Nerd At The Cool Table

Are You A Rapper or An Artist? (By @Jeezis_Peace)

The only thing constant about music is change, so it’s no surprise that older rap heads aren’t checking for rap’s new breed of MCs; cats that grew up on Pac may not be able to grasp the current wave, but somewhere in America there’s a teenager who considers Waka Flocka the realest n!gga breathing.

Every generation defines their Hip Hop era as the greatest. Which is makes sense; most rap listeners are incredibly nostalgic and settle upon their favorite MC during their teenage years. But what makes this generation of rappers different than any other is that very new rappers seem interested in the art of MCing anymore; they’re just here for the paper.

The irony being that, for most entertainers, rap is not a very lucrative career. In fact, it’s what a professor of economics might refer to as an oversaturated market. Sure, Wayne, Em and The Big Homie make money hand over fist, but they rep a tiny percentage of MCs really gettin’ it. There are many more that will never see that type of green simply because the market is flooded with niggas trying to make it big off of entertainment. Shit, my barber raps. His barber raps. My neighbor has a song featuring my landlord. If you’re young, black and interact with other young blacks, you know more than a few people “tryna get on.”

This is not to discourage anyone from pursuing a dream. If you were built to spit hot fire, my dude, flame on. But are you a rapper or an artist? Neither one is inherently better or worse than the other; there are terrible artists, dope rappers and vice versa, but while most artists live and breathe their craft, rappers just get the loot. Or at least make others believe they are. While artists have their fair share of issues too, this is for the rappers.

Amongst civilized Negroes, the phrase “$17 dollars, nigga” has become the standard way to end literally any debate you were on the verge of losing. Oh, that’s random? No it ain’t. $17 dollars, nigga.

The only time it’s cool to brag about your paper is if there’s a beat in the background and your words rhyme. Saluting your skrilla is nothing new, but social media has created a generation of Twitter tycoons. Like wiping your own ass, earning an income is something every non-remedial adult should be doing, tweeting about it just comes off as tacky. It’s no secret that the truly rich, the Gates, Buffetts and Zuckerbergs of the world rarely, if ever, discuss their own wealth. They leave that to other people.

New rappers also brag about sleep deprivation, which is a total mindfuck. #TeamNoSleep. Put a new jack spitter in front of a laptop or Worldstar laptop and he’ll tell you how much money he’s making and the amount of sleep he’s losing. Do you motherfuckers realize how important sleep is to the human body? Sleep is extremely important. Sleep is how your body replenishes itself from a day of work, ridin’ round, and, most importantly, gettin’ it. Go for more than 17 hours without rest and there’s no telling what sort of gibberish will spew from your mouth, on or off wax.

I once saw a tweet that read, “Been up 4 days straight recordin n chasin’ this paper #TeamNoSleep.” And after listening to this guy’s music, I believed him: His rap recordings had the energy and creatvity one might expect to hear from a man who hadn’t slept in nearly a week. And not in a good way.

Even The Notorious B.I.G., arguably the greatest MC of all time, recognized the importance of a night’s rest. “Who the fuck is this, pagin’ me at 5:46 in the morning?! Crack of dawnin’ … now I’m yawnin.”

I like artists. I also like rappers, and the best MCs are usually a combination of both. From my experience, the love of the art drives the artist, a passion they cannot let go. Rappers, typically motivated by money, can’t wait to earn and spend their newest dollar.

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