18Dec/10Off

To Those Who Leave Comments On Old School Rap Videos On YouTube

Try shutting the fuck up every so often.

Sometimes, informed viewers provide useful contextual information for videos. They drop little tidbits that are interesting to music nerds. On occasion the actual artist or someone involved in the production of the song or the filming of the video shows up to enlighten us. This level of information exchange was unheard of not very long ago. It’s a beautiful thing, really. Or, it could be a beautiful thing, if only these comments weren’t buried beneath hundreds of flippant remarks, usually echoing the same trite idea:

OMG! THIS SONG IZ SO INKREDIBLE! DEY DON’T MAKE GRATE RAPP MUZIK LYKE DIS ANYMORE! BAK IN DA DAYZ U HADD GRATE RAPPAZ LIKE LARRY LARR AND EGYPTIAN LOVER! ALL U C NOW IZ SOLJAH BOI N LIL WANE N ALL DAT COMMUSHUL CRAPP! LONG LIV DA OL SKOOL!

Ad nauseam. On EVERY old rap video filmed between 1979 and 2002, from Cool C “The Glamorous Life” to Run DMC “Rock Box” to Arrested Development “Tennessee” to Lost Boyz “Renee” to Jay-z “H To The Izzo.” Every goddamned video is littered with these inane comments. Pick one at random if you don’t believe me. You’d think these idiots were somehow convinced that spamming YouTube video comment sections constituted a kind of digital age graffiti bombing mission.

I find it hard to believe that the majority of these comments are actually authored by people who were old enough to be appreciative fans of rap prior to 1998. I’d wager a decent amount of money that most of them are written by suburbanites under the age of 25 and/or Europeans.

Listen up, dunces: the ’80s and early to mid-90s were not all good. In urban areas of the US, those times were pretty rough. I know the Celph-Titled/Buckwild album has you all gassed thinking that you’d hop in a time machine and scoot on over to Bed-Stuy or Morrisania or Queensbridge in a heartbeat, but seckle. Talk to some older heads. Gain some perspective, some context. The music is great, sure, but idealizing the era as a whole is silly, new jack bullshit. So is conflating every movement and style from the highly diverse rap scene of those times. Also, not every old rap song is good; Lil’ Wayne has dozens of songs better than the entire Kid N’ Play discography. Move on. You sound like assholes lionizing artists and styles you barely understand. And if you are 30+ and you’re involved in this idiocy, you should be ashamed of yourself, for reasons too obvious for me to have to explain right now.

If you are involved in this behavior, I suggest that you try watching the videos without commenting. Step away from the keyboard. Listen the music. Study the visuals. Enjoy it. Let it breathe. It’s a blessing that it’s here for us to enjoy with ease. If you know someone who is involved with these activities, smack him upside his head. — Thun

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