Questlove Is Right. Rich Homie Quan’s ‘Get Money’ Travesty Is Our Fault

Managing Hip-Hop Editor
07.12.16 19 Comments
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Rich Homie Quan has taken a lot of flack for f*cking up The Notorious B.I.G.’s song lyrics during his performance at Monday night’s VH1 Hip-Hop Honors: All Hail the Queens. While many rap fans have slammed Quan, he’s found a rather unlikely ally providing support: Questlove.

The Roots drummer came to Rich Homie Quan’s defense in a very lengthy Instagram post in which he shifts some of the blame to “real hip hop heads” who haven’t done enough to educate the generations that follow them. See, the fault, dear rap fan, is not in Rich Homie, but in ourselves, that we are in this mess.

“See a lot of y’all catchin feelings over the “Get Money” ball drop from #HipHopHonors. But check it….A lot of you “real hip hop heads” seem to magically think that the music of our prime is gonna just translate on dopeness alone. I mean EVERYbody should know this song right? It’s the Hood National Anthem. Even Big’s rival had to reference “Get Money” to clap back at him. So how it all fall apart? I don’t blame RHQ. I blame us. I don’t mean shame on radio & media programmers either for these diminished returns. I literally mean you and I.”

We are to blame. We watch what we eat (well “some of us 😏) but won’t treat the music we consume like we do food. You need BALANCE! If you haven’t made a playlist for about 20-50 people in your lifetime (mixtape/spotify/tidal/apple/etc) then you failed hip hop culture. –not sayin you gotta be all deep making Dilla b side Japanese import levels of stuff. But something as simple as “La Di Da Di” can easily be forgotten in these days & times. YOU gotta pay it forward!

Quest is spot-on here.

Older hip-hop heads expect younger listeners to gravitate to music from the golden eras, analyze each work, pick out key songs to memorize and then visit Wiki to gather up all the necessary intel on artists who were making noise before some fans were even born. To put it shortly, it’s unfathomable.

Jackie Wilson is one of my dad’s favorite artists. Let a song by “Mr. Excitement” start playing and my pops will automatically lose his composure, shifting from stoic to overexcited and singing along. But, I can remember trying to go listen to some of the singer-songwriter’s work on my own and just not getting that same level of excitement. In fact, there wasn’t even a tingling. Cats like Jackie Wilson and James Brown did sing about love in the same way Keith Sweat and Bobby Brown did. They didn’t sound like the Guy songs we slow dragged to with girls at middle school when we went to parties.

That’s probably how younger fans feel when pushed to listen to Illmatic, Ready to Die and Reasonable Doubt.

It’s not that they are any less fans than their older counterparts. What happens is the landscape shifts so much that certain sounds become dated or are filled with tiny allusions that don’t translate well. Also, a young fan may want to take an old head’s advice and get into Nas’ music. The issue is where does that fan start when they’re looking at 11 solo, studio albums by Nas, dating back as far as 1994? For RHQ, Illmatic released when he was a whopping four years old. If we want to go southern with it, the Atlanta born and raised Quan was still playing in the sandbox when Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik first released.

Reasons like those and what Questlove happens to be describing are why we created The Primer Series. Instead of simply expecting younger fans to go dig up discogs and sift through them, it’s better to give them an overview of the artist and their body of work, creating an entry point that doesn’t require full immersion to understand why an MC or LP is lauded.

For Quest, the problem extends from the mass consumption we do as a culture, driven by “likes” instead of talent and music with sustenance. He encourages fans of all age groups to avoid being lulled to sleep by the latest song with a catchy hook or whose beat goes hard in social settings. Don’t let those songs make up the bulk of any playlist over songs that provide food for thought or put a premium on skills and talents. Or, as he phrases it, “Point is if you don’t BALANCE your intake & keep skipping salads for dessert “gettin money” finna be the LEAST of our problems.”

Read Quest’s full post below.

