On the new supposed expose of Rick Ross as an ex Correctional Officer, my first reaction was “so what?” Then I remembered what type of society I live in and I also start thinking of our trends. There is a specific term for it but it’s basically when you build someone up and worship them for making it, then slowly trying to tear them down so you can watch how fast they crash and burn. Let’s call it the “Britney Spears” treatment. America is good at that, I won’t bore you with the numerous celebrities who have been burnt at the stake but it shouldn’t be hard to remember them.
Being successful basically comes with a whole host of losers privately hoping you will fail. They act nice enough but when you fail they want to be the first to say “I told you so” or “I knew he was a fake”. So anyway lets get back on topic, there was a time when I used to watch rap videos, hell I remember me and my homeboy Patrick at age 13 trying to dance like Big Daddy Kane. Of course that was the old school and things evolved, I stuck with it. When the West Coast scene was big I was there listening to Spice One, when the South started to shine I had my Outkast and Ghetto Boys but it was always about the sound. As kids we emulated the artists and dressed like em… yes some of you are guilty of wearing Hammer pants, and yes some of you black folks were jocking Vanilla Ice hard. I won’t call anyone out but I remember the ones who have selective memory about it now. But at the end of the day it was about the music.
Having removed the mind-control device aka the radio from my car and keeping my sound strictly limited to the CDs I choose. I’ve grown less tolerant for certain things. I feel detached because some little songs that people swear by is just impossible for me to fathom it as music. When I talk to the kids about it they will say “oh he’s cool”, or “he did alot of dirt as a kid”, leading me to ask “no I’m asking you about his music”. It seems that MTV’s move to being 100% reality tv is as musical as anything else because it reflects our new standards. It’s all about history and looks but very little is placed on the actual music but whatever, at the risk of sounding like a bitter old man I say it is what it is.
That being said though, why are we upset when people create bogus backgrounds in order to sell their craft? Akon now Rick Ross has been shot by the Smoking Gun for not being what they rap/sing about but we can arguably say these are both talented individuals. We crucified Milli Vanilli back in the day for lip synching aka selling an image over talent to the masses, yet in this day and age I doubt they would ever be revealed. Somewhere along the lines our values flipped and that is why people like myself (who legitimately love music) have to look across the water to the UK (and to Canada) to find true music. Hip Hop being enormously American is reduced to good emcees either playing the game (taking on the rags to riches druglord facade) or keeping it real and relatively unknown (to many artists to list here). So we all know its a game, drug lords and gangsters don’t go bragging about their crimes on records. The kids who want/need money for rapping and watch the same movies I do rap about it.
I don’t listen to Lil’ Wayne but if he claims to be a killer I would laugh at it being that he has been in the music game professionally since the years where he probably collected Pokemon. So how is Rick Ross a bad guy for having a legitimate job at one time. It is up to us listeners to stop the facade if you really care. What I find funny is the same listeners who bitch about a guy having a false criminal rap and calling them out on youtube etc. are the same people who are not buying their albums, not buying their MP3’s, not buying their ringtones but are the loudest majority. They are so loud that the industry continues to cater to these internet thugs and perpetuating the cocaine to riches lifestyle of every rapper. I listen to alot of the supposed gangster/d-boy raps and alot of them are well done and catchy. I’ve purchased Jay-Z’s last two albums and I have Rick Ross’s Port of Miami and Trilla. As an entrepreneur the lyrics help me and I know it sounds odd but it does. The basic message is go at it hard until you succeed, that’s all, now you throw in a metaphor for “it” and it can be cocaine, web-design, fashion creating whatever, but drugs is the big fad in rap so they rap about being junior Tony Montanas. Do you blame them? Or do you subscribe to the facade?
At the end of the day it’s music, I love Amy Winehouse’s two albums Frank and Back to Black but ask me an update about her life and I’ll tell you three things “don’t know, don’t care, just want her to keep making music”. Our “Reality TV” culture has got to stop at some point because it makes people like me sick. Start living your own lives and stop worrying about who really sold crack to be rich and who didn’t.See some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.