#GuestWriter: Why I Hate White Rappers - GM

As a white rapper, I’ve always had an underlying feeling of being the underdog. If we’re being real, now that I think about it, as time went on I felt a disconnect with most rappers and nearly all white rappers in general. With few exceptions, the majority of white rappers that I’ve heard along the years end up sounding like a parody of what they see hip hop as, rather than embracing what it is -- clinging to a gimmick like an early 90’s wrestler, fighting for relevance or trolling to be a part of the conversation, usually making up in comedic value for what they lack in substance or originality. 

There, I said it. I decided to open this piece with a full blown honest assault for the reader. I feel like
you deserve nothing less than the same amount of energy & honesty Mac Miller gave his fans with
every moment he was here.

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“This that music that make white people mad..”

In the early 90’s, hip hop started to accept a much more grimy display of the artform and there was a
disconnect that formed; comparable to the rock vs. disco split in the late 70’s/early 80’s.  The sound
became polarizing and people found themselves stuck in the middle, somewhere between clinging to
a warm St. Ides in a brown bag and hitting The Hammer Dance with one shoe in and one shoe out.
Some never found a place at all. Most commercially successful rappers were just looking to find a way
to make a hit and dance their way to the top of the charts. Vanilla Ice jumped on the scene and the
mold was cast: If you were a white rapper, the first and last comparison you would hear is Vanilla Ice.

Rob Van Winkle aka Vanilla Ice was light on his feet, quick to fill his live shows with choreographed
dance routines and his studio albums didn't give much in the way of substance. Ice's image was that
of Johnny Bravo mixed with New Kids on the Block. Baggy pajama pants and a studded leather jacket
seemed to be enough to play the part, V-Ice was sitting at the top of the white rapper list, like it or not. 

What a time to be alive, indeed. Fast forward a little over 5 years and the world is introduced to a
bleach blonde, angsty, angry white kid from Detroit, Michigan named Marshall Mathers aka Eminem.  

Em was quick to point out his own mishaps and misfortunes all by himself. Fighting with his mother (or
in some cases just flat out wishing she was dead) to seeking the same fate for his then new born
baby's mother, Kim, Eminem was the attitude of a late 90's South Park episode mixed with a verbal
assault unlike anyone the country, let alone the world, had heard at the time. It's not much of a reach
to say that Eminem was considered the perfect mix of Beastie Boys & NWA, backed by a pioneer in
his own right, Dr.Dre, he was prepped and ready to take over the airwaves and launch into your living
room one blonde dye job at a time. 

Parallel to Marshall's rise, there was an underground hip hop movement forming that left everyone on
the outside with a place to exist and at that time I was still relatively young and opening up to a world I
didn’t know much about in general. I wasn’t new to hip hop but I was wide-eyed, open-minded and
looking to fill a musical fix with zero idea of what I was getting myself into. I also grew up in a lower-
middle class home and have identified with the authentic, organic struggle I heard through a skilled
emcee grabbing a mic and letting you step inside his world. Coincidentally, at the time, Hip hop was
my world. If it wasn’t a steady dose of UGK, Wu-Tang Clan or Mobb Deep blowing out my Chevy Nova
stock speakers at 16, it was Lyricist Lounge: Volume 1 in my headphones. 

Nothing was off limits.

I started rapping words myself around that time and as the years passed the white rapper stereotypes
began to evolve a bit but, still, if you rapped and you were white, you were considered “Eminem”. You
could have been the worst (white) rapper on the planet, you would still be “Eminem”. The same way
before Eminem, you would be “Vanilla Ice”.  Some emcee’s would come along to try and shake things
up a bit. From the ugly, southern-fried Bubba Sparxx to an often off-beat El-P, an (ironically)
institutionalized Cage, to the golden-grilled glow of Paul Wall, every once in a while we would get a
glimpse of an alternative perspective but at the end of the day, you were going to be pigeonholed and
it was up to you to break that mold. Mac seemed to have faced this himself and he didn’t seem to hold
back from speaking on what it was like being considered the “other” M&M…

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“I’m P.A.’s baby, I ain’t been to P.A. lately, see I left and they call me shady, I’m a white rapper they
always call me Shady, Got no idea what I’m contemplating I guess..”

