Wednesday, December 16, 2009

...word to David Blaine.

It's almost that time, people.

ATLien ex-trap rapper Clifford Harris d/b/a T.I.(P.) is set to be released from federal custody within the next several months. Appropriately, the 'Net is buzzing with his name again. If you're not familiar with his year-ish prison term for attempting to purchase a mexican village's amount of firepower, then congrats! That means that you actually have a life rife with things of genuine importance. Unless, of course, you're a denizen of the world wide Hip Hop community, & it's surrogate attachment to the World Wide Web, where information is never limited or scarce. & in that case, you know almost every detail of this man's life.

In reality though, none of us truly know what this dude's been through over the past couple of years. A chain of events that more or less began with his best friend/personal assistant Philant Johnson being shot & killed in front of him. An act that T.I. has shouldered the responsibility for. So much so, that immediately following, T.I. apparently decided it was necessary to take matters into his own hands. Or at least take the steps to do so, attempting to purchase said weaponry for speculated retaliation. Fast track to today, with his pending release date from a mid-west federal facility being tossed back & forth between gossip websites & teenage girl's big mouths. After his conviction, but before his "leave of absence", Clifford went balls to the wall on a campaign to change the lives of at-risk young adults, even going so far as to having a reality show geared toward their self betterment. A proverbial road to redemption, as opposed to their obvious roads to perdition.

With being a spectacle, comes backlash. T.I. has been called a snitch, bitch & everything in between since his relatively light sentence was handed down. Even some of the "fans" he had turned their respective backs, based on nothing but second hand rambling & mere speculation. For legal insights, though, email Combat Jack. It's always entertaining to read/see/hear all the negative energy hurled at this man out of sheer ignorance, or a half-assed "knowledge" of how the legal system operates. Of all the derogatory slurs thrown around in regards to T.I., who most of these critics have never met, & won't ever meet, "fraud" is my personal favorite. In the last 3 days alone, I've read/seen/heard him called a fraud more times then the requisite "snitch".

Word? What exactly did he do to be labeled a fraud? Please, someone clarify this for me. & really, save the "keep it real" speech for underage pot heads who believe the government is tapping their cell phone & AIDS is only a Black man's disease.

Case in point; Bernie Madoff. He lied, schemed, scammed, shimmied, fanagled, hornswaggled & nigga-rigged his was to a fortune, ruining thousands of unsuspecting lives along the way. Bernie Madoff is a fraud, really though.

Arnold Schwarzeneggar. He lied, mislead, made empty promises, proposed change, ran smear campaigns, all for the sake of becoming California's governor, only to turn around & destroy it's economy, ruin it's job market, punish hard working citizens with layoffs & furloughs, etc. Arnold Schwarzeneggar is a fraud, really though.

Milli Vanilli. God bless the dead one, with their awesome lip-syncing, horrible hair extensions, & those ridiculous biker shorts/sports coat combos, was a fraud, really though.


If anything, from my vantage point, he seems to have fallen victim of not being able to make the discernment between real & fake. Although, I believe that now, it's an easier task to accomplish. Prison has a way of enlightening cats beyond their perceptions of themselves. After all, it is intended rehabilitation, & I, for one, think that it works, for the most part. I've said it before, I predict he'll reemerge anew, with a story to tell & a lesson to teach. If I'm wrong, he's a douche nozzle, & deserves every bit of ill will he receives. Somebody's gotta take a stand against negative lifestyles & fabricated realities. So, why not somebody millions of misguided kids, & their equally as misguided parents, listen to?

But, beyond his ordeal, is the fact that so many rap fans take Hip Hop music as some sort of tutorial for life. It's not. Not one iota. Especially the rap dudes who make truck loads of money by pimping their perverted fantasies. In all realness, what they say can be 100% truth, but by no stretch of imagination does that qualify it to be studied, followed, & executed like some sort of history lesson. If I believed everything rappers said, I'd have dozens of kids, millions of ill-gotten dollars & multiple charges on me, from kidnapping to drug trafficking to murder. I used to listen to Eminem heavy. That alone would have had me in a padded room, word to 'Bonnie & Clyde'.

Just because T.I. had some street-worthy lyrics about a lifestyle that he may or may not have partaken in, doesn't make him a role model. Therefore, why does anything he says have any weight? My dad used to tell me all the time, as a kid, "don't smoke cigarettes." He did this, as he...smoked a cigarette. Did I call him a fraud? Was he fake? Or a bitch? Of course not, & this is a man that I've loved all my life. Clearly I'd be hurt if he didn't practice what he preached. So, how is it that a complete stranger, who the only connection I have with is through anonymous music, can hurt me so much with words without any tangible girth? Well not me, but you smell my cologne.

Maybe it's the lack of things the youth have to grab on to, that makes us gravitate towards bull shit, then cry "Bull shit!" when we knew it was bull shit all along. Or maybe, since there are no more heroes, we turn to bright & shiny things, like moths, in hopes of something that's not really there. Entertainment is the biggest optical/auditory illusion ever. Everybody involved in it is no different than David Blaine as far as I am concerned, & I know damn well that nigga can't fly, catch a bullet in his teeth or hold his breath for a week straight, even though I've seen him do all those things with my own eyes.

[tony's note: weezy might prolly wanna get in touch with blaine right about now, & learn the art of invisibility...]


Daywalker said...

Good post man. Hip hop fans have just gotten way too fickle about what they want from their artists. They want them to make good music, be succesful, AND be that same guy/gal from their "hoods". Why can't we simply be satisfied with the music? Hiphop is the only genre of music where the fans actually expect their artists to live what they say. Now that begs the question, is it the fans expectations or the artists assumptions? Excellent topic today.

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