To fully understand this battle you must first understand the origins of Hip-Hop. Roots of current day Hip-Hop trace back as far as the 1960’s and can be mostly credited to The Last Poets. The work with major record labels is what truly opened the door for today’s current Hip Hop musicians. The Last Poets are several group’s of musicians and poets who arose from the Civil Right era Black Nationalist movement. The poets were master motivators and community organizers. They were entertainers at heart with a serious message. However, they weren’t lacking in the department of swagger. They had enormous appeal and swag. The Harlem natives were the voice of the streets and they carried the streets with them like a badge of honor.
Our community has always had a direct connection with swagger and larger than life personalities. This can be traced back directly to our African roots. No pun intended, but literally it can. That’s a very significant fact. Those with swagger and larger than life personalities have always been at the forefront of Hip-Hop. They’re the soul and heart of Hip-Hop, but as Hip-Hop grows our soul and heart nears extinction.
The lame has always been a target of lyricist. As I stated earlier, Hip-Hop was birthed by the voice of the streets. When you talk about the streets you have to speak about the urban community, the poor, the lower middle class, the pimps, the bullies, the victims, the hustlers, the robbers, the rapists, the murders, the athletes, the students, the parents, the teachers, the dope dealers and most importantly the children. As of these parties play an important part in the voice of the streets and the voice of the Hip-Hop community. Most citizens of all cultures like a good underdog story and the lame has always been the underdog of Hip-Hop. The lame can be broken down into three categories: the swaggerless, the poser and the deadbeat. Each of these people are different, but essentially the same.
The swaggerless lame is the least detrimental of the lames. The swaggerless only lacks the necessary bravado needed the help them gain more community appeal. Money , cars and clothes can’t replace swagger. A homeless man with swagger is still more powerful than a rich man without swag. The poser can and can’t be harmful. The poser has swag, but their annoying wantingness to fit in is what causes them to never possess true swagger. The poser is part of the in crowd, but longs to be part of selective crowds so they pose to gain admission. Which in turn makes them lamer than the swaggerless lame. Their ability to learn to true secrets behind swagger can cause harm to the heart and soul of Hip-Hop. Finally we get to the deadbeat. The deadbeat will forever be a lame because they possess the abilities to help their family, friends and community, but refuse to do so due to their enormous ego. The deadbeat will forever bring down the Hip-Hop community because they have the power to help, but simply refuse to do so until they first see the swaggerless and poser lames help.
Hip-Hop is in the battle of it’s life because the lame has now become the person in charge of Hip-Hop. That’s a phenomenal 30-40 year growth rate. The heart and soul of Hip-Hop has always been with those who ran the streets and communicated efficiently with the community during all hours of the day. The lame traditionally wasn’t able to do so because they weren’t allowed to run the streets growing up, were afraid to venture into certain nightlife settings and wouldn’t dare partake in any nightlife activities. All that has changed as the lame today not only does all of these things, but they all still maintain their traditional positions of working in offices and boardrooms. The lame has somehow become the voice in the meetings and the streets for the Hip-Hop community. This has been happening for much of the last decade and has no signs of slowing down anytime soon. This places Hip-Hop’s heart and soul in a dangerous position as the lame has always been the person to not be allowed in certain clubs/parties, always been the person to have their significant other taken from them and has always been clowned by those with swagger. Now they have the power and no true reason to stand up for those who have always turned a cold shoulder to them. For the Hip-Hop community to successfully continue growth this fence must be mended. The lame has went from the person not invited to house parties to the President of the record label, from the guy not being able to date the fly girl’s to the Superstar musician headlining concerts throughout the country and much of the world. These are serious times and as the old saying goes “It ain’t no fun when the rabbit got the gun”. Right now the rabbit has all the guns and they are continuing to fire ammunition. For this war to be successfully won by the true children of Hip-Hop, understanding must be reached by both sides and then a serious dialogue must ensue. Will it happen!? I’m not sure, but can it happen is the real question!?