I don’t listen to rap. I used to. In the ’90’s I listened to Tupac, Snoop, Tha Dogg Pound, etc. That time has come and gone. I still will listen to rap from the 1990’s. It was a good era, in my opinion. Today’s rap sucks. It’s the commercialized bubble-gum, carbon-copy crap on every station. I am an elitist. I’m not afraid to admit it. Yes, I think everything I listen to is better than what you listen to. If you listen to something I do, then I’m still more hip than you because I listened to it sooner. Yeah, I know. I just can’t help myself. I love to recommend good music and show off my superior musical taste.
In conversations when asked what I listen to I always answer, “Underground hip hop.” I have to make sure to set myself apart from the heard of crappy rap listeners. I don’t listen to underground just to be different. Not at all. I’ll be the first to say I think an underground artist sucks (sorry Immortal Technique). If the artist doesn’t have good lyrics, flow, and production, then I’m not going to be a fan. Just because you’re underground doesn’t mean I’ll automatically like you. These people are just the same as people who follow the mainstream rappers blindly. Then I came across this post in the QN5 forums that sums up these thoughts perfectly. It was written by Kno of CunninLynguists:
Stereotypical “Underground heads” generally don’t take to QN5 well.
Many of them listen to “underground rap” simply because its the antithesis of whats on the radio and they have some friends that are into it so they aren’t completely alone.
So…whats the opposite of super clean, crisp beats with rappers with little to no substance but great flow and charisma rapping about rims?
Super muddy, overly-wordy, poorly delivered raps about science over crusty boom-bap…so thats what they go for, regardless if its dope or not. Many “underground heads” are just as much sheep as your average pop radio listener, truth be told…and your average underground rapper is just as much of a gimmick as their mainstream counterparts. If you’re biggest selling point is “you ain’t like that mainstream shit” you need to stop rapping immediately.
QN5 is crusty BUT clean, substance-filled BUT not TOO over-your-head, charismatic but not ALL swagger. Complicated lyrics but…pop-worthy hooks? It makes your average “followers” head explode, honestly.
QN5 appeals to people with their own personal tastes who simply like good rap music, period. Not many of those left.
This is the music I’m gravitating to more and more. QN5 is a high quality label that puts out amazing music, and to be honest, they’ve turned me on, directly or indirectly, to other music, most not even hip hop. Other underground artists were/are like that too: Jurassic 5, Binary Star, etc.
I’m not totally turned-off by mainstream rap. Kanye has some really good songs that convey the same things as my underground favs. The thing is, I’ve noticed that some of my past underground favs I’m no longer enjoying. I guess my musical taste is changing with age. I used to be a huge fan of Tech N9ne. I still think he can make good music and will still buy his music, but I don’t feel the excitement I used to feel with his music. I don’t know. Why can’t the world be more like QN5 and their passionate artists?