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The Belated Valentine…To Hip-Hop

You know how it goes. She’s bad news.  She’s no good for you. But she’s hot.  You’ve been with smarter and safer ones.  Your parents have introduced you to others but they just don’t connect.  They just don’t have “it.”  So you tough it out.  She’s everywhere and she’s passionate but there are so many nights when you wonder what she saying, even though she sounds damn good saying it.

 

She’s at all times playful, aggressive, and raunchy.  Sure she’s cliché, but what in life isn’t? We live in a world of patterns and rhythms.  Yeah you beat it.  It’s yours. You hear the whispers. She’s a slut, she’s a ho, shes a freak, got a different dude every day of the week.  Everybody got something bad to say about her…but everybody is eyeing her.   Dressing their girl friends up just like her.  Getting the same haircut like she Halle in Boomerang, or Toni Braxton when she was a church girl.  All the girls want to be like her but none of them will admit it.  Yeah they make friends with her, they collaborate.  They occasionally embrace, but in the back of their minds, she’s always going to be too hood.  But even with all that, you still think of her.

 

Then you grow older.  She used to be well-defined but she gained weight.  Those hips used to be firm but now she’s jingling baby. You think about how long you’ve been together and the words of echo in your head.  “You too old to be f***ing with that hood rat,” they say. For the first time in your life, you start to listen.  She calls you every day to see how you’re doing.  She baby sits your kids while you go out with other women. Now your kids embrace her the way you used to, and now she related to them better than you. 

 

Is it her fault for taking care of the ones who listen?  Are you being fair to her?  Isn’t she the reason why you can wear your braided hair to work?  She’s the reason Stuart Scott can go “Boo Yeah!” without the white guy next to him giving him the “WTF” look? Believe it or not, even Senator Obama owes a bit of his penetration into the Clinton Campaign Coochie to 30 years of cultural diffusion and bigotry erosion among the youth due to her voice.  She’s so beautifully ugly. She airs our dirty business and those who have something to hide get so ashamed. Perhaps you count yourself among them. She’s the ultimate n****r. Loud and obnoxious.  She makes you ashamed to be who you are but at the heart, through all the changes you make, she IS who you are.  I know, sometimes you just can’t fuck with her. She came into money and she gave you her ass to kiss.  The more she talks the less you understand her. The whole relationship has become a fiasco. 

 

That’s the beauty of it.  She will always evolve.  She will always change.  It’s not for you to decide who she deals with cause that’s not your b***h.  You share that girl. If you don’t like how she looks it’s because you have abandoned her.  She doesn’t walk down the block anymore. She’s streaming audio.  She doesn’t live in your Walkman or Discman anymore.  Perhaps you don’t’ trust her because you don’t know where she lives.  You don’t know who she’s f***ing with right now. Why is it that you love her so much but you don’t know where to find her?  Everything you always loved about her exists in multiples now (as well as whatever you didn’t like), yet all you can see is the ugly.  You keep going to her old haunts, even though you know she doesn’t live there anymore.  You’re on the radio, knowing that what you want doesn’t exist there anymore, but rather than look for her you sit on her old stoop and complain.

 

Well I still love her. I’ve loved her for most of my life. I can admit that I don’t always “get” her.  But I also remember who she really was. I remember an all white group called “Young Black Teenagers” who’s ridiculous slogan was “Black is a state of mind.”  I hear talk of how she’s full of gimmicks now, but I remember EPMD having “It’s Time to Party,” and the horrendous N.W.A. bomb “Give ‘em Something to Dance To.” I remember the venerable Geto Boys having a dancing, Black, one-eyed midget.  I remember the first big song we had (“Rapper’s Delight”) containing an entire jacked verse that was so poorly hidden, the rapper didn’t even remove the original emcee’s name (shout to Grandmaster Caz).  The more things change, the more they stay the same.

 

The 90s worshippers should stop lying to themselves.  Stop looking at her through beer goggles.  She’s a bad b***h no doubt.  But she had freckles.  Her breasts aren’t the same size. Sometimes when she went out, her socks didn’t match.  I know you connect her with a time in your life. I know you met her in that tight ass illmatic baby tee. I know she put you through Hell on Earth. I know ya’ll smoked that Chronic together.  I know the feeling.  But at the same time one of your best buddies Common was talking bout he USED to love her.  In an era that contained Enter the Wu-tang, Muddy Waters, Doggystyle, Ready To Die, and a host of other albums. She just can’t make you guys happy.

 

I love her though. She’s not perfect, but she’s taken me all across the country.  She’s gotten me into shows, she’s gotten me new friends, and she’s helped me get the ability to speak to the world through a keyboard.  I don’t hit it on stage.  I hit it at home, and on the road. My era is past but not so much that I don’t recognize that she’s always fly. It’s not for me to tell her that as long as Kool G Rap, Andre 3000, Common, Kane, KRS, Nas, Jigga, Scarface, Ice Cube and dozens of others still breathe, Lil Wayne (or anybody new for that matter, no disrespect) saying he’s the best rapper alive is ridiculous. But it’s not my job to tell youth who they like.  She still got a phatty.  If they say Lupe or Wayne is the man right now, then that’s’ what walks.  Whoever pays her the most attention is who calls the shots. So walk away from my girl.  If you’ve outgrown her then fine let her be.  In the words of the immortal Diana Ross “Why don’t you be a man about it, and set me free.” If you don’t love her, then loosen your grip, drop the pen, drop the mic, and walk away.  Let her move on with her life.  Just remember that the longer you stay away the harder it is to come home. Happy Belated Valentine’s Day Hip-Hop.  Your boy still loves you.

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