Dukes is a beatsmith, historian and mailman hailing from the south of The Netherlands. He knows more about politics than you and is as nuanced as a brick through you car’s front window. This is his exclusive column for TRU. (the opinions expressed by Dukes are solely those of Dukes and do not represent the TRU board of editors).
I don’t know why and how a lot of people got it into their heads, but I never understood the unwritten rule of “conscious hip-hop” being the superior form of hip-hop. I don’t have a problem with music with a message. My CD collection contains some Dead Prez, Public Enemy and KRS One albums, but I don’t rate them any higher than my Beatnuts albums. Why is rapping about ignorant shit rated as less important? ‘Cause it ain’t uplifting the community? Fuck that. I don’t have a problem with some insight and smart lines on an album, I love those. I love Inspectah Deck’s verse on ‘C.R.E.A.M.,’ but that’s because Method Man and Raekwon give us listeners a 101 in torture on the next track. I wouldn’t care too much about Wu-Tang Clan if all their songs would “kick the truth to the young black youth.” For a better tommorow I just need pussy for free. I need ‘Miss Fat Booty‘ to balance out all the other stuff Mos Def raps about. It’s all about yin and yang, or some other Asian insight adopted by suburban housewives worldwide.
Good hip-hop is like your loud-mouthed uncle. He talks shit all day long, most of it is provocative without being called for, but in between his shoddy arguments there are always some hidden gems. You’ll definitivly have a more interesting day with him than you’d have with your intellectual, politically correct uncle. So I just have more fun hearing that Kuniva spend his advancement on weed and guns than listening to KRS-One preaching about what real hip-hop is. I rather hear Juju talking about being wasted to the extent that his eyes look like Ho Chi Minh’s than listening about the good ol’ Illuminati by someone who discovered Youtube last week. I like to hear Prodigy talking about how he gets his guns in the club even after they frisked him, ’cause ‘they know P ain’t shooting unless you force him’. That shit is entertaining to me. If I’d like preaching I would be a better Catholic than I currently am and visit the Church on other occasions than just funerals. I can read and think for myself, so why would I want to listen to some high school drop out give me his interpretation of some books he poses with for his album cover, that he probably only read summaries of written by a guy who in fact did finish high school? Fuck what ya heard, nobody is going to give you a decent summary of a couple of hundreds of well researched pages within sixteen bars. A glimpse of light is all that’s attainable. So why should I be bothered to listen to it when I can read the full story? I love my music to be entertaining and my books to be smart, not the other way around.
Chuck D once called hip-hop the black CNN. That may be the case, but I don’t even mess with the white CNN. I’d rather read some Eric Hobsbawm while hearing Roc Marciano making statements about tax evasion than bumping the latest Dead Prez Black Power work-out anthem. Knowledge God.