'I Guess' is Kathy Iandoli's battle cry of #shruglife. It's everything that impresses us and unimpresses us—which could be one in the same given the day.
This has been an exhausting week, especially if you're a woman or someone who remotely cares about the protection of women. I won't go into detail about all of that since the news does a good enough job of scaring us. But yeah, this week kind of sucked. Meanwhile, we were still bumping Lil Wayne's long-awaited Tha Carter V and wondering what the hell Kanye West was going to do next. I guess it's all about balance, if any of that applies to that saying.
There is something very fascinating about Lil Wayne and—I hate to say it—Kanye West. Both artists emerged from bygone eras that have arguably challenged the current landscape of rap talent. Yet somehow, these two guys have bypassed the pushback from the younger generation and are instead embraced by them. Maybe it's because Wayne has the smarts to collaborate with artists like Kendrick Lamar but also the late XXXTentacion (both on Tha Carter V), and Kanye is planning for an XXXTentacion collaboration and possibly one with 6ix9ine on his upcoming Black Friday release Yandhi. I'm going to refrain from the MAGA debate and how strange it is that his cross-generational fans are now rocking that red hat with the hashtag #IStandWithKanye. But, yeah, their reach spans generations.
Speaking of generations, I came across this meme on Instagram:
So the first row is of black Rottweilers labeled as Nas, JAY-Z, Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar, and J. Cole. The next row is of Doberman Pinschers labeled as Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, and a white Doberman tagged as Eminem. The final row is a mix of Chihuahuas, both long- and shorthaired, labeled as Post Malone, XXXTentacion, Lil Pump, Lil Xan, and 6ix9ine. It's pretty hilarious when you look at it, and the message is brutally clear: the top two rows of rappers are represented by strong and intimidating canines with a strong bark (and bite) while the last row is comprised of tiny inferior doggies with an annoying yelp and that's about it.
I posted this meme and it was picked up by DatPiff who reposted it and tagged me over Instagram and Twitter, so I was roped into the swarm of comments that followed. Wow, did I learn a lot. For one, many people were looking for Kanye (aren't we all in a sense?). Others felt like Post Malone should either be a Doberman or a Rottweiler (How, Sway?). Then there was a large constituent of responders who wanted J. Cole off that Rottweiler row and added to the Chihuahua gang (Eek).
Truth be told, both Cole and Kendrick are added to a row of legends that some might argue is a little…premature? Maybe there should have been a third row of, I don't know, German Shepherds that include Cole, Kendrick, A$AP, Drake, and Nicki (YEAH I SAID IT). Maybe add Kanye and T.I. to that Rottweiler row and Outkast to the Dobermans. That whole Chihuahua row needs work though, and here's why.
Clearly the person who created this meme (and holler at me if you see this and want the credit) has a strong opinion of the current regime of rappers that are out and flourishing today. They're viewed as weak and annoying, not to mention small in size and power (really not sure why Wayne is the biggest dog in the entire meme, but I digress). But the responses to that pointed opinion proves that the younger generation of rap fans view artists like 6ix9ine and Post Malone as their Rottweilers and Dobermans. Sure, we can carry on that "kids these days" aren't nearly as tough as some of us were in our youth (I would probably be in the Rottweiler row, if we're being honest here), but who are we to peg anyone as weak? I mean come on, didn't Lil Xan almost explode his stomach due to Flamin' Hot Cheetos? That's power, man. I'm only half kidding.
The point is that we can learn a lot when various generations of rap fans are asked to label their rappers based upon strength. Here, it was through dogs, but it could be anything. Maybe the top row could be lions, second row jaguars, and third row those weird hairless cats. Whatever, but it's clear that depending on the generation, they have their own set of favorites. Now imagine if a twenty-something recreated this meme and made Lil Pump a Doberman and 50 Cent a Chihuahua? That would get so ugly so fast, but I'm sure a collection of kids somewhere would cosign that decision. I wouldn't, but I'm just saying.
So the moral of this column is: one person's Rottweiler is another person's Chihuahua. I guess.
More by Kathy Iandoli: