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Old 06-08-2011, 11:51 AM   #1
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Default When Hip Hop Fans Become The People They Hate

In a special edition of my column I go in depth to look at how some of rap's fans today are acting exactly like hip hop's biggest critics did a couple decades ago

http://www.reppghhiphop.com/2011/06/...ple-they-hate/

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When hip hop was a baby it took a lot of criticism. No one really knew what to think of this new culture sweeping the nation, taking the youth with it and making strong statements over what, at the time, was considered some pretty hardcore production. Parents were terrified that their children would be swallowed up by this evil musical force that clearly came straight from the devil and so they took to Congress to try to stop the offensive language from reaching those most influenced by pop culture. The “fad” of hip hop didn’t die though, and the government couldn’t do much more than slap a warning sticker on albums, so hip hop continued to grow into a billion dollar worldwide industry. But now rap has a new enemy, a new group of people trying to suppress it and keep it away from people, its own fans.

Since the beginning, rap has faced opposition from those on the outside for its vulgar language, its offensive treatment of women and its so-called promotion of violence. They tried to silence 2 Live Crew and while Tipper Gore and all the scared white folks were horrified at depictions of half naked women, hip hop supported the collective who were becoming “Banned in the U.S.A.” When N.W.A. received a letter from the FBI basically telling them to chill, rap and its fans stood tall and proudly rode right along with N.W.A exclaiming “fuck the police”. When Ice-T went from playing a cop in New Jack City to getting Tipper’s wif….husband to make all types of outrageous claims about what one song could actually do, hip hop defended one of its best social commentators. Point is, hip hop fans have always shown loyalty to their own whether it was to argue that yes, rap is music not just black people talking, or that no, a couple of bad words here and there isn’t the end of the world because rap reflects reality, which isn’t happy-go-lucky all the time. Rap fans have defended rap with such strong emotion because rap is always under attack. But now it’s the fans who are attacking rap with the same ammunition that Congress, and the Gores, and C. Delores Tucker used back in the day, and using the same justifications for their actions as well.


The recent wave of mainstream artists in hip hop has divided fans more so than ever before. While the “flashy suit era” created the tired distinction between “real hip hop” and “mainstream rap”, these days those labels can be simplified and we have “real hip hop” and “garbage”. If your name is Soulja Boy, or Gucci Mane, or Waka Flocka, or Lil’ B, the music you make is “garbage”, it’s “uninspired”, it’s “noise”, it’s “ignorant”, basically it’s everything that old white people used to call hip hop about 20 years ago. The difference is it’s not those old white people making those claims, it’s rap fans. It’s people who are over 30, who grew up with the Native Tongues and Public Enemy, who feel that hip hop was better when it wasn’t about the money and the girls, when it wasn’t celebrating the fruits of hustling but instead promoting a “Stop the Violence” movement. To these long-time fans, the antics of kids today is the antithesis of everything they love about hip hop. So, much like their elders rejected this new form of music in the 80s and 90s, they are rejecting the efforts of a generation influenced by hip hop now making their own mark on the culture, more or less because they don’t understand it and thus don’t want it around, again, just like their elders.


Am I telling you to enjoy Soulja Boy’s music? Not at all. If swagged out anthems aren’t your red solo cup of Henny then who am I to tell you what to listen to. But there’s a huge difference between having a preference and declaring that an artist sucks, or has no talent, or shouldn’t be making the music they’re making. I’ve actually had people say that Jeezy’s music is bad because it celebrates drug dealing, that Flocka’s music is bad because it promotes violence. But have the people who’ve made these claims listened to Jeezy or Flocka’s whole catalog, or just choice lines that would lend to the belief that they only promote drugs and violence? And if so, how are they any different from those who claimed N.W.A. promoted the killing of cops, or that Dre and Snoop only rapped about fucking bitches and doing drugs (actually…) or that rap itself was nothing more than a “gangsta” culture instead of including the consciousness of someone like Talib Kweli or the brilliance of someone like Canibus? How can the people who once stood with their peers rejecting society’s view of this “negative” culture now be doing the exact same thing to their own people?


