Sunday, September 13, 2009

rap music

today's topic: rap music

disclaimer: if you are not a music lover, this post is not for you. if you do not care for rap music, please search for porno or find something better to occupy your time.

sept 8th.
the best day for hip-hop culture in 2009. 2 highly anticipated hip-hop albums were released: jay-z's blueprint III & raekwon's only built for cuban linx II. both artists are highly respected in the hip-hop community and great lyricists. this was a very important day to me, on a personal level....before i discuss why, quick commercial:

people who know me, ask my opinion of albums whenever they drop. i am happy and take pride in seeing people who actually care what i have to say. sometimes my opinion influences their feelings on a particular album.....other times, they could give a shit. on sept. 8th, i received copious amounts (not even kidding) of text messages all saying variations of this phrase: "you MUST agree with me that jay-z has the album of the year, nigga"...minus the nigga for my white and asian acquaintances, this is what occurred. now let's start the show © 'ye west

what i learned on sept 8th is this: there are two types of rap fans...or on a wider scope, music fans in general.
the head: the hip-hop head. loves rap music. commercial or underground. backpack or gangsta. this person understands there is a place for everyone in hip-hop, with talent....from Soulja Boy to Nas....they realize all talented rappers represent a different aspect/perspective on what the hip-hop culture has to offer to the listener.
the ned: the trendy listener. intially comments on a song stating: "i like the beat." likes an artist based on their persona rather than the music. top 40. bases their musical taste on record sales or potential record sales....justifies their "rap badge" by stating one of these 5 rappers is their favorite of all-time: 2pac (everyone loves 2pac, right?), jay-z (big pimpin is the shit), lil wayne (drinks the wayne kool-aid), common (he eats peas & cornbread like me, and he's saying something), or kanye west (he's original)....this person will drop rap music for r&b once they turn 30

both types of people showed their true colors on sept 8th. the head appreciated both albums. i believe jay-z dropped a solid album. it's not a classic (reasonable doubt) or extremely terrible (kingdom come). if i were nelson george or touré, i'd give it 7.5/10. i would give my review of the album....but who cares, really? i believe raekwon dropped a superior album...frontrunner for rap album of the year (waiting on wale). the head has heard both albums, mutliple times. understands why jay-z went the direction he did in bp3. also realizes why an ob4cl2 is needed in today's rap climate. the ned heard bp3 and christened it as the greatest thing since ass and titties. did not bother checking for raekwon's joint, nor do they know who raekwon is, yet will defend bp3 as the superior album without giving the other one a listen...i understand why people would automatically assume jay-z has the best album. mainly because they buy into the image....jay's more popular, he's married to beyoncé, has a ton of money, has the respect of everyone from obama to oprah. neds are familiar with his music and are comfortable with familarity. this is why we have so many variations of the same sound in rap music.

here is my issue: i can not...scratch that...will not discuss rap music with "neds" anymore. it only frustrates me. logically, it makes no sense to defend one album as superior to another without hearing both albums. this is not me downplaying bp3 or praising raekwon. this is a matter of today's hip-hop listener, the ned.

it starts with the radio. songs are played until you become familiar with them, and develop a liking for the song. generally, this is why certain songs are played each hour, on the hour....that and payola (another topic for another day). the ned develops their rap taste from the radio. does not bother looking up new music they potentially may like, they simply accept what is given to them. the ned is the reason why BET is run by white people. this is why some hip-hop heads are upset (not me, more on that later)...they are upset because there is not a balance on what is commercially offered in rap music. they complain about people accepting too much of the same thing (crunk, snap, chopped n screwed, hyphy, dance songs, hipster hip-hop aka leg warmer music).

i am not upset with the game simply because i am always finding new rap records to listen to. for example, because i did not grow up to see the beastie boys at their peak, i can go back and discover their records. as a result, their music is "new" to me. that is my escape from the bullshit.

the bottom line for me is this: i know longer care why rap music, and hip-hop culture is the way it is. i am doing my job in making sure the real shit stays alive by buying good albums, seeing solid artists perform live, and always looking up new/"new" artists i am not familiar with. i love music, particularly...rap. it is my obsession. i take it seriously. please do not look at me funny when you ask to hear what i am listening to and hear me respond with: epmd, j dilla, or kool g. rap....i will look at you funny, and call you a herb.

this is the line in the sand. if you are real about proclaiming to like music, yet casually accept whatever is offered to are a ned. stay on your side of the fence. when people ask you who your favorite artists is, and you respond with: "i like everyone" or "there are so many" are a ned. give me 50ft. there is no reason for being a ned, yet proclaiming to "love" music. there is a difference in loving music, and liking backgroud noise (music to listen to in your car, favorite song in the club, etc.)...i challenge everyone who geninuely loves music or wants to have a better appreciation for music (not just rap), to search for things you like. there is no excuse in the age of iTunes, twitter, various blog sites (5ivebruhs anyone?) to be a ned. be a "head" whether its hip-hop, country, heavy metal, whatever....just appreciate the music. not the persona. record sales. trendiness...focus on just the music. it'll make your life better.

i guarantee it © george zimmer

oh yeah.......shoutout to jake delhomme


Its Jonny C said...

