Thursday, January 29, 2009


It was only a matter of time until I had to, you know, rap about this, so here we go.

I hate Rap, but on the other hand, I love it. If you're an old school headbanger, you have to admit that in private, you can't help but bob your head along with the rhythm. Yes, it's true. There are white folk out there who have rhythm, but we all like REAL music, not cheesy top 40 crap, not mamby-pamby "I love you" crap, but stuff that sticks to your ribs. And as much as I don't admit it, condone it, want my or any other kids to have it, or even hear it on public radio, it's here to stay, and I'm discreetly pleased that it is.

The truth of the matter, freedom of speech. But that's not what makes it delicious. Nope. It's the "And when dealin' with da Lynch Mob you GOTS ta know steady mobbin is not just the name of dis jam, but a way o life, bound together by muthaf*ckers thas known ta break 'em off somethin'. Give it to me." Lyrics. This is an era that will NEVER be captured so... well... oddly enough, eloquently, as it has been captured by the masters of the era. Right now I'm listening to Ice Cube's Greatest Hits, and it's a delightful collection of thug life, bad behavior, decadence, drug use and abuse, disrespect of your fellow man, violence against women, and pretty much everything that we rail against as civilized people.

I know I'm not on target here, and I don't intend to be. This is about what the reality is, not what the perception is. Most people have given the rappers the bye, saying "Oh, if you didn't grow up in the 'hood, you can't say anything". I've always felt this relatively true as well, but alas, the poets words, as all good poets words do, transcend boundaries because they have TRUTH to them. How the suburban kids felt these lessons applied to them, I'll never know. That's always ticked me off. Yet another post.

So, as a (wait! time to pause for "The Nigga Ya Love To Hate"!) guy that was brought up to respect your elders, do unto others, this all translates to "blah blah blah blah blah blah". I LOVE listening to this... uh... music. It's captivating. It's so dark. It's what Metal always wanted to be, but couldn't because our parents would kick our asses if we talked like this. I know at this point Ice Cube's Mom is happy because he's rich, she's rich, and frankly, they're all rich. She should've kicked Cube's ass for speaking like this, much less recording it, but I'm glad she didn't, because every single one of them guys from Public Enemy wrote some good sh*t, and goddamn it they're good.

18 years ago, when all of this (OG stuff, not Sugarhill Gang) really got started, I wasn't happy about it, but there really wasn't much I could do. I could rail all I wanted, but they spoke the truth about a part of society that existed, not about puppies and love and illusions. Their sh*t is real, and as much as I hated it, I couldn't take that away from them.

So, here I am, way too late, finally listening front to back the albums that really made a difference in the music world. You won't hear this stuff on the radio, and for that I'm thankful (different post!). However, as someone who loves all music, if you love music, you're being a hypocrite if you don't get some deep catalogue Public Enemy.

Having a hard time wrapping this post up (much less writing about it, lol), so I'll finish with this. It's not fair for anybody to judge another for their perspective. On the same token, those who have had it held against them, should NOT assume that the rest of "us" have that perspective. It might take us all a while to get there and eventually we all can see that the other side isn't so bad. I do ask that you treat me with respect before judging me, which is EXACTLY the message that I hear within the lyrics, so Ice Cube, if you read this (HA!), just smoke with me before you shoot me is all I ask.


Zerosum said...

(shudder) I will agree with you and yet say - took you long enough...Music is the soul; take the lyric and the beat and add some harmony and its always about what makes you move. Whether a tapped foot a wiggled finger or an out and out dive from the stage.... Its about deep release we all have that skeleton album in our closet that we break out when we are alone and need a change .....hmmm, whats yours symo? whats yours what is that embarassing album...????

Anonymous said...

One Name: TuPak

Vern said...

Gunpowder Jones raps for the suburbs.