Thursday, March 5, 2009

Get Your Money Right, Just Dress Nice and Don't Thug

Remember when the big debate in Hip Hop music was, "Do you do it for the love of the art, or for the money?" The 'love of the art' dudes were largely underground types and the 'do it for the money' characters ended up being the 'gangstas.'

So in coffee shop circles it became cool to shit on that 'thugged out' stuff. The thugs, responding in kind, were on some 'get the fuck out of my face with that fruity shit.' Both sides were passionate about their position.

I've been listening to some of the new school rappers (or 'unrappers') and there seems to be some serious confusion in terms of what they're about. The aesthetic is almost neo-soul (albeit developed and pushed in a slightly different direction), but the lyrical content is more money-grubbing than the most thugged out 'Pac or Fiddy track you will ever hear in your life. At least with 'Pac and them there was passion. They were on that Scarface shit: first you get money, then you get the power, then you get the women. It was like watching a Bruce Willis action flick, or a Mike Tyson bout when he was in his prime.

Now the same dudes who crack on the gangsta film clips with semi-naked chicks, cars, and club scenes are all talking about shopping bags, cologne and looking cute. They're like some sissy French male-to-male escorts. "Buy cool, edgy, niche gear and gadgets, and this time next year it'll all be played out and replaced." It's probably the most meaningless, empty, 'consumerism for consumerism's sake' style we've seen so far. But the stereotype about the dumb, misogynist thug rapper persists.

These new dudes are way more sophisticated than that. Right?

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