There was a time when American rap musicians loved Donald Trump; he was regarded as the charismatic ‘billionaire’ celebrity who embodied the aspirational nature of the genre. Many famous rappers came up from a life of poverty to become world famous and rich. Trump was one of many icons who lived a life to envy.
When Trump began campaigning for President of the United States, his bigoted views were exposed before the world. Many who used to glorify his name are now staunch critics of the man in the golden wig.
We’re going to look at how rappers went from calling themselves “the black Trump” to making songs like “Fuck Donald Trump”. We’re examining this genre because many of the artists are African-American and hip-hop is very in-tune to cultural and political shifts.
We’re looking at UK Grime and how the genre has permeated the British chart, creating a time of unprecedented chart success. Interestingly, many of the prominent artists are signed to their own independent labels; finding success away from the major labels.
They have total creative control over their output and have blossomed away from the powerful distribution networks of the big boys. Consider Giggs, who never had an album reach the Top 20 until he went fully independent and hit #2 with Landlord.
We’re going to take you on a journey through the history of the genre and how we got to this stage. But first let’s quickly explain what Grime is: Continue reading →
Like we talked about last time, rapper’s stage names usually fall into two categories:
Boasts = Mos Def
Name-based puns = Nelly [first name Cornell]
We’re going back to the well to look at more of these ridiculous names, and shatter the illusion that rappers are cool. I mean, there’s a dude on Dr. Dre’s label who goes by Jon Connor; he literally loves the Terminator films so much, he named himself after the worst character in the franchise.
We’ve all been there when the latest band comes out and their debut album is fucking lit. I mean, seriously these guys are going to be next big thing. I can’t wait to tell my friends about this new artist I discovered. Now whenever they are on TV I can smugly tell people that I heard of these guys before everyone else. That’s what’s important to me – people thinking that I discover new bands and help catapult them to fame.
But sometimes, the good times stop rolling and the band can’t follow up their smashing debut with anything even remotely as good. It’s like when M. Night Shyamalan wrote and directed Unbreakable, everyone thought he was going to be the guy. Now people only remember him for ruining the Avatar film.
Despite this, we keep coming back to the band, hoping that their next project will finally live up to the expectations of the debut album. It never materialises. We all have personal tales of having our hearts broken with each successive disappointment. Continue reading →
I love rap music: a genre with many colourful characters, where every song is basically an excuse to boast about how dope you are. The whole genre is basically a dick measuring contest, and that’s what we love about it.
Of course the best way to impress the world and [more importantly] other rappers is to have a great rap name. The purpose of which is to strike fear into your enemies’ hearts, while also proving you’re a badass MC. Continue reading →