THERE IS NO GENERATIONAL BEEF IN HIP HOP !! JUST TOO MANY GRUMPY OLD MEN!! OGs TEACH > PREACH by DLabrie
This is the official version Revised, Edited and Rewritten from the Original Facebook Article! Ready to use for Educational purposes in classrooms ,courses, workshops, conferences, community centers!! If you want to have us come to to lead a discussion on give more context this topic Email RDVbiz1@gmail.com and we can come present, speak or help organize a training
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Peace✌ I don’t usually write whole articles while on the road overseas, but when i do… I You Tube DJ my own personal medley as i convince myself the topic is worth writing this much about. I truly believe this piece is needed right now for collective perspective. This is an open dialogue I welcome anyone to Tap In rather you agree or not. I do think it’s more productive if you read the whole thing first with an open mind before commenting! This is not about who your fav rapper/ producer is or isn’t,the cliche discussion about the original 4 or 5 elements of Hip Hop which most of know has several different interpretations depending on who you ask!! Nor is this article about biased blanket statements! This is a breakdown of viewpoints. Don’t trip off mine. You decide your own without the smoke screens of rhetoric.
As a Father, Hip Hop Artist, Entrepreneur, Business owner (RonDavoux Records/RDV promo) , Educator/Activist as a part of Hip Hop Congress from a Struggle filled Black Progressive & Revolutionary Mecca like Oakland,CA (Bay Area). I’ve had the pleasure of being involved and around several discussions, movements and action plans within Hip Hop from the Arts, to Activism, To Education! While many intended to be “righteous” and have made real impact, they also at times got repeatedley sidetracked, became stagnant and continued to go in circles for decades. There are still folks in college courses debating Hip Hop vs Rap, The elements, “Real Hip Hop’ and several other myths and Surface Level 1, Remedial concepts. If this is where someones knowledge is of the culture that is cool. But we must understand who are the beginners and who are the experts with the experience to at least guide the journey through this complicated landscape. You don’t ask someone who just started playing violin to teach you how to play like “Ben Ari!” Nothing against fans, spectators and the curious but I believe those of us who have lived learned, created, took from ,gave back to and shaped the culture should be leaders in these formal discussion$ and lend our voice to pushing things forward, not backward!!
I want to speak on the Last few years since there has been a lot of talk about The good ole days of Hip Hop/Rap which many fans and artists who may be mentally stuck in that time frame believe was the conscious, unity, positive, hetero, romantic, drug free hey day ,that WE the people lost to corporate commercial rap, misogyny, funny clothes, gay culture & bling. Simultaneous some of the new era fans and artist speak of these same times as a place full of bitter, played out, and no longer relevant viewpoints. A world where 2pac & Biggie are not the kings, Rakim is not the god, and Mrs. Hill is not the Queen. Some believe in these times Lyricism was overrated, Beats were primitive & Concepts even albums, cds, tapes was the Dinosaur Age. “Old Heads” were too Local minded and were Regionally biased .Budgets were peasant like. Artists worked too hard for too little a pay off, and Did the right thing like fools only to find out they were still not going to get the respect or pay deserved.
