As one of the youngest, established genres of music, Hip Hop has evolved in many ways becoming arguably one of the most influential genres on popular culture. A new sub-genre of Hip Hop has emerged in recent years; Frat Rap is what they call it. Is Frat Rap the real deal? Will Frat Rap change Hip Hop?
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For those who are not familiar with the term or don’t know what type of music Frat Rap is, it’s mostly young white, male rappers who rhyme about “Project X” type parties, drug experimentation, disdain for school, and their growing number of sexual partners. Just 3 years ago, Frat Rap caught on heavily with rapper Asher Roth’s hit “I Love College”. Lyrics from the popular song say, “That party last night was awfully crazy, I wish we taped it/I danced my face off and had this girl completely naked/Drink my drink and my smoke my weed….Pass out at 3, wake up at 10 go out then do it again/Man I love college.” Roth isn’t the only Frat Rap artist to share his same sentiments as other Frat Rap artists do the same such as Chris Webby, Mike Stud, and Sam Adams. Newcomer and Frat Rap artist Mac Miller made headlines last November with his debut album, Blue Slide Park, becoming Billboard’s top selling album in the country during the first week of his release. Miller was the first artist in 16 years to have an independent album debut at number one. Tha Dogg Pound’s Dogg Food was the last independent debut to top the Billboard 200 in 1995. This year, 23 year-old Hoodie Allen was also able to top digital charts when his independent EP All American, and still managed to crack Billboard 200 at number 10.
Frat Rap is less about rapping articulately about happenings in society laced with smart double entendres, and more about just weed and parties. That’s not to say Hip Hop has been solely about social commentary on important issues either, however, the foundation of the culture is rooted in it. The problem Hip Hop fans have with Frat Rap is whether there’s real quality in the music. Are these young, (mostly)suburban white males just romanticizing what they think Hip Hop is? Could they just be emulating something they feel connected to? While artists like Mac Miller and Hoodie Allen have been able to compete in sales with mainstream artists, the real question is, will they stand the test of time? We’ll just have to wait to see if Frat Rap has longevity capabilities or if it needs to graduate to finding some new rhyming content.
What are your thoughts on Frat Rap? Do you think it will be around for long? We want to hear from you!
words by: Valerye Griffin – (@valmarie)