I was all set to say something incredibly light-skinned about hip hop and its culture of hate. I’m not talking about racism, homophobia, misogyny or any of that though. I’m talking about its ‘internal’ hate culture. The “that nigga’s gahbij,” “his beats are wack,” “he don’t even write his own shit” cognoscenti. (I wonder what circles are full of the most internal hate? Underground? Mainstream?) I was ready to go all-the-way in on that, but then something hit me: The ‘tough crowd’ aspect of hip hop may be a major part of its appeal.

I think EVERY emcee’s goal is to spit something that is UNDENIABLY ‘good.’ Like… “…no matter what niggas say, THEY KNOW those bars were nice. Niggas ain’t fuckin’ wit’ me out here! I’m the nicest cat doin’ this shit right now.” I think EVERY emcee wants to reach a level of SELF-confidence where they TRULY believe such assertions about themselves; get to a point of such RIDICULOUS confidence that you can be in a room fulla cats makin’ the same self-claims and STILL feel like you are the ABSOLUTE shit! Matter of fact, THOSE other cats will be HELPING you boost YOUR confidence! And you’ll be helping THEM!!! Everybody’ll be raising everybody’s game because everybody is trying to spit that undeniable shit. That impossible shit.


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