The other side of Hip Hop’s bitcoin is the new “trap, rap, melodic, singer/ rapper ,fan friendly, selfish, self destructive, selfie , mixtape, single, digital, pop pills, dress wearing ,syrup sippin, reality tv driven, gay friendly, white washed, do hard drugs, emo , soft ,mumble rap” era of today. This era is often accused by Ogs ,fans and legends of 80s/90s rap world of not respecting the foundation, and veering too far from the original vision of Hip Hop. Some fans/Artists of today say your “Golden era” was no more pure , talented or innovative and no less high , violent, sexual or frivolous than now. Artists like Yaughty say Drake > Pac and laugh at the Thug life ideals and seriousness of our deceased hero, Uzi wont freestyle to the classic Mass Appeal beat by DJ Premiere on Hot 97 in NY, Bars have been proudly replaced w/ YEA & wild Adlibs, Lavar Ball of the L.A Lakers says “Issa” is better than “444” & Nas is not relevant (I disagree w both). Women and Hip Hop wise Cardi, Remy & Nicki (Im a fan of All 3 ) proudly flaunt implant body parts, while competing for the #1 crown in a male dominated arena, which is a vast departure from Queen Latifah’s African hat and MC Lyte /Conscious Daughter’ss (s/o to my good friend CMG ) Hood friendly, down for the block, Black women empowerment messages of the past eras. It’s even different than Missy’s comical shock value, cooky, take me as i am, fun approach!! Then you have Lil Kim getting praised as a legend somewhere in the middle of all those spectrums. The question is who is RIGHT and who is Wrong? Are the OGs just mad they “fell off’ and desperate for some shine & dolla signs? Or are the younger new breed of rappers just plain disrespectful and ungrateful? The simple truth is NEITHER IS TRUE!! Many disguise these debates as Music , Skill , Taste related conversations but truthfully we must look to Sociology to discuss these conflicts and contradictions CULTURALLY in-depth.. There is a huge blind spot most of have based on age, region ,time paradigms , personal preference, analog vs digital mind states, cliche and collective memory. WHAT IS REAL HIP HOP? Lets get Real with examples and go beyond shallow rapper bashing ,bad and boujee ideals and blind heroism.
Waka says Pete Rock can catch the Fade
Let’s Start here with this recent Pete Rock (Mt. Vernon, NY) online disagreement w/ Waka Flocka (Queens,NY/Atlanta,GA). After the back and forth, 21 Savage (Atlanta,GA) interjects with a genius & wise response. 21 questions OG’s actions and motives in a real way. He doesn’t attack or hate on the OG’s music or their legacy but like Waka he seems confused and let down. Which if you look beyond personal bias makes perfect sense, like a Lil Bro telling Big bro damn why you so hard on me. I’m doin’ my best and You aint perfect either!! Sadly many dismissed his call for an explanation as youthful disrespect, based on not liking or knowing his music or the footage of him having sound problems at the Atlanta Hawks game (Go GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS, We got another ring or 3 coming)) See Link here >>>> http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2017/11/21-savage-calls-out-og-rappers/ >>> 21’s comments came on the heels of a Legendary Producer Pete Rock of the Classic MC/DJ and producer Duo “Pete Rock & CL Smooth” took issue with and dropped a harsh response via IG to Waka’s comments about the OG’s and Legends of Hip Hop that bash his generation and the changes in Today’s Hip Hop stating that “Og’s didnt save hip hop properly” and “He feels like the Jay-Z or Nas of his generation” !! You can watch the Videos above but in general Pete Rock said “You are not us and have disgraced hip hop and didn’t follow what the founders created for the next generation. Even though i totally disagree with PR’s approach toward “Educating” or “Checking” Waka Flocka Flame (Queens,NY) Article >>> http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2017/11/pete-rock-calls-out-waka-flocka/ <<<
I grew up on 90’s Hip Hop and as an Artist who has generally loved all eras of Hip Hop (Of course the one i came of age in i loved the most) including this amazing era right now, I have as a surprise to many of my folks who haven’t, found myself evolving past certain cult like beliefs & began questioning my own past mindstate ,allegiance ,loyalty to certain “Golden era” Hip Hop ideals and paradigms! I’ve also been let down several times when meeting, speaking with, working with or being addressed by certain “legends” who i at one point looked up to. Even re-evaluating my opinion of some of the music i lived and died by back in the day. Now with a clear mind i see everything wasn’t what i thought it was and some of the music was just music, an act, fake or partly my imagination. Weallwant to believe in something and this can give us false heroes and bad guys. You can’t fully blame fans and listeners