U had to play my team bruh...embarassing lol.

Matthew said...

I am so tired of hearing how awesome a few of these rappers are when their entire song is the chorus which is usually someone else's beat and someone else's voice. I feel like Jay-Z used to be a lot better of a lyricist but has since become too much of a producer-rapper and has lost a great deal of his lyrical talent. He is not aweful, but I think Bp3 proves this because the best parts of the album are when who ever the guest artist is in the song (which almost every song has one) is singing. I think Jay-Z began his downhill spiral when he tried spittin at Nas and got his ass handed to him. He is a GREAT producer, however, and i think his albums are fairly well arranged. I havent listened to Raekwon's new album yet but i will be picking it up soon.

M-ACE-stro said...

Neds make me angry. I consider neds to be those with limited perspectives who have no idea or interest in what they are missing out on due to their small perspective. The thing about neds that makes me angry is their lack of interest, lack of openness, and their baseless/ignorant opinions. I’ll give an example because this happens every now and then. My iPod will be on shuffle and lets say “All In Love Is Fair” by Stevie Wonder or “Is It A Crime” by Sade or “Control” by Janet Jackson comes on. If a ned is riding with me, this is what will happen (M – Me / N – Ned).

N: What is this? M: Sade. N: Who? M: Sade. N: This is wack, next track please.

I get so angry when that happens because their opinion is only based on the fact that they’ve never heard it before and are therefore uninterested in listening to it. Then I realize that they’re just a ned, I didn’t use that term before but it’s pointless in arguing because they’ll only frustrate you. My collection wouldn’t be what it is now if I wasn’t open to new things. I can’t express how much that upsets me. Some of the most incredible music I’ve ever heard comes from people suggesting I look up a particular artist or I’ll happen to be in their car and I’ll look through their CDs. I find that I’m often more interested in the music that I haven’t heard which is why I also love discovering new music. is one of my absolute favorite sites because they always reference you to similar artists when you search for any artist.

Another reason neds anger me is because they simply don’t appreciate the music. If it ain’t on the radio or co-signed by Jay-Z/Lil Wayne/etc, they don’t wanna hear it. I agree that neds probably don’t even know who Raekwon is and have no interest in listening to his album since it ain’t mainstream. That’s what I think it boils down too. Neds are the majority which is why the real stuff doesn’t sell as much which frustrates me as well but the artists of the real stuff don’t do it for the money. I think heads know when the artist has a genuine love for music over selling records. Neds don’t love the music. I’m trying to put my finger on exactly what it is they love besides the actual music itself. (What do you think George?)

The last thing I will say is heads have respect for each other and I enjoy meeting them. I love it when they disagree with me and vice versa. The conversations are like no other. If Bob George tells me to listen to something or gives me a high review of an album, I will listen to it and he will do the same because we both know that our opinions are valid and plausible. If Bob George or any head for that matter tells me Blueprint 3 is a 7 out 10, that’s not enough for me. I want to know why. I want to know the history of the record, the producers, why he selected those producers, what was leaked, etc. I know my fellow heads will not make a suggestion that will waste my time because we all love the music too much or our ears have been subject to far too much garbage. For example, a lover of food isn’t gonna suggest something that tastes awful to their friends who love food as well. The same applies to us lovers of music.

Bob George said...

M-ACE-stro....this was so well-written I feel as though I owe you money.

Seriously though, I agree with most of this.... For me, I do not need to know the history of a record after getting a suggestion. If it's from a credible source, I'll just take a listen. After the intial listen, I'll investigate and see why the album came out the way it did. I am not saying you are wrong with your listening process. We just differ in that regard....basing your opinion on something you've never heard bothers me more than anything, so I completely agree with that sentiment. Thanks for the feedback.

Jonny Casanova said...

I dont know which one of these I am...I feel life if the ned is the liberal and the head is conservative then I am an indpendent with conservative tendancies....Im def not a hip hop head but I love it. but i can be somewhat of a ned at times... I really just love music in general to the point where I dont care about genres anymore, just whats good.

bob george gets jiggy wit it. said...

@ Jonny C. is head

you got it backwards. the liberal is the head because they are judging it only by the music. the conservative is the ned cuz they are going strictly by what's hot. as soon as you fall off, they stop listening...i used rap because its something i prefer but it represents a microcosm of a music listener

for example, ja rule was popular had a lot of fans. when 50 crushed him, ppl stopped listening. 50 is going through this now, and rick ross is the guy ppl listen to....the head would care less because they just judge music.

the independent wouldn't even listen to music, thus the nonchalant attitude. but really how many ppl have you met to where they don't like music....?