I've grown up listening to a variety of music artists and genres, and I've discovered that my music taste is as variant as my moods. However, over the last six years, one thing has been constant: I absolutely love hip hop.
Over the years I have endured endless teasing from my parents in regards to my music taste, and really, pretty much everyone. Now I ask you, why do you think hip-hop has a bad reputation? Is it due to a perceived lack of talent? Or just a misunderstanding regarding the world these rappers represent? What's the difference between my music genre of choice, and yours?
Now, many call hip-hop "immoral" due to its drug related content, sexual innuendos, and strong language. But is this really any different than the lyrical content in any other music genre? While Nas raps about "guzzling my Hennesy" other musicians from other genres aren't exactly sober either. Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, Garth Brooks, and Willie Nelson all have at least one song title (and in many cases, multiple song titles) that's an ode to their alcoholic beverage of choice. And does it really make sense that the hip hop hate comes from drug and Marijuana related innuendos? Because there thousands of drug-related refrences in everything you are hearing on the radio today. Examples of this include; "Habits" by Tove Lo, "Geek Stink Breath" by Green Day, "Dope" by Lady Gaga, "Breathe Me" by Sia, "Everything In Its Right Place" by Radiohead, and "Get Stoned" by Hinder, to name a few. While hip-hop music is more open than other genres when it comes to discussing alcohol and drug addictions, it's possible that the backlash comes from a misunderstand in the way hip hop musicians write about their substance of choice.
However, it is entirely possible that all of the hip hop related backlash stems directly from a misunderstanding of both the artist, and the lyrics written by said artist.
Kanye West is the perfect example of this. Kanye is no stranger to public critique, and while he doesn't seem to be the most level-headed individual, one cannot deny that he is a talented musician and an even more talented producer. For months there has been a meme making its way around the internet that says something along the lines of "I love you like Kanye loves Kanye." This internet meme likely stems from his "I Love Kanye" song off his 2016 album: The Life of Pablo. However, with lyrics like, " I hate the new Kanye, the bad mood Kanye/ The always rude Kanye, spaz in the news Kanye" it's clear that Kanye doesn't exactly love himself, and no one should love someone else like "Kanye loves Kanye." And if that wasn't proof enough, one simply needs to listen to his 2008 studio album, "808s & Heartbreak" to realize how depressed and desperate for happiness this man is. But because of the Taylor Swift incident, and his comments on the Today Show regarding President Bush, many attack Kanye calling him an "untalented jack-a**" And while the latter may or may not be true, how many of these critics have actually listened to his music enough to develop an honest opinion regarding his level of talent as a musician?
And that's just it. Rappers are often referred to as "untalented thugs" but there are many with lyrics way deeper than that catchy Chainsmokers song you keep hearing on the radio. How many times have you heard someone critque the talent level of a hip-hop artist without ever actually listening to their music?