About

The aim of Cleanrap is to provide listeners with a repository of Clean Hip-hop music to enjoy. We also aim to promote Emcees who keep their lyrics clean, and to encourage those in between. Our hope is to restore the legacy and integrity of Hip-hop culture by cleaning up Hip-hop music.

What is “Clean Hip-hop music”?

There are many points of view when it comes to what one might consider “Clean”.  Here it goes… Cleanrap has the view that Clean Hip-hop music is music that contains no profanity, no sexually explicit, misogynous or misandrist content, is not racist or discriminatory in nature, does not degrade the family institution (man, woman and child), and does not promote drug use or crime.

It seems that most of today’s Hip-hop heads are addicted to “hardcore”. Talking about tagging trains is one thing, but robbing trains? That’s out. Basically, we use common sense when considering what to post. And as for profanity, even Emcees who are 95% clean may occasionally drop minor “swears” that some don’t consider to be cursing at all. We’re not condemning this in full, since Emceeing has always had a bit of attitude to it. But to respect all of our listeners, we only feature songs that fit the above description. We leave it up to you to decide if you’re feeling the other music that a given artist has released.

As stated by KRS-ONE, Hip Hop stands for: Higher Infinite Power Healing Our People. As such, we believe that Hip Hop music should not promote anything that is straight up foul or immoral. There’s a difference between an Emcee expressing what violence he or she has witnessed and what is wrong with it, vs. promoting violence. There’s a difference between talking about how drugs are sold on your block and condemning it, vs. promoting “banging” and the drug-dealer lifestyle. And of course… “lyrical” violence, gets a pass as usual. It’s become a tradition in Hip Hop for Emcees to liken their lyrics to weapons and physical attacks, ie. “Wu-tang style”; that’s different. Many men and women have avoided trouble by placing the word “lyrically” at the start or end of a line, and, used in moderation, this is acceptable amongst Emcees.

 

Our Philosophy

We’re not saying that no one should ever curse in Hip-hop music. But since Hip-hop started out as a community-oriented culture, Hip-hop music should be largely appropriate for the family. Artists of other musical genres curse from time to time, but are like gospel singers when compared to today’s radio rap. And you can’t just blame it on the mainstream, as today’s underground artists aren’t much better in terms of keeping it clean.

It’s not even 100% about whether the music contains profanity, as you can make a “Clean” song with a foul meaning. But Hip-hop music needs to be completely reconstructed, and eliminating the cussing is probably a good place to start.

Right Now:

Hardcore, gangster, or otherwise indecent/meaningless HIp-hop — +90% of what public hears
Clean, conscious, or at least meaningful Hip-hopless than 10% of what exists, and less than 5% of what the public hears

How Hip-hop Should Be (and was prior to 1988):

Youth-appropriate, conscious, or Clean Hip-hop 90%
Hardcore, gangster and otherwise community-inappropriate Rap — under 10%

 

It Gets Deeper

As the spoken element of Hip-hop culture, Emceeing reflects and represents the remaining elements. Therefore, in being profane, Emcees are actually tarnishing the integrity, and public image of Hip-hop culture. Furthermore, Rap has become a defining cultural achievement of Black and Latin American people. The stereotypes are so prevalent that the images of the Emcee, the gangster rapper, the hardcore rapper, and the black or hispanic male, while previously distinct, are now identical in the mind of the majority, and synonymous with the word “thug”. Even breakers have suffered at the hands of Hip-hop’s collective image (see police raid at 1999 B-boy summit). By giving Hip-hop music a reputation of being profane and criminal, Rappers have degraded the reputation of people of color as a whole, and that of anyone else involved in Hip-hop culture.

 

Disclaimer

We can only vouch for the cleanliness of the individual tracks and albums that we post on our website. Our featured tracks are at times songs recorded by artists whose remaining content may not meet the same standards as the track itself. In other words, if we post an album, that’s because that album is Clean. If we post a song, then that’s because that individual song is Clean (but not necessarily every other song by that artist). We sift through today’s Rap to give you that which you can listen to with peace of conscience.

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