The South is constantly fighting for respect. Since the beginning of hip hop,southern rappers had to be twice as good to get respect. New Yorkers heard the southern accents and assumed that we were slow,unaware that southern rappers could rap circles around NY rappers. At the 1995 Source Awards after being booed,Andre 3000 of Outkast notified the world that,” the South Got Something to Say.” Over 20 years later southern hip hop artists are still fighting for respect.
If we are being completely honest,the South is the only region that is pushing the culture forward. Outside of maybe four artists,the remainder of hip hop culture is being dictated by the South. You want a hit record? Go to the South. You want a new style? Go to the South.
After the BET Awards Joe Budden and DJ Akademiks interviewed the Migos. All day folks have focused on the minor confrontation between the Migos and Joe Budden. I felt that Akademiks was being condescending to Take Off. He repeatedly asked Take Off the same question as if he didn’t understand his accent. He heard Take Off. He understood Take Off. Akademiks was trying to make Take Off look stupid. To make matters worse,Joe Budden dropped the mic and walked out of the interview. It was disrespectful. The Migos deserved better. You can’t go to a party or club in the world and not hear a Migos song. The Migos worked hard and again,they deserved better. The Migos should be respected. The South should be respected. Put some RESPECT on our name.
“Age ain’t nothin’ but a number”… they said. They lie. They lied. And I’m tired. I’m tired of the disrespect for perhaps the GREATEST rapper to ever crack a microphone, Shawn Corey Carter (See: Songwriters Hall of Fame). I think Hov is tired of it too. Let me complete the circle. Most of Young Vito’s detractors… are too young to understand his pedigree. The irony. But for you kids who may be confused, JAY-Z CAN’T make a bad album.
I guess we forgot what we came for. I’m sure I sound biased. Maybe I am. My reasoning is sound though, I promise. Boogie Down Productions had an album called “Edutainment”. Ironically, when Dr. Lee on Drumline tried to insult Hip-Hop culture, he used the term “Edutainment”. JAY-Z comes from that era and he expanded it along with other dope MCs that also realized that they had two responsibilities, to educate and to entertain. I learned the opening lines of the Gettysburg Address from Hov, not my History teacher. I learned who Ché Guevara, Mumia and Fred Hampton were from Hov, not my History teacher. I learned what an IPO was from IPO Hov, not my economics teacher. Not because I know him (I feel like he’s my uncle really; judge me), but thru the music. But I also learned that I could never be seen as a man in a X5, what cuff links bring to a nice button up, and every thing in the world to decipher between a good woman with style and a beautiful seasonal… woman. He epitomized edutainment for his entire career. Never missing a beat. But we come from a culture where mind elevation isn’t really the cool thing. We come from a culture where the majority of people only want to see you win early, to solidify their own foresight, but when you win too long they get tired of watching you do it.
Can I live? In 1996, he knew he would outgrow the field, and possibly outgrow the audience. Hindsight being 20/20, I think Hov was always hoping he would fall out of love with Hip-Hop before it fell out of love with him (See: Countless Retirement attempts). It never happened for him. From my perspective, Hov always treated rap like it was that good woman that you would give time to because you couldn’t help but miss her… but was always in the back of your mind thinking she wouldn’t be able to handle you. Hov was always trying to leave since the first album, but the love was too strong. But he did eventually live too much to be relatable to the average fan. It came full surface around Kingdom Come. Then again to an extent on Magna Carta Holy Grail. Both albums I think are amazing. The reason for the disconnect for the audience, in my opinion, was he was educating more than he was conventionally entertaining. He never wanted to chase sounds or subject matters, he’s always made what appeared to be true to him at the time. At the time, he was becoming way more of a businessman around Kingdom Come and a lot of people couldn’t relate to the rhetoric. They couldn’t dance or pack pistols to the music. It was country club talk, with the exception of the Dipset jabs. I’m one of those who have always wanted the information. Magna Carta was the prelude to the Trump administration era. But people couldn’t relate to the rhetoric or catch the metaphors as easy as the drug dealer rap. “Blue Bloods they trying to clown on me”. But that’s why JAY-Z can’t make a bad album. It’s impossible, not just because I love his music, but because he’s reached heights nobody else in this culture has, his information is invaluable. While reaching those heights, he never left us behind. He never sold out. He still kept the integrity and the style in the music. So, whether the masses get it or not, whether it’s classic or not, it can’t be bad. There’s going to be way too much information in it. Debate the rappers who words you can’t recite.
