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Artist: Joe Budden
Album:  Who Killed Hip Hop 12"
Song:   Who Killed Hip Hop
Typed by:

[Intro] [Joe Budden speaking]
Yeah, I mean ah, I'm doin' all these interviews. 
Everybody want to know what I think of the state of hip hop.
Whether I think it's dead or not.
Question ain't whether it's dead. It's more like, who killed it and when.
Let' go.

Can anybody pinpoint the day it when wrong?
I mean, I used to blame Raggaeton
I can't front I thought all that was corny
Was it Ja's fault?
Lil' Mo said she didn't get paid for +Put It On Me+
Look, bring it up and dudes get on some coy shit
Was it T-Pain with that funny voice shit?
Or was it Lil' Wayne with that funny voice shit?
The whole game did grow that funny voice shit
"I can't tell when it happened
Was it when Lil' Jon showed dudes you can sell without rappin'?
Was it +Laffy Taffy+? I thought they was kiddin'
Shawty Lo said "No I really didn't." 
"Dancing became cool again, Nick Can +Walk It Out+
But I didn't know what the fuck niggas was talking bout
Unit kick Game out, they didn't give a fuck
Then we seen the same shit happen to Buck
It was a few years ago, but I remember the summer
50 made fans start looking at the numbers
A&R won't take risks, they won't sign niggas
The worst swag came out and started to blind niggas
Rap dudes want reality shows
And my dumb ass was thinking that reality sold
Did it start with the Ipod
Or when rappers had to pay DJs to do they job
I mean all the content is the same it won't differ
Everybody sold some drugs or pulled triggers
The more you think about it you gonna get sicker
And why the fuck would Nas want to call his shit Nigger?
Was it when it the Wu broke up?
Pac, Big , Big Pun went to sleep and never woke up
Lupe was doing a tribute and choked up
And some of these stupid ass fans were like "So what?"
Some of them, they ain't educated
And fuck blaming the south, we ain't segregated
I'm mean, it was all good around the Kiss and Beans shit
Took a left turn around the kissing green shit
Maybe it all started, when Rocafella parted
Ways, it's natural to shift toward fame
I watched every last dude shit on Dame
Kinda got that in common, I can dig that pain
When they gave Jay a desk and suit
They finally gave a rapper a chance to come execute
But somethin' told me the suits at the table was hurtin'
They fired everybody and labels started merging
As far as sales, they declining strong
Ask the experts they'll say that the climate's wrong
I'm mean some niggas prime is gone
I peeped it when niggas started putting fake diamonds on
You could tell a dude "I spit better than you"
But then he'll say I'm richer for whatever I do
I seen all this coming, I knew what we was in fo'
Back when Erick Sermon had jumped out of the window
Was it when Ma$e retired and couldn't hack it?
Tip could he just needed some more rachets
DJs, producers wanted to get us the farthest
Said fuck rappers and started becoming the artists
I gotta talk candid
Did we start having issues around the same time Jimmy and Cam did?
Was it when Chingy thought he didn't need Ludacris
Next album found out that was ludicrous
Papoose and Clipse both survived
Inkin' with Jive
Then getting jived
Ya man J-Hood repped that D-Block gang
Then I seen dude dragging his D-Block chain
Or did one hit wonders change it all along
They made labels only want to sign a dude's song
And you really don't know shit
If you think the fans pick the videos on 106
I'm just stating the truth
Did it start when Fox stayed in the news more than she did the booth?
Or was it when Lil' Kim stopped exploiting sex
And fuck is up with DMX?
