As a parent, I’m well aware that I’m woefully out of touch with today’s pop music. That’s exactly the way it should be, you might say, and a perfectly valid opinion it is too. But some of us (well me at least) would like to stay vaguely aware of what’s going on in the pop world, so that when our children start listening to pop music (if they’re not already), we have some clue what’s going on.
So, Parents’ Pop Programme is here, to introduce you to a currently successful pop artist each month. Educational? Hopefully. Enlightening? Perhaps. Enjoyable? Perhaps not.
This month – Fetty Wap
What is a Fetty Wap?
A New Jersey rapper (with an affinity with Haiti), massively successful in the US over the last 12 months or so, slowly becoming more popular worldwide. ‘Fetty’ apparently meaning money and Wap in tribute to GuWop. Although it just makes me think of a tasty feta wrap.
What does he sound like?
Very much like the rap du jour. Plenty of autotune, dash of EDM, little bit of retro G-Funk, alternating between gangster stances and heavy sentimentality, often in the same song (see biggest hit ‘Trap Queen’ below)
Is he any good?
Not terrible. Semi-decent rapper, and able to pen a chorus without always recourse to samples or high-profile guests. More than a one hit wonder, but as commercially successful rappers go he doesn’t have the talent of Jay-Z, the magpie tendency of Kanye or the innovation of Kendrick Lamar. A career arc similar to 50 Cent seems likely, massive initial success followed by slow decline.
How popular is he?
Huge in the US. Four top ten singles, a number one album, Grammy nominations and so on. Not quite as big here in the uk, but perhaps heading that way with ‘Trap Queen’ having hit the top 10. Popular enough to have spawned a god-awful viral cover of his most well known track by a child actor.
Which kids are listening?
Mainly teens who already have an interest in hip-hop. The subject matter (drugs, violence, liberal use of the N-word) renders Fetty unsuitable for younger kids, and he hasn’t totally crossed over into the pop mainstream yet (in the UK at least). You probably don’t yet have to worry about your primary school child listening quite yet.