Pot Roast Pondering

thinker

Dr. Beardhussein asks a few tough questions about Rap Music.

It’s 1:20 in the morning on Tuesday, December 4th. Happy Birthday goes out to Shawn Corey Carter.

I just got done eating some leftover pot roast and rice and I’m feelin’ good. I listened to a Joe Budden interview over at www.hiphopdx.com and it, along with Meka Soul’s latest blog inspired today’s entry.

Enjoy.

There are unprecedented levels of fuckery going on in the world of Rap Music and R’n’B. This site’s readership is, as far as I know, all hip-hop fans, so you know of what I type.

I have made a concentrated effort to keep away from more of the rap news and gossip sites that I frequent, with the exception of www.NahRight.com and the aforementioned Hip-HopDX site. T’be honest, I check out HHDX because Meka Soul (“Slap Boxing with Jesus”) is a friend of mine, and I check out Nah because it’s basically all news and no annoying editorial content. I mean, Eskay does his commentary every now and then, but he tends to limit his own input and let the Commenters discuss the topic.

Plus, the E-Fam is there and I gotta chop it up with those crazy bastards and bastardettes.

With the fucked up state that Rap and it’s fans are in, I have to ask some questions that have been flying around my head, only contained by my 7 3/4 Knicks fitted.

Here ya go:

Q1– Have rap’s fans abandoned the artists? Or have the artists abandoned the fans?

A1– I’m of the mind that the artists have let down the fans. At first it was just the hopping on new trends and annoying fads. Then it was the copycat nonsense that the SuperProducer Era brought in. However, I’m convinced that the main way the artists have abandoned the audience is the complete lack of creativity in the lyrics today. Think about it, we’ve been in the materialistic, high-fashion, cars, guns, and drugs era for the last 15 years. Fifteen Years! We’ve been listening to these assholes talk about the same thing for a decade and a half. It was neat at first, but now it’s just redundant and old as fuck. Think about it, if every stand-up comedian did the same topics–Politics and Married Life–and half the new comedians use well-known recycled jokes, wouldn’t you give up on stand-up too? If Katt Williams did a skit about Lionel Richie saying, “I’m Lionel Richie, asshole!” and a skit about, “What if the internet was a high school?” wouldn’t you go, “Wait.. Dave Chappelle did this shit already!!” and change it? I know I would.

Q2– “Which came first, The Music or the Misery?”

A2– Or, to put it another way, Did the hood create the music, or–20 years after NWA–is the music encouraging the hood? First off, I’m in the suburbs. I’ve never really spent time in an inner-city, and I’ve been Blessed to have escaped what knuckle-headed folk there may be in my area. That being said, you really have to put aside the initial burst of defensive anger and racial whatnots and examine the question impartially. I’m sure life in the projects or the gang-infested areas sucks. I’m sure having friends die of mindless violence is hardening and horrible.

The question needs to be asks tho’, with an entire industry set up to exploit the mythos and mystery of “Urban Life”, don’t people just say, “Okay, this can’t be right.” I feel like I sound real ignorant right now, but all I mean is: Don’t you/they/us/we get tired of perpetuating the cycle? At some point, don’t you go, “Fuck this, I’m not getting involved.”?

Guns, Gangs, Drugs… I understand that some of it is unavoidable, but why do young people jump in feet-first the way they do? Is it their environment, or do they see some asshole with a bandana or a briefcase in a video and go, “That’s that shit!”? I just feel like people are obsessed with the “I got money!” stuff to the point where killing somebody is okay. Seriously, is “Gettin’ Money” in the same group as “All’s fair in love and war”?

Q3– Where is the accountability?

A3– I watched that BET “Hip-Hop vs America” special a month or two ago, and one panelist in particular stood out to me: TI aka TIP aka Clifford Harris. From what I saw, Tip’s whole argument was, “Well, we gotta make the guns, drugs, and mysoginy songs to get radio and TV to play us!”. Look…I may be an Emo Hippie, but dammit, there has just got to be a point where you go, “Ya know? Fuck this. I’m not doing it.”