I hope dudes straight
Have an opinion and they're going to say "you hate"
I can't front, I'm missin' them old Clue tapes
The underground sunk further
The Feds was on Irv so the Inc dropped Murder
I never blamed Fab, Jeezy, Rick Ross
The shit gets lost when Shyne went up north
I never understand the hip hop police
When hip hop is what hip hop needs to police
These blatant ass radio attempts sound so bland
Twista kept trying to recreate +Slow Jamz+
Did we send the wrong message with our slang
As broke niggas spending their rent to +Make It Rain+ 
And you walk in give a bitch a few 20s
And she'll smirk her face up, looking at you funny
This chick told me see only take new money
Man I snatched my shit back so fast
Or did it start when rappers said "Fuck it"
Sacrificed music, starting raping their budget
Nothing wrong with dudes being candy or pop
Something wrong when Joc did the +Candy Shop+ (Fuck is wrong with him?)
We buying our own records maybe no one's to blame
Are we a business that we can't afford to maintain?
The second week show you that that boys numbers ain't hot
I hate to break it to you numbers always lie
Or when Ortiz signed to Aftermath
And now he's feeling the aftermath
Was it Fight Klub fucking with them battle raps
But not many of them getting signed after that
I mean, some can't stay afloat
A million Busta albums, he's still not mentioned with the GOATS
Fuck looking for answers
Time will tell
Was it when Def Jam didn't want to resign L?
A 15 year old told me Cash? was ass
But rather then smash on dude all I could do was just laugh
Or was it when the whole east coast fell off?
Or got comfortable, maybe dudes was too well off
The more that niggas said that they didn't write their own lyrics
The more it started to sound like it didn't
But, do whatever you can to keep the lights on
But dumbing down just became the new Dylan
Honestly I ain't know what to think
A few years ago we had the young kids wearing pink
I can't blame the fans for not knowing a damn thing
When we trained them to be this way
I mean showed them whatever to sell with no limits
Since the early '90's sold them a false image
So when some shit come that don't fit the mold
It's like a mole, nigga you won't even do gold
They watch the videos 
See you on the corner with a whole bunch of people and think that you good
They turn on the TV and see these video vixens 
And think nigga's girls really look that good
I mean they get so many free verses
When the album drops shits more like a bonus
Why pay for it, why take on this
With one click of a mouse they can own it
I mean some of them are fooled so easily
By whatever we say or we show em on TV
But that was all part of the plan
Or was it when Eminem made 'Stan' I swear some of these fans
They put their whole life on the line
It's like they can't like more than one rapper at a time
Less about the product, more about the digits
It's a business, we got less fans and more critics
Maybe we at a cross
Canibus made one of the dopest diss records but some still say he lost
I ain't believe my ears when niggas tried to tell me
That KRS One had a rap beef with Nelly
If rap was alive
We'd be trying to be the best rapper ever
Not the best rapper alive
But you won't get accepted at all if you ain't street tough
Onyx was the hardest til Sticky got beat up
Now I'm a thug is how I gotta behave
If I wanna be paid, if I wanna see praise
You know something is wrong when niggas is gettin shot
And you gotta sit and wonder if the whole thing is staged
It ain't real no more
Or did we just expand on the audience, maybe we appeal to more
Did we just think y'all getting dumber?
We tried to make gettin' older gettin' younger
Did we lose our hunger, somethings gotta give
Did we out grow ourselves, is hip hop for kids?
