Tag Archives: Heavy D

Profound Hip Hop Quote #42: He Had His Own Thang “RIP Heavy D”

9 Nov

“Don’t clock anybody, let them all clock you
Don’t be down with anybody, let them all be down with you
Stay self-managed, self-kept, self-taught
Be your own man, don’t be borrowed, don’t be bought
Started with a pow and I’m going to end it with a bang
We’ve got our own thang”
 

—“We Got Our Own Thang” by Heavy D and the Boyz

Heavy D And The Boyz Dwight Myers…The Overweight lover…Heavy D!  If you grew up listening to rap music in the late 80s and 90s Heavy D. and the Boyz should have received some play in your tape deck or CD player. Promoting positive and fun-loving messages, this group was a breath of fresh air, and Heavy D. proved that overweight brothers had something to offer and could get down and dance with the best of them.

Upon hearing about Heavy D’s untimely death, in pensive mood, I thought about what made him and his lyrics so special.  Then it came to me.  The title of one of his very songs sums up what it was: “We Got Out Own Thang.”  During the early 90s gangsta rap started to become more prevalent and devastated the market of fun, light-hearted raps with uplifting messages.  Despite the shrinking fan base or potential promotion from record labels, artists such as Heavy D and the Boyz, Fresh Prince and Kid and Play kept going strong.  In “We Got Our Own Thang” Heavy emphatically wants listeners to be themselves and not succumb to others or fall victim to peer pressure.  “Don’t clock anybody; let them all clock you.  Don’t be down with anybody, let them all be down with you.”

Furthermore, Heavy addresses those who want to be nothing more than carbon copies of the originators as well as those who are willing to perpetuate false personae if the price is write.  Perhaps some present day  entertainers who call themselves “rappers” should take heed to this advice.  “Stay self-managed, self-kept, self taught.  Be your own man, don’t be borrowed, don’t be bought.”

Heavy D indeed did “start with a pow and end with a bang” and went on to be a quite successful record executive and actor.  It truly saddens me that Heavy D. and the Boyz have yet to receive praise during one of the Hip Hop Honors award shows.  Let’s not allow those other artists who have paid the way to go unacknowledged and then receive homage posthumously.

Please feel free to share your thoughts.

~Anonomz aka Tanya H. Franklin

Bonus English Lesson:
Heavy D uses slang to drive his point homethe word “clock”  In this instance, it is similar to “jocking” or fawning over a person.

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Profound Hip Hop Quote #28: Ready to Self Destruct?

16 Jul

“I don’t understand the difficulty, people
Love your brother, treat him as an equal
They call us animals mmm mmm I don’t agree with them
I’ll prove them wrong, but right is what your proving them
Take heed before I lead to what I’m sayin’
Or we’ll all be on our knees, prayin’
.” 


—Stop the Violence Movement, formed by KRS One, quoted lyrics by Heavy D “Self Destruction”

Self DestructionAccording to the homicide statistics from the Philadelphia Police Department, there have been 176 homicides this year (including July 15, 2011).  (Crime Maps & Stats)
Of course, this data does not account for other violent crimes such as armed robbery, rape and aggravated assault.   Is there something about the summer or hot weather that causes people to be even more violent than in the winter?  Is it that more people are just outdoors, so they are bound to resort to violence to address issues of contention they may have.

What about when it comes to people of color?  Are some people innately more violent than others, or does the environment in which people are raised or presently residing play significant roles in how they behave?  Last year, there were 306 homicide victims, as reported on Philly.com. Interestingly,  60 of the homicides involved people who were classified as white, and 242 of the homicides involved people who were classified as black.  This means that nearly 20% of the senseless deaths were white people, and nearly 80% were black people.  I am no sociologist or statistician, but this information is alarming.  In regard to neighboring counties and townships, many of them do not have “murder maps” because homicides at the rate they are occurring in Philadelphia would be considered an anomaly in those areas.

What conclusions would you draw if you just went according to the data and did not get to really know the people involved, their plights and struggles? (Not that this in anyway justifies the actions of these violent acts)  “Self Destruction” is a classic rap song where KRS One brought together some of the most renown rappers of the late 80s and early 90s for the “Stop the Violence Movement.”  Even though some of the slang terminology utilized in the song and some of the allusions may be dated, this song sadly still reigns true today.  Most people have heard the phrase, “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.”  Heavy D uses this very same message in his lyrics, “They call us animals mmmm  mmmm I don’t agree with them. I’ll prove them wrong, but right is what you’re proving them.”  I’ve heard people refer to blacks and latinos animals.  There are even teachers who do not think twice about using such a derogatory term.  Perhaps you don’t care about what “they” think, but do you care about your family, friends, classmates, colleagues, neighbors, etc. who may eventually wind up on their knees praying and mourning the loss of a loved one?  We’re all in this together, or at least we should be.  Don’t let our people, neighborhoods, towns, cities and nations self-destruct!

Please feel free to share your thoughts

~Anonomz aka Tanya Harris

Bonus English Lesson:
Heavy D chose to drop the “g” from the words “sayin” and “prayin” for dialectical and meter  purposes.