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and have been an avid hip-hop junky for years. This goes back to the same dumb argument that has been floating around for years (about 15). And that is; that there is "real" hip-hop and dumb-ass commercial hip-hop. Those involved in this argument think the two should never have anything to do with each-other and that you cant consider yourself a real fan of hip-hop if you listen to commercial. The main difference between the two is that commercial rap is based around the hook and the catchy beat where the underground stuff is built around the lyrical content and "keepin it real."
So you can guess where Gucci falls, the underground heads cant stand him. Talib has built his career on being a "conscious" rapper and has recently (last 6-7 years) been toeing the line a little more, his biggest single to date (Get By) was produced by Kanye.
Anyway, the fans of Talib arent happy that he is working with Gucci and feel like they need to say something on it. So yah, he is unhip in certain circles, but those circles need to dissolve, its a tired topic that really needs to be put aside.
I really could care less, I'm a hybrid fan. I like it all for different reasons and think there is room for all the styles within the world of rap. I dont hear a song about candy-coated whips with wood grain dash-boards and 26 inch rims and get all offended like its an assault on the sanctity of the four elements of hip-hop. And I think its pretty cool when artists like Kweli work with odd-balls like Gucci. Just check his work on Shine Blockas off the new Big Boi album, he makes that track.
Did I even answer the question? Probably not, just felt like ranting.
Gucci Mane is infinitely more inventive and creative lyrically than Kweli has ever been. I'd say a lot of criticism of him is just down to the same kind of tedious anti-Southern sentiment that should've died out years ago. From a technical standpoint Gucci is so far ahead of Kweli I'm staggered that there's actually a debate here.
In fact I've probably done that.
And I tend to disagree with the Kweli < Gucci sentiment, although really, I just dont think the two rappers relate other than the fact that they both rap. They should both be appreciated for their strengths and shouldn't have to be stacked up against each-other. I like Kweli and I think the direction he is going down suites him well. The track with those two together is pretty cool.
I also agree with your 'anti-southern' argument. The south has so many great records that never get any press or discussion that its pretty bewildering. And its attributed to that same idea of whats real hip-hop and whats not, its bogus man.
but i think that's sad. they're on the same song now anyway, so maybe you can compare them.
i guess i'm prejudiced in that i've never thought Kweli could rap even when i bought records he was on. is it odd that i listen to Gucci for his lyrics and listened to Kweli for the beats?
But not a complete surprise, I have tons of friends that could never get into Talib, but it was mainly due to his delivery, not his content. He has some CLASSIC tracks all throughout his catalog but his cadence/voice/style can take some getting used to.
The Blast is still one of my top jams.
Its not that they shouldnt be compared, thats a dumb thought that I should rescind. What I really mean is that you really dont have to pick one side or the other. Music is always open to comparison.
Xzibit isn't really underground. It's gotta be a south thing.
Norah Jones, Justin Timberlake and Will.I.Am on his last solo album Eardrum?
It really must be only an anti Gucci thang? Interesting. Props to Kweli then, and Big Boi. FTH.
personally i think his delivery is pretty hopeless. i know i'm not alone in thinking that. lyrically i just find him really boring: just because he's rapping about politics or whatever doesn't really mean he's saying anything. i can't think of a single memorable Kweli lyric.
i like his work with Hi-Tek & Mos Def. the late 90s Rawkus stuff basically. but that's down to the production and the general feel of those records.
So, y'know, I can't be allowed to think the new album by The Roots is amazing and still have room on my ipod for Pill's mixtapes or some shit. I think hip-hop is honestly the worst genre with regards to debates about authenticity or keeping it real. Why can't people realise that both sides of hip hop have merit? It's about time people recognised that conscious doesn't have to mean sloganeering and political referencing (I mean, fuck, two of the most 'conscious' records I own are Raekwon's Only Built For Cuban Linx and Ghostface's Supreme Clientele), yet equally that rapping about something other than chicks, drugs, guns and chains doesn't mark you out as some po-faced rapper who hasn't 'evolved'.
has there been a single 'conscious' rapper with even the slightest bit of credibility to debut within the last 10 years?
Plus Mos Def's return to form. El-P as well.
i listened to Mos Def and El-P in school, they don't count
PROOF I AM RIGHT
God, I'm a pedant.
What about Black Milk?
Maybe Erykah Badu with 4th World War?
I dunno, let the search for the new wave of conscious begin or something.
