Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Rep My City/My View on Hip Hop

I dont know if its been mentioned on this blog before, but I was born and raised in Houston's 5th ward and Acres Homes Districts. When times got good, we moved to Inwood, but all of thats besides the point, i'm a Houstonian and thats all that really matters. Recently my city was attacked by a writer for XXL, you know that magazine you find at grocery stores wedged between the Hollywood Insider with TOMKAT baby pics on the front, and that Horoscope mini fold out. In it, BOL (Byron Crawford) wrote an online article stating that Houston must not care about Hip Hop B/C we didnt sellout the Rock The Bells Tour. A tour Headlined with Wu-Tang and many more.

Rather then run down all the inaccuracies of his article ie Houston's Population, (btw were 4th BOL) our view on haters or what have you, I decided I'd give you all my view on Music and m city and let you all be the judge.

Back away from the H

FIRST & FOREMOST is this, Houston has been and forever will be its own independent MECCA of music revolution. PERIOD...Local artist have the option to go mainstream, but dont have to. They know there music will sell in OUR CITY, and they know it will sell in the STATE as well. How many reading this knew that Slim Paul and Cham were on the scene way back in 1997. If youre not from Houston I guarantee you, not to many. Those 3 have been selling and putting out mixtapes for the better part of 10 yrs now. Grinding. And we, have done nothing but back them. UGK same thing. I defy anyone reading this to listen to Pocket Full of Stones and tell me that its not gully. And that song, is over 13 yrs old by now. You see, in H-Town we back OUR artist.
I havent even mentioned the pioneers to the game like Scarface, Geto Boys, Devin The Dude, Big Mike, DJ Screw, Lil Keke, ESG, etc., who if not for them, many would not have gotten there starts today.

My Hip Hop Take.

From my own personal email, phone calls and water cooler pool, it was determined that out of about 70 of you , 53 orso think that Hip Hop's dead. Well, I have to disagree. I dont think its dead, I just think that theres a significant drop off of A+ talent which by my count theres only 3 to 4 catz out there. (Nas, J, 50 and Luda) In the late 80's you could throw a rock and hit about 11 cats who would put out a 5MIKE classic. (Kool Moe Dee, LL, Big Daddy Kane, KRS ONE, NWA, PUBLIC ENEMY , RUN DMC, Grandmaster Flash, Biz Marquee, Slick Rick ,2-SHORT) In the early 90's , the period I call the Hip Hop Revolution that number of 11 shrank down to about 6, BUT you had so many GOOD artist on the rise that it more then made up for the shrinkage of A+ talent. (2PAC, SNOOP, BIGGIE, DRE, CUBE, SCARFACE) As far as groups went in this era , after the breakup of NWA, WU-Tang cornered the market, and there takeover was almost immediate of all things East Coast. The mid 90's hit, and in MY OPINION 2 cats stood out , 2PAC and BIGGIE.

Biggie Pac Era

Big and Pac weren't A+, they were A+++++. I cant even put these catz on the same level with those before and after them. They were just that good. Big is the best lyricist ever. He can slice you apart with the quick 2 liner, and mack a broad down 16 straight bars to the point where when he's done, she's done, and smashed. Then there's Pac. You can thank him for every last wannabe thug out there today. ( No need to run down the list.) Pac was a jack of all trades and a master of none. You want a hot one-liner, no problem. Beefin with somebody, he had your back. Ode to Mamma's, ladies, Teen aged pregnancy, Thugs, Jail, and of course his Girlfriend, he smahed. This guy was epic.

Ultimately I believe Pac and Big set the Bar way to high for those to follow. The deaths of these two pioneers is what slowly started the decline of Hip Hop. The Late 90's brought us a hot young Upstart Named Jay-z. He along with Nas, Snoop Master P (dont believe he belongs here, check Forbes Magazine circa 2000) and DMX were asked to revitalize a game that had lost 2 certified Music Legends. It was a tough task. You had many ill- willed feelings about what coast you claimed. You had cats putting out certified garbage trying to imitate the greats, and most prevalent was the emergence of a new chain of Music Dirty Souf Style.

