Sex, Drugs & Rock and Roll are considered a staple of the typical rockstar. Living life in the fast lane with a loft filled to the brim with groupies, drugs and destruction. Everyone’s dream is to live the life of the rockstar, though, that begs the question does the term “rockstar” describe the creative inspiration/genre of the music, or is it simply a lifestyle that everyone wants?
Regardless, the statement that Rappers have become the new Rockstars has been traveling around the internet with one of the most vocal Rappers being Kanye West via his third album ‘Graduation Day’ mixing themes of industrial rock with hard rock influences featuring the aesthetics of bands such as The Killers. This evolved over time into 2010’s ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ featuring a styled autotune which had many similarities to a grunge style guitar solo. With that in mind, it was always over the 50+ years that Rock and roll has existed it has always made some disruptive and provocative contribution to the culture at large. Nowadays the thought of rock brings up thoughts of Imagine Dragons, Maroon 5 or Coldplay none of which could be even remotely considered provocative or disruptive, effectively turning the rock genre into the same playing field as pop music or at it’s most extreme smooth jazz.
That is not to say that rock music isn’t good or that it has no influence on rap music. Some of the greatest songs from bands like Aerosmith, Bon Jovi or Nirvana are still some of the best songs ever made…however the fans that saw them at their most popular are old enough to be our parents. Meanwhile rappers such as Travis Scott, Denzel Curry and the now deceased XXXTentacion had been on the forefront of experimental music with inspiration coming from The Sex Pistols, Black Sabbath and even Nine Inch Nails with a similar aesthetic. Modern rock music has become the safe option without the disruptive personalities and experimental drives that defined it in previous decades. This left a vacuum that needed to be plugged up and now the aesthetic and personality has been passed on to the people that took the most inspiration from rock music…Rappers.
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