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The Curse of YouTube Rappers

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Since its inception, hip-hop has often been treated as an easy way for established stars to make a quick buck. Over the years, countless celebrities, actors and athletes have attempted to infiltrate hip-hop but as everyone from Shaquille O’Neill to Tom Hanks and Steve-O have learned, it takes more than a beat and some rudimentary bars to turn your star power into success as a rapper.

Now, as the entertainment world continues to shift and mutate into a place where these half-baked attempts at crossing over used to be relatively easy to ignore, the phenomenon of YouTube rappers has well and truly taken this to the next level.

Sparked by figures who made their names in vlogging and pranking to heading into the booth, this trend started around 2017 and became a subcategory of its own. And while some popular figures have briefly dabbled with hip-hop as they strive to form an identity that exists beyond the platform that made them their ongoing quest to form a new identity, others have made it into a genuine career. In the process, being greeted by the resentment of hip-hop audiences who’ve taken exception to these content creators blurring the lines between real music and parody.

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Narrated by: Spencer Pearman
Written by: Robert Blair
Edited by: Roman Bill
Music by: Josh Petruccio

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