Seizures & Shootouts: Rick Ross, Lil Wayne & Hip Hop Yes-Men

Recent, near-fatal events surrounding Rick Ross and Lil Wayne may serve as an example that it's always wise to watch who's in your circle.

***The views and opinions expressed in the following editorial are those expressly of the writer of this piece and do not necessarily reflect those of HipHopDX.***

Blunts, boats, bitches, and big talk have been common themes throughout Hip Hop history—increasingly so over the past two decades, for better or for worse. But another phenomenon that’s taken the spotlight lately, with few taking notice, is an ever-present, malevolent fixture in the Hip Hop community: the yes-man.

Call him what you want. Crony, lackey, minion, or the ever-popular “weed carrier,” the yes-man has been at work in spectacular fashion as of late. Almost exclusively less-talented and financially dependent on a star of greater caliber, yes-men have played a prominent role in Hip Hop. Many of the lesser artists on Death Row (not to mention Suge Knight) gassed Tupac Shakur, enabling the label’s flagship artist’s (and their supposed friend) intense pursuit of an incredibly pointless beef.

Kendrick Lamar said it best to 2DopeBoyz in November 2011, indicating a wisdom rarely seen in today’s Hip Hop stars: “The best thing is to always keep honest people around, because when you have a bunch of yes men around that know that you’re making a mistake but let you go on with it, that’s when it ruins your mind state as an artist,” said K. Dot. “It’s easy to forget who you are.”

The suggestion here isn’t that artists like Kendrick are inherently better than any of the other artists listed in this piece. In fact, take the music out of the equation, because this is about perspective—and the young rapper appears to have it in spades. Kendrick’s short but sweet excerpt hits the nail on the head: the key is to keep honest people around you. However, as the following examples show, it’s not just an artist’s state of mind that’s at stake—it’s the artist’s life.

Power Circle: Maybach Music Group & Rick Ross’ Enablers

Few will ever forget Rick Ross’ embarrassing exposure as a former correctional officer, despite being one of Hip Hop’s toughest talking personalities. It seems Ross has gotten his wish, however, as the Bawse has ostensibly willed negativity into his existence. After receiving gang threats from Gangster Disciples in December of last year for his use of the Star of David on his mixtape, The Black Bar Mitzvah, Ross was forced to cancel shows with his Maybach Music Group Cohorts in North Carolina, and eventually the entire rest of the tour. Predictably, Ross claimed that the tour cancelation had absolutely nothing to do with gang threats, and offered up some tough talk:

“I’m a certified man,” Ross told Felisha Monet of Miami’s WEDR 99 “Jamz” FM. “I’m a boss. Everybody need to understand, gangsters move in silence. In situations like that, I remember something that an old school Dade County gangster told me a long time ago: any dude can stand in the crowd with 30, 40 dudes. Everybody real, trill, everybody bout that life, everybody gangster. But when them choppers come out, everybody fold.”

Tough talk did Ross little good, as only a month after canceling the rest of his concer series, Rick Ross narrowly escaped a drive-by which included over a dozen rounds fired at Ross’ Rolls Royce Phantom.

Media Blame And Self Destructive Behavior

Enter Hip Hop Yes-Man Exhibit number one: Wale. An MMG signee, and therefore financially dependent on Ross, Wale took to radio angrily on his boss’ behalf little over one week after Ross narrowly escaped with his life. Rather than suggest that maybe his boss should pump the brakes on the thug shit, Wale placed the entirety of the blame on the very nebulous “media.”

“I think everything, the whole thing, has been blown up,” Wale told Rashan Ali of W233BF “Streetz” 94.5 FM, in what I suspect was a move ensuring that Ross would keep his pockets laced, lest the D.C. native step out of line. “I think the media is perpetuating a lot of things. God forbid, if something happens to anybody, they’re gonna be playing people's records all day.”

Pardon?

It doesn’t take much to point out every hole in Wale’s very leaky argument. Instead of displaying a modicum of intellectual honesty, Wale decides to place the onus entirely on the media, rather than on the man who signs his checks, Ricky Rozay. Wale took the matter even further, incredulously asking, “It’s a joke to y’all because y’all see him on TV everyday, but what if that was your friend? That’s my friend. I was talking to him last night about the football game. So, what y’all think is a joke is somebody’s health. I know his children. God forbid something happens. And I just lost one of my brothers, so I don’t even play around with that stuff. I don’t play.”

