They say, they write, they maybe even believe — here are 6 rap artists for people who don’t like rap. We’re not neck deep in Illuminati YouTube videos with the red writing dripping down MS Paint graphics, but we’re somewhere where the language doesn’t mean what it actually says. It’s code words, you understand?
Someone comments high up. They say “I was starting to think this was rappers for people who don’t like black people.” Cause you make a list of six artists and two of them are African American, and the rest are white as fresh fallen snow in a genre DEFINED by artists who are black. Those two artists are your protection against the naysayers – the “black friends” you suddenly have in conversations about racism. And what your list should mean is – “here is a list of rappers who aren’t radio rap” but instead becomes “here’s a list of rappers who aren’t black.”
“i just think its nice to not hear about being on the grind getting bitches” says the commenter, dropping down their wisdom from on high. As if an entire genre of music was defined by those words, as if that was all that defined the experience of the people who choose to rap. As if “Fuck Tha Police” never screamed out its youthful anthem from the streets of Compton, as if Deltron never rapped about intergalactic war, as if Chance doesn’t spend an entire song talking about how great his grandma is..
Yeah, tell me all about rap is about bitches and the grind. As if MF Doom didn’t write an entire album about food or if Gil Scott Heron didn’t talk about anti-establishment and getting your butt off the couch to participate in the revolution way back in 1970.
This was going to be a list where I talked about the talented work of Atmosphere, the moments of Tyler the Creator that positively reek of violent brilliance, the Queenly jams of Lady Leshurr, or the lyrical sexiness of Azealia Banks on 212. But I’m not a hip hop head, and in a world where Macklemore wins a Grammy over Kendrick Lamar (a situation that Macklemore even said was wrong) the last thing this convo needs is another white voice. But maybe it’s time to break down what is so wrong with rap that you need a list of songs for “people who don’t like rap.”
What is rap to you? Is it T-Pain talking about how he wants to “Buy U a Drank” in autotune (in which case, maybe his Tiny Desk Concert will disavow you of the lack of faith in his musicality). Nicki Minaj talking about her butt, itself interesting because of how it takes back one of the most well known songs about sexualizing women and turns it into a convincing case for empowerment? What sort of rap — radio or otherwise — is it that you’re turning up your nose at? Cause when it comes down to it, it’s not the songs about “on the grind getting bitches” that you’re even hearing anymore. If that’s all you’re hearing from rap, then you’re not even listening.