Granted, any white rapper that comes out these days is going to be called a ripoff riding the success of Eminem, but isnít that kinda like saying Kurt Cobain ripped off of Elvis? Theyíre both white boys with guitars, right? They must be the same! And hey, Al Pacino is JUST LIKE Keanu Reeves, ain't he? They're both white, and they both act, so they must be alike.
Hopefully by now, Iíve weeded out all the idiots and small-minded know-it-alls and we can start talking about an emerging force in hip-hop, Poverty. Generally, rappers tend to choose names that are often word-plays, misspellings or in many cases, are just plain dumb. But with Poverty, his name comes from the only state of life that he knows. Heís grown up on the streets (and slept on them most nights), and over the course of time, has been schooled in the mentality that breeds ultra-real rap music. This stuff canít be faked, people. If it is, itís blatantly apparent to the listener. Case in point: that horrid early-90s chumpÖ what was his name again? Strawberry Chill? Pistachio Freeze? Ah, forget it.
Listening to Poverty is almost like listening to that crazy guy sitting in the corner of the subway, except the voice of Poverty is much more demanding. It demands that you listen. It demands that you pay attention, or heís going to jack your ass when youíre not looking. Clean-cut frat boys and anyone that has something Poverty wants are in front of the verbal smoking barrels in ďIím HatiníĒ. ďRise From RuinĒ, which seems to be an eye-wink towards Notorious B.I.G's "What's Beef?", serves as a lesson to everyone thatís never seen the streets or lived in poverty. That lesson: be thankful, and but donít be an asshole, or you may wind up in a worse bind than you can imagine.
Poverty is currently touring with the Lyricist Lounge tour, featuring Redman, Keith Murray, Onyx and other names in hip-hop. For more info on Poverty, check him out at www.povertyonline.com, or if you can, check out a Lyricist Lounge gig in your town.
THE LYRICIST LOUNGE TOUR HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL NOVEMBER. DETAILS TO COME WHEN THEY ARE RELEASED.