Chains and Medallions

F.T.L.O.M…People Will Rob Their Own Brother

For all of the things that Hip-Hop used to be.

Remember when we championed that Hip-Hop was the voice of the people? Our personal CNN, or more aptly titled, UNN (urban news network). Through Hip-Hop music and culture, we conveyed realistic tales relatable to all who either endured or fell victim to societal ills inflicted upon urban communities throughout this country. During that time, it was apparent that Hip-Hop was anti-establishment. Counter-intuitive, non-conformist, mandating change. No blurred lines.

Well, now, it appears that Hip-Hop is just an extended audio and visual commercial for capitalism. It’s the haves and the have nots – not just the have nots talking about what they have not. Which is a far cry from the truly “telling it like it is” approach that the culture was established upon. Whether you agree or disagree, arguably in Hip-Hop, we’ve seen the same effects on the culture that integration had on the ideas and ideals of the Black community. I need not say that it hasn’t all been beneficial.

My debt far exceeds my assets. Even the money that I borrowed to attend college, years ago, I still owe. I have not had money to freely throw around in years! As a matter of fact, I’m lying. I ain’t never had money to freely throw around.

I just asked a good friend of mine, “What do you do if you’re in a club and someone is making it rain and money lands on your head?” Do you (a) leave it there like you don’t feel it (b) get upset with whoever threw it, or (c) put it in your pocket and hope they throw some more?

‘Naw,’ he said, ‘You have two options: start throwing your own money, or get the hell out of the way.’

In today’s Hip-Hop culture, it just seems like everybody (and I do mean everybody) has money to throw. Even during these difficult economic times for the majority of Americans, if you let some tell it, they have more money than they can count.

I just recently heard in a song that Wiz Khalifa got so much money he could “open his own bank.” Damn, that sounds like Rothschild wealth!

In Baby’s new song “Born Stunna”, for the hook, Rozay continuously say in his infectious tone, “money, money, money bags.” Now I’ve been going to the bank for years, but I have yet to leave with my money in a bag. Unless it’s the same as them little envelopes that I usually receive my paper currency and change in, and they’re just calling it something different? Envelopes, money bags. Money bags, envelopes. Probably not the same, huh?

Several months ago, Bill Maher compared Mitt Romney to rappers who, in many cases, flaunt their club/tour date proceeds as wealth to us. Though not surprisingly with Mitt Romney, who is worth a reported quarter of a billion dollars from being a venture capitalist and is the Republican nominee for the 2012 Presidential election, we cry outrage and lambast him for not being able to relate to the common American citizen.

Surprisingly though, we literally love and defend the rap artist who reportedly makes millions of dollars from our personal consumption of their music, merchandise, concert tickets, liquor, and
lifestyle. All while reminding us just how financial distraught we are. In the majority of cases, a paycheck from complete poverty – literally.

We thank God for a many things, don’t we? Including, caller ID.

Not to digress, but I just read in my local newspaper that Baltimore City is intent on closing Korean-American-owned liquor stores in desolate urban neighborhoods because the product that they offer is helping lead to the demise of the community and its residents. Would you believe that it has been reported that some of the residents actually intend to defend the liquor stores? And in all actuality, all that the city requested was for the owners of the stores to offer a
healthier product.

Many of the liquor stores masquerade themselves as pseudo-grocery stores as well. Providing for the residents either unhealthy or subpar food and beverage options. And, not having a viable
option in clean, board-inspected and approved markets providing a multitude of healthier items in close proximity, we succumb. There’s a correlation there somewhere.

Now, as I continue. We’ve succumbed. Maybe it’s foolish of me to think, but personally I don’t believe that everything was meant to be profited from in a monetary fashion. Not everything. What dollar amount can honestly be placed on the sincere upliftment and betterment of people? And, what better vehicle do we have at our disposal than Hip-Hop?

Someone just recently told me that chasing the American Dream is what actually leads to poverty…because many people find themselves living well above their means. I won’t attempt to blame Hip-Hop for that. However, can we agree that Hip-Hop in itself has become the greatest marketing tool to employ the idea of capital gain? Which isn’t a bad idea in its totality, I guess.

