Textbooks of Tomorrow: Rise of the Hiphopracies
Unit Introduction: Welcome to Unit Four of Keak Da Sneak University's American History Textbook. In this unit you will be given an overview of the conflicts and crises of the past twenty years that have shaped the America you live in today. The first chapter will focus primarily on the divisions that have opened a rift in the United States and the events leading up to the Baller Wars.
Seeds of Rebellion
Terrorism defined the first years of the 21st century and terrorism proved to be the fire that lit the fuse of Civil War in the United States of America. In 2008, on the clear morning of December 15th, Washington D.C. was rocked by a powerful explosion that devastated the nation's capitol. Tens of thousands were killed and the nation's government, already in the process of electoral transition, was almost completely destroyed. That fateful event plunged the United States into days of chaos and uncertainty as the military assumed power and the surviving government bodies struggled to find solid ground. But the story of America today begins two months earlier.
In October of 2008, democratic presidential candidate Al Gore curried favor with African American voters by promising a cabinet position to popular Bay Area rapper E-40. Gore managed to narrowly win the election and, in keeping to his promise, he named E-40 the head of the Environmental Protection Agency. The rapper-cum-environmentalist's promises to "smoke up" those who bring "the duckets" were misinterpreted by the media as threats against polluters of duck wildlife refuges. Burning rubber from celebratory sydeshows blotted out the sun on the West Coast for more than a week.
Before a changeover of governments could be completed, the terrorist attack destroyed Washington, killing nearly every member of the incoming and outgoing government. Then, on January 6th, the rightful successor was located gas-brake dippin' in a 7-11 parking lot in San Francisco. With a three-tone zombie thizz face and a white t-shirt, EPA head E-40 stepped in front of the camera to address the nation.
He is said to have spoken and looked into the camera with great intensity, although other observers (particularly on the East Coast) said he had eyes so burned up by herb he looked like he was crying blood. E-40 declared a "new era of peace, tadow" in the United States. Mourning over the loss of so many lives turned again to celebration on the West Coast where the number of cars turning in circles caused a brief disruption of the earth's magnetic field.
While the Bay Area erupted in a mass of celebratory stuntin' and donuts, many in the South and on the East Coast believed E-40 to be flamboastin' unnecessarily. The former EPA head turned President preferred a laissez faire form of government at a time when the nation needed strength. His acts inspired the nascent Hyphpy movement in and around the nation's new capitol of San FranSydeshow, but they only further alienated many elements of the population. Before E-40 and his tight-lipped advisory posse noticed the danger, the chasm had become unbridgeable.
Civil disobedience and vocal opposition grew into two distinct organized movements who felt disenfranchised from E-40s "hyphyocentric" presidency. One, based out of Hotlanta, pursued a "constant state of maximum crunkness" under the leadership of Young Jeezy and his military commander Mystikal. The other, operating from New York City, was a diarchy headed by Jay-Z and DMX. While Jay-Z served as the front man and figurehead, DMX worked with other political heavyweights including 50 Cent to organize a guerilla militia, or G-Unit.
E-40's inability to acknowledge the problem and his overconfidence in the military might of his Ghost Riders and their Whips led to inaction. The new federal government was unwilling to suppress the uprisings fomenting in the south and east and E-40's popular support suffered further blows in the early months of 2009. By April, Young Jeezy's popularity and military strength gave him the confidence to declare the secession of several states to form a new nation he called the Dirty South. He informed E-40 personally via a scathing text message that read, in full, "l8r 40 we b getn up in guts, drty sth."
Days later, Jay-Z and DMX held a joint press conference in downtown Manhattan. They addressed the media from atop a stretch Hummer while girls in bikinis gyrated slowly and white tigers lounged in the street. They announced that the East Coast would also secede from the Union and would pay tribute to its roots by naming the new nation Afrika Bambataa. They simultaneously announced their non-aggression pact with the Dirty South. Nearly half the nation had just seceded from the Union.
Furious at what he considered a betrayal, E-40 at last rallied the Hyphy movement around his leadership and declared war on both rogue states. In a ninety minute impromptu rhyming speech, E-40 promised to bring the "hyphy-train" to Hotlanta and "run DMC right out" of New York. While the speech was a success in the newly christened Hyphpytopia, it served as a catalyst for the resistance movements within the rogue states. Where once there was uncertainty and confusion, there was now a cohesive will to fight.
