My boy K over at Analog Giant gave me a little shite last week for lackin’ in the hip-hop department. So I’m comin’ correct today with one of my favorite 12″ singles from the vinyl department: Jeru the Damaja’s Ya Playin’ Yaself.
For anyone tired of the commercialism and self-congratulatory path some rap has taken, this is your anthem. Jeru calls out the material and superficial traps of the game:
“Knowledge, wisdom, understanding /
like King Solomon’s wealth /
You’re a playa but only because you be playin’ yaself”
For me, this song (1996) was bold because Jeru takes a stand and draws a line in the sand about … well … keepin’ it real.
Jeru the Damaja | Ya Playin’ Yaself
Jeru the Damaja | Ya Playin’ Yaself (acapella)
(Ripped from 12″ single, Payday Records, 1996 … even better, it still has the $4.99 price tag from Fat Beats on it, which means I bought it on my first and only trip to NYC when I was in college.)