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Thread: Revenge of the Nerds: Backpack Rap Appreciation Thread

  1. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by rubberdingyrapids View Post
    i dunno where else to post this. but i saw the stretch n bobbito documentary yesterday. reminded me how a lot of 90s rap lyrics were quite bad actually. or not 'bad', just very much of their time. but at the end, stretch says he couldnt do the show with bobbito anymore cos he just didnt have the passion. it had left him. he got too old for this shit. i respect him for being honest about it (though he could probably be honest about it as while not rich, i dont think he had nothing to fall back on). docu didnt focus enough on backpack vs commercial rap though, which also played a part in driving them them apart.
    thanks for the reminder to watch that documentary, which I have just done. What did you think of it? I was amazed that they hadn't hired someone to make a proper documentary, rather than do it themselves as a kind of love-in. I think their show was amazing, and the doc had fascinating moments, but there was very little narrative to the film at all.

    I may have misunderstood, but wasn't there an argument between S&B in terms of lyrical content as well? S confessed he was only concerned about the beats, so ended up playing a lot of stuff that B didn't like the lyrical content of, cos he viewed the show as having had more conscious beginnings in 1990-1. I admit that this didn't make total sense to me, but I thought that's what was said, along with the things you mentioned above.

    It was interesting to me as well, just how little outlet there was for (hardcore) hip hop on the radio at that time in New York ( I knew there wasn't much, but didn't realise it was quite so stark as S&B or nothing). Maybe it there had been more outlets, then the music could have mutated in a different way, and become something else, in the same way that the large number of pirates in London must have driven and hastened the rapid turnover of styles in the 1990s/2000s. Is it possible Stretch got bored because the music, while frequently brilliant, seemed to be locked into a template that wasn't shifting too much?

    Also, it put S&B in a position of almost unfeasible power, as gatekeepers - I think the doc underplayed the implications of that massively
    Last edited by baboon2004; 15-09-2016 at 12:47 PM.

  2. #107
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    yeah its not a great documentary. the fact they are the ones interviewing everyone makes it a bit like their show, and thats not really what you want for a film like this.

    youre right, they did touch on the schisms (stretch starting a label that put out more thugged out stuff, and bobbitos label specialising in more 'undie' stuff) that rose up in the late 90s, and how in a sense, it helped drive them apart, but it seemed like a moment to actually shed a bit more light on their relationship, and their breakup, one they didnt really investigate. someone else holding the reigns could have done a better job.

    it didnt really give you the context of what else was happening in rap radio at the time, or in the city even, only occasionally touching on clubs being dangerous, etc. there were other rap shows at the time, and mixtapes, so the doc somehow underplays what they did differently, and overplays it at the same time as it ignores other guys on radio playing hip hop both before and at the same time as S&B. also, for such an 'underground' show, even allowing for the fact that nas, jay-z and everyone else werent really popstars at the time they were on the show, i think they should have featured more underground artists too, the people who popped up, killed it, but never made it that big.

    it made me think of what a film about, say NWA would be like, if ice cube and dre were interviewing everyone else, involved with the group. most of the interviews were like what youd get on a typical rap show. you dont really get that deep into it.
    Last edited by rubberdingyrapids; 15-09-2016 at 01:55 PM.

  3. #108
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    Big L was fucking rubbish; death and lack of ambition by running with also rans is what's made him seem like an influential artist. People want to claim he could've been just as big as Jay-Z if he'd been given the platform: pure bullshit. He was an average punchline artist, truly Papoose's father in every way shape and form. Mind you I LOVE punchline rappers, punchline bars are everything, everyone loves jokes, but those aren't lyrics, nor are they songs and at the end of the day, every 'concept' song Big L had devolved into a series of similes that loosely connect to an overarching category.

    I have more thoughts on a lot of this but I have to table it for now.

  4. #109
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    big l reminds me of what chris rock said about rap lyrics -

    The Stones can play arenas because the Stones have songs that are not purely based on references that you had to be there for. I love Public Enemy. But they don't have "You Can't Always Get What You Want." Kanye will be able to play arenas maybe more than Jay Z honestly, because there's a vulnerability and an emotional thing that happens in his music that doesn't happen in most rap. I love rap, but rap is like comedy: It rots. Comedy rots. Trading Places is a perfect movie, just unbelievably good. But there are other comedies, not nearly as old as Trading Places, that just have references and things in them that aren't funny five years later. And rap's got a lot of that.
    they talk about that old jay-z/big l freestyle in the documentary, and how some see it as a tragedy that l could have, or even should have been as big as jay z but even at that point, its obvious how limited big l is/was. its no accident he was in DITC, and supported by guys like finesse, and diamond d.

    i now think fat joe is the best rapper in DITC.
    Last edited by rubberdingyrapids; 15-09-2016 at 02:53 PM.

