We’ve all heard the cliche: “the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Continue reading →
Words by Tony Grands
Say what you want, but everybody wants somebody. People who claim they don’t are either on the business end of a break-up or savagely miserable & clawing desperately for a sidekick. Don’t trust those people. Continue reading →
2011 is almost here, y’all.
Today’s rap star is a celebrity. Fact. 15 years ago, the paparazzi was content with chasing actual famous people & legitimate social icons, rather than arbitrarily tossing 15 minutes’ all willy-nilly to whomever has the stickiest fingers, so to speak. Point is, just rapping, by itself, isn’t good enough anymore. People want the full experience; free-of-charge or cash-on-delivery. They want their own personal reality show (as if their lives aren’t enough, in most cases…) at their leisure. In laymen’s, they want Entertainment. Subsequently, the amount of “entertainment” one can deliver on command, like a canine postal worker, dictates the level of popularity &/or success received. Fuck all that though. That’s not why I’m here.
I’m guessing the coming 10(-ish) years will see vast changes in the infrastructure of Hip Hp as a culture, & musical genre. Mostly because there seems to be a 10-year “flush cycle” in Hip Hop (think about it), but also because it’s easier to keep track of numerical things in those types of increments. To illustrate, there’s no way I could pinpoint & hone in on my favorite rap cat between ’98-04. If you can tell me yours, however, I’m afraid you have too much time on your hands. Or I don’t have enough.
Anyway, the next wave of rappers will be carrying the burdens of today’s rapper. In light of that, he/she/shem best be properly prepared. Now, not that I’m an expert or whatever, but for what it’s worth, I tried adamantly to “be a rapper” my whole teenage career, as well as a substantial chunk of my young adult life. & I failed. Awesomely. That means my advice at this juncture holds verifiably beneficial wisdom, or booby-trapped cynicism. Either way, I hope the ‘ABC’s Of Hip Hop’s Next Decade’ helps some young hopeful achieve his dreams (or face his failures if need be). In fact, let me know how it works out for you.
-Theres a million rappers. If you want to move ahead in the proverbial line, prove it. Not to me, because I couldn’t care less, but instead to those people who are waiting for an icon to build up
just to knock back down. Thick skin has to be mandatory to be a rapper (& a mustache should be, also). In fact, Soulja Boy’s a perfect testament to how confidence & attitude can protect you from criticism, even when it’s completely deserved. Either that, or the kid is dumber than dog shit & didn’t realize that grown men wanted to physically hurt him for “rapping.” Your attitude sells, period. It’s the reason ugly girls have nice hair styles & skinny dudes wear 4 t-shirts. That’s simple, smart (& slightly false) marketing.
-Apparently the ‘Net was created for grown men to yell at each other nonsensically & brag about stealing one another’s jewelry & talk about each other’s poorly matched accessories (or lackey), etc. That said, be prepared to loose the wave cap, let your lace front down, & scratch some motherfucking eyeballs out, because emotions are running high, boxer-brief boy-shorts are bunching, & manginas are clenching from coast to coast. The other day, Jason Lee joked that Big Bow Wow is most likely a queer, & Shad Moss threatened J. Lee’s livelihood. On Twitter! [Sidenote: Which actually makes me think it's probably true, but that's for another day.] Broke niggas fight, but famous, partially paid niggas bicker. I’ve been married for 8 years, & I honestly don’t know which is worse.
C) CRIMINAL INTENTION
-Once Kid Cudi decided to fight back, & tried (but failed miserably) to open hand slap an over-zealous, pocketbook-tossing fan, I knew the “street cred” game had forever changed. Without some type of stripes, even if only partially authentic, you won’t be taken seriously as an MC, or rapper. Bear in mind; for as judgmental as Hip Hop fans are, we really don’t care why you go to jail. We just want to see your face (preferably your musgshot) on the screen. Just don’t hurt any kids. They don’t tolerate that shit behind bars.
-A simple diet of booze, blunts, bitches, & burgers is all any man truly needs. In that order. Repeat until desired effect is achieved. Start adjusting to it now, because since all the money is in doing shows, or something to that effect, you’ll see even less of the kids that you’re supposed to see every other weekend, but don’t, & food will be a luxury. It’s like when Robo-Cop ate only baby food, after his sex-change operation. Booze, blunts, bitches & burgers; baby food. Boom.
-If you are even remotely serious about a “rap career,” then most certainly there’s a rival rapper who wishes he could spit on your space boots. Use that force against him, if you will. Diss him, “publicly.” At the very least, he’ll respond, via on of the hundreds of “Look What I Can Do” sites that cater to the attention-seeking metrosexuals of today. Be sure that you can kick his ass if need be, though, because with the lack of testosterone in rap music, & life in general, it’s only a matter of time before rap beef escalates to parking lot slap boxing matches. Speaking of which, early this year I predicted the emo-schmediums will begin packing gats in their manbags sooner than later. So, we’ll see how that whole scenario plays out.
-As important as enemies, you’ll need Friends. Not weed carriers, baggage handlers, mules, or well-intending seat-fillers, but Friends, who will tell you what not to do, as opposed to gloryifing what you do do. Those kinds of “yes men” only work if you have low self esteem. & unless you’re Charles Hamilton, I really don’t see that being a problem. Anybody outside of “Yes men” are clearly hanging around to hang on to their “job,” & will do & say whatever it takes to keep up such a lavish sidekick set-up. I’d advise leaving a trusted parent in charge of one’s business affairs, but Nicki Minaj & Beyonce Carter would probably disagree with me.
-Name your favorite rapper. What type of gun did he get arrested with the last time he got arrested with a gun? You think he planned on doing anything with it? Hell naw. However, he knew that there’s always the pretty good chance that police officers might smell all the marijuana he’s smoking inside his convertible $300,000 convertible sports car. Not only does he get arrested in real-time, in the interest of his career, of course) but now he knows that cats saw what he’s capable of. I think that’s what Bryan Leach was trying to accomplish. But, don’t be like Bryan Leach
-Its simple: it’s impossible to have too many chicken tenderonies orbiting you at once. The more, the bigger your pimp hand appears. You wonder why America has this obsession with gay guys? It’s because they have all the chicks around them, no matter where they go. & they usually smell like peaches, too, but that’s neither here nor there. Rappers need hoes. Get you some. No offense. [Sidenote: Your babymomma, girlfriend, wife, & any cousin before third doesn't meet the 'hoe' criteria to be down with your crew. So don't let them dance in your youtube videos, no matter how much they beg.]
-It’s beyond common knowledge that Twitter, facebook, & modest prostitution is a great way to get your buzz up. But, then what? You need to have a plan ‘B’ for you plan ‘A.’ Years ago, if you had a “gimmick,” it “meant” that your “skill” wasn’t good enough to be your selling point. Oh how ignorant we were. Listen, without a gimmick, or selling point, you’re just another rapper. No shots, but ask Pharoahe Monch how that feels. For the record, consciously doing the exact opposite of what the “losers” did is called using ingenuity.
-Any point that needs to be made in Hip Hop can be made, in numerous directions simultaneoulsy, by going to jail. At one point in time, it was kinda a big deal for a successful rapper to get knocked, but now, not so much. It’s expected. Really though, nothing says Hardbody like repeatedly going to a place where male genitalia outnumbers personal freedoms 100:1. Those are horrible odds for civvies, but great odds for a guy whose youtube channel is nearing 5000 views.
*to be continued…