Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Rap vs. Hip Hop

On Thursday, June 2, 2011, Summer of Sum Tour rolled into Charlotte, NC . This show's bill had both rap and hip hop acts respectively. All seemed well until that night when Rap appeared to be a little frazzled by the organic swag of Hip Hop.

Personally, I don't know what the big deal was. I grew up in an era where there was diversity in hip hop. If I wanted to hear gangsta music I would put on Dre & Snoop Dog. If I wanted to hear hip hop I could get ready to party to - I would throw on some Missy Elliot or Biggie. If I wanted to reflect on the more important things in life - I'd throw on one of Jay-Z or Tupac's more introspective, and honest records. Today all that seems to be at a lost. Today, music seems to be one size fits all. It aint a salad. Its a nasty ass Fondu and everybody is double dipping.

Back to the matter at hand though. Let me tell you what happened in Charlotte. So, after countless performances, the crowd begin to dwindle down. Three of the featured artist had yet to perform so this was a problem. Before gracing the stage, "Hip Hop" (that's what we are going to call this artist - hip hop - stay with me) went outside and rallied the crowd. Hip Hop charmingly told them that the best was yet to come - and that if they left at that moment they would miss it. The crowd goes back in and "Hip Hop" is formally introduced.

Hip Hop's set is flawless. By the end of the set the crowd was chanting Hip Hop's last signature song. Let's backtrack, the crowd seems to be extremely urban and mainstream. The only backpackers in the room were the ones that came with the tour. So for the crowd to accept and participate in Hip Hop's set the way they did was a big deal. It proved that my personal mantra is true - MUSIC IS UNIVERSAL.

Fast forward, Hip Hop gets off stage and Rap (Yup, that's what we are going to call this artist - Rap) is introduced. Rap gets a warm reception from the crowd. After all, Rap is a more "established" artist than Hip Hop. Rap begins doing his thing amidst cheers, cameras flashing and the like. Towards the middle of his set - Rap says
" See yall talking about this Real Hip Hop but this right here is Real Nigga Shit...we talking day to day shit".
Rap went on to remind the crowd of his many street hits via well orchestrated DJ breaks then went in for the 'kill' by saying
"...see I'm gonna teach yall lil rappers something...yall too hard for these bitches...they done got all done up in these nice ass dresses...they wanna dance...they want something they can dance too...they cant dance to all that..yall lil rappers too hard".
Rap then called all the "done bitches" to the front of the stage. Where he serenaded them with his hoodtastic lullaby. I don't remember the song. I just remember watching it happen.

So here's the thing. The comments didn't offend me. The rhetoric and underlying disrespect for woman didn't offend me. What I found interesting was who the antagonist was in this situation. Rap would appear to be doing way better than Hip Hop. So why would Rap take time out of his set to address Hip Hip (outwardly or subliminally). I mean is it me or is that wack. Then the "real nigga shit" comment. I hear that term used a lot these days. And, nine times out of ten it isn't being used by a "real nigga".

Here's something I've learned in my XX years of living. Security never screams I'm secure - it doesn't have to. Real never screams I'm real - it doesn't have to. These things are unmistakable when seen by the naked eye. Perhaps I'm the last of dying breed - we don't talk about it. We live it. We don't covet yours we get our own. And, when its time for us to show up - we show up and show out. That's GP (General Principle). Far as rap vs. hip hop. I think it's quickly turning around and the days I remember will live again. Its time for us to make a salad cause this fondu is NASTY!

Disclaimer: I am not a writer. These are my thoughts. That's why people blog. If you spent more time correcting my spelling, grammar, etc than reading, You missed it.