Friday, September 4, 2009

Man Down! Man Down!

Remember how shocked people were when rapper Chi Ali killed some kid in 2001? Even if one hadn't gotten wind of this young MC (no Bust A Move), it was still pretty awesome that this quasi-famous teenage rapper had grown up & taken a man's life. [See the beginning of the movie "Strapped" for a loose re-enactment.] Before the crime, he aligned himself with the Native Tongues crew, & by all early-90's Hip Hop standards, he was destined for greatness. That fantasy world finally came crashing to the asphalt when, later that same year, he was featured on an episode of America's Most Wanted for Murder. When the smoke finally cleared, he was sentenced to 14 years behind bars.

So far this year alone, there have been two high-profile cases involving rappers & their involvement with a crime that resulted in murder.

Corey Miller, formally known as C-Murder & brother to Master P, was sentenced last month to life, plus 10 years, for the 2002 killing of a 16 year old young man during a club parking lot scuffle. True or not, witness accounts say he reached into a small crowd & fired his weapon into the boy as he laid on the pavement. This verdict came on the heels of him beating an attempted murder case in another Louisiana parrish. C-Murder, in-fucking-deed. Ironically, Miller has a tattoo of his brother Kevin's face on his arm, who was senselessly killed many years prior. Now, somebody will be getting this dead boy's face on their body, no doubt.

Jim Jones/Dip Set affiliate Max B. was sentenced to 75 years on Sept. 3, for his role in a 2006 robbery that left a man dead. His supposed girlfriend-turn-witness spilled her guts about the plan he reportedly devised, in an effort to save her own ass. Though he didn't pull the proverbial trigger, he might as well had, according to the jury pool who found him guilty of conspiracy. Many fans & supporters believe that his lawyer was reckless & naïve, speaking to magazines & tweeting in regards to the case prematurely, but that doesn't alter the fact that he was an accomplice to a crime that ended in one less human being walking the face of the planet.

Maybe the weeds getting better, or times are getting worse, but cats are blindly intent on keepin' it real these days. I remember when rappers got tossed out of shows, or under buses. Under the jail though, is beyond me.

Honorable mentions to MC Slick Rick, for trying to shoot & kill his cousin in 1991, which for the most part spelled doom for his career. When he was released from prison after roughly 5 years, many popular rap dudes tried to pull him on to their projects, but times had changed from the rap scene he was running years prior. The world wasn't ready for a criminapper to be all over it's respective TV screens. Oddly enough, if that had've been today, it would've launched his recording career into the stratosphere & made "Slick Rick" a household name. In a good way. Also, rapper Shyne, who under the tuteledge of the omnipotent Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, found himself in the middle of a club, busting his .40 caliber at some of Diddy's "friends" in 1999. He was convicted of attempted murder & handed a 10 year sentence before Diddy turned his back & walked away without serving any time for his involvement, including an ensuing car chase with actress/then girlfriend Jennifer Lopez in the vehicle. Shyne is to be released later this year.

In Hip Hop, we're at a crossroad; on one side, there's these criminal minds who truly believe in what the speak. Manifest destiny per se. On the other side is the victim. Often, the victim is cut from the same cloth as the victor, yet find themselves on the bad end of the bargain. It's impossible to root for one, while we mourn for the other one. It's that complex balance of the universe that makes the world go 'round, but that doesn't make it okay. I guess it does make it okay, until our father, uncle, brother, best friend is killed for the sole reason of "keepin' it real", whatever the fuck that means nowadays.

Now's the part where I'm supposed to urge my more influential brothers & sisters to WAKE UP! & RISE!, but that empty, Spike Lee movie rhetoric falls on deaf ears. It's not a Black thing, because if it were, our collective pride wouldn't allow us to hunt & destroy one another like so much sport. & I refuse to blame "the White Man", because I can't remember the last time I looked over my shoulder for a White man as I walked home from the weed spot. It's a people thing, & their insipid lack of natural love for one another. I understand people make mistakes, but a mistake repeated is a purposeful act. If we don't take responsibility for ourselves, then other's will. & if we learned anything from 'Amistad' or 'Roots', it's that the last thing we want is other motherfuckers in charge of "our" lives.

It's deeper than rap, but we might as well find a point to start from. Better late than never, Word to Dr. Rev. MLK, jr.


shante carlan ; said...

deep post.

