“War is hell.”
William Tecumseh Sherman
“But the hushing of the criticism of honest opponents is a dangerous thing.”
W.E.B. Du Bois
Hot damn hoe, here we go again…
In a move straight out of the Vladimir Lenin playbook of power, avarice, and insanity, Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, began a war with Ukraine on 2.24. Ukraine is a neighboring country to Russia and a former member of the Soviet Union during the “glory days.” Putin, butt hurt over the current state of the world, has chosen the oft-used Russian bully tactic of invading nearby sovereign nations, last seen eight years ago with the invasion and annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine. Before that it was the Second Chechen War of 1999-2000, in which Chechnya’s loyalist government was restored and Chechnya was reincorporated into Russia. Now, you’ll hear others talk about the natural resources that Ukraine has to offer, resources that Russia desires. You’ll hear talk about Ukraine’s ambitions to align itself with Western countries and its interest in joining NATO. There’s even talk about “de-Nazifying” Ukraine. Blah, blah, blah. The true reason for the war is Putin and Putin alone. He's been slow cooking since the fall of Communism (a decade before he came into power), growing to hate democracy and those who believe in its basic tenets. Of course, that primarily includes the United States. It also includes the European nations who believe in freedom and free thinking. He’s not too fond of Germany or the United Kingdom either. He hates NATO altogether. So…what’s the outcome gonna be? I’m not clairvoyant; I have no clue. What I do know is that even if Russia does reclaim Ukraine, it will come at a price Russia is in no way prepared to pay. The ruble (their basic unit of currency) has already crashed. Several sanctions have already been placed on Russia, primarily economic. SWIFT, the system that connects banks around the world, has begun to shun Russia. The assets Putin and Russian oligarchs have in banks on this side of the world have been frozen. Russian planes are no longer welcome to fly through many European air zones. You see where this is going. The most efficient way to break a country down is to paralyze it economically. Russia will soon be tantamount to a criminal at-large who has run into a building and barricaded himself. SWAT has the building surrounded. It’s only a matter of time until Russia will be forced to relent. Unless…
Putin has one card to play in the event of personal calamity, but this card is the endgame. Yes, I’m referring to nuclear warfare. He has already not only threatened to use nuclear power, but he’s also informed his people to get the nukes ready. This has naturally set social media afire with all types of bullshit, with some in fear of the possibility of nuclear warfare. I don’t claim to be any type of expert, but if I’ve learned anything from arrogant, self-serving autocrat wannabes like Putin, tRump, and fat boy in North Korea, it’s that they love themselves, their riches, and their lives way too much to push the red button. Pushing the red button all but assures the end of the world. They don’t have the nut sack to do it. At the end of the day, y’all MF better hope and pray I’m correct.
ONE MORE THING
IF (and that’s a big IF) the reports of Ukrainian officials barring African students from boarding trains and buses out of the war zone into Poland and safety are correct…
I won’t even finish the thought.
Syke, I lied.
If it’s true…[REDACTED].
If you know me, you can fill the redacted part in with my two-word response.
I stand with my African brothers and sisters. I’m most concerned about their safety.
From Wack 100 on Clubhouse to Tsu Surf on Twitter Spaces, I’ve never been able to grasp the concept of listening to another man talk – for hours at a time. I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll mention it again. I had access to Clubhouse when it first came out, back when it was ultra-exclusive, back when you had to receive an invite to join. I jumped on a time or three. I met a couple of good people, one of which I still have a Twitter rapport with to this day. But it quickly became apparent to me that I’d likely never fully embrace Clubhouse. I’m not knocking the concept. I always thought (and still do) think it’s brilliant in its own way. I just realized that I’m rarely ever in the mood to sit back and listen to a MF I don’t know [personally] speak, outside of a seminar or sermon (not too big on those these days, either). A few months ago, Twitter copied the format and introduced Spaces to its users. It quickly became a favorite go-to in the battle rap community, with top-tier battler Tsu Surf and others hosting and speaking in Spaces for hours on end. I immediately saw its allure amongst battle rap fans; it gave them the opportunity to become better acquainted with battle rappers on a day-to-day basis. It tore down the facade of mystery, making battlers more “accessible” to their fans. Previously, the only time fans of the culture could get any type of glimpse into the everyday lives of battle rappers was when one of the battle rap media outlets like 15 Minutes of Fame, Hip Hop is Real (HHIR), or Champion gave exclusive interviews. But, like almost everything in this world, too much access isn’t always the best thing. On Clubhouse, Wack 100 flounders somewhere in between being a seemingly almost omniscient OG in rap culture (with roots dating back to Suge Knight and the early days of Death Row) and a loquacious asshole, all too ready to expose others for all types of shit, whether true or false. He’s got an opinion AND insight on almost every damn thing. His opinions and “testimonies” have gotten him into all types of drama, the latest coming from his accusations of Memphis rapper Pooh Shiesty being a snitch, cooperating as a federal informant. Shiesty’s attorney called Wack’s claim an outright lie. The attorney asserts that Shiesty took a plea on one count of possession of a weapon during a drug crime, the same as the other two defendants in the case. Last I heard, Wack was backtracking, claiming that he didn’t actually call Shiesty a snitch. Sure... As for Tsunami and other battle rappers, Spaces has shown that dick eating is at an all-time high in the culture. Tsu has created an almost zombie-like following of boot lickers, agreeing with EVERYTHING Surf says at all times (battle rappers, media, and fans alike). Naysayers are ganged up on, made fun of, muted, and humiliated on Spaces and on the Twitter TL. Surf is the new #45 on Spaces; he can do no wrong amongst his people. He has also put his emotions on full display, often contradicting himself from argument to argument. Hey, more power to him. I’m just saying I don’t eat dick – ever. I’ve never in my life agreed with EVERYTHING a MF has to say. So, in addition to not being the type to listen hours consecutively, I’m not a card carrying, flag waving fan club member either. All that shit is weird to me.