for not knowing all the behind the scenes stories, but fans also cant hold their fave artists and Hip Hop to unrealistic standards just to avoid shattering their own delicate perspective on reality or lack of. So remembering the feeling of being scolded , hated on dissed by several legendary artists on my way up and feeling disrespected. This situation kinda struck a nerve with me and on some non malicious Hip Hop shit got me digging in the You Tube crates for Pete Rock’s catalog. Although i haven’t heard any full Waka albums or mixtapes (along w/ 99% of rap or music nowadays or over a long stretch since my 100% complete music collection back in the day, see for yourself in my Video “On the Unda” posted above) I generally like Waka’s music, respect his activism, leadership and growth in Hip Hop. Rather he is the Nas/Jayz of his era is up for debate but he surely has a right to think so. A lot of his music grew on me and he is a real cool solid dude in person. But Pete rock who with all due respect has kinda been one of the grumpy legends going at a lot of the new guys lately, got me to start Thinking to myself …..Man who do he think he is to say all this shit? How is he speaking for Nas, Krs, Rakim and Jay-Z in Vain as if he is Professor X defending his Super Team. Was he really thaaaaattttt dope. Musically, THE ANSWER IS YES. I mean Q-tip of Tribe shouted him out on a classic track for good reason + PR produced "World is Yours" by NAS from illmatic the best mainstream solo rap album ever in my opinion(and many agree)! There’s a lot of classic songs that were produced by PR that you may not know were by him off the top of your head. You can google his production resume and you’ll want to pay homage for sure!! His work over so many decades may help one understand why he feels need to remind folks of such great accomplishments, drop knowledge on the new guys and even separate himself from those not cut from that cloth. I didn’t even mention all his other group blappers w/ CL like The Creator, Straighten it Out, Mecca & the Soul Brotha, Lots of Lovin!! The list goes on…. But for me personally As far as evolving in Hip Hop to me “Main Ingredient” was him and CL’s best and most mature work. Maybe one of the most slept on Rap albums EVER created !! So once again i feel down the PR rabbit hole….. Fall down with me for a second… Let’s Reminisce
I Re-stumbled on the single “Take you There” which was re-made recently by a new era rapper and i remembered how i had this on cassette (Probably still do) and after hearing a few songs from T.M.I again, i started having flashbacks on how personal this album was to me and how much it influenced my mind and music which i hugely had been taking for granted. I used to play it all the time. Knew it word for word. Bumped it in all types of situations; At school (where this type of rap sound was not hugely popular in Oakland during the rise of West coast “gangster” rap), In huge headphones,In the hood, On my stereo, On the bus, With my girl while with it on “REPEAT”, In the car, When the videos were on MTV, BET (Before VH1 even covered Hip Hop) and upon rediscovery I haven’t stopped playing it while on this Asia tour ever since. Althought it seems hard to image now, but back then I always felt like PR & CL were kind of hard to really categorize as a certain type of Hip Hop. There weren’t as many categories or sub genres then. That was starting to formulate. In the future i eventually became the epitome of hard to define as an artist, they played a part in that. They didn’t have a typical sound or seem like everyone else but still effortlessly felt like pure hip hop. Not too preachy, but Not ignorant. Not too simple, but Not too complicated . Not square, but not too cool. Player, but gentleman. Melodic, but off beat flow. NY but universal. Boom bap but mainstream. Loved but not overly Appreciated. Rugged but smooth. THEY TAUGHT ME A LOT ABOUT PERCEPTION and how to just BE as opposed to trying to BE a certain way as a rapper. It’s better to Just make music, have fun, give effort, say something worth saying from your own point of view. That’s why i was surprised at how PR came at a lot of young rappers. When he made beats for the guy who once said “While my neighbor say we need to be jailed for Racketeering” or “If it’s a $5 rock sold in the park i want a piece!” Turns out CL hood as fuck but early on if i had to process it, i guess I saw him as a conscious, backpacky, black pride kind of LL type (whatever that means) Maybe he is not any of those things, or all of those things. HAHA jokes on me. It was just how i perceived his image at the time. One thing is for sure CL smooth mastered the grown man, hood ,gentleman, hustla, quickly switched pace, rap flow long before Jay-Z blew up. His influence on “Reasonable Doubt Jigga” who Pete Rock named as a pure example of “Drug free” Purely “conscious” Rap is very, very obvious.
