YouTube embed, the blog post is by John Hoff
Following up on red hot discussion about a music video called "Kobe Diss" which has shattered all viewership stats for this blog, and purportedly references the murder of Tyrone "Ty Crack" Washington, I have spent some time reviewing other music videos by "Mental Mid" posted on YouTube.
Most of the videos are just rapping about hood activities, and are interesting only because street signs and landmarks such as the dreadful Wally's "inconvenience store" on Penn Ave. N. can be recognized.
However, the video embedded above, "No Competition," is clearly making reference to the Tyrone Washington murder just like the "Kobe Diss" video. In fact, at 2 minutes, 45 seconds a bracelet of some kind is displayed with...
...the name "Ty Crack." It appears to have a date of birth and a date of death.
If I'm not mistaken, the video goes so far as to mock the mother of a murder victim who misses her son. Then again...is any of this real? Or is it all art? Just because Bruce Springsteen sings about how he was sent to Vietnam "to go and kill the yellow man" doesn't mean he ever served a day in the army.
The words to "No Competition" are actually clear enough to understand, but the meaning isn't always clear. Pieces of meaning can be caught, though. There is talk about a "quiet dude" and how "everybody knows" what is meant about a "quiet dude." (Yes, everybody knows that. It's the quiet ones you have to watch out for)
This rap music appears to belong to a kind of "true murder" genre, which deliberately shatters the line between art and, well...
There is a sort of handwritten list that keeps appearing in the background and contains names. Some of the names might be murder victims. But I find it hard to determine if this is a bragging list of victims or some kind of rough draft of grievances.
"Everybody knows" compliments about gangster rap have to be virtually ripped from my throat, but I will say both the music and the videos show technical skill. And there is an undeniable panache to putting a video out in the world that is just as likely to be reviewed by the Minneapolis homicide unit as by music critics.
So, you know, feel free to discuss. Hard to tell who will show up at the door first: music producer with a contract or cops with an arrest warrant. But anybody who says, "Damn the consequences, full speed free speech ahead" has to win a certain grudging admiration from Johnny Northside.
Is any of this The Truth? Are you spitting the truth or just spinning a lie?