I was thinking about all of the tropes in HBO’s Insecure, and it hit me one day that a lot of the different types of hip-hop fans out there are sort of defined by the different characters in Insecure. Here’s how I see some of the characters match up to the type.
Issa – Hip-Hop Purist at Heart, but hasn’t figured out how to enjoy the new sound of it
Issa reminds me of the hip-hop lovers I know, who absolutely love the genre, but haven’t quite adjusted to how the sound has changed over the years. They don’t mind it, it’s just different to them. They want to still be in the know, so they’ll watch and comment, and engage in listening. But haven’t quite become “fans” of it yet. Part of their identity is wrapped up in what hip-hop used to mean for them. And it’s nothing wrong with that. This type of hip-hop lover is definitely more prone to attend old school hip-hop concerts and talk about it on social media, but won’t quite add Carbi B on their playlist yet. It would feel like betrayal to them.
I like this type of hip-hop lover, because they appreciate hip-hop in its true form. But I would love to sit them down and break a couple of new artists to them to ease them in to the new generation.
Lawrence – Appreciates Hip-Hop for what it is, but will only claim “endorsed” mainstream artists
Lawrence to me reminds me of the hip-hop fans that only “appear” to listen to the mainstream artists that have been endorsed by the industry as “true MCs”. They want to be in the know, which is why they will heavily support the Joyner Lucas’, the Kendricks, the J Cole’s, but that’s generally all done for appearances. In the club when the alcohol hits and the bass gets to thumping, all of that dignity goes right out the VIP section and on the dance floor. These type of hip-hop lovers will also agree with you when you have conversations about the game needs changing, but have no plans on actually telling you how.
I like this type of hip-hop lover because when they generally hear something good, they acknowledge it. But I would love to sit them down and tell them it’s ok to play that Migos album amongst friends. I know you got it cuz.
Kelly – The Hip-Hop lover who is only out for a good time
Kelly is the kind of hip-hop fan that is all about having a good time. When the music comes on, it doesn’t matter what you are saying or talking about, if she can get lit to it, that’s all that matters. It fuels her day, it motivates her in the gym, it gets her ready to go out with her girls. It’s mood music. These type of hip-hop fans aren’t really paying attention to trends, more than they are just moving through their life having fun while they do it. Please don’t question their taste in music and just let them “turn up”.
I like this kind of hip-hop fan because they come ready to party. Hands down. If the music is good and they can groove to it, they are good to go. But I would love to sit them down and see if there is something more they crave from the music than just shaking some ass.
Daniel – Hip-Hop Purist who hates the new generation with a passion
So I kind of got some help with this one. If you watch the show, you’ll see some of what I believe Daniel represents actually play out in his character. Daniel represents that hip-hop fan that truly believes in the art of MCing and is tired of the so-called “mumble” rap, and the simple production, and don’t get them started on rappers with internet careers. ARRRRGGGHHH! This type of hip-hop fan will spend hours on hours telling you who is wack and why can’t it be like it used to, and if only such and such would put out a new album, all would be well in the world.
I like this type of hip-hop fan because they have taken a stand and are not moving. So if they like my music, I get somewhat of a “cultural” endorsement. But I would love to sit them down and have them listen to a couple of the new generation who they’ve lumped in a pile that need singling out for making stand out music.
Molly – The Hip-Hop lover who can rock with it all
I like this type of hip-hop fan because they enjoy and accept it all. When it’s time for the smooth sh*t, they grown and sexy with it. When it’s time to turn up, they are the first to do so. They love life, and the soundtrack that comes with it when it’s the right occasion. Good music is good music to them, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
I love this type of fan because they will get into the music with you all the way. It’s a feeling for them, and if that feeling is good they will let you know. I would love to sit down with this type of fan and let them preview upcoming tracks I’m thinking about releasing. They would be a good judge on what would do good, or what I should leave on the cutting room floor.
Although this is a spectrum of different types of fans (and there are plenty more I’m sure), the fact is as an artist I need all of these types as fans. They represent different types of people who enjoy my music and will have something different to say that will inspire me to want to make the next song resonate for them.
So if you find yourself falling into one of these, it’s cool. I want to continue to make music that gets your approval. And watch Insecure on HBO. The show is hella good.