On July 4th, E-40's forces launched an all-out offensive from New Mexico into Oklahoma and Texas. Three divisions of Ghost Riders and more than 3000 Whips were deployed to the region, quickly overwhelming the scratch militias of Skrilla Guerillas. With Houston threatened, Mystikal responded by dispatching Lil' Troy and a rapid response force of Crunk Commandos to the front. Their departure was delayed so that Mystikal could "real quick" rape and choke Diandre Johnson, his hairdresser.
The delay allowed E-40 to seize Houston and forced Lil' Troy into the unpleasant position of having to lay siege to one of the Dirty South's own cities. After more than 100 days, the Crunk Commandos and standing army of Skrilla Souljas managed to retake Houston. During this early phase of what would later become known as the Baller Wars, Afrika Bambataa remained ominously silent.
In early November of 2009, the government of Afrika Bambataa held The Hot 97 Summit in Brooklyn. Key leaders and military advisors of Afrika Bambataa gathered at the radio station to discuss plans to counter an expected attack from Hyphytopia in the near future. On the third day of talks, Jay-Z was shot to death while entering the radio station. The young nation mourned the loss of one of its leaders and DMX was quick to demand justice.
After only a few hours and a brief gun battle with his posse, visiting Dirty South dignitary Lil' Jon was rounded up and accused of ordering the murder. In a Kangol Court, DMX personally convicted Lil' Jon of "crimes unspeakable for the court" and informed him that "X is comin' for [him], can't do nothin' for [him]." The sentence of blazing Lil' Jon's headpiece was carried out the following day. This incident was later revealed to have been orchestrated by DMX in order to provide a pretext for war against the Dirty South.
The Baller Wars
What had begun as a regional war concentrated mostly in Oklahoma and Texas exploded across the map as conflict that threatened to consume all of the fractured United States. DMX, no longer tempered by the caution of Jay-Z, brought on 50 Cent as his co-ruler and together they planned and executed a series of attacks against the holdings of the Dirty South. The battle for Texas suddenly seemed distant to war planners in Mystikal's palatial command bunker and efforts shifted to holding back the advances of Afrika Bambataa's G-Unit. Lil' Troy found his supplies and reinforcements dwindling and his once-successful counterattack began a retreat back towards Houston.
Meanwhile, E-40's Ghost Riders became increasingly retarded, rampaging towards Houston virtually unchecked. With victory in sight, the triumphant armies danced alongside their whips and posed on the hoods of the rolling vehicles for waving well-wishers. Unbeknownst to them, a grueling siege of the city of Houston lay ahead.
By August of 2010, DMX had expended the majority of the ice and white gold immediately available to his government on expensive upgrades to his fleet of military vehicles. The men of the G-Unit had grown accustomed to heated pools in their tanks, diamond-collared mine-sniffing rottweilers, helicopters with Playstation 3s and plasma screens in the back of every seat and MREs with little plastic packets of Hennessy. To allow the quality of their supplies to slip would be to invite disaster. DMX initiated a war drive, requesting donations from an already heavily-taxed population. Thousands of donated pimp cups were melted down for their gold and as symbols of the decadence of crunk, representing one of the greatest art tragedies of the last thousand years.
Late September found the armies of Hyphytopia completing their encirclement of Houston and focusing all of their Ghost Riders on the destruction of Lil' Troy and his Crunk Commandos. The news was not all bad for the Dirty South, where Mystikal had at last begun to deliver the victories he had been promising Young Jeezy for more than a year. As his Skrilla Souljas drove deep spikes into the floundering G-Unit lines, Mystikal took to the radio for a live broadcast in which he swore to "Put rappers in coffins and make [them] dive like dolphins." He went on, adding that he "warned you niggas not to fuck with [him]."
Rapid victories against Afrika Bambataa and heavy losses among the G-Unit forces caused a great deal of unrest in the fledgling nation. It wasn't long before the two rulers of the country turned on each other and began a deadly battle of posses even as their armies retreated before the invaders from the Dirty South. The nation was nearing total chaos when a powerful calm arose from the Five Burroughs. In its moment of greatest need, with its people begging for salvation, Afrika Bambataa was saved.
Thus appeared, mysteriously and with a good deal of smoke and samples, the Wu-Tang Clan.
