Sandra Stanisa October 8, 2013 47

I’m pretty convinced that one day, Jordan Hayles will be the president of hip hop. Eloquent, well-informed, personable and riveting – until that election day comes, he stays writing for his blog The STiXXclusive which is loaded with dope content all written by this one-man-army. In addition to running The STiXXclusive, Jordan does videography and editing for his own production company Essenex Productions. Thus, it only made sense to ask him to be our first ever male guest writer.

Yes, Bad Perm is and always will be hip hop from a woman’s perspective. But so many dudes have hit us up to write and so many times we’ve turned them down. Although men still can’t be on the team, we’ve decided to go from saying “you can’t sit with us” to “you can sit with us this one time.”

So please enjoy the following piece which poignantly deals with Jordan’s level of expertise – hip hop, sports and a few familiar references for the ladies.

The British are coming! The British are coming! Or are they? Is it a sudden revolt against the superior authority? Is it an angry tirade against the oppressors? No, not really – it’s just some dudes rapping and everyone has the message misconstrued as to what it’s supposed to mean. ‘Jordan, what are you talking about?’ My dear, what is everyone talking about, currently? The state of Hip Hop being in disarray, rappers are hot and bothered like they’re having uncontrollable hot flashes, and emotions are spilling out of the metaphorical jug of water that’s supposed to be contained. OH WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO?! It’s a travesty, it’s a mockery, it’s disrespectful, it’s distasteful, and it’s everything that the basis of Hip Hop was founded upon in the first place – so what’s the issue here?

Allow me to step out of character for a second (*removes glasses*). My fellow Hip Hopians, we’re in a state of emergency, and I’ll tell you why: there is a disturber of the peace, and to be quite honest, peace doesn’t exist in a battlefield of warriors. I don’t watch Scandal, but I came across a quote that was flooding my timeline: “Are we gladiators, or are we bitches?” Let me poll the general consensus of Hip Hop artists. Are you Gladiators? Because you’re acting like some bitches (no disrespect to women – all disrespect to the male populace). I may not be very old or even particularly wiser than most, but let’s look at who’s really supposed to be the new Gladiators in this era of the genre in which many sense has declined over recent years. Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and J.Cole. Two out of three are really more dominant (I’m sure it’s obvious who), and they are the presumed Gladiators in this new decade. That’s cool, but the depth of talent on the mainstream level isn’t there, so say that they’re dominating, it loses some of its lustre when you compare them to whoever else is supposed to be ‘competition’ (Meek Mill? Wale? Macklemore?). The spirit of competition has been revived in a way and although there are still veterans that are kicking in some music, what direction is music going in that a little spat of peer encouragement is looked at as discouraging? In what life did we all grow up in that we didn’t see battles time after time and spirited competition between admirable protagonists? I’m sure a lot of people watch sports, and you want to outplay your peers, period – by any means.

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, sparked controversy in the NFL after saying that he was a better cornerback than Darrelle Revis (the most lock-down corner in the game), and of course that sparked instant conversation and left people in an uproar. The question is why? You need antagonists to throw rocks in the water to cause big splashes, am I lying? Hip Hop has been that way forever but all of a sudden, people stepped away from that because the ‘F’ word got in the way – feelings. Emotions are normal, we’re not robots (well, iRobot had that one special case), but when it comes to sports (and Hip Hop is a sport), why is it bad to have one person come out and throw jabs declaring that they’re the best? You know who I blame? The internet. People like to argue, bitch, whine, and complain about each-and-ev-er-y-thing that happens (don’t get me wrong, I contribute at times), but it’s ‘wrong’ for someone to come out and declare that they’re better than their opposition. To be the best, you have to believe you’re the best. Wasn’t it Muhammad Ali who declared that he was the greatest before he knew he was? Isn’t that a lesson that should be taught to people in life? Yes, it comes across as arrogance, but people love numbers, that’s the problem. You can throw album sales, fans, and money into the equation, but what good is all of that if you’re being called out and shrug it off because you’re ‘Teflon.’ No one is untouchable, and there’s always someone gunning for your spot.

Gladiators had to fight to stay alive every time they entered an arena while facing obstacles like opposing forces, animals, and the crowd. In the movie, Gladiator, what was the line that Proximo gave to Maximus? “Win the crowd.” Going back into Hip Hop history, Rakim emphasized the importance of moving the crowd; so in essence, he was Gladiator of his sport, no? I find it amusing that so many people scream about “bringing back” what made Hip Hop great, but when it’s their favourite artist that is the subject of a challenge, it’s considered immature. I’m sorry, but who was complaining when 50 Cent came out with ‘How to Rob?’ Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t he use that identity of a villain to help carry him to mainstream success? Didn’t he end a couple of careers or at least put significant dents in them? Controversy is necessary even when it’s not deemed to be controversy in the first place; it’s what keeps the blood flowing and what keeps the culture alive. The pulse has declined for a while, so it’s time to use the defibrillator and shock some life back into it.

Keep the culture alive, keep it flowing, and keep it moving in the right direction. A microphone and a beat are the equivalent to a sword and shield in this battlefield I like to call Hip Hop. We need more gladiators for the battle – the crowd needs to be entertained. Is that not why we’re here?

That’s My Word & It STiXX



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