Sunday, November 21, 2010

Relevant Rap ?

 As long as Rap was considered to be an outside source, rap had the power to motivate change.
But those who run the music industry know this, which is why once a performer sells his soul for points he becomes part of the establishment.
He cedes his power to those who would rule him one way or another.
As long as Punk and Rap were seen by the industry as worthless pretenders - there was no need for music execs to worry about these upstarts.

But then Punk groups like The Clash started to attack the establishment (Which sought to quell such an uprising by bringing them into their fold by making them bona fide Rock Stars).
But The Clash were still outsiders who recorded songs critical of Margret Thatcher, American policies and the treatment of Blacks in Brixton (Or Watts).
These groups recorded songs that criticized the treatment of Nelson Mandela and others in the Apartheid system in South Africa (Simple Minds' Mandela Day, The Specials' Free Nelson Mandela or a bunch of songs by U2.)
 But Pop groups never had such a luxury.
When the Human League recorded a song critical of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank - their musical career was cut short.
 Even media darling Boy George and the Culture Club suffered from recording The War Song.
 But outsider artists could still get away with protesting against South Africa - the establishment did not own them.
Even M.I.A. had a hit which could have been set in Brixton, or Watts or Newark (To bring the thinking of The Clash full circle.)
Which is why the only relevant Rap is outsider Rap.
Check out Kay Dub
No commercial Weezy there - just the occasional mention of relevant Hip Hop from the perspective of an empowered outsider.


brohammas said...

You can go from message music to party, but you cant really go from empty fluff to deep. Listeners just dont dig that.

I lost all interest in U2 when they tried to become some sort of techno dance band but I will never stop liking the chili peppers... actually I guess the peppers prove that wrong in that they have always been party idiots who have a touch of message... but not too much.

I suppose its that pop is the very face of incencerity. Usually someone else writes your songs, tells you what to wear, and teaches you to dance... all these other folks have always just done what theyw anted to and really meant it.
If you have always been a puppet, I wont trust that your message is ever really yours.

uglyblackjohn said...

Which is why Pop artists are always accused of selling out.
Most have said all that they can say and then they have to repeat themselves or get material from someone else - kinda' like this blog.