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Is Anybody Real in Hip Hop Anymore?

“That Can’t Ban The Snowman Intro is what made me realize I wasn’t living up to my full potential.” – Anonymous

There’s always a big discussion around who’s real and who’s fake in Hip Hop. I’m asking, does it really matter? I’ve always considered Hip Hop to be for entertainment purposes only. In a few weeks, I’ll tackle how Hip Hop’s global imprint causes problems for the way Black people are viewed by the world. However today, I’m just going to talk about how nonsensical Hip Hop fans sound when they spend countless hours debating who’s real and who’s fake. Keep in mind, most of the fans debating this also watch wrestling and love video vixens. They just want their Hip Hop real.

The truth is, no one should really care if Hip Hop is real or fake. For the most part, they’re all rapping or singing about a life they’re probably not living or never lived. That’s okay, it’s Hip Hop, it’s supposed to be about telling a story. I remember when I decided to stop worrying about if someone was real or fake. I was listening to Nas and I started doing the math of the stories he told and I just couldn’t figure out how it all fit into his lifetime. Shortly thereafter, I realized that it didn’t really matter, Oochie Wally was still my favorite song on the radio at the time.

As it pertains to the women in Hip Hop, we spend entirely too much time trying to figure them out. It’s our way categorizing and ranking. That’s the way we like to express our support for our favorites. Nicki Minaj has butt shots and Beyonce is wearing butt pads… and water is still wet. You can name as many female rappers and video vixens as you want and point out how their bodies are fake, I still don’t care. Remember, hip hop is about the story you weave, nobody asks for a Carfax when you get a record deal. My boy put it best when he said, “Fake breasts are like Rick Ross raps, fake as hell but I feel em.”

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A few years ago, Erykah Badu had a concert coming up and I said, “Badu is kind of played out right now, they should have picked Jill.” My friend shot back at me, “If Badu don’t get her money, I guarantee you them chicks will be fighting. All that neo-soul and peace ‘ish will got out the window.” I started looking at things very different after that. I realized that Lauryn Hill was just as fake as all the rest of them, and unless Mary J. Blige doesn’t stop repackaging the same album every 3 years, I’ll assume she’s still on drugs and in an abusive relationship. It’s all a gimmick, a game, if you didn’t care about the money, fame and legacy, you’d go into a recluse and release all your music for free. Again, I don’t have time to sit here and figure all this out, all those women make music I like to hear.

This is a quote from the Honorable NC-17:

“I love Rick Ross because he knows how to weave a tale so grand that if you allow yourself to believe one word of it you’d be like “Damn, he’s an extraordinary human being”. You think a 300 pound Black Man could fly to Bogota and meet with the cartels without being spotted by every drug enforcement agency in the world?”

This is where Ross puts in work.

In my other post today, I alluded to how much Jeezy I listen to on a regular basis and how if it wasn’t for jail and possibly being shot at, I would be in Atlanta selling bricks. That’s how believable Jeezy is to me. I don’t know if Jeezy is telling the truth about all his drug selling in his music, it doesn’t matter. In my opinion, I made a Jeezy playlist with all his intro tracks and I walk around the city like I’m second coming of Rayful Edmond. Speaking of Rayful, last week he was released from jail in the quiet of the night. I saw him on the corner in Trinidad and challenged him to a freestyle competition and beat his ass by the 4th bar. The point is, real drug lords don’t rap, they sell drugs.

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We’re never going to find out what set Lil’ Wayne reps and nobody gives a damn. We care more about Wayne going back to being the coked out version of himself when Carter 3 came out than we’ll ever care about if he ever goes back to New Orleans and helps out his city. A reporter asked 50 Cent how he feels when people say he’s rapping about the hood when he doesn’t live there anymore, 50 responded, the same way he feels about rappers rapping about money and they aren’t rich.

Well, damn.

Ey what I stand for? Flocka! Brick Squad!
I’m a die for this shawty man I swear to god
In the trap with some killers and some hood n*ggas
Where you at? Where your trap? You ain’t hood, n*gga
Keep this sh*t 300, put that sh*t on my hood
Crips f***in with me, G’s and the Vice Lords
Eses in the Meeko freestyle off da dome
Brick Sqaud Waka Flocka Flame it’s f***in on!

Word? I doubt it.

