Wednesday, October 19, 2016
NEW YORK'S ALRIGHT IF YOU LIKE ICEYS
When the NYC Rap Dynasty started crumblin back 'round the turn of 2K, I couldn't wait to see it fall. I grew up on the shit, but the hubris of New York industry types made it highly entertaining when the music started to suck and the pricks started to sweat (nullus). And even tho they still tryna put fluoride in the water supply w/ not-ready-for-primetime plantz like Troy Ave and Young M.A, it's been long enough that I'm starting to miss the days when New York was the undisputed center of "the culture." I'm gettin old mane, there's a new generation who don't even remember when New York was kang. That ain't a problem, just means I'm making the transition from baby gangsta to old fart; what bothers me is the ppl my age swallowing the "Fuck New York" quarter-water and clinging blindly to the South's bozack, not realizing they're just a reversal of the last hard-heads who turned the 5 Boroughs into a sinking ship.
New York rap in 2016 is weird. It's a vacuum-sealed cottage industry like jazz since the '70s, self-consciously New York (and not self-consciously "hip-hop") in a way the old shit didn't have to be 'cause it was the gold standard. As with every iteration of Old New York's last stand, you can blame it on gentrification I think. And memes. Whatever. All I know is if you asked me about Joell Ortiz in 2007, I would have said he was a desperate symbol of NYC's retrograde rap scene. In 2016, I like a song about iceys he made with Bodega Bamz and Nitty Scott. New York is a lot of things—irritating, self-important, smelly—but it's got some cool shit too. Ima hold off registering with the Conservative Rap Coalition, but they can keep my name on the mailing list.