I’ve always loved rap. Most kinds anyway. I think people today have a very narrow and warped opinion of the genre and it saddens me. Growing up, rap was an outlet for me. It was cathartic to hear the stories of other people going through hard times. It was mind-opening to learn the pervasive nature of the struggles so many of us feel isolated by. Music has really been that one thing to connect people, hasn’t it?
But it’s even more than that for me. The intricate lyrics – the educated word play, the incredible metaphors and deft deliveries – everything about it appeals to me. I idealise the true form of the art and humble myself before it. I mean, if you love great writing, powerful messages and mind-bending tongue tricks, then rap is the genre for you! Seriously.
I think most people are put off by the genre as a whole because of their narrow experience with it. The first obstacle I usually run into when having this debate with non-believers is, “I can’t understand what they’re saying.” To this, I have two points to consider: 1) Other genres, such as metal, have been known to offer this same problem. And 2) You don’t know what he’s saying YET… Enter the wonderful world of lyrics:
See, one of the greatest traits of rap, if not THE greatest, is the lyrics. There is so much value in spending an afternoon with Nas or Biggie on Rap Genius and truly listening (and reading) to what they are saying. The point of the delivery is to be twisted, aggressive and alive. The lyrics are supposed to be worthwhile. Don’t get it twisted.
And I can’t help the poor if I’m one of them, so I got rich and gave back. To me that’s the win-win. – Moment of Clarity
So anyway, writing lyrics has long been something very special to me. What started out as poetry as a child soon required and acquired a beat and morphed into all the messages I was prepared to angrily spit back at the world. Ah, memories!
We all have ways of dealing, and words were mine. Within them I found the freedom to be able to recreate the life/lives I was experiencing. It would be a scene set up so perfectly that it made no sense for me to hold on to my hurt and anger, because it was all stored safe and neat on a page in a drawer. With words, in a way the physical world had simply failed me in my youth, I was able to stand up to the teacher who spoke down at me, beat up the bully who pushed us around the halls, and save the girl from the impending zombie attack (true story).
Rap is art. Art is expression. What’s your story?
At some point, after years of messing around with the artistry of it all, I decided to add a personality to the mix. I think at first I just wanted a new direction – to feel like my music was evolving towards something. Now I think I, like all rappers before me, just want my story to be heard.
I suppose the most accurate term is “alter ego”. I, being more traditional however, would sooner label it a pseudonym or pen name; although I do enjoy the acceptable shirking of accountability encouraged by the concept of alter ego.
It wasn’t me, officer! Gangsta rap made me do it!
Anyway, with that being said, I present to you the first of (probably) many excerpts from the archives of Maverick. Be kind – these words are mine.