for example are suddenly left without a context to work in.

They've perfectly evolved to fit an.environment which doesn't exist any more. These specialised creatures flapping and writhing about in air they can barely breathe

craner
22-07-2015, 10:22 AM
This is a good conversation. Keep going.

droid
22-07-2015, 10:40 AM
rawkus wasnt all terrible. i know its cool to disown underground rap these days but thats as bullshit as people disowning anything that isnt for 'the real heads'.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81plgTeVElc

luka
22-07-2015, 11:09 AM
If I was going to make an argument it would focus on the self conscious experimentalism of El-P and sir menelik because it's not merely reactionary.It's not defined by its opposition to;
Wack mcs, big booty bitches, r&b singers, blunts, versace glasses, etc.

luka
22-07-2015, 11:19 AM
But, to continue picking a fight with myself, it's a limited argument. El-P ultimately less weird and less accomplished than various big name producers of the same era and menelik is just a footnote

luka
22-07-2015, 11:20 AM
"I Used To Love H.E.R." lyrics
COMMON LYRICS
Download "I Used To Love H.E.…" Ringtone
"I Used To Love H.E.R."

[Verse One:]
I met this girl, when I was ten years old
And what I loved most she had so much soul
She was old school, when I was just a shorty
Never knew throughout my life she would be there for me
ont he regular, not a church girl she was secular
Not about the money, no studs was mic checkin her
But I respected her, she hit me in the heart
A few New York niggaz, had did her in the park
But she was there for me, and I was there for her
Pull out a chair for her, turn on the air for her
and just cool out, cool out and listen to her
Sittin on a bone, wishin that I could do her
Eventually if it was meant to be, then it would be
because we related, physically and mentally
And she was fun then, I'd be geeked when she'd come around
Slim was fresh yo, when she was underground
Original, pure untampered and down sister
Boy I tell ya, I miss her

[Verse Two:]
Now periodically I would see
ol girl at the clubs, and at the house parties
She didn't have a body but she started gettin thick quick
DId a couple of videos and became afrocentric
Out goes the weave, in goes the braids beads medallions
She was on that tip about, stoppin the violence
About my people she was teachin me
By not preachin to me but speakin to me
in a method that was leisurely, so easily I approached
She dug my rap, that's how we got close
But then she broke to the West coast, and that was cool
Cause around the same time, I went away to school
And I'm a man of expandin, so why should I stand in her way
She probably get her money in L.A.
And she did stud, she got big pub but what was foul
She said that the pro-black, was goin out of style
She said, afrocentricity, was of the past
So she got into R&B hip-house bass and jazz
Now black music is black music and it's all good
I wasn't salty, she was with the boys in the hood
Cause that was good for her, she was becomin well rounded
I thought it was dope how she was on that freestyle shit
Just havin fun, not worried about anyone
And you could tell, by how her titties hung

[Verse Three:]
I might've failed to mention that the shit was creative
But once the man got you well he altered the native
Told her if she got an energetic gimmick
That she could make money, and she did it like a dummy
Now I see her in commercials, she's universal
She used to only swing it with the inner-city circle
Now she be in the burbs lickin rock and dressin hip
And on some dumb shit, when she comes to the city
Talkin about poppin glocks servin rocks and hittin switches
Now she's a gangsta rollin with gangsta bitches
Always smokin blunts and gettin drunk
Tellin me sad stories, now she only fucks with the funk
Stressin how hardcore and real she is
She was really the realest, before she got into showbiz
I did her, not just to say that I did it
But I'm committed, but so many niggaz hit it
That she's just not the same lettin all these groupies do her
I see niggaz slammin her, and takin her to the sewer
But I'ma take her back hopin that the shit stop
Cause who I'm talkin bout y'all is hip-hop

Corpsey
22-07-2015, 12:11 PM
I don't like Mos Def anymore esp after he tried to come at the big dog Tim but I still think his Rawkus era stuff is good. I mean I'm sure Crowley can do this but I don't think you can deny how talented a rapper he was and he had a lot of stuff to say other than anti Versace rap talk.

To me the most talented rapper to come out of that whole late 90s underground/independent movement was MF Doom.

If you compare Doom and Mos Def to Cash Money etc then they obviously come out looking less exciting and exuberant, but that sort of rap music has its own qualities. It really is the condescending attitude it takes towards non indie rap that grates. (And the superiority complex its fans have too.)

It was quite cool in 98 more or less when I got into rap that you had hardcore rappers like DMX, Big Pun and Noreaga getting radio play and Pharoah Monch making a huge club track. I suppose the split between the underground and mainstream widened after that, although I suppose in some respects everything these days is much more mixed up.

luka
22-07-2015, 12:41 PM
As an aside I used to love her was released in 1994.
Funny to me that in the midst of what some now refer back to as a golden age others were already bemoaning a fall from grace

Doom came out of native tongues affiliated kmd so like monch and kool Keith he predates the 'underground' movement.

rubberdingyrapids
22-07-2015, 12:43 PM
For me the unfortunate thing is artists like oc for example are suddenly left without a context to work in.

might be getting your point mixed up here, but thats always the way though isnt it in any genre?

OC i would say is doing okay, hes put out a few albums in the last 5 or so years so id say he does have a context, just not the previous one he had, which is pretty normal considering he was always a bit of an underground favourite anyway.

people think of underground rap as some corny rap preservationist association, but the first soundbombing had people like company flow (speaking of which, the last big juss album is amazing), mos def (never liked the early singles and he is actually kind of overrated, but i did like the BOBS album), ra the rugged man, sir menelik, none of whom are shit.


But, to continue picking a fight with myself, it's a limited argument. El-P ultimately less weird and less accomplished than various big name producers of the same era and menelik is just a footnote


who was weirder? fantastic damage was pretty stunning.

as far as rappers just ageing and losing their position, i think thats pretty normal.

melle mell or grandmaster caz werent really revered in the late 80s.
rakim got lots of respect after his peak which i suppose was different, but he didnt exactly make his best songs in the mid 90s, even with guys like premier behind him.
and now apart from certain big names like wu tang, nas or jay-z, most 90s names arent really drawing big crowds either (even mobb deep play to a small core audience).
hip hop doesnt make it easy for the previous generation. premier isnt exactly producing hits for wiz kalifa or even jay-z who he used to do a token song for every album. occasionally youll get someone like kool g rap who had a decent comeback run in the mid-late 90s (even if it got a bit samey), or juicy j these days, but for the most part, most dont make it past generations. busta is kind of an anomaly.

luka
22-07-2015, 01:11 PM
It's the way with any genre, yes. Change is inevitable, has good and bad consequences.

rubberdingyrapids
22-07-2015, 01:22 PM
el-p is overrated now, and less interesting than before, but ten years back and in the late 90s, id say he was one of the best producers of anyone. cold vein, fan dam, little johnny from the hospital, funcrusher plus... theres no way you can say that isnt 'valid' somehow just cos it wasnt reaching the same people into dipset or whoever.

luka
22-07-2015, 01:41 PM
Thought that was what I said wasn't it?
Albeit in a grudging not gushing way

rubberdingyrapids
22-07-2015, 01:50 PM
i like to think that one reason run the jewels are so big is that people like the idea of an underground/'real' hip hop artist (el-p) working with someone from the crass commercial hardcore south (killer mike, though he was always more acceptable to certain rap fans than jeezy or gucci mane), sort of a bridging of both schools, though its prob nothing as idealistic as that, and just that RTJ fans think that is what rap is meant to sound like/talk about, and they are probably quite self congratulatory (seeing as most of their fans are prob more el-p than killer mike fans) about it

this album is 10 times better in any case -

http://www.discogs.com/Bigg-Jus-Machines-That-Make-Civilization-Fun/master/464315

i never totally clicked with that RAP music album either, something about it didnt quite fit into place for me, i think i liked monster, or some of the grind mixtapes better.

luka
22-07-2015, 02:18 PM
Really didn't want to say lol hiphop nerds get over it. I think that's old now. I'm not here to point the finger and laugh

Corpsey
22-07-2015, 02:25 PM
Luka I'd expect there's something intrinsic to e.g. El-P's music that you don't like for the same reason you don't like Burial/Dubstep/Ed Rush and Optical. Maybe I'm mischaracterising your taste but it seems to me like you don't like stuff that's self-important/self-consciously artsy and anhedonic. Also the general (somewhat proud) amateurishness of that underground stuff. One of my favourite quotes from you is when you described Blawan's ''Bring Me Down'' remix as having shit drums and saying it was the classic indie judo technique of pretending you intended your drums to be sloppy.

I'm actually not opposed to this viewpoint entirely and I do think a lot of fairly sloppy/boring stuff gets a pass in the underground for being 'experimental' or whatever.

Good case in point was an Underachievers mixtape I reviewed once. It was very 90's throwback aesthetic, quite interesting production though but the rapping was pretty banal and frankly they didn't have the breath control to pull off the flows they were attempting. I didn't hate it but I think stuff like that gets over praised.

luka
22-07-2015, 02:34 PM
Yeah that's a reasonable characterisation corpsey nothing I want to quibble with

CrowleyHead
22-07-2015, 02:44 PM
I've always thought that Mos Def is a gimmicky, tedious rapper. Same with Common.

But here's a thing, I am at the end of the day a New York Rap Fan, not a commercial underground fan. NY Rap is different, it takes from multiple tiers... The guys on top, the guys who are not on top but aren't considered underground because they talk about weed money guns, etc. The Mos Def's who are considered vastly underrated and yet sold significant amounts of records and were constant critical darlings despite making songs about nothing. Or the Commons who have been terrible at rapping in a technique/rhythm level since 1992, yet still get eternally regarded for... IDK, doing a concept single??? LL Cool J did concept singles back in 1986??? And then of course, the underground underground with the Melineks, Kool Keith's post-Ultramagnetic career, Doom ofc. and even el-P.

