It’s the same old song. At least round these parts. About twice a year, a new painfully average white rapper pops up that threatens to blow up. I hear it, get somewhat sad then eventually write about it cause , hey, this blog needs content. This case, however, is a little special. This rapper, JT, is a protege of Dr. Dre. Yes, the same man who bought us Snoop, Eminem, 50 Cent and Kendrick lamar has decided to pluck this fucking kid out of obscurity and prop him up to be the next big thing. Will it happen? I dunno. In this day and age, a co sign from Dr. Dre doesn’t hold the weight it once did. Hell, a Co-sign from anyone doesn’t promise anything. But it certainly can’t hurt.
Sometimes, all you need to know about a rapper can be summed up in one line. As writers, a rappers awareness of what is and isn’t corny or played out is crucial to sounding even remotely original. I realize that “being original” is completely unimportant to many of the new generation of rappers, much like striving for authenticity has gone the way of the dodo bird. However, as much as Dre can look at this pimple faced kid and see dollar signs, I know he still has that old mentality. The dude is 50 and has been around for every generation of rap. Every rapper he’s ever put on has had something. You may not like 50 cent but there is a thing that makes him special, like it or not. This kid, though?
He said “Wettin’ em like a shower” in a rap song in 2015. Seems harmless enough but, if you step back and think about it, it speak volumes about how little creativity is going into his verses. That’s a line that a c level rapper would have snuck on a deep album cut in early 90’s. Like Kid n’ play would say that. It’s really all I need to know about this kid. He’s willing to write that line and say it. It doesn’t make him a bad person at all, it just speaks volumes of his character as “an artist”. The same thing as anyone who would rap “Smoking rappers like cigarettes”. It’s novice rapper 101 shit. It’s lazy. It’s a glaring sign that reads “Meh, who cares?”. That’s fine and all. It’s not Like Wocka Flocka or Cheef Keef are walking around caring about lyrical integrity. But this music isn’t that. I’d almost give this kid more credit if it was.
This article I read about him talks of what makes him special is how he carefully crafts lines and is a workhorse. In reality, dude sounds like he’s freestyling after listening to drake for a week straight. But his shortcomings as a rapper are secondary to me. There are COUNTLESS mediocre rappers out there.The emergence of the overly cocky swaggy white rap dudes who look like someone mad magazine would draw as a slack jawed teenaged fast food drive thru worker is boundless. It’s the fact that anyone takes them seriously that befuddles me. There is nothing about the kid that sets him apart from every other dude who has made a youtube video of him rapping while smoking weed. Mac miller was the first to really run with that and, compared to this kid, he’s the god mc. It’s as if human taste can no longer be trusted so the tastemakers simply go off algorithms. I can imagine , when Dre decided to fuck with this kid, he didn’t listen to the music as much as write an equation that ends in “= $$$$$$”.
I think the thing that gets me most about this is that it’s unnecessary. Dre is a billionaire. He can do whatever he wants. The fact he hasn’t put out Detox says it all. Clearly, the guy hasn’t actually made music in like 15-20 years but to see this kid and be like “He got next!” ? That’s just irresponsible. I could sort through my demo reviews and find 100 more worthy rappers who would fit this kids description. You would think a guy with all the money in the world might be like “Fuck it, I’mma just put out stuff I like, regardless of it’s marketability”. After all, he’s Dr Dre. His name still has enough pull that that could work on some level. At the very least , it could shine a light on someone who deserves it. But, no. He’s gonna back this middling , old navy wearing dork. Oh well…I just hope when Detox drops in 2055 , it’s not full of lost takes from this kid.
I realize this just sounds like hating but, I swear, I simply expect more of people. This kid is just doing him. He’s not out to ruin hip hop. I can’t fault him for anything outside of his skill set. He’s just doing what he’s been allowed to do. But who I can fault are the people who are paving the way towards success for mind numbing shit like this. There is a ripple effect to all of this. Do better.