A lot of hip-hoppers don’t like the police and I’m beginning to see why. A couple of dudes were recently busted for filming themselves helping a 5 year-old smoke a joint. What’s next? Are they going to arrest you for selling ciggies outside junior high? What’s the most disturbing thing about this whole story is just how out of touch the policeman are with the youth. It’s sad they’ve forgotten how difficult it is to be 5. Some are still toilet-training while their peers are reading at a second-grade level. Wouldn’t you want to smoke too if you were walking around in poop while your friends were reading Matt Christopher and Hardy Boys novels? I know I would. Some 5 year-olds are even expected to know the alphabet in alphabetical order. That would stress me the fuck out. There are, after all, 26 letters. Then there’s Lego’s. Even with the instructions, those gave me problems back in the day and I can only imagine how much more complicated they’ve gotten. Then there’s Xbox 360 and all that. People my age grew up with only 16 bits of madness. Any game that’s not sports-related gives me problems, so what do you think it does to the average 5 year-old? I’d probably be looking for the needle if I were a 5 year-old today.
One kid who’s definitely going to be looking to take another hit from the bong is Chytoria Graham’s infant son, who was used as a baseball bat when Chytoria swung her four week-old son Jerron at her boyfriend. I’m not a parent, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to go Barry Bonds on your boyfriend with your infant son. I’m not an expert on child development, but I’m guessing at four weeks old, a baby likes to eat, sleep, poop and get changed so it can poop some more. I doubt the baby likes to be used as a TPX. Using your infant as a baseball bat is probably not in any of those parenting manuals. Those dudes who wear sunglasses at night think this is poor judgment.
Poor Jerron has to go live with the mom’s grandparents now. Let’s hope they’re not ping-pong players.
And just because your little brother, who happens to be 5, likes to light up, it doesn’t mean that you have to film it. You want to film your kid brother when he starts to walk, say his first words, has birthday parties and Little League games. Anything else is probably not acceptable, especially if he may have a drug problem. I’m sure if the authorities watched more of the tape they could have seen the kid’s skills on the beer bong, his jello wrestling skills with the ladies and his tenacity on the liquor luge.
The dude who videotaped it said the only mistake he made was videotaping it. He also claimed that everyone does it, they just don’t videotape it. All parents also teach their kids how to shoot the H and slay manatees mercilessly, they just don’t put it on YouTube for the whole world to see. And that’s not because they’re afraid of getting caught. It’s more like modesty. Not everyone wants to show off their dope parenting skills to the rest of the world. Showoffs.
I know Jadakiss said to switch your style up to southpaw, but damn, he really did in his new video with R.Kelly. His voice doesn’t even sound the same anymore and he’s doing all these annoying ad-libs instead of rapping about what color his car is and how he stays in the ‘hood like hot dog stands. Jada, if you want to be a go-getter, that’s fine. Just tell me when you’re going to switch up your style like that.
I became really aware of just how bad this whole game is the other day when I was having a conversation about Papoose’s debut album. I was asked how I thought it would do, and when I replied with my thoughts on how I thought the album would sound, the person who asked me the question said, “No, I meant sales. What do you think it will do?”
Wow. I didn’t start doing interviews and writing columns to answer questions about that. I got into the journalism side of hip-hop for three reasons. I thought I would be good at it and I would get albums for free and before everyone else. Before HHG, I was working jobs to pay for CD’s. I never wanted to get into this so I could be like Mel Kiper and make a career out of making wrong predictions. Making predictions about album sales is for those tools at CSPAN. And at what point did everyone start caring and memorizing sales numbers before lyrics? I bet most “fans” can’t remember a line off Nas’ Hip-Hop Is Dead but they can tell you what it did its first week out.
For some, that number is important in the same way fans memorize the salaries of professional athletes. But think about how that ruins sports. If fans didn’t think about A-Rod’s $250 million, they would probably hate Mr. April less. But because they see that figure every time he comes up short in October, it becomes even easier to hate him.
Jay’s Kingdom Come was considered a failure by some because it didn’t go platinum its first week out, despite the hologram cover. It’s okay to not like that album for songs like “Hollywood,” but never dislike an album because it didn’t have high sales. The problem is the cool kids in hip-hop who like Hell Razah and artists like him would rather download the music instead of going to the store to cop it, where a generation ago most would cop the CD officially. If the cool kids can kick the geeks out of Best Buy, maybe this thing called hip-hop can actually be saved.
I made a goal over a month ago to avoid VH1 like Poison Pen avoids fruit and I did a good job at that. I have no idea who won either of those abominations, err, shows and I feel pretty good about that. My next goal is to avoid album numbers. That’s definitely going to be harder, but I’m tired of conversations about album sales. I started at HipHopGame because I wanted to cover good music, and when I started I had no idea what Soundscan even was.
