First of all, hip hop is fucking hip hop, whether or not you like it. If Plies or Waka Flocka Flame wants to go in over a wack beat and spew some nonsense, it might suck, but it’s still hip hop. It’s still beats to the rhyme, it’s still someone taking words and speaking instead of singing them over musical accompaniment. Not to mention, “real” is only in the eye of the beholder.
I had a brilliant conversation with my boy recently regarding people who hate Gucci Mane. My boy is a come-up in the underground rap scene which would normally put him in the camp of people who hate everyone and everything that’s popular, commercial, and in the general sense of society, cool. But surprisingly my boy was completely understanding and accepting of Gucci Mane and his entire persona. Reason being that for the people who live their life inside of strip clubs and on the corners of nondescript blocks, Gucci Mane IS real. He’s talking about the shit they live, the shit they believe in, and the shit that matters to them. So to them he is very much the representation of what they are about while some white boy staring out the window of his mom’s basement hugging a Mighty Mouse vhs tape is not at all relatable. Yet the fanboy studying Adult Swim will turn around and say “fuck that man, Gucci Mane ain’t hip hop, he’s some bullshit”. The fuck makes Gucci Mane not “real” but mushroom-trip rhymes about the planets aligning with your entirely too big ego the “realest” shit ever? It’s all about your frame of reference.
I don’t sell cocaine, I don’t fuck strippers with 5 dollar bills, and I don’t carry an arsenal of guns inside my jeans, but I can at least understand that there are people in this world who do those things like that and to those people, Gucci Mane or whoever else rhymes about the shit he rhymes about, is some real shit. Hip hop is not just about reciting a fucking philosophy book or making hilarious punchlines with multi-syllabic rhymes, it’s about representing who you are and what you’re about, and Gucci Mane does just that, along with all the other rappers who talk about sex, drugs and violence. But apparently to some people this shit is “ignorant” and “not a true representation of what hip hop is about”. Sorry, but rhyming about your favorite cartoons as a kid is ignorant to me. Rhyming about how you still love Duck Down and wanna bring back the golden age is ignorant to me. But I ain’t out there bitching and whining that you’re not making “real” hip hop because I’m not bitter about not selling as many albums as the next dude.
You wanna hate on some shit cause you can’t relate or cause you just don’t like the way it sounds? That’s fine. But don’t try to tell me something isn’t “real hip hop” simply because you don’t like the person making it or the message they’re delivering. What’s important is speaking your mind, and as long as you’re doing that then I don’t give a fuck what you’re rapping about, you’re contributing to this culture and that’s all that matters.