A few months ago we nailed home the concept that this Hip-Hop shit wasn’t thorough enough to be called a culture. After reading the latest Vanity Fair rag I found out that the Hip-Hop that I was brought up on wasn’t even art. Its all commercial bullshiite.
The Vanity Fair article detailed the true story of the Robinson family, the founders of SugarHill Records. The story decribed how the Robinson family was indebted up to their eyeballs to the T.I. mafia. They were desperate to find that ‘next nigger shit’. SYLVIA ROBINSON goes to the legendary Harlem World nightclub to see what kind of disco music the jigs are vibing to. She experiences a Hip-Hop party and right then she knows that she has stumbled onto her pot of gold. She can’t understand what is being said by the emcees and she could care less, all she knows is that this thing is going to be huge. She runs back to New Jersey and literally picks up three jigs off the street and brings them to her home studio. Listening to ‘Rapper’s Delight’ it wasn’t hard to tell that the music was stolen from the CHIC classic ‘Good Times’, but the hammer that was dropped on my head is this… most of the ryhmes used for the song were stolen from the rhymebook of GRANDMASTER CAZ. One of the emcees on the record was a manager for COLD CRUSH BROTHERS and asked CAZ if he could borrow his rhymebook for a meeting he had in New Jersey. CAZ thought that he might be getting put on so he gave up his book to that loser. How apropo is it that the very first incarnation of recorded Hip-Hop has jigs stealing other jigs creative talent? I won’t even complain now when JAY-Z does a cover of B.I.G.’s ‘Juicy’.
Fast forward to the present and Hip-Hop, ne, crap music is a global phenomenon in how it mobilizes and motivates the youth. Crap music determines what is of value to these kids. It constantly tells them what to buy. What has become even more insipid is that crap music tells people what to think and how to react. The pathos of ‘Get Rich or Die Trying’ is that you would do anything for money. That life has a transferrable price in dollars and cents. 50 CENTS.
CURTIS JACKSON is crap music’s greatest prophet for profit because he has maximized his popularity by being this multimedia juggernaut. You can’t turn away from the 50 CENTS character. The television plays his music videos and then incessantly airs commercials that hype the big screen biopic coming to theaters this month. The radio plays the soundtrack to his videogame. I walk into a bookstore in order to escape the madness and right in the center of the store is an entire table table filled with 50 CENTS’ book. Yes, his book! This last irony forces me to sit down in one of the oversized leather chairs and contemplate the future of the children that I see around me. 50 CENTS considered the only two options for his life were guns or microphones. He never mentioned books.
50 CENT says in one of the voiceovers segments for the movie that he got into crap music because unlike drugs he couldn’t be prosecuted for selling a lot of records. That was the motivation for this ‘bullshiite artist’. Crap music will never again be art. It’s all just commercial bullshiite.