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Is Trinidad James Right? Does the South Run New York?

Posted by Nathan S. on 11/13/13 | Filed under Top Stories, Debates, RH Nation Answers

It's Wednesday, and you know what that means; time to build a life size replica of Rick Ross' Maybach entirely out of grilled cheese. Or, we could tackle a new "Question of the Week". Either/or. Your choice. 

For those not currently getting their grilled cheese construction on, I thought we'd switch things up just a little for the new "Question of the Week". Instead of asking a more timeless question like , I thought we'd debate something a certain Trinidad James said today that's been causing quote the brouhaha in hip-hop circles. 

First, the quote: 

...I remember when New York ran this sh*t, dog. When Dipset was f*cking turned the f*ck up! We were in Atlanta like, “Oh my God, I have to wear my bandana on tilt like Juelz.” What the f*ck happened, dog? Us in the South, us ‘bammas, we just did our own thing. But now we run y’all, musically. That’s crazy!

I’m just being honest with you. I looked up to New York music. But now every n*gga that’s really popping out of New York, you might as well say he’s from Atlanta.

Now, I know a lot of folks first reaction is to question whether a guy who had one YouTube hit is qualified to dispense analysis of who's running what tell Trinidad James to shizzit the fizzuck up, and I get that. But....he also does raise an interesting, and at least partially valid, point. 

The "James is right" argument goes a little something like this: New York is inarguably no longer the epicenter of hip-hop that it was in the Dipset days, in large part becase Atlanta has supplanted it. The biggest rapper in the world, and by the way the biggest rapper from New York City, Jay-Z, leaned a lot more towards a Southern sound than an east coast sound on "MCHG", the rest of the NYC older guard, from 50 Cent to Fabolous and everyone in between, is no longer nearly as popular as they once were. The biggest break out NYC star in the new generation, A$AP Rocky, is unabashedly Southern influenced. French Montana might as well be from Bankhead. With a few small exceptions, anyone from NYC that's really selling and making an impact has their eyes and ears on the South, not vice-versa. 

The "James is wrong" argument goes like this: So we're just going to pretend like Nas didn't drop one of the highest selling albums of 2012, an album that was pure east coast? Like Action Bronson and Joey Bada$$ and the Beast Coast movement aren't making major waves with a sound that's far more DJ Premier than Mike Will Made It? Like the most powerful rapper alive, Jay Z, isnt still repping NYC constantly? New York City might have lost some influence, but you can get the fuck out of here with that "the South runs New York" shit. 

Personally, I think the truth is somewhere in between - I might have been more inclined to agree with James circa 2011 than now - but this is exactly the kind of shit I'd spend a night talking about with my rap nerd friends. And since y'all are my rap nerd friends, let's do it. 

Looking forward to the comment section on this one... 

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