It be da man they call Na$h here to pose a very interesting question---what exactly is "keeping it real"?
Well, there are many answers to this question---but most would probably say it to mean "to be true to the lifestyle".
But what does that mean?
In the world of Urban music in general, and hip hop in particluar it could mean to live the lifestyle you're talking about. There are quite a few who do tote the guns, pimp the shorties (and treat them like objects rather than people), rob, steal and everything else that goes along with "tha gangsta mentality".
But I have a question to that response---
Do we really want to be remembered like this?
I'm not trying to preach to you all---you have your own minds, and will come to your own conclusions about how to live your life.
And if you wanna be a gangsta--be one.
But remember this: too many people have died because of ignorance, hatred and plain stupidity. Great men have laid down their lives so we could live together in peace and harmony---not so we could die coz we were wearin' the wrong colors, or we had a beef with another person.
I remember the time when rap was about havin' fun---when you had a "battle" at a party and lost, you went home, made your rhymes tight as hell and went back the next week to beat the other person/crew.
These days, you beat a person in a "battle" and one of his/her peeps (or the person themselves) just may decide to cap ya.
Because on that particular occasion you beat them in a rhyming contest?
Don't get me wrong---I love rap and hip hop music.
I produce the stuff so that's a given.
I just think that if this thang we call hip hop is gonna survive we need to start thinking about how we look---not just to the world outside---but to ourselves as a people.
The greatest song ever written that nobody paid any attention to was "Self Destruction" by the East Coast All Stars.
I think it's time we all really listened to it.
Because if "keepin' it real" is gonna cost me or my peeps our lives, I'd be better off "fakin' the funk".
What say you all?
Representin' the Syndicate
A GrooveTunez thang!