At the conclusion of “Silence of the Lambs,” Hannibal Lector daftly informs the young FBI rookie Clarice that she is spared from his ultra-violent, methodical murder spree. “The world is a better place with you in it,” he said to her just before the cannibal went off to eat his next prey.
Hip-Hop is its own little society and we’ve come to police certain people while others are subjected to the mercy of the court. This isn’t always a forceful expulsion, but sometimes a derivative of a lack of support. The Silence of the Lames is powerful as well. I, illseed, proclaim a few character that should be permitted to remain among us should the powers-tha-be permit it.
Ja Rule, Irv Gotti and Murder Inc: OK, 50 Cent proved his point. Now, that the resounding point has been made and we all got a few laughs, it is high time for Ja Rule and the Inc crew to make their return. I found it quite interesting that Hip-Hop fans, television, radio and other such forces were quite tolerant of Murder Inc until 50 came along with disses and jokes. And then 50 Cent flipped it and even sang to your accepting ears.
Well, without requesting the wrath of G-Unit, I think that Ja, Ashanti and others have put out some heat since the beef. Still, nobody seems to care. Well, I think it is time to care again and time to let bygones be bygones.
I’m scared for M.O.P. Ah, I know Laze, Fox, Billy Danz and Lil’ Fame aren’t scared of anything. But for me, M.O.P. represents one of the best groups that the 90’s had to offer on the hardcore front. But, it would seem that they are getting the Charli Baltimore treatment, so close to mainstream success yet so far. Fans know, the First Fam has been around for years, but when they signed to pre-breakup Roc-A-Fella Records, that meant the whole world was about to get a taste of what made us wildout to for years. But the mosh pit in my soul turned into a Kenny G party as time went by and I got nothing from the Mash Out Posse. Sure, there were indie releases, but I wanted that industry-driven, amped up brand-positioning that only a major could bring. Now, on G-Unit, I see the same thing happening. Its not necessarily 50’s fault, because M.O.P. said themselves – it’s the problems with game!
The game needs balance and I don’t mean Jayceon Taylor on a tightrope. I mean, M.O.P. on Interscope Records in the same manner that 50 Cent, Eminem and others are. Oh, sure, we know the routine about marketability or supposed lack of it, but make it happen, cap’n!
The state of women in Hip-Hop is terrible. All the top chicks appear to be a variation of the same person. Even if they aren’t the same chick, there is one that is boldly different. The problem is, Jean Grae was unable to get any real traction in the rap game even though she had the illest wordplay, a cute face and an the critical acclaim beyond sales. She’s appeared on this website and even had a column that had readers tickled pink. Well in the last few years, the mixtapes, the hype and the AHH column are all gone.
Most fanatics like myself know that Jean inked with Talib Kweli’s Blacksmith Records, but will the support be there in force like the love? Will the rap music industry allow for a new cog to enter the machine even though it doesn’t quite fit? Only time will tell, but if she gets in she is going to give every rap chick a run for their Prada.
WILL.I.AM, FERGIE & THE BLACK EYED PEAS
You haters. You so-called gatekeepers. You fair-weather frauds! I know I am going against all that is sacred, but I happen to love the Black Eyed Peas. THAT’S RIGHT! I enjoy their clean, poppy form of Hip-Hop that knows no bounds, musically or creatively. See, I been coppin’ BEP albums like Bridging The Gap and Behind The Front. That was B.F. or Before Fergie. That was also before the pop phenomenon, the support of the masses and the multi-platinum sales.
But, even with the addition of Fergie Ferg, the Black Eyed Peas have continued to craft a brand of Hip-Hop that is totally necessary. I’m sorry, but I don’t feel like being angry all the time. Nor do I always want to hear perverse profanity in every other rap lyric. BEP is fun. Fun to listen to and they have a chemistry that reminds me of the days of old. Remember when MC Hammer was so corny and now people love and respect him? You’ll regret dissin’ the Black Eyed Peas one day. I promise!
RAY BENZINO AND DAVE MAYS
People don’t like Benzino and Dave Mays. I personally find them to be two of the most intriguing people that Hip-Hop has ever seen. Think about it. Somehow these guys get into a passionate, bitter war with Eminem, 50 Cent and Interscope Records, a place they deemed "The Machine." The war was as bloody as any conflict and ultimately resulted in Dave and Ray being ousted from their own company and treated as pariahs.
I know that people like Kim Osorio and Julia Beverly would completely disagree with my next notion, because some of the things that have transpired and allegedly happened with these ladies. What I have heard and read regarding “slut monkeys” and alleged sexual harassment makes me cringe as well. On the other side, what good is Luke Skywalker without Darth Vader? How great is Superman with no Lex Luthor? Batman is a nerd in leotards without The Joker. Not to liken Zino and Dave to the criminally insane, but they have been fashioned into that, in part, from the industry. The other part is a matter of fact. While far from martyrs, much of what they have said is correct as it pertains to the ills of the rap game. With that, I say its high-time the Empire Struck Back. With the creation of Hip-Hop Weekly, it might just happen. This isn’t a show of support. I’m just a former comic book fanatic that knows the importance of balance.
LUPE FIASCO AND JOE BUDDEN
Due respect to Diddy, but he’s not "the future" of Hip-Hop, contrary a pretty hot song on his album. The Bad Boy mogul has admitted that he’s finished with rapping after his current album, Press Play. We have a huge this growing chasm, where the new guys aren’t quite able to get a foothold in the game.
Take Joe Budden. This dude was once revered as Hip-Hop’s next big thing in 2003. Over three years later, he’s still got minions of fans that see him as such. But, for some mysterious reason, this young man can’t get a release date. Was it a lukewarm reception to early versions of his sophomore set or was it one of his many high-end rivalries that stunted his growth? I’ve been fortunate. Budden mixtapes are as good as any album on the market and that includes your favorite rapper. But, why does somebody at Def Jam refuse to put this guy out? He’s nicer than 98% of the lyricists on the roster.
As for Lupe I have to take it to his fans. You downloaded the first version of Food & Liquor like it was going out of style. When the time to by the retail version comes, he sells 81,000 units. The numbers weren’t bad, but I feel they should have been doubled. I know Lupe likes his clothing designs and has other budding businesses. Don’t do like Mos Def…stick around with this music!
There are so many more to be mentioned. Stimuli. Maino. Balance of the Bay. Devin The Dude. Old School and True School artists. These are just a few. Make your list.