Rap music, for the most part, has been a genre about bragging. It is weird because it is a deviant of Hip Hop, a genre whose main emphasis was sending a message to the people. Thinking back to the days of NWA, Tupac and Ice T where spreading awareness was the order of the day, rap music seems to be a victim of its own becoming.
While there have been countless debates about the difference between rap and hip hop, the clearest difference certainly has been the culture. What people get out of these two types of music is of importance. Let us try to put that into perspective. Think about Tupac for a minute. What comes to mind when you think of him? Then think about the Migos for another minute. What comes to mind?
Clearly, even a guy with an atom of sense will tell you how different those artists are from each other. Tupac ventured into many topics but he was well known for making inspiring hits and memorable messages to the black community. Migos on the other hand are all about trappin. I need not introduce the origins of Trap music so I’ll leave you links that explain the whole theory.
Trap music has been on the rise for some time now. Originating from Atlanta and seeing it inspire even boybands suggests that it is going to be a global phenomenon. I do, however, have a problem with it: bragging. This also goes for all the other rappers out there. Sure, it’s a normal thing for rappers to do. They brag about anything and anything. Heck, Kevin Gates made a song about having two phones and it was a hit.
Same old shit, just a different day
Perhaps my biggest issue with bragging is how monotonous it has become over the years. Just look at the rap songs making it to the Billboard Hot 100 from 2015 to date and tell me what you learn from those songs. It can be broken down into the following; I’m rich; I’m better than you; I can steal your girl; money on my mind; look at these chains. Nothing new is ever brought to the table. While it isn’t bad to repeat a tried and tested formula, it certainly doesn’t need to be overpopulated. Look at how Bitcoin is right now after everyone jumped on the bandwagon.
What’s worse is some of these new rappers shouldn’t even be considered artists. Take a look at 6ix9ine’s recent album. I declined to do a review of the album because he was yelling in almost all of his tracks. Then we have Lil Pump, Lil Baby, Lil Chronic and whatever the hell they call each other nowadays. Don’t even get me started on Lil Uzi Vert. I now realize this is slowly turning to a rant. Let me get back on track.
Put your money where your mouth is
My other issue with their bragging is record company contracts. In most scenarios, they aren’t as rich as they claim to be. They live with advances they get from their labels. They don’t even make money from album sales and streams, unless they signed exclusive deals like what Taylor Swift has. But she is a pop icon, we are talking about rappers. More is explained in this video.
Assume that all the facts presented in the video are true, we should ask ourselves why do they even bother doing it? Because they are rappers. They have an image to protect. Rappers are known for showing off what they own. You can imagine the likes of J Cole being considered outcasts. In the end, they have themselves to blame.
Bragging, in my opinion, is unnecessary. 21 Savage is a living testament; he stopped wearing chains on his neck and spent most of his 2018 doing charity work. It doesn’t have to be an endless competition about outdoing each other. No one really cares. Really. No one.