Monday, August 31, 2009

The-Dream:...The Memo

-September 1, 2009-


Re: The-Dream's new position

As the new VP of Island/Def Jam Records, I plan to implement a few changes, so that we can properly operate as a cohesive machine & correct every mistake made by my predeccesor. Beginning my first day, the following changes are mandatory; those who can't/won't comply will be subject to immediate cavity search & ejected into the street. Thank you.
- The-Dream a/k/a Radio Killa

1)Backwards-slant fitted caps & dark shades will now be considered as uniform. Every employee will be required to wear said items regardless of outfit. Again, those unable to comply will face aforementioned cavity search & ejacu-I mean ejection from the premises. Upon request, company issued hats baring my likeness can be purchased for $39.95. Tweet me for further information.

2)Every other Tuesday will be Christina Millian Day. I'll expect the female employees to dress up as her, & only refer to their male counterparts as 'babe'. On specified days (& sometimes just because), we will watch "Be Cool" & "Bring It On" during office hours, but I don't foresee a dip in productivity. Also, on CM Day's, random workers may/will be stopped & asked to recite the lyrics, including chorus, to the Christina Millian song of my choosing. Failure to comply will result in cavity search & immediate termination.

3)The following office items are to be replaced with a picture of Robert Kelly post haste: desk photos, screen savers, family photos in wallets/purses, wall art, inspirational posters, etc. Disobedience to this particular rule will be reprimanded by the cavity search, ejection from the building & a shower of urination from the security guard.

4)All employees will be expected to arrive at work 15 minutes early, daily, for the ceremonial singing of "I Believe I Can Fly", over Krispy Kreme donuts & coffee. Preferably sprinkled donuts, because those are my favorite.

5)If you have friends/family who thinks they have what it takes to be an artist, inform them ahead of time that, if they are talented, I will be writing all their material. I'm flexible on production, although Jazzy Pha gets the first look. This is non-negotiable.

6)If ever a need arises to communicate with me, never call my phone or look me directly in the eye(glasses). Contact me via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or Worldstarhiphop. A meeting will be designated appropriately.

7)I reserve the right to appear & dance in the club scenes of any artists' video. & if in said video holding a drink is required, said drink must be colorful & look delicious.

8)For any future reference(s), my favorite color is baby blue & my favorite food is chinese.

Thank you for your time & cooperation. Together, we can make this a label of love, & progressively move forward with enough success to provide fur coats & box lunches to all the homeless people in New York. Don't let me down, people.

*The list is subject to change without notice.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Death By Mixtape

I always wonder, why Hip Hop is the only genre to extensively produce the "mixtape"? Before I go any further, though;

The mixtape is actually that; a "tape" of mixes. Some 30-odd years ago, they were referred to as pause-mixes, meaning a song was recorded from it's source, onto a cassette tape, & paused until the next song was recorded. My generation would stay up late, the only time radio stations played Hip Hop in most cities back then, & record all the newest rap songs, making an "album" full of what was hot at the time. The more industrious youngster would re-record their final product, on more tapes & sell them to people. Thus, the mixtape phenomenon began.

Eventually, artists such as Too $hort & E-40 (& many others) began using this format to personally market their own albums out of cars, at strip malls, etc. Which, in short, was loosely the inception of the independent Hip Hop label. Loosely, being the operative word, because it's more to it than I'm willing to allude to in this post.

Which brings us to today. It would seem that any rap artist MUST have at least one mixtape in their catalog. The majority of which are usually throw-away verses & meh choruses over already popular instrumentals. This concept is good from a novelty P.O.V., but how far does a gimmick truly take you? In most cases, once an artist releases an original song, the listener becomes accustomed to hearing said vocalist over the music, so another artist out-doing them, in & of itself, is quite the task. It IS possible to do so, but for example; once I heard M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes", there wasn't much more that Bun B (an obviously better rapper) could do to improve on the inaugural version. Half of M.I.A.'s lyrics were barely understandable, but I stand by my point. Basically, if a song was meant for you, you'd be on it already.

Now, some tracks do deserve a much needed lyrical upgrade, which works out well occasionally, but it's still not your song(s). So, does that make it plagiarism, per se? Is it "acceptable" biting? Many say nil to both, but I beg to differ. In today's Hip Hop universe, if you throw a rock into a crowd of young people, half of them produce music. 25% of the remaining half are rappers, & the rest hang out for the free weed &/or just to get out of their mom's basement for the evening. It's not THAT hard to find someone to do beats, for free even. A halfway decent aspiring rapper can find an up & coming mediocre producer, & who knows what magic may ensue. Original magic, like Harry Houdini, not copycatted mystification, like David Blaine.

But, don't tell that to any established artists.......

In between so-so major releases, label acts fill their audio void with countless mixtape efforts, many of which fall on deaf ears. Not for nothing, but when I'm done listening to my favorite MC's studio release, I don't want to hear him on a re-mix of every song the radio murdered that summer. It was one thing for Curtis Jackson to use it as a vehicle to go from obscured anonymity to megastar, but in general it should be left to either the unknown rapster or an established artist who feels there is something to prove. Case in point; 50's digital mixtape "War Angel" was truck loads better than the last two studio albums he released.

The one understandable aspect of a mixtape is the lack of politics. An artist is free to rap about whatever he/she chooses when a Tall Israeli isn't breathing down their respective necks spewing demographic sales expectations during their writing session. It frees up more time to smoke weed & drink between takes, if you will.

Maybe I'm over-analytical (i.e. a douche), but why not save that energy for the records the record company pays you to put out? A win-win, if you ask me. & to be honest, I'm computer-savvy enough to get your actual album for free if I really wanted it, so all these cutting room throways aren't going to impress me in the slightest.

For a dude like Kid Cudi, or Charles Hamilton (& their ilk), it's a good way to set the stage for their official arrival. But, once popularity is secured, there's not much left to prove. Unless it's to themselves.

For a good comparative narrative, think about the established rappers who DON'T release mixtapes. DJ's might star them on certain series', but it's not the artist who ultimately decided, "Hey, let me make all these songs waaaaay better!".

In fact, I think I just answered my initial question; because most rap cats are one of two things. Over-confident, self-serving narcissists or genuinely talented guys who's hunger & thirst make "quit" a non-word.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Free Dr. Murray!

I'm pretty sick of hearing about Michael Jackson. I thought the whole point of Death was rest, or "sleep" as it's referred to in the Bible. If there is any relaxation in expiration, Mike's seeing no parts of it. What was the point of an effing funeral if the media just continues to parade his corpse around like pictures of Star Jones after her Lap Band surgery? I wouldn't be surprised if him, Tupac Shakur & Bruce Lee were sipping Pina Colada's on some island, stuffing hundred dollar bills into the coconut bra's of some exotic belly dancers. I'd give my big toe to be a fruit fly on that palm tree.


