Tuesday, October 13, 2009

NWSF Bullet: From Def Jam to Death Jam

As I sit here watching VH1's Hip Hop Honor's Def Jam," I am reflecting back to the first time that I heard T-La Rock''s "It's Yours."

Could it be that it was all so simple then?

I remember Def Jam in its heyday. LL Cool J's "Radio" was just as hard as anything that is played on the radio, today sans the profanity and tales of drug sells.

I remember the first time I heard Public Enemy's "Rebel With a Cause." Over 20 years later, as I watch the group perform the song, just like a generation ago, even some folks in that room like the music of Public Enemy but despise the message of Public Enemy.

To Def Jam's credit, even though the label did go gangsta with some of its artists, the label never totally lost its soul.

Even DMX wasn't void of a conscious as some of the West Coast artists seem to be.

However, I guess what is most disappointing about Def Jam is that the label had the opportunity to be the leader that could have preserved what was good about Hip Hop. Instead as Hip Hop changed, so did Def Jam. As evidence by Rick Ross, who is performing as I write this.

Maybe someday, someone will realize that a "def jam" doesn't have to celebrate black death.

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots Fired.com