& I never knew who the heck Chi Ali was, & I was like ten when I heard about that C Murder stuff the first time.

Capital G said...

I remember Chi Ali from both a music standpoint and from shooting his friend/cousin/sister's boyfriend, whatever he was dude still wound up dead over an extremely petty beef from what I can recall. Now the Max B situation. In all reality it was his girl who put him on to these outta town cats with some bread, a robbery ensued which ended with another young man dead over greed. Max is most definitely guilty for lining this shit up (Personal friend of mine was up in Bergen County Jail at the same time as Max B. Said dude knew he was in some serious shit so I don't feel too sorry for him. 70 years is longer than a mutha though!)

I can't blame society because the majority of people are at the very least quasi-good people. Can't blame music or movies or video games either. People don't grasp the concept of the "Prison Industrial Complex". The government needs the youth, not just the youth but the ignorant too, to fuck up. A generation's self destruction is creating revenue, and that ain't a conspiracy.

Our best bet is the "each one teach one" motto. Try your damndest to school at least one person to strive to be better than what's expected of them. And this is coming from a convicted felon, something that fucked MY life up and I have no one to blame but myself for my actions. I try to tell the few younger heads I'm in contact with, I ain't a role model by no stretch of the imagination. But there's NOTHING worth destroying your future over. Sometimes I think they get the message, other times I'm sure they think they can play the game better than I can. One person at a time people... one person at a time. (I swear to whoever the fuck you pray to this is the absolute last time I come close to preaching)

Tony Grands said...

@Cap G
Thats was the realest talk I've heard in a minute.

I agree, it's no conspiracies out here anymore. It is what it is; survival by one's one merit.

"One person at a time people... one person at a time"
^^^That's we can do, even on our best days. It's easy to throw away the present, but impossible to see the future. As long as we have brothers who go through struggles, come out alive & TRY to talk to the youth, there's a chance that all hope won't be lost.

& sometimes, we need a real person to preach, fam. I ain't trying to hear no old ass sweat machine sangin 'bout salvation & asking me for money. If a lot of these misguided adults had that true, tangible guidance, just maybe they wouldn't be misguided.

Good shit, homie.

Capital G said...

Peace Grand$, 'preciate the dap. I know I come across like an "old head" but the kid won't be 29yrs old till Sep.16th - which in reality means I haven't been a kid in well over a decade. Regardless, keep up the good work. See if you can get that guest blog spot on XXL, this week has been fuckin horrendous over there, but you already know. That's why I fucks with you, you give food for thought instead of showing up with just a fork and knife.

Tony Grands said...

@Cap G

Age ain't nothing but a number. Wisdom knows no physical boundary. That shit just "is". & at the rate black males are moving, 35 is middle aged, real shit. You figure a nigga ain't really gonna live past 75 years old, healthy or not. So 29 is some grown folks shit. Kids been growing up way too quick the last 40 years. They say "30" is the new "21". Fuck that, 30's the new 50. I'm 33, so.........ha!

Good looks though, mayne. XXL ain't ready. If they were, Carl Chery wouldn't have stopped returning my Emails. S'all good. I'ma get mine & teach cats to fish, so we all can eat!

Don said...

Ha! Chi-Ali.

"Lemonade" was a horrible song. But son got his "name" because he was a straight fugitive for a minute. Made "America's Most Wanted".

C-Murder was guilty of believing his own hype, Max knew he f*cked up, but I refuse to condemn any man. Wasn't raised that way.

But y'all know that's why I don't back down from the buffoonery over on XXL. There are plenty of cats who come to see what we have to say. Believe that. That's why I continue to drop brain food there regardless. Good meal there Cap.

Go peep the Sven drop under Max.


Tony Grands said...

@Don (& Cap G)

The majority of people want knowledge.

As long as we keep building, skys the limit.

Ya boy gotta extra special shout on Dallas site. The "Killing My Computer" drop.

Avenger XL said...

We lack direction. The human animal is condition to follow due to various social constructs that allowed us to thrive and survive as a species. The black community never made a proper transition from the civil rights community. It went from give us rights, stop killing us at will,we are brothers to what up my nigga,F U pay me,etc.... Nobody truelly addresses the black experience everything comes accross as a bunch of window dressing.

somebody said...