At the beginning of the quarter, before we had any homework, I explored the course blog. I found myself perusing through every tab the main blog had. I was reading the major posts and the third one really piqued my interest. “Write about an artist you dislike”? All I have to do is write about my strong dislike for someone who is not even a shell of their former selves. “This is not a slam on the artist”. Oh. Well, this just became more difficult. Lil Wayne stands for everything that I disagree with in music. He’s lazy, spreads a horrible message to the world, and makes music just for the sales.
Laziness is a hard quality to put into measurable terms. But at times you can just tell that people are not even trying. While rappers like Kendrick Lamar, Blu, and Jay Electronica are making lyrics complex and finding new things to say, Lil Wayne is coming up with lines that would make Soulja Boy cringe out of embarrassment. There are songs where he makes puns like “Don’t fuck up with Wayne, Cause when it Waynes it pours” to similes like “Real G’s move in silence like lasagna“. It just shows a lack of hunger on Lil Wayne’s behalf and this laziness is something I can’t tolerate. I don’t want to buy music from someone that just puts out songs for money.
Lil Wayne’s music usually talks about what you’d expect a stereotypical rapper to talk about: women, clothes, money, and haters. Though I have a fondness of women, clothes, and money, I would prefer to hear a song about something more creative. Hip hop started out as a means to express yourself, your life, and what was around you, through music, graffiti, and dancing. Lil Wayne, to his credit, has shown flashes of brilliance throughout his lengthy career. Not enough for someone who crowned himself the ‘best rapper alive’. Lupe Fiasco took a song from his debut album and turned it into an entire concept album. The Roots, decades into their career, are still taking huge gambles and making great albums. Same goes for Kanye West. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy pushed the envelope (and got snubbed at the 2012 Grammy Awards). The same cannot be said for Lil Wayne’s most recent album, The Carter IV, which sounds exactly like his last album in the Carter series.
Lil Wayne also has just given up on making music for his fans. Artists that make music out of passion for music and a love for their fans would not make ‘How to Love‘. That song was the epitome of generic, mainstream garbage. A song the music label pushes onto you for easy, single sales that most artists fight against. It wouldn’t even be classified as growing as an artist. That’s just giving in to the success, fame, and money. There is a distinct difference in the artist that does it for the love of hip hop and those who do it for the fame and money. I’m on the side of people who enjoy the artists with passion. The artists that aren’t scared to make the mainstream radio listeners angry. The artists that push the boundaries of what hip hop is. The artists that want to stop the generalizing of hip hop as a completely misogynistic, homophobic, and pathetic excuse for a genre that the outside world sees it as.
It’s not as if I have a strong hatred for Lil Wayne. I don’t know him personally. He could be the nicest guy in the world. But the things his music stands for just don’t really settle with me. Someone who has that high of a platform should be using it as a role model for hip hop. How can we expect others to take it seriously if our forerunners aren’t even taking the genre seriously?