Now, back in the day, there was not a severe disparity. Look at the Stretch & Bobbito show. Stretch Armstrong made a point to keep the Black Robs and the Royce da 5'9s next to whatever nerd rap thing Bobbito Garcia brought in, and they made a balance. The world where Children of the Corn and CNN live in harmony with Company Flow. And stuff like that, the constant exposure is what gets you a Cam'ron. Yeah, Stretch & Bobbito loved to play Myka 9, but they also supported Jay-Z's early career, you get what I'm saying?

For WHATEVER REASON, I have always found the most crassly opportunistic sellout middling "let's make music for college kids" underground rap to be the ones with the biggest chips on their shoulder for doing WHAT??? In what world is The Roots, who chased blatant money opening for stuff like Dave Matthews Band, any less cynical and calculated than anything Puffy did? And as terrible at reciting the stuff written for him as Puffy was, he did think immensely about the content he was putting out, whereas a man like Black Thought has been doing the same bullshit post-Kane freestyle since 1992.

The people who perform 'the culture wars', are always usually antagonists in the mid-tiers of 'commercial underground/underground commercial' who feel insecure about how seemingly insignificant their success commercially and artistically. Its why you have Mos Def thirsting after MF Doom so heavily in that video, HE KNOWS how vastly superior a dude who was a 2nd string Native Tongues after-thought (same as him) has become and no matter how many records Black On Both Sides or Blackstar sold, it means nothing in the long run. Doom is an innovator and a true creative, Mos Def is a fucking clown and has always been trash.

CrowleyHead
22-07-2015, 02:46 PM
Interestingly, we're continuing this debate instead of discussing yesterday's cultural war divide with the Drake vs. Meek issue, but anyone else feel free to heat up that thread, 'cause I got iced tea and no classes today, I can go 400 rounds right now.

*Mystikal vox* "BRING EM BY THE ONE, BRING EM BY THE TWOOOOO"

luka
22-07-2015, 03:12 PM
He'll (meek) probably apologise for it in an hour or two or make some dubious excuse

I immediately forwarded your post to my mos def worshipping mate and am eagerly awaiting his outrage

luka
22-07-2015, 03:13 PM
Did he find some texts on nikkis phone?

luka
22-07-2015, 03:16 PM
I'm at a loose end too so I might preempt his response minus the invective just for the sake of having an argument I'm not even invested in

CrowleyHead
22-07-2015, 03:33 PM
He'll (meek) probably apologise for it in an hour or two or make some dubious excuse

I immediately forwarded your post to my mos def worshipping mate and am eagerly awaiting his outrage

I don't think so. Meek's been aggressively adamant about being taken serious as a street artist and a lyricist the past year or so.

There's a lot of talk going around now about conscious/street schisms in the media around rap, a whole lot of "we're not getting enough credit for doing this", and some v. overt schism between say popularity/sales and perception in rap audiences.

As for the Mos Def fan being upset I'm all for that.

You know what is the worst?

Everyone remembers the Mos Def album that came out last, the big comeback with the Madlib beats. Of course you do.

When the song that had the Dilla beat and the Kweli feature came on MTV with me and my father watching, I was like "OK, I know exactly how this is going to go... Mos is going to namedrop an old school rap figure in the first verse, Kweli is going to begin the second verse with a nasal declaration like 'I REMEMBEH WIN A DIDDA TA DIKIDA' in the same flow he's been using since 2002 *father laughs* Wait, wait... And then we close with a Mos Def verse in terrible fake patois."

First verse closes on a forced Just-Ice shout out, my dad groans and rolls his eyes.

Kweli verse, in the Kweli voice "I REMEMBER IN THE DECADE OF DECADENCE" dad groans and laughs, moaning "oh god...."

Transition into third verse!?!?

"AN MI NUH CALL IT A COMEBACK-*incomprehensible noise, John is not Jamaican, Brooklyn rappers are embarassing*" to which my father groans and laughs even louder.

These two clowns can't help it, they're doomed to always be corny.

CrowleyHead
22-07-2015, 03:33 PM
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/t_Z8X_bgEpw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

ACTIVELY TERRIBLE

luka
22-07-2015, 04:04 PM
part of what mos def is selling is easy going and knowing corniness so im not sure how fair it is to criticise him for it. alarge part of his success is down to projecting qualities like approachability, cheek, charm, affability etc

neither is it fair to accuse him of doing songs about nothing. he wrote a song about a woman with a fat booty. he wrote a song about the illuminati privatising the world water supply. did lots of other songs i cant remember but are probably about something.

luka
22-07-2015, 04:10 PM
i did enjoy that last post enough that its taken away my enthusiasm for mounting even a equivocal defence tho

rubberdingyrapids
22-07-2015, 04:34 PM
i wont fight anyone about talib kweli but mos def also did a song about mathematics, one about what his mother says, and one about brooklyn

rubberdingyrapids
22-07-2015, 04:46 PM
though i saw that chappelle show sketch of him rapping in the car with chappelle and winced at how bad the verses were

but to be fair, theres a lot of rappers with their own personal trademarks

and its too easy to give mos a hard time

CrowleyHead
22-07-2015, 08:59 PM
He once did a song that from the title is supposed to be about being a Moor, but has nothing to do with anything.

I should be admitted, I'm v. biased because he didn't show up to his mentor's funeral who's a mentor to my father. He also had a midlife crisis and took up skateboarding. I don't trust people who skateboard in rap, with the exception of Tyler, The Creator. Skateboarders are universally terrible in enjoying rap.

rubberdingyrapids
23-07-2015, 12:35 PM
He once did a song that from the title is supposed to be about being a Moor, but has nothing to do with anything.


this is prob not incorrect but there are a grillion songs in hip hop about a subject that quickly lose sight of that subject

its not really a genre for people who like lyrics to stay on topic

droid
23-07-2015, 01:00 PM
He also had a midlife crisis and took up skateboarding. I don't trust people who skateboard in rap, with the exception of Tyler, The Creator. Skateboarders are universally terrible in enjoying rap.

What the hell are you on about? Skateboarding is one of the 5 elements of hip hop!

CrowleyHead
23-07-2015, 01:18 PM
What the hell are you on about? Skateboarding is one of the 5 elements of hip hop!

Yeah, right up there with self-loathing white dead prez fans, terrible J Dilla reissues, getting yelled at by KRS-One and that Marvel series of the rap comics that have no black artists.

Corpsey
23-07-2015, 01:57 PM
I saw Mos Def live a few years ago. He was awful. As stoned slurring mess. Live instruments have no place in rap IMO. The only good bit was Ms. Fat Booty.

Crowley's posts are informative and funny and I agree with them in many ways but I wonder if your hatred for the smugness of college aimed rap is distorting things a bit. Was Common (who I admittedly do find smug and corny, esp. when addressing women in his raps) really technically shite in the Resurrection days? I loved that album and it felt much less self important than his later stuff.

The Meek vs Drake thing is captivating me at the moment. I've always felt a suspicion of Drake and so there's a certain glee I'm taking in seeing him exposed like this. A lot of the confusion I've experienced towards his music and persona is dispelled by the revelation of him using ghostwriters. In a weird sense it makes some of his music LESS cringeworthy. Its suddenly more like Al Pacino performing the role of a gangster rather than if Al Pacino started claiming he WAS a gangster.

Corpsey
23-07-2015, 02:14 PM
Yeah, right up there with self-loathing white dead prez fans, terrible J Dilla reissues, getting yelled at by KRS-One and that Marvel series of the rap comics that have no black artists.

LOL this is my life as a hip-hop nerd teenager. Made me wonder if the reason "true school" stuff is so big in Europe is that the audiences feel alienated from rap music and so feel like they can be closer to it by being aware of the "true" form it "should" take.

luka
23-07-2015, 02:18 PM
The one thing I think crowley drastically underplays is the existence of a large black audience for all these artists, by no means all of whom are college educated and for whom expressions of black pride, condemnation of violence and criminality etc are in no way corny and are in fact a matter of life and death

luka
23-07-2015, 03:10 PM
Which is really the sort of thing I wanted to interrogate in this thread.
There was an underappreciation of street rap in 'the discourse' cue a much needed push to redress the balance. That battle has been won. What's the fallout? I would argue that we've become victims of our own rhetoric

luka
23-07-2015, 03:12 PM
P's my mate just called mos def 'the black Bob Dylan '

CrowleyHead
23-07-2015, 03:39 PM
Dead @ last Luka post

I find Common has always employed a style where he never commits to a direct flow that rides the beat, instead flashing and displaying a sort of 'spastic' quality; this is the same thing I was complaining about in Kano who in all honestly raps INCREDIBLY CLOSE to Common. Its a lot of affected voice, very post-De La phrasings where you could imagine the voice looking like a heart pulse readout "I-surMIZEtheMAstuhMICconTROLla". I can concede that perhaps when he failed drastically after his first album in which he was rapping joyously about nothing and making a bunch of cartoon squeaks and gimmicky noises (because Common was signed on a huge buzz and if I recall correctly his first album was such a colossal flop critically and sales wise), that Resurrection's bitterness and borderline alcoholism is possibly a very real and compelling element. Then later on it was a lot of headwraps, smugness...

I don't like a lot of that College Rap/Soulquarians vibe, because there was a cynicism underneath some of those people. Q-Tip was bemoaning southern rappers and their behavior because his latter albums with Tribe didn't sell as much as Trick Daddy or whatever, but you really want to be proud of "Vibrant Thing", which is a blatant betrayal of the Native Tongues aesthetic to have club hits?

