If you’re reading this I’m in Jamaica. I’m sure I am having a great time in the country that birthed the man who gave us Hip Hop music. Those park jams and basement parties came from the same type of parties in Jamaica. Visiting the country that birthed the soul of our culture makes me think of what it means to be Rapper let alone an Emcee in 2016. There are a lot of Rappers who don’t know their Hip Hop history and everyone is giving them the benefit of the doubt because they’re kids. Hello! Last time I checked most of them are old enough to vote. If they’re old enough to do drugs than they’re old enough to know they’re Hip Hop history. Someone needs to take some of these young Rappers to the side and just suggest a classic album like Stakes is High by De La Soul or The Message by The Furious Five.
I am about to put some rules and regulations on wax for those who may be confused as to what skills a Rapper should possess. Most of you reading this blog already know what those skills are but I just feel like a lot of people need a reminder. Just like any other class or course of study you have to read a textbook and supplemental readings. Becoming a Rapper or an Emcee is no different than any other job. Since there is no artist development a lot of artist have to develop themselves but it’s just like going to college and all your classes require independent study. Just because you were born of a certain generation doesn’t mean that you can’t study the generations before you. Every field of study has history that you have to study. As a psychology major I studied Freud, Piaget, Erikson, and others before I learned anything about what was currently going on in the field. Just because I was born during the rise of Gang Starr doesn’t mean I can’t study the OGs like Grandmaster Caz or Kurtis Blow.
In order to be considered a real emcee which is something a little more than a Rapper you have to write your own everything. I don’t care if it’s in your head or not. I refuse to believe and I will not let my readers fall victim to believing that every Rapper doesn’t need to write. Anybody can say the first thing that comes to mind but only a select few can really get comprehensive rhymes to be delivered cleverly on an instrumental. You can tell which artists studied the greats because it reflects in their music. Young Rappers are able to disrespect their elders and their actions are justified because money is involved. Major labels are owned by major corporations that have invested a lot of money into a particular sound and message. If being uneducated is the only way you know how to make money how smart is that?