I have a varied taste when it comes to music. I genuinely like artists from most genres. And each genre has a time and a place in life where it does the job. I love metal and when out and about you cannot beat the energy and pumped up feeling that a good metal album can give you. I also like bands like Coldplay and Arctic Monkeys. Bands that can be shared with friends. Dubstep is the new craze and I find that I like that too. Although it remains to be seen whether it will have lasting appeal. I like some of the general pop stuff on the radio. And when relaxing in the bath or whatever I like Mozart and Beethoven. The only type of music that is totally ruled out for me is RnB. I cannot stand to hear a dude singing a song about love in a soppy and unrealistic way. But other than that, as long as the music is good then I can listen to most things.
And then there is hip hop. I have always called it my first love when it comes to music. I suppose that it was the first kind of music that I ever got really into. But that is quite a common thing since a lot of people at high school get into hip hop. But the thing is that there are two totally different sides to this music. One side is the pop version of hip hop and the other is the pure side of hip hop. We all know the pop side. You can put Eminem, Jay Z, 50 Cent etc in this category. You can also put every bellend that has a crap verse of A-A B-B rhyming on some club hit in this category. Some of these artists are great too and I love them. Anyone that knows me will know that I am a huge fan of Eminem. But Eminem is rare. He fits into both categories and is at least near the top of the pile in either of them. When it comes to selling records and popularity he is pop and commercial as fuck. But lyrically over the years he has been fantastic too (other than a few slip ups on certain songs). He is definitely doing what he loves and it shows in his work. But enough about Eminem. Most rappers in the pop world are completely shit. Their rhymes are basic and child like. There is no substance to the subject matter. It’s all about the bling and the gangsta bullshit. All about being in clubs and getting all the girls. It can be cool and fun to listen to but it gets old. And though I can listen to it it is not the same kind of music that I called my first love.
Pure hip hop. This is the kind of music I will always appreciate the most. I can listen to it forever and at any time of the day. For me there is nothing like putting your thoughts, hopes, fears, wisdom, memories, love, hate etc into words in a creative way. We all have moments where we are introspective and can relate to another person’s thoughts. And when these thoughts are put to a beat and rhyme in complex ways? It can be incredible and awe-inspiring. It’s why I do it myself. Once recorded or in my case put down on paper these thoughts are immortal. They will outlive us. Other people can relate and there aren’t many better ways to share than through your thoughts in this form. Rhymes stick in the head. They stay there. The words can have an impact on us and change our way of thinking.
I don’t know much about making a song. I don’t play an instrument, cannot sing and have never been in a studio. The only time I ever rap is when rapping along to songs on my iPod or radio. But I can relate to these hip hop artists with the style that they write in. Whenever I have a deep thought or insight into a problem I find myself writing rhymes about it. Sometimes I just notice a word that sounds good and think of many rhymes to go with it and have to write them down. I guess this is what some of these artists must do. Look at the world around them and constantly thinking about rhymes, verses, beats, albums and videos to convey to others what they are feeling at that moment. In another lifetime maybe I’ll be like that. I wouldn’t be arsed about the fame. Money would always be welcome but as long as I can pay bills and eat then I’m cool. But getting recognition for creative writing and sharing parts of your personal life would be a dream.
The guy that I have been listening to lately that lead to me writing this blog is a dude that I used to listen to a few years ago and then for some reason (mostly cause of a broken iPod and losing all of my songs I’m guessing) just forgot about. A few days ago I just remembered about this guy and have been listening non stop since. He’s called Buck 65. A middle aged, white, Canadian dude. And this guy just loves hip hop. The songs are so varied but what they all have in common is great lyricism. He writes about everything and the rhymes are incredible. He has a conversational flow at times and it’s more like spoken poetry whereas at other times he’s more upbeat. An example of a story telling verse off the track 463:
I don’t know whats wrong with the youth of today, wondering lost it’s true what they say and who is to blame?
T.V and magazines, they’d have you believe, everyday was Halloween.
Why when I was a kid, playing in the ditches, living in fear of satan and the witches
The whole world was made of wood and smelled like gasoline
The days were at least twice as long and the grass was green
Running for my life I was cursed by a talking snake, I’d walk all day and throw rocks across a bottomless lake
There was a killer in the woods who would whistle, once in a while I could hear him shoot his pistol
And the other kids hated me…but like a martyr I drove myself harder and harder
Blood in my eyes. Scrubbing to get the dirt off
Didn’t say much; didn’t like to take my shirt off
Was quick but I didn’t know the meaning of pain yet, I’d visit father Bob and he would show me his train set
Tell me a story, offer me a glass of milk, send me on my way with a question to ask myself
The rain didn’t bother me, the search had meaning
Church was good but I’d rather be dreaming
High speed horse shoes harnneses and heavy string
Problem is today they’ve got an answer for everything
And then an example of awesome rhyming from the track Cop Shades:
Icono-classic! Magnetic mix tape. Fantastic.
Turntable gymnastic. Circular thin plastic.
Spectacular action. The science of friction.
Attraction. Sink in the kitchen. Addiction.
Ridiculous. Attention to details: meticulous.
The nucleus: the two of us – the nicest and the spookiest.
Priceless and lucrative. Who could have guessed it?
Destined to polish and demolish the next contestant.
Consistent. Constant. Never non-stopping it.
Kissing a model. Taking a piss in a bottle.
Never missing a battle. Permission is granted.
Just listen. Listen to this. Listen to this!
Loosen yourself up chosen one, learn your lesson.
Swallow this to burn your stress and earn your blessing.
Make the sign of the cross-fade in the first place.
Stereo system. The scenario is worst-case.
Back to the birth place. This is how it’s meant to be.
The signal was sent to me as a separate entity.
Identity crises. Born as a pisces.
Out on the high seas. Vaguely-precisely.
Ugly but loveable. Partially invisible.
The spiritual and physical. The lyrical and mystical.
Difficult, isn’t it? The point? Irrelevant.
Clumsy and elegant. The mouse and the elephant.
Every verse seems to either tell a story, make you think or just sound incredible to listen to with words rhymed in imaginative ways. I love it. I implore anybody who reads this to check him out. Buck 65. Just lie there in bed with your earphones in and listen.
There are other great hip hop artists that deserve recognition and respect too. UK rapper Lowkey, Cunninlynguists and MF Doom (check out Figaro off the Madvillain album, wow) are what I’m currently listening to. It’s a great art form when the artist is simply speaking about how they feel and how they view the world rather than trying to appeal to as many people as possible to get the money rolling in. Everybody wants to get paid. But does 50 Cent really deserve hundreds of millions of dollars while these amazing artists go broke? It’s a mixed up world. As time goes by talent is becoming less of a requirement to make music since it’s all about image. If the masses weren’t so blind and easily lead then it would be the talented artists that do well (at least until they get complacent and lazy) and the illiterate fucktards ruling the pop charts would be flipping burgers in McDonald’s. I suppose not much can be done there to change things. Difficult, isn’t it? The point? Irrelevant.