In an age where music is all around us, there are countless styles of music to choose from. Rock, Jazz, Country, Pop, Metal, and of course, Rap. Within Rap music, there are also many sub-genres like East Coast, West Coast, Dirty South, Club, Mainstream, Underground, etc. But what happens when a rapper blends all of those together? The Birth Starting out on the Hip Hop scene is where a rapper shows their true colors; the world gets to see what the rapper is really all about and whether he or she has what it takes to make it in the Rap game. What's most important though is that this is when we see who the rapper really is and what kind of music they're putting out. Eventually every rapper finds their niche and this is when they will be labeled as "East Coast" or "Crunk". Along the way though is when some rappers tend to try different styles just as a kung fu student tries something new! For the most part, this will work but most of the time it just becomes a huge mess that certain rappers can't get out of. The Mess The reason why rappers will try different styles could be because they just want to try something different, or most likely it's because they know that crossing over into a new genre will bring them tons of new fans, fame, and of course, money. I can't blame them for wanting more fans, fame, and money, but when they get caught up in it and forget about the actual music they're putting out, this presents a problem. When I would hear one of my favorite rappers years ago, I knew what to expect. I knew that if someone like Redman, MC Eiht, or A Tribe Called Quest dropped a new album, it would be filled with music and lyrics that I loved and never did they present me with some new style that I wasn't ready for. I understand that music labels and current trends can dictate what happens to a particular artist, but there has to be a limit. What has happened is that these rappers have forgotten their original style and gone completely off course. For example, Lupe Fiasco dropped his "Food & Liquor" album which became a big hit, thanks to his "Kick, Push" single, but what happened next is he released his "Lasers" LP which seemed to be more geared toward Pop music. It's like as if he was trying to cash in on his new fame by reaching out to more fans across the globe but instead the album was a disappointment with his core fans. It's now rumoured that his new LP will be "Food & Liquor 2", which will take him back to his roots of his first album. Sellout? This is what I mean when I talk about rappers going to other genres and forgetting about their roots. It makes people wonder if they're selling out and only doing this for money and not even fame or fans. Are they? Who knows. The fact remains that with today's music business model, artists are asked to pump out hit after hit, regardless of what style of music it is. Labels are only interested in cashing in on their artists, so what's it to them if they're sticking with their Dirty South roots or brandishing a new Pop style? As long as it makes money, right? Conclusion My advice to all rappers either currently in the game or trying to break in - stay true! There's nothing wrong with incorporating different styles into your music but never stray too far away from your roots. There are many ways of bringing in fans and finding fame and money, but by mixing up all your musical styles, you will no doubt create a mess and find yourself being one of those rappers saying that on your next album you, "have a little something for everyone". Tsk, tsk.