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Lil Wayne and the state of hip hop

To paraphrase: hip hops been going down hill ever since Biggie died and by now… wow, if you’d told me five years ago, when the Cash Money crew got blown off stage by Eminem, Snoop, and Dre at Summer Jam, Lil Wayne would be the keeper of the faith idda wondered who shot Jay-Z.

Well, success shot Jay-Z and try as he might Hova can’t get out from under the cloud of his success. It’s one thing to own your own plane and sing about it, it’s something else entirely to try and convince an audience you are still one of them when a Presidential candidate quotes “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” on the campaign trail. I mean, we’re not talking bling and pimps no more.

So first he told the truth on “Kingdom Come” and the world fell asleep (and really, can you blame us? name dropping Chris Martin???) and then he used the guise of fiction to go back to the world of “Reasonable Doubt” and sure it was better but it sure wasn’t there. Live was worse, from dropping his pants with Busta on Puffy’s “Victory” tour to blowing up MSG at his retirement concert he has been a phenomenal live act… till now. Boring as hell with Mary J. Blige, I missed him at Meadowlands with Wayne but I haven’t heard good things…

So with the king of hip hop floundering we turned to his children. Well, its 5 years since Cam’ron gave us “Purple Haze” and a decade since “SDE” and if “Get It In Ohio” is what we’ve got to look forward, well it’s not bad but it’s not great. .. Snoop hasn’t done anything much worth caring about since “My Medicine (the only successful interpretation of Snoop’s Johnny Cash jones) ; Big L is long gone; Dre needs to work harder; the new Eminem sounds good so that’s one; the last Common album was the worst sort of sell out; I saw Ludacris open for Outkasts a coupla years ago a nd thoroughly enjoyed it but now? Ugh. What happened to all the promise of Nelly and St. Lunatics (by the way, what happened to Lauryn Hill?)?

I am still feeling Ghostface (and still missing ODB), still loving T.I. and T-Pain; thought Kanye’s “808’s and Heartbreaks” was one of the most moving break up albums out there (he should buy a pencil tie and change his name to Kanye Costello) and I realize this is just a band aid over view but my point isn’t that hip hop is dead but rather that it is going through a lull and Lil Wayne is going for it all. “Carter” was a fine album, “Milli” and “Lollipop” hot pop singles, “Prom Queen” -his rock band single from his upcoming album- works for me and “Hot Revolver” works better and his most recent rap -a guest appearance on Jadakiss latest- is excellent.

So i guess I’ll have to forgive Cash Money and move South….

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