This Sunday afternoon spotlight takes a deep look into hip-hop rising star and rapper Hopsin. Hopsin released his first single in 2008 and first studio album in 2009. He began gaining traction in the hip hop world with his release of "Sag My Pants" in 2010, and took off after putting out such hits as "Nocturnal Rainbows" and "Ill Mind of Hopsin 4." On top of his musical successes, he may be most notorious for his eerie, all-white contact lenses and shaved eyebrows. His aggressive lyrics and unconventional appearance may be a form of self-expression, or a facade to hide his inadequacies as an underground hip hop artist.
Labeling Hopsin as an underground hip hop rapper may be a stretch, but I consider him to be one of the biggest culprits of the issues I talked about last time and more. His main focus is the extravagance of mainstream music and its negative influence on the youth and their ambitions. He blames the modern rap culture for corrupting young adults and leading empty lives, but he, in fact, could be considered an equally damaging influence. On top of this, the blatant hypocrisy in his music completely nullifies many of the criticisms he raps about.
Hopsin's focus on mainstream brings up many valid points on the current state of hip hop, but he so frequently contradicts himself, he is invalidated as a spokesperson for these issues. Hopsin's central concerns about hip hop music are the unnecessary attacks on other rappers, an emphasis on wasteful life, and the effects this can have on youth. Hopsin's position on rapper to rapper feuds is curious seeing as he calls out, by name, rappers such as Tyler the Creator (Ill Mind of Hopsin 5) and Drake (Sag My Pants). His request that the "rappers who bring (him) drama" to "please be ghost" is odd seeing as he constantly attacks rappers in his other songs. This sort of hypocrisy makes it hard for a listener to take any of Hopsin's gripes seriously.
Next, Hopsin suggests that the modern rappers are negatively influencing youth and that he is some sort of role model. He denounces adolescents who lead this empty lifestyle and have no ambitions. He claims to be "embarrassed" of the youth who are "dropping out like a miscarriage," when he dropped out of high school himself. He attempts to give advice to unsatisfied promiscuous women, yet he almost exclusively refers to these women in sexist, chauvinistic terms such as "tramp" and "cock-thirsty." He attempts to give advice to women while treating them without any respect or courtesy. Hopsin says that "his existence on this planet is for you" to suggest that he is here to help, but all he does is criticize others in areas where he has no grounds to do so.
Hopsin disparages rap in a variety of ways, seemingly distinguishing himself from the genre. However, he frequently commends himself on his rapping abilities. Hopsin contradicts frequent claims of detachedness and seperation from hip hop with declarations of how he is the "lucky savior" (Ill Mind of Hopsin 4). His attempts to set himself apart from hip hop appear foolish when he immediately dubs himself the leader.
Though I must admit I enjoy listening to Hopsin and his catchy, controversial verses, the inherent hypocrisy is hard to overlook and seriously detracts from his overall message.
Be sure to check out Ill Mind of Hopsin Six by clicking on the image below!