The Hip-Hop Witch Project: Don’t Throw Stones in Rap Houses

I apologize in advance for the strangeness drizzled throughout my blog weeks—I’m just not the list-y type, nor one for cheap laughs. What I am partial to, though, is a great story. I’ve written a couple XXLMag.com blogs in the past focused on my favorite storytelling rap songs, of a more provocative variety, tracks such as Jean Grae’s “Taco Day” and Souls of Mischief’s “Anything Can Happen.” (They’re also blogging on XXLMag.com this week).

This fondness for fiction plays a substantial role in the recurring film-meets-hip-hop themes of my blogs here, and today it’s front and center. Truth be told, I’m actually quite pleased that I’m able to work in some abstract things onto a hip-hop website, hopefully connecting them to the culture in some sort of believable way. If not, I’ll just continue to bounce such random ideas in my head and not bother you always-appreciated XXLMag.com readers with my eccentricities in the future.

Maybe…

Today’s left-field topic comes directly from one of my favorite short stories: Shirley Jackson’s chilling piece of ballsy literature, “The Lottery.” First published in the June 26, 1948 issue of The New Yorker, it’s a strikingly unsympathetic look at one small town’s yearly harvest ritual, which revolves around human sacrifice as a means of ensuring a good crop. How it works, see, is that, on the 27th of every June, the village’s citizens all gather around. The head of each family draws a piece of paper, the fam-runner whose paper has a black mark unwittingly sends his family into the lottery’s nightmare round. Each member of the unlucky family picks a paper slip, and then the recipient of the black-marked sheet is pummeled with stones tossed by the townsfolk until he or she is dead and full of rock-issued welts.

Heavy, right?

“The Lottery” is pitch-dark and a quick shot to the gut, yes, but it’s also beautifully written and fearless. The tale cemented Ms. Jackson’s legacy, which didn’t need much solidifying as it were (she’s widely hailed as one of the most influential horror authors of all time for many reasons beyond the greatness of “The Lottery”).

But enough of that here.

Like yesterday’s random The Pharcyde Anvil!: The Story of Anvil lead-in graph, this tribute to “The Lottery” has a XXL-purpose. I swear. It’s right here. And thanks for the patience (if you’re still reading and haven’t drifted off into the Bangers section by now).

Taking the homicidal portion out of the story, of course, I can’t help but wonder how a toned-down hip-hop version of “The Lottery” could play out. This is how my mind works, so take it as you may. The fake set-up could go something like this…

An assembly of crews locked into a photo studio; G-Unit alongside Triple C’s, Young Money next to G.O.O.D. Music. A black box placed in the center of the room, stuffed with one slip of loose-leaf for each attending rapper. The participating superstars—50 Cent, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne and Kanye West—pulling out what they hope isn’t the blackened slip. Weezy’s hand, hypothetically, emerging with the cursed object, forcing F. Baby and his YM comrades to test their individual luck. Nicki Minaj, sadly (and fictionally), losing this lottery; adhering to the rules, her groupmates would have to hurl stones her way, still—lyrically-insulting ones, however, not actual rocks. A Nicki Minaj (or whomever stood in her end-of-the-lottery place) roast of sorts, that she’d have to endure without any chance of retaliation. Hence, a completely one-sided battle.

What would the purpose of this event be? To test the respective crew’s loyalty. Imagine if “The Hip-Hop Lottery” was in existence at the time when Game was just starting to make his angry feelings toward G-Unit known in public. Would the other members of Young Money, Drake not included, reveal any feelings of resentment toward Nicki Minaj’s solo acclaim?

Maybe I’ve watched that great Twilight Zone episode “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street” too many times. I wouldn’t doubt it. But tell me, XXLMag.com heads, am I on to something? Or do I need to lay off the proverbial pipe? —Matt Barone

  • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

    I think you should go one step further and abandon crews altogether. The St. Lunatics? Bravehearts? Disturbing Tha Peace?

    They should catch bricks (like their albums did) straight in the grill.

  • El Tico Loco

    Crews can be good they bring out your competitive nature(iron sharpens iron) but these new type of crews are a bunch of insecure egomaniacs and yes men, that are scared to tell their partners “hey your rhyme’s garbage!” instead is a bunch of enablers.

  • bongolock

    i like this.
    very creative.
    keep it up please. xxl blogging balance is a good thing

  • bongolock

    and i found the lottery

    gonna read it now….thx

    http://www.etni.org.il/literature/lottery/Lottery.htm

  • http://www.jamal7mile.blogspot.com Jamal7Mile

    Hmm… sounds interesting. A little WWF-ish, but still. The TI’s would never go for it though, unless it made them some money. Hip-Hop hasn’t been in our hands to make decisions like that for a long time now. A hybrid-battle setting like this doesn’t sound too profitable. No one benefits from the sure-to-come animosity within the crew either.

  • latino heat

    a little off topic here but did any of ya’ll see that movie, Da Hip-Hop Witch? that shit was horrible.

  • AZ40

    why take out the homicide portion out

  • Gift

    THIS IS AN INTERESTING PIECE. i HONESTLY FEEL LIKE 95 PERCENT OF ALL HIP HOP CREWS WOULD LOSE MULTIPLE MEMBERS THESE DAYS. None of these coon niggas have any loyalty these days. WU-TANG is an exception to the rule, as well as outkast,8ball and mjg, a few others but I’m not bout to name all of them. alot of crews get caught up in bullshit perpetuated by the media, or the “YES” niggas that simply waist space in their entourage. If it came down to it, I bet 95 percent of these “rappers” would snitch wit the quicks. Alot of em would probable be dl brothers too. It ain’t no loyalty too much anymore. It’s just money and drama. real talk

  • Rob Markman

    Hahah Jungle would sell Nas out. Remember that lyric where Nas said something to the effect of my brother is jealous of me. Damn I gotta think about which song that was. lol

    Good post.

    • Worley

      “The Cross” God’s Son album

  • caino

    Good idea , but like pierzy said, a lot of these ‘crews’ are wach anyways!! Apart from the Wu !

    How about a Rapper Roast , get Lisa Lapanelli in to rip these wacksters a new A-hole !!

  • turbanxl

    I know i’m hella late, but here are some words of advice: STOP SMOKING BEFORE YOU BLOG !

    Good blog though!

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