Avoiding the bandwagon

Kamau Miller, Staff Reporter

 

If you see a typical teenager walking by with their headphones in their ears, there is a chance they might be listening to rap music. Popular rap artists range from Kanye West, 50 cent, 2 Chainz and Chief Keef. These are just a few of several rappers who you may find someone listening to or see in various places in social media. But many people don’t think about the history behind this genre of music that, unlike other forms of music, doesn’t involve vocals. Instead it involves flow and lyrics are very important.

A typical rap song today usually has a catchy hook and a well-produced beat. These songs usually glorify fame and fortune, bragging about how they have money, women and drugs. While these songs may be catchy and fun to dance to, they lack good lyrical content. While the hook is what usually draws people to listen to a song, the lyrics are how you are able to learn about the rap artist and make a connection between yourself and them.

Through rap lyrics you get to learn a rapper’s story about who they are, where they came from and how they got to where they are as a successful artist. It’s common to hear rappers say phrases in their songs like, “I got a whole lot of money” and “I’m in the trap.”

Most modern rappers act and rap the same way and there is a lack of originality in their music. Instead, they portray in my opinion a false image of being the coolest guy in the world with million of dollars, fancy cars, and all of the women one guy can dream of. But this image is very deceptive because many people fail to realize that the only reason rappers have it like that is because they’re rich and famous.

Without fame and fortune, they wouldn’t have any of this stuff and I believe that the only reason they rap about money, fame and women is because that’s the only reason why many of theses rappers rap. I believe music should be made to comfort, to entertain and to inspire people to work to improve themselves. Instead, I think they make music only to make money and keep their status as a famous rapper.

But the rappers themselves aren’t the only ones responsible. Usually, in order to become a famous rapper, you have to be discovered by a major record label that will promote, market and sell the artists music. You hear people all the time talking about how rich rappers are like Jay-Z having a net worth of over $450 million. But while these rappers are making millions of dollars, the producers and owners of these recording companies are making billions of dollars.

That’s why you always see rappers acting the same way because music producers are looking for the same thing. So the majority of rappers, as well as other celebrities, put on a persona because it is the “in thing” to do and that’s why the music industry is as trendy as it is.

Rappers, as well as other celebrities in my opinion, are puppets being controlled what to do in order to gain and maintain the fame and fortune that they possess. Rappers put on a false image to make them seem greater than what they really are. Our society spends more time obsessing over the daily life of celebrities than they do their own life and that can be a reason why people find it difficult to seek progression and better their own lives. These rappers teach youth since that is a large percentage of their audience to crave fame and fortune which is unrealistic because they themselves are fortunate to be where they’re at.

Although rap music today may be trendy and put too much emphasis on glamour, I encourage that you the consumer listen deeper into the lyrics of a song to find a meaning and make a connection with a rapper based on that. I encourage that you avoid listening to a rapper just in order to jump on the bandwagon with everyone else and to not look at celebrities as someone greater than yourself. They’re just people and how they act in their music videos or in interviews is not who they really are. That is just how they want you to perceive them.