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Get Over It: The New, New York (Part 4): The Boogie Down

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Name: Fred The Godson

Stomping Grounds: The South Bronx

Breakout Year: 2011

Standout Project: “City Of God” (2011)

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I know the fans listen
From the hood to Hollywood; it’s a transition
Face under my hood, just like a transmission
Grams to ambition; I recall re’n-up and a gram missin’
Mom Christian; father was a black spade
Uncle funeral parlor cause of a black gauge
I rap, I’m paid, and they well jealous
They almost got me, I shot three, Dale Ellis” (“Throwdown” W/ Styles P & Trae Tha Truth)

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From the land of Big Pun, hails a relatively known but unknown gem spitter, Fred The Godson (Frederico!). To be honest, after co-signs and features courtesy of everyone from Raekwon to Puff Daddy (didn’t he just change his name back?), and a Gangsta Grillz, DJ Drama hosted mixtape, I’m not quite sure why this kid from the Bronx still hasn’t gotten his just-due. If you’ve yet to delve into the man’s catalog, you might want to keep a finger as close as possible to rewind, and have something that helps slow everything down for you, whether it be a blunt, a Xanax or that purple shit with the jolly ranchers at the bottom. Fred’s style is defined by his ambiguous metaphors, double (maybe triple, maybe quadruple) entendres and one-of-one wordplay, but he’s not the punchline rapper per se (though he could do that too). His metaphors are on top of metaphors, more reminiscent of Jay in his prime with the layered, almost scientifically nit together lyrics that are not nearly as mundane, typical or easy to unravel as the average “Like” or “as” simile punchline flow. Put it this way, the man basically speaks in codes, out of a 16 bar verse, you may catch 4-8 bars on the first listen (maybe 2, depending on how aged of a hip hop listener you are). A project from the X representative is sure to have plenty of those pause-to-think-then-“Ohh shit!” moments, that make you feel like you’ve accomplished something in life for even understanding the lyric. Fred The God is aware of his wit, and understands that not everyone will be able to keep up, so he’ll even get generous and spell it out at times, for example:

“Switch flows, I went over your head
I was told that it was over for Fred
Like Peyton; now they pay ’em side-by-side, collateral
Get it? When you’re side-by-side you could lateral” – (“FatBoy Fresh Intro”) (2014)

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Though his wittiness and deep metaphors are what he’s mainly known for, it’s not his only avenue. Fred is also good for those bangers. those speaker rattling drums and baseline that could knock the kit off a cheap Honda, underneath some next sounding synthesizer (Check “Headbanger” w/ Vado or “Quarter Past 3” for a couple pieces of evidence). Aside from that, Frederico also has the ability to articulate personal life and get in-tune on some soulful ish. If that feel-it-in-the-gut (pause) real shit, is your style, you might want to check Fred’s “Contraband” (2013) tape, which was mainly handled by the legendary Heatmakerz behind the boards. “Contraband” is the project that establishes Fred as not only a rapper with bars, or the ability to dress the street life up in slick metaphors, but also as an artist with a deeper level of substance and content. Most rapper’s who channel a more emotional side for records, will sacrifice their lyrical ability to get a feeling across, while Fred finds a balance even at his most soulful.

This old head was just stopping by
Said I made a difference, I never knew I ever stopped to try
He referred to the years that he watched me cry
Now my watch just make him wanna watch and cry
This is real shit it’s for my man
His little sister got killed shit, shit we had to deal with
So fuck these labels, and fuck who I gotta deal with
Just let these rappers know I’m a problem they gotta deal with” (“Alpha“)(2013)

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To better understand Fred The Godson, he dishes out “Sessions” on YouTube, in which he spits certain verses acapella, in hopes that it will be easier to grasp for even the most average of listener, class in session. When he’s not doing that, he’s destroying-and-rebuilding someone else’s shit, almost as a marketing scheme for himself. Whether it be something of Drake’s (“Draft Day“), or Jay’s (“Picasso Baby“), any trending-but-dope piece of production can get it. Gordo (another one of his AKA’s) has mainstream appeal, but may just be a little too clever for his own good. Listeners these days are used to being spoon fed and when someone is too hard to understand, they just give up and listen to someone like Trinidad James (No disrespect), Dr.Seuss simple on a club shaking beat. That’s why you really have to respect someone like Jay-Z, whose mastered the art of complex simplicity, hiding the real meaning of a metaphor under a strategically pieced together, more simplistic bar. That’s how you appeal to the average listener, and the avid hip hop fan all at the same damn time, and Fred is smart enough to find his place in that lane. All I’m saying is if you have appreciation for the craft, give the BX native a listen…

Sidebar: Fred The Godson, once just went by the name “Fred”, untill his doctor, who didn’t believe he could successfully put on a show with severe asthma and kidney issues, went to see him and realized he could perform flawlessly regardless. She told him that he’s like the son of God up there, hence “the Godson”, cool story bro.

