Rap wouldn’t be rap if there weren’t the tried and true tradition of snacking on another’s style. It’s been around since the dawn of hip hop time, from Kool Herc using breaks of classic records, all the way down to Drake sampling Coldplay on “Congratulations,” and beyond. Everybody steals: it’s how hip hop works. And the really good thieves end up as high-ranking executives at labels and such. Oh hai Lyor Cohen.

If stealing is about as commonplace as an “Internets model [1],” why are people still up in arms about it? The item du jour of this week is how former underling Peedi Crakk is accusing his former weed owner Jay-Z of swacking his flow from his former running mate Young Chris. Okay, and? Whether he stole it or not (and I’m sure most of the cyber-conglomerati will agree that he did) will that make his retirement portfolio drop in value? Will his supposed pilfering make the oh-so-important street cred that less plausible? Do you think he even cares at this point? The guy is 40 years old, banging a cola bottle shaped, caramel colored, extremely rich, fellow Mason member every couple months to sustain his life force and eating cheese from a country that was probably bombed to high hell decades ago. Why the fuck would he care about “street cred” when his socks cost more than our entire wardrobes? The word “sale” doesn’t even exist in his lexicon. I’m just saying.

It doesn’t stay in rap, either. Hell, Michael Jackson swacked The Beatles’ catalog almost 30 years ago, and he dam near took it with him to his grave. Shit, each time you even think of a Beatles song Michael is getting paid, and he’s not even around to spend it on things like expensive monkey juice pushed off by your favorite rapper (shout out to Ludacris for sending me a bottle of Conjure).

Musical vampirism exists. It’s been around since before we were born, and it’s going to exist far past our deaths. The ones that still care to complain about it are the same ones wishing for a “return of the real,” when the real hasn’t been entirely real to begin with. Once more people understand that, then the entire rapster community can progress further. How? I don’t know. Perhaps less animosity towards others, so when we clown someone like Rick Ross we’re actually clowning his lazy, wonky eye instead of his past life as a stand-in for Carl Winslow.

Think like this: you can’t eat without biting.

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[1] Let’s keep it real: if you get butt-ass naked online, you’re nothing more than a cyber-stripper, and you save us degenerates the time and money of going to an actual strip club and partake in some nudie spelunking. Not that I mind that at all, ladies.