‘Da’ What is Hip Hop? – Chase Enriquez [Editorial]

Posted on September 3, 2013 by

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Sorry that I am a day late with this one, I am been mad busy. Luckily, Los Angelese, Ca emcee Chase Enriquez’s editorial more than makes up for the delay. Imma keep this short. I love the voice it is written in and Chase brings up some very valid points about hip hop. While I don’t agree completely with the “fast food music” analogy, I definitely see where he”s coming from. Hit the jump the read what he hip hop means to Chase Enrique and hear some of his music while you’re at it.

“Fast Food Music
I’m from the generation that was trying to “save” Hip-Hop and within a few years also proclaimed it dead.

If you’re like me; and from my Hip-Hop generation, it probably died to you around the time Jay-Z retired the first time. That truly marked the passing of the guard and lead way for a class of mediocre rappers, hailed as “stars.” Now I realize this is a generalizing and grand sweeping statement that isn’t totally fair, but hey, it’s not entirely inaccurate either.

Much like when bands like Warrant were topping the charts, & Sabbath fans cried a farce, I’m no different. I like my whiskey strong, my rock n roll rowdy and my hip-hop raw…or at least dope.
Now I’m not saying there ain’t dope shit to be found and I’m not hating on the popular “Rap Stars” either. Get yours. My problem has always been with the existence of balance in “mainstream” music, a term I even cringe at using. Is that term even relevant anymore? Never the less, in my opinion, dope is dope, good is good.

I can recall when a certain ATL rapper started laying claim to being “that guy,” with his influx of mix-tapes on the scene. We’ll call him “Booty Stane.” He had a slew of “Trap Classics,” and my friends always called me a hater for voicing my unpopular opinion; “he sucks.” This “hater” talk has a lot to do with the changing of the guard. The hip-hop I was a student of embraced calling out shit if it was whack. Now, one is deemed “hater” or “music snob” when expressing an unpopular opinion. I’ve been asked, “Who are you to judge what another person thinks is ‘quality’?” Easy; I’ve had single malt scotch from a barrel imported from Europe and I also have enjoyed your average 5.99 pint of Jim Beam; both have their place, but we all know where the quality lies. Earlier mentioned rapper, “Booty Stane,” was on satellite radio discussing his “creative philosophy,” and openly discussed putting no time into any song, not being “married” to a song and effectively, “throwing 100 songs at the audience, knowing a few will stick. I’m from a school where being dope and getting your message across are the main objectives.

Derrick Rose didn’t lace up this season because he didn’t feel he could dominate the League in the way he is accustomed to doing. With a player like him, there’s no on/off switch, if you compete to compete hard. Rhyming is no different. Music is no different. If you’re half-assing it, and not emotionally or personally connected to the music you’re making, how can you expect to have a lasting effect on any fan?

Fast food music. That’s how I’d describe not only hip-hop, but all popular genres today. It’s easy to digest, and has no “nutritional” or lasting value, if you will. Bright & colorful marketing campaigns mask the lack of quality they’re putting in the market; and each one appears to be a little different than the last, but not so much. Not only is the product indistinguishable but so is the message. Where’s the beef? And not some GMO infused patty that would bounce if you dropped it off of the SEARS Tower, (Yeah I said Sears, I don’t honor the ‘Willis’ Tower) I mean a well-crafted London broil that’s gonna stick with you way longer than whatever “McRapperMeal” they’re pushing this month. It’s a market that to the touch, taste and sure as fuck the sound, is essentially the same. Sure a Whopper isn’t technically and of course legally the same as a Big Mac, but is there really any difference? In a world with a bunch of rappers and artists trying to fit in to be popular, an outspoken and even out-of-line Kanye is openly welcomed.

Hip-hop, Rock n’ Roll, Jazz, Punk and on down the line were birthed out of a rebellious spirit. Standing out rather than fitting in. Leading rather than following. The first time I heard Nas was like the first time I heard Guns N’ Roses. It was new; it was raw and was like nothing I had heard before. I never wanted to “do what Nas did,” but I aspired to reach people like Nas could.
The first time I sat down to try my hand at this emcee thing, Nas reigned supreme; the epitome of what every rapper in my shoes should aspire for. A few decades later, I guess certain things haven’t changed… and rightfully so.

Yeah, Hip-Hop is dead, but music is alive & well.” – Chase Enriquez