Run DMC said,
“And it’s like that…that’s just the way it is.” They were talking about something else in those lyrics, but it has me thinking about the future of rap vs poetry. I feel like I could talk about my feelings that rap doesn’t replace poetry and it isn’t really music. Yet there will be rap defenders saying I’m wrong…this is the future and then conclude with the aforementioned lyrics.
I do enjoy some rap songs but mostly those from before 2005. I think I stopped listening to rap once Lil Wayne became popular. No offense to him but I don’t understand the appeal of his generation of rappers. I can’t even understand what he is saying most of the time.
I liked rap when I understood everyone’s purpose. There was the social conscious rappers who criticized politics and spoke of bettering communities. The fun rappers had party music for house parties and the club. Naturally, there were the rappers who were a little bit of both. Lastly, the gangsta rappers who took over the whole genre by the late ’90s.
The issue for me started when I noticed rappers no longer just talked about growing up in the projects because it was their reality, but because it was now a badge of honor. It was a proud item to put on the street cred resume that you were and possibly are still a drug dealer. I could understand the street hustle at 16 IF that was fact and only done until along came a legit profession with good money. But why are rappers who are no longer in those former impoverished neighborhoods still ranting after they have made millions. Shut up! You aren’t in the projects anymore and now you are a phoney.
The sad part is kids who are presently growing up in those seedy areas are praising these idiots. Sure. Talk about how bad things were but don’t forget to acknowledge how good you are living now. Some rappers are straight liars. Parts of rap culture glorify being poor and coming from difficult circumstances so much so that some rappers lie about where they grew up. Several rappers grew up middle class.
Yet, the real tragedy is that kids today think rappers are really so deep. Look at where they came from and now they are living the life. Some rappers are very intelligent and have a lot to say. Others understand what to do to make money.
Money changes the game.
Some rappers are faking their ways into poetry circles. No. Jay Z…I like some of his songs but that isn’t poetry. He is no T. S. Eliot. Kids need to be taught the difference. Rap is people saying some interesting words really fast over a beat. Even the music used in rap is not created by the rapper. The music producers often use samples from songs that first came out long before they were probably born. Let’s give credit where credit is due. Rappers don’t create music…they are not humming or playing instruments. They say words fast. There are times the words are profound and times they are not. Some people may say poets do the same thing but I disagree. Most poets have done some studying and really have a love for words. They have a real appreciation for art. I think most rappers are interested in making millions not art that will last generations. Yet, I digress.