Saturday, October 13

KRS 1 on Kanye vs 50

Before you read this piece by KRS-1 I want everyone to give this man a round of applause. When I first listened to 50s album I was like damn, the same old stuff. Gunplay this, kill that. Then I listened to Ye's album and I had a breath of fresh air. KRS 1 says some very true things in this article. The main thing that stuck with me was when I went back to my hometown (Flint, MI) to visit family, I was listening to Ye's album. It just didn't feel right, so I took the CD out. I was just telling myself that it was wack. I popped in 50s album and for some reason it stayed in longer, but I didn't pay it any attention at the time. Then I left Flint later that weekend and came back to my home (The 'burbs). I wasn't feeling the 50 again, but I felt good listening to Ye's album. This may sound funny, and even ridiculous but it's true. Take a look at what KRS-1 had to say.

At the 2007 Hip Hop Honors I was asked by about my musical
preferences this year—50 Cent or Kanye West? I chose 50 Cent. At the time my answer was spontaneous and said without much thought. It was simply a quick honest answer. However, the next day I get a Google alert that somehow my comments "dissed Kanye West". This could not be further from the truth. As I've said repeatedly and on many occasions, "rap is something we do; Hip Hop is something we live", and when you
ask KRS about his musical choices his answers are going to reflect the life that he (KRS) actually lives. If I have to compare 50 Cent's album "Curtis" with Kanye West's album "Graduation" I am more motivated by "Curtis" than I am "Graduation". Of course, I
totally respect "Graduation" and what it means to and for Hip Hop. But personally, I relate more to 50 Cent's subject matter more than I do Kanye's.

I like both albums. I personally went to Circuit City and bought two copies of each album the day they came out and listened to them both. After listening to both albums I found myself rewinding several of 50 Cent's tracks—track 2, track 3, track 4, the rhyme style on track 5, track 12, the joint with Mary-track 15, track 16 and track 17. For me, ALL THAT SHIT WUZ HOT! On the other hand, when I listened to Kanye's album I found myself rewinding only track 1, track 6, and track 10. Honestly, I felt that Kanye's album related more to women whereas 50's album related more to men, maybe that's why I gravitated more toward 50's album? Maybe I'm just too "old skool?" Maybe I'm just a New York nigga at heart? Maybe I'm still stuck on that "gun talk?" Whatever. In any event, I totally respect Kanye's message and his album was clearly a breath of fresh air for Hip Hop. Even Kanye's musical production style was superior to 50's in my opinion. But for motivation, hard beats and rhymes, or when I'm driving through the "hood" for me 50 Cents album "Curtis" simply delivered more "bang" for the buck.

When I stated that I preferred 50's album over Kanye's album the interviewer seemed shocked and surprised. This caused me to think about my response a little more. Why did I choose 50 Cent? I began to think about this with more depth. First, when it comes to Hip Hop and its cultural preservation we must never equate record sales with artistic excellence. Just because Kanye out-sold 50 Cent does not mean that Hip Hop as a community has made a choice as to its cultural direction. In fact, I would argue that Kanye out-selling 50 Cent has more to do with the record buying public's demand for more soulful, thoughtful and innovative music than it has to do with Hip Hop making a statement about itself. Hip Hop is about the mood of the streets; all of it, the so-called "conscious" streets as well as the so-called"gangsta" streets. True Hip Hop (cultural Hip Hop) is not about the selling of a CD. So one must ask, did Hip Hop buy Kanye's album or did the American public buy Kanye's album?

Secondly, let us not equate the "conscious" Hip Hop movement with CD sales. Remember, we are still getting ripped-off contractually by those corporations that exploit and sell our music with nothing going back toward Hip Hop's actual preservation. Just because you put out a "conscious" album does not mean that you are a "conscious" person. Your album presentation does not make you an "activist" or a "gangsta". It is your actions in real life that determine your propensity for revolutionary thought or rebellious activity. The questions are; what have you done with your success to support and preserve Hip Hop's actual cultural preservation? How does Hip Hop's existing organizations benefit from your success? If 50 Cent actually builds Hip Hop's museum/archive with the money and influence made from his "gangsta" music and Kanye (as an example) buys more Gucci and gold chains with his money and influence who has really served the
culture? Please, let us keep things in perspective here.

Finally, let me make this last point very clear. KRS ONE is an artist that has produced both "Criminal Minded" as well as "Edutainment" and this is what I have found to not only be the key to my own professional longevity, this is also what has kept Hip Hop itself vibrant and self-sustaining for over 30 years. Hip Hop thrives upon its variety of styles and diversity of ideas. Remember, Hip Hop is a continuous international urban conversation; it is not a dictated lecture or a one-sided statement. It is an on-going urban discussion about life and living expressed through art and culture. EVERYTHING ABOUT HIP HOP IS GOOD! Our music and art reflects life itself.