Waka Flocka Flame, was born Juaquin Malphurs, his mama is Debra Antney. Debra Antney is Gucci Mane and French Montana’s manager. She’s been well off for some time now. Waka didn’t grow up in the trap, he grew up in a two parent household in suburban Atlanta.

“When my lil brotha died I said f*** school.”

I should add he also graduated high school and is an only child. Waka still makes the best freaking strip club music in the history of the game! In two years he’s already surpassed 2 Live Crew in my book. In just a short time, Waka has replaced DMX as the rapper of choice for disgruntled workers. I say, LET THAT MAN COOK!

Don’t talk to me bout MC’s got skillz
He’s alright but he’s not real
Jay-Z’s that deal with seeds in a field
Never fear for war, hug, squeeze that steel

What part of Jay-Z has ever been about that life? If he was such a big deal in NYC, how come we didn’t hear about him? Forget about us, how come the FBI or the DEA didn’t hear about him? Guess what? No one cares! Jay-Z is an excellent storyteller, arguably the best in the history of Hip Hop.  And yes, I considered Slick Rick when I wrote that.

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Pictured here: Jay-Z’s Rap Sheet

Let me tell you three people who have really been about that life…


Kanye West – He’s real as they come in Hip Hop, and we hate him for it. He just doesn’t know how to act, control his emotions, or behave at award shows.

Meek Mill – Yep, he went to jail. People in Philly actually know the work he put in. Problem is, because he’s a parolee and on probation, he can’t leave the country on his own World Tour.

Keyshia Cole – She even put her family on TV and revealed that sometimes it’s best that you keep your family business, private.

When you look at it, you really don’t want people to be real. You want them to be fake, but claiming to be real in the most believable story. That makes perfect sense… Imagine if we just listened to the music for what it is, entertainment. If you want to get a history lesson from Hip Hop, open a book. If you want a role model to emulate from Hip Hop, try a mentor.

Now, I’m going back to this Jeezy playlist. I’m out.

– Dr. J

PS – Teyana Taylor is not a damn virgin.




  1. G.O.A.T post.

    I agree with the sentiment that Kanye is one of the few in the industry keeping it 100. It's just unfortunate that his realness opened doors for certain rappers who have used his style as a gimmick [WE SEE YOU AUBREY (._. ) ]… Now we got Mr. Graham beefing with a SINGER, OLUBOWALE beefing with anybody that criticizes him on twitter, and BasedGod with his absurd lyrics smh. Tupac and Biggie would definitely be proud.

    Imma still cop the upcoming 2 chainz album tho. TRUUUU

  2. Who is Teyana Taylor? Jay-Z really was a drug dealer….or so I heard and thought…..hhhmmmmm……Damn J now u got me wondering. Mary J did go thru a lot of the stuff she sings about……or so I thought…hhhmmm.
    At any rate, I've heard R & B singers say sometimes they sing about other people's lives, ie Usher and his fake Confessions. All that ish he sang about in Confessions happened to J Dupree, not him and Chilli. They weren't even together then I don't think. At any rate, I've heard him say that in an interview.
    I agree that whether it happened or not and the source of the song doesn't matter much. If we feelin the hook and/or the song that's all that matters, that's our song.

    1. Confessions was about J.D. (who Ursh needs to reconnect with cuz them last LPs man…). Po lil Tameek Meek caught the brunt of it because ppl thought she was the reason Chili left lol. As for Jay, I read his book (awful by the way) and what i took from it was he sold a little something something, he wasnt a boss or anything like that but kept himself fed until the music thing worked for him.

  3. Meh. I'm more so a music past kinda person. I make playlists to compliment my moods and majority of the time the songs are from the 90's/2000's. Immortal Technique was someone I liked for two or three weeks and then I realized how illogical and insulting his music is to people who actually study his work for insight. I like Mos Def when he's talking and just as a person. Kanye West is awesome. His attitude. He's got a mouth to him about his accomplishments, success and how he is to be treated. He's creative. he knows he's great and I like his energy. It's music though…..

    stuff you listen to during a car ride or workout. It's not that serious to be having life lessons from Mary J. Blige who is like 45 and is still rewording songs about Pookie being no good. I lol'ed at that. at the post in general. True story.

  4. Its simple really; real rappers arent gangstas, gangstas cant rap. I can respect it however, as a music consumer i dont want my favorite artists doing bids, take yo ass to the studio and feed my itunes. Pac nor Biggie was bout that life and look where that led. I want my news, women and sports real the rest is entertainment.

