Skinny jeans, mohawks, nose rings, and bad attitudes. No, I’m not referring to grunge rock of the 1990’s. I’m actually talking about hip-hop in 2010. If you are still using terms like “gangsta rap”, it is time for you to go back into the time capsule with your jeri curl and platform shoes. Of course you still have a select few Southern rappers who remind you that they are skilled in the culinary arts with a speciality in cooking with baking soda. You even have a few rappers who talk so much about toting iron you would think they did bench presses all day. Nevertheless, I think the prominence of “gangsta rap” is long gone and has been replaced by Hipster/Rock Rap. Hip-hop today has a greater global reach than ever before. Kids from Tokyo to L.A. know how to “crank that soulja boy” and I even bet there are some kids in Moscow who know how to do the “stanky leg”. Yes, hip-hop is big and expanding. However, I believe that as hip-hop is expanding and evolving it is losing the core essence of what it is. Don’t get me wrong I have a very eclectic taste in music. At least my ears aren’t prejudice.
However, I find it quite odd that so many rappers are calling themselves rock stars and using terms like “White boy wasted”. Atlanta based group Travis Porter has a song entitled “Black Boy White Boy” where they discuss their affinity for clothing that they believe is usually worn by White people. Frankly, I think too many rap artists are losing their true essence by trying to appeal to a “wider” audience. While I expect artists to evolve over time I think some things are ridiculous i.e. Lil Wayne. I usually try to keep my online lingo confined to cyberspace, but after seeing the new Lil’ Wayne music video “Da Da Da” off of his album entitled Rebirth I couldn’t help but loudly blurt out WTF!!!!! I was smh so much throughout this video that all I could do was lol. If Wayne has been reborn again, he must not have gotten enough oxygen in hip-hop’s womb, because he’s got to be a fool to just say a bunch a incoherent lines while trying to sing and using backup guitars to make it appear to be real rock and roll.
As said before, I love all types of music. I’m not foolish enough to think that only certain races can do certain genres. But if every rapper wants to be a rock star, then who is going to be the rapper? I love rap music for it’s ability to use spoken word in concert with acoustics to convey raw emotion. In some cases I think rap goes well together with rock i.e. “Walk This Way” and Jay-Z’s they Grey Album. I actually think the alternative forms are cool too. But let’s face it Kurt Cobain is dead and gone. There is no need to wake the dead!