Should white people become rappers (and is it racist to be a white rapper)?

The question I bring upon you today is this: should white rappers exist? Four simple words that carry a very complex argument.

If I told you to name 5 white rappers off of the top of your head, who would you name? Eminem? Mac Miller? Asher Roth? Post Malone? Paul Wall? Hell, Tom MacDonald even? When we picture a rapper, we often characterize them with traditionally (or even stereotypically) black features such as having dreads, flashy jewelry, drip and so forth. Now let's picture a white rapper. What comes to your mind? I am going to cover four basic traits of a rapper:
Sound, Race, Image and Fanbase.


Lots of white rappers are known for sharing a similar sound. Some bring in their own, unique sound. A common sound that they share can best be described as either a rapping fast, aggressive-toned manner or a slow, lyrically-piercing manner. In other words, mimicking Eminem, who is a pioneer of white rap and has opened doors and broken down walls for many white rappers to come in.
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There are many critics who have smeared this style of rap, stating that it's outdated, irregular and even annoying. Others praise this style of rap. Not all white rappers rap like this, but it is more common to hear a white rapper rap this way.


I will touch on this later but for now, rap is a predominantly black genre. An urban genre, if you will. Calling back to what I was saying, if you picture a rapper, your first thoughts will be a black man. It is more than likely not going to be a white person. If I told you to picture a pop star, it would most likely be a white women. If I told you picture a country star, it would most likely be a white man. If I told you to picture an EDM DJ, it would most likely also be a white man. We attribute these stereotypes from what we are used to seeing. I admit, white rappers are rare, which is not a bad thing at all. There are many genres where a certain race are in scarcity. Same goes with professions in general. To restate, black rappers, men specifically, are the common denominator.


As previously stated, we can picture a black rapper with ease. Whether I tell you to picture a rapper from the 80s, rapper from the 90s, rapper who happens to be a women or rapper who happens to be a thug, you can vividly picture them accordingly. But if I tell you to picture a white rapper, you struggle a bit. Image is important. It is how a person expresses themselves, giving the world a glimpse of them without being nowhere near involved in them. It is how you can make or break someone. The benefit of being a white rapper is that there is a variable path of images to choose from as opposed to black rappers, who often get clumped together through stereotypes.


White rappers often get slandered because of their fanbases. Critics deem them to be overly loyal to an extent where they become annoying and suppressant. A great example of this would be Eminem's fanbase. If you are in the loop, his fanbase gets a lot of hate thrown at them, most commonly being corny. A fanbase is a reflection of an artist. Regardless of race and genre, a fanbase can be good or bad. In his early career, Tyler The Creator's (a black, Grammy-award winning rapper) fanbase used to get lots of negative attention (even up to the hands of police) for expressing violent and immature rhetorics and behaviors. This is a direct reflection of his music, where Tyler would make music which would be deemed outrageous and inappropriate by the masses, aka shock rap.

Now that I have completed the first part of this article, lets introduce the next topic: are white rappers racist? I will cover two sides of this debate and it will be up to you to decide which stance you want.

Yes, white rappers are racist

Some may argue that white rappers are racist. The most common reason, appropriating black culture. This, alongside white people wearing braids and non-Natives wearing traditionally Native outfits, falls under the social issue of cultural appropriation. When you Google cultural appropriation, it will define it as
the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc. of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society. Rap, hip-hop more specifically, was spawned into its own essences from many genres such as rock and roll and jazz. It started in the 70s in the Bronx, a borough of New York. It was a momentous turning point in black culture. It was a new way for many black people to come together and express themselves. In the 80s, rap hit the mainstream, with many rappers such as LL Cool J and the rap group N.W.A. pushing it forward. Another reason might be that white rappers are whitewashing, or gentrifying the genre and that white rappers are on a mission of black erasure, similar to what happened with rock and roll.

No, white rappers are not racist

On the other side of the argument. some may say that white rappers are not racist and that hip hop culture is not exclusive to black people. They may not see the existence of white rappers as a threat to the black community, rather find them unifying for all races. They may not even care about the color of the artist, rather the content which that artist is distributing.

In conclusion

Whether you are on one side or the other, think about this: what do YOU define as racism? What do YOU define as cultural appropriation and are cultures meant to be sacred or shared?
we’re all human at the end of the day who gives a fuck just create art. Wear what you like do what you like not everything needs a fuckin label
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Your point on cultural appropriation sadly killed some of my brain cells. Stupidest shit ever, who cares who wears what fucking hairstyle or wears what clothes. 🤡
This article sounds so dumb whoever wrote this needs to quit not even be fired… you said white rappers are racist for cultural appropriation. That is something that goes both ways if you just opened your eyes…there is nothing racist about culture appropriation it’s a compliment if you ask me if anything. People like you who put these labels & sterotypes on us people is everything that’s wrong with life. Saying when u think of a rapper it should only be a black person with dreads who “ fits this image “ that’s just as bad as saying when you think of a business man its a white guy in a suite. Break down these barriers fam we can all be under one roof 🤞🙏💯
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