Underground Rap by Grieves
A Great Year for Underground Rap
“What is the point of underground rap? Different eras have offered different answers.” At one point all rap was ‘underground’ but as this genre progressed and hip hop went global, the amount of money making rappers had forced a new identity crisis. The “rags-to-riches” tales have always been inspirational, but was always a social progress. Underground rap had started signifying not just a strongly bonded community but a greater moral existence.
These rags-to-riches lives seem to happen to all the famous rappers but whether or not people will relate to their rhymes is the real question. Their fame is based on this simple principle—will enough people relate to you? Will enough people understand what you went through as a child, the hard times you had growing up? Similar to most marketing tactics used today—find your target market and sing your song. Don’t stop singing until they’re singing along.
The article brings up the success of “gangsta rap” and drug rap had begun to narrow the once wide spectrum of experience and sense of individuality to MCs who sought out their audiences.
It’s just a big competition. We can look at Mac Miller and Sam Adams and dispute for hours about who’s really the “better rapper.” Since they came out at nearly the same time, they sound exactly the same, rap about the exact same things, and they’ve attracted the same fans—the partiers. Now we can compare them Atmosphere or Grieves; Atmosphere came out years ago and Grieves within the last 3 years, and they’re both equally as good—rapping about things that seem the almost the same but have completely different styles and meanings.
“The mainstream, regularly driving its Escalade over the bones of the dead, happily provided its own alternative every other month” During the late ‘90s mainstream hip-hop had gone into a period of furious creativity that continued to show its colors into the next decade. One point of a so-called “underground” scene is to provide an alternative to the mainstream, but who really needed it? Aside from those “hipsters” trying to be the first to discover someone else’s talent, no one.