B Mike and the good folks at 2-Cent have been elevating Hip-Hop and creating dialogue around New Orleans for the last few years now and last week they absolutely outdid themselves. 2-Cent put on its first “2-Cent Sessions” event at Xavier University last week with the topic being Lupe Fiasco’s recent “B*tch Bad” track.
The event worked like this: Mannie Fresh interviewed Lupe for 30 minutes about his past, career and other aspects of his life as a musician and entertainer. Then, a panel took over, featuring Mia X, Dr. Walter Kimbrough (President of Dillard University), Dr. Rashida Govan, Lupe Fiasco, Mannie Fresh and yours truly. Needless to say it was humbling to be in the presence of such people with, you know, actual qualifications. Here are a few tidbits from the event.
– Mia X. She’s such an engaging personality that captivated the crowd every time she spoke. I can handle talking to rappers that are relatively new, but I grew up on her and the whole No Limit movement, so talking to her had me rattled. Then they had me speak after her which, for me, was like trying to rap after Kendrick Lamar these days.
– Dr. Kimbrough and Dr. Govan were great as well. It’s always refreshing to have academia come through with real, genuine insight on Hip-Hop and how it affects us. The topic could have really turned into your general “rap is ruining us” schtick, but they came from a different place and really moved the dialogue.
– Lupe. It’s always an adventure when Lupe gets interviewed and the crowd was buzzing about what exactly to expect from him on stage. Well the Lupe that was on-stage was candid, honest and totally void of any statements that cry for attention. He was reverent about New Orleans Hip-Hop and incredibly humble. And when it came to talking about “B*tch Bad” and its impact, he seemed sincere about his attempt to affect change in the community. People always have plenty bad to say about Lu, but I only have compliments on his involvement at Xavier.
– “B*tch Bad.” I continue to be dumbfounded by how many negative comments the song got when it dropped. Lupe has made a few questionable musical moves in recent years. I’ll be the first to say it. But songs like “B*tch Bad” are exactly what we’d hoped he’d do when he first landed on the scene. It’s the kind of song that should change minds and make a huge difference. The video presentation 2-Cent did on the subject at Xavier only illuminated that fact. Unfortunately, Lupe is so polarizing that people will either blindly love him or blindly hate him without wavering no matter how great or bad his music ends up being.
– Below is video of Mannie and Lupe’s conversation. Mannie Fresh was a great host and their back and forth was cool to watch.
Once again, shout out to B Mike and 2-Cent for everything they do in the NOLA.