By now, many of you have gotten word of the latest craze on the Internet; it’s a music video by an 18-year-old white rapper from Hamilton, OH who goes by the name “Slim Jesus.” If you’re like me, you might be wondering how the hell this kid blew up out of nowhere and why is the hip hop community rallying behind such a mediocre and generic song? To be more specific, this video has landed placement on blogs such as HotNewHipHop, Complex, HipHopDX, and of course, WorldStarHipHop. He has already received co-signs and shout outs from industry figures like Lil Bibby, Meek Mill, Twista, Diplo, and DJ Akademiks. He has exactly three songs on his SoundCloud, the oldest of which was uploaded two months ago. He had zero online presence prior to this video going viral. If upcoming artists are given this level of exposure and it is not earned through the merit of their hard work and/or talent, then what is it? Their skin color, a gimmick, sex appeal, shock value…? I think the answer is clear in this situation.
Public Enemy put out a great video with a positive message less than a month ago that has garnered over a quarter million views and a quick Google search will show that it’s nowhere to be found on any of these sites. Hell, Chicago drill rappers Dae Dot and Reesemoneybagz released a song that is arguably far superior to Slim’s months ago and they rap over the same beat. And yet, their version flew under the radar; I wonder why? It’s moments like this in hip-hop that makes one question if the acquisition of a dollar holds more value than the love and appreciation of the art. Is that extra traffic to your website or likes on your social media post more important than respecting the craft?