Yeezus Wept

By Ian Kolbinskie      
            “Oh I love all kinds of music, except for rap.” A common utterance by the self-proclaimed musically diverse individual, when asked about their preferences.
          While I ferociously disagree with dismissing any variety of music, especially one with as much hidden beauty as hip hop, based solely on the genre, I do admit that hip hop’s bad rap (pun intended) can be somewhat justifiable.
          Yes, many of the songs one hears on the radio talk about guns, violence, promiscuity, and a whole host of other illegal activities. Yes, those things can influence the youth of today to emulate a dangerous lifestyle which is probably only rewarding in the short term, if that. And finally, yes, all of these same arguments can be made against shows like Breaking Bad.
          “Wait, Ian, are you saying that I can’t simply live out my meth making fantasies in the event that my life goes belly up?! Are you saying we have to separate the art from reality?!” Yes, naïve imaginary reader, that is exactly what I’m saying. That is exactly the point which listeners fail to realize when exploring music with edgy lyrics, hip hop especially.
          Now that I’ve (hopefully) convinced you that the presence of hip hop isn’t a societal net negative, allow me to open your mind to the idea of it being a catalyst for creation. Observe the following lyrics. If you really want to humor me, say them out loud with emphasis on the bold parts.
          “I’m ‘bout to come in and Desaturate the chic rap today and evaporate the feedback I hate. I’ll elaborate…” Lil Dicky’, Russell Westbrook on a Farm
          That was a multisyllabic rhyme. Modern day hip hop gives large praise to artists who can come up with rhyme combinations like this, as it is much more difficult than rhyming single syllables (fun, done, gun, run, shun). Multisyllabic rhymes are a droplet in a sea of techniques an artist has at their disposal to create incredible lyrics.
          See, it’s not really about how many guns you have. It’s not really about how many bitches willing sexual participants are in your harem. It’s about the creativity, vocabulary, and alacrity with which you can express these ideas, or any others. Speaking of vocabulary, here’s another example of everything that’s right with modern hip hop.
          “Flash that buttery gold. Jittery zeitgeist. Whither by the watering hole. Border patrol. What are we to Heart Huckabee? Art fuckery, suddenly?” – Aesop Rock, None Shall Pass
          In this opening line, Aesop addresses his own gripes with modern hip hop bling culture, American immigration laws, and the government’s view on hip hop. Even more than it perpetuates violence, hip hop perpetuates self-expression and nonconformity.
          This brings us back to the idea of hip hop being a catalyst for creation. Any art is inspirational, but hip hop is unique in its simplicity. Learning how to play the piano is a feat, a journey, an undertaking. One knows at the beginning that it will be months, maybe years until they’re playing something that sounds good.
          With hip hop, you can start right now. All you need is your voice and comprehension of at least one language. One improves by just practicing, and trying to rhyme bigger words. There are no rigid rules, no scales to practice, and no wrong way to rap.
          Do I think the world would be a better place if everyone were an amateur rapper? Yes, though that’s a lofty goal for an amateur journalist. On the other hand, I know the world would be a better place if we could all appreciate more forms of art. Be the change.

MaxVariety Staff

MaxVariety's Staff is comrpsied of college journalists who, despite being like minded, cover a wide array of topics.

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