This weekend the City of Indio in California was home to the landmark Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. So many big name rappers like DJ Khaled, Migos, Cardi B, Gucci Mane, A$AP Mob, and more have performed at Coachella. Festivals are about big names drawing big crowds to bring in big revenue. This year the festival’s first weekend was cemented in history with one of the biggest and best performances we’ll see in our lifetime by none other than Mrs. Beyoncé G. Knowles-Carter. I know, I know we only talk Hip Hop/Rap here but the performance transcends all genres but let me tell you all something; rap can’t do that. No Rapper you know can command the attention, perform as effortlessly, and remain professional from beginning to end. No rapper, no emcee, and no lyricist you know can pull off what Mrs. Carter did. Not her husband, not Migos, not Future, and not DJ Khaled. Rap does not appeal to everyone around the world the same way that R&B does. I didn’t use the term “pop music” because any artist can become popular or have a popular song from any genre of music.
The only artists I know that could command the same attention are deceased respectfully. Only after their deaths could 2Pac and Notorious B.I.G. reach (Michael) Jackson levels. Even then would their stage show be as elaborate or clean? Would the performance go on without incident before, during, or after? No. Other artists following the Beyprint include Nicki Minaj and Rihanna but let’s be honest they don’t have the talent that is required to eclipse or even match what Bey and MJ do/did. Rappers today walk the fine line of having their own style, writing their own rhymes, or being original altogether. A lot of images in Rap music today are pure smoke and mirrors compared to previous decades where originality was the requirement. Most rappers follow trends rather than setting them. One thing that seems to be ignored in Rap music today is musicianship, which is key! Then on top of all of that you have to be a relentless and keen businessperson.
There is no way this performance could not go on without a hitch if the business was not in order. Every “t” was crossed and every “i” was doted all the way down to the fringe on Beyoncé’s boots. Rappers, some of them, come from “the streets” where respect is very important but can be taken away for any reason by anyone at any time. If one of Nicki’s drummers got mad at Nicki for giving them direction the pettiness could put the entire performance at risk. Rappers keep petty, sad, and miserable people around them whether they know it or not and that has backfired so many times I can’t even count. There’s always someone in a Rapper’s circle trying to put themselves on instead of just supporting their man’s or woman’s in their success and reaping their own success in turn. The people that Beyoncé has on her team were probably with her “shooting in the gym” but if they weren’t I’m sure they were street ballin on the neighborhood courts. One day there will be a rapper that can maneuver through the industry the same way Mrs. Carter does and who knows maybe that rapper has already emerged or maybe they’re still in the early stages of their career. Honestly, he or she may not even be born yet but right now with the way the genre is going; Rap can’t do that…maybe Hip Hop can.
“You never thought that hip-hop would take it this far.” – Notorious B.I.G. (Juicy)