M.O.P. – “Ante Up (Robbing-Hoodz Theory)”

Released: 7.25.00

Peak: # 74 [R&B/ Hip-Hop Songs]

Billy Danze and Lil’ Fame are just thugs who wanna have fun in a hood already marked as a war zone back when its Jews bypassed Prohibition and that’s nowadays so blood-steeped the U.S. Army trains reserve medics in the county hospital. “True player-hater[s]” and proud, gawd bless ’em, the Mash Out Posse had been terrorizing neighbors and reminding unwary visitors to stay the fuck out of Brownsville since they went legit with “How About Some Hardcore?” But only when propelled by the most skull-pulverizing track of DJ Premier’s career did they bring their plan for wealth redistribution into full effect on any fool flashing gold in the poor side of town.

The sheer joy of “Ante Up” is a trickier achievement than you might think. Excess testosterone release might seem an inexhaustible pop resource, but the pleasures of a sausage party are far fewer than believed by muscleheads and the pencilnecks who love them. Not that most g’s could be bothered with anything more than huffing and puffing. As concocted in L.A. bull sessions, post-Dre gangsta wallowed in smug cool, its sweetest dream, as encapsulated in Snoop’s very own porno, the receipt of a leisurely blowjob while diddling on some handheld video game.

The stuff of stunted adolescent imaginations, in other words. When thuggery migrated back east, name-brand closet-cataloguing was a minor leap forward, as rhyming a la mode at least required some attention to detail, even if only labels and price tags. But an  accumulated slum rage sought mainstream venting, and, in the case of M.O.P., the rage didn’t need much to egg it on, just some introductory scratching to build up the anticipation, then four ascending horn (?) blasts outta Sam & Dave’s “Soul Sister Brown Sugar.”

Unlike too much crunk foolery, M.O.P.’s bluster didn’t come up short on mic skills, and they weren’t about to fritter away their ill-gotten gains at some tittie bar. As for the proper classification of “real niggaz,” I respectfully leave that question to those whose identities it directly impinges upon. But “Ante Up” poked holes in the designer logic of big-money rap. I mean, who should you be more afraid of: some Big Willie flossing out in the Manhattan limelight, or some frenzied lout who’s “900 and 99 thou short of a mill”? And for those lamenting the rampant commercialism of hip-hop, they had a simple message: Don’t hate the player–kidnap that fool.

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  • Chris Herrington  On January 26, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I’ve been listening to this all morning. Keep ’em coming!


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