Sach O: Rick Ross & Game

Current major label rap is just another form of pop. Its connection to any sort grass-roots Hip-Hop culture is tenuous at best and I’m not talking about KRS-ONE’s  mystical-religious pseudo-Jedi...
By    April 16, 2010

Current major label rap is just another form of pop. Its connection to any sort grass-roots Hip-Hop culture is tenuous at best and I’m not talking about KRS-ONE’s  mystical-religious pseudo-Jedi geek KULTCHA either: acts like Rick Ross and Game are polished entertainers supported by a major label system. They exist in more or less the same sphere as say, Usher. Once you accept that, it becomes far easier to take their newest singles for what they really are: well-crafted pop-music that’s ABOUT the streets without having any real connection to the day-to-day struggles of the people living in them.

Take Super-High: it’s an insidious blend of Reasonable Doubt era Roca-funk and UGK style southern rider music courtesy of Jay-Z’s then-backer Clark Kent. Throw in a little R&B gloss to reel-in the women turned-off by Ross’ ginormous belly and you’ve got a summertime single that aspires to the work of HDH and Brian Wilson rather than say, Rakim or Raekwon. In other words, it’s a calculated swing at the pop-charts but at least it’s a well-calculated swing at the pop charts. As for Ross himself, he’s there to provide swag and swag alone; at this point is persona is half-kingpin half-Barry White and while he doesn’t have an iota of White’s musical talent, at least he realizes that Barry’s records were fun because they were inherently goofy. And when you’ve got Universal buying you top of the line beats, goofy’s really all you need.

Game’s street single “Must Be Me” seems tougher on the surface, but really it’s just as deliberate: a little Ice Cube, a little Pac, a little Pharell, a couple of 808’s and an imitation G-funk beat as viewed through the Neptunes sheen and voila! Instant banger. It works too, providing a solid gangster rap fix for people who don’t feel like wading through Gucci’s mush-mouth flow and shitty beats or The Clipse’s awkward attempts at club records. All fun aside though, I don’t believe a word of what either of these guys says on their records, at least no more than I believe Robert Downey Junior is secretly Ghostface’s alter-ego. Commercialized gangster rap is still a necessary commodity in America same as hard rock and will probably remain so for quite some time. The faster you accept that these guys have zero authenticity and connection to any organic form of the art they practice, the faster you’ll learn to stop worrying about it and laugh at Rick Ross’ ridiculous girth.

Download: (Via Nahright)
MP3: Rick Ross – Super High
MP3: Game ft Pharell – Must Be Me

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