Dear Sucka MCs: Enough is enough. Signed, Everybody
by Renee Brown
Few people know this, but it is U.S. Federal Law that every man between the ages of 15 and 38 of African-American descent must pursue a hip-hop record deal. At least I assume this to be true, given that nearly every black man I know is either an aspiring rapper or producer, and most of them prioritize this goal over pretty much anything else in their lives.
Of the eleventy-thousand aspiring rappers that I know, I would say that roughly 5 of them have actual talent. Of those 5, roughly 2 have an actual shot at getting signed…and as we know, obtaining a record deal does not guarantee success. So what does that leave us with? A society that, already plagued with environmental, economic, and class crises, must now deal with an excess of Sucka MCs.
In every major city I visit these days, I find a “28 Days Later” type of situation, only instead of blood-thirsty zombies, there are hundreds of Young Jeezy hopefuls urging me to buy crudely produced CDs with titles like “Bullets and Butt Cheeks,” with an ambition that would make those zombies look lazy.
These unwelcome sales pitches leave me in a dilemma: While I typically support local artists and applaud urban youth who are not serving for a living, not to mention appreciating someone with a dream, the music is nightmarishly terrible 98 percent of the time. Furthermore, I can’t help but lament the time, undiscovered non-musical talent, and blank CDs that are wasted on this musical fuckery. Since the birth of hip-hop, there have been Sucka MCs, but why do they exist in such great numbers today?
Let us flash back to the 80’s, when the Reagan administration all but eliminated the middle class and destroyed the black community by making the drug trade the only option for many of the poor.Back when hip-hop was still creatively legitimate, MCs would convey their views on this cultural phenomenon through music, which, at that time, was among the most revered mediums of artistic social commentary. But America wouldn’t be America if a good thing was not exploited for profit.
Slowly but surely, the music lost the message and morphed into a wasteful, depressing tell-all on the newest form of slavery. Selling cocaine was no longer a tale of survival or an attack on our community; it was now a status symbol and a rite of passage for underprivileged, urban men. The person to be admired in the hood was not the one who graduated from college and got a well-paying gig with IBM; that person was nowhere to be found in the hood. The role model became the dope man, who embarked upon the marriage of the century to hip-hop.
As so often happens in marriage, the two parties became one (one of the reasons why I have sworn off of marriage), and gave birth to the newest hood role model: the rapper who capitalizes off of boasting about selling drugs to his community. Somewhere down the line, someone got wise to the fact that one can make a song about serving without actually having any experience in that field. So began the reign of the Sucka MC.
Kudos to the Sucka MC. They have a proud tradition of making millions of dollars off of sheep-like idiots. And a thumbs-up to whoever held out the hope of making it big to an entire generation. But an enormous Fuck You to those who abandon searching for whatever real talents and abilities they may have in order to pursue a career in something that A.) They suck balls at, B.) Contributes absolutely nothing of value to society, and C.) Will see to the extinction of real hip-hop altogether.
What a sad reflection of the poor self-esteem of a people. As if the redundant, bland musical abortions heard on the radio are not depressing enough, we must constantly be reminded of the hopelessness that plagues our community. Black youth bank on singing and dancing to be their meal ticket…what year is this? It is my hope that the success of President Barack Obama will prove not only to black youth, but to every oppressed people that they have options. To show them that their destinies are not controlled by the system. To show them what a real G is capable of.
To the Sucka MCs out there, I implore you to discover what your real God-given talent is. It may have nothing to do with music, or whatever you consider to be music. While you may think that this task is far too challenging, you may find that there is a home for you that is 100 times more rewarding than “Bullets and Butt Cheeks.” Give the real MCs a chance to get on. And please, God, free hip-hop from exile and show the world once again the relevance, creativity, beauty, pain, humor, fun, unity, and power of this great art form. Amen.