Filed under: Shots Fired,Sizzle-chest,The 90's Files,The Unkut Opinion,Web Work
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
When Nas dedicated “Loco-Motive” to “all my 90’s dreaded N-word”, he had no idea of the floodgates that were about to open. Not that throwback rap is anything new, but things have apparently gotten to the stage where the Pro Era crew are now claiming that no one outside of the Beast Coast collective is allowed to shamelessly pander to nineties hip-hop nostalgia. After A$AP Mob dropped a track called “Trillmatic” the other day, over an a-typical vibed-out beat and featuring a blistering contribution from Method Man, Joey Bada$$’ manager felt a type of way and aired out the following on Twitter: “Love to see more rappers bite the pro era swank. Good shit Nast. Smh lol whats new with these “New York” negus?” To which Nast replied: “style jacking who my nigguh. 1990 born up you got us fucked up my g need to talk whatchu know” , followed by this more incenidary remark: “I GOTTA SHOW DEZ LIL NIGGUHS HOW TO REP THE 90’s FOR REAL” Roffle Harris.
The very idea that Pro Era/Beast Coast pioneered the idea of rapping over old MF Doom beats and channeling early Mos Def songs is laughable. Considering that pretty much every major crew releasing music in the 90’s recorded some type of 80’s rap dedication/throwback seems to have been completely lost on these kids. Perhaps they’re just mad that the otherwise rubbish A$AP guys managed to actually do a throwback song correctly by enlisting the golden boy of the Wu himself, Mr. Meth, and finding someone in their camp who can stay on beat properly. As much as I’ll admit that Joey seems like a polite young dude with good business sense, his rhyme style still hasn’t fully developed to the point that his idols were when they began dropping twelve-inch singles at Fat Beats.
Does this mean that we can look forward to a few months of lyrical warfare as A$AP and Beast Coast sling verbal barbs at each other about who copped the Snow Beach piece from Etsy first and who has Mike Zoot’s beeper number? If so, we can only hope that Pro Era serves up something with a little more kick than those lukewarm responses to Lil’ B and Trinidad James, and if anyone in Rocky’s corner has the slightest bit of common sense they’ll send the Trap Lord to Milan for a few weeks to prevent him from being involved in any of the responses.
Which raise another valid point – perhaps the solution is for theses two crews, who were sharing the bill on at Rock The Bells as recently as September, to forget about the whole rapping aspect of this conflict and settle it in their true area of expertise – the catwalk. Let these dudes swag-out in their finest 90’s throwback streetwear in a fashion show battle set to Shawn J. Period instrumentals and let a room full of Tumblr Hypebeasts vote for the victor, preferably using some kind of smartphone app. Think of the countless listicle posts that the resulting photos could generate over at the TMZ Rap Blogs?
Failing that, I suggest the Beast Coasters buy a 90’s beat from Buckwild, enlist Sir Menelik, Lace Da Booms and Da Bush Babies to feature and shoot a video in the old office of Fondle ‘Em Records while decked-out in head to toe Nautica, Avirex and North Face gear while rapping about how shiny suit rap is evil and they’d rather “be broke and have a whole lotta respect”, with Pharoahe Monch and Busta Rhymes providing the hook. The only way A$AP could come back from that is to reunite Mobb Deep, Nas and Raekwon for “Eye For An Eye Pt. II” with an unreleased Biggie accapella and a video shot in a Brooklyn sewer. Far more likely is that this whole storm in a teacup will play out on Twitter, Tumblr and Youtube without a single memorable bar to show for it, in another episode of 2013 SMH Rap.
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