Should Living Rappers Profit From Dead Rappers?
Some rappers happen to be thoughtful, intelligent people. Every Monday (that isn't a national holiday) Rocks Off will have some of them hear discussing issues relevant to their culture.
This Week's Panel: Fat Tony, Candi Redd, Yung Redd
Not Invited: Diddy
This Week's Prompt: The other day, 50 Cent started a petition to try and get Diddy to stop gaining from the "exploitation" of Biggie's legacy. If we ignore the fact that it's being levied by someone known for enticing rappers into beefs, that is a very serious claim. You don't just say some shit like that, ya know.
Photo illustration by John Seaborn Gray
Now, unfortunately, there is a very real possibility of a Houston rapper getting caught up in something like that. Pimp C, Hawk, Big Moe, Fat Pat, Eric Woods, Mike Jones' career; have all passed. Someone could probably really exploit their legacies for dough if they wanted to (at least locally, anyway).
Do you think that will ever happen? Is it even possible? Is The Screw Shop a form of that? Or is that just something you will never see in Houston? And if not, why not?
Fat Tony: I think there's too much respect and too much of a close-knit circuit in Houston to fully exploit a deceased artist. The people that stood by these people in life are going to secure their legacy in death. Every passing in Houston has been an artist who was great and highly respected in their lifetime.
I don't see the Screwed Up Records & Tapes shop as a form of it. Reissuing and remastering all those DJ Screw mixtapes has done wonders for the world for all those that wanted to know what it's like to hear the originator and purchase his music easily.
Yung Redd: Well, I came up under the late great Big Hawk. Even though I learned from him, I was a published artist before that. I don't think an artist should piggyback anyone's fame or legacy deceased especially. We should only carry out their wishes and pay homage.
Candi Redd: I don't know. I just stay out of business that don't belong to me, but download the new single, "Money On My Mind" by Candi Redd feat. Kat St. John. Getting ready to shoot the video here in Houston.
Rocks Off: We're beginning to think you don't enjoy participating in these discussions, ma'am.
CR [laughs]: I do. That is just my way of participating.