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Enter Little Pain, sad rapper. At 21 years old it makes sense that Little Pain is capitalising from the sadness of the era in which he grew up. Rap has now inspired rhymers that came of age when the focus was emotions. Note the emergence of social figures such as the emo, The Leave Britney Alone dude – and Drake.

Pain may be sad, but he’s not alone in this endeavour. Yung Lean and the Sad Boys crew have also been riding #sadwaves for months now. But their lyrics have a broader focus than the unbridled sadness of Little Pain’s latest joint. SMH samples crying clips followed by the unequivocal opener “Little Pain the thug – I’m the saddest out”. But is this dude serious? Well his Twitter seems pretty on point:



Critics have been divided between praise, confusion, and offence. Some question the seriousness of Little Pain’s pain. “It upsets me that a rapper from Brooklyn would make music that belittles those who fight with actual tormented emotions…being sad is not a fucking joke,” writes Refined Hype. (Sad rap is making people sad because it’s not sad enough?) Is sadness a rap taboo? YouTube comments, as usual, raised more questions than answers:

Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 1.13.41 PMScreen Shot 2013-08-20 at 1.14.03 PMAre rappers riding out a revolution on sad waves or are they just cultivating hype via the trickle of their own tears? The internet cannot answer this one, but you should decide for yourself – kick back grab a kleenex and watch Little Pain’s SMH video.

Lorna Stewart-Thornton