SENSITIVE THUGS, THEY ALL NEED HUGS
This Game character is starting to make my ass itch. I can admit that he doesn’t suck on the mic. But he is by no means spectacular. He has hella potential. But as long as he keeps his nose up the ass of everybody who’s ever gone platinum, he’s doomed to repeat their mistakes.
But honestly, that’s not even what bothers me most. I mean, he’s another weak emcee. What’s the big deal, right?
What gets my goat is that he’s about to marketed as the new millennium emo-thug. He’s gonna be the thug that you can be proud of. The teary-eyed, rest-in-peaceful, contemplative bad boy. Sure he’ll shoot you, but it’s okay, cause he’s gonna feel bad about it later.
The problem, it’s gonna further distort for an already fragile demographic the image of the hero. I used to think that it was pointless to criticize artists for their portrayals of street life as glamorous, or the flaunting of tripe like gold and diamonds as treasure. I used to think that the responsibility for redirecting the current of what it means to be a young black person was completely the task of the parent. But the unfortunate truth of the matter is that with each passing generation, the children that grow up with distorted views of reality eventually become parents, who with good intention, pass on destructive value to their children. These value systems are strengthened by reinforcement from the environment, chiefly by the means of the entertainment industry.
So sure, in one sense it’s great to show the Game in a video holding his child up to the sun. In a realm of fatherless children, the image of a man valuing his son is priceless. But does the responsibility to the black family stop there?
I for one don’t think so. It would be different if he never professed to care about the people. But I fear that this half-assed black consciousness that he espouses will only further deify the image of the dualistic, half-thug, half-angel Tupac archetype. Many believe in this image because it leaves room for a brother to value the people sometimes but still be a nigger when it’s convenient. I’ve never understood the ability of some to express pro-black sentiment on one hand, and make songs about bitches and guns on the other. To some, it’s a paradox. To me it’s contradiction. And it creates new strains of confusion in an already broken people.
I can only hope that his audience has enough critical thinking skills to note this disparity, and maybe even question the purpose of re-creating the dichotomy. I have a few sneaking suspicions as to who benefits from planting these kinds of seeds in the ghetto. And it ain’t just Interscope.
THE FUTURE OF THE FOULNESS
I had a mad-creepy though the other day. You know how every generation reaches a certain age where they stop listening to new pop music because they feel like all the integrity or soul or funk or message or whatever has been lost. Well guess what? One day there’s gonna be a time when the people who listen to Lil’ Jon are gonna be tuning in to the oldies station to hear crunk music. Now can you imagine what kind of bottom-feeding tripe will have to be marketed as pop music for people to miss the integrity and creativity of Lil’ Jon. It would have to be songs about STD’s or kiddie porn. Entropy is some bogus shit.
THE HIP-HOP HISTORY QUIZ
You all are horrible. The best reader score was a sad-ass 3 outta 10. One IP staffer got a 9/10 but to him, rant-space isn’t much of a prize. To be honest I didn’t know a lot of that shit either til about a month ago when I went to a discussion held by KRS-ONE featuring a roundtable consisting of Kool Herc, Grandmaster Caz, Kool Moe Dee, and Busy Bee.
According to couple of reader responses that I got, I shouldn’t be concerned with how much readers know about old school hip-hop, since most of the artists are no longer relevant to the reading audience. But if there’s anything that I want my readers to understand, it’s that you can get info on the emcees that you feel are “relevant” anywhere, and honestly, this isn’t the column for that. Now that I know there are some b-boys out there, that’s who I’m going to write to. If you want Ja Rule news, go read VIBE. And bring me back an Apple Bottom ad.
Here are the answers, by the way…
1. Who is the inventor of the Sound System that was the foundation for the park parties from which the four arts were born?
b. Grandmaster Flash
c. Kool Herc*
d. Melle Mel
e. Afrika Bambataa
2. What New York borough was Hip-Hop born in?
a. The Bronx*
e. Long Island
3. What does the “B” in B-boy stand for?
4. Who is the un-credited writer to a verse on Rapper’s Delight?
a. Busy Bee
b. Kool Moe Dee
c. Melle Mel
d. Jimmy Spicer
e. Grandmaster Caz*
5. Kool DJ Red Alert is an uncle to a member of what rap group?
a. The Jungle Brothers*
b. Brand Nubian
c. Nice and Smooth
d. Naughty By Nature
e. H. Rap Sandwich
6. What emcee used to be known as Crustified Dibbs?
a. Biz Markie
b. RA the Rugged Man*
c. Ol Dirty Bastard
e. Craig Mack
7. Which rapper did Biggie NOT record a collabo with
a. Sadat X
c. Prince Po
d. RA the Rugged Man
e. Red Hot Lover Tone
8. Which group has Prince Paul NOT recorded with?
a. Leaders on the New School*
c. De La Soul
9. Which Emcee is NOT related to another well-known Emcee?
d. Black Rob*
e. Del the Funkee Homosapien
10. Which is NOT an accepted definition of a “crab”?
a. a derogatory term for a “crip”
b. a b-boy power move
c. a hater*
d. a kind of DJ scratch
*- the right answer, fool!
Now go read Mathan, Shawn, Aaron, Jeffrey, Gloomy, Tom, Chadwick, and Gordi
Cause they’re all smarter than you.
WHY I THINK SHE MIGHT BE THE ONE…
In this portion of my column, I’ll give you a peek into my private affairs. I’ll give you one reason every week why the new lady in my life…just…might…be…the ONE.
This week’s episode…
In a recent conversation she told me that if I asked her to, she would dance background for They Might Be Giants…
…And it was HER idea.
I’m SO not worthy…
Until next week…
Angry man, out.