Being Underground is like being in the ghetto

So the underground vs commercial debate is an ageless one. There are plenty of people who would swear by an underground rapper like Tek 9yne and cannot stand a more mainstream artist like Jay-z (for ease of comparison mind you). But it's sort of like how guys from the hood swear ts better to be in the hood and keep it real, than move to a better area of town.

Hip-hop fans, especially those who prefer the underground/ dungeon rap scene act as if when other people start to like your music as an artist, it no longer holds any value. Just because your favorite artist finally is able to achieve a measure of success doesn't mean they lost their soul to do so. Granted, once an artist does get to a measure of success, the label does expect to have the same success from subsequent projects.

NYC Projects

However, for artists who remain underground or less successful, and fans of said artists they treat their more successful peers as if they are lepers. Being unknown allows them to hold an air of superiority; a feeling that they are more in tune with the will; mood; and feelings of the people. So because they aren't able to get out of the underground they claim they want to be there.

Where 50 Cent lives now

This is just like guys in the hood whose main claim to fame is keeping it real in the hood when in truth the only reason they are there is because they can't go anywhere else. As Jay-z recently said on D.O.A. :

"I don't be in the project hallways talkin' bout I be in the projects all day"

The same mentality persists in music as it does in our neighborhoods. Our jealousy overtakes our reasoning and ability to understand. After all, why are you making music if your goal is not to be successful and to be able to expose your music to the most people possible? What is the point of working to the bone every day to live in the same jacked up neighborhood? As Jay said, that sounds stupid to me. Or as Joe Budden said:

"You like I'm on the third floor and I gets it poppin'
You wack nigga you ain't got another option"

Only a person who feels insecure with what they are doing tries to put someone else down for actually being halfway successful at what they are trying to do.


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