Indeed, Wale, what about the fact that Ross is supposedly your friend? In what way are you helping by suggesting that the media is perpetuating something rather than Ross, who essentially egged on his would-be assassins? It’s of course ridiculous to excuse anyone who tries to take a human life and place blame on the victim. Still, Rick Ross has gotten into the habit of placing himself in very real danger while living in his fantasy world. Maybe Ross realizes this himself, as it was recently revealed that he was packing some serious heat in case shit got real. Still, Rick Ross likes to play the role of a fearless head honcho, weaving in and out of the criminal underworld, just in time to release an album or mixtape. Sadly, canceled tours look to be the least of Rick Ross’ worries if he continues to go down this boneheaded route, and has none of those honest people around him that Kendrick Lamar mentioned earlier.

Speaking of which, should Ross even be performing on stage? What with his recent seizures and all, that couldn’t possibly be medically advisable, could it? It’s another issue that puts into question the type of folks Rozay keeps around, and brings us to our next Hip Hop yes-men victim: Lil Wayne.

Seize Him: Lil Wayne And YMCMB’s Curious Case Of Denial

You’d have to be hiding under a rock that was under an even bigger rock to miss last week’s Lil Wayne saga. After suffering multiple seizures, Lil Wayne was reportedly in critical condition, and even being prepared for his last rites.

Would it surprise you to hear that this isn’t the first time Lil Wayne has suffered a seizure? In October, the wildly popular rapper suffered seizure-like symptoms (read: a seizure) while on a private jet, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing and having Weezy end up in the hospital.

Luckily, Wayne had Yes-Man Exhibits number two and number three to consult in both instances: Birdman—label boss, disturbing father figure, and, apparently, a physician, and Mack Maine—other label boss, and singer, I guess. Despite reports from TMZ that Wayne had reacted poorly from a codeine overdose, and that a suspicious tweet from Lil Wayne saying, “I’m good” actually originated from an IP address Wayne had never used before, Birdman had this one covered. He blamed Lil Wayne’s latest health scare not on codeine, but on “dedication.” Thank goodness Birdman was privy to Wayne’s medical records and urine analyses, or we all might have had something to worry about. And that fake tweet? Well, Mack Maine confirmed that he couldn’t explain it. That is, until he denied ever saying such a thing. Even T.I. chimed in, joining Mack Maine in taking TMZ to task over its reporting. Interestingly, a week later, Tip announced what is sure to be a very lucrative tour with Wayne.

So let’s add this up: First, TMZ, a website known for sleazy tactics and superficial subject matter, but universally respected for its accuracy and fact checking, reports things that the entire YMCMB camp denies. Second, Mack Maine is incapable of keeping his story straight. Third, what appears to be an imposter says Lil Wayne is alright on Twitter just moments after the YMCMB camp issues its denials. Last (and least), world-renowned seizure expert Birdman suggests his “son” is alright, despite the fact that Wayne has suffered his fourth seizure (that we know of) in the past six months?

Sure, Wayne admitted this week that he's epileptic, but if everything he said regarding the incident is true—that his heart rate went down to a stunning 30%, that he has repeated seizures, and that working too hard can make him go into a seizure—then that underscores the point here even further. Wayne is in very real danger, and the people around him enable him.

Perhaps this wouldn’t look so horrendously awful if just last week Tone Loc didn’t suffer his sixth(!) reported collapse since 2009, this one caused by an apparent seizure. And a common thread in that horrendous turn of events? October 2011: mid-concert collapse, blamed by Loc’s manager on “exhaustion.” June 2012: mid-concert collapse blamed on “heat exhaustion,” again by Loc’s manager. August 2012: what was reported as a seizure at a charity event was called “food poisoning” by Loc’s manager.

Interestingly, when Tone Loc had an opportunity to speak for himself, he admitted having a seizure in December 2010 while driving. Much like the YMCMB crew, Tone Loc’s camp has enabled his behavior. Instead of publicly challenging these artists’ decision to continually tour, or perhaps questioning their lifestyles, or even pointing to the cautionary tale of artists like Nate Dogg, who died far too soon, these cowardly cronies continue to ensure that the cash cow keeps flowing—by any means necessary.

