Wiggity wiggity wiggity wack.
With that said, we're sorry, hip-hop, but we have to start holding you to a higher standard. You don't want to end up like EDM, do you? Trust us, you don't.
Fix up, look sharp. You're pretty sloppy. So please, take a real hard, close, honest look at yourself. And if you're guilty of one of these five symptoms of wack-hackery, well, do the Gandhi and be the change you wish to see in the world. The future of music depends on you.
You End Every Line With the Same Word The thing that makes hip-hop so great is the joint celebration of music and language. Sure, sometimes dope beats are great on their own. But if you're not teaching someone a new dance, apply the rule your momma taught you: "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." When you open your mouth, nothing but fly, clever, witty-ass shit should come out. You can still brag, and you can still battle, but you're going to keep losing if you don't brush up on your vocabulary. Reading books doesn't kill you, and what doesn't kill you makes you a better emcee.
Everything You Talk About Is Some Watered-Down Biggie or Pac Shit Gangster rap of the '90s changed the game forever, and the influence of Tupac and Biggie will continue for decades to come. But that's all it should be -- influence. Instead, twenty years after they were shot, most of the rappers on commercial radio are still jacking their lines and stealing their swag. Who taught you to rap about getting money and fucking bitches? What happened to switchin' up the flow and honest word play? Jay Z is pretty bad about this, but at least Jay actually knew Biggie. Most of you are just bad fifth-generation Xerox copies. You're so far from the original image, nothin' but blunt ink splotches taking up space on paper. Check yourself.
Marijuana Deals Near You
You Rap About a Lifestyle You Never Knew Fakery is rampant in the hip-hop scene. Everyone is either talking about money they don't have or crimes they never committed. The point of rapping about drug dealing and ghetto living was to raise awareness and spread hope and be real, but now it's just about celebrating some shit no one in America should ever have to endure. Don't talk about being ignorant and poor like it's a badge. It's even more cruel when you wave that badge around while having come from money and/or after you sold your soul to the music industry creeps. Write some shit that is uplifting; stop holding your fans down.
Your Music Video Relies on Some Naked Woman or Loaned, Flashy Jewelry and Cars to Hide Your Lack of Talent and Personality Does your music video look like the Home Shopping Network for wannabe thugs? You're wack as fuck. Fire your stylist, meditate for a few hours, find yourself and start all over again. You're right, it's scary being an individual, but if we all embrace our true selves, the world will be better for it.
You're Not Kendrick Lamar Unless you are, you're not, and science dictates that if you aren't already, you never will be. But yo, that doesn't mean you can't aspire to his level of greatness -- or even surpass it. Kendrick brought thoughtful, intelligent lyrics back to radio, and the countdown has begun. All we're saying is here is the bar, now rise to meet it. If you aren't willing to stress and strain yourself a bit, get the fuck out of the game. It's that simple. This has been a public service announcement.
• BACKBEAT'S GREATEST HITS •
- 50 Photos That Prove Red Rocks Is the Most Beautiful Venue on the Planet
- Photos: Musicians Buying (Legal) Weed in Denver
- The Ten Most Underrated Guitarists in the History of Rock
- 50 Ways to Support Your DIY Music Community
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.