Social media has had an effect on the rap game. Whether that debate is positive or negative is up for debate and like any debate there are arguments to be made from both sides of the fence.
One can easily point out how Drake and Lil’ Wayne catapulted into fame and fortune by using social media to advance their careers. By keeping in contact with their fans and providing them with free mixtapes they were able to use social media to their advantage.
On the other hand, DMX has been very anti-social when it comes to the internet and says “I believe one of the selling points of being a rapper is the mystery behind the person doing the rapping.” DMX has been able to sell millions of records this way and by not allowing himself to succumb to the pressure of tweeting every couple of hours like most rappers do nowadays.
Today, it’s easy to point out which rappers are sincere about their rhymes and which are not. I find it hard to believe that a lot of these guys rapping about drugs and violence actually live the life they portray in their music. It’s hard to back up these claims when their episode of MTV Cribs was filmed in some elite suburb.
Because of social media, rap has allowed the regular guys to get into the game because if they have a nice flow and are sincere about their rhymes–we will buy their albums. Kanye West is the perfect example of this. He raps about dropping out of college or drama with ex-girlfriends and we like it because we can relate. We know he’s not lying to us because we read his blogs and he’s not pushing a fake lifestyle on us.
There are still plenty of rappers that feel they need to create an image for themselves instead of being sincere. One of these guys is Rick Ross. Although I love his music, I also know he was an ex-corrections officer in Florida. This makes me question a lot of his claims about being the cocaine kingpin of Miami like he says he is on his songs and twitter page.
Last time I checked, drug dealers didn’t publicize what they did on the internet or went on radio stations to broadcast their business affairs. Maybe these guys came from a life of crime at one point, but the fact that we can actually keep track of their lives online takes away some of the luster that made rap so great.
One rapper who doesn’t hide his background and uses social media to show us he’s not lying is The Game. He still claims his gang–not only on his songs–but on his Twitter and Instagram pages from time to time. He even raps about social media and calls out people who are fake on there. Although I don’t advocate a gang lifestyle, I can appreciate a man who’s honest with me–even if he does live in some elite suburb.
Watch this video of The Game rapping “Niggas in Compton.”