There must be something in the water in Chicago because those cats are outspoken. It’s like someone decided that the mouthiest rappers should all come from one place. What the hell is going on over there?
Exhibit A: The “Fiascogate”: Lupe gets asked to cover a couple Tribe Called Quest songs for the VH1 Hip Hop Honors Show where he proceeds to mess up a couple of the lyrics. He then posts a couple blogs about how he never grew up listening to ATCQ, but did it because Q-tip is his friend and he asked him to do it. He goes on to say that it kinda pisses him off because he has to “pretend” he listened to their albums, when he never really did. He claims Westcoast gangsta rap was what he grew up on. Weird, because pretty much everyone agrees that Lupe Fiasco’s music runs in the same vein as backpack rap, with a style so similar to ATCQ that Q-Tip and VH1 thought it appropriate to ask Lupe if he’d cover their songs during the show.
This triggers a mess of response from the rap community. One from Q-Tip himself:
“All that stuff he said about never listening to a Tribe album before and having no interest in doing so, it doesn’t make sense to me. As I said on the show itself, it was listening to N.W.A’s Straight Outta Compton that inspired us to make [1991's] The Low End Theory, and years later I spoke to Dr. Dre and he told me that hearing The Low End Theory inspired him to make The Chronic. That’s what music does. That’s what artists do, they seek out information of all kinds.”
In a tirade riddled with expletives, West said he should have won the prize for his video â€œTouch The Sky,â€ because it â€œcost a million dollars, Pamela Anderson was in it. I was jumping across canyons.â€ -MSNBC
Don’t get me wrong, Kanye puts out some bumpin’ albums. I listened to The College Dropout on repeat for probably about a month, but damn, that guy talks a lot of shit. Here’s his backstage meltdown. It’s also interesting that he took on the cartoonish gangsta 50 Cent, and challenged him to album-sales duel. More fuel to the fire.
Exhibit C: Shala of Qualo (another Chicago rap group) sits somewhere in the grey area between gangsta and backpack. But even in the middle, there’s room to run your mouth. This guy has enough balls to come-with-it in a CNN interview like blaaaow:
SHALA: What I’m saying is I refer to hos as hos, bitches as bitches, women as women, queens and queens, racist as racist, black men as black men, niggas as niggas. People are — you refer to people as they represent themselves and that is America and that is the world and that’s what people do.
MARTIN: So, if somebody said…
SHALA: So, you’re kind of putting words in my mouth.
In truth, they’re all just trying to keep it gully, mayne. Chicago is blowing up in terms of real talk. Those rappers are loud, but honest. And even if the dialogue isn’t exactly well thought-out, it brings attention to the new things happening in the rap scene. And besides, it’s a free country. You will be heard, Chicago.