Whether we care to admit it there are times we are racists in our everyday life. I’m not saying you openly say “I hate white people” but there are little things we do in life that make us racist. Look inside a school cafeteria , the quarterbacks in the NFL, who you are and who you associate yourself with. Sadly, hip-hop is much like this. I asked my parents if they knew Jay-Z, they said no. Biggie, no. Eminem, yes. Eminem is arguably the greatest hip-hop artist in the game but why is that? His record sales, concerts, merchandise, and everything is off the chart. Eminem is a great artist, he is the one that opened my eyes to hip-hop when I was in the fifth grade, but the answer to why he does so well is simple, he’s white.
If a parent was deciding to let their child buy an Eminem album or Lil Wayne album and they looked at the two and saw Eminem with that crazy blond hair and Lil Wayne with no shirt, long dreads and tattoos covering his body they would pick Eminem. This is the sad state of the hip-hop community. What I do when I listen to music submissions is not listen to anything they say in the email and close my eyes and listen to the song so I’m only entitled to what my ears hear which is how everyone should listen to music when they first hear it.
Don’t look at an artist and say “he wants to be the next Bieber, Eminem,” I look at every artist as if they’re the first of themselves not trying to be someone else. I remember way back when I was first introduced to Tyler, The Creator; I didn’t like him because his style was just weird. Something I hadn’t heard before, but right now that’s the exact same reason he is one of my favorites. He is true to his style he’s not trying to be someone he’s not.
When you go to a hip-hop concert what do you see? White kids. Whether you’re at a Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, Eminen, Jay-Z, Macklemore, B.o.B. whatever it is there are always white kids jamming out in the front row. I went to a concert at Duke University last spring and it was 3LAU, Basshunter, and Macklemore opening for B.o.B. There were white people, Latinos, Asians, and I didn’t see any black people until the last act came out, B.o.B.
The true hip-hop fans are those that can listen to Macklemore, A$AP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar, Hoodie Allen, and everyone while loving and respecting all of them. True hip-hop fans aren’t those that say “my favorite rappers are Huey Mack, Mike Stud, Hoodie Allen, IanJ, Sammy Adams” all love and respect to every artist out there but honestly spice it up a bit and what I mean by that is don’t go listen to more white artists. Spice it up, my “Awesome” playlist is the most diverse thing you will find. It consists of Foster The People, Yonas, A$AP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar, Hoodie, Huey, Mike Stud, Macklemore, 2Atypical, Odd Future, Rihanna, Matisyahu and many more diverse artists.
The truth is white rappers’ albums get more plays than black artists in general. The song at the top is a song that Macklemore wrote in 2005 that hits this epidemic spot on. People label Eminem as the greatest hip-hop artist ever because of his sales and how he changed the game; I do believe that Eminem did change the game but this isn’t what he wanted. He didn’t want his records and other white rappers to get more respect than those artists that have done more for this game. The artists that have changed the game, in my mind, are Jay-Z (the godfather of hip-hop), Dr. Dre, Eminem, Kanye, 50 Cent and they are still changing the game.
So, if you listen to more than one genre or one race of artists I salute you. Many of us do not even realize we do this. It can be so subtle as to just who you hang out with or text to a bigger stage in music and the NFL QBs. This is a huge opinionated article on something that is one of my biggest pet peeves, racisim. Dare to be different and diverse.
Hip-hop is the culture, rap is the music.