It Isn’t Cool To Be A Thug In Hip Hop Anymore

Tupac ruined the rap game when he tattooed “Thug Life” on his stomach. This isn’t to say that he was the first thug or gangsta of hip hop. But that image of that tattoo was seen worldwide and let everyone know that this is hip hop.  It was great for the 1990’s when that kind of life style was seen as cool or the norm in hip hop. Today, however I see kids on social media trying to be gangsters and thugs and it isn’t right. tupac_shakur

I use Tupac as an example because he was such a powerful figure in the culture. He was truly special with how he was able to reach people by being authentic to himself. He is like god to most people who listen to rap, but he is flawed like anyone else. He was not a perfect person and lived a reckless life that was brought about by his self-proclaimed “thug lifestyle.” We celebrate Tupac like he is the man and he is. The problem is people saw this and thought they could be him. The reality though is you can’t. There is only one Tupac and he unfortunately is not here anymore.

In 2017, Tupac should be an example to everyone that being a thug doesn’t have a good end.  I understand that everyone grows up in a different environment and some things are hard to escape but death isn’t one of them. Being a thug will get you death or jail. Both aren’t very cool.thug

The cool thing to do today is going to school and get your college degree like J cole. Or up lift people out of bad situations like Kendrick Lamar. Or become the biggest rapper in the genre like Drake, by dedicating yourself to your passion and nothing else. These are hip hop’s representation today and we are in a better place for it.j c

Again, I want to say that Tupac is amazing and was a uniquely special human being. However, he wasn’t perfect and we all can learn from his mistakes and short comings. As a long time fan of hip hop we have made a habit of celebrating the thugs. Hopefully this new generation could change that standard.

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Rapper’s Are The Rock Stars Of Today

Rock and Roll was considered the rebel music of its day. Young people  naturally gravitated towards it, and older people rejected it. It was flashy, in your face, and counter-culture. It simply was the new wave of its time. Fast forward to today and that all has changed. Hip hop and Rap is now that wave.rock and roll

I grew up listening to a lot of different music, but hip hop and rap was always the coolest. It was the music that your parents didn’t quite approve of but somehow resonated with you the most. It was more than just music too, it was a culture that you lived and breathed. I spoke the dialect, I dressed the part, and I lived through the music. And I wasn’t the only one. I had a whole generations of kids beside me doing the same. hip

Look at some of the biggest artist in Hip Hop right now.  Artists like Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and J Cole have created such an impact that kids are growing up wanting to be just like them. When either of these artist drop an album it feels as if social media stops for a minute to bask in their greatness. And their shows are simply ridiculous. We are talking arenas, stadiums, even a sighting on the street garners such great attention. The fans live through their music and that is the power of hip hop’s rock star power.fo

On the flip side though, these are mega stars. So it makes sense they would get this kind of attention. What about rappers who aren’t as popular? Well I can tell you from first hand experience it still is just as ridiculous.

I have gone to many small clubs and venues to see rappers who were famous but not at the superstar level yet. Rappers like G Eazy, Mac Miller, Bas, and Logic. The reaction and love these artist got were crazy. People would stand 5 hours in line just to get into these places, then stand 3 more hours for a show. It’s crazy, but that’s rock and roll or should I say Hip Hop. asap-ferg-21

Kanye West once told Zane Lowe in an interview that “We are the new rock stars.” Kanye was of course referring to rappers. Usually Kanye is a little off in his judgements but he got this one right. Rappers are the new rock stars and we are just living in their world.

Is Kendrick Lamar A Top Ten Rapper of all time?

Kendrick Lamar is arguably the greatest rapper of this generation. Since 2011, mainstream media has fallen in love with the Compton native for his lyricism, honestly, and overall complete artistry. He has won seven Grammy’s and appeared in songs beside music heavy weight’s like Beyoncé, U2, and Rihanna. On one of his latest songs The Heart Part 4, Kendrick out right says, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, I am the Greatest Rapper Alive.” And he probably is right. But is he top ten all time in the history of rap? The answer is, not yet.

Kendrick Lamar is arguably the greatest rapper of this generation. Since 2011, mainstream media has fallen in love with the Compton native for his lyricism, honestly, and overall complete artistry. He has won seven Grammy’s and appeared in songs beside music heavy weight’s like Beyoncé, U2, and Rihanna. On one of his latest songs The Heart Part 4, Kendrick out right says, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, I am the Greatest Rapper Alive.” And he probably is right. But is he top ten all time in the history of rap? The answer is, not yet. damn

Earlier this month, Kendrick Lamar dropped his 3rd major studio album Damn. Social media was ablaze with compliments and praise for 14 track LP. Like his other two classic albums, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, and To Pimp a Butterfly, Damn seems to have lasting messages that will reveal itself over time. It’s too early to call his latest installment a classic, but it sold 603,000 units its first week, making it the fastest selling album of the year thus far. Kendrick is probably on his way to his third straight classic album. Which is in addition to his classic Section.80 album, that was released under Top Dawg Entertainment.

These are all great accomplishments that cannot be taken away from Kendrick, but the sample size isn’t large enough to compare to other rap legends just yet.   k dot

Lets look at others who he would be competing against. People like Jay-z, Eminem, Tupac, Biggie, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, DMX, Jadakiss, LL Cool J, Nas, and Scarface. That’s just to name a few. These artist all have more extensive musical catalogues, time put in, and bigger legendary acceptance than Kendrick does at this junction in his career. There is no denying K dot’s talent and his incredibly high ceiling. However, at this time I think it’s unfair to place him up against these greats. He simply needs more time.

Though, in 10 years I don’t think the discussion will be is Kendrick Lamar top 10? I think it will be is Kendrick Lamar the greatest rapper of all time? Only time will tell. But what do you think, is the man they call Kung-fu Kenny Top ten right now? Comment below!

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