I posted this one before; however, I felt it relevant enough to post it again . . .
What are you in this for?….
Whether you are a secular artist or a Christian artist, this remains a relevant question: When you get up on the stage in front of the masses, what is your motivation – what are you in this for?….
For 18 years, I have pondered this question – checking and re-checking my gut. Why did I choose to emcee? What was my gain? What was my contribution? At first, I would have a tendency to over analyze the question; but recently, as I was fellowshipping with a group of like-minded individuals, the answer hit me like a ton of bricks! Allow me to explain:….
Quite simply, there are only three reasons why anybody chooses to emcee:….
- For the love….
- For the fame (and fortune)….
- For the opportunity….
If you are an emcee, you cannot deny that one of these reasons, is why you do what you do. You can try to interject other logic; however, it all breaks down to one of these three. Let’s explore each, and you will see what I mean . . . .
For The Love:….
Emcee’s who fit in this category are typically your underground emcees. These are the cats that keep street corner cypha’s alive and well. Lyrically, these emcee’s spit verses that would make a thespian’s head spin! Their tracks are usually grimy – raw and unadulterated – designed for head-nodding more than anything else. These cats aren’t very flashy either. When you see them at the cypha or at the lounge, they are usually subdued and have a tendency to blend right in. Lyrical content consist of either pure and unimaginable skill, consciousness on a next level type move, or just straight expressionism. I like to call emcee’s that are in it for the love ‘purist’…..
For The Fame (and Fortune):….
Then we have the ‘rappers’. Yes, there is a distinction between a rapper and an emcee (but that is for another blog and another post). The rappers are the commercial cats that dominate the radio airwaves right now. These cats are out to get paid – period. It’s not about skill or lyrical content. It’s about hooks and catch phrases. Rappers are notorious for the infamous ‘club banga’. The lyrics are purposefully simple so that the listeners can easily absorb and repeat them. Their tracks are usually up-tempo and base heavy – perfect for the whip or the club. Rappers believe in bling. The higher the price tag on the bling, the hotter the rapper. Rappers can usually be found surrounded by an entourage – an eclectic group of body guards, hype-men and groupies that contribute to the overall mentality of: the more people that you have in your camp, the better rapper you are. Rappers are braggadocios by nature. They brag about how much cheddar they making. How many ‘hoe’s’ they hittin’. How phat their rims are on the whip. How many bricks they movin’ in the hood. How many lives they have ended . . . the list goes on. I like to call rappers that are in it for the fame ‘entertainers’…..
For The Opportunity:….
Emcee’s who fit in this category are a strange, rare and unique breed. First of all, you have to understand the opportunity in order to understand the emcee. The opportunity is: to affect change . . . to bring about lost souls. These emcees share many characteristics of the emcee’s who do it for the love – but their passion is deeper. It is beyond being a conscious emcee . . . It is about being a messenger – a vessel. Emcee’s who do it for the opportunity don’t get much commercial airtime, if they get any at all. They are shunned by their “peers” – underground cats think they’re too religious; commercial cats just aren’t trying to hear them. Lyrically, these emcee’s spit spiritually charged and biblically relevant content for the masses. These emcee’s are just as comfortable at the pulpit as they are in the cypha. Their tracks, much like the underground emcee, are typically grimy because emphasis is placed on the lyrics and the message within. Again, not very flashy, these emcees usually appear ‘comfortable’, and can also blend in to most environments. Lyrical content most often consists of praise, worship, testimonials and a call to alter. I like to call cats that fall into this group ‘anointed’…..
Understand this, each of these groups is not cut and dry. There are fakers amongst them all. And there are those who exploit them for whatever selfish motivations that they might have. My point is simply this: If you are an emcee (or a rapper) you fit into one of these categories. Be true to your craft. If you are underground, rep the underground to the fullest. If you are an entertainer, rock on and rock hard. And if you are a vessel for Christ, remain true to His name. Each will be judged – fairly or not. Each will encounter their own struggles and trials. At the end of the day, it still comes down to the one question:….
What are you in it for?….
I just hope you have the right answer…..