Steal This Site
Tuesday August 21st 2007,
Filed under: Not Your Average,Print Work,Steady Bootleggin'
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Remember that corny backpacker phase when everyone was harping on about the elements of hip-hop? That shit was for lames, dames and flames. You wanna know what the essence of hip-hop is? Racking. Call it stealing, shoplifting or even the Five Finger Discount – that’s the real heart of this here game. Think about it – rapping over break-beats is stealing someone’s music and making it better. How else is a twelve-year old kid going to go bombing? Who’s got money for paint at that age, when there’s cheeseburgers and weed to be had? Same goes for music. Back when we still gave a fuck about records, throwing a stack of wax under your jacket was the only way you could cop all the latest import singles from New York. I still remember the first time I bagged-up a record (Rakim‘s “Follow The Leader” 12″) at Central Station, while an older writer I didn’t even know kept watch for me. How amped do you think I was to get that platter back home and give it a spin? Nothing’s changed these days. Peep Brad Strut’s “Monopoly” clip and you’ll see him balling his own CD, while the Beatnuts famously declared “if I can’t afford a record I’ll bag it!”

Don’t get it twisted and think this is a tirade about how the kiddies have it easy with all the downloading off the interwebs and whatnot – never that. That’s just stealing for the 2000 era. My point is that boosting shit is more hip-hop than print hoodies, white sunglasses and tight salmon polo shirts will ever be. Pretty much everything worth anything needs to be thieved. How else are can you get your hands on quality porno mags and hard liquor when you’re a teenager? Rolling dudes for their shit also remains a staple of hip-hop. From the days of sheepskins, Pumas and gold ropes to the diamond-encrusted watch and platinum fronts era, the opportunity to gank someone’s shit off them by fair means or foul at a rap show remains the great leveler. I got pissed when Kanye admitted that he stole drums sounds off Pete Rock records until KRS-One told me that he did the same thing to Marley Marl when he made “The Bridge Is Over”. Jay-Z and everyone one under sun have made careers ripping-off Biggie and Tupac. Don’t get mad – just steal their shit.

Thirstin Howl III – “John, They’re Stealing (Part 1)”

Originally published in Acclaim Mag #8.

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26 Comments so far
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word word!!!! its the 87 stick up kids! rippin whole fingers off for wedding rings!!

Comment by idris intifada 08.21.07 @

as somebody who’s stolen everything from cans of Enfamil to CD’s to 400 dollar sweaters, I apploaud this post.

John They’re Stealing = The Booster’s Anthem

Comment by eskay 08.21.07 @

The fact that they made laws against sampling makes this shit outlaw music, straight up! It’s like the Scots when they weren’t allowed to play their bagpipes under English tyranny. Boston Tea Party bitches! The bottomline is it’s how you stay free: either take that shit or break it and make ’em buy a new one. Don’t respect the rich, live off them!

Comment by Grand Invincible 08.21.07 @

Word, fuck the rich and their private property. Keep stealing everything until the people that run shit realize that their old system doesn’t work anymore.

Comment by theplague 08.21.07 @

nice post. racked!

Comment by dj.eurok 08.21.07 @

run that shit! its how i get most of my music, back in 86 i was stealing chocolate out of bulk bins, later on in life i graduated up to pulling liks, now its just pure laziness and liking to hold on to my own money which is the point of dl’ing shit, i’ll buy a hard to find vinyl every now and again when i know its gonna be hard to find in the future, mostly tracks i just really like that are obscure as shit, jokes that even bigtime emcees steal from their predecessors

Comment by gstatty 08.21.07 @

Word the fuck up! I used to steal cigarettes and porn mags when I was 12-13 years old! At the age of 18 I threw a brick threw a liqour store window, went in and ganked a bunch of booze with my buddies. Stealing is essential.

Comment by Mike G 08.21.07 @

truest shit ever written

Comment by BR 08.21.07 @

Stealing is great!

Stealing oil from Nigeria and Sudan is totally hip hop.

Stealing people from Africa… definitely hip hop.

Stealing land from Native American people… hip hop.

Stealing from a record store that can barely compete with Walmart… hip hop.

Ignoring the consequences of one’s actions… that is definitely hip hop.

Comment by eric 08.21.07 @

hahah @ eric’s post!