While we’re on the topic of battle rap, I want to show all types of love to my baby Remy Ma. Chrome 23 (her all female battle league) hosted its inaugural event and was amazing in most aspects, from the aesthetics to the battles. Remy secured a midtown Manhattan nightclub as the location. She also secured diverse sponsors, including Hot 97, who live streamed the event. A who’s who of guests attended, from the battle rap community to major label rap artists. She provided hair styling and wardrobe for all the participants. She also guaranteed EVERY battler a five-digit purse for the event, a first in the female battle rap culture. Big ups to the rookie of the year (male or female) Pristavia in her win over Yoshi G. Yoshi fought hard, but her arms were too short to box with the goddess. In a battle of the Bardashians, O’fficial defeated her sister in rhyme Casey J. Both ladies delivered, but O came a bit harder. In the ultimate grudge match (and the most disrespectful battle I’ve ever seen), 40 B.A.R.R.S. 30’d QB Black Diamond. Words cannot truly convey the disrespect; you have to watch for yourself. In the main event, Couture scored an upset victory over my girl Ms. Hustle. It was probably the best back-and-forth of the night. Couture prospered from winning the coin toss and electing to go second. The results were determined by fan votes on the Hot 97 website, and I agreed with every fan result. I’m looking forward to the next event. My only gripe: hire JB or Avocado for the camera work next time. My rating: 7.5/10.
The day prior, the URL held its event Resolution 2 at the Caffeine studio in Cali. Originally a five-battle card, there were only three battles, with two being rescheduled. In the first battle, Charron beat T-Top. I had Top edging the first and Charron winning the second and third. The battle was ultra-competitive, with Charron’s superior freestyle rebuttal ability being the difference. In a top tier versus god tier matchup, Eazy the Block Captain beat battle rap legend A-Verb. I had Verb taking the first and Eazy taking the second and third. It was a very solid battle. In the main event, quickly approaching god tier battler DNA 30’d god tier legend Hollow Da Don in the “Battle of [the borough] Queens.” I don’t know what the fuck was up with Hollow (he didn’t bother to get a hairline and had the Garfield eyeballs – he may have taken a 2-on-2 to the face before the battle), but he got smoked. Vada Fly already mailed him the wooden “L.” It was nasty work. Overall, the event was lackluster. The rescheduling of the Charlie Clips/Lu Castro and Real Name Brandon/Kyd Slade battles was deflating, but the choppy stream was even worse. Caffeine must do better. I rate the event a 5/10. I may be a bit generous in my rating.
Along with Pac’s legendary All Eyez on Me double album, my other favorite straight out the penitentiary album from an artist of any genre is easily Chico DeBarge’s late 1997 release Long Time No See. No one saw Chico coming. He bum rushed the industry and dropped a classic album that I still rock to this day. The album had four singles: lead single “Iggin’ Me,” my favorite track on the album “Love Still Good” (deeply sensual and outright amazing), the 1998 summer anthem “No Guarantee” featuring my first cousin Joe, and “Virgin.” Even though he was a part of the final DeBarge project in the ‘80s and dropped his solo debut and sophomore project back when, I only knew Chico for moving heavy yay with his big brother Bobby (RIP). Y’all pray for Chico. He lost his oldest boy to homicide a couple of years ago and is still battling drug addiction. I’m praying for you, my guy. Keep on keeping on. Love, infinite. You’re MY nigga.
I wanted to hit you good people with a nice, fruitful blog today. I was on top of my business and didn’t have to pull a rabbit out of my ass this week. In other words, I was well prepared. It’s about time to drop a special edition on y’all, so be on the lookout. Salute to my CEO and the entire Crew UnB collective. Ain’t nothing changed but the drawz. Big ups to my bro-in-law Branden, one of the realest MF I’ve ever known. Love you baby boy. That’s all for now. Catch me next week, same Bat time, same Bat channel. One love.
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