Hip Hop and Philosophy: Rhyme 2 Reason

By Derrick Darby; Tommie Shelby | Go to book overview

1
Yo! It Ain't No Mystery:
Who Is God?

DERRICK DARBY


Godz N the Hood

“Whad up G?” This is how young godz stepped to older godz back in the day in my old hood, Queensbridge. Nas's recital on “Life's a Bitch” (Illmatic) and Mobb Deep's chronicles of life from the cradle to the grave on The Infamous represent just how much life has changed from when I was a young G growing up in the Bridge on the 41st side of Vernon. As Havoc schools us, beef is settled nowadays not by fists but by blessing sons with iron, loaded with hollow-tips in Gotti clips. And “Whad up G?” is how young and old hood gangstas step to one another. Young headz in the old hood—where many men wish death upon one another, as 50 Cent preaches on Get Rich or Die Tryin'—are livin' the life of gangstas, straight thuggin', and anticipating the day when death comes around the corner, so that after their downfall they can follow Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. and be buried as a G.

But back in the day when we rolled up on older godz we weren't seeking beef. We sought the fifth element of hip hop— knowledge. We offered much respect to the older godz who schooled us on the science of the divine mathematics and the divine alphabet. And the older godz were always game for droppin' science. On “Older Gods” (Wu-Tang Forever), Ghostface Killah and Raekwon reminisce about the days of old when the older godz put young Gs on and taught us daily life lessons. Back then lyrically gifted godz used rhyme skillz to transcribe the lost and found lessons into a form that made them really real

-3-

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