That there exists a subset of rap specializing in angst speaks to how far the premier musical movement of the last 30 years has come. Think about this for a second, angst rap. Well, alright, more like pop-rap than the genuine item.
Speaking broadly, angst rap (shouts to Lupe Fiasco and Kid Cudi for popularizing the genre), is a close cousin to what Yung Lean, the King of the Sad Boys and his ilk begot. Now, listening to Benny Cassette’s “Entertain Us,” we see how much the hip-hop playing field has openend.
Delivered at a pace familiar to Top Forty rap listeners, with Millennial self-preservation at the receiving end of his criticism, Cassette riles his social discomfort along his smooth sing-talk delivery, taking aim at the male and female archetypes of the iPhone commentariat alike:
“Fuck yo twitta/Fuck yo Snapchat/ Fuck yo Instagram/ There’s so much bullshit happening I’m losing who I am,” goes the refrain.
Though an enjoyable song, we see angst for what it’s worth. Lamenting without the suggestion of change is just complaining from a cozy distance. He chants: “We’re so bored/Come and entertain us.” Is he really? Yet, “Entertain Us” is still an effective song for what it references and immediately brings to mind.
Cassette’s banner ad of a song borrows its title from what, at least in my K-Rock uprbringing as the pinnacle of angst rock. Nirvana’s “Smells Like Tenn Spirit,” where Cassette paraphrases Kurt Cobain’s laconic grunge anthem for today’s audience: the social media addicted Millenials; brandishing today’s youthful gripes: superficiality, lack of real conversation, disconnectedness from the corporeal; all packaged to refract the best qualities of today’s dominant sound: rap music.
Come and entertain us
You can’t really blame us
It all feels shallow…