Sunday, April 3, 2011

Real Hip Hop is Back... the form of Big Rec (actually it's the name of his latest project). I'm not sure that "real hip hop" as he sees it ever really went anywhere, it's just harder to locate, especially if you rely upon mainstream radio or television for that kind of music. That would be disheartening to say the least. It's out there, though...just not getting any money or attention. Big Rec is reppin' my hometown Atlanta via Oklahoma via New Orleans, and in my personal opinion he is quite the lyrical monster.

Last year Collective Efforts shared the bill with his supergroup The 5ive (five dope MCs that met in the ATL battle rap circuit and decided to combine forces) and Diamond D (who also provided the group with some production and a cameo verse). Although all five MCs wrecked shop, Big Rec definitely lived up to his name with his high energy, relentless multis and captivating stage presence. The first words that popped into mind when I saw him rapping were BATTLE and BEAST, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that his off-stage personality is quite the opposite. Without a hint of arrogance he maneuvered through the crowd, politely and humbly introducing himself to fans and other artists. Stylistically, he has a tendency to drop multi-syllabic battle rhymes that may offend the sensibilities of some listeners (those who would prefer not to be aurally bombarded with quote after quote of ceaseless self-aggrandizing). [Note the conversation he had with what appears to be RecZilla's biggest fan judging from the number of times he commented on his video.] But in the world of "real" hip hop, of which Big Rec is a proud representative, that is exactly the mission. You must convince the audience that you are the best, and let all scrub MCs know that they need to step up their unimpressive simpleton lines and never again get in the way of the complete lyrical dominance being witnessed...or to quote a young Aceyalone, "Every rapper in the house shut the f*ck up!"

I admit the battle rap scene does bore me, as it just gets more and more predictable (granted once I hit thirty the whole thing just seemed adolescent and contrived). But Big Rec does not bore me, and it's not just his constant barrage of meticulously crafted phrases that keeps me listening, it's his genuine passion for the art form that shines through and really makes him stand out from the mediocrity - that and the strong voice, which always helps. I am looking forward to hearing some big things from Big Rec, and maybe even collaborating with him on a track (those wheels are already in motion).

Sidenote: I don't want to call him out, because this can also be perceived as a weakness in the minds of fickle rap purists, but Rec can sing, too. The 5ive tracked their verses for one of the Diamond D joints over at the CE Estate, and he had a singing part on it. I wasn't recording it, but I heard it from the other room, and afterwards I had to find out who it was. Solid.

For more info on the artist and his projects, check the sites below.


  1. I don't want to seem pretentious or anything, or go too much into a tangent, but I've always had a certain dislike for the term "Real Hip Hop."

    That article sums up my feelings toward it as much as anything, however, I can't say I support all the views presented in the article...

    Otherwise, Big Rec is dope, I'll check out the 5ive for sure.

  2. I feel you, John. The word "real" is way too ambiguous. Is it real meaning "authentic from the soul" or real like a "certain sub-genre of classic hip-hop that is trying to be recreated" or maybe real like "reality based, non-fantasy rap" - I think the description could be a little clearer, especially with the multiple hybrids of hip-hop/rap/soul styles that exist these days. It's really a matter of personal taste, what one person considers real could sound weak and inauthentic to another. Thanks for chimin' in.


  3. And that article makes some very good points. I thought this was a great point, in particular:

    "...just not liking someone or not thinking someone is skilled or constructive isn't really a basis to decide that it's not real. In fact, basing validity on skill is pretty elitist of you, and despite what you might claim on Track 3 on your demo, you did not bust out of your mom's womb ripping mics. Like all other art forms, hip-hop should be allowed the freedom and versatility to include the good (Dilla, some would argue), the bad (Soulja Boy, some would argue), and the ugly (Jermaine Dupri, everyone agrees)."

    So don't give me "real" hip-hop, I would definitely rather have "honest" and "authentic" hip-hop, even if it is Soulja Boy.

  4. Yeah, I agree completely, those are exactly my sentiments. Thanks for responding!


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