Ignorant Rap, And Why It’s Needed

Keep it real; we all like at least one ignorant rap song in our lives. As much as I’m entranced by the everyman lyrics of artists whose songs I can relate to, I can also appreciate some nignorant battle calls backed by some bass-heavy, trunk-rattling backdrop and accompanied by some random woman with low morals and high heels in its music video.

Would hip hop be “better” if there was only positive music? Perhaps. But the average human mind isn’t exactly pure to begin with. While some of us would die for our own mothers and sisters, in the same breath we’ll lust after some exaggeratedly shaped woman we see on the street. Some of us may never join a gang or run a drug emporium, but we’ll enjoy the hell out of crack-infused lyrical assaults. For every 2Pac lyric praising the woman, there was an equally scathing a verse about sexually dominating them as well. Back when I used to go to church I found myself thinking about sexing one of the fellow attendees way more than I should have been. And I know I’m not the only one who’s done that.

Men and women are both sanctimonious persons, and suffice to say the music we mentally ingest is an aural representation of said hypocrisies. There is an over emphasis on extreme violence, rampant drug use and the misogynistic and misandry within the communities in today’s mass-promoted music, but I know I’m not the only one who can recite “Ain’t No Fun (If The Homies Can’t Have None)” as if it were the final question in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Rather than trying to fight it with ass-backward online rants and fake funerals, more people should accept it and try to work on incorporating more humane music into their works.

I mean, the Internets can’t work forever. Or can it?

Ignorant rap is about as commonplace in hip hop as there are grease-laden fried chicken fast food spots in the hood. Rather than vilify all of them, so-called purists should at least acknowledge that play their own respective position in rap, albeit poorly at times. If Patti LaBelle of all people can say she likes the BET Uncut classic from Black Jesus, the effervescent “What That Thang Smell Like,” then somehow that brand of ignorant fuckery of the lowest common denominator is working.

  • http://twitter.com/brotherdante BrotherDante

    great post.
    wait, did patti labelle actually say that?! hysterical.

    • DV8

      yeah she did

  • http://www.allthatsfresh.com PopeCatalyst

    I wholeheartedly agree. There shouldn’t be anything wrong with playing Common’s “The Light”, then immediately after play 3-6′s “Slob On My Knob”; or playing Talib’s “Get By” then M.O.P.’s “Robbin Hoodz Theory”. Sometimes i’gnant shit is just what the doc ordered (no detox).

  • laaha

    stop with the thesaurus..

    • http://2dopeboyz.com/ meka

      start with the proper schooling if you resort to that excuse.

  • No Alias

    While I get why ignorant rap is “needed”, the problem I have is the lack of balance between ignorant shit and more uplifting music. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. However, radio and video bombards the masses with ignorant shit, and not enough alternatives to balance it out.

    • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

      Ignorant Positive Rap, And Why It’s Needed

      ^ I would have respected this blog more.

      “radio and video bombards the masses with ignorant shit, and not enough alternatives to balance it out.”

      • El Tico Loco

        Feels like proganda doesn’t it?

  • Brother Man

    co-sign. Sometimes you want “real shit”, other times you want to be ignant as hell. As long as the music can emote some kinda feeling or emotion, I’m good with it

  • WilliamJacob

    This is that ignorant shit you like
    Ni–a, fuck, shit, ass, bitch, trick, plus ice

  • Axeo

    I’ll be the first to admit as someone who loves lyrical intelligent rhymes sometimes the ignorant shit is just fun/funny to listen to.

    It’s just like people who watch the news all the time to stay informed about the world, politics, ect deciede to go watch cartoons or Vh1 reality shows thinking today i just want to watch some stupid shit that will make me laugh not how fucked up the world is.

    Overall though we do need a better balance in the mainstream. Underground got the balance but mainstream got us thinking everyone who listens to hip-hop (I’m white but every race has its dumb motherfucker crowd)acts this way and is living it. I mean my mom 44 loves hip-hop and RnB goes to work lives a very simple life. It shouldn’t be a chore to find a certain type of hip-hop thats not on the radio

  • El Tico Loco

    Akynele made the most ignat shit I ever heard since “Live at the bbq” but he was nice with it. I don’t mind ignorant is wackness that I have an issue with.

