Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Honestly Speaking...

Honesty is something of a rarity in music nowadays, hell honesty in general is rare these days. One problem that always seems to occur when discussing honesty is, is it based in truth or hate. An even bigger problem is when it applies to music. I'm sure all face this problem but it is no other genre that shows examples of this better than Hip-Hop/Rap.

We all know the story of 2DBZ Vs. Odd Future, the infamous intro of Bastard and the various other and often hilarious disses. Even though I happen to agree with Tyler and his buddies about the site (disrespect intended), 2DBZ actually did nothing wrong other than not liking Tyler's music. We have all seen hating, for example YouTube/WSHH comments. Stroll on over to a Lil' Wayne or Drake video and see just how many varieties of the word "gay" you can find. Wayne's various baby mamas and countless stories of Drake and his stripper saving ways, would prove other wise though. Those are just a few examples of hating on something with no merit. Sometimes however, actual truth can be confused for blind hate and that is where the biggest problem occurs when it comes to criticism in Hip-Hop/Rap.

As a blogger I can share countless stories of criticism gone wrong, you try to tell an artist "Hey this isn't your best" or "I've heard better from you" and you'll be lucky if you don't end up with that artist cursing you out and calling you a hater or other various inane things. I honestly can say that 8 out of 10 times I approach a artist with something another than positivity, I end up being attacked for no reason. So I tend to follow the old saying of "If you don't have nothing nice to say, don't say it at all" when it comes to dealing with artist.

Although, there are simply times when I cannot hold back my criticism. For example a short time ago, a indie rapper (who shall remain nameless) dropped a song on Twitter. I've heard said rapper a few times here and there and dude honestly can rap. So when I saw he was dropping a song I thought here is the perfect chance to check out some solo material and see what he can do on a full track rather than a guest verse. As I hit play I was immediately thrown-off by the singing vocal that was sampled. It was loud and absolutely awful but the actual verses weren't bad. Again. I didn't have a problem with the artist or his verses, it was the production that devalued the listening experience. 

I was left speechless and expressed so on Twitter i.e. (......) and I could see a few other artists shared my sentiment. After some playful joking around about the track between me and the artists, word got back to the creator of the track and his crew. Immediately feelings were hurt and things quickly got out of hand for no reason, other than me and those artist expressing how we felt about the song. I admit it wasn't the most mature way of handling it on my part but it was a criticism of the track, not of the artist and his skill but he and others couldn't see that. It was just a "Oh, you don't like my song? You a hater" type of vibe. 

To get to my point however, it's examples like that, where a fan/blogger/fellow artist can be sharing their honest opinion about an artist music and it simply becomes "hate". Am I not entitled to my opinion? It wasn't as if we didn't listen to the track, we listened and didn't like it for reasons that are completely justified. It wasn't hate it was truth. Simple as that.

If I was a rapper, I'd want to hear honest opinions about my music. I wouldn't want a bunch of yes men and friends hyping me up and allowing me to make shit music. If you don't like this article let me know. If you have a reasonable reason for disliking it, I won't curse you out or claim you to be a hater. I'll chalk it up to a learning experience of what not to do in the next editorial I write. 

If more artist could apply what fans/critics/bloggers say about their music and actually acknowledge and change or improved based upon those criticisms the Hip-Hop/Rap game would be a much better place. I'm not saying change your sound or compromise your artistic integrity for success or mass approval *cough* Wale *cough* but consider what those people are saying. However, in the end it all comes down to opinion whether it be truth or hate, it's an opinion. The Drop God Dictionary (in stores soon) defines opinion as: a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty. So the next time someone doesn't like your music or gives you honest criticism, respect their opinion, whether you agree or disagree because AGAIN it's an opinion. Not a fact. Honestly speaking however, if I say you suck at rapping you probably do...just saying...