For Open Mic #6, we’ve got a post by “C.” For more info on writing your own post for P&P, go here. This one is really interesting to me, because it deals with a topic that I’ve always been torn about. Keep in mind the following views are not my views or the views of P&P. Hit the comments section if you want to share your thoughts.
Read on for the article…
A Letter To The Johns…
Punish the consumer, not the supplier. For some time this has been a proposed solution to deal with the illicit and centuries-old trade of prostitution. Take a hooker off a corner and throw her/him in jail and guaranteed there will be another filthy street walker at her/his wits-end willing to take her/his place. Arrest a John, put this sex addicted suburban soccer dad(/mom, it could happen) in prison for ten years, and see how many line up to take his(her) place. Punish the supplier and you hurt supply, which only creates an opportunity for another broker of the coital arts. Punish the consumer and you hurt demand; which inevitable leads to a surplus of supply and lots of unemployed hookers (trust me, I minored in economics). So what the fuck does all of this have to do with music? I’ll tell you what; mainstream rappers are prostitutes, selling us their disease ridden musical vaginas, and we(collective we, not necessarily P&P readers) are the Johns buying that shit up!
The problem I have with mainstream rap isn’t a moral one, a little mindless party music every now and then is a good thing, my problem is the effect it has on the rest of the hip-hop community. Just as prostitution has negative effects on a population(spread of STD’s, increased crime, unwanted dumpster babies), mainstream rap sets a harmful standard that aspiring MCs have to follow in order to be successful. Now, I don’t necessarily blame Rappers for this(from now on I’m going to refer to mainstream rappers as Rappers, and the underground/conscious rappers as MCs, better flow). If Waka Flocka Flame can repeat a series of clichés over the latest bass-shaking southern track and it sells, then why wouldn’t he, he could probably use the cash(No doubt he’s once again fucked his money up and now he can’t re-up). He’s only catering to the demand of the consumer, the John, buying this generic re-packaged pile of lyrical dog crap. The result of this is that aspiring MCs, showing real potential on singles, freestyles and mixtapes(I have a big problem with the once underground and now over-saturated mixtape market as well, but that’s a story for another day), are forced to dumb down their albums to conform to the standard of “what is hot” and what sells. (Notable examples: Asher Roth’s Asleep in the Bread Aisle, Wales’ Attention Deficit, Drake’s Thank Me Later, etc, etc)
Since the source of my problem lies with the consumer, the solution has to be found with them as well. Obviously we can’t go around arresting everybody who buys or promotes the latest Gucci Mane track(looking at you Confusion); prison populations would balloon to record highs, families would be left to fend for themselves, crime would skyrocket, cities would burn, total bedlam. Now, if I were the Prime Minister of Musical Endeavors(not a real thing) I would impose a 1000% sales tax on all mainstream rap. However, this would no doubt result in cries of unjust taxes, causing mass protests and rioting, once again we would descend into bedlam. So what’s the solution? Well kids you’re looking at it right now, Music Blogs! Listeners aren’t spending their hard earned dollars(those who actually do) on these rappers because they have awful taste or they crave the confused/angry feeling you get when Jae Millz talks about f’ing your girl, they buy it because they just don’t know any better. This is where your favorite music blog(insert P&P) can come to the rescue. Thanks to the internet, hip-hop’s underground is now viral, so good MCs are accessible to everyday listeners like you and me. We have all the tools to decide for ourselves what the new standards in hip-hop should be. Once we have formed that opinion, it’s our obligation to go out and demand it. This is the only way to effectively move hip-hop in the right direction. So as a P&P reader tell your friends to lay off the hookers…..they’re ruining music for the rest of us.
Side Note: I don’t intend to lump all mainstream rappers into one group….Kanye West is widely accepted as a mainstream artist but I completely respect/appreciate the level of creativity and effort he brings to his game.
For the rest of the Open Mic series, click here.