I've turned into a fucking hip hop snob over the past few years. Nothing moves me. Nothing hits me. Nothing gets me in the mood to punch an invisible foe while whimper crying as my girlfriend looks on while I'm rocking a fade my pops Furious hooked up for me after I delivered him a plate of barbecue from my best friend's mom's house at a party thrown after his brother got out of jail. I guess he could smell the sex in the air.
No but freal, Fuck everything else. I don't want rap to remind me I'm not part of a community. I don't want rap to remind me I'm not welcome to enjoy it. I don't want rap to alienate me because I happen to recognize I'm luckier than most. I don't want rap to talk down to me. I don't want rap to paint a picture of a middle finger flicking me and my white pasty race off.
I don't fear any of those things, but I don't necessarily enjoy a rapper rapping at me rapping raps I'm supposedly too motherfucking white to appreciate. The music in my ears is a muddled mix of races, but it doesn't mean I don't fucking recognize I unintentionally rock the skin color of a race of people who have consistently fucked over or murdered every other.
I'm white. As Fuck. What else can I do about it besides own up to it?
Over the past month I've been listening to The Sound of Low Class Amerika from I Self Devine. A fucking lot. One thing I've noticed is that while I'm enamored with the dude's voice, delivery and choice of beats, I can hear everything the dude is rapping at me without that weird uncomfortable white guilt that makes me feel like every rap track about white pieces of shit is directed at me. Yes, there is a weird sense of self-actualization involved for me when reflecting on The Sound of Low Class Amerika, as I can see the plight of Americans, regardless of color, and I see the issues I Self has described as a problem that's partly my responsibility to help fix.
SYFFAL isn't known for intense investigations into deep seated socioeconomic or racial issues, and we shouldn't be because we're just a group of assholes talking about the music they like, but I Self Devine's The Sound of Low Class Amerika is musically fucking awesome, yet I hold it in a much brighter light because it's talking to me. I Self's delivery is seriously beyond fucking amazing, and yes, his voice is so fucking dope he could rap my scantron answers to a state aptitude test from fifteen years ago and I'd still pay the Fuck attention, but his ability to simultaneously hold my attention on to what he's staying and knock my head back and forth is unprecedented in my musical history.
I Self Devine might not be talking to me when he's verbally sketching out scenes from a life I'm not privy to, but I respect him enough (and his fucking voice and delivery, freal holy Fuck) to realize he's doing it differently.
We can have the race conversation later, sure, but I think it's important for me to illustrate how successful I Self Devine is at getting me to acknowledge his storytelling abilities aren't necessarily deflecting the pointed finger towards a specific race, they're simply sketching what the finger's pointing at.