Thursday, March 09, 2006

Hip Hop Special Olympics

I guess I'm like any other red blooded American male out there, I have done some rather extravagant things in order to engage in a few fleeting moments of coital bliss. Lets see, I've pretended to like dance-hall Reggae, even attending a plethora of cringe-worthy concerts in order to be ridden like an untamed bronco under an elaborate Jamaican flag. There was another time I dated a devout christian with a body like a porn star, so in order for me to get to know her "biblically" I acted like a perfect Christian Gentleman. Well, that was until we eventually engaged in a friendly game of intercourse where I used so many curse words while clumsily thrusting on top of her she probably thought she was witnessing an exorcism. Then, last but not least, I helped out one spring preparing handy capable athletes prepare for the special Olympics in order to get close to a particular girl I had my eye on.

Her named was Tina and she had been working with the handicapped for years, I simply figured that I would help out with the kids, show my compassionate side, then slowly win her over and eventually sexually disappoint her like I had done to women ritualisticly since the age of 16. But a funny thing happened on my way to achieving a supreme pervert status, I really got attached to the kids, their winning spirit, and their unflinching optimism even though being dealt a not so great hand in life. In the special Olympics, the athletes are overjoyed by simply competing, there are medals given out for simply finishing the race, awards well deserved based on how hard those athletes bust their asses.

Based on what passes for Hip Hop these days, and the apologizing for lack luster lyricism over the past few years, Hip Hop has turned into a special Olympics to be totally honest. Hip Hop, unlike any other genre of music where you could virtually get away with never actually getting involved in the writing process, is an art-form that relies on an extreme writing prowess and creativity. Also, when you are an MC you have to know that you could be called out for a rhyme battle at any possible time, its the only genre of music where you have to constantly prove that you are worthy to hold that microphone. I remember reading something about Bruce Lee years ago where people would randomly approach him on the street, individuals who thought they could beat him, and they would tap their foot on the ground signalling that they wanted to challenge him to a street fight. Of course he would dispatch his would-be dispatchers, besides the pride aspect of it, but because he knew in the position he was in that he had to constantly prove himself and that he was worthy of any success that he had achieved thus far.

That's kind of how I have always viewed being an MC, until recently. I know, I know, people get sick of my old guy, "hip Hop was better in my day" rants, but the decline in said art-form is just so fucking obvious that something has to be said. People will argue the point that some of it is simply "dance music", and shouldn't be criticized so harshly because the artist in question is just trying to "make you dance". The problem with that argument is that there have always been groups with an intent to make you move your posterior where the focus wasn't lyricism(see Doug E Fresh, Biz Markie), but the biggest difference was that at least those artists understood the foundation and would be up for a battle if someone confronted them with one.

But now you have artists that let off a pre-emptive strike of wackness if you will, like Young Jeezy, when he claims that he isn't "into battling" and doesn't see the particular point in it. Huh?? That is like a boxer not seeing the point of throwing a jab, a hitman that doesn't see the point of using a sniper rifle, a point guard refusing to use his crossover move, a carpenter who finds his hammer "irrelevant", or any other person who refuses to use a key ingredient in their professional arsenal. But it's not only the aspect of battling, it's just the incredibly low fucking bar that is being set by artists like Dipset, Nelly, those laffy-taffy bottom feeders, 50 cent, Lil Wayne, or any other microphone holder currently in the top 40.

I guess I don't have any antidote for the evil spell that has cursed the current state of Hip Hop, look at this as just another misguided rant from Humanity F. Critic, but I can't help but to think of the medals given out to those handicapable athletes just for finishing a race when someone tells me "how good" Young Jeezy is. I can't help but to think of my involvement in the special Olympics when people excuse some of the current rap groups by saying that they are simply "party groups". I think back on those times especially when try to refute my claims of "grills" being the new black face by saying that Hip Hop has always been materialistic, leaving out the fact that acts like Rakim were actually spitting flames while wearing those hefty gold ropes around his neck. Don't get me wrong though, I am in no way trying to equate the rappers of today with mentally challenged athletes that I once worked with. I'm not doing that. I'm not making that comparison because at least those special athletes had a love, respect, passion, and desire for what they were doing.

