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Why There's No Feeling In Today's Rap Music

  1. Fade

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    [​IMG]

    Why? Money. And I don't mean just that the music industry is ruled by money, no. I also mean that the artists today are too focused on money itself when they're rapping and telling everyone how much money they have (or would like to have). We all know it's bullshit because they can't possibly think that the general public is that stupid that we actually think a new artist has tons of cash to throw around while driving in his or her Lamborghini. If you're a rapper like Jay-Z, for example, and you actually have a fortune that you've piled up over the years of making music and building empires, then sure, by all means tell me about the money you have. But if you're Lil' So-N-So that just released his first LP and in your video you're chilling in the club with models on each arm and stacks of cash and champagne on the table, I call bullshit.

    The Struggle

    When classic albums like Public Enemy's "It Takes a Nation to Hold Us Back", Nas' "Illmatic", Mobb Deep's "Infamous", etc dropped, not only did those albums sound dope and/or have deep meaning, but they represented what those artists were actually going through at the time. If you go back and listen to those albums you'll hear something that you rarely hear anymore in any form of music - feeling.

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    I've said it countless times over the years when I hear a song; that there's no more feeling in today's music. Anyone can rap (there are exceptions though!) because it's easy to throw on any beat and just start rapping something you wrote. Sure, that's super easy but it's HOW you deliver those lyrics that make all the difference. When Nas was telling us about hanging out in project hallways or hearing gunshots every day just outside his window, it's because he actually lived that shit. When Public Enemy was telling everyone to stand up and fight back against oppression, it's because they were feeling the same thing. When Mobb Deep were telling us about drinking 40's and having 5-0 harass them every day, it's because that's what they were going through.

    Fine Dining

    Tune into any modern day rap song and what do you hear? Money, sex, fast cars, clubs, models, Moet, more money, private jets, and yachts. This is why today's music fails miserably at connecting to the listener. How many people actually live the life these rappers are trying to portray in their songs? Not many. And out of those few that live that life, how many of them listen to those songs? Next to none. I understand that it's a fantasy and these artists are putting on a gimmick to make themselves look amazing and it's "just a song". What they fail to realize is that this is supposed to be rap music, not fantasy island!

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    When I listen to rap music, it's because I want to hear something REAL. Something that I can relate to, something that I can compare my own personal struggles to. I definitely do not want to hear someone telling me that they just landed at the airport on their gold-plated custom jet and are heading to the white house to meet the president. That shit has no meaning to me.

    Feeling

    All of this leads me to my main point - feeling in music. To make a great song, you have to experience what you're saying in your song. I'm not from the projects, so if I were to write lyrics I would not write about how hard my life is growing up in the projects! I could rap about how I have no money in my pocket or my neighbor is an asshole, because that's real. So by me rapping about that stuff, you would be able to hear the struggle in my voice because I would put my real feelings into that song. It's too easy for these artists to just get in the studio and rap about whatever's on that lyric sheet and have no emotion whatsover, yet the song will blow up and sell millions because it's "catchy".

    Conclusion

    This isn't meant to step on today's music necessarily, but rather to open every artist's eyes and make them realize that music is not just about dropping a verse or having a catchy hook - it's about feeling. Next time you step in the booth and are ready to lay down your vocals, put some feeling into it! Anyone can spit those lines you have in front of you, but it takes a true artist to tell everyone what you're really feeling.
     
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  2. UNORTHODOX

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    I agree. Except the fine dining part. One of the 1st rap records, Sugar Hill Gang, "After school I take a dip in the pool which is really off the wall" They aint have that shit, but they were bragging. Imagining. Which I think is a better point. People started bragging and they had to keep pushing it harder which made rap a contest of how I can front harder than you. And if Im frontin about how much money I got, how can I be realistic and speak on how fucked up my life really is?
     
  3. DJ Excellence

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    In the 80's and 90's there was some materialism in Hip Hop but it wasn't all over the place ... subject matters were more balanced.
     
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  4. UNORTHODOX

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    Thats because it was just starting. You cant expect someone to back off in public. If you're career is you bragging, then you cant let someone outshine you. Now things are completely disproportionate and the next generation thinks this is completely real, normal and natural.
     
  5. thedreampolice

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    Best shit you have ever written Fade, NICE!

    This is so dead on AND this is why hip-hop is fading a little, people want to connect with there music. I would like to point out that for every time Jay-z talks about the money he has, he spends 10 times as much time talking about the struggle and how hard he worked to build a business from nothing. In his book decoded, one thing that really struck me is he said "The stench of poverty never really goes away" And as someone who grew up in poverty it totally struck home. I mean by all accounts I am financially more successful than my parents, but I STILL feel like it could all go away any second, I still feel like I have to bust ass to get out. You know?

    WOW that is a long rant!
     
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  6. dacalion

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    Dope write! Dope comments!
     