And the thing is, black pride, artistic takes on identity and everything went in various directions... David Banner and Killer Mike for example. Yet consistently people insisted it had to adhere to rap orthodoxy/conservatism of a certain aesthetic "college rap", "Backpack Rap", "Neo-Soul" and whatever other convenient labels to imply it was an alternative from the trashiness and hedonism of the mainstream.

I always return to that one Roots video where they're making fun of rappers hiring attractive women and buying champagne. Materialism is corny, sure, but if you know WHY displays of financial success (artifically boosted by the labels) are significant to people as a "WE MADE IT", why would you be so cynical to rib them for it? Especially if your albums are doing 1/3rd of them because you're not as commercial.

This actually ties into a big issue I have with the Drake and Meek Mill thing in which raps classism has really gotten bad. Everyone thinks that say "Right, Meek is saying he's a real rapper and Drake isn't" and while that's an argument with validity, that's not what he's talking about. Meek has been talking about how he's a street rapper, one of the few allowed on a pedestal of celebrity status (at least in the rap industry), for about a little over a year now. He's been remarking about how he doesn't concern himself with being compared sales/career wise to your J Cole, Kendrick and Drake's because they speak to a different audience and in certain cases have a different background than him. Drake cannot make a "Traumatized", pure and simple, nor does he have the courage to talk about real issues. Drake complains on songs that teens read phones more than books, or that men are emotional and petty... Those aren't deeper societal issues. Yet inherently Drake is always presumed to have more content than Meek.

So when Meek is criticizing and exposing a Drake, its not just the fact that Drake is fake, etc. A lot of social media is OFC defending Drake and claiming Meek is motivated by jealousy because of Nicki or w/e. Moreover, its the fact that Meek who is a genuine rapper rapper, diligent worker STILL has a glass ceiling on him, whereas Drake is less of a talent than a brand/industry can do whatever he wants and reap tons of rewards.

This is the issue I had years ago with the college rap scene, and what I have now with art trap or Drake or whatever... The double standard that AUDIENCES place on certain artists due to their perceptions of what their music is doing. Because rap is sooooo complex on multiple levels of technique, lyricism, production, presentation, whatever I get that sometimes its easy to get tripped up by visual signifyers like "Oh, so and so wears a lot of wool and talks very educated" and presume they perform a 'higher' art than another, but it isn't necessarily true.

rubberdingyrapids
23-07-2015, 03:43 PM
basically in rap the bullies won (though i think a lot of hardcore street rappers at this point would welcome some 'conscious' artists too)


Live instruments have no place in rap IMO.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKveOqw5ukY

one of biggie's favourite songs at the time apparently

common made one brilliant album, resurrection, everything since i can take or leave, though hes had various good songs in between the iffier stuff that seems dedicated to the brand/niche hes created for himself, but that album is his illmatic, its perfect imo.


Materialism is corny, sure, but if you know WHY displays of financial success (artifically boosted by the labels) are significant to people as a "WE MADE IT", why would you be so cynical to rib them for it?

maybe cos they think materialism is just a reinforcement of a certain status quo, even if they understand the reasons and justifications for people who have come from poverty flaunting it?

Corpsey
23-07-2015, 04:09 PM
I think Meek's COMMERCIAL glass ceiling is never going to be shattered by him yelling so much, honestly I don't think its purely classism that makes Drake more successful. To me, and I would say to a lot of people, Meek's style is less pleasing/easy to listen to. I see the point you're making (I think) in that Meek has a lot more actual substance in his lyrics than Drake. Drake has practically no depth as an artist, despite having this (self-vaunted) reputation for being uniquely honest/sensitive or whatever. The illusion of "depth" is conferred on him by his production team's aesthetic. I think, again, of Luka's description of Burial as ''lachrymose" and I think this is true of Drake, too. He's drippy and gloomy and so he MUST be deep. (And see how critics rate Burial - who I like, btw - over the UK Garage he was inspired by. It's the old Energy Flash debate over nuum vs gluum... well, not gloom itself tbh but I couldn't resist the shit pun.)

What do you think about the R&B (e.g.) vs. Rap perspective on songwriters? I mean, nobody would give a fuck about this at all if Drake was an RNB artist. I guess the crucial thing here is that Drake is making claims to being an elite rapper on the level of Jay-Z/Nas/Biggie and this completely undermines those claims (if they had any validity in the first place). I actually can get more into Drake's music if I see it ala. an RNB singer cos a big part of why I didn't like him was his risible claims to being a hard-man or whatever when its obvious he's the opposite of that.

Have we spoken about the OTHER cultural war masquerading as personal war this week of Bronson vs Ghostface? I mean, aside from the style biting, there has to be seen to be some sort of racial element to it, right? Bronson, the Noisey-favourite and Ghostface dead ringer, getting dressed down and threatened by a representative of pre-hipster rap?

Corpsey
23-07-2015, 04:14 PM
basically in rap the bullies won (though i think a lot of hardcore street rappers at this point would welcome some 'conscious' artists too)



I dunno about this actually, if you look at how big Kendrick is, Drake is (hard-man posturing notwithstanding, although I suppose that's totally relevant), J Cole is... The really hardcore gangsta artists like Meek and Rick Ross (gangster MUSIC if not a real gangster) and Jeezy have huge street audiences and sell a lot of records too but aren't really on the same level of crossover appeal. And then there are up and coming rappers like Chance the Rapper... Even Earl Sweatshirt is more of a geek than a bully. EDIT: OH and KANYE, of course! Obstreperous and not adverse to misogynistic chest-beating, but fundamentally a nerd/weirdo and proud. I'm perhaps wrong about this but it seems like 50 Cent was the last gangster rapper to be really big, and musically speaking he's seen as pretty irrelevant these days.

Perhaps this is missing your point, though. I think that it tends to be the more violent/gangsta rap that is musically innovative and has raw energy, because as Crowley says the conscious rap crowd seem to have settled for that old jazzy soulquarian vibe (Kendricks latest album e.g.). Why? Maybe because it's made by younger artists, usually from inner cities, and tastefulness is not as powerful an aesthetic engine as intensity.

Corpsey
23-07-2015, 04:27 PM
Lupe Fiasco on I.G.:

The Haunting.

A Letter

Part 1 of 2

To rappers from a rapper...simply write your own rhymes as much as you can if you are able. Ghostwriting, or borrowing lines, or taking suggestions from the room has always been in rap and will always be in rap. It is nothing to go crazy over or be offended about unless you are someone who postures him or herself on the importance of authenticity and tries to portray that quality to your fans or the public at large. Then we might have a problem. Some of the most pivotal moments in rap have been ghostwritten verses. This leads to a bigger point. Rapping is not an easy thing to do. It's takes years of work and trail and error to master some of its finer points. Respect from other MC's comes in many formats. Sales, live performances, realness etc but the one thing that is the most important is the raps themselves at least in the eyes of other serious rappers. The phrase "I'm not a rapper" gets thrown around as if it's a badge of honor. And that's fine. If rap is a side hustle for you or just a come up then by all means may the force be with you. But I know a lot of MC's where rap is the first love and the first thing they think about when they wake up and the last thing they think about when they go to sleep. Rappers who pursue the art form with this level of intention may not become rich and famous off selling their raps to a wide audience but that has never been an accepted metric to begin with in terms of quality or level of skill. The vast majority of rappers will never sell 100 records in their lifetimes let alone millions. But that's not the point, the point is that what pursuing the craft gives us in terms of the intangibles is something that record sales or fame could never represent. We achieve a mastery of language and poetics that competes on the highest levels of discourse across the entirety of human history. We express ourselves creatively and attain a sense of liberation and self-esteem via this sacred mode of creation and communication.



Part 2

Modern Radio and the commercial realm of music has injured rap. It set up ambiguous rules and systems for success that don't take into consideration the quality and skill of the rappers craft. It redefined rap as just a being beat driven hook with some words in between and an entire generation has surrendered to chasing the format instead of chasing the art form. While mastering any format should be the pursuit of any self-respecting rapper including the commercial format it must be kept clear that it is just one of many formats and that you should strive to master all of them. The art form is kept alive and progressive in the activities of the tens of thousands of rappers around the world who are everyday trying to think of that next witty bar. Trying to put that crazy verse together while at work. Trying to find that word that rhymes with catapult so they can finish off that vivid story rap about their childhood. Meek Mill struck a nerve accusing Drake of having a ghostwriter and the entire rap world reacted on all sides of the fence because rap is alive. It's active and it feels. Its rules and traditions are vibrant and responsive. I enjoy both these brothers music and find inspiration and appreciation from both of them. I remember being in Toronto at Goodfoot years ago and it was a stack of CD's on the counter and the guy behind the counter was like "Lupe you gotta take this CD. It's my mans mixtape." I didn't really pay it any mind I took it to the car and looked it over and just kind of set it aside focused on other things. I vividly remember saying "what kind of rap name is Drake?" The rest is history. Once while in Philly I went to do an interview in a shabby and very hood basement studio complex. I peeked into one of the rooms and it was this tall kid with his shirt off bouncing up and down in the booth with an energy that was electric. I gave him my regards. He gave them back. I think I mentioned something about him cutting his dreads. As I left I remember him rapping something about being a boss. The rest is history. At the end of the day, for better or worse, rap is alive even if some of its greatest moments are written by ghosts.

rubberdingyrapids
23-07-2015, 05:12 PM
@corpsey
sure, there are more middle class rappers doing well than ever before - so you get j cole, drake and co. but even these guys arent really totally able to ignore the need to project some sort of tough guy image (which in drakes case seems wildly contradictory). even the 'soft' rappers need to be hard in some way, which isnt new - even mos def has rapped about holding guns etc. or his crew holding them. but the diff is that with all these merged personas in rap's premier league, im not sure there is any real opposition, or alternative, challenging voice, like how previously you might have had common and the roots against jay-z or biggie or whoever. even if you thought they were corny, they at least held up some sort of challenge to that.

