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Brown Sugar w/Angie C …Don’t Forget…

16 December 2010 Brown Sugar

Don’t Forget About Me!  A look at modern Diss & Response (Answer) Records

Soooooooooo apparently 2010 is going out with a bang or at least a buzz. It seems that artists with no material out to speak of and no project on the horizon are responding to relevant artists and apparently the people care.  Me, not so much but it does remind me of rap battles and diss records that I did care about.  After the oohs, ahhhs, and oh shits, a diss record is basically made for two reasons. First, when there is an artist that you just cannot stand, whose very presence makes you cringe, you talk shit about them.  And since you’re an emcee you record it lol.  Sometimes to the attention these so called artists get is maddening, so you write down a few thoughts and take a few shots at them to get it off your chest. That’s one kind of diss record. Then you have the 2nd reason they are created, ‘shine blocking’. Shine blocking is basically being extra to take the focus off of someone else.  Here is where out of work artists come in. So you have no project on shelves or on radio? And you have nothing really going on? Why not find a relevant artist and right a response or a diss record about them.  But recent response/answer records seem to also be about older artist not wanting to be left out. It’s like they’re screaming “hey don’t forget about me”. Enter “MC” Hammer (I use the title MC loosely) and Lil Kim who recently reentered our collective minds when they each put out records aimed at Jay Z and Nikki Minaj respectively.  Both artists were “called out”, but in a way that they could have easily let slide. If in fact you are so respected and had a great career then why not ignore these comments. In the case of Hammer we all wish he had! In my opinion the Hammer/Jay situation was essentially Hammer being a shine blocker. Jay briefly mentioned some bankruptcy comments (which are common knowledge and an understood joke) and here comes Hammer tweeting, recording a song AND video.  Sir please sit down somewhere and do whatever you were doing before. We do not care. Needless to say the song and the video were WACK. 5 minutes of my life I want back. And now a few weeks later he’s scurried back into obscurity and Jay Z is still doing Jay Z. Nikki Minaj and Lil Kim represent a more complicated version of the diss/response record saga.  It’s classic Queens vs. Brooklyn beef just not as dope. While it’s clear that Kim is being a shine blocker. It also appears she also took offense at not being thanked for “blazing” the trail for raunchy r&b styled rap. So she crafted (w/ or w/out assistance lol) a great response to Minaj’s Roman’s Revenge that she aptly titled Black Friday the opposite of Minaj’s Pink Friday.  Now Kim’s record has other female artists and emcees interested in making albums, releasing statements & creating response records to Nikki. This could be great for Nikki’s sales and for female hip hop but it also shows the lack of support for the next generation. But if Minaj represents the future of females in hip hop maybe we should all be concerned. And if these two “battles” represent the future of diss/response records then we need to dust off the Roxanne Shante vs. BDP/UTFO and KRS1 vs. Juice Crew records because apparently it gets no better than those classics.

-Angie C

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  1. NR Hunt   On   December 16, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Thank You Angie for telling it like it is. I read all of your articles and found them very true and to the point. Very good reads. Keep up the good work. Lil Kim truly is shine blocking. Even though Nicki Minaj did an awesome job on Roman’s Revenge with Eminem, Black Friday was truly a very good response. Sadly, even though Lil Kim’s song was almost like the “ETHER” to Jay Z’s “Takeover,” The interview where Nicki Minaj responds to the beef in her telling the truth to what happened carries more weight in my heart. It was polite, honest, and the sarcasm was entertaining. On the male side concerning MC Hammer, well that was just hilarious. I honestly had to keep myself from laughing when I saw the guy getting baptized in the end of the video. Lloyd Banks did an interview and made it clear he wasn’t going to respond on whether he liked MC Hammer’s songs because he said “I don’t wanna get baptized in his next video” lol. Even to hear Jay Z respond in an interview when he chuckled and said, parphrased of course, ” I didn’t know that that information was on the do not talk about list” lol. Too funny. Jay Z jokingly admits that he will never battle MC Hammer. To think Jay Z, with such a platform and success record, would battle an emcee with a dated style is hilarious and seemingly too funny. Also I personally believe that even though MC Hammer was attacking the allegations against Jay Z and devil worship, as a Christian, we aren’t supposed to act that way. The Bible tells us to act in love. That was publically a let down, a mockery to Christians everywhere, and also another reason why non christians will not turn an ear in the direction to what Christians have to say regarding their faith and belief system. Thanks again Angie/ BROWN SUGAR for your interesting articles and I will truly stay tuned for more from you.

  2. J.lewis   On   May 12, 2011 at 3:23 am

    Wooooow! I knew of the minaj/Kim beef but I had no idea that MC hammerhad tried to come against Jay!!!! He was really trying to find a way to get back into the light, everyone and their parents has joked or used Hammer as the poster child of bankruptcy…c’mon Hammer!!! Angie you have done a fantastic job highlighting and differentiating between the two motives…both I believe were ways for the past artist to be seen and heard with hopes of them becoming relevant once again…well written Angie C.

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