Rap Rehab Day 12: Relapse and Redemption

I’ve turned myself in: after two clean weeks of multifaceted music, I relapsed from Rap Rehab for one night this week. I’d waited for LA trio Pac Div to hit my town for years, and as soon as I heard of their arrival, I secured tickets. The lineup: XV, Pac Div, Clipse and Kid Cudi at the MSU Auditorium. While the show set back my progress, it ended up being very productive for my treatment as well. Follow the jump to read about how I fucked up, and how I redeemed myself by picking up some tools to help me in my journey.

Cons: Hearing that much rap at once was a treat, but it was painful to have to leave behind after it ended. I enjoy bumpin’ the songs I just heard onstage in my speakers once I get home, and I couldn’t do that. I also had a few guilt trips. I’ve been strictly avoiding Big Sean’s “Supa Dupa Lemonade” since arriving in rehab, but Sean made a surprise appearance and performed it. smh.

Redemption: While I got my fill of hip-hop for the night, I still internalized other genres, which is the point of my treatment.

I’ve always said that Cudi can’t rap, but I realized how genre-bending his music truly is after hearing it Monday night. His vocals blend with his beats, but they’re not as tough to consume as the music described in my Lyric Digestion Disorder post. Cudi’s lyrics are more vulnerable and less braggadocios tough guy than most hip-hop, and he sings more than he raps. Plus, his beats incorporate electronic music and and indie rock more than anything. And MGMT, the group that inspired the Rehab series, is on Cudi’s album Man On The Moon: The End of Day. In hindsight, this would’ve been a great CD to help me transition into treatment.

But the most important element of the night wasn’t even inside of the concert. I went outside to get some fresh air, and struck a conversation with one of the employees at the venue. She said that she preferred country music, and gave me some suggestions after I told her I was on Rap Rehab. She then gave me a warning about country music:

You should enjoy it. But you just have to get used to the clichés. They’re always either talking about their truck, their beer, their dog, or their girl.

I chuckled. Clichés about vehicles, alcohol, women and their dogs/dawgs? Sounds a lot like another genre that I know very, very well.

For my next post, I’m going to listen to some of the music the readers suggest. If you’re on Twitter, tweet me (@WEKetchum) or Eric Brown (@Eric_Urbane) your suggestions with the hashtag #RapRehab. Otherwise, leave a comment with your email attached to it (your information won’t be sold to other businesses). Prizes should be on the way for those who do.