I love good hip hop.
Granted, I grew up in the suburbs of Connecticut, never slanged rocks or even pimped a single ho, but I can appreciate the wit, flow, bravado, all that… I can dig the greats like Biggie, Nas, Eazy, as well as some young bloods like Kendrick Lamar, Odd Future, Young Thug (perhaps the least creative rap moniker since Black Rob, but I digress).
Lately, however, I find myself increasingly preoccupied with a nagging concern. Every time I hear a new song, I have to ask: Did I just hear a musician confess to five counts of homicide? Because if so, he belongs in jail. – And if not, well… stop lying.
This phenomenon is far from new. Take the old single “Regulate,” in which Warren G’s dice game takes an unfortunate turn, resulting in crooner, Nate Dogg’s decision to “make some bodies turn cold.”
Even Ice Cube, star of Are We There Yet?, once remarked, “When I’m in your neighborhood, you’d better duck, ’cause Ice Cube is crazy as…” Well let’s say that the bumbling movie dad was once crazy as the dickens, and when he felt compelled to grab his “sawed-off,” bodies were apparently “hauled off.” Yet Mr. Cube has never been indicted on murder charges. What happened to the bodies? There’s zero accountability!
Even tunes that don’t reference specific murders can reflect a notion that human life is not of much value. I think back to “big Poppa,” in which Biggie remarks, “You got a gun up in your waist? Please don’t shoot up the place!” To which another gentleman responds, “Why?”
Why indeed, sir! Why would Mr. Smalls specifically request that you not execute your fellow partygoers? For shame.
How many cold cases might be solved by simply listening to rap lyrics? This could be a breakthrough akin to DNA testing! But what about all the witnesses to these violent acts? How have these deeds not come to the attention of law enforcement? I understand that “snitches get stitches,” but this is ridiculous.
Perhaps the truth is even more sinister. What if less popular nonviolent rappers have been framed to take the fall for these crimes? Have others been incarcerated, or even executed? Could this have been the ultimate fate of Chingy and Skee-Lo? Has anyone seen Nelly or Coolio lately?
You can’t have it both ways. You can’t take all the sweet credit for a juicy high-profile cop killing, and at the same time avoid prosecution. How exactly does one go about “splitting” multiple “wigs” without getting gaffled up by the 5-0. Caught slippin, know what I’m sayin’?
If the FBI takes a good listen, we can lock up these monsters, and free the good folks like Chingy to record more carefree and upbeat hits like “Right Thurrr.”
On second thought, maybe rappers stackin’ bodies like Benjamins is the price we all have to pay for entertaining hip hop lyrics.
*Special thanks to Michael Haskins.