Send your questions/letters to theassimilatednegro [at] gmail [dot] com.
In this edition: is the behavior of Wu Tang's Ghostface Killah representative of a particular artistic lethargy within the hip hop community?
Part 1 HERE
[ed: Two female fans of Ghostface Killah have just seen him walk outside after doing a half-ass bullshitty show. Part 2 picks up here...] So Kyla and I marched over to Ghost' van in our finest hoochie attire and waited while fans passed him mixtapes, and girls gave him kisses. Its only occurred to me now that I didn't say hi or introduce myself or tell him what a big fan I was. All I could ask was why? Why did you stop your gig to start pedaling t-shirts? Do you normally do this? If so, why?
The look on his face was worst than the show that he put on because he knew. He knew he was dead wrong all he could say shocked and dare I say embarrassed was "they told me my time was done". It didn't occur to us at the moment because we were buzzing and errmm verbally assaulting Ghostface Killah! But how could that be true? If he had to go they would have just told him to go, he does an ending song and leaves to a huge applause and then there are people outside selling the merchandise like at a normal gig? How did you stay on stage?
He knew. He knew he was wrong when he asked what was left of the crowd if they wanted more songs. Obviously! Its a gig! We came for the music. Not for a t-shirt or a wristband or a Wu-thong or whatever the fuck your selling. We came to see you. And he knew it. So much so that after we asked our first questions about why the fuck he would do that he went out of his way to find us again and say "yea really they told us it was done so we had to go". But as Kyla said "you didn't go anywhere mate" he stayed right there making sure he got his 20 pound off his shirts.
While walking with Snuff and his peoples to unsuccessfully find food one of Ghost' little hype men came up to us asking if we were at the concert. When Kyla and I clocked who he was it was Round 2! After unsuccessfully trying to get us to his hotel room he brought some more hype men and the DJ and not one of them could defend what they had just done. They had the nerve to ask Kyla, whose father is the bassist for a legendary rock band, if she knew anything about the music industry? When she responded that she grew up in the fucking industry he had the nerve to ask "if we knew what merch was?" No you dick I don't know what merch is. Yes you have figured out our problem for us! Its not that you didn't do your show. Its that we don't understand what this strange thing called "merch" is. If we only understood that then we would find nothing wrong with a legend pedaling t-shirts like his livelihood depended on it.
While living here I have seen Mos Def, Nas, Common, Will Smith (yes Will motherfuckin Smith! if you haven't heard "Summertime" blasted in a London arena you haven't lived) and all of them smashed it, they came to give the people what they paid for. But it brings me much pain and sorrow to say that Ghostface didn't.
People always wanna diss Jay-Z -- as Ghostface did when he was his boss at Def Jam -- about how hes not "real" blah blah blah. Why? Because hes smarter than DMX who has almost surely snorted away every dime he made? Because hes not like T.I. and isn't doing a bid for walking around with more guns than Obamas Secret Service men? What exactly is he guilty of? Investing his money in things that... make him more money? Controlling his image and how is name is used? In my opinion he's never claimed to be anything he's not. His first album is called "Can't Knock the Hustle" an epic solely about HUSTLING! Making money whatever way he knows how. Before it was drugs now he gets it legally.
I bring up Jay-Z not only because of the whole "real" vs. "not-real" thing but also because I have spent chunks of pay-checks to see him live so many times and he always smashes it. The tightest live band, an amazing set list and a desire to want the crowd to be amazed at what they are witnessing. I have seen Nas play more times than a normal person should pay to see anyone, same with Mos Def and The Roots. I cannot think of any scenario in which any of them would just decide they were done playing and then STAY on stage for another half and hour not doing songs but making sure that everybody was in an orderly line to buy a t-shirt. Not even Jay-Z and he is the king of hustling!
Yes what I am saying is the most mainstream commercially successful rapper of our time has more of a soul and more integrity than Ghostface Killah a supposed victim of the industry.
Finally after his on stage flea market Ghost decided to bless us with a few more half ass verses on a few songs. If you ever want to see what Hip Hop on life support looks like, it's not a Souljaboy video. It's Ghostface Killah doing "Cant it All Be so Simple" to an almost empty venue that had only a short time ago been packed out.
So I ask you, TAN, why did Ghostface Killah kill Hip Hop?
images via: chris micro, gor v bear, and