You know, the problem with gangster rap is the genre itself. If you want to act like a gangster, fine. But if you, in addition, want credibility, you’re getting into trouble. Not just because acting like a gangster involves acting like a gangster and doing things a gangster does. Sure, you can turn yourself into some kind of rap Lady Gaga and become art and create an image. But there are limits to that!
Can you take 50Cent seriously when rapping about his Candy Shop? I really can’t. It doesn’t give me anything to listen to such songs. There’s simply no personal level at which i can relate to the lyrics.
Kid Cudi, however, stands out in nowadays rap game. He did it “leanin, skinny jean wearing” and his lyrics are just epic. His Man on the Moon trilogy is probably the most personal rap records released lately. And the point is that he makes a rather clear-cut distinction between his dreams, nightmares and reality and doesn’t even attempt to live up to some stereotype. It’s all about the personal Pursuit of Happiness, something nearly everbody can relate to.
In a way, it’s like in K.I.Z. who play with stereotypes and irony. They, sure, have a gangster rap image. But they obviously refuse to really fit the stereotypes of the game and deliberately play with their own image. Going as far as playing a girls only show at theInternational Women’s Day, despite their lyrics that are rather sexist when taken literally.