Like a lot you, I was happy when I got the news that Jay-Z and Kanye West would finally be bringing their Watch The Throne Tour to the UK. I’ve been a Jigga fan since I can remember. OK that’s a lie, more like since 1997 – which is a damn long time. And Yeezy has been doing his thing for quite some time now, so the chance of catching these two rap Juggernauts live at the same time, is something most rap fans won’t wanna miss (including myself).
But while I’m excitedly anticipating the show – which will hit London’s 02 Arena on May 20th – I have to admit I was
very slightly disappointed with the lyrical content of the Watch The Throne album . This may sound hypocritical as I casually blast “Otis” loud on my iPod, but as much as I love HOV and ‘Ye, the lyrical content for this record is very questionable. But like a lot of today’s hip-hop music, we tend to over look lyrical content in favour of a nice flow or heavy bass.
This is why I was so happy when Yasiin Bey (formally known as Mos Def) dropped his version of the pairs widley poppular “N–ggas In Paris”, titled “N-ggas In Poorest”, where the Brooklyn native ‘keeps it real’ in a candid, raw, politically charged and some-what controvesial video/song about what’s happening in many parts of society.
I say controversial beacause he constantly echoes the lines “Don’t get caught up in no throne” – which is a clear reference to Jay and Kanye. And even more interesting is the fact that
Mos Def Yasiin is signed to Kanye’s G.O.O.D record label. Awkward!
Not that I’m knocking Mr Carter and West, because I’m genuinly a HUGE fan of them both (HUGE I tell you, Huge), but a lot of mainstream hip-hop lacks purpose with regards to lyrical content. I’m not saying MC’s should become all political on us and start preaching (we damn sure don’t need that), but some of their songs should have more substance. Hip-hop used to be able to really talk to people. Yes we all like those club bangers that can get us on the dance floor, but there’s got to be more. There has to be a limit to how many times you can talk about your new Rolex or that “other other Bentley” you just purchased. Especially in these hard economic times when most of the world is feeling the true brunt of the repercussions of the recession.
To be honest I don”t expect much change in mainstream hip-hop anytime soon – especially if many people (including myself), happily purchase such records reguardles of what we really feel about the lyrical content. Like I said at the beginning, I’m happily waiting for the Watch The Throne show to come across the pond. This is why we have to Salute artists like Yasiin Bey for being bold enough to put out something so real in a genre where ‘really keeping it real’, doesn’t get you the type of recognition and accolades you deserve. “N*ggas in Poorest” may be a little bit too real for some people, but hey, more power to you Yasiin. Hip-hop needs people like you to keep the balance in a very unbalanced genre. And on that note I’m gonna stop my rambling and let you listen to the song. It’s a very powerful message.
RIP Malcolm X