Editor: Tef Poe is an artist from St. Louis City. Through powerful imagery and complicated honesty, he has earned a reputation as one of the best rappers telling the story of St. Louis, which is about much more than one place. Poe has been featured in music publications such as XXL and Urb Magazine. His next project War Machine 2 was released this Tuesday, June 5th and will be followed up by a full-length with DJ Burn One entitled Cheer For The Villain. Follow him on twitter @tefpoe. Get War Machine 2 here.
Every week in I'm Just A Rapper Tef discusses modern life, hip-hop, and the deep connection between them.
Rodney King died of a mysterious death with very few details offered to the media. All we currently know is he was floating at the bottom of a swimming pool in his backyard. His fiancée' claims they had a brief conversation, she turned her back walked away momentarily, and when she returned he was dead.
I can't say I saw this one coming at all. Rodney King is one of those people you assume will always be around. He beat the LAPD, only to lose his life in a fricking swimming pool. This is one of those things that will surely tangle my thoughts for a while. At the peak of the L.A. riots, if a guy would've appeared in a time machine and said, "Hey this would be the way Rodney King passed," I'm for certain no one would believe him.
The world we live is constantly changing and as I grow up more and more each day, I realize my generation is morphing at an uncontrollable pace and the world we once knew is quickly disappearing. We are currently witnessing the first black president of the United States fight for his second term in office. He's pulling out all the stops, and going out in a blaze of glory if need be, taking strong stances in support of gay marriage and fighting unfair immigration laws. This same black president pushed the button on Osama Bin Laden.
The fact that we even question whether or not he'll get to keep his job is nuts, if you ask me. I say he should get two terms automatically because he's the first damn black president, and we've had plenty old crusty white guys sitting in the oval office. Just give us eight years of political bliss and put it on our "you Negroes will never get a dime of reparations" tab. In the words of the immaculate Silk The Shocker : "Charge it to the game." Let's take a brief moment to think about all of the above. Rodney King was found dead in a swimming pool by his fiancée, who was also a juror on his trial (how the hell did this love connection happen?). There's a black guy from Chicago named Barack Hussein Obama running the country.
Basically my friends, the world changed overnight a long time ago, and we were so caught up in the mix of things that we didn't even take time notice the madness taking place before our very own eyes. I mean seriously, take time to step outside of yourself and look at the world from a completely unbiased lens for once. Jay-Z and Beyonce are married and have a child. In 2001 if you would've told me this would take place in the distant future I would've told you to go to the insane asylum.
We have cell phones that can start your car from miles away. We don't listen to CD's anymore. The record industry is currently taking consumers to war because they can't sell records.
The World Trade Centers were knocked down by two airplanes, and the Son of George Bush led us into another war, murdered Saddam Hussein and wrote a book about it. His Vice President was a psycho maniac that actually did business with the guys that knocked the buildings down. There's a auto biopic about the life of Biggie Smallz, and Tupac Shakur came back to life via hologram and performed alongside Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg before he suddenly vanished back into the heavens or Cube, whichever one you prefer.
While we're on the subject of Dre and Snoop, did you know the greatest hip-hop vocalist of all times is dead? Yes we lost the one and only Nate Dogg. Rumors of him coming back to life via hologram have also spawned a few speculations. In the '90s, I'm certain no one thought Nate Dogg would leave us so soon. The angelic Whitney Houston is also dead. She died earlier this year in her hotel room. I called my mother moments after I heard she died (via Facebook, of course) and my mom was shell-shocked. Some people aren't supposed to die, some things aren't supposed to happen and our generation doesn't seem to understand this. We live in a world where anything can happen at any given moment.
The King of Pop Michael Jackson is dead also but somehow he's still touring and performing in front of sold out audiences. Mannie Fresh and The RZA have joined forces with Kanye West behind the scenes. Yeezy also signed Ludacris' childhood friend 2Chainz, who also just so happens to be one of the biggest names in hip-hop music at the moment. In case you haven't heard, Kanye and Jay-Z are also in a rap group with each other. Eminem and Royce Da 5'9" finally reconnected and did an entire album together, which resulted in Royce becoming a Platinum plaque holder.
Joe Budden, Crooked I and Joell Ortiz are also in a supergroup with Royce and this group is signed to Eminem's label. Hip-hop has totally changed regime faces: the kid from New Orleans that invented the term "bling bling" is arguably the world's biggest rapper. He's a grown man nearly in his '30s now but he changed the game by signing this Canadian kid named Drake. If you were raised in the '90s then yes you do recognize Drake from the hit TV show Degrassi. Lil Wayne has arguably the genre's most reliable label and his closest competition is the guy that made "Everyday I'm Hustling." Rick Ross started his own label and signed one of the Internet's biggest acts, Wale and now they are both currently enjoying the run of a lifetime. Oprah Winfrey went to the Marcy projects and interviewed Jay-Z. She also recently had a sit down with 50 Cent and interviewed him also. Pauly D. from Jersey Shore is one of the world's largest DJs, and between his reality show gigs he also spins for 50 Cent occasionally.
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