I’m at a point in my life where I pay attention more than I used to. I’m very careful on what I intake. Music is not excluded.
I grew up on N.W.A. It was the first piece of hip hop music that I gravitated towards. When I went to my granny house everyday. I would ask my aunt’s to play Eazy-E. I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. I was just in awe of his image and voice.
I’ve been a hip hop fan all my life and I will be one forever but today I’ve noticed that I don’t listen to rap very much at all and honestly I’m more at peace than I’ve ever been.
I’m not dissing hip hop music I’m forever a fan but I noticed this when I looked at my recently played on my iTunes and rap music was almost non existent. Outside of my homies and St.Louis artists I’m not listening to rap very much anymore.
This is why I don’t listen to rap much anymore.
When I listen to hip hop today whether I think it’s bad or good is almost irrelevant to me. Now that I’m older I’m really focused on how everything makes me feel. I either feel really mad when I listen to rap or I feel really depressed. There’s some hip hop artists that make music that make me feel great but the artists that make shit that makes me depressed or mad outweighs them.
Trap music is the most popular sound in hip hop right now but when I do listen to it all I hear is genocide in the content and I’m sad unless I’m hearing it at a kickback getting twerked on against the wall then I’m not even paying attention to the music and it’s tolerable.
I don’t feel like wanting to punch people when I hear music anymore. In high school. Yes. As an old man? No.
I really understand why I like Dom Kennedy and Spitta’s music so much. It’s very relaxing and brings out good emotions. I hear Dom’s music and think “Yeah, I really do need to hit the car wash today” or “A taco and a cold drink really does sound tight today.”
On the flip side though, rap can bring the worse out of people. I can’t tell you how many rap shows I’ve been to and a nigga got his ass beat or worse. I rather go see Erykah Badu or KING than a lot of rappers.
NOT MUCH RESPONSIBILITY
In hip hop today the artist rarely hold themselves responsible for what they say. It’s one thing to say all this reckless shit and then say it’s not real it’s entertainment but they’re not doing that. They’re insisting that it’s real and it’s a life they’re living and younger impressionable people are mimicking the lifestyle the rappers are rapping about and doing dumb shit. Only time you hear a rapper say their content is "just entertainment" is when they’re looking at a decade jail sentence in front of a judge and jury.
Like when people see movies they know the movie is not real. They know everyone in it is acting. We see the actors outside of the film being themselves. Like I don’t think Al Pacino is Tony Montana in real life. Why because he lets you know it’s fake and he’s an actor. Rappers don’t do that. They constantly reiterate that what they rap about is real and they’ve done it or will still do it.
Not all artists are like this. Vince Staples is an artist that raps about important issues and then in his interviews he continuously lets people know that the gangsta lifestyle is dumb and advises the youth to stay away from it.
Not many rappers are speaking about the consequences of living a reckless lifestyle. The only consequences you hear in the majority of their songs is what happens if you try to run up on them or if you disrespect them. This happens in other genres too but of course rap is notorious for this shit.
LACK OF REPLAY VALUE
The lack of replay value with rap projects today is very real. R&B albums I play for months. Pop albums I play for months. Jazz albums I play for months. Electronic albums I play for months. Rap albums are lucky if they last 3 days with me today. A week tops.
THERE’S NO EMOTION
I think this is the most emotionless rap music has ever been ever. There is hardly any emotion in rap music today.
For example “All Apologies” by Nirvana is a sad song about expectations and Kurt Cobain apologizing for being himself. It feels like a suicide note. I wish I could hug Kurt Cobain every time I hear that song because it’s that fucking emotional. I rarely get that in rap today.
Public Enemy had emotion. I feel something when I listen to “It Takes A Nation Of Millions.” The only thing that keeps me awake when listening to rap today is the 808 on the production.
When I'm riding back home at night on the freeway in the summer I just wanna hear some shit with emotion. I’ll play some Marvin Gaye or some Jodeci. I’m not trying to hear rap songs about prescription drugs with no emotion involved. Rap music used to make me feel something in my soul but now niggas are too cool for emotion in rap today.
THE PRODUCTION OUTSHINES THE ARTIST
Okay. I’m trying to figure out how to explain this.
The production will always be the most important part of creating music. The artist will either match the productions greatness or the production will carry the artist. It’s rare that the artist will make you forget about the production. That’s Michael Jackson, Prince, New Edition, level type shit.
With rap today the production is carrying almost all of these new artists. For example. Metro Boomin (STL Stand Up!) is the best producer in the game right now. Metro could drop a beat album meaning just production with no vocals and I will play the fuck out of it.
Metro Boomin can make a beat and grab anybody off the street to rap on it and it will go gold or platinum. I truly believe that shit and that’s how sad the game is right now to me. "Mask Off” is such a good beat that anybody could’ve rapped on that shit and it would’ve did numbers.
The production is carrying the genre and it never used to be like that. I used to care about the lyrics but now more of these artists not talking about shit and if I do listen than more a minute of a song it’s because the production is doing the heavy lifting.
I was listening to Sampha’s album for the second time last week. The first time I didn’t like it. I was listening to it on headphones and I wasn’t feeling it. The second time something told me to just let it play through my speakers and that album fucking spoke to me. I didn’t even notice the production. Sampha’s performance on the album was that great. The production didn’t carry him or outshine him. He matched it’s greatness.
When I was drinking I was listening to rap non stop but ever since New Years Eve I haven’t touched alcohol nor cared for rap.
When I was drunk I’d want to hear the most ratchet shit you have to offer. Now it seems that without alcohol a lot of rap music has become pointless to me. I just stopped smoking and ingesting weed too. It’s been a month since I’ve smoked and being sober everyday makes me hear rap totally different.
Now I'm not that nigga who will have an awful time while everyone else is turning up. I'm not a hating ass nigga. I'll just post with some water and talk to everyone.
One of my favorite things to do was to smoke and listen to Amy Winehouse. It was one of my favorite soothing activities. It was better than sex to me. I rarely listened to her sober. I hear her sober and it’s like I’m hearing her for the first time again. Her voice I can’t even explain.
Listening to a lot of rap sober is just boring and confusing. I literally have to be high or drunk as fuck to enjoy it.
I don’t wanna fucking hear Kendrick Lamar rap against Big Sean or Drake. I don’t fucking care. I just want to hear some great music. If niggas wanna battle call up Smack and go do it on URL. Competition in rap is not only dumb but you make less money from it. The shit was cool when it was KRS-One vs M.C Shan or Hov vs Nas but now it’s just flat-out corny to me. The culture will get more money working together than it will writing diss records against each other.
Could you imagine SZA writing songs about Solange? Only rap does this competition shit and it’s pointless today.
I’m not one of those “Hip-Hop Is Dead” kinda niggas. All I’m saying is that my preferences have changed as time has progressed. I will always love rap but my hardcore hip hop fandom days are over with.
I’m just old as fuck I guess.