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Should Street Artists Be Considered As “Rappers?”

All Naija Entertainment

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The closest form of art to rap is spoken-word poetry. And, that’s where the problem lies. Spoken word is simple(you start speaking at 1), poetry is complex (even after attending Literature classes in high school!) On which of these, does the art of rap lean on most? Now, let’s forget beats (boom bap, trap), and hip-hop (breakdancing, DJing etc.) Let’s study rap as an art. What qualifies for rap?

The answer to this might be slight corny, in this 21st century. Once someone claims he/she is an artist, and then jump on a beat, and drop some words without melody, he/she will be called a rapper. If Eminem is in the studio vibing, and he talks ’bout Trump, because you know he’s an artist, you might just call what he did “rap,” even tho’ he might not have intentions of that. But, if a random kid from the street, jumps up, and does the same, is it usually called rap? Too many scenarios. What then is this rap sef?

So funny, at the end of every paragraph, We’ll have to ask what rap is. It’s a kafka-esque matter. Just any spoken-word shouldn’t come close to being called rap, ‘cos over the years (hip hop’s as old as my dad) rap has been a reserved term for hip-hop. And, the fifth element of hip hop is knowledge. It’s not an un-intelligent thing – before 2018! But, wait, when Oprah Winfrey is speaking, and it’s making maximum sense, and it’s even rhythmic, is she rapper? What the fuck then is rap?

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Olamide‘s latest single, “Science Student” has few elements of hip hop, but come to think of it, it’s a rap song. Same as “WO!” And, yeah, Olamide is actually a rapper. Flex B is a rapper, BUT, was he even rapping on his hit record “Umbele?” So – you guessed it – what’s rap ? Rap is any musical and lyrical thing you say without singing like Wizkid. That’s that.

Slimcase, is the next big thing on the streets, after Olamide, and we all know it now. But, is he a rap artist? Slimcase is indeed wired for the “lambacious” streets, so he can as well do Trap or Reggae, if that’s what the street is effing with, ain’t ? Almost everywhere something about Slimcase must showcase, he’s always tagged a “street artist,” and not a rapper, or singer, or at it’s worst, musician. BUT, Slimcase has no place in our already shaped singing pop. In a country where we have Wizkid, Tekno, and where Davido’s “frog voice” is being criticized. Nay, Slimcase ain’t a singer. But, he speaks, without melody, with street punchlines and a rather absurd lyrical insensibility (an attribute of Lamba’s.) Isn’t it plausible then, if I call him a rapper ?
That depends on the times.

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Mostly, people, writers, fans, presenters etc, are afraid to tag street artists like Flex B, Slimcase, sometimes Lil Kesh, as “rappers,” with the fear that hip hop heads might think it’s a blasphemy on the hip-hop culture. And, what does this mean? small DOCTOR will not be ranked alongside Tekno, Mr Eazi, Dice Ailes even tho his song “Penalty” is bigger than Eazi’s biggest hit. Why? He’s street.

With shaku shaku … we expect things to take a new turn. We’re expecting hardcores like A-Q, Boogey, Yung6ix, even M.I to jump on fast-tempo beats, and drop their street bars. It’s our thing.

And, finally if Slimcase raps, call him a rapper. If Ycee doesn’t rap, don’t give him the tag. Forget who tush pass.


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