Yes this is because of Kendrick’s “Control” verse. Yes, this is because of Ebro calling out the entire city for their lack of aggression and enthusiasm in regards to hip-hop in general today. Yes this is because I sincerely miss the presence of Fabolous, Jadakiss & Lloyd Banks on any list and debates when it comes to MCs in the game. Granted these three have cemented a nice cozy spot in the game documented by solid collaborations, mixtapes, awards, concerts and verses, remixes and albums…that goes without saying. But let’s be real, none of these guys have touched the age of 40 (Jadakiss is 38, Fab is 35 and Banks is 31) so there’s no reason the lack of activity is at level 10 with these guys.
The three have been seemingly busy with projects but no a dominant force in the NYC market. Since 2009, Fab’s dropped two albums and about 4 mixtapes. Where as Lloyd has dropped about 6 tapes and one album. As for Jada we’ve seen 4 mixtapes and one album. The work is there but are the results? Why aren’t they higher on today’s hip-hop totem pole? Is it frustration from them and their corners? Does the lack of NYC support ruffle their creative juices? When either of these guys are mentioned on Twitter, specifically NYC Twitter (that’s not really a thing but when these guys are brought up, NYC responds heavily) many scoff at the idea of any of these fellas baring a hip hop torch for the Big Apple. But why?
Jada came from the Bad Boy era which once had NYC & Hip-Hop in a cobra clutch. Studied under one of the greats, came from one of the best hip-hop groups in the game, worked with EVERYONE you pretty much admire in the sport today and is overall respected among all his peers without question. Why didn’t he adapt? Yes of course, in SOME WAY, Jada is still very relevant but is that all we’ve grown to accept from the Yonkers MC? “Oh, Jada came from The Lox. He’s put in work. He’s good.” Nah man, he’s not good. He deserves more. He deserves a #1 album. A Grammy. A huge brand partnership. Something substantial that says “What I did can’t be touched or done.” Does he not demand more from himself? Granted, we don’t know what’s going on in his personal life because as we saw months ago, the man had an edge up when he’s clearly been baled for HIS ENTIRE CAREER. So once a nigga starts growing his hair out, something stressful must be around the corner. And then “Control” happened and we didn’t get a PEEP out of him. Not even a laugh. Styles had shit to say, but nothing from 40 Cal Kiss. With an album titled like Top 5 Dead Or Alive isn’t his DUTY to stand the fuck up and say, though it’s specifically a competition thing for Kendrick, “Whoa lil nigga,” (Yes I know Kendrick was quoting Kurupt but still). Hell, Biggie would have.
Banks. My nigga Banks. The Victory Freestyle that shook up the world. The countless mixtape verses on Clue, Big Mike, DJ Kayslay that led us to believe that this was his city. The stellar debut of Hunger For More that STILL holds weight to this very day. The shinning star of the strong arm hip-hop crew, G-Unit. Did 50 set aside a CHUNK of his earnings and tell his man Banks, “You’re good for life?” I’ve heard rumblings that he and Fif arent on the best terms currently so is that stifling his creativity? Banks balanced the grittiness of the mixtape game and meshed it well, in his own right with the mainstream lane that he once danced in. Yeah his facial expressions were the ones of a Brooks Brothers manikin, but he’s a Queens nigga….they don’t usually smile that much. My father is a Queens native, trust me….I know this lol. Was the last time we heard Banks snap was on Ye’s “Start It Up?” Was there no one near a radio or a computer once Kendrick got his rocks off on “Control.” Did none of Banks’ boys look at him like, “Fam, you DID hear that new guy right?” Hell, what about his younger brother who looks just like him? “You not gone let that slide right?” Obviously Kendrick didn’t say his name, or anyone involved in this post, but man? I don’t know. Maybe I expecting too much from these guys.
And lastly, Mr. #AnyStudiosOpenYet? I’m particularly pissed at Mr. Jackson because out of all three of these guys he’s the most active. Still touring. Still on radio. Still getting those big looks on guest features. But yet and STILL he’s not eager to move out the “comfort zone” he’s in. Isn’t this the fella that made “SONY?” Isn’t that an ode to the city? HIS city? I’m sure he wouldn’t let anyone come in his plush residence and kick around his Versace pillows so why would he let Kendrick come through and say such hurtful things (chill, I’m just gassing Fab in hopes that he reads this lol). Seriously though, my biggest issue with Fab is the lack of urgency with him. ESPECIALLY in this situation. Just as fast as he took to Twitter, a studio session should have been booked no matter WHERE he was located on the globe. Funny thing is, it’s album time for Loso. His first two singles, “Ready” featuring Chris Brown and “When I Feel Like It” feautring 2 Chainz are doing “Ok” (I like the latter a lot more) but it still feels like the interest isn’t there for the Swag Champ. VMA’s are this weekend in BROOKLYN and Kendrick is performing. How is keeping silent with such a big weekend around the corner good for the city and HIMSELF? Am I asking too much? Probably so. I don’t care. I have a love/hate relationship with Fab. Someone needs to shave that chia pet off his head and put him in the studio for a SONY Pt.2 or something. Or release the one he has on TUCK. Yeah.
These are the conversations I have with myself in my head all the time. But today it spilled out on to Twitter and in my iMessage with a good friend of mine. So I decided to share with you guys. Some will probably give 3 fucks about either of these guys responding to Kendrick or even standing up for the city, but I damn sure care. Maybe someone needs to get the Three Musketeers in a room together where they can watch Ebro talk about how disappointed he is in the hip-hop representation in the Big Apple and get some motivation. But knowing these guys? They won’t. Jadakiss will go back to tightening up that du-rag, Fab will go back to his club appearances and Lloyd Banks will got back to…..man I don’t know.
All For One & One For All, right? Pshhhh