Christmas shopping season is in full effect. Fat women are trampling other fat women to death to get a toy for a kid that 8 years from now will sell their old jewelry for drug money. At the same time, their husbands are at their company’s Christmas party with mistletoe dangling from their belt buckles and the babysitter is learning a new game with her boyfriend on their couch called “just the tip”.
As they say, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!
By the time this gets to your eye-holes, Thanksgiving will have already come and gone to little fanfare. Everyone will get full, be pissed at the lame ass teams that play on Thursday and may just be drunk enough to attempt to figure out how hockey works (heads up- I’ve watched it sober several times: no fucking idea). The others will set their alarms to wake their plump-asses up in enough time to get to Target for Black Friday on Thursday night… You know, tradition. However, I write this to you from the past, from a day where Thanksgiving has not happened yet. So, allow me this opportunity to explain to you all of the things I am thankful for, if only as it pertains to hip-hop.
After all, that’s what Dee pays me to do…
Understand that I realize not everyone will be grateful for these things. I am expressing them to you so that an oft-overlooked holiday gets the recognition it deserves. I remember when Thanksgiving meant something. I remember my folks getting hammered at their friend’s house and playing basketball in their basement until someone fell through the drywall. I recall watching the Goonies and Home Alone while sneaking sips of margarita mix and swearing up and down to my cousin that I was shit-faced. I’ll never forget Barry Sanders stopping in his tracks, mid-run, and making the entire city of Green Bay fall down. I remember when Thanksgiving was Barry Sanders Day in our household (didn’t matter what team you rooted for- if you’re a football fan, you know damn well what I’m talking about). And since Barry watches the same games we do now, and no one has stepped up since he hung up his cleats, allow me to at least try to rekindle some sort of tradition for this glorious holiday that allows most of you to have a 2-day work week.
So, here we go. Here’s what I’m thankful for this year… or, at least things that I’m thankful for that so happened to cross my mind this year.
I am thankful for… RZA no longer rapping. The man is a legend. The man is an icon. He has made some of the best beats of all time and contributed lyrically to even more. But for the love of god, he doesn’t care anymore and it shows… Or maybe he doesn’t show up anymore on wax and I don’t care. I feel like his recent verses sound like a narration on a shitty 70’s commercial. I’ll pass. Thanks for the great records and your contributions, RZA. Good luck with acting.
I am also thankful… for Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” verse. As horrible as that song was, and as slightly above average as his contribution may have been, it allowed us underground heads to recognize a few things that are going on in rap. Mainly, that people who listen to his music don’t really pay attention to what he says. Everyone was up-in-arms over his “king of NY” line, but blocked out the rest of the sentence (he was writing about being the offspring of 2 men, one of which is the “king of NY”, by the way). This helped us realize which underground rappers not only waste their time listening to shitty music, but which ones are quick to pop-off over shit that they are ignorant about. Thank you, Kendrick, for attempting to call out other pop-rappers and reaffirming what we all knew- nobody really gives a fuck about pop rap. Oh, and thanks for creating a buzz for those 3 days and making me actually have to listen to that cow-porn of a song… dick.
Of course I am thankful… that I have kids who insist on watching Nick Jr. all damn day so that I have no idea what all of this “real housewives” and “love and hip-hop” shit is. It also provides me with a great excuse to not watch all of these so-called music award shows, all while giving me a free pass to not be considered a “hater” for catering to the tastes of my kids… Seriously, I would rather watch Dora and Diego instead of those shows further shred what miniscule amount of dignity our culture has left. Plus, I love my kids. A le escante!
Thank you, Lil Kim… for turning into LaToya Jackson. Now no one will ever take you or your music seriously ever again, leaving us with only MC Lyte to claim as the best female rapper ever, and not have a giggle follow it. Latifah is there too, but I think those shitty movies didn’t help her cause. Before you open your mouth to retort, you know damn well that when you think of her you also remember that shitty movie with Jimmy Fallon or the shitty movie with Steve Martin.. Thanks to you, Lil Kim, no generation can argue with Lyte being the illest female of all time. Give my best to Robert Evans. (That just flew over all of your heads, didn’t it?)
