While this stay-at-home/social distancing has been a mess and I’m over it, I must say that I have been thrilled by how the internet has taken this time to give St. Louis rappers some shine. A few weeks ago, Murphy Lee got some much-deserved shine and was trending on Twitter from a place of pure love. And this week, Nelly was back in the news for shutting down the argument of him and the St. Lunatics’ Air Force One fashion influence. I knew when Nelly hopped up in the comments of the footage of A$AP Rocky taking credit for making that particular Nike shoe essential urban footwear with a simple, yet profound rebuttal. I can’t tell y’all how hard I cackled when I saw “lies” as the official statement from Nelly’s verified account. And then he called into “The Breakfast Club” to make it plain that him and the Tics made Ones must-haves back when Rocky was a student at Booker T. Washington Junior High. I wish that A$AP Rocky had 1/100th of the relevancy of Beyoncé, so I could say “that would be like Bey acting like RUN DMC didn’t make Adidas must have urban wear before she launched Ivy Park.” But he doesn’t, so I can’t. Since we are showing global love to St. Louis in these internet streets, what we need next is a collective apology to Chingy from the entire hip-hop community for mistreating him. Between Alexis Starr’s lies and Charlamagne Tha God’s unwarranted slander, folks got on some bandwagon mess several years back and it was not cute or necessary. I can’t stand Charlamange (yes, mange) to this very day for a whole host of reasons – particularly for his body shaming and colorist antics. And I won’t even get into how he let Gucci Mane talk sideways about his co-host. But what set it off for me was when he used to target Chingy for no reason with straight bully moves back when he was but a flunky for Wendy Williams.
My money is on Bone Thugs. The awful news is that because of “The Rona,” I will now have to wait until fall to see Three 6 Mafia and the ratchetry of their Memphis rap collective. The good news is that they will be squaring off against Bone Thugs N Harmony as the latest veterans to go to the IG Live battleground. I know Juicy J and ‘nem have an Oscar, but my heart belongs to the E. 99 St. crew. I just feel like pound for pound, Three 6 can’t hang with Bone’s catalog – and they have collabed with biggest names in hip-hop. ‘Pac, Biggie, Eazy – I mean, how do you compete with a group who has shared tracks with late, great legends like this? And I promise, had “Crossroads” been up against “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp” it would have taken Oscar gold by a landslide. The battle goes down at 7 p.m. CST on Bone or Three 6 Mafia’s IG. I’m a little nervous because they are rappers of a certain age, and technology has not been kind or forgiving to the more seasoned artists that have hopped on – yes John P. Kee and Hezekiah Walker, even though this is Partyline, I’m talking about you. But I’m hoping for the best… and praying that Bizzy and ‘nem don’t become memes like Teddy’s tragic fate. And even though it’s unrelated, since I’m talking about hip-hop men of a certain age, can I go ahead and tell y’all about the life that was abundantly given to me through DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince’s virtual reunion performance? I never had the opportunity to catch them as a duo live – and “Brand New Funk” is among the most underrated hip-hop classics. So to see them together… well… sort of… performing that track had my 11-year-old self screaming, “I love you Fresh Prince” at the computer screen. Will Smith is in his fifties and did that track with no backing vocals like it was nothing. And my sixth-grade lungs that were used to swimming laps in the Countryside complex swimming pool could barely keep up with those verses back then!
Mvstemind goes virtual. Since I’m talking about live, I might as well hip ya’ll up to my boy Mvstermind’s livestream show happening Friday night. For those who have been paying attention, I’ve been caping for Mvstermind since “Moolah Money” and after he handled the technical woes of his LouFest mainstage performance like an absolute pro. I know some of y’all might not have been willing to step outside of your cultural comfort zones to catch a St. Louis rap star as he ascends, but there is no excuse since you can check him out in the comfort of your own home. It’s happening at 8 p.m. this Friday (May 1) on Facebook Live, IG Live and according to Mvstermind, every doggone place else where streaming is an option. Be sure to check him out so I can say “I told you so,” and you can act like one of the cool kids, because you can truthfully say “I was up on him way back during the quarantine!”
Vastly improved ‘Insecure.’ I was kinder about it than I led on, but I was one absent cackle away from calling it a season with Issa and the crew. Honestly, if it hadn’t been for Kelly being dressed as Halle Berry’s character in “B.A.P.S.’ I probably wouldn’t have tuned back in at all. But I did, and I’m glad. Since I’m one of the few people left that can write about a show without spoiling it, I will keep it vague. But there are some paradigm shifts in relationships that got real – and very interesting. The chemistry – and tension has finally clicked for this season and I no longer feel like I’m watching a parody show like the ones they feature as must-see TV each go ‘round. The “Scandal” and “Underground” spoofs were classic. It’s going to be a whole lot of drama and soul searching going on for the rest of the run. And while y’all were acting like Molly is the mess that keeps Issa’s life incomplete, that toxicity is a two-way street. Had it not been for those Sixlet plaits in Issa’s head and Molly’s disastrous “do too much” of a Thanksgiving blazer blouse item, the episode would have been perfect.