Yes, Yes, Y’all: A Cure For Rap’s Celebrity Acolytes

When the Wu-Tang Clan rapped, “Cash rules everything around me,” the Staten Island collective wasn’t lying. Every single one of the yes-men listed above has a financial stake in their corresponding artist, and every single one of their arguments fails the smell test. We may never know exactly what happened when someone bucked shots at Rozay, or when Lil Wayne had those “dedication-induced” seizures. But you’ve seen this story play out a thousand times, as have I. You’ve seen videos of Death Row weed carriers grinning like idiots standing behind ’Pac. You’ve seen Wu-Tang B-teamers without talent stick around and leach money for two decades from their more famous counterparts. Whether it’s an aura of invincibility or some other grand persona these artists want to put on, their crews can’t appease and enable them quickly enough. Follow the dollar—it only makes sense.

Ultimately, there’s little that any of us on the outside can do about the yes-man epidemic. And yes, man, it’s an epidemic. Unless artists like Lil Wayne and Rick Ross heed the wise words of Kendrick Lamar, they’re doomed to being surrounded yes-men, the most contemptible of all Hip Hop clichés. A cocktail of yes-men gunshots and life-threatening illnesses is a terrifying thing to consider, and may just lead to dire consequences once more.

***The views and opinions expressed in the following editorial are those expressly of the writer of this piece and do not necessarily reflect those of HipHopDX.***

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80 Comments

  • matt

    act like you know, no, act like you don't. This writer is an idiot.

  • ola dioss

    Birdman had this one covered. He blamed Lil Waynes latest health scare not on codeine, but on dedication. Thank goodness Birdman was privy to Waynes medical records and urine analyses, or we all might have had something to worry about. ^LMFAO

  • Anonymous

    Be paid weekly and earn like a boss! I just bought a great Mazda MX-5 from having earned $7126 this past 4 weeks and $10k past-month. Without any doubt this is the easiest and most comfortable job Ive ever had. I began this 6 months ago and right away was bringing in more than $83 per/h. Heres what Ive been doing Rich45.com_

  • Bob

    Just wanted to add Eminem has spoken about yes man in hip hop too. Would of been a nice add to it.

  • Wha?

    TMZ is "universally respected for its accuracy and fact checking?" Is that a joke? I know that its practically law to fill internet editorials with bias and rhetoric but that's pushing it. I believe you're thinking of Smoking Gun. That said, remove said bias and rhetoric (go easy on those adjectives, you know the ones) and I more or less agree with this article.

  • Anonymous

    Well I've been working in health care for a few years and I've yet to hear of a person having seizures because of "hard work and dedication". That just seems odd to me. Now what I do know is that cough syrup was almost banned from the market a few years ago because ignorant clowns like Lil Wayne(The role model of today's high school generation) were using it to get HIGH. And one of the serious side effects of codeine (Which Wayne's ignorant ass would refer to as sizzurp) is seizures. These are your heroes.

  • Anonymous

    "Death Row (not to mention Suge Knight) gassed Tupac Shakur, enabling the labels flagship artists (and their supposed friend) intense pursuit of an incredibly pointless beef." How was it an "incredibly pointless" beef? Dude thought he tried to kill him, wouldn't you be pissed at somebody if they tried to have you whacked? Probably not because you're a pussy internet geek

  • G

    Y the fuck aint this place taken time for the Nacirema Dream????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Fuck this shit...

  • p

    big up ROMAN COOPER and hiphopDX. Good article.

  • The Don Robinson

    Damn they actually let this article get posted!...nice real shit in this article putting fake busters on blast! I like

  • Anonymous

    doesn't the word shootout imply that there was shooting going both ways? ross never shot at no one

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  • Sensaye

    Good article. It's refreshing to see HipHop DX not being a yes man, because they usually are. Listen, what we need in Hip-Hop is to bring back the human element. Honesty. Everybody is some fuckin' invincible super-gangster that is untouchable. Everybody is so insecure that they're deathly afraid of showing one inkling of weakness or vulnerability. I'm tired of the whole urban community being a 'cool' contest all the fuckin' time. Mothafuckas are too cool to do anything, even admit to their own flaws as a man. Rick Ross saying he's a certified 'Man', nigga if you such a man you wouldn't have to constantly tell everyone that you're a boss. You'd just be one. Fact is, all these niggas are so gassed that they're delusional. The reason everyone is so gassed is because there's this stupid ass belief within the culture that if you disagree with or critique anything anyone does then you're just a hater. The haters are the only logical motherfuckers left.

