Love it or hate it, one of the things Hip Hop used to pride itself in was its originality. The Cardinal sin of Hip Hop was "bitin' " another rappers rhymes.
If only writers had the same code of ethics.
If you have followed the news in Durham over the years you can probably "feel me" on this one.
As an underground writer, I have always been more of an outcast. Like the early underground Hip Hoppers, I had to hustle (ie use guerrilla activism/journalism) to get my message out.
(Although they say "controversy sells" sometimes you can only sell it on the street corner.)
Anyway, some local writers have had more access to the mainstream press.
All well and good and I'm not hatin'.
But the problem comes when you work hard to be original and you see the fruits of your labor, unashamedly, in the mainstream by another dude.
Back in the late 90's, I remember working tirelessly to stop a malt liquor from being sold in the 'hood. I turned on the TV set one day and saw this dude talking about how he was fighting against the 40 oz.
This is also repeated in a book about black barbershop talk(or something another) where the author writes about how this same guy called for a boycott of Phat Boy Malt Liqour.
But then a few years later, I made a call for for black men in the city to gather to help stop the violence.
A week later...you guessed it.
Then when I started promoting Afrocentric Theology...
And still 'till, this very day, as I have been trying for the last few weeks to address the issue of the failure of the local school system to close the achievement gap. I looked in the local paper and once again...
Same dude. History keeps repeating itself.
It's kinda like an unsigned artist who gets his song stolen by an established cat with a record deal.
Oh well, I guess imitation is the highest form of flattery.
But sometimes as the Hip Hopper's say "swagga jackin' " is just "swagga jackin."