A project that perfectly contrasts an artists dialect about internal conflict with crazy lit beats paired with insane animation and intricate storytelling to bring the subject matter to life is always appreciated. Throw some top notch production in the mix by producers such as DEIPSET and Yung Kifo in the mix and you’ve got Rashad Starks newest project “Playing With Fire”
The project does a wonderful job of tackling the artists feelings regarding suicide, depression, anxiety, being a college drop out and feelings of low self worth while at the same time displaying the artists motivation to overcome these feelings and be a “greater man”. The project opens up with “With Fire”, On which the artists gives pretty much a run down on what the whole tape is going to be about. The artist also showcases his singing abilities on the opening track as well. On “No Ls” he features Dell Fargo and speaks on his desire to persevere and keep grinding. On DRIP, another “turn up” song the rapper adds a feature from menacing rapper Hooks Ventura, adding to the eerie, dark effect of the track. In contrast to the “most lit” theme he goes for in the previous tracks, Stark flips the script and discusses very dark thoughts on “Fahrenheit 451” where he speaks on his feelings of depression, alcoholism and suicidal thoughts. On “Amen”, a more upbeat song, the rapper speaks on his feelings on religion and closes out the tape with a prayer asking God to help him to be a more appreciative, focused man.
In a huge contrast to the times of the 80s, 90s and early 2000s, the hip hop scene of today has become quite saturated with mosh pits, leather jackets and new wave self proclaimed “rock star” rappers. Although the exact time when this transition was made is unclear (remember when all of this “rock star” talk was considered “white people stuff”?), with all of the avant garde fashion statements, dark subject matter and glorification of the rockstar lifestyle, hip hop has definitely entered into its “goth” phase and we are totally here for it.
If you know what you’re looking at, its quite easy to see how the hip hop scene has been influenced by rock n roll legends such as Kurt Cobain and Marilyn Manson. Dating as far back as 2010 when Lil Wayne dropped the “Rebirth” album and when thru his rockstar phase, rock n roll culture has been infiltrating hip hop. Rapper Lil Uzi Vert often refers to himself as a rockstar and is heavily inspired by Marilyn Manson, so much so that he got a $100k chain with a pendant of the rock singers face in all diamonds.
Many rappers of today can even be seen sporting T Shirts of popular bands such as Iron Maiden and Slipknot as a fashion stateme
nt. Artists such as Uzi, Playboy Carti (who is a self proclaimed rock star as he states in his song “Wokeuplikethis”) and the late Lil Peep have brought “goth” inspired fashion to hip hop as well by sporting leather jackets, distressed clothes, super skinny pants as well as literal chains on their clothing; this all pulled together in a look that resembles something you’d see at a Nine Inch Nails concert. These fashion trends, although some may see them as something new, are actually classic looks that were once sported back in the 80s and 90s by some of our favorite bands. Fashion in hip hop today is definitely inspired by the rock n roll culture in more ways than one. This, however, is only the beginning of the hip-hop/rock n roll phenomenon.
There have been many changes in the sound of hip hop in recent times, many of which can be attributed to rock n roll culture. We all are familiar with Lil Waynes rock influenced track “On Fire”, which samples Amy Hollands “Shes On Fire” This song was only the beginning of the whole sampling rock music in rap trend. A lighter, more happier version of sampling rock music can be seen from rapper Lil Aaron who has songs entitled “Warped Tour” (which samples “Misery Business” by Paramore)
and “Hot Topic” (which samples Panic! At The Discos “I Write Sins Not Tradgedies”) playing off of the whole “emo” side of rock culture. For a darker version of sampling. rapper Xxxtentacion uses a lot of heavy metal samples in his music, one being on his song “Off The Wall” in which he samples Slipknots “Spit It Out”. Another style that has become prevalent in hip hop is screaming which is represented heavily in rock n roll music from bands like Metallica and Slayer (compare by checking out the links below)
Hip hop has also taken a dark turn as far as subject matter as well. While there is a lot of music that still talks about the stuff we are used to hearing in hip hop such as partying and flashy lifestyles, we are finding that it is now acceptable to touch on darker subject matter in hip hop such as depression and suicidal thoughts as well. Artists such as Lil Peep and Lil Xan discuss depression and drug abuse in their music with a mantra that is similar to the lyrics of doom metal band Black Sabbaths “Solitude”. (Compare at the links below)
More influences of rock culture in hip hop can be found at the actual concerts themselves. Mosh pits have become a common thing at hip hop concerts. If you’re unfamiliar with what moshing is, heres a rundown: picture a huge circle in the middle of a crowd at a concert with a bunch of hot, sweaty, people throwing themselves into eachother in rhythm to music that is playing at extremely high volumes. While some may find this a bit scary, moshing can actually be a fun and relaxing thing if done correctly and safely. This moshing/slam dancing phenomenon was actually something that was done at rock concerts years ago and in recent times the trend made its way to hip hop, adding to the lit factor of seeing artists perform live in concert. (compare at the links below)
The influences of rock music in hip hop culture have resulted in not only a awesome new spin on hip hop but it also has created a way for fans of one genre to potentially become fans of something else they never knew existed. What do you think of how hip hop is being influenced by rock culture? Leave a comment below!
Quality, artistic visuals are always an appreciated bonus when it comes to songs we love. A dope visual takes songs that are already our favorites and not only adds a “face” to the sound but also gives a deeper look into the personality and aesthetic of the artist. Nicholis’ release of his “Had To” visual does just that.
The video for the bouncy track is shot by OGVISUALS ( @000.og ) and provides viewers with a wavy, unique display to accompany the track. The song itself features producer Chet’ Atlas and combines animated delivery with relatable content and a catchy beat for an overall well put together track perfect for bumping on your spring playlist.
Check out the exclusive release of the “Had To” visual here!
Rapper Fontain has released a new single entitled “Commencement $peech”. The rapper, who is also member of the Flight Ent. collective, is putting a new spin on the classic boom bap sound with this track, a style that many emcees aren’t necessarily able to pull off. The track also displays the artists unique word play as well as his ability to include comedic elements in music as a method of keeping listeners engaged in his story telling.
On today, which also happens to be the emcees birthday, iPM member On Go Dunman has finally released his newest project “Playboy”. The long awaited project includes features from popular 757 rappers and fellow iPM members Al Dom$ and Doe$ki as well as production by Night Treez, Fake Uzumi as well as On Go Dunman himself. The project has a pretty relaxed vibe to it while simultaneously radiating an energetic sound, perfect for your summer playlist.