Rap Music…Revived?

          Some people say that rap is dead. Some people never liked the style of music in the first place. Some people are actually satisfied with what iTunes currently labels “Rap”, thought most of these tracks aught to be marked as a separate genre (I won’t name any artists in particular, for this post is controversy waiting to happen).

         For the majority of my life, the rap I heard in the media and on my sister’s iPod was all I knew. Was rap music dead, or was I really just not a fan of the genre? Don’t get me wrong, sometimes i bobbed my head. Sometimes I ever spit flow along with the best of them. Some of today’s rap songs actually contain a catchy beat, but they’re typically masked behind smutty and sometimes incomprehensible lyrics. In some cases, it’s the other way around; The poets are still breathing and the producers are the ones gasping for the fresh air.

         Whatever the case, I’ve discovered there are still rappers out there putting out quality material. The non-conformist. The ones who want people to feel good, and not feel discomfort upon playing their iPod’s among their parents. They are the rappers you want to blast from the speakers when you’re cleaning your room or cruising down the highway on a spectacular afternoon. The ones who make you want to dance and rap along to the lyrics that you don’t even know yet. Maybe they’re the ones who make you wonder what life is all about. Or maybe their the ones guiding you in your discovery.

         You see, rap music tell a story like no other genre can. If you really listen, you’ll probably laugh. Some rappers are too clever for their own good. Maybe you’ll stifle a grin just out of ironic relatability. Maybe you’ll even cry for your own personal reasons. But maybe just maybe, it’s their (dare I say it), “swagger”, that attracts you to them.

Here are 5 underplayed rap songs I love and their corresponding artists for the typical music junkie, rap lover, rap hater, or curious blog reader:

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1. Long Night (feat. Chance The Rapper) by Hoodie Allen 

Hoodie has grown to be one of my all time favorite rappers. He puts all of his albums on http://www.hoodieallen.com/ for free download. It’s cool because the money really doesn’t matter. Too many artists do what they do for a paycheck and not because they love it. Which is fine, but it’s becoming a little to apparent for my liking. Hoodie’s beats are clean. His lyrical ideas are creative. His collaborations are practical. His voice is smooth and melodic, something many rapper these days are missing. If you like this song, check out some of Hoodie’s other songs: “Soul on Fire” “You Are Not A Robot” “#Whitegirlproblems“. You won’t regret it!

Classified

2. Things Are Looking Up by Classified

He’s Canadian. Before hearing this guy, I knew almost nothing about Canada except general stereotypes, and after extensive research for a government class, their views on gay rights. Now I know, Canada produces some pretty good rappers too. If you like this song, check out some of Classifieds’s other songs: “3 Foot Tall” “The Day Doesn’t Die” “Inner Ninja” 

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3. Mind Your Manners by Chiddy Bang

What really attracts me to this group? It consists of Chiddy the rapper, and Xaphoon the beat maker.  They work together to produce some seriously awesome tracks and their methods never fail. They experiment with different sounds while staying true to their personal style which I will forever adore. If you like this song, check out some of Chiddy Bang’s other songs: “Ray Charles” “Talking to Myself” “Opposite of Adults” (A clever play in MGMT’s “Kids“).

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4. The Best Day by Atmosphere 

Atmosphere is another phenomenal rap duo. If the extensive use of real instruments isn’t enough to steal your heart, perhaps the music itself is. For me, the combination of the music and the message behind  the lyrics  was all I needed. I feel like I’m being spoken to by an older wiser mentor for some reason. If I take Atmosphere’s advice on life, I’ll be invincible. Whatever the case may be, the amount of head-bob worthy tracks this group comes up with in unreal, ya dig?  If you like this song, check out some of Atmosphere’s other songs: “Don’t Forget” “Always Coming Back Home To You” “To All My Friends“).

The Adventures of Bobby Ray

5. The Kids (feat. Janelle Monáe) by B.o.B.

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of this guy. He’s collaborated with Hayley Williams, Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, and even the ever so popular Bruno Mars. I just feel like he has a lot more to offer to the world than what the average person has heard from him. His rhymes and song structures are down right clever, and I love it. That’s why He makes this list.  If you like this song, check out some of B.o.B’s other songs: “Where Are You (B.o.B. vs. Bobby Ray)” “Magic (Feat. Rivers Cuomo)” “Strange Clouds (feat. Lil Wayne)“.

Remember. There are other rappers out there. I could expose them to you, but there’s a lot of pride and joy associated with developing your own music library. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll find, and how your music taste will evolve, so get out there. Start at http://www.pandora.com/if you have to, or the Related Videos tab on Youtube. It’s going to be eargasmic.

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