Most times, I stay in the background of these topical rap conversations and gossip because its pointless. I’m glad on one level not to associate with too many insiders because then you lose perspective. It’s hard to be an honest judge of character when you find out that some whack rapper on the radio is actually a good dude in regular life. Like when you meet certain people who are actually disrespecting the culture you’re a part of but turn out to be pleasant enough in conversation, there’s a problem. By all accounts Rich Homie Quan, an average rapper of undeserved adoration (IMO), caused an uproar at the VH1 honors when he forgot Biggie’s lyrics during a tribute performance to Lil Kim. This post is not so much about him as it is about the insiders who gave rise to his kind of rapper.
I didn’t watch the show at all and still have no real desire to see any of it, though I heard it was nice. VH1, BET and MTV have done too much damage to hip-hop music to be given attention by me at this point. I’m good. But this Quan situation is typical of how today’s rappers pay more attention to fashion than lyrical content. When it was posted on my FB feed, I didn’t listen. I empathize on some level for his embarrassment, and my disgust at such a monumental error in forgetting the lyrics of an icon such as Biggie when there was time to prepare, made me not want to hear it. (I have to be in a certain mood to want to watch epic fail compilations.) Then, I watched Sway interview DJ Drama on his show and I was thoroughly disappointed to hear the Quan blooper. He only remembered like one bar of a sixteen. It was miserable. I heard that he was dressed in Coogi and Timberlands though. Evidently he likes playing dress up.
Still, he’s not the problem. It’s people like DJ Drama, who helped introduce rappers like Rich Homie Quan into the rap business knowing they had no passion or love for Hip Hop as a culture. Their lack of guidance lead to the situation where its acceptable for young rappers to disrespect the origins of hip-hop music and still have a rap career. It’s OK for young rappers to not like ‘old-school’ emcees or Premiere beats. It’s OK for them to not like lyricism and mumble over tracks.
Even Sway was complicit in co-signing DJ Drama as a legitimate judge of talent when talking about the success of Gucci Mane during this same discussion. Quan did receive lots of criticism during the show on the mishap but was given the same pass I spoke about initially. “He’s a good guy,” so I forgive him. DJ Drama’s a good guy so forgive all the whack artists he promotes that drag down the culture. Sway’s a good guy so forgive him for promoting all the whack Deejays like Drama who cosign whack rappers. It’s all a downward spiral that I was relieved to distance myself from for the past 4 years. Sometimes though, you’ve gotta call bullshit when you see it.