Saturday, December 18, 2010

Notes From The Editor

Yes, The Rap Snob is yet another blog about rap music, the industry and the hip hop culture. I understand this, along with the accompanying fact that there are so many voices squawking in this space that it's possible my thoughts on the subject(s) may, at best, only add to the chirping, and at worst will leave this small bird without a worm (I'm leaving this bird/worm analogy alone while I still can).

So why write on this subject when there's a strong possibility, even a likelihood, that my thoughts will never be heard? Here are a few of the reasons:
  • Simply put (and I've stated this before, ad nauseum), I enjoy writing too much not to do it. Writing provides me joy, therapy, clarity of thought, and other various value-adds that are both too numerous and minute to the general reader to mention
  • More substantively, I am 28 years old (an "Old Geezer" in hip hop years) and have, at various points, felt as though rap music has passed me by. Or in the alternative, I have passed the music by; I haven't been able to decide which has occurred. One of the most basic reasons I'm here writing about rap music is to clearly define the answer embedded within that personal controversy
  • Related to the above point, I want to substantively figure out what place, if any, a person who grew up with hip hop providing the soundtrack to his life, holds within the current confines of hip hop, rap music, etc. My current belief is that the answer to this question is far more complex than something like "if you choose to listen to the music, it still plays an important role for you," as I did not choose rap music or hip hop; I was born into it. As I hope to show you, my relationship with rap music and hip hop is far more spiritual than anything a choice can provide
  • At best, I hope to provide a blueprint for myself that navigates the far too general question of "What does rap music/hip hop mean to me currently?" while adding a bit of my own color to the very complex and often times controversial conversation surrounding middle class blacks ("sellouts," "Buppys," "Talented Tenthers," "Crème de la Crème;" I've heard them all), the space we hold in this culture debate (if we do hold a space there), and to what extent we help/hurt these debates.
  • Finally, I chose "The Rap Snob" as the title for this blog because most of my opinions regarding rap music and hip hop are generally described as snobbish. I disagree with that notion; in my mind, I'm merely adding a layer of thought that is usually missing from these conversations (wow; that sounded in snobbery the likes of which may never have been heard 'round these parts). I hope to examine my own thoughts in ways that I haven't before. If the outcome is that I'm a rap snob, so be it; I'll wear the title like a badge of honor. But I will not continue a thought process that I determine to be unhelpful. Snobbery at it's best is thought leadership at it's best, and that's the space I aim to live within (even if no one listens... the essence of true snobbery).
With that introduction out of the way, let the snobbery commence! My first act on this journey will be to pour myself a tawny port prior to thoughtfully dissecting (as only I, and those of my ilk, can) the many reasons why Tupac can never be considered as great a rapper as the Notorious One (because, as I am sure you are aware, any "Pac" conversation is best conceptualized while sipping tawny port). I will share when the time is right.

Tah tah for now.