In Charlemagne’s first post for his Concrete Cerebellum blog, the former radio host who keeps it realer than most sends a kite to rap’s “closest thing to Tupac.”
Peace, what’s cracking Black man? The original dope boy in the trap, Rubberband Man, King of The South. First off, respect to you and I hope this kite finds you in good spirits, my brother. They got your physical locked down but your mental is free. I’m typing this and giving it to the world to see because the truth of the matter is we live in a society where we don’t give our Black stars enough respect. We live in a world full of negative criticism of our people and I’m guilty of dishing out a lot of it my damn self. Recently I had to ask myself, “Am I a hater or is the quality of the products being put out by these artists just that bad? The answer is… it’s just that bad.
Because most of the products out there nowadays are bad, people have every right to talk about just how bad it is. Some say that if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. I don’t subscribe to that philosophy. I believe the person who created that saying probably knew what he or she was doing was some bullshit and they didn’t want anybody to call them on it. I do believe that we need balance. When something is great, we need to show respect to that greatness, especially while the person is still alive. Give them the flowers while they are still able to smell them. T.I.P. here are your roses from me brother. Pause.
Clifford Harris, you’re necessary, sir. You are in my top six favorite MCs of all-time, which includes Ghostface, Nasir Jones, Rakim Allah, Scarface and a man you recently signed, Killer Mike. The MCs that I love speak to me. They speak on experiences that I can relate to and put them in a way that captures the exact emotion of those experiences. Being born and raised in Moncks Corner, SC on a dirt road, I can relate to your tales of being a young man growing up in the dirty South. We did things we were not proud of but we did what we had to do at the time to get by. Now we are grown and you are one of the few artists whose growth as a man is reflected in the music.
A lot of people said that you snitched to get out of that situation that has you presently incarcerated, but I never thought that. I guess because I’m one of the few people on this planet who still believes in a higher power. I said, “Allah (God) caused that to happen because he has a greater plan for T.I.” He allowed you the opportunity to teach. I can only imagine all of the youth whose lives you touched in a positive way by going out and speaking to them the way that you did, or how many you encouraged to choose the right path in life by simply sharing your experiences.
That is the main reason for this letter, my man. This is to remind you that your job is not done and to encourage you to come out the same way you went it. A man on a mission, inspired to change the minds of the youth because they need it now more than ever. I don’t have to tell you that the rap game is bullshit right now, do I? Not just the rap game, but Black culture in general. We have a Black president in office and I thought that would have fueled more of our people to reach for a higher level of consciousness, but it seems like we took one step forward only to take 50 steps back.
The reason you’re important to all of this is because you are the closest thing to Tupac that the rap game has. A lot of people are going to shit on me for that statement but it’s true. You are street yet conscious, lyrically respected by MC’s and fans from all regions, you deliver a positive message without being preachy, the hood and mainstream America fuck with you, you’re not afraid to talk about God and the ladies love you. That’s a powerful combination, the combination that made Tupac dangerous. It’s the same combination that makes you dangerous.
I know some people say, “Well, what does ladies loving him have to do with anything?” Well Willie Lynch said, “If you break the female (mother), she will break the offspring in its early years of development. So I say if you uplift the mother, she will empower the offspring in its early years of development. There are no songs uplifting our women right now; there are actually a bunch of records downing our women. They need someone that they admire to say to them, “You are more than whores, bitches, and sluts.” We have to embrace these young girls like they belong to us, like they are our biological daughters. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan was quoted as saying that rappers should teach the young girls that “Where there are no decent women, there are no decent men, for; the woman is the mother of civilization.” He went on to say, “We should teach young people to admire women and not abuse women, to respect and honor women, and not defile women.”
You, T.I.P., have the power to change the way people approach the microphone and you show people Hip-Hop’s true power potential. Minister Louis Farrakhan said to all rappers that, “Your potential to change reality is so great that if you learned the skill of words and how to use words; if you learned how to say what it is you want to say, but say it in a way that gains universal respect, then the rap would evolve to an art form that will never be replaced. It will evolve to be that form that will set the stage for the next phase of its evolution.”
Accept the responsibility of leadership, T.I.P. Someone has to lead this evolution of Hip-Hop’s consciousness. The younger generation needs direction. You said it on “Ain’t I”: “They don’t know which way to go I’ll make it easy follow me.” So lead them, T.I.P. People listen to those who are in a position they want to be in. All you have to do is look around at those who are being influenced negatively by the content they are taking in from other artists. I wish you well brother, respect.
Charlamagne Tha God