Originally Posted by OrangeAgent27
The only hip-hop I'll listen to is The Roots, Lupe Fiasco and a few others. The reason is this
The money/women/cars/Gangsta thing has been beaten to death. I don't care about those things, I care about drumming/running/cooking/reading. Obviously, I'm not the target audience. Conversely, I hate, and I want to absorb all that the word hate can encompess here, heavy metal music like Slipknot. It's not fair to mention just them, but they're all I know of off the top of my head. I hate music that is just bitching and moaning about everything from "mom and dad were mean to me" or "I'm weird and nobody understands me" and so on.
But! I do like my aforementioned artists because they're just that. Artists. Using clever word play and phrasing, they also speak about modern politics and sociological climate. I can dig that.
I completely agree with you. The Roots were the reason I got into hip hop when their "How I Got Over" album came out this past June and I really started searching for it.
I'm 16 (going on 17) and started playing the drums at 11 years old. I was in concert band. I grew up around rap music but I was never able to be like,"Oh, that track is hot". I just thought mainstream was tolerable but didn't care for it. I was never really into music besides playing it.
So for people who don't like rap or didn't grow up around it, I understand where you're coming from. The stuff you are hearing is mainstream rap. As a musician, I can honestly say that the chances of you finding something that you like in the mainstream is very slim if you already don't like the genre. You have to look for it.
The best comparison I can make of this is if, for example, someone came on this forum and said Travis Barker was the best drummer he'd ever seen and then you show him a Tony Royster video. Royster plays for Jay Z but that guy can play any style of drumming out there. Travis Barker isn't the worst drummer alive but to a forum like us, he's not even in our top 100 (or 500 personally for me).
Jay Electronica, Mos Def and Talib Kweli (BlackStar), Lupe Fiasco, Blu, Black Thought and the Roots, Immortal Technique, Cunninglinguists (their instrumental in "Mic Like A Memory" appeals to people who want a good melody), NaS, and J Cole are all good rappers that use clever lyrics, metaphors, etc in their music. They are all (except for J Cole who is more mainstream) very socially conscious and more intellectual with their music.
A lot of people say that they just want to listen to something catchy with a nice beat and that's fine. But for people looking at Rap from the outside, they haven't seen the real art of rap. Just like how I didn't know any good drummers before coming to this site, you seek out people who are familiar with every facet of Rap. Those guys can give you an honest answer/recomendation of someone who you could at least appreciate.
If anybody needs recommendations for some goods songs by any of these rappers, just ask or PM me.
Some of the most intelligent and literate people that I've listened to are comedians and rappers.
Edit: OrangeAgent27, to you specifically since you seem to like the same rappers I do, I suggest checking out the list of rappers I mentioned. I'm a hardcore Roots and Lupe Fiasco fan. Listened to all of Lupe's albums, including his mixtapes. I especially think that you would like Blu. I think that he is actually better than Lupe when it comes to the storytelling in his rapping. And in some of his better songs, his flow is almost as good as Lupe's.