The Real?

Waddup y’all, we’ve arrived at day 5, the final day of my guest blogging gig up here. First off, it’s definitely been a dope experience. From tryna come up with topics that’ll keep you guys’ attention to seeing the gravitation and responses to what’s been posted, I appreciate it all. Hopefully the variety of topics gave you all a better understanding as to who I am and how I came up. For this last lap, I wanna sum it up with the argument of all arguments; what should be considered as “real hip hop”?

For starters, I never really liked the term “real hip hop”. Well, let me correct that; I never liked what people categorize as real hip hop when they hear the term. The stigma is, anything that sounds boom bap-ish, has scratches for a hook, is lyric driven and doesn’t brag in its contents is real hip hop, and anything that’s the opposite isn’t. Growing up on such a vast variety of hip hop made me believe that real hip hop wasn’t easily defined by just that.

From day one hip hop was about bragging. The earliest records that everyone categorizes as real hip hop were essentially about what you had, what you had ON, and how cool you were. Messages didn’t come into play until later, and once the genre expanded into other things, people looked down on what hip hop started out as. Within hip hop is a melting pot of cultures, backgrounds and lifestyles, all of which make up what we know as hip hop culture. When all of that is involved, you’re bound to have different views and outlooks on what the hip hop you make should sound like. Somewhere along the way though, the lines got crossed and fans became divided.

To me, hip hop isn’t about what the sound is, but more so just what sounds good, simple as that. Some of the best and most impactful hip hop has nothing to do with “boom bap”, thus making it matter that much more (being that it can show the growth of the game while staying true to it’s core). As a fan, I came up on everything, and I say that proudly. The people who only listen to the underground circuit are as much at fault as the ones who refuse to turn off the radio. I think being at least aware of everything the game has to offer is the only way to truly have a valid opinion of the game. Granted, I’m not a fan of a lot of what’s considered mainstream at all, but I don’t disregard something before hearing it just because it’s classified as mainstream. For example, people bug out when they hear that I’m a big Young Jeezy fan, and it makes me laugh because I think “wow, just because I make records with 9th and Preem and them, I can’t like Jeezy”? I think Jeezy makes some of the dopest hip hop out. It may not be the most lyrical to us, but the honesty in it is what makes it more hip hop then what a lot of people campaign for from their favorite artists.

Hip hop is about making what’s real to you. If your life is working a 9 to 5 and representing black power and being “conscious”, then you making music about that is real hip hop. If your life is standing on a corner all night to keep the lights on, then your music reflecting that is real hip hop. Nothing’s off limits as long as it’s real to you. My iPod is filled with everything from Jeezy to Mos Def, Nas to Devin The Dude, Jay-Z to GZA, The Clipse to Snoop, 50 Cent to Murs, Elzhi to Mase, you get the point. In my opinion, ALL of that is real hip hop. Anyone claiming only the underground is just at fault as anyone only claiming the radio (though I understand your reasoning for the latter).

When you get my album, you’ll see it’s not auto tune, techno, hipster, or anything like that at all, but it’s not necessarily boom bap either. It has elements of that because that’s apart of how I came up, but it’s not the only way I came up. So if you were to ask, is it honest rap? Absolutely. Is it drug rap? Could be. Is it underground? Some may feel that way. Is it mainstream? Can be at times. Does it feel sort of old school? Maybe. Is it the sound of tomorrow? Hopefully. Is it real hip hop? 100%.

Signing off, do remember that my debut album “The Salvation” drops September 29th on Jamla Records/Duck Down. Executive produced by myself and 9th Wonder, the production line up consists of 9th, Just Blaze, Nottz, Needlz, Illmind, Black Milk and more. To me, it’s real hip hop, because it’s real music that all really happened, not because of it being soul samples or old school drums. It’s real because everything on it is what really happened.—Skyzoo

Before I go, shouts to Carl Chery, Rob, Vanessa, John, Jaeki, and the whole xxlmag staff. This was definitely a dope experience. I appreciate it for real. Holla at me.

  • D-Block

    wow i used to like saigon, now after reading that i have to call BULLSHIT. thanks for that mainstream driven blog saigon, u know dam well young jeezy isnt hip hop thats the dumbest shit ive ever heard, next thing your gonna say is soulja boy is hip hop. tupac is turnin in his grave right now

    • D-Block

      fuck my bad i put saigon cuz i was listenin to saigon, i meant skyzoo

      • Avenger XL

        Me thinks you missed the point D-block. Hip-hop has created a lot of sub genres and it is tribal and regional in span. It controls the dance floor now but it can reach your mind and soul if properly used. What most people consider real hip-hop is the part of the genre that speaks most to them or entertains them most. But hip-hop is an asthethic and a culture that started in NY and spread around the world. Hip-hop is a medium that consists of different elements and it is adaptive to regional tastes. It acts as religion does in a lot of ways. What one cat considers gospel the next guy calls blasephmy.

  • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

    Great work, again. The idea of “real” is so played and no one can even define what it really means.

