WIDEawake Entertainment is the Canadian company that bought Death Row Records from whatever fiscal hell Suge Knight doomed it to. So essentially, it’s being run by a handful of Canadian White people. Now, we all know I’m nowhere near racist. I hate everybody equally. However fact is fact, (more less), & the fact that these people are Cannuck saltines© is important to the proverbial plot of the story.
Whereas, back in the days, Death Row was running this rap shit, today it’s really nothing more than an imaginary marker. Something pretty to see in your rearview mirror, so to speak. Any conversation remotely linked to Death Row Records these days is about Tupac Shakur or Snoop Dogg. Maybe Crooked I, but the average rap fan is a) too young to remember that he was once label mates with Tupac, & b) knows him from Slaughterhouse, because Death Row’s been dead for years. But I digress. Nobody is checking for Death Row Records, unless Tupac decides, from his Cuban underground stronghold, to let them release some “lost” music, or one of the current owners commits suicide or something. God forbid.
All of a sudden, though, as if we’ve collectively traveled through some mediocrity-infused time warp, there’s a website, called DeathRowMusic.com, based on the label’s former glory. Like over a decade-ago former glory. Which, in rap music terms, is a
self lifetime, plus.
This is a reoccuring theme with these people; re-releasing music & reviving a moment that, unfortunately, has passed it’s expiration date. (Don’t shoot the messenger, shoot the synthesizer.) I can understand how WIDEawake could conceptualize Death Row Records as a pillar of the current rap community, especially since it seems White people either despise Black folks, or love them unconditionally (almost to a fault). However, the reasons that made Death Row Records famous had little to do with the music. Perhaps there has to be a certain amount of unbanization in play to understand that, if you smell my cologne. We just think they made all this wonderful music because the same 10 Death Row hits stay in radio rotation. However, the hit records were mere coincidence to the exciting lifestyle that made Death Row Records the monster it once was.
So, WIDEawake, as much as niggas of all colors & ethnicities love the hell out of The Chronic, I’m not rocking the album cover on a hat or shirt. Not for free. So definitely not for whatever price you’re attempting to extort from my recession snaps. Also, Tha Dogg Pound was an awesome group, 15 years ago. Same with Snoop. So, pardon me if I’m not in a hurry to buy any of their rookie year Hip Hop paraphanelia. Unless it’s a thousand dollar bill, autographed by the label’s most popular mule©. In which case, I’m still not interested in spending more than 5 bucks for it. It’s just not that serious.
Really though, hire some people who are more accurately synchopated with current events. Speaking of which, in case the company reps haven’t been online recently, there’s literally thousands of thirsty, young artists, chomping at the bit for a chance to prove their worth. & that’s where you’re contribution to Hip Hop is going to come from, guys; the new talent. The un-jaded fresh meat, if you will. Until that actuality is realized, in a financial capacity, failure in imminent, site unseen.
In all seriousness, Marion “Suge” Knight is the epitome of what record labels need these days: Sheer, balls-to-the-wall gangsterism. There’s way too much bitchassness going on in music, with the telling on each other, making videos about one another, empty threats of violence, airing out the personal business of grown men, etc. That’s elementary school hijinx & shenanigans at it’s prepubescent best. When it’s all said & done, you need a dude who’ll walk into an office & slap the shit out of somebody, without a video camera or a speech, should the situation call for it. Suge Knight, with all the alleged extra time on his hands, could easily fill the position at a number of softer than normal record labels.
By no means is Suge untouchable, though. He’s been down before, several times, but the fact that he gets back up, dusts himself off & returns to the ring to further antagonize weaker opponents has got to count for something. That’s the attitude the makes The Undertaker such an awesome wrestler. Plus, every supervillian has to have a weakness. Suge’s just happens to be staying out of trouble.
I went to school with cats like Suge. Generally, they were teddy bears. It’s just a matter of what side of their meal are you on. Are you helping them eat or blocking the plate? As long as you swing a “food chain”, per se, you won’t become part of it. What usually ends up happening is that everyone takes the “teddy bear” myth to heart, & ends up thinking every big man is cuddle-ready & looking for a friend. No dice. There’s a reason most professional security guards look like or are out of work football players. You don’t live a lifetime as a giant without some outwardly hostile attributes. I’m most cases, even the bears that become bullies undergo some life-changing experience that makes them more laxed in life. Suge has had a few of those instances, yet hasn’t changed. It’s safe to say that this dude is set in his ways, however detrimental they may be.