  • Ian JL

    I stopped reading to go look up what the word “sanctimonious” means, and for that alone Meka is a good writer

  • swype-matic

    I feel the article, but one thing I do after listenin’ to some ig’nant shit (Three 6, OJ Da Juice, Shawty Lo), I HAVE to follow it up with Common, Ghostface, Kweli and Royce Da 5’9″, cause I would feel like my brain cells have been wiped out.

  • Wonderin

    I don’t mind the nignorant shit honestly. I just want it to be GOOD nignorant shit. Adhere to the elements that make a good song and be as ignorant as you want.

    • http://rapko.tumblr.com rapko

      Preach! Love the use of the word “nignorant” in the article. If “muggle” can be added in Webster, look out folks.

  • ri067953

    I think ignorant rap has it’s place but there is a way to do it with style. I think Curren$y and Wiz Khalifa are perfect examples of that. They spit lines about getting high, money, hoes, and clothes without resorting to using harsh lyrics. I guess you can call it thinking mans gangster rap.

  • Wen

    (co-sign $yk & Tico Loco)

    The bigger issue at hand isn’t just the music itself, but the impact that the music has on the people (young and old alike) listening to it.

    While some readers may be old enough, educated enough and articulate enough to distinguish and understand ignorant music’s true shortcomings, it’s a majority of its listeners (again young and old) that accept it as their benchmark for “normalcy,” thus placing no acknowledgment on how ignorant or just plain bad it actually is. In turn, life imitates art, and you end up with a generation of ignorant ass people whose vocabulary, swag, and ability to form a sentence was jacked from Gucci Mane mixtapes.

    You bring up a very valid point about 2Pac, but you never doubted his intellect or his skills as a rapper. Pac wrote ignorant shit by design, he was great enough to be able to create balance like that. Coincidentally, he wrote some of his most cerebral music in prison for doing ignorant shit in the streets. For too many rappers, ignorant shit is all they do.

    Let’s face it, we’ve all thought some shady thoughts about a fellow church attendee, but that’s grown folks business. A hot beat is a hot beat, and I’m all for positive (or even better) lyrics on hot beats. Ignorant shit is funny when you’re in the club or the car, not so funny when it’s time to fill out a job application.

    Ignorance comes from a lack of knowledge, and lack of knowledge is never “positive’ for our communities, ourselves, or our kids. Ignorance breeds ignorance, and we should all be in favor of less of it. The dopest rappers are usually the smartest ones, the ignorant ones have become the lowest common denominators for listeners and station programmers, and there lies the bigger problem, which isn’t so funny.

    Knowledge, make it reign.

    Wen, CA

    • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

      “Ignorance comes from a lack of knowledge, and lack of knowledge is never “positive’ for our communities, ourselves, or our kids. Ignorance breeds ignorance, and we should all be in favor of less of it.”

      ^ exactamundo Wen

      I liked Biz Markie, but I’m not gonna say he gave us ignorance. He had plenty of messages on some of his songs.

      Tilt the scales Meka & stop c/s-ing this sh^t.

    • ola

      I honestly dont think people want to deal with the real problems that are society deals with i.e ignorance being a big social ill. I totally agree with mr.wen. Why is it that Hip-Hop is the only Genre that seems to have such a negative impact on the listeners. Personally i can only listen to ignorant music in small doses its like eating too much popcorn after while that shit gets too much and i need something refreshing to wash it down with.

  • http://jamal7mile.blogspot.com Jamal7Mile

    I don’t mind a little party and bullshit. But like a few knowledgeable peeps said above, it’s gotta be GOOD P&B and there should be a balance of serious, conscious, coon-less rap as well. I used to JAM to 2 Live Crew and Too $hort in the Golden Era.

