Diggy’s Unexpected Arrival

Image from contactmusic.com

Recently I found myself googling why Diggy Simmons’s debut album, Unexpected Arrival, had low sales when it was first released. I ended up reading an article where Diggy said that he was satisfied with how the album was doing and basically that other majorly successful artists like Jay Z, Kanye West, and Bruno Mars all had slow sales on their early albums. I thought his response was fair.

As I started reading his comments I was really startled and disappointed by what people had to say. Here and there you’d see a comment where someone would say they won’t listen to Diggy because of his age. I’m also a little older than Diggy’s main audience, but that’s not to say his music is kiddy-like at all. However, those comments weren’t what startled me.

The majority of the comments were basically attacks on him for being born into money. They criticized him for being rich, they criticized him for not rapping about the ghetto, and they even went as far to express full blown rage that he’s rapping when he’s not a poor kid.  It was said that he needs a “street resume” and that him not rapping about the ghetto is a bad thing because he isn’t able to connect to Black people who listen to rap music.

Before I address this blind hatred for people who are doing well off and don’t pretend not to be, I first want to say that Diggy Simmons is by no means a bad rapper. I don’t feel the need to argue this, YouTube his “Made You Look Freestyle”, that’s all the proof I need.

Image from hiphopstan.com

Moving on, I think it’s offensive to the genre of Rap to suggest that it’s not about the talent that the rappers possess that makes them rappers, but instead the unfortunate circumstances many of them grew up in that earns them a place in the rap world. The fact that many rappers began rapping in order to escape the ghetto should be testament that the ghetto is not something you should be trying to embrace. Yes, it is the home to many, but it’s not where people want to make their homes. Secondly, let’s not pretend as though every rapper is from the ghetto or raps about the ghetto and that it is a necessity to be successful. Will Smith was a successful rapper back in his day and he never pretended to be anything beneath middle class. And despite the  heavy hate Drake receives from people who want to ridicule him for being on the cast of Degrassi, (as if that’s anything to be ashamed of and as if most of us would jump at the opportunity to be on a cast of a popular show), he is a successful rapper. So, I trod on.

Lastly I address the comments that his music is not relatable to Black people because he’s well off. Even if Black people only existed in America, it would still be grossly untrue to suggest that every African American is from the ghetto and only wants to hear about crime, drug, and hardships in their music. But there is a population of Black people worldwide that do not suffer the same bitter hardships that some African Americans do in America. Furthermore, Black people are not the sole audience of any Rapper, especially in America where African Americans are the minority. As a race, we need to look beyond just ourselves.

So to my fellow rap fans, seeing as we spent the last year falling in love with Jay Z and Kanye’s “Watch the Throne”, an album that couldn’t be less relatable to anyone who doesn’t have Jay Z and Kanye money, which is the majority  of us, let’s not let prejudice against people born into money allow us to criticize Diggy Simmons and artists like him. Just because Jay Z and Kanye weren’t born into money doesn’t change the fact that they are mega wealthy now. You seem to be able to listen to their songs. Why not Diggy’s?

If you want to see the comments people made about him, hit the link: http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.19209/title.diggy-simmons-addresses-low-unexpected-arrival-album-sales


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