When I hear artists like 50 Cent, Fat Joe, Camron, Jadakiss, Snoop Dogg, etc I hear courage, fearlessness and victory over the streets. And when I hear Kanye West, Common, Talib Kweli, etc I hear vision, innovation, and the pursuit of life's higher ideals. ALL OF THIS IS HIP HOP! And all of it is good. ALL OF IT! Not one style over another or one style better than another. All of it together is Hip Hop, and you will not have true Hip Hop without this balance of ideas and expressions. Hip Hop cannot be one thing or it will cease to exist as Hip Hop. The key word here is BALANCE, and I am proud to say that in 2007 with the release of 50 Cent's "Curtis" and Kanye West's "Graduation" Hip Hop has achieved such a balance. The struggle now is to convince mainstream media to honor such a "balance" in its public presentations of our culture and lifestyle. Yes, I remain Hip Hop's "teacha" and authentic cultural voice; and yes, I will continue to promote both spiritual and political thought through Hip Hop. Like most people I too seek the "Good Life", but let's just keep it really real; "NIGGA MY GUN GO OFF!"

Big respect to both Kanye and Curtis!

KRS ONE—the Teacha"

Triple Lip

Big ups to Kanye West for his success on his latest LP. Big ups for handing it to 50 in the sales department thus far (in America).

Thats as far as the accolades go though. Kanye has been marked as many things over his career... some good, and some not so good. Many people seem to overlook the fact that this dude always has his mouth open complaining, whining, or feeling entitled to something. He complains when he can't perform at Award Shows. He complains when his record isn't the best. He complains when he isn't the hottest out right now. My goodness! Dude is talented, but his big headedness and cockiness has gotten to his head. Dude's album isn't even 5 mic material. It's better than 50s, and it's better than most rap music that is out today. That still doesn't give him the right to complain and cry as much as he does.

Ed Lover did mark Ye on his list. Top 10 list of people who needs to shut their mouth. I agree, and I'm glad Lover put him out there like that. Ye needs to shut that triple lip and just do his thing, because when he gets humbled down (and everyone gets at least one humbling experience in their life) he might just kill himself. He may do a Eddie Kane... or David Ruffin move. He is not as hot as he thinks he is. Dude thinks that he is Mercury on wax.

I'm not hating on the dude, I am merely stating the obvious. Sometimes I wish that 50 would have out sold him just to see what he would have done. I honestly think he would have cried to Soundscan... probably would have thrown a tantrum on TRL or something.

Kanye you are a talented dude, but you gotta get past that ego of yours. It just may be your downfall. Can that mouth of yours be wired shut again?

Keep Hip Hop Alive, One Bar at a Time.

Over and Out, DocBoone.

American Gangster Part II

Ok, I told you to stay tuned. This American Gangster thing seems to be blowing up pretty quickly now. The movie itself seems to be one of the greats this year. Who knows... maybe even this decade. As far as Jay-Z being inspired to go back at it, hardcore... this might be true. If you've heard Blue Magic you got a taste. In my opinion it was okay... not great, but it was okay. After to listening to more tracks I think that Jigga might have shrugged off B for a minute to go back to his roots. It's the grown up version of the old Jigga. He's even supposedly throwing shots at LL... but that's a different story. Let's go Jigga.

Check out the track Roc Boys from American Gangster. The track Dead Presidents 3 is supposedly a FIRE track as well. Uh oh... what really inspired this man? Who knows... maybe it WAS the movie. Maybe it was all these wack cats out here picking up the mic.

Jay got people waiting on November and apple cider now. Hopefully this work doesn't get highjacked to the point where Jay has to push it back. That would hurt. Or maybe there is another stash somewhere. You all can have the baking soda, and oregano, but when that real white stuff and sticky hits the streets it should cause an epidemic of people Jay flashbacks.

Get with it people.

Keep Hip Hop Alive, One Bar at a Time.

Over and Out, DocBoone.

Duel in Dallas

Ok... first I wanna say that I'm back from my leave of absence. I've been way too busy to focus on blogging. So since I've been gone, I have a lot of things that are on my mind right now. I'll try my best to transcribe and interpret them onto blogspace.

First, this Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots game. I am a die hard Dallas Cowboys fan, always have and always will be. I'm not upset that the media is all over this game. No thats cool. The thing that I'm upset with is that even though both teams are undefeated and quality teams, its getting blown out of proportion now. It's being considered this great matchup, this great duel... blah blah blah. I honestly think my Cowboys are coming for the juggular. The media is covering this from all aspects, but every analyst predicts that the Patriots are going to win. Ok, now at what point do you say, since everyone thinks the Patriots are going to win... maybe we can move on to something else? I could see if the predictions were mixed. At this point everyone is still saying the Patriots are going to win... thats what they have been saying since Tuesday, and thats what they will say on Sunday. How many times, and how many ways can you say that one team is going to beat another. Sure its the game of 2 unbeatens... and maybe it's me tired of seeing my team being inferiorated (I think I just made that word up). Maybe it's just the media going overkill on a matchup. This is not a Playoff matchup, or the Super Bowl. This game wont even determine an entrance to the playoffs... ITS WEEK 6!!!!

Enough about football now. I got that off my chest.

Keep Hip Hop Alive, One Bar at a Time.

Over and Out, DocBoone.