(NOTE: This is a sweeping generalization of modern rap artists. It’s also harder than you may think to find popular rap songs that do not include inappropriate language.)
Have you ever stopped to consider the messages conveyed by lyrics in most of today’s rap songs? Topics that come to mind include: money, weed, money, fancy cars, money, status, money, and a whole host of derogatory words for women. The songs are usually written in first person and detail the ever-so-exciting lives of people with no apparent regard for others. Now, these topics seem to be disgustingly popular based on the sales numbers of the top rap songs, but why? Do that many people actually relate to this supposed lifestyle? Do people tune out the poorly written lyrics and only pay for these albums to bob their head to the beat in a ’98 Sunfire? Maybe you know the reason for their success, but I certainly have no clue. However, one thing I can assure you of is that rappers are actually the most insecure people in the world.
Take a moment to consider these carefully woven words from the song “Stoner” by the wonderfully poetic Young Thug:
“Every time I walk inside the club I see everybody looking,
You know I’m a stoner, I love drugs and I could never be tooken”
I hesitate to even comment on this quote, as I believe the beauty of the message is better left to speak for itself…But in all seriousness, this is practically a plea for attention and affirmation. I’m no psychologist, but I would conclude that Mr. Young Thug would like everyone to believe that he is the alpha dog of the social scene and desperately needs the acknowledgment of his peers. Consider this exquisite excerpt from Wiz Khalifa’s song “We Dem Boyz:”
“Damn, I’m smokin’ weed in my Mercedes,
Hol up, these n****s broke, these n****s lazy,
Man, they money slim, they actin shady,
I’m in my brand new car, who wanna race”
Wiz Khalifa clearly views people with lower financial status as inferior and does not want to associate with the lower class. Not only does he take pride in his wealth, he is subtly requiring people to view him as elite based on his bank account. Furthermore, Mr. Khalifa has such a longing for friends and acceptance that he is willing to spend whatever it takes for people to like him. For example, just read these words from his popular track “No Sleep:”
“The drinks is on me
The b*****s, the hotel, the weed is all free
Get high, I mean so high we gon’ see the whole suite”
The aforementioned quotes are obviously a small sample of modern rap music, but if you don’t believe me, pay close attention the next time you hear a popular rap song on the radio. These people are trying to hide behind the façade of material wealth. Maybe their insecurity is a result of past events, or maybe it’s due to their obvious lack of grammar skills. Regardless of the root of the problem, don’t let them fool you; they are not okay. Do not aspire to achieve their lifestyle or you too will be forced to cover up your true feelings with trashy lyrics and an 808 drum.