The Definition Of A Rap Jerk

There’s a lot of talk about ‘Old Man Rap’, ‘Old Moufs’ and ‘Grown Man Rap’ in recent times, which is hardly a shock since hip-hop has been here for 36 years already. Relax, this isn’t another article about Jay-Z or any of our ‘youth-impaired’ MC’s. My question for today is – does too much rap music make you immature?

Traditional common sense tells me that nobody over the age of 25 has any business wearing a hooded sweatshirt as part of their daily dress-code, and yet….I still own several. Tony Bones described this phenomenon best with this quip: “I see grown men here in Harlem in their early 50’s, dressed like 20 year olds. Do-rags and fitteds, matching head-to-toe like toddlers”. But what’s the solution? When rapper dudes briefly embraced the button-down shirt, we clowned them for it! Personally, I find myself bored to tears by ‘Grown Folk Rap’ (not to be confused with ‘Grown Man Rap’) which revolves around sipping white wine, sitting on yachts and thinking about how best to maximize your superannuation and stock options, set to some Euro-beat lite rap beats. Me? I prefer to hear Lil’ Fame talk about hitting someone in the head with a beer bottle.

The RZA believes that playing video games helps keep his inner-child active. Sure, this may be a bullshit justification to get high and sit on the couch all day, but does he have a point? Is a love of hip-hop music and bombing trains once you reach adult-hood an attempt to stay in touch with that sense of youthful adventure and ‘fuck da world’ attitude that seems a million years ago for the average square out there? Or is it the thing that separates rap fiends from the rest of the douche bags deep in suburbia? Should you still care about how fresh your Nikes look when you’ve got to worry about putting food on the table for your kids? The answer to all of those questions is of course HELL CHEA.

Regardless of what anybody might say, there’s no shame in living in your mother’s basement and looking for obscure rap 45’s. You’ll never get laid, but you’ve got to take the good with the bad. Good thing my mother never had a basement, huh? Listening to people rhyme about how much better they are than everybody else is what makes me a better person than the guy who works in a cubicle and thinks that Matchbox 20 are awesome. It’s that simple. Admittedly, a life centered around relationship advice from Bushwick Bill songs and malt liquor might leave you with one of your eyes shot out, but it sure as fuck beats being some boring schmuck who can’t name a single Dismaster‘s song.

My taste in rap hasn’t changed much since 1987. I haven’t grown, matured or nuanced my ears much over that time. I still don’t fuck with any hip-hop song with singing that doesn’t involve Mary J. Blige or TJ Swan. I like loud drums and scratching. I rag on people who dress funny. I believe that any record that your girlfriend, wife or grandma likes isn’t worth pissing on. I enjoy hitting people in the back of the head with ice blocks while they watch rap shows. I find projectile vomiting to be the height of good humor. I still suspect Heavy D was the ghey rapper. I have a rap blog.

I’m not a bad person, really. Just a rap jerk.

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30 Comments so far
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Comment by swordfish 06.22.10 @

I co-sign the Lil’ Fame comment.

Comment by Bug 06.22.10 @

“Regardless of what anybody might say, there’s no shame in living in your mother’s basement and looking for obscure rap 45′s. ”

Thanks for the reassurance.

Comment by haroon 06.22.10 @


I ride to court as a lawyer listening to Big Twins, Eazy-E or A-Mafia, cause Rap is my personal subcultural base I grew up on. We laugh at death and cry at birth or do not cry at all, cause we are motherfin hardcore and not some streamlined pseudo life living square scum the office” types. That what Hip Hop was all about in the beginning: Being different, being an individual! This will never change and when heavy metal mosh pit dudes still can pull this off wearing there denim vests with patches being 56 yrs old headbanging to manowar or Metallica, why the f should we not “represent”? Not rap is a young men’s sport, sport is a young men’s sport ;))

Comment by Thorsten 06.22.10 @

I can’t bear to part with my ’95-vintage blue Carhartt hoodie…never owned a pair of Timb’s, though. Dunno if that makes me a rap jerk.

Comment by vollsticks 06.22.10 @

Hiphop, video games, and comic books are the holy trinity of entertainment.

