Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gangsta Factor

Any ghetto will tell ya Nas helped grow us up
My face once graced promotional Sony trucks
Hundred million in billin', I helped build 'em up

Nas-Hip Hop is Dead

Once again Bill O' Reilly has pushed me to the point where I want to send him an urban dictionary, an ipod full of positive hip-hop from artists that society considers "gangsta," accompanied by a lyrical hymnal of all the classic hip hop songs that define the urban community. The hip-hop community is soooo tired of people being so quick to label rappers as "gangsta." Even my Italian "brothers" are ticked off because society has mainstreamed and redefined their term of endearment. So, Mr. O' Reilly has a lot of explaining to do.

Right now in hip-hop Jay-Z is a household name. Now I am not attacking Jay-Z, but if he were going to do a concert at Virginia Tech would this still be a problem? Jay-Z was a heavy dope dealer back in the day, but he has evolved into a hip-hop mogul that has given back to the community, started his on multi-million dollar company, and taken over Def Jam (the label that made hip hop a household name). I'm quite sure no one would say a word about Jay-Z performing, but when V-Tech asked Nas to perform it had folks in an uproar.

Yes, Nas does have a gun possession charge (that doesn't make him "gangsta"), but it was in 1991, since then Nas has evolved into one of the most conscious rappers of our time. He talks about having a relationship with his father (which you don't see a lot of in my urban community), telling kids that they can be whatever they want to be, and even questioning the state of hip hop by saying that it's dead. It's a performance people, just a performance. Personally, I would love to hear what Nas is going to say to the V-Tech students as far as encouraging them. His profound statements have made rappers squash beefs and neighborhoods resume to peace.

Man, we have got to go back and look at the definition of "gangsta"=gangster: a member of a gang of criminals/ a racketeer. Nas is not that and neither was Biggie, nor my ATL partner Ludacris who because of O'Reilly was taken off of Pepsi because of his dirty lyrics and replaced by Ozzy Osbourne (didn't he bite the head off a small animal when he performed live?). Hip Hop deserves a chance to be a great genre just like any other form of music that has had its day (R.I.P. disco). If we want to talk gangster in music lets talk about the original "I Love New York," Mr. Frank Sinatra. Sinatra was believed to be involved with the Chicago mafia but it was never proven. In the tradition of omerta (mafia code of silence), you probably knew that Frank was in the mafia, but you didn't know. Frank Sinatra…that's "gangsta." Real Talk!


Post a Comment


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More