    Sky, I gotta tell you – I didn’t dislike you before this week, I just wasn’t that familiar with you. My boys are already big fans but I just hadn’t had enough exposure. If your album is half as good as your blogs this week, it will be triumphant. Well done all week!

  • capcobra

    i didn’t like this nigga before these blogs…sha stimuli.torae.a.pinks.graph.maino.red cafe etc…that whole little circle of ny next best..they seem corny to me..they just rapping..no image.direction.style.originality or nothing.. mixtape/corner mc’s..and skyzoo reminded me of thier fat face little brother that sounded like hov…lol…but after reading his blogs and posts i see this guy isn’t just a follower..he actually got love and respect for hip hop..so on that note i got love and respect for him…good job on the blogs..i will be copping 1 copy…much success champ.

  • $ykotic

    Big topic right now. Glad you put it out there.

    So many people don’t even have a clear definition of real hip hop.

    All most of the fans really want is good, creative music from artists/rappers.

    Continued success and peace throughout your journeys Skyzoo.

  • Curtis75Black

    I feel we all as fans have or biases when it comes to Hip Hop. It is what it is. I grew up when nothing was off limits when spittin’. You could be Hardcore, sentimental, concious and rebellious all on one cd. That’s what makes a artist diverse and makes Hip Hop branch out. We all danced when we was younger, so why hate on it now ? If the song is different from the norm but still hot, what’s the problem, especially of it makes sense. If the emcee is on beat while rapping, what’s wrong ? Hip Hop is what sells and what doesn’t because we sleep on alot of ill shit depending on the artist. What gets ignored and what is praised by the masses because mainstream and underground fans have flaws. All artists share that realm and we as fans continue to push it.

    • NAWLEDGE

      Wuttup Curtis?

      My only problem with today’s mainstream music is that it has no progression and is basically a carbon copy of everything else. I truly feel that isn’t the heart and soul of what Hip-Hop is or supposed to be.

      Remember, Hip-Hop was also about being ORIGINAL. Almost everything on the radio sounds exactly alike. And for that reason alone, I cant say that it’s Hip-Hop. I may be wrong. It may as well could be Hip-Hop. But it sure is a watered down, broken version of what it started out to be.

      An innovative form of expression of an individual. Now, it’s all about conformism. Hip-Hop was started to break AWAY from conformity. Not be part of it.

      • Curtis75Black

        My only problem with today’s mainstream music is that it has no progression and is basically a carbon copy of everything else. I truly feel that isn’t the heart and soul of what Hip-Hop is or supposed to be.
        - NAWLEDGE
        Mainstream Hip Hop is the interpretation of the era and generation of the time. That’s why some ‘fans’ don’t fuck with anything before 1990. They didn’t come up in that era so all the music sounds dated. That’s why Nas and Jay are herald as the best emcee’s by certain fans while some look at a older emcees. LL Cool J’s ‘Walking with a Panther’ is the Predecessor of every ‘Champagne, girls and diamond rap that popped off in the ‘Bling’ era’ – does is get the respect ? No acknowledgement from the later eras ? No and rhe reason is because he’s old ‘career wise’ and when they discovered him, he was lounging with the ladies more than being aggresive.

        This isn’t my era at all and hasn’t been that way for a good min. I just follow who I feel represent the essence of what I always liked.

        • NAWLEDGE

          I understand exactly what you’re sayin and I dont doubt that today’s mainstream is the new generation way of expressing itself.

          This is the problem. Note how Nas and Jay at least added a level of creativity and originality into their rhymes, rap style, delivery, and flow. Today’s mainstream hasn’t done this.

          Rapper A became successful by saying 1,2,3 so rapper B says 1,2,3,3 rapper C says 1,1,2,3 so on and so forth. Originality is just about gone and it’s not just the rappers either. Its also the fans. Artists simply respond to the demand and what’s demanded is more and more non innovative, unoriginal music.

          I really hope it does turn around though.

        • Curtis75Black

          This is the problem. Note how Nas and Jay at least added a level of creativity and originality into their rhymes, rap style, delivery, and flow. Today’s mainstream hasn’t done this. – NAWLEDGE

          Actually they have !! We as older fans or more mature fans just don’t like they way they’re rapping and flowing. Hip Hop now can be compared to R&B and the reason is we have sustained enough leverage and years in the game to have eras and generations. Look at Chris Brown, Usher and Justin Timberlake, when we see them perform all we see is a Younger Micheal Jackson but to the newer generation, they’re the best to ever to it !! Micheal Jackson is passé (RIP). Jay, Nas and Eminem all put out wack shit in their career but it won’t be put on blast like they would and elder or younger emcee because most likely that fan remembers hearing Reasonable Doubt, Illmatic or The Slim Shady LP when it dropped so the connection is there with these artist. Originality and creativity is always gonna be apart of Hip Hop – peeps need to get off their High Horse and recognize it before it’s too late !! Instead of just hearing singles and judging the artist, listen to the cd and judge his mind set at the time.