Dr. Murray, a/k/a Dr. Death (I know, right?) is basically being called a murderer, now that Mike Jack's death is officially a homicide. This newest leg of the witch hunt demands that someone be held responsible for the drug overdose that took the King of Pop from us. Now, all the doctor's who bragged about rubbing elbows with Jackson are wishing they hadn't, as they all are being thrown under the proverbial bus, one at a time. Celebrities by profession are now guilty by association. It's hard to feel sorry for multimillionaires, but God bless them all the same.

The main focus of media at the present is that they lay blame to someone. To me, thats a crock of dinosaur poo. I don't know about elite drug addiction, but I know about addiction, which in the grand scheme of things is the same mechanism. I'm no insider or gossip-heavy industry maverick, but I know exactly who to blame for his unintentional passing. Somebody needs to write me a check, & close the book on this one. Really though.

As most of you know, I'm an alcoholic. In recovery, but an alkie nonetheless. When I was checked into the hospital last year, for a veritable grocery list of ailments, the first thing my mother did was pray. Second thing, look for someone to blame. She gave my wife such a hard time that had I been in decent shape, I would've cursed her like we'd never met. I didn't appreciate that, for all the support my wife had given me through peaks & valleys, here's my mother blaming HER for ME almost committing suicide. No Dice.

No one made me drink. I don't care who handed me monies, or brought liquor to my house, or picked me up to go hang; nobody made me do shit. I chose to drink for breakfast, lunch & dinner. Daily. Weekly. Monthly. Yearly. Sure, some can call not stopping me "enabling", but fuck your psycho-babble jargon. Tony does what Tony wants, which is a 33 year old habit. So, when I detoxed & truly sobered up, I vocally took full blame for my misfortune. What kind of douche would say that their stupidity is someone else's responsibility? Rhetorical question.

My point is, for all the circle-running that people are doing, they continuously overlook the fact that Michael decided, in his own warped, fragile little mind, that what he needed was medication. & lots of it. Sure, the docs didn't have to supply it, but who likes being broke, whilst tons of cash are potentially an immoral phone call away? I don't blame Dr. Murray for seeing this as an opportunity to pay bills, eat food & have somewhere to sleep. Hell, I can't say I wouldn't have done the same thing. If Michael Jackson tells you to do something, you do it. Case in point; rumor has it that MJ made advances on Webster & Macauley Culkin. Look at their respective careers. They should've let Mike do whatever it was he wanted to do to them, & maybe you guys wouldn't be thinking, "who the hell is he talking about?". Catch my drift?

Homicide, no. Suicide, most definitely. If blame absolutely must find a target, paint a bull's eye on the back of Joseph Jackson's fancy sportscoat. Otherwise, Mike was addicted to drugs, & chose to indulge without seeking any help. However slow & calculated, Mike did it to himself, & there's no two ways around it. He was no saint, no angel, & 100% human. Capable of the same fallible, erroneous behaviors as the rest of us.

Rest In Peace, Mike, whenever they decide to let you...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

When Keepin' It Real Goes Right

"Police have raided an apartment leased to rapper Jadakiss and seized 5 grams of heroin, 6.5 pounds of marijuana and $40,000 cash from the Yonkers New York residence, say published reports." (8/25)

A man's gotta do, am I right? For the sake of conversation, because I don't really know, let's say that all that dope & money was indeed Jason Phillips'. From my minimal knowledge of street life, it sure as hell looks like dude is selling drugs to me. Perhaps if Heroin wasn't in the mix, it could be perceived as something more trivial. Now, all those clever lines he pens about bricks & stacks come across with a bit more believability. Not that that's a good thing; if I think that, God only knows what the Federali's are making of it.

Take into account that his label/group/business venture D-Block Records has been operating for years without much publicized success. Critical acclaim, maybe, but we all know that's just a tactful way to say "not really too successful". Even without much apparent revenue, they have their own recording home, stable of artists with needs, a car wash *wink-wink*, & continue to stay active in a business that thrives on the exchange of currency at a fairly rapid rate. & it's not like Def Jam is handing out millions of monies for artist's that can't crack 300,000 copies sold. No shots, though.

Could it be that this is all a front for drug dealing?

I'm sure most rappers lie about their lifestyles, but how many of those guys get busted with such a healthy amount of illegal product? The money itself isn't against the law, but it sure makes all those drugs look that much more interesting. It's one thing to make up stories, & claim to be involved in high level dealings on wax, but to have it plastered across newspapers kind of makes it official. Imagine how quickly 50 Cent would've back off of Rick Ross had he been pulled over with kilo's of Cocaine in the trunk of his $200,000 car.

If nothing else, Jada's street cred just skyrocketed. & he can thank his two dumb-ass friends/weed [& Heroin] holders ( who caught the cops' attention, subsequently leading them to the apartment) for that.

If we've learned anything about the Hip Hop police, it's that they lay in wait for opportunities like this. Prepare for a full-fledged investigation to be launched on D-Block Records, & anyone affiliated. & I wouldn't be surprised if that became a trend, a la Murder Inc., with other not-so-well-to-do labels become targets of FBI stings & impromptu tax audits. Between Death Row/G-Unit/Murder Inc, the last 10 or so years have kept the Hip Hop cops pretty busy turning over rocks & digging in niggas' backgrounds. It's not like they're out trying to find who killed Big L, Biggie, 'Pac, Souljah Slim or Mac Dre, so this would be right up their alleys.

Take Clipse, whose music is Crack Rap without apology. Their manager was arrested behind drug activity, & even then they were only guilty by association. So far, at least. It's not like they found dope ON them, per se. & according to the consensus, them cats been telling on themselves for about 3 albums now. But, this 'Kiss scenario takes "keepin' it real" to a next plateau, again, assuming all those things belonged to J-a-d-a in some way or another.

Hopefully, Jada didn't play a part in this situation, although it's not looking good. Shit rolls downhill; from his two jumpy buddies, to 'Kiss himself, to the whole D-Block organization. Not that he'd be throwing away a phenomenal rap career, but it would suck to be him right now. & If he's not guilty of assisting/contributing to the distribution of illegal substances, then he's damn sure guilty of keeping the wrong cats around him. But, that's a post for another day.

One has to wonder where Sheek Louch & Styles P stand in all of this. Say the two schmoes who started this fiasco decide to start singing the blues for the sake of lesser convictions. That would put 'Kiss in the precarious "Stop Snitchin'" position, if the rest of LOX are involved. I don't know a lot of cats, if any, who own one Sheek CD. I'm just saying. Styles signed that book deal, but what does that really mean in this computer-driven, "I ain't know nothin' 'bout no readin'" day & age. Word to Kanye West & Lil Wayne.

Dope-dealing is one of the few lifestyles that is as dangerous as it is glamorous, hence the entertainment industry's romantic fascination with it. My uncle succumbed to it's allure, then had 7 1/2 years to think about how he would have made manager at Burger King by now. District manager with the right attitude.