If artists like Nelly and TI are so concerned with rap’s perception then they need to do their part to change it. They won’t tho’, because they’re too concerned with being a fucking businessman that they won’t stand up to their corporate overlords. Grand Hustle and Derrty Entertainment make a lot of money, and those little side-labels and tax shelters won’t exist if they don’t kiss Big Daddy Money’s ring. These artists shrug their shoulders and they go, “It’s what the people want.”

You know what Uncle The Hussein thinks? I think people are quite blinged out and everyone gets it but the people in charge of creating and manufacturing the music.

Q4– Where do the corporations fit in?

A4– I’ll fucking tell you where they fit in. They are marketing and sacrificing and entire genre, an entire culture, and an entire Generation to the gods of the Almighty Dollar. It’s well known fact that young white males are the main consumers of hip-hop as a product. It’s well known that young white females are the main buyers of CDs and digital music.

What do these young kids always get around to doing eventually? They play around with Negro Fire in an attempt to rebel against their parents.

The only problem is, how the fuck do you rebel against a generation of people who Marched on Washington, who dropped acid at Woodstock, whose music is drug and anti-authority. I’m not talking that mall punk, “Teachers and Parents suck!” anti-authority. I’m talking no nukes, civil rights, end vietnam anti-authority.

Answer? They can’t. Not conventionally.

So what do they do? They decide to sag their jeans. They blast rap music filled with profanity and violence. They talk with an accent. “Mom and Dad” become “Ma and Pops”. That’s right. Those rebellious honkeys act “black”. Now those former radical hippies have gotten all this rebellion out of their system and are more concerned with botox and Viagra than they are with rising up against the Man. They look at little Billy with his saggy jeans and fitted hat and they get nervous. They see Becca with the big name-plate earrings and the black boyfriend and they go, “Oh my God! Our perfect ivory children have been lured in by the appeal of Negro Culture!”.

After spending hundreds to thousands of dollars on chirp-enabled phones, Rocawear’n’Sean John’n’G-Unit clothes, rap CDs, fitted hats, those kids have successfully rebelled aginast their parents by tapping into the deep-rooted (and not so deep-rooted) racism that lies within most white folks in the Baby Boomer generation. And what does Big Bidniss do? They count their dough. They know they’ve gotten their share of that disposable teen/tween income and when those kids grow up they’ll be good little consumers and not cause a ruckus. 

But What happens to the minorities?

Well, we get the honor and privelege of blindly supporting those same artists  under the banner of “That’s our struggle!”. We get the privelege of soaking up all the genuine negativity of the “music” and go on to kill, rob, and poison the people in our own environment. The cycle is repeated. The white kids that wanna rebel will always have Big Bidniss around to entice the youth with Pandora’s Box containing Eve’s Apple of Minority Culture. The white kids rebel. The minorities bleed. “…and the white man get paid offa all of that”.

Q5– Is there any hope?

A5– I am an eternal optimist. I will always believe in Allan Houston’s ability to make that shot against Miami. I will always believe that Larry Johnson can hit that 4 point play against Reggie Fucking Miller and the Pacers. I think that as sales decline, only the true artists will continue to make music. I think that with physical CD sales slowing down to a halt, that the need for major labels will die–and with it their corporate leeches. When that happens, I believe that there will be a return to craftsmanship. Heck, we’re seeing that now with the release of albums such as Hip-Hop is Dead, American Gangster, and The Cool–all rap albums with concepts and fleshed out ideas–and not just commercials for the newest ugly trend in tight-fitting, quasi-homosexual “streetwear”.

***

I know I’m gonna get a lot of shit for the 2nd Question, but ya gotta understand that I believe that after 20 years of violence, drugs, and mysoginy, some of that shit has to have negative music at it’s heart. Maybe not in the inner cities where that shit is a reality regardless of the music, but at least in towns on the fence between decency and fuckery. Lord knows there are a sizable amount of knuckleheads who got a bad idea from a song and didn’t give two shits about right vs wrong.