Comment by hl 06.22.10 @

I use to have a theory that anything that was considered hardcore in a genre made it better, hardcore hip hop/rap, hardcore punk, hardcore drum & bass, whatever. I know that can be misconstrued but keep that shit to yaself. I honestly yelled at my gf once because she turned off my tunes on the way to work one day when I told her the day before that if she turned off my rap music I would flip my wig. This is just how passionate we are about our music. If that makes me a rap jerk, then so be it because I will talk shit about your music if its nauseating. I gotta wear a polo to work, but when i get home, out comes the hoodie. I play video games because most times they provide more entertainment value than movies. I also can’t listen to any R&B on a rap track unless its nate dogg or ghostface in an off-key attempt at old school soul. This often makes it so I can never listen to the radio or mainstream shit without cringing. These are the ways of rap supremacists.

Comment by gstatty 06.22.10 @

Co-sign. Well…everything except the ice blocks, that’s just wrong. Nah, I’m fucking with you; that shit’s co-signed to.

Good stuff.

Comment by skinny 06.22.10 @

“I believe that any record that your girlfriend, wife or grandma likes isn’t worth pissing on.” THIS… And the statement is not mysogynist @ all. Where did all the b-girls go; and what happened to their ears?? Stop letting them feed you this bullshit!! Come on back home to ya man.

Comment by bboycult 06.22.10 @

“Listening to people rhyme about how much better they are than everybody else is what makes me a better person than the guy who works in a cubicle and thinks that Matchbox 20 are awesome” Yes. Yes. Yes.


Comment by Crisis 06.22.10 @

Co-Sign across the board.

I gotta bump sumthin hardcore in the morning or I dont feel right. Wtf I look like goin in the job listening to R&B…WTF?? If it aint group home, M.O.P., or Mobb Deep (pre-G unit), then I KNOW I lost my love for HIPHOP…period.

Comment by SnIpEs 06.22.10 @

There is an art to keeping it real and still being a grown ass man with responsibilities.
Style is the key to all forms of rocking (as said in style wars), either you wack or you’re not.
My single biggest challenge in the work world is not what to wear, but wanting to take it to the streets and snuff some of these matchbox 20 fans when they get out of line.

Comment by keatso 06.23.10 @

I’m a Professor and Psychotherapist, and Hip-Hop is always going to be a part of everything I do. I think Keatso hit on the head for me, whether it’s rockin’ Kangol’s or a pair of Wallabee Clarks, I’m going to always walk in the place flavorful (Ghostface)

Last semester I pulled into the parking lot bumpin’ the GZA&KA song Firehouse and I saw some students do a double take, I thought it was hilarious!

Comment by Sublime 06.23.10 @

I know I dress like it’s 1995 but as soon as that Target opens up the block that’s all gonna change.

Comment by A'Pex 06.23.10 @

I remember reading somewhere that on some level you are essentially stuck at whatever edge you started smoking weed…that would explain much when it comes to hip hop. Most of these “men” are really just overgrown 14 year olds. Take two and pass.

Comment by keatso 06.23.10 @

If wearing designer jeans and dress shirts and never using slang is maturity, I will gladly settle for immaturity

Comment by eric 06.23.10 @

As a father of two, I totally relate. Great post.

Comment by Brock 06.24.10 @

Im listenning to AG of DITC, the world has indeed changed…

Comment by donaleski 06.24.10 @

Robbie, this is unrelated but please help us–Who was G Rap dissing at the end of Poison? KRS and BDP? and on the igonrance mix who rapped “Dirty Bitch, i’ll take the pussy?” hilarious post and true, thank you for your time.

Comment by Matt 06.24.10 @

@Matt: That song was by Too Much Trouble aka The Baby Geto Boys.

Comment by Robbie 06.24.10 @

I think as we grow older and wiser, it’s possible to become more subtle about style of dress. Darker colors and flat designs with no blatant logos or colors.

Comment by magi 06.24.10 @

nothing worse than a middle age wigger. this aesthetic-correctness, basing your identity around music, gets lame after a certain age. all it shows is you have a shitload of spare time.