I’m not saying Flocka’s bars are comparable to a Malcolm X speech, or that Jeezy doesn’t make some boasts about the drug life, but two important points need to be looked at before judging what they do. First of all, it’s what they know, and rap has always been about “keeping it real” so what is wrong with someone rapping about what they actually know and live? Secondly, since when has rap been about making music that’s acceptable to all people? The whole point of hip hop was that it was music that wasn’t accepted by mainstream society, that it was outside of the norm and that’s what made it so great. It pushed boundaries. And third (yeah I know I said two points) these people are making money, and what exactly is wrong with that? Strip clubs need music, why not hip hop? Clubs need music, why not hip hop? Why not have it be hip hop that accompanies the general public in their lives wherever they are whether it’s the office or the bar? All of this generates income for the artists, and honestly, anyone who hates on someone like Flocka who can afford to bring his whole crew in the studio and record a mixtape in which he sounds like he’s having a whole lot of fun, only to turn around and sell it to thousands of people while consistently doing shows, is just jealous of the money he got by doing what he wants and enjoying himself. There’s nothing worse than hating on someone who’s making money doing what they want, how can you even justify that?


It’s sad to see hip hop get to this point, where the people who supported it from day one now hate on it for the same reasons they loved it in the first place, because it gave people who otherwise wouldn’t have a voice a chance to tell their stories, to let the streets talk without a filter. This is the foundation of hip hop, the words of the streets, and now those who maybe have moved on from that life are turning around and telling the kids “you shouldn’t be saying/doing that” like the attitude of teenagers isn’t going to be exactly what it was 20 years ago, a middle finger to authority.


If you’re a fan of hip hop who rejects artists like Flocka and Gucci Mane but takes it further than just “I don’t prefer to listen to them” then try to remember what it was like defending The Chronic to a bunch of elders claiming it had no artistic value and was just degrading, violence-promoting garbage. Remember how to you, Straight Outta Compton was not just gang banging on wax but instead a call for social justice. Remember that when Public Enemy said “Fight the Power” that they were talking about all those trying to silence a group of people based on no logical reasons but rather simply because they didn’t like what was being said. Then ask yourself if maybe the fans of Flocka and Soulja Boy and Rick Ross aren’t dealing with the same negative comments today. But instead of those comments coming from people outside of hip hop who they can easily point to an ignorance of the whole culture, it’s coming from people inside their own community, who supposedly understand the rejection of an entire culture based off one or two lines taken out of context. You don’t have to like an artist but at least respect them for contributing to this great culture of music that has been bubbling for over 30 years now and will continue to flourish for decades to come. And next time you go to call Soulja Boy garbage because he just talks about swag and doesn’t have any socially conscious verses, remember that this is a young black man making millions of dollars in America, and hip hop has allowed him to do that. Don’t let personal opinions make you forget how many jobs are created every day through hip hop, how it gets so many families up out of the projects, and how just because you may not understand the music they make doesn’t mean it’s bad, that’s what hip hop has been about from day one, pushing boundaries and spitting in the face of authority.


A lot of yall seem to feel like you should be policing hip hop, like you should be in charge of what music is released and who is allowed to make it, to that I say what you said a little over 20 years ago to those who tried to stop the force of hip hop because they didn’t understand it, “Fuck the police”.
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:14 PM   #2
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well back then MCs did things with originality and their own twist no matter how much they talked about bitches and killing people. today, they all wear the same shit and talk about the same shit with no originality..just seeing what the previous man did and repeat it. and fans of today's hip hop are really dumb people. it's like they don't realize every new rapper is talking about the same shit, they just see a new one comes out so they just ride him for a little bit. then when the next one comes then they ride him. and rappers today and record labels know it so that's why they do it. the rappers and labels are business men..dumb fans make these business geniuses rich. therefore there's a creativity limit. everyone like fans, the artists, and the labels want to hear the same shit. but back then creativity was endless and people did things their own way, with their own twist like i said, no matter if they talked about the same thing. Dre talked about bitches and Kool G Rap talked about bitches, but they were different in how they did it. Soulja Boy and Gucci Mane talk about bitches, but their music sounds just like each others
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:45 PM   #3
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well back then MCs did things with originality and their own twist no matter how much they talked about bitches and killing people. today, they all wear the same shit and talk about the same shit with no originality..just seeing what the previous man did and repeat it. and fans of today's hip hop are really dumb people. it's like they don't realize every new rapper is talking about the same shit, they just see a new one comes out so they just ride him for a little bit. then when the next one comes then they ride him. and rappers today and record labels know it so that's why they do it. the rappers and labels are business men..dumb fans make these business geniuses rich. therefore there's a creativity limit. everyone like fans, the artists, and the labels want to hear the same shit. but back then creativity was endless and people did things their own way, with their own twist like i said, no matter if they talked about the same thing. Dre talked about bitches and Kool G Rap talked about bitches, but they were different in how they did it. Soulja Boy and Gucci Mane talk about bitches, but their music sounds just like each others
back then people who were saying all rap was "bitches and hoes" talk would have said that Dre and Kool G Rap sounded the same, even though we all know they didn't, but to someone who hadn't really listened, they probably did. Much like how Soulja Boy and Gucci Mane don't sound the same, but you just said it did, much like those people back in the day said all rap sounds the same.