    • G.D. Stubbs

      It all started when the East "lost" the crown in the 90's and instead of stepping up game, threw a tantrum. For some of us stir fried ego with beef was a vibrant part of life: that energy of being 20-something and "free" and doing dumb ish. Now we cringe at the thought that we actually celebrated the "keep it real" mantra just because some brothers down south got on... you reap what you sow. I can't front on the young listeners though, or judge them, because their generation of emcees play *exactly* the same role as mine. *But*, and maybe its because rappers got crappier deals back in the days and really believed that a major would take care of them like they was Smashing Pumpkins or Aerosmith, the indie label rappers with real and imagined ties to the drug game have changed the foundations of what it means to be a rapper.

    • Anonymous

      I hear you. If we bring back that human element that you were talking about and put the focus back on the music/the art and less on the celebrity hip-hop will be where it should be.

    • based landlord

      TRUTH

  • Anonymous

    REAL TALK, GOOD ARTICLE. BABY IS A CREEP

  • The Decatur ATL BOI

    For the Record, the only thing that Ross is Certified in is Platinum records. For him to elude that he is a "gangsta" or a "gangsta boss" is highly suspect and subjective at best. Just because you "put on" an persona everyday before the public makes you an actor in character, not the actual character. Before the music Ross was not known for being a "gangsta" so to try and embody that persona now is incredulous and flawed in principle. I'm not sure why rappers feel the need to fake it, just be who you are and the people will gravitate to it. Jay said it best-"It's only so long fake thugs can pretend". That is all. From Decatur,GA.

  • dollabeelz

    rick ross is an inspiration to me, fake or not, he goes hard1 i wish him the best, him and weezy are grown men and i think they will be ok

    • Anonymous

      he goes hard in the motherfuckin rape

    • based landlord

      and what is the sole reason you give for why rapper Rick Ross is such an inspiration to you? "he goes hard" look at yourself man

    • Anonymous

      an overweight lying correctional officer who raps about date raping women inspires you?

    • Anonymous

      So, you are inspired by fakeness? If that is the case, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and Superman inspires you as well because they all do great things in fantasy land. Me, I'm inspired by real people that make a change. Reevaluate your priorities.

  • buuda

    excellent article,great read

  • mizzy

    Very good read but i have to disagree with the assement on wale being a yes man, Rick ross has been forever using the gangster persona i mean his name is rick ross, wale joined mmg in 2010 or 2011 way after three of ross' albums were out all with gangster persona included, this is what ross has being doin, this how he has made his money, what and why should wale tell him to stop doin what he has being to make his money, this is issue is with ross, if u claimin a certain gang, set, ensure u really down with them or have some sort of an agreement, wale is ross' artist who has no gangster ties whatso ever never pushed that, so how can u blame him, granted ross might have other yes men, but u certainly cant put this on wale, ross is old enough to know the consequences of his actions after all he claims to be street dude, simialary with Pac , how was suge his yes man, both of them knew exaclty what they were doin, both had serious street reps, as i say granted they are defienately yes men around, they r yes men around all of us, but decisions ultimately lie with the individual and if u look at both ross and pac regardless of yes men or not they will still do what they did or do, if u listen to kendrick u will appreciate that he also knows the decisions made ultimately come down to him because we all know right from wrong

  • Brad

    very good read and well written

  • sane

    HIPHOPDX. im talking to you. you NEED to release more articles like this. this is what needs to be spoken about on a more consistent basis. good journalism keeps those being spoken about more honest.

