Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Home sick today and decided to check out Rap City....where are the artists. I have much love for Dre and his ilk, but the video rotation was as follows: Its Me Sn*tches (Siss Beatz), We Takin' Over (DJ Khaled) and a non descript single from Hustler's POME (Jim Jones). I am wondering where are the artists, shouldn't Def Jam et al have something in heavy rotation given summer is around the corner - because we all know summer don't start until Hip Hop pops.

I actually am feeling the Swiss Beatz single, but I just wish I could see more artists less 'utility artist' in the video format.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Hip Hop has always claimed to be an equal opportunity exploiter. If your nice we will let you at the table, hey it doesn't matter if you're white or woman or a purple people eater - as long as you're nice. So, Hip Hop where are the women at?

Friday, April 20, 2007

I use to have an addiction, a three times a day or more addiction. I found myself in the morning contemplating whether to go to the bathroom first or to get my first fix of the day. Many times the fix would win. I would go downstairs sitting on the edge and light up - at the sight of the morning talk shows. I started off with something light - Good Morning America - but after while I needed something more potent. I don't know when it happened by I found myself hooked on the Sunday morning talk shows. I would flip between Fox and Meet the Nation and when I started thinking I should get help I would watch Charles Osgood and listen to the 'babbling brook' underscore at the end of the show.

Luckily I finally was able to start the sobriety process. After a lengthy process I got rid of my cable and called myself 'born again'. It's been six years since cable, and I felt I was ready to handle having cable again (okay satellite. I promised myself that it was only to watch the latest season of the Wire and after that - nothing else. Of course that didn't happen, but something else didn't happen - I couldn't stomach the news any longer.

While on the phone with a friend this week she mentioned how she told her class about Seung-hui Cho drank the kool-aid. I had only heard about the shooting through news stories read over the shoulders of fellow straphangers during the monrning commute. I quipped back to my friend that he sounded like someone who couldn't get his prick tickled to save his life. We made bets on how long the circus would last and called it a night.

I started watching the coverage and discovered a few things. Prejudice is a motherhumper, even for Korean nationals. Secondly, I realized how much we are all middle-children trying to reach our famous. So VT Shooter feels he is 'misunderstood', and that he 'gave us a chance' and his 'hand was forced'. The 'us' in his rant is the affluent co-student body of University College of America. I don't doubt he felt like an 'outsider' everywhere he went - because that is the new everyman in American culture. We try desperately to be more than we are -- smarter, hipper, cooler. Because in american culture nobody notices the 'middle-kid'. Some take the 'infamous' route (a la reality tv, and the VT Killer), and some shoot for the fence and take a stab being the best of the best (a la start-up babies of the nineties). The truth of the mater is it is hella easier to be infamous then to be famous. The VT Killer seemed like a kid who wanted to be famous but in the end like most of us he was destined to be the 'middle-child' and so he dug deep and came up with - infamy.

Hip-Hop is full of middle-children shooting for famous but coming up with more infamy then anything else. Tony-Yayo's recent beatdown is a prime example of this. He is a middle of the road skilled lyricist who will never dominate the hip hop game. Whether or not he is aware of this is debateable but he is aware his sales stats aren't stellar. He decides I will be the 'best' enforcer in my crew, and he decides its a smart move to smack up a fourteen year old in mid-town Manhattan. He hasn't reached famous but he's reached a bit of infamy. Jim Jones is another prime example, he wants to be Jigga-Dish (hey if there can be a Beyounce/Jay Z mash up there definetly can be a Jay Z/Damon Dash mash up) aka Mr. CEO Boss. He doesn't have the acumen for the boss position, so instead he tries to become famous through the infamy of beef.

Usually, hip hop can weather the storms of infamy but with no true tribal leader we are stuck with alot of middle-children coming up short and only able to pull out infamy in the bag. Of course the problem with all of this is the depth which is lost with the lack of the uniquely-better-smarter-brighter hip hop artist. Nas hipped us to the fact that hip hop was dead and the only response has been from the middle children of the game....who I would like to hear from is the smarter-brighter artist who is ready to be famous.

Monday, April 02, 2007

A few days ago Marvin "Tony Yayo" Bernard had a run in with the law. The NY Post had a photo of Mr. Bernard posting bail. While this probably sounds 'sexy' in a hip-hop way, the fact is ... he was arrested for smacking up a fourteen year old. This wasn't a fourteen year old built like a man, but rather a fourteen year who is starting to grow into his feet and hands and wears an oversize pinwheel new era cap. It turns out the fourteen year old was heading to an internship when the assault happen, cause he's not even legally old enough to work yet. His father is the Jimmy the Henchman and his son was actually heading to an internship at his dad's company in mid-town.

There's nothing sexy, gangster, honorable about smacking up a kid when you are twice his age....I would argue to not support Mr. Bernard's albums, but he can't move albums even with support. Of course this inability to compete within his chosen industry might explain why he thought it was okay to assault a child.

I guess the Game was correct to call Yayo a punk on his last few mixtapes.

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