And while I’ve never let radio spins tell me what makes a good rapper (Mims), I don’t even want any of those figures in my head because who knows what the long-term effects of that might be. One day I might wake up and have the urge to put on a three-piece suit, put one of those Bluetooth’s in my ear and hire a secretary. I’m having Dee Jekkyl add a clause to my contract that states if I am ever seen with a Bluetooth in my ear, in a suit and I’m not at a wedding or clothes-shopping for more than ten minutes, then he can fire me, no questions asked.
That Poison Pen collaboration has to happen soon. Not many things can change the world but I’m hoping that’s one of them.
I must say I am pretty happy with the Rah Digga interview. Every interview we’ve done, which is three now, has been great. She also said my questions were “bananas.” That’s pretty awesome.
With that’s said, there’s something I want to get out there. When I do interviews, do I ask questions that require more than the typical “shout out to my crew, album’s in stores tomorrow” answers? Of course. It’s come to my attention that some readers think I “bait” the subjects into dissing someone they don’t want to or saying something that’s going to get them in trouble. Maybe the fact that readers think I’m smart enough to outwit everyone is a good thing, but seriously, no one can be baited to do anything. If I ask Digga a question about Busta, I’m not saying it in the hopes that I’ll trip her up into saying something that will be controversial.
I actually want the people I’m interviewing to look good in an interview, and maybe that’s a problem sometimes because some of the interviewees are dumber than a bag of bricks on a sinking canoe. But I try to stay away from them. Artists like Rah Digga, Saigon and Hell Razah can not be baited into saying something they don’t want to say. Why? Because they’re very intelligent. Grown people can’t be “baited” into anything, like Monie Love said when I interviewed her, no matter how bright that worm is shining on the hook.
Think about Remy. No one baited her to go at Fat Joe the way she did. She did that because that’s what she wanted to do. I wouldn’t have to bait her in an interview by asking, “Don’t you think Fat Joe could have done a little more? Just a little bit more? I’m not saying he had to do your album for you, but you have to admit, he could have done more.” All I’d have to ask would be, “Are you happy with what Fat Joe has done for you?” and she’ll give me the same answer.
What is the writer’s responsibility is to recognize when they have a subject dumb enough to say anything. Then you could either tailor your questions to be really simple or you could have some fun with the artist, and I’m pretty sure no one around the artist would be very happy with that. That’s always an option, but what I’ve found is that whenever you have an incredibly dumb rapper in a prominent position, that idiot is surrounded by some very smart people. There’s not a lot of accidents in this game. Therefore, if you start asking the rapper what color you get when you mix blue and yellow, you’re likely to get cut off like DJ’s manhood after they take their first payola check.
And as for Rah Digga leaving Flipmode, in the words of Bruno, all I can say is grrreaaatttt. No matter how many times Busta tapes himself getting a haircut and beating up fans, Digga’s album never would have dropped. And if it did drop, it probably would have had to have some commercial reaches on it. Digga can use the internet and probably capitalize more off of that and not have to worry about taking out full-page ads in magazines and hoping to have strong first-week sales. Personally, I think it’s a great move for Digga Digga.
When you’re an up-and-coming rapper, you have a lot of challenges. You have to pay your bills while earning a deal with a major label that will tie you up for the prime of your career while making an album that label will inevitably destroy. It’s not easy. It’s ten times harder when you’re Uncle Murder. Not only does the dude who’s “thing goes pop, pop” have to worry about all that, he has to stay out of trouble long enough to make an album. Although I’ve never been on the run, I would imagine it’s not easy. When you’re popping snitches left and right and running up into dudes’ babymamas, mamas and grandmas, as Uncle Murder claims on “Bullet, Bullet,” then every day is probably a challenge.
Another challenge for the Brooklyn rapper is going to be making an album that fans are going to want to buy. His mixtapes have all run under similar themes of shooting people, not missing, hating people who miss and hating the police. Is the album going to be more of that? Plus if that’s where Uncle Murder places himself now, how much room does he have to go left and right now that he’s known for being that serial killer with no remorse? It’s not impossible, but it’s definitely a challenge.
How much longer can Mike Jones keep saying his name before everyone gets tired of it? Good to see he’s relying on that complex style that got him famous on his latest number “Like What I Got.” From “Park the car/I’m a star” to “Haters hate because I’m living great,” the fifth Ninja Turtle continues to prove to the rest of the world that it’s possible to be a rap star without ever having to think.
The light is brightening. This is where I stop writing.