Filmmaker - Musician - Photographer

New Rules for Rappers!

This weekend was fun....maybe a little too fun. I took it a little too far and almost got carried away (never crossing the border into craziness...in true Q.Ledbetter fashion). The weekend was so good that I'm still recovering. I'm actually typing this blog/bulletin in an attempt to stay awake here at work.

A lot happend that I won't bother getting into, but there was one event that I'd like to expand upon. Two friends of mine are in town for a music conference and are staying at my place. Part of the music conference involved a performance for A&R, which was last night....which I attended. The show was mostly rap acts and I thought it would be interesting since I hadn't been to an indie Hip-Hop show in a long time. While a small handful of the 14-15 artists/groups that performed were tolerable, the bulk of them weren't.

While watching the show I compiled a mental list of rules that wanna be rappers should abide by. Here it is:

1) Take it easy. Lets not turn this into a screaming contest.
Nothing irritates the ears more than a wack beat being screamed over. Stop it. Seriously. Most of you are like the rap equivalent of Screamo Rock during your live shows (which sucks major poon-tang). Take a breather and articulate.

2) Are the shades and sunglasses really necessary?!
I'm bias with this rule because I have a "thing" about sunglasses and shades being worn indoors and/or at night. I'm against it. I have very close friends who participate in the act of wearing sunglasses indoors and/or at night and when given the opportunity I'm up front with them about my disgusted for such practice. Take them off. I understand that 98% of you will not agree with me on this, but seriously....just try it. Its makes much more sense to not wear sunglasses when the sun is not out.

3) Finish your drink before you go on stage.
I understand the machismo that comes along with holding a cup of half finished liquor on stage while you're rhymin'. It makes you look more relaxed and effortless with your endless attempts to look cooler than you actually are. You think it will make the audience say, "Wow, how effortless and cool is he with that drink in his hand? I wish I were him!" Or maybe you just don't know what to do with your other hand besides grab your crotch. Which leads me to my next item....

Don't grab your crotch.
Yuck.

Pull your pants up.
I stopped wearing my pants below my ass cheeks in 1996. You should've done the same.

Make sure you're songs are good.
There is an over-abundance of wackness out there. Try your very best to not contribute to the madness. Evaluate yourself. Who are you making music for? The clubs? Thats wack. Why make music for the clubs? If making club music is a reflection of who you are, then I support that. Go for it. I'll dig it. But, when you force a "club banger" and you don't even REALLY want to make that kind of music it shows.

Sex only sells when you look good.
This one is mostly for the women and its pretty self explanitory.

Leave the possie off the stage.
To this very day Wu-Tang has been the ONLY (and I mean the O-N-L-Y) rap group to make having more than 10 dudes on stage and make it look cool. They are unmatched. Don't bother trying to follow suit. Yo just make it look corny. If you MUST bring your mother, sister, cousin, and baby mama on stage, then do it at the very end of your set. A group did this at the show. Well done (they were also the best artists that night).

No choreography.
The moment you bring women on stage to do choreography for your shows, it loses a sense of coolness. If you start doing choreography, then you should quit making music tomorrow.

Leave the DJ alone!
Constantly snapping at the DJ to turn your music up is wack and it makes YOU look like the amatuer (sp?). Normalize your tracks before showtime.

NOTE: Sometimes the DJ and/or sound engineer are wack jobs and telling them to turn your music or mic up is necessary in such cases. This rule is dependent on those factors.

Arlight, thats it. I'm going to have a pop-tart now.