“As new-school commercial hip hop artists continue to get rewarded for expressing the great deal of narcissism embedded within their craft, we remain persistent in reinforcing the marketability of this hip hop sub-type by placing the extreme egoism within the genre at the forefront of our experiences and our efforts to entertain.”
Since the birth of hip hop music in the 20th century, there seems to have been an evolutionary shift that has ushered the hip-hop community to a new subculture.
Have you ever listened closely to the introductory lyrics of Jay Z’s ‘f*ckwithmeyouknowigotit’ featuring Rick Ross?
“… We originated from kings you know what I’m saying so don’t look down on the youngsters because they want to have shiny things, it’s in our genes …”
As new-school commercial hip hop artists continue to get rewarded for expressing the great deal of narcissism embedded within their craft, we remain persistent in reinforcing the marketability of this hip hop sub-type by placing the extreme egoism within the genre at the forefront of our experiences and our efforts to entertain.
The vicious cycle of hip-hop pretentiousness has generated a high degree of demand amongst its listeners and these are the 5 reasons why.
1. The Insidious Transition
For most of us who follow hip hop culture, the natural inclination to frequently explore the genre by staying current on the latest trends has resulted in a subtle shift of our egos when various tracks are played.
We tend to lose ourselves in the ostentatious undertones and assume somewhat of pompous alter ego to match the lyrical content of most commercial hip-hop tunes – we basically start feel’n ourselves.
Soulja Boy’s ‘Pretty Boy Swag’ is a fitting example of how one can be easily consumed by their own vanity. Some listeners may temporarily emulate this overly inflated frame of mind as a form of escapism.
As an avid listener, I often question my own level of commitment to the lyrics of some of the most popular hip-hop tracks out there. For instance, the production value of Rocko’s ‘U.O.E.N.O’ featuring Rick Ross and Future is on point – there isn’t a time or place that I don’t find myself head-bobbing to this tune whenever it’s on.
With that said, I’m not too sure I concur with:
“… Put molly all in her champagne, she aint even know it. I took her home and I enjoyed that, she aint even know it …”
Regardless of whether or not hip-hop music has the potential to massively influence our conduct, lets bear in mind that rappers aren’t life coaches and their lyrics needn’t be taken too seriously.
2. Hip-Hop music = Social music
According to the urban dictionary, the phrase ‘turnt up’ is used to describe the state of being wild, getting loose and having fun in a social atmosphere. People normally ‘turn up’ at parties and clubs, where – not surprisingly – hip-hop music is bound to feature in the evening’s festivities.
Getting ‘turnt’ to the tunes of commercial hip-hop significantly enhances social dialogue and encourages interpersonal exchanges amongst its listeners.
This fortifies male comradely amongst friendship groups, as everyone who gets ‘turnt’ has a clique.
The explicit nature of hip-hop music in relation to sex is yet another element of pretentiousness that we often assimilate due to the fact that it’s usually the catalyst for that conversation of conquests.
Which brings us to the next pretentious point of reference …
3. Fella’s gotta entertain the hip hop honey’s
If you love bad b****es, best believe it’s a f***ing problem if you cant cater to their melodic needs and desires.
Given that hip-hop music enables interactions at any given ‘turn up’, playing it in your ride has now become imperative as the soundtrack to the nights adventures. As the more intimate party moves from one location to the next, we seek to match the entertainment value of the party we’re leaving to that of the journey we’re taking.
As brief as our ordeal was back in 2011, the likelihood of having this beautiful young lady ride shotgun in the whip on a consistent basis was enough to have-a-brother compile a series of playlists consisting of the most sought-after hip-hop joints of the time.
Don’t get it twisted though, hip-hop music isn’t the answer to getting lucky nor is it the only genre of music that can be played to entice a similar experiential atmosphere. It does, however, have a part to play in facilitating the process – so remember gents, when in doubt, holla at’cha boy Drake.
4. The Person vs. Persona Complex
The information age has laid the foundation to further explore our naturally curious tendencies through various multimedia platforms and, as a result, we are beginning to scratch beneath the surface of the perceived hip-hop persona and seize a front-row seat to the personal lives of our most beloved musicians.
The complexity here lies in the disparity between what most artists are producing versus what they’re living.
Judging from my personal encounter with Mark Andrews (otherwise known as singer-songwriter Sisqo) back in 2003, this divergence was made clear by his timid, courteous, and overly calm demeanor – not to mention that unforgettable floral fragrance he dawned as he sat down to join our family for a luncheon on the afternoon following his performance at the Coca-Cola Dome in Northgate.
Although his craft resides mostly in the world of R&B, he nevertheless exhibited the distinction between Mark (the person) and Sisqo (the persona) – a lot like what we’re seeing within hip-hop, or fame in general.
Our interests aren’t merely fueled by hip-hop beef though:
Others also feel obliged to use online platforms to take jabs at various artists for our amusement.
The fact of the mater is, by following this unique hip-hop subculture; we simply cannot get enough exposure to the real-life soap opera that most artists – with the help of the media at large – tend to perpetuate.
5. The Rise of the Hip-Hop Comedians
As much as I respect artists with a serious message about the world and the injustices that humanity continues to endure, I’m just as equally appreciative of those who amusingly keep their flow light and witty – especially when they’re jokes are intentionally directed at themselves.
This lighthearted approach to hip-hop can be humorous and memorable for the listener.
If there’s one thing I know, it’s that as long as Halle Berry walks this earth, rappers will continue to include her in their lyrics.
Question: what are your thoughts about her moves? Did she do her song justice?
Other rappers have since followed-suit with this comical lowbrow type of entertainment.
When engrossing oneself in the lyrical wordplay of a hip-hop track, the genius behind it’s content can be surprising for most listeners.
“… I’m trying to be polite, but you b****es in my hair like the f****ing po-lice …” – Lil Wayne, Gossip
“… Mothaf***as like cavities, cause them n****s be too fake …” – ASAP Ferg, Shabba
And lastly (my kind of hip-hop):
“… And I popped eyes open without eating me canned spinach …” – Tech N9ne, BET Cypher
Lets face it; this type of hip-hop music can be entertaining to a select few. If you don’t fall within this category and want no part to play in generating this well-oiled machine that is hip-hop pretentiousness, the least you can do is ‘clap for a n**** with his rapping a**’.