It’s 2012. Hip Hop has grown beyond it’s national parameters & become a global society. There are kids in corners of the world that can’t speak english, but know every Wu Tang song ever made. In fact, I’ve read where young people, ocean to ocean, have used rap music as a way to decode, decipher, & eventually mimic the english language. Rap music has matured from a hustle to a way of life, like it or not.
With change comes adaptation, & nowhere is this more evident than in Hip Hop culture. For example; while rock stars can still dress like they did in their heyday regardless of age or level of senility, rap stars wouldn’t dare be seen in last season’s fashion, let alone anything out of production. Specifically speaking, rap crews have transformed through numerous changes, & have now become entourages, a mix between business partners & gang brothers. In order to maintain proper function in a Hip Hop perfect world, members of crews should be handpicked like teammates, for their collectives strengths.
Yesteryear’s rap pack was filled with mediocre artists & gun & drug holders, but such days are over thanks to the necessity for street credibility. If rappers aren’t willing to do those things themselves then the fans aren’t willing to pay for their product. This means that rappers must keep it “real” & play it smart simultaneously. With a few key tweaks to his/her immediate roster, not only can a rapster successfully stay out of harm’s way, but become a superstar in the meantime. Don’t believe it? Well check out the 5 people every rapper should have in their crew.
Rap music has leaped & bound to new heights of augmented reality, thanks largely to sites like WorldstarHipHop & Youtube, who give the viewers & fans 24 hour access to the
demons they worship stars they adore. These artists know that the more exuberant their behavior, the more attention they’ll garner, & that equals more money for drugs, sex, jewelry, skin tags, & bail. A “raptopia”, so to speak. Today’s rapper has no problem slapping a fan or stomping a cameraphone or publicly slandering another person’s credibility, all of which have legal ramifications. This way, with a lawyer in permanent tow – best case scenario – said rapper can look for a “yay” or “nay” before destroying unauthorized pictures & what not. Worst case scenario: all that free weed & cough syrup served as a retainer.
4. Generic White Dude
If you think racism is dead, you are gravely misinformed, or impressively naïve. Not only is it alive & kicking, but the internet seems to have given it a resurrection, ushering in a new age of hate that never rests because the internet is constantly feeding it. Today’s rapper – in most instances – is an intimidating mix of hypermasculinity, ubermetrosexualism, & rebellion & that doesn’t bode well in situations where urbanites are considered foreigners. In all honesty, little White people can accomplish more than big,
Black scary rappers in a variety of circumstances.
CAUTION: You will not get the same desired effect with a woman. A white woman surrounded by non-famous “Hip Hop” guys is generally reason enough for someone to notify the authorities. Use discretion.
3. ‘Tang Liaison
There are a million reasons why hunting anonymous love taco is a dangerous thing these days for nominally famous people. Robbery, disease, significant others, to name a few. To avoid any possible complication – sexual offenses included – a middleperson should always be available to procure some company without making a fuss or risking the breadwinner’s safety. No more lifting random hotties from the club or swapmeet with a ‘tang liaison. & while it sounds a lot like pimping & pandering, it is, but that’s not my problem. I provide alternatives, not solutions.
2. “Yes!” Man
Rappers constantly up the “crazy” ante every few months. From subject matter to behavior, I can only imagine that every moderately recognizable rap cat has at least one member of their entourage that constantly cosigns every action & decision. Why else would
The Game get three different tattoos on his face in the location. Regardless, without a “Yes!” man, certain opportunities may goes unnoticed. Like a chance to leak some poor groupie “sextape” or start a gang fight with another record label over some random, nondescript rap verse that might have been about them. Even if it ends in violence & death, the free publicity is priceless. Just ask Tupac(‘s estate). Without a YM, Wiz & Lil Wayne wouldn’t be covered in tattoos which, while looking a bit gross, looks hella cool, too. (Just not “cool” enough for me & any of my kids, but that’s neither here nor there.) A YM is an asset with the chance of dipping into the liability zone from time to time, but is absolutely needed to stay in the ever-shifting spotlight.
This is easily the most important role to be filled on any rapper’s roster. It’s important to note that the term “friend” isn’t interchangeable with words like homie, buddy, pal, dog, dude, ace, bruh, potna, etc. A friend is usually the one who knows your family personally & has been there through it all, before the acknowledgment & praise. Therefore, this person should positively have a vested interest in your life, & your well being at heart. For what it’s worth, the friend should be the proverbial baking soda any rapper cuts their real life with, on a daily basis. Like brain cocaine. Back in the days, when Hip Hop records were on cassette tapes, the first thing a recently-championed rapper would do was to put his best friend “on.” Perhaps it was their way of ensuring that they had someone around them that they could truly trust. That familial ethic has dissolved a bit during the last generation’s cultural assimilation, but that doesn’t mean that it can be recaptured & rekindled. & not for nothing, but if you have a “Yes!” man, it would behoove you to have a friend to act as a sort of foolishness filter. It’s not rocket science. •