Editor: Tef Poe is an artist from St. Louis City. Through powerful imagery and complicated honesty, he has earned a reputation as one of the best rappers telling the story of St. Louis, which is about much more than one place. Poe has been featured in music publications such as XXL and Urb Magazine. His next project War Machine 2 was released this Tuesday, June 5th and will be followed up by a full-length with DJ Burn One entitled Cheer For The Villain. Follow him on twitter @tefpoe. Get War Machine 2 here.
Every week in I'm Just A Rapper Tef discusses modern life, hip-hop, and the deep connection between them.
Rodney King died of a mysterious death with very few details offered to the media. All we currently know is he was floating at the bottom of a swimming pool in his backyard. His fiancée' claims they had a brief conversation, she turned her back walked away momentarily, and when she returned he was dead.
I can't say I saw this one coming at all. Rodney King is one of those people you assume will always be around. He beat the LAPD, only to lose his life in a fricking swimming pool. This is one of those things that will surely tangle my thoughts for a while. At the peak of the L.A. riots, if a guy would've appeared in a time machine and said, "Hey this would be the way Rodney King passed," I'm for certain no one would believe him.
The world we live is constantly changing and as I grow up more and more each day, I realize my generation is morphing at an uncontrollable pace and the world we once knew is quickly disappearing. We are currently witnessing the first black president of the United States fight for his second term in office. He's pulling out all the stops, and going out in a blaze of glory if need be, taking strong stances in support of gay marriage and fighting unfair immigration laws. This same black president pushed the button on Osama Bin Laden.
The fact that we even question whether or not he'll get to keep his job is nuts, if you ask me. I say he should get two terms automatically because he's the first damn black president, and we've had plenty old crusty white guys sitting in the oval office. Just give us eight years of political bliss and put it on our "you Negroes will never get a dime of reparations" tab. In the words of the immaculate Silk The Shocker : "Charge it to the game." Let's take a brief moment to think about all of the above. Rodney King was found dead in a swimming pool by his fiancée, who was also a juror on his trial (how the hell did this love connection happen?). There's a black guy from Chicago named Barack Hussein Obama running the country.
Basically my friends, the world changed overnight a long time ago, and we were so caught up in the mix of things that we didn't even take time notice the madness taking place before our very own eyes. I mean seriously, take time to step outside of yourself and look at the world from a completely unbiased lens for once. Jay-Z and Beyonce are married and have a child. In 2001 if you would've told me this would take place in the distant future I would've told you to go to the insane asylum.
We have cell phones that can start your car from miles away. We don't listen to CD's anymore. The record industry is currently taking consumers to war because they can't sell records.
The World Trade Centers were knocked down by two airplanes, and the Son of George Bush led us into another war, murdered Saddam Hussein and wrote a book about it. His Vice President was a psycho maniac that actually did business with the guys that knocked the buildings down. There's a auto biopic about the life of Biggie Smallz, and Tupac Shakur came back to life via hologram and performed alongside Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg before he suddenly vanished back into the heavens or Cube, whichever one you prefer.
While we're on the subject of Dre and Snoop, did you know the greatest hip-hop vocalist of all times is dead? Yes we lost the one and only Nate Dogg. Rumors of him coming back to life via hologram have also spawned a few speculations. In the '90s, I'm certain no one thought Nate Dogg would leave us so soon. The angelic Whitney Houston is also dead. She died earlier this year in her hotel room. I called my mother moments after I heard she died (via Facebook, of course) and my mom was shell-shocked. Some people aren't supposed to die, some things aren't supposed to happen and our generation doesn't seem to understand this. We live in a world where anything can happen at any given moment.
The King of Pop Michael Jackson is dead also but somehow he's still touring and performing in front of sold out audiences. Mannie Fresh and The RZA have joined forces with Kanye West behind the scenes. Yeezy also signed Ludacris' childhood friend 2Chainz, who also just so happens to be one of the biggest names in hip-hop music at the moment. In case you haven't heard, Kanye and Jay-Z are also in a rap group with each other. Eminem and Royce Da 5'9" finally reconnected and did an entire album together, which resulted in Royce becoming a Platinum plaque holder.