Another tip of the hat to… your good buddy Kanye West. I have not been able to stand him for years and often thought of his contributions to music as being overvalued since he stopped making beats… or at least listenable ones. I haven’t paid him a lick of attention in years, but from what I see on the internets, every time he opens his mouth he is becoming more and more delusional. He is deteriorating in a hurry and lives in a reality that is not the one you and I share. One where he is a “genius” (to steal a line from Jenny Johnson- you can’t name your kid “North West” and then claim to be a genius). Pair that with his non-existent sense of humor, and I don’t see us having to put up with him for too many more years. Thanks for not being able to take a joke, gay fish.
I am extremely thankful… that this “swag” fad seems to be fading away as well. Of course it will be replaced with something equally as annoying, but at least I don’t have to hear that word any more. I have this theory that most people who use that word have no idea where it came from. Though originally intended to be a shortened version of the word “swagger”, the more rampant the trend became I started wondering if it came from the “S.W.A.G.” meeting posters that used to be posted up in NYC in the 70’s. “S.W.A.G.” or, “Secretly We Are Gay”, seems more fitting as the time has gone on. Men wearing skirts, leggings and other types of women’s clothing- not that there’s anything wrong with that- seems to be a polar opposite of what made hip-hop so appealing to begin with. Of course, that’s just an observation, however I’m calling it now- by this time next year, no one will be saying “swag” unless it’s the punchline of a joke. Who am I to say this? I’m your Handsome white Jesus, motherfucker.*
But above all I am thankful for… all of the underground artists, whether covered here or not, that help keep good hip-hop alive. From producers to emcees to DJ’s who spin the good boom-bap; even though they do it because they love it, they prove that hip-hop will never die. It’s the love of the craft, paired with their immense talent and drive that proves hip-hop really is that street kid out of nowhere who got a shot at the champion. Though Rocky V may be what is played on the pop channels, it’s good to know that the original Rocky is still alive and well. Artists like (and believe me, I’m leaving out THOUSANDS) Ag Da Coroner, Spit Gemz, J-Love, R.A. The Rugged Man, J.Nolan, Raekwon, Wyldbunch, Kool G Rap & Necro, Roc Marciano, Marco Polo, Meyhem Lauren- the list goes on and on- all of these artists dropped new material this past year that made me proud to do what I do. The fact that we can make music that is an updated version of what we all fell in love with and it STILL comes out dope speaks volumes for the ones who actually give a shit about hip-hop. So to you guys mentioned above and the tens of thousands who I didn’t name who put just as much work into their craft this year- I am thankful for you guys. You help get the taste of a forced-upon-us Drake album out of our mouths.
Probably could have worded that better, but you get the point.
And of course, I am thankful for you reading. Hope you all have had a great holiday season so far and that it continues to be even better in the weeks to come.
See, I’m not such an asshole afterall… or maybe I am for having to point out that I’m not.
Send me your questions/comments for an upcoming mailbag to RadioHandsome@gmail.com or @rapperthomas on Twitter.
*Denotes Eastbound & Down quote
Thomas Handsome is a radio “personality” on 89.5 FM in Columbia, MO and on FleetDJRadio.net. You can also catch his “Dumb Up Mixshow” on AT&T U-Verse and in new Chrysler, Acura, VW etc factory radios and his vocal stylings on numerous advertisements. His top achievement in life is coloring inside the lines that one time, and has received praises about his “enamoring as*sface” personality from avid listener Marie Osmond. He is best known as the 65th favorite rapper of his step-son, and for sweeping the leg. “You got a problem with that??” “No, sensei”. More information is available at http://www.thomashandsome.com