Let's see how this one plays out...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The 5 Minute Factor: part three

....Conclusion (I suggest you read part's one & two first. Trust me)....

Funny thing about haphazard behavior is that rarely do you cover your ass. You just jump head first into the situation, without weighing all possibilities &/or outcomes. Throughout this whole ordeal with *no dry-snitch*, while I'm being the protective older brother to an "armed & dangerous" criminal, I never once asked him what happened to the gun. I was so caught up in the Cloak 'N' Dagger experience, I'd forgotten why he started coming around me to begin with, those light years ago. No dad, no older brothers, uncle (by marriage) was a crack-head, mom only 15 years older than him; he was looking for someone who would be looking for him.

How did I forget to ask him about the fucking gun?

5 minutes became 5 hours. Nightfall became the next day, with no signs of *no dry-snitch*. All the members of the neighborhood goon squad were congregated at our meeting spot, my front porch, when I came outside that morning. Everybody looked at me, & I knew. Seems he, against my warning, decided to stroll through the neighborhood on his way to wherever. His thing was to show the world that he wasn't scared of anything, Pigs included. Once he made his rounds, gave some hugs & shook some hands, he headed to his destination.

What I didn't know was that this whole time, that same dirty gun was on him, always. Jacket pocket, back pack, under his big, dirty ass t-shirt, etc. He always said that valley dude's homies would find him before the cops did, but I've never been good at math, so I didn't put two & two together. That day he left, plain clothes cops were watching, & followed him to where he ended up. Upon leaving that house, they detained & questioned him, & after bumping him up for about a half an hour, a sergeant arrived & I.D.'d him. He had weed & the gun he used to murder another man. It turns out it wasn't a man at all, but another misguided teenager who watched too many movies growing up & was substantially ignored at home. Brothers from another mother, one might say.

That chicken head, the eye of this tragic storm, testified against *no dry-snitch*, & even though we all wrote letters to the court, the judge ultimately threw the book at him. *no dry-snitch* caught the book like a man, & carried it with him under the jail.

25 with an L. Epic fail.

That was a few years back. Now, he's just urban legend; neighborhood fodder used to scare kids straight & teach them about choices. We all know kids don't listen though.

Come to think of it, he used to read things that I wrote & tell me how good I was. Oh, how he'd love this...

Monday, August 24, 2009

The 5 Minute Factor: part two

.....continuation from yesterday's part one (I suggest you read it first).....

I've had a gun pointed at me on a few occasions. Every time though, a strange sense of calm washed over me, as if God were in my head telling me that I'll be fine; it'll be over soon. No bullshit. The same feeling I had last year, as I lay dying in an ICU cubicle. Doctor's were telling me, in so many words, that I probably wouldn't leave there the way I WANTED to, & perhaps it was the cacophony of meds being pumped into me every minute, of every hour, but I was never scared, word to T.I. & Bonecrusher.


*no dry-snitch* was the type of kid that, when on high alert, allowed his fight-or-flight mechanisms to take over. Not surprisingly, this time it was fight rather than flight, which I personally saw him do several times over the years, so I understood when I'd heard. Rightfully so, as fast as valley cat drew the weapon, it was snatched from his hand, & that quickly, the aggressor became the aggressee. *no dry-snitch* kicked him away, so that the same thing wouldn't happen to him, & kept the nozzle of the handgun stubbornly pointed in valley kid's general direction.

All this happening as the 3-penny piece watched in awe.

Knowing the plight of the over-eager, hard-headed young street survivor, I'm positive that several words were exchanged & some derivative of a scene from "Menace To Society" was acted out before the following took place;

Pop. Pop. Pop.

& like that, *no dry-snitch* was hoofing it back to his relatives' locale. Out of bounds, & out of options, his aunt, uncle & cousin jettisoned him to his mom's apartment, who in turn took him to another aunt's; his home back in L.A., around the corner from me. After all, how much thicker is blood than 'harboring a fugitive' when you really think about it? She gave him a few dollars & the best advice the mother of a murderer can give to her hell bound son; (& I quote, because I know her-more on that later) "Stay The Fuck In The House, *no dry-snitch*!".

He showed up on my porch early the next morning, with a bag full of clothes & a smile on his face. I opened the door & snatched him in, looking around before I slammed it shut, & began the "Furious Styles" rant & rave routine.

Fuck that. I've been a big part of a chain of command in this boy's life for years. Best believe I was going to get in his ass [||] about this uber-stupidity. He'd cry & go home before he'd even think about doing shit to me, word to strong male figures worldwide.

He told me his version of what happened, which was pretty close to what had already been leaked to the streets. Bad news travels fast, nah'mean? I rolled a blunt, & as we got high & mellow, I could smell the fear, paranoia & remorse, which by now was more pungent than the dirt weed we set ablaze.

The chick-a-dee had relatives out here, of course, & word of valley boy's death hit the block before *no dry-snitch*'s dusty Fila's did.

His aunt, a very nice but stern older lady wasn't ready to let a demon reside in her home. He'd been there all this time, so I didn't see what the big deal was, but nonetheless, he was on the run, & now homeless.

Guess who extended their back house?

Oddly enough, I've never felt as safe as I did with a killer living with me. It was better than having a gun. Anyone with a wild younger brother or an unstable rotweiler knows exactly what I mean. Except, this was beyond wild; *no dry-snitch* took a man's life, with his own gun. Bishop x 100, really though.

So, his mom paid me rent, &
thanked me often. In hindsight, her thanks wouldn't mean shit had the police ran up in the house. & best believe, they were looking for *no dry-snitch*, even went to his aunt's crib applying the pressure. Little did they know he was in my backyard, looking over the wall. But, that kind of thing doesn't register to a monster. He'd walk to the store, stand on the block, & pretend that all was normal, completely oblivious to the 5 minute factor.

The summer was over & he concluded that the heat had simmered, even though Black & Whites stayed canvassing all of our Black asses. One afternoon, he said somebody owed him so money, & when I offered him some, so he wouldn't have to leave, he mumbled & started walking away.

"I'll be right back Ant, in 5 minutes."

To be concluded tomorrow.....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The 5 Minute Factor: part one

How many murderers do you know personally? I know 2. Here's one......

I have a natural magnetism for certain types of people. Mostly the downtrodden. I'm not sure why God decided to give me such an arduous responsibility, but nonetheless, I've accepted it & use my powers for good. Sometimes I become frustrated with the amount of vagabonds & borderline homeless dudes I know, but what can I do? I feel entirely too blessed not to share what God gave me with others if I'm able to. It even talks about something like that in the Bible, word to Jesus Christ.

My young home boy, named *no dry-snitch* was a good kid who, unfortunately, had his eyes widened by the daily antics of the neighborhood supervillians. The gang-banging, dope-dealing, petty criminal activity that we all love to watch on a straight-to-video DVD or hear chronicled in a rap record. Shit is real in this field.

