After much internal deliberation, pondering and personal infighting, I have decided that there will be no 2006 Person of the year appointed by illseed.
Why? Nothing in 2006 really moved me as an individual. For those that don't know, I attempt to defy convention in my own little way and the Person of the Year is one way that I can honor somebody else that shuns the norm.
In 2005, I choose to honor Will Smith and this year, I might as well honor him again, because he's one of the few people I truly respect in Hip-Hop. Prior to Will, there was MC Hammer - whom I appreciate in hindsight. Back in the days, Hammer was seen as a clown and nearly 20 years later, he's performing at James Brown's funeral. Trust me when I say, few not too many in Hip-Hop were considered for that gig.
When I think about my annual Person of the Year, I think of somebody that inspires me, that gives the mainstream or our own subsegment of culture a middle finger of sorts and does what ever they are compelled to do. They don't have to have the hottest fashions, they don't have to get all super ignorant to compete with the other ignoramus and they don't dance to the beat of another man's drum. They simply follow their heart.
I was trying to force somebody as the person of the year, whether that person was a negative force in the world or a positive force. My heart wasn't into it this year. But, to me, most people were just gray, lukewarm or middle-of-the-road. It was like looking at reality television, really a lot of hype and little substance.
So, there you have it - nobody is one lucky dude, because he/she is my person of the year 2006! CONGRATS!
The contenders for Person of the Year.
So, in my hunt, I did observe and consider many. Here are a few:
Nas: Nas is a perfect candidate for Person of the Year and perhaps I should have given him the title. The only problem, it would have been to basic, because Nas is a candidate for a real person of the year, not just illseed's. Hip-Hop isn't dead, but Nas sure scared the crap out of us!
Sean Bell: I don't know much about Sean Bell, but I know all I need to know. He was murdered by NYPD hours before his wedding. I also know that Sean Bell could have been any Black man in America. To most, he was a reminder that all is not well.
Michael "KKKramer" Richards: Like Bell's death, KKKramer served as a reminder that racism is alive, but is able to hide very well. "Fifty years ago we'd have you upside down with a f---ing fork up your a**," KKKramer said on the stage at The Laugh Factory in Los Angeles. Who would have imagined that hate could come in the form of a jerky, eccentric goof ball from a show as popular as "Seinfeld." I haven't watched since.
Sean "Diddy" Combs: Hate if you will, but I knew I wasn't crazy. I read that Questlove of The Roots also really liked Diddy's Press Play and I knew then that my sanity was intact. Diddy - despite his limited writing - put together one of the year's best CD's. It embodied all that Hip-Hop should be, personal, fun and true to the artist.
Busta Rhymes: How Busta Rhymes didn't sell multi-platinum is beyond belief to me. His album, The Big Bang, was nothing short of his best album. Dre, Nas, Q-Tip, Raekwon and others all joined in to make this the best CD of my year, until that fourth quarter crept in with more competitors. Still it pains me to know that the family of Israel Ramirez have yet to find justice for the death of their loved one.
Remy Ma: There is something about Remy. Ah, I just love her like a fiend adores crack. I know her CD wasn't at the top of most people's lists, but she was always a topic of discussion. Ultimately that's why she is going to go far in the game, people subscribe to her as a person as much as her music. And as for There's Something About Remy - baby, that album was banging. In an era when femcees are like dinosaurs, Rem refuses to go extinct.
Bill Cosby: Cos and Nas bookmark the contenders for Illseed's Person of the Year, because they both forced us to take a hard look at ourselves (or another class of people). The only issue I take with Bill is he didn't actually talk to the people he was talking about. He was preaching to the choir and the real audience was outside of the church. I agreed with much of what he said, but it was viewed as an attack on poor people - those people. We can do so much better and listening to Cos is a start. Actually, doing better is the desired end.
Perhaps in 2007, I will find something that allows me to appoint the Illseed Person of the year!
PS: Peace to Spike Lee and Dave Chappelle. You both deserved a mention, but everybody knows what it is! Eat your heart out Time.
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