No Respect For The Architects


Words by Tony Grands

Hip Hop legend Slick Rick performed at a New York Knicks Vs Brooklyn Nets game last week (Nov. 26) & surprisingly, got booed mid-performance.The video shows the veteran MC struggling to keep up with the background music & the prerecorded vocals as the packed arena begins to boo, as if he’s not a legend in the rap game. My initial thoughts were that the audience is full of underage, d-bag hipsters who don’t know the first thing about Hip Hop’s organic roots. But my second thought was that – for what it’s worth – Slick Rick hasn’t done anything notable in awhile. It makes total sense that the current crop of listeners, fan(atic)s, & haters wouldn’t have a general knowledge of who he is.

Rap music comes & goes so quickly that it’s kind of difficult to keep up with everybody, all of the time. & with the requisite rule of “15 minutes per person,” there are a lot of rap cats – young & old – who get buried underneath the continual tidal wave of music that surges daily.

I asked my kids if they knew who Slick Rick was, & they all said, confidently, “No.” Yet, when I played “Children’s Story” & “Hey Young World” not only did they know the melodies to both songs, but even some of the lyrics. Ironically, Rick (no Ross) attempted to perform both cuts to no avail. Had the songs just played, minus the live show, chances are that the audience would have recognized the timeless classics for the gems that they are. But with the lackluster audio/visual team in the arena, Rick may as well have been a newcomer, stumbling & fumbling over words that he couldn’t match with the beat. That same day, Black Twitter was a flutter with talk of Jay-Z being “overrated” as a rapper. I didn’t even bother to investigate any further than the tweets that were tossed into my timeline, but from what I gathered, the young cats seem to think that any success that isn’t immediate is less credible. That actually falls in line with the live fast, die young ideology that’s taken urban young America by storm.

Other genres don’t slam the door behind the person who opens it like rap music does. It seems like you’re only as good as the last beef you had on twitter, win or lose. & God forbid you don’t have any enemies or haters, because without them, apparently you wouldn’t be motivated.

Around the time these things took place, Michael “Air” Jordan was reportedly banned from a country club in Florida for not conforming to the dress code. Michael Jordan is one of the most recognizable, powerful negroes in present-day western civilization. If they didn’t cut him a break, imagine what’s out there waiting on your (future) kids some day. Just saying.

Words by Tony Grands


8 comments on “No Respect For The Architects

  1. Curtis75Black says:

    As far as Slick Rick goes, you win some, you lose some. Legends are legends for what they’ve done, not for who they are. I’ve turned my back and gave the Gasface to plenty Elderstatesmen because of how they’ve came across on stage. I still buy De La Soul because of their music but their stage show wasn’t all that when I seem them live.


    • markdub7 says:

      NOOOOO!!! I’ve never seen De La live…don’t tell me they’re anything less than stellar! First the Fat Boys break up, now everyday I wake up……SMH


    • Tony Grands says:

      My question is how did he allow himself to be represented so poorly? No soundcheck? No handlers to make sure the performance would be adequete for a “The Ruler?” Somebody clearly dropped the ball.

      Good thing about it is that by this Friday, someone will have done something to make the internets (© Dallas Penn) forget about Rick’s shark jump.


      • Curtis75Black says:

        Now that’s real !! That was the 1st question in my mind !! How did this happen ? You’re not Freestyling at the park with Doug E. Fresh & Dana Dane !! You’re repping the new center in Brooklyn as the 2nd emcee to show off and this happen !!


  2. Capital G says:

    Watch the video, his performance was worthy of getting deported. Just throwin that out there…


    • Curtis75Black says:

      Aight Capital G, I looked on YouTube to see what popped off and that has to be the worst performance I’ve ever seen. Luckily he has legendary status. If he was a current emcee, his career wouldn’t last long after this.


  3. JhonDaAnalyst says:

    I saw the clip and the sound was horrible! I hated to see him go out like that……..H


  4. DV says:

    Maybe Jay-Z set him up (just a thought). They shouldve kept that for VH-1 Hip Hop Honors. Slick Rick is now “Nostalgia Rap” only certain people of a certain age such as myself (32+) still appreciate it. But yeah the very least they could do is have the audio right. Im sure Rick appreciates the check regardless.


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