What Kind of Rap Fan Are You?

Okay, let me explain why today’s post is going to be so short today.

I had a big huge long post explaining the two type of rap fans I feel exist in today’s music climate, only to have it all erased by WordPress. So now, I’m going to pose this question to you all for you to answer in the comments. It’s already in the title but it’s worth repeating.

“What kind of rap fan are you?”

Are you the type of rap fan who likes their independent artist to stay independent, the kind who liked Wiz Khalifa before he went “Black and Yellow” on us and signed to Warner? Even if you’re not a Wiz fan, I know we’ve all liked somebody before the masses were onto them.

So that’s one type of rap fan, here’s the other, a fan with whom I more closely identify.

The type of rap fan who wants their favorite independent artist to go mainstream. Again, Wiz Khalifa is a perfect example of someone who cultivated a fan base early, probably when he was still rapping in his crib back in Pittsburgh. Now he’s one of the most popular rappers out, grandmothers know the hook to his song and he’s dating the former girlfriend of another famous rapper. Do you still like him or are you one of those who feels now that the mainstream has gotten a hold of him, he’s less talented than he used to be?

I don’t want to make this post about Wiz, I’m just using him as an example. What it basically comes down to is are you the rap fan who likes the artists to stay independent or are you the type of rap fan who likes their favorite independent artist to blow up?

I’m with the latter, but I’d love to hear which type of fan you folks describe yourself as.

Jozen Cummings, Digital Content Director
Follow me if you want @jozenc

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  • beaver

    totally depends on the artist.
    many dope rappers should go mainstream..but many should stay independent.

    • chontos

      Artists like Wiz were always destined to be mainstream. His voice and flows were catchy from the start.

      Artists like J. Cole should probably stay where he’s at if he has any interest in maintaining his artistic integrity.

      • Don mcCaine

        “Artists like Wiz were always destined to be mainstream. His voice and flows were catchy from the start.”

        ^ not true…Wiz wouldn’t have been shelved for years and astroturfed (signed to major but does “indie” promo) if he was “destined” from the start…

        as for the blog…

        “are you the rap fan who likes the artists to stay independent or are you the type of rap fan who likes their favorite independent artist to blow up? I’m with the latter

        ^ why does your fave “independent” rapper have to go “mainstream”? Are you equating mainstream with “success”?. What’s your definition of success? That “indie” dude may be in a better position to succeed than that “blown up mainstream” rapper. Good example, Dipset (Cam’Ron, Jim Jones, Juelz). Cam & Jimmy stay doing indie style deals, Juelz is on Def Jam.

        Accordingly to your view, JUELZ blew up, but he ain’t had an aorta of a project dropped in years while his peers have dropped numerous projects. But they are ALL successful (making revenue thru their love of music), believe it or not.

        Me, I’m a fan of HIPHOP music…Stalley just dropped a heat rock…that chick Persia’s ready…Gza BEEN told ya about this with his verse on ‘Protect Ya Neck’…1

        • Q461

          Haha thats funny you wrote about Stalley I just asked you what you thought of it on that Jay-Z/BEP drop….I’m about to get into it tonight….

          I gotta agree. I’m a fan of the music and culture. If it’s quality I’ll be checkin for it and that goes for not just hip-hop but all music and movies too. I’m a big movie dude and there are some fantastic indy joints that sometimes destroy the big budget joints. It’s the same with rap music. There are some dudes I listen to I bet some of these youngins never even heard of.

          • Don mcCaine


            just came from there too…that’s a damn good project Stalley just gave away…

            @ Stalley

            good looking family…

        • DV

          Cosign- $yk stay droppin gems……

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/agdz AGDZ

    I enjoy Jay Elect just as much now that he’s signed to Roc as I did when he was this mystery man you couldn’t find anything about when I first heard him.

    As long as said artist puts out quality and stays true to who they are, it doesn’t matter who distributes their music.

    • Conor


  • http://adayinthelifeofthefly.blogspot.com/ LouisTaylored

    Okay let me see, Im more of the kinda guy who wants the rapper to go mainstream so I can say I was fuggin with him from the start. But it bothers me when everybody hops on sorta like Wiz when Kush & OJ and Black & Yellow dropped. Like I thought I wanted him to get big but honestly I didnt want to. Because I wanna listen to my well known guys [ie. Kanye] but listen to the guys that not alot of people know [ie Big K.R.I.T.]