See a lot of y'all catchin feelings over the "Get Money" ball drop from #HipHopHonors. But check it….A lot of you "real hip hop heads" seem to magically think that the music of our prime is gonna just translate on dopeness alone. I mean EVERYbody should know this song right? It's the Hood National Anthem. Even Big's rival had to reference "Get Money" to clap back at him. So how it all fall apart? I don't blame RHQ. I blame us. I don't mean shame on radio & media programmers either for these diminished returns. I literally mean you and I. We are to blame. We watch what we eat (well "some of us 😏) but won't treat the music we consume like we do food. You need BALANCE! If you haven't made a playlist for about 20-50 people in your lifetime (mixtape/spotify/tidal/apple/etc) then you failed hip hop culture. –not sayin you gotta be all deep making Dilla b side Japanese import levels of stuff. But something as simple as "La Di Da Di" can easily be forgotten in these days & times. YOU gotta pay it forward! America is a disposable art society that makes genius innovations only to toss out yesterday's creations tomorrow. And the way we mass consume entertainment, it's a wonder we can separate quality from trash. I'm not ranting just to rant. But y'all should at least know where we headed. Remember when y'all were praying "dear god PLEASE let these BET AWARD tributes be on point πŸ™πŸΎπŸ™πŸΎπŸ™πŸΎ" few weeks back? Welp. That's the times we live in. We have no more singing groups or bands or crews w major record deals. (if you can barely count 10 fingers worth of worthy acts that give you the chills in 2016? You in trouble. The #CultOfPersonality stage of entertainment started in 96, & some 20 years later we got more famous people than we have those that effect us. I understand magnetism. I know entertainment geniuses that can barely hold a conversation let only your attention for 3 mins. I also know half trick ponies whose social media following outranks major city populations. Point is if you don't BALANCE your intake & keep skipping salads for dessert "gettin money" finna be the LEAST of our problems. #Each1Teach1

A post shared by Questlove Gomez (@questlove) on

See a lot of y’all catchin feelings over the “Get Money” ball drop from #HipHopHonors. But check it….A lot of you “real hip hop heads” seem to magically think that the music of our prime is gonna just translate on dopeness alone. I mean EVERYbody should know this song right? It’s the Hood National Anthem. Even Big’s rival had to reference “Get Money” to clap back at him. So how it all fall apart? I don’t blame RHQ. I blame us. I don’t mean shame on radio & media programmers either for these diminished returns. I literally mean you and I.

We are to blame. We watch what we eat (well “some of us 😏) but won’t treat the music we consume like we do food. You need BALANCE! If you haven’t made a playlist for about 20-50 people in your lifetime (mixtape/spotify/tidal/apple/etc) then you failed hip hop culture. –not sayin you gotta be all deep making Dilla b side Japanese import levels of stuff. But something as simple as “La Di Da Di” can easily be forgotten in these days & times. YOU gotta pay it forward! America is a disposable art society that makes genius innovations only to toss out yesterday’s creations tomorrow. And the way we mass consume entertainment, it’s a wonder we can separate quality from trash.

I’m not ranting just to rant. But y’all should at least know where we headed.
Remember when y’all were praying “dear god PLEASE let these BET AWARD tributes be on point πŸ™πŸΎπŸ™πŸΎπŸ™πŸΎ” few weeks back? Welp. That’s the times we live in. We have no more singing groups or bands or crews w major record deals. (if you can barely count 10 fingers worth of worthy acts that give you the chills in 2016? You in trouble. The #CultOfPersonality stage of entertainment started in 96, & some 20 years later we got more famous people than we have those that effect us. I understand magnetism. I know entertainment geniuses that can barely hold a conversation let only your attention for 3 mins. I also know half trick ponies whose social media following outranks major city populations. Point is if you don’t BALANCE your intake & keep skipping salads for dessert “gettin money” finna be the LEAST of our problems. #Each1Teach1

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