“Atlanta could never die as long as Tit alive” – Drake
You ever been going thru things with your girl, and she’s lowkey almost done with you, so you start trying to become interested in everything she like to win points back? That’s how I got on 2 Chainz. My son’s mom was playing “Riot” and “K.O.” off of Chainz’s “T.R.U. REALigion” mixtape at an alarming rate. Being a student of hip-hop and being from Georgia, “Word of Mouf” by Ludacris was one of my favorite albums so I knew who Titty Boi was. “Duffle Bag Boy” was a smash during my freshmen year in college. I knew who Titty Boi was. And I knew he was rebranding himself as 2 Chainz. However, I still knew (or thought I knew) who Titty Boi was. On top of that, I was more of a lyricist driven Hip-Hop fan. But spending time with her and trying to find ways to reconnect led me to this mixtape and I loved it. This is 2011. Confession: When Chainz said “Tell yo baby daddy that he super weak” on Jeezy’s “Super Freak” it came at the worst time in our relationship and it stung a little bit. HaHa. But I knew a star was born.
Lord Have “Mercy”. The G.O.O.D. Music’s 2nd run was perfectly aligned in the stars with the beginning of Chainz’s run. That’s when I saw the intellect. If you listen to his music and know where he comes from, and know the dynamic of thinking of where he comes from, positioning himself next to Kanye isn’t the expected choice (Kanye’s from Calumet City. But that’s not the image he projects). However, after the move was made I saw the vision… then he had the standout verse on “Mercy”. Easily. During that time Kanye, Pre Kardashian, had one of the most respected opinions in Hip-Hop. He was boasting about Chainz’s talent level and creativity while also championing that he was next. Credibility was solidified.
Big Amount. 2 Chainz’s calling card has been hard work. With over 200 features to his credit, his music output rivals only Lil Wayne. Close friends themselves, Chainz credits Wayne a lot for inspiring him in different ways but Chainz took all of that inspiration and he hit the track running. With the South’s resurgence and dominance over the last decade, you’d be remiss to not understand that Chainz has more than been a staple in it. I’d be a liar if I said I thought he would be but he has managed to drop a hit almost every year. He’s stood next to all the biggest artists, and sustain his own light and brighten it. So, coming off his last major album release with Lil Wayne, “Collegrove”, what do we expect from his upcoming album, “Pretty Girls Love Trap Music”? I expect hidden jewels. He’s going to give us the bounce on 808’s. He’s going to give us the strip club anthems and the twerking anthems. But Chainz never just does what we expect. I never expected a “Ghetto Dreams” with John Legend and Scarface. So I’m anticipating what he’s going to hide in plain sight.
“Pretty Girls Love Trap Music” available everywhere 6/16/17!!!
The game is different. We all know this. Some people are more okay with it than others, I’m not necessarily one of those people. I, like most people, am biased to “MY” era. “MY” era is mid 90’s/ Early 2000’s. “The Blueprint” is my point in hip-hop history where the lines really aligned for me. It’s where fun and admiration really met understanding and maturity. “Blueprint” ushered in a new style to the game at that time.
“Listening to ‘The Blueprint’ feeling like this may be the best rap album of all-time. Wow.” –Rob Markman via twitter 08/2/2011
Rob Markman is a Hip-Hop treasure. This isn’t gas. The definition of a treasure is a valuable item, no one in this culture would debate that he isn’t indeed that. He’s one of those people I told you earlier that I’m not. He’s MORE okay with the changes the game has made because his true love for this culture naturally makes him want to see the culture grow. Don’t get me wrong, he will definitely call out wack shit (See: Don Q’s “Corner Stories” tape that Rob hosts), but he also embraces the new era in a way very few have. His first inclination seems to be, “let me give it a chance” as opposed to “All these new rappers are trash” that some of us have. From the conversations, I’ve personally had with him, his positive nature is his biggest strength and that’s why we must preserve him. In this transition from “My” era to the current era, someone has to connect the dots. Someone has to also hold a high enough influence to preserve the foundations of this thing of ours. Before it was Rap Fix, now it’s Genius (Formerly Rap Genius), who better to be at the head the bridging of the gap than Rob? We’re in the era where lyrics don’t even have to be audible all of the time, but Genius is constantly finding ways to put the spotlight back on the lyrics. Whether it’s the integration of genius into the “Music” app on all Apple mobile products, or the Lyric Image part of the Genius App itself, His “Red Light Special” podcast that was dedicated to R&B Music, or just his constant, non-abrasive, dialogue that he freely has with followers on social media about Music… Rob Markman isn’t for the culture, He IS the Culture. He’s dedicated to what’s dope, not what’s trendy. He’s himself, no matter what the popular opinion is. The work means more to him than the fame. And no matter where the game goes, the lyrics still matter to him. Clap for him (He’ll tell you to stop tho. Btw)