This is Lionel Heart, Poison has kindly asked me to do a post on his blog.
If you are a frequent reader like Spectrum I will give you a short brief on who I am. The name is Lionel Heart and the card I play is respect. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Music is my love, literature is my mistress; a good poem, a nice story, a good comic; you get the idea.
This month Poison is working on the “Black History” theme and earlier did a piece on the state of hip-hop; I am going to keep the ball rolling. Let’s also keep with my card of respect. Today as I write this it’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day is the U.S. today they pay homage to one of, if not, the greatest, strongest, most influential person to stop the segregation and mistreatment of coloured people. And on January 20, 2009 Barack Obama will be inaugurated as the first coloured president and all of this could happen because of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We all should respect Dr. King’s actions and his promising words.
Let us stop here and look at the word respect. Definition number 3 on dictionary.com: esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability.
Is it me or is respect handed out a little too easily today in the hip-hop industry. I mean let’s take the guy who sang “This is why I’m hot”, I don’t know his name nor do I give two shits but here is my point this guy said the same thing for 3 minutes and sold a million records, made an album and I don’t care how well it did; but when this track came out, I was wondering what was so good about this guy, all I was hearing was garbage and people were raving. It’s either I’m out dated and my ideals are as dead as chivalry or the world needs to look at where it is placing its respect. Target number 2: Florida. Don’t correct me dammit his name is Florida not “Flo Rida” look at his logo it’s the state of Florida are you people so friggin blind and stupid to not see his lack of originality. You know what I am going out to a record label right now and telling them to put me on a track and call me “Wis Con Sin” I’m not from the state but you get the point. Finally target number 3: 50 Cent. I can hear the boos, the teeth sucking, and all that garbage. He was over since day one, as my grade 8 history teacher put it “50 ain’t shit, you want a respectable ‘rapper’ talk about some old school guys, talk about NWA”. 50 cent has spent the last 6 years producing the same things over and over; people keep buying his records and respecting him. How about you people stop and listen to his lyrics he’s talking about the same thing over and over. I mean a real rapper to respect is Snoop Dogg. Look at his list of charitable causes: 21st Century Leaders, Habitat For Humanity, Live Earth, Mission Australia, Save a Life Foundation, Snoop Youth Football League, The Healing Circle, Whatever It Takes. The media tries to perpetuate Snoop Dogg’s and 50 cent’s negative traits the difference is 50 accepts it and behaves like it’s nothing and keeps it going, Snoop Dogg on the other hand does something different with his personality and music.
Poison asked for an opinion on the state of Hip-hop, my answer is its degenerating; it’s becoming a cancer in the music industry and needs to be corrected. It starts with respect; some of these artists need to earn respect the old way, the hard way, where you produce a string of good tracks not a good track, none of this street cred garbage; I am talking real substance.
I told you my love is music so after you read this go listen to Live your life by T.I. on his album Paper Trail, don’t listen for the beat, listen to lyrics and take this one away “Your values is a disarray, prioritizing horribly. Unhappy with the riches cause you piss-poor morally.” That’s about the hip-hop industry in a nutshell. Entertain us with your thoughts.