  5. I think they’re some rappers that put in real work. They’re not main stream and probably won’t make it past a datpiff .com mix tape. 1) they can freestyle / battle rap but can’t put a real song( hook 16 bars chours) 2) they get looked up or shoot right when they get a real buzz going . Example stack bundles, Max B . 3) to much of a liability for the label. Remy Ma probably one of the realist rappers but you see where real got her

  6. I would guess some rappers probably have a bit of real street cred. ODB, Uncle Murda, Papoose, DMX. With Jay I heard a few stories from fam in Marcy Projects that knew his ppls when I was younger. Your man sold Roc-A-Wear for hundreds of millions in CASH..definitely a drug dealer mentality.

    Wasn't Jeezy associated with BMF at one point too?

  7. Short answer, no.
    You've got a bunch of skinny jeans wearing teenagers that either try to out weird one another or perpetuate lies about being millionaires, despite the fact they still live in their mama's basement and do open mic nights. Then you have older heads who can't relate to the newjacks so they revive raps reminiscing on crack days.

  8. Good post! I've kinda always realized that the words coming outta these rappers mouths are stories. Nothing more or less.
    Rap has changed in that once before you heard real stories of real things happening in our community. Rappers were griots, passing down history and sensationalizing the story to make it unforgettable. Now we have straight up fiction coming from our favs. These dudes are Mario Puzo and Michael Bay mixed in one.
    We live in an F.Y.E. world and thats just how it is.

  9. I stand and applause. Wonderful Post.

    I had a similar debate in recent weeks and overall I think Hip Hop is a moving target, similar to politics. Everyone thinks their definition of Hip Hop is correct, however to me that is the beauty of it, the listeners can define it for themselves.

    Cause to me, Will Smith may have been the realist Hip Hop artist to exist…..

  10. This blog has gotten a lot better since "The Great Conversion of 20-12" (I might copyright that lol). Great work and keep them coming.

    And about the post…I agree completely. It really hit me that people didn't care when the pictures of Rick Ross as an guard/officer came out and people were still bumping his music about selling drugs and being a thug all his life lol. And Pac was a great example. He was never arrested and had no crime sheet until AFTER he got into rapping and became famous. But he kept it real to an extent…he openly admit that a lot of the stories he told weren't about him or his life…it was stories from the hood and his friends stories. He just wanted to get a message out.

  11. I always thought rap was almost like pro wrestling or affirmation sayings. Were sugarhill gang really in a Lincoln continental or have super sperm. probably not. was any of these rappers messing around with girls as fine as even a passed around supahead before the rap fame. Hell no. Look at most of these dudes pre fame baby moms and very few of them look ok. So I 've always taken rap as someone telling an exaggerated story in a character like WWE

  12. I think most people are "real" (if they are not straight out the gate manufactured in a studio from the get-go) on their first album, sometimes second. Because college dropout Kanye is not the "same" as WTT Kanye – no matter how reall he keeps it. But usually on the first – they are hungry (literally) and still believe in their talent and craft. I don't really expect rappers or singers by extension to be "real". Their job is to be an artist, meaning to be storytellers and to be the voice of their respective generation. They are supposed to capture the struggles, emotions and triumphs of what's happening in this world. So maybe Jay was not as deep in the game as portrayed – the stories he told were probably somebody's tale. Nowadays, these stories are no one's, they are just pure fiction, and give this generation a lot of fantasies.
    My recent post An Ocean of Love

  13. You should be able to differentiate between fiction and fact.they keep it real at times,exargerate at times,if not,why do rappers get arrested all the time,ti collecting guns,many of them caught with guns,shyne involved in shooting,c murder shooting a nigga down,jay z stabbing a dude,gucci shooting a nigga down,cass involved in a shooting,and many more going to jail.if they don’t live it,are they acting like wwe to get their asses to prison?

  14. And jay z shooting his brother on the shoulder at age 12,its not something to be proud of to shoot your own bro,owning a gun at 12,selling drugs to his bro,even the most notorious gangsta in the world wouldn’t lie about almost killing his bro,waka flocka truly lost his bro in 2000,lost his pops too,he said it in an interview,jeezy and fab were associated with bmf.
    I mean they were really close,for sure its for the purpose of drug dealing,blue davinci was arrested with bmf crew.he was a very prominent member


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