Hip Hop Culture for Grown-Ups
Words by Phlip
Remember the days of hip hop “crews,” or even when 2 or 3-man groups gave out the impression that they were actually close friends? What did you do when you realized that it was all shine put on for the camera? Wait, did you realize that it was all shine put on for the cameras?
Walk with me a moment here (examples from today’s perusal of my ‘don’t kill the coworkers’ iPod selection)…
• The Luniz – There were several songs over the course of 3 albums that would lead one to believe that these two legitimately loved (no homeaux, I promise) one another like they were brothers. Not to say that there is or has been any implied animosity, but Yukmouth continues to make records for the Bay Area – which is apparently a lucrative market to itself – while last thing I heard of Numskull was several years ago when he was facing some heavy rape charges.
• Eric B & Rakim – Perhaps the BEGINNING of the “my DJ is my best friend” lie. We all know how this ended; with Eric B not being pleased with not being as visible as Rakim and attempting to strike out on his own, then neither one of them reaching the heights they seemed sure of.
• EPMD – 3 (alleged) words… “setup” and “armed robbery”
• Dipset/Birdgang/WTFEver – Petty disagreements over who exactly the (unexplainable) fans were actually there for caused a rift and no one seems to be able to genuinely tell (or even care, it seems) who is still cool with who to this day.
• Cash Money Records – Remember when Mannie Fresh was the in-house beatmaker? Remember when it was BG, and not Wayne, who Baby (in pre-Birdman) days treated like a son? Remember when Juvenile and Wayne played off of one another on records and in public like a big/little brother? Yeah, funny how NONE of those people are still on the label except for Wayne now.
• Bad Boy – Has anyone stopped to notice that while they SAID they were a “family,” no one has remained on the label for longer than two albums except for
Puffy the guy who owns it and that he is known for nickel/diming his artists to make as much of their money his as possible?
• G-Unit – lol
I could go on and on. We are sold – and actually buy – the “artists as actual friends” lie every single day of our lives, and the reality of it is actually the complete and total opposite. What is funniest about it is that we line up to buy the next believable story as soon as one presents itself for consumption.
Dr Dre said it best on The Show “the thing about hip hop [is that] it’s all entertainment, a ma-fucka ain’t about to go out and do the shit we talk about unless they just… stupid.”
The first sentence of that statement should probably be taken as applicable to the factual accuracy of what we’re presented with in hip hop on the whole, no?