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Rolling Stones Article, Issue 806, Feb. 99'"WHITE RAPPERS, THAT DON'T SUCK"

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I would add this to the cage and eminem discussion, but it is way to long, sorry about the length, but read it if intrested.



Remedy, the latest rapper from the Wu-Tang Clan's extended family, marvels at the mirrorlike sheen that the car-wash attendents are getting on his Kelly-green Audi Quattro. Remedy rolls a potent hash joint as beats from his upcoming debut boom from the car stereo. The twenty-seven-year-old rapper is relaxing Wu style: hanging with his buddy Clock at the car wash, five minutes from Wu-Wear, Wu-Tang's clothing emporium, and the streets that spawned the East Coast's hardest rap crew. Unlike his fellow Wu brothers, Remedy is not only white and Jewish, he's a scion of one of Staten Island's most prominent families. "A lot of black cats think they know more than you, so they ain't even trying to give you respect," he says. "I even feel it in the outskirts of the (Wu-Tang) family sometimes. Cats that don't know me look at me like they're trying to figure me out, like, 'How's this kid associated?'" This spring, Remedy is scheduled to release his solo album, executive-produced by RZA, who provides grooves on one track and rhymes on another, alongside cameos by Wu-Tang big dogs Cappadonna and Inspectah Deck. Remedy is just one of the promising white MCs who are poised to make their mark in 1999. Brooklyn's Non Phixion will drop their debut sometime in the spring, and RA the Rugged Man, a Long Island rapper who once traded rhymes with the Notorious B.I.G., will release his solo debut on Priority Records, home to Ice Cube and Mack 10. Meanwhile, on the West Coast, Dr. Dre has been in the studio with Eminem, a young white raooer who caused a buzz last year with an independently produced EP. Eminem's full-length debut, the Dre-produced Slim Shady, will hit stores in February. According to Dre, it's skills, not skin color, that earn respect. "It's not a racial issue," he says. "To be real with you, white MCs usually aren't good - it' as simple as that. It's like if you saw a black person in a hockey rink: It's gonna get some attention, but he'd only be there if he was good." As if to prove Dre's point, Everlast's recent smash solo LP, the alt-inflected Whitey Ford Sings The Blues, has garnered a lot of attention as a high-profit release that springs from the heart of the old-school white-rapper camp. Everlast, former front MC for white-rapper icons House of Pain - whose 1992 hit "Jump Around" achieved hip-hop party-anthem status - chalks up the white-rap renaissance to simple evolution. "You're dealing now with a generation that grew up on nothing but hip-hop," he says, "so you're gonna have white cats that come out just nice." Even the most venerable and Afrocentric hip-hop authorities agrees that the time has come for rap's racial barriers to fall. "Come on, now," says Public Enemy's Chuck D, "it's twenty years since rap began. It's really irrelevant what a person looks like and where they're from. The music has spread throughout society to the point that it's overstood. Says, 'Just because I'm black, I'm more hip-hop than you' - that's got nothing to do with skills." And, in fact, a new school of skilled white hip-hoppers is beginning to emerge. In addition to Non-Phixion and RA the Rugged Man, artists like Necro, Cage, and the High and the Mighty - as well as multicultural crews like Company Flow and Dilated Peoples - represent some of hip-hop's strongest new talents.