    And one thing I dont like about someone I like going mainstream is usually the quality of the music changes for the worse. And lets use Wiz again, I feel like he was always pretty mainstream in his bravado but his music was still catchy and clever. Now I feel he’s leaning on the catchy side and losing his witty lines that made me a fan. And it seems to happen to everybody now another example is Drake and dont get me started on him. But all in all I’d rather my fav rapper stay indy and get his grind on that way. So thats wat type of fan I am, if that makes any sense….

  • Spriggs

    I am a different kind of rap fan. I am a fan of alot of independent(Currency, J.Cole) and mainstream artists(Drake, Lil Wayne, T.I.). I feel like alot of people are people who just love hip hop and rap music and don’t care who the artists is, if the song is hot, im a fan.

  • AnteK

    Im indifferent to if an artist belongs to a major or indie label, when it comes down 2 it its all about music, If i like an artists music when he’s still indie and he later blows up but witout changing his style of music… then there is no reason 4 me to stop listening to the artist, if on the other hand and indie artist blows up and changes the music complety then im obviously not a fan.

    Allthough independent music in most cases feels a bit more “true” than mainstream because they still have their full artistic creativity witout boundries

  • John Cochran

    I personally like the feeling of listening to stuff not many people are up on, and once they catch on, I move on. Its no fun being a follower, listening to the stuff thats on the radio.

  • Shawty J

    I’m the kind of guy who wants the rappers that I’m a fan of to blow up. I want them to maintain as much artistic integrity as they can, but I definitely want to see them blowing up. Going mainstream doesn’t necessarily = selling out.

  • Tyrannical T

    Mainstream or Indy. Whatever. I like an artist because I can identify with them and their music. As long as they stay true to themselves, I’m okay with whatever monetary decisions they decide to make.

  • fazetwo

    I think when underground collabs with mainstream it’s kinda tight. I think there are indie rappers who I think would be better off mainstream and a lot of mainstream rappers who should have stayed indie. It’s whatever though. I like an artist no matter what they’re success is.

  • Alain’Hu’Akbar

    I like discovering new talents; it’s the reason why I’m always checking out the underground. I prefer artists’ music when they are on the come up. I’m never disappointed, for instance artists like Actual Proof, K-Dot, J.Cole, Schoolboy Q, Evidence, Ohene, Reks and so many other cats unknown at mainstream level, are putting out quality music on a regular basis. I still remember when Nas said “Hip Hop is dead” back then when most of the music out there was garbage (monotonous to the fullest, Lil Jon beat, whispering type of songs, Scott Storch produced, Swizz produced, Timbaland or Pharrell produced). However, nowadays these new artists who aren’t signed to major labels make me feel like Hip Hop was really buried and it’s living on the Underground now.

    On another note though, I’m happy when these underground cats blow up BIG and are getting paid big money; because at the end of the day we all gotta put food on our table, bills gotta be paid; we all have the right to the finest things in life.
    Whenever an underground artist I love goes mainstream at the expense of his creative freedom, I still congratulate and that puts me back on my quest for discovering new undiscovered talents.

  • nibs

    Independant for sure. Once they go major, they have money, and all of a sudden they aren’t rapping about anything relevant.

  • matty21

    can’t get mad at any artist broadening their audience, and jumping into more money, for themselves and for their projects; just more to put towards their overall body of work…and it’s always going to happen, if and when it CAN be done, period; and unless da machine and da money changes, there is going to be that fight maybe, and that struggle going on…and it’s SUPPOSED to bring better material, lol…also why artists watch so close, or should, who they sign with; who is in power at that place, and how much control they will have over material they want to put out, it SHOULD be ok…so i could say i liked certain artist’s material before they got that mainstream success, and what not, but that material i liked, i guess is what got them to where their at too…sooo

    which fan? dunno, who doesnt like that shit being made, comig up on the grind and what not, that shit that can be related to on a higher level, and that is more about the struggle and the roots, when it’s all about artistry at dat time…dats why those artists are so great, and rare, da ones that continue to stick to the roots and the struggle, even after achieving that ‘mainstream’ and ‘big label’ success… those are da BESTTT artists/bands… dey maintain as much creative control as possible, no matter how far they go in the industry, and stick to the essence of their artistry, and they most likely fight for that shit throughout, and stand on their base… i would believe it’s a struggle

    good post

  • Sincere

    Major or Indie who cares? As long as your giving me music I can vibe to, that’s all i care about. If you’re an Indie artist and get the chance to sign to a major by all mans get that paper, just don’t change what got you there.

  • Wallabe

    How about just being a fan of good music – whether independent or mainstream.