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                                                                                         Honorable mention from the X: The Kid Daytona

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The Thinker: Part 1: The Curse

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In a fast world, that provokes a living-in-the-moment impulsive lifestyle, being a thinker is a beautiful thing. It allows you to look at the world, and look at decisions in a lot of ways that the majority of people won’t take the time to. Being a thinker is really utilizing the mind for the weapon that it really is, but just like any other weapon, it could be your worst enemy as well. Something as powerful as the mind could be your driving force to success, or the devil in your demise, depending on the way you decide to use it. Somewhere between the pessimist, the realist, and the optimist, the black and the white, is the thinker. We, as thinkers, often live in the gray area of life, the “what ifs”, the “what might be going on”, the symbolism and the not-so-obvious. We’re not easily believers of what seems so black and white in this world, and often take a stance at looking deeper into everything, which once again, could be used to your favor or on the contrary.

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There is a great downfall and dark side to the thinker, who can also become overly analytical, paranoid, lonely and unable to find faith in pretty much anything. Our habit of thinking deep into things may cause us to challenge trust in situations we don’t really have too, or to challenge love, life, death, and religious ideals (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). What separates just having awareness of the dark realities of the world, and the dark side of thinking, is expectancy. For example, everyone’s aware that someone close to them could back stab them, but they have faith they won’t. Now, through the lens of the negative thinker, they’re waiting for someone to do it. In the same aspect none of us have seen God, but a lot of people have faith that he exists, while the thinker needs their evidence. A thinker will pin logic versus the thought of God, and externalizing all responsibility for good and bad to one being, who no one can prove with more than myth of his/her existence. The bible is about as believable as “The 3 little pigs”, to someone whose trying to apply logic to everything. “Miracles never leave the churches”, Nas once said on “Deja Vu”, which reflects the attitude of a lot of thinkers based in logistics, to whom, the bible is a fairy tale story of morality, at best, just as any other with characters, imagination and plots tied together by an underlying message. Me, personally, I dabble in the world of spirituality, but not religion (that’s a different story). This is just one piece of evidence in the art of challenging as a thinker.

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Being a thinker could also interfere with success, if used the wrong way. In a lot of success stories, there is one big risk someone took, that happened to pay off. A lot of those who prospered, may have actually had the vision to see where it was going, but most were shooting in the dark, most likely in hopeless situations, which require a little less brains and a little more balls. The negative thinker doesn’t take that risk, because of the the odds, and the greater possibility of failure. The more you think into the situation, the more real the negative outcomes become, the more doubt plays a role, as opposed to just shooting the dice. The possibility of failure is always there, but for someone who utilizes to their mind to great extents, the sounds inside your head can be too loud to ignore. The reality is, sometimes you just have to go for it, regardless of the odds. That logic in itself may seem stupid, but sometimes the risk is worth the reward, and all that thinking might not get you anywhere. Other times, the risk of failure isn’t that great, but becomes exaggerated by the thought of it going wrong or over-analyzing. In these situations, the thinkers mind works as a rear view mirror, meaning things seem bigger than they actually are. The thought of failure in this specific sense is an embodiment of all the negative outcomes that people who tend to over-think, will become paranoid about. Death, is also a devil in the mind of the over analytical. The reality of thousands of people dying everyday in a number of ways, mixed with the gray area, “what if” nature of the thinker, can formulate into “If thousands of people die everyday, why can’t it be me today?”. Once again, a harsh reality, but what separates most people from the negative thinkers, is that the thinker will let that reality consume them.

