Thursday, July 29, 2010

ILLUMINATI TO GODFOLLY: Quick Analysis of Bullshit Lyrics

"Big ballin is my hobby
So much so they think I’m down with the illuminati
my watch do illuminate
my pockets are naughty
but I’m Godbody better ask somebody
I was born a God
I made myself a king
which means I downgraded to a human being
you was born a Goddess I made you my queen
which mean we upgraded to Louis the thirteen"
-Jay-Z (from Usher single, "Hot Toddy")

No, there ain't no use to build on the disgust of the beat. It has the 808 cleavage to pop clock radio speakers and the synth variations to sound classical on ipod headphones. It's hot trash that everyone will be starving to feed their craze with in clubs this very Friday. However, the real build is the way people follow lyrics in Hip Hop. To understand Hip Hop lyrics is the same as following the words and writings of any man. You need to know who they are by studying what they have truly presented over the years. No, we won't travel to Queensbridge to see if Cormega was really pitching on the corner or check Vinnie Paz' gun collection personally. But the details of the lyrics themselves over the years give insight into the validity to the titles they claim and the sincerity most necessary. For some it is consistently simple where the understanding shared in an entire career of verses offer principles and ethics to the making of art as a representation of their actual sincerity and realness.

For Hip Hop music now, the confusion is much greater. As I have self-penned it, we now live in the era of the Pop MC. There are countless new and upcoming rappers that dominate sales with no skill but masquerading gimmicks and superior sales pitches. So Drake goes from Nickelodeon to the streets smoothly with nothing to offer. His album succeeds with a bowing to the weak rappers of the day (Lil Wayne) and quick homage to the MCs of yesteryear (NaS) fooling them as to their relevance to such shit bars. These aren't MCs but rappers. We ain't talking bout this shit.

The Pop MC of the last decade was and still is Jay-Z. He is no rapper packaging gimmicks and the hot style of the day. He uses his actual talent to package himself as a the trend and just as Biggie before him, has given us tablespoons of the hardcore under the table while force feeding us gallons of pop shit. Street talk real. Cars real. Hoes real. Cleverness sure. Charisma sure. Sincerity? Fucking questionable. The Pop MC is a deeper discourse than this simple blog that will be shared yet it must be noted that the consistency of the Pop MC is a manipulative use of skill, their own subtle innovations and the derivative grafting of the greats of the era along with a content that offers only the sprinkling of insight for validity and support of their only principle--success by any means. Jay-Z' most insightful theme of content is ultimately that one must master devlishment in a devilish world. And so I wonder how the fuck is anything he says supposed to be real the way Realness is supposed to be? The way Guru rhymed and Premier makes beats or the way 2Pac sincerely lamented or the way RZA came with the Wu or Doom with his mask or Thirstin Howl with the Lo Lifes. I don't see it but I expect it to be seen by others. This shit is sold and no longer told. Now onto the Toddy lyrics for tots…

Look, if I say, off the lyric, he's God then I'm brainless. If you do then you're his nameless consensus. No, Jay-Z is not in the devil worshipping Illuminati but he has power and influence our people don't have. He also is as American as the worst best in that he has gotten his millions and following minions as a crafty rebel. The excessive denouncing of him being in Illuminati is because that's the buzz on him. Answering it on the Rick Ross track (He said he was amazin' not a mason, bitch) wasn't enough. He has to use the knowledge he has to show depth of insight that is only used for the rude invite back into the underground. The underground is the underlying ethic, complex dialect and deeper spirituality of the streets that bred Hip Hop--The Nation of God and Earth. Actual Fact. Doubt it? Show and prove otherwise and you'll only uncover the true A-Alikes that confirm it from Kool Herc to KRS-One to 9th Wonder. Or do you need media like XXL's news sections and see the grafting in their titles. So with "Hot Toddy" he says he was born God and that he's Godbody. That is the most surefire way to prove that he is not Masonic--claim that you live the truth they keep secret--The Original man is God. There ain't no mystery in the sky.

