We’ve all been there.
Your friend is an aspiring rapper and he sends you his mixtape. He asks you to give it a listen and it’s trash. It sounds like Soulja Boy had a baby with Soulja Boy.
A lot of people decide to try to be rappers because it looks easy, like a shortcut. You can be a musician but you don’t have to learn how to sing or play an instrument! But obviously, it’s not that simple.
Rapping is like golfing, or maintaining an erection while drunk. It SEEMS easy but in reality, it’s extremely difficult.
For every great up-and-coming rapper, there’s a dude who’s got no flow, no original ideas, and makes Vanilla Ice look like Nas. So if you listen to your friend’s mixtape and it's a bucket of elephant shit, should you tell them?
Here are your options...
GIVE THEM BACKHANDED COMPLIMENTS
This way you don’t have to lie, but you don’t have to hurt their feelings either. Say empty things like, “Wow, this is really unique!” Or something like, “I'm proud of you for following your dreams!” If you can’t think of anything to say, just change the subject and talk about the economy.
COMPARE THEM TO KENDRICK WITHOUT MENTIONING THAT IT’S A BAD VERSION OF KENDRICK
Say “I get To Pimp a Butterfly vibes from this.” As opposed to the more honest “This is like if To Pimp a Butterfly was recorded on a walkie-talkie by a brain-damaged chihuahua with an Oxycontin addiction.” Say, “This beat reminds me of ‘Backseat Freestyle’,” and not, “this beat sounds like my German grandfather farting to the tune of 'Backseat Freestyle.'”
REMIND THEM OF OTHER CAREER PATHS
Gently nudge them away from a rap career but make them feel like it was their idea. “Hey John, this mixtape was interesting but I thought you were gonna go back to business school?” If they start mentioning a follow-up mixtape, casually mention that Applebees is currently hiring.
LIE TO THEM
Tell them that their mixtape is absolute flames. The lyrics are so brilliant that it’s gonna take at least two decades to sift through all the metaphors. Tell them that they’re so good they make Nas look like Vanilla Ice (yes, I know that’s just a reversal of the generic joke I made earlier, I'm a pretty lazy writer.)
JUST BE HONEST
If you and your friend are close enough, maybe it’s for the best that you’re just honest. Tell them that you’d rather listen to the sound of Gilbert Gottfried reading a Harry Potter audiobook over 500 crying babies scratching a chalkboard than listen to their crappy GarageBand beats. Tell them their anti-Trump song is so bad that it made you consider voting for Trump in 2020.
Those are your five options. But then again, your friend could get better. Remember, every great rapper started out as a bad rapper. And every bad rapper started out as an even worse rapper.