I’m not a Head—I don’t hail Tribe as being the epitome of a Hip-Hop group. I actually dig OutKast much more. I’m not biased necessarily; I just like what I like. But I love opinions, I love discussion, I love the culture and all that comes with it, good or bad. What I hate, though, are you idiots responsible for the misinformation of the masses about this culture. “Li’l Wayne ain’t Hip-Hop, but Little Brother is?” How do you discern the difference? They’re all rappers, and last time I checked my four elements, being an emcee is one of them, which means, hate it or love it, they all qualify as “Hip-Hop.” But who am I? My opinion doesn’t really matter that much to anybody but me. But here is a metaphor for all of y’all who don’t see the vision from my perspective: Hip-Hop is like a football team. There are many different people in many different positions, some more skilled than others, yet they are all part of the same thing. The kickers don’t even play much—probably don’t even practice as hard as the rest of the players, but at the end of the week, when the game is on, they’re out there, fully suited, on the sidelines, a part of the team. They may never have to tackle anyone, may never be tackled, may never even get any dirt on their uniforms, but they’re on the team. The Gucci Manes and Soulja Boys are the punters and field goal kickers of Hip-Hop—when the Commons or Kwelis don’t score on a drive, these are the guys that come from the sidelines, seemingly out of nowhere, and kick the ball off. They keep the game going, put a few points on the board, stop the other team from taking over in our territory. Though some people who love the more skilled positions believe there is no place for kickers in the game, it’s evident we need them, even if we don’t want to admit it. Some of them try to do too much when they get the ball, some of them embarrass the team, some of them try to pretend they can play other positions, knowing they can’t. In the end, we’re all on the same team, though, and we need each other to win. So those of you who love to “go for it” on 4th and long, I don’t know what to say to you except it’s not a smart strategy. You don’t have to like it, but the game is played to win, not simply for sport—but then again, maybe that’s the issue—it’s just a sport to you. For many of us Hip-Hop is a lifestyle—it’s our lives. And that’s why it’s hard to accept those that we see in an advantageous position with seemingly no effort, no love for the game, no real skills. Oh well, no one ever said that life is fair. The same goes in Hip-Hop. Maybe I’m rambling, but I want you all to know, for the sake of Hip-Hop, that pointing at our teammates and telling people that they are not on our team, though we have on the same uniform, go to the same locker room, get paid by the same bank (oftentimes hugely different salaries), doesn’t help us toward our goal of winning. It makes the team weaker. Even if some of us don’t know—shit, don’t care that we’re playing for the same team, I love this game and I get tired of people trying to break us up. All we got is us. To take the football metaphor a little deeper, there’s a simile my high school coach used to tell our team: football is like war. In the words of Prodigy, “There’s a war going on outside no man is safe from…” I’m on the side of Hip-Hop. Which side are you on?

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A.D. Carson

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I'm just a little south of the Windy City...