3 Nov 2010

Hiphop vs the world

Hiphop gets a bad rap.

Every time someone who doesn't understand its merits criticises it, I feel like pulling out a glock.

OK, just kidding.

Rap seems to get a lot of criticism for a variety of reasons. Some criticise its 'gun culture', 'materialist focus' and 'objectification of women'. Others say that there is no skill or talent required, often because they don't understand the appeal of hiphop.

"That's not singing".

"Why's he so angry?"

Most of these criticisms seem to come from politically imbalanced/media influenced, people over 30 and/or people who like music where someone plays a guitar.

What the first group seem to miss is that very rarely do people become subjects to what media students will know as the 'hypodermic syringe' theory. This dictates that if 50 Cent tells you to shoot prostitutes, you'll get on the next bus to the gun store. Obviously this isn't the case, but they maintain their position by citing cases where a single disturbed individual shot some people and claimed his influence was 50 Cent/Eminem/Pulp Fiction/Grand Theft Auto.

The second group, people over 30, I will forgive. They grew up with an emerging genre that was influenced by 70's disco, a poor base for a new breed of artist. A lack of understanding is mainly to blame.

Vanilla Ice didn't do rap any favours either.

The last group is my real opponent. People who insist on listening to the BBC Live Lounge and buy the Japanese EP for the extra bonus track. These are the people who say that there is no skill or talent required to be a rapper.

The reason I listen to hiphop is for a reason that transcends execution.

Like all good music, good hiphop isn't just about the execution. The real appeal is the energy behind the music, which is a combination of tune, lyrics and delivery. The best thing about hiphop is that by its very nature, hiphop is performed by people striving for achieve something better than what's expected from them. They come from ghettos, housing estates and tower blocks, but they don't want to stay there. They have the drive and ambition to get out, to make something of themselves. As a creative at the bottom of the pack, it's something that's very relatable and inspiring.

I don't listen to it because I want to be a gangsta. I listen to it because I don't.

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