A boy in a man's body, who would spend half of his day following around my friends & I, like an annoying sibling or stray dog, & the other half around the corner with the local ruffians. Seems like that balance would work out in his favor if ever an extreme situation arose, but he (& I) found out that in a matter of 5 minutes, everything you've learned/adopted/believed in can be forgotten & forever lost.

If you know about Los Angeles, you know that every third person has a relative in Pomona, Victorville, The Valley, Ontario, Perris, etc. Those places just happen to be the "get my ass out of L.A." hotbeds. So, *no dry-snitch* had close family in The Valley, who he'd visit often. So much so that he'd met a girl out there. He was still young, so when he came home one day, talking fast & smiling, I knew he had genuine feelings for her, as opposed to good ol' Black lust. Lust, as in, he'd already had a daughter who he never saw, through no fault of his own, so to me, he saw this as a chance to do the whole girlfriend/boyfriend thing correctly.

From the day I'd meet him, he'd gone from decent, clean cut youth, to a misdemeanor-commiting menace to society. Complete with too much hair & gang tattoos. He came to me for advice a lot, which I rationed out to him, depending on how much weed he had, but the one real situation he needed guidance on, he turned to the supervillians.

It seemed that the valley girl already had a boyfriend. In most instances, "out-of-town" niggas detest L.A. dudes, & he was no exception. The fact that he was affiliated with the Eight Trey Gangsta Crip's made him an easier target for the boon dock thug-wanna be's. & now, he'd coveted on of their prized hood rats. Some nigga lost his future baby momma, & surely looked to avenge his loss.

The day came when the two young, Black males crossed paths, on the valley hooligan's home turf. Home court advantage, per se. But *no dry-snitch* wasn't a punk by any means & he held his ground. The two fought, & after what I can only assume was an ass-kicking, the valley boy ran away threatening further violence, in the way that only Black kids from the ghetto(s) can; he's going to be back "with his strap". Again, my young compadre wasn't afraid of much, so this, to him, was another nigga barking as he scurried away with tail tucked.

This wasn't his first foray into the ignorance that is gang violence stemmed from female. In Juvenile Hall, he'd gotten into a squabble behind some tender chick filet, & stabbed a fellow "inmate" in the thigh with a pencil. No stiches, no harm, no foul. As with most incarcerated young men, this only fueled his bloodlust towards the next opportunity to flex his masculinity.

So, 5 minutes later, valley dude returned, this time in a car. He stopped the car & exited. *no dry-snitch* said that he didn't seem to have a gun, but he wasn't looking for one, what with all the adrenaline surging through him. Valley guy walked over & began talking loudly, while the prized chicken head began to back away. *no dry-snitch* decided that he was going to swing first, connected with valley cat's jaw & knocked him to he ground. Immediately, he jumped back up & produced a handgun aimed right for *no dry-snitch*'s chest.

To be continued tomorrow....

Friday, August 21, 2009

& the moral of the story is...

*Kills a horse. Beats it with a stick*

So, Plaxico Buress is going on vacation for two years. We all (should) know the story by now; big-time football star carries unregistered firearm into a club. Said gun discharges in club & wounds him in the leg. He's taken to the hospital, then to jail for the incident. After lengthy trial, Buress is sentenced to 20 months for numerous charges. I guess the judge isn't one of those-"oh, he shot himself, so I guess he's learned his lesson"-types.

Donte Stallworth killed a pedestrian, while driving drunk, & was sentenced to 30 days, but anyway.....

Now, Plax is scheduled to start serving his time immediately, as if he's a flight risk. He probably can't run as fast as he could before, but nonetheless, the judge is taking no chances with a guy who got paid to run faster than most men. Blacks stay losing.

No racism, but high-profiles White folk get away with so much. Hell, even low-profile Caucasians stay on the lenient side of the law. I could go in on the (lack of a) justice system, or the on-going battle for respect & equality, but I'm tired of beating that dead horse.

*Throws stick down & walks away*

Plaxico had a target on his back from birth, being an American of African descent. He beat quite a few odds by not being murdered in his front yard &/or not ending up a part of the prison system's revolving door policy. The fact that he made it out of the hood, & into the limelight without a negative push makes his a story of success against all odds. So.....why the fuck did he walk into a club with a gun?

It couldn't have been for protection. Dude can probably knock fire from the average sized man's ass [||]. Maybe not a Kimbo Slice, but definitely a Taye Diggs or Tyrese. It shouldn't have been to prove a point, because being young, rich & Black is a point proven in & of itself. So the question still stands, to which the only answer I can find is that he is a dumb ass.

As Black men, we need to step our game(s) up. In fact, it's not a game, so we need to step our living up. We have too many eyes on us, from the government, to our children & wives, down to the criminals, haters, & crabs that aim to pull us back to the bottom of the barrel. As long as every other step is the wrong one, we will stay losing. The good guys are over-shadowed by the bad ones, & we know this to be fact. Thats why Gucci Mane sells waaay more albums than Mos Def. That being the obvious case, we must try twice as hard to be the best men we can be.

I don't believe in role-models, but I believe in positive examples. Barack Obama has enough on his own plate, so I can't expect him to shoulder a community's burden worth of exceptional leadership. I should be able to get some help from some neighbors, rappers, thespians & athletes as well, because when my child(ren) leave my supervision, they're under yours.

No judgment, I'm just saying. We, Black men, are capable of the greatest feats. It's time we show America, if no one else, that they brought us here for a reason.

Fuck fighting the power; it's time to BE the power.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fans vs. Heads: The Battle For Hip Hop

Yes, there is a difference. Contrary to popular belief, just because one is a "Hip Hop Head" doesn't make them a "fan".

Most "Hip Hop heads" are generally pleased with the omnipotent presence of rap music, in all it's forms. Even if it's not their prescription, the hypnotic instrumentation & amalgam of verbiage is soothing to their collective soul(s). The "head" is drawn, like a moth, to all that the music entails, even if it's only to bathe in the hatred that surrounds it. To a true head, the ambiance of the music & artist is loosely interchangeable. Audio-whores, if you will. If it's hot, the head will support. Nary is there a decent rap song that gets by them, & their overall vagueness keeps their hands in numerous cookie jars, musically speaking.

On the same token, the "Hip Hop Fan" is clearly targeting specifics. A fan memorizes verses, attends concerts, supports the music vocally, financially & physically, & sticks by the artist they are the fan of through hell & high water. A fan of hip hop has delicate taste buds only satisfied by the artist(s) they feel their connection with. Like mind sex. Pause to the last 1.5 sentences. Generally, a fan of an artist adopts the emotions of their cherished leader. For example, when 50 Cent said "Fuck Rick Ross", a million e-gangstas yelled the same thing at their respective computer screens. Similarly, thousands of cyber-thugs referred to 50 as a "mungkhey" once Ross mumbled it on a WorldStarHipHop(.com) video clip.

