In a late night post to his Instagram on Sunday (July 23), Chicago rapper Famous Dex, who in 2016 was caught on camera violently assaulting his girlfriend, admitted that he doesn't make "real music."
Oddly enough, Dex, I completely agree.
"I swear to God on my mother, if you want to listen to rap and hip-hop, listen to Kendrick Lamar, listen to Rick Ross, JAY-Z," said Dex. "If you want to be entertained and all that, this new music, listen to me."
In fairness to Dex—and he doesn't deserve much if you've seen the sickening footage of the assault, for which he spent a measly two days in jail and has never been formally brought up on domestic violence or assault charges—the concept of "real music" is quite ambiguous. In general, though, "real music," as it relates specifically to hip-hop, is usually a label affixed to records that have substance and meaning. Records that have a narrative. Records that are an authentic representation of an artist and their environment.
Dex, on the other hand, has chosen to pursue a career in hip-hop by crafting SoundCloud-ready, low IQ turn-up records. He isn't the first "rapper" to travel down this path and, Lord knows, he won't be the last. And that's fine. There's a large market for the "music" the 23-year-old is "crafting" and, following the general principles of supply and demand, he has wisely chosen to give the people more of what they want.
But his admission, once again, does raise the question: why doesn't anyone want to be a rapper anymore? With his latest comments, Dex now joins an ever-growing list of new school artists, including Kendrick Lamar—who Dex wisely cites as a source of "real music"—Travis Scott and Lil Yachty, who, at one point or another, have all distanced themselves from words like "rap" and "rapper."
"I promise y'all, man, I love music and this [Rick Ross "Apple of My Eye" is playing in the background] is what you call music. JAY-Z, Kendrick Lamar album[s], that's what you call music," he later added.
I'm not a fan of Famous Dex, the artist or the man, and I'm deeply bothered by hip-hop's ignorant embrace of sexual assault, but if he really loves whatever it is he's making, he should continue to do so. Labels be damned.
Just don't expect us to support it.