Go ahead and listen, you hear that?
Do you hear the door squealing open?
That’s me opening the door to invite the haters and the critics into this blog as I make one simple statement.
I’ll keep the comment board ready, but here it is:
“Hip Hop needs Church Clothes to save it.”
Allow me to explain. I am not saying that Hip Hop needs Lecrae. I am not saying that his new mixtape, Church Clothes is already an illmatic or Reasonable Doubt. Hear what I’m saying. Hip hop has been under lots of scrutiny in recent years. I think the most well-deserved is the fact that since large record labels are controlling the style, “artist” are selling out to get richer.
Being that ‘loving money’ is a byproduct found in much hip-hop, appeasing record labels to make money has been the ‘out’ for a lot of people.
So how does hip hop stay true to form without leaning based upon record labels?
Mixtapes. This allows artists to continue to be artist and to create.
A growing problem though is that immorality has kept many artists from being really creative because their acceptance in the industry has been for being graphic. Shock-jock types of music. Their music is only for shock value. Eminem got famous for how horrible his singles would be. Saying unimaginable things about well known celebrities. But his fans know that his greatest works might never get a single. He created noise by dissing any and every celeb but he actually expressed himself through his “no-name” tracks on his albums. He was able to use shock value to get attention but to create masterpieces throughout his albums.
So you’re wondering, what is my point.
Church Clothes is a rare situation. You have a no-name artist. His production is phenomenal. His message is inspirational. He is not using a recipe for hype(diss tracks, beef, huge elaborate public appearances or stage shows). His mixtape is for all the world to criticize(a public market where criticism is expected). He has done so with no-name guest appearances. And all the while, his tape is getting love everywhere.
Church Clothes will not impress all church people either. Hip Hop heads know that a mixtape is far from an album. Many people that like albums might not like mixtapes. Their raw. Their uncut. Their a continuous project. You can’t single out tracks on tapes like an album. An album might have a concept but each track is separate. Where a mixtape is like a chapter in a book. It is apart of a continuous theme. Church Clothes is a mixtape if there ever has been one.
This is good for hip hop.
Hip Hop needs artist to express themselves freely.
Hip Hop needs to allow the youth in but not to be maximized to entertain them(Another point I could go in on, trying to impress high schoolers to improve sells, ring-tone rap, etc.).
Hip Hop needs more educated, articulate artist who can relate but are willing to think outside the box(J.Cole, BOB, Andre 3000).
And Hip Hop needs a mixtape like Church Clothes. Something that will raise the bar of lyricism without compromising artistic expression.
Church Clothes is a step for hip hop in the right direction. It is far from an album.
And, btw, that’s all mentioned outside of the fact that Hip Hop needs Christ. But that’s another day and another time.