  • Anonymous

    GIVE ME A CHANCE Youtube is all about finding new artist, & though I been rapping for a while im still consider a new artist. I just want my music heard thats all, im not looking for no record deal, getting famous 'r anything like that.! so please just spare a few sec. to check me out, & if you like what you heard please SUBSCRIBE so ill know you actually listen & support http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzBh55tD_eg

  • UltimotheEditor

    long time reader, first time poster, just to say, great article

  • c

    Thoroughly enjoyed the read. I dig the editorials on this site. To all the haters, its a mudaphuckin editorial. That means its an opinion and should be contested. So instead of bagging on the author, if you feel so strongly, write the arguement here. When they're well put, I enjoy those just as much my .02, One love

  • pshhh

    I think you need to get a better feel for what it would like to be in either one of their shoes, meaning someone such as Lil Wayne or Rick Ross's shoes or even the yes-men you go after. That is if you even capable of being able to fill such large shoes.

    • Anonymous

      i feel sorry for rick ross's shoes. imagine having that fat bastard on top of you all day. hey what does rick ross reeboks have in common with the girl who drugged and raped?

  • Anonymous

    Mack Maine was in foot locker in the Beverly Center smellin' like he ran from the N.O. to Cali...pahahahaha...#yesmaine...#yasmellmaine

  • Anonymous

    hip hop bloggers are biggest yes men. they suckin' dick for payola!!!

  • Meccah Maloh

    First, Lil Wayne's siezures are due to lack of sleep. I believe Birdman & Lil Wayne. All he does is work. He is PROVEN to be a workaholic. I think people...its more entertaining to think someone famous is gonna die right in front of your eyes. Its also easy to voice opinion on information that was given to YOU by media in the first place...even if it isnt reality...some thing are just...stories...this and other articles are stories. I do, however, agree with what was said about Rick Ross & his radio interview talking about the whole Crips thing. He's still popular in every hood I ride in. The new rap generation consumers like that shit right now. OGs like it, too...some dudes from the hood dont. Some think he's a punk, but that doesnt mean that his siezures isnt as serious as the next guy's. Wale WAS RIGHT was he said that the media blew it out of order because they DID! Ross gave Wale a career! He has EVERY RIGHT to hold his "Boss" down! I love HipHopDX, but Im split with this article...I dont think its very fair.

    • MrNelson89

      Ok it's obvious you're a yes-man.

    • Anonymous

      In many cases a cause cannot be identified; however, factors that are associated include brain trauma, strokes, brain cancer, and DRUG AND ALCOHOL MISUSE among others

    • Harlem's Reckoning

      The article wasn't referencing the CAUSE of his seizures. It references the people around him who do not have Wayne's best interests at heart. Birdman can give a flying fuck. Weezy makes a boatload for this fat nigga while he's alive and his profits will increase ten fold if Wayne dies. Ring a bell of Suge Knight or Diddy? How about sit your "son" down, get him some fucking counseling, try to help him get off that shit, and set Wayne up for a healthier lifestyle if you know he's got a medical condition that he isn't managing properly. Wayne being a "workaholic", which I don't believe he is considering he sucks at damn near everything he does, is not the matter at hand in this article. And make no further mistakes, let that money slow up, and we'll see where Wale's loyalties lie. Yes men are there only when there is a gain to be had. True loyalty means holding your fam down under ALL circumstances...eternally. I really don't think you comprehended this article at all.

  • Torreyd

    these artists is doing cocaine,sipping syrup,smoking laced blunts and promoting their addictions 2 young g'z like its the thing 2 do.they aint having seizures 4 nothing,they r addicts not martians or gangsters...

  • Torreyd

    this is the most authentic article ive read in years....

  • Anonymous

    Great subject matter, terrible execution.....

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately 80% of todays hip-hop fans are yes men.

  • Edubb

    Excelllent article, good read.

  • lapetitecollette

    this article is a "bit" presumptuous.

  • Anonymous

    "The views and opinions expressed in the following editorial are those expressly of the writer of this piece and do not necessarily reflect those of HipHopDX." LMAO stop acting like people actually give a fuck about your bullshit website

    • Anonymous

      but they do. why else would you be on here commenting? you should stop acting like anyone gives a fuck about what you think.

  • Anonymous

    Who is the IDIOT that wrote this aticle? I hope u get shot at too. Complete nonsense. STUPID IDIOT

  • Anonymous

    "Birdmanlabel boss, disturbing father figure, and, apparently, a physician," this line had be dying! disturbing father figure indeed!!