Over the years, white rap has scorned a few victories: the Beastie Boys' 1986 Licensed to Ill's becoming the first rap record to go to Number One; the across-the-board success of 3rd Bass and House of Pain. It has also suffered setbacks, like Vanilla Ice and Marky Mark, and embarrassments - the Offspring's recent sendup of white B-boys struck a chord and remains a smash hit. Understandably, some white MCs still cringe at being called out for their skin color. Company flow's El-Producto was reluctant even to comment. "I don't feel I have to build on that," he says. "It's not a subject I feel like validating anymore." Everlast offers his summation: "The Beastie Boys cut the bushes out of the road, then 3rd Bass proved that some white boys could get down. With House of Pain, we came and paved that motherfucker - we actually stated we were white boys trying to get down." Still, for every Beastie Boy there's a hundred minor artists who barely merit a footnote, and until now the list of white rappers who matter has been short. "In hip-hop universe, we're the fucking aliens," says Non Phixion's Ill Bill. "But I like surprising people - heads don't expect white kids to rhyme ill." "It's phat that we've been mentioned in The Source," Ill Bill's partner Goretex Medinah says of the trio's write-ups in the ten-year-old hip-hop magazine, "but if we were black, we would have been in there a year and a half ago." While listening to Non Phixion, though, it's not hard to tell where their street cred stems from: On underground hits like their latest indie twelve inch, "I Shot Reagan," Non Phixion's three virtuoso MCs flip a conscious, roughneck flow that evokes Wu-Tang Clan at its basement grimiest. Decked out in Timberland boots, Ecko pants and 555 Soul sweat shirts, one-half of Non Phixion - minus rapper Sabac Red (who's at his job with City Kids, a multicultural youth program that he once belonged to) and DJ Eclipse (who runs a Manhattan disc emporium, Fat Beats) - hang at the recording studio Area 51. Amid banks of digital equipment, Goretex searches through a Larry Coryell albulm for samples, while Ill Bill knocks back a tall-boy Heineken and shoots the shit with his brother Necro, a gifted producer-rapper. Area 51 is in Canarsie, an ethnically mixed, workingclass Brooklyn neighborhood in which modest single and two-family homes sit near the housing projects where Ill Bill, Nerco and Goretex grew up. "We were the illest white kids in the projects," the twenty-two-year-old Necro recalls. "I was seventeen, selling drugs to motherfuckers on my bike, delivering nickel (bags) to dirty Puerto Rican girls." But rap wasn't Non Phixion's first love: They spent their early teens as hardcore prodigies (one of their bands, Injustice, opened for Sepultura and Biohazard at the legendary Brooklyn metal club L'Amour's). But they soon returned to the hip-hop they'd grown up with. Goretex was exposed to "Rapper's Delight" while riding the bus when he was a kid, and Ill Bill got juiced on the first Run-DMC album in fifth grade. Necro's producing abilities got jump-started when he began manufacturing primitive loops from an old break-beat album salvaged from the garbage. They were soon engaging in lunchroom rhyme battles with their multicultural peers - and holding their own. At first, the Non Phixion posse might have seemed unlikely rapper material. Necro and Ill Bill are second-generation Israeli immigrants; Goretex was raised Jewish by his mother, who brought him up alone after his Mexican father left them at an early age. Non Phixion look to their Judaic roots to create a new slang lexicon. "If (hip-hop fans) hear me making Jewish references, even if they don't understand it, they'll know it's real," Goretex says. "It's usually in this coded way or stuffed in a weird part of sentence. I might say something like, 'Religious cats be thinking Monsey' - Monsey is a resort spot in upstate New York where mad religious Jews go. It'll entice them to find out what the fuck I'm talking about."


