Emo Rap is The New Emo

Emo Rap is The New Emo

Emo never died, it is just now manifested in Rap Music.
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The concept of Emo music, which is, to express oneself with a particular emphasis on emotional, vulnerable, confessional style, is synonymous with bands like Taking Back Sunday, Weezer, Jimmy Eat World, Fallout Boy, My Chemical Romance, etc.

However, I would like to propose the concept of expressing oneself as sensitive, shy, introverted, or having suicidal thoughts and depression, have been commonplace within the Rap/Hip-Hip scene and has seen a resurgence in the recent 2000s up to today and carry a greater purpose than traditional emo music.

PAST:

Tupac - Me Against the World

Notorious B.I.G. - Suicidal Thoughts

Tupac and Biggie are known as Rap Gods in the scene, and understandably so. These two can be classified as timeless rappers because of how much influence they have had on culture and society, even to this day. Both of these artists portray feelings of loneliness, suicidal tendencies, and overall hopelessness with the world. Emo stems from life issues, but the difference between having systemic oppression hinder your life, freedoms, safety, and the decisions you are allowed to make, and your ex girlfriend breaking up with you, or not knowing how to act around women in your prepubescent stages of life (@most/emo indie rock) is a staggering difference in problems of these particular groups.

2000's to Now:

More modern rap artists, such as Drake, Kid Cudi, Kanye (808's Kanye specifically) have taken their stab at emotional rap, and it has influenced society to feel more comfortable with being sad and allows males to feel this way and not feel as emasculated as before. Of course, there are still cases of male insecurity but progress is progress, right?

Kanye West somewhat pioneered the sad rapper theme on 808s and Heartbreaks, compiled with a (then revolutionary) use of 808's drums, autotune, and many other intricacies that we do not have to go into detail for the sake of the argument. This entire album is dedicated to a very tumultuous breakup in Kanye West's life, and how his career and fame isolated him from the rest of his family, leading to loneliness. Kanye was able to truly capture these emotions while maintaining authenticity. Kanye West should be understood as the musical genius that he is because of the diversity of the types of music he has been able to produce throughout his musical career.

Kid Cudi, on the other hand, changed the entire vibe of rap and is even referred to as the prodigal son by Kanye West. His famous debut album Man on the Moon: The End of Day, was one of the first albums (from my experience atleast) that fully expressed introspection in rap music. The feelings of loneliness, finding purpose in oneself, and depression are what Kid Cudi tackles with this piece of work. The difference that Kid Cudi was able to bring into the equation is that he was one of the first rappers that allowed himself to seem vulnerable, and did not always try to keep that hard, tough, and hyper masculine persona that we are accustomed to in rap music. Kid Cudi is almost writing this album as if it is a journal and we are welcomed into his mind and life. This transparency of taking all of the bad with the good is one that was unheard of in rap.

Drake (see Take Care) has successfully based his entire career off of feeling sorry for himself and complaining about all of the girls he almost dated, or had a falling out with, had a thing with, because of his own promiscuity. This is not to say his feelings aren't validated or that it is emasculating, but Drake is very contradictory in his actions, where he assumes a woman he is into (see Feel No Ways I can't find a youtube link sorry) should drop everything for him, even though there is a high chance Drake will leave her for another girl. This is not to say his music isn't great (i luv u dad), but Drake should look at things from the woman's different perspective.

These artists have paved the way for newer artists such as Chance the Rapper, Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator, Childish Gambino, Lil Uzi Vert, and the controversial XXXTentacion and allows them to freely express themselves without fear of "not being hard enough" Society's perception of them as rappers is no longer to be perceived as "weak" for not rapping about money and guns all the time.


Albums like Coloring Book, To Pimp a Butterfly (TPAB), DAMN., Flower Boy, or Because The Internet fully embody this transparency, and freedom of expression of self. Lil Uzi Vert is a perfect exemplification of this via his exuberant personality, which is also contrasted by some of his sadder songs (XO Tour Life, The Way Life Goes).


Even though there are all of these advances in the genre, as Ta-Nehisi Coates, famous author, journalist, educator, etc. had once said in his 2003 Village Voice article , the concept of the hardened, heartless thug rapper

"...lingers, fueled by America’s myth of the menacing black man. Gangsta rap today is about as reflective of reality as, well, a reality show."

This concept is present even today, despite how much progress has been made. These advances in rap help in demystifying this myth of the menacing black man in our society, but there is obviously a lot of progress left to be made.



Cover Image Credit: hdwallpaperbackgrounds

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Short Stories On Odyssey: Roses

What's worth more than red roses?

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Five years old and a bouquet of roses rested in her hands. The audience-- clapped away her performance, giving her a standing ovation. She's smiling then because everything made sense, her happiness as bright as the roses she held in her hands.

Fifteen now, and a pile of papers rested on her desk. The teachers all smiled when she walked down the aisle and gave them her presentation. She was content then but oh so stressed, but her parents happy she had an A as a grade, not red on her chest.

Eighteen now and a trail of tears followed her to the door. Partying, and doing some wild things, she just didn't know who she was. She's crying now, doesn't know anymore, slamming her fists into walls, pricking her fingers on roses' thorns.

Twenty-one and a bundle of bills were grasped in her hands. All the men-- clapped and roared as she sold her soul, to the pole, for a dance. She's frowning now because everything went wrong, but she has to stay strong, for rich green money, is worth more than red roses.

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