Once upon a time in a universe far, far away, HipHopDX used to host blogs. Through Meka, Brillyance, Aliya Ewing and others, readers got unfiltered opinions on the most current topics in and beyond Hip Hop. After a few years, a couple redesigns and the collective vision of three different Editors-In-Chief, blogs are back. Well, sort of. Since our blog section went the way of two-way pagers and physical mixtapes, Twitter, Instagram and Ustream have further accelerated the pace of current events in Hip Hop. Rappers beef with each other 140 characters at a time, entire mixtapes (and their associated artwork) can be released via Instagram, and sometimes these events require a rapid reaction.
As such, we’re reserving this space for a weekly reaction to Hip Hop’s current events. Or whatever else we deem worthy. And the “we” in question is me, Andre Grant and Ural Garrett. Collectively we serve as HipHopDX’s Features Staff. Aside from tackling stray topics, we may invite artists and other personalities in Hip Hop to join the conversation. Without further delay, here’s this week’s “Stray Shots.”
Can Slim Jesus Have A Possible Career?
Andre: Slim Jesus got confronted by someone down at A3C and you can expect that to continue. Hip Hop is a far less rowdy place than it was, say, 15 years ago, but it’s still competitive and getting your mettle tested is part of the game. Consider it a right of passage Slim. Still, the kids super-flat delivery and copycat production values have everyone up in arms and throwing money at him because he knows how to attract attention. With marketing budgets at an all-time low, an artist that knows how to make a splash is a valuable commodity.
Maybe that’s why Puff supposedly has a million for him. And maybe that’s why he’s apparently doing shows as he’s mentioned. The viral sensation is on fire, and no matter what happens he’ll only continue to garner more and more attention. Plus, unlike, Bobby Shmurda, his lack of actually being a gangsta will work to his benefit. No having to bail him out for his future label. The Hamilton, Ohio native seems to have it made for now. Will it continue, though? Probably not.
There are too many variables to be sure, but I’m worried about his ability to recreate that kind of moment. And, even if he does strike another fiery iron, can he do it again and again and again? He’s incredibly young to have to be thinking about this stuff, but sometimes life comes at you fast.
Ural: The hell with anyone who disagrees with my editorial last week, Slim Jesus and Stitches are apart of a conspiracy to eradicate black men and women. I don’t care if I sound as crazy as Bob Wilson in classic Twilight Zone episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” With that out of the way, let’s be completely honest. If something were to happen to the 19-year-old, authorities would probably search for him better than Tupac, Biggie, Big L and Chinx combined. The solving of his murder would become the stuff of rap legends especially with recent news that 70 percent of rap murders remain unsolved. This is why at this point, he’s fairly untouchable. However, he’s just the center of attention right now because of his aesthetic. No different than several years ago when a very young Chicago rapper Lil Mouse (who eventually recorded a Slim Jesus diss) made waves with “Get Smoked” or Korean trap rapper Keith Ape who had “It G Ma.”
Despite having millions of YouTube views, where are they now?
Point being, this could be just something overblown because it’s all about hits in the end. From the looks of things, he’s artistically derelict. Does anyone even care about Chicago’s drill scene anymore? From the looks of things, not really. Hype around Chief Keef’s Bang 3 came and went while Lil Durk’s Remember My Name went absolutely nowhere. And, those are actual drill artists cultivated by its birthplace. With that in mind, where does Slim Jesus go from here? The answer is currently unknown considering how the internet generation has a way of letting things linger. Getting bitched by some hooligans at AC3 won’t hurt him much just as Snoop was dubbed a bully for punking Iggy Azealia some time ago. Then again, look at where the Australia-native is now. If he has some hits, radio or internet only, he should be alright. Until then, everything’s up in the air.
Does Hip Hop Give Master P Enough Credit?
Ural: Before Hov, Diddy, Dr. Dre and even 50 Cent made being a mogul the it thing in Hip Hop, Master P had already essentially laid down the blueprint in a contemporary sense. For heaven sakes, Mr. Percy Miller took a ten thousand dollar insurance policy from his grandmother’s death and built a multimillion dollar empire. His groundbreaking deal with Priority reportedly granted No Limit a $357,000 advance for every album produced and 75 percent for every album sold. Topping things off, P owned every master recording. That doesn’t count other business outlets including clothing and film. On record, I feel as if I Got The Hookup deserves to be placed in the top ten greatest hood comedies of all time right next to 3 Strikes and Player’s Club. From an economic level, he inspired an entire region left outside of Hip Hop’s cool table occupied with the East and West Coast. Regardless of how many may feel about the inconsistency in No Limit’s musical quality (looking at you Silkk The Shocker), his business strategy was legendary.
Andre: The short answer is no. No Limit is one of the most recognizable brands on the planet years after the songs that made them a success stopped dominating radio. His run was a legendary one. And he’s survived Cash Money’s onslaught as well as those ridiculous album covers. Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not To Be Told is one of the best Southern Hip Hop albums of all-time. He was Gucci Mane before Gucci Mane was Gucci Mane. And here’s the stat that may just cement the deal: P says he’s sold 75 million albums in his No Limit career. Forbes has his net-worth at 350 million dollars.
So, yeah, he’s highly underrated. And if there’s a No Limit biopic in the works they can go ahead and take my money right damn now.
Andre Grant is an NYC native turned L.A. transplant that has contributed to a few different properties on the web and is now the Features Editor for HipHopDX. He’s also trying to live it to the limit and love it a lot. Follow him on Twitter @drejones.
Ural Garrett is a Los Angeles-based journalist and HipHopDX’s Senior Features Writer. When not covering music, video games, films and the community at large, he’s in the kitchen baking like Anita. Follow him on Twitter @Uralg.