The most notable difference betwixt the two is what they are doing to Hip Hop. Both groups profess undying love for the culture, yet one group allows thriving & productivity, while the other blindly chips away at what makes it a viable living for those who chose Rap as a profession, rather than competition or sport.

The head downloads. All he/she's concerned with is a cacophony of Rap's greatest hits & misses at his/her fingertips, to brag about with the other heads. The fan goes out & purchases, ensuring that, at the very least, he/she's helping to keep his/her favorite artists' bills paid. Which one are you?

SlaughterHouse's self-titled inaugural album "topped" the charts, after one week, with roughly 20,000 copies sold (give or take). Now, the group [Crooked I, Joell Ortiz, Royce Da 5'9" & Joe Budden] itself is lyrically superior to the majority of heavy-hitting rappers in today's regular rotation. Yet, they lack the promotional inertia that a lot of their weaker counterparts have. But, for all their superhuman linguistics, they barely scratched Rap's fiscal surface.

Based on Hip Hop blogs/websites, they should have scanned at least 250,000 copies, physical & iTunes. Truthfully, that's hard to do without posters, in-store signings & advertisements of some sort. Some die hard fans, who were actually heads, claimed they'd be purchasing two copies, when in actuality, they illegally downloaded the album a week in advance.

I'm 1/8th comp geek-I know how we gets down....

Right now, Hip Hop needs FANS; those willing to understand that Rappers don't do this for fun. In a perfect world, heads & fans could co-exist & attend the Gucci Mane & Charles Hamilton concerts in unison. But, until then, what better way to stick it to the industry than to SUPPORT what we like, IGNORE what we don't, & let Jimmy Iovine sort out the rest.

Everybody can't go to E1, because the way things are looking, it will be the next Priority Records. Remember them?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

North Pole to the Stripper Pole...

I'm not one to get preachy about women & what they should do. At the very least, I'm only responsible for my own daughter (assuming she's actually my kid), but her mother usually intercepts any positive intentions I have toward her. I can only hope that my children's mom doesn't brainwash my daughter to have the same, lopsided mentality that her entire man-less family does. Rejection does incredible things to a person's perception.

[tony's note: one of these positive, black female role models really needs to holler at these 'baby mommas'. there will NEVER be a solution as long as THEY contribute as much to the problem as WE do.]

The small amounts of time I do spend with her are mostly so full to-the-brim with fatherly wisdom & pearl-casting that I rarely get the chance to sit & talk with her. So, even though I attempt to make up for lost time, said time is spent making up for lost time; a vicious cycle that will never end.

I think it's more important to teach her about the perils of low self-esteem & the dangers of boys than it is to know what her favorite food is. Since I'm in a position of submission from the gate, I use my time wisely. After all, I'm not her friend, & won't ever be. I prefer that we fill our time with big words, rather than small talk, per se. In the words of Chris Rock (or, some other prominent Black social commentator), my job is to keep her off the pole. Whatever euphemism you choose in regards to that phrase is fine by me; it still works.

My first real duty as her father, was to debunk the Santa Claus myth. There's no such thing as a man who's going to give you things for free, & if he does exist, don't trust him. That was relatively easy. My last real duty as a father is to debunk the exotic dancer myth. There's no such thing as a man who's going to give you things for free, & if he does exist, don't trust him. This may prove a bit more difficult.

Not only is a bitter ex there to (try &) intercept the words that my little girl needs to hear from her dad, but the rappers, TV shows, movies & dumb ass friends surrounding her have more access to her psyche. I'm not teaching her to "Jerk" or "Reject". On the contrary, I'm want her to "reject" any "jerk" who wants her to see his "stanky leg". But society is telling her there's nothing wrong with that, so I appear the overbearing witch doctor attempting to hypnotize her out of having fun.

Nah. I'm just trying to keep her off the pole, literally & figuratively.

If I can fill her with self-righteous indignation then maybe that will quell some douche nozzle loser from filling her with poor self-worth & unwanted babies.

But, hey, if I don't accomplish my mission, & you happen to be at a strip joint & see my daughter dancing, tip her good, because that means she has mouths to feed at home.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Back to the Future

In a few years, you may see 50 cent, Rick Ross, & numerous other less-tasteful rappers in the unemployment line, along side the out of work secretaries & mall-cops.

Well, not really. Although, from what I'm hearing, MC Hammer may be there already. & if his cousin's not in jail for attempted rape by then, he'll be there too.

See, a buddy of mine, the wise Don Mac, brought it to my attention that a new trend has emerged, betwixt the other new Hip Hop trends popping up every 6 months or so (remember Von Dutch & 3XL white tee's?). That trend is Hip Pop. Of course, this isn't a new thing; Hip Hop has been making funny-looking babies with other genres for years. Look at Kid Rock & Limp Bizkit [||]. But, this isn't your grandfather's experimental cross-breeding of music. This is a phase reminiscent of when "Snoop came through & crushed the buildings". A monumental shift in the raposphere. That exact time when an entire generation or two is rendered obsolete, rap music-wise. In layman's terms, fresh blood is making/taking all the money.

For all the gay jokes & wheel chair wisecracks I make at the expense of Kanye West & Drake, respectively, these dudes are frontiersmen. Pioneers of the next direction our beloved Hip Hop is headed. Like it or not, it's going even more overground than the purists already perceive. Whether that's bad or good is in the eye of the beholder, yet it doesn't change the fact.

The rap industry machine, for what it's worth, is falling apart. With the increase of internet & social interaction, the labels aren't the viable middleman they once were, like a thousand years ago, back in the 90's. There's no shortage of MySpace rapsters & street credible griots. Thus, the industry is gearing towards the exceptions to those entities. Some call it Emo-rap, but record executives call it bankable income.

Maybe 50 Cent should've kept singing.

Mainstream hardcore rap music is about to join breakdancing, DJing, grafitti, & actual skill as the dinosaurs of the culture. Vocorder's the new turntable. Skinny jeans are the new shell toe. Uber-emotion is the new misguided angst. Granted, the core mettle of Hip Hop can never be replaced, but it damn sure can get a make-over & swag surf it's candy ass across the Billboard 200. In roughly a 12 month span, Lil Wayne, TI, Kanye West & Drake have been the biggest selling artists in rap. Question their skill if you must, doubt their credibility if you chose, but don't tell me shit about their collective ability to generate revenue.

The ante has been upped, youngsters. Just wanting to rap doesn't cut it anymore. Leave your street cred at home & present these label A-holes & D-bags with product they can move. Or get used to be called a "starving artist".

"Somehow the rap game reminds me of the crack game.." - NaS

Saturday, August 15, 2009

K(eep) i(t) S(imple) S(tupid)...

