Memos&Musings: To Be Hip or Not to Be

So, here’s one of the rumors I find to be the most entertaining: hip hop is dead. I’m tickled every time because apparently some idiot equates BET or MTV with hip hop. I hear ignorance is bliss, so if someone thinks Plies is hip hop, then yes, hip hop is very dead. But coming from someone who knows quite a bit about the culture, its roots, and what the hell real hip hop really is, hip hop is not dead, nor will it ever be. There are way too many unsigned and underground emcees that are doing the culture much justice.

There are even bigger names such as The Roots who have consistently proven to be one of the best to ever do it; they have stood their ground and are seemingly satisfied with their dedicated crowd of supporters. Although they don’t have any spots on the top-10 countdowns, they don’t seem to be selling out for the masses’ approval. This, my friend, is hip hop. That’s really what it sounds like. Even though the majority of people consider anything that’s rap to be hip hop, there are true lovers of the culture who know the difference between rap and hip hop. Rest assured that our retarded child Soulja Boy is a rapper, but is in no way hip hop. It’s like saying Fall Out Boy is real rock music. We all love ’em, but hey, let’s just be honest with ourselves.

Hip hop is real and when you hear it, you’ll know it. As much as I respect what the DJ/producer has contributed to the music, good hip hop will give you the chills just from hearing a potent freestyle. That’s really what it feels like. There’s no need for mainstream approval; in fact, I like how sincere emcees are when they are at the bottom and really have something to prove. This is the essence of it—rappers speaking from a real place. Nothing like what pop culture feeds the people. But this is pop culture as we know it, diluting everything and anything to make a profit.

Anyhow, I refuse to let these hip-pop fronters taint my love for real music. I won’t let these wannabe romantics, dance-song-making, hook-singing, I’m-bored-so-let’s- screw-up-rock-music-now, half-assed rappers distort my image of hip hop. I’m not losing it to the industry. R&B is already in such a broken state, with the spread of throat cancer… wait, what?! … that’s Auto-Tune? …and I just thought they were all in their final days, but abusing Auto-Tune is way worse.

That’s my rhythm and I’m rockin’ to it.

Tags: , ,