LISTEN: Sad Rap Takes the Genre in a Whole New Direction (AUDIO)

Little Pain, the saddest thug

Photo credit: Little Pain

Rap has truly come a long way from its humble beginnings. Artists in the genre are now finding success in subjects beyond banging bitches, making some gwap and being a straight up g’. As an example, there’s up-and-coming rapper Little Pain.

No, not T-Pain — you won’t find much autotune in Little Pain’s tracks. But you will find some … crying?

Yep, Little Pain does something most rap stars avoid: he talks about his feelings. In particular, he talks about his depression and how proud he is to be the “saddest thug.” It’s the start of a new sub-genre that’s aptly being called “sad rap.”

Much like electro-pop and dream-pop have expanded the pop genre, sad rap takes rap in a whole new direction. It’s not that popular yet, but Little Pain is living proof that people are interested. His fanbase is growing steadily thanks to his songs’ online availability. His SoundCloud, which labels him “Saddest in the Game,” has three tracks you can listen to for free.

Have a listen to this tune called High Cry.

Being sad isn’t just an image for Little Pain either. His personal Twitter account (@PainDaThug) contains multiple tweets about his occasional cries and bouts of depression.

Though Little Pain’s approach conflicts with the prevalent ‘gangster’ mentality of the rap industry, popular artists such as Kanye West, Kid Cudi and Drake have recently shown us you can rap about your emotions. Rap can be like therapy, an outlet for showing off your inner conflicts and turbulent feelings rather than your external wealth and ego (though there’s certainly always room on the album for those trappings).

Let’s face it: not everyone is an optimist. There are rappers who will inevitably write about their success, but there are also pessimistic rappers. These are the sad rappers who would prefer to keep talking about their rough lives, their persistent money problems and their broken relationships… while crying.

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