Craven de Kere wrote:
HUH? have you ever Heard "Dear Mama"? "Brenda's Got a Baby"?
Yeh, I did. I remember "Brenda's got a baby", I liked it, a lot. It touched me. That musta been, 91, 92, when I was listening to that? Yeh.
OK, now I gotta look up what I wrote up there for you. Cause I think you misunderstood - or well, let's just put it that way.
Yeh - here goes - I wrote: "when did hip-hoppers have emotions before, apart from mourning drive-by victim homies?". 'K, if I'd been making a seriously argued thematical case, rather than just chattin' about the kinda music I've liked, I would probably have expounded on that, and you wouldnta jumped to conclusions.
Listen, when I saw Boyz N The Hood, I was blown away. Damn. I dont know how it would now rate in film history or anything, but to me it was one compacted ball of anger, tragedy and hardcore life. I was touched & impressed. Thats all
kinds of emotions, note. Lots of hip hop back then conveyed the same intense emotions, and struck me in the same way. Thats why I liked it so much. NWA, MC Ren, Above the Law, Ice Cube, Ice-T, Cypress Hill. But it was all, say, in the gangster life tragedy bracket, which is what I was referring to with the "mourning drive-by victim homies" quip. Emotions, yes; outside the bracket of what you would expect a gangsta to show his mourning over, no. Thats why I got bored with it.
sense, Eminem was totally different. He went beyond telling the effective, but by that time pretty hackneyed-sounding "ghetto grief" narratives. 2Pac, who you say "put Eminem to shame as far as introspection goes", was the king of expressing ghetto grief. But when Eminem is sad or angry, its not just about the weaknesses and sadnesses of the (ghetto) world he lives in, like with 2Pac - its about his own
weaknesses and sadnesses, too - un
-machoified. See the difference?
Eminem doesnt darkly romanticize the victim-mother of "Brenda's got a baby"; he turns against
mother, telling her how he's struggling with not wanting to hurt her, but just being so very angry at what she'd done, to him, at what she'd not done, at how she'd fucked up, and how he just needed to tell her - "cleaning out his closet". Its not like his hip hop career centres around his mother or something <grins> - its just the most striking example I could think of. 2Pac plays on your emotions - Eminem betrays his.
(Actually, this is where I have to fess up that I actually borrowed the whole "In comes Eminem, and he's as tough as any of them, but he raps about his mother - he made rap personal" line, which you fell all over, wholesale. It was funny - cause its the line Anastasia had persuaded me with, when I was still thinking Eminem was some kinda white Eazy-E on repeat a decade late - it was the line I then delivered on the Eminem thread here - and then I heard it repeated almost verbatim in the passionate delivery, last week, of our office's own ex-gangsta, a Cape Verdian guy who's the only guy his age he knows who's got a job, to the un-believers who said hip hop wasnt 'real' music. Shouldnt make a **** of a difference to you, I hope, but made me know we werent the only ones thinking what we did).
Yeh, and then the remaining 2/3rds of your post goes on to prove that Eminem didnt kill off gangsta rap, that it had nothing to do with him and his, etc ... well, thaz fine - good thing, then, that I never said he did, huh. 'Ctually, if you see how 50 Cent's doing, I'd say gangsta was still alive - and he's Eminem's own protege.
Craven de Kere wrote:
Your history of rap is about as flawed as it can get when you talk about the 90's onwards.
Well, I'ma mighty sorree, Sir Lector Craven of Hip-Hop Expertise. Isnt it a lucky thing, then - again - that I never pretended to write "the history of rap"? I coulda, one day, probly, back when, but yeh, no more! What I did was in a literal four
(!!) lines, roughly point out four trends - 80s lyrical play, turn of 90s politics, post-90 gangsta, Eminem. Thats about the extent my "analysis" went - shouldna be too controversial, now, should it, in its generalising kinda way?
And, eh ... I'm sure any others here who read my first post also read my second one, you know - where I wrote, literally
, "I lost track completely for a few years after 93, 94 or so, tho, and i never really got up to date anymore"? So, yeh, I'd say you were pretty much on-target with the second half of your sentence
. Really shoulda put my broadbrush 4-line "history" of rap in perspective enough without your self-righteous lecturing, shouldnt it, if you think about it?
Anyhow. Sure must admit I'm glad to see I'm not the only one in a foul mood.