It was the best of times it was the worst of times. While musically and artistically we saw a rebirth of sorts in 2007, we also saw our fair share of disappointment, tragedy, lunacy and some would say conspiracy. We lost young lions like $tack Bundles and X-1, and grizzled veterans like the great Pimp C. In a year full of rapper arrests on various traditional violations from the obligatory weed, drug, and weapons violations of rappers like Lil Wayne, Ja Rule, Snoop, and Young Joc, to the far more serious the attempted murder charges originally levied and subsequently lowered on Remy Ma. Lupes partner got football numbers, Dee from Ruff Ryders faced serious charges.
Hours before the B.E.T. awards, one of the best in the game T.I. was arrested while allegedly attempting to purchase several automatic weapons and now faces up to ten years in prison. Set up or not, it seems like more and more of these MCs we hold high are being taken away from us in more ways than one. And then there was Imus. The shock jock tried to offset his racist comments in regards to the womens Rutgers basketball team by blaming it on Rap, leaving everyone to pick sides.
The last twelve months havent been a total loss for the music though. In record fashion Kanye West and 50 Cent were pitted against each other in an historic soundscan showdown. Jay-Z would reclaim his momentum with his stellar concept piece American Gangster and Lil Wayne put in yeoman work despite the lack of album. Additionally, artists such as Freeway, Scarface, and Ghostface dropped superb individual releases, and Lupe Fiasco surpassed everyones commercial expectations and sold like hotcakes.
In an effort to measure the ups and downs of the year properly, we spoke to some of Raps finest on their view of what was what in 2007. While all their opinions might not synch up, youll see the big things that popped and the little things that need to be stopped.
The Jena Six situation; that s**t bothers me a lot. On top of that my nephews, sixteen and seventeen years old, just got beat up by two grown ass f***ing cops! Theyre going to beat on my nephews right in front of their door. They were on a separate call and theyre going to beat my nephews up and lock them up and charge them with assaulting a police officer. Thats a felony charge off top and robbery too. The cop went to the hospital. You know why he went to the hospital; because his partner hit him in the head with the walkie talkie when they hit my nephews. Im not talking about grown ass men. My nephews are teenagers; they did that in front of their little sister and mother. They going to lock them up and request a ten thousand dollar bail. Thats a lot of s**t with the officers and the damn law. The law period, because all cops are not bad, some cops are on their job. This is not this year and s**t but I would love to see T.I. get off. That would be hot.
Worst moment of 2007 to me was the 50 Cent and Kanye thing man. I didnt really get into that. I dont believe the hype. I know that stuff is for fans, but they always say its hard to impress musicians and I was impressed by both albums but all the hype-for what man? I didnt really care; I just wanted to hear the music. –
My favorite moment was when UGK was nominated for a Grammy. You already know what my worst moment was. When Pimp C died like by far, for the South that was equivalent of Pac dying dog. Pimp C was our Pac. It was deeper because that was my friend. I just got off the phone with dude two days before he died. We were supposed to get together that weekend. That by far was the worst.
Me getting back with DTP was my favorite moment. Kanye losing his mother was worst. I cant imagine how that felt. I know nobody wants to ever loose their mother, thats one of the worst things that happened in 2007. It was a real tragedy, especially at a time where he was doing so good and something like that has to happen. –
My favorite moment of Hip-Hop of 07, damn thats a good one let me think about this. I cant call it. The worst was definitely the Don Imus situation because a lot of these so called Black leaders in the Hip-Hop community showed the suckers they really are. At the end of day its freedom of speech for everybody. When he tried to blame it on Rap and you got people who been selling Rap records for years trying to tell artists we got to watch what we say, that was a crazy double standard! I lost a lot of respect for a lot of people behind that. –
It had to be when me and my son won the B.E.T. Viewers Choice award and we had our kids with us. Thats the joy of my life homey. The deaths we been having. Pimp C, [Mannie] Freshs sister, my sister would be the worst s**t. –
Dirty of Midi Mafia:
I think that Kanye and 50 thing was big for Hip-Hop, I think that was needed. A nice positive beef, Hip-Hop started as healthy competition, it showed it can still sell records and be a viable source of music. The worst moment was that a lot of guys that went to jail, we just lost Pimp C and T.I is going through his things, so this year was rough for a lot of dudes. It doesnt help Hip-Hop when T.I. is fighting charges and he is one of the new viable artists that are out. Its been a rough year. The focus should be on the music rather than the negativity and with the Don Imus thing and people coming saying certain words and censorship; its just been a lot of issues. It hasnt been a good consensus on what to do in Hip Hop. Its just been a strange year in that respect. –
You know what was cold? When Lil Wayne came out on the B.E.T. Awards and performed that Gossip record. That sh*t was crazy. That ni**a was fired up. I remember he was so fired up, when I heard the version on the CD it was different. He went so hard at the awards. That was pretty ill. As far as the worst moment, that was T.I.P. Him being arrested fucked a ni**a up.
I think the Don Imus situation was one of the worst things in Hip-Hop this year. Because it almost shot Hip-Hop in the foot, it really had us like on trial with what we can say. It almost had us questioning each other; we really had to slap ourselves in the face like hold up. This is not what we were even in it for. I think it had us questioning ourselves for something that had nothing to do with Hip-Hop. And it almost worked. It definitely was a scary time. It was a big debate on what we can say. At the end of the day, what we say is artistic not some dude calling you a ni**er. We basically explain whats going on just like other genres of music. The music is our expression. I think they are confused with what the brothers are saying. When Ice Cube said A Bitch Is A Bitch, he explained to you what a bitch was, he said dont get it confused with all women. That was one of the worst moments in Hip-Hop because it really almost killed us. –
I think that was the best moment in Hip-Hop, that was the biggest moment right there Kanye vs. 50; those were the biggest releases right there. They had the biggest buzz out of everybody. Worst moment was T.I. T.I. had one of the classic albums of 07, he had 06 on lock and when that popped up. It wasnt like he had just one ratchet, he had some other shit, some army shit. It was just disappointing, like damn. Shit was crazy, T.I. one of the nicest niggas in the south, period. I got a lot of respect for that dude so when that happened, I was like dam. –
The moment that moved me the most in 2007 was when I found out how serious Soulja Boy was. When Beyonce did the dance at her show, I honestly had no idea on how Soulja boy was. I knew this thing was going to be big after I saw that. With the worst moment, its not just one moment for me, I think Blacks took a lot of heavy setbacks this year. From Dom Imus, T.I., Jena Six. A lot of our heroes took falls this year. What happened to T.I. to what they trying to do to Creflo [Dollar]. Racism to me now is like we going back to the 50s or 60s. Its a lot more obvious now, they like f*** it now! Its like they are trying to put us back into that place this year. –
They gave KRS-ONE a lifetime achievement award at the BET awards and he gave me a shout-out during the acceptance speech. You cant pay for that. I dont give a dam. That [means] more to me than a platinum record because thats a dude that Hip-Hop as a whole looks up to that guy. Even if they dont look up to him, they respect that guy. That was an ill moment in my career, let alone this year. There a couple of bad moments. You had the death of a couple of rappers man. Im in Hip-Hop and these guys are like co-workers to me. Rest in peace to Stack Bundles, the Pimp C thing is new too. Those are terrible things, nobody wants to hear those type of things. Another thing that was bad is when I heard people at Interscope wanted to drop Joel Ortiz. It was discouraging, Im doing a whole lot of work; Im not a terrible guy. I couldnt see why. Im putting out good stuff then to hear that, that was kind of bad. Well see what happens. –
The release of Curtis was my best moment. The worst was the day that my mom’s crib got shot up. –