The new generation, though, they don’t give a f*ck about that. While radio and older more established media outlets are still feeding off rap industry hype, waiting to post the next Wale or J. Cole song, other blogs and more progressive folks are searching the internet far and wide for rap that appeals to their multi-cultural sensibilities.
And that’s how these white rappers wind up popping off. Not because they’re being posted on mainstream rap blogs (which they eventually graduate to, like Mac Miller), but because they land on some blog sandwiched between a Skrillex remix and a Foster The People video. And who’s looking at that? Some young white college kid who just wants to go out, rage and have some dope party music to do it to. Before you know it, Becky who goes to Villanova is gonna share it with Sally at Umass, who’s gonna pass it to Dom who’s in Alpha Phi Delta, and so on down the line. A million YouTube views later, a couple thousand Tumblr reblogs, and such and such white rapper is now being booked for red cup-infused college parties across the Northeast.
Why does it work so efficiently with white rappers and not anyone else? And why now? It’s really hard to narrow it down to a specific answer, but whereas in years past white rappers were looking to downplay their purported levels of “whiteness” (anyone remember the characters on the VH1 “White Rapper Show”?) now rappers like Hoodie Allen, among others, seemingly revel in it. There’s a level of authenticity in their music and how they present themselves that wasn’t there before. Years ago white rappers didn’t want to be white. They didn’t covet the white audience. They wanted the respect of the black kids. And I think to a large extent that still remains true. But it’s not an overt gesture. It doesn’t come across like a big “F-U!” to white people, as it once did. In fact, it’s a lot more welcoming, and that’s why white people- and really, all people- are embracing white rappers a lot more easily.
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