Personally I'm left pretty cold by Jay Electronica, and I prefer Black Milk's beats to his rhymes. I can't really bring myself to use the word 'conscious.' Shit. Well, not out loud.
Black Star was 98.
but dear god, stuff like Eternal Sunshine blows my tiny little mind. And a lot of the other sample heavy stuff he's done... tracks with 1-2 minute intros, no choruses, use of droney white noise and static hiss. Plus I haven't heard anyone of late who can twist words like he sometimes does... feels like he's reaching into my chest and grabbing at my heart sometimes.
Re: Black Milk, yeah, the beats are the best thing, but think Tronic had some neat rhymes, especially that 'lemme fast forward bout 17 years, take you back to the basics, back to the basement, hi hat snare drums, bass kicks' <3
Some of his stuff is really quite out there, admittedly less so of recent, but he still has this massive popular following.
rapper anymore. It really doesnt matter. We are trying to put people to labels again.
Mos Def may have started out as such but he has evolved, he gets it. Talib as well. Kanye came in the game and enlightened the whole scene.
S'far as good recent "underground sounding" raps that dont rely on an anti-mainstream foundation, I'd check:
I dont know man, I feel like we are starting to circle around again.
My guess is probably none. If you hate commercial rap on principle then all you really need is to see a picture of the dude. A picture such as this one:
A bunch of my friends are knee-jerk commercial rap haters and I just refuse to debate it anymore. Immortal Technique makes me want to die of boredom. Gucci's fun.
but I see your point. I agree that most dudes that argue it have maybe heard a verse or two and that about it. They feel he is a disgrace to what they think is the classic sound, what hip-hop really should represent.
TIMES CHANGE, MUSIC EVOLVES. I still love that boom-bap underground sound and still think there is room for advancement within that soundscape. But the subject matter has gotten stale as its just been recycling that "we're real, they're not" argument.
Not that it doesn't have merit. I used to be basically the sort of douche who would write angry blog posts about commercial and underground dudes collaborating. So there's a certain sound in hip hop I'm basically burnt out on, due to ceaseless repetition, but also an attitude. The funny thing is, Talib is actually pretty commercial. More commercial than say, G Side, who are deep underground and don't sound like it. A lot of underground dudes sound like they have more commercial potential than Gucci, who sounds almost too crazy for the American cultural mainstream, I'm actually surprised he's so popular. So I guess this divide makes literally no sense and I've been rambling incoherently. Need some more coffee.
Thats why the hate is even morer funnier, because you're right, Kweli is actually not underground anymore. FOOLS. He lulled them deep into his trap. And Gucci finally helped them realize THEY WERENT KEEPIN IT REAL ANYMORE, OH NOOOOO.
I'm gonna go eat my mango now.
Raps transition into the mainstream needs to be seen as a natural extension of the genre's penchant for appropriation and expansion. Any time an underground art movement infiltrates the larger culture there's going to be some friction for early adopters, but that should've died out like ten years ago. At this point the widely recognized commercial aesthetic is all over the deepest underground stuff. Underground stuff that sticks to the classicist pallate is fairly above ground at this point. I'm sure whoever wrote that blog about Kweli has never heard of Big K.R.I.T. and if he did he would think it was 'commercial.' It's about trying to shove in words that don't apply to an aesthetic divide and it's gotta stop. As well as the whole 'I'm smart because I don't like _________ (wayne, gucci, drake)' attitude.
I think I tried to make that point in my head but couldn't get it out.
let's call a truce.
No doubt. Keep the weaponry around.
but I think he's ace, one of the only American MCs I'm that fussed about now a days. Hip-hop hasn't been very inspiring for a very long time, bar the odd person hear and there. So its good to have him about. Anyone else doing good stuff right now? I dug the odd bit of Pill and Jacka but not too much of it, they're all really hit and miss, Gucci is too but not more hit usualy. Drake is pretty bad, wasn't feeling any of his stuff. Not keen on Kanye either. Gucci is the best since Lil Wayne went shitrock/jail.
Freddie Gibbs is worth a shot.
Black Keys represented, UGK represented, Cool Kids represented. Dig.
Dream=who R.Kelly wishes he was.
But not discounting some of the heat off 808s and the MANY amazing tracks that Kellz has.
Kelly just wishes he was still writing huge hits, and would probably prefer not being viewed as a twisted freak.
There is plenty of great stuff, but I don't think you will think much of it. People evolve in their tastes and what not. You've moved on, doesn't necessarily mean that there isn't a plethora of goods out there.