Comment by idris intifada 08.21.07 @

Yayerrrrr. Totally boosting this link, son. Run that shit!

“Come out with them fake ass Timberlands you got on. AND you got the fake ones on!”

Comment by Tighty Whitey 08.21.07 @

Playing a little loose and fast with the definition of ‘steal’ huh, eric? To respond, it would appear that everyone steals, and this country was built on theft, so fuck it, why play by the rules if those who are in charge don’t?

You can complain about the gross injustices that is the history of the fucking world, or you can go out and do whatever the fuck you want because your life is short and ain’t shit going to change.

Comment by theplague 08.21.07 @

Stealin is always gonna be hip hop. Eric u got a point but dont continue to harp on it, you’ll only piss people off and start some racial shit.. and that aint Hip Hop!

Comment by Vicious Lee 08.21.07 @


Stealing from a retail business is not necessarily “stealing from the rich”. If it hurts a retail business, chances are it will hurt the people who work there… retail businesses tend to hire those with low incomes.

I should also note that shoplifting forces retail businesses to raise prices on goods. Those increased prices hurt poor people a lot more than rich people.

If you want to look at the system as “everyone for themselves”… OK, that is fine. But if you think stealing will lead to a better world, you are wrong. History does not support your specious logic.

Comment by eric 08.21.07 @

Hey, f*ck you, I got mine!!1!

Comment by Tiny Tyrant 08.21.07 @

I’m a booster, don’t you know I’m fly.

Word, I used to steal the most shit when I was a kid. Clothes, records, paint, pens, food, booze, books, magazines, all that shit. And now I’m not a kid anymore, you know that the work place gets rinsed. Stealing shit from work and selling it on ebay is boostin for the 21st century.

Talking of boostin anthems…

Has anyone got an mp3 of Boostin Kev ‘I’m A Booster’? I’ve been after that record for 15 years. And I’m not talking about ‘That Be Boostin’, that’s easy to get.

Comment by End Level Boss 08.22.07 @

Holy shit that was quick.

Comment by Robbie 08.22.07 @

eric you are just flat out wrong
wishy washy cornball liberalism bores hiphop and ultimately destroys hiphop
save those speeches for the green party
up the stealing
fuck walmart
run everything!!!!!

Comment by idris intifada 08.22.07 @

eric is just mad cause i jacked him for his crates last week

Comment by BR 08.22.07 @

Word the fuck up, f’real.
I’ve been lifting shit since I was about 8. It’s in my blood.
Started with candy and shit, moved up to gettin that Girbaud and Guess gear in Jr. High, robbing the school store, all the way to shoes, skateboards, booze, squares, records, books, food, it just never ended. Half the time it was completely involuntary.
Thefting is the most getting-overest shit ever.

Comment by Rues 08.22.07 @

idris… “liberalism”? huh? I only pointed out the consequences of stealing. I am probably more of an anarchist than anything. But that doesn’t mean I think people should steal from each other. Believe it or not, I don’t think people should go to jail for stealing.

The reason why the world is fucked up is that people don’t understand the consequences of their actions. And they don’t want to accept responsibility for the consequences of their actions. When you steal, you hurt someone. It is NOT a victimless crime.

The main reason I don’t steal is that it is dishonest. Now, if you steal in someone’s face and go to jail for it… well, you have my respect. You paid the consequences of HONEST actions. But if you sneak around behind someone’s back and never pay the consequences… you are just another opportunist living off the carcass of humanity. You are a parasite who gives nothing back to the host.

Oh, and let’s not even talk about political hip hop… I hate it as much as the next man. I loves me some ignorant rap… but that doesn’t mean I agree with it or look to it for moral guidance. Some of us are still capable of listening to rap and knowing right from wrong.

Comment by eric 08.22.07 @

Thanks for the Boostin Kev track.

Comment by silent minority 08.22.07 @

It’s nice to be on the internet and bust some real, bitch-ass, loose-lip shit- remember Buckshot Shorty? Well, BK has a scam going w/ BR and he’s living off it.
Word up, I’m driving a Benz off this boosting shit!

Comment by Gangalee 08.27.07 @

checkout the part about earsnot at 5:28. hilarious.

Comment by t 09.03.07 @

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