Joe Budden, Crooked I and Joell Ortiz are also in a supergroup with Royce and this group is signed to Eminem's label. Hip-hop has totally changed regime faces: the kid from New Orleans that invented the term "bling bling" is arguably the world's biggest rapper. He's a grown man nearly in his '30s now but he changed the game by signing this Canadian kid named Drake. If you were raised in the '90s then yes you do recognize Drake from the hit TV show Degrassi. Lil Wayne has arguably the genre's most reliable label and his closest competition is the guy that made "Everyday I'm Hustling." Rick Ross started his own label and signed one of the Internet's biggest acts, Wale and now they are both currently enjoying the run of a lifetime. Oprah Winfrey went to the Marcy projects and interviewed Jay-Z. She also recently had a sit down with 50 Cent and interviewed him also. Pauly D. from Jersey Shore is one of the world's largest DJs, and between his reality show gigs he also spins for 50 Cent occasionally. Steve Jobs had all the money in the world, invented some of the greatest technology of all time, changed the course of human existence at least for the next 50-100 years: invented the iPhone and died from pancreatic cancer. He also left us with this thing called the iPod, which he created prior to the iPhone. The iPod can carry like 3,000 full-length songs at once. It also helped bring about the demise of the CD player. This led to people basically not paying for music anymore and almost every record store in the world closing down or laying off employees. He changed the world as we know it and left us while he was still relatively young. This wasn't supposed to happen. The ideas that went to the grave with him would probably blow us away.
I think history should label us the wild card generation because anything can happen at any given time. We kind of sort of don't have standards. We just do whatever the hell we want and live to talk about it another day. We are the most awesome human beings the world has ever been touched by. This the future you would see on TV as a child manifested right before your very eyes. Let me drop this one on you son: Check the facts. In my world, Snoop Dogg beat a murder but Martha Stewart is a convicted felon. Yeah, didn't see that coming back in the day, did you?
Usher Raymond discovered a young Canadian kid singing on YouTube and turned him into the world's greatest star. CNN, the world's leading news provider has hired British black people. The guy that made Napster clicked up with another socially awkward dude and the outcome was this thing called we call Facebook.
Facebook makes it possible to totally stalk a person without having the fear of going to jail. So in this brave new world we're living in it's humanly possible for us to go to the party without physically experiencing the party for ourselves. MySpace starts dying and Justin Timberlake decides he wants to try and save it.
I almost forgot to tell you that one of the guys from Justin's old boy band crew is trying to fund a trip to the Moon. Yep one of the guys from N-Sync is steadfast on trying to fly to the Moon. We're going to live to witness civilian space travel in our lifetime. I know I'm moving quickly but follow me baby birds, a guy from St. Louis played a large role in inventing this thing called twitter.
People log onto Twitter and type all of their personal business every day all day no questions asked. You don't even have to illegally pry into a person's life or violate any laws to find out their deepest most personal secrets. The entire planet is under a satellite grid so you don't even need to know how to read a map necessarily. Just type the info into this the little black box on your dashboard and a lady will start talking and directing you to your location.
By the way, in five to ten years it's highly possible that Latinos will be the largest minority racial group in the U.S. and Caucasians will no longer be the majority. In fact, some people can't project rather there will actually be a clear majority race in our country. Hopefully this will also apply to economics as well, but right now anything goes.
While we're on the subject of economics and wealth, let's talk about Bill Cosby. He was once a shining champion of African-Americans. He could do no wrong in our eyes, and if you touched a hair on his head we would riot. Now some of us think Bill Cosby is a rich, self-loathing Uncle Tom. Never in a million years was this supposed to happen. Let's hit the brakes. This guy raised Rudy, so in my eyes he can still do zilch wrong. But we don't care. Welcome to the world we live in.
