What's Really Wrong with Hip-Hop?
Editor: Tef Poe is an artist from St. Louis City. Through powerful imagery and complicated honesty, he has earned a reputation as one of the best rappers telling the story of St. Louis, which is about much more than one place. Poe has been featured in music publications such as XXL and Urb Magazine. His next project War Machine 2 was released this Tuesday, June 5th and will be followed up by a full-length with DJ Burn One entitled Cheer For The Villain. Follow him on twitter @tefpoe. Get War Machine 2 here.
Every week in I'm Just A Rapper Tef discusses modern life, hip-hop, and the deep connection between them.
Hip-hop is overflowing with self-righteous contradictions.
It all started with my belief that Bun B. deserves way more respect than we give him. I was sitting on my couch one night thinking about Bun B. and his rank on my top ten list. He's one of the most respected rappers alive, the man deserves so much more credit than most of us give him, it's just flat out insane.
1. Hip-hop has grown into this soft, delicate genre, explaining everything you feel and justifying your personal opinions about the culture to satisfy the taste buds of pricks that probably started listening to UGK in 2009. I admit this rant may have a whiny overtone. If you've never heard an 8Ball & MJG record, then don't consider yourself a hip-hop fan or hip-hop head. I'm sick and tired of all the politically correct scrap flat-out. I was born in 1997, so I don't know the lyrics blah blah blah. Greetings, you self-absorbed music genre destroyer, this is probably your excuse for everything under the sun concerning not doing research about the music you're toying with. Most of the Motown catalogue dropped when I was just an undeveloped unborn idea. Every Urban music label in the world is modeled after Motown Records, so just maybe I should possibly learn a thing or two about the Motown dynasty era.
2. I have nothing but hatred for part-time DJs that are still actively booking themselves at the most premiere nightclubs possible. Here's my logic:
You're at home raising the kids, playing Yankee doodle, flying kites at Forest Park and working at Bank of America. You don't download or buy new music unless it's some novelty alternative stuff that only 60 people on the planet listen to. I respect your lifestyle choice but I have a problem with you spinning the records tonight at the club because you have no idea WTF we are actually listening to at this current moment in the culture. I am young and new rappers are born daily, new music is being made daily. I want to hear it and I want to witness women dancing to it. I want to be tipsy in the club yelling, "Hell yeah, f$%king right!!
I am being robbed because I cannot create youthful memories about hearing the new Krit and Curren$y in the club. These are the new classics and it's OK to embrace this. I am also disgruntled by this because it means artists such as myself are making music for nothing. What's the point if you're not going to press play on the new music? I'm busting my @$$ going to war for the city and can't even get you to give me a look. I'm willing to ride for the real DJs, people like Stan Da Man, Sinnamin, DJ Needles, DJ Reminisce, Cuddy, Sir Thurl, Trackstar, Chan, Nune and more. I have much love and admiration for people that actually play the new stuff. I mean, even if you're not playing the new national stuff at least play the new records being released by respectable local artists.
I remember when "Showstealers" first started heating up on the airwaves. I went to a local DJ who shall remain nameless in this rant and asked him if he had it. I purposely gave this guy a hard copy of the CD twice before I brought this up. At the time Cuddy and a few other DJs were pushing hard for me in the clubs and radio airwaves. It's no secret St. Louis' underground hip-hop scene has different departments. This guy is one of those DJs who has been in the same department as me for years. I finally started merging into the club/radio scene, but I wanted to make sure the deejays that were already familiar with my brand were bumping the single. I was ecstatic about finally being in position to reach out to deejays in sectors that were different than mine but in order for it to work I needed the guys from my branch of the scene to also push the record.
I go to this guy and ask him has he heard the record and he says, "I didn't even know you had a new single." Some kind of way this is supposed to be acceptable. I'm just supposed to go home and bite the bullet because after all he's a DJ, and I'm just a rapper. I always hear people screaming respect the DJ. I did my job as an artist but he didn't do his and download or in his case upload the damn single. What about respect the culture? What about respect the talent of the local artist? What about you playing some new music? What about you actually having a clue about what is going on in the music climate of the youth? What about getting off your high horse and eliminating your comfort zone? If you're not full time with it then why the hell are you still booking yourself and playing with our intelligence? This segment of the rant is potentially dangerous because an artist is never supposed to speak negatively of the DJs. But flat-out man, let's be honest: if you're not playing ASAP Rocky then you're damn sure not playing Tef Poe.