Rumors and truths are always revealed by those that are ‘in the know’ or have ‘private’ access to others. Journalists, writers, and reporters or biographers are an artist’s worst nightmare. Particularly if that alleged artist may be a plagiarist-of-sorts. One Tweet, said with so much obviousness that Samson-after-the-fall could see, has basically obliterated the authenticity of not only one Nasir ‘Nas’ Jones, but also the validity of talent and creativity in the entire realm of Rap/Hip Hop music. Will we begin to question all of the greats or self-proclaimed greatest rappers of all time? Via @dreamhampton, the social media audience was privy to the following post: Dream Hampton
“I think Jay writes what he believes. Nas' "Nigger" album was largely written by Stic of dead prez and Jay Electronica @JusAire...”
This one tweet may have single-handedly blown the lid of authenticity off of Hip Hop/Rap music as a whole. I will not attempt to deconstruct the misognistic and gender hierarchical structure that has existed in Hip Hop, which mirrors and mimicks American society, since its inception in the late 70s and burgeoning presence in popular culture in the 80s, but I will try to defend not only Dream Hampton as a writer, author, journalist, and Hip Hop historian, but women as well who do not fear public criticism in speaking freely about social, or in this case entertainment, issues.
The potency of this tweet really struck a chord in the Hip Hop community because the one rudimentary element, atleast from a fan’s perspective, of the genre of music is that the lyricist is the verbal and written author of either their verses or their songs and for one to allege that Nas, who is considered by the consensus to be one of the all-time greats in the Rap game, had a ghostwriter to pen his album ‘Untitled/Nigger’ is mind-boggling to Rap aficionados, if not blasphemous. How could this great poet allow another great poet to do his work for him. It’s like the valedictorian cheating on a final exam. Why would they need to do that? They are already talented and respected and have cemented their place in History.
Aside from Dream Hampton’s accusation that Nas subcontracted Stic Man of Dead Prez and Jay Electronica to write the majority of the lyrics on his ‘Untitled’ album, to which both Stic Man and Jay Electronica have publicly denied to Vibe Magazine, the more problematic circumstance is the Hip Hop community’s backlash aimed at her for this assertion. I am not sure whether it is because she may be throwing salt in the game by causing those who use ghostwriters to now avoid that ‘artistic’ option, which in essence would cause many a ghostwriter’s plate to be a little more empty or because Hampton, a woman of color, chose to speak out. It’s situational irony at its best: A woman, who has been around Hip Hop’s greatest artists and minds and has been the auditory recipient of a plethora of dehumanizing and objectifying lyrics aimed at females, decided to pull Nas’ card. I would say that is feminine empowerment to say the least.
Would fans of Hip Hop and Nas be as offended and blatantly disrespectful if Dream was a Black man? Would anyone even be talking about this allegation as much? Would Jus Blaze had stated that Hampton needed to be “bled out” as she claims he stated in an open forum to if she had been a male? Particularly a male who could have not only verbally defended themselves or physically and, more than likely, violently retaliated against that threat. Probably not.
Rap music, its artists, and its audience has been subjugated to the ideological dominance of the Black male since the music’s inception, and the fact that a female had the proverbial balls to out Nas’ possible artistic plagiarism in an artform that is predicated upon authenticity and the backlash from male artists, fans, and music producers reiterates Snoop Doggy Dogg’s old adage from his ‘Doggstyle’ album that “Bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks.” Maybe Snoop meant that women should not be trusted and will do anything to one-up a man and bring a tragic demise to the male species similar to a whore on the 'hoe stroll' that will rob a John and tell the police that he assaulted her,.
But what was wrong with what Hampton tweeted, if it was a truth? Was she not being authentic in exposing Nas' lack of artistic effort on the 'Untilteled' album? Why is Dream being villified by Hip Hop? I guess she's a bitch or a 'hoe' or a trick because she told the truth on a man--even if she was doing her job as a journalist or an insider and a social commentator. Former U.S. Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm once stated, "The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says, "It's a girl." Well, I say to Dream, "You go, girl." (in my Martin Lawrence voice) You have succeeded in turning Hip Hop on its head and you didn't have to physically and verbally sex yourself up like a Lil' Kim or a Foxxy Brown or a Nicki Minaj to do it either. Your mere tweet of less than fifty words is more potent and impactful than the exhausted Rap beef. It seems like those males in Hip Hop who are for some reason mad at Hampton for 'lying' may be the bitches, hoes, and tricks that Snoop Lion referenced almost twenty years ago.