  7. Shonsteez

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    Real fuckin talk Fade. Great article man.
    I also think what motivates these kids to make such shitty music nowadays is that labels and the like still recognize that making these horrible tunes is like a make-believe-outlet for the audience to try and escape from their real life....To me its like conservatives & capitalism. They always seem to perpetuate this idea that "anyone" can actually become a billionaire and ball with the richest 1% one day but in reality this wont happen and its also not logical if you really think about it.....but my point is this - people like to believe in the idea or fantasy that they will be one day, and I think because of this ass-backward train of thought you get a lot of heads that actually appreciate listening to someone else brag about a lifestyle that they'll never live....Demographic and target audience plays a big roll amongst many other things as well, but you get my drift on my personal take.

    I totally feel u though man, music aint shit if it doesn't have feeling and realness to me too. There is real shit out there - you just gotta dig hella hard nowadays to come up on it compared to 10 yrs ago.

    Great article.
    -SB
     
  8. Sucio

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    Great article..

    One of the reasons why I connect with my artist because that is how he raps...with feeling.....You can listen to his tracks and know he's hungry...you hear the struggle and the stress and the mental anguish in his voice... You connect with him..

    Anyone who knows anything about the rap industry know that there are a handful of rappers who are actually rich...some have big signing bonuses, but not making the money people think they're making.... All of their cars are leased..... Most of that jewelry in the videos are rented. Image is everything. Hip-hop now talks to those who want that glamour and glitz and that rockstar status, even though the artist isn't really living most of it.

    I agree with Dox... Kane was big on bragging about shit like that... But he made it sound so slick that it wasn't just put out there...

    Slick Rick had all that jewelry....it has been materialistic for years....but now it's gotten to the point of bragging about millions.....

    People see the Jay-Z/Dr. Dre/Eminem/50 Cent's of hip-hop and see how much money they have, the same people think since these new rappers are flossing all of this shit, they are rich like those above mentioned rappers are....and it's not even close...lmao.
     
  9. Pug

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    Good post DP!
     
  10. RAW-D

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    'Anyone can spit those lines you have in front of you, but it takes a true artist to tell everyone what you’re really feeling.'
    true!
    good story fade
    nice post tdp
     
  11. Persistent_VS

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    Money is the main force in today societies and the music industry is no exception. I think the main problem are people, fans who are buying music. We need to support true artists and independent labels...
     
  12. Fade

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    I appreciate the feedback, but for articles I'd rather us keep the comments there. I'll let this one slide since I know it can stir up a big thread, so keep it going.
     
  13. UNORTHODOX

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    This true. But, the issue is, people that actually pay for music, are buying music they feel. They want to feel happy and party, with no weight of heavy thinking and thats what they put their dollars towards. Most of these people are in school their music is the opposite of that, aka Waka/Gucci/etc.

    If you arent putting money toward an artists new stuff (So they get the money not the label they WERE signed to) you are part of your own problem. Period.
     
  14. Fade

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    Good comments. I think if you also look back at The Roots' video, I think it was "What They Do", where they make fun of the artists with all the bling. They pull up in an expensive car and it says "rented" underneath. The champagne bottles on the table, it says something like "Ginger Ale" or whatever. Hilarious.

    It's fine to brag here and there but not where your whole career is based on a lie. But that's just the thing - there's a difference between bragging and portraying. Don't tell me you have all this money when we all know you don't.

    It's like these "freestyle battles" we see today, they're just terrible. It's just 2 guys talking, they're not even rapping, and there's no music! So basically they're just 2 guys standing on a stage talking shit. Anyone can do that, especially if it's written. These artists need to come with something REAL. If you live with your mom, who cares? But tell me about it, tell me about how you have a bus pass and not a car. Tell me about how you failed English class or how you masturbate 5 times daily - be honest!
     
  15. LouBez

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    I think the article focuses waaaaaay to much on the 10 songs that stay in clear channel's rotation at any given time...their is A TON of great authentic hip hop being released every damn year...its just not portrayed by the media to be popular...Freddy Gibbs and Pill got struggle music for daaaaaays...Dig deeper guys.
     
  16. Shonsteez

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    Well I think its safe to say the majority of this article applies to the mainstream.
     
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  17. Vice

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    I read the article and have to disagree... there's plenty of music out today with feeling, even radio music... it just depends on the feeling YOU as the listener are looking for. No disrespect, but I feel like the article speaks on the same old one sided argument that the underground is famous for. It's as cliche as the mainstream talking about money.

    That's why I started listening to country...it's as real as it gets. :D j/k
     
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  18. Fade

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    Yes, there's plenty of music today that has feeling in it, but what the article is referring to is basically the mainstream stuff that talks about stuff that we know they don't have. It has nothing to do with an artist being underground, I'm saying that there's a serious lack of feeling in all music today, period.
     
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  19. StressWon

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    I think we also have to consider the production too. Since labels starting to lose money when peer networks popped up all over the place, the sample clearance became a big issue. Then when these cats came out with there simple synth beats and sample clearance wasn't needed, then as any label exec, CHA CHING was the mind frame. Mindless music is very lucrative when the younger generation doesn't want to think for themselves or even have a honest day of hard work.
     
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  20. OffSet

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    Yo Fade! Thank you much for this one here, for a minute I thought I losing my mind cuz I have to agree or should I say I thought lose the love for hip hop (feeling no kind life in hip hop today). And production wise its the same thing too. Beatmakers or producers are now just putting shitty ass tracks out there. The music has no life just a bunch of BS!
     
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