At the risk of sounding arrogant or pretentious or delusional, I believe that intelligent, critical thinking has the ability to prevail over everything that is wrong in the world and that there generally isn’t enough of that going on today. Ironically most of the people who actively demonize artists like Keef or Waka for being ignorant and amoral are not very intelligent or even moral thinkers themselves. At best they are completely thoughtless, blindly following the rigid moral guidelines that they’ve inherited. At worst they’re profiteers, capitalizing on the sort of absolute good vs evil/conscious vs ratchet dichotomies that only dumb down and fuck up society across the board. The broken thought systems that these moral stances engender have fucked up american politics, have fucked up our school system, have fucked up our economy, have fucked up class and racial dynamics and all of that trickles directly down to the kid who listens to Chief Keef and pulls triggers.
Sometimes i get accused of being ironic (whatever the fuck that means) when I write about ignorant rap in a way that strives for intelligence. But fuck that. That’s your irony, not my irony. There’s no disconnect for me, it makes perfect sense to approach this music - and all music and everything in the universe - as intelligently as humanly possible. Great “dumb” works demand intelligent analysis even more so than their “smart’ counterparts. Because those artists and audiences might not have the tools to extract that intelligence without some guidance.
And I’m well aware of who my audience is. The majority of my readers are reasonably well educated, reasonably well off “hipsters” (whatever the fuck that means) - after all “hipsters” are one of the few youth demographics for which the act of serious reading isn’t considered corny or completely condemnable. I’m preaching to the converted for the most part and I know that. But at the same time I’d love to think that even a few people who fall outside of that very loosely defined cohort might also see my shit or shit like it and learn from it. That maybe the “ignorant” kid who loves Chief Keef for all the wrong reasons - be they an ironic suburbanite play-banging or a kid from the proverbial streets real-banging - could stumble onto something semi-smart that I wrote about their favorite rapper and that it might put them on a path to think more or differently about other matters of greater importance. As far as real world skillsets go critical thought is considerably more useful than morality.
And It’s not like the moral stances against Chief Keef actually serve to enlighten his fanbase or empower the demographic that he is allegedly damaging anyway. They just widen the gap and give self-righteous idiots another controversy to wag their fingers and wave their torches at.