Response To Kendrick Channels The Ancestors With The Remote In His Hand

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Admittedly, I’m a little late to the Kendrick party.  Cats from my generation of hip hop heads are loathe to dick ride the latest rhyme slinger due to the code we came up under: you don’t jock something or someone just because the masses rush it like ants on candy, especially if you wasn’t down with him from day one.  That was some front artist poser shit that niggas would quickly clown you about. It just wasn’t done. Before you co- signed an M.C with your imprimatur and cold hard cash, You had to be thorough with your due diligence which meant going back and listening to early work, 12 inch singles, features, mix tapes, etc. and then if the artist was really dope you got down with them.

OLD SCHOOL COLLAGE

My oldest daughter first tried to put me up on Kendrick Lamar back in 2011 when his Section 80 joint started echoing out of Compton and into the ears of next generation L.A. hip hop Aficionados. They embraced him as the embodiment of the young black Southern Cali zeitgeist the way my generation had locked onto N.W.A twenty five years earlier. Because my daughter’s early life was spent crawling around milk crates full of vinyl and watching her daddy exercise his love of cutting up James Brown breaks on the one and two’s she knew the real from Fugazi , so I respected her opinion enough to check my inner curmudgeon and bend an ear towards the nascent beat griot. And even though my well seasoned ears got silver hair growing out of them, I still keep try to keep my channel open to new iterations of the muse. However, I honestly wasn’t feeling Kendrick upon my first few exposures.

 

 

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Looking back I can see how my obsessive tendencies had me preoccupied with the shit I was vibing to at the time-Southern trap music, Lupe Fiasco, M.F. Doom, Kool Keith, Flying Lotus, Mad Lib, Little brother, underachievers, Dilla, etc. Combine that with the fact that I’ve always been a cat wh was drawn to a record by its beat. So unless an M.C. was riding a hot track like 26’s on a box Chevy he was going to have a hard time holding my attention on the strength of bars alone.

 

Go on and lump me in with the rest of the old heads and our love of obscure D.J. Premier samples, precise cuts, scratches, seamless blends, Pete Rock tracks and rhyme scientists like Rakim Allah, Guru, Kane and Cube.

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I thought I had aged out of the new school and its Dixie dope boy fantasy world of candy paint, purple drank, endless kilos, weed, mollies, big booty hoes, money and Black Liberace in Versace narrative. The only thing that kept me halfway engaged was what would come to be known as the “trap beat”. Once again the 808 sub woofing deep in the heart of my love kept me faithful to H.E.R. I even grew to appreciate the southern style of rapping with its bluesy, molasses slow flow drawling over swamp water bass kicks, AK47 staccato cymbals and snares cracking like plantation whips on a nigga’s ass. Kinda reminded me of early L.A. hip hop like Rodney O and Joe Cooley , Mix master Spade and King Tee .Yeah, Kendrick was ill no doubt, but he wasn’t rattling my crown and root chakras….yet.

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I waded into the deep end of Kendrick’s sea of moral complexity submerging beneath the beat on “swimming pools”. It was my introduction to a kaleidoscopic multiverse of infinite grey areas where “every shut eye ain’t sleep and every goodbye ain’t gone”. A space where a good kid in a MAAD city pimp limps the gamut between a young brother actualizing his potential for genius or getting mobbed onto the set for a life of ….you can guess the rest. That shit is age old in L.A. and every brother from low riders to skateboarders overstands it. Drive past Inglewood Park Cemetery ‘round midnight and listen to your dead remind you to “sing about me”. I swear not a Monday morning goes by when my body ain’t stuck in 110 south traffic , but my mind is day dreaming of raking up leaves under ”money trees”. Crown and root chakras fully vibrational.

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So now I’m wide open. Still the inner Public Enemy in me that ninja creeps in broad daylight through a maze of structural hate barriers fiends for a soundtrack that mirrors my struggle.

 

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I know way too many niggas hustling hand to mouth to be rocked to sleep by hyperreal superthug fairytales with video ho happy endings. The true “D” boy lifestyle is really about scuffling for 25 to 30 racks a year by desperadoes trying hard not to spend the rent money to re –up while wrestling with the question “what’s the point of surviving if you can’t live?”

 

Maybe it’s racial, but I need my hip hop to speak to my condition.

Maybe it’s generational, but I look to beats and rhymes to function as combat hymns ministering to my spirit with weaponized information.

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Blame the Watts Prophets, Last Poets, Gil Scott-Heron, Mutabaruka, Chuck D, X clan, KRS 1 and a legion of Poor Righteous teachers for my high expectations and low tolerance for hip hop mediocrity. Every Super “Heru” needs a theme song.

