First of all,Vince Staples will definitely included in our year’s best albums with Summertime ’06. And Nore already has a career of classic albums, classic songs and classic moments in Hip-Hop since the 1990’s. This, we know, right? Here we are having a pretty interesting year in Hip-Hop with a lot of good music and events…and fun. You know, memes and music. I didn’t trip with I saw that Vince said about 90’s Hip-Hop music. He was born in 1993. He recognizes the 2000’s, specifically stating 50 Cent, Lil Bow Wow and Kanye (all truly products of the 90’s) were among the highlights he cited in a short interview with Time.
But, I see why people would wild out over the mere notion that the 1990’s were overrated. The 90’s is hands down the best period of time for Hip-Hop music. Sometimes opinions are facts. However when Nore took him to task, and understandably so, it escalated. Why? The conversation – on Twitter no less – degraded quickly turning what was a minuscule comment into a big brouhaha. Now, as of the time of this writing, both men had made “peace” and talked on the phone about the issue. Vince Staples issued an apology through Twitter, even through it seemed some of the tweets were sprinkled with sarcasm.
The general consensus is we are a part of the global Hip-Hop community. Some younger heads may not identify as “Hip-Hop,” but you are if you spit (and sometimes sing) those bars. Vince spits those bars. Noreaga has seen more and done more than 99% of all rappers out right now. Many cannot understand, because frankly they weren’t there. And I don’t mean age. Age differences are simply a baseless measure in Hip-Hop, a divider without merit. I mean today, I had to argue just yesterday to a guy older than me why Capone-N-Noreaga’s The War Report was a classic. He went came back after listening to it again and was simply unimpressed. He had no emotional attachment to the album at all. He also may not be passionate about Hip-Hop the way I am. Or maybe he is.
The wonderful thing about the Golden Era, which I say truly started in 1988, was that is offered us a plethora of different rappers, styles, battles, backgrounds, colors, creeds, disciplines and even wackness. There was something for everybody. Common rapped about “I Used To Love H.E.R.” in the midst of the Golden Era, so you know we didn’t all agree. People didn’t like N.WA. Some couldn’t stand MC Hammer. PM Dawn got thrown off a stage. Every New York rapper wasn’t ill. And there were areas down South that were criminally overlooked. Everything in the 90’s wasn’t dope, but it had more of it than any other era thus far.
We cannot divide the culture and movement and Hip-Hop along numbers. Why do you think Kendrick and Drake are winning right now? Joey Bada$$ works with Dru Ha from the legendary Duck Down records. Chance The Rapper and Tech9ne are two of the biggest indie acts around. Killer Mike and El-P as Run The Jewels are technically two different eras/regions, but make great music. I have friends now that no longer want to hear Vince Staples, despite the apology. Silly, right? Now, younger kings are going to be sour to a whole era in Hip-Hop? Nah, folks. That’s not the way. I know drama gets clicks, views and attention, but its counterproductive. The irony is, the same dude that was not feeling CNN’s The War Report is the very same person that put me on to Vince Staples. I’ve been listening ever since and even sharing that on my social networks.
What’s crazy is a lot of us feel that we are in the midst of a new Golden Era. Hip-Hop – in some ways – is going back to its roots. A lot more indie acts. A lot more freedom of expression. A lot more varieties of rap music. Drake, Kendrick, J.Cole and others are doing BIG THINGS. I cheer for the new generation because they are making their case – on their own terms. That’s why the 90’s was so dope, it was relentlessly uncompromising. MC Hammer forced people to respect is art, by selling a gazillion copies. Most people only cite Biggie and Pac in the 90’s but it was far more than that. There’s an almost endless number of rappers from that period that have slipped into the deep recesses of our collective minds. That doesn’t mean that didn’t exist. Look up Jeru Da Damaja. Look up Black Moon. Look up The Dungeon Family. DJ. Quik. Above The Law. The D.O.C. Lords of the Underground. The Geto Boys. Death Row. Bad Boy. Rap-A-Lot. Hip-Hop is the only art form that overtly disregards the ridiculously rich tradition we own.
Young kings versus older gods isn’t a new concept. The entire culture suffers. Hopefully, Vince recognizes in perpetuity that he has more “Golden Era” than he previously realized. And I hope Nore realizes he was indeed party to that great movement – and amid being polite and respectful – a public challenge on Twitter will almost always spiral out of control. Once the The Tweeting Dead get involved, it just groupthink and mostly meaningless chatter. Leaders lead.
OK, so we are still have a good year for Hip-Hop.
I wish everybody the best.
Capone-N-Noreaga The War Report
Vince Staples’ Summertime ’06