Real vs. Fake in Hip Hop

It’s no secret that rap music has been on the decline when it comes to authenticity for some time now. Rather than having depth, most music of today, both mainstream and underground, is engrossed in dry and shallow lyricism. The amount of rappers that are detrimental to the genre are diluting those that benefit it, leaving the game just hanging on by a thin strand of artists who genuinely care about the music that they are distributing.

“I hit the strip with my trap queen ’cause all we know is bands,
I just might snatch a ‘Rari and buy my boo a Lamb’,
I just might snatch her a necklace, drop a couple on a ring,
She ain’t wanting for nothin’ because I got her everything”
-Fetty Wap “Trap Queen

These are lyrics from the third song on Billboard’s ‘Hot Rap Songs’ list thus far in 2015, from an artist that made the XXL freshman list. Does anyone see anything else wrong with this? Not that there’s anything wrong with trapping, money, and shopping with your girl. But should an artist feel so passionate about these things as to have them as the sole topic of his music?

“Man this is God’s poetry,
Vibe and roll with me,
Rocking all on this beat,
I used to complain about not having shoes,
Until I seen a man with no feet”

These lyrics are from a song right around the same time as the example before it; and a song that has not gotten on any kind of big-time list that gets substantial exposure. Yet these are the lyrics that demonstrate potential for rap music.

When musicians begin to pursue their music from a passionate and untethered approach, rap may reclaim it’s authenticity. Or rather than current musicians focusing on making more passionate music, maybe the culture should focus on making more passionate people into the musicians.


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