The word hip hop seems like a weird one for the phrase I am trying to communicate. I mean it’s pretty hip hop, but hip hop isn’t hip hop. Hip hop is defined as “a musical or choreographic composition that uses hip-hop tropes or tropes associated with or characteristic of the hip-hop genre.” I really want to talk about hip hop tropes, but really hip hop is a genre that revolves around tropes. So for me to write off a genre of music because of hip hop tropes, I think I am being dismissive. I’m more talking about how the type of music I enjoy can vary in the context of the rap or hip hop genre, meaning it’s possible for two different listeners to get their hip hop fix by listening to the same record, or by listening to a different soundtrack but appreciating the style. I don’t think this makes hip hop any less hip, but in particular, it doesn’t make it any less hip-hop.
For years when I’ve seen anyone talk about hip hop, they usually focus on the tropes of hip hop. I have no problems with tropes in pop music, nor do I expect anyone else to, but hip hop, while a genre, doesn’t have those tropes. That said, some of the tropes in hip hop aren’t really hip-hop tropes at all.
If I were to list the tropes in hip hop that I find offensive, I would have to go all the way back to 1991’s Run DMC – “All of Our Baddies Get Hoods” is probably a hip hop trope in itself, or the classic “Shawn Michaels’s Theme Song,” since it goes on to become a hip hop song by its own right – which has the phrase “All of Our Baddies Get Hoods” as its final line. In any case, that wasn’t even the only thing about Run DMC that was offensive to me. The entire “All of Our Baddies Get Hoods” verse just seemed like a throwback to a particular time and age on the mic that wasn’t even hip hop, and I don’t think any hip hop fan should be ashamed to say that. (Note I said throwback, not just a throwback. I don’t think Run DMC are the only artists to use lyrics like “All of our baddies get high” without reference to hip hop as a whole. Jay-Z uses the lyrics to “All of the Boys Get High” in his “B
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