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11 February 2016, 16:01
An open letter.
Hope you're all well. Sorry I missed the convention last month but it was a warm day so I thought I'd better stay at home in case I was burned a bright Powerpuff shade of pink that would stick with me until Autumn.
Anyway, down to business.
You might have seen a video this week of a heavily tattooed hobbit-like creature going by the name of Ed Sheeran. He's done a lot of great things for our people, becoming one of the few successful ginger pop stars we have ever produced (Florence dyes her hair, Elton's been bald for years and let's not even mention Rick Astley). His slightly depressing acoustic tales of break-ups and make-ups have brought a tear to the eye of teenage girls worldwide and strengthened our brand no end.
Ed has rapped in the past but normally in a sing-song fashion that just comes across as fast-singing. But this is an Eminem verse. Eminem grew up on the mean streets of Detroit. Ed was raised in the stuffy suburbs of Suffolk.
Something feels off here...
Then there's Macklemore, a man who, on first glance, would appear to be just another melted B-boy with a cool beat in a post-"Uptown Funk" world. But look closer at the lyrics and the problem becomes obvious:
I'm so low that my scrotum's almost dragging on the concrete.Macklemore, "Downtown"
Not exactly "99 Problems" is it?
White people have been jumping on the rap game for a long time - for every Beastie Boys there was a Vanilla Ice; for every Eminem, there was an awkward Madonna verse. So "bad" white rap is nothing new. But, much like getting picked for gym class, asked to prom or growing facial hair, we gingers were late to the game and are now more conspicuous because of it. Our entire standing in the hip hop community is being placed upon these two very pasty individuals and I fear they may be making us look, what's the word, uncool.
Hip hop was, in its origins, a voice for the forgotten and undervalued and, after all the ritual school bullying and name calling (Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Charmander, Pumpkin Spice Latte etc), it is understandable that some of us may want to express our pent up rage over a sick beat. But sometimes we just have to be harsh - I am a ginger gentleman and I should not be allowed to rap. Or at least not sincerely.
What the f*ck was that nonsense? And why is it about Doctor Who? What a mess.
So, my fellow gingers, I am calling for a boycott on all rap-based activities until we can privately develop our rhymes to a level in line with the rest of the hip hop community. Perhaps at the next convention we can invite Kanye West to give us some kind of masterclass in verse construction and twitter arrogance? Just a thought.
Anyway, must dash, a small crack of light has just broken through a rain cloud and I need to reapply my sunscreen. Factor 102 in case you're wondering.
Yours a bit reddish,
James Wilson-Taylor, Pop-Buzz.