The creativity is still there. Odd Future is incredibly unique and creative, and honestly, no one else sounds like Waka Flocka, so that right there is originality and creativity. Not liking the music certainly lends to an easily believable "they all sound the same" mentality because people don't take the time to actually listen, they just judge off of 5 seconds, just like the rap haters back in the day did.
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:55 PM   #4
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back then people who were saying all rap was "bitches and hoes" talk would have said that Dre and Kool G Rap sounded the same, even though we all know they didn't, but to someone who hadn't really listened, they probably did. Much like how Soulja Boy and Gucci Mane don't sound the same, but you just said it did, much like those people back in the day said all rap sounds the same.

The creativity is still there. Odd Future is incredibly unique and creative, and honestly, no one else sounds like Waka Flocka, so that right there is originality and creativity. Not liking the music certainly lends to an easily believable "they all sound the same" mentality because people don't take the time to actually listen, they just judge off of 5 seconds, just like the rap haters back in the day did.
i don't do that. if i wanna judge music i'll listen to it. i done heard plenty of soulja boy and gucci mane and i analyzed it and it's just about the same sound. there's no creativity with them because it's not original and not very intelligent music content either. but i know G Rap and Dre don't sound the same cuz i analyzed their music too, all the time even.

so having figured out both of the pairs from listening to both, i can say Kool G Rap and Dre sound different and have their own original creativity while Soulja Boy and Gucci Mane don't. by law it's an opinion i guess but it's factual to an extent. and i like Odd Future and that's an example of creativity and originality cuz no one else is doing what they're doing right now at all. and i have some respect for Waka but just because i appreciate when people put out street music representative of where they're from, no matter who. it's just the club bangers i can't stand...which, shouldn't be in the same genre as hip hop cuz it's really not, bringing up another point
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:02 PM   #5
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i don't do that. if i wanna judge music i'll listen to it. i done heard plenty of soulja boy and gucci mane and i analyzed it and it's just about the same sound. there's no creativity with them because it's not original and not very intelligent music content either. but i know G Rap and Dre don't sound the same cuz i analyzed their music too, all the time even.

so having figured out both of the pairs from listening to both, i can say Kool G Rap and Dre sound different and have their own original creativity while Soulja Boy and Gucci Mane don't. by law it's an opinion i guess but it's factual to an extent. and i like Odd Future and that's an example of creativity and originality cuz no one else is doing what they're doing right now at all. and i have some respect for Waka but just because i appreciate when people put out street music representative of where they're from, no matter who. it's just the club bangers i can't stand...which, shouldn't be in the same genre as hip hop cuz it's really not, bringing up another point
whether or not soulja boy and gucci sound similar (which i don't hear that but it's all good) soulja boy is definitely creative. he got the whole scene popping off that dance, basically brought the word "swag" to the mainstream, he is creative, you may not like his creativity, but he's still creative.