Comment by ct 06.24.10 @

“Listening to people rhyme about how much better they are than everybody else is what makes me a better person than the guy who works in a cubicle and thinks that Matchbox 20 are awesome. It’s that simple.”

One of the funniest things I have ever read. Also true.

Comment by Karl 06.25.10 @

Things evolve. I used to want to rock the newest, flyest Air Jordans or whatever. Now, I consider my vintage kicks, Lo wear, and casettes as artifacts of a culture once more pure. Some of us on this blog are successful, highly intelligent and socially conscious people with significant professional and personal responsibilities, and sometimes that’s hard for people to reconcile when you also tell them that Q.U Hectic is the epitome of musical achievement. But, that’s their problem. There are plenty of intellectually hallowed subcultures that are crass and tasteless, but also socially poignant underneath. I personally think there’s a lot of subtle racism involved. Charles Bukowski wrote about shitting and farting, Ginsberg wrote about jerking Walt Whitman off but these guys are considered geniuses. Why? Largely because their followers became well-educated and preached their brilliance. Hip hop has earned recognition in the business sphere, but not in the world of high culture. I say, don’t let others monetize anything they don’t respect.

Anybody is susceptible to rap though. If you aren’t moved by a track like Uncommon Valor or Dance with the Devil, you have no soul. If you can’t respect what somebody like Percee P or Diabolic does to the English language, then you maybe literacy isn’t really your thing. But, the issue is that there are a lot of cultural barriers in the way of appreciating the artistic greatness of a lot of great rap.

Comment by digglahhh 06.25.10 @


What exactly would be a noble inspiration to based your identity around?

I’ll tell you what’s way sadder than a middle aged wigger – being afraid to be who you are! Sure, as you get older it’s much more of a delicate balance between showing pride in what you identify with and broadcasting it to the entire world in every facet of your life. But, your comment radiates ignorance and self-consciousness. Not a good look either, my man.

Comment by digglahhh 06.25.10 @

My name is Shawamar, and I too, am a Rap Jerk. I co-sign all of the above, cept’ for the dress part. When I go up north, yes I have my Carharrt and Hoodies, etc. but I usually rock smoother shit on a day to day basis. If it aint ruff it aint right, I love the fact that my wife HATES M.O.P, I love it..Real music take me to a good place, all I need to do is put my music loud, and then put it oulder, and im good..No matter what. GangStarr is my shit…MOP, O.C., D.I.T.C, Mobb Deep, among others.

Comment by shawamar 06.25.10 @

the shock everyone is so scared to experience is that of old age. thats all it is. Rap has always been new so its kinda shocking to see its participants get old. There is nothing wrong with wearing the “hip-hop” uniform of jeans sneakers and hoodies if ur over 50. If thats what you liked when you were younger chances are ur gonna stick with it. My uncle was wearing doo rags to keep his conk crispy in the 50’s…matter of fact all “fly” black males did back then and that has nothing to do with hip hop.thats just black haircare. All im saying is people are scared to get old.

Comment by mercilesz 06.26.10 @

OK, I’m 36. I’ve spent the last couple of years completing my vinyl Hip Hop collection. There’s alot of 12″s that I didn’t buy when they came out in the 80s and 90s. Fortunatly, due to Serratto, mp3s, file sharing, etc. DJs are selling off their vinyl and the price of vinyl has dropped. An old BDP 12″ that might have cost $20 in the late 90s is selling for $3-$5 now. So I’ve been record shopping in NYC and I can buy every remix, 12″, EP and white label promo that I can put my hands on. And they’re selling cheap. Real cheap

Now, the question remains, what is a 36 year old gonna do with 2 copies of a Love’s Gonna Get You 12″? Its not like there’s a market or an audience for a DJ cutting 2 copies of Love’s Gonna get You and unfortunately, you got these Serratp/mp3 DJs that simulate scratching with their ipods and laptops.

Anyway, I get it, I’m old school and I have values that are probably impossible to understand unless you were there. i was there and that’s all that matters.

Comment by 5 Grand 06.28.10 @

enjoyed the read.

Comment by dmfslimm 06.29.10 @

As a father of two, I totally relate. Great post.
Comment by Brock 06.24.10 @

Me too.

Comment by Antonio 07.02.10 @

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