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Rap Clichés That Need To Stop In 2013

By Ryan Bassil

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Let me start this article by saying that clichés aren’t bad. They’re the reason I can bootstrap an L, put on a Snoop Dogg record and know that I’m going to have a great puff, puff, pass soundtrack. Without clichés, there would be no genre. The good artists, like Snoop, use and avoid clichés in order to subvert the listener's expectations. However, there are a couple artists who seemingly chow down on banal platitudes for breakfast. Here’s a couple things that rappers need to stop dick-riding.

"Freestyles" That Aren't Actually Freestyles

If you’re rapping something that’s 100% prewritten or you’ve ripped from another song, it’s not freestyle. It’s just a bunch of words that weren’t good enough to go on a record. I’ve got a rapper friend who uploads videos of his “freestyles” on to Facebook. They’re complete with harmonies, skits and have probably been preceded by 25 outtakes. Oh, and somehow, all his boys know the words he’s saying at exactly the same time. He’s a master of inception with powerful thoughts and not predictable at all, right?  If you can’t do it, don’t do it. Otherwise, take tips from this Eminem/ Proof video above AKA the realest freestyle video EVER.

Weed Infused Cinematography

OMG, do you guyz smoke weed?! I couldn’t tell! There was a trend last year year for kush-indebted music videos and it got EXTREMELY boring. Aside from making me super jealous, this is the visual equivalent of those annoying kids on Instagram who constantly post grainy shots of some "bud" and #wakeandbaking. Don’t get me wrong, a little piff is cool, but it shouldn't be anyone's sole raison d'etre, ever. After a whole mixtape that's essentially only about how you can split a crossroll in two minutes, nobody's going to give a fuck. All it makes me think about is how mind-crushingly tedious these guys are once their weed bag has run dry.

All Illuminati Everything Production

Is Kanye the head of the Illuminati?  Is G.O.O.D Music part of the N.W.O? Whilst ‘Ye might not have a triangle carved into the back of his neck and All-Seeing Eyes pre-loaded into his contacts, he’s definitely paved the way with his new style of producing that sounds like it’s come straight from a vault in a pyramid. A couple years back, I couldn’t fault Kanye—MBDTF still gives me a hard-on every time I listen to it. But, fuck, I can’t listen to "Clique" without feeling like an army of robots are heading for me. Exactly which goat do we have to sacrifice in order to get him to sample a fucking Aretha Franklin song again?

SWAG
 
 
When I was 11, "swag" meant "bad." Today it means wearing a snapback and owning a Tumblr account. When the internet found out about Odd Future, we collectively shat ourselves. Who were these guys wearing ski masks? What the fuck does OFWGKTA mean? But, that was nearly two years ago. Unfortunately, the waterfall of hype that Tyler & Friends started has trickled down to the teens that sit on my bus. While it's true that teenagers usually know what's up when it comes to music, they also have an unfortunately tendency to run cool things into the ground. So next time you're thinking of saying "swag" and you're not a member of Odd Future or some other teenage rapper on the West Coast with 67,000,000 followers on Tumblr and a pretty bad weed habit, just tighten the fastener on that Supreme six-panel and keep it moving.
 
Retirement
 
It can be hard being a rapper. Y’know, a plethora of girls waiting to spread their legs and pop a blunt in your mouth whilst you recline on a Versace chaise lounge can get tiring. I’d sooner trade that in for a lifetime of the Weakest Link and chess than come out of retirement with Kingdom Come. Basically, please don't make retiring a publicity stunt when for the rest of us "retirement" means sitting in front of the TV waiting to die.
Subliminal Disses
 

I’m all out for a bit of meat-slinging. It’s fun watching rappers get all hot and heavy with their wordplay, shooting insults around like kids in primary school. But, like the kids I used to know back in school, rappers are hella-subliminal with their disses. Was Pusha calling out Drake on “Don’t Fuck With Me?” Did Drake call out G.O.O.D. Music on “Dreams Money Can Buy?” Whilst Pusha almost certainly dropped bars on Drake, he’s denied it in interviews. Shouldn't diss tracks involve rappers going all out and popping shots with the victims name in full check? Remember Nas with "Ether?" So, yeah, shit or get off the pot guys.

Follow Ryan on Twitter - @RyanBassil

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