We’re all going to die, so let’s talk about. This has long been the modus operandi for hip-hop trio Flatbush Zombies, and in a new interview with The Guardian, it seems the trio feel their penchant for discussing death has put them in a bit of a bubble within rap.
“We have to get comfortable with talking about death when it happens to all of us,” Meechy Darko said. “What’s interesting is that people look at us funny for talking about death, but all the money, drugs and pussy talk in rap is accepted… The only way for me to face my demons is to go into my consciousness and search through all of those uncomfortable thoughts.”
Obviously, the Zombies are on a noble quest with their music. Death is a rattling thing, and of course, the best way to confront it—and subsequent demons—is through constant conversation. The only problem here is that hip-hop has always been frank in its discussion of death. In fact, when we break down what is and is not “killing hip-hop,” “death talk” is far lower on the list than raps about “money, drugs, and pussy.” If we want to get pedantic, discussing death is almost built in to conversations surrounding drugs and women.
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Looking at the greats—Biggie, 2Pac, Bone Thugs, DMX—it’s difficult to imagine a hip-hop landscape that requires artists to shy away from conversations surrounding death. Contemporary acts embracing death in earnest range from Denzel Curry and Mac Miller to young Juice WRLD and G Herbo.
These artists may not deliver their talks in the same manner as the Zombies, but what’s the fun in that? The Flatbush Zombies approach is absolutely on the right side of history, and whoever has made them second guess their content must be ignorant to rap’s lineage.
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