Doctor MJ wrote: Dr Positivity wrote: Goudelock wrote:
The Trae Young/Drake/Jay Z thread is following the classic formula of every other hip hop thread on RealGM:
Young man in his 20s says he thinks the rapper he's grown up listening to in his teens is the GOAT.
Older posters call said modern rapper "trash" and say the young man is stupid.
Older posters exalt the rappers they grew up listening to in their teens and early-20s as the GOAT.
I think Drake has been mediocre for a while now, but the hypocrisy of the older crowd always makes me laugh. And in 20 years, the once-young men who think Drake is the GOAT will be crapping on whoever the top artist is, and the cycle will continue.
I wouldn't call myself the biggest rap expert here, but it seems to me like the recent trend of rapper is lyrics being the least important part, which is legit lame. Because the old rappers still did good on the musical part of their songs and had good rapping. The production/instrumental of the newer generation isn't good enough to justify weak rapping to me, it's not even better at all by my ears, their taste in beats seems repetitive and annoying, and I'm not going to claim that Drake is some great artist from a production standpoint when he's not even the one doing it, this guy Noah Shebib seems like he's the biggest reason for his success if the production is the biggest reason why. Drake then provides the charisma to sell it.
Now with that said nobody said Drake has to be the most important rapper of this generation, even if he ends up the most popular. So your example could be true that someone in a few decades say 2010s guys are the best, I'd just hope they are using rappers who are better than Drake.
So I'm going to be that jerk and say:
Post-Public Enemy, there's really never been a time where the best rap lyricists were the ones with the big sales. Guys like NWA, Snoop, 2Pac, Biggie, Jay-Z were first and foremost about selling a certain type of bad ass image, and really not much has changed except that the Drakes of the world are more touchy-feely.
The rap world decided a long time ago that lyrics didn't really need a meaningful message, and so to me all this quibbling about rap GOATs is about which mainstream figure convinced the world he had the biggest d**k, whereas if you're interested primarily in the art of rap-like lyrics, the spoken word poetry community has always been more interesting.
None of this is to say I can't see why people love 2Pac or Drake, but lyrical snobbery attached to any of these guys is just bizarre to me.
I definitely get what you're saying, image has always mattered in the rap and music industry as a whole.
People act is if artists like Talib Kweli, Big L, Big Pun, Canibus were super mainstream at the time and hip hop celebrated artists like these, but if anything they were more on the level of current guys like JID, Grip and Bas who are also lyrically talented but not super mainstream like arguably less talented artists like lil Uzi Vert, Pop Smoke etc.
I still think that the guys like Eminem, Jay-Z (especially these two) and Biggie were more lyrically talented and had better techincal ability and more interesting flows than a guy like Drake, who's really become the McDonalds of the hip hop game in terms of safe reliable substance, so I also somewhat understand where the oldheads are coming from.
The touchy feely point you brought up is an interesting trend that was pioneered primarily by Kanye's 808's and heartbreaks album, and the whole trap wave has also taken over rap with melodic rap like Gunna, Travis Scott, LilBaby who aren't really being touchy feely yet aren't being lyrical either, and are more making smooth sounding melodies (Tbh I don't find lilbaby or gunny melodic or enjoyable to listen to at all, but I see what they're going for) that aren't really reminiscent of the older hiphop style, or atleast the production is completely different.
TBH I know it's not popular but I was actually a fan of the "bling rap" era from like 2003-2008 where the production was very grand, although that could be due to coinciding with my youth, but the production from that era is very nostalgic to me and always hits a certain spot.