Excuse me Ms. Hip Hop can you I talk to you for a brief moment? You know that I love you with all of me but I just need to talk to you about something because it’s something that’s been weighing heavy on my mind. Now you do realize that Chicago has more than that Kanye, Lil Durk and Chief Keef (Ugh) that you love right? There is a man that used to love you, actually he still does. I just never understood why this diamond in the rough is so overlooked by you. I mean he is the real meaning of what you embody. This is a man who defended you in rap battles with Ice Cube, and he has even survived the magical loins of Erykah Badu. I am talking about Lonnie Rashid Lynn, better known as Common Sense. Even though this Common brother has been nothing but real to you, for some reason he is consistently overlooked and I just want to know the reason why. Was it because he’s not from the East or West Coast? Is it because he’s not down south? I kind of feel like you historically never showed the same affection that you showed other regions to the midwest region . Before Jermaine Cole was giving you his mind and before Kenny Duckworth put his soul into you and gave you new life, it was Lonnie who was there and kept you in tune with your roots. The more you tried to venture off with guys that defied your nature and purpose and was Lonnie that helped you stay true. He’s ALWAYS been down and never switched up, compared to the many like him. Before the gold chains, Louie V, fast cars and faster women, you were a movement for the unsung. You were a voice to the voiceless, the distressed, the marginalized and underdogs. Lonnie was preaching your history and he respected you for who you were. He’s one of the few that never tried to change you but he just doesn’t get his justice.

” It’s important, we communicate. And tune the fate of this union, to the right pitch, I never call you my bitch or even my boo. There’s so much in a name and so much more in you.”-The Light

Remember in the 90’s when so many men tried to make you something that you naturally were not. Back when many of the voices you loved were too rugged to upraise the opposite sex? It was then, when Common grabbed the immortal, J. Dilla, and made you see “The Light.” A few years later, he showered you with love and respect as he told his lady to “Come Close.” A polarizing message in the lyrical world of B*tches, and Hoe’s. When it was easy to treat you the way the less caring and more popular guys did, Common stayed true to himself and you. Don’t you see he loves you, Ms. Hip Hop? At that time I feel like you were not really giving guys like Common “The Light,” because he didn’t follow the trend of others. But am I confused or aren’t you about the  progression of the culture and not the downgrading of it? Didn’t you speak of individuality and up lifting the culture? Do you not want the guys that treat you with respect to be rewarded for their hard work, commitment and content? Maybe you keep them out the hype so they can focus on the pure art of who you REALLY are? The same goes for Royce da 5’9”, Killer Mike, and so many more. I am only asking, because in these current times you are supposed to be “the voice.” Actually no other genre of music is more influential than you. My apologies, I digress… while you were having a love affair with Jay-Z, Common told me about Tennessee Williams. Ms. Hip Hop you actually deserted the guy that treated you well, in exchange for the guy that desired to be like him but chose money over you. Yes, that’s no lie, the man you love so much even put it in writing.

“Truthfully I wanna rhyme like Common Sense/but I did 5 mill/I ain’t been rhymin like Common Since.”~ Jay-Z

When people couldn’t decide between Lil Kim and Foxy Brown, Common explained the history of Black activist Joanne Deborah Chesimard, AKA Assata Shakur. Before Barack was our President, the first person to throw his name through your ears was Common. What do you mean you don’t remember? Have you ever heard his verse on the “Why” remix with Jadakiss? How about his song “The People” from the Grammy nominated album, Finding Forever. The “Why” remix was made in 2004 and Finding forever was released in 2007. He was the first rapper to represent for our black President but yet you still don’t love him. If you don’t recall, don’t worry I will save you some time. I got you.

“My raps ignite the people like Obama” –The People

“Why is Bush acting like he trying to get Osama. Why don’t we impeach him and elect Obama.” –Why Remix.

Ms. Hip Hop you are rather difficult to please and your inconsistencies are too frequent. I am really concerned about your current situation and I want you to love the emcee’s that show you love. Understand your power Ms. Hip Hop. You can change a man for the better, but for the worst as well.  I have seen you chew rappers up and spit them out time and time again. I have also seen you negatively influence rappers to act as something that they are not just to please you for the time being. You change some of these rappers so much that they become totally unrecognizable. By the way what happened to that one guy you were seeing for a while? I think his name was Lupe Fiasco. I liked him for you. Like Common, he is a Chi-town native. Ms. Hip Hop you sure do got the juice. How many artists have altered their voices, content and dress just so they can stay relevant for you? How many artists have professionally died trying to please you? I understand some of them killed themselves because they seriously were chasing the coin and not you but that’s different. 

