The tweets were great and all but I also have an unrelated but kind of related thought on rap and social media.
Really not much to say about Kanye other than this is just Kanye being Kanye.
I guess I really just have an unrelated but sort of related thought here about rap and social media…
So I just got the Shea Serrano book. The Rap Year Book. Started it last night. For those who don’t know, it goes through the most important song of each year. Not necessarily the best, but the most important. As he puts it: “An easy way to think of it is: What sort of impact did the song have on rap, or on the surroundings of rap?”
2015 is where it stops because that’s when the book was published. I think if you had to pick a song it’s probably a toss up between Alright and either Commas or March Madness. Arguments can be made both ways because both are so qualified. I think Alright probably gets the nod there because of everything thats going on with Black Lives Matter and the police and social unrest and such, but you could still talk me into Commas or March Madness because of how Future has basically brought that Atlanta Auto Tune style mainstream.
But on a different note, couldn’t you also make an argument for Back To Back? Not necessarily because of the message, but because of the social media aspect. Think about the tweets. The GIFs. The performance Drake gave in front of every Meme. Social Media did more to ruin Meek’s career than anything. He’s literally a walking punchline at this point. Sure Twitter’s stock may be in the toilet, but there’s no denying how important it is to pop culture. And Drake basically captured that with Back To Back. He took the power of social media, turned it into a song, and ruined a guy’s career.
You can obviously disagree with that. I’m not trying to make sociological observations about social media. The point I’m trying to make here is: what did you remember most about hip hop this year? Did you remember how Alright made you feel about Black Lives Matter? Did you remember how hyped you’d get to Commas? Or did you remember how fucking hilarious those few weeks of Drake and Meek’s beef were because of how social media connected you to the song? I saw one billion tweets about Back to Back. I saw like seven about the other two. Back To Back was 2015 more than anything else. Drake harnessed the power of social media to vanquish someone else. Sure he did it to vanquish a fraud rapper, while most people use it to ruin the lives of people who present opinions that don’t fit the PC mold. But the point still stands. Back To Back captured the social media age and the year that was 2015 more than anything else. It might not have changed music from a stylistic standpoint, but it changed the surroundings of rap as much as anything.
At the end of the day I think the answer is Alright because it centers in on so much of what made rap what it is. Capturing the Black Lives Matter movement is probably more important to Rap itself than capturing the entire social media landscape. But days like today, where Kanye potentially just ruined Wiz Khalifa’s career with a string of tweets, do make you realize how important that shit really is to rap now.
P.S. I based that entire thing off of reading the intro and bouncing around a few years to read snippets. So if I didn’t totally capture what the book is about, cut me a break. I didn’t really have much of a chance to read the whole thing before getting this blog out. I’m just here to shoot from the hip. That’s social media life.
P.P.S. OH MY GOD AMBER ROSE FROM THE TOP ROPE