Corpsey
23-07-2015, 07:04 PM
Hmm I guess Crowley probably has a better perspective to assess the relative popularity of different rappers from. I mean, rap has always (or at least for a very long time) been about projecting a tough/masculine image (even in the case of female rappers). Even knowledgeable MCs like KRS and Rakim were "bullies" in a sense.

I guess you're saying the balance is missing, though. But where The Roots, Mos Def et al really competing on the same commercial level as Rocafella and Bad Boy back in 1998? And isn't Kendrick Lamar a hugely popular alternative to Rick Ross or whoever? Personally I think there's been a lot more room in rap in the last few years for alternative/intelligent acts following Kanye/Drake/Kendrick etc. But then maybe that's the internet distorting my perspective.

It's true that at the mainstream level rappers seem much more cooperative and collusive than ever before - that's why this Meek vs Drake thing is an even bigger deal, because he's broken rank from the general agreement there seems to be between rappers at that level to feature on each others tracks.

The other interesting thing is the point you raise about middle-class rappers. Perhaps this is one reason why violent lyrics might be more en vogue - insecurity about rap music leaving its origins in the ghetto? On some rap forums I read being bougie is the second worst thing you can be after being white. Drake's ''Started from the Bottom'' is again very telling - Drake acts as if he's very open about his middle class origins but at the same time he knows or feels that rap music isn't about being set up for success and triumphing. And naval gazing sensitivity might be said to be a middle class luxury... It's interesting to consider whether Drake has adopted the trappings of a Trap rapper because he wants to appear more tough, or just because he knows its what is big in the clubs at the moment.

It's fascinating really looking at how rap has changed and is constantly changing. I don't think you get this level of change, friction, evolution in rock music e.g. One interesting thing has been the rise of so-called ''feminine'' fashion trends in rap, again something partially ushered in by Kanye, almost culminating in Young Thug's subversion of gender identity and flirtation with gay imagery/language, which of course is greeted with derision/hatred by a lot of rap's traditional audience. This is to say nothing of the aesthetic changes going on - compare rap music in the year 2000 to rap music in the year 2015 and it's really quite amazing how different some of it is.

rubberdingyrapids
23-07-2015, 11:28 PM
But where The Roots, Mos Def et al really competing on the same commercial level as Rocafella and Bad Boy back in 1998?

not in sales terms, but culturally they mattered enough for biggie to be upset by the what they do video, and for questlove to be asked to write an open letter in the source about it. also enough for jay-z to get the roots for his unplugged album a while later in an effort to repair the chasms. puffy was not at all happy about some of what mos def and talib kweli had to say back in the early rawkus days. etc etc.

yeak kendricks great and everything but hes never going to say anything bad about the content of some of his peers/equals. which is good in one sense cos it means hes not just a reactionary artist, but also just means there is little discourse about any of what goes passed unchecked more or less.

luka
24-07-2015, 10:42 AM
the conscious rap crowd seem to have settled for that old jazzy soulquarian vibe
and tastefulness is not as powerful an aesthetic engine as intensity

this is my sticking point too. the conservatism. and its even worse when this mob go experimental. it usually means rock guitars.

as an aside i read the kano flow as being modelled on the jay-z flow which also has a certain spastic quality.
you could imagine the voice looking like a heart pulse readout is a good description but i dont think its bad in some kind of objective musicological way. its just another way to bridge beats. the line is allowed to unspool and then is pulledin tight. i dont think theres anything inherently worthier about 'a direct flow' by which i can only assume you mean a relatively fixed cadence in lockstep with the beat ala black thought.

droid
24-07-2015, 10:58 AM
this is my sticking point too. the conservatism. and its even worse when this mob go experimental. it usually means rock guitars.

Isnt there an inherent and pervasive conservatism in the development of any form of mass entertainment though? Its systemic rather than conscious, but still results in a gradual restriction of the scope of possibilities. Its like entropy in a closed system.

So do you consciously enforce 'rules' to restrict or freeze development at a certain stage, (a doomed project of course) resulting in one type of conservatism, or you increase engagement with the mainstream, become the mainstream, leading inevitably to another type of conservatism.

The question is, at what point do the results of scenario B become less appealing than those of scenario A?

luka
24-07-2015, 11:01 AM
i suppose i think theres more forces at play than that. unless im misunderstanding you

luka
24-07-2015, 11:11 AM
why would the only options be stasis or engagement with the mainstream? and the mainstream is not a fixed propety so i just dont follow your argument. maybe cos im hungover?

droid
24-07-2015, 11:26 AM
Sure, there's loads of other stuff going on, but implicit with engagement with the mainstream is a reduction of vocabulary, of possibilities, and eventually a tipping point is reached where restriction chokes innovation. This is implicit in the development of any genre, regardless of popularity, but mass markets accelerate the process.

Historically the problem is solved by the ground breaking auteur, or fresh blood from the fringes, but it seems were in the land of diminishing returns, the loops are getting shorter and the blood is diluted.

Does anyone believe that the prospects for hip hop/rap are good? That its not already far inside the gravity well?

droid
24-07-2015, 11:30 AM
why would the only options be stasis or engagement with the mainstream?

That is more or less the ideological positions in the culture wars isnt it?

But I would paraphrase, the options are stasis or decline. Its inevitable.

luka
24-07-2015, 11:33 AM
it seems to me that there are more issues at play and the battle is not only or even primarily a question of form but more often of content.

luka
24-07-2015, 11:35 AM
also battles over representation. which is why class and audiences have been invoked so often in this thread. having said that im starting to see where youre coming from but perhaps its a different thread?

rubberdingyrapids
24-07-2015, 11:37 AM
this is my sticking point too. the conservatism. and its even worse when this mob go experimental. it usually means rock guitars.


simon reynolds doesnt really need to post on here does he? everyone on here has the same POV anyway. on one hand, yes, rap is best when its intense and no frills, but i dont see anyone calling out big name rappers for their inherent conservatism - why do only indie/'conscious' types get stick for this? my favourite experimental rap is stuff like el-p which is intense as well as self consciously arty/whatever, but there should be a place for stuff in rap that isnt 'intense' and 'street' at the same time.

droid
24-07-2015, 11:37 AM
Maybe so, all Im saying is that no matter who wins the war you still end up with a wasteland.

luka
24-07-2015, 11:39 AM
are you talking about conservatism at the level of sonics or the level of content? two different issues.

luka
24-07-2015, 11:41 AM
no one wins the war. the war is a result of and a reflection of tensions between different societal groups surely? i think its one of the things which stops it from becoming a wasteland isnt it?

luka
24-07-2015, 11:42 AM
the factions sometimes coalesce around class, sometimes geography sometimes affinity groups, sometimes generational... or combinations of all of the above

luka
24-07-2015, 12:03 PM
rubber-
theres probably a degree to which words like conservative and innovative can be collapsed into i dont like it/i like it
and are being used to construct after the fact rationalisations of aesthetic preferences
is that what youre complaining about?

rubberdingyrapids
24-07-2015, 01:17 PM
i dont know what im saying anymore, ive got a rap fans defensiveness. if someone only likes shabazz palaces, i think theyre corny and prob sneery of 'proper' rap. if someone only likes future or thugga or boosie, i am also suspicious.

rap fans who lol at common or lupe or whoever are as predictable as those who think theyre better than keef or future.

but a lot of the exaggerated 'hood-ness' of a lot of street rap in the last decade or so can be pretty vacuous really, and while i think people are beyond criticising at this point for fear of looking corny or not wanting to appear out of touch, the fact there isnt much debate around it seems a shame (ie to say there isnt actually any sort of 'war' like you mention going on anymore - people just accept it as is). its a bit like simon reynolds won actually - everyone has come round to his absolute view of rap, or maybe black music in general, which is that the harder, visceral end is always superior to the other side, whether youre waxing rapturous about drakes sublime vacuity or futures fractured machismo, etc.

maybe its just aesthetics

or maybe its about perceived authenticity

that the visceral stuff is more authentic and therefore better

and if its not immediate and gut punching (or god forbid, sounds a little cerebral) then its got something missing from it, or that its less true in some way

rap has never been a genre for the feint of heart after all

but i think thats wrong too and is too absolute

this thread has too many old references actually - not sure why we are talking about common and the roots and mos def in 2015

today its more like theesatisfaction (i think theyre corny, but like them musically), shabazz, open mike eagle (which is maybe more collegiate rap?), and kendrick on a mainstream level, though i dont consider him musically interesting, that new album is just a return to the soulquarians style of 2000, which i liked at the time, and do/did consider innovative in a subtle way, but dont really need it again

CrowleyHead
24-07-2015, 01:48 PM
Rap music playing with rock is always such a dead end in so many ways because so much of the rock they play with is terrible blues stomp which is not what rock is. They just want the guitar to give them some sort of signifier of the lost culture...

Recently Greg Tate put up a video of Eddie Isley explaining his guitar licks on youtube, and that send GT into a tirade about how Disco killed the R&B circuit... which is a lie, the 80s scene kept the synth bands and the funk groups alive, session musicians just kept more straight ballad singers in check. But the narrative of 'soulfulnuss' comes in where people get scary and reactionary.