 

So what up Kendrick? You got something in your dope sack for me Playa?

One day whilst slow roasting Nicki Minaj’s prodigious ass over an open fire with my renaissance homie E.Ray, he offered up a Kendrick joint to cleanse our palates. “ My nigga have you heard Hii power?” Tempted by the prospect of inhaling some fresh lines of vintage uncut Kendrick I Youtubed the track and got froze instantly;

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“…so get up off that slave ship/ build your own pyramids/ write your own hieroglyphs”/ “…everyday we fight the system/ we fight the system, never like the system/ we been down for too long / but that’s alright”/ ”… grown men never should bite they tongues/ unless you eatin’ pussy that smell like a stale plum…./ and everything on T.V. just a figment of imagination/ I don’t want a plastic nation/ dread shit like a Haitian/ while you muthafuckas waiting/ ill be off the slave ship building my own pyramids, wrIting my own hieroglyphs”.

 

DAMN. If those lines weren’t dope enough to illuminate all a niggas chakra wheels and make ‘em spin counterclockwise, the youngsta laces the track with an Orson Welles sound bite at the 1:59 mark that embeds a subliminal context for the rhymes. Check it: “He is sort of a gangster you know, because this is a gangster story, but a gangster with a difference, because this is a gangster with a conscience”. Now go back, scrape the mirror and freeze your gums with his references to Marcus Garvey, Huey Newton, Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, Bobby Seale, and Martin Luther King. Then rethink the “thug Life” punctuation that closes the track. Hidden gems and cloaked wisdom penetrate the pineal gland and soak subtly into your cranium releasing piping hot serotonin. Like I said, every Super “Heru” needs a theme song.

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In our illusory 21st century post racial “winter in America” it’s cold as a muthafucka and once again we are under siege by a hostile nation of blond blood thirsty polar cave beasts intent on our total destruction. Its wartime and We need our combat hymns. Back in the day we had Curtis Mayfield to help us “keep on pushing”(60’s) then Bob Marley picked up the torch and led us further on our “Exodus” (70’s) followed by Public Enemy who implored us to “fight the power” (80’s).

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Somewhere along the journey , we became content with being fed crumbs from the corners of the mouths of bougeois “spokesniggers” who gorged themselves on Massa’s left overs.

That shits done.  Never y’all mind , the ancestors shall not be mocked much longer. They have sent the muse among us once again with new combat hymns being channeled by brothers like Kendrick Lamar with the remote in his hand.  And this time the revolution will be televised straight to your consciousness without commercial interruption.

Response to “Ho, Sit Down!”

Well, er uh… first of all, I want to state that the tone of the “Ho, Sit Down!” piece could not only be described as direct, but could also be interpreted as somewhat inflammatory.  I mean using phrases like “cash dummies,” and referring to her latest virtual wave shaking release as an “odious stank ho sing along,”… I mean, is that necessary?  Obviously we can identify Mr. MF Jarrett as being somewhat disturbed about a mere pop music poster campaign, harmlessly intended to make some type of vague association with a recognized historical African American leadership symbol during the month of February (which happens to be what we have been allotted as “Black History Month,” while the dominant group politely takes the other eleven).  I believe Ms. Minaj had already come out and stated in response to so much, somehow unanticipated backlash, that she didn’t even come up with it herself; it was just an idea sent to her by an associate (or something of this nature).  I believe she apologized, owned up and recanted.

