Friday, June 27, 2008
I see all the hatin that's been going on with Soulja Boy lately. I wrote an article on the topic earlier, since I saw some of the artists I grew up on getting real mad at the brother. I don't blame the brothers for getting upset on this, since Soulja Boy is definitely something different. I can't do the dances, and I don't want to do them. In fact, I would rather you cut off my testicles and feed them to the family dog.
But with that said, I have to hate on myself just a little bit. I grew up hard on West Coast music that we love so much: Ice -T, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, NWA, Spice 1 and Tupac. Is that really what we want our kids listening to? Let's be honest: the music we were bumping to in the 90s was some dangerous sh*t! Brothers got shot on every record, and being in the hip hop game was flat out crazy.
So, if I have a choice between teenagers dancing to punk-ass songs that sound like they were made on an ice cream truck vs. rapping about peeling each other's caps, I would rather our kids be safe and happy. To the OGs in the game: let it go. Times change. At the same time, we have to give the west coast more respect and start letting them have more spins nation-wide. West coast rap has always been, in the words of Ice-T, "The bastard child of hip hop". Well, Cinderella needs to go to the ball too, since the west coast rap game has some serious ballers.
As for Soulja Boy, let that young brother make his money, he was broker than the Ten Commandments last year and now he can provide for his family. Let the kids dance instead of kill each other, we don't want them ending up like Biggie and Pac.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Finance Professor at Syracuse University and author of "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About College". He does regular appearances in national media, including BET, CNN, ESPN and CBS. For more information, please visit http://www.boycewatkins.net/.
I get mixed up in some hip hop beefs every now and then, as I spent a lot of time providing perspective on the beef between Ice Cube, 50 Cent and Oprah Winfrey last year. I speak with a lot of artists when I go to Hot 97 and BET, and I enjoy talking to them about how to manage their money and get their finances straight within an industry that is quick to financially rape black men.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Short note from Dr. Boyce Watkins
I was thinking a little harder on this issue between Ice T and Soulja Boy. One of the things that I have to agree with Ice on is that Soulja Boy's music is commercialized hip hop, not the style that Ice T and others are used to. Ice has to remember, however, that he had his share of haters back in the 80s when he was the first to cuss on a record. Alot of people didn't consider that to be hip hop either.
Secondly, if Soulja Boy's music is empty and commercialized, perhaps Ice T and others should be reminded that it is not the artist that decides what music is gonna get released, it's the executives at the label. Soulja Boy was broke, and he couldn't afford to take a stand for "true hip hop" when he needed to feed his family.
Ice T needs to keep that in mind.