Def Ears

Happy Labor Day! I know today isn’t Labor Day but I’m sure one of you is at work reading this right now. Respect. All year long we have been hearing young Rappers clown old heads and old school Rap music and all year long all we’ve done is scream back at the up and coming Rappers about how ignorant they are and how trash their music is. Hip Hop Heads, I’m here to tell you all that our responses are falling on deaf ears. On Friday Lonzo Ball was heard on his family’s reality show “Ball in the Family” saying that “Nas ain’t Hip Hop.” I know right. Lonzo’s comments created a media firestorm within the culture because who doesn’t know that Nas is Hip Hop and will always be. It is saddening to know that there are other young people out there that feel the same way he does about some of Hip Hop’s iconic emcees. When we bark back at young people what are the chances that they will respect us let alone listen to us about anything?!

Lonzo Ball is just like that young kid on the block or that kid at school that thinks they know everything. He’s not alone, that’s what most teenagers think. That’s how you thought as a young person because it’s a basic part of human development. What we need to do is support our favorite “vintage” Hip Hop artists! If we supported Rass Kass or Kool G. Rap when they released their projects. They should get the same promotion and energy as any other younger Rapper. They should probably get more simply because they are who they are! Rappers are sampling songs of Hip Hop and R&B legends but don’t want to feature them on the song simply because they want to keep all the money for themselves. What kind of mess is that?! How selfish is that? In all actuality most Rappers aren’t getting most of the money they’re owed so the label is convincing the artist to hoard the money on their behalf. C’mon son.

No the label won’t give vintage emcees any radio play but who needs radio play in the age of streaming and downloads? If the younger generation had some exposure to emcees like Grandmaster Caz and Jeru the Damaja then they wouldn’t make such uneducated remarks and we wouldn’t have to chastise them when they do. Lil B wouldn’t have to “curse” anyone if they showed a little respect and paid homage to those whom have paid their dues for all of us to enjoy this thing called Rap music and Hip Hop Culture. Gone are the days of Def Jam Recordings, Def Comedy Jam, and Def Poetry. We are in the age of All Def Digital and Def is listed in the Oxford Dictionary. We as the elders of the culture definitely need to teach our young people about the history of the culture but if a dee jay scratches during his set and only old heads can hear it, does it still make a def sound?

Act like you can’t see or hear.” E-40 (Pablo)