50 Cent, Street King

How to Rob an Industry…2011


“To the sellouts living it up, one way or another you’ll be givin’ it up.”
                                                                            Tupac on “Holla if ya Hear Me”
A decade ago, 50 Cent had the industry shook when he put out “How to Rob;” a song where he threatened to hit cats up for their jewels. In 2011, people are threatening to hit them up for their stocks and bonds. For years, snatchin’ somebody’s gold chain was seen as the ultimate diss in Hip Hop. Now, the symbolic act has taken on a political significance.
Naw son, we don’t want your Jesus piece, you gotta give up that NASDAQ money!
There has always been an element of class conflict within Hip Hop since the Sugarhill Gang blew up because of the commercial success of “Rapper’s Delight.” This did not sit well with hood cats such as the Cold Crush Brothers and others who felt that Sugarhill did not really rep the streets. Perhaps the closest that Hip Hop came in addressing class-ism was the 2002 beef between Nelly, representing corporate Hip Hop based on Wall Street  and KRS One, holding the torch for the original movement based in the South Bronx. However, for the most part, members of Hip Hop’s millionaire boys club were given a ghetto pass for the sake of “preserving Hip Hop unity.”
Also, in earlier years, there was still that pipe dream that although you were poor today, if you just got a chance to get your demo in the right hands or spit a hot 16 bars for a rapper backstage at a concert, you too could live the lifestyle of the rich and shameless. But with just a handful of people lockin’ the whole game down, even the most optimistic, aspiring artist is beginning to realize, that just ain’t gonna happen.
Like Mobb Deep said, “there’s a war goin’ on outside, no man is safe from.” And I’m not talking about some East Coast/West Coast beef or some confrontation over a lyrical diss. No, the war on the horizon is between the haves and the have nots.
With the current socio-economic unrest in this country, it was only a matter of time before the threat of a full scale class war would come knocking on the gates of the Hip Hop Nation. Recently, we have seen a call to not only occupy Wall Street, but to #occupyhiphop , as well,  and this call will only get louder.
Why?  Because now, it is not only the streets that are hungry but the ‘burbs too. Thanks to the US economy the whole world has become a “ghetto.”‘
No dude who is hustlin’ on the bitter cold streets for money to buy his baby girl some diapers wants to hear about how some Hip Hop superstar just blew a milli on a crib for his unborn child. Also, the middle class kid who used to only live out his hood fantasy, vicariously through, “gangsta rappers” has found out that being broke ain’t no joke when his dad lost his six figure job.
One of the basic principals of dialectical materialism is that the seed of the destruction of capitalism lies within its own contradictions. As Kwame Nkrumah wrote in his book “Consciencism,” “running with the hares and hunting with the hounds is more than a pass-time to capitalism: it is the hub of a complete strategy.” The same can be said about Hip Hop, as rappers have tried to serve the interests of Wall Street and “the streets” simultaneously. So, the “ballin’ outta control” attitude of commercial Hip Hop artists has produced a growing resentment among those who are strugglin’ to make a dollar.
It is now more evident that in the war between the oppressed and the oppressor, some Hip Hop artists have enlisted in the oppressor’s army. They have been on the front lines destroying an entire culture.
As Carroll Quigley wrote in “Tragedy and Hope,” “the destructive impact of Western Civilization upon so many other societies rests on its ability to demoralize their ideological and spiritual culture as much as its ability to destroy them in a material sense with firearms.”
Also, they have used the art form to mentally enslave the masses, thus helping to pacify the permanent underclass that is necessary for the present economic system to survive.
Despite the idea that the rap kingpins got rich propagating that the drug game is a way to survive in poor communities, the powers that be can shut that down just as easily as they can cut off your electricity. They control both legal and illegal money and can shut down the entire hood if it goes against their economic interests.
See, it’s much bigger than Hip Hop. Today, because of 360 recording deals and “branding,” a Hip Hop artist is a corporation all by himself. So, our beef is not with Shawn Carter, the artist, but with “Jay Z , Inc” and other exploiters of the poor. According to Dr. Richard Oliver and Tim Leffel in “Hip Hop Inc” “to be a member of the Hip Hop Nation, today’s consumer must not only listen, look and drive the lifestyle, they must do their financing, vacation planning and whatever else the moguls can convince them belongs in this category. “
This is a fantasy world that 99% of us can’t afford.
So, we have the beginning of an uncivil, civil war between artists who sip thousand dollar bottles of booze and Hip Hop fans who can’t feed their families.
How long will it last?
Like Pac said “till the poor get more cash.”
TRUTH Minista Paul Scott represents the Militant Mind Militia. He can be reached at militantmindmilitia@gmail.com  Website http://www.militantmindmilitia.com
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  • King Cold

