Seems like every time I log on to the Internets there’s either pr0n, or a story about two rappers who don’t have any business getting along with one another joining forces. The pr0n I can deal with. Obviously. But the partnerships are a problem.
Remember back when rappers all hated each other’s guts? It was fucking sweet. Things got out of hand there for a minute, when 2Pac and (most importantly) Biggie Smalls both turned up dead, but that was obviously just Suge Knight’s fault. Biggie and 2Pac would probably still be trading barbs back and forth today, via Twitter (can you imagine?), if it wasn’t for that worthless sack of shit. He probably had them both killed, like it says in that Nick Broomfield movie.
Sometimes I wonder if there’s anything in those Nick Broomfield movies that isn’t true. Maybe Courtney Love did kill Kurt Cobain. I find them highly entertaining anyway. (I know at one point someone had uploaded them all to YouTube, but that was a couple of years ago.)
These days, I don’t worry as much about dissing Suge Knight via the Internets, because (a) it isn’t clear to me that Suge Knight has the Internets; (b) these days, you’re more likely to hear about someone fucking Suge Knight up than the opposite; (c) it could be that Suge Knight has genuinely mellowed out in his old age. The last time I heard about him, it was when he stole that guy from the Luniz’ chain, which always struck me as akin to when Tony Soprano beat up that guy who was hired to drive him around after he got shot by Uncle Junior (spoiler alert!). Or it could just be that he’s taking it easy, because he knows he doesn’t have any money for lawyers. What does he do, now that some white woman from Canada owns Death Row? Maybe he sold that chain.
Back when Jay-Z and Nas were beefing with one another, there was this fear that it could lead to a situation like Biggie and 2Pac, where either one or both of them got shot. But that’s just because it took place not too long after the assassinations of our generation’s two great black leaders. The height of that beef took place damn near 10 years ago. Jesus H. Tapdancing Christ! You know what this means, right? Some hella expensive 10th anniversary concert where The Blueprint is made to seem as if it’s on a par with the likes of Illmatic and Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. Just like they did with Reasonable Doubt a few years ago. The Roots will probably be involved. A special edition of of the dead tree version of XXL could already be in the works – unless there’s concern about whether or not it’ll still be around at that point. I pray that it is, mostly (read only) for selfish reasons.
Jay-Z knows better than to ever let a silly rap beef turn into a series of drive by shootings, like in one of those early ’90s-era hood films, as parodied in Swingers. Not only does Jay-Z have the sense not to hang around a Suge Knight. Jay probably doesn’t hang around very many black people period, other than Beyonce – and that’s just because she makes more money than him, and that way he doesn’t have to worry about her trying to take him for half if/when they divorce. He just has to buy her father a few cars. Which is chump change to him. Jay-Z doesn’t get out of bed in the morning for what it takes to buy a few cars. It’s a smart move, if you can handle constantly being around Beyonce. I saw a segment on her on 60 Minutes, and apparently she prays a lot. I wonder if she forces Jay-Z to say a prayer at night before the two of them go to bed together and he curls up next to her gargantuan ass. Does the Illuminati know about this?
But besides Beyonce, Jay-Z has spent the last decade disassociating himself from various black people: cutting Dame Dash out of their joint business ventures, just because it wasn’t clear where he contributed any added value, as if the entire music business isn’t made up of people who don’t know shit about either music or business; dodging calls and emails from people he used to sell drugs with, and pretty much everyone he was ever on a label with except for Memphis Bleek, who’s one of the most dedicated of weed carriers. I know last week Consequence was declared the greatest weed carrier of all time, but I think a case can be made for Memphis Bleek. Has Consequence ever been captured on film offering to bring either Kanye West or Q-Tip a blossoming onion from Outback Steakhouse? It makes sense, if you think about it. Those blossoming onions are good than a motherfucker. They’re supposedly the least healthy thing you can eat in a chain restaurant, even though an onion is ostensibly a vegetable, and I believe it. But otherwise, Jay-Z can’t have too many black people around, embarrassing him, having loud phone conversations about weed while he’s trying to take a picture with Warren Buffett. I used to have to take summer vacations with my uncle’s girlfriend. I know what it’s like.
But there’s a such thing as being a little bit too reasonable for your own good. Case in point, I saw where Jay-Z and Eminem were bringing out 50 Cent and all kinds of people at those ridonkulously expensive concerts at Yankee Stadium (having $200 and not spending it on either drugs or alcohol is not hip-hop, and I was like, Tha fuck? They could have at least said some salty shit about each other on stage. KRS-One used to tour with the Juice Crew, but that didn’t stop him from taking a certain glee in Marley Marl’s crack problem, and Dr. Roxanne Shante being a filthy hoo-er. (It’s amazing how that song continues to reverberate.) The MC battle is part of the essence of hip-hop. It’s what makes rap music interesting (along with the self-aggrandizement and the misogyny). Getting along with people is for suckers. I checked the Internets a few days later, and I saw where 50 Cent was talking about how he and Kanye West might go on tour together. Again, I was shocked. I guess they figure all of the money these days is in touring, and live rap music sucks so bad that they need all of the help they can get. Three years ago, they used beef with one another to land Kanye his best sales week evar, and Fiddy a huge, embarrassing failure that would be considered a success by today’s standards. But that was three years ago. Kanye West obviously has no faith in his ability to sell records, if he’s no longer to good for Twitter, or Saturday Night Live. It’s like he’s going through the archive of his all caps blog entries to find things to kowtow to. Next thing you know he’s gonna be down in Texas clearing brush with George W. Bush.