They’re two of the greatest lyricists in hip-hop history.
“Every time I stepped into madness of the crowds, I longed for the wisdom of the loneliness.“— Mehmet Murat Ildan
“Why don’t you write about rap anymore?”
This originally appeared on I Hate JJ Redick on February 3, 2012
“What RZA put together let no man tear asunder.”
I would argue the Wu-Tang Clan the most influential hip-hop collective outside of possibly Run-DMC. It’s more than just music, chess, and karate flicks. It’s a way of life and almost a religion. For proof, look no further than the fact that the makeup, philosophy and history of the Wu-Tang Clan has its own manual and even its own bible.
With his sophomore disc, Ghostface Killah threw the Clan on his back and reached his apotheosis
“Walk with me like Dorothy”
It was over.
In most cases, progress and evolution happen slowly, over a period of time marked by small, incremental changes. Occasionally, however, a seismic shift occurs and a culture transforms overnight.
That is what happened in 1986 when a young man with a voice that sounded like it was from outer space came in the door and changed the game forever with “Eric B. Is President,” the first single from Eric B. & Rakim. The latter half of that duo was still in high school when he introduced a “new era of rhyme style” with complex internal rhymes full of multisyllabic words and a relaxed, composed delivery that was more conversational than shouting.
It was a new day in hip-hop.
There are times when being a musical artist creates a no-win situation. Fickle fans want you to grow, but keep making the same sort of music. They don’t want you to repeat yourself, but quickly become unhappy if the new stuff is too different from what they expected.
“Got me behind the pot again”
The odds were stacked against him.
“Soon as I hold a pen I co-defend the sickest MCs”
August 11, 2009.
I walked into the FYE in the Gallery at Market East in Philly and headed straight for the new releases section. I had already gone digital with my iPod Classic but a new album dropped that day and I wanted an actual physical CD.
I am old enough to remember a time before everything was readily available at all times.
Grieve not that I die young. Is it not well to pass away ere life hath lost its brightness?– Lady Flora Hastings
He was different.
It wasn’t just the $100 Crenshaw mixtape or the Marathon Clothing store or the work he did to quell gang violence and promote his beloved neighborhood’s art and culture.
It was all of that – and so much more.
Ermias Asghedom, known to the rest of us as Nipsey Hussle, was shot and killed at the age of thirty-three in his hometown of Los Angeles. In the days since his shocking death, the phrase that has come up over and over again about the man is, “he was so much more than just rap.”