But Jay is an African American only--better said an American Afroman. Like the best capitalists they self-deprecate themselves with the honesty of dishonor. So he decided to be less than God, a human, so that he can be the ruling King. Adding a trophy piece, a Goddess demoted to Queen, he either upgraded to a bisexual, devilish Kingship of 17th century France that ascended upon the assassination of his father (B.I.G. followed by Jay-Z?) or that they just did all this dumbing down to buy $3,000 bottles of Remy Martin. WTF?!

Enjoy Pop music with MCs, rappers, auto-tune aided R&B singers but don't start listening to the shit like it's Hip Hop. It ain't ever gon fuckin' be.

"And why is it everytime that a multiplatinum artist/always use the underground to make a comeback?/ Is it fair to the hardcore niggaz that rap?"
Redman - "Basically"

"Rap is not pop if you call it that and stop"
- Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest - "Check the Rhime"


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Popa Wu: A 5% Story (NGE Edition) Review

Popa Wu building at classic GZA concert at New York's Knitting Factory in 2007 (Earth Izayaa Allat)

Beyond the musician, the performer and the businessmen vehicling the arts to us are the minds that inspire, direct and re-ground these expressions of art. Hip Hop is often called a culture often narrowing the way of life that produces the expressions it is categorizing. Seeing Hip Hop completely is to see and hear those great minds that are behind the artistic geniuses we admire. With Popa Wu: A 5% Story (NGE Edition), we learn of one of the fathering minds of the Wu-Tang Clan, Hip Hop music’s most powerful cult empire ever. Khalik Kuro, the burgeoning director of the best gritty Wu videos of the last decade from Hell Razah’s “Hood Love” to Darkim Be Allah & 36Zero’s “Change,” naturally offers the story of the Wu elder statesman.

Told in the freewheeling narrative will chosen by Popa Wu himself and directed in a cut/paste fashion of excellent imagery and shot selection we learn of our subject by his naturally engrossing character simply living. Named the NGE Edition, there certainly is a focus on Popa Wu's reality as Freedum Allah of the Nation of God and Earth. As expected of Khalik, he details the roots of Freedum Allah's NGE upbringing well with narrative commentary and audio interview excerpts. With little footage for this backstory, Khalik still ably engages visually with clarifying transcription and excellent photographs of the old times. The greatest attribute to a director like Kuro is that, like the raw street Hip Hop video, he often lets the subject tell their own story. While this method has its faults in probing questions left out, Popa Wu giving a chronology of his Medina/Brooklyn blocks he grew up on and the East New York subway station they ciphered in adds clarity with intrigue about him and the entire Wu-Tang Clan.

The successful portrait of any Hip Hop work is that insightful presentation of realness. As one of the many Gods of the Nation of God and Earth, I personally attest to the ideal representation of Freedum. Building with him years ago with Dasun Allah in a project apartment deep in Mecca/Harlem, his understanding captured on the Cuban Linx and Ironman albums are really his own. They are so profound for the world because it is consistently revelatory to him. When we learn to build an understanding it is by living the knowledge we learn. That wisdom draws out a true revelation of purpose within. It is special to oneself and is shared sincerely. This sincerity is the culture's power and ultimate path to equality shared. On the aforementioned albums to Lord Jamar's 5% LP and the A-Alikes I Eat You Eat album, Popa Wu is dynamically sharing what Freedum has truly seen and lived. As an elder, Khalik captures an incredible build that RZA offers to Popa Wu that starts as a sincere conversation on the plight of the Original peoples of the world and the natural weakness of the Caucasian man that becomes a powerful build on the weakness leading into wickedness. It is the question, "What is a Real Devil?" deeply explored.

While the only pitfall of the dynamic individual is that there are mysterious aspects to his legacy left untold when they are left to tell it. The latter half of the film Khalik shows how chronicling Popa Wu was no easy adventure revealing the rarity of what we have and what we also may be missing. Taught orally and personally, the teachings of the NGE and its brothers and sisters, are deliberately hard to capture through the broad based and insensitive media. Here, Khalik captures the sincerest elder, among the youth, bombing them up when they stumble foolishly and listening intently when they show and prove their best parts. It is no exaggeration to say that Popa Wu's life explored lends insight the Wu-Tang Clan, Hip Hop music and culture, the streets of Brooklyn to Harlem and the deepest thoughts of the Nation of God and Earth. Thus, the Popa Wu Documentary is a vital and necessary film.