Ah yes, The Breaks, one of my favorite joints of all time and a song that has recently had me pondering the current state of music, and more specifically, the current state and nature of hip-hop music. With so much materialistic rap out there these days it’s important for me as a fan to go back and look at where it all started. Artists today focus so much of there energy on being “real”, taking it to a competitive level of “realness” with other artists, when in reality they are simply masking their true identities behind designer clothing and expensive bottles of liquor. When hip-hop was first birthed, the music was about having fun but also about delivering a message to the audience about the everyday struggles experienced by people of all walks of life. Many artists continue to consciously discuss the struggles and hardships they experience, but these musicians are relegated to the underground, and most of their tracks never hit the the mainstream listener. Today, the music has become egomaniacal, artists are so caught up with their appearance and image that they lose sight of the fact that the music is supposed to be fun first and foremost. Granted, rap has always been braggadocios, since the dawn of the genre, rappers have always made it a point to claim they are the best at everything, whether it be sleeping with beautiful women, driving the most expensive car, or having the biggest chain on the block. Many artists continue to deliver these braggadocios rhymes, but it’s tough to swallow when you constantly hear about liquor you’ll never be able to afford, clubs you will never party in, and cars you will never drive in every verse. We understand you guys are rich as hell and living the great life, but what about the average, broke listener?
The Breaks is backed by one of the dopest live instrumentations I have ever heard- a refreshing change from the manufactured sounds of today’s pop music- and I have always loved the lyrics in the song, because everybody experiences good and bad breaks throughout their lives. One of the all time great party songs by a legendary artist who doesn’t always get the respect or notoriety he deserves for always delivering the realness.