“Learn the words, you might sing this.”—Chuck D
Ok it’s Jadakiss time. The jaded worker. Damn dude almost got a pass but I’m only a third of the way through with my mission and I gotta touch on things that are stuck in my head. I can’t believe the stunt he pulled at the Hammerstein ballroom show awhile back. I still ain’t over it. Nigga, what is your song? Knock Yourself Out? Why? No! Maybe you don’t have one. And if they don’t have your record you know what you should do. Freestyle! Which means kick one of your pre-written rhymes to no track. Acapulco! You don’t grandstand. It’s not your show!
Then a coupla days later, the Net’s hero Nas fumbles the ball too on some Eric Dickerson shit. Why are you coming to the Apollo if you don’t know the words to “Success”? And why can’t the vocals in the background help you remember? Here’s the thing if you forgot the words why don’t you go back and listen to the record. Relearn it. Especially if you know you need to perform it. Come prepared or stay home.
Oh, they lather in mediocrity. Word to Steve Stoute.
In the ego trip book of rap lists, we named KRS-One the G.O.A.T. and part of why he won the crown back then was his live prowess. Hip-hop started in the park. The live performance. Rocking the mic with the crowd in front of you. Throw your hands in the air like Cowboy said. The bom-digi-bom-di-dang-dang-P-diddy-diddy shit! Today’s MC’s don’t give a flying fuck about tradition. People spend their dough and they want a show. There’s a reason you-know-who’s on top (I’m trying Robbie!). He used to suck live with a bulletproof vest on and now he’s bodied Busta for the title and I’m even gonna trek to Viva land to see him to do his 1-2 thing.
Sidebar: There are exceptions to the rule: Rakim always stunk up the joint live. But he’s at least the Older God. I was at his show at the Ritz when he came out and niggas immediately started lickin’ shots from the balcony (But somehow I believe that had lil to do with his performance. Ha!). Supposedly that night inspired Guru to write “Soliloquy of Chaos.”
I guess the people really want the Benzino bum rush/Nas cover burning true story. Alrighty then.