Kanye literally strutted around with a backpack in his early days, paving the way for other non hardcore-gangster acts like Kid Cudi and Drake. A few of these acts, like Frank Ocean, might’ve carried a Gameboy or a few comics in that backpack.
You read that, Elizabeth? I’m coming to join ya, honey. This is the big one!
Acts like Lupe Fiasco resemble Peter Parker, embody the stereotype of the geek, the nerd. We’re typically portrayed as the sensitive types, the outliers who are searching for acceptance. The paradox with the Peter Parker type is to be at once meek and still be able to don a costume for heroics. Players: stereotypically reserved, shy until we pick up a controller, until it’s time to save the world. Should the apocalypse ever occur, or if a zombie outbreak happens, the assumption is that we’d thrive, yeah? Backpack rappers, meanwhile, have an eye for the things that are wrong with society. They carry in their chest an idealism that wants to change the world
yo for real, you read that essay, select those bars as the ones to end you?
The words I bolded are things someone said to describe Drake and/or Childish Gambino.
There were 118,000,000 Game Boys sold worldwide, and probably about that many comic books sold across the childhood of your given rapper. Frank Ocean was like eighteen months old when the Game Boy debuted, but that’s neither here nor there.
The main point is that video games (and the loose cultural miasma of ‘comic books’ where that ends up including cartoons and superhero movies and etc.) aren’t really obscure nerdy things in 2013. There are people who go deep and nerdy into them, no doubt. But I bet Frank Ocean totally played video games and liked Batman or Wolverine or Dragonball Z or something. I bet Lil Boosie did too. So did Skrillex. So did every dude in an indie/country/metal/jazz band.
Did people do this in previous generations? Did people insist that buying recorded music (once the realm of obsessive specialists) was a total “nerd” move in 1968? At what point did registering a domain name stop being the act of a ‘nerd’ rapper and just turn out to be something everyone in the world does?