C’mon Hip Hop! Do the Right ThingJuly 9th, 2012
In the wake of Chris Brown and Drake’s bottle brawl, it seems like there’s a ton of trouble brewing in hip hop paradise these days. The latest MC to keep the fireworks going is Compton-bred lyricist Game, who proudly videotaped his assault on fellow Cali rapper and nemesis 40 Glocc at a party in L.A. this weekend. While beefing with other MCs is nothing new for the “Pot of Gold” rapper who’s had past physical confrontations with Rass Kass and 50 Cent’s entourage, videotaping and leaking the footage on the web definitely gives the genre a black eye.
As seen in the iPhone footage of the altercation, the behavior displayed might be viewed by many as a step backwards and a testament to the growing number of violent altercations taking place in hip hop. The aforementioned rumble between Breezy and Drake at a NYC nightclub definitely garnered national attention, now it’s not premature to question whether today’s rap climate just seems to be getting more volatile by the month. Houston rapper Trae tha Truth and Crunchy Black (formerly of Three Six Mafia) have both been the victims of shootings within the last three weeks. Even after losing Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur to gun violence almost two decades ago we’re still burying some of our MCs like Slim Dunkin, who was gunned down last December and Lil Phat who was murdered this past June.
This assessment is in no way an indictment of the genre and an attempt to paint the whole lot as an inharmonious bunch, but there are seemingly plenty of squabbles brewing throughout the game. Rap newcomers A$AP Rocky and Space Ghost Purpp have been taking verbal stabs at one another while Young Jeezy and Rick Ross are still on the outs. While we hope these gripes don’t escalate into any violence, we should learn from the past that things can get out hand quite easily.
Maybe I’m jumping the gun a bit and it’s a coincidence that these beefs are taking place around the same time. But I know one thing, we’ve got to do better. The culture can’t afford to head backwards to that place in time where hip hop was demonized by the majority. We should be far along from the early days when anti-hip hop critics used rappers as scapegoats and attributed violence in the urban community to their explicit content. This latest peak in violence only reinforces the arguments made by hip hop naysayers. We need not forget and should be removed from the irreparable damage caused by the 1990s’ East vs. West war that claimed the lives of two of our greatest stars.
We’ve seen and lost enough from that era and, quite frankly, we’ve come too far to ruin all this progress. So as I sit back and watch all this foolishness unfold, I paraphrase a few lines from Sam Jackson’s character in Do the Right Thing, Mister Senor Love Daddy: Everybody straighten up and “time out” before we set the genre way back. “And that’s the double truth, Ruth.”