by John Tarpley
The bulk of my musical diet consists of rap music. I may be able to quote Rick Ross like a scholar (but don't), but I didn't realize how exhausting it is to hear about G-6s, Maybachs, Aston Martins and Versace ad nauseum until 19-year-old rapper/producer Tyler the Creator, head of Los Angeles' soon-to-be-legendary Odd Future crew, growled "I created O.F. because I felt we're more talented than 40-year old rappers talkin' 'bout Gucci."
It's clear: Being frivolous is played out. And it looks like if the young underground gets its way, the big ballin' of the older generation is about to be traded in for simpler pleasures like partying, dancing, boot knockin' and even, in the case of Travis Porter, the Atlanta-based three-piece, "Waffle House."
They might not be as heady as other up-and-comers, but who wants to think and dance? Travis Porter's videos have girls-next-door instead of supermodels, hoop-ty jet boats instead of yachts and talk about "feelin' like," not having, "a million bucks." It's music for house parties, not penthouse pimpin'. And it's an attitude that's in demand; Travis Porter spent 2010 exploding in the underground, trailblazing through Twitter, signing to Jive Records and being named one of the five "Hottest Breakthrough MCs of 2010" by MTV. Call it cocky pop-rap for a recession.
Sure, my big thesis may crumble, seeing as how the trio's sitting at No. 15 on the Billboard rap charts with a song called "Make it Rain." Maybe they'll upgrade to exotic cars after the checks start rolling in. But a word of advice to the guys: Pay heed to Clipse's warning in "Mr. Me Too." Quoth Pusha T, "those crackers weren't playing fair at Jive."