The Smoking Section (Masthead) Respect Our Fresh!

Dear New York

I grew up admiring you.

I thought you were the only thing worth listening.

I wanted to be a part of your lifestyle...the Amigos with the knock system, the fatigues, the blunts, pissin in the elevator steez.

But now, times have changed and my views of you have changed.

We've grown up, we've changed, we've expanded...we've taken in more of the world and seen more things.

You didn't grow with us.

It's almost like you were "the man" when we were coming up. After all these years hustling on the block, you've become a fiend just like those you used to serve.

And now, you're weak & others are strong and it's seemingly tearing you to the core. Ghost has taken his shots, old ass Kay Slay has directed his usual, Uncle Rufus type rants towards the rest of us, Papoose..Cam way back ("...when the fuck we start bouncin"...but now the Dips got out a track called "Trap Aggins"?)...Saigon...all of you are poppin shit.

But the fact remains, other areas are gettin it in while you still talking about what you used to do.

Well, since I still love & respect you, I figure I at least owe you the due respect to tell you where I think our relationship went wrong.

1. Your arrogance - It used to be your swagger was your appeal. Now, it reeks of lack of self-confidence or knowledge of self. You're complaining about everybody else's qualities to steer the focus off the fact that you have no true identity. Humble yourself a little. Instead of knocking other areas, do as they've done and give respect due to cats who are pumpin 100K independently. When you give praise to other areas or "give" them features, it feels forced & false. Again, humble yourself. We know you were once great & we know you can be again. But right ain't happening. You're in the midst of a rebuilding period so accept it.

2. "It's like New York's been soft ever since Snoop came through and crushed the buildings..." - It's true...You had the game on lock until the mid 90's. Then, N.W.A., Raiders hats & Cortez's took over & you looked dazed for a minute. You came back strong but when Tupac unleashed on you it was like the schoolyard bully had his skirt pulled. Your air of invincibility, your was broken. Now those who could stand strong, Jay, Nas, etc., they weathered the storm. The rest of you...well at least Tim Dog did say "Fuck Compton" back in the day. The rest of you turned on your heels and ran, only now starting to kick up a little dust again. Naysayers can say what they want about Cam & the whole Dips crew but give them credit for one thing - bringin back that NY chutzpah. Show us your confidence again.

3. Try being emotional with us again, show us another side to you. Kanye sold for a reason with his first album....he had good beats yeah...but it was moreso the "I did work at Gap at one time", everyman aesthetic that we related to. There's a reason why these other areas are selling and garnering so much attention - People want music they can feel. Anger and tension of Lil Jon/ATL's crunk shit & 3-6 been gettin buck...the party, "get into" feel of that hyphy shit...the "yeah I sold dope but I know I hurt some folks and I regret it" of trap boys all over the South...yeah man, we're vibing to all of that. Your coldness...your desire to still speak about your glory days of copping ki's from Papi...but you're still living in the same tenament building, still coppin double-ups...we've seen through it. Bring back that "you", that grit & anger, knowledge & culture, placed so well in between bars in descriptive verses.

Again, I still have love for Now Why. You've taught me so much about hip-hop culture & life. I...we owe you so much and we hate to see you slackin. It's sorta like Jordan with the Wizards...there's flashes of greatness but nothing substained & we see you struggling to be even a shadow of your former self.

I'm waiting...we're waiting.

Tru Life - "The New New York"



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