Below are 2 filmnut.org blog posts tagged hip hop

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
  • Cardan
  • Harlem World
  • Mase
  • Ol' Dirty Bastard
  • Foxy Brown and Kurupt
  • Jay-Z
  • Case
  • Trackmasters
  • Slick Rick
  • Stevie J
  • Big Pun
  • Master P
  • Silkk The Shocker
  • Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith
  • Timbaland and Missy Elliott
  • Joe
  • Jermaine Dupri and Da Brat
  • DMX
  • Treach
  • DJ Clue
  • TQ
  • Raekwon, Ghostface Killah and RZA
  • Sticky Fingaz
  • Fredro Starr
  • Canibus
  • Heavy D
  • Juvenile
  • Blackstreet
  • 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.