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Trust is also something that can be negatively effected by the nature of the thinker, I’ll take this one from a personal standpoint. Coming up I had numerous amounts of substanceless connections with females, we’d talk, mess around a little, but it would never get passed that. Regardless of how cool they were, how attractive they might have been, I never let it get too far. It wasn’t about insecurity in myself, I was fine with myself, what ran through my head was the number of good-for-nothing girlfriends of other guys, who had tried to move in on me, or pass me their number, and I promised myself I’d never be that guy. I was always observant, which is usually a positive characteristic, but it’s the way my mind processed certain instances and happenings, that interferes with my life sometimes. So fast forward to 2011, I’m 21 and I actually do look passed the negative possibilities (or so I thought), and get in a relationship. I had known her for a while, as good friends, there was always a mutual interest as more than that, but once again, I never let it manifest. I had known her through two of her passed relationships, in which, no matter the circumstances, she never did anything disloyal behind their back, which was intriguing, especially in a world where girls behave just like men in the aspect of infidelity. So I gave it a shot. Though, I got passed stage one of the trust issues, the aspect of 100 percent trusting someone was just not realistic to me. It effected our relationship, it prevented me from fully indulging, or expressing real emotion or thoughts of mine, in fear that one day this whole thing would fall apart and my significant other would use my secrets as a weapon. On the other hand, I wondered why it was worth it to give my all to someone, who MIGHT fuck me over in the end, like so many other partners that seemed promising at first. It led to multiple issues within the relationship, whether it was not giving her credit for being loyal, not being 100 percent in on the relationship and not having faith in the future. All the arguments, tension-filled nights, all caused by over-thinking and seeing something that wasn’t there, that’s the poison. You think you’re ahead of the game, but you’re really stagnating yourself.

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The common thread connecting the cursed thinkers negative relationship with love, trust, success and religion, is a type of distorted logic, that may be a product of turbulence throughout someone’s life and it’s aftermath. As stated earlier, the relationship between the Thinker and religion, may not be a product of “distorted” logic in the thinker, it could also be the “distorted” logic of religious doctrines and teachings, but to the masses, challenging God is still not popular. As far as success, love and trust, the problematic logic could cause for a lot of unnecessary stress in your life. Though it may be based in odds, experiences and your surrounding world, sometimes it really is healthier to say “fuck it”, and not be afraid to live and learn. As a thinker who gets effected by it negatively, you may be labeled delusional, paranoid or down right, crazy. But it still speaks to our potential. Though negative thinkers may have once been optimists who are now jaded due to life’s circumstances, imagine staying positive. For our mind to be powerful enough to shape our behavior, personality and our life in general to the extent it does, we can use it for better too. As a matter of fact, being a positive thinker has actually shown results and reflected itself in people’s lives externally, so it’s really all a matter of how you use it. It’s not about being too observant, or being too aware, it’s the way you process the information and whether you use it going forward, or let it discourage you….To be continued.

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Get Over It: The New, New York City (Part 2): No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn

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Name: Troy Ave

Stomping Grounds: Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Breakout year: 2012

Standout Project: “New York City:The Album” (2013)

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“Rubber grip or the plastic feel
This that Brooklyn shit, this is nothing new
This that safety off with that engine on
Mercedes Benz, good watch, scene above them all
How he got money when he ain’t have a job in so long?
This that hustler shit, that independent grind
That nautical sweat suit and white ones gold shine” (Troy Ave – “Classic Feel”)

Troy Ave got his name courtesy of the street in Crown Heights, Troy Avenue. Most recently you may have heard the Brooknam native on the hook of Vado’s “R.N.S.” off his latest installment of the Slime Flu mixtapes, or even on Fabolous’ “Only life I know” from the “Soul Tape II”. Troy Ave is known for chronicling his tales of a hustler, the only way a Brooklyn spitter could do, but he may also harmonize a little on his hooks. However, he’s not harmonizing in a “Marvin’s Room” type of way (Shout out to Drake though), he’s harmonizing in a 50 cent, early 2000’s mixtape type of way. In the mixtape circuit, he’s most known for his “Bricks In My Backpack” trilogy. The 3 mixtapes, showcased his potential more than anything else. The first two seemed like an artist who was just trying to find himself, and his lane. He caught some flack for the title of the second installment of “Bricks In My Backpack”, entitled “Powder to the people”. Certain figures in New York radio felt he was taking an empowering slogan “Power to the people”, and then turning it around to what destroyed so many communities. But what else do you expect from a young hustler from Brooklyn who dubbed himself “Harry  Powder”?.  It’s tough trying to be a successful rapper who attacks the game from the angle of being a hustler, because the image has been portrayed so much and you have to be innovative or just get wrote off as another “over-the-top street rapper”. But that’s what the man came from, and by the time the third installment of the series came about, the crown heights representative seemed to find his groove. Mid-Way through 2012, “Bricks In My Backpack 3: The Harry Powder Trilogy” found its way on to Complex’s “50 greatest albums of 2012 (so far)”, landing at number 40.

