How to Rob is a 1999 song from 50 Cent (that I just discovered). It's apparently what initially put 50 on everyone's radar.
Aside from being a great track, its approach is interesting: 50 envisions himself robbing the world's biggest hip hop and R&B artists (at the time), one by one. The song's Wikipedia page even lists out each artist that 50 targets (in the order in which they are mentioned):
- Lil' Kim
- P Diddy
- Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston
- Brian McKnight
- Keith Sweat
- Harlem World
- Ol' Dirty Bastard
- Foxy Brown and Kurupt
- Slick Rick
- Stevie J
- Big Pun
- Master P
- Silkk The Shocker
- Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith
- Timbaland and Missy Elliott
- Jermaine Dupri and Da Brat
- DJ Clue
- Raekwon, Ghostface Killah and RZA
- Sticky Fingaz
- Fredro Starr
- Heavy D
- R. Kelly (though not by name, is referenced within the lyrics)
- Boyz II Men and Michael Bivins
- Mike Tyson and Robin Givens
- Mister Cee
- Busta Rhymes and the Flipmode Squad
- Kirk Franklin
My favorite two lines turn out to both be fat jokes (which I normally don't condone). On Big Pun:
I'll rob Pun without a gun, snatch his piece then run
This n____ weigh 400 pounds, how he gonna catch me, son?
And on Missy Elliott:
Run up on Timbaland and Missy with the pound
Like, "You, give me the cash; you, put the hot dog down"
The song apparently won 50 both a bunch of admirers and a slew of enemies, which is not surprising. All of the lyrics are on Genius.
Today I finished the Mogul: The Life and Death of Chris Lighty podcast. I enjoyed it.
If you're not familiar with Lighty, he was a "500 pound Gorilla"-level manager of major hip hop artists. When I started the podcast, I didn't think I had heard of him, but it didn't take me long to recognise him as A Tribe Called Quest's manager that is a talking head in Michael Rapaport's outstanding documentary Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest (I vividly remember Lighty from that documentary, because he used the term "esoteric" in his interview in referring to Q-Tip, and I remember that was the first time I had heard that word used before). Lighty's was a true rags-to-riches story, which ends in a tragic suicide.
Aside from being a well-produced, thoughtful deep dive into an interesting subject, I was struck throughout the podcast by how wonderful it is that someone would take the time to tell this story. Lighty isn't a big enough name to carry a film documentary, and that's where the podcast medium really shines. It allows you to do deep dives into subjects that have (seemingly) small audiences, but using a richer medium than long-form written journalism.
Below is a trailer of the podcast.
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