Lil Ric-“Rowdy N****S Interlude”-2000

Many people make a distinction between rap and rock music, especially heavy metal. The fans of those genres have shared what can, at best, be called a flimsy truce.

I, on the other hand, enjoy both genres (among others) because they are both showcases of raw aggression, unapologetic self-expression, and vicious metaphors. The above captioned piece by Lil Ric is a good example of this.

Whilst searching for a song by Tre Little with a similar title, I stumbled upon this on iTunes and decided to download it after being entertained by the sample of it. The song really is a hearkening back to what I feel were the glory days of rap. It’s not the squeaky clean early days of acts like Run DMC and certainly not the cowardly, rhythm and partying obsessed commercial sounds of acts like T-Pain. This is a REAL rap piece in the vein of Too Short, Tupac, Westside Connection, 50 Cent, Nas, N.W.A., etc. The mid/late ’90s rap that had the aggression and violence which was such a delightful outlet for the day’s stressors, just as heavy metal is for its staunch fans.

While I thoroughly enjoy this piece and it is skyrocketing up the list of my personal all-time favorites because of its creative wordplay and rebellious, almost militant sound, listening to it is bittersweet because it makes me long for the days when music like this was commonplace. It also makes me sad because it glaringly demonstrates just how much commercialism and sensationalism have distorted, bastardized, and, I dare say, perverted today’s music.

Quality acts like Lil Ric are no longer financially viable which means their work never sees the light of day. However, vapid garbage like Cher Lloyd’s music still manages to get tons of airplay simply because it’s catchy and can keep record labels and broadcasting giants in the black. The real tragedy here is that, rap began as a way to fight corporate interference with respect to self-expression. However, it has now been sacrificed to make room for the very thing it was created to fight. That is sadly ironic.

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