    Life is full of hypocrisy, conflict and paradoxes. Can’t avoid it. I get some of my news on Comedy Central (Jon Stewart) and LOADS of comedy watching Fox News.

    Some of those chicks sliding down the pole every Saturday night make it to church Sunday morning.

  • http://www.unkleluc.com unkleluc

    I agree with the overall point.. its like health food and mcdonalds

    but C’mon meka.. that was a convoluted as article you forced me to read there.. u know how many professors woulda gave u an F for those 150 extra words u used..lol

    Jesus christ

  • Pingback: Slang Editorial: Ignorant Rap, And Why It’s Needed | Get Known Radio

  • ff1one@yahoo.com

    From the writer’s perspective and xxl audience i think he was saying that ignorant rhymes are needed because we are the group that can appreciate them. I’m actually glad he took the time to write this. first, more intellenge rap would get played if SMART hip hop fans would appreciate the ignorant music. You have to give to get. The truth is, its more of us dumbing out to ignorant music then them asking if you heard that new dead prez mixtape. that new dead prez if FIRE but it ain’t getting no pub. If we balance it, than our music will get more play. Second, can you imagine hip hop or the world if it was just lyrically concsious revolutionary scientific wu gambino type flows over premier rza dilla alchmeist havoc type beats? A good laugh is needed otherwise it would be total chaos.

    • DV8

      “From the writer’s perspective and xxl audience i think he was saying that ignorant rhymes are needed because we are the group that can appreciate them. I’m actually glad he took the time to write this. first, more intellenge rap would get played if SMART hip hop fans would appreciate the ignorant music”

      WHAT?!!!!!!!!

      appreciate ignorance? No sir, Ignorance is a big reason hiphop is so f’d the f’d up now.

      I EMPLORE YOU ALL TO LISTEN TO JERU THE DAMAJA’S “THE SUN RISES IN THE EAST” AND “WRATH OF THE MATH” IN PARTICULAR 2 SONGS CALLED “CANT STOP THE PROPHET” AND “REVENGE OF THE PROPHET”

  • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

    * caps lock *

    IGNORANCE IS NEVER NEEDED. LOOK AND LISTEN TO WTF YOU ARE SAYING. COMEDY AND FUN DOES NOT NECESSARILY BEGAT IGNORANCE. THERE IS PLENTY OF TRUTH IN COMEDY. FUN IS A RELEASE OF ENERGY.

    DIVERSITY IS A DIFFERENT STORY. YOU PEOPLE ARE SAYING IT’S OK TO PROMOTE BULLSH^T TO THE YOUNG AND NAIVE FOR A BUCK? YOU WILL DIE IN YOUR OWN INIQUITY FOR THIS. WTF IS WRONG WITH Y’ALL? ARE YOU THAT COMPROMISED AND THIRSTY? YOU ARE THE SAME CATS WHO COMPLAIN ABOUT THE DUMB DOWN THEORY. HOW THE F^CK CAN Y’ALL ADVOCATE THIS?

    COME ON MEKA, YOU CAME FROM THE SAME SPACE AS A CAT LIKE ME. DUDES ARE WILLING AND HAVE TRIED TO POUND YOUR TEAM OUT OVER THIS IGNORANCE. HOW THE F^CK AND WHY DO YOU POST BLOGS HERE CO-SIGNING THIS SIDEWINDER SH^T? FOR A DOLLAR?

    YOUR INSULTING MY INTELLIGENCE, AS WELL AS OTHERS HERE.

    SHOUTS TO DALLAS PENN (BILLY X SUNDAY), A REAL DUDE WHO GAVE UP THE BLOG GAME BECAUSE HE WAS TOO REAL.

    REMEMBER HIM?

    WORD IS BOND MEKA, AND F^CK ALL THESE FOLLOWERS WHO WANNA RIDE YOU FOR A LIL’ SHINE OR A POSTING ON YOUR SITE, YOU ARE COMING OFF HERE AS A FACADE YO. TALK TO THESE CATS ON HOW TO WIN LORD, LIKE YOU DID, AND CUT THIS CORNY SH^T OUT.

