All Articles Tagged "rappers"
As I write these words, I am perusing the internet looking at the goings on of the most recent rap battle between Meek Mill and Drake. Meek finally responded, y’all! Still, Drake seems to be in the lead, even though he has ghost writer allegations being thrown at him left and right. Even Funkmaster Flex jumped into the beef to help Meek out. Rumor has it, Jay Z has been in the background all along, playing the puppet master. Who knows?
One thing I know for sure…I don’t want anyone to grow up to be rappers in my family.
I know: Hip-Hop is a means by which disenfranchised people – particularly people of color – are able to level the lopsided playing field of capitalism. It also gives a voice to those that were otherwise voiceless. Well, I have news for you. We have Twitter for our “voice” and we have considerably more opportunities than back in the old days.
Kids still see rap as some glamorous life, despite the endless horror stories.
I know I wasn’t the most mature dude in my 20’s but your average rapper is 30 going on 13. I mean, seriously. These dudes are beefing’ because one person didn’t tweet about the other’s album, from what I have been told. In my era (what OG’s say), that would have been the last thing somebody battled over. I mean, think about LL Cool J/Canibus or Common/Ice Cube or the biggest Biggie/Pac.
Now those were beefs that were so heated Minister Farrakhan was often on speed dial to end them. They may have been beefin’ over “coasts” and getting shot, but it wasn’t this overly emo-gossipy pettiness.
Moms, your kid (most likely son) is likely to gravitate to rappers. They get attention. Steer them “thataway” please – even if you’re poor. I mentor a couple of kids. One of them is on genius level and very nerdy. The other is uber cool in a way that suggests he should not even be in school. The last one is deep into sports. Guess which one overly-likes Hip-Hop? Now, I am obviously not against rap, but I have to say that if your kid wants to be a rapper, send him to me and I will gladly break down the stats and success rates of your average rapper. Furthermore, I will even tell them how hard the successful rappers do work to maintain such heights. “God I work hard, please don’t envy me,” Jay Z famously rapped.
Most rappers are “struggle rappers” – they work hard at their craft but don’t have the commiserate success…or talent. Other rappers simply go through several extended levels of childhood these days, even if they are successful. So, you might have a 40-year-old man acting like he’s 25 these days. Also, social media is hard on rappers. Meek Mill is only 28, but the memes are so brutal, he’s going to age rapidly in this process of beefing with Drake. He maybe making lots of money, but his self-esteem is bound to take a hit. Poor, grown man.
I’m at the place now where I want to see more kids invest in being engineers, doctors, filmmakers, carpenters, farmers, architects and other nation building professions. Some parents may see that as wishful thinking, but that’s only because they limit their minds and also their kids. “Well, Johnny always could sing and dance better than the rest,” some say. Well, this skill set is learned, just like Indian kids are taught to be doctors at a young age. Asian kids are also told they are extremely intelligent at birth and reared accordingly. Our kids can do that too if we guide them.
Meek and Drake sure are entertaining.
I love it, because its a part of a culture that I hold dear. However, as an OG, I also wish they would step it up and lead again. Push kids back to school. Tell them the truth and give them survival skills. Rappers have never been the most mature lot, but anytime a rap group’s mantra is “Wu Tang is for the children,” we know where they stand in the grand scheme. That is what Hip-Hop used to do. We simply must re-evaluate what is considered cool and raise the expectations for our kids. In this way, rap music is still a reflection of what is going on in our own homes. We just have to change who is looking into the mirror.
Earlier this week, Styles P posted a message to his Instagram page revealing the death of his 20-year old daughter Tai Hing. News outlets followed by reporting the news of her suicide. The Lox member wrote a lengthy message beneath a photo of his daughter outlined with wings and a screen grab from his daughter’s Facebook page. Just a few days before she took her life, Tai posted the photo to let everyone know how close she was with her father, who raised her as his own. She called him her “twin” and admitted she put him through hell and back. Still, she wanted him to know that she loved him and that she was thankful for him.
