Hip Hop was officially named the most popular music genre in the United States in 2017. And although we have seen a mass influx of culture inspired by and following these chart-topping artists, rappers’ stories are just beginning to be told cinematically. We’ve seen 80-something (literally) documentaries made about Tupac and Biggie, but where’s the documentary about the artists alive today, changing the game in real time? Queue Netflix & Mass Appeal’s new series, Rapture.
The eight-episode season visits with artists like Logic, Rapsody and Dave East who detail not only their come up into the game, but also introduce the people who helped them along the way. For East, it was OG rapper Nas, who not only found the Harlem rapper but announced the new deal without even meeting in person. Since then, both artists have continued to grow off each other, working on projects like the Hamilton mixtape with creator, Lin Manuel Miranda.
During the Nas/Dave East episode (#2 in the series) one message was clear, you don’t owe anyone anything, even if they’ve been around since day one. Joining the industry usually comes with a nice paycheck which gives a rapper the opportunity to support their family, but what about their friends? Nas says,
“You gotta tell dudes look I got love for you, but the hood expensive as shit – you’ve got bail money, lawyer money, there’s funeral money – you know who’s funeral you may end up paying for. You’re going to find wise bros in the street, but they understand to remove themselves from the crime to get down with the movement and be legit is everything. First, you don’t have to watch your back 24/7 from the law and second, even though the salary is small at the moment, but the opportunity to grow to something you never dreamed of is everything.”
While this isn’t a “keep your enemies closer” type theory, Nas does have a valid point. When we are growing personally or professionally our group tends to feel the requirement for inclusion, whether they should be or not. It’s up to us as to set that boundary on celebrating successes. More importantly how we use that success to inspire others to find their path and become the best version of themselves.
Catch more real-life conversations about struggle and opportunity on Rapture, available now on Netflix.
Photo Cred | Ross Gilmore/Redferns via Getty Images