Written by Mass Dosage
The Enemy Within
Wassup! The FlipSide Hip-Hop column is back for the 9-7, having laid the foundations last year we can now get down to some serious shit. Unfortunately this first column of the year is written about the same topic as the last column from '96 - down goes another rapper. Yes, the Notorious one has joined Tupac in moving from the cradle to the grave, and we have another fallen star to add to the ever-growing list. Theories of faked deaths and money-making schemes abound, but lets get real - we don't need any more Elvis'.
Conspiracy theories from the past have also been applied to the present, for example: the CIA, FBI etc. have been accused of being involved in the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X - and the possibility is there, both men were great political activists and enjoyed the attention of a whole lot of people. At the same time their views were contrary to popular opinion and this made a whole lot more people dislike them. People are now saying that Tupac and Biggie have been done in for similar reasons and maybe even by the same people. Let's check the facts on that.
Both rappers lead infamously corrupt lifestyles, by their own admission. Both glorified violence, talked about using women, smoked chronic etc. But that's life on the streets and it's real, so we let them get away with being less positive influences than they could be. They were both very popular and one could argue that they could motivate the behaviour of many of their fans which, judging by their record sales, is a multi- platinum figure. The conspiracy theory goes like this : Tupac and Biggie were figureheads for disempowered people, they posed a threat to the existing powers, so they were killed (shortly after recording a song together - a possible sign of them squashing their beef and joining forces). Their meeting on wax could even be likened to the publicised, albeit short, meeting between Malcolm and Martin. Just like a 90's version of the 60's conspiracy theory, but here lies the big difference - Biggie and Tupac were not the politically orientated, righteous brothers that Malcolm and Martin were.
Why would anyone bother taking these two rappers out when they were doing such a great job of promoting violence and drug abuse? Their lives were high budget adverts for self destruction. Malcolm and Martin told people to get up and fight for their rights and therefore posed serious threats to existing social norms. They both had strong religious groundings behind their philosophies and both encouraged their followers to improve themselves and aid one another, no matter what. Contrast this with B.I.G. and Tupac and their mo' murder mindstates. Sure, both rappers had their moments of reflection where they questioned their lifestyles, but these messages were all but lost to the mainstream media and other assorted onlookers. Neither Tupac nor Biggie posed much of a threat to the status quo, one could even go so far as to say that they maybe even played a part in perpetuating it. Would Martin or Malcolm ever have gone for that? I don't think so.
The truth can be found by looking to the lyrics : "but it's my own kind doing the killing here" (Tupac, 'Only God can judge me'); "fuck niggers, get money, fuck bitches, get money" (B.I.G., 'Get Money'). This solves the riddle as to who is behind both Tupac and Biggies' deaths. Jealousy, greed, violence and the other evils that are destroying Hip-hop mentally are the same evils destroying the creators of the artform physically. It is critical that we eliminate this negative mindstate from our culture so that we are safe from ourselves, then we can go looking to the outside for blame when something goes wrong. Only then we'll all go looking together and people will finally realise that the Hip-Hop generation does indeed possess the power to change society into something more open and just for all.