Revolutionizing Rap One Non-Hardcore Person At A Time

11 Feb

Music, Musical Notes, Rap, Kinley Baker, Romance Author

I never realized how dirty the music I listen to is until someone caught me chair dancing to S&M by Rihanna. When that awkward silence stretches, the meanings of the words have never been so clear.

Completely awkward…

There’s really no recovering from that. That person will never view you the same again.

(If you really want to freak them out, start leaving handcuffs in your desk. Just kidding, don’t blame me if you do that and it ends badly.)

And of course the other times people come over it’s men rapping about women inappropriately. When I get caught listening to those hardcore songs I just want to say: I don’t support men talking about women that way. Of course not!

But then I bring in my headphones and I listen to these songs anyway. Because I secretly want to be badass, but I don’t want anyone to know that I think I’m badass.

Basically, I don’t want to listen to songs about taking away female empowerment, but I do want people to positively rap more so I can listen to their beats.

Can’t a man rap about how much he loves his commitment to his family? Is that really too much to ask for? That kind of YouTube video would make my day. (But if you do it, it has to be GOOD. Like Eminem GOOD.)

We should encourage men to rap about funny things. I want a busted out song about how a man went to college and lived on his mother’s couch for four years. You know, reality.

I think you can still be hardcore if we redefine hardcore. Rap about how you work forty hours to feed your family. That’s positive! That’s sexy. Put it to a beat, man. Or woman. No discrimination here.

It’s kind of funny because I wrote the beginning of this blog post and then I found myself talking about it in real life. I watched the show Broke on ESPN and brought it up to a guy at work. In case you’re wondering, yes the special did make me cry.

It was basically about athletes losing all their money. $50 million dollars gone. I know. I can’t even imagine.

I ended up feeling sorry for the guys, which proves whoever put together the show did a great job.

Somehow this conversation turned into a discussion on dancing. And the guy said: “Girls like music in which the lyrics tell them what to do.”

And my first instinct was: “Nuh uh!”

Women are strong and awesome and men should respect them!

But then he brought up the “to the wall” song and I realized that his words are actually kind of true. In my experience, women always cheer when one of these instructional songs come on when they’re out on the dance floor.

My theory is that dancing is awkward, and if the song tells us to point to the damn wall, or drop it like it’s hot, it’s less awkward. I enjoy dancing more when I’m not standing frozen in the middle of the dance floor wondering how to move my body.

No instructions leads to very bad things like the shopping cart and the salt and pepper shaker. Those were actually my signature moves in high school.

I brought up my new idea to revolutionize the rap industry during this conversation. That if people just rapped about working full time, the world would be a better place.

I love music. I’m a huge fan. When I listen to rap, it makes me feel hardcore in the way I rarely feel because I’m not at all. I’m like 5’3’’, soft around the edges, and often look lost. I’ve just accepted this about myself. Not hardcore. (But crazy… and highly dangerous… in case you’re getting ideas about preying on the poor, innocent, wide-eyed doe.)

My headphones are my shield against the world. Sometimes I think I could deal with the apocalypse if I put on some Eminem to pull me through. You think you have problems, zombies? Listen to this ish…

That’s real problems, man.

I guess I should summarize the point of this post. The point so often gets lost in my real life writing, but I promise my fiction writing always has a plot.

Go write awesome rap songs that glorify equality and human rights. I will support you. But only if you’re good. I’ve kind of got a rep I don’t want to wreck. I’m kidding again… I don’t have a rep. Unless I do… That would be awesome.

Who’s running for their video cameras right now? Are you onboard with The Rap Revolution? Can you rap? Do you know of videos like this with a positive message? Let me see! Post the links!

Kinley Baker (@kinleybaker)


9 Responses to “Revolutionizing Rap One Non-Hardcore Person At A Time”

  1. Diana Beebe February 11, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    Yes! I’m ready for this kind of revolution! Great post, Kinley. And, yes, I’m sure you are extremely dangerous. I’ll spread the word. 😉

  2. Gilliad Stern February 11, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    I think I would like some more rap songs to be about normal things. Not sure what I could get to rhyme with stapler…….Eh, you wouldn’t want to see me rapping anyway. Unless it was the nerdy geek rap!

    • kinleybaker February 11, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

      Haha, Gilliad. I can’t rap either, which makes me so sad. I wish I could just bust it out. Lol. I can’t think of anything for stapler either. I think a song about office supplies could totally go viral though.

  3. Sophie Greyson February 12, 2013 at 12:25 am #

    I dance to rap in zumba – does that count? Like you, I love the beat. I just choose to ignore the lyrics. Not that I want them to be about butterflies and unicorns, but just a song about falling in love or a broken heart would be nice – without the vulgarity.

    • kinleybaker February 12, 2013 at 1:48 am #

      Oh, that sounds fun, Sophie! Are those the commercials I see with the dancing/exercise that looks so awesome? I agree. No butterflies or unicorns, but if someone could pull that off in a rap, I’d have to see it. I don’t mind the vulgarity, but it gets kind of awkward when some of these songs come on in public places. I think you can get the emotion across in other ways.

  4. Lena Corazon February 13, 2013 at 3:59 am #

    Kinley, this post takes me back to high school, when I was working as staff at junior high dances. The “children,” as I thought of them, knew ALL the uncensored lyrics to the rap songs that were played, and I was sooooo horrified by it all. I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for Eminem, but I agree, it would be great to hear some rap music about things *other* than the sexually explicit, x-rated nonsense.

    Have you listened to anything by Professor Elemental? He’s a steampunk performer, and I am in love with this song, “Cup of Brown Joy,” which is about (as I’m sure you’ve guessed) the wonders of tea. As a tea fiend myself, I can 100% cosign this message. 😛

    • kinleybaker February 13, 2013 at 4:09 am #

      LOL, Lena. Wow, that’s awesome. I approve your message. Oh my goodness, I’m going to have to go hang out on YouTube for a while and look at more of these videos. Thank you for sharing!

      I completely understand about you working at the middle school dances. The things kids know now. Way more than I know. It’s so crazy. It’s not like I can’t appreciate the songs. I like a lot of them. But it just makes me worried that kids see this as the only way to be hip or cool. There’s so much value that can be expressed in a song, and there doesn’t always need to x-rated content. We need a little variety. But with movies like Napoleon Dynamite, there is hope. We just have to show them.


  1. We did whaaat? Trains, dragons, and pageant dreams | Kinley Baker's Blog - March 4, 2013

    […] also attempted to start The Rap Revolution (I believe rapping about staplers was mentioned in the comments?). We’re still recruiting on […]

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