Have you ever thought to yourself why the hell, say, Too $hort is still making albums that sell relatively well? Never mind the fact that he hasn't changed his style since 1983. & that said style was quite possibly one of the most basic a-b, a-b formats ever introduced to an instrumental. & at the risk of tossing out [||]'s like they're going out of business, he's not the most attractive dude to look at, so sex appeal is not an issue. [||]. Not that he's the only person in this category, I just chose to use him as an example....

"Example of what, Grands?"

Of simplicity, & the breath-taking outcome of it's practice. One's lack of bells & whistles makes them relatable, on all accounts. As often as society likes to scramble brains & confuse the masses, complication is a turn-off. Music, art, life in general is more enjoyable when a person doesn't require a 15 minute processing time to understand it.

The human experience is hard enough, what with trying not to get killed or catch deadly diseases, without unnecessary hitches, glitches & razzle-dazzle. Especially the self-inflicted wounds born out of narcissistic stubbornness. It's imperative that one chills, from time to time at least, & admires the world they try so hard to sustain in. Smell the roses, per se, & if you happen to get stung by an overzealous bee, chalk that up to life-living & keep on pushing.

It's a simple solution to a paradoxically complex dilemma; just stop making life so hard. 9 times out of 10, it's not the incident that's difficult, it's the way you go about it dealing with it. Example; bills need to be paid yet, the money doesn't quite seem like it's going to stretch all the way. Whatdoyado? You do the best you can, & know for a fact that, no matter what, it will resolve itself, one way or another. Really. Thats it.

When I was a kid, my Dad would always say, "one way or another", & I guess it stuck. I mean, take the worst possible scenario of hardship, & add this component to the equation, "well, at least I'll be dead eventually". Tell me that doesn't release a tremendous amount of pressure.
Really though, when times get tough, just say it, "one way or another". If need be, get it tattooed on your neck, backwards & in reverse, like the sticker on the hood of an ambulance. That way, every time you need to remind yourself how beautiful you are, you can get a gander of this statement as well.

"They" say that life is too short (full circle, Ha!). If that's the case, relax, relate, release, regroup, then re-engage, in that order, daily.

One way or another.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dedicated To My Friend

R.I.P. Damon Johnson

I lost a very close friend of mine Tuesday morning. He was struck by a car, attempting to cross the street. Said street is always full of a bunch of idiot drivers who are either A) drunk, B) haphazard or C) incompetent, like 85% of the rest of the world. But, for whatever reason, it was his time to die.

God bless his family. I will miss him, as much as a man can miss another man without needing a "no homo" at the end of the sentence. When you're a kid, friends come & go, but as an adult, when you consider someone a friend (as opposed to homie, buddy, potna, etc.), it really means something significant, well at least to me. & to lose that friend, is something that has to be dealt with on an adult level, i.e. realistically.

Death is an amazing thing, in that, you can compulsively prepare for it, do all you can to avoid it, yet do nothing at all to prevent it. That, to me, is uncomfortably hilarious. Case in point; Damon survived several gunshot wounds a few years back. Btw, several = four or more. Yet, he got through it, physically & mentally. He's been to the penitentiary a couple of times, & although he came home with the same state of mind he had after the shooting (shell-shocked), he got through it. Simultaneously the coolest & toughest person I'd met since I've become an adult. But, for all the tests God presented & Damon passed, this was a pop quiz without a cheat sheet.

The doctors tried to save him, but that wasn't in the cards. Within the hour of his
passing, the whole neighborhood was outside, walking around, hugging, dapping, smoking weed in memoriam, & drinking alcohol as they sat in awe. There's even a makeshift tribute to him on the corner that the ambulance took him from. I wonder did he realize that this would be his last time ever leaving the hood?

Sooner than later, we'll have his funeral, & all of us will have a chance to tell him "Peace Out" for the final time. After that, we'll come home, laugh at his silly antics, regret any arguments & disagreements, part ways & continue to live our lives, until the next time death rears it's insidious head.

The last time I saw him was Saturday morning. He was flirting with a bus driver. Kool-aid smile & all. The last time my friend Tone saw him was as he tried to stand back up after the vehicle knocked him down. Then, the paramedics arrived.

Y'all be cool & careful out there. Tomorrow isn't promised, & don't forget that.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rap Music Is NSFW

*it means Not Safe For Work, in case you're confused*

My generation is possibly the first (& only) generation to say that when we grew up, along with doctors, lawyers, & astronauts, we also wanted to be rappers. It was tangible & realistic. Fortunately, this was during a time when being a rapper meant more than shallow word schematic & pointless show boating. Of course there were exceptions. & when exceptions become the norm, then it's all bad, but this wasn't the case then. Gaudy jewelry was juxtaposed to cognizant thinking & actual points of view. Rappers were the dudes who one looked to for a sense of direction. Legitimate community voices who were just beyond our reach. Believe it, or not (young people), at one point in time, rappers were role models, to a reasonable extent. We all grow up & out of that, though.

Funny how a couple of decades can switch shit up.

Now, most rappers are nothing more than comical clones of the last musical mishap they witnessed (i.e. each other). Two dimensional caricatures of a distant memory. Plainly stated, these niggas are wack. Talent & skill have taken a back seat to bullet holes & felony charges. Really though. The ones that aren't ghetto jesters or soldiers of the coon calvary are still the furthest from positive influences that a person could be. There was a time when young people wanted to be rappers for the right reasons. Nowadays, I don't hear that much.

Seems to me that being a rapper is quickly ranking up there with cops, in terms of danger factor. This year alone, I can think of incidents where rap dudes have been:

shot at

These occurrences happen regularly, & have been for years. Call me old fashioned, but thats not worth groupie sex, costume jewelry, the mo' problems that come with the mo' money, or the immense hatred that goes along with it all. It's hard enough just being a regular Black guy in America, much less a moving target for the 35% of society that has nothing better to do than scheme, scam & pull all the other crabs in the barrel back down to the bottom.

I guess to a degree, a lot of rappers bring certain elements to themselves. There's nothing wrong with being successful, but it's how you go about displaying it to the public. Doctors & lawyers make crazy money, but you don't see them going to the salon with $35,000 worth of jewelry on. Or making videos of them, at home, burning piles of cash then uploading it to Youtube. Figuratively speaking, if you slather yourself in honey, expect the flies to gather on your flesh, if you get my point.

With all the hoopla about the rap game being reminiscent of the crack game, a lot of the danger level gets ignored. In no other genre of music has one artist sent a memo to the others stating that they cannot ever come [back] to his city. What part of artistic creativity does that fall under? Everybody has beef with everybody else, & if we leave it to a guy named Joe Budden, the beef game might have just stepped into the pay-per-view fight night arena. The hustle that became the [new] WWE is now a certifiable gang bang. Like the videos for "Bad" & "Beat It", except with more niggas & real weapons.

God bless these cats, though. Rapping is some dangerous shit.