I want to touch on both my feelings on the meek and Drake issues and the sonic and cultural conservatisms on rap, but Corpsey brought up the Bronson issue and as someone who actually has mutual friends with Action, I can explain the situation really succinctly.

Action is obviously Noisey endorsed and suffers from a huuuuge ironic fanbase of terrible rap fans who don't know shit about shit. But he is legitimately a Queens Rapper who used to run with J-Love (who is curiously enough, Ghost's occasional mixtape DJ!) and a ton of NYC Underground guys. Proper underground shit, dudes who'd have to open for Showbiz and AG reunions at SOBs type shit. And Action is obviously white of Albanian descent, but he is working to lower-class from what I understand. He might not be black but he's OF the NYC rap cultural field just as much as anyone if not more than a few other rappers, but I digress.

Bronson stylistically, comes out of a love of post-G Rap music and yes, Ghost is a prominent figure in that scene. I don't believe he raps like how Ghost raps necessarily, they are both just big dudes with high voices. And to be honest, Bronson's success has seen him abandon competent rapping for muddled innuendo and plays at 'abstraction' which Ghost doesn't do anymore. Listen to most of Ghost's bars nowadays and his imagery is very direct (I believe that's because earlier he was under the influence and to bring this back to similar themes, GHOST WRITTEN by people like Cappadonna and Lord Superb, but never mind that for now).

Now Bronson says Ghost doesn't produce music of a quality that's comparable to his glory days and honestly... that's not unfair. Whenever Ghostface returns to the Hip-Hop music he sounds tired and forced, but when he is in his R&B mode he sounds the most happy and creative. But again, his fans aren't the Steve Harvey conservative R&B Crowd, its a bunch of dudes who want Supreme Clientele who want to see this man chained to a turntable playing old breaks for the rest of his life, freestyling until he expires. Bronson's comment isn't wrong, but its being applied into the context of him trying to dissavow Ghost's influence.

That in itself is not great for a person of Bronson's stature because he's always 'the interloper' because of his ethnic background. Its not good because he's obviously the younger devotee of Ghost's image, AND HE'S AFFILIATED WITH SOMEONE FROM GHOST'S CAMP AS A MENTOR. Plus the two of you did a record together. You cannot distance yourself from Ghostface so eagerly and call him into question. For one, you upset Ghostface (and as proven by the Joe Budden incident many years ago, Wu-Tang are not the type to act rational about friendly competition amongst MCs) and two, you come off as an arrogant opportunist biter who also just happens to be *agressive 5%er vox* THE WHITE DEVIL UP TO HIS OLD TRICKS.

And the best part is this is all real rap rap, which means these guys are fighting over 30 thousand record sales in the exact same audience at best.

luka
01-08-2015, 10:30 PM
Disappointed this thread died I felt we were just getting started. We need more rap fans on dissensus. Only need about 4 or 5 smart ones and we'll be good

rubberdingyrapids
03-08-2015, 10:12 AM
i know its been covered a bit already but i do find the class thing interesting. and how rap's working class dominance affects those who are m/c. eg the need for de la soul to defend themselves on the second album and show they can get violent too if need be. or maybe its just about how hyper masculinity infects everyone who enters rap, pretty much (whether its drake or whoever), barring a few who resist it.

luka
03-08-2015, 11:40 AM
I was thinking of passing me by in that context this morning as in passing me by vs ms fat booty

rubberdingyrapids
03-08-2015, 02:33 PM
i sometimes think that rap's whole subtext is basically 'crisis of masculinity'

CrowleyHead
03-08-2015, 03:28 PM
Its funny, Pharcyde is literally a commodified version of a lot of things that were outliers in LA Rap as antithesis to "Gangsta Rap" such as Freestyle Fellowship or Ahmad/Skee-Lo, but then again there were a lot of people who skated the line a little more... Either Hi-C or AMG, Quik affiliates, doing "Sittin In The Park" is kind of a grounding to the idea. Eazy-E being the financial backer for stuff like Blood of Abraham or Black Eyed Peas in their early form. The lines were a lot blurrier there the same way Gang Starr were such good friends with Freddie Foxx who is basically a goofy rap guy but a arch goon IRL. And that isn't to say I don't love Pharcyde's first album.

But that's the point, at the dawn of the 90s it wasn't thaaaaat unusual for a larger network of people to come from differing walks of life in hip-hop. Even in Native Tongues, the Violators (including the late Chris Lighty) were the strong-arm section who were known for starting fights if you tried to disrespect who they were protecting because they were soft. When Tupac kept doing his tantrums and spats against Tribe and De La, it would be people like the Zulus and the Violators who'd give him the ol' "Say Sorry" treatment.

Its one of the strange sagas of the Native Tongues movement I described in that "Rap's Altamont" tangent we had a while back, but its an evolved timeline...

You have basically "PSK" as the first gangster rap record, and then Ice-T and KRS-One rip that off and turn it into album length personas (prior to that, Ice-T is another Shan/LL clone, and KRS is basically never gotten much further than early Philly rappers like Schoolly and Steady B combined with Just-Ice). Now Bambaataa watches KRS get rejected by the drug money funneling Juice Crew dominating commercial rap center, and then determines to 'save' KRS. KRS is only a step or two removed from Bam because DJ Red Alert is Zulu backed and that's who supported KRS when Marley Marl / Mr. Magic rejected him, and Ced Gee from Ultramagnetic who features ex-Zulu dancer Kool Keith does a ton of the beats for Criminal Minded. So at the same time that Keith and The JBs are pushing a moralistic yet 'playa-type' aesthetic, with humor and self-awareness backed with self-conciousness, they work on Kris and polish him a bit into the Teacher persona. It helps that you have a respected dude who used to crush other human beings skulls and is now a very benign peaceful DJ/Gang Leader turned Cult Leader.

So eventually what happens is certain kids, namely De La and Tribe go to the Zulu/Native Tongues transition, as does Latifah. Latifah, as well! Her family background is full of a lot of goons, but she doesn't carry herself that way. Whereas Tribe and De La are basically... they were the weed carriers at first. They were joyful and playful and that fit the Zulu aesthetic because obviously they were influenced by those groups. Public Enemy was a separate entity, but also fit very well within the aesthetic group.

So, what happens is this movement gels and centers around... 1989-1990. And what happens is JBz and Ultra and PE make their booms. Now since PE is marketed as a 'black punk rock' group by Island, its ridiculously easy to blow them up beyond the rap market. Ultramagnetic, their 2nd album is so obviously attempts at making a 'commercial party' rap album, and that implodes. JBz always liked but perpetually on labels without Island's PR connections. "Crews" are abstract concepts to this day unless they're bunched on a label such as a Death Row, so you can't market a loose collective as well as you can DEF JAM THE LABEL OF RAP. But by the time there was an audience that you could do that to, the paradigm had shifted. Because now Rap's commercial audience had expanded and Tribe and De La had obvious hits, and pop writers obsessing over them, and were just arguably a lot more accessible because they didn't say shit about shit. "The Abstract" nothing, they were just a bunch of dorks conceptualizing the fact that they just freestyled about nothing. And made good music out of it.

But then of course, that whole movement got bloated and there were the Johnny Come Latelies and the terrible KRS-One follow up albums, the boom of happy pop rap... Its very hard for Tribe to seem all that impressive in those old Video Music Box blocks (which my dad had on VHS) where it'd be Tribe, Fushnickens, Kwame, YZ, and its just a melange of the same record over and over. Never mind the US over, even in NYC.

So like I said, west coast did similar things because remember, Bam had sent Afrika Islam to LA to help make "The Rhyme Syndicate", with Divine Styler and Everlast, and keeping people who were more moderate like King Tee and Toddy T around Ice but then by then... NWA, which is full-fledged misogynoir piloted by Public Enemy / Ultramagnetic fans Ice Cube and Dre respectively. Lost cause. So you have a sort of more diverse approach to full-fledged gangster rap or whatever. (Most 'Gangster Rap' in NYC never made it... Kool G Rap was always 'marketed' as the gangster, but he didn't have a big street rep. Actual criminals like the ones who made up Mobstyle like Azie of the Paid In Full crew generally got kept to the wayside).

So boom, Tribe and De La are over in the public consciousness after Wu-Tang and Nas and Biggie and Tupac and all these types blow up. What do they do? They get mad and blame the labels, blame the fans for being ignorant, blame the new artists themselves... Meanwhile they were just fucking passe. Sorry, but Midnight Marauders is already so fucking old hat by the time it comes out from the perspective of the records the gen pop of NYC was starting to gravitate to. 'hardcore' was in, and dancing in overalls was out, can ya blame 'em? But that's what the second wave did, because they had gotten a taste of mainstream money because the industry knew how to handle them better than they did the Def Jam era, the same way the ones who came after them benefited further from the industry being more creative in marketing rap, and so on. There's a great bad capitalist metaphor in their behavior somewhere, but I don't have the language or the desire to point it out.

So then what happens next is that as the fanbase kind of solidifies and codifies to a certain core audience for these guys, De La and Tribe react both with a greater desire to sell out and a more cynical attitude in general. YOU NEVER SEE THAT in the Jungle Brothers, they simply just keep it moving, they try doing jungle, doing an album backed by the Roots, do a dance-y themed album with Black Eyed Peas very early, whatever. De La fall further and further into orthodoxy, getting rid of Prince Paul who was arguably their greatest attribute while Tribe continuously sell out harder and more desperately to making lighter and poppier music while the album material is actually super fucking depressive.