50 Cent and DMX fled before their majesty. No book or video records the renaming of New York City to the 36 Chambers, but it is said to have been a spontaneous token of respect to the Wu-Tang Clan by all of the people of Afrika Bambataa. There was no time to enjoy the cream, Wu-Tang's new government had to establish a defense against the advancing armies of Mystikal and the Dirty South. In a matter of days the Skrilla horde would be knocking on the doors of their fortress.
The Dirty South's advances against the new masters of Afrika Bambataa were doing little to reduce pressure on Houston. The encircled city was teetering on the brink of surrender in mid-December of 2010. With little more than Kool Aid and ketchup sandwiches to sustain his shattered forces, Lil' Troy knew that his situation was hopeless unless the war against Afrika Bambataa could be won in the coming days.
As the urban legend goes, E-40 danced atop a solid gold blimp as it passed over the ruins of Houston. He got dumb on 18 watching as his Ghost Riders moved in to secure the last redoubts of Lil' Troy's forces. While there were undoubtedly runners and stunnas everywhere, with icicles forming in marble fountains and everybody stupid enough to fail an eye test, there are no recorded images of the celebration. What is known is the final transmission to come out of Houston from the besieged Dirty South forces. The voice is said to belong to Lil' Troy himself, though there is some belief that he died of an acute Cristal shortage weeks earlier and the voice is simply one of his aides posing as Lil' Troy.
The transmission said: "I'll take out a bunch of ya niggas! You know I'm Lil' Troy (Lil' Troy)! I dont want any of you niggas! We on our last bullet and we all wounded, niggas! We attack these niggas at dawn!"
As Houston fell to Hyphytopia, the Dirty South's headlong rush to victory had twisted to a halt in the winding corridors and tunnels of the outer chambers of 36 Chambers. What seemed a guaranteed victory for Mystikal's armies had become a meat grinder for his Skrilla Souljas as they encountered all manner of Shaolin horror. His spear-tip of Souljas was exhausted and withdrawn, but thousands of Skrilla Guerillas followed behind them into the jaws of death. The chambers had to be taken for victory to be assured. One young Skrilla Guerilla by the name of E-Flat wrote the following letter home to his shorty:
Hey baby I miss you and Dondon and Lil' Porky, but I miss you most of all. Things is crazy here, baby. I want to focus on suckin' on that fine pussy of yours but all I can think about is this crazy stuff we keep having to shoot at. It drive a nigga to drink bullets. They got triple ripple swarms of killer bees comin' out of pipes. They got ghosts and niggas with donkey heads in robes and mirrors that shoot heat rays at you and blow your ass up. I'm beginning to think that Wu-Tang is invincible. I can't handle this shit because this shit is invisible.
Hey, yo, can you send some more of that sticky bud? Not that dried out oregano shit but that shit make a nigga choke like on a bone.
Keep it wet,
E-Flat was one of the thousands who entered the chambers, never to return. Despite the high toll the Wu-Tang emplacements were taking on his forces, Mystikal pressed onward. By the end of December his men had taken the first seven chambers of 36 Chambers, but his drive forward was running out of steam. Young Jeezy was also nervous that with Houston out of the way, Hyphytopia was preparing for a new offensive. With his men still fighting and dying in the chambers, Mystikal unwillingly sought parlay with the forces of the Wu-Tang.
Following many hours of tense deliberation, a treaty was reached and war between the Dirty South and Afrika Bambataa drew to an end. Neither side achieved an overwhelming victory, but it was Afrika Bambataa that surrendered territory. The treaty stipulated that it would relinquish its hold on North Carolina and Tennessee to the Dirty South. While negotiations were going on with Afrika Bambataa, Young Jeezy himself traveled to the front lines of the war against Hyphytopia and offered surrender terms. After some careful adjustments, an agreement was reached. The Dirty South surrendered Oklahoma and Texas in exchange for a ten year peace agreement.
Peace had come at last, but at a high price. Hundreds of thousands of playas were dead or injured and thousands of whips were left abandoned by the sides of roads. So many priceless pimp cups had been melted down for scrap bling and the once proud city of Houston might never see another Chamillionaire. Such was the price of the first war of the Hiphopracies.
In the Next Chapter
The second chapter will explore the link between the rise of the Hiphopracies in the post-Baller War political geography and the decline of ratings for the three major television networks. Why did King of Queens become king of the cancelled shows in the aftermath of a national hip hop war? Read chapter two to learn the answer!