“What would Biggie say?” – The State of New York Hip-Hop

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What would Biggie Say

I often wonder what the Notorious B.I.G. (Biggie) thinks about some of the things that take place in the industry today, so I decided to do a  column about what some of his thoughts might include.  No better day to introduce the column then on the birthday of Christopher Wallace.  I mean no disrespect by the column, just a Brooklyn legend’s thoughts transcribed through a Brooklyn man.

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Even though the editorials will be in the voice of Biggie, I can’t profess to know what the thoughts of the Notorious B.I.G. would be today. I never met the man, but from what I know from his music and his legacy I can only assume that these are some of the concerns that would plague his thoughts about Hip-Hop today. Who knows if he’d still be rapping today, but I believe that the only way you’d catch Biggie with a mic, was if it would be for a random guest appearance on certain Bad Boy songs.

…It saddens me as a veteran of this New York Hip-Hop shit to see where the “mecca” stands in the industry. It was over a decade ago when we stood atop the game, dropping countless classics by the likes of myself, Puff, Jay, LL, Nasir, Bus, Meth, Rae, Ghost and that whole crew, Lox, X and them dudes were on the come up, I mean there was a whole squad of us putting out classic shit consistently! What’s on the radio today sends shivers down my back.  The mere fact that every one of those dudes I mentioned is still in the game almost 15 years later is perfectly acceptable, but the fact that none of those dudes has a protege is totally not. While all of them have secured a spot in Hip-Hop’s Hall of Fame, they have all done a terrible job at creating a future for themselves, their companies and their legacy’s.

I can understand that some of them have tried over the past decade, but none of them has put up a strong enough effort. When you look at these areas in the South breaking a new artist almost daily its no surprise they are so successful. But for most of those artists its not an overnight process. Lil’ Wayne, who many are claiming is one of the best to do it now is the product of many years of molding, many years of patience and a whole lot of dedication. His first album dropped just two years after the release of Life After Death, it took him another 10 years to become the star that he is now. Birdman believed in his talent and stuck with it-the gamble paid off. Artists like T.I., Ludacris, Rick Ross, and most of the artists out of Houston (except Scarface and UGK) were supported heavily by other artists in their area and below the Mason Dixon line before they had really come into their own as artists. As many talented artists as there are in the projects of Brooklyn alone, there is no reason why there can’t be a new rapper from New York dropping a new single every week.

The blame has to go on the execs and the top artists. Hate to say it, but Puff has had a few artists he could’ve really helped take to the next level. And Jay, man I remember when they were talking about Bleek being the “new and improved Jay-Z”-their words not mine. Not only did they renege on that promise, but Jay hasn’t been able to boost the career of not one NY artist?! Jay-Z, the undisputed, second best rapper from NY of all time can’t help one little homie out? At least try! Rza, I see you in movies now and shit, but there’s not one rapper out on the Island you can put that W stamp on? Nobody?! Bus? LL? X? I don’t want to hear the excuses, ya’ll not even trying! These young cats grew up to our shit, mastered our style, improved on the flow and added their own new swag to it, but you gonna turn around and act like you can’t put the extra effort to put them on the way someone once put you on. That’s a a hard pill to swallow.
As far as I’m concerned, some of you cats should be dead, because you’re all blessed to be in your position, and if you can’t take the time to give back to where it all started, there’s no point in you even being here. 

 

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