Monday, January 07, 2008

Baseball Has Steroids, Hip Hop Has Weed

So I was on this GZA/50 Cent beat hoping for a little old school battle to pop off, no such luck apparently. But I did find this blurb on GZA quitting weed and talking about its effect on him:

“I could have done so much more in the past,” he says. “I’d get up, roll a blunt at seven in the morning. If I played chess online, I wanted a blunt. If I read a book, I would smoke a blunt, and then I’m reading the same page like five times.”

While GZA smoking a lot doesn't come as any shock, it does take some luster off one of the legends of the game. GZA was always the hardcore street-intelligence emcee in the Wu, and while he's still a first-ballot hip hop Hall of Famer, somehow I think this news, and specifically his own sense of regret about it, cheapens the value of his catalog a little. It does feel a little like finding one of your fav players was on steroids, in an era when everyone was on steroids.

I also think there are seeds for a real story here. Consider this recent e-snippet I got from TAN3:

By the way, I gotta tell you about a concert I went to this past week - Nas at the Hammerstein. You know I love me some Nas - but this n*gga is ridiculous - he couldn't remember his own lyrics!!! I'll give the full recap later...

I see this as a tipping point for judgment on Nas, cause he's notorious for dropping lyrics -- even skipping lines on Made You Look on the grand public stage of the MTV awards a few years back -- and at this point it's obviously from weed abuse. For hip hop heads, Nas and GZA are in the same school, art via lyricism, and their inability to step their game up to a higher level (neither was able to make an album/big project that matched the genius displayed on an individual song level) might need further examination in light of this weed referendum of sorts.

You take GZA, Nas, and say, Redman. Maybe Meth also. And talk to them about the varying dynamics weed has on their life and art. Presuming their candor on the subject (and at this point their reps are entrenched, and they'd have little to lose), that's gonna be an interesting piece.

Maybe I'll look into it ....

In the meantime, this weed PSA is even funnier if you imagine the dog talking to GZA or Nas.


  1. thepunkguy1/07/2008

    I completely agree with you on this but if you talk to most artists, who condone the use, they will speak of the drug as an enhancer.

    Most will not admit to it ever fucking them up cause they do it so much.

    It's only in the quitting do you realize that smoking a depressant for like ten years straight, can make you feel... depressed, forgetful and vague.


    oh shit, my joint is burning..

  2. personally, i think Nas peaked with Main Source's Live at the BBQ, back when he was Nasty Nas. Once he dropped the Nasty from him name, he started getting wack. Even Illmatic was a disappointment to me.

  3. Anonymous1/07/2008

    ^^ T's just being sensational. No way one can classify Illmatic as a "disappointment" lol

  4. I think if RZA was back on the weed I would have loved 8 Diagrams even more.

  5. Anonymous1/10/2008

    Late to the party-- CP time:

    "Talking 'bout, 'I need a Phillie right before I get loose'

    Poor excuse-- money, please, I get loose off of orange juice..."

  6. neither was able to make an album/big project that matched the genius displayed on an individual song level

    Illmatic is the greatest album in hip hop history. I'm not a big Nas defender like those cats we all know, but come on... if only Illmatic was his second or third album, instead of first, he would be consider the greatest lyricist of all time.

    That aside, I do agree that I'm disappointed in the Gza/50 Cent beef going nowhere. Though, to be fair, the Gza has been consistent throughout ("all I said was 50 ain't got no lyrics" was exactly what he said at the Knitting Room show, which I saw live).

  7. hmm. good post but i believe liquid swords to be a classic.

  8. Anonymous7/02/2010

    baseball: it smacks of cheating. Somehow, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays, to mention just a few, did a fine job without the juice. Are we to have 2 Halls of Fame? One for before the drugs and the other for after? Just a thought.


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