PETE ROCK & CL SMOOTH “The Main Ingredient” Playlist (It’s not just the first song “In the House” by itself) click link or Video then it’ll go to all the songs in order) HIGHLY RECOMMENED
Click Link for Playlist https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LE_467XNY4A&list=PLhE1WvstBRm7kjeGj_ie7GNA_BbZsO7DR&index=1
I want to clarify 100%, I love the music from the 90’s era(80’s, 2000s as well). It’s why i became a rapper. Music wise Ive always been a Pete rock and CL fan and T.R.O.Y is prolly a good argument for one of the greatest rap songs ever (Someone pulled a Rich homie uan while honoring this song at Hip Hop honors. Who was that?) . I was shocked to hear of them also having issues with one another at one point. Where CL spoke out as the street guy vs Pete Rock being the music wiz (hey so was Kanye, they were on some Throne shit way before i guess) who needs to be quiet and just supply his beats. I always assumed they w’ere best friends and the same type of people lol. I’m not judging anyone, For clarity as a youngster I was a Hood Hip Hop weirdo, artsy, purest, backpack, elitist long ago and would of been echoing Pete’s every word ignorantly back in the day. For the record I’m not in any way ashamed of or belittling the classic Hip Hop and skill level of rap or the elements of this time. I’m not turning my back on what some call “Underground” or “Boom Bap”. I’m not trying to say I love ALL the new era Rap and Artists MORE, or that i agree with everything in Hip Hop today. Regardless if you listen to this timeless album it’s Defininately a musical and cultural masterpiece, ahead of it’s time and it still is, compared to a lot of music out now. Its a blueprint to success.
DLabrie – Feelin’ Like a Kid (Tribute to Guru(Gangstarr) feat. Bueno(Sacramento), CMG of Conscious Daughters(Oakland), 2Mex &Existereo of Visionaries Crew (L.A)
So who the hell is DLabrie? I’m in no place to oppose Pete Rock or other legends educating newer artists of the history of Hip Hop and giving much needed perspective. I just think it should be done with love, respect, facts and the proper OG leadership. As a man You can’t just jump in a dude grill who has earned his own legend status , about his own views or topic in his own interview and insert stereotypes, scapegoat statements, and non truths into a conversation you frame as being about morality, consciousness, music and honoring the art /legacy and expect to be honored and praised. That is my ONLY issue with it. What he actually chose to say sounded out of touch w/ reality. That is not speaking up for “your era” or “your peers’ in a good way. Speaking like No one did drugs before this new era or in VAIN using 4 cliche N.Y rappers from various eras as THE Golden examples of Hip Hop role-models and purity. Also there’s no real motive to take a disrespectful turn, when he didn’t disrespect you at all even( afterwards )and probably respected him a lot before being attacked by PR. On top of that to connect him to drugs and trends he too is not fully in agreement with. I mean he is an Animal activist for Pete’s sake (No Big Pun intended). A Quick way to lose someones respect is to belittle them or insult their intelligence. If you are going to school a younger artist, have your facts straight or why should they look up to you or your era? Waka is damn near a vet in rap himself by now. This whole new generation is not One artist wrapped in one. It’s not like everyone is just doin “syrup” and “wearing skinny jeans” like “mumbling” idiots. There is a whole list of diverse artists making really good hip hop music now and since the 90s. Every rapper in the 90s was not groundbreaking or some sinless godsend.