as far as club bangers not being hip hop? I don't really understand that at all. club bangers have been a part of hip hop from day one. look at "Rump Shaker", very much a club banger, not hip hop? All those club joints from rap artists are still hip hop songs, they may not be the type of hip hop that everyone prefers, but they are still very much hip hop.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:06 PM   #6
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and i understand completely where you're coming from about rap haters thinking Dre and G Rap sound the same. i thought about all that a lot and the thread you started said it better than i ever could. but i went deep into the thought and it's just obvious today's shit is worse. from production to lyrics. it was all just raw material and fresh back then. and the fans of today's shit is receiving negative remarks cuz the music isn't fresh. back then the music wasn't being criticized for not being music, it was because people saw it as a threat. and rap haters think the same way about rap now just like rap back then. so they don't count. cuz they're obviously gonna keep thinking it. keeping it within the genre, you can easily see a difference between now and then, even if talking about the same thing.

sorry if i don't make sense or repeating myself or whatever i'm real high
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:13 PM   #7
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whether or not soulja boy and gucci sound similar (which i don't hear that but it's all good) soulja boy is definitely creative. he got the whole scene popping off that dance, basically brought the word "swag" to the mainstream, he is creative, you may not like his creativity, but he's still creative.

as far as club bangers not being hip hop? I don't really understand that at all. club bangers have been a part of hip hop from day one. look at "Rump Shaker", very much a club banger, not hip hop? All those club joints from rap artists are still hip hop songs, they may not be the type of hip hop that everyone prefers, but they are still very much hip hop.

soulja boy wasn't trying to be creative. he was just trying to do what teenagers just like him do all the time. but going into music with it. making a dance is easy, people do it every month. it's not like brilliantly choreographed or anything it's like 3 motions. he was just doing what he does

true, hip hop was started with dance songs and party music but HIP HOP started with that so it was hip hop to begin with. then it got more hardcore and came back in the early-mid 2000's. but today's club bangers came out when club bangers weren;t hip hop anymore (during the hardcore time) and don't use the same traditional hip hop sounds. you have electrical sounds and enhancements and a whole bunch of shit to exagerrate the creativity. and they're sticking RnB dudes in it singing. it's dance music or RnB, put it with those genres, not hip hop
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:14 PM   #8
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sorry if i don't make sense or repeating myself or whatever i'm real high
scratch that actually, i still know what i'm talking about and making sense
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:14 PM   #9
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and i understand completely where you're coming from about rap haters thinking Dre and G Rap sound the same. i thought about all that a lot and the thread you started said it better than i ever could. but i went deep into the thought and it's just obvious today's shit is worse. from production to lyrics. it was all just raw material and fresh back then. and the fans of today's shit is receiving negative remarks cuz the music isn't fresh. back then the music wasn't being criticized for not being music, it was because people saw it as a threat. and rap haters think the same way about rap now just like rap back then. so they don't count. cuz they're obviously gonna keep thinking it. keeping it within the genre, you can easily see a difference between now and then, even if talking about the same thing.

sorry if i don't make sense or repeating myself or whatever i'm real high
the music is still fresh. look at what Kanye has done, his music is all types of fresh and unique and he's reinvented himself on every album. Jeezy breathed all types of fresh air into hip hop in 2005 with this trap raps, his flow and style were all completely original. There is certainly a movement to go back to old school ways with the hipster rap, but even they are doing something that is fresh to most listeners with the electronic influences in hip hop. Rick Ross is taking the flashy suit era of Puffy/Biggie and blowing it even further up with his lavish soundscapes.

and back then rap was definitely criticized as not being "music". It was one of the biggest criticisms in the early days, "it's not music it's just people talking". And a lot of that "fresh raw material" back then was recycled too. Lords of the Underground was recycled Onyx, every single West Coast act after Dre wanted to be Dre. There was just as much copying and pasting then as there is now.

