Thursday, January 1, 2015

Cat's Jumping Out Of The Bag--Again

I was up waaaaayyyy too early yesterday morning and bumped into the rest of that Twitter media explosion about Iggy Azalea, Azealia Banks, Solange, Q-Tip, T.I., and God-knows-who-else. Somewhere in there I saw a barrage of tweets regarding Iggy failing to properly freestyle. Some of these gave me a good giggle:

(Sorry about the Vine link. It went missing. This is what was there [start at :05]:)

I couldn't. I just couldn't. That last one had me lying on the floor with a lily in my hands.
But I also saw a lot of people calling for Iggy to go up against the likes of Azealia, Minaj, et al, in a head-to-head freestyle battle. The general consensus is that Iggy would go down in flames and it'd all end in tears. Don't shoot the messenger. Google it yourself; search Twitter.
"How does she call herself a rapper and don't even freestyle?" more than one wondered.
And this was me:
(Had to actually make this one, cuz it didn't exist till now!)

Hol' up. Uh-oh.
Well, to be honest, this has been at the back of my mind for fact, I think I even said something about it on my website:

Yup. I did.
I am, and always have been, a rapper who exclusively writes. I have always also been transparent about that fact. It has never been my strong suit. I have a few reasons for why I don't, too.

First off...that's not how I learned. I was always under the impression that you wrote lyrics. Like, on paper. With a pen. That's ALL I ever did. So I'm really not accustomed to off-the-top-of-my-headness, really. I know that I can come up with rhyming words, yes, but I kind of... construct lines as opposed to just going, "Blah". This is not to say that people who can and do freestyle aren't constructing lines; it's just in a different way that I didn't learn.

Which brings me to the next thing. I don't have that seemingly effortless mind-to-mouth connect flow. My mind goes waaayyyy faster than my mouth (damned Virgo). So by the time I get anything out, I'm fxcked already. Oh sure, I can prolly come up with plenty of words, but getting them out in a flow off the top of my nekomimi?
Yep. Nope.

There is also the issue of the rhyme actually making some kind of sense. I have seen freestylers do that and come out sounding like they wrote it, but not always successfully. I need for my words to loop, ebb, flow and do interesting shxt. I'm doing incantations sometimes, LOL. It requires ink and paper. I'll say the line first, then write it down. That's all there is to it.

I never really saw the point of battling--as far as me. I wasn't about slugging it out verbally to gain dominion. I just wanted to be a part of the experience-- of the culture. It spoke to me at a very young age. It had already infiltrated my immediate family via my cousins, who had a dance troupe, and it seemed that everything they did (in Newark, anyway) eventually was adopted by other dancers who were inspired by them. Since I bloody well wasn't gonna ask them to teach me to dance, little rhythmless Gatita just watched from the sidelines. And once I knew most of the songs they had played, I knew I was gonna go in that direction--be an MC. It was challenging for me.
I come from a songwriting background. 'Nuff said.

In spite of the fact that I don't freestyle, I still craft bars. I've dropped some bombs--and I'm not saying this to sound like I'm the be-all end-all--people have literally said I dropped them. And it is very humbling to find out that people who I thought didn't like me much, actually had the utmost respect for my "lyricism", as they put it.

I'm not gonna say ”I can't”, because that's limiting. I say ”I don't”, because that much is true. But this issue coming up--again-- sometimes does have the insecure side of me kinda doubting myself, TBH. Questioning if I'd be considered a ”real” rapper/MC. And does that really matter, in the grand scheme of things? ::shrugs::

I can only guess it depends on your own perspective. I saw someone say that Iggy not being able to freestyle is like a singer saying they can't sing.


Bruh. Singers...usually end up having to sing LYRICS. That were WRITTEN. WITH A PEN (or MasterWriter or what have you). And sometimes, BY SOMEBODY ELSE. Not a great argument; buh-bye.

I think that if you are indeed a rapper/MC by vocation, balls deep in the culture, and you can execute the words you wrote with a sick flow, and blow at least most of the room away (you always gonna have a few haters), you ARE a real MC. I can and have done those things, but art usually requires tools. Painters need brushes (or spray cans...see what I did there?) and "canvas" (wall, face, actual canvas) to paint, bakers need pans and a mixer to bake, contractors need tools to build...I need a pen and paper...and, of course, my brain.

That's my (TRUE) tale...and I'm sticking to it, mane.
And walking off just like this.