Solely on the strength of Big Daddy Kane setting the stage ablaze at last years Vh1 Hip Hop honors, I was more than curious to see how this years edition would turn out. For a guy pretty cynical when it comes to any so called Hip Hop "publication", or any network playing real Hip Hop in a "lets give the peasants crumbs" move, I was pretty open minded before I sat down to witness what would later be a monumental time waster. Yes, I can be objective, even though I hate Cam'ron I must admit that he did a serviceable job in the movie "Paid in Full", I resisted "Brown Sugar" for months but when I finally saw it it wasn't half bad, and when I listened to my friends Jim Jones album..well, that shit was as pathetic as a Courtney Love pap-smear. Anyway, here are some of the things that went through my mind as I watched this monstrosity.
Pre-Show Freestyle: Where did they get these two guys from, were they extras off of a Bubba Sparks video shoot?? Like a boyfriend praying to god that his girlfriend isn't pregnant, I was anxiously awaiting to see any flow at all. There is only one thing worse than hearing bad singing, and ladies and gentlemen that is bad rapping. Ok, these guys are wack, but this shouldn't dictate the rest of the night.
Beastie Boys Tribute: Even though I feel that Tracy Morgan is as funny as a Prostate exam, I could forgive his deplorable introduction because I wanted to see the three white New Yorkers that all of us have grown to love. But when I saw Q-Tip, Fabulous, and Puffy come out and do "Hold It Now, Hit It" and "Paul Revere" in old school gear, like a porn tape featuring just fellatio this had "suck" written all over it. I have love for Q-Tip, but Puffy and Fabulous?? What, MC Brains wasn't available?? Right before the meal that I had previous eaten came back up, the Beasties finally performed. I don't have anything bad to say about those dudes, except for the fact that their DJ should be beaten within an inch of his life for mixing that "Breathe" track during their performance.
MC Lyte Tribute: Since MC Lyte is one of my personal favorites, I really hoped that they would do her some justice based on her legendary status. Regina King, a woman that I can't hear from this point forward without thinking about "The Boondocks", gave a fitting introduction and proved that she is indeed a Hip Hop fan. But the tribute was considerably sub-par, with Da Brat(an MC that is the epitome of unfulfilled potential), Remy Ma(a product of the horrible landscape of females in Hip Hop), and Lil Kim.. Wait a minute, Lil Kim, a woman that I consider to be a diseased vagina with the ability to rhyme on beat, who invited her ass?? (I've never before wanted a black woman to stay her ass in prison.) Anyway, I witnessed all three women stumble with "Cha Cha Cha," "Kickin' 4 Brooklyn" and "Lyte as a Rock."(I'm sure that Lil Kim is called "Lips and Lungs" in some circles, but didn't we all know that she didn't have the breath control for "Lyte as a Rock".) Not to pile on to the walking germ farm, but isn't her appearance blasphemy based on Lyte once saying: "Do not say shit until you write your own rhymes!!"
As I watched Lyte perform "Paper Thin", I thought to myself "Why are they having everyone come down those enormous flight of stairs?? Jesus!!" Even though its probably her most popular song, I hate the fact that she performed "Ruffneck".
Rakim Tribute: I wasn't too mad at this and Black Thought did his thing, but the fact that Talib gave a rather "Rain-man"-like performance during the tribute, and the mere sight of Styles P made me long for plenty of alcohol later that night. Yes, Raekwon seemed out of place, but it was good to see Rakim bless the mic and prove that he's the best that has ever done it. It was also good to see him perform some new material, usually a cardinal sin, but if anyone could pull it off it was him. All that being said, shouldn't his segment been later on??
Ice Cube Tribute: I always say that "Death Certificate" is my favorite album of all time, and that Ice Cube is one of my favorite rappers on the strength of his career from 89-92', but everything that he has done yet has either been some West coast anthem or some song to shake your ass to.(Remember his line, "But I don't party and shake my butt/I leave that to the brothers with the funny haircuts".. I guess that's "growth"..) Anyway, Mike Epps proved that he wouldn't be suited to host the bar mitzvah of a retarded kid, Xzibit and WC were the best thing for narcolepsy since Nyquil, and Lil John was, well, the sambo embarrassment that he usually is. I couldn't even tell you what song Cube did, because at this point I was dialing up some miscellaneous ass.(I mean, nothing will make me forget about wackness like worrying about a venereal disease.)
Easy E Tribute: If I used any sentence with the words "Young Jeezy, Bone Thugs, and Lil Eazy E" in it you know it would be a recipe for disaster, like having Irritable Bowel Syndrome and eating Mexican food. By this time I was getting my porn collection in order, not alphabetically, but by the porn actresses real names, that's how bored I was. We all know how I feel about Jeezy and Bone Thugs, and may I say Rest In Peace to Eazy, but when Stevie Wonder passes on, just because he has a son doesn't mean I want his ass to attempt to recreate his classics. I'm saying. (By the way, these fools had 40oz's)
Russell Simmons: Russ is a legend, there is no doubt about that, but if I saw Diddy one more time I think I would have taken my own life. Black Ice did his thing with the spoken word piece(they should have used him with some of the MC duties earlier), and DJ Lovebug Starski and DJ Kid Capri did their best to honor the only black guy I know who's into yoga. But it did seem a bit cluttered, and Russell looked noticeably uncomfortable.
Afrika Bambaataa Tribute: When I listen to my boy selfra talk to me about The Zulu Nation not only do I learn something, I remember why I will love Hip Hop until my dying day. I respect Bambaataa like any blue-blooded Hip Hop lover, but the performance honoring him seemed rather chaotic and unfocused. It seemed like it was thrown together like shit against a wall, or a Boy Band. I mean, Fat Joe, again?? There were people in said performance that I respect, like Erykah Badu, Q-Tip, and Bootsy Collins, but it sounded like you were in a car manufacturing factory, only with a funkier beat. But this is the first time I noticed how monumentally wack the audience was, were they this comatose the entire night??
Wu-Tang Tribute: I have to quote my home-girl Geekgirl-Elitist in an email she sent me: "The worst posse reunion ever, and the niggas still couldn't get it the fuck together." Yeah, I agree, what was that shit?? Not only that, it seemed like Vh1 gave them the least time humanly possible..
Final Thoughts: I know throughout the history of this blog I come across as a hater, usually a title that I embrace by the way, but this time its more than that. If you deliver lyrics that make you unworthy to hold that coveted microphone, then I fucking hate you. If you call yourself a DJ but lack the necessary skills, and on top of that you can't even get the party started, then I fucking hate you. Also, if you are a channel worth a shitload of money and can't put on a decent show honoring the greats, then I also fucking hate you. Some people would want me to be satisfied that they are honoring real Hip Hop at all, but I refuse to settle on some slave "at least massa is giving us the bad part of the pig" mentality. Even though I'm sure that there are great people over at VH1, I have come to the conclusion that you can't represent the art-form truthfully as long as you play "Chingy" and have a show called "Flavor of Love" on your network. I know some great Hip Hop journalists personally and feel that their convictions are pure, but you can't articulate the true lifeline of Hip Hop as long as the other pages of said magazine are discussing D4L, Jim Jones, or some other abomination disguised as Hip Hop.