Good morning, afternoon, or evening to you Hip Hop Head! In this day and age we all know that a lot of mainstream Rappers are “put together”. Similar to how boy-bands are out together. Simply put some Rappers are cookie cutter versions of what is seen as popular in today’s scope of music; skinny jeans, colorful locs, and some drugs. The major labels do nothing to make their artist standout outside of paying radio stations to play their songs repetitively. No matter how much they try to tell a young artist that they’re different they are all mimicking popular Rappers of the same era. The “lyrical” content is the same and they use the same producers. I know young Rappers might deliver their rhymes like another Rapper until they carve out their own identity but if the people in their circle are pigeonholing them into one sound because of money…that’s where the lines get blurred.
Some artist might wonder “what’s the difference between me and you?” when talking to a peer in the industry. That in and of itself is an ego driven question. When a Rapper is “up and coming” they remain humble until they break down the doors and get into the industry. Some may remain humble and others not so much. It is this lack of humility that sets up young Rappers for failure. The company that is kept by these young and impressionable Rappers are just yes men and women put in place by the label to pump up their ego. That is why Troy Ave is feeling like the “Nupac” because no one around him is telling him no. Nobody was there telling Birdman to pay his artists and apparently there’s still no one in his circle being the voice of reason. Who told Desiigner that it was cool to sound like Future? Whoever spoke to Travis Scott also spoke to Migos and whoever spoke to Lil Yachty spoke to Lil Uzi Vert. I’m not going to name names but a lot of these artists share personnel and no it is not a coincidence. In about five years the wave will change and artists who are still doing the same thing because they thought their music was sustainable will gradually disappear like Trinidad James.
They dress alike and sound alike so how can I tell the difference? You can’t unless you repetitively listen to that type of Rap music. Think about it, if you listen to Muhammad Ali after listening to Dr. Seuss for a month than Ali will be the greatest Rapper of all time. That is until you hear a young Malcolm or a young Martin. Rappers aren’t glorified for their identity, individuality, or originality in the new age. Rappers are glorified based on their level of femininity versus masculinity, their drug use and abuse, and their overall appearance. They call it a “vibe”. A vibe is defined as a person’s emotional state as communicated to and felt by others. Over the weekend we discussed mental health and how some Rappers are experiencing cognitive dissonance resulting in a lot of heavy drug use. Having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes as it relates to behavioral decisions and attitude change is part of being in the industry. So if the vibe is depressive drug addict why would anyone want to take on that type of energy? Again I ask, what’s the difference between me and you? You talk a good one but you don’t do what you supposed to do.