Monday, February 2, 2015

Pursuit of Happiness


You can only take something so far. This image of a hip hop star as this gangster with "bling" and big rims on their cars, with the gaudy necklaces, it can only go so high before it has to come down. Lil' John looks like a parody of what an over-the-top rapper should look like. Except, he was the biggest rapper in the world 11, 12 years ago.

And like the character, the content can only get so extreme. You can only fuck so many ho's and have so many guns and "make it rain" so many times before people start to roll their eyes. And I think the hip hop culture has changed over the last 5 years or so.

Rappers have started talking about real issues again. Kid Cudi, for instance talks a lot about failed relationships and the negative aspects of drugs. Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Lil' Wayne, and some others are of the same vein. Some of them have their show-biz exteriors, but there's a lot of deep content from them.

"Pursuit of Happiness" is about just that. He thinks that drugs and alcohol will get him there, but as the song unfolds we realize that it isn't the right way. In 2012, I wrote a blog about a friend of mine who died as a result of drugs. I almost wrote this line as something of a throwaway - just something I typed and then moved on from and didn't give it a lot of thought: "You can change your situation or your mood." If life sucks and you can't fix it immediately, it's easier to drink something, smoke something, snort something, etc to immediately change your mood.

You're on that pursuit of happiness living your life that way. You're constantly reaching for something using means that will not allow you to get there.

Maybe I'll come back to that topic more later. That's enough for now.

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