Editorials Queso

Published on October 30th, 2015 | by Queso

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Queso in the Wind: Why I Had To Step Away From Hip-Hop

What, 2 years since I posted on the site? I imagine a lot of people may not have even noticed. That’s a testament to the job Boman has done. I also guess part of this is to a particular group of people. I write this after plenty of reflection and because I love you guys. The reason I joined Boman in this venture was to share things I love and one thing I love is sharing. I am sharing why I haven’t written for RapConQueso.com for a while. It’s a multilayered thing and I believe many of you will understand. So to the artists I’ve worked with, la familia en Gainesville (music and in Christ), and…everybody…

 

Songs of death. That’s what I started hearing. Yeah, I listened to a lot of Hip-Hop, so I knew there was more out there than money money guns hoes. Shoot, I was listening to a lot of Mos, Jay Electronica, and Kendrick Lamar when I dropped everything. As time passed, I started seeing (or hearing) what I can only describe as “songs of death.” Not death in that they are for the dead or talking about killing. No, these are songs that are themselves death. Songs stuck in this same pattern—almost a formula. It may sound different between the radio and whatever “indie” Pandora station you created, but what is it? What are they talking about? These are the songs that are stuck, talking about the same things, not moving forward—either their own thought process or your thought process. I’m not talking about the complexity of the beat, but the life it’s talking about. Is it talking about life? Is it moving anyone forward or “bigging up” the artist who wrote the rhymes? Did you learn something about yourself or how much money is in the artist’s bank account, how many women/men the person has, how smart he/she is?

I know there are plenty of artists talking about “positive” things, but I was noticing that even some of the artists I loved at the time still put out death. Where’s the life? Where’s the rejuvenation? Where are the meat and taters? No, not everything has to make you think. I like fun songs. I like weird stories. But, dang, you don’t have to be cheesy or over-the-top to be different. You ever listen to DOOM’s lyrics? That stuff’s ridiculous sometimes, but when you realize, “this is the [MF] VILLAIN” and all his tracks are part of the story (or comic) of DOOM, that stuff is genius. I know I might be a little too critical right now—even I think this sounds kinda crazy right now, but this is Queso. I’m a little crazy.

I remember, one day I was checking my email and looking at music submissions for the website. For some reason, something clicked and I found myself thinking, “What am I listening to? What are people sending me?” Click. “Is this what the music we’re sharing is talking about?” Click. “Is this what the music I listen to sounds like?”

And that’s what reminds me of the time period I was heavy on TFC (Team Fortress Classic) and had a couple dreams related to the game. People talk about something being “just music” or “just a movie” and, to an extent, they’re right. These are movies and music. But the things we regularly feed ourselves find their ways into our lives more so than the things with which we occasionally interact. I believe music has a bigger impact in that regard than movies. Different genres of music have different styles—even beyond the sound. It’s the culture (but don’t be prejudice). Not everyone dresses the same, but there are elements you can find amongst a group of people that are into a particular genre of music—whether that’s because the genre took on the style (or elements) of the people who listen to the music or the fans took on the style (or elements) of the artists who perform in the genre.

It’s not just the way we dress, but speech patterns, words we use, some beliefs we share, etc. It’s the “group-think” thing. It’s our aggregation. We are in many ways shaped by what surrounds us.

Yes, Hip-Hop (like other genres) has variety of sub-genres. Clearly, there is much more than what is heard on the radio, in the club, or in my inbox. What I am talking about is the majority of what I was hearing at the time. It was “I’m awesome,” “I have this,” dreams of having stuff (money, women, etc.), and at the time, I realized I wanted something more. That pushes me to my next point and probably the more important reason for leaving.

Going through college, building this website, building a business, building me, and relationships—I became more about me and finding ways to satisfy me in the world. I got farther away from God. I was about finding how I can elevate myself, but leaving my spirit low; feed myself while leaving myself spirit-starved. I felt I needed to drop things.

Several things changed in my life while Boman kept RapConQueso going. My original intention was not to stop with the website altogether, but that happened. Thank you and I apologize, Boman. Not for the departure, because that was much needed and I am in a better place now, but for the abruptness in the departure.

Look, this isn’t a, “Queso’s back and everything is going back to normal.” First of all, things were never and will never be “normal” with Queso. You know that. Time has passed. We have grown. We have taken on things and departed from others. This is me sharing thoughts on things. I have a new perspective and I’m returning to RapConQueso.com, but in a limited role. Limited as in, you won’t frequently see work from me. You won’t “see” me at all, but I have a lot I want to share and I will take my time doing it. If you start fiending for more Queso, you can find me at the RCQ Twitch page for a lot of multiplayer, scenario and themed runs of things. You can check out my personal Twitch page for other things. Until then…

Peaces, much love, and God Bless.

 

P.S.: Let me leave you with a bit of what has brought me back.

And this. I’ll have more for you later.

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About the Author

is co-founder and editor-in-chief of RapConQueso.com. If he's not fooling around on the website, you may be able to catch him listening to Prince, stream-monstering, or making pancakes. Follow him @theconqueso or email at queso@rapconqueso.com



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