Tag Archives: atmosphere

How the Ghost of Vanilla Ice is Saving Hip Hop Right Now

By Resident Alien

You know when you’re watching some really extra crime on the news, and you have that split-second hope that it’s not a black guy?

Well, all too often for the last couple years, DJ A-See and I will be nodding along to a dope new lyricist and find ourselves hoping it is a black guy.

Somebody’s got to say it: white rappers are really bringing their A-game, and black rappers… well, I’m not saying we’re pulling a Custer, but we need to get our weight up. (Sorry, I’ve been watching a lot of History Channel lately.)

Over half the new rappers that make me lean forward and say, “that’s kinda nice” are white dudes now. There are still incredible black rappers, but they get shouted over by locust swarms of video-lifestyle rappers. How many ways can you talk about partying, drinking and making paper? Fuck it, it’s BORING.

Whereas, white rappers like Yelawolf, Invincible, Surreal, Atmosphere, Eternia, Brother Ali, even MGK, are bringing a diversified flow set, nice lines, strong concepts. And why?

Vanilla Ice. To The Extreme is the soundtrack of their nightmares. Vanilla’s pale, dreadlocked face wakes them up in the middle of the night, driving them to the pen and pad. It’s a legacy of whackness that has been motivating white rappers to do better for the last 20 years.  As successful as he was, no one wants to be the next Vanilla Ice.

Among black rappers, on the other hand, about a jillion wannabes are praying through gold grills to be the next Waka. They don’t care about the effect all this bad music is having on hip hop culture, because they don’t care about the culture as a whole. They just care about peddling the most inane, unchallenging, hookiest trash lyrics to as many people as possible.

So the ghost of Vanilla Ice is fueling a lifeline of good hip hop: independent, creative and insightful, that may keep us going until we make it to the next Golden Era. Unless—God Forbid—we’re already there

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The Hip-Hop Purist: Bouncer Vs. #1 Mom

If you look at me, you probably wouldn’t think of me as a tough guy. And you’d be right: I’m not a tough guy. I’m average weight and pretty non-athletic in appearance. I do, however, train MMA.
So in my small circle of homies, I am seen as a semi wannabe- tough guy. One of my college buddies even asks me to be the informal bouncer at his house parties. I don’t drink or smoke, so I won’t be tapping the stash. If he decides to charge, he knows I am honorable enough to never attempt to pocket a dime. And I look like a geek, so if anyone wanted to test me at the door, they would more than likely try to use their hands instead of using a weapon.
The last time I played door man, I learned a valuable life lesson:

You gotta let people be hypocrites / count your blessings and mind your businesses. – Slug (Atmosphere), Like the Rest of Us

So I’m standing at the door trying to pretend the crunk music is not wack…trying to avoid inhaling too much cigarette/swisher/clove/weed  smoke…and wondering how this dude convinces all of these women to come to his tiny, dirty, decrepit house. Then up steps a pregnant person. Women got in free that night so I did not have to ask for anything. She asked me for something though.
”Do you have a light?”
As a father, I remember trying to make sure only the best foods were in the house during the pregnancy. I even got a juicer. This future mom making an inquiry like that horrified me. So me in my self righteous grandeur decided it was only right to intervene. I mean, maybe she just didn’t know.

“You shouldn’t be doing that,” I murmured in a low tone, not trying to bring attention to the situation. “You should make every attempt to give the little person the best chance possible,” I damn near whispered.
She, on the other hand, decided to test the volume limits of her vocal cords. All the martial arts skill in the world can’t beat sense into anybody, and when someone is determined to wallow in negative circumstances, trying to force them out just leaves you looking stupid.

She “put me in my place.”
I guess.

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