“Don’t get caught up in no throne… Allah is in control.” – Yasiin Bey
“ I think a lot of rap makes you want things that you think are going to make you happy.” – Murs
We need more of this in Hip-Hop. Contrary to what some people may say and write, Yasiin Bey isn’t “dissing” Kanye West and Jay-Z. What he is doing is having a public conversation with them about their choice of excessive materialistic content during one of the most devastating economic periods in America’s history. Is the Throne’s “Niggas In Paris” innocent escapism, or is it a disservice to their listeners suffering the disenfranchisement Bey details in his remake?
In today’s urban market, there’s a lot of bowing down to the status quo. In fear of being branded a “hater,” most artists and taste-makers are afraid to critique anything about the culture of Hip-Hop. It’s unlikely Kanye or Jay will respond (Editors Note: As Mos Def, Bey previously reworked Jay’s “Takeover” to a music industry critique entitled “The Rape Over”), but Bey’s decision to address the wretched excess of “Niggas In Paris” with an equally extreme viewpoint, although in the opposite philosophical direction, has created a tenuous balance.