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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week's Rapper: HPMA nominee Kyle Hubbard
This Week's Subject(s): Houston songs that should/should not be immortalized.
Each year, the National Recording Registry selects 25 songs to enter their, umm, registry. This year, Tupac's "Dear Mama" was selected. He's only the third hip-hop act to ever have a song selected after Grandmaster Flash and Public Enemy. Now, as part of the requirements to be selected, a song must be "at least ten years old and bear some historical, cultural or aesthetic significance."
Here's what we'll do. You and AAR will play Good Cop/Bad Cop. We'll throw out some songs and list why they should not be included, you tell us why they should be. Good luck. And we're off:
UGK, "Pregnant Pussy"
Bad Cop (Ask A Rapper): You need an explanation for why this shouldn't make it? Seriously? Okay, how about there's a part in there about how while you're having relations with a preggers, the baby can simultaneously be giving you head? Will that do?
Good Cop (Kyle Hubbard): Please excuse my partner; too many years on the force have made him a bitter, bitter man. I commend this track for trying to push the "even pregnant ladies need love too" campaign, but I think the whole approach is the problem. It's like if I were to approach a girl in the club to say something like, "Hey, you're hot, you should let me put my D in your P."
You see, that's not quite an insult, but it will probably secure another night alone. The same principle applies here. I think the message is good, even though it's horribly rough around the edges.
Geto Boys, "Mind Playing Tricks On Me"
BC: There are probably a few reasons that this shouldn't make it, but you really only need one: Kottonmouth Kings did a remake. Any song that inspires more music by the KK should be held accountable.
GC: This is a great song, and will always be one of the most important tracks in Houston history. It has been around for a long time and it has touched a many person along the way, but somewhere the song made a few wrong turns, started hanging out with the wrong crowd.
I will never forgive Kottonmouth Kings for what they did to it (or for existing for that matter), but I know it's not the song's fault. It will always be a classic song and deserves to be held up there with songs like "Dear Mama." If it straightens up and flies right it could be the fourth hip-hop song ever picked.
Willie D, "They Laphin' Atcha"
BC: This is a good enough song, but no way are we letting something so outrageously misspelled into the registry. We mean, "laphin'"? Come on.
GC: Look, man. I am not going to take away any points for the misspelling. If it wasn't for spell check, I would have be fired from my 9-5 a couple times over. With that said, I don't make the rules, and it seems that the majority of the songs picked are spelled correctly, which would make this title stand out like a sore thumb.
I don't like the idea of a bunch of red votes sitting around in a stuffy room going over the list and coming across this and saying something like "Oh, the rapper can't spell, what a surprise! Muhahaha." It's a black-tie event, and if the song comes dressed the way it is now, well, they gonna laph atcha.
DJ Screw, "June 27th"
BC: This song has been heralded for so long, remade by so many people, parodied so many times, that it's now probably the most overrated Screw song of all time. Also, it's 19 hours long.
GC: Oh, "June 27th." What a ride it has been. I feel so far removed from this song nowadays. I mean, I always stumble across some rapper's freestyle over the beat, but it's never really "June 27th." A part me feels like its identity has been hijacked.
True story, some girl put on Drake's track over this beat and had no idea of what it was originally. That's a sad fact. I want to see it picked just so that people know where it started, so people remember that it is the true H-Town anthem, so people know it's not a Drake track.
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Odd Squad, "Your Pussy's Like Dope"
BC: Man, good luck defending that one.
GC: Ew. Gross. Blah. This disgusts me... fire up the chair.