A little while back I stumbled on this old 90s song, "Verbal Murder 2" featuring NORE, Big Pun (RIP), and Common. Off Pete Rock's Soul Survivor album. The Common verse, which I've clipped and posted here, has always been one of my favorites.
I like to talk about the intellectual DNA still embedded in hip hop lyrics that we need to recover, and this verse is a good example. The Common line I quote above gets right to the heart of some recent Bill Maher "real Black President" backlash. What Maher wants to say, and has said before, is that he wants his President to do the knowledge, but don't lose that thug sensibility, because Thugism is not all bad. Common nails the sentiment with room to spare should he choose to tweet it out.
"this stud bumped into me, beef there was 'fin to be, my appetite for destruction is finicky..."
Swap "BP CEO's" for "stud", and Obama doesn't even need to hold a press conference to share his state of mind.
Another awesome line is "he spiked his punchlines with current events". This is a nod to old school rhyme ciphers, where you got no points if you said something like, "i tear your ass down like the berlin wall" right after it happened for the name recognition of it (if you made it witty, all good). Or less dated, "I make the ladies go gaga". nah, son. don't go spiking your punchlines with current events.
Of course, if you think about the state of the news-aggregating blogosphere, most of them are just spiking their punchlines with current events. Headlines being the punchlines in a link-don't-tell culture. So, you see, Hip Hop had a sense of integrity about page views and SEO before the internet even existed (in a popular, functional sense). That's why I like to tout blogging as the new rapping whenever I can. Cause just like all the real bloggers out there, and real rappers, and Common in this verse,
"I can't take this fake shit ..."
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