So I mean, obviously, there seems to be an issue that is still eating at Mr.  Jarrett and several of our community members about what they view as the utter idiocy, the utter audacity, the utter utteracity of this prevalent element in young, Afrocentric, pop culture.  To the point where Mr Jarrett has taken it upon himself, through this Afro Alchemist vehicle, to stand up and unequivocally state, “Ho sit down!!”  Now… I don’t know that this would be the approach that say, recognized communal voices like Bill Cosby, Tom Joyner, Alfred Sharpton, T.D Jakes, Tavis Smiley or a Jesse Jackson would take.  But on the other hand, they probably wouldn’t object to the request if she were to at the very least, momentarily comply… “Ho, sit down!!” 
What I’m getting at, is that while Mr. MF Jarrett’s stance seems to be quite affrontive in nature, there are also quite a few among us (quiet as it shouldn’t be kept) who harbor the same basic sentiment.  But they would never state it in such a fashion.  However, this is all a matter of context and language… or thought coding.  What occurs as shocking expression to some is often just matter of factness to others.  I don’t think Mr. Jarrett meant “Ho, go and meditate,” “Ho, collect yourself,” or “Ho, do a little more research before you open your mouth expressing your thought process.”  I think he just meant simply what he said: “Ho, sit down!”… plain and simple.  Take a class on your glorious, magnificent history and culture, if you find yourself able to (with such an intensely busy schedule).  And there you can easily find a seat to just quietly sit down and learn, absorb.
Or, perhaps he meant symbolically to sit down; as far as poppin’ off at the mouth with subject matter dealing with and requiring cultural and historical intelligence (obviously she has a high Hood drama IQ).  That could have easily been where Kody was taking it.  And perhaps, or should I say obviously, he felt it was time.  I mean this is the thing that I do get, even if I may miss a lot of other stuff periodically; people can only tolerate so much stupidity.  And then it just becomes outright super-ridiculous, ratchet-based retardation.  Are people supposed to just inactively sit in a struggle class, cement ceiling cycled, prime time tabloid network flooded stupor waiting for Frederick Douglas, Marcus Garvey and ML King, Jr. to end up on “Lookin Ass NIgga” remix promos??  Hey yeah, what about throwing Jesus up there?  Then changing the title from “Lookin Ass Nigga,” to “Seein’ Ass NIgga.”  Oh, wait a minute.  But now you’re offended??  Don’t tell me … that’s taking it TOO FAR!!??
Oh, I see how some of your thought codes and programs work.  As long as it was Brotha Malcolm, you would’ve just asked them to turn the music down after 10:30 on a week night?  Well, I think what Mr. Jarrett and others are suggesting is, it’s already gone waaay tooo far!
So, while I must admit I like me some sticky-icky-icky, big hydro-booty Nicki, and the ever slizzippin’ Weezy, along with my boy the ever butter-ballin’ cross-over, Toronto flaggin’, Oy Vey gangsta rap prince, Dreezy (I appreciate all of their creative genius), I also get that their skills extend only as far as a certain limited neurological and pop cultural domain.  Once you get to another level of cultural, spiritual and communal consciousness, they don’t even show up on the radar.  So… it is what it is. Somebody buy them a small case of the autobiography of Malcolm books, just so they can keep a couple with them on the tour bus and their private planes while they travel the world over, rockin’ millions in the crowds to their groundbreaking, mental liberation encoded, 2014 Black History month release – Lookin Ass NIggaaahhhh!!!!

Nicki Minaj: Ho, Sit Down!

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Maybe it’s me, but February 2014 seems to be the wrong month for starting shit with Black folks, particularly this week. See, as I sit and write this on the 21st of February, it’s the 49th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X and six days after the armed racist coward Michael Dunn was slapped on the wrist and subliminally patted on the back by white America for murdering Jordan Davis in cold blood. This symbolic dick slapping of our tear streaked faces comes a mere eight months after we were forced to watch the slow motion post mortem lynching of our loved one Trayvon Martin. And in keeping with the barbaric tradition of extracting maximum pain from its victims, the malevolent hand of white supremacy poured salt into our open psychic wound with viciously timed interview of a smugly triumphant George Zimmerman (an interview conducted by a black man, just in case a drop of piss missed landing directly into our eyes). As I watched boy George’s mealy mouthed, puffy faced visage stare back at me from a flat screened 1080p window into a perverse bizzaro world, I could ‘a swore I heard him say “Whatchu lookin at, lookin’ ass nigga?…don’t ever forget your lives mean less than nothing to us…lookin’ ass nigga…we can, have and shall continue to kill you at will and ain’t a damn thing you can do about it…whatchu’ lookin at, lookin ass nigga?”  Which got me to thinking about our darling Nicky Minaj, and her latest ratchet anthem “Lookin’ Ass Nigga,” with its blasphemous cover art.

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“Aye, yo  Slim! Birdman! Weezy! Y’all need to put your bottom bitch Nicky under pimp arrest, cuz she outta pocket”. That, no doubt, is what Detroit Red would have told the cash money simps just before giving Ms. Minaj a swift, back hand five knuckle pimp salute for disrespecting the sainted image of his higher self, El Hajj Malik Shabazz, commonly known to the 85% as Malcolm X.  You see Cash Dummy…uh…I mean Young Money, the ancestors are still ice grilling your monkey asses for taking the name of Emmitt Till in vain last year. It comes as no surprise that you culturally tone deaf niggas couldn’t or wouldn’t learn from your mistake because here y’all come again in the New Year looking for a new tear to tattoo on your etch-a-sketched faces.

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Weezy, who’s idea was it to send the Bleached Barbie hi-tech hood ratchet on a campaign for some spare change using brother Malcolm’s image to generate controversy in place of publicity for her odious stank ho sing along? Have you no shame my nigga? ….wait, don’t answer that. Naw, it couldn’t have been you. Everybody know you stay waaay too slizzard off that sizzurp to be that Machiavellian.

