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Same Old New School 11: Fight The Power 2020, Jay-Z’s Anniversary & Papa Cristo’s

Written by on June 30, 2020

Every Monday at 8:30 p.m. Kevin Coval and Idris Goodwin take over Vocalo’s IG Live to look at how hip-hop intersects with culture, politics, fashion and more. It’s a half-hour of hip-hop, laughs and wisdom from some of the best guys in the game. It’s Same Old New School.

There was a lot to cover this episode and not even a lightning-storm-internet-slowing could hold it all back. From the 2020 remix of “Fight the Power,” to the celebration of Black Thought and The Roots, and Jay-Z’s 24 year anniversary of Reasonable Doubt to Ja Rule’s selling of gyros for Papa Cristo’s Deli, there’s never a shortage of conversation on Same Old New School.

Watch the full episode above, or stream it below at the end of the article.


Fight the Power 2020 & Hip Hop’s Ethos 

Hip Hop is one of the culture measuring points that so many of us rely on. And now, in this moment and during this movement of Black Lives Matter, rest assured that the genre is keeping up and keeping with it all. As Coval puts it:

“Hip Hop stays winning. The culture is undefeated.”

Over the weekend, the BET Awards opened with a 2020 version of Public Enemy’s 1989 classic “Fight the Power.” Rapsody, Black Thought, Nas, Jahi and YG joined Public Enemy to remark on the state of Black lives today.

While it’s undeniable that all are legends and the remix itself was incredible, Goodwin did notice some of the performers had trouble riding the beat, which was altered into a rather busy mix. However, there were still a plethora of bars to be found. Like Rapsody’s “You love Black Panther but not Fred Hampton.”


The Roots & Black Thought 

Our duo dove into the urgency, freestyle mastery, and hunger that Black Thought continually shows in his rhymes. In terms of the lyrics he’s put out on the internet in even the last year, there’s been no shortage of notable quotes. As both Coval and Goodwin agree, he’s a master of the couplet – one of the most ancient poetic forms.

Then, they give their own Top 3 Rankings of Roots albums and what each record means to them.


Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt Turns 24

The iconic record was first released on June 25, 1996. As Coval says, he was just a kid in Wicker, trying to get on the mics himself at that time. The specific application of pursuing hustle in Hip Hop is what he says he loves most about the album, and what he believes a lot of people resonate with.

“Hip Hop’s notion of entrepreneurialism… that it seems to apply a certain kind of hustle to the art. It went very much with where I was at in my career. That I felt the need to hustle in that same way with my artistic discipline in order to get on.”

Goodwin agreed, and said talked about how Jay-Z pointed out, with this record, that it was all bigger than rap. Despite having intricate raps himself, as well as solid features, Jay-Z struggled to break through, prior to Reasonable Doubt. After dropping it, he began to alter the scene itself from being known for lyrics to a much more cinematic realm.

“With Jay it’s so much about restraint and so much about what he’s not doing. And he really changed the face of New York Rap in that way.”

Ja Rule’s Papa Cristo’s Commercial

Because small businesses have been struggling due to forced shutdowns, rapper Ja Rule held a “Pitch Perfect” where ideas could be pitched for him to give shine to with his platform. His commercial for Papa Cristo’s Greek Deli in Los Angeles very quickly went viral for his dancing and use of the word “opa!”

While many have made fun of the video – including 50 Cent – Goodwin says the real message and treasure here is the enduring spirit of the culture.

“We will not stop! I will sell these gyros and I will sell the sh*t out of these gyros. For the culture,” laughed Goodwin. “We can always make a deal, you know […] it just took me back.”

Tune in on IG Live every Monday at 8:30 p.m. for more episodes.

Follow Kevin Coval on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and Idris Goodwin on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Written By Shelby Kluver

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