Having shitty parents is probably a factor, but I’m sure there are a ton of kids with awful parents who still knew better than to let some song convince them to kill, rob, or poison another human being.

Call Reynolds, Cuz it’s a Wrap

Alright kids, I’m outtie. Feel free to leave comments with your own answers or questions, and we’ll see if we can’t have a good debate about this.

Talk is good, discussions are better, and even if things get heated, just remember:

It ain’t that serious.

Thanks,

–RTH

Extra Credit: This is the Fort Minor (Linkin Park rapper/singer Mike Shinoda’s rap collective) song, “Cigarettes”. Pay attention to the lyrics. They sorta go over some of what I said in this post. 

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19 Responses to “Pot Roast Pondering”

  1. pockets Says:

    this was one helluva post rey, im glad i happened to check in rite now.

    basically, the answer to all the problems u posed in ur blog is

    LUPE FIASCOOOO

    THE COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

    i guarantee all the misery is going to go away as soon as that cd drops.

    i wish i could comment more intellectually on what u said but its 3:11 and i have to wake up at 9:30 and i need my beauty sleep. but i do mean wat i said about lupe.

    *b-boy stance*

    *4 lyfe*

  2. landLORD Says:

    … AYYYOOOO @ that statue …

  3. reythehussein Says:

    @ Pockets– I know. I can’t wait for the cool. I’m gonna have to use the surround sound and hush up my phone for that ‘un. *b-boy stance*

    @ landLORD– C’monnn.. What’s gay about a black dude sitting on a rock and thinking??

    Thanks to both for checking in!

  4. Busta of the New School Says:

    only contained by my 7 3/4 Knicks fitted.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    “I dont believe you, you need more people”…….lol

    ===============

    Good post Rey…

    I know what your talking about chief, me and my mate were talking about hip hop, and these days its dead.. I was hoping the return of the Wu would give me something to shout about but alas no..

    Todays rappers just follow a paint by numbers album format, they bring in a big name producer for the big club single, create a stupid dance, then give us another 12 songs of hot trash for the rest of the album…

    It will be a long time before we see concept albums like A Prince Among Thieves or 6 Feet Deep.. Fuck i’d even settle for a concept song these days like Nas’s “i gave you power” or “rewind” at least something to make you think or at the least skip back too listen to it again…

    Up and coming rappers need to step their game up and start thinking outside the little box that rap has been put into these days.. They need to create thoughtful and clever lyrics over simple beats because i think a lot of the problems these days stem from to much onus being put on the beat and not the lyrics…

    Lastly new rap buyers go back and listen to hip hop from the 90’s and then try listening to the watered down bullshit like Lil wayne and Soulja boy, the difference my friends is vast…

  5. cMac Says:

    Nice post RTH
    lol @ the comments

  6. Busta Move Says:

    Rey i want a picture to come up when i post my comments, how do i make this happen??

  7. reythehussein Says:

    @ Busta aka the man of 1,004 aliases– To get the picture to come up you’ll need to start a wordpress blog and choose an avatar kinda thingy. There might be a way to create just a wordpress like profile, but I’m not sure. Eitherway, wordpress.com is the way to find out.

    As for the rest.. I just wonder if it’s truly a lack of creativity by the newer artists, or if those new cats are simply being “forced” to do these gimmick trash songs. My problem is with an established artist (let’s say 3-5 years in) doing songs that glorify violence or drugs. It’s those fuckers that I’m mad at. Soulja Boy might suck, but “Crank Dat” is a song by and for 16 year olds. What’s the excuse of these “duffel bag” assholes?

    @ cMac– It’s always wacky at IATS. It’s like Toon Town sometimes.

    Thanks to both for checking in!

  8. Mark Twain Fame Says:

    “Oh my God! Our perfect ivory children have been lured in by the appeal of Negro Culture!”.

