Adamu's shared items

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Souja Boy vs. Ice T

This passage from the Wiki entry on Soulja Boy left me speechless:

Feud with Ice-T
In June 2008, on DJ Cisco’s Urban Legend
mixtape, Ice-T
criticized Way for "killing hip-hop" and his song "Crank That" for being
"garbage" compared to the works of other hip-hop artists such as Rakim, Das EFX, Big
Daddy Kane
and Ice Cube.[22] Way then
responded in a YouTube video by mocking Ice-T's age saying "we Wikipedia-ed
this nigga, this
nigga was born in was born before the internet was created; how the
fuck you even find me?" Way, who seemed to be reading the Wikipedia article
about Ice-T as he spoke, frequently punctuated his comments with laughter. Ice-T
proceeded to offer a video response to Way's reaction in which he made an
apology for the harsh comment, but many felt it was a backhanded apology,
because at the end of the video Ice-T's son appeared reiterating the same
negative comment that Ice-T had stated in the mixtape. However Ice-T did not
apologize for his critique on Way's music even as to go so far as reiterating
his belief that Way's music was "garbage." Rapper Kanye West defended Way by
arguing that Soulja Boy created a new, original work for hip-hop, thus keeping
the authentic meaning of the music.[23] Way
followed suit by posting another video on the internet in the form of a cartoon
mocking Ice-T and ridiculing a video clip of Ice-T dancing.[24]
First off, Ice T as a rapper was never all that catchy. In fact, his work in the 80s sounds a lot like what gets mocked "I'm Ice T and I'm here to say" style corniness. Like take this from Breakin 2:

Say what you will about Soulja Boy, he didn't kill anything - he made a hot song with an accompanying dance that connected with the people of his day. As far as I can tell, Ice T has always been about his hard image, with the listenability of his music coming a distant second (something similar could be said of his acting career!). One thing the two have in common - Ice T's leather getup is just as flamboyant and ridiculous as the Superman-logo rainbow gear favored by Soulja Boy.

Considering difference between the music made 30 years ago in Ice T's heyday and the stuff that comes out today, it really shouldn't be considered in the same category at all. It would be like Little Richard saying Motorhead killed rock n roll. The two have just evolved separately such that they are mutually unrecognizable.

Another interesting comparison - Ice T grew up in Crenshaw and was part of the second generation and among the pioneers who contributed to the genre's shift from party anthems to talk about the gangster lifestyle. Soulja Boy's music draws on that history (raps about ho's, dances with handguns in both hands) but de-emphasizes macho violence. And crucially Soulja Boy has firmly middle class roots - he launched his career from his suburban Mississippi home with a music studio paid for by his dad.

No comments: