Okay, I won’t claim to be a die-hard hip-hop fan. I am a child of the 80’s, though and I remember the days when rap was good.
But I started thinking about the state of “rap” today, and it saddens me just the same as when I think about the state of basketball. There is no more sitting in the living room with Little Cesar’s pizza watching the Pistons and the Bulls whoop up on each other, wearing little bitty shorts and some SERIOUS ball skills. Now people are switching teams every five minutes, selling shoes but missing free throws, talking shit and getting arrested. They’re quite frankly a disgrace to the game (minus folks like Lebron). And this state of pathetic is so aptly reflected in what is being played on the radio and marketed as hip hop.
The Roots new album came out yesterday. And if you don’t have it, I suggest you stop reading right now and go buy it. It’s the first album of theirs I’ve bought in its entirety and I am very glad about it. On first listen, front to back it’s aurally pleasing. The next few go-rounds, I’ll delve deeper into what they’re trying to say.
I was also reading some of Common’s reviews for Finding Forever which came out last summer and one reviewer was talking about how he plays real hip hop (aka Common, Mos Def, Talib, etc.) as well as other groups like Coldplay, Nirvana and James Morrison in his classroom so that the kids get a chance to hear real music, which brings me to the sort of point of this blog (because I’m not sure there was a point): there is good music out there. Lots of it. It’s just that no one wants to hear it.
I remember sitting around singing Tupac with my friends. I still know the words to Brenda’s Got a Baby and have busted out with it a time or two. He will forever be for me the best lyricist out there. Just a side note: I remember P-Diddy asking his little band folks if they knew the words to Rapper’s Delight. The blank stares he received were priceless.
I don’t listen to the radio. They play the same ol crap over and over again, on every station. Most of the music I listen to, I also have copies of the lyrics because they’re actually saying something I wanna hear, on paper. When I’m going out dancing, okay, “Shake Ya Booty” works just fine, but not really what I want to feed my brain on a daily basis.
It’s soo freaking disheartening to watch little kids popping and moving and grinding, and then you ask them their ABC’s and they draw a blank. It’s sad to me when being educated and respectful is put behind making money and getting hoes. It’s pitiful that beautiful women (and men) are overlooked because they don’t look like they came from one of the videos.
I would be proud to be Common’s mama even if he did do a Gap commercial (and he needs to get over the skinny women!). Hehe Mos Def would certainly get a home cooked meal every single day. (You hear that MOS!!! Call me. You’re a genius!) I appreciate their knowledge. I appreciate their realness, and I hope they keep bringing it year after year even if only a few (million) of us are choosing them over all that other crap.
Viva la revolución and, for god’s sake, read a book.