33 comments:

Free said...

Awww. You really are a good guy. (Did you really fake out the church girl?) lol

Passion of the Weiss said...

All I can say is preach on

GG said...

Flawless...and so true...

rasx() said...

The history of hip hop is yet another history of the fall of Africa in miniature.

The "black" rulers of hip hop that can be identified by white kids in Nebraska are all African dictators appointed by traditional corporate mafia families that control the entertainment world.

The Army is not the only complex in America where the ignorance of children is exploited.

Only the schooled understands the following: for we people there is no competition there is only betrayal and murder...

The reason why there are so many prominent African athletes is because the recessive-gene power elites have not learn to apply special effects to laws of physics (yet)...

Eventually the nature of the game gets redefined and one time we see ChuckD and the next time we see 50cent.

Tif said...

What's even more appalling is these cats earn star athlete dollars while cats with lyrical talent are being shipped off to Iraq (read Canibus), drunk driving, or playing on HBO series to get loot. Someone should take 50's how to Rob (which coincidentally was the only thing I ever liked from him)concept and go rob the rich rappers and spend it all on Common's album or something.

Piscean Princess said...

Preach, brother!

I do not consider myself a hip hop fan, by any stretch of the imagination. But you and I are the same age and, from reading your blog, I see that you and I have some of the same very fond memories of really good hip hop.

Supa said...

I nominate Fiddy's corny ass as the Hip Hop Special Olympics gold medalist.

'Cause that brotha is retarded.

Rakim foreva!!!

Supa said...

I nominate Fiddy's corny ass as the Hip Hop Special Olympics gold medalist.

'Cause that brotha is retarded.

Rakim foreva!!!

Ironman said...

Man I know cats in my school who just battle for fun, and are still better then these mainstream artists. We have a kid at our school named Mike something.. damn that kid will destroy anyone yet like Bruce Lee knows where he stands and doesn't just accept an battle.

Man I went up to him, and yeah I'm actually pretty good at it. But he just schooled my ass like Rakim. If I will it was like say.. AZ vs. Rakim. Prodigy [not the rapper] vs. Master. It was just unbelievable.

Yet will he ever get a major record deal with the ways things are going? Nope, and that's just sad.

Anonymous said...

That was great man, man sentiments exactly. Hip Hop needs a wake up call.

shawn said...

I did the special olympics these, it is true because of the low bar set by these wanna-be rhyme sayers.

I am Jack said...

You should really write for a Hip Hop magazine bro, you constantly rep Hip Hop 24/7

kev fan said...

What happened to the days where straight lyrics were the most important thing??

professional lurker said...

I liked how you connected Bruce Lee with the true art of MC'ing. Beautiful man, keep up the great writing.

Reggie said...

AMEN, my brother.

Belve said...

You said "That is like a boxer not seeing the point of throwing a jab, a hitman that doesn't see the point of using a sniper rifle, a point guard refusing to use his crossover move, a carpenter who finds his hammer "irrelevant", or any other person who refuses to use a key ingredient in their professional arsenal."

You cant be a Boxing fan.. You haven't seen the NBA in awhile I see, and even my "hollywood" impression of a hitman doesn't include a sniper rifle. I will let the carpenter theme go but then it should be hammer = mic, which is obviously not what you where going for on this one.

Why say all that, Because in your love for hiphop (which I do share even though I disagree with where it is going) you are missing something. I personally go out of my way top purchase artist I respect and I don't put ANY stock into whats on the radio. The problem is that whats played on the radio i.e. Sells. Its that simple. Stop buying crap and crap will cease. Request the songs you KNOW the radio doesn't want to play. But the flipside is that I don't want everyone trying to sound the same. Remember even BDK.. Big Daddy Kane rethought opening a school of MCing and that attitude permated the whole genre, till the outcome is younger cats that themselves love the very same hiphop but since they weren't taught before, thinking they will listen now is futile at best.