Having said that, here are some current tracks I think you may dig.
Curren$y - Audio Dope II
Major Lazer & La Roux - I'm not your Lemonade ft Gucci Mane
Yelawolf - Stage Lights (remix)
DaVinci - What You Finna Do
Big Boi - Fo Yo Sorrows, General Patton, Shutterbug, Daddy Fat Sax, Tangerine, Hustle Blood, back up PLan, Turns Me On, You Aint No DJ, Be STill, Shine Blockas, Night Night, The Train.
Big KRIT - Country Sheeeeit
Danny Brown - The Re-up
G-Side - G-Sider
along with the new Big Boi. Can't get over those steel drums on Audio Dope II, kills it everytime, amazing! General Patton is probably my favourite from the Big Boi LP, at the moment.
I love commercial hip hop, mostly because it's brilliant but also as the finger to my mates that think they're too cool to listen to it. Fucking leave your qualms at the door and enjoy some quality beats and magnificent rapping.
Love it. Cant pick a favorite yet but loving Hustle Blood w Jamie Foxx at the moment.
he's a given at being ace.
I'm just bored of breakbeats and so much hip-hop relies on them still, they're a tired idea now, I've not heard one thats blown me a way in years. Its why I've leaned more towards Gucci and Lil Wayne in recent years cos they like to rap over mad drum machnie workouts and stuff like that as well.
I'll check lots of recomendations though, nice one.
all have mixtapes out that are classic-album quality.
I better get listening then hey.
3 mixtapes from him.
wasn't feeling most of it really. Hes alright but never realy peaks. There arn't any high points he just keeps going and it all blurs into one. He's consistent at least and never really throws in a big clunker.
I dunno man, thats like not liking rock because of guitars or something, or like getting bored with electronic music because of the bass.
The break-beat IS hip-hop, its the backbone. Its what you build on top of it and around it and how you rip the mic over it that sets it apart and allows for variance.
apart from the obvious guys rhyming on old dilla beats or something.
Its just been to many years of the same old same old in that department that makes me switch off to them. I'm not that keen on rock right now either the guitar is sounding pretty tired too haha... I mean in a large amount of cases anyway, same with breaks. its just over played and relied on to much. Its got lazy. There are so many good producers pushing hip-hop beats all over the place in new directions and updating the breakbeat style but they never really get rapped on. The good stuff that gets rapped on now a days is usualy freaky synth and drum machine workouts, I dig that.
and innovative than 'underground' stuff. Oh wait, that debates already been had.
I'm totally guilty of that reverse snob thing, and not just with hip-hop. I think its because when I was a teenager I hated on commercial music so hard and fetishised 'undergound' stuff. So when I realised I was missing out on a million amazing songs and that mostly everything I listened to sucked balls I swung in the opposite direction. Its a hard habit to drop!
I still find stuff like el p unutterably tedious though.
I've been digging up some of these sugestions... Freddie Gibbs is pretty weak. He can flow but thats about all. His beats don't really cut it apart from 'Born 2 Roll' which I sware is a well old beat or samples one or two of them. He can flow but might as well not do cos he's a massive hip-hop cliche like the rest of the genre right now. No content, no beats, can flow. Mostly Filla No Killa...
Big K.R.I.T. Wrose... I mean he samples fucking Adele. you know breakbeat is dead when you sample Adele haha ;)
Gucci balances the rawness with loads of hooks, he can't flow like Gibbs but he doesn't need to, he's just on another level cos he has energy and personality, plus his beats make him rise above the rest of the scene pretty easily. They're raw, skippy and have a cool vibe about them that don't use to many over used breaks or hip-hop cliches. Its all drum machine workouts and freaky synths really raw and energetic as far as hip-hop goes anyway.
Basicaly they aint Crazy Titch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpArWmQjyM8 haha he wont be coming out of jail for some time though...
Then there's no hope for you. Pill goes in HARD.
These guys are all alright
This is prob the best Pill I've heard for a while too. I aint gonna write any of these guys off they're all kinda solid, in that they can flow. They just all stuck to far up inside hip-hop's cliche's. Its all so played out. When the mainstream is trying to sound like 10 year old trance from the UK and Europe that we've been bored with for at least 8 years and the underground is moving about an inch every year with finding new beats and new sounds it all needs a kick up the arse really.
Kinda dug that tune though. They had some energy and rawness there.
Even likes grime better now haha
'I like tea, but I don't like crumpets'