In semi-defense of hipster rap
Poor hipster rappers. Their movement has hardly been around long enough to produce a worthwhile LP, and already they’re taking heat from all angles. I can’t help but be compelled to defend them, to a certain degree, just I because I think rappers should be judged on their ability to rap first, then ancillary issues like their perceived sexuality.
I already brought you fruits the story about how this guy Mazzi broadsided a bunch of hipster cats like the Cool Kids and Jay Electronica, only to be mocked viciously by some other hipster rapper no one ever heard of named Mic Terror.
Mazzi was pissed that hipster rappers have been running around with these terrorist scarves around their necks, though obviously it never occurred to him the hypocrisy of an Arab guy who’s taken on elements of hip-hop, i.e. black culture, getting upset with people in hip-hop taking on elements of Arab culture.
This is only semi-related, but I’m wondering what it is with people from Iran insisting they be called Persians rather than Arabs, which has been one of the main sticking points in this mess. Is there an actual difference between a Persian and an Arab, other than that one is from Iran and the other is from Iraq? And if not, wouldn’t that be roughly tantamount to black people from Chicago insisting on being referred to as Chicag-ites? That doesn’t make any sense, on a number of levels.
They both hail from the Middle East, and they both hate Jews. As far as I’m concerned, that makes Persians and Arabs more or less the same. Granted I get the whole thing about respecting people’s culture, and how the president not understanding the level of tribal bloodlust in Iraq has led to the clusterfuck that country is today, but it’s not like people who aren’t from Alaska have to know all 100 different terms the Eskimos have for snow.
But I digress.
If I was one of these hipster rappers, I’d be more concerned with the fact that that terrorist scarf around your neck shit makes you look like a fruit. Seriously. What kind of black man in his right mind wears the same shit around his neck as motherfucking Rachel Ray? Is this what the rampant lack of fathers in black households has led to? What’s next, gold chains with EVOO medallions?
*shudders at the thought*
The same thing goes for walking around tight-ass pants, trying to get people to look at the imprint of your cock and balls. I’m sure a lot of chicks find that shit sexy (well, naturally), similar to how you see a lot of black women taking up with DL brothers, purposely willing themselves into thinking they don’t take it up the coat, when the evidence is right there on the surface.
Not that I can fault a brother for doing what it takes to get some stank on his hanglow, short of actually taking the pussy, which I can’t condone, either legally or morally. But one of the reasons hip-hop always appealed to me, on a personal level, was the idea that a black man could succeed in the bedroom despite a woman’s ego.
Take for example the way the Notorious B.I.G. would continuously “upgrade” – from his baby’s mother (yikes), to Lil’ Kim, to Faith Evans, to Charli Baltimore. If Suge Knight wouldn’t have had him assassinated, Biggie almost certainly would have made the leap to banging actual white chicks. I’m certain of it. And he was arguably even more fucked up-looking than I am!
And you didn’t see Biggie walking around with his bulge on display, now did you?
But like I said, you don’t hate on another man just for the shit he wears. The real reason we ought to be concerned with these hipster rappers is not so much because they don’t take Biggie’s position on the eternal struggle to bring a woman back down where she belongs (just like Obama did Hillary Clinton), but because these fruits can’t rap like Biggie, either.
For a few reasons, it’s become obvious to me in the past couple of weeks that this whole hipster rap movement is just as much about marketing as it is anything else. For all we know, these kids might not even like dressing like fruits.
The other day, the Cool Kids released their Bake Sale EP, and the general consensus was that the shit was mediocre. The only person I can think of who was really that gung ho about it was Tom Breihan, and you know how he gets down. Then a week later, that week’s Soundscan figures came out, and come to find out, the shit only sold like 4,300 copies.
As I remarked at the time, I’m pretty sure even I could put out a rap album and sell more copies than that. (I might need to go into the studio anyway, so I can ether Dice Raw. Record labels, holler at your boy.) Shit, even Donny Goines could’ve sold like 4,400 copies, if he convinced everyone in the comments section over at Nah Right to pick up a copy. (Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit.)
Which begs the question, if that’s the extent of the commercial interest in the Cool Kids (and I hate to keep harping on them, but I gotta be at work in a little bit), why is it that we keep hearing about them, rather than any number of other bum-ass internet niggas? It’s obviously the clothes. Take Donny Goines, change his name to Donny Fresh and put some nutsack pants on him, and he’d probably be all over Pitchfork.
It’s no wonder people are getting tired of hearing about this shit. This is some of the more egregious bullshit since that month back in 2005 when the TIs tried to convince us that Houston rap was gonna be the proverbial new ska. Except there’s even less of a commercial justification, since white kids in New York and Chicago are better at using the Internets than people in the South.
That being said, at least this shit is drawing on better influences than that Houston rap shit. And I do kinda feel like the level of vitriol against hipster rap in this corner of the Internets has been a bit much recently. I get the argument against hipster rap, but I wonder if it’s really in our best interest to hate on it too hard before it has a chance to even flourish.
It’s not like there’s a whole lot else worthwhile going on.