Nope, the nefarious concept of plastering the image of “our own shining black prince” on a song dissing black men, made by a black woman, timed for release during black history month had to have sprung from deep within wicked core of a mind well versed in sowing seeds of self-hatred in its victims and reaping cash rewards from their creativity. A mind connected to an unseen hand known by its bloody finger prints the world over, infamous for stealing culture, switching the serial numbers and selling it right out from under its creators with a fresh coat of sparkling, pearl white paint.

Hmmm…..I smell the noxious odor of sulfur wafting up from the euro inferno. Behold! Yakub has struck again. Fresh from his workshop in the ninth ring of hell slithers a formerly unknown, skinny, flat-bootied, brown-skinned female rapper with a so-so flow.

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ABRACADABRA!…presto change a ho…there she go: tweaked to twerk with her over inflated Hindenburg of an ass, de-melanated skin and Splenda-frosted, cotton candy colored clown wigs. Meet the Bride of Wankenstein. A Black Barbie pre-programmed to lead a thirsty horde of pussy popping “THOTS” on yet another journey of vapid consumerist stupidity….Ladies and Germs, give a tepid round of applause to Nicky Minaj.

Now I don’t wanna give you the impression that I’m a ho hater. I know they got to eat, so tricks got to treat. Nicki is just doing like Too Short said and trying to “get in where she fit in”. I’m not mad at her for that. Get your money ma. But its 2014 and GAT DAMMIT its time for some non-”blurred’ lines to be clearly drawn around this muthafucka. So from here on out certain aspects of our culture shall remain pristine, inviolate and unsullied by the filthy hands of short-sighted hustlers.  Like Onyx said way back in ’93, “BACDAFUCUP”!!!  Stand clear of Malcolm X.  His image, likeness, words, spirit and memory are one and the same in the hearts of millions of his ideological offspring from Compton to Cuba and must be steadfastly defended against liars, thieves, infidels, harlots and whoremongers. And that goes for anybody from Manning Marable to Nicki Minaj.

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If our brother were with us to have witnessed the birth, blossoming, fruition, co-optation, sale and final destruction of our greatest cultural resource since Jazz, he would have rained down a hell fire of righteous condemnation upon the nappy heads of those responsible. He, no doubt, would have blocked the sale of Hip Hop on the installment plan to the Jimmy Iovines and Edgar Bronfmans by a few brothers out for their own personal gain at the expense of the rest of us. Old beefs would have been set aside and he would’ve drawn upon the teachings of his mentor, that little man from Georgia, The Hon. Elijah Muhammad. Brother Malcolm surely would have told us to remain focused on doing for self and the importance of practicing group economics with our newly mined treasure of furious beats and rhymes.

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Companies like Sugar Hill, Def Jam, Ruthless, Suave House, No Limit, Rap-a-Lot, and Death Row might have remained in our control and the billions they generated would’ve circulated throughout our nationwide hoods many times over, creating jobs, generating incomes, and lifting some of us up high enough to transfer some real wealth inter-generationally down the line the way Jews and Asians do. Slowly and surely we would’ve been better off collectively.  Instead, once again we fell for the okey doke, like monkeys grasping at shiny objects, selling ourselves short for Bentleys, Beamers and Benzes, man-made pink diamonds and Air Jordans by the tractor trailer truck load.

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Yes sir, the O.G. Hustler, Detroit Red would’ve laced our boots up tight with game and helped us avoid a year like 2013 where:

  • Not one black artist reached the top of the Billboard Top 100 chart – a first in its 55 year history.
  • The top spots on the Hip Hop / R&B charts were held by Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, Macklemore and Eminem.
  • Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”, a thinly veiled knock off of Marvin Gaye’s classic, “Got to Give It Up” got played 746,633 times in over 180 radio markets. That’s an average of 2,053 times a day for a whole year.

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That’s right, and the rotten cherry on top of this shit sundae was Kendrick Lamar’s seminal debut masterpiece being shunted to the side at the Grammies in favor of “Wacklemore’s” calculated love letter to the LGBT community….oh, but I forgot, gay is the new black. Ain’t that right, Nicki?

They stole Rock and Roll, but we sold them Hip Hop and R&B. We can’t blame the white man if few avaricious pseudo-goons and artificial Barbie Ratchets sell their birth right for a bag of shekels to the temple money changers. So be it. Painful lesson number 4080 re-learned once again. Do what you do. Your children’s children will have royalty-check sized holes in their pockets; that’s your choice. But keep your greedy hooks off the legacy of Malcolm X. He belongs to us.

…oh, and Nicki, ain’t nobody lookin’ at you…nigga.

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