  • aoiewfasdfasdf

    birdman a biatch, know imsayin ? just makin money kno im sayin? what the fuuck is mack maine ? hes name is wack wayne , and hes a fuuckin moron suckin my diick right now

  • YESSIR

    THAT'S WHY THE CALL ME THE BITCH NAMED YESSIR, I'M A YES MAN DICKRIDER WHO SUCKS DICK ALL DAY.

  • Harlem's Reckoning

    But without yes-men, who is gonna feed their massively over-sized egos? Rick Ross don't wanna hear from nobody that he ain't a G and Wayne is and always has been a fucking clown. If you can't identify honesty within yourself its impossible to identify it within others.

  • Anonymous

    Rick Ross, lil' wayne, birdman, mack maine, wale..... we as hip-hop fans should be ashamed that these "artists" have been allowed to be placed under the same music bracket as the past and present greats... I wouldn't mind as much if they had their own music genre to leach on to, but whilst they convince themselves with the help of their yes-men that they're real, pure, artistic, and more worryingly "accepted", then hip-hop will always be in a state of danger....danger from being diluted, stained and contaminated beyond repair. This editorial is concerned with yes-men, and yes, there is not much that we as fans, readers and aficionados can do but hope and pray that these "artists" see past the 24/7 facade that blankets them and maybe, hopefully, realise that their "potential" as an artist and disciple of the great but threatened art-form that we call hip-hop has been destroyed by those closest to them... There is much to say about this topic, even more so to lament over.... This was my opinion. I'm sure there are many who will disagree with me. As this is a hip-hop site, with the exploited option of anonymity (oops), bring on the rebuttal.

    • hhhhh

      damn for real ^^^^

    • Anonymous

      I hear what you are saying. We the fans actually have the power in our hands to decide who the top rappers are and who need to step their game up. We should demand better music from artist like lil wayne and nicki because they definitely skating buy on some half-assed music. The problem is that the majority of todays fans get so caught up in their favorite rappers celebrity status that they actually become yes men themselves. You are allowed to not agree with something a rapper is doing or not like a song by your favorite rapper. But today the focus is on the artist instead of the music. This is what the record label want, in the business world its called brand loyalty. We allow the industry to tell us what to listen to and we just end up playing a big game of follow the leader. Hip-hop has the ability to be better and it should be better but until everyone wakes up and realizes this its going to remain the same. Ignorance is bliss.

  • ChillDaily

    Mark my words the Rick Ross situation is gonna get so bad within the next 2 years maximum Rozay is gonna need to make a public apology too the underground world, and admit the numerous lies and exaggerations he spues in his music. Now that I think about it Wale has kinda just became an MMG cheerleader. Its sad cus Wale actually has talent and could be his own boss like Curren$y, there's ALOT of talent coming out of the DMV area that no one knows about. He could of started his own label and really put his region on the map. But I guess hes comfortable being a yes man and adopting the MMG diamond-mink-crystal chandelier-overdone look. smh.....

    • Your Opinion Means Nothing...

      @ Anonymous 1 and 2: I wonder where the whole Detroit situation came from. Does it have anything to do with his attempted disses towards Eminem a few years ago. I'm not from Detroit but I do know that Detroit street soldiers don't forget it when one of their own has words thrown at them from an outsider (let alone the whole city, like the Yung Berg incident.).

    • Anonymous

      Detroit niggas are mad slimey......

    • Anonymous

      they already tore up his tour bus last time he went to the D

    • Anonymous

      shits about to get down...dudes from D..the real G's dont feel him at all..dudes from DC the same...this nigga will end up dead if he doesnt change his style...nigga should retire now while he still can

  • Lboy

    This was actually a well written article, and a good read.

  • Anonymous

    lil wayne & fake ass ross deserve death

  • Anonymous

    ross had the NYPD guarding his hotel when he came to New York, i cant remember if this website ever reported that but hes 100% bitch made

  • don

    1 you site is in danger with all this yes man articles 2 you will start to lose views 3 stop tryna make shit look bad

  • Anonymous

    I heard this yes man was raped two weeks ago..dude was anally violated

  • Anonymous

    hiphop is in bad shape period!

    • Anonymous

      Amen, this is what happens when hip-hop gets taken out of the people hands and gets took over by rich men in business suits who know nothing about it and frankly dont care.