I was so dissapointed in dream when I saw that tweet. dream hampton is a collossus in hip hop culture. She is a big deal, even if she's not a big star. But she's also a very good friend of Beyonce and Jay which explains why she was so flagrant in trying to discredit Nas. I personally think she heard the reference tapes she spoke of. Everything points to there being a fire somehwere behind all the smoke. However, the extent and circumstances were never clarified and I think she calculated for it to be so.
That's extremely dissapointing for me on so many levels. I think she said that to sidestep the rather awkward question she was asked about Jay Z's social responsibility. In all fairness, I think Jay Z is as much a positive as he is a negative role model. If you take him at face value, he's a self agrandising capitalist who doesn't care about black people or hip hop culture. But more discerning listners know that Jay Z is far more sophisticated and evolved than that. He does hold back on radical messages, largely because it's not the main thrust of his agenda. She failed to articulate this and instead dropped that bombshell. She said it to spite the guy who tweeted her and perhaps even Nas himself. That's so petty and immature and I would never have associated a woman of her stature with such nane behaviour.
Regarding the allegations themselves, I don't think this was the right forum or manner to bring them up. As I said, I think there is definitely something to what she said. However, she may also be mistaken. She might not know the full circumstances. In any event, she didn't go further than saying that the album was "largely" written by the two guys she named. Was it a case of Nas rewroking songs that they had been working on and keeping large chunks of the original? Did he literally pay them to deliver complete songs for him to simply recite? If so, why? Was it because he had writter's block? Was he too lazy? Did the controversy paralyse his creative energy?
And then there's her reaction to the reaction - she can't be that naive. She has even tried to make herself out to be a victim. I think she accused Just Blaze of threatening her. I was thinking "Is this woman all there?" The whole aura of what I associated her with was siped out just like that. I'm a man. So she wasn't my role model because I'm a female. She was my role model because she came across as a great thinker and a leader. She was a hero of mine. But the manner in which she handled this left a sour taste in my mouth.
Not because I'm a Nas fan. But because I am a fan of hip hop. I would have liked to think that if such a scandal broke out in hip hop, it wouldn't be used as a tool to further an agenda like the one she was pushing here. The question posed to her annoyed her and she decided to bring up something she knew would have everyone questioning Nas' legacy. For me, that's not the way mature adults handle such issues. That's the behaviour of someone with far less intellectual prowess and serious insecurities about their position the argument that was taking place.
Ultimately, I have seen her plugging her projects etc to bask in the publicity this has garnared. It's disgusting and I've got an empty feeling.
Creative Loafing Atlanta
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