The Curious Case of being REAL in Hip-Hop

We dig deep into the The Curious Case of being REAL in Hip-Hop and what Meek Mill versus Drake rap battle means to the culture.

It’s a very curious thing, this culture that we call Hiphop. One minute you can be the biggest artist in the game, having sold over thirty million records and writing hooks for pop stars, starring in movies and just completely transcending the genre itself to waking up in a rap battle the next minute with a local rapper from the streets of Queens NY. This artist can go and have everything snatched away from you while you watch and see this same local rapper then go on to sell ten million records worldwide his first effort out. You then find yourself in jail, only for you to come home and find out that you have been black balled  from ever making a significant impact in music again. This is the sound, the competition and the nature of what we’ve created called HipHop. If this scenario sounds familiar to you it is but this isn’t the only story that was told in the long history of rap battles and being REAL in Hip-Hop’s battle grounds, but todays generation of kids that consume information at a rate that would make Pac Man jealous now have their first true taste of this magnificent thing called BEEF. Let’s take a quick look at the two artist involved and the circumstances that have created this odd but incredibly fascinating situation.

Meek Mill has a street and track record that has been A1 since he landed his first real opportunity in the game. The kid basically came up battling anyone that wanted to get in out in the streets of Philly, as seen by one of his earliest presentation to the internets.

Meek’s story is one that is all too familiar as his opportunity for a better life let alone stardom could have been taken from him forever as he went to jail right when his music was heating up in the streets. He did his time like a G (Didn’t snitch or rat on anyone) came home and immediately started rapping like there was no other option, because he had no other options. A young Dj by the name of Dj Drama took him under his wing and got him a deal with arguably one of the REALEST artist the game has ever seen in T.I.. The deal fell through once Tip found himself doing some time for somethings that we won’t get into but it left Meek in a situation where once again he was on the brink. Insert Rick Ross rebuilding his brand from his failed Triple C’s experiment, a lead single entitled “I’m A Boss” a new team called MMG and now you have a battle rap street artist turned star. A few mixtape’s later:

And you have something on the cusp of bringing back that real aggressive street content to a game that has been watered down in response to a new kid in that is dominating every known statistical category that matters not only in music but in hiphop and all of the things that we value from our artist in the culture.

While Meek was sitting in his cell there was a young man sitting in his room somewhere in Toronto trying to figure out what the hell he was going to do not only with his music career but with his life as well. The show that he was starring in wasn’t bringing in enough money, his first music deal fell through and the bills were piling up. We don’t know how exactly it happened but somehow he found his way to Houston and was inspired by THE LIFE. This same young man linked up with a kid named Trey Songz and together with his brother 40 history was made in the form of this mixtape.

Many would argue (and we can’t really be mad at them) that “Comeback Season” was the one that really got the hiphopconnoisseurs ears, but what we are saying is that “So Far Gone” changed everything. This was a time when the mixtape game was ruled by Dj’s like Dj Kay Slay, Dj Whoo Kid, Big Mike, Dj Drama and Don Cannon who were also coming up as well but nobody was doing mixtape’s the same way that they would put out an album, and with this single release the way that we look and judge artist has been forever changed. The way that artist navigate through the pit falls of the recording industry has changed, the power to create and destroy artist was given back to the fans, but most importantly the boundaries of creating authentic and REAL hiphop music was challenged to the point that it has now become mandatory for artist to at least attempt melody and or harmony within their artistry. This single man, a kid from Toronto with no other artist before him garnering any major US appeal completely changed Hip-Hop forever. Drake had become something that we’ve only seen once before a pseudo alter ego to arguably one of the most successful rap artist of all time in Eminem.

But we have to ask the question, was it REAL? It is ignorant to question the man’s ability to create and make incredible music but that’s not something as important as authenticity in the RAP GAME. Is it real? Our culture is such the only culture that is driven from the circumstances of the artist that create the music, success isn’t based on the quality of what’s being presented so much as the story and reputation that’s behind it. This is why it fails to resonate with middle american and this is why numerous executives have tried and failed to properly monetize the culture. So it’s a shock, basic disrespect for an artist like Meek to challenge the REALness of Drake and the music that he creates. But it’s our duty to hold people accountable if they are deemed #culturevultures and do not write their own rhymes. So when Big Sean speaks on people biting his flow Or when you listen to records like “Show Me A Good Time” Where Drizzy blatantly is taking from Trey Songz, you have to ask yourself the question is what Meek Mill saying true or is he just hating? Keeping it real this isn’t the first and probably will not be the last time that Drake finds himself in a position to fend off those that would like to wear the crown (He and Kendrick had a little spat but it seems that they’ve agreed to come to terms) Only time will tell where this battle will lead, it’s way too early to crown a victor and even earlier to make judgements or assessments as too who is holding the edge, the only thing that we can do as fans and most importantly as a culture is do everything possible to hold anyone accountable for stealing or damaging what others have fought and unfortunately died for. We leave you with these last records from Kirko Bangz as well as Drake’s responses to the onslaught that Meek Mill brought to his OVO household. To think all this started with a simple Tweet and could have been avoided with the same.

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