Shady Records’ Royce Da 5’9 recently shared his thoughts on the rappers and their lyrical dexterity, and why fans should not be so quick to shun the skills of Southern artists.
While discussing his upcoming Hell: The Sequel joint EP alongside Eminem, Royce said they are aiming to make lyricism prominent again.
“We’re just trying to keep hip-hop moving forward, man. We’re trying to make being lyrical cool again — for the record, it’s a lot of very lyrical Southern cats,” Royce said in an interview with Mr. Peter Parker. “It’s not a regional thing, it’s just bad rap is bad rap. [There’s] bad rap in every region.” (Parker Vision)
A few months ago, hip-hop pioneer Kool G Rap weighed in on the lack of lyricism in today’s music.
“It really don’t bother me because not everybody is capable of being a G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, or KRS-One,” Kool G said when asked about today’s lack of wordplay. “That says a person is gifted. These are not any rappers you see on TV, rocking somejewelry, and see all the girls chasing them. Now you see kids like, ‘Yo. I wanna do the same thing because I want all those things.’ A Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, and G Rap kind of talent isn’t just going to shoot up your body, and then instantly you become that talented artist. That’s why it doesn’t matter because some of these artists are just doing what they can do. They doing all that they can do. So then, that’s when they make their swag stand out, and make swag a big thing. I mean swag was always a part of hip-hop, it’s just we didn’t call it swagger. We just used to say that someone was talented or had a lot of charisma. They just titled the sh*t ‘swagger’ now.” (BallerStatus)
In late December, Southern rapper Waka Flocka Flame admitted that lyricism isn’t his strongest rap attribute.
“I don’t feel like I’m no lyricist. I’m not in the booth trying to godd*mn rap big words,” Flocka explained in an interview. “I’m not tryin’ to show off my intelligence. Anybody could memorize big words, put ’em together. I could do that. But if I don’t use the words on an everyday basis, why use the words in my rap? I just like music. I’m a lover of making music. It could be a big record, small record–as long as I’m making songs. One day it’ll pop; that’s how I look at it. Yeah. What I did in one year–one year–a lot of people accomplish in 10 years. A lot of people don’t like that. They feel I don’t deserve what I got. I’m a hard-a** worker. And I’m here for a reason. This sh*t ain’t luck. I don’t believe in luck.” (RESPECT)
Last February, rap veteran Method Man discussed the changing image of what makes a true emcee.
“There are genuine artists out there who love what they do and do it with a purpose, but then you have those dudes who are a bunch of fashonistas,” Meth explained in an interview. “These kids are more concerned with the way they look than what’s coming out of their mouths…Back when I first came out if you told a kid ‘I’m an MC,’ the first thing the kid would say to you is, ‘Oh yeah, well say a rhyme for me.’ …Nowadays, you tell the kid you’re an MC and he’s like ‘Oh yeah, where’s your big chain at? Where’s your watch? Where’s your car? That’s what it is now.’ …The majority of the people who listen to the music can’t afford half that sh*t.” (Wall Street Journal)
Check out Royce Da 5’9’s interview below: