A Philosophical Rap

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A Philosophical Rap
sheps
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Posted Aug 30, 2010 - 11:00 AM:
Subject: A Philosophical Rap
I was listening to "Still Standing" on Goodie Mob's second (I think) album, and this rhyme struck me as groping towards a rather idealist pseudo-Spinozan metaphysics. It's performed by the magisterial Cee-Lo (later of DangerDoom and Gnarls Barkley fame) as a brief a cappella, and it's become a personal favorite which I'll throw out at those on here who can't see the intellectual value in hip-hop. cool

...Each and every element that exists in this
universe is manifested from a thought first
Through the inner mind's eye of the unseen power in the sky
Gave birth to Mother Earth and all it's worth to you and I
This most loved invention, my conciousness is an extension
of Him, yet I'm flesh and bone with a mind of my own
To dig deeper than the surface, whether I learn
from your upcomings or your downfalls we all have individual purpose...


Here's the song itself. It's at the beginning of the last verse.

Unexpiritualized
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Posted Aug 30, 2010 - 11:31 AM:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPHZnwju4Vw

Enough philosophy : it takes skill to be real.


Come on come on
I see no changes wake up in the morning and I ask myself
is life worth living should I blast myself?
I'm tired of bein' poor & even worse I'm black
my stomach hurts so I'm lookin' for a purse to snatch
Cops give a damn about a negro
pull the trigger kill a nigga he's a hero
Give the crack to the kids who the hell cares
one less hungry mouth on the welfare
First ship 'em dope & let 'em deal the brothers
give 'em guns step back watch 'em kill each other
It's time to fight back that's what Huey said
2 shots in the dark now Huey's dead
I got love for my brother but we can never go nowhere
unless we share with each other
We gotta start makin' changes
learn to see me as a brother instead of 2 distant strangers
and that's how it's supposed to be
How can the Devil take a brother if he's close to me?
I'd love to go back to when we played as kids
but things changed, and that's the way it is

[Bridge w/ changing ad libs]
Come on come on
That's just the way it is
Things'll never be the same
That's just the way it is
aww yeah
[Repeat]

[2]
I see no changes all I see is racist faces
misplaced hate makes disgrace to races
We under I wonder what it takes to make this
one better place, let's erase the wasted
Take the evil out the people they'll be acting right
'cause both black and white is smokin' crack tonight
and only time we chill is when we kill each other
it takes skill to be real, time to heal each other
And although it seems heaven sent
We ain't ready, to see a black President, uhh
It ain't a secret don't conceal the fact
the penitentiary's packed, and it's filled with blacks
But some things will never change
try to show another way but you stayin' in the dope game
Now tell me what's a mother to do
bein' real don't appeal to the brother in you
You gotta operate the easy way
"I made a G today" But you made it in a sleazy way
sellin' crack to the kid. " I gotta get paid,"
Well hey, well that's the way it is

[Bridge]

[Talking:]
We gotta make a change...
It's time for us as a people to start makin' some changes.
Let's change the way we eat, let's change the way we live
and let's change the way we treat each other.
You see the old way wasn't working so it's on us to do
what we gotta do, to survive.

[3]
And still I see no changes can't a brother get a little peace
It's war on the streets & the war in the Middle East
Instead of war on poverty they got a war on drugs
so the police can bother me
And I ain't never did a crime I ain't have to do
But now I'm back with the facts givin' it back to you
Don't let 'em jack you up, back you up,
crack you up and pimp smack you up
You gotta learn to hold ya own
they get jealous when they see ya with ya mobile phone
But tell the cops they can't touch this
I don't trust this when they try to rush I bust this
That's the sound of my tool you say it ain't cool
my mama didn't raise no fool
And as long as I stay black I gotta stay strapped
& I never get to lay back
'Cause I always got to worry 'bout the pay backs
some punk that I roughed up way back
comin' back after all these years
rat-tat-tat-tat-tat that's the way it is uhh
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Posted Aug 30, 2010 - 11:41 AM:

Hehe I posted my 2 favourite rappers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnKUUBKLygE

AZ] Aiyyo, wassup wassup let's keep it real son
Count this money, yaknowhatI'msayin?
[Nas] Yea yea
[AZ] Aiyyo, put the Grant's over there in the safe yaknowhatI'msayin?
[Nas] Yea yea
[AZ] Cause we spendin these Jackson's
The Washington's go to wifey, you know how that go
[Nas] I'm sayin, that's what this is all about right?
Clothes, bankrolls, and hoes yaknowhatI'msayin?
Yo then what man, what?? *echoes*

Verse One: AZ the Visualiza

Visualizin the realism of life and actuality
Fuck who's the baddest a person's status depends on salary
And my mentality is, money orientated
I'm destined to live the dream for all my peeps who never made it
cause yeah, we were beginners in the hood as five percenters
But somethin must of got in us cause all of us turned to sinners
Now some, restin in peace and some are sittin in San Quentin
Others such as myself are tryin to carry on tradition
Keepin the schwepervesence street ghetto essence inside us
Cause it provides us with the proper insight to guide us
Even though, we know somehow we all gotta go
but as long as we leavin thievin we'll be leavin with some kind of dough
so, and to that day we expire and turn to vapors
me and my capers-ll be somewhere stackin plenty papers
Keepin it real, packin steel, gettin high
Cause life's a bitch and then you die