    LMAO!
    yessir classic ha…wacky as ever, random fuckery at it’s finest (c) Tank aka Me!

    but that shit was seriously ope though Rey for real…def touched on soem good points…it all begins wether they like it or not, the rappers, once they begin to change and start to tell they execs and TI’s (no Clifford) and the record labels and corporations that this shit needs to change and they want to change and move forward with their convictions then the Old White Guys in Suits (c) Me again, will have to go with the flow and have ot change for the artists, cause in short the artists makes the money for those old bastids. and we as fans too also need to change, be more demanding of good music and good positive messages and products and stop listening to this crappy music that fills todays radio stations. DJ’s need to get they head out they ass too…word to Peter Rosenberg. Damn well said, and damn good blog homie, damn this shit might take me out of my wirting retirement…migth do a post…or I mgith just write soem seriosu ish and send it to a magazine…

    big ups, MTF aka Tank

  9. Mark Twain Fame Says:

    I swear this shit dont change I’m totally goin back to Jazz…gonna get a Saxaphone tattooed on my arm…Jazz Head son!…lol.

  10. Phuque Says:

    Excellent post, fam.

    lol @ the following:

    – Your belief in Allan Houston

    – landLORD’s unbelievable ability to find something to “AYO”

    – You thinking that “The Cool” is gonna be any good

    – You lying about the size of your fitted

  11. Mark Twain Fame Says:

    lmao at phQ’s comments.

  12. reythehussein Says:

    @ MTF– Yes sir. It’s gonna take a high-profile artist to say, “Ya know what? Fuck this.” It would take nothing less than a Snoop or Eminem or Luda or Hov to say, “I’m not rapping or promoting or cosigning any of this gratuitious bullshit.”

    The example I always use is: There’s a difference between people getting blown up and killed horribly in Saving Private Ryan and the same shit in Saw. One is telling a story and there’s a point. The other is torture porn.

    Just like there’s a difference between gun violence in “The Departed” and gun violence in some 1998 Swisha House movie, ya know?

    As for the Jazz stuff.. I’ve been checking for Colbie Caillat. Colbie. Fucking. Caillat. That oughta tell you where I am right now. Plus, she’s hot.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    @ Phuque– Allan Houston always showed up in the playoffs, landLORD needs a hug (none), “The Cool” is gonna be dope–Mr. Pre-Emptive Hater Extraordinaire, and My fitted is Seven and Three-Quarters.

    You bastard, you.

    Thanks to both for checking in!

  13. Los Sin Nombre Says:

    My fitted is Seven and Three-Quarters – miles or Kilometers??????

    ==========

    As for the rest.. I just wonder if it’s truly a lack of creativity by the newer artists, or if those new cats are simply being “forced” to do these gimmick trash songs. My problem is with an established artist (let’s say 3-5 years in) doing songs that glorify violence or drugs.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^

    Fair point, i know not to lay all the blame at the feet of new artists – A lot of it is to do with record labels wanting to make money, and following trends.

    I know what your saying about older rappers, a lot of them have already made their paper, they should be trying new things and making different kinds of hip hop..

    I think the people who need to invoke change are ppl like Dre & Jayz, rappers who are now heads of major record labels, they are the ones who can make a major difference by signing better artists and promoting the better artists on there labels…

    I’m still not speaking to Jay Z for not giving Method the backing he should have..

    Peace..

  14. reythehussein Says:

    @ 1,004– Yep, pretty much.

  15. EnglandRepresent Says:

    Excellent post Reymundo.

    I just farted.

  16. reythehussein Says:

    lol @ EngRep. Thanks for the update, chief.

  17. Jamz Says:

    Good to see you back on your job Reysheed! Good post playa!

  18. reythehussein Says:

    Thank you sir! I’ll keep the Aggressive Content coming. [||]

  19. Phat Farm Store Says:

    Phat Farm Store…

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you….

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