Y’all I promise I still have lots of good artists and their good music to talk about; there’s simply too many fantastic hip hop artists not to obsess over and share. However, before I go back into that, I just wanted to take a break to get real.
Not only do I listen to a variety of music (and I mean ALL types of music from French club music to jazz to indie rock), I confess that I even am an occasional fan of substance-less hip hop music. I may not appreciate it for the same reasons I appreciate Kendrick Lamar’s or Vic Mensa’s music, but it has its own merits. I mean it’s rather snobby to only appreciate a certain type of music and put it above any other type of music, and so I am here today to clear any of my perceived elitist attitudes to hip hop music. Because honestly, I genuinely enjoy blasting ASAP Rocky’s “F**kin Problems” and letting loose as much as I enjoy listening to Riz MC throw valid points about South Asian discrimination in curated rhyme and verse.
One thing to know about me is that I love to dance. I grew up being classically trained in Indian dance and performing a lot of Indian folk and Bollywood dance on the side; however, that didn’t mean I didn’t enjoy dancing in other ways and any opportunity I got to dance, I took it. Frankly, my biggest regret nowadays is that I didn’t take any formal training in hip hop, contemporary, and modern styles of dance to really polish off my self-taught, amateurish skills.
This love of dance translates to loving any music with a good beat. I mean what’s better than letting loose and breaking it down alone in your bedroom or grooving while cleaning the house or having fun with (and impressing) your friends at a social gathering. The usual trend with music that’s fun to dance to in the hip hop world is that usually it’s more focused on the beat drops, music, and flow and so its verse may be rather superficial and repetitive. But that’s okay, because it can still be an enjoyable experience to listen to. Of course there are exceptions to this general trend, for example, Kendrick Lamar’s song “Swimming Pools (Drank)” is not only a club anthem, but a startling commentary on alcoholism he surrounded by and also involved in.
To put it simply, there’s all types of hip hop music and there’s nothing wrong with each type exploring different levels of musicality, thoughtful verse, etc. because this creates a vast spectrum of music that listeners can have their ears exposed to. I can’t be the only one who enjoys listening to the smooth and contemplative verse of Tupac and Kendrick Lamar, but enjoys breaking it down Kanye West’s “Gold Digger.”
(Oh wait here’s an actual secret: I used to blast FUTURE’s “Mask Off” at 6 AM for a good couple months while driving to school in my senior year, because it would be the only thing that would wake me up. I’m telling you a song with a flute refrain, drugs, and a whole lot of nothing can be amazing.)