There was a time in this country where all you heard on the radio was Gangsta Rap. Thank the Lord that’s over. I can appreciate Gangsta Rap as much as the next guy, but it was just a little depressing after a while. After Biggie and Tupac died it was obvious that people actually started taking rap music way too seriously. I always like to tell the younger generation this story about the reason Pac and Biggie got popped.
Growing up, I loved wrestling. As boys in the neighborhood we used to go outside and play on this grass hill under this tree. We would reenact every wrestling match we ever saw. My favorite wrestler is and will always be Shawn Michaels, HBK, the Heartbreak Kid. You wouldn’t believe how many of my boys I kicked in the face. Well, one time, my boy E did the figure four leglock on my boy and broke his leg. As we explained this to our parents, they looked at us and said, “Wrestling is fake! What the hell is wrong with you?!” That’s basically what happened to Biggie and Tupac, they were just trying to sell records and someone took the thing way too seriously.
So to say that I was happy to see Gangsta Rap go, is probably an understatement. After Gangsta Rap went away there was a period in hip hop which I like to call, “Now-a-Later” raps. It was basically started by Jay-Z, he would later accuse other rappers of doing the same thing, but we are all aware that it says in, The Holy Bible of All Things Hip Hop, “Thou shall not speak against Jay-Z under any circumstances, the punishment is death.” I am about the business of keeping God’s commandments as it comes to Hip Hop. But this was an area where rappers spent most of their time rapping about something now and hoping they get it later. I always wondered why these rappers weren’t making more money, they were free marketing campaigns for designer fashion, technology and automobiles. They should have used that to make some bread. Anyway that lasted for a while, there were a few other eras in Hip Hop; sampling got way out of hand, Jay-Z did an unplugged and then everyone wanted a live sound, the South got the ball and is still heisting, and we mostly definitely cannot forget about get shot or go to jail rappers.
But right now in the game we have two types of rap: Plastic Surgery Rap & Emo Rap. Plastic Surgery Rap really isn’t much to talk about. Take a moment and read the story about wrestling in my youth again. Yes, Plastic Surgery Rap is fake as hell, but you can’t stop looking at it. I’m not talking about whether Onicka Tanya Maraj’s ass shots finally wore off either. I’m talking about rappers like (well let me not mess up my own promotion)… put it to you like this my boy summed it up best with this quote: “Fake t*tties are like Ross raps, fake as hell but I feel em.” Or like, the big homie NC17 said, “In rap music everything you say is supposed to be backed by court verified documents. Street cred is overrated, I know some real goons— they’re in jail. I know some real thugs—they can’t rap on beat. I love Rick Ross because he knows how to weave a tale so grand that if you allow yourself to believe one word of it you’d be like “Damn, he’s an extraordinary human being.”” That’s Plastic Surgery rap, it’s fake, but it’s entertaining, so I love it.
Now this Emo Rap thing has just gotten way out of control. Sometimes I’m listening to a new track on the radio and I’m just like, “Do some pushups, dawg.” I thought women were supposed to be the ones who were constantly saying, “What about my feelings?” Nope, it’s a line long as hell of rappers in the game right now who are emo. I told myself before I started writing this article that the best way to write it would be to classify this as a type of rap instead of holding these feelings towards these artists as rappers. I think they’re all very talented, but they’re not realizing how their music has a reaction on men… and consequently the trickledown effect on women.
I’ll start off by saying, I have listened to all Drake’s music. I know all the words to Marvin’s Room and Brand New. First time I heard Brand New I almost cried… so I just did some pushups and went to the club. Drake takes the game a little too far though, actually it’s not Drake it’s the people who listen to Drake. Back in the day, you could get teased for a whole semester for being Captain Save-a-Ho, now everybody wants to Take Care of someone. Back in the day, women used to call up their ex-boyfriend on New Year’s Eve talking about how they wasn’t going to take the baggage of the way he treated her into the New Year. Oh my Lord, I pray for some women reading this article right now, I’m sure you will get a few phone calls from that dude you just wanted to be friends with on December 31st.