Tai could have been any one of our daughters and that makes the news of her death even more devastating. I worked with and became close to her aunt Adila back when I was at the Source fifteen years ago. Over the years, I saw Tai a few times. She was one of the sweet little girls around at birthday parties, or work events where our kids would just be hanging out in the office. As the years went by, all of our kids grew up under us. We were juggling our careers in the industry with raising our kids. Time flies, and in the blink of an eye, Tai was an adult. She was creative, enjoyed drawing and loved music. In 2014, she even created the artwork for her dad’s album, Phantom and The Ghost. An obituary explained how she was pursuing a career in nursing and art.
Without getting into any personal details about Tai’s death, her father Styles P shared the family’s loss a month after it happened. I could only imagine how hard that month has been for him, his wife Adjua and their teen-aged son Noah. She died on June 25, just a couple of days before he was scheduled to perform as part of the Bad Boy reunion at the BET Awards. People were wondering why he was missing. But while Jadakiss and Sheik took the stage to perform “All About The Benjamins” with Diddy, Styles was about to lay his daughter to rest.
In his message, Styles told his followers that nothing he’s achieved in his career has amounted to the love of his family. “I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t take this time out to say from the most humbled part of my heart and soul to say to y’all that the dream most of us chase is not, repeat is not, more valuable than the love you get from your family and friends.” He was open and honest about his own life and how losing his brother, father, aunt, grandmother in law, and now his daughter has put it all in perspective. “I rarely speak on my personal issues, and I usually express my pain through music,” he began. “Last month, my wife and I lost a daughter and my son lost a sister.” There are really no words that can express the pain that must be endured when discussing the loss of your child. As a parent, I can’t imagine anything worse.
Despite the difficult message, Styles delivered his words with strength and hope. “Life is short and we are not promised tomorrow,” he said. He signed the post, “love is love.”
Our deepest condolences go out to Styles, his wife Adjua, their son Noah, Adila, her daughter Asia, Tai’s cousin, and the rest of her family and friends. A candlelight vigil is being be held for Tai on Thursday, July 30 at White Plains High School in White Plains, New York. She will truly be missed.
Unfortunately, it is not unusual to read about rappers getting arrested for engaging in criminal activity, but what about getting arrested for pretending to be gangsters in a music video?
That is what happened to an unsigned hype from Jersey City, New Jersey. Sort of. According to reports by All Hip Hop.com and NJ.com, nine members of a New Jersey Bloods gang, who also make up the hip-hop group DFG, were arrested for brandishing a gun while filming their their music video. The video, which is for their first single called “MoneyCello,” was posted about a year ago, but somehow it recently caught the attention of the Jersey City Street Crimes Unit who used the “evidence” to get an arrest warrant for the nine men.
According to published reports, one of the rappers was apprehended while at his full-time non-rap gig at a warehouse. Another was arrested while in bed with his girlfriend. During the raids, which included a search for the YouTube music video, police found small amounts of drugs and other paraphernalia in their homes; however, none of the reports specify if the actual guns (or any guns for that matter) used in the music video were recovered. Still, experts from the Newark Police Department’s Ballistic Lab are certain that the guns used in the video were real and have determined that one of the handguns was either a 9mm or a .380 semi-automatic.
And because of the video, which prior to their arrest had only a couple thousand views, the rap group is looking at a litany of charges, including felony unlawful possession of a handgun.
This is not the first time rappers have been arrested for their stellar performances. Last year in San Francisco, Bayview plainclothes officers raided the set of a rap music video and arrested 20 people on various charges, including suspicion of being a felon in possession of a loaded semi-automatic handgun and suspicion of selling drugs. And in 2014, two rappers out of Pittsburgh were arrested and convicted of intimidating witnesses, making terroristic threats and conspiracy. This all stemmed from a YouTube rap video, which included a lyric that threatened two Pittsburgh police officers who arrested the pair in the past on unrelated gun and drug charges. The song also referenced a cop killer who had gunned down three officers in 2009. The rappers were sentenced to a minimum of two years in prison.
An article from The New York Times entitled “Legal Debate on Using Boastful Rap Lyrics as a Smoking Gun” recently took note of this growing trend in law enforcement. According to the report, in the last two years alone there have been three dozen prosecutions in which rap lyrics were used as either confessions or to help paint an “unsavory picture of a defendant to help establish motive and intent.” As reported by the Times, prosecutors and law enforcement alike see rap lyrics as an important crime fighting tool, however:
“The proliferation of cases has alarmed many scholars and defense lawyers, who say that independent of a defendant’s guilt or innocence, the lyrics are being unfairly used to prejudice judges and juries who have little understanding that, for all its glorification of violence, gangsta rappers are often people who have assumed over-the-top and fictional personas.”