    Damn. I’m feelin dis article. True story. While people talkin and flauntin they stuff in videos best believe its enemies out there waitin to get these rappers. Either way hip hop is gonna have to change because those days of ima give u this and u gimmie dat is over. New deals is gonna have to happen. NBA is doin it. NFL did it. Now its time for Hip Hop and other genres to do it. Because if not aint no albums gonna be comin out and the consumers are gonna be pissed. You think album sales are down now? Watch what happens next

  • really how many heads is really winning in this hip hop game?,,most of these rich rap cats bread comes from sources other than rap,,,,good for them,,,if your money is tight buy what you need and not what you want,,,try and stack up,,,,and enjoy your life,,,,,,cause for real the best thing in life are free,,,,and it takes a wise man to know that,,,,MAINTAIN,HOLD IT DOWN,,,damn trying to be fancy,,,,be classy with cooth!

    • ItGoesDownINtheDM

      ha ha if folks finiancials were public you prob could count on your hands how many rappers are actually “rich” … lol … and i guranteed most of the “keeping up with the jones” type rappers are the deepest in the whole …. and that pretty much goes for anyone who doenst manage thier skrilla right … it aint just a rap thing … materialism is prob a worser drug than crack for folks with $$$$$$$ just ask all them lottery winners that went broke

  • This article is on point!
    Can’t really add anything more to the commentary.

    The age of the ignorant rapper is DONE!

    • NorthDollasTX

      yeah right fam.
      wishful thinking at its finest.
      them ignorant rappers aint going NOWHERE.
      look at the golden era of hip hop – we had mad ignorant rappers then
      and we got DOUBLE now … this “STILLIS” the WESTERM HEMISPHERE aint it?

      • ItGoesDownINtheDM

        hey its a cycle right 😉 well lets hope it is anyway LOL 😉

  • ladynamor

    FANTASTIC ARTICLE!

  • ladynamor

    Also, they have used the art form to mentally enslave the masses, thus helping to pacify the permanent underclass that is necessary for the present economic system to survive.#VERY IMPORTANT

  • Austin Barimo

    Fantastic article!

  • NorthDollasTX

    good read … article full of optimism!

  • Damn good read, I’ve always hated that the message Hip-Hop used to provide ended up takin a backseat to the money that can be made, the game ain’t been the same since.  Only question I really got about the article though, I always thought Cold Crush’s beef with the Sugar Hill Gang was that Big Bank Hank never credited Caz for ghostwritin his verse on Rapper’s Delight.  I wouldn’t doubt there’s some truth to the reason given in the article, but I was always under the impression Caz’s gettin jerked was the main root of the problem.  *shrugs*  Regardless, good piece Mr. Minista.

  • Big Upz Malcolm Little!

    Caz got jerked , but not by SugarHill Gang , by Sylvia Robinson. ( RIP )

    Still, Caz , KG , ( with the white pit Samson ) 156th & Park Ave ….Bx, NY ) , etc., were street dudes , & actually were the first victims of commercial biting , CB4 , Rick Fawlse type $hyt.

  • jefe941

    Nice article….Real Spit

  • This is an incredible article, but I’m even more impressed by the comments. Finally an article not weighed down by naysayers and dickriders. There is something fundamentally wrong with capitalism, and the rap industry only reflects that. The extreme change that faces this society will turn the hip-hop nation on its head as well.

  • TamaraJu

    Good for Curtis! Im glad he is waking up just like the rest of the brothas who are tired and no longer want to “play ball”. keep it up!

    https://profiles.google.com/100141258092924113887?hl=en&tab=h#100141258092924113887/about

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  • ItGoesDownINtheDM

    oh n def a good article 😉

  • A decade ago, 50 Cent had the industry shook when he put out “How to Rob;” a song where he threatened to hit cats up for their jewels. In 2011, people are threatening to hit them up for their stocks and bonds.

  • rep87

    Alot of hiphop was make believe but for the ones who made real money they are feeling the wrath of shrinking worthless dollar and worthless stock and the rip off label feeling it to because until the 99percent get back on their feet bootleg will rule for ever that go for movies to clothes desiner hand bags no more get rich quick rappers its over now we see alot of them with houses foreclosed cars repossed wearing fake jewlery ask these jackers who found out the hard way your favorite rapper is broke