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Troy Ave Embodies the fly guy, 1980’s New York Hustler in his rhymes. The Alpos’, the Rich Porters’, The Fat Cats’ , with the jewels and the slick talk. You can tell that from the cover of his studio album debut “New York City: The Album”. He’s sporting the Jesus Piece, with a couple other chains I couldn’t afford, in front of a black Jeep Wrangler, giving off a “New Jack City” feel. On the cover, and almost everywhere you see Troy Ave, he’s endorsing Adidas in Run DMC fashion, with his soccer jerseys, T-Shirts and shell toes. Along with just speaking of being a hustler, he hustles in the industry as well. Troy Ave is on his independent grind, on his label “BSB Records”, and is building a brand of his own. He’s one of the only, who still gives a feeling of authenticity in his music. Anything he talks about having, and the lifestyle he talks about living, are both documented on his Instagram, to prove he’s not just rapping. Aside from separating himself from the fakes, he’s also stated his opposition towards today’s “weirdo” rappers (directly targeting Kanye West & Kendrick Lamar) and claims that the hip hop audience and artists alike, now-a-day’s glorifies the user, more than they celebrate the dealer, and even targets his fellow Brooklnites, The Flatbush Zombies as “weirdos” making music for drug abusers (Spread love, it’s the Brooklyn Way). He’s made it clear that his music is not for the wrist twisting that you could spot at the drop of any Young Chop or Mike Will Made it joint, and he’s not going to Future for the hottest hooks, not out of spite, but because he’s keeping it all the way New York, making a lane for his own city without eating off anyone else’s plate.

troy-ave-hot-box-freestyle(Troy Ave rocking the signature Soccer jersey)

His style really represents a New, New York sound, far from any type of “backpack” rap, though he does seem to get support from that crowd, as well. Troy Ave’s voice sounds like he’s always joking about something, but he’s doing anything but that. He has evolved from the less narrative, more simplistic punchlines of the “Bricks In My Backpack” series, to a full blown story teller from a past decorated in all the elements of the street life. He’s able to show his depth on tracks like “Regretful”, which may give you another look at the Brooklyn rapper, from the standpoint of emotional pain, without being sappy. He’s also capable of making records like “Hot Out”, to drop the windows or put the top back too during the New York City summers (Please come back). Just as diverse as his music, are the artist’s he’s jumped on tracks with. He’s collaborated with everyone from Pusha T, To 2 Chainz, to Nore. He get’s widespread respect from his piers of the current generation and before his time. He’s got mainstream appeal, with a smooth talking, New York City hustler feel, he’s definitely someone to look out for.

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Honorable Mention (From Brooklyn): Uncle Murda (or UM)

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Get Over It: The New, New York City (Part 1): Queens Bound

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Nostalgia is healthy as long as you have your feet grounded in the present day and you’re not constantly trying to relive moments in your past. What I was once guilty of, as well many of my fellow 90s “Golden Era” New York hip hop fans, was wanting a resurgence for the city to happen in the same way it did the first time. I wanted the raw, fresh off the project bench, not-so-glamorous, gravely- RZA quality type of sound. I was looking for the next Nas, Raekwon, the next Ghost, and with those type of standards, I was setting myself up for disappointment. My expectations completely overshadowed good, modern day, talent and made me negligent to the possibility that it was even out there. But everything has to evolve, that’s what us fans looking for the next “Illmatic” need to realize. Jay-Z will never rap like he did on “Reasonable Doubt” again, The Firm isn’t going to get back together, it’s unlikely we ever see the members of the Wu on the same page again, & Prodigy did write a tell-all book, we need to get over it. We can argue and debate all day about why the city fell off. It could be the southern unity vs innately competitive nature of our artists shooting for the “King of NY”. It could be the lack of support from local djs and radio stations. It could be 50 cent. Maybe, we just started to lack innovation and got stuck in time, either way, it’s time to stop complaining and start embracing. We got caught in the feeling that the Tommy Hilfiger and Guess uniform era gave us, but we’re never going to get that feeling back. That feeling was a sign of the time, a moment and it was great while it lasted, but it’s over. The solution isn’t about bringing anything back, it’s about New York artists creating something new that has the same impact.