The ones who are really about the art, you don’t necessarily kill off but you don’t really give them the proper time of day either. Sadly, they are the one’s that’s the most talented. Ms. Hip Hop, do you understand how hard it is to stay in any profession for 20+ years and still stay the same? Now I know Common’s  Badu Bohemian phase wasn’t cool. Trust me I wasn’t digging the crochet pants, sweaters and scarfs either but his messages and realnes remained the same.  “They say dude think he righteous, I write just to free minds from Stony to Rikers.”

Often times you’ve showed your taste to be more for the talentless, popular fellas. Ms. Hip Hop, those guys didn’t love you for you, they just wanted to use you. They use you up, then you welcome the same type of guys into your inner beauty. Common may not be “street,” but he isn’t all smiles, love, and hallmark cards either. Don’t think my dude is soft! He can straight annihilate any hater, thinking its sweet. I know you remember when Ice Cube acted like he didn’t know. If your memory is at a loss, just listen to “The B*tch in You.” Cube never really lost beef battles but Common didn’t budge. Is Common’s lyrics overlooked because of his laid back demeanor? Don’t you see that he loves you unconditionally? Behind that smile and goatee, lies a mind of a genius.

“Inviting wack n*ggas to dinner, I Trick Daddy emcees and I don’t know Nann N*gga. Who can take where I take it. You better go with God like Mase Did. Leaving crowds complacent. I move them above clouds whether on some surf and turf sh*t.” –Thelonius.

Now I know that this brother speaks a lot about black history and that may be boring to your kids but, Ms. Hip Hop your kids are the main one’s that need to hear from guys like Common. Don’t you want a voice that will raise the youth up with a high level of consciousness? You, were created with truth not gimmick so why give your kids gimmick? You were created to release the stories of whom, we are and where we came from. Even hundreds of years ago, you were developing in the wombs of our ancestors and those before us. When you were finally born, you became a movement. Even as a child you had a bright future. You have given our culture a way out but you also hold the chains that can lock us back up. Ms. Hip Hop please understand your worth baby, I don’t want you to be another black girl lost.

Before big business came to snatch you up to exploit you and monetize you with the world, you were real. Before you began following every trend and letting guys who never loved you come inside of you, you were real. You were the noise of a thousand outcries of realness. You started with five elements. From dj’ing, to beat boxing, Graffiti tagging, break dancing and emceeing, you remained real. Then you left home to spend time with the gangsta’s. After that it was the men in shiny suits. Following that short love affair you settled with the men in long white tee’s or throwback jersey’s. Now seemingly more lost than ever, you give your love to the trappers, lean sippers and cross dressers.

Ms. Hip Hop, you playing small serves no one. You were our CNN, and the only reporter that we ever trusted. I feel like you changed for the worse, I don’t know if I even know you anymore. These new guys don’t have your best interest at heart. It is in these trying times, that we need you most Ms. Hip Hop. We don’t need to dance or buy any louie bags, we can’t afford it, and you know that. We need to educate, we need to fight, defend, and we need to be as one. Common has built his whole career on trying to reach the masses with that very same message but you left him to go hit the Quan? Ignorance is not always bliss, Ms. Hip Hop. I understand such things as change and evolution, I really do but are you changing for the better or are you regressing? I wholeheartedly respect versatility and change but sometimes it’s better to remember where you came from. Ms. Hip Hop I could go on all day but I am sure you get the point by now. Do not forget those who still love you strictly for the art you are. Those who use you to uplift the troops and the masses. Common is a reporter not for what is hot, but for what is real.  Pay him his due, he still loves you. It’s time to come home.

~Gene Stamper

“Once the man got to her, he altered her native
Told her if she got an image and a gimmick
That she could make money, and she did it like a dummy
Now I see her in commercials, she’s universal
She used to only swing it with the inner-city circle
Now she be in the burbs, looking rock and dressing hippie
And on some dumb shit, when she comes to the city
Talking about popping Glocks serving rocks and hitting switches
Now she’s a gangsta rolling with gangsta bitches
Always smoking blunts and getting drunk
Telling me sad stories, now she only fucks with the funk
Stressing how hardcore and “real” she is
She was really the realest, before she got into showbiz
I did her, not just to say that I did it
But I’m committed, but so many niggas hit it
That she’s just not the same letting all these groupies do her
I see n****s slamming her, and taking her to the sewer
But I’mma take her back hoping that the shit stop
Cause who I’m talking bout y’all is hip-hop” – I Used To Love H.E.R.

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3 thoughts on “One Day it Will All Make Common Sense: A Letter to Hip Hop About Her Under Appreciated Lover”
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