Imaginary Gangster: Why Can't Hip-Hop Just Be Honest? (Ballerstatus.com)

Published: Monday - August 25, 2008
Words by Carl Lamarre
Source: Ballerstatus.com

Rick Ross (left), Plies (middle), and Kanye West (right) (Photo: Def Jam and Atlantic Records)

"The game is not to give 'em nuttin REAL ... real, real, real, real / Nothing they could use, nothing that they could FEEL ... feel, feel, feel, feel / Give 'em a bunch of lies and teach 'em that it's REAL ... real, real, real, real / So that's all that they a-know / That's all that they a-feel ... feel, feel, feel." -- Lupe Fiasco on "Real"

Real has always been associated with hip-hop. The word never had a negative connotation when being used to identify artists. Apparently emcees are suffering from identity crisis and forgot the magnitude of the four letter word. Walk with me as I explore the harsh realities of lies, and deceit among our fellow rappers.

"And why do n****s lie in 85% of they rhymes?" -- Jadakiss on "Why?"

Why lie? Like seriously, why con people into believing you're moving keys like you're money-making Mitch from "Paid In Full?" What many rappers fail to realize is that people do actually pay attention to the lyrics, and take into account everything you say. For some reason, rappers have a tendency of embellishing their pasts in hopes of garnering the audience's respect. For example, you have Rick Ross, who is notorious for his hustling prowess and immaculate street cred. The man, who epitomized the soul of a hustler, was seen sporting police uniform dating back to his college years. This obscene photo has fans and rappers questioning the boss' legitimacy and credibility. What bemuses me, and everyone else, is that rappers think it's a crime to be honest. Rappers think they'll get a 3-5 for displaying some candidness in their lyrics. It's ok to be honest. Whatever happened in your past, stays in your past. If you were a correctional officer, man up, and let the people know, rather than have your fans second guess picking up your next album.

"So, don't believe everything your earlobe captures / It's mostly backwards, unless it happens to be as accurate as me." -- Jay-Z on "Ignorant Sh**"

I understand everyone wants to personify the glorious gangster image, and emulate Pac, but come on. Be original with your lyrics. With a bevy of rappers trying to exude this image, creativity has been minute. You have people boosting about how many people they killed, and how much their chains costs, when in reality these are the same people taking the bus to their own video shoots. The people advocating violence are the same people playing on Facebook. Piles, known for exemplifying the definition of real, was exposed by HHDX about his past. The life that Piles has claimed to be living (you know, the life of a goon?) has been a hyperbole of the truth, according to HHDX. Instead of delving into the land of honesty, and be "real" with his lyrics, Piles has been doing the complete opposite.

"I hear 'em gearin' up / people talk so much sh** about me at barbershops / they forget to get their haircut / OK fair enough, the streets is flarin' up / 'cause they want gun-talk, or I don't wear enough / baggy clothes, Reeboks, or Adidas." -- Kanye West on "Everything I Am"

Why do you think Kanye West is quickly being considered as among one of the best performers in the game? The man is real, and original. Only Kanye had the audacity to wear pink polos, with some skin tight jeans, and still drop a venomous verse. Before, Kanye was ridiculed for his vile taste in fashion. Now, the same people who displayed their exasperation for his swag, are the ones wearing jeans from the Gap. Coincidence? I think not. The reason Kanye is thriving is because he's been real throughout his career. He made you feel his realness. On stage, when he performed "Dear Mama" days after the death of his mother, you felt his heart drop after he recited each bar. You felt the tears come down from these eyes, as he was gasping every line out in pain. Originality can't be faked.

You have to wonder when rappers stare and point at their reflections, are they satisfied with placing a front in hopes seeing dollars? The game was molded by artists being honest, and depicting the truth. Are we at a point where we have to lie to gain respect? With that said, I won't say hip-hop is dead, but damn hip-hop is sure is lost.

Views: 86

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Rick Ross finally admits to being a former Correction Officer

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Best guide to hip hop, soul, reggae concerts & events in San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles & New York City + music, videos, radio and more

Connect

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to E-Blast

Win Tickets

Femi Kuti
Sat, Jun 6 @ UC Theatre, Berkeley

Rebelution
Fri, Sep 4 @ Greek Theatre, Berkeley

TOP PICKS

Members

Photos

  • Add Photos
  • View All

Groups

Latest Activity

Dj Smoke (@PromoMixtapes) posted discussions
15 hours ago
Editor's Pick posted a discussion

LITTLE BROTHER JOINS PRODUCER BUCKWILD ON “EASE UP”

Legendary producer Buckwild (Diggin’ In The Crates, The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z) will release his new album Fully Loaded on July 3rd. Ahead of its release, he’s followed up the Rome Streetz-assisted title-track with “Ease Up,” a collaboration with with Rapper Big Pooh and Phonte, better known as Little Brother!…See More
17 hours ago
bosshogg posted discussions
17 hours ago
Editor's Pick posted discussions
yesterday
bosshogg posted discussions
yesterday
Editor's Pick posted videos
yesterday
Dj Smoke (@PromoMixtapes) posted a discussion

VERSATILE AFROBEATS ARTIST, ABBLAZE SET TO DROP NEW MUSIC WEEKLY FOR “BLAZING FRIDAYS”

Abblaze – Blazing FridaysVERSATILE AFROBEATS ARTIST, ABBLAZE SET TO DROP NEW MUSIC WEEKLY FOR “BLAZING FRIDAYS” NEWARK, NJ – Musician, singer and songwriter, Abideen “Abblaze” Omisola adds an extraordinary international flavor to the music coming…See More
yesterday
TEAM BIGGA RANKIN posted a blog post

Maino Drops New Mixtape - "Who Got Next"

Maino just dropped a new mixtape titled "Who Got Next". The New York based rapper is doing a series of mixtapes promoted by…See More
Tuesday
Editor's Pick posted discussions
Monday
A video by Editor's Pick was featured

Public Enemy Is Joined By Nas, Black Thought & More For Rendition of Fight The Power | BET Awards 20

Chuck D and Flavor Flav of the group Public Enemy open up the 2020 BET Awards with Nas, Black Thought, Rapsody, Jahi, and YG and perform their classic hit, “Fight The Power.”
Monday
TEAM BIGGA RANKIN posted a blog post

Teflon Mark @iambigteflon | "Drop" Lyric Video ft MoneyBagg Yo

Teflon Mark artist representing Str8 Drop Allstars releases "Drop" featuring Moneybagg Yo. "Drop" is a high impact, in your face aggressive type of record that speaks on winning and victories. Check out the lyric video and support the single, out now on all digital outlets.WATCH the Official "Drop" LYRIC VIDEO ft MoneyBagg YoConnect w/ Teflon Mark:All Social Media l…See More
Monday
bosshogg posted a discussion

Marcus Simms is On the Rise

Multi-talented artist Marcus Simms is back with more hot new music! Check out his latest releases below and make sure you keep an eye on him in 2020 as he's quickly rising to the top!See More
Sunday

© 2020   Created by Ren the Vinyl Archaeologist.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service