Sunday, November 16, 2008

#5: Being Rappers*

Because rappers scare people. Not their fans, but hopefully their enemies. Hip-hop is, at any given moment, up to its knees in machismo, braggadocio, and this observation is by no means a new one. Rap had a hard enough time rising to prominence, nobody would bother mentioning this about NWA (the debate hovered around censoring angry blackness) unless they were totally square, or had the time for a violence in art debate--rowdy music made by black people had to first deal with the question of whether it was okay for white people to even like it. Of course it was; it was good for the rappers as brands, as part of a business and as music hippies at heart who just want to be accepted like everbody else--it was good for the white fans because it meant they could openly celebrate this music without social repricussions; it was good for black fans because this lessened the chance that someone was going to take this away from them. Everybody wins, like we said.

This acceptance, however, does not change the environment of rap music. Especially in the 90s, all some of our favorite rappers talked about (Big Pun, Nas, Biggie, Jay-Z, Tupac, DMX, MOP, Puffy(!)) was killing (at one point, at least, in every song) someone or something. This is hardass behavior! Nobody is going to truly fuck with someone who puts that out there and surrounds himself with other people who, silently or verbally, put that out there, unless they actually do kill people, because they're not used to being scared either. This is the perfect facade for a closet-case to don.

Not only, as a rapper, are you suddenly unfuckwitable, but, if you're good, you should have boys for life who are either giving you props or becoming you're colleagues in the business (if you're that lucky, which many are not, sadly). This means guys to horde pussy for you; girl-pussy for you to fuck, that is. Things will always come down to that fundamental: hooking up with girls makes other guys think you are cool. You don't have to like doing it, you just have to do it; talking about it would help, too, probably. Especially in your music. So what if you cringe everytime you deliver a line like "get in more pussy than Tampax?" The point is you are safe from having to reveal the truth, which is you've been in love with Peter (your dj) since the first time you met him, and that every time he accidentally touches you, or brushes against you, it gives meaning to life and you are forced to close your eyes in order to savor it, every time. And that is what life's about--not having to say that to anyone (wheter you're friend is in love with you back is irrelevant, because America hates gay rappers and black people hate that they find dicks kind of intriguing).

*If you live in a low-income area, you don't actually have to become a rapper to use these points to your advantage, as hip-hop culture is pervasive in American cities of this type, and the rules of the 'hood (neighborhood) are pretty much the same as the rules for rappers.

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