What happened to the music you just couldn’t skim thru..
I Just got back to the crib from being in the mix since it was nice out even though it shouldn’t be… mid 40’s in NYC in January isn’t normal and it might hit 70 later this week while Cali is getting feet of snow. But I digress.. this post isn’t about the weather… It’s about music.
Now I know whenever the topic of what a shit sandwich Hip Hop has turned to nowadays it seems Souljaboy‘s always the one to fall on the chopping block. Is it fair… nah not at all… should we spread the objectivity around.. fo sho. However I was always one to say “well we don’t get the music, but it isn’t aimed at us” (us being the 18 and over set) sure everyone from Sam Jackson to Natalie Portman did the superman, but that could be chalked up to a web savvy publicist improving their rating with the youth.
As I was on my way home, I ended up thinking shit… when I was 15, 16, 17, 18… the music I listened to had something to say. Nas gets criticized because he reads too much, yet when I listened to “It Was Written” the first time in Sophomore Year of HS I was enthralled by the complexity of word play, the depth of story telling and the sentiment I felt through out the tracks. Instead of criticizing homie for using “big words” and reading too much.. it made me want to go out and read more.
“I seen some cold nights and bloody days
They grab and me bullets spray
They use me wrong so I sing this song ’til this day
My body is cold steel for real
I was made to kill, that’s why they keep me concealed
Under car seats they sneak me in clubs
Been in the hands of mad thugs
They feed me when they load me with mad slugs
Seventeen precisely, one in my head
They call me Desert Eagle, semi-auto with lead
I’m seven inches four pounds, been through so many towns
Ohio to Little Rock to Canarsie, livin harshly
Beat up and battered, they pull me out
I watch as niggaz scattered, makin me kill
But what I feel it never mattered
When I’m empty I’m quiet, findin myself fiendin to be fired
A broken safety, niggaz place me in shelves
under beds, so I beg for my next owner to be a thoroughbred
Keep me full up with hollow heads” – Nas “I Gave you Power”
When Wu Tang Forever dropped.. disc 1 stayed on repeat.. most times I couldn’t get past the first song with the INSANE violin solo, and after I got tired of disc 1.. disc 2 was just as good. My favorite song hands down.. was “A Better Tomorrow”
“Yo, in the housing, thousands seen early graves
Victims of wordly ways, memories stays engraved
All my live brothers, is locked down with high numbers
The young hunger, blind to these lies, they die younger
In this New World the Order slaughter men, women, and children
Ten feet gates surround the building keep us sealed in
The projects, lifeless like a vietnam vet
Constant war, sever threats of enemy conquest
Crooked cops comb my building complex that’s in the rumble
Streets are like a jungle, can’t let my cypher crumble
Vivid thoughts, Devils resort to trick knowledge
They kick garbage, lust for chicks and quick dollars
I know the pain the game bring, I did the same thing
Spaced out in the staircase, performing a sting
It’s hard to keep control, I bless those who seek a scroll
Trying to reach a whole nation and break the sleeper hold
Not a role model, I walk a hard road to follow
I sold bottles of sorrow then chose poems and novels
The gospel was told, some souls it swallowed whole
Mentally they fold, and they eventually sold
their life and times, deadly like the virus design
but too, minute to dilute, the scientist mind” – Inspectah Deck ” A Better Tomorrow”
As I think of these two vivid examples, whose mere lyrics mark a place in time for me.. I wonder how did it become the status quo that we can accept sing songy nursery rhyme buffoonery as something suitable for those 5 to 10 years removed from us. Sure those 5 to 10 years seem like 15 to 20 sometimes. (the information age is a bitch) But I never once felt the need to dumb it down. This is a sample of the music I grew up on here in BK and I was able to appreciate every line, every bit of imagery and every story painted.
Sure I might seem more often than not to critique to the point of complaint regarding todays music, but I was always ready to give it a pass, it’s for the children. Fuck that shit.. I’m writing this post to correct myself. If something seems too deep for you young muthafuckas get your intellectual weight up.
People shouldn’t revel in their ignorance.
“Wu Tang is for the children.” – ODB. Oh and if you think Kanye was the originator of the award show spaz out.. Peep this video.