Marijuana has a few steps to go, but we're going to see the day it's legal in all 50 States.
You'll be able to talk into Walgreens and pick up a bag of homegrown ganja. I've never smoked marijuana ever in life, so this doesn't really affect me much but it's enjoyable to think about. LeBron James in an NBA Championship ring holder. Magic Johnson and Shaq are both sports commentators. Magic has HIV, but he will probably outlive all of us. The virus has somehow blessed him with immortality. Either that or he made some proper life choices concerning his diet, and is actually one of the healthiest people alive.
We don't need facts anymore; we do as we wish. I'm not the most religious person, but last night I prayed for Herman Cain and asked God to put him back in the presidential race so Barack could easily win, and I could spend the next few months on the ground crying every time Herman's face appeared on my television. He's the luckiest guy ever -- I wish I had such a vast collection of over the hill white women on my team. For a brief moment in time, he forgot he was black. So the media decided to break him off with a reminder. All the white women in North America came out of their trailer park homes and told the world about their forbidden lustful relationships with this sick puppy. Herman Cain is now doing parodies about himself.
You can rent a movie from a vending machine now. Just slide your credit card, pick your movies and it's a done deal. As a result of this all Blockbuster Video stores are pretty much closed or irrelevant. If leaving the house is too much footwork for you then you can subscribe to Netflix and really get your entertainment options popping. This is off subject, but some fat guy decided to eat nothing but Subway sandwiches. Allegedly he lost a ton of weight even though technically according to my standards he's still kind of fat. As a result Subway started styling on the fast-food industry, and made all their foot long sub's five bucks.
You're still not impressed yet? Okay try this one: Snookie from Jersey Shore is pregnant. There's a reality show called Mob Wives. With actual mob families showing their faces and family problems on television. There is also a reality show called Basketball Wives. The problem is none of these women are actually basketball wives, but more so ex-girlfriends and ex-wives of a few basketball players that quite frankly don't give a damn about them. The show is called Basketball Wives, and one of the leading characters is actually dating a football player so you do the math, and send me the invoice when you figure it out.
Since we're on the subject of such related insanity, this might be a good time to tell you that Maury Povich -- the famed husband of Connie Chung -- has a talk show that specializes in announcing the results of fraternity tests. Pardon my back-tracking, but I forgot to tell you Jay-Z is one of the owners of the New Jersey Nets. The New Jersey Nets now play in a stadium that is located in Brooklyn, New York. I think this is kind of awesome in its very own way. The St. Louis Cardinals decided they wanted to be the real life version of the Disney movie Angels In The Outfield. Last year they had a few miraculous playoff games and won it all. For a brief second there was total complete racial harmony in the city of St. Louis.
Our parents were kind of dumb in some regards and at a young age they force-fed us McDonalds and Pizza Hut. In our older years we were all addicted to unhealthy foods, which really don't taste good, but since we're all food addicts we think it does. We grew up kept eating this mess, and now we're all fat as hell. All of sudden we all realized how out of shape and morbidly fat we are, so now we're all running to the gym at the same time. We didn't realize those video games and computers we adored so much were silently killing us off.
This is the world we live in. It's like God is up there playing a big magical game of switcheroo. The world is swarming with people who are drastically uneducated, and dumb is the new smart. We don't read, we just watch a YouTube video that some socially awkward creep uploaded and get all the facts we need. I enjoy this world, and I think it's awesome. Did Donald Trump run for president in your lifetime? Did he also accuse the current president of not having a birth certificate?
This is the world I live in. The possibilities are simply endles -- the most random unexplainable things happen at the drop of a dime. Teen Wolf is a movie? Nope! I say it's a TV show and I say we should air it on MTV because MTV doesn't show music videos anymore. O.J. Simpson was once the world's largest athlete -- his fame was equal to that of Kobe Bryant's or better -- and now he's going to die in prison. You didn't see that one coming, did you, misguided teen spirit from the '70s?