Beyond Rap’s Bad Rep

by Mitchell Karcher

Many people hold strong opinions on rap/hip-hop music, whether they love it or despise it, it is one of the biggest music genres to date. However, due to its vulgarity, several people refuse to listen it and group it all in the same category as what they consider “garbage rap.”

This unfair description is a gross generalization that cuts down what this form of art truly is.

“There’s Alot Going On” by Vic Mensa is a gem that represents rap as a true form of poetic of speech. Flowing with the background music Vic backs his speech with genuine emotion as he raps about his starting phase of addiction and partying while writing his music. He then dives into his troubled relationship with his girlfriend at the time, Natalie. He abused her and proceeds to explain he was in the wrong as he was taking all of his aggression out on her after his band broke up, which let him down from high expectations.  He continues with explaining his serious drug addiction and recovery stating he moved back home to his mom’s basement before he made it big in the rap industry.

With research focus in urban arts, Dr. Emery Petchauer, an associate professor and coordinator of the English education program at MSU, speaks more in depth about hip-hop as a genre and culture.

When asked why hip-hop has surpassed other music genres, he said, hip-hop music appeals “to diverse experiences among people,” and “music with heavy drums (like hip-hop) has a really broad appeal to people because drums are universal. Hip hop may “speak” to some people because of the beat alone, or the beat at first. That’s why we dance to hip-hop music sometimes and are not even thinking about the words!”

Speaking on this level, it is perfectly understandable why music like Vic Mensa’s has become so mainstream.

 

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