The mixtape era has passed. And, even though it is responsible for exposing us to some major hip-hop heavyweights like 50 cent and even in some capacity, Kendrick Lamar, the idea of rapping over classic rap beats or current hit songs is pretty much played out for new, relatively unknown artists to be doing.
So, why are artists in the Middle East still doing it?
Are they too cheap to buy their own original beats? Do they think they’re actually outdoing the original rappers or songs with their new renditions? Or is this just another example of a scene that is still out of touch with the pulse of hip-hop and trapped years behind everyone else ?
I believe it’s a combination of all that and more. With the internet making things so much more accessible, all it takes is one click of a mouse and you can literally stay up to date with all the latest in hip-hop news and music around the World. There’s even phone apps for that now.
So, why is the scene still so behind? Well, rather than focusing on creating their own sound, artists in the Middle East are still living on the outside looking in. Meaning, they still have a follower’s mentality and are still trying to emulate rappers from America, instead of being themselves. A lot of this can be attributed to the fact that authentic hip-hop culture in the Middle East really doesn’t exist.
There was a time when it did and there was potential for growth, but in recent years all that has been stifled. Why? I blame rappers from war-torn countries for not expanding their musical content or changing their creative approach when addressing their day to day issues in their music. But, I place even more blame on the overall fraudulence of people and rappers in the Gulf countries, who really have no purpose for rapping other than doing it so they can say they rap because they think it increases their popularity or social status.
I wouldn’t stop there, though. Their so-called friends (or as I like to call them, “enablers“) are one of the biggest reasons why the bar has not continued to be raised by rappers in the hip-hop scene. It is great that people want to support, however, feeding someone’s delusions to the point where they stay completely out of touch with reality, is not helping anyone. Example, if you’re friends with someone who really believes he is a superhero that possesses superpowers and you sit there agreeing with them or pumping them up like they really do, you are partially responsible for enabling their mental illness. That day they decide to jump off the Burj Khalifa because they think they can fly, just remember, you’re partially responsible for the outcome.
So, the next time you’re on your social media networks criticizing rappers like Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, etc. for “sucking it up” musically and 5 minutes later praising your “friend’s” really crappy song or horrendous destruction of a hit single/classic record, I hope you realize that you’re contributing not only to the failure of your “friends“, but also to the demise of an entire region.
To all the Middle East rappers out there, unless you plan on being cover bands, no one wants to hear you rapping over other, more talented people’s work. You are ruining great songs, by putting out your BS versions of them. Stop spending your money buying fake social media numbers and try investing in yourself. You can’t expect people to spend their hard earned money on your hobby, when you’re not even willing to spend your own money on yourself to give them a quality, original product.
Step up or Step off.
Sincerely your friendly neighborhood reality check provider,
P.S. This is directed at everyone. Feel free to catch feelings.
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Follow me at: @Deen562