Yo, can we talk for a minute, y'all? A'ight, look, this whole "Stop Snitching" shit is kinda upsetting me, man. Sure, it makes for cute T-shirts and all, and it makes for great mix-tape material, but it's going a li'l too far these days. Example: Busta Rhymes' friend and bodyguard Israel Ramirez was shot and killed at a video shoot a couple of weeks ago in front of a gang of people. Thing is, the investigation into Ramirez's murder has been stalled by the witnesses' (including Bussa-Buss) refusal to speak to police. So here it is... Why are we okay with prison ethics becoming the accepted guidelines of the hiphop nation? Fuck the police, that's how I treat 'em, but killers and drug dealers aren't exactly protecting our communities either. Someone kills my boy, I'm gonna do everything in my power to see the motherfucker responsible go away. I'm sorry, does that make me a snitch? Have I lost my nonexistent street cred now?

As the great Chuck D wrote recently: "The term 'snitch' was best applied to those that ratted revolutionaries... (out) to fascist governments... Let's not let stupid cats use hiphop to again twist this meaning for the sake of some... violent drug-thug crime dogs who've sacrificed the black community's women and children."

Local MC alert! South End MC Neezie Pleazie—formerly Sunspot of the live hiphop crew Maroon Colony—has dropped a dope new album called Pleaze Believe that's definitely worth your paper. Expertly produced by Vitamin D, Bean One, and Manat MacLeod of Defkidz, Pleaze Believe is a banging showcase for Neezie's rubbery, conversationally rapid-fire flow and sharp storytelling. Neez's dreadlocked everyman persona is familiar to many; you know, that one cat—charismatic, blessed with the gift of mouthpiece, vaguely shady, and always down to smoke. I urge those looking for dope new local hiphop to pick this one up. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Support The Stranger

On Thursday, March 9, do yourself a real solid and dip out to the Vera Project to peep Rhymesayers Entertainment artist P.O.S., repping the Minneapolis-based Doomtree crew. P.O.S. has dropped two platters on RSE, Ipecac Neat and the brand-spank Audition, and is yet another reason that Sluggo's got a helluva little rap label over there in Money-Sotta. Whether his name stands for Pissed Off Stef, Product Of Society or Piece Of Shit, dude is possessed of a ragged ferocity that is no doubt owed to the fact that he was active in Minneapolis punk bands for years before he ever spit a verse; his quirky style blends hiphop and punk sensibilities without it sounding contrived; no mean fucking feat. Now, don't let all that fool you into thinking the kid can't spit. He caught me with a line off of Ipecac's "Kicking Knowledge in the Face": "The shit's a mockery/I'm not trying to save hiphop/I'm trying to save my baby cousin from Jermaine Dupri." Yep, I think I owe that dude a beer.

hiphop@thestranger.com