January 26, 2014
So Ryan Lewis and Macklemore just won 3 Grammy’s (Pre-Telecast) in the Rap Category – Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song beating out such artists as Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Kanye, Asap Rocky, and Eminem. As an industry insider I get it, it’s usually based on sales, popularity and politics (oops did I say that?). But as a fan, I am like wtf?? Ok so RL and Mc had a HUGE year and kudos to them BUT their music is not authentic hip-hop to M-E. I don’t feel that you have to be African-American or Hispanic to have real, raw and credible hip-hop music (insert Eminem as being true to the game based on his real life experiences of hardship) but part of me hates to see the music and culture watered down. Granted RL and Mc wrote some Really positive lyrics about our culture but I am not sure if I identify with them on telling me how to act or live when I don’t think they have experienced the hardships or harsh realities of the culture. And one can argue, there are fun hip-hop songs that rhyme about ballin’ and living that life or ones that just have those infectious fun beats (and not just ones about our hardships)but again for whatever reason, I don’t identify with Ryan & Macklemore’s songs and I certainly don’t look to them when I want to get Turnt Up. Also, I know that I am NOT their target demo and that kids black and white LOVED their music this year. Again I wanna be happy, but I can’t.
I am a woman of God and always want to give anyone the benefit of the doubt but the jury is just simply still out on my opinion of these guys (musically speaking). I REALLY wanted to see Kendrick, Jay Z or Drake take home one or two of these awards this eve, not because they are black…but because their songs are REAL hip-hop to me. In hip-hop, I appreciate the grittiness and authenticity of the beats AND lyrics. I am not really one for the bubble gum rap, although I can sing-a-long for a verse or hook. At the end of the day, it is what it is but what is the use of having Rap category if it doesn’t truly represent the movement?
*These thoughts are simply MY thoughts and my humble opinion….Congrats to tonight’s winners and I AM glad there is even still a RAP category in 2014. I just wanna see more of a balance in the outcome.
The Hip-Hop Professional