Words by Phlip
Make no mistakes in thinking here. Studio gangsters are and always have been the order of the day in hip hop music. The subject of Chris Rock’s 1993 movie CB4 spoke to that fact. Continue reading
Words by Tony Grands
No matter how you angle it, Lil Wayne is a rap music legend. Anyone who claims to have never liked him as a rapper at some point or another is lying to you & themselves. Continue reading
I’ll admit, I don’t live in the best area. In fact, my immediate L.A. neighborhood lies on the border of the Eight Tray Gangsta Crips & Rollin’ 60′s Crip gangs. I literally can throw a stone in either direction from my front porch & it would land in the respective ‘hood. Safe (no pun intended) to say I see my share of nignorance & blacktivity on a daily basis. But, I can get in a car, drive west for 20 minutes, & be in a whole other part of town, where the coonery is less obvious & detrimental. For whatever reason, it doesn’t seem to seep outside of my home’s vicinity. & truth be told, I’m cool with that. The last thing I need is for niggas to go all throughout the city, embarrassing me for the simple fact that we’re all Black people. Because let’s face it, not only do we all look alike, but we all know each other also. While I do have my “nigga” moments, I pride myself on being a productive American of African descent. I pronounce my “er”s, say “please” & “thank you” & don’t speak above a whisper unless I deem it absolutely necessary. I guess it’s the societal equivalent of using my outdoor voice when I’m in the house, so to speak. The last thing I’d ever want to be is the nigga that embarrasses Black people.
So, I wonder how Waka Flocka Flame feels when he looks in the mirror?
Not to pile unnecessary responsibility on the back of any man, let alone an entertainer, but to embody all the negative stereotypes of a people, display it “musically” & live it in real-time in front of what’s tantamount to all of young America has got to be some mind-numbing shit. I get a mild headache just thinking about. I couldn’t imagine having the bullet wounds as a constant reminder.
Most rappers acquire a certain level of celebrity before they got shot for unknown reasons. 50 Cent being the obvious exception, but definitely not the arch of the grade curve. Perhaps Waka is one of those types of people who saw that debacle as a publicity blessing, as opposed to an attempt on his life. I’ll tell you what; if I got shot “randomly”, all bets are off. Whatever I’m doing to cause such a misstep will be quelled & ceased long before my scars heal. A hard head makes a soft ass, indeed. & similarly, a hard bullet makes a sad funeral, if you smell my cologne.
Not long after being hospitalized for gunshot wounds, Waka finds himself involved in gun play again, following an altercation with Young Jeezy’s crew. Except now, he had the cognition to buy a gunman. I mean hire security. The whole stipulation of the incident is based around the feud between rappers Gucci Mane & Young Jeezy, where Gucci killed one of Jeezy’s friends & legally got away with it. No shots, but I’m not starting my career with that type of drama looming slightly overhead. Fuck someone else’s drama, mayne.
This is why for every ounce of respect that Hip Hop garners, there’s a pound of dissent. This is why Snoop Dogg is just being allowed back in the United Kingdom, after three years. This is why Nathan Michael Wilkie was arrested in Australia. This is why a still-campaigning Barack Obama told Ludacris “Thanks, but not thanks.”
My argument would be null & void had Charlie Mingus put hands on Miles Davis at some point in time. Or if Billy Ray Cyrus’ posse pulled six-shooters on Randy Travis & his boys. No dice, though. I realize most people don’t see the price tag for fame, but there surely is one. & I’m not saying it’s every dude’s responsibility, but at least stop embarrassing us. & yourselves.
I guess this is what happens when you have legitimate icons saying things like, “the rap game is like the crack game,” & what not. But hey, can’t knock the hustle, right?
The funny thing about haphazard behavior is that rarely do you cover your ass. One jumps head first into the fray, without weighing any possibilities &/or outcomes. Although foresight is virtually impossible, common sense isn’t. I’ve seen blind cats navigate backyards for food. Just saying. Adversity builds character, true indeed, but all it takes is 5 minutes for that character to commit suicide.
Throughout this whole ordeal with *no dry snitch*, while I’m being the protective older brother to an “armed & dangerous suspect,” I never once thought to ask him what happened to the gun. I was so caught up in the espionage of the moment, I’d forgotten why he started coming around me to begin with, those light years ago. No dad, no older brothers, uncle (by marriage) was a crack-head, mom only 15 years older than him; he was looking for someone who would be looking for him, if you smell my cologne. To this day, the only times I ever heard about his pops was from other people.
How did I forget to ask him about the fucking gun?
5 minutes became 5 hours. Nightfall became the next day, with no signs of *no dry snitch*. Most of the neighborhhod regulars were on the block, spilling into my yard & driveway, when I came outside that morning. Everybody looked at me, & I knew. Seems he, against my warning, decided to stroll through the ‘hood on his way to wherever. His thing was to show the world that he wasn’t scared of anything or anybody. Especially the police. Once he made his rounds, gave some hugs & shook some hands, he headed toward his destination.
What I didn’t know was that this entire time, throughout this whole ordeal, that same dirty ass gun was on him, always. Jacket pocket, back pack, under his big, dirty ass t-shirt, etc. He always said that valley dude’s homies would find him before the cops did, but I’ve never been good at math, so I never really put two & two together until the LAPD did it for me. That day he left our street, plain clothes officers were patrolling, & followed him to where he ended up. Upon leaving that house, they detained & questioned him, & after being handcuffed in a unmarked sedan for roughly a half an hour, a sergeant arrived & I.D.’d him. He had weed & the gun he used to murder another man in his possession. I’m not an attorney, but that’s all bad regardless of one’s vantage point. &, it turned out that valley dude wasn’t a man at all, but another misguided teenager who watched way too many gangsta movies growing up & was raised more by rap music & negative energy than his own parents. Brothers from another mother, one might say.
That chicken head, the eye of this tragic storm, testified against *no dry snitch*, & even though we all wrote letters to the court, the judge ultimately threw the book at him. *no dry snitch* caught the book like a man, & carried it with him under the jail.
That was several years back. Now, *no dry snitch* is just urban legend, neighborhood fodder used to scare kids straight & teach them about how quickly bad decisions can collapse around you. But, we all know kids don’t listen though. A similar scenario is most likely playing out right at this very moment, probably not to far from where you are.
The problem is that we don’t put the knowledge, information & wisdom where the younger generations look. The movies. The music. The corner. Maybe eventually, such mediums can be used to educate & uplift what’s reality, rather than glamorize & dumb down what’s not.
Currently, *no dry snitch* is reading law books galore, trying to swim with the sharks. Or at the very least, not drown.