        • NAWLEDGE

          I guess I see what you’re sayin, and I’ve been critical of the whack shit Em, Nas, & Jay put out. Especially when Em came out with that “Just Lose It” crap.

          I guess it is all opinionated. But when I hear Rob Base’s “It Takes Two” or Will Smith’s “Summertime” then turn around and listen to “Turn My Swag On” or “Ice Cream Paint”, I just don’t see the same level skill. I personally thought the music was getting better from 1990 up until about 2001. After that I thought it was just bleh. I absolutely understand your point though. We could agree to disagree.

          But I also completely cosign your last point. Hip-Hop elitism needs to STOP. I’m a huge fan of Ice-T, but I was very critical of him when he went out and dissed Soulja Boy. This wedge between the fans of different generations is stupid and is shattering our community. And I think that’s one of the main points Nas wanted to make when he said Hip-Hop is dead.

          No community = no Hip-Hop

  • Wallman

    Real hiphop is when you got 2pac flowing over a beat from the mighty Doctor with xzibit on the hook, that would be harrrrrrd!

  • El Tico Loco

    Do I have to put a worldstar quality comment to get posted?

    • El Tico Loco

      I think I just answered my own question. Fuckers

  • Sosa

    wdf

  • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grand$

    Real Hip Hop is undefinable. If there is an answer to “what is real hip hop?”, it’s so lucid & nonspecific that it’s pointless to even ponder.

    Hip Hop is more than music. It’s a life choice, a culture, be it positive or negative. Cats don’t have to rap to be Hip Hop. They don’t have to sport wave-caps & fitted’s to be Hip Hop. It’s beyond a specific sound or look; it’s a feeling, an awareness. It’s what pertains to how one feels, as opposed to what one does or says.

    WE are Hip Hop. THIS is Hip Hop.

    Now, rap, thats another topic…….

  • http://xxlmag.com LeroyLove

    I think it is a lot easier to identify with what isn’t real hip hop, compared to what is. I remember artist like Paper Boy, Young MC, Candyman, and PM Dawn, those brothers were predecessors to artist like Soulja Boy and so on. Are they hip hop artist? I guess it depends on how you define hip hop. To me hip hop is a way of life. No different than the punk rock crowd who are defined by their music, clothes and the way they carry themselves. Being fom the south, my taste in hip hop is very broad. I dig hip hop in every way,shape or form. As long as it’s good, and can make ya head nod, then its alright with me.

  • Apollo

    Sky’s right, i mean if its true to your life than its real, if your telling a story thats not necessarily true, but your not claiming it to be yours i think thats fine too, hip hop is the art of storytelling, thats what the wu tang did, i mean where any of em ninja’s ? now while i think most mainstream is garbage i keep an open mind, and even if i hate they music, that means nothing to me on a man to man level feel me ?

    Apollo

  • Mozes

    No.
    “Real Hip Hop” comes from a creative artist remaining true.
    It means no whack rhymes or beats, biting on any level and selling out.
    A Real EMCEE comes with his best at all times with the soundscape of a DJ bumbin dope beatz.
    Good Post

  • Trunks

    No.
    “Real Hip Hop” comes from a creative artist remaining true.
    It means no whack rhymes or beats, biting on any level and selling out.
    A Real EMCEE comes with his best at all times with the soundscape of a DJ bumbin dope beatz.

  • Ste

    i think this was a gd blog dude…. i hav to say tho Young Jeezy does make some reli gd shit…. but on this blog it was mentionin bout rappers rappin bout how they came up n wht they did to get to where they are now but there was no mention of Eminem… one of the best lyrical rappers in the world who went thru alot of shit to get to where he is now…. does tht nt get mention on it??

  • c.p

    fuck what ya heard!! soulja boy is the anti-christ to this hip hop shit

    • Ste

      yeh i agree with ya man…. soulja boy is shit… he cud single handedly destroy rap music if it werent for real rappers like eminem, g-unit (if ya like em or nt) kanye west, young jeezy etc

  • Jessica D. Wesley

    Hip Hop is not only the vibrant beat, intense lyrics and crump dancing you experience today, it has a meaningful past. Hip Hop music has a duty to be as glorified and respected no less than Pop, Country Western or Rock music. Hip Hop’s meaning is its’ indestructible desire to exploit a positive message for all ages. It has been used to influence our youth of all backgrounds to vote, continue their education, say no to drugs and to follow their dreams. For every confident light Hip Hop shines, there is a negative torch from outside critics willing to hurt that image. Critics to me are only persons’ expressing their untested and powerless opinions about subjects they will only study for a short period of time. Hip Hop is not what you view on television. Hip Hop is not the color of your skin or where you come from. It is not baggy clothes, big gold earrings, fancy cars or the bling-bling. Hip Hop music is a spokesman, a messenger, it is a voice of poetry so that people can relate and not feel isolated. It also dominates body language in all cultures of dance, Hip Hop is about being free!

  • http://www.xxlmag.com Jbounce

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