When the world finds out what Eminem is talking about, it may not feel so enlightened - Dr Dre's favorite lyric from protege Eminem features the rapper in a fantasy orgy with Marcus Allen and Nicole Brown Simpson. "He's saying some shit that your average MC isn't even going to think about," Dre says. "He's one of the best MCs I've worked with." That's strong praise from the man whose beats helped put Snoop Dogg and N.W.A. on the map. Dre claims that Eminem's race didn't concern him "even for a second. Usually when I play (Eminem) for people, I don't even tell them that he's white, and their reaction is like, 'Who the fuck is this?' In my opinion, it's acually kind of a plus, because he's going to be able to grab that 'alternative' market." But don't tell that to Eminem. "I don't put myself in the white-rapper category," he says. "Anybody who puts me in that category - fuck 'em! Every white rapper that's come out, people have tried to play on it like a gimmick. I'm like, 'Yo, when you put me ot, put me out as a rapper, stricly based on the talent.'" The twenty-four-year-old shouldn't worry. His mix-tape freestyles and slamming cameos have already made him a star on the street. Eminem found himself recieving raves in The Source's "Unsigned Hype" column; he also had no trouble impressing Dr. Dre, who discovered Eminem freestyling on the L.A. hip-hop station Power 106. "I don't want to soundprima donna or nothin', but it's because I'm dope," Eminem says. "Dre's coworkers told me when Dre first came to them with me, they were like, 'No white rappers!' And Dre said, 'I don't give a fuck if this guy is green or yellow, this is my next project.'" Eminem was raised by his mother in a preominately black East Detroit neighborhood. "I never even met my father," he spews, showing the misanthropic rage that comes out in songs like "Just Don't Give a Fuck." "When I was sixtenn, I got my shoes taken just for bein' white; walking home from Bel-Air shopping center, I'd get jumped and shot at. Sometimes when that shit would happen, I'd go home, slam the door and start screaming at my mother, 'Why the fuck do we live here?' "But his environment quickly informed his every move. Eminem heard his first rap song, "Reckless," by "The Glove" Taylor and David Storr (featuring Ice-T), on the Breakin' soundtrack at age nine, he wrote his first rhyme at fourteen. Soon after, hip-hop became his life. "I idolized Run-DMC, Beastie Boys, the Fat Boys, LL Cool J," Eminem gushes. "I wanted to be LL fo the longest time." Eminem feels that being caught between two worlds gives him unique insite into each one. "I've seen it from the suburban and the urban side - I've lived through both," he says. Remedy also understands that a rapper of any race is a product of his environment. "If I grew up in the country," he says, "I could try to be a rapper, but I don't think it would go that far. Rap is street, and you can't get the street sense if you're not raised in it or been around it." Despite his proclamations, Remedy's culture background proves fascinatingly complex, a hybrid that may be the new face of hip-hop. On the one hand, he's totally from 'round the way: In the late Eighties, he attended Staten Island's racially mixed New Drop High School, the alma mater of Wu clansmen Method Man and Raekwon, as well as members of the underground rap crew GP Wu. There, Remedy was exposed not only to the Beasties and Run-DMC but to Staten Island's criminal element. RZA remembers that when he first met Remedy, in the early Nineties, the aspiring rapper (he had made demos and briefly worked with EPMD's Erick Sermon) was a pot dealer. Already impressed with Remedy's lyrical talent and production abilities, RZA recognized his latest disciple as the genuine artical. "Remedy keeps money, he keeps bitches, and he's got the Wu in his heart," RZA says. "He speaks the truth." Remedy is cruising away from Staten Island on the Verrazano Bridge (accually, Clock is driving, since Remedy is observing religious restrictions that forbid him from operating mechanical equipment on Jewish holidays). Tha backdrop reminds him of his nefarious activities back in the day - in particular, an incident in which he had to engage in some trick driving to lose a rival thug on his tale. "Before I got into rap, I was doing dirt with cats in the Clan," Remedy explains. "We're talking drugs, selling things, flipping things - and that's probably why they respect me." Despite his past, Remedy comes from a bastion of privilege far different from that of his Wu-Tang peers. He's part of a wealthy and well-connected Staten Island family: His uncle owns Atalanta, a multinational food-distribution corporation, and his father is a powerful real estate mogul who agented the purchase of the Wu Tang's New Jersey Wu Mansion. Remedy also counts numerous Cornell University alumni among his relatives, and many of his kin are valuable political contributors. In other words, when he boasts of "money stashed in Switzerland" on his indie single "Seen It All," he's not kidding. RZA, however, seems more impressed by Remedy's ability to "speak for justice and equality for his people." Like Non Phixion, Remedy embraces his Judaism in his rhymes, most powerfully on "Never Again," a brutal chronicle of him family's experience in the Holocaust, included on the recent Wu-Tang compilation The Swarm. "Never again shall we march like sheep to the slaughter/Never again leave our sons and daughters/Stripped of our culture, robbed of our name/Never Again/Raped of our freedom and thrown into the flames." Remedy - whose logo featurs the Wu-Tang "W" symbol inside a Star of David - hopes to forge parallels among the struggles experienced by African-Americans and Jews. "In the 'Never Again' video, I want to relate the Holocaust with slavery so hip-hop kids can understand it," he says. Despite his state-of-the-art urban fashions and imcomparable hip-hop vocabulary, Remedy is realistic enough to know what he's not. To prove it, he pops in a casstte of a new song, "Love Is Love," which deals with this topic and displays surprising sympathy for his more ignorant peers: "To the fake MCs that swear they could rap/For all those cats that love to talk yak/For all those white kids that wanna be black/Love is Love still, ya'll/I got your back." "I'm not trying to be black," Remedy says. "I tell 'em straight up: I love being white. I know who I am. You have to know yourself before you can be an MC, before you can communicate." Eminem, meanwhile, credits hip-hop's taboo-bursting nature for bringing communities and cultures together. "I feel if there's one music that could break down racist barriers," Eminem says, "it's hip-hop. When I do shows, I look out into the crowd and see black, white, Chinese, Korean. I see all these nationalities there for one thing. You don't see that shit at a country show, you don't see that shit at a rock show. It's hip-hop that's doing it."

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I read all that and it was kinda interesting...


But him not driving to observe a Jewish holiday is some bullshit, when he doesn't mind selling drugs to people.


As was told to me... "One cannot be both righteous and wicked at the same time, the Devil doesn't go to Church"


But I enjoyed reading that.




Thinking back, I'll give him an A for effort, I don't know dude, but I know atleast he's tryin.

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