Usually I agree with you on most topics but this one struck a nerve not to defend the likes of 50 and Young Jeezy, but to point out that the art isn't dead but it doesn't live in the same house anymore.

rap aficianado said...

I can personally see that you are a boxing fan, understand the fundamentals of basketball, know the intricacies of the hitman, and the way carpenter line was pure poetry because a hammer is essential in his craft.

That being said, your piece had nothing to do with radio or "supply and demand". It is a commentary on the artform overall and it came across perfectly. The art's foundation was skill, and peasants like 50 and Young Jeezy don't understand that.

Anonymous said...

Shit, Britney Spears sells, that doesn't mean a goddamn thing. HC's piece wasn't saying the artform is dead, just the same passion and dedication to lyrics THAT THE ARTFORM WAS FOUNDED ON doesn't seem as important to the modern day MC.

I think HC said something before about Hip Hop today being like the hairband phaze of the 80's. People woke up from that, who's to say that the modern Hip Hop fan can't wake up from the coma they are in presently?

nosthegametoo said...

A couple years back, my best friend and I had a discussion on the quality of music today. I said it was crap, but he said something that stuck with me. He said, “Man, to be honest with you, even our parent’s music was crap. Do you realize our grandparents used to listen to classical music or classical jazz on the radio like we listen to pop music?”

I couldn’t agree more with you on your philosophy of what a Master of Ceremony (M.C.) truly is: A MASTER OF HIS CRAFT.

I guess it’s like a lot of things. As long as you can sell it, people will accept that you’ve mastered something, even if it’s just marketing. I stopped arguing it when some kids I was talking to said: "Who the hell is A Tribe Called Quest? Is it that dude that sings 'Vibrant Thing'?"

Perhaps there should be a new designation: Marketing Master of Ceremony or M.M.C. It also conveniently corresponds to the Mickey Mouse Club.

Just a thought.

justacoolcat said...

So HipHop needs a grunge awakening? I get the point, but the imagery is so amusing.

The Humanity Critic said...

Hey Belve, thanks for the insight and thanks for checking out my blog. I read your comment a few times and I don't really see your specific gripe with what I wrote.

A jab isn't essential in the sweet science of boxing?? A crossover move isn't essential in the arsenal of a point guard? A sniper rifle isn't essential in taking out a target? And the last time I tried to nail something without a hammer, I ruined whatever object I used as a hammer at the time, so I would say it's essential to the carpenter as well.

You pointed out the marketability of some of today's Hip Hop and I understand that point of view, but crack sells, there's probably a market for kiddy porn, those Laffy-Taffy fucks sell, "crap" has been a top money maker for years. It's still not a reflection of the true art-form of Hip Hop since the foundation of said music has always been Skill.

I support real artists, and find the radio to be a gigantic waste of time. But remember when quality Hip Hop was getting radio play??(Ahh, those were the days...) Plus, I never said the art was dead, it is just on life support because of the proverbial wackness of artists like Young Jeezy and 50 cent.

Brother OMi said...

who said Xians can't curse...? they do it so much they got a commandment for it....

BLESSD1 said...

Man...I loved the metaphors you used. you are a kick-ass writer, HC; keep doing your thing

Belve said...

What I meant is that even though those things are essential, as we both agree , I don't see professionials in those professions taking the same care for the same jobs as were done.

I realize I came off .. angry and that wasn't the intended message, I wanted to impress that we the lovers of what we know is good and right in hiphop take it to the marketing machines that exist and let them know .. We Aint going to stand for this crap anymore.

Just be cause crap sells doesn't mean we can't say to the store if not in a united front, then perhaps in a persistant irresitible voice.

Now Back to the Program.

ManNMotion said...

Did you medal in the competition?

The Humanity Critic said...

I wasn't in the running to be totally honest, but then again the post was self explanatory. But if I was a wack ass rapper, I could expect to be standing at a podium, medal around my neck, waiting for my anthem to be played.. That's for sure.

MAXUS said...

Critic I gotta give it to you: You're right about the current state of hip-hop, and I think there a quite a few people out here like me who are to blame.

