URGH! A Music Blog


White Folks Say It Controls Your Brain!

Posted in 50 Cent,Dead Prez,Hip-Hop by M on December 6, 2006

We’ve gone stealth here at URGH Headquarters. More will follow in 2007 when we’re unemployed again.

But when you gotta post, you gotta post. My blood ran cold today when I made Google sing along to Dead Prez‘s song “Hip Hop”. Because the lyrics coming up weren’t credited to stic.man and M-1, they were credited to hip-hop embarrassment 50 Cent!

How could this be? Luckily, the almost-but-never-quite-blogrolled “Status Ain’t Hood” weblog at The Village Voice explains the theft in a post from this summer:

The most striking thing about the song is the fact that 50 is rapping over the greatest track that the late-90s backpack-rap boom produced: Dead Prez’s “Hip Hop.” That song remains one of the best rap singles of the past decade, a furious blast of righteous fury over the sort of beat that gives everything they’re saying an immediate punch. That wriggling sandworm bassline still sounds absolutely fucking gripping, and it made the track’s lyrics that much more urgent. And it came from a brief moment where it was OK for New York rappers to appropriate the monstrous sonics of Southern rap without getting called out for trend-jumping. It sounded like a punch in the face, and so the Dead Prez guys didn’t sound like deluded chumps when they talked about running up on them crackers in city hall; they sounded like guys who might actually be ready to do it. So when 50 Cent, the biggest rap star in the world, jacks that beat and flips the track’s lines, it’s a weirdly subversive gesture. 50’s lyrics on “The Bomb” are pretty much the exact opposite of everything the Dead Prez guys said on “Hip Hop”; he’s talking all the same consequence-free knucklehead bullshit that the Dead Prez guys disparaged on the original track, and he’s using their lines to do it….

Right on, Tom Breihan!

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