I came up in Hip-Hop culture as a member of a generation that remembered Hip-Hop before it had records or was played on the radio. It was usually performed live in a party setting and the Hip-Hop or Rap I heard at the time in recorded form was on tape and it was of a live party or a battle held in a club setting. Back then it was common practice to rework popular song lyrics into a new routine. DJ’s would backspin parts of popular songs so the MCs could rap over them. The initial Rap records essentially jacked popular Funk and Disco songs to provide music for the initial Rap records. Eventually, producers began to emerge and after a while Hip-Hop began to amass original recording that would be considered classics. Among these classic records are tracks that are deemed so meaningful that remaking them or even using the same sample is seen as a violation of basic Hip-Hop Law. Unfortunately, not all of us remember these days…

“If you came up in the post ’97 Internet Age of Hip-Hop then these standards or rules simply don’t work with, or just are not respected, in modern Rap.”

Unless you were around to dig for records and experienced when Hip-Hop had a built in mentorship program where you were expected to learn at the feet of elders about the essential “rules” of Hip Hop and its culture, then you might be completely confused as to why Pete Rock was enraged over the usage the beat for his song “T.R.O.Y.” I still can’t forget the day my cousin Nanzette called my brother Dave from Mount Vernon trying to hold back tears to inform us that Troy Dixon had passed in a freak accident. I’d idolized Heavy D. & The Boyz growing up through my Mt. Vernon family so to me that song is absolutely off limits. When Diddy sampled Edo G. & The Bulldogs classic “I Got To Have It” for Mary J. Blige’s “Love & Life” album in 2003, and put 50 Cent on it, Boston and New York had some serious exchanges over the usage of what is seen as the Boston anthem (but just a classic outside of Massachusetts). Now let’s get to the crux of the problem, shall we? [continued on pg 2.]

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