So as I'm saying, a lot of these guys are discovering the Slum Villages, the Rootses, the Blackstars, guys who were the wannabes, who didn't fit in with the new rap environment. They came in with their own additional hangups because they were often pointed out as being conservative and retroactive compared to the climates they were in, and often responded with childish disdain for the others (The Roots specifically so; ?uestlove still loves to run his fucking mouth. I can't explain how disgusted I was when he publicly took to youtube to chide Method Man & Redman for wanting to play their single on Jimmy Fallon with just a DJ. Like jeez, how dare rappers use a fucking DJ and not your inept backing rhythms). And as I discussed earlier, a bunch of these acts didn't cut their teeth alongside the people who got deals and had notoriety in the underground of the 90s. The Roots never politicked in NYC, they just went straight to a deal based off their renown in Philly. SV, big in the Midewst, very few people actually knew about them in NY at first. And as NYC centric as my argument is, the industry was to certain aspects built around one highly competitive market/field in that era and only juuuuuust starting to really consider the various urban communities of different metropolises for national artists. It was still very fracticious with NWA being booed offstage in NYC, NY groups getting booed down south, etc. etc. Artists profiles, commercial value, and audience prominence never actually matched perfectly even then.

And what tends to be the issue is that a lot of these guys who were 2nd or 3rd generation N.T. guys, or had the aesthetic around that... They weren't approaching it from the same perspective or goals. It wasn't about "we have to make music that tells kids to love themselves more than Big Daddy Kane loves his gold rope chain bought by him for guys who hire people to shoot AKs into crowded barber shops", it was "We are better than THAT." It all got made into crude finger pointing and then the divisions became a lot more fixed that underground rappers acted like this and commercial rappers acted like that. And since popularity and sales make someone seem bigger, commercial rappers were the 'real' ones. Classism totally plays into that because lower class success stories are obviously more authentic, so discoveries of things like "Ja Rule went to private school and is from a middle class part of Queens" is damnation when he wants to be a star and is posing around like a fake Tupac guy. Albeit one with no real content and who makes R&B songs.

That honestly isn't so big an issue until the N.T. side starts making it an issue. Shit, Wu-Tang was as a collective somehow completely at ease with having Raekwon and Gza and Method Man and ODB at the same time.

CrowleyHead
03-08-2015, 03:30 PM
i sometimes think that rap's whole subtext is basically 'crisis of masculinity'

'crisis of the right to exist' is more appropriate.

mistersloane
04-08-2015, 09:15 AM
Thanks Crowley, that was a great read.

rubberdingyrapids
04-08-2015, 10:18 AM
thats an interesting read crowley but youre basically just reinforcing the usual idea that what's ruling, and dominant is best, and anything that isn't, deserves to get shitted on and mocked. not that i dont think a lot of reactionary rap doesnt deserve that, but its like, thats the standard party line really (esp these days, when the anti-gangsta NY bias - eg - ronin ro's death row book - is old and dated; its also a tad rockist, that only the stuff with attitude is lauded or worth anything). and actually pretty reactionary in itself. anyhow, midnite marauders didnt do too badly for an album apparently out of step (i would argue it wasnt as out of step as you make it sound however, and that there was still space for that kind of NY rap), it still hit the top ten album chart.

and i will defend the love movement to anyone who dares dis it!

luka
04-08-2015, 10:52 AM
Go on then, defend it. You've given yourself a big job. Midnight marauders is a better album but still a largely joyless trudge.

And let's get corpsey to defend mos def, which in theory should be an easier task

Give the lurkers some content to read

woops
04-08-2015, 11:28 AM
tl;dr what happened to fat laces in yr trainers

rubberdingyrapids
04-08-2015, 12:03 PM
ill need to listen to it again first as not heard it in years but but i think its really underrated - its basically tribe responding to slum village, but without sounding like they arent tribe anymore, they changed how they flowed, experimented with different flows when they could have just stuck with their usual patterns, and they adopted that dilla sort of syncopation but still kept the typical tribe drum sound.

i dont see how it was desperately commercial (its actually their artiest, most conceptual album, sonically) - find my way was a bit more R&B, but it wasnt like stressed out with faith evans on the BRL album. TLM was actually pretty NON commercial as an album at that time - it had a pretty unified sound, which was rare at that time in rap when albums started to have a bit of everything on them, and the sound itself was definitely not what was being played on the radio. de la were getting more boring, but tribe were actually interested in doing something new.

luka
04-08-2015, 12:34 PM
Dilla basically produced that album you know

rubberdingyrapids
04-08-2015, 01:11 PM
but they still made it sound like tribe - its all about that kick drum sound
doesnt change anything though

CrowleyHead
04-08-2015, 02:30 PM
thats an interesting read crowley but youre basically just reinforcing the usual idea that what's ruling, and dominant is best, and anything that isn't, deserves to get shitted on and mocked.

Not quite that, let me try to reframe my argument.

The same way there's a 'hardcore continuum', populist movements happen that regardless of their levels of commercial success have a certain cultural significance in music. I mean, lets consider how trap exploded; it wasn't because of Rick Ross doing BMF and having the highest sales ranking for that music at the time, it was Flocka's mixtape run leading into Flockavelli.

And lets make no mistake, Tribe was from a commercially point DOMINANT, but had become culturally more or less old hat and while I don't think Tribe deserve to get mocked, they deserve de-mystification to some regards. So does Wu-Tang, so does Nas, so does a lot of my and canonical rap icons. But you do that by placing them in their proper contexts, not by doing reactionary "BAAAAAH, 90S RAP IS TERRIBLE, LET ME LISTEN TO CHEF KEF" bullshit like a lot of say, my blogger peers did years back.

What I'm trying to do is point that no matter what the quality of the music, it was starting to seem antiquated and out of step with its environment. Rap moved away from the Pete Rock sort of 'open-skied' sound of the open 90s to the murky feel of Da Beatminerz and Rza, and even though Tribe was still Tribe (nobody suddenly decides the people you give albums that do hundreds of thousands of copies to is worthless overnight), what they were doing has lost its appeal. It was no longer FRESH, to put it in overtly hip-hop terms.

Some people recognized this, look at the Gravediggaz album. Prince Paul saw the Rza style emerge, loved it, and did a hand at it. So many of those beats are Paul, but they sound like great Rza pastiche, because he saw the progression and he went there. Same way he would later do 'trip-hop' with the psychoanalysis album because why would Prince Paul go and do say, Jiggy Rap, that's regressive on a beat soundpoint, and he's a sample flipper not a drum programmer so he wouldn't have done well with the Tunnel Banger world. Its strains developing in contrast, all within the commercial realm, all oppositional but all within the same dialog. At the same time, he met them halfway because obviously he wasn't going to do an album glamorizing gangster rap themes, so he met Rza on his rejection of the industry via metaphor of death and resurection and how Frukwan from Stetsa and Poetic were bonding with Rza over 5%'s spritual themes. Obviously the fact that the MCs were more connected with burgeoning spirituality and Rza having a bit of more value at the time than Paul eventually led to the groups sort of stagnation (at least imho), but there's an example of someone following the continuum rather than attacking it.

I had a trail of thought to explain this further, but it escapes me atm.

rubberdingyrapids
04-08-2015, 03:41 PM
ok. in that case busta (who got mocked quite a few times for 'moving with the times') is the king of rap's populist continuum. or dr dre would be the producer equivalent (though maybe not so much anymore).

its weird thinking about a hardcore continuum for rap though as rap is a whole genre, while the HCC is basically like its own UK/london strand for dance music (and even in the HCC you can have remarc as well as soft stuff like omni trio). rap has lots of continuums, all vying for the top, occasionally overlapping, conflicting, absorbing each other, etc etc.

im not denying there is a populist/street continuum in rap, and while its good that the conscious gatekeepers have been overturned, a hip hop consensus that only has time for the extreme side is a bit boring.

im not into revisionism (like say how robert johnson for many is THE blues artist, despite not actually being that popular at the time, or because of that, though it would be churlish to deny how good his music actually is) but its like, yeah, everyone knows street rap is the most popular rap, where the innovations happen, where its energies are directed; i think most people know this. its not like people are still on some crusade to prove real rap is anti pop consortium while camron is a crime against hip hop lol. i feel like this is an old strawman argument that doesnt really hold much weight anymore. even a old-school-forever site like unkut is anti-old indie rap, and pro-'real street shit'. i think i am repeating myself but the tide of history is on your side. id say the battle has been won. a song called 'niggas in paris' can be a big mainstream hit without anyone blinking. its easy to cheer for the winning side.

CrowleyHead
04-08-2015, 05:49 PM
ok. in that case busta (who got mocked quite a few times for 'moving with the times') is the king of rap's populist continuum. or dr dre would be the producer equivalent (though maybe not so much anymore).

Well Busta was a perfect example... His work with LONS initially started within the NT camp, because they were a teen rap group produced by Bomb Squad. AGAIN, same old faces. But then after LONS took that bus ride with Freestyle Fellowship and they drop "Time", they really hint at the transition. Sure, Busta was on "Scenario" but honestly, the demo for the second album is very proto-Wu Tang and v. with the trend. Busta is not a stupid man, he knows that you can't ever stay stuck.

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UWtXwVPnk4o" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

And so Busta always moved with the times, reinventing while still thinking about how to be not too extreme that he wouldn't be taken seriously, at least at first.




im not denying there is a populist/street continuum in rap, and while its good that the conscious gatekeepers have been overturned, a hip hop consensus that only has time for the extreme side is a bit boring.

id say the battle has been won. a song called 'niggas in paris' can be a big mainstream hit without anyone blinking. its easy to cheer for the winning side.

