Hip-Hop is a world where your word is your bond. Anything you say is purported to be factual and “keep it real” becomes more than a slogan, it is law! After a recent conversation I had with my brother about the recent happenings in each others lives and the topic of authenticity came up. How does authenticity manifest itself in today’s Hip-Hop world of digital mix tapes and weekly exposures?
There used to be a time when a rapper made a claim of having street ties, he was tested. It seemed as though Hip-Hop heads and naysayers had no limit to the lengths they would go to prove or disprove the validity of rappers claims. If a certain rap star was proclaiming to be a genuine street dude on records was “found out” to anything to the contrary, he was then branded a “studio thug.” In some cases it seemed this label was just as bad as being called “gay.” It seemed at one point in the 90s everyone was throwing the label around even if there wasn’t a clear target. Rappers would give interviews and say they weren’t studio thugs to distinguish themselves from posers and bolster credibility. PLEASE READ THE FULL ARTICLE I WROTE @ BLACK YOUTH PROJECT