The idea of this episode occurred to me after listening to Mac Miller’s latest project,GO: OD AM. After being really impressed with Mac’s journey in music and the introspectiveness of his last record – I was let down. Mac Miller has always had a druggy sound, even back on KIDS but back then he was just a teenage
dirtbag stoner. Mac Miller has been very public about his drug use. When he talked about it on Movies with the Sound Off, it sounded like he matured and actually gave a shit about the damage done to him for years of hard drug use. Then he came out with his current album and it seemed liked he made a complete u-turn; coming out with a record that was celebrating excess consumption and materialism that just came off as vacuous.
And then it happened; as I was streaming an album on Spotify, I was struck by an ad for Canadian rapper K-OS’ new album, featuring a single with a video where he is rapping on a slow distorted beat, holding a styrofoam cup in hand amidst scantily clad women during a carnival.
I have my own thoughts on the video itself but the video struck a chord with me; because it like the album; once again highlighted how druggy and spaced out modern rap music has become. Not the rappers in particular but a lot of the production at least, I feel. I get that a lot of this emanates from the success of trap music – which originated in the American south. And this to me ties in with popularization of lean.
While the American south may not have the same stature that it once did in hiphop in the early 2000s, it’s influence is certainly still there. Even west-coast artist Kendrick Lamar, uses these spacey sounds in his production despite not being druggy at all. So the question remains, can you be a contemporary rap artist and not talk about doing drugs and still be popular?
Was K-OS’ video a parody? Or was he conceding that this is what hiphop is now? I’ve linked the video below. Tell me your thoughts.