Holla at me...---- Jay-Z
I do this for my culture/To let 'em know what a n***a look like... when a n***a in a roaster/Show 'em how to move in a room full o' vultures/Industry shady it need to be taken over/Label owners hate me I'm raisin' the status quo up/I'm overchargin' n***as for what they did to the Cold Crush/Pay us like you owe us for all the years that you hold us/We can talk, but money talks so talk mo' bucks.
*double eye blink*
Really, Jigga man? Really? Please shuddup your face right now and throw away the key. And I say this as an avid Stan of all things Jay-Z related (with the exception of course being most of Beyonce's catalog.) I do not want to hear another rap lyric claiming to speak for "our culture" when the actions of the party say otherwise. You speak for yourself, eh? If you want to help out, let your bank account speak for my rent check. Otherwise, shuttie. Granted, this song is from a couple of years ago and as the facially irresponsible half of Jayonce's phoenix continues to rise, he very well may have meant every single word in that verse at the time. But that's not really my point. What was my point again? O yeah, this guy...
|Check out my choppas!|
While Hov can (almost) get away with spitting verses like the one above or, I probably be lyrically Talib Kweli/Truthfully I wanted to rhyme like common sense/But I did 5 mil--- I aint been rhymin' like common since, I hold him to a different standard because a. his flow is so nice that I admittedly could listen to him rap about the different hulls of the Starship Enterprise and b. I've never heard a Jay-Z song that made me stop and think for a second about the course we were taking as a people. Not never. Wayne of the lil' variety, however has had songs that have made me stand up and say "yeah... hell yeah... we need to start making some changes homies!"--- specifically about New Orleans and the politics that surrounded the Hurricane Katrina tragedy. Albeit none of these songs were ever singles, nor could they have ever received radio play. Nobody's gonna bat an eyelash at that last sentence, either... it's just the way the world and therefore the media works. And there in lies my problem with hip hop.
|Do not... I repeat.. DO NOT procreate.|
I was having a conversation with a friend of mine the other day about the status of hip hop and how cool it was to see some of this new breed of hip hop taking a piece of the pie in arenas such as the recent MTV Video Awards, where resident weirdo, Tyler the Creator won a Moonman (is that even a thing anymore?) for Best New Artist. Kanye's sloppy-seconds boo thing, Wiz Khalifa can live in a skinny jean world where skater kids, b-boys, syrup-sipping gangstas, brown nerds, N.E.R.D.s and every other black counter-culture in between can reside. I like it here, even if it's as authentic as the glitzy MC Hammer pants of the early 90's. The guys over at Very Smart Brothas blog seem to think all of this has led us to a dark place, where extra-feminized emo-thugs rule the world. Check out their latest post on Canada's greatest export since Maple syrup; Drizzy Drake and his punktastic Marvin's Room.
|Yeah. This guy.|
Shortly after reading their post (and cracking up at the always hilarious comments section) I received a link on Facebook to a post from Danielle over at the Black Snob on some chick named Kyeayshawn you may have heard of (she has that song that goes Luis Luis Luis/I need attention/ various poop sounds) and how her kind are destroying the rap game. Read about it here. While I agree with her assertion that this "rapper" and others in her like haven't earned the right to claim hip hop and that this is ultimately our fault as a culture for failing to properly cultivate it, I disagree with the assumption that we ever had control of this art form. Hip hop is more than the bass and beat for alot of us it is a way of life, almost our religion. With all artistic representations, once created, the works are no longer the sole property of the creator. They become property of the world, to be scrutinized, adored, revolted and misinterpreted by anyone and everyone with eyes to see and ears to hear. The problem with hip hop is not skinny jeans that simultaneously manage to be both too tight and sagging, emo thugs that whine over an 808 beat about their burden of being famous a full seventeen seconds after they achieve said fame or even the college-educated Shawt-bus Shawties that prefer to rhyme about their acute misunderstanding of the English alphabet. The problem with hip hop is us.
|'Cause when the chorus goes 'All the dumb sluts put your hands up'|
you thought they were talking to the other girls in the club.
Do you have an opinion? Does hip hop need to be renovated? Or are the Talib Kweli'
s and Lupe's of the world putting in enough of the work already?
--- Vanity in Peril