  • woodrow

    I have a horrible time now trying to find new artists that I like, I fell into cudi just by chance, but as a rapper, i don really consider him a rapper. i still listen to old school rap, i still live in the golden age, i have trouble getting out of it. I compare everyone to wu and ice cube lyrically and i get told you just cant do that, its not like that anymore. so im stuck in the 90s still. thats my fandom

  • caino

    If the music is good, then l’m fucking with it.

    l remember fucking with Xzibit yrs ago, a few of ma boys werent really down with him untill he released that Restless, then from there is was downhill reaaly……..but then again look at Tech9 , dude continues to make money.

    So in conclusion as long as the product is good……its all good.

  • http://www.myspace.com/slotchmusic ms_spittuh

    If your music is good I will fuck with you whether you are underground or mainstream. Peace.

  • chris

    personally i just like music, but as far as persons music becoming watered down when they go mainstream i dont know if i buy into that. I look at it like this the way it is now you hear about 3 or 4 album quality mixtapes from an artist before they even ink a deal. I think by the time alot of these cats do drop an album they done put out alot of their best stuff already, which i feel is natural, but in times past that used to happen to guys when they were 4 or 5 ALBUMS in not mixtapes. having a great amazing album or mixtape is like winning a superbowl, anybody can do it once, but to repeat that is rare. continuing excellence in any field is hard.

  • Blaq Gavin

    What people have to understand is that no artist in the world is making music for their health. It’s about making as much money in this game as possible while you have the opportunity. As a fan I don’t care where an artist is label-wise nor do I care about how much money he has, but I understand that he does. I will never knock an artist for doing what he has to do to make money.Fans may criticize it, but that’s easy to do when you’re on the outside looking in. It’s like the dope game, if you find a block with more $ on it than the one you’re on than that’s where you should be. Once you get there, who cares what your old junkies on your old block think.

  • jeff

    wiz is signed to atlantic

  • HugeHess

    I’m with Beaver, depends on the artist. Rappers like Wiz Kalifah, Ludacris, some are just destined. Tech N9ne, you got your own, Stay Indy. 8 Ball & MJG, UGK, I think the goin to a major label damages alot of artists material. If who you are makes you an Industry cat, go that way, but some stuff just isn’t for mainstream, is strictly for the real fans.

  • http://thehiphopfixdaily.blogspot.com/ Jess Devitt

    im the kind of fan who never thought wiz was any good in the first place.

  • ff1one@yahoo.com

    For me, music or life is all about balance. Personally, i love to find an artist starting out, somebody nobody knows nothing ab out and watch his or her career take off. That is a level of success. However, its a lot of talented people who are just as successful but remain lokey. The difference is that dude who wants to be low key and that dude who really wants to blow but can’t.

    the fact that we have a choice is awesome. And its too many mainstream artist who have freedom. Mainstream music can be underground in a sense. In some cases its better and pure. likewise, some indie artist are trapped. confided to a certain style.

    So, its all about balance.

    I remember when xxl was underground or new and it was pure. the edge is lost a tad bit but its still the best

  • http://sportsbeermusic.com Sports Beer Music

    I can honestly say up until a few weeks ago I was one of the people who said that there was nothing for me in today’s hip hop. We had King Mez on our podcast and he told us where to find new up and coming artist and my entire outlook changed. There are tons of artist out there that are unsigned and putting out great music. I am leaning more and more towards independent.

  • Ali P

    I don’t see a problem with an artist going mainstream as long as they keep theirintegrity. Wiz Khalifa is either making music that he knows will sell by making singles and simplistic songs, or he knows he’s gonna be rich and doesn’t care about the quality of the music anymore.
    Cabin Fever was highly anticipated, yet it was his worst mixtape yet. Mostly all trap songs with lazy, easy to come up with, and predictable lyrics. I was embarrassed after I heard the Taylor Gang anthem, with the Soulja Boy inspired hook “Taylor….Gang! Taylor…..Gang!”

    If an artist were to go maintstream like J. Cole has, I’m completely fine with that, because I’m just happy that more people like good music. But when everyone in my town is cheering for the Pittsburgh Steelers simply because of “Black and Yellow”, it gets pretty annoying.

    When Kid Cudi blew up and they were playing Pursuit of Happiness on the radio, I loved it, I’m usually forced to listen to Ke$ha and Katy Perry throughout the day, literally hearing the same song every few hours, so it’s nice when other people recognize that we aren’t all trying to get high like a g6 when we’re on the way to work early in the morning. Save it for the club.

    So if an artist can manage to keep making the music they want to make because it’s good, not because it will be played by pre-teens when they go to liquorless dance parties, then I fully support them.

    No respect when an artist stops making good music. People listen to music and if you turn your back on your original fan base, they aren’t being haters, they just want quality.