Did anyone else see 50 spit that ignorant nonsense the other day? You did? Good. So anyway, watching that and reading the comments got me a-ponderin'. (Digression: you notice how white people refer to 50 as "Fiddy?" I've never heard a black person call him that, and yet, it's "Fiddy this" and "Fiddy that." Something about that just smacks of mocking and, yeah, I'll say it, unconscious racism.) My conclusion? 50 is the Al Sharpton of hip-hop. Don't see it? Ok, consider this. 50 Cent is utterly irrelevant in hip-hop. His music sucks, he's constantly making an ass out of himself, he was crushed by 'Ye in sales, and yet he just won't shut up. We are constantly barraged by his ridiculous statements on outlets like Gawker, and TMZ, and The O'Reilly Factor. He's everywhere, and nothing he says or does ever means anything. And he's proud of it, and the media eats it up. He's a freakin' fool. (And no, I still haven't forgiven him for criticizing Nas for reading.) At any rate, this leads me to the point of this post. If 50 is the Al Sharpton of hip-hop, where do the other members of the hip-hop nation fit into the Civil Rights Movement? Well, in my highly oversimplified and completely unqualified opinion... Malcolm X. Jay-Z. Once revolutionary and angry (circa Reasonable Doubt), Jay has mellowed out significantly. He can still bring the fire when need be, but he has nothing to prove, and a lot to teach. Just as Malcolm rethought things after he made his pilgrimage, Jay-Z just needed to retire for a bit and gain some perspective. Martin Luther King, Jr. Nas. A lot of people forget that MLK wasn't getting much love at the time of his death. The Americans didn't love King, they loved dead King. Nas isn't getting much love these days, either. I greatly suspect that he won't really be appreciated for his genius and until some later date. Jesse Jackson. Cam'ron. Charismatic, a little flamboyant, kinda smart, somewhat ineffectual, good at making other people look good. Rosa Parks. Mary J. Blige. Only because they both get mad recognition for doing something that is incredibly simple (in MJB's case, her lyrics), but means so much to ordinary people. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Cornel West. Did you know Brother West is fixin' to release his second album? Bayard Rustin. Lil' Wayne. There isn't really a reason for this choice, I just thought it was a funny juxtaposition. Angela Davis. Jean Grae. She's a G, 'nuff said.