Planet Grok

Where intuition reigns supreme


Posted by PlanetGrok on March 15, 2010

It’s a well known fact that on any college campus, there will be groups of SWPLs who profess an undying love of hip-hop. SWPLs take pride in vicariously identifying with the black struggle, so appreciation for a particular black artist or artform is mandatory for social acceptance. For those that choose hip-hop, this produces a conundrum: how can a group of people with relatively high IQ’s really appreciate the music that so well evinces the low IQ of another group?

Answer: they follow the spirit of SWPL rule # 116 and listen to hip hop that actual black people do not listen to, like Mos Def, Little Brother, The Roots or Talib Kweli. Rap artists like these fit the minimum IQ threshold for a white person to listen to without suppressing nausea, but by definition the music these types of artists produce also precludes them from having many actual black fans.

Sometimes SWPLs will make an IQ exception for especially weird hip hop acts like MF Doom, because they equate strangeness with “artsy”.

No rap artist wants to appeal to SWPLs, in part because the more intelligent black artists who make Swip-hop have fantasies about lifting their race up through their music, and are resentful that the only people who show up to their concerts are white. SWPLs are also very trendy and will outgrow their love of this “real hip hop” (which is anything but) shortly after graduating (when they will move on to trendy indie rock bands), therefore there is no sustainable revenue source to be gained from any generation of SWPL fans. It’s a constant treadmill the artists run, trying desperately each year to remain relevant to each incoming class of college freshmen.

There are three target audiences of modern hip hop: The SWPLs, white proles, and black people (white proles and blacks have more cultural overlap than blacks and SWPLs, so distinctions are not as stark here). Of these target audiences, the monetary sweet spot is the white proles. Jay Z and 50 Cent are two artists who have hit the sweet spot of white prole appeal.  The most intelligent hip hop artists are able to make Swip-hop, but recognize the financial folly of doing so, so they lower their standards to suit white proles. Jay Z admits this when he says, in his song “A Moment of Clarity”, “I dumb down for my audience and double my dollars”.

Besides IQ, another large reason SWPLs do not like these successful, “commercial” hip hop acts is solely because they are widely liked by white proles. The standards of white proles are rather low: to be accepted by white proles as a listenable hip hop act, they only have to have a reasonable level of black acceptance and also have their singles appear alongside Britney Spears on top 40 radio stations. In many ways, gaining the acceptance of black hip hop fans is even harder – to do this, a hip hop artist has to compile a lengthy criminal record in order to appear “true to the streets”. Since there is little direct financial benefit in having a black fanbase, who just purchases albums bootleg anyway, many hip hop artists try to skip this crucial step, only realizing their mistake when the white proles reject them for not having enough black acceptance.

There’s only one hip hop act I can think of that appeals to black people, white proles, and SWPLs, and that is Nas. SWPLs like Nas because he is responsible for the quintessential “classic” (SWPLs love anything “classic”) hip hop album “Illmatic” , white proles like Nas because he is on the radio and is also accepted by black people, who like Nas because Nas “keeps it real” and still acts ghetto. Nas’s large black fanbase mean that SWPLs will profess their love for Nas but will never actually go to one of his concerts (unless their college in the boondocks has booked him), because then they will be forced to look down the dark canyon of HBD reality, something they can not stomach.

Lest I forget to post these and thus deprive you all, hat tip to commenter PA on Obsidian’s blog for these awesome Swip-hop videos:

What the hell is up with those ugly brown flip flops anyway?


13 Responses to “Swip-hop”

  1. ShutUpOrNutUp said

    No way, that is so true.

  2. Vincent Ignatius said

    I appreciate a lot of real hip hop, but I am stuck on the stuff I heard growing up.

    But I had a much different upbringing than most SWPLs. Hell, I have more street cred than most hip hop artists.

  3. Camlost said

    Hip Hop got a lot dumber when it left NY and went South.

    Here’s two MUST-SEE videos:

    These modern southern rappers are all nasally refrain over and over again, with very little actual lyrical content. I cringe every time I hear Lil Wayne described as a “Hip-Hop Artist.” The early rappers had booming, clear voices because they came up in an era where rappers had to perform in live venues.

    Swipples don’t know anything about hip hop, they jumped on the bandwagon way late.

  4. Alkibiades said

    Are you coining the term ‘Swip-hop’? I can’t help but now associate that with any SWPL kids I see listening to hip hop.

  5. I tried to become a swiphopper once. My attempt failed because I realized the music was no good. Then I tried to get into the indie music scene that is very popular in my SWPL Kingdom. However, this music was terrible as well, so I went back to listening to top 40 music, much to the dismay of many of my friends.

  6. Fake Desis said

    LOL! That guy is Desi. There are a number of funny youtube videos of Desis doing “hip hop” or “hip pop”

    Google: “curry and rice girl”

    Yeah, it’s always hilarious to see degreed and professional Desis who weren’t allowed to date until they were 22 at Mos Def concerts thinking they are “ghetto”.

  7. Curry and Rice Girl said

    Here’s “curry and rice girl” LOL

  8. Cannon's Canon said

    i don’t think Doom is an IQ exception for SWPLs. definitely weird/artsy though.

    i’ve seen nas in manhattan a few times; the crowds were rather pale. conversely, the manhattan crowd for a ‘classic’ like rakim was rather… feral.

  9. Obsidian said

    The Roots has a very extensive catalog of music; what, about ten albums since the mid-90s?-and by all accounts they don’t seem to be “aiming” for SWPLs. No doubt they have mad appeal there, I just don’t think they make music with them in mind.

    At any rate, plenty of Black folk like em, but its undeniable that they are big with the SWPL crowd.


  10. Judge Holden said

    The “true to the streets” thing reminds me of a great bit from sopranos season 6 where tony is in hospital along with a rapper who’s been shot seven times. He overhears a conversation between the rapper and the rapper’s manager which goes something like “This has done great things for your credibility which as you know has always been a problem ‘cos you had a job all those years”

  11. Obsidian said

    Hip Hop has always been part of street life; in that regard its very difficult, if not downright impossible, to seperate the two.

    Both Mos Def and Talib Kweli talk about the streets A LOT, but still they’re highly regarded by the SWPL crowd; Beanie Siegel is not. *shrugs*

    At any rate, there’s room for both Mobb Deep and Mos Def on my playlist.


  12. Weekend Linkfest – Bar none editon « Seasons of Tumult and Discord said

    […] Grok: Swip-hop, The Defining Trait of a Natural […]

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