Now, wait a minute, niggey!  How you gon' dis Dre and Snoop like dat?

Excellent prose, altho' a bit BIASED, I think. Pro-Prince, obviously, but I think you have a standing ATTITUDE at ANY "Gangsta' Rap". Dr. Dre stands firm in the genre, as does Snoop, and (selective) their work speaks from PAIN, as well as OPPRESSION.

However, BOTH stand as "Studio Gangsta's", when compared to the Tupac. Raised in the mean streets, in and out of prison, knew HUNGER, knew NEED, knew the System for the LIE that it IS!   "People who live in high-crime districts view the police as a THREAT"...   Believe that!


I've liked Prince from his CHERRY album, "Controversy". But, if you research his background a little, you'll see he had it damn EASY! There is no DOUBT in my mind he IS truly GIFTED, swings almost ANY instrument with ease and grace! But, restructure his CHILDHOOD, make him another little bastard (literally) in a city the likes of Compton, make him RUN those streets, and LEARN those streets before he learns ANYTHING else, and I think you'd have "The Rapper formerly known as Prince"!! No QUESTION, scratch Prince w/ a hardcore alley n!gger, you'll find Tupac!

He can AFFORD to flaunt his distaste for the rappers. They really AREN'T much as true musicians, or even VOCALISTS, for that matter. What they ARE, are latter-day, street-level Bards, and Story-tellers! And, TRULY, only a very FEW are actually GOOD at it!

Sadly, most of those who ARE any good are a BIGOTTED lot. The viciously anti-caucasian a$$hole, REN.  "Judgement Day". Most of the original crew of NWA. I  see YOU, my friend, as dismissive of the whole LOT, and that is UNUSUAL for you.  You usually have an open mind, and are tolerant of a GREAT many things!

I needs MUST ask, what IS your general, overall opinion and view of "Gansta' Rap"??

Al responds:


Re:  gangster rap and rap music in general



I rate music based on the music, not some extraneous sociological BS.  I appreciate that many rappers have come up from difficult circumstances and worked hard, but that doesn't mean I'm going to buy or listen to their stuff as some kind of sympathy vote.  You yourself said that "they really AREN'T much as true musicians, or even VOCALISTS."

More specifically, they hardly ever write a worthwhile actual SONG.  Much of modern pop music, especially rap and double especially gangster rap, have quit even trying to write a TUNE.  That tune is THE core of a good pop song, whether it be by Cole Porter, Hank Williams or Prince.  Singers cover classic Otis Blackwell, Motown, and Chuck Berry again and again for generations to come.

What singer would even bother to try to cover some half-assed rap record?  Mostly even at best, rap comes up with a nice rhythm track and maybe even some nice atmospherics (Dre), but it's all window dressing for a non-existent melody.  It's like a fancy frame with no picture in it.

Instead, rap music -particularly of the gangster variety- concerns itself primarily with superficial theatrical things having nothing to do with actual MUSIC.  They're all about impressing how hard they are, how violent and defiantly anti-social they can be.  This is what actually constitutes proving that you're from "the street."  The rap community and audience routinely values these self-destructive poses over anything relating to music.  

The titillation of their ghetto frontin' fades quickly, and the grinding monotony of even the words grates my nerves.  OK, you're all big scary negroes willing to fulfill every negative stereotype of your ethnic group.  Got it.  White folks are wicked, women are tricks, and you don't like even other black guys much.

Look, I love and cherish my brothers and sisters of all cultural backgrounds, but there are limits to how much time I want to dedicate to worrying about other people's issues.  

In short...

I gave at the office.

Prince Rogers Nelson playing guitar onstage


Holla Back! 


Music Sustains the Soul

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