I was reading XXLmag.com yesterday, and the homey Byron Crawford wrote a post about Bangs ascendence into national prominence and it reminded me that a few weeks back, I had FULLY intended to write about “itz ya boy Bangs.”
But first, an intro (to let you know) so that we can all be on the same page here. VSB, meet Bangs and his “hit” single, “Take U 2 Da Movies”:
A quick bio on Bangs. He’s a Melbourne-based, Sudanese rapper who quite frankly SUCKS, but has somehow gone viral with his ridiculousness. He’s been on radio shows, and hell, a few weeks back, in Washington, DC, his song “Take U 2 Da Movies” was played on Hot 99.5, which is the big pop station here in DC.
Now back to the lecture at hand. Just to be upfront, I’m usually the first one in line to scream that you cannot blame hip-hop for society’s ills. You just can’t. It’s probably closer to a chicken vs. egg thing, but the fact is, life was f*cked up for a lot of people when Smokey Robinson was singing about “Crusin’” and will continue long after Souljaboy Tell’em’s career (yikes, he actually has one of those) subsides. But only an ignoramus would attempt to downplay its cultural impact. While I’m often willing to argue that its just art, I can’t deny that a lot of people take this “rap sh*t” serious, especially people from other places and think that all of us ninjas really do look and act like the folks they see in videos. For a lot of people, it’s their only real connection to American Black people.
Quick story: When I was in undergrad, me and my boy went out to eat with one our FOB African homegirls. We started talking about how she liked America, and asked her what her impressions were like before she got to Atlanta. She said that she pretty much thought we were all on some Menace II Society malarkey because at home (I think she’s Nigerian) at the time that was what she’d been exposed to. Mostly the LA gangster genre of Black movies.
By the way, I realize that’s not how every non-American views us, but I’m guessing its not so far fetched that quite a few do. See what happens when you take people to da movies (shawty)?
Back to 2009 and Bangs. Bangs is what I always thought would happen if certain folks got ahold of rap music. And by certain folks I mean, pretty much non-Black Americans. Bangs has managed to take pretty much EVERY aspect of hip-hop that most of us reading ninjas wish wasn’t so omnipresent and run with it. Hell, for him, it’s probably just his assumption of what he’d need to do in order to make it in the music business. His album titles read like a horrible No Limit album from the late 90s. He’s got the chains, the cars, the stack of money, the synth-based production…basically EVERYthing that he thinks you need because that’s what he sees. Now, let me not take too much credit for him, he PROBABLY thinks this shit sounds and looks good, but in the words of my homey builtfromwax, “I couldn’t come up with that flow on my best day.”
Bangs is a truly terrible rapper. There’s no denying that, but it almost isn’t even his fault. Okay, that’s not true. He’s mastered the English language about as well as the cashier lady at El Pollo Campero on University Boulevard in Langley Park, Maryland (I see you Maria – thanks for whatever the f*ck you put in my bag. My order was just a suggestion anyway). But he’s also a symptom of the problem we have here, does anybody make real sh*t anymore? He’s just like 90 percent of confused rappers out now.
Now don’t get it twisted, I’m highly amused by him. He might have the worst flow I’ve heard since Overit started rapping (shots fired), but his song is actually catchy as hell. I want to go to the movies right now and get some popcorn. Shucks, dudes making the rounds and become quite the famous guy. But I wonder if he gets that most people are laughing at him, not with him. I don’t know.
But what I do know?
He’s more popular than Walé. 28K.
(And by the way, it doesn’t matter if you only ship 30K to stores if 64% of your sales were digital anyway. You didn’t sell 28K out of 30K physical copies. You sold 28K because frankly, you were going to sell 28K.)
So what do you all think, is Bangs just more fun and games or is he our worst fears confirmed about hip-hop and its reach?
And once again, you’re welcome.
-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka TANGLE JIG P aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL, HE A 3