People like to complain about Rap, but who is actually listening to it?
Despite the average rap fan comprised of a disproportionate number of white children living in a high density of suburbia, rap has a large reach of cultural influence because it was designed to be the next trend to move us into the future. If an artist weren’t popular with the youth, they probably wouldn’t last.
Kanye West is considered a great genius, despite his blatant lack of musical skills and popularity with the youth. Even if he was not a genius, he is a genius with an ability to move the culture forward, and since he is a genius, there is a huge audience and fanbase that grew up with him.
It is not because he can sing or rap that he is a genius because they have no interest in that. Rap is a genre that is content to tell a narrative of a small area and get it from the perspective of someone who is both literally and figuratively removed from it.
It is safe and comfortable and an easy way to narrate a narrative. The view a listener has is the view of someone in the writer’s mind who is talking about and dismissing another person’s viewpoint.
There is a simple underlying assumption that if someone is not part of the young community, they are ignorant, poor, or a criminal. As a white person, when I hear rap, I am more interested in the music’s lyrics and structure.
The music’s references and overall theme mean less to me than the narrative that it is conveying. It is easy to be detached and examine a narrative of some sort because it is something that most of us can empathize with and at least relate to.
That is why Jay-Z, despite the cringe-worthy lyrics, is generally considered a genius. Kanye West is widely considered a genius, even though neither of them is very good at making music. They managed to create what they have despite their lack of skill because that makes them such a creative genius and respected.
For those who are less familiar, rap music videos are the most accessible aspect of the genre because they feature the artists and usually feature imagery and characters who are part of the storyline.
While the video could be subtitled to say that the “artist is critical of how society has developed over the last thirty years,” this interpretation will only cause some people to switch off the video entirely because they are only looking for something overly negative.
The music video responds to this assumption because it is meant to be visually entertaining and not meant to have serious discussion value.
This is not to say that rap music videos do not have value because they certainly have; they are often the most memorable part of an album. However, many rap music videos give very little to the narrative as a whole.
While certain artists like to add, as the “reality” portion of a song, more personal, obscure stories that further the idea of how the lyrical message relates to the listener, this often only gives us more ways to look into the mindset of the artist and a few moments in the music video to help drive home what the song is about.
This isn’t necessarily bad, but what one can take away from this is that a rap song’s narrative is often fleeting; there is very little time to fully appreciate what is happening and have a meaningful discussion about it. There is a lot of fluff in a rap music video, with over-used imagery and dance routines to keep the budget going and drive home the music’s message.
But then again, who has the time or means to do that when the song lasts for ten minutes, with as many terrible, questionable moments as there are good ones?
This is why RapCaviar must exist; it is a platform for artists to write and record music, which may not have a deep narrative, but does help the lyrical message of the song. For
RapCaviar, to be successful, needs to strike a balance between what the listeners expect and want, and the artists need to present a fully formed narrative for listeners to consider.
Like a rap music video, they need to strike the right balance of unneeded imagery and materialism and substance. These two things are not mutually exclusive, there is room for everything, and they do not need to be explicitly addressed by the music video, but it will still help avoid clutter.
The name “RapCaviar” is a nod to how important the “product” is and how far one can take one position as a “Master” of the field. If it were just a playlist of the best songs or a playlist of the hottest tracks of the year, they would just get lost in the shuffle, and a playlist that sounds like they threw a whole bunch of different genres together would be a success.
However, RapCaviar does not just have the best of the best, but one of the best of the best. If you listen to any song on the playlist, it is guaranteed to make you think or react to the song somehow.
When you walk out of a movie, you might not remember the actor’s name, but you might remember that the movie was the “Breaking Bad” of that particular year. RapCaviar will always be among the best of the best. Hopefully, when you look at the artists on the playlist and think of other music they may have released, or when you decide to follow them on Instagram or Twitter, they will be among the world’s most influential rappers.
These are the highest standards and the most meaningful.
Also, hats off to RapCaviar for figuring out a way to make some music that actually sounds good to listen to on this site!