Good luck with that fellas.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Talk Is (Not) Cheap

Some douche nozzle rap dude named Brisco (who?) got robbed a few days ago. He was at a "local" barbershop, somewhere in Florida, when 4 masked men rushed into the establishment, fired a few rounds & relieved him of roughly $40,000 worth of cash & jewelry, & took the keys to his leased Range Rover after (supposedly) pistol whipping him. No more than 2 days later, the rapper releases a song aimed at the criminals, saying that there's now a bounty on them for acts committed.

Fucking idiot.

First of all, the guys had him in the ultimate position of submission (i.e. at gunpoint), & for all intents & purposes could've bodied him right there, just off the strength of green-eyed monsters & hatred. So, how does he pay them back for ONLY taking some material possessions & not his life or his manhood? By threatening their lives, in a "song" for the whole world to hear. After the police were notified, that is. So, not only will his threats fall on the ears of these random, obviously blood thirsty jackals who he probably can't identify in a police line-up, but if something necessarily negative were to happen to the goons, he'll be the first one the authorities contact.

Not to say one should ever be appreciative for being robbed, but I've been robbed before. At gunpoint. I was grateful that the nigga didn't get all LAPD on me. If (& when) ever I find myself at the business end of a handgun, & happen to survive the ordeal, pride is the only thing that stops me from telling the dude "Good lookin' out on not cappin' me, bro". What Brisco did is the equivalent of "na-nanny-na-naa", with a twist of "watch ya back, bitches!". Silly me, I stopped teasing bullies when they graduated to felonious activity.

Fucking idiot.

[tony's note: slick rick NEVER got robbed. just saying.]

In the same vein, rapper Joe Budden has been beefing with quite a few dudes this year. Yeah, you may not have heard of this rapper either. His last foray into the "beef" department was with a more legendary MC named Method Man. Sans the underwhelming details of the root cause of conflict, they had choice words over the last couple of months. At which point, members of Meth's entourage (Wu Tang Clan) decided they'd had enough of this guy disrespecting their brother. Now, here's the tricky part....

The confusion between Joe & Meth was supposedly quelled 2 weeks ago, at a concert series known as "Rock The Bells". Although by now, several other Wu-affiliates had taken up residence on Joe's back. But, after the truce was declared, Joe Budden pulled one of those sneak disses; second cousin to the Backhanded Compliment. Something to the effect of, "& the next nigga who say something, I won't be so nice".

Funny how some dudes just refuse to leave well enough alone.

This weekend (Saturday, August 8), at an extension of the same RTB venue, Joe's words finally caught up with him. Raekwon, one of Method's group members, who entered the "beef" to assist him, had a guy, who knew a guy, who brought a guy to the concert, & said guy punched Budden's in the face. Live on the 'Nets, for all who saw to see. What will come of this, who knows. But, I doubt it will escalate too much more. In most cases, a swift jab to the side of the head clears up any misconceptions. Word to Joe Budden. Then again, these rap cats avail themselves to such a distorted view of reality, anything's possible. I predict the Youtube/WorldStarHipHop onslaught is beginning as you read this.

Now, I don't bite my tongue too often because it hurts, so I can empathize wholeheartedly, but at some point, silence is just the wisest option. & not to sound like a bitter, anti-climactic antagonist, but what is it about being a rapper that makes one assume that every life-situation is a cock-measuring contest? If Brisco so happens to be discovered in some swamp with a bullet hole in his temple & his silk Versace boxers stuffed into his mouth, society will blame Hip Hop. Not the dumb decision making of one peacock, but the entire movement will be (once again) thrown under the (tour) bus. Same with Joe. If he allows his ego to return fire on whoever he deems opposition, again, Hip Hop will be the reason for the violence. As opposed to blaming the overgrown crybaby, who some dude(s) finally decided deserved his proverbial spanking. Nothing says 'you're talking too much' like being blindsided with a haymaker.

"Mouth almighty, tongue everlastin', Ya ain't satisfied until somethin' happens...." - (c) Whodini, "Big Mouth"

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Say Bye To The Bad Guy

"....The puppet master won’t admit to being the puppet master. That’s what’s so cold about the puppet master. Man, I’d rather not, there’s so many other ways, for me to— I’m so talented in other areas; so, fuck Rap, fuck Hip-Hop! I’ll say it again; fuck Hip-Hop." - Scarface via

I feel Scarface's pain.

In short, this man's legacy in Hip Hop should be as praise worthy as an Ice Cube or a Too $hort. When he entered the scene in the 80's with "The Geto Boys", he was easily overlooked as their leader while we all watched in amusement/horror as Bushwick Bill became their proverbial front man. It wasn't that Bushwick was a better rapper, but come on, who doesn't love a Black midget? Especially one with dreadlocks, uber-misogynistic views & a tendency to want to kill people. The man wore a Chucky doll around his neck for Christ's sake. If that doesn't scream "Rock Star!", then what does? Honorable mention due to Willie D who, in my humble opinion, is a shit can rapper who comically got arrested this year for an Internet iPhone scam. His mind was playing tricks on him perhaps.

In rap music, unlike other genres, we don't salute our predecessors. It's more of a jungle mentality, "survival of the fittest", if you will. As long as the old lion is strong enough to hunt, he'll eat. Once he loses a step though, not only will he most likely starve, but it's only a matter of time before a bloodthirsty pack of hyena find him napping & tear him to mcnuggets. Everybody isn't blessed to be a Sir Mix-a-lot, with the ability to make enough off-kilter songs 20 years ago that they still ring the bells of today's idiotic consumer (Tone Loc, anyone?). Some individuals who got wrapped up in industry shenanigans chose not to rest on their laurels or ditch their belief system. Whether thats ultimately good or bad, is yet to be determined.

"My fans should say fuck Hip-Hop, too. Hip-Hop doesn’t even exist no more. Does it; is it Hip-Hop still? Is there such a thing? Define the word"
- Scarface via

Scarface a/k/a Brad Jordan has become an Uncle to rap music, like LL & Luke. Just ask Ludacris. 'Face has never lost touch with his true fans, & on a gangsta rap level, is one of the best to ever do it. One would be hard pressed to find a southern hip hop fan that didn't lump Scarface in with is Top 10 rappers. In a perfect world, he'd be heralded for the work he's put in for the culture, yet, he's now despondent & angry at the current wave of Hip Hop that keeps washing bullshit ashore. & anyone who can't understand his sentiment is probably sporting 28 slims (boot cut) & a tie-dyed faux-hawk.

Who would've known that while we, as a culture, banded together to assassinate Ringtone Rap, we were helping to usher in this Emo thing? Ugh, rap music has become a soap opera about vampires (word to Dallas Penn).