Let us not forget, Suge was a security guard & a football player-turned mogul in a cutthroat business based on lying, stealing & general deception. For the most part, music had nothing to do with Death Row Records, so to speak. Whatever bad habits were developed during his ownership of the company haven’t been broken yet & probably won’t be. Ever.
There’s only a few ways I see Suge Knight’s story ending, but I’ll say this much: the book he (or his “autobiographer) writes about it will be a good read. The movie will be even better. We may even finally find out who killed Tupac.
Inspire-(v) 1.To affect, guide, or arouse by divine influence. 2. To fill with enlivening or exalting emotion.
4) Suge Knight
-The bible attempts to teach people to “do unto others as you want done to you,” or something to that effect. But, with all the thou’s & art’s & cometh’s, the message kind of gets muffled in the translation. Whether one believes in Karma being a bitch or not, there’s certainly a fair amount of turnabout in life, even for the do-gooders. At one point, Suge Knight was the king of California. Dude was so rich, he smoked cigars everywhere he went & wore red Champion sweatshirts to posh, snobby restaurants & dared them to turn him away. He also pimped his artists for pennies on the dollar, if anything at all, hung Vanilla Ice over a balcony (allegedly), & basically treated all people around him like a footstool. Rumor has it that he even slapped around his artists, which for all intents & purposes is totally believable. For all his years of douchebaggery, he’s earned a lifetime’s worth of grief, including just being hit with an IRS debt upwards of $6 million. But if that bankruptcy he filed for didn’t stop his baby mommas from sniffing around his ass(ets), I doubt the Feds will give a damn, either. On the real, once companies started auctioning off bits & pieces of his life, like E-Bay’s ghetto ass cousin, E-Bay Bay, he should’ve high-tailed it to West Bubblefuck, Roman Polanski style. The king is now a lowly jester. & the peasants don’t even respect a jester. Be careful who you step on to get to the top, because you will meet them again on the way back down.
-If your kids are like most American, television addicted, no excercise getting children, they spend more time with their least favorite television character than with their favorite parent. Just saying. TV has this ass backwards way of glamorizing everything. Murder, stupidity, & especially sex. I know kids who learned everything they needed to know about the horizontal tango by watching TV. & these days, when they complain about how hard it is being only 13 years older than their oldest child, I don’t even listen. No matter what we say to infiltrate their young, feeble minds, 10 minutes of any show on cable is their sex education. I say, let them listen to Eazy-E’s first album, then let them read first-hand accounts of Eric Wright’s last 2 weeks on Earth. Sure, we can preach about the perils of misguided sexual activity, but no speech can equate hearing his lascivious lyrics & then witnessing complications from AIDS destroying the grandfather of gangster rap. When I go back & listen to certain songs, it’s eerie. There was something prophetic in his words, as if he know he’d die like that & didn’t care, or he was calling out to the cosmos for it, challenging fate, if you will. My dad calls that type shit “spitting in the wind.” Sad shit, it could’ve been avoided with some good ol’ common sense & a fraction of all that dough put towards a couple hundred boxes of rubbers.
2) Tupac Shakur
-I’m convinced that the universe is God’s cage, & humans are the unfortunate pets. No way out & no control beyond our reach. Which, in all honesty, isn’t that far at all. Don’t let Hollywood fool you; niggas ain’t exploring space like that. Our actions have reactions & consequences. Our energies, while spiritual in nature, are also kinetic. & if I learned anything in 3rd grade science, it’s that a force exerted must find a home. Depending on the amount of exertion, the force may return back to it’s source. For demonstrative purpose, drop objects in a water-filled bath tub, each object bigger than the last, one after the other. Watch the energy travel, respectively. You’ll definitely smell my cologne. Tupac was a prime example of such a theory. Unfortunately, he put the majority of his passion & drive into negativity. Surely he had good energy, which shone brightly through the black hole he created, with his own hands, but ultimately, evil stands triumphant, as usual. Remember, the Devil’s got the whole world in his hands. He’ll provide the momentum, all you have to do is let him know what’s really “real” in your heart. In the instance of humanity, you want to steer clear of exerting high levels of negative energy. & if you do so, know that it can & will return home. God help you if you answer the door.
