This song has been getting insane burn since it first leaked and now that the untagged version is here, it’ll probably get even more.
Aside from just being a dope track, it really did inspire some profound thoughts.
The other day, I caught quite a bit of flack for throwing darts at Plies and basically calling him undeserving.
The argument, summized by the big homie K. Strick was simple:
as in journalism, just because you know every word in the dictionary doesn’t mean you have to use ‘em all. like gotty says, “learn to say more with less.” that’s what plies does.
everybody ain’t got to be super-lyrical… some niggaz will strike a chord on pure emotion. and that makes for good music too. shit, i can’t stand a lot of these eggheads rappin about the size of their cerebral cortex & flying thru space & shit. i think when plies does straight street shit/reality rap, he’s respectable. and his beats are tight.
There has also been due praise given to Plies for remaining successful. The same has been said for his fellow Floridian Rick Ross, and several other brothers, past & present; where their skill level is supposedly substituted for by their realness.
I can understand why a younger Jeezy would rap the way he did. I even excuse the young Jay-z and T.I for willingly glorifying pimping, “trapping” and “hustling” and the mentality that Rap is just a way out of the ghetto.
However, with Jay, Jeez, and Tip, we’ve seen growth; maturation in subject matter if not in skill. They weren’t purebred artists and entertainers, like say Nas or Luda, but even the man who coined the phrase “I’m not a rapper, just a hustler who can rap good” now “does it for Hip-Hop”.
Our generation is littered with Plies’, Rick Rosses, 50 Cents, Waynes and others. These aren’t young minds coming into the game, and in some cases, they aren’t even hungry anymore, per se. They aren’t uneducated, 2 of the aforementioned have college degrees, and 3 of them are over 30 years in age and more than 3 albums in.
They willingly, not only sell out by putting out “Lollipop’s” and “Candy Shops”, or “Bust it Baby’s” (which, isn’t thoroughly condemnable in controlled quantities), not only promote violence/misogyny and other negative traits, but then they turn right around and hide a gem or two of truth and realness in their album, to “keep it real”.
If you hear your folks say ‘Hip-Hop glorifies violence’, this is why. When an emcee systematically programs his/her audience to admire what they represent: the ice, the women, the cars; and then turns right around and tell them “I’m the hardest in these streets. The ghetto is a terrible place. I love my hood. I’m the best rapper alive.” The audience eats the whole meal, they don’t digest it separately.
Which is why when you drive through high schools in suburbs and otherwise good neighborhoods, you find your Lil’ Wayne fan more prone to attempt gangbanging than to start a charity for Katrina victims.
I don’t really care if Plies talks shit to women all through his life and probably wouldn’t be bothered if he punched unsuspecting babies in their throats when nobody was watching. But when he gets on that stage, or behind that mic or camera, I will criticize his every word or action. Moreso, his impact.
Same goes for any other rapper. It’s their jobs to either be entertainers, to represent the people, and be the voices of the hood, the spokespeople for the youth. It’s also their job to represent our culture and it’s our job to keep them in check, TSS writer or not.
For that reason, I’ll gladly catch the flack for not cutting them any slack. For as long as the majority of your influence is negative, don’t point at the overlooked songs put out and use those as a scapegoat to put out more BS. Shift the spotlight. Otherwise you’re piggybacking off my struggle and that is downright disrespectful to me, mines and the culture we represent.
I don’t know why your favorite rapper does what they do, but me….