Everybody has a friend that smokes a little too much weed and gets in their feelings. You usually take their phone away from them, but with Joey you have to take every electronic appliance you can find away from him. This guy’s tweets are horrible. I got nothing against Joey, that’s one of my best friend’s cousin. I just don’t think that he realizes that he’s causing people to feel well within their rights to rant on Twitter for an hour or two anytime a chick does them wrong, or when they THINK they have beef with a dude. I seen two dudes beefing on Twitter one time and I was like, “Do you hit your keys really hard and fast to show him that you’re not to be tweeted with?”
Lil’ Wayne is the best rapper alive right now. Don’t even try and start an argument with me over this, because you know I’ll argue about it all day and night. Anyway, Lil’ Wayne is like every kid under the age of 18’s role model. How to Love and How to Hate were both emo as all hell. I was expecting him to drop How to F.. well let me stop, because Wayne seems like he does okay for himself. He got Lauren London pregnant. Most of the dudes I know that are not with their baby mama anymore always start a sentence with, “but in high school she was bad.” Lauren London is bad and for that Wayne I commend you. But you have to cut this jeggings business all the way out. I seen a kid on the train the other day, he had on some Ray Bans, Vans, a plastic leather coat, a fitted with dreds, green tiger print jeggings, and a nose ring. I thought to myself, “I bet you he got a tattoo that say, Young Money, too.”
I would have put Chris Brown here, but you know what, if someone kept bringing up something from three years ago to me all the time I would probably go HAM too. However, Kanye West is the Minister of Music when it comes to being emo. First and foremost, nobody told him to put his heart and soul … and personal life into his music. He clearly never saw the movie Showgirls because then he would know that strippers got hopes and dreams too. But Kanye has to stop with all this crying at Watch The Throne concerts man. I miss my Uncle Charles too dawg, but I will not be crying on stage. Now you got dudes on the block and J. Cole not afraid to say they cry sometimes. It’s depressing, b.
J. Cole is a very talented rapper. His mixtapes were on-point. I think his lyrics can be powerful, but when you single them out (as people have a tendency to do with Lil’ Wayne) you can find a few corny ones in just about every 16 he’s ever produced. That’s why you have to look at the full body of work. He has a good angle, pause, he talks about abortion, his mother, going to jail, begging Jay-Z to listen to his demo and trying to get intellectual with jumpoffs. Here’s my only issue with Cole: he connects with his fans because he comes across as a real dude who came from nothing and somehow he made his situation better, but then he has a track where he talks about how great his life is now and I’m left feeling like, “But dawg, I’m still on the bus.” Yep, J. Cole will have you hype one minute, then depressed thinking about how rough things are in your life, and then he’s talking about hopping out of vans and not knowing chicks names and you like, “Man if I could just remember this one chick’s name maybe she’ll let me take her to Applebee’s.”
These are my thoughts on emo rap. I’m interested to hear yours. Again, I don’t have anything against these guys as people, I just don’t know if they realize the implications of their music in society. What do you guys (and girls) think about emo rap? Who are some of your favorite artists in the game right now and why? Let’s chat it up about Hip Hop today, make me proud.
– Dr. J
Tracklist for Today’s Mix, Emo Rappers by @carverthegreat: 1. UGK by Drake, 2. BM Jr. by Lil Wayne, 3. Quality Of Life by Joe Budden, 4. World Is Empty by J. Cole, 5. Can’t Get Enough by J. Cole, 6. Round Of Applause by Drake, 7. Tony Montana by Drake, 8. Marvin Gaye by Kanye West, 9. Amazing by Kanye West, 10. Can’t Tell Me Nothing by Kanye West, 11. Lord Knows by Drake & Rick Ross, 12. Devil In A New Dress by Kanye West & Rick Ross — Check out Carver The Great at his personal website, where you can also find booking information and more music!