I’m right there with you. His production work and verses on Common’s album “Be” still floor me, as well as a great many tracks from his solo work. But wow did he fall way, way, way off.
And here I was just hoping for a proper followup with Madlib.
It could be argued that his mental instability has been exploited, but then again, he was one of the main perps himself.
I don’t want to digress more, or derail the topic, so I’ll just finish by saying what a sad, sick, little soul he is, regardless to how much material success he’s had.
Thanks for coming to the BBS to continue the discussion.
It’s not too far off-topic though, because for good or ill, Kanye sort of birthed this sound on “808’s & Heartbreak”. There was still rapping on that record… or was there?
As you said earlier, the nice thing about music is that it’s not static; something else will come along, also for better and worse.
Kanye definitely took autorune rap to the logical extreme. He has done some astonishingly good rap music and has innovated a lot. However he’s managed to so successfully destroy his legacy over the past several years that I simply can’t look past what he became when listening to any of his material.
For many years I could look past his well known eccentricities and extreme assholishness, but as soon as he hitched himself to the Trump train and willingly let himself be used and exploited by the right wing rage machine I called it quits. Even if 10 years from now it’s revealed he was involved in some sort of Kaufman-esque “performance art” the entire time as some have speculated, there’s no undoing the damage he did.
Agreed 1000%. I was done around Yezus.
To take this to the topic, Kanye layed the blueprint for the sound discussed in this article to flourish. Perhaps this kind of music needs a new category.
For me they aren’t, really. It’s possible to have lyrical depth and skill and also have a record you can chill and/ or dance to. Decades’ worth of MCs proved that before the current trend. And also there’s instrumentals. I’d much rather hear a killer groove with no lyrics (say, 90% of BADBADNOTGOOD’s discography) than bad lyrics delivered poorly.
Again, not my intent to derail by bringing the guy up.
Indeed. Time to get back to discussing rappers of substance and the merits or otherwise of mumble rap.
I like your articles and your takes. Hopefully you are sticking around, a welcome addition IMO.
That being said, I disagree with this particular one. IMO great lyrics combined with great flow and great beats will always be #1 for me. The trifecta.
Thank you, brother.
And again I do love SUPER lyrical stuff too. I just spent so much time on that island that I’m enjoying my journey in the larger waters of rap.
Here’s a super lyrical song that I can’t stop listening to.
Interesting topic. I tend to arrive at the same conclusions as the video, but I’ll add something: I’m not sure there’s a genre of music that’s as self-conscious about its poignancy as Rap tends to be, which is probably an outcome of racism from without that’s been internalized to some extent by some listeners.
I’m not sure fans of any other genre of music have this lofty requirement for lyrical content, even other protest music like Punk. A lot of legendary punk songs are both lyrically and musically repetitive; of course neither was a limit on what could be accomplished by the sound, which I’d argue is the same with Rap or any musical genre (“She loves you, yeah yeah yeah” isn’t really revolutionary lyrics). So I feel some Rap fans internalize this need to prove Rap is really intelligent and meaningful music, which is interpreted through the narrow lens of lyricism.
In Rap, lyricism is just one of the tools at an artists disposal. I liken it to making comics in the sense that the most technical and accomplished illustrators are not necessarily the best cartoonists, since a good comic is the result of bringing a lot of different elements together with a high level of craft. I think there are perhaps better pure lyricists than Kendrick Lamar, but I’m not sure there’s anyone working today that understands THE CRAFT of rapping as well as he does, and how to bring together lyrical content with music and other elements to create a pleasing result (my opinion at least). I think the same could be said of Jay-Z, Drake, Kanye, Dr. Dre etc.
I’m not sure that’s anything new, really. The game was never dominated by the best pure lyricists. It’s probably the case, though, that there are just more tools in the toolbox now for artists to master.
As if Black artists can’t have an artistic voice that is inevitable only a “byproduct of racism”… maybe it’s just for love of lyricism? I mean, is that true of great white rappers too? Is El-P just a dealing with “internalized racism” or does he just care about the artistry of all aspects of his work. It strikes me that assuming that EVERYTHING Black folks do is shaped by racism is ignoring many aspects of Black life.
There’s so much assumptive, smug-ass Black-splaining in that one comment, I can’t even begin to unpack it all.
RIP Gift of Gab indeed.
I disagree with what you are saying in general but you make a good point comparing rap to punk. Both at some stage were heavily focused on authenticity. I agree that at some level rappers and fans care about authenticity but I would argue that it isn’t a rap argument, it’s an art argument in general, authenticity vs inauthenticity.
I don’t see the connection to internalized racism. Rap fans aren’t a monolith so sure some percentage may have that issue, but I don’t think it’s prevalent. It’s just some people’s view on the art they like. I’d argue that people are gonna argue about authenticity in any art segment.
Overall I get where you coming from but just disagree.
they are basically saying that Black people in America have no sense of self outside of the white gaze, which is of course, utter fucking nonsense.