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Though some of these modern day NY representatives may not be rapping over boom bap, Premo production, there’s still a unique style developing, and a promising movement on the horizon for the city. If you love hip hop, you don’t just love 90s hip hop, you also respect and/or appreciate aspects of it’s evolution. You don’t have to love the strip club singles, the trap claps, the rapper-singers, but if you love the culture, you’ll listen and pay attention enough to know that it’s not just those elements. As far as the new era ushering in, I’m not talking artists from New York that have blown up already courtesy of the sound of another region (Shout out to them for keeping our city out there though), I’m talking about New York artists who have taken all the elements of their influence & mixed it into a fresh cluster. The movement is in its beginning stages, but its moving. The faces, production and flows may have changed but the New, New York has talent, too. Ill always love the 90’s New York hip hop more than any other time or sound, but I’m not going to be close-minded. I’m also not naive to the fact that a lot of you reading this, will remain unmoved and that’s not a fault in your character, I’m just trying to raise awareness- don’t be fooled by everything you hear on the radio. I’m fucking with the new squad that could build a new era in the city’s history…To prove my point, I’m doing a 5 part blog series of my favorite, relatively new faces on the New York and even New Jersey’s hip hop scene. Each blog will detail my top spot from Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, The Bronx & Jersey. The first installment is dedicated to Q-u-e-another-e-n-s.

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Name: Action Bronson

Stomping Grounds: Flushing, Queens

Breakout Year: 2011

Stand-Out project: “Rare Chandeliers” W/ The Alchemist (2012)

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“Pain within running deeper than the ocean floor

Ocean avenue, the family straight from Kosovo
That was years ago mum look how your son has bloomed
I hum a tune and then I’m hotter than the sun in June
And I’m just living my life but feel I’m drifting
Demons on the doorstep, lungs that feel constricted
Or maybe I should see a shrink and get prescripted
Or take the hand of God but shit I think i’ll keep my distance” -(Action Bronson- 9/24/11)

I’d like to start off by saying Bronson is probably one of the only rappers who is actually comical, with the exception of Cam’Ron. The Chef-Turned-Rapper, Bronson incorporates humorous braggadocio about everything from who he fucks, to exotic choices of weed,  to gymnastics, to pulling strings in big time college and NBA games. Despite the sense of humor,  the man who claims to have paid Pat Riley to have Patrick Ewing miss the lay up in 1995, is no joke with his pen game. He’s held his own on tracks with some of your favorites, such as Prodigy, Raekwon and Kool G Rap, while keeping his foot in the new class, collaborating with Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Mac Miller, Wiz Khalifa & ASAP Rocky, just to name a few. And just in case you were wondering , his A.K.A, is a mixture of his graffiti tag name (Action), as well as his love for 80’s action movies (Charles Bronson).

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Early on, he was compared to Ghostface a lot, because of a voice reminiscent of 90’s Tony Starks, but has managed to develop into his own artist, out of the shadows of his influences. Bronsilini is a great contrast of the old and new New York. At first listen, especially on the first installment of the “Blue Chips” mixtape, he may remind you of some of the dudes you grew up on, because of the descriptiveness and imagery in his lyrics, but the way he incorporates his own personality into his music, his identity is unmistakable. Action Bronson has worked with a wide variety of production, everything from the soulful foggy sounds of Harry Fraud, to the genre-bending production of Party Supplies. You’re in for anything when you listen to Bronson, from smoking “Barbra Walters” Wax out of his G-pen, to his fitness sneaker fetish, to hiding drugs in the asshole of a Pitbull, but never anything that’s not entertaining.

SideBar: We hope to see his cousin Big Body Bes get out of jail soon, he’s provided some classic skits and intros from Action’s mixtapes.

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   Honorable Mention (From Queens): Chinx Drugz.

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Everything comes full circle, fif.

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From 2002 to 2005, there was nothing bigger in hip hop than 50 cent. He had just knocked Ja Rule out of his spot at the top of the charts, kicked his shoes off, and made that his new home. 50 and G-Unit were scorching, even before his record-breaking solo debut “Get Rich or Die Tryin'”. It was almost as if fif, Banks, and Yayo couldn’t release garbage, even if they tried. They were revolutionizing mixtapes, using it almost as a marketing plan and a build up for official studio albums. There’s no argument that they have a huge hand in why mixtapes play such a pivotal role for an artist in today’s game. Shady/Interscope was already a powerhouse in itself, with Eminem and Dr.Dre, Fifty and friends were just building a new empire on top of an empire. For that span of 2002 through 2005, everything G-Unit released (“Beg For Mercy”- G-Unit, “Hunger For More” – Lloyd Banks, “Welcome to Cashville”- Young Buck, “The Documentary”- The Game, “Thoughts of a Predicate Felon”- Tony Yayo, “The Massacre” – 50 Cent) was either certified gold, platinum or in the case of 50’s debut, diamond status (10 million plus, worldwide). Not taking away from the quality music that the group was putting out, but a huge piece of their success was from controversy as well.