Its less a matter of cheering for the winning side and a matter of following the energy because by the time it was "Paris" it was already fucking easy. Flocka actually benefited from the fact that there was such a big rap internet that was attuned to southern rap at that time, and a critical realm for that... Imagine if that'd been there more thoroughly for Crunk, or even prior forms of southern rap. Or for Bay Area Rap prior to the hyphy generation. These are all really succesful forms but they don't get talked about with the passion of say an Outkast.

So here's a perfect illustration: Killer Mike. Killer Mike has been rapping essentially the same since he came out, although I'd argue his delivery was a little bit better when he was younger and focused on rapping with a bit more bellow. Regardless! Mike did not blow up in a popular consensus until el-P was involved with him. You could have TI, Outkast, anyone executive producing him, and he wasn't regarded as a serious critical contender save for a minority in the critical audience. Give him el-P, he becomes one of the biggest underground rappers.

Freddie Gibbs was not any less a great rapper when he was marketed to Jeezy fans. Give him Madlib beats, suddenly everything changes.

The problem here again is that why do audiences need the cosigns of these 'gatekeepers of the underground' (And I don't blame El or Madlib for that) to take these rappers seriously? Why is there a world of guaranteed 'album'/'career' artists that can exist out of step from the commercial world that consistently is rewarded and fed by a critical and specific commercial audience?

And furthermore, there's the issue where you have people like Jon Carmanaica pretending that more conscious rappers like J Cole and Kendrick are somehow more underground because they don't have radio profiles as strong as certain rappers, but they have the highest sales appearances. And meanwhile radio ignores the streets mostly and withdraws further and further into more pop territories. Hell, Katy Perry was getting played on Hot 97 at a certain point because she had Juicy J on her song and it was basically a Top 40 version of a snap rap record. The shit is hysterics.

rubberdingyrapids
05-08-2015, 08:18 AM
cole and lamar ARE more 'underground', though not cos of their radio profiles.

dont get the gibbs love, never have.

the best thing mike has has ever done is his verse on the stankonia album. snappin and trappin is monstrous. the monster album was under appreciated but its not quite a 1st tier DF album. i should dig it out actually. i imagine it would be a good comparison with the gunplay album. guys like gunplay and mike need an equivalent to dj premier for what they do, someone who can do what premier did for/saw in MOP. a lil jon even or lex luger maybe. basically they all deserve to make their flockaveli and its a tragedy that gunplay - from what you guys have said anyway - hasnt been able to have it.

luka
05-08-2015, 09:24 AM
I'm thinking maybe it's not that important when a theoretical best of gunplay is still a classic for the ages

Sad though for career and legacy reasons

mistersloane
05-08-2015, 04:14 PM
There isn't a musician in history who has given up drugs and not lost their mojo.

luka
05-08-2015, 04:17 PM
Very true... But even if they hadn't of given up would have burned out its not like you can keep that up forever

mistersloane
05-08-2015, 04:19 PM
Yeah totally. The Gunplay album that people wanted already came out, it was called his first 3 mixtapes.

luka
05-08-2015, 04:19 PM
Proper Creativity and proper drug abuse is about creating and maintaining, living inside, alternative realities. Feed into each other
(not lecturing sloane, he knows, he knows)

luka
05-08-2015, 04:21 PM
Alternative to a cardboard cutout shared reality that is not very real in the final analysis

mistersloane
05-08-2015, 04:21 PM
It's alot about narrative; if he'd been locked up for life, then that would have been amazing. Instead they did whatever weird shit (what the fuck is that story?) and now he ends up with mediocre beats and a dead career. Strange but a shame, but I think, looking at it, he had such fire it was gonna go anyway, this transition point is weird. I wish him mega well doe.

mistersloane
05-08-2015, 04:24 PM
Alternative to a cardboard cutout shared reality that is not very real in the final analysis

There was definitely a shock point with him though, pistol-whipping, potential ife sentence, suddenly accountant says "I'm not pressing charges", it's all kinda....you know?

luka
05-08-2015, 04:25 PM
Yeah absolutely. There usually is isn't there? Rick Ross has a few seizures and stops overeating

luka
05-08-2015, 04:27 PM
That's glib... But there are practicalities involved and Hard not to get scared straight when your fantasy crashes on the rocks no?

luka
05-08-2015, 04:28 PM
Like you say gunplay had the real fire. Wileys had it too. Don't see it everyday

mistersloane
05-08-2015, 04:30 PM
Yeah, I suspect - as with Wiley - that the fire was nipped in the bud by other shit, certainly Gunplay's story is too dramatic, see also Wiley's scar, also Wiley losing his fire pretty much after his scar. Good comparison, cos there aren't many who come through with it, proper.

luka
05-08-2015, 04:36 PM
So when you say eg why is gunplay album a disappointment. Same voice same content same personna it's hard to put your finger on cos it's the fire

luka
05-08-2015, 04:37 PM
And those moments are where you realise the universe doesn't love me unconditionally, will chasten me, will chastise me, guardian angel won't always be there, can't ride the wave forever etc etc

luka
05-08-2015, 04:38 PM
Perhaps leaves room for an older sadder wiser version down the road, maybe, maybe not
Maybe just ashes

luka
05-08-2015, 04:41 PM
Realise some of these rules might apply to me too what a downer

mistersloane
05-08-2015, 04:42 PM
For me, his flow is there, its the beats. Obviously a desire to be more present, in a Drake way, more of an "artist", just really bad decisions. All the reviews are behind him, saying he's obviously the most talented bloke certainly of that circuit. If the beats had been better then maybe something would have been saved better, but everyone seems to feel a loss; it's Rimbaud post-shooting, Wiley post-scar, trauma attracts fire and once it's done, it's done, apparently.

mistersloane
05-08-2015, 04:43 PM
Unless you then just write about loss and sadness (see me lol) and then it's a doozy. But to carry on trying for the fire once it's gone is folly, and often (see Gunplay) either just dead or embarrassing (LL Cool J)

Corpsey
05-08-2015, 05:32 PM
Living Legend is such a boring title for an album.

Thing about Gunplay is he was/is crazy which is obviously a big part of his talent/appeal but he's also a real technician, a real writer, and he still has that. It's just not very well directed/produced IMO.

What I'd like from him is an album that's half Lex Luger produced 'Flockaveli'/'Rubber Band Muzik' style and half brooding samples ala ''Fuck Shit In My Life'' and his 90's beat freestyles, with a bit more depth and 'consciousness' to it which he's very much capable of. Don't need any singers or a track 'for the ladies' or a track for the stoners (even though I actually quite like the stoner track on LL, its more of a Curren$y track featuring Gunplay than visa versa though).

One thing you have to give Drake (/his writers/producers) credit for is that he sticks to his own aesthetic on his albums. As boring or creepy as you might find his music, its got a very distinct sound and his albums are very cohesive.

I think this is why 'Flockaveli' was one of the last albums to have that status as a classic rap album (in the eyes of those who don't hate Flocka obv) - its so committed to that aesthetic of Lex Luger beats and Flocka yelling. Actually this is why I like Curren$y albums a lot of the time, too - he has certain producers (Monsta Beatz, Ski beatz) that create that "Curren$y sound" so he's totally at home on the beats.

I'll tell you an interesting aspect of Hip-Hop's culture wars that we haven't covered (although Crowley referred to it with the stuff about Katy Perry enlisting Juicy J, so maybe he already did) - the merging of rap music and RNB, and the fact that rapping in the traditional sense is less and less important when its becoming more important that you can sing (albeit through autotune). I mean, these major label albums with the token Chris Brown track on it, the RNB track is often some half-arsed concession to the market - but with certain rappers now, they're already halfway RNB artists in a way so it gels more smoothly.

Corpsey
05-08-2015, 05:33 PM
btw that was an interesting discussion sloane and luka were having please don't let me interrupt

rubberdingyrapids
05-08-2015, 05:35 PM
yes not to interrupt either, but it seems a bit premature to say hes lost it. i think its just about MMG trying to shoehorn someone like gunplay into the major label/mainstream rap album format. theyre approaching him like hes wale or someone, when they should just be thinking about what makes him good. i dont think he would have lost the fire already (though ok, the recent tapes might indicate otherwise), i think its the lack of faith in what makes him good, and how long its taken him. theyve put obstacle after obstacle in the way of his album. hes better off leaving MMG most probably.

luka
05-08-2015, 05:42 PM
Don't worry boys we're done

Corpsey
05-08-2015, 05:48 PM
I've said this already I guess but I feel like Gunplay would have been a lot more hyped/respected in the 90's than he is now. He's a madman out of time. You aren't going to find him singing like Rae Sremmurd or doing songs with Nicki Minaj or Kanye. He's not going to get given the plumb beats MMG are getting cos Ross eats first and Meek eats second.

CrowleyHead
05-08-2015, 06:50 PM
Gunplay isn't out of time he's out of steam that's such a fanciful thing.

This album is shit I can't express this further. The first song is a terrible rewrite of a Cam'ron song from over a decade ago with Gunplay just listing off comparatives pointlessly. The hooks are lifeless. Currensy is outrapping him with ease and quite frankly if he had more rappers with life in them (Yo Gotti is a consistent rapper who is just there, and in no way on earth can Stalley outrap anyone) it'd be apparant to your guys.

I think if you do want a catalyst for him falling apart, it's the two hit KO of the trial and also having G-Unit treat him as a speed bag at the BET Awards.

But no, he's not rapping nearly as well, its lazy, its forced, and you could say its 'the fire' but it is not the quality of three years ago. I saw the signs of this when he did one leak over some terrible trancey type pop-rap record with none other than Yo Gotti where he kept screaming "DRUG LIFE" in a Tupac impersonation, trying to start a new meme. He'd lost the plot, he was trying to do promotion for himself, not work. Great rappers sell themselves with their work, which is why Lil B was a thing when he wasn't always embracing the fans with his persona, but rather when the body of work was just an undeniable draw for such disparate people.

