A little less than 6 years ago, September 2001 to be precise - I found myself sitting inside my car that I had just parked in the middle of a deserted field near my house, so dark that without my headlights on I could barely see a couple of feet in front of my vehicle. The Jose Cuervo was in my bloodstream so strong that if a chick happened to lift up my gut and blow me she'd probably fail a breathalyzer test, and thoughts of a recent break up, my father's death a few months before, and my mother's newly diagnosed cancer infiltrated my every thought as I nervously clutched a loaded 9 mm handgun in my right palm. As Nina Simone played ever so beautifully in the background, serving as the soundtrack to my suicide, I cocked the same handgun that cops use and openly wondered how my newly splattered brain particles would look against my driver side window that I had cleaned only a day before. Tears flowing down my face as the gun that I was holding felt as if it weighed a million pounds while I positioned it towards my temple, I started to fully except the fact that what I was about to do was indeed a hell-worthy trespass - and quickly prayed to god to forgive me for my sins, adding a thoughtful post-script to the big guy upstairs asking that a young child wouldn't be the one to find my lifeless body in the morning. In my absurd search to say something fitting before taking a rather extended dirt-nap, "Goodbye Cruel, Cruel world!!" was actually my personal favorite - I for some reason remembered, despite the train-wreck that was my life, that I had just been on the business end of a pretty decent day. I mean, a fine woman that I didn't know stuffed her number in my pants pocket at the liquor store hours before, my mother grabbed me like we were in a football huddle and guaranteed me that she's beat her cancer like she was Joe Montana talking to his team in the 4th Quarter - not to mention that they had just played my favorite episode of "What's Happening?" right before I left the house.(You know, the one where Re-Run takes a tape recorder to The Doobie Brothers Concert) That's when I slowly realized that I was taking the cowards way out, I'd have to nut up and own the fact that my father died in the midst of our strained relationship, my mother's prognosis was good - and now six years later I'm glad to confirm that the chick who had ripped my beating heart out of my chest really wasn't worth taking my life.(no one is really)
Even though the plethora of women in the Virginia Beach area who I've prematurely ejaculated on will absolutely loathe this great 70's era television show after I say this - but if it wasn't for the show "What's Happening?" I probably wouldn't be here today. Shit, I would have missed Bush's disastrous presidency, Nas and Jay-Z's reconciliation, my Bears reaching the SuperBowl - not to mention Kevin Smith making a sequel to one of my favorite movies of all time.("Clerks") I guess this extremely lengthy segue was brought on by the fact that if MTV's "10 Hottest MC's in the Game" special had been the show that aired before I found myself parked in that deserted field - I would have not only pulled that trigger, but I would have slit my wrists while driving into a nearby lake before catching the final bullet to the brain. I know it sounds kind of harsh, especially since I'm already fully aware of the kind of oceanic bottom feeders the "brain trust" over at MTV are based on that last bowel movement of a list that they compiled - but the utter stupidity is so rampant that you keep wondering if you are the butt of some elaborate practical joke.
Forget the fact that them calling themselves a "Brain Trust" is as giggle-worthy as Fox News claiming that they are "Fair and Balanced" - but the criteria in which an artist was to be considered is completely contradictory to what they finally decided to title this chronological botched abortion. The title of their vomit inducing list is the "10 Hottest MC's in the Game", "MC's", last time I checked google hits, how many mixtapes you've been on, the cover of "Teen People" that you've graced, or what particular fashion trends you've happened to start doesn't have a god-damned thing to do with being an MC. Now if they decided to replace the "MC" and insert "Rapper" then I'd have no issue with that list - primarily because then the bar is set lower than midget limbo contests, any garden variety asshole who can string two somewhat coherent sentences together and make them rhyme can "rap". Besides, who gives a fuck about a momentary fashion trend - 15 years later people are still talking about A Tribe Called Quests "Low End Theory" and not giving a watery sack of crap about Kriss Kross wearing their jeans backwards. The list is completely irrelevant because over the last 30 years the Hip Hop landscape is littered with men who might have owned a moment in time in the publics consciousness, but ended up being nothing more than a footnote in Hip Hop History. Yes, this list, even if titled correctly - is as fraudulent as the people who compiled it and the network that they all work for.
Even though I want to say that most of these panelists got their jobs in a raffle, or the bottom of a cereal box, or due to some very indiscreet post interview hand-job - but I've come to the conclusion that their public display for bad taste is actually a pretty smart business move on their part. Talking bad about Lil Wayne or Young Jeezy isn't going to exactly help their careers, especially if you find yourself constantly interviewing them backstage at their respective "Shuck and Jive" tours - so they can find solace in singing a sub-par rapper's praises as they think about how its paying for their health insurance. Saying that Jim Jones has the verbal capacity of a retarded stroke victim might ruin your career over at MTV, so they proceed to talk about his swagger(as if that's even important when you don't have the lyrics to back it up) and just ease their minds with the thought of all the free shows of legitimate rappers they are able to attend. Maybe I'm the wrong one to be saying this, a Vibe.com blogger who will most likely never get the opportunity to grace the pages of the actual magazine, but I quote a great MC who said "I'd rather be broke and have a whole lot of respect!"(O.C)
Here are some of the low-lights that you'll see in the video:
Tuma Basa: Manager MTV Programming: Barney Fife Hip Hop moment: Passionately made a case for Jim Jones to be on the list because of an "energy" that he brings. Bowel movements take energy as well.. Why are accents only irritating when they come from Hip Hop know-nothings and black conservatives?(see Roy Innis)
Joseph Patel: Producer, MTV News: Barney Fife Hip Hop moment: He says "Jeezy destroys all the conventions of what traditional lyricism is", no shit sherlock - he's wack...
Rahman Dukes: Senior Producer MTVnews.com: Barney Fife Hip Hop moment: Overall he seems like a voice of reason here, but him saying "The Real Hip Hop dudes is not bloggers!" is just so 2001. If there's one place that Hip Hop heads aren't at, its the MTV studios..
Sean Lee: Supervising producer, MTV News: Barney Fife Hip Hop moment: Claimed that Tupac was the best rapper of all time. *Exhaustive Sigh*
Shaheem Reid: Hip Hop editor, MTV News: Barney Fife Hip Hop moment: Actually quoted Young Jeezy with child-like enthusiasm. Enough said.
Andrea Duncan-Mao: Senior Producer, MTV.com: Barney Fife Hip Hop moments: 1. Commended Young Jeezy on his perfectly constructed songs, that's something a soccer mom would say.. 2. Argued for Kanye West based on the fact that she could tell that he really loved Hip Hop, despite the fact that she previously co-signed three ass-hats who don't.
Bridget Bland: MTV Radio Network: Barney Fife Hip Hop moments: When Common's consistency was addressed, she said "That's not every time though, thats "Be" and this new upcoming album!" - proving that her Hip Hop knowledge doesn't go back any further than 2005. Way to pick em' MTV!!
Sway: Barney Fife Hip Hop moment: Allowing himself to be talked into being a part of such a clusterfuck of nonsensical dialog.