STAGE 5 - Rap For Dummies (4/13/11)

When rap comes up in conversations with many of my friends from around the world, the reaction is always less-than-positive. At best, I'd get a sincere indifference toward the genre due to a common lack of exposure. At worst, I'd get a hate-filled vitriol the likes of which another genre would receive no such equivalent (e.g. "Rap isn't even music!") With this post, I aim to challenge these attitudes.

I'd venture to say the negativity rap sleeps with has two main sources. The first, being the upbringing of the detractor. The second, being the current state of mainstream rap, which is absolutely soulless and warrants no defense.

So regarding the first, let's be real here: If you're not black or latino, there's a heavy chance you grew up in a home or neighborhood utterly devoid of rap and/or the hip-hop culture. In some cases, it was probably considered unacceptable because of it's roots in the ghetto. A lot of people I talk to cite this as a reason, and that's fine. But to quote Rakim, "It ain't where ya' from, it's where ya' at."

If you're not interested in discovering what you missed during the time rap established itself as a genre (which isn't hard seeing as rap is less than 50 years old) in the name of easy dismissal, then you're not trying, and anyone with half a brain would call you out on it (And if you call yourself a "music lover", shoot yourself.)

So, in a series of installments I'm gonna drop three rap songs to set people straight on the one genre that most people know everything, and yet nothing about:

Not only do I hope ya'll enjoy these, but tell a friend, and do right by music.

Trust me, it works.