I’m sitting back trying to listen to 50 Cent’s new mixtape The Big 10, and I just can’t get through it. With every gun and drug reference that 50 Cent makes, as he’s done throughout his career to declining record sales, I drop my head and press next on my speaker remote. Gangsta rap is dead. At least it is through these headphones.
If we look at rap as art, just like any form it goes through stages. You can trace it origins to boom bap, to sample heavy melodies of Diddy, gangsta rap, and the one it’s currently in now. In the emo-smoke heavy rap world of today, violence isn’t promoted any more as a form of entertainment. You might catch a reference to guns and drugs here and there but the whole body of art isn’t dedicated to being a gangsta. Listeners are starting to crave creativity and the true heart of what rap is: lyricism. With the likes of Kanye, Jay-Z, Drake, Wayne, T.I., etc, rap has it’s forefathers, leaders, and forward thinkers. Is the fact that the stage in which gangsta rap lived is over? That’s part of the autopsy report, but not the main cause of death.
I talk constantly about needing to be able to feel music. If I can’t picture myself in a situation that I’ve been in, which the rapper is describing, and the emotion that it evoked, the bass heavy track will cease to exist within my iPod stand. Rappers can’t be gangsta everyday. It’s not believable and the statement of “keeping it real” is challenged as being hypocritical. Plus, given today’s access, we know rappers every move and I doubt you’d snitch while at a murder scene or whenever a check in happens at a dope house. If these rappers were employed to handle population density, based on the application of how many people they’ve shot within their songs, the world’s size would be smaller. No one can possibly live this life and be happy. In today’s world, that’s the one thing we strive for.
It’s easy for me to say that my maturity has garnered this adversity to this mixtape. However, it can’t be only me that notices the amount of hits I receive when I post 50 Cent or L.E.P. Bogus Boyz, as opposed to the hits connected to a Kid Cudi or Kanye post. Things have changed. I’m not saying I’m never going to post any more gangsta rap on this site (see the Jeezy header image) but the sub-genre doesn’t align itself with the message I want to convey to my readers.