There are a few times in life where you have to strategically place your shell-toe Adidas in the ass of a loved one or a friend for the sake of tough love. When my childhood friend Keith was battling a nasty cocaine habit, I had to turn my back on him after years of being an emotional enabler. Some my find this a bit excessive, but the only reason why I elbowed, ridiculed, called him a poster-boy for abortions, and blocked his shots while screaming "No motherfucker born when I was getting out of High School is going to score on me!!" while playing a game of pick-up basketball wasn't to embarrass the young lad, but to make him a better player. When I briefly dated a 21 year old woman and abruptly broke up with her after making her dress up like one of the S1W's and insisting that we fuck to "Welcome to the Terrordome", I wasn't being mean, I just wanted to prepare her for all the perverts she would encounter during her lifetime.
That being said, I'm a fan and I respect the following two acts, but I just feel they need a wholesome helping of tough love.
Outkast: I love Outkast because they have came out with some truly amazing music, and I quickly say "Hey, I like Outkast!" when someone claims that I only like east coast Hip Hop.(Kind of like when white people say they have black friends when charged with racism) They remind me of De La Soul, not musically, but in the same way that when you hear their albums you just feel that they shut the label people out of their creative process. I have nothing but love for these gentlemen, in the purest form of heterosexuality possible. That being said, I have to hit these dudes with some tough love, most of it falling on Andre. Dre, seriously, stop fucking singing already and get back to the fucking basics. Its not that you're a bad crooner or anything, but I have held to the firm belief that rappers should only put out "singing" records if they feel said track is a home fucking run.(See Mos Def "Umi Says") I must also say that Big Boi has the patience of a southern grandmother, putting up with Andre's "I'm not going to perform anymore" bullshit. What kind of diva shit is that?? Patti Labelle still performs, they have to use a trailer hitch to wheel Aretha Franklin's big ass on stage and she still performs. What the fuck??
Lastly, some of Outkast's more recent efforts haven't been completely wack, but unfocused like Barney Fife attempting to read an eye chart drunk. Guys, I don't have a problem with you stretching the limits of creativity for the sake of your art, but at the end of the day you have to spit. You have to remember that cardinal fucking rule, because before you know it you will be making "Electric Circus". Fellas, get your shit together and lace us with the Outkast that we all know and love. Big Boi, just keep spitting those lyrics and talking about the women you "cut", and Andre you are not Jimmi Hendrix so cut that shit out!!
Lauryn Hill: The idea for this post came a few days ago when I was listening to the J-Period mix-tape filled with Lauryn Hill songs. The feeling I got was akin to suddenly realizing that your significant other is a gift from god that you don't fully appreciate, corny I know. I mean, I was listening to some of her verses and they were lyrical, her flow was tighter than my asshole was when I spent a few days in city jail, and most of all she has one of those voices where you anticipate what she is going to say next. Nodding my head in exuberance suddenly turned to disgust, as I grabbed my hair and yelled to the Hip Hop gods "Why hasn't she made any dope music lately??"
I'm not saying that Lauryn is the Hip Hop version of Neo, a savior so to speak, but besides dropping a classic Hip Hop album she could at least raise the bar for female MC's stuck on talking about money, clothes, wanting a "boss", and the amount of punishment their vagina takes on a weekly basis. I'm saying Lauryn, I know that you might have had some issues that you've been dealing with, but for Christs sakes work that shit out in the studio!!! Not only that, when I have seen magazine and television interviews you've done, um, lets just say that you've come across nuttier than squirrel turds. I can tell that you feel that you are coming off introspective and philosophical, but to all of us you come off as a braod who is wasting her talents, and one that has too much fucking time on her hands. Just write as many rhymes as humanly possible, get Premo, Pete Rock, and make a classic that will erase the image of you weeping on MTV out of our collective heads.