By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Then came 2006 and the dominance of coke rap, the Southern subgenre also known as trap music, as in “it’s a trap from which you’ll never escape.” On the plus side, the trend brought us compelling records by Atlanta’s T.I. and Young Jeezy (a.k.a. the Snowman); the artier, critically acclaimed duo the Clipse; and Miami’s Rick Ross, whose party-down celebrations of cocaine culture are as detailed as they are bold. (His name? Borrowed from an infamous trafficker. His album title? Port of Miami. His songs? Subtle stuff like “Blow,” “Push It” and “Hustlin’,” wherein he helpfully notes: “See most of my friends still deal cocaine.” Never would have figured that one out!) Even New Yorker and former Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah dropped two albums obsessing on the topic —“More Fish” and “Fishscale,” slang for high grade ’caine. His desire to enter the fray is yet another sign of the movement’s widening gyre.
Sure, pop music has always been the place for reprobates to posture and thrive. Thing is, until now rappers have posited a life of crime as a beginning stage, a way to fund early recording sessions. Eventually, they would trade eightball bags for Louis Vuitton suitcases. Yeah, society needs an outlet for its worst/most hedonistic tendencies. It’s why white people love Van Halen, jam bands, Fleetwood Mac, nu-metal and Jimmy Buffett. What’s gross about this new rap movement is the conflation of crime and business— as if that’s the foundation our nation is built upon in our era of George Bush and corporate misgovernance. And if you doubt that connection, I need only point you to the name of the company Young Jeezy ran before he became a star: Corporate Thugz Entertainment. Yikes!
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