    THE SYKOTIC DON MCCAINE

    GMAIL IS THE SAME AS THE NAME

    • General

      Amen Syk.

      Accepting ignorance and failure is always easier than achieving knowledge and success.

    • DV8

      “Y” (reference bboycult.com (caution only real hiphop overthere) go back a few post to find out what that means)

      and co-sign like a mofo.

      We need to quit giving ignant shit a pass music, blogs, etc. Its killing our families and communities.

  • P. Harris

    What is ignorant music? Who’s the one that sets the scale to say that a song is ignorant?

    I’m not saying that there isn’t ignorant music out there. There is. I’m just saying that ignorant music has a following… and those people are ignorant themselves… I think?

    And real talk, just based on how you feel about things and maybe the environment you were brought up in. You might look at 75% of rap as ignorant.

    I’m a long time MOP fan… I’ve bought all their albums with the exception of St. Marxmen… Now… does that make me ignorant because I’m a MOP head??? Or a Wu-Tang head? Or a Sean Price stan??? Or is only the people who listen soldier boy, DSL, plies, and such?

    Who is the judge?

    • El Tico Loco

      You can tell how much care was put into making a song thru the lyrics and at times the instrumental and see what artist just whipped up a tune for quick buck, and who is really trying to express themselves; because no matter how ignorant the subject might be you can see the complexties in what the person is saying. Ignorant people don’t catch that shit, in fact they rather just stick to party and bullshit ALL THE TIME and the simpler the better, is like comparing Manga, cartoons, pencil sketches or oil paintings to doodling stick people, and lately all they’re playing is stick people.

  • ff1one@yahoo.com

    ignorant music is the term only to describe fun music. its not ignorant. Nas for example is considered an intellgent rapper because of what? his subject matter? nas is one of the most ignorant rappers alive.

    the balance is needed. ignorant in the terms of party music gets mad air play and mad promotion. intelluctual rap gets none. why? cuz most intellectual rap fans are too snobby and can’t appreciate music for what it is…music. they put what they deem good music on a pedestal and damn fun music.

    P haris makes a excellent point. its ignorant nyc aka intellectual music. for example, is the LOX wild out ignorant? O, is the words they use. O, its their outfits. NAH, its prob something you understand.

    i like 36 mafia. tounge ring. ass and titties. i’m a religious brother and triple six should be deemed unreligious. Really, when juciy j’s father is a minister. its music. personally, i like ass and titties. when i’m at the beach i ride to it vs jeru killah priest little brother or etc. cause at the beach i’m tryin to get ignorant (have fun) to a certain extent.

    As far as our generation.

    a lot of u dudes are out of date. You are cab calloway talkin shit about dizzy gillispe. R kelly talkin shit about chris brown. you are falling out of the loop. let these youngins have fun. Our parents talked ish about wu tang and our music.

    The balance is coming. But if j. cole disses soulja boi he’s gonna loose fans. he doesn’t have to promote him but when they show appreciation for one another its like breaking bread. balance is needed.

  • j

    As a fan: I hate Laffy Taffy!
    As a producer: Where is my Laffy Taffy?

  • dunk

    thing is, it’s always been some type of “ignorant” rap music. back in the day it wasn’t that offensive or profane; of course with the occasional 2 live crew, etc. now the bullshit is trumping the good shit which to me is the real problem. support real artists. top 40 is well taken care of already.

  • jamiir

    ignorance should never be accepted especially when a race of people are often defined by ignorant steryotypes that they themselves embrace as”keeping it real or hood”. not every black lives in the hood, listens to rap,smokes weed or gangbangs.when we get typecast we gripe but turn right around and point the finger at that college attending non-slang speaking brother or sister as acting white as if acting black is that of low hanging pants, hoochie mannerisms and 24 hour slang that prevents one from making it past a job interview and blaming “the powers that be”.what other race or group is self steryotype promoting than some of these ignorant rappers?