If it is, they turn on MTV cribs
And think that's where these motherfuckers really live
Or was it when Lauryn Hill dropped a classic
So did the Fugees til Wyclef tapped it
Songs don't do it no more, this shits shocking
Seen it when +Lean Back+ had the whole world rocking
Now it's fuck your bars if your hook is fly
So we look at Crooked I with a crooked eye
It's dope ass rappers that ain't seeing no dough
If everything is commercial where the fucks the show
But anybody making a dime, see I'ma wish well
Still we took a big L losing Big L
Or was it when Youtube came in the game
Now nobody's from their living room can make a name
Or when the indies like Koch came and blew up
Niggas at the majors they literally threw up
To some it ain't fun no more
You know it's fucked up when DMC don't talk to Run no more
Too many egos like we ain't one no more
Shits predictable, niggas ain't stunt no more
We started to see shit we never seen before
At one point we even had the magazines at war
Was it street DVD's like Smack
Showed you just how stupid your favorite rapper would act
Did shit get lifeless
When MTV made a list of the hottest and ignored the nicest
Changed the whole stee-lo
I mean the average fan never heard of a Goodie Mob or a Cee-lo
But they've heard of Gnarles Barkley
And Dr. Carter still say we got a heart beat
I ain't gonna lie, I was scared to death straight up
Started hearing rumors of an Outkast breakup
I was like that ain't true, it sounds desperate
Started seeing Big Boi and 3K separate
Had periods we was dryer than the desert
Are we all killing this shit, is it a group effort
Are we alive and well or barely surviving
Is it R&B's fault, them niggas is thrivin'
And then a lot of people go and blame Limewire
I don't think it's downloading, dog the lines tired
Did the fans just get tired of the outcome
One dope single and a bullshit album
So they share albums with each other
Was it Master P with them ugly ass album covers
Or was it when we started appearing in the news
Timberland said they ain't want black niggas wearing their boots
I mean, I know it got foggy at least blurry
When a label dude got knocked out by Keith Murray
Or was it when we became obsessed with the brand names
Had the kids trying to buy shit they can't name
And some think the evidence is ample
Did it start when Puff took advantage of the sample
Is it all watered down with no fire
If you had enough money you could buy a ghost writer
Or the diamond district, Jacob The Jeweler
Had to buy his watch to be looked at as cooler
And fucking with them trends
Our stupid asses wasted a hundred grand on shit that ain't even in
Look, is the game now as bad as it's ever been?
It's not ring tones just the songs that they represent
I heard all of them
Sad part, I wouldn't recognize most of these niggas if I saw em
I can't explain it, i don't know what to tell ya
Now going gold is looked at as a failure
Maybe old heads in charge just weren't able
DJ's are spinning now with no turn table
Maybe the fans are just bored of us
Or maybe there ain't enough room for all of us
It's like, even a friendship will stop at a point
Mike Jones went platinum off of Slim Thug's joint
But there's so many ways to get fucking rich
Superhead kicked off just by sucking dick
Did we sell out just to get in demand more
Did we go against everything we use to stand for
Both are likely
There's two sides to the coin, who you rolling with Soulja Boy or Ice T
Some niggas wanna sit around and complain about
I'd rather analyze, seek how it came about
If we could rewind the world
We wouldn't have to watch Flavor Flav try to find his girl
Look, today it's all about marketing and promo
I remember VH1 was just for old folks
But no ma'am 
If I ain't know better I would think that mix show was now program
We let the power of a dollar annihilate us
How the size of our chain gon validate us?
It's simple they can't think we really deep
I just heard Chris Brown on the +A Milli+ beat
Seen a video called +Looking Ass Niggas+
Grabbed the remote, tired of looking at niggas
But that let a nigga know that if we ain't dead
That we just half alive, maybe brain dead
Did it start when Capone left NORE
Nah he went to jail that's a whole different story
Or maybe something really wrong with our ears
Obie Trice got dropped, so much for Cheers
Female emcees, they don't ever hit the target
Somebody said they seen Amil working at a Target
The sad part is we already lost Remy
Or did we go wrong when E-v-e got Skinny
What's up with Jacki-O, Rah Digga that I can't figure
Trina ain't been the same since +Nah Nigga+
I know it had to do something to his heart beat
When Lady Of Rage started doing Steve Harvey
I know we caught a little trauma
Somewhere between Yo Yo Boss and Lil Mama
A lot of females found another way to extort
Most of our video models have turned escort
Do anything to see dough
So they'll exchange sex with an artist or director for a lead role
Or should we get back to basics
Wheres the Rakim's or the Masta Aces?
The Big Daddy Kanes, or did we never recover?
