Jay-Z, Eminem, Lil’ Wayne, 50 Cent, Nikki muthafuckin’ Minaj, Kanye West, Andre from Outcast…
From a distance, one could hear this music and think it sounds like a bunch of conceited, self-involved, sexually deviant, disrespectful, entitled artists rapping only about how amazing they are.
But listen again — and again — and you’ll hear something invaluable: The art of “Fuck You”.
Think about it. There’s no apology for where anyone came from or what anyone’s past is. Even more, the injuries of the past are what strengthen the person in the present. There’s an ownership of taking what others may say is “wrong” and redefining it as a personal “right.” There is a pride to the scars that are carried and a level of indulgence that is acceptable because it has been earned. But most importantly, there is an underlying attitude of, “You don’t like me? Fuck you. Watch me.”
Then you see these artists in interviews or read about their thoughts or political beliefs and they are so fucking smart and coherent. It almost seems (except in some instances with a drunk Kanye) that these people are fairly decent people and maybe even kind.
But when it comes to their work, their passion, there is a RENEGADE ENERGY that emerges. A primal, animalistic, unapologetic, survival-of-the-fittest mentality that is unleashed. There is an entirely different level of honesty, bravery, and GRIT in the work.
I know that there is a time and a place for this kind of energy. I know that this is not acceptable behavior in the majority of situations. But I promise myself, that my work will always receive the piece of me that most people never see.