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Spin: “Behind the Two Faces of the White Rapper.”

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New column is up, slightly delayed by SXSW. It’s on white rappers, a favorite, dicey topic of mine. I tell you why Yelawolf and Rittz are great and why Mac Miller looks like Agent Cody Banks. Also: Wrestling with “Frat-Rap.”

In the video for his song “Donald Trump,” Mac Miller, a scruffy 19-year-old white kid from Pittsburgh who looks more like Agent Cody Banks than hip-hop’s next big thing, bounces up and down, spitting well-worn boasts about bitches, partying, and his future success. Yet, people are actually listening to this guy. “Donald Trump” has more than one million views on YouTube. Miller’s on the cover of this month’s XXL as one of hip-hop’s promising “freshman.”

Gadsden, Alabama’s Yelawolf, a 31-year-old skate-punk, redneck rapper with a nimble flow and talent for novelistic detail, is part of this year’s “freshman” group, as well. Yelawolf was also on last month’s cover of XXL, along with hard-head, traditionalist supergroup Slaughterhouse, and Eminem (both Yela and Slaughterhouse are recent signees to Shady Records). White rappers, though still an anomaly, are not quite the joke they once were. Thanks to rap’s full-fledged entrance into the pop landscape, the white rapper and listener don’t necessarily look to hip-hop to dramatize their fantasies about black culture or tell them what’s cool to impersonate; rather, many white rappers and white rap fans genuinely relate to the music. The era of the suburban gangster is over.

Written by Brandon

March 21st, 2011 at 9:28 pm

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