Ross-wise... I think he'd just plateaued once he reached the top. He was never actually a great rapper when he was in rapper mode. It was a lot of imagery and words but it never meant anything. He lived and died by "BMF" and the extremity of his delivery, but he just peaked around... I'd personally say "Holy Ghost" off the top of my head. Once that tape came and went, the next Ross album was notably lesser, because the delivery was canned, it had no desire to seize a moment, it was just trying to force lightning to strike in the same place twice.

The R&B/Rap relationship is interesting, but I want to dwell on that for a while and come in with a better review when I'm recharged. *DRAKK VOX* I'M CHARGED UP!!!!

Corpsey
06-08-2015, 02:33 PM
http://www.npr.org/sections/therecord/2015/08/05/429721703/stakes-is-high-drake-ghostwriting-accusations-matter-more-than-you-think

Kris Ex for NPR

This is the best article I've read about this beef and one of the few that doesn't tow the ''Drake using ghostwriters doesn't matter if the music's good!'' line.



Unlike other art forms, the idea of authorship is tied into hip-hop's DNA. At the birth of rapping, rappers didn't quite own the music, which was stitched and spliced together by a DJ from breaks. But they did own their lyrics, which were a form of currency. The four elements of hip-hop — MCing, DJing, dancing and graffiti — are all tied into things one can create for oneself. One doesn't have to follow a fundamentalist's or purist's line to accept that — despite the mutations of vocalization, production, movement and art in the genre — the idea of making something from nothing, of authenticity, of realness is tied into hip-hop in a way that is absent in other musical spheres. Pop stars who can't sing become career superstars and EDM DJs who don't mix records regularly make millions, but the ethos of hip-hop has always been against such bait-and-switches, even as it's grown into a billion-dollar industry...

Meek's accusations against Drake — which were later backed by reference tracks made by little-known Atlanta rapper Quentin Miller that were played on air by Hot 97 DJ Funkmaster Flex — mark the first time a generation is dealing with the question of ownership of lyrical composition in rap. A few years ago, similar allegations were made against Nas, but, with twenty years behind him as a professional rapper, Nas belongs to another era — to many of Drake's fans, he's actually dad rap. Drake, on the other hand, is of the now. His incredibly self-referential blend of emotional narcissism and confessional pornography resonates with a generation in which oversharing of mundane observations has become performance art. His ability to present middle class ennui in thug verbiage has a universal adapter quality to it. The words that have come out of his mouth are mantras, memes and retorts fit for just about any and all occasion — there's even an app for that...

In many ways, the conflict between Drake and Meek Mill is a class struggle. Unlike Drake, Meek is a ravenous MC who's been battle-tested and approved. He speaks for the downtrodden, the forgotten and is viciously socially aware, while not being above the ills of fiscal irresponsibility, crime, violence and misogyny. He once remixed Drake's "The Ride," a song about the mo' money mo problems trappings of fame, into "Faded Too Long," a musical middle finger to a personal rebuke from his district attorney. On "Lord Knows," the opening number of his most recent album, Dreams Worth More Than Money, he proudly raps, "Difference between me and most of these rappers — I'm talking about work that I really put in."

Meek is also known to feel all the feels all at the same time. He's sensitive, but not Drake-sensitive. Sensitive in the ways that growing with little to nothing and seeing systemic inequality at play raises the importance of loyalty and words as bonds. Meek once beefed with his labelmate Wale over not promoting his album, which is something he also mentioned as one of his gripes against Drake. It seems silly, but to Mill, not tweeting his album is akin to not showing up to his baby shower, and providing him a verse written by someone else is like having a third party pick out his birthday present.

What ultimately set Meek Mill off is a mystery that may never be solved. It's likely something acutely related to the dirty laundry he aired online, but it would take more than a personal slight for him to risk f****** up the money and bringng down the whole house of cards. When Funkmaster Flex promised to not only premiere Mill's response to Drake, but to also play more incriminating material on the radio, it felt like the threat of a man ready to burn everything, consequences be damned. But none of it happened as advertised. And Flex's weird silence and the station's defensive and omissive response in the aftermath reek of a corporate shutdown. Drake is, after all, worth a lot of money to a lot of people. It's not insane to imagine some of the shareholders in Drake, Inc., worrying about the health of their investment's reputation.

And the lack of interest in the truth of the story spreads to — conspiracy alert — the media and other artists, who have remained largely silent on the subject in specific, opting to talk about ghostwriting as a whole, get in on the memes while they can, or ignore the story altogether. A story involving the biggest commercial rapper of the moment that has spiraled to include the beef between rival N.Y. radio stations Hot 97 and Power 105 and involved a Toronto Councillor Norm Kelley, is being largely dictated by Drake's internet minions, the #DrizzyHive. To date there's been no published investigative journalism into the origin, presence or authenticity of the purported reference tracks by any outlets of note...

For many, this moment is an education in the mechanics of the music business and the politics of industry. The old values just do not matter, nor do inquiry or veracity in the coverage of music. It's no secret that the music industry has been watching its sphere of influence and revenue streams shrink and dry up since the early 2000s. It's also widely known that corporate interests have been underwriting music ventures to a never-before-seen degree — rap is not immune from the corporatocracy that has infected sports and television and film. In this climate, Drake is the most logical and bankable heir to the hip-hop throne, too valuable to lose. The former occupants of the top spot — Jay Z, Kanye West, Lil Wayne — are too preoccupied with ventures outside of the music industry to assert any sort of continued dominance. The other hopefuls — Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole — appear utterly disinterested in playing the game the way it needs to be played in order to become King. Drake was not officially crowned during his performance, but that's just a formality. The excitement around his show, and the breathless coverage that followed, was a propaganda coup worthy of Edward Bernays. With the notion of authorship dispatched as silly and inconsequential, the way has been paved for even greater corporate influence over hip-hop.

The question of authorship in hip-hop is not about some return to Eden — mainly because rap's first commercial single, "Rapper's Delight" contained Big Bank Hank reciting Grandmaster Caz's rhymes. Yet there is the notion of growth and evolution — as the core of hip-hop expands and moves closer to the center of mainstream ideas, it's natural that many of its original ideals, even previously fundamental ones, will be jettisoned. This conversation regarding authorship is one that spreads beyond the players at hand, or primal notions of competition. There's a strong degree of cognitive dissonance at play here for many of Drake's fans — many are calling it a non-issue, which would only make sense if they were't busy quoting Drake's songs as proof of his lyrical superiority, his worth, the very reason why he is being so staunchly and emotionally defended and protected. But in doing so, they're making it easier for their allegiance to be transferred to and controlled by moneyed interests than ever before. There's an enormous amount of energy being spent on a conversation by the vast majority of industry players — mainly because it's entertaining and full of juicy gossip behind the scenes. But many of these same players will simultaneously say that the inciting accusations aren't worthy of discussion. It's a troubling and disconcerting state of affairs — where self interests and an eroding market share birth a lack of adherence to foundational principles.

There are two conversations that should be kept going. The conversation of authorship needs to continue because it is not only about authorship, but about truth telling — it's a conversation about what hip-hop is and what rap means, and having it centered about the genre's biggest star is a way to ignite and involve all sectors of game. And, more importantly, the acute conversation about these reference tracks — their existence, their journey to the public — remains important because the ways we talk about the small things determine how we'll talk about the big things. If the discussion around the veracity of evidence isn't followed here, the logical muscles that are needed to tackle the huge, meaningful issues of the day are not being worked. And the conversation around Drake's worthiness as King should not be silenced by voices screaming "Long live the King." A national election cycle is underway. Paying attention is necessary. Following the money is vital. Drake uses ghostwriters. And more people of note need to say that the emperor has no pants, while you can still speak your mind without being called an enemy of the state.

CrowleyHead
06-08-2015, 05:17 PM
^ Yes.

luka
13-08-2015, 02:48 PM
J zone, hopsin, vic Spencer etc all getting involved with this thread on twitter yesterday #trendsetters

CrowleyHead
13-08-2015, 03:23 PM
J zone, hopsin, vic Spencer etc all getting involved with this thread on twitter yesterday #trendsetters

Is this code for The Martorialist, Noz and David Drake communicating?

rubberdingyrapids
13-08-2015, 05:00 PM
do british rap fans' opinions count for anything?
even on this board it seems like americans (poisonous dart, crowley) are deferred to (maybe like how londoners would be for grime etc)

CrowleyHead
13-08-2015, 05:40 PM
do british rap fans' opinions count for anything?
even on this board it seems like americans (poisonous dart, crowley) are deferred to (maybe like how londoners would be for grime etc)

I mean, I consider Martorialist a really good authority *shrug*

craner
19-08-2015, 10:23 PM
I was the very first person on this forum to recognise the brilliance of CrowleyHead and if I was a magazine editor I would give him a regualr column.

My first commission would be a 2000 word essay on the 1995 Source Awards and its pivotal relevance to hip hop culture.

My second commission would be a 1000 word essay on the history and making of Killah Priest's Heavy Mental.

I have many more ideas for him.

I reckon, on rap, Crowley is ten times better than Nelson George and twenty times better than Neil Kulkarni, whatever all that means.

I think he's fabulous.

CrowleyHead
19-08-2015, 10:29 PM
Craner, you'll be credited alongside my parents for always believing in me when I write the Memphis Rap coffee table book.

craner
19-08-2015, 10:51 PM
It'll be the first credit I get, but I always knew you were GOLD.

You can quote me.