In case y’all haven’t been following Hip Hop’s Clash of the Generations…
Ice-T: “Souljah Boy single-handedly killed Hip Hop.”
Souljah Boy responds:
Kanye chimes in:
“Soulja boy is fresh ass hell and is actually the true meaning of what hip hop is sposed to be. He came from the hood, made his own beats, made up a new saying, new sound and a new dance with one song. He had all of America rapping this summer. If that ain’t Hip Hop then what is? A bunch of wannabe keep it real rappers that ain’t even relevant, recycling samples trying to act like it’s 96 again and all they do is hate on new shit? *****s always talk about the golden age but for a 13 year old kid, this is the golden age!!! That song was so dope cause everything he said had a hidden meaning… that’s Nas level shit… he just put it over some steel drums which is also some Nas shit if you had the 2nd album cassette with the bonus track “Silent Murder” on it. In closing… new *****s get ya money$$$$$$$$$$ Keep this shit fresh and original…. ain’t no fuckin’ rules to this shit and that’s what real hip hop is to me”
Last night, I was talking to Timid about this before the show, and we agreed that Souljah Boy got the better of Ice (this was before he issued the apology). I’ve met Ice-T before, and he showed me love and gave me some positive career advice. He’s a legend in Hip Hop and I have nothing but respect for him. But he sounded like a bitter old man in that first clip, and was out of line for telling a 17 year-old boy to “eat a dick.” I agree with most of what Kanye said, although comparing Souljah Boy’s lyricism to Nas’ is almost as insulting as, well, being told to eat a dick. It’s not exactly hard to decipher the double meaning behind “Superman dat hoe” but at the same time it’s funny/sad that young girls across America were singing along, completely oblivious to what it meant. I don’t know if that’s a testament to Souljah Boy’s brilliance as much as it is America’s stupidity, however the point stands that the kid hustled his way into the game and should be commended for that. The reason Souljah Boy won with his response (sophomoric gripes aside) was that he 1) didn’t try to rap, and 2) challenged Ice to stop complaining about Hip Hop and do something positive with his time. There’s really not much of a better defense than “so give me some pointers” when being told by an elder that you suck. At least the kid has perspective.
Now, Ice’s “apology” video changed the dynamic of the situation. Having his 16 year-old son repeat the eat a dick line at the end renders the apology itself useless, but the rest of what he said is hard to dispute. As a true artist, and someone who holds the artform of Hip Hop so close to my heart, how could I NOT fight the battle of trying to bring lyrics back into prominence? Every time I write a verse, I’m fighting that battle. I think that’s the underlying point here. It’s easy to sit back and say “XYZ killed Hip Hop” but what good does that do? Shouldn’t we focus our energy on “saving” it by doing positive things instead? When so-called activists march in front of record labels complaining that they’re only putting out “negative” artists, they aren’t helping matters any. Why not march in favor of a good artist? March for me. And someone should sit down with Souljah Boy and teach him how to write a rhyme. He may be garbage, but he wants to learn how to do better. That’s more than we can say for most people.