Monday, February 23, 2009

Emo Rappers

I and my compadres had an in depth discussion about this video last weekend. Rap has been building towards this moment for some time, but the emo rapper has officially arrived. Did you hear what this nigga Cudi said?

Emo Quotables:
"I got 99 problems, and they all chickens/ wish i was jiggaman"
"She bought the toys that I would play with when i was by myself/ why he by himself?"
"but they all didn't see... the lil bit of sadness in me/Scotty I've got some issues that nobody can see and all of these emotions are pouring out of me. I bring them to the light, it's only right,this is the soundtrack of my life, the soundtrack of my life."

Am I wrong for calling this a landmark moment in hip-hop? And by "landmark" I don't mean to say that I consider this a positive development; I'm actually neutral. I mean it's a significant point in the development of the genre. A rapper gets on a program and sing/raps about how he's a sad little boy... Even with Kanye and the mullet, I still never thought I'd see the day that a rapper would ever say that. Shoot, singers don't even do ish like that.

Unless their emo. < cudi voice > Welcome to Heartbreak < cudi voice >


Anonymous said...

and that emo as fuck post 2 down from this one was...foreshadowing?

as long as he gives more substance than just "i'm a sad little boy", i got nothing against him being real. its a bit better than the money, cars, clothes, the hoes...i suppose.

David Kenneth said...

I love how emo-rap fans get severely emotional and protective over these niggas online... I guess its fitting actually lol.

Call Me... "Mr. Garr" said...

@anonymous: yes, it was foreshadowing. glad you caught it. it was akin to the c.o.l.o.u.r.s. post being followed by my suit adventure a while back. (check the archives). i also said i was neutral about emo rap. i'm just noting its existence. i'm not judging it negatively, cuz i think blogging is emo. therefore, by virtue of the glass house in which i reside, i can and will not throw stones.

@david kenneth: i told u so. lol

so that it's a lil more clear, rap is a genre of music that markets a certain brand of masculinity. Over the last 10-15 years, it's been hyperbolized masculinity. i feel cudi's level of "realness" has been hinted at by artists like kanye with their varying levels of emotional vulnerability, but not at such an oedipal level as cudi displayed. for hip hop, that's an important step. forward? back? left? right? iunno, but it's a definite step.

Jeffrey Taylor, Jr. said...

if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. the coolest thing to be now is different. thats always been true, but we've reached the point where the subculture of hip hop has spawned the counter culture of the emo rapper. the same thing happened in rock when it spawned grunge. basically cultures go in cycles where the strong dominate in the beginning, but the smart take over. cats like jay and 3 stacks paved the way by doing it for the hood and the burbs. the next logical step is a nigga that does it for the burbs. enter kanye. then the hood kinda accepts the burbs. enter jim jones fashion. then burbs explains to the hood what the hood tried to explain to the other side of the cultural train tracks: that its not just a look. its a way of life. enter cudi.

the reason the emo niggas are defensive is cuz bein an emo nigga isnt dress up. its the same reaction we had at the WU when the white kids would dress like thugs for halloween.

As far as whether its a good step or not, that depends on the seat you sit in. Its good for the folks that love rap, but wish they could connect more, cuz they only see the hood on tv. its bad for the nigga that cant dig deeper and give the fans a real slice of life. its bad for the counterculturalists, because soon they will see everything that they are packaged and marketed. They will have to pack up and be different somewhere else. Its good for the hood, cuz maybe they see that its ok acknowledge emotions. everyone grows more than they lose in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

@davidken: tone gets lost in translation online; i wasn't being defensive. But online is the only place to have this discussion isn't it? I mean, if there were a radio show somewhere, I'd gladly call in and give my two cents, but seeing as how there isn't and this is the medium we're stuck with using, it isn't exactly insightful to say "emo rap fans get emotional and protective online".

@mr.garr: I'm not demeaning the sincerity of your previous post. Shit, real niggas light candles, right? what i am saying is basically expanding on what you just said. hip-hop has been based off a hyperbolized-masculinity, and there have been times where rappers have gone and slipped relatively "emo" tracks into a library of hood joints. cudi -- who i don't find too lyrically gifted to be honest -- to his credit, lays himself out there on the tracks. and while he might not be the greatest emcee, he does symbolize an important step for hip-hop.

some people say all the important things have already been said in hip-hop, but these are grounds that aren't as worn out. most importantly, like Jeffrey Taylor, Jr. said, it opens hip-hops versatility beyond the facade of a hyperbolized masculinity and could lead to artists that aren't as two-dimensional.

@jeffreytaylor: agreed.

Call Me... "Mr. Garr" said...


Call Me... "Mr. Garr" said...

"everyone grows more than they lose"

just reread that. thas some deep ish... taken outta context, it's even deeper.