A friend of my son’s raps. He goes by “Skeptik” and works a “day” job as do most struggling young artists. Skep’s trying to get representation, a label, anything to get his entertainment career going. He appears as frequently as he can via any venue he can find, works tons of parties, clubs and posting on YouTube.
I’m the first to admit that I’m no rap aficionado and typically avoid profanity in lyrical content. I’ve lectured my kids on the use of profanity in composition and my taste leads me to conserve it. I feel if one paints freely with it, profanity loses its communicative impact. But every rule seems to have exceptions.
I’ve also written about my disdain for the use of racial epithets like “nigger’ including the casual used of “nigga” by blacks among themselves, even though I fully understand it. I have close friends I can speak openly with about this and have been introduced more than one followed by “he’s my nigga,” and when I return the favor, everyone laughs. In such cases, the word is truly reduced beyond its capacity to insult, which is liberating…it indicated inclusion. But it can quickly cut both ways, so I think it best to avoid such emotionally-charged language. I also see Lenny Bruce’s line of reasoning that it’s the very repression of language that gives certain words such negative power, enabling them to be used as weapons.
So while I don’t always agree with Skep’s words, I appreciate the ease and fluidity with which he uses them to paint “sound poems,” if you will. Plus, knowing and liking they guy, he works and dreams hard and that should be worth something.
Skeptik’s performing in central Ohio tonight in an event he’s been actively promoting, called Summer Jam 614. My son will be there. I won’t. But I hope he and the event is a big success.
If rap isn’t your thing, listen for the poetic elements and imagery. The bravado comes with the territory. Beyond his personality, which I can assure you is a delight, there’s something creative and artistic about Skeptik that appeals to me. Perhaps you’ll hear it.
This is from a series he did called “32 Thursdays”