I was born in the 80’s, raised in the 90’s. As much as anyone, I have been a witness. To this remarkable enigma called hip hop. A music, a movement, a culture, a community…hip hop has taken on many meanings since its late 1970’s Bronx beginnings—meanings that all of us—fans, intellectuals, opponents, proponents, and even industry insiders—have struggled to fully grasp at times.
Has it been revolutionary? Has it been misogynistic? Has it been empowering? Has it been destructive? All of the above? Since the inception of hip hop, its controversial lyrics, flashy lifestyle, and unconventional methods have continuously made it the topic of such debates.
That’s part of what made hip hop special though. Its unapologetic rebel-ism.
Until it stopped being love. When it started becoming something else. Something more superficial. Something more…let’s say, marketable. More about record sales, and image, and ringtones…Less about the music/the message. And we began to lose hip hop—what hip hop was, as we knew it anyway. This disappointed me. Disheartened me. I was hurt by her. Hurt by hip hop and what she had become…What WE had become.
So when prolific writer, filmmaker, and co-author of Jay Z’s “Decoded”, dream hampton, was subjected to a series of vicious attacks/threats last week—from both fans/stans and industry insiders, after tweeting that “Nas’ ‘Nigger’ album was largely written by Stic of Dead Prez and Jay Electronica”, I was disgusted, but not surprised. And when Ms. Hampton proclaimed that she was “done” with hip hop and all of the misogyny that comes along with it, I was saddened, but understood. We had lost it. We had lost “her” and almost everything she previously represented. Only a shell of hip hop remained where she once stood.
No sooner than I could formulate this thought, my cousin, a self-proclaimed music connoisseur, posted a song off of D.J. Khaled’s highly anticipated “Kiss the Ring” album (released on August 21, 2012), to his twitter page.
It took mere moments to realize what Khaled meant in the intro when he said, “This is special.”
And if I cry two tears for her, that will be the most that I would give to her…
In one of the dopest collabs in the history of hip hop music, rap greats Scarface, Nas, & DJ Premier join forces on a record simply (and aptly) named, “Hip Hop.”
I Fuck Hip Hop!
A song that describes the pain, questions, changes, angst, confusion, and disappointments that have emerged with the evolution of hip hop over the years. Straight out of the proverbial horses’ mouths.
Got a nigga feeling like I up and left ya.
Get away, now you in all the lectures.
Being studied by the college’s professors.
Now I regret the day I met ya. I’ll be the first to say it.
She ain’t the one you want to play with. I fucked Hip Hop.
The thing that is, perhaps, most special to me about this song (I mean, other than the return of Scarface, the sick flows, the insane double entendres, and DJ Premier’s genius scratching), is the apparent acceptance of responsibility for the role artists have played in the demise of the beloved art form. The word choice, “I fucked hip hop” as opposed to “Fuck hip hop”, demonstrates a potential acknowledgement that, they, despite being victims to an extent, were also perpetrators…to an extent. That magnitude of acceptance of responsibility by hip hop artists is rare, to say the least.
I doubt I’ll ever be the same, hallowed be thy name.
Give me strength so I don’t do this dame like Orenthal James.
Brad warned me while driving this auburn Ferrari, never follow In her games.
I fuck around and I’ll be sorry.
But I tried her, used to ride her, for dollars not the fame.
Don’t get me wrong though. I know that “Hip Hop” is only one song, and that we, as a hip hop community, have much room for betterment. But what this song did efffectively do, is convince me that we have not lost her. We have not lost hip hop. Maybe she was just lost for a while…and if this record is any indication, she is on her way back home.
Salute DJ Khaled.
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