I have to agree with the scholars and defense lawyers. Rappers, particularly those who rap about the streets, are easy prey because they are involved in a profession that requires them to portray violent images and hyper-masculinity. And it really does seem like these law enforcement agencies and prosecutors are exploiting the general public’s–particularly White America’s– ignorance and disdain for hip-hop music to prosecute otherwise difficult cases. Likewise, I am sure there are tons of Hollywood directors being violent gang-related films sitting in their mansions with tons of cocaine and other drugs stuffed up their noses like Tony Montana in Scarface. And yet, I can’t recall a single one of them being targeted for felonies.
The question that comes to mind when I think of this case in New Jersey is how does one determine the authenticity of a gun from a video on YouTube? I know high definition helps to add more resolution to people and things, but it sure as hell doesn’t make them three dimensional. I mean we are talking about law enforcement agencies that can’t always tell the difference between a toy gun and a real gun in the hands of a 12-year-old boy.
But what do folks think? Is this fair or are aspiring rappers being set up by a malicious and opportunistic court system? Leave your comments below.
One misconception about me, is that I have been somehow complicit in rappers acting dumb or worse, actually being dumb.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, I sat on Fox News a few years ago and told then-host John Gibson that I am one of Hip-Hop’s fiercest critics. Why? I know the potential of the most influential genre since the 1960’s and I am convinced that it has been co-opted to mentally direct listeners away from the most powerful weapon young people ever created. So, if you truly follow what I am about then you already know that I have been outspoken for a very long time.
So, now it is Rich Homie Quan’s turn. In a recent song, the Southern rapper spewed some of the most ignorant lyricism seen since…well Rick Ross rapped about date raping somebody. Here is what Quan stated on “I Made It Questionable.”
“I don’t want your ho, just want that cookie from her – she tried to resist so I took it from her. How you gonna tell me no/ you must not know who I am/Even if I’m on the road I see whats goin’ on cause you know I got cameras/ I don’t know no questions but I know the answers/I throw these black fists just like a panther.”
He’s rapping about rape, uh yeah, well past questionable. And, Rich Homie is very clear on what he intends to do should a woman say no.
Another misconception about me: That I don’t prepare my daughter for those people with these thoughts. See, I am not so concerned with the raps, because we can discuss rhymes and imagery. I am more concerned with that kid next door that grew up with both parents, seemingly “normal,” but having these deep, dark, disgusting thoughts. I mean, you have to be sick to even put this sort of material on a song, even if it is technically unreleased.
On top of it all, Quan then proceeds to talk about physically assaulting the woman with the beloved Black Panthers in his mouth. It is no longer my place to try understanding these people, because it requires too much energy. We are living in real time, where there is little room for such catastrophic mistakes. It is my place to protect my daughter and for her to know the character of the people she’s around. However, if you have read my material, you already know this. (READ: Point Blank: I Am My Child’s Bodyguard)
I recently interviewed Rich Homie and we spoke about his son and how he manages his rap star life as a father. He seemed responsible. He seemed like a good dad for where he is at this point in his life. If he’s creating kids that feel like he feels about women, then I have to reconsider. Like most of these rappers and singers, he’s not easy to get at, but I can’t take chances. As far as I am concerned, “a rich homie” could be in any school, next door, in the club, a registered sex offender…WHATEVER.
I bar none.
If you are about raping women, we cannot be cool. Furthermore, you need to be re-educated about what it is to be a man. You need to be re-educated about what it is to be with a woman. You need to be re-educated about what it is to be a human being.
Far too many people are out here lost, like this is what’s good. I would be lying if I told you I knew where such notions originated in this day and age of #BlackLivesMatter. I’d also be lying if I told you such notions haven’t been mentioned before in Hip-Hop. A couple years ago, UpRoxx published 32 lyrics in rap that condoned rape. Unacceptable.
I have always maintained that rap music is a microcosm of that which is going on in the real world. So be it. We know the world is sick.
As a parent, you just have to be ready and get your child ready. Point blank. Hopefully, Rich Homie’s dad pulls him aside and give the 23-year-old a long, serious talk.
