During an interview with Vlad TV, Brooklyn rapper, Talib Kweli said that conscious rappers have longevity in the rap game, but it’s harder for them to get a record deal.
“I think it’s real easy to get caught up in generalizing Hip Hop,” Talib said. “You know, when you say ‘rappers are.’ Most of the time when people say ‘rappers’ they’re talking about the top ten mainstream, on the radio, videos-popping-on-TV rappers. Which is actually a very small percentage of what the majority of rappers is doing. So, the rappers who have the most light on them, yes, it’s very hard for music with content to bust through.”
Although it’s hard for rappers who’s raps are packed with substance to get a deal, it’s still a blessing.
“But at the same time we can’t just look at the problems,” he added. “We gotta count our blessing. At any given time you’ll have an artist like a Kanye with a song like ‘New Slaves’ or Kendrick or J. Cole. You’ll have artists that are delivering conscious, content-heavy music that are still finding success. And I would venture to say that those are the artists that last long. You know, you’ll have a lot of artists right now with hot records in the club that people turning up to. But you ain’t gonna be checking for these records 20 years from now. And there’s certain rappers on the charts right now that you will be checking for.”
During the interview Talib also remembers when it was a trend to be conscious.
“There was a time when conscious rap was trendy,” he said. “When that was the trend. And that was an ugly trend, man. You had people who were not conscious at all doing cocaine, eating pork, and whatnot. Walking around with dashikis on talking about ‘black power.’ You know what I’m saying? So, a trend is never something that any artist should try to follow. You should never be conscious cause it’s a trend. You should never be gangster cause it’s a trend. You should just be who you are.”
Watch the Vlad TV interview here.
Darryl Robertson (@darryl_robertson)