Depending on who’s benefiting from it the most…

  • EzE

    this is the reason why i dont purchase commercial rap music… id rather buy from lil homie sellin his tape out the bodega or corner albums(not worth it most of the time) no concert tickets(who wants to hear the same song in the back ground wit 30 niggas screaming into the mic) 

    • Guillaume Pilon


      the same song 10 times  like kanye and jayz are doing   lol

  • ccwaterbound32

    yeah you gotta support the locals who REALLY HAVE THE TALENT!!! see these break beats and drums we love to rap and rhyme over is OUR way to communicate our struggle what’s going on in our hoods and how we live and what we have to do day to day to survive in these places, if you put social commentary in them records it’ll get people to start talking the reason back in the 90’s whites were so frightened of hip hop is because of the shock value of the TRUTH those particular records said! think about it most white folks or people who have had a one sided view of black life aint never ventured into our communities to see what was going on. they got a head on collision with reality and anybody who knows how drama is like honey to flies they will be ATTRACTED to it! those kids parents worked all day long, dad busy f*cking his secratary and is trying to forget about the wife bitching at him back home he’s not even worried about what his son/daughter is listening to and mom aint giving a s*it because all she worried about is getting the new minivan. here’s the deal lets say hypothetically a guy like fabolous would rap about whats going on in his hood versus just talking all that goofy azz fly s*it name dropping all those clothing designers who don’t even like black people, and just really goes into depth about what is REALLY going on in brooklyn i BET his sales would go up because he’s incorporating that shock value back into those kids ears and plus he grabs new listeners because of the experiences he’s witnessed or heard about! i mean nowadays the shock value is reversed it’s about who’s f*cking who, who got caught up in the mix of going broke, and supposedly beefing with who. I mean i personally think the underground is trying to make an effort to go back to making genuine music with people like TDE, Krit, J Cole, Dee 1, these guys spit from they heart and they’re telling it like it is. now if we we want to destroy the mainstream and just make a statement that REAL HIP HOP IS BACK we gotta boycott the companies by not supporting these garbage azz artist i mean we gotta step up to the plate as real fans and fight for our culture all the way and we can’t hold no punches otherwise it’ll just stay the same…

    • DjLarryLuv

      hush up with that bullshit.  If u listen to some of these “garbage” artists like future and rick Ross can actually write good songs. so what they’re materialistic.  comin from somebody who got two college degrees and lives off hip hop because hip-hop motivated me to suceed. I get sick of u dumbasses claiming the only real hip hop is talking about deep topics for a whole album. I DONT WANNA HEAR THAT BULLSHIT

      • ccwaterbound32

        to hear you say you have two college degrees your personality doesn’t mirror those accomplishments at all, so what you got two college degrees WHOOP DE F*CKING DO! REAL HIP HOP aint just about talking about the struggle all of the time i mean damn dude can’t you just put 25% of everything into a record anymore? 25%party,25%social commentary, 25%great production (on all the records) and 25% honesty? if you aint trying to hear that “Bulls*it” as you call it well i aint tryin to hear that HORSES*IT you be listening to, and get the f*ck on with that goofy azz s*it you talking about. this conversation is for grown folks.

  • Great article. Great read. 

  • GuestwithacapG

    You can’t say that. You just can’t. You can’t say what is being said in this article because if you do then you become the second most hated thing in hip hop culture. That being a “hater”(the first would be a snitch). Anytime you say anything that isn’t completely praising these artists as god’s then you are labeled a hater. You have to love Wayne, Baby, Ross, Nikki, Jay Z, Kanye etc. If you don’t you are just a hater who is mad because they are rich and you are not. It is that simple to the simple minded folks who fall for the propaganda. I remember a time when there was no way people would continue to support a man who kissed another man in the mouth or a man who tells stories of major cocaine trafficking but in reality was a prison guard.

  • rep87

    This is what this country is about The Haves & Have Nots and you not even respected unless you have money, and A Fool & His Money will Soon Part ! The Wealthy 1% run this country , Most Rappers not all are broke but stunt & front in front of the cameras rented cars jewlry its all entertainment but it sends a bad message , Jimmy Henchman had to run drugs to keep up his image because the rap game dollars have dried up for alot of rappers , producers , beat makers  

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  • Propper read, nice companion author to Truth Minista Paul Scott’s colum.  I think AHH would be looking out with the double feature.

  • How is this dude still posting here? For months. Y’all can’t shut this guy down already? #smh

  • The shady fans are the one’s that set the precedence for this type of music. We are living in the last days and they don’t want to be preached to, I think it was C-Lo Green who said “Ya’ll would rather listen to some B.S. first” Hip-Hop is dead!

    • GuestwithacapG

      “but if I put it in a verse Y’all would listen to some BS first… you don’t want to hear the truth…so I’mma lie to ya…make it sound fly to ya”

  • Guillaume Pilon

    nice txt

    90% of the rappers rapping bout money are broke

    living like regular peoples  and all their jewelrys are paid by monthly payment