I understand that the music was different back then but I don't know if it was necessarily "better", there was just a lot less of it and it was way less sophisticated, they had a lot less to work with so they did what they could with what they had. Now artists have every piece of technology at their disposal and they can do so much more than sometimes they expand too far and it just comes out weird. But part of the novelty for most golden age fans I think is that simpleness of the music back then. But expansion is good and that's what we've seen over the past few years. To be honest I think the music of today is surpassing the music of back then. The 90s will always be the best decade for music, but this 00's have given us way more classic albums than the 90s, obviously there were fewer albums released in the 90s, but just the fact that we have so many classics from the last decade proves that the music is still good, just in a different way.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Blunt-head Paco View Post
soulja boy wasn't trying to be creative. he was just trying to do what teenagers just like him do all the time. but going into music with it. making a dance is easy, people do it every month. it's not like brilliantly choreographed or anything it's like 3 motions. he was just doing what he does

true, hip hop was started with dance songs and party music but HIP HOP started with that so it was hip hop to begin with. then it got more hardcore and came back in the early-mid 2000's. but today's club bangers came out when club bangers weren;t hip hop anymore (during the hardcore time) and don't use the same traditional hip hop sounds. you have electrical sounds and enhancements and a whole bunch of shit to exagerrate the creativity. and they're sticking RnB dudes in it singing. it's dance music or RnB, put it with those genres, not hip hop
it is still hip hop though, because hip hop is just growing and expanding. back in the day every album had a reggae song, now it's the r&b song. it's still hip hop, just with that influence to it.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:24 PM   #11
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the music is still fresh. look at what Kanye has done, his music is all types of fresh and unique and he's reinvented himself on every album. Jeezy breathed all types of fresh air into hip hop in 2005 with this trap raps, his flow and style were all completely original. There is certainly a movement to go back to old school ways with the hipster rap, but even they are doing something that is fresh to most listeners with the electronic influences in hip hop. Rick Ross is taking the flashy suit era of Puffy/Biggie and blowing it even further up with his lavish soundscapes.

and back then rap was definitely criticized as not being "music". It was one of the biggest criticisms in the early days, "it's not music it's just people talking". And a lot of that "fresh raw material" back then was recycled too. Lords of the Underground was recycled Onyx, every single West Coast act after Dre wanted to be Dre. There was just as much copying and pasting then as there is now.

I understand that the music was different back then but I don't know if it was necessarily "better", there was just a lot less of it and it was way less sophisticated, they had a lot less to work with so they did what they could with what they had. Now artists have every piece of technology at their disposal and they can do so much more than sometimes they expand too far and it just comes out weird. But part of the novelty for most golden age fans I think is that simpleness of the music back then. But expansion is good and that's what we've seen over the past few years. To be honest I think the music of today is surpassing the music of back then. The 90s will always be the best decade for music, but this 00's have given us way more classic albums than the 90s, obviously there were fewer albums released in the 90s, but just the fact that we have so many classics from the last decade proves that the music is still good, just in a different way.

you're hitting me with these artists that i like so i don't know what to tell you back on those ones lol like kanye he's definitely original and Jeezy is too..representative of ATL in my opinion no one sounded like him. and Rick Ross is doing his own thing too. what can i say i like them it's just the Soulja Boy and Gucci Mane that gets me.

the Lords of the Underground and Onyx dropped at the same time i don't know how they recycled Onyx. but the other things you said in the second paragraph, i only know now cuz you just told me so i can't say anything back to that. just from what i seen though, hip hop back then was considered more of a threat than real music.

but about the production of the music being sophisticated, the beats of these artists today are repetitive in sound and really simple 3 noters with that same dirty south drum pattern, the one that goes real fast in the intro of a song, like Waka does sometimes i think it's him
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:26 PM   #12
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it is still hip hop though, because hip hop is just growing and expanding. back in the day every album had a reggae song, now it's the r&b song. it's still hip hop, just with that influence to it.
traditionally it's not, and it's not expanding either the soulja boy shit was contracting hip hop actually
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:27 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Blunt-head Paco View Post
and it's not expanding either
with the snappy ring tone shit i mean...but with Odd Future, yep
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:30 PM   #14
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and when i make points on certain things. i'm either ONLY speaking on so-called original shit and ONLY speaking on the so-called repetitive shit. like about the beats being simple, i'm not talking about every single beat toda, i'm just criticizing those ones
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:36 PM   #15
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fair enough. i understand many people's disliking of Soulja Boy. For me though I just see him as another young rapper getting paid, perhaps not making the best rap music, but then again Kris Kross and Another Bad Creation didn't make the best rap music either, but it was still rap nonetheless.
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