On Saturday December 19th the Hip Hop world was witness to something that has never been done. Timberland and Swizz Beats gave us E-40 V Too Short. Anyone familiar with the bay area is aware of the Battle of the Bay (the Oakland A’s v the San Francisco Giants). Well this was legendary. Now before I go into the significance of this…..let me first say that I reminisced over some dope flashbacks of nostalgia, remembering how old I was when I first heard that song, or what girl was dancing with me when that song came on…that was a time when I was young and thought I could conquer the world….yeah everybody remembers them days. Too Short and E-40 were the soundtrack to our lives. One of my favorite songs was “Just a week Ago“ feat. Jay Z. Every time I hear it I lose it. The same with the E-40 song “Behind Gates “feat. Ice Cube. My list of songs from these 2 legends is extremely long. That’s because there are certain things that stand the test of time. One of those things is good music. Music that makes you feel something inside. Now that I said that, let me break this down till it can’t be broke. Being from northern California, or from the Bay Area to be exact I knew this was going to be important for the culture of Hip Hop and make a very big statement. Not only has Apple music and Timbo and Swizzy given the culture a new and unique platform by way of these Versus episodes, but in selecting Too Short and E-40, it gave us the best examples of 2 pioneers who propelled themselves, yes themselves, to the heights of success .Truth be told, these are what we know as Icons. Persona’s that supersede a song. Their character, their energy and ambition. Their passion, determination and relentless pursuit to keep going has literally made them standouts. So yes I knew this was something I had to witness just like the rest of the culture. The history of bay area Hip Hop was displayed as proudly as the American flag waving at the post office. Let’s take a trip down memory lane is what the versus should have been called. Songs like “ Captain Save a Hoe “ and “ the Ghetto “ … “ Mr. Flamboyant “ also “ Blow the Whistle “. All memorable moments but more than the music , was an opportunity to display an energy and ambiance of mature , respectful human beings that are completely comfortable with who they are. Proud of the work they have put in and the sacrifices made for the betterment of their surroundings, they knew this was a celebration before we did. I , like everyone else was privileged to see what longevity, persistence and dedication look like. The foundation of our culture was made by individuals like Too Short and E-40, who took something and made it a part of our lives. The soundtrack of the culture. This is power. The power of music.
Written by Tyshawn Smith