The early 2000's saw Jay-Z take control of the game. He would reign unmatched as the undisputed Heavyweight Champ from 2000-2002. If he touched it, it was Hot. However, the Dirty Souf was picking up a lot of momentum. You had The Hot Boyz down in Louisiana blowin up fierce . To help tow the load were Scarface, UGK, 8-Ball &MJG, Outkast, GOODIE-MOB, 3-6 Maffia, Mystical etc. Then something happened in 2002.

2002 Possible Rebirth.

Certified NWA member and Super Porducer Dr. Dre put his all time stamp on the game. He already made stars out of Snoop, and Eminem, as well as made Pacs greatness flourish, but he wasnt done there. Out of the shadows teamed up with Eminem, he dug up 50-cent. 50 bought a raw, unique, gutter, Pacish swagger to the game. Many thought he was the second coming of greatness as well. To this day I swear to it, Get Rich or Die Tryin is the greatest CD song to song I have ever heard. All 14 tracks. 50's wasnt the only one to stake a name for himself in the early 00's. Ludacris of Atlanta made sure of that. He was the official sign that the dirty was at the top of its game. These to were good, A+ good, but Jay-z was still better. This was until he made one of the biggest mistakes in Hip Hop history, he awoke a sleeping giant. Nasty Nas.
Nas made what I think to be the best diss track ever written in Ether, and from that point on Jay-Z was seen as something different to me. He was human. The path to greatness was still there, but after getting ate alive by NAS, it opened the doors for other cats to try there best to unseat the Champ. (again a list to long to go into) Nas who in my opinion was good B+ talent immediately emerged as an equal to the Jay, and from that point on you had these four (NAS, J, 50 AND LUDA) fighting off haters.

Hip Hop Death

It would take awhile for hip hop to grasp the concept that 4 cats who aren't even close to Pac and Big are left with the enormous task of carrying out there legacies. This task was daunting. So much so that they would often slip in there craft and put out less then hot cd's as well as try to promote there mid level talent thus tarnishing there names. These actions would swing the door wide open for the mid 2000's (current era) to let the Dirty Souf officially take over as a region, and allow for debate as to who's hot now with the rise of lesser known also rants. Lets face it, if Luda, Nas, Jay or 50 were on top of there's, would Lil Wayne, TI, Jim Jones , The Game & etc have the audacity to ever take shots at these guys? The answer is NO..Hell No!

Seeing that the Current A's are now vulnerable, other garbage acts decide they to would take part in the utter jacking of hip-hop. Thats when you get your Laffy Taffys, Do the Housman's, Chicken Noodle Soups and Mike Jones's of the world tryin there best to bastardize what we listen to and love. Hip Hop.


In order to fix it, Hip Hop needs to back to its roots. Originality. To many people are now rapping about the same thing. Rims, Cars, Drugs, Ho's and the club. The story has been taken out of hip hop and in its place obsession with material. I often wander just how much Crystale, Hilfigger,(past) Jacob, whoever makes rims, Mercedes, Gray Goose and etc, profit from the use of there name and product with hip hop today. I bet the numbers are overwhelming. Back to my point though, we need a hot surge of Artist not afraid to go against the grain and try something different. If not, you better get use to the One Liner of the Summer, it'll be there for awhile
A-Bay Bay...


At 10:36 AM , Anonymous enigmatik said...

pretty solid run down

At 10:55 AM , Blogger smoothie said...

thanks E..
Part of me wanted to smash, but you put it out there, all i could do was try to make since of it all..

At 12:29 AM , Anonymous DJ SLOW said...

I see you left out 5th Ward Boyz, who have P.W.A., a F anthem. And your from there? E-ROCK is still goin hard.


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