If there is any rule in hip hop that many of use value is this main adage: stay true to your principles. It seems that artists had some type of integrity in their music. Nowadays, I’m not really sure that has any meaning anymore. People don’t even try to stick to ANY principle that they value. Instead, you catch them saying one thing and then doing another. At times, listeners are left to question whether these artists had been eating Basura Flakes all their life.
There have been some that specifically state what they are against just to do a 180 degree turn and come with something totally dreadful.
You don’t believe me? Well, I have at least four artists I can name for you that fall into the category of the hip hop hypocrite.
While I understand that Nas is (and always will be) a legend, legendary status does NOT keep you from being responsible for your actions. The man that dropped the great piece of NY hip hop in Illmatic evolved into the more accessible It Was Written. Yet, things started to devolve once he dropped I Am. By the time he dropped Nastradamus, Nas was a shadow of himself. Songs with Ginuwine reeking of strip club fare? Weak beats? Weaker lyrics? He was losing himself. It took a diss from Jay-Z to get his mind right.
Game has a problem with sticking to a position. We all know that. Many actually admit that the man seems bipolar. He even made a comment about it. That means he is actually listening to what people actually said.
I have always said this true piece of wisdom: if everybody feels a certain way about you, they either know what they are talking about or are both sipping the same confusion serum.
With Game, there is no confusion serum. He says one thing one day and does something else the next day. Do the research: he will quickly say he don’t have any issues with Jay, just to turn around and say some slick stuff over a track. He makes up with 50 Cent just to diss 50 Cent again. I thought that he was going to retire (common rapper talk) until The Red Album dropped. There were even rumors of suicidal tendencies just to be rejected. This is why people have a hard time taking Game seriously: he flip-flops at the drop of precipitation.
3.) Lupe Fiasco
I made this situation abundantly clear before: Lupe Fiasco’s Lasers is one of the biggest sell out albums to be created in 2011. And I still feel this way. My issue is this: how can you champion a mentality in a song on one album (“Dumb It Down”) just to do the total opposite for an ENTIRE ALBUM. I didn’t know whether I was listening to a rock album, a pop album or a badly made hip hop album from a Hollywood actor. At first, he blamed Atlantic. Yet, as soon as his album started moving units, he started thanking people and asking for the support? People are starting to think that Lupe is full of it. Sad part is that I am one of those many people.
4.) The Black Eyed Peas
I don’t care how much people love them. I don’t care about how many albums they have sold. I don’t care about how much more money they have than me. I don’t buy into the foolish “capitalism over everything” argument that is peppered within hip hop nowadays.
The Black Eyed Peas was NOT this incarnation of a group that people hear nowadays. When they first started out as the Atban Klann, they were the damn near a West Coast version of A Tribe Called Quest. Do people even realize that this is the same group that released “Puddles of H20”? Then, they changed their name to The Black Eyed Peas. They didn’t change their sound, though. They were still highly instrumental, laid back, and organic sounding. They were a refreshing alternative to the shiny suit foolery that Poison Daddy Puff was coming with.
And then, it all changed at the blink of an eye.
Once they got Fergie, they became a hip pop group. Not hip hop, but hip pop. And no, that is not a diss. Nor am I even mad at their success since they sold over 65 million records worldwide. It is a simple situation of “making pop records”. They have every right to do that. But seriously, though. I can’t subscribe to them becoming intentional pop artists. And if you think that they stayed the same stylistically, you are fooling yourself.
I hope that the point is clear here: artists are human and humanity will always do something hypocritical. The artists I named are not artists that I dislike. Actually, I love and respect what they have done for themselves. Still, people need to realize that sometimes if helps to stick to something and be true to it.
‘Nuff said and ‘Nuff respect!