Sean Price Teaching Future Rappers the Price of FameJuly 17th, 2012
On Wu-Tang Clan’s 1993 “Protect Ya Neck” classic smash, the RZA screamed and warned the world that his crew wasn’t nothing to f*ck with. Now almost 20 years later rap veteran Sean Price is shouting out the same sentiments, but unlike Bobby Digital he’s schooling a bunch of would-be MCs, making sure that they know that the hip hop game ain’t nothing to be f*cked with.
Teaming up with Red Bull to open a rap clinic, a hip hop 101 course if you will, mainly based around teaching MC repertoire and seemingly dedicated to discouraging admiring hip hop fans who would dare attempt to take on the rapper title and disgrace the art form. While Price obviously holds hip hop in the same regards as fellow rap vet Ice-T, who recently released a documentary aimed at educating aspiring lyricists, Something From Nothing: The Art Of Rap, and only time will tell whose method is more effective.
Advances in technology have enabled some new artists to function and become commercially successful without learning about the architects who laid the groundwork before them. I doubt few of today’s burgeoning rap stars know the impact Afrika Bambaataa and Kool Herc had on the culture. Engineering software like Fruit Loops and others have helped both artists and producers advance without focusing on the origins of rap. This could be the reason for the oversaturation of one particular style or technique, like auto-tune, which Jay-Z shunned on his 2009 single “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune ).”
But just like Hov received some praise and hate for his denouncement of the voice alteration style, I’m sure there were some young talents who were turned off by the idea of connecting with a seasoned artists to learn more. Sean Price’s aggressive approach may do more harm than good for clinic patients who are undoubtedly wet behind the ears. Both Sean Price and Ice-T are passionate in their tutorials, but extra heavy on the tough love. Although their intentions might derive from a great place which is to propel the culture, skipping the key step of trying to relate to a younger generation before lecturing might be a fatal misstep in the lesson plan.
Something tells me that a young upstart rapper may grasp the concept better from Professor Ice’s film opposed to Sean P’s rap boot camp, which may frighten him back to his day job. But for argument’s sake I could definitely see some more strong-willed future stars thriving in Price’s harsh accelerated course. Two respected MCs, one with a subtle and complex approach and the other with an aggressive and tenacious tactic, are aiming to teach the next generation of stars where the genre evolved. While their efforts must be commended, they can’t forget that a mutual respect has to be reached before anything is learned or taught.