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“Rap Is An Art, You Can’t Own No Loops” © Keith “Guru” Elam

Much of the Hip-Hop world is outraged over Lupe Fiasco’s latest single “Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free)” which uses pretty much the same beat as Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth’s tribute to their fallen friend Troy “Trouble T-Roy” Dixon of Heavy D & The Boyz “T.R.O.Y. (They Reminisce Over You).” There are some that don’t think it’s a big deal, provided Pete Rock & C.L. get their proper credit or compensation for the beats usage.

Others instead feel that “T.R.O.Y.” is one of a few sacred Hip-Hop songs that are exempt from being remade or being sampled due to its place in Hip-Hop culture. “T.R.O.Y.” began as a song that two sons of Mount Vernon made in tribute to a beloved friend that was embraced by the entirety of the culture to the point where it was played at funerals and weddings alike. This is both a generational issue and a philosophical issue at the same damn time. Are there really rules in Hip-Hop or are we just kidding ourselves?



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