This 11-Year Old Raps Harder Than Most Grown Men (Video)
For decades, Hip-Hop has often overlooked the relationship between age and subject matters. A genre that often reflects poverty, crime, and innocence lost is a product of those experiences. The same rules used in other art forms may not apply. Nas recorded his verse for Main Source’s “Live At The Barbeque” as a teenager. The game-changing debut appearance of Nasir Jones includes accounts of killing law enforcement, kidnapping Barbara Bush, and “swimmin’ in women like a lifeguard.” Nas’ Firm partner Foxy Brown was believed to be 16 when she blessed LL Cool J’s “I Shot Ya (Remix)” with raw depictions of private parts and sexual acts. In the 2000s, So So Def artist J-Kwon made “Tipsy” an anthem when he was more than four years below the legal drinking age. More recently, Earl Sweatshirt was barely 16 when he dropped “Earl,” a breakout song that held nothing back when it came to sex, slurs, or bodily fluids.
Whether Shyheim, Illegal, Lil Wayne, or Chief Keef, plenty of minors have been dealing with major adult subject matters. Tupac, whose Rap career began in his teens, addressed this issue on 1995’s “Young Ni**az.” Pac dedicated the song to Robert “Yummy” Sandifer, a Chicago, Illinois 11-year-old who was believed to have been a killer. He was murdered in 1994.
Funkmaster Flex recently welcomed The Hoodies to his video freestyle series. New York City brothers E-Class and Young Poppa have a sizable difference in age. However, their chemistry on the mic is strong and apparent. With past fraternal duos ranging from The Clipse, TRU (Master P, C-Murder, Silkk The Shocker), and Ill Bill and Necro, The Hoodies aim to be next. Beaming with pride, and showing their creative closeness, they ripped Flex’s set.
Young Poppa is the junior of the two brothers and dominates the first half while spitting on LL Cool J’s “Ill Bomb” instrumental (produced by DJ Scratch). Both MCs are nice with the wordplay. Poppa uses the moment to assert that everything he spits is written by him, and he only surrounds himself with G’s. However, to the point about youth in Hip-Hop, he spits, “Who you know gettin’ bands at 11? / Class got them guys with him, if you wanna test him,” before stating that his fan-base is regularly comparing him to a young Biggie Smalls. E-Class makes a case for all the duo’s content when he spits, “They say I only rap about drugs, guns, and killin’ / Well, sh*t! The government put us in this position / Where it’s poverty-stricken, drug use, and liquor-sippin’ / These children go to prison before puberty can hit ’em.” That may be the point. E-Class raps about guns, hustling, and hard living beside his adolescent brother. With some Rap dreams sprinkled in (Poppa alludes to driving cars), the kid bro’ focuses on Knicks standings, confronting racist commenters online, and why his “heart’s colder than liquid nitrogen.”
As so many youth artists in Hip-Hop from the names above grew up too fast, one hopes that The Hoodies can harness the joy they display in attacking the mic. The 2010s are looking for the next great brotherly group, and this freestyle is memorable.