Damn Warren: Thoughts on Hip Hop Honors and Hip Hop’s future

Question, why did I feel so bad watching Warren G perform ‘Regulate’ on VH1 Hip Hop Honors and was I the only one? I think it’s the fact that ‘Regulate’ came out like 50 year ago ..okay not really but you feel me though…and that’s the only song he gets props for. I thought I detected just the slightest bit of annoyance in his eyes when the camera zoomed in for a close up but it was proabably just me though. As for Trey Songz…he tried bless his heart. I like the concept of Hip Hop Honors, I really do but it just feels as if hip hop has died…that statement is so overused but appropriate in this context… and the show is a series of funeral services complete with eulogies. Yes I see you giving credit where credit is due VH1 but damn if it just don’t feel…awkward. I’m only 23 but the show makes me feel so old. I feel like shows such as Hip Hop Honors do nothing more than widen the chasm between what is considered true hip hop and the hip hop in existance today while slowly squeezing vitality out of the art.

A while ago I wrote a piece about re-thinking my previously held notions that ‘real’ hip hop had indeed ‘died’. I reconciled that the appearance of death is only an illusion. The energy of hip hop has shifted and transformed as all things do, but it’s still as vibrant as it ever was….because there is still creation. ‘Old heads’ like Common, Q Tip, Cube, Ghostface, Nas and Rakim are still releasing new material and ‘young cats’ like Cudi, Wayne, Lupe, Game, Skyzoo, Nipsey, Blu and T.I. are only just beginning to form into what they are destined to become.

We are so stuck on Biggie and Pac, who’s gonna be the next Biggie and Pac, it ain’t been the same since Biggie and Pac, man I really miss Biggie and Pac, that we aren’t allowing the music and the artists to blossom and evolve as they rightfully should. What hurts me the most is the stagnation and forced creativity of the industry right now, everybody wants to be the next insert legendary musicians name here. The legends didn’t set out to be anybody but themselves. That’s how they became legends, that’s how they cemented their essence firmly in the hearts and minds of the fans and the world. Bob didn’t set out to be nobody else but Bob, Jimi didn’t set out to be no one else but Jimi, John,  Janis, Prince, George, Rick and you know I could continue but I won’t. Kanye said it….

“…..we’re going to push this music to the point where it was like in the ’60s, in the ’70s, where you talk about Led Zepplin and Hendrix and the Beatles. We will be the new Beatles, the new Hendrix. They say in every other industry, you’re supposed to do better than the past…..”

Notice how he did not say next, he said new. The wave of creative evolution is to powerful to go against. Wherever there is expression pouring from the soul, wherever there is truth, there is realness. Real music, real hip hop is alive and well pimpin. It  just has to be sought. It’s a red pill or blue pill type situation folks. I say stop obsessing…reminiscing is cool…about what is was and get hype about what it will be. The future is right now.

KRS, as always, droppin’ jewels


A Moment of Silence Please Pt 2: The Reception

Lately, I’ve been trying to determine if I could be labeled a ” hater” because of my recent ramblings on the state of the music industry. I’m a Gemini so my thoughts often vascilate between the parallel sides of an issue, that being said, sometimes I do feel like a hater. There’s nothing wrong with an artist wanting to get paid for thier contributions to the world and there’s always been peak periods of different musical era’s that feature an abundance of similar material.

I was just watching The 100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs special on VH1 and it got me the thinking on all this. More specifically the fact that they even have a special detailing the “greatest” songs in Hip Hop further suggests that an era has come and gone. Perhaps that’s the sense of death I’ve been feeling. The  hip hop icons of my formative years are now middle aged men, who seem as dissapointed and unimpressed with the current trends in popular musical stylings as I am. Everybody from Nas to Jamie Foxx to Bobby Valentino are saying the same thing, what we got going on right now isn’t “real” music. So that leads one to the question…What exactly is “real” music?

Real is defined as being; genuine, not counterfeit or  artificial or imitation, authentic, unfeigned or sincere. If these artists today are making music that comes from thier hearts, that comes from the essence of who they are is that not real? Apparently even if the music being made today is born out of genuine expression the public is not having it. According to a poll on, 63.5 percent of the 334 who voted say it is. 

Meditating on this subject, I find myself being drawn to the conclusion that it all comes down to the matter of energy. The bulk of hip hop’s energy has  shifted from realistically portryaing the collective urban experience in all it’s variations and complexities to a air-headed exploitation of the corrupted American dream. Where our people can’t think of anything better to do with 100 stacks but to scatter it on the floor of a strip club. Where songs have become more like rhythmic endorsements dropping names of high end designer labels, cars and liquor like adjectives, metaphors and similes. We like clothes, and shoes, and parties, and nice things, who doesn’t right? These things are all good, yet they are just small aspects of the full human experience. It is the increasing shift toward formulized materialism and consumerism that has slowly been killing hip hop. I find it ironic that urban populations are often the poorest, speaking in terms of per capita income, yet they are comprised  of the most coveted consumers in big buisness, spending more money on average than consumers considered “non-urban”.

from Swag Surfin by F.L.Y

swaggin in the club you gon see me throwin money up

came here wit a bad chick and all her friends as fine as her

drinks we gon pour them up

exotic  what we rollin up

Patron, Goose and Hennessy

they got it, ima drink it up

I’m always wearin Polo nigga

I’m Ralph Lauren’s mascot……

and this was 96………