From Dre not being on the side of Ed Lover
Or when rap dudes started signing their friends
Instead of going out trying to find niggas with skill
I seen it when D-12 put out +Purple Pills+
While the whole hood laughed them niggas sold a mil
Some of us ain't prepared for something so lucrative
I just heard Yung Berg say some stupid shit
Like we almost caught one in the torso
When each Bone Thug member took they own +Crossroad+
Some disagree, some gotta see the same
Or maybe hip hop died on Aaliyah's plane
If it relocated, where did it move to?
I Still Love H.E.R. the way Common use to
Or did Bill O'Reilly come fuck up the spirit
With negative remarks about everybody's lyrics
He spends all his time dissing us
Nigga, you 95 years old motherfucker shouldn't be a listener
Lost Jam Master who was Tougher Than Leather
Or did it start when Treach was fucking Pepa
As our jeans got tighter and our T's got longer
Tryna figure out which age group we belong to
Or did we all go astray
The second Dr. Dre left N.W.A.
In my opinion we was on easy streak
When he was beefing with Eazy-E
Or did we get fucked up when producers found a way to cheat
Signin' unknown niggas to start making their beats
If you sell your own shit, it's gotta go for cheap
Just put my name on it so the price increase
Or is it cause everybody's so self centered
Is that the reason hip hop itself ain't centered
Or have we already seen the shit with our own eyes
With +Rico Suave+, Cam and Vanilla Ice
Everybody want in the game so in return
You got label executives fucking they interns
And anybody looking at that new Vibe Bracket
Should see that they don't know a thing bout this rap shit
Or maybe we should've stopped being proud
When their was no more Rawkus and no more Loud
Try to get conscience around Vote Or Die
So they made it look like all our votes was lies
As the years go on it's like we keep getting more voids
We got lost when we lost one of the Lost Boys
I knew we was impersonating a fraud
When Kay Slay smacked my mans at the awards
Regardless it's our fault as artists
Running with entourages who act like they ain't never left the projects
Who do we wanna target?
Will they put an Uncle Murda Cd in a Wal-mart or a Target
We got the nerve to not wanna hear Ras Kass
But fuck with Vick get silly and that trash
I felt ashamed 
When J-Kwon told me he didn't like Raekwon cause he stole his name
Was back when everybody in the club got Tipsy
Now every contract gotta be three sixty
So fuck eating, better scrape the plate
Now every beat gotta at least have an 808
Did the light skin jim when we first heard Mims
And said another New York rapper on the south's tip
Is it overcrowded
They keep saying if it's so fucked up, then do something about it
I doubt it, It's just one thing they don't understand
That job is way bigger than just one man
Or maybe all of these pleas that it's deceased
Is false and this shit is right where it needs to be
Maybe we built on something that'll last forever
You see Face and Geto Boys just got back together
Maybe no one can stop us
Even other genres now jock us
We even doing songs with the rockers
Hows that the feeling?
Kanye is amazing
Wayne just sold a million, we closer to the ceiling
God we in a coma
When we the only business where you can excel with no diploma
Technologies changed, made everything simple
Myspace is now a dudes Bio/Demo
Side from the fact we generating more money
We took it global and penetrating other countries
So lets celebrate, sip some Cris
Some more shit we embraced just to end up dissed
Go and buy the bar out so we can all get bent
Lets go cop a bunch of cars just to still pay rent
Or here's another bright idea to entertain
Lets go and put our face on the bottom of a chain
Or some of us are just nigga rich with nigga money
While Jews keep laughing lookin' at these nigga dummies
Hip hop is just a stepping stool
Til we find another role we can step into to
Some of us doing movies as a matter of fact
And some never stop the plan life after rap
I mean ah
As I'm older we stopped moving further
Around the same time Snoop Dogg went on trail for murder
Or was it Scarface creating these cloneys
Thirty years later everybody's still Tony
Maybe anyone complaining is deranged
Can you expect something to grow and not change?
Which results in our exceptions, deviated our old route
To simplify the term, we all sold out
I think I figured out who's to blame
We started out Obama ended up McCain
So we Kurt Cobained ourselves when we defeated
So next time they asked you who killed it say WE DID