Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Pope of Hip Hop

Paraphrases from a telephone conversation I had this afternoon with another conscious hip hop head.

Cee: . . . You're working on another book now, right?

Me: Yeah, I just finished a first but rough pass of the next novel to be published under my real name. But now I'm trying to finish the proposal for the fourth Black Artemis novel. Oh, and I think I told you that I'm working on graphic novel series. That's going to be a Black Artemis joint, too.

Cee: A graphic novel series?

Me: Yeah, three parts if I have my way.

Cee (teasing): You writing about thugs and penises and. . .

Me: (chuckling 'cause Cee knows damn well what I am and am not about) Nah, it's straight up revenge noir where sistas wreck havoc on the misogynists in the hip hop industry. But, you know, it's really about violence begetting violence, and what happens when women emulate the vices of men and all that. Like can we really achieve equality and justice by doing the same dirt that's done to us? So don't be skeered.

Cee (laughing): Oh, I'm not scared. See, I got my. . . what do they call that? Uh, it's a Christian term for when. . .

Me: Don't ask me.
Cee: . . . Like I got all my misogyny forgiven. What do they call that again? Not saved but. . .

Me: You've been redeemed.

Cee: Yeah, I went to the pope of hip hop, confessed my sins, and he said I'm cool.

Me: (laughing) The Pope of the Church of Hip Hop absolved you, bro!

Cee (laughing): Yeah! I've been absolved. So I'm straight.

Me (seriously): Yo, so who is the pope of hip hop these days?

Cee: I don't know. It's always changing

Me: Word. . . And somehow the dude's always self-appointed.

Cee: At the rate things are going, and if that's what it takes, it might as well be Russell.

Me: Please. I'm too done with him.

Cee: I ain't trying to hear nothing he has to say no more.

Me: Or freakin' Kimora. Talking about bringing fabulosity to Africa. You know, sometimes some of these people, it's like their stupidity makes sense. Like I hear the stupid things they say, and I think, "OK, I get how you could think that makes sense. You know, how that makes senses in your mind." But then someone [like Kimora] says something that's so outrageous, so clueless, so damned insensitive, it's, like, can you really be that stupid?. That don't make sense even for your stupid ass.

Cee: Yeah, we're not trying to hear Russell. And we're not trying to hear Ben Chavis.

Me: No. I bet if you were to ask KRS, he'd say it he was the Pope of Hip Hip. You know, with his Temple of Hip Hop. (Laugh) But that sounds like some cult to me.

Cee (seriously): It is!

Me: For real?

Cee: You should hear some of them cats.

Me: Ah, I didn't know! That's the thing though. I never really hear anything about them.

Cee: Well, they're out on the west coast. Kris ain't in the Bronx no more.

Me: Oh, I figured that, but I had no idea he was out there. Still you'd think we would here from them, you know. If they're actually building something, we should know about it even here.

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