Thursday, January 6, 2011

Why I don't listen to rap battles anymore

I decided to use this as an example because of the good sound quality and for the fact that it takes a lot of the commonly used attacks in rap battles and spells them out in plain language (because frankly when it comes to rapping there are dozens of ways to say these things without the actual words). (The original audio can be found here

If you pay attention to this clip you will notice that the vast majority of that battle was just a trading of insults. Its like someone decided that Rhythmic Dirty Dozens was a good idea and it just caught on. I mean yeah it can be interesting to come up with different ways to tell a guy he's pathetic but after a while it gets boring. And I think there is a deeper question.

Okay as I'm sure you've noticed many of the common ways to "battle" a guy is to insult either his street cred, sexuality, or the women in his life. I'll leave it to feminists and womanists to go on about the misogyny in rap. Frankly I don't think the anti-woman sentiment, while extremely offensive and in need of being eliminated, isn't the the core of the problem.

Its not like these rappers start a battle with the intent of insulting the women in their opponent's life for the sole sake of insulting the women in his opponent's life. No they start a battle with the intent of insulting their opponent. Which leads me to my question.

When did rap become all about rappers attacking each other?

Now its not like this just hit me today. No I've seen this going on for a long time its just that since getting a clear view of the damaged masculinity that we have forced down on us I've gotten a better of idea of how to express this.

You see as men we are socialized into the thought that we must prove that we are better than other men in order to matter. This kind of thinking can lead to disastrous results one of which being the willingness to do whatever it takes to be the best. So I guess at some point the idea was introduced that in order for rappers to prove they are the best the optimal tactic was to not build themselves up but rather tear down other opponents. And from there someone came to the conclusion that throwing a dash of chivalry by insulting the women in an opponents life was the ultimate topping.

At the possible cost of the rap battle scene what I think really needs to happen is that those guys need to be shown that its not required to tear down the masculinity of other men (and by extension insult other people) in order assert their own masculinity. Mind you if the negativity was taken out and people still managed to have good solid battles then I'm all in for listening.