I’m a hip hop fan so what’s happening right now scares me to death! No one is saying anything of value and while this has happened before periodically, there’s always been a movement just beneath the surface somewhere prepared to set things back on track.
Last year, we all totally missed Nas’ sensational Untitled and only paid attention to the shock-value elements of Young Jeezy’s almost equally stellar The Recession as we rushed to pat ourselves on the back and prove ourselves hip by our wholesale endorsement of Weezy’s Tha Carter III. You can’t knock Tha Carter III, though. I was a great album. It was probably third or fourth (behind Rick Ross’ Trilla) or even fifth (behind TI’s Paper Trail) as best hip hop album of the year.
But now that, thanks to Jerry Barrow and the good folks over at The Urban Daily, it can no longer be denied that poor Wayne is spiraling further and further away rational thought, one would think that we could turn to the man that has always seemed to deliver for us in times of need.
Just like Jordan at the end and Ali at the end even Jay-Z’s former haters are starting to cherish him because the thought of hip hop without him is just too bleak. But if the songs that I’ve heard so far off the upcoming Blueprint 3 (“D.O.A.“, “BK Anthem“, “Run This Town“) are any indication, Jay’s almost certainly gonna add to the problem not alleviate it.
Barack Obama’s in the White House and the last thing we need is more navel-gazing rap. I’m not asking Jay to deliver the hip hop What’s Going On (I tried that before, didn’t work) but the thought that a man who has proven himself beyond argument to be the greatest MC to ever do it continuing to rhyme seemingly just to show how nice he is, is akin to Ali getting into the ring way past his prime buoyed by ego alone. Nothing good can come from it.
Maybe it’s us, though. Maybe hip hop fans aren’t yet mature enough to let our stars have 40-year careers like rock fans do. Maybe we’d kill a Bob Dylan if we had one. KRS, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane and LL Cool J are all still alive and even though it’s been rumored that one or more of them still records, I won’t believe that until I hear one of their new songs on the radio.
Think that’ll happen?