Friday, July 31, 2009

Hip-Hop: A Toast

Rewind life to 1997 –
Puff said there was No Way Out but Big left for heaven –
Missy Elliot was rockin garbage bags in videos with Hype –
Wu Tang was forever, and New York was bumpin Uptown Saturday Night -
Master P had the world sayin UGHH and Jay dropped Volume 1 –
Em took second at the Olympics, two years later the album’d come –
The Hootie phenomenon was dead and No Doubt was hot –
Gwen wasn’t dressin like Eve and Fergie wasn’t hip-hop –
Loud Records had shit on smash and SNL was funny –
Napster was still two years away from stealing all the industry’s money –
Princess Diana died, the Marlins won, Bill Clint re-up for round two –
But I ain’t Mad Skillz, this ain’t the rap-up, I want the Nod Factor, so where were you? –
I was up in Media Play buyin Mase singles like “Feel So Good” –
Listenin to old Pac shit that was new to me, froze me where I stood –
That experience brought me here now, to this stage, in these clothes, with these spits –
And through all the long nights, wrong chicks, Yeungling kegs in between that we’ve kicked –
I finally realize I can’t step out my lane to flip what I don’t know –
I hate hip-hop fashion, chains, wack lyrics and Obama was not my choice, but yo –
Before you boo me all unrulily for something I said up here truthfully –
Listen close to the punchline one time cuz the shit to me is beautiful, see –
The reason and season of 97 was one when ignorance was bliss –
When bloggers were DJ’s and most A&R’s actually knew their shit –
Hip-hop was fresh then, and dope was a word I learned the day before last –
Honed my craft writin raps and passing them around for feedback between class –
See, our views might differ and on another day we’d argue till we’re blue in the face –
But here in this moment, under these lights, on this stage, in this place –
We’re about hip-hop and unity in a time when really, we need it –
So… everybody out there in the audience – hold up two fingers as one and believe it –
And say hip-hop…
Say music…
Say love…