I slept on Mac Miller for a long time, admittedly. At the time Blue Slide Park was released I had been
past my high school and even college kid stage and was looking for something with a bit more
substance I could relate to. Also admittedly, I was looking at Mac Miller as just another Vanilla Ice, or
Eminem, or I guess at the time Asher Roth. Asher had hit the scene previously with a college frat
anthem, “I Love College” and needless to say, it wasn’t my cup of...anything. For what it’s worth, Asher
did seem to grow out of his ILC days and shake a lot of the stigma along with it but I didn’t bother
looking back.

With that being said, I should have tuned in by the time Macadellic was released, I shouldn’t have
slept on Watching Movies With the Sound Off either. Fact is, GOOD:AM, Divine Feminine and
Swimming are are all projects that should have been talked about more by literally every person that
has a blog or website not related to being a #Machead. In a time where complaints run rampant about
lack of substance, un-original style, clout chasing & the endless list of what could be plaguing hip hop
at the moment I couldn’t figure out why I never gave Mac an honest shot until I was digging, listening
to old random joints of his on YouTube after his untimely passing.  

That’s when it clicked.

Image result for mac miller

“I hate myself because I’m a white rapper… I hate white rappers (corny)…”

We are both white rappers. Something that at one time was almost controversial and has since
become somewhat of a normality. Nobody likes the person that says “I don’t see color” because it’s
bullshit. Mac didn’t hide from the fact that he was white and he didn’t expect you to either, all while
finding a perfect balance between dwelling mentally in the underground and shining bright for the
entire world to see, as long as they were paying attention to what was in front of them. 

He didn't use a trailer park upbringing as a crutch and he never pretended to be a part of a scene he
knew nothing about just to get ahead in the race for #1 on your “Rap Caviar” playlist. Being a white
rapper, it's easy to be guilted into listening to one style of artist over another but it seems Mac never
put a label on what he would, or wouldn't fuck with. In turn, Mac Miller made songs that he knew would
contain longevity. Infused with bits and pieces of what he was inspired by along the way.  This was
obvious just based off the seemingly random collaborations found in Miller’s catalog. Maybe random
to the outside listener but from Ab-Soul, Vince Staples, Statik Selektah, Termanology and Sir Michael
Rocks to the Migos, Lil Wayne, Cam'Ron, Rick Ross, Mike Jones (Who?), and even pop culture
princess Ariana Grande, Mac Miller was a fan making music with his most respected artists. He found
a way to be himself in the midst of a culture that is constantly shifting and quick to point out any slight
missteps. Mac found a way to keep dancing. 

At a time in my life where I’ve started questioning more than ever, Mac Miller has become a
companion, almost a co-pilot through the good, the bad and the ugly. Even in his most flippant, self-
aware, reckless ponderings there is an almost brutal honesty that would let you know things are going
to be alright.  He didn’t always have to say it, he was living it and evolving along the way. Something
his pale-skin forefathers seemed to be lacking the entire time. Mac Miller learned that evolution is key.
While it feels like Marshall or Rob have been stuck in a time capsule, Mac was able to show the
complexity that comes along with being a real human, not just a white rapper. 

Mac’s passing has taught me a lot both directly and indirectly. The fact is I may not have been a Mac
Miller fan when he was here, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me saying that. We all have
flaws. We tend to take for granted what we think we know and our missteps and misfortunes have a
particularly odd way of shaping us into the person we need to be. 

Of course, Not to mention, white rappers are usually trash. I have a feeling if anyone would have
understood it would be the man himself, no motherfucker iller, Mr. Miller.

Image result for mac miller

“If I ain’t in ya top 10 then you a racist..”


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