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G-Unit, mainly 50 cent, had issues with pretty much everyone at the height of their success. 50 had wiped Ja Rule clean off the face of hip hop, and continued documenting beefs with The Lox, Fat Joe, and Nas. These “beefs”, were just a money move for fif and it kept business booming. Though it didn’t dent any of his opponents careers too heavily (the way it did for murder inc.), it did disrupt any type of New York unity, maybe planting a seed for the sharp fall off on our branch of hip hop. However, piece by piece, the empire began falling apart. First, it was the Game. The Game wanted to collaborate with Nas and Jadakiss, who he grew up on ,and fifty took it personally as if it was a matter of disloyalty. The Game eventually started a G-Unot campaign, which whether people want to believe it or not, put a real scar on the G-Unit brand. It magnified the whole myth of 50 cent being a snitch, and took a lot of credibility from him, specifically on a street level. Next it was Young Buck. Apparently Buck was growing frustrated with his situation with the Unit, and started acting out publicly about it. This eventually led to him getting the boot, and 50 cent releasing a message recorded in his inbox from Buck crying about being given another chance. With Game and Buck out of the picture, it was crazy, but it was a business based relationship between 50 and them, not like the relationship Curtis had with Banks and Yayo. Banks, Yayo and Fifty were the original G-Unit, all Queens bred. But even those relationships eventually saw their demise. Banks and Fifty often danced around the topic of a falling out, but even Stevie Wonder could sense tension there. You never saw them together anymore, even in Bank’s brighter moments with “Beamer, Benz or Bentley”, and his consistent mixtape releases, 50 was no where to be found. 50 eventually grazed the situation, subtly remarking that Bank’s work ethic was not up to par with his own. Bank’s side of the argument was that his father had just passed, he needed some time to recover and fif was kind of callus and insensitive towards it. That only left Yayo. It was all good until yesterday, at least to the outsider. Though 50 declared the G-Unit brand to be a thing of the past, we still assumed there were still relationships considering it was more than music among the original 3. Just yesterday on Yayo’s Instagram, he posted, “50 ain’t rocking with me and Banks the same I layed my life down for the unit but you live and learn”. That you do. Though G-unit (as a collective) has been over on a level of relevance for years, it seems its over in every sense.

ca. 2006 --- 50 Cent --- Image by © Danielle Levitt/Corbis Outline

On top of the last link (Yayo), coming out about his detachment from the group, just today news broke of 50 leaving Shady/ Interscope, and taking the independent route. Mr. Curtis Jackson came to an agreement on an independent deal with Capital/UMG. The first thing that came to mind when I heard that, was a conversation 50 had with Styles P on the Angie Martinez show in 2007. After years of trading diss tracks, Angie Martinez played Mediator and got 50 on the phone with P. It was a civil conversation, but when Styles was arguing his decision of going independent, 50 mocked him about the independent money vs major label money, and specifically that Style’s label, “Koch”, was a graveyard for artists who were passed their prime. Ironic. Styles has seen more success and relevance on a music level with his independent grind since that point than fif, even with the machine backing that 50 had. Talk about a fall from grace, but its funny how history repeats itself (It’s murdaaaaaa). You can’t help but think how 50 displaced Ja from mainstream America, ruthless and relentlessly, and then see the same machine turn against him. That’s how the game goes. For the first time ever, 50 and Ja are at the same level of relevance. 50 cent’s gangsta persona has become discredited by the fact that he’s been out of that lifestyle for more than a decade and he struggles to reinvent himself. After 50’s attack on Rick Ross backfired, Ross dropped Teflon Don and became a megastar while fif just dropped, period. He hasn’t dropped an album since 2009, and nobody cares. 50 put so much time into destroying other people’s reputation, when he should have taken the time to re-evaluate his own craft, so eventually he self destructed, just as his last album title stated, “Before I self destruct”. More Irony. He’s now making records with Fat Joe, in the studio with Jadakiss and Style’s for his next album, and according to Cam, Fif is in business talks with the dipset cheif (who he had another feud with). Is it growth? or is it accepting the fact that you’re defeated?. Either or, the man is going to make his money, shit, he’s got enough endorsements that he never needs to write another lyric in his life, and it’s probably better off that way. Side Bar: At least “Get Rich or Die Tryin’, will always be considered a staple in hip hop history, some rappers have endured success but are followed by the black cloud of never dropping that one classic.

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