Have you guys heard the VMAs are coming here? MTV’s yearly celebration of that time that Kanye West told the whole world the truth (Beyonce’s video was better) is landing at Bruce Ratner’s monument to avarice and greed a couple weeks from now, and the promo push is in full swing. One way MTV is
pandering promoting their salute to the lost art of music videos is by asking what the best Brooklyn hip-hop anthem is. They hit the usual suspects but somehow decided to exclude local hero Yasiin Bey, better known as Mos Def. For Christ’s sake, he recorded a song called “Brooklyn.” How is that not even on the list?
Admittedly, “Brooklyn” doesn’t have the bombast of “No Sleep ’til Brooklyn,” the danger of “Brooklyn Zoo” or the swagger of “Brooklyn We Go Hard” which all appear on the survey. But what it does have is a soulful salute to Brooklyn that’s reverent (“And ain’t a place that I know that bear resemblance/That’s why we it The Planet”) and wryly funny about newcomers (“Out of towners take the train, plane and bus here/Must be something that they really want here/One year as a resident, deeper sentiment/Shoutout “Go Brooklyn!”, they representin it”).
It also takes you on the mandatory geographic tour around the borough (“This goes out to Crown Heights and Smurv Village/The nighties, and all my yarda trini Brown’s Village/Parkside tennis courts, thirties, forties, and the fifties/The cats out in Starrett City getting busy/To the Hook, to the East, to the Stuy/Bushwick and Canarsie/Farragut, Fort Greene, and Marcy/My Flatbush posse, generals of armies”). Basically, it’s five minutes of pure unadulterated Brooklyn hip-hop bliss. But apparently that’s not enough for consideration as a Brooklyn anthem for MTV.