When I was in high school, I was one "diggin' in the crates" brutha. Rap was rarely even played on the radio so if you wanted to find something real, you had to go to the store and leaf through the LPs/cassettes.

But now I'm 33 years old. I got a job. I'm trying to take care of my family. So now, if I hear something and it's got a nice beat, I go to I-tunes and buy it. I don't have time to really look like I did back in the day. And because there are so many people like me out there who purchase this ish, the record companies keep putting it out.

EYEsee said...

Hey Humanity, I first want to thank you for being the first to leave a comment on my blog...you made my day. I initially just followed your tracks to tell you that but was surprised to see that you have an apparent passion for something I hold dear to me as well; hip hop. I love it so much that it's current state has actually hurt me to the point of listening more to rock. I almost completely abandoned it until I remembered, that I had options. Although not as complete as it used to be hip hop does have a thriving indie culture. I was a backpacker myself for many years, especially while doing my own show which was based on battling. It was the Braggin' Rites Battles in NYC. Anyway, I enjoyed your rant thoroughly and prior to my marriage was pretty unscrupulous myself when it came to getting some ass. Lastly I just started a podcast you might enjoy. http://www.bragginrites.com/podcasts
Check it out. - EYEZ

EYEsee said...

Hey Humanity, I first want to thank you for being the first to leave a comment on my blog...you made my day. I initially just followed your tracks to tell you that but was surprised to see that you have an apparent passion for something I hold dear to me as well; hip hop. I love it so much that it's current state has actually hurt me to the point of listening more to rock. I almost completely abandoned it until I remembered, that I had options. Although not as complete as it used to be hip hop does have a thriving indie culture. I was a backpacker myself for many years, especially while doing my own show which was based on battling. It was the Braggin' Rites Battles in NYC. Anyway, I enjoyed your rant thoroughly and prior to my marriage was pretty unscrupulous myself when it came to getting some ass. Lastly I just started a podcast you might enjoy.
Check it out
. - EYEZ

EYEsee said...

Hey Humanity, I first want to thank you for being the first to leave a comment on my blog...you made my day. I initially just followed your tracks to tell you that but was surprised to see that you have an apparent passion for something I hold dear to me as well; hip hop. I love it so much that it's current state has actually hurt me to the point of listening more to rock. I almost completely abandoned it until I remembered, that I had options. Although not as complete as it used to be hip hop does have a thriving indie culture. I was a backpacker myself for many years, especially while doing my own show which was based on battling. It was the Braggin' Rites Battles in NYC. Anyway, I enjoyed your rant thoroughly and prior to my marriage was pretty unscrupulous myself when it came to getting some ass. Lastly I just started a podcast you might enjoy. http://www.bragginrites.com/podcasts
Check it out. - EYEZ

bren said...

Ah crap - now I'm gonna see you like a big ol' huggable teddy bear.



Did I mention I hate stuffed animals?

kidding

well, no, I'm not.
I really do hate stuffed animals.
Not that I think your stuffed.
Well, kinda I do -- stuffed full of yourself.
But that too is all part of your charm.

bren said...

Okay what's this shit?
I posted a comment that apparently is not approved by the HumanityCritic blogspot cyber cop?
The message on the screen says:

"Your comment has been saved and will be visible after blog owner approval"

It's not like I'm using a fucking stolen credit card for crissakes.
It's a BLOG!

geeez, some days it just doesn't pay to chew the straps to crawl outta bed.

Miss Ahmad said...

this was simply lovely and refreshing. Being old enough to remember when hip hop was born and having caught every old school rapper in concert..anyone who toured in the 80s I just attest my taste in music to my maturity.

kids today didn't grow up on what i grew up, didn't see MCs battle live, didn't see Run DMC, or LL Cool J's first tour, or the Fat Boys or Dougie Fresh, or cop a bootleg Ice T tape of Six in the morning and play it until it died.

I'm of another musical generation that simply doesn't include Young Jeezy...so bring me a wheel chair and a cocktail!