  5. #110

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    I would like to request more gossip on Big L and DITC please, Crowley. I could read your rambles all day, every day.

  6. #111
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    Big l didn'tcome up with also rans he was in a crew with killa cam and murdah mase lol u all know that im not even a fan but he could have been better than jay not that thays saying much

  7. #112
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    All that stuff cam has been saying about the murder is a bit mntal too I like that verse knots in my sox cops think im selling rox

  8. #113
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    Pulling me over to see if im drunk
    But im sober
    They wouldn't fuck with me if I drove a nova

  9. #114
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  10. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    Big l didn'tcome up with also rans he was in a crew with killa cam and murdah mase lol u all know that im not even a fan but he could have been better than jay not that thays saying much
    And those guys left him behind and he ended up with Showbiz & AG, Lord Finesse, Party Arty (*eyeroll*) and O.C. Also rans, has beens, etc.

    Those guys made good records in their day that were coveted to a kind of rap fan who thought they were admirable for not 'selling out' when in reality the majority of them devolved into gangster/playa shit after the first LP, I think the second or third Show & AG album is even called Goodfellas. Fair play because Showbiz is a goon as much as he's a producer of good merit but an inability to go further than selling 80K is not 'keeping it real' its limited appeal. They were a bunch of anyones who were utterly run of the mil in the early 90s, and then when time went on they got increasingly old hat. Same is true of a lot of those acts that became backpack icons.

    Mind you I love Lord Finesse as a producer and as a rapper but by the time of the big DITC push he's an absolute hack.

    Its actually more difficult than it seems to be Jay-Z though. I was reminiscing with a friend about every time Nas tried to be like Jay and embrace talking to girls on records; he always adopted a gruff, unfriendly persona that was trying too hard to be assertive. Listening to the one song he had with Kelis, "Popular Thug".... I mean it says it all. Meanwhile, whenever Jay was conscious of that audience, he was playful, made a fool of himself, was entertaining and still cocky but wasn't trying nearly as hard. On paper this makes perfect sense, but think just how many rappers stumble and flail on that line even now (Drakk always sounds cozy for girls, to the point of seeming patronizingly simplistic terms, but consider Kendrick scrambling around on records alongside Drakk bellowing "I KNOW YOU WANT THIS DEEEEEK!" That appeals to who nerd!? Now nobody's going to remember all the poetic shit you were saying on the other songs!)

    Backpack works because its a forgiveness of failure as an aesthetic, recognizing the value of what can't do as well as others (heralding Masta Ace as slept on when in reality he'd never be as good a performer as Kane and he's perfectly rated) only to always inevitably flip the monochromatic into a strength.

  11. #116
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    I dunno its generational I think he was witty enough he could of adaped if he wanted he had funny lines

  12. #117
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    Voice was weak but no weaker than jays

  13. #118
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    Also tbh they weren't even also rans in early 90s but snoop then big turned everythingupside down

  14. #119
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    Expectations changed platinum was the new level before it was having two funny lines per verse

  15. #120
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    i didnt say ditc were shit, more that a guy like finesse was not really known for his great songwriting (finesse was a big big l supporter and its prob cos he reminded him of himself a bit, just more vicious). ditto diamond d. but all those guys had some good singles, or good lines, beats, etc.

    youre getting a little hyperbolic with your broad strokes.

    like luka says, in the mid 90s, they werent also rans, maybe not that popular with the average person (eg i remember working at jd sports around that time and playing lol lord finesse to someone but most of the ppl i worked with were more into busta, biggie, etc, the bigger stuff), but it wasnt like the gulf you have today between say, drake, and someone like madlib. if you want to dis them because they fell off, then fine, though rap is not really known for artists having staying power (i used to be quite into masta ace up until sittin on chrome, but after that, he lost me). and it looks a bit like youre punching down. the way youre approaching it, people would never look for obscure stuff, they would just think nope, '_____ wasnt the 'BEST' of their time, why bother!'
    Last edited by rubberdingyrapids; 16-09-2016 at 11:33 AM.

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