In my quest to find inner peace, I’ve relaxed certain behaviors of mine that I’m sure many garden variety sane people find unacceptable. On the violence front, I’ve taken great pains to be more flexible in my overall approach - instead of flying off the handle and crushing someone’s larynx at the drop of a hat, I now give the possible recipient of the aforementioned neck strike a couple of stern warnings before making sure that their feeble little world crumbles all around them. Instead of responding to side-eye commentary with a barrage of soul crushing insults and not so veiled threats, I’ve settled into a rhetorical sweet spot of very casually telling the person in question, “I’m the wrong nigga on the wrong day" and keep it moving. Not for nothing, but I have no problem whatsoever with the aforementioned changes in my life - I’m almost 40 years old for Christs sake, and alterations to my demeanor of that magnitude will not only keep me from an early demise but it may also give St. Peter a reason to give my application into heaven a serious look. But a change that I haven’t been so cool with, one that I’ve been wearing like an ill-fitting suit, has been my recent penchant for letting people off the hook who love monosyllabic Hip Hop.
Listen, it never fails. Every now and then I get suckered into co-signing arguments like this: “HumanityCritic, Hip Hop is a young man’s game. It’s generational and you haven’t gotten with the times. MC-Scratch-n-sniff isn’t your cup of tea, but that doesn’t make them wack!”
As I look at the grey hairs that have spread across my face like a virus, and hear the sporadic clicking of my trick right knee, I tend to hesitantly agree with this line of argument. These are the times that I let my guard down and say silly shit to myself like, “Yeah, they have a point. My parents didn’t like my music so it’s natural that I’ll feel a certain way about the next generation’s music. Maybe I should ease up a bit." Then the next couple of months are feverishly spent trying to find the lyrical silver lining in a Lil Wayne of Wacka Flocka verse. Well you know what, go fuck yourselves. For all the forward progression that I’ve made in my life, one thing I won’t get in the habit of doing is participating in this bar lowering that we all find ourselves doing. Changing styles of Hip Hop are bound to happen, but wanting the man or woman who clutches a microphone for a living to complete a coherent sentence isn’t too much to ask. I’ll be more laid back on other facets of my life, but I will continue to be an unrepentant asshole when it comes to my Hip Hop standards.
But throughout my history of maintaining those aforementioned standards, there are certain acts of snobbery that I’ve learned to embrace. Here are a few:
Parting is such sweet Sorr..Oh!: A few years ago I had a girlfriend who left me for a guy who was in a local Hip Hop group. Like many lovers who just had their beating hearts forcefully ripped out of their chests, I was completely devastated. Distraught. Absolutely besides myself. That was until I just happened to wind up at a show where her new boyfriend was performing. Despite the fact that another man had stolen the love of my life, and was nightly exploring new depths of her nether region that my feeble penis didn’t even know existed - the fact that he was an inept microphone holder made everything automatically alright. I’m that much of a fucking snob. That actually goes for any new boyfriend of anyone that I’ve ever dated: Just let me find out that their Hip Hop tastes aren’t exactly up to snuff, or that they hold some silly Hip Hop opinion that drooling lunatics in padded rooms only dare utter out loud. No matter how intense the pain I was going through, clouds automatically start to part - a “new lease on life" exhilaration washes over my body - my deeply bruised heart immediately mends as if I had Wolverine’s regenerative abilities. It totally becomes a "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" where the entire relationship gets wiped from my internal hard drive. My snobbery runs so deep that I sincerely wish the best for the happy couple on the sole basis that there is now concrete evidence that all of this elite Hip Hop opinion needed to find a place where it was truly appreciated anyway. It’s sick, but then again I’m an asshole. Thank you Hip Hop.
Please Listen to my Demo: I’m totally fine with telling someone that I couldn’t give two shits about how horrible their presence on the microphone happens to be, but I have problems relaying the same stern message to someone I actually like. That’s why this local rapper has given me 10 CD’s that I have yet to listen to. Even though I’m aware that there is a 50/50 chance that he’s actually a serviceable wordsmith, the mere possibility of him being unable to stick the landing on a well crafted 16 is too much for me to bare - primarily because, well, as a snob I would be forced to tell him so in some pretty unflattering terms. So far I’ve gotten away with saying vague shit to him like, “Dude, you were more aggressive on this record" or "I really see a lot of growth in your writing this year" - all the while never hearing one solitary syllable.
Peanut Gallery: I heckle bad DJ’s, it’s what I do. Not only do I give them real-time commentary like, “Dude, you’re flailing up here - do you need me to take over?" - but I also give them a scouting report after the show of the "How could you play Pharcyde’s “Passing me by” and cut off Fatlip’s verse" variety. Let’s just say that a few men in the Hampton Roads are who claim to be skilled with both hands behind the turntables also want to exhibit the same ambidextrous ability on your favorite writer’s face.