"Elevated my sound, don't hate on me now" -Kevin Gates
That line has stood out to me since I heard it. I don't think it's something that we consumers, fans, etc. pay too much mind to. The struggle that many of our favorite go through just trying to get their music out there, feed their families and quite simply become their best self.
The most useful example here would be Drake. Now I will be the first to admit that it grinds my gears when I hear the same song on R&B and HipHop stations on iTunes, but I get it.
No one since Michael Jackson has switched up their sound so consistently and flawlessly. People criticize Drake now, saying that he makes the same music over and over, but what those people don't do is look at the bigger picture.
Take a mental walk with with me...
People are so use to Drake switching his sound up that, in some sense, they're spoiled. He's spoiled us so much that we ignore the fact that our other favorites have been spitting the same rhymes, with the same flow, to the same beat for X amount of years.
People accept that, but judge him... not realizing that now he IS the sound.
Those that get upset when he dabbles in other genres don't see that that's what makes him so great to other's.
Drake is still a rapper, he just elevated his sound.
It's almost as if personal growth is shamed within the music world, the hiphop community mainly. I mean be honest, we've all cringed a time or two when one of your favorite underground artist went mainstream.
I personally think it's about sharing, sharing and attention. When an artist is 'unknown' their easier to access, talk to, interact with, etc. Then once they get a buzz, start booking more shows, more hours in the studio....their access becomes limited.
Change...it's hard to cope with and our defense mechanism will make us believe that their acting funny or 'changed' now that they're more popular. Really they're just grindin'.
The hiphop community is similar to a TripleCrown novel. The one's where the main character prays for a successful hood dude, gets a successful hood dude, then complains about his success. 😣
There are some exceptions to this tho, don't get me wrong, but that's not the point right now.
Hiphop artist are often put in a box, a tiny little box with a low glass ceiling and any attempt to 'escape' is frowned upon by those who you would think would show the most support.
Yes, bars got them in the game but it's nothing wrong with putting those same bars to a softer or more energetic beat. There's nothing wrong with playing around with different genres and creating different sounds.
In the microwave generation that we live in now, it's essential to an artist survival.
That's just my my opinion tho....