Chorus: AZ the Visualiza

Life's a bitch and then you die; that's why we get high
Cause you never know when you're gonna go
Life's a bitch and then you die; that's why we puff lye
Cause you never know when you're gonna go
Life's a bitch and then you die; that's why we get high
Cause you never know when you're gonna go
Life's a bitch and then you die; that's why we puff lye

Cause you never know when you're gonna go
Life's a bitch and then you die


Verse Two: Nas

I woke up early on my born day, I'm twenty years of blessing
The essence of adolescent leaves my body now I'm fresh in
My physical frame is celebrated cause I made it
One quarter through life some God-ly like thing created
Got rhymes 365 days annual plus some
Load up the mic and bust one, cuss while I puffs from
my skull cause it's pain in my brain vein money maintain
Don't go against the grain simple and plain
When I was young at this I used to do my thing hard
Droppin foreigners take they wallets they jewels and rip they green cards
Dipped to the projects flashin my quick cash
and got my first piece of ass smokin blunts with hash
Now it's all about cash in abundance, niggaz I used to run with
is rich or doin years in the hundreds
I switched my motto -- instead of sayin fuck tommorrow
That buck that bought a bottle could've struck the lotto
Once I stood on the block, loose cracks produce stacks
I cooked up and cut small pieces to get my loot back
Time is Illmatic keep static like wool fabric
Pack a four-matic that crack your whole CABBAGE
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Posted Aug 30, 2010 - 2:35 PM:

A little too gangster for my current tastes. I'm currently (although this'll change, and I'll go back to the West Coast, I'm sure cool ) into more "intellectual" hip hop - Guru (God rest his soul), bits of Goodie Mob, Deltron. All that jazz.

Plus, Snoop Dogg's sold out. Again. This time, to do records with Katy Perry shaking head

He's still got such a voice, too.
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Posted Aug 30, 2010 - 3:19 PM:

Many garbage in rap, but sometimes I listened to a whole album if the voice and lyrics were okay. The 90's were the golden age.
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Posted Aug 30, 2010 - 4:04 PM:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAV0XrbEwNc

The best Cee-Lo song, ever.
Craze714
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Posted Aug 30, 2010 - 11:05 PM:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDvheiYH1L4

don't even get me started on hip hop. i am the master of this.
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Posted Sep 1, 2010 - 1:43 AM:

Indeed. Anybody who thinks hip hop is all about chest beating and lust for material goods might want to take a deeper look. There are many references to Confusious and Taoism in the lyrics of Wu-Tang, and Tu-Pac was no stranger to political philosophy (hence the nickname Machiavelli). Unfortunately, most of the intelligent rappers in America today stay underground where few people ever hear of them, perhaps in protest of the parasites propped up by the music industry that is sucking the life out of this once thriving musical genre.

One of my favorites is a song by Beastie Boys called "Bodhisattva Vow." From Wikipedia: The Sanskrit term Bodhisattva is the name given to anyone who, motivated by great compassion, has generated bodhichitta, which is a spontaneous wish to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. What makes someone a Bodhisattva is her or his dedication to the ultimate welfare of other beings, as expressed in the prayer: "May I attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.”

sheps
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Posted Sep 1, 2010 - 7:19 AM:

Unexpiritualized wrote:
The 90's were the golden age.


Agreed.

StreetlightX wrote:
The best Cee-Lo song, ever.


I disagree. sticking out tongue In terms of solo Cee-Lo, I'd pick this one, which was put onto the concluding scenes of Breaking Bad to astonishing effect:



Craze714 wrote:
don't even get me started on hip hop. i am the master of this.


I profess to be no master; I haven't actually heard of the group in your link, but I might check them out.

Soy Sauce Ninja wrote:
Indeed. Anybody who thinks hip hop is all about chest beating and lust for material goods might want to take a deeper look. There are many references to Confusious and Taoism in the lyrics of Wu-Tang, and Tu-Pac was no stranger to political philosophy (hence the nickname Machiavelli). Unfortunately, most of the intelligent rappers in America today stay underground where few people ever hear of them, perhaps in protest of the parasites propped up by the music industry that is sucking the life out of this once thriving musical genre.


The problem is that the most prominent rappers in the public eye are condemned as either a danger to society, or as sell-outs. But when you look at the depth of the genre and the number of collaborations still happening between new, underground talent and more established names, there remains cause for hope. It seems that the gangster genre has more or less run it's course, though; Dre hasn't done much decent himself for a while, and seems to be focusing on production, whilst Snoop's been going down some interesting, but highly different, routes. One could make a pretty decent argument that that genre of hip hop died with Tupac and Notorious B.I.G.
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Posted Sep 1, 2010 - 5:01 PM:

There's plenty of great, modern rap around. Pharoahe Monch's "Desire", probably my favorite rap album ever, was dropped in '07. Big Boi released a kicker of an album this year. Raekown's Built Of Cuban Linx II was one of last year's most stellar albums. The Roots are still releasing like an album a year now a days. P.O.S., UGK, MF DOOM... plenty!

And Sheps I've been recently getting into Breaking Bad - awesome show.
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