Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Shadows of Doubt

"You put on two tube socks, you couldn't walk in my shoes" Jay-Z

So last week I saw some tweets that were being sent regarding Diggy Simmons [the son of Rev Run] and a freestyle video that he had put out. The consensus of most of those tweets were that he did a pretty good job in the video. However, I first ignored those tweets and formed my own opinion before even hearing it. My reasons were based solely on the fact that Rev's other son JoJo Simmons is a so called "rapper" as well. And well let's just say his skills are less than quality if you ask me. (See Video Below if you want to form your own opinion the cat that's first to spit is Jo Jo).

So after seeing another tweet about the Diggy video I went ahead and checked it out. Now I will admit that his flow was okay but average at best. However, I will say 3 things though. First, he is definitely way better than his brother Jo Jo. Secondly, knowing that he's still really young he's probably the best in that age category right now (if such a category even exists presently), and also better than some "rappers" twice his age. Lastly, I feel that if he stays at it in 3-4 years he may be top notch in his craft. (Check out the Diggy Vid below)

Now those reading may think I'm being hard on the kid. Now don't get me wrong I respect the kid's hustle and the fact that he's doing something positive and probably isn't using his dad's influence to make it happen. However, you have to understand that as a lover of Hip Hop (since a young child) and as an Emcee myself I judge rappers on a different scale than most. So basically it takes a lot to move me and convince me that you have skills in the rap department.

But if I was to go into therapist mode on the situation, I'd say Jo Jo became a rapper because he was trying to get his pops attention and or approval, while Diggy was more just doing what he wanted to do. But I have no degree in that field so this is purely my own speculation.

Now I said all that to finally approach the subject at hand. How do you as a child of someone great, following in the same footsteps as your parent(s), ever attempt to match the greatness of your parent(s). And is it even possible? In the above examples, I questioned will Diggy or Jo Jo ever be as great a rappers as their dad was and achieve the level of success that he did? Run DMC was 1 of the first Hip Hop acts to really hit on a mainstream Level. And thus Rev Run has become as successful as he has. Now to me that's not something that's easy to follow up. So my prediction would be no I doubt if either of them can reach those levels, but I guess only time will tell.

But more than anything I guess my answer to this question is more like why would you even want to follow behind someone great? I mean to be honest my father once was into music. But if he had been a huge music superstar then I don't think I'd even be willing to go down that path. Even if that was something he was pushing or even if I showed real talent in that area I just don't think I would be willing to do the same. I just think the possibility of falling short and always being compared to a legend is hard to overcome. So if the Cosmic Era (inside family joke my bro will laugh @ this one) popped off back in the 80's and my dad ending up being one of the great musicians in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame I think I'd go opposite. I think I'd be like a master Chess player or something. Check mate MF! lol.

Although I have to big up to those that have the ability to withstand the criticism, ridicule and pressure and do so, I'm just saying I don't think I could do it. For instance Jesse Jackson Jr., he's a good example, as he followed in his dad's footsteps and became a politician, activist and a man of the people. Obviously he hasn't put in the work his pops has (standing next to Dr. MLK Jr. and all) but all in all he's done a pretty decent job if you ask me.

But there are others that I just don't think will ever get close to the level. For instance, in my opinion Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player to ever dribble a ball. He has 2 sons, both of which played basketball in high school and now in college. However, I would venture to say that neither of these sons will ever get even close to the level of basketball player that their dad was. Although I haven't followed their careers, just based off having not heard much of anything in the news, I can conclude their efforts in comparison to their father's are pretty lack luster. Now again, I'm not being critical, and they may indeed go on to have pretty decent NBA careers down the line. But will they ever achieve the same status of their dad? I would be willing to bet money they won't.

Now in contrast this weekend I also happened to hit a link that took me to a live U-Stream video of P.Diddy and his oldest son Justin. Don't ask what made me hit this link. Bored I guess. But after watching for a little bit I noticed 2 things. 1 I want to be rich just so I can have a TV as big as Diddy's (my God you should've saw the size of this screen). Oh and on the subject at hand, when asked his son said he has no desire to be an entertainer and actually wants to be a football player. This actually shocked me. Just because I figured that since Diddy loves the lime light so much that he'd be likely to push his kids in that same direction. Especially after having previously seen the video below.

Also, on that same note on the anniversary of Notorious B.I.G.'s death I heard an interview with B.I.G.'s daughter's mom. They of course asked her if her daughter wanted to be in the entertainment industry at all. Her response was no she has no desire to be an entertainer, she actually is into fashion design and wants to go to college for that. I was happy to hear this. Likewise, we all know that we lost Michael Jackson last year. Michael Jackson was the greatest entertainer of all time. But we know he has 2 children and I think I may have heard that one of them sings. But I don't care how good they may be I hope they never ever try to go into entertainment. Because those are 1 pair of shoes (or glittery socks) I don't think anyone can ever fill, even his own offspring.

I'm sure I can go on and on naming examples of people that both prove and disprove my theory. But as I said this is just my personal opinion and how I would react given the situation. I'm not hating on anyone or anything like that. Also, I'm not saying that if your average Joe or Jane is a doctor or lawyer or in some other high powered position that they're child shouldn't strive to be the same. Again, I'm referring to what I consider "Great" or "the greatest." So I just think regardless of the situation it's difficult to come behind the greatest in any field and fill those shoes.

Well that's my take. What's yours? Leave a Comment at the Beep!



Reina said...

I thought Diggy did a great job. I was tempted to download his mixtape. Alas, common sense prevailed. Still, commendable job.

Regarding your question, I actually applaud any descendant of someone amazing who pursues their parents' careers. I grew up wanting to be an attorney b/c that's what my father did. You can't fight that desire. It's just what happens. Children want to be like their parents.

I think we do them a grave injustice to forever compare them to their parents. It isn't fair.

CurvyGurl ♥ said...

I think you're right, Diggy stands out as a dude with potential. The thing that had me tweeting and wondering are the lyrics....

I guess I shouldn't compare, but Run DMC could flow without cursing and they weren't considered soft. Kinda expected something along the same lines, but hip hop is such a mess these days that I guess it doesn't matter.

Kingsmomma said...

I think its perfectly fine for kids to want to do the same types of things thier famous parents did as long as they don't do it to 1. get approval or attention from thier parents or 2. try to do it to be thier parents. Its something they must have the passion for because they will always be asterisked and compared to thier parents. Even if they don't follow in teh same footsteps they will always been just so and so's son. Por ejemplo, robert deniro's son is a real estate developer and all the other company's believe his success is largely due in part to the fact that his father is robert deniro. I commend all celebrity offspring for wanting to be thier own person instead of living off their famous names.

p.s. Damon wayans Jr. Is effing hilarious

The F$%K it List said...

I think Diggy did a great job but I also think by the much lower standards held by new hip hop fans he'll blow a lot sooner than he should.

I heard the interview with Diddy's son and with Biggie's daughter and i was happy they wanted to go other routes. Though one of Diddy's sons is rapping and he's worse than Jo-Jo if you can imagine.

My parents were in childhood therapy and the legal field, I made sure to stay far away mainly because I wanted to make my name w/o anyone comparing me to them.

12kyle said...

I saw the Diggy tweets too! I didn't even know that he was rappin'. I wasn't gonna download his music but I was impressed with his flow. And yes...he's wayyy betta than JoJo. LOL

If I were somebody like MJ, I'd steer my kids as far away from sports as possible. Maybe it's strange but that's me

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