Will The Real “187″ Please Stand Up???
As of late in the Hip-Hop community there have been a lot of “Biting” going on. For all of you new schoolers whom may not be familiar with the term “Biting,” it simply means to copy or mimic someone’s style or brand. “Biting” was extremely frowned upon in the early days of Hip-Hop. You absolutely could not get away with copying someone’s style, swag or moves, or use someone else reputable name without giving that person the respect deserved and by asking permission. Today in Hip-Hop; however, the lack of respect this new generation of so-called “Rappers” have is grossly mind-boggling. One of the more popular but despicable “Biters” in Hip-Hop is a Floridan by the name of William Leonard Roberts II, also known as Rick Ross, whom without permission took on the name of Los Angeles ex-drug kingpin know as Freeway Ricky Ross; the nickname “Freeway” given because Ricky Ross resided and operated next to South L.A.’s 110 freeway that divided the city’s East and West sides. A court battle ensued between the two in which Freeway Ricky Ross ultimately lost the $10 million trademark infringement case but was successful in winning an appeal with a new trail date set for early 2013. So, the real question would be, how far is too far when stealing someone’s identity or style? What is the difference between the rapper Rick Ross taking on the name of Freeway Ricky Ross than say Houston Hip-Hop icon Scarface who have managed to successfully take on the name of the fictional 80s hit movie “Scarface” starring the notorious character Tony Montana without repercussion. And there are other famous street figures such as 50 Cent used by successful Rapper 50 Cent and those Rappers who uses the last name of New York Mafioso known as “The Teflon Don” but better known by his real name John Gotti.
Well no matter what we might think, “Biting” in the Hip-Hop community is not being accept by the ones who have paved the way for the younger Hip-Hop community and stealing brand names is forbidden. One such case that is arising now is surrounding new West Coast Hip-Hop artist Tyga, from Compton, who is currently campaigning and branding the police code for homicide “1-8-7″, and veteran West Coast Hip-Hop MC Cold 187um, from the iconic 90′s hit group Above The Law, who has been pushing his own self-titled name since his debut on the Hip-Hop scene under the late Eazy-E and Ruthless Records back in the late 80′s. Cold 187um explains, “I’m not cool with Tyga’s use of 187 as his brand for his project(s) because he didn’t holla at me about it. Everyone knows who the real 187um is out here in Southern California. That name had been relevant for over two decades and now some new young cat comes along and thinks he can just run with it without at least talking to the originator of the brand?” Cold 187um continues, “You can’t just use somebody’s name or brand to glorify your own existence. That’s called “Biting.” Whether people think it’s a big deal or not…what happens when people start referring to him as “Tyga 187″ or “that is the 187 guy;” that simply doesn’t sit well with me, especially surrounding the fact him or none of his associates took the time to holla at me about it knowing I’m still a relevant entity in Hip-Hop. If he was to call himself Tyga “Cocaine,” the real Kokane would have a problem with it. If he was to call himelf Tyga “Quick” or Tyga “8,” the real Quik and Eiht would have a problem with it plain and simple. It’s their brand.”
Cold 187um, also known as Big Hutch, founded the group Above The Law in 1989 with the late K.M.G. The Illustrator (R.I.P.), Go Mack, and DJ Total K-Oss, signed with the late Eazy-E‘s Ruthless Records, and released their debut album entitled Livin’ Like Hustlers. Big Hutch referenced his name “187um” as being a lyrical murderer. 187 is the penal code for homicide. The term “Cold 187um” ultimately meaning a “Cold, as in cold-blooded, lyrical murderer.” As Cold 187um further elaborates, “My name actually means something just like a lot of Hip-Hop cats from my era with names that meant something. You could define us by our names unlike today. Tracy Marrow, a cold lyricist who called himself “Ice-T.” I don’t know why Tyga is using 187 other than tryin’ to sound hard just like William Roberts is using the homie Rick Ross’s name trying to portray his image as someone he is not.”
One thing that is evident is it seem like todays young generation of Hip-Hop artists are going through an identity crisis and have a real lack of knowledge of Hip-Hop history other than the little knowledge they came across that was blatantly obtainable due to the level of impact a particular artist might have had in their heyday. Instead of creating their own brand and being satisfied with themselves they seek out to be the next greatest thing and try to “Bite” that particular entity that was great. Case in point, everyone wants to be the next Tupac Shakur or Biggie Smalls. So they try and carry themselves as such and make crazy comments like Lil Wayne made about being the next Tupac. But both Tupac and Biggie had created there own identity, brand, carisma, and overall style from scratch. No “Biting” the ones that came before them. As for Cold 187um, he has been around since the explosion of West Coast Hip-Hip and has worked with all the greats such as Tupac, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, NWA, Snoop Dogg as 213 with Nate Dogg and Warren G, Kid Frost, Money B from Digital Underground, EVE, Crooked I, MC Eiht, DJ Quik, Kokane, Suga Free, and countless others as well as have taken charge over Death Row Records when Suge Knight was incarcerated. Taking on the 187 brand with the slightest chance of Tyga being recognized as “Tyga 187″ is bluntly disrespectful in anyone’s book who is real about this type of situation. So in conclusion it’s simple, @Tyga show some respect and holla at @OGBigHutch and get your blessings from the originator before “Biting.” That’s not Hip-Hop.