The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place -lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good- so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Have something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email it to email@example.com. This Week's Rapper: Praphecy (left) of 2 Man Army This Week's Subject(s): Ironic rap tours; Journey Ask A Rapper: We saw this little news blurb about Kool Keith coming out back and tour and realized: Lately a bunch of (God, we hate using this term) "old school" rappers have been announcing upcoming tours. Doesn't this seem lame to you? We don't know, something just doesn't seem right about that situation. Praphecy: Personally, I beg to differ. I feel that it's healthy and even more relevant in this day and age for the older generation of MCs to go out there and inform the new generation of their history. You can't know where you're going unless you know where the art form is derived from.
AAR: What is the appropriate amount of time before someone can partake in an exploitative tour? Like, can Nelly do one of those yet? Or has he not been unimportant long enough for a tour headlined by him to be ironic enough? P: I'd say ten years out of the game, give or take.
AAR: Ha. That was a trick question, sir. You were supposed to answer, "Never. It will never be cool for Nelly to tour."
P: Well, I believe Nelly has a big enough fan base (being mainly women). And if you think about who buys more albums, it's always women, so I think that could definitely translate into ticket sales. Not sayin' you'd ever catch me at a Nelly show, though.
AAR: Is there any other profession where guys that were once high-powered and in demand become obsolete so quickly? I'm saying, you could take the Top 10 songs from any year before 2008 and I'd be willing to bet that at least 60 percent are from people that nobody cares about anymore. Drug dealers might have a better go of it long term than rappers.
P: I think a lot of rock artists have been treated the same. Other than music: politics.
AAR: Rock artists? You think so? Don't know about that. Rock seems to have a much longer shelf life than rap. If Steve Perry linked back up with Journey, the world would stop spinning so everyone could watch them live. We can't think of any hip-hop act that's not making new music today that could do that. Can you?
P: But rock holds a lot of the same characteristics as hip-hop. What you say about Steve Perry, you could also say about Q-Tip linking back up with Tribe Called Quest.
AAR: Are there any rappers that will never stoop to the "Let's Reunite To Score A Little Extra Change Because I'm Short On Rent This Month" tour? Let's end with this: Name five acts that we will absolutely never see out on tour. Dead people don't count.
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P: Poor Righteous Teachers, EPMD, Arrested Development, Cold Crush Brothers, UTFO.
AAR: A couple of these guys might not do a reunion tour because they couldn't. Seriously, there might be 40 people who could name two Poor Righteous Teachers songs without Googling them. And we're almost certain Arrested Development will be out on tour soon. They're just about due.
P: But if they toured it would be a big deal amongst the old heads. We're in the day in age where everything is possible, so I wouldn't put it past any group.