-I believe there are specific paths designated for certain people. Like that one douche nozzle you know who wins all kinds of shit without trying, meanwhile the closest you’ve gotten to an unexpected prize was an unintentional pregnancy. Some souls are just predestined to walk the Earth tortured. I’m related to quite a few. If you look hard enough in pictures of them, you can see a tiny black cloud over their head(s). Not for nothing, but even the happy-go-luckiest person can make shit harder on themselves. At some point, reality has to set in though, & override anything else, lest you accidentally commit suicide. The only thing more depressing than a man succumbing to his demons is watching said man travel to the end of his proverbial road in real-time. When God obviously puts out His hand to help, only to get it slapped back at Him in arrogant defiance, you can’t help but to give up on that man. At this point, I’m with Sheriff Joe. DMX is his own worst enemy. Fact. I remember an interview with Fat Joe talking about Big Pun, & how he tried to get him to lose weight. When Pun died of a massive coronary, Joe blamed himself. My dad felt the same way when I almost drank myself to death. If a person is willing to repeatedly cross the expressway blindfolded, there’s not much you can do to for them, except pray. & be ready to cover your eyes.
If this kind of shit doesn’t inspire & motivate, then fuck it. I’ll just see you when I get there.
Those of you not old enough to remember the storied war(s) between Puffy Combs & Suge Knight have undoubtedly heard about it (them?). The centerpiece of their rivalry was Suge’s speech at the 1995 Source Awards. Although submliminal in nature, Suge mentioned executives dancing in their artists videos, & invited “any” artist that was unhappy with that to join Death Row Records. Subsequently, Sean Combs ad-libbed “I thought I told you that we won’t stop!” on every Bad Boy song after that. Even on songs where it didn’t belong. That phrase went on to become the most annoying string of words since “keep it real!”, followed closely by “we are the best!”.
For all intents & purposes, there was no “east coast, west coast” beef. It was Death Row vs. Bad Boy. It just spilled into the streets.
Thing is, success is the best revenge. While Suge was showing Robert Van Winkle how he felt about Whites in rap music, Puffy was cementing his legacy. The difference between a thug & a boss, indeed. While Suge was showing his women that gangsta luv, Puff was showing that, contrary to popular belief, players do crush alot. Okay, last one…while Suge was talking to the judge for his kid, Puff was talking to the salesman for his. You catch my drift.
This week, when Marion Knight’s possessions were auctioned for unpaid storage fees, marked an all-time low for the previous music mogul. Amongst all the rumors of him having money hidden here & there, I say sternly, no dice. We have watched his empire crumble around him, & if it’s true that he had a hand in Tupac Shakur’s murder, Suge may wanna watch ‘My Name Is Earl‘, & take some notes. I’ve heard similar accusations about Combs in regards to Notorios B.I.G., and while I think he’s too un-masculine to personally do anything of that nature, the whole Shyne situation could most definitely serve as a valid arguing point.
Anyhoo, meanwhile, Puffy stays winning. One would think that an entire career based on coontastic douchebaggery would eventually stall & lose altitude, no? Of course not. He told us that he won’t stop. I call it “The Russell Simmons Phenomenon”. It’s a theory that, if you shit on enough people, eventually you’ll sit upon a pile of excrement so tall & unpleasant that you can look down on everyone, figuratively & literally. At this rate though, soon it will be renamed “The Sean Combs Experience”. But, that’s neither here nor there.
As Puffy teams up with Bawse, Jay Electronica & legally ressurects the LOX, cosmetically, it appears Diddy’s rearing up to take over Hip Hop. Again. After Bad Boy Records recent nip/tuck procedure, it only makes sense. Suge, on the other hand, will remain a running joke every time the “new” Death Row Records releases an album. To add insult to injury, Dr. Dre is suing the current company, claiming that Suge made it so he never saw profit from the classic, ‘The Chronic’ LP. They might wanna change that electric chair logo, immediately. Just saying.