Pete Rock & CL Smooth talk about their legacy & message in this Hood classic
Okay on the flip side. Younger artists blaming everything on Rappers before them is also not accurate. No Pete Rock should not OWN Def Jam. Every rapper from the past did not advise, teach or create everything wrong we’re seeing in rap today. Rappers from the past and generations before did not all FAIL all the next generation (Neither did all the elders). In a way they did save it while the current crop of young guys was not even born yet. Despite many obstacles there was a great foundation laid and at some point the baton had to be passed. These statements like all the past rappers were getting punked, scammed, didnt create business opportunities for those coming up, are all bad at business, are all broke, looking for fame and only clever w raps is bullshit. This is youthful arrogance at it’s finest. A lot of these young artists need to understand what a 20-30 year career and timeless NOT hot music/art means. There’s a reason Pete rock & CL will always be relevant. His music as well as many classics from the golden era will live forever and are still paying off from innovative business from decades ago that is being used and taken advantage of today. That is forward thinking that lead hip hop to this powerful position. But Og’s need to learn how to teach, not preach this as gospel as if they personally birthed every rappers career with all the physical labor. The girls/guys after you, worked hard to get in the game and keep things going too or did you forget what that’s like? Still Never forget the Og’s played a part in a lot of the Good (as well as some of the bad) being experienced now. The new era still must take responsibility for their role now. That may involve accepting guidance from the OG’s. We can have the Nicki’s, Cole’s, Yaughty’s, Rapsody’s, Savage’s, Soulja boy’s, Lil b’s , Uzi’s, Cardi’s ,Kdot’s and Migos Now because they may not have all the same stigmas, ceilings, contracts, double standards, obstacles from the past, because others before them blazed those trails, fought those fights, broke those doors down, Shattered those ceilings and gave a vision that has lead to a worldwide multi billion dollar industry, when at one point many quesoned whether hip hop would ever be taken serious or last. It is not the voice of voiceless African folks, Indigenous folks, black folks, brown folks, various cultures around the world, poor folks, women, the streets, the oppressed , leaders, revolutionaries , lgbtq , sesame street, your college professors, u.s presidents and your auntie.
Waka Flocka – Grove Street Party
Seems it would be more productive if PR could’ve hit Mr Flame up privately and said lets build, maybe hit the lab and get this game and history passed on right while LISTENING to what he was really saying and maybe filling in the blanks and then make some art and change together . Too much pride form Og’s can hinder our power to guide properly. Anger and shaming others will never bring unity. OG’s gotta be the bigger man and show they are worthy of respect beyond musical accomplisments. Thats why Waka said “Stop acting like a kid” He was disappointed, as was I . BUT in fairness when social media is involved context can be lost and we can misinterpret the real feeling behind a post or comment. In closing the “Main Ingredient” and much of PR & CL’s catalog remains EPIC and i salute what they have donedid for the game. This album got me through hella hard times. I also go hella dumb when “It’s a Party” or “Drop it to the Flo” Comes on in the Function. If you ever been in my car you know 21 Sav “Bank Acct plays 10 times straight daily!! Just got through slappin that on the road back from SokCho to Seoul!! Now can we get the CL , 21 & Waka, collab w/ Pete Rock on the beat Remix featuring Mr NETW3RK !! I’m down
This is how different Hip Hop generations gotta build for real Unity and not for judgement and disrespect . Can’t share game if you’re placing the blame , on a high horse or making assumptions!! I introduced Percee P to Waka Flocka probably both their first times being in Modesto at Xfest while me and Perc were on Tour !! It was all love!! Aint no generational beef. Just Diff strokes for Diff folks, rap egos, instigating at times clueless fans and outsiders, and lack of REAL communication and understanding between parties. It’s about respect and humbling ones self to hearing another’s point of view!! OG’s gotta approach with Love if they want respect from those following in their footsteps. You cant address someone way less experienced with the same expectations of a peer or elder. No one cares how much you know unless thy know how much you care. I’ll end with a quote from one of my favorite albums from the new era “MAYBE I WASN’T THERRRRRRRE!! >>>
This version is Universal Online Link! https://dlabrie.wordpress.com/2017/11/30/there-is-no-generational-beef-in-hip-hop-just-too-many-grumpy-old-men-ogs-teach-preach-by-dlabrie/?preview_id=6439&preview_nonce=bc1cd8d142&post_format=standard&_thumbnail_id=6440&preview=true
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