I’m a young white English man, who grew up in an upper middle class family. I went to private school, I got all disenfranchised and all that, but I’m probably what you’d call ‘a bit posh’. Of course, I’d fervently deny this, and get all angry at you, but deep down, the privilege of my situation isn’t lost on me. Oh no.
So when people find out I listen to a good amount of hip hop, they’re (somewhat) understandably confused. How can I relate to the plight of the gansta? I’ve never done a drive by, or smacked a ho. To this I sigh, shake my head, and retreat into my room where the beat is king, and I can bob my head with the knowledge that I know. I know.
Hip hop may have been repurposed into gansta rap, but that’s not hip hop, not really. Hip hop is Jurassic 5, if you made me go for something quintessential. But it’s also J Dilla, Flying Lotus, RJD2, Atmosphere, everything brilliant and innovative and interesting, and about as far as you can get from ‘Yo shorty it’s yo birthday’ as you can get while still being in the same genre. So people who express surprise that I like hip hop are the kind of people who don’t understand that music is a big thing, with many facets, each face gargantuan, monstrous. There’s so much out there, and they’re stuck with 50 Cent. It’s really sad.
So here’s some songs to show you how rap and hip hop can be more than that, and genuinely hypnotic. Hope you enjoy.