I don’t care for 50 Cent. I respect his grind. I respect the fact that he is basically a self-made mogul, who went from someone no label would touch to an artist labels got into a bidding war over. But as a individual, I respect him only slightly more than Justin Timberlake and slightly less than MC Skat Kat.
In the past few years I’ve had to endure idiots jumping on his bandwagon and calling him “great.” I’ve had to put up with 50 and his
Guerilla Gorilla Unit cronies being touted as “the next big thing.” And, for the most part I’ve held my tongue.
I’ve really tried not to lash out at those who proclaim that 50 is the “hardest” or “best” MC out. I’ve tried my best not to bash 50 or his fans. If I encountered a 50 fan, I’d suggest some artists who better embody the spirit of “Hip Hop.”
But this week I lost it.
It all stems from the fact that 50 Cent has a new album coming out. So you know what that means; time for beef! This time around instead of just aiming for Ja Rule, 50 is also taking shots at Jadakiss.
Now, I’m a fan of Jadakiss. I’ve been a fan from Clue Tapes and freestyles with B.I.G. There was a time when he was my favorite member of The Lox, (though Styles is now running head to head with him.) There I’ve admitted my bias.
So when I heard that 50 was aiming for Jada, 50 jumped back up on my Most Hated list right alongside the aforementioned Timberlake, that manager who fired me, and Elmo (he pushed Grover to the back burner man!)
As I occasionally do, I asked a coworker what he thought of the brewing beef between the two MC’s. Here’s how the conversation basically went;
ME: What up with your boy 50 goin’ at Jada? (clearly I speak differently than I write)
Coworker: Jadakiss ain’t all that.
ME: No, 50 ain’t all that.
Coworker: I like 50. He’s a better rapper.
ME: Oh, do explain.
Coworker: He’s just a better rapper.
ME: How? He’s got nowhere near the versatility of Jadakiss.
Coworker: I’m just saying, he’s a better rapper.
Coworker: He got shot nine times.
ME: What does that have to do with him being better than Jada?
Coworker: He got shot nine times. His name if 50 Cent because he can only use 50 percent of his mouth!
ME: That’s garbage. He was 50 Cent before he got shot, when he did How to Rob with the Madd Rapper. He bit the name “50 Cent” from Brooklyn dealer.
ME: How is 50 a better rapper than Jadakiss?
Coworker: Just look at Jadakiss. I think I could punk Jadakiss. But I wouldn’t step to 50.
ME: WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?
Coworker: I’m just saying Jadakiss looks like a punk.
ME: Ok, look; being shot nine times and looking tough doesn’t have anything to do with rhyming. So. Tell. Me. Why. 50. Is. Better. Than. Jada.
Another Coworker: How many times did Jadakiss go platinum?
ME: Who’s been in the game for decade and did songs with B.I.G.?
Coworker: 50 went multi platinum with his debut.
ME: What’s that prove? That proves white kids if Utah went to Wal-Mart and bought it. That doesn’t mean he’s a good MC. I mean unless you consider Hammer a talented lyricist.
At that point my two coworkers started beboping and scatting, and I left realzing that nothing would be accomplished.
But I walked away frustrated. The type of frustration you felt when you were a kid where you wanted to lash out violently or cry. That’s how angry I was at their ignorance.
I was frustrated that people could think that one MC is better than the next, without offering a bit of evidence. We didn’t debate skills or flow. We debated medical history and physical stature.
But that’s what Hip Hop has become. It’s been co-opted by the dominant culture and corrupted. There are more fans of Hip Hop like them than there are like me. And in a country where majority rules doesn’t that alter the very substance of culture? Doesn’t Hip Hop cease being what I know and love and become what they perceive it as? I’m about to ready to surrender my Hip Hop 4 Life card, and listen to the smooth stylings of Dave Coz.
Later on I caught up with Phil on AIM and we touched on the topic. I told him how, while I didn’t really want another MC to die, I wouldn’t mind 50 meeting a violent end. All he really contributed to Hip Hop has been having young Black males proclaim their affiliation with apes and what could be coonish about that?
But then Phil reminded me that a violent death is a surefire way to get 50’s name on the “Greatest of All Time” list. He convinced me that 50 should decline and then die. I agreed with him, on the condition that the death was violent.
Of course you’re saying “Mathan, that’s completely inappropriate. Hoping for the violent death of a fellow Black man, just days after MLK Day.” To which I respond; maybe one day I’ll get a chance to voice my opinion on things not of a musical nature. Y’know like my thoughts on MLK and the 2004 election. I’ve been hearing rumors of something called Moodspins.
Oh yeah, and I’m from Arizona, I know very little of this alleged MLK Day.
Read these folks.
Rejoice in Aaron’s second inauguration. His column is… why am I even linking this guy? You should already be reading him.
Jeff splurges on music and gives you his best off 2004.
Gordi not only puts us all to shame. He’s also got COWBELL!
Michael discusses Billy the producer.
Gloomchen’s such a great writer that I sometimes don’t feel like embarrassing myself by contributing a column.
Tom has some positive news about Damageplan.
Tayo has given me reasons to look forward to 2005, and I mean in addition to the possibility of reading his column every week.
With the departure of Evocator, Jeff is the old head over there.
Double M and Scott Granell give you some folks with great pipes.
MSD gets props just for putting Nas above Pac.
Five, Oh I Don’t Know, CD’s I Can See From Where I’m Sitting Right Now.
1. Beastie Boys – To The 5 Boroughs (d’oh)
2. Nas – The Seventh Coming Mixtape
3. Q-Tip – Kamaal The Abstract
4. Soundtrack – Kill Bill Vol. 1
5. Nick Salemi – The Hit List 2k4 Vol. 2