"Fuck the mic. Man, fuck the microphone. I’d rather watch from a distance. I don’t want nothing to do with it. I’m done with that shit. That was a phase of my life that was good to pass on. I’m just glad that it’s over. I’m done." - Scarface via

How long before others in his position follow suit? Hip Hop is doing commercials for McDonalds now. Hip Hop is helping our children learn how to read & write. Hip Hop is graduating from college & selling used cars. Not that it's a bad look, but I can imagine how it must feel to fight censorship, battle being banned & blamed for all of societies ill's, only to persevere & end up in a place completely foreign to your prime objective. It's kind of like getting the girl you wanted, then she gets pregnant & you REALLY get to know her. & she's the dumbest, most non-sensical mate you could've hoped to find. Congradulations on your failure.

If this is Scarface's last stand, he will be missed. He represents the last of the "true" gangsta rappers. Real rap, no gimmicks. No make believe backgrounds & unnecessary drama. &, if this is Scarface's last stand, he can't be the only OG that feels this way. Maybe this is the start of a new trend. Which, quite possibly could be the last trend.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Shoving Match

To all the Lil Wayne fans out there, Rebirth will never be released (4 push backs & counting). & here's why;


Wayne didn't follow the blueprint (no Jay-Z) laid out by thousands of Rapscallions before him. Hire down. If a cat is noticeably more talented, do not pull him in under you. That's an entertainment industry sin. Really though. But, he saw Drizzy somewhere, heard his flow, decided that he was the next big thing to blow [||] & scooped him up like some much ice cream (pun intended). Thus, he rendered his lollipop rap useless to the millions of 14 year old hot mama's looking for some music to get pregnant to. Plus, Drake looks better [||]. That right there should've tipped Wayne off.......[||]. Although, that would mean he'd have to find a dude less unattractive than he is, which in itself is probably quite the daunting task.


Weeziana wanted to be a Boss, whilst he was still a worker, thus removing his own self from the, umm, throne in the process. At the rate the Young Money train (no Nicki Minaj) is moving, Wayne's million dollar empire isn't guaranteed, like it was last year. If his label isn't at all excited about him venturing out to a new audience, they damn sure aren't going to be excited about him backward hustling his way through a Carter IV. Hence, numerous push backs for "Rebirth", & only baby-step rumors in regards to a supposed Carter IV. Wait, wasn't there supposed to be a Carter IV, full of unreleased songs already? Maybe Drake's knee won't heal, & Wayne won't have to worry about him stepping on his toes anymore. ROLLING over them though, is another post altogether.

Take Eminem. We've all heard the rumors of how he heard about 50, got his hands on a mixtape & just had to sign him. Do you know why Marshall was so adamant? Because Fif already generated a buzz (step 1, word to Federal Ranga) & he knew that there's no way in Hell 50 would ever out-rhyme him. Em gets his cake, & maintains to be (arguably) the flyest White dude in Hip Hop since MC Serch. Hence, hiatus' aplenty, but no push backs. Meanwhile, not even Rick Ross' buoyancy could keep 50 afloat.
"Before I Self Destruct" has been getting pushed back since this time last year. He's had time. He's had resources. One could only speculate on the exact reasons for delay(s), but I put my money on the diminishing buzz & lack of ferocity. To respond to said political complication, 50 did what he does best; took his hustle to the streets (rather, the 'Nets. "War Angel" is a must have). I guess the real question would be, why even go through the hassles of major label drama & woe if one's in a position to go for the gusto by their lonesome? If the ability is there (i.e. finance), why depend on a middle man?

In a climate like this, music-wise, it would seem like E-1 music would be flooded with D.I.Y. rap acts. What better way to avoid the TI side hustles than to take your destiny into your own hands? Not completely independent, but nowhere near the office building frezy one encounters when employed by a roundtable full of overseers (btw, at the very least, Slaughterhouse is in a great position to launch their brand).

It's impossible to be the boss if you have one.

If Tru Life was able to get out of his, umm, Def Jam contract, surely Curtis Jackson can, especially since his commitment's almost up & Interscope is dropping off dead weight like a sinking oceanliner (what's good Banks?). If Young Money is making such Cash Money movement, why do they even need a sign off on an album, rock 'n' roll, R&B, folk, polka or otherwise? Sounds kind of like this "OATH" I've been hearing so much about lately.

Kids, take note; the best way to avoid a push back is to not stand there in the first place. Create your own lane, study Federal Ranga's 5 step plan, pay your dues, your self, & wait for hard work to pay off. But hey, I'm just a writer. What do I know?

**For More, go to " presents Federal Ranga ON YO ASS!! Part IV: Push Back Deez!"**

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Worst Role Model Alive!

I went to a DMV barbecue Saturday. Imagine every stereotype about it's employees, add outdoors & food, &, Boom!, you're there with me. You're welcome.

There was music of course, & now that I'm in recovery (1 year, 4 months & 1 day), shit is especially clear to me. So, I was noticing the abundance of Young Money artists (namely Drake & Lil Wayne) blaring in the background. Maybe it was the speakers, maybe it was the fact that I seem to be the resident babysitter everywhere I go, but I'll be damned if this dude Wayne isn't the most vulgar rapper in the game right now.

Allow me to reiterate; there's nothing wrong with social cursing. Hell, my son does it (& I think it's hi-larry-us), but once you get so graphic with your exploits that you wouldn't play it for your grandmother, children shouldn't be within earshot range of so much obscenity either.

Now, not only was our isolated corner of the park flooded with kids under 14 years of age, but the 9 & up crowd, boys & girls, were doing all the latest dances to Lil Wayne's various descriptions of what he'll do/has done to "pussy". Sans corniness, I was appalled. I couldn't believe that A) these "parents" would allow me, a stranger, to oversee their kids while they got fat & drunk & B) they had that music playing so loud for so long.

Eleventeen year olds doing the 'Reject' to "I wanna fuck every girl" = EPIC FAIL.

Some of these girls, still months away from their first visit from Aunt Flo(w), were singing right along with the dude. At this point, I'm realizing how much Wayne is manufacturing these girls to accept, no, expect themselves to be mere playthings of men; manipulated & tossed aside for the next lucky chap to wipe his genitilia with. The girls were singing his songs, & all the boys were dressed just like him. & although a picture's worth a thousand words, I'm hard pressed to find 950 more words that equate to "ridiculous".

Really though. I was the only parent who saw a flaw in the DJ's attempt at keeping the function cracking. & I'm sure these kids know all the same douche nozzle, trivial trivia about Wayne as I do; The babies, the drugs, the condoning of violence, the total disregard for womankind, & yet, they adhered to his music, unexplicibly. Last year, he was the best rapper alive. Now, he's the worst role model ever.

I've more/less considered myself a casual fan of Wayne's music over the years. I've witnessed flashes of brilliance, I've seen signs of retardation. But, this Drake-flavored second wind he's campaigning right now is Ugh, to the nth degree (yeah, "nth", look it up). I can't co-sign him anymore, simply based off the fact that, judging by his words, he'd try to bone my daughter then kill me if given the chance. No Dice. That syrup & coke has officially turned this cat into a zombie.

I try not to take Rap music too seriously, but, I'll make an exception on this one.