I remember when I was a kid and I first started developing an interest in rap the big knock people had on it. The one thing all the haterz (which, at 10-years old meant all my white uncles and aunties) would always pop up with to throw shade.
“Anyone can do it.”
You guys wanna know the best thing about rap?
Anyone can do it.
Actually maybe the best thing isn’t that anyone can do it, it’s that everyone can do it. And everyone should do it. That’s the gift that the hip-hop generation has given the world: we’ve fully democratized the beautiful art of slick talk over drum loops to the point that spitting fly-ass sixteens is basically a Constitutionally protected right. It’s inalienable. You trying to drop a mixtape about the Illuminati poisoning your water supply? Go do it doggy. Step-by-step crack trafficking instructions? Send me a DL link, I’d like to hear it. Spit your game, talk your shit, grab your mic, upload a .zip.
I listen to mixtapes all the fucking time and there’s always shit that knocks me out about ’em and it’s almost never about polish or technique but just about how ‘don’t-give-a-fuck’ someone was wit’ it. There’s a certain swagger that only exists in hip hop, a certain ‘I deserve to be heard no matter what I’m actually fuckin’ saying’ chest-out drum beat that gives the medium it’s power and it’s energy.
One of my favorite tapes I’ve stumbled across lately is called “Is This Art?” by a dude named Michael Christmas. The illest thing about this tape is the beautiful mundanity of the subject matter. It’s like a blue-collar opera, elevating day-to-day life to a level of high drama. Michael Christmas weaves individually pedestrian strands together — the search for a much-needed taco truck, his own relation to Michael Cera, Drake, Step Brothers, and Hugh Laurie — into a form of heightened reality. An interpretation of the cosmetically-boring made hyper-interesting through persona. What someone specifically says isn’t nearly as interesting as his desire to say it. 14 billion years ago the universe sparked, and kept expanding until one day a young dude in Boston, Mass spit the words “best rapper since Andy Milonakis” into a microphone, and that’s fucking incredible to me.
There’s also a good chance that shit like what Michael Christmas’ does wouldn’t have really popped off before the whole internet rap explosion that we’re in the midst of. Rap is in a glorious International Waters no-rules period right now, rife with monkey knife fights and steamboat gambling. If you know me in real life you’ve probably heard me gush uncontrollably about Atlanta trap-star-slash-occasional-cross-dresser and possible crazy-person Young Thug. Now, Young Thug is a fucking unicorn. A truly beautiful being that we’ve all been blessed with the opportunity to know and there’s ONE element above any other that defines Young Thug’s style: no one has ever been able to convince him that you’re not supposed to do what he does. It’s like the Lost Boys and Wendy and Peter Pan and shit and how you find out that when they stop believing they can’t fly anymore. Young Thug is still up on the Tinkerbell dust (no homo) and you can’t tell him nothing.
That’s fucking swag. Fucking unicorn swag. Shit is sooo priceless. Rap smells like freedom.
Slowly but surely we’re building our own fucking Waterworld, stitching and welding it together piece by piece with the rusty remnants of the too-constricted cities our parents left behind for us. Lashing together pre-fabbed cubicle walls and shopping carts into floating ocean paradises that sound like gargling cough syrup, and 808 heartbeat rhythms and we don’t give a fuck what the building code says about it. The best thing about rap is that everyone is doing it now –especially– people who wouldn’t have been “allowed” to do it 15 years ago. We’re taking your rulebook and collaging it back together, chopping and screwing every Presidential speech since Kennedy, re-sampled.
We’re going to win, because we’re young, and you’re old, and we don’t give a fuck and you don’t have a fuck to give. Start rapping now because I don’t give a fuck how old you are, this is what’s happening now. I might just catch Mitt Romney out here slipping and drive by his whip chucking like 80 Lil B mixtapes through the windows rocking pink bandanas over my face bandit style.
Analysts predict by the 2024 Election season 80% of the voting public will be rappers. The best thing about rap is that anyone can do it.
Download Michael Christmas’ “Is This Art?” mixtape here – http://www.audiomack.com/album/michael-christmas/is-this-art