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Black Thought Defuses Will Smith “Feud” Before It Starts


Jin

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May 7th, 2009

Black Thought Defuses Will Smith “Feud” Before It Starts

Yesterday, in a really interesting interview published at Hip Hop Game, Roots MC Black Thought was asked, “You have a worldwide fanbase but consistently work with Philly artists. How important is it to maintain that hometown connection?” A fairly innocuous question, but he created a bit of a brouhaha with his response:

I mean, that’s super-important to me. That’s what I wish artists like Will Smith and some of the other artists who were popular representing Philly in the ‘80s and ‘90s had done because what it does is it’s good for morale. It’s just a good look for the city and I mean, it just opens doors for the next generation of artists coming from your hometown. When you’ve reached a level of popularity or fame where people are into you, they don’t necessarily know where you’re from. You have to remind them. Some people are under the impression that we’re from New York. Some people think we’re from Chicago sometimes.

We have to reinforce that we’re from Philadelphia and this is a Philly-based team. There is no animosity or cross-city beef. Sometimes artists who are on the incline, up-and-coming artists, have little minor beefs within the city. The Roots is a brand that’s above any of that and that’s what I want to stress. I feel like sometimes the fact that we work with a certain sort of artists or more street level artists or more hardcore hip-hop, just straight ahead hip-hop artists from Philadelphia, I feel like it’s not a problem and we send out a message that we’re all one in the same representing the same city.

And it breaks down a lot of barriers or apprehension that people might have about reaching out to a different sort of artist. Maybe the Beanie Sigels and Peedi Crakks will reach out to the Santogolds and the DJ Diplo’s but that just feel like it would be unwelcome. So we send out a positive signal with a positive vibe just by breaking genre barriers, so to speak, if that makes any sense.

Whether or not you agree with his point (I definitely do), Black Thought was quick to clarify his Will Smith comments this morning with Charlamagne the God on 100.3 FM’s “The Morning Beat” show, reports SOHH:

“The fact that I mentioned Will Smith was just illustrating a point, it wasn’t nothing that I said like ‘Oh Will Smith doesn’t reach back’ or ‘Will Smith blew up and forgot about the city,’” Black Thought explained. “I was just making a demonstration to my man, he was doing an interview asking the question if it’s important or how important is it to me you know, to reach back to up-and-coming artists or fellow Philadelphian artists. And answer to my question was bong, it’s very important to me and I would like to explain that I’m creating an outlet for up-and-coming Philadelphia artists and people from The Roots or Roots generation that didn’t necessarily have. I would never try to diss Will Smith, I ain’t make no sideways comments about Will Smith, the brother’s from Philly and the largest star in the world. He’s the biggest star on Earth.”

Whew — we were kinda worried for a sec that Will Smith would bum rush the Roots Picnic looking for blood. Peace has been restored!

http://music.pwblogs.com/2009/05/07/black-...fore-it-starts/

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FP brought his whole crew up with him tho'...for the most part. He was taking Charlie with him all over the world thru' the mid-2000's. JL is his right hand man. O is involved with his projects as well. And i'm not sure if i'm remembering it right, but wasn't Mimi from Philly? Was Ice Cream Tee?

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I think Black Thought is talking about directly working with young Philly artists and helping them get to where they wanna be. Here's some right off the top in which Will did reach back.

1987: Ice Cream Tee appeared on "Guys Aint Nothin But Trouble" on Rock the House

1991: El Sid and Jazz Fresh appeared on "Trapped on the Dance Floor" on Homebase

2005: Will worked with young producers known as "The Freshman"

I think Jeff definitely did more than Will but it also is attributed to the fact Will has been dedicated to Hollywood the last 10 years..

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I think Black Thought made a good point there, Will did a lot to represent Philly over the years in hip hop but there's no question he coulda done more with the status that he had and hip hop as a whole would be in a better place right now if he woulda tried to help real up and coming mcs get a shot in the game we wouldn't have all this wack junk out right now, if Will didn't want to rap anymore now he coulda opened up a bridge for real mcs to get in the game instead of it being like it is now, there's a lot of real mcs out there that deserve to shine, personally I'm tired of seeing these sucker mcs blow up and make millions while the real ones have to stay on the underground

Edited by bigted
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Even thought Kel Spencer isn't from Philly, he still put him on Da Butta which was Kel's first well known song.

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Kel was also featured on the "Wild Wild West" soundtrack which sold a lot in the summer of '99 before he was featured on "Uhhh" on "Willenium", it's a shame that he's not that big right now on a mainstream level but he's out there right now doing his thing constantly pumping out new tracks so it's all good... I really think like I said before if Will doesn't want to rap anymore he should pass the torch along to keep the tradition of real hip hop going, he has the status to do it but he chooses not too which is sorta dissapointing if you think about it, Black Thought wasn't dissing him, he was just making that point clear, really I think a lot of the veteran rappers that have status in the game should do something right now, it's a big problem as a whole...

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