These notable rappers who were born rich include the children of fashion and media moguls, former rap stars, Hollywood icons and more.
Notable Rappers Who Were Born Rich
Cam’ron, the lead lyricist of the Dipset crew, got the internet in a major uproar this morning when he made a startling revelation on his own social media.
The Harlem-raised rapper still stomps around his old neighborhood, which resulted in a very inappropriate and strange moment with a 13-year-old. Here is what happened.
Apparently, the 13-year old, who is from Uptown, was under the impression that Cam is her uncle. The girl was told that her mother was the one that made Killa Cam a family member and a generous one at that. As his niece, she had been receiving some sort of money from the rapper, Cam’ron would reveal later.
In a wild twist, Cam took things to another level in the social media realm.
Cam’ron told the girl on Instagram, “I’m not your uncle. I don’t know your grandma, auntie, nothing. Your mom used to suck our ***k back in the day. I came up, so she told you I’m your uncle so I give you $20 – $30 dollars every time I ***king see you.”
The mother is upset at the rapper for good reason
But, Cam’ron apparently doesn’t care. At the beauty salon, he posted another video talking to a woman as she got her hair done.
Woman: “You wrong for saying that to that little girl.”
Cam: “I don’t give a ***k – ***k that man.”
Woman: “Her mother’s pissed.”
Cam’ron: “***k her too. Tell her I’m the earring wearing, gold chain wearing, jet-flying, Bentley driving fly mother f**ker.”
After I posted this on my social media, the response was clear: for Cam’ron to say this to a 13-year old was wrong as racism.
“Brothas need to start ignoring dumb N***AZ like this,” said Sean Barnes, a rapper. “It is time to show REAL MEN doing REAL S**T and making GROWN MAN musik. I have a niece. These dudes are CLOWNZ. REAL MEN stand up and denounce these scumbags…money don’t make you a man.”
The comments under Cam’ron’s post were more varied.
Some of the posts even praised Cam for his honesty and said that it was all the mother’s fault for allegedly having sexual relations with the rapper. Others charged that the act of telling isn’t such a big deal, because girls of that age are either knowledgeable of what goes on sexually or are already doing it themselves.
I could definitely carry on about how wrong Cam was, because I definitely feel he was fouling flagrantly on this one – way out of bounds. I have opted to go another route. I’ll see if he is willing to speak on it to determine what was on his mind, why he went about the revelation in such a public way and if he sees any sort of wrongdoing on his part.
Years ago, I followed Cam’ron, Jim Jones and the whole Dipset crew for my first cover story at The Source magazine and I left all those hours of observation and interviews with the deep impression that these guys are smarter than people give them credit for. I’m not sure what he will say, if anything, but we’ll see.
Note: We’ve chosen not to publish the videos.
Drake is known for putting the most intimate details of his relationships on wax — everyone knows that. If ever you want to get a rundown of the Toronto emcee’s romantic past, all you need to do is run through his music catalog. That’s a no-brainer. In light of the Chris Brown/Karreuche Tran fallout the other day where Breezy accused his lady of having secret meetups with the rapper in T Dot, we decided to run through a few of his alleged conquests. No doubt about it — Drizzy gets busy.
10 Women Drake Dated — Allegedly
It’s extremely depressing reading about these rappers with drug problems, though many of them have overcome their various battles. We wish each and everyone one of them the best of luck!
How High: 15 Rappers With Drug Problems
The 19-year-old son of Rev Run, Diggy Simmons, is a rapper and style trendsetter and somehow when we weren’t looking he grew up to be quite the gorgeous young man! Whoa! You’ll note that he slides easily between tasteful suits to well-coordinated sportswear. He’s got a thang for fly cars and fly threads!
All images courtesy of Instagram
Life Of The Jet Setter: 15 Sensational Diggy Simmons Flicks!
Wow today Diddy turns 45 and Hip-Hop is all grown up for sure! This media mogul has pretty much turned everything he has ever touched into chain linked gold and through it all he has managed to survive the ups and downs, along with a trillion name changes. Take a quick moment to and look at some of his fab life moments spent with his kiddies, fellow entertainers, and his girl Cassie.
All images courtesy of Instagram
Happy Birthday Diddy!: 15 Fly Mogul Flicks