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Outlawz - Above The Law

Author: Matt Unicomb
Monday, September 8, 2008

The Outlawz have been demanding respect since first collaborating with 2pac in the mid-1990s. MC Young Noble is fed up with hip hop’s current state of affairs. He lets off some steam with 3D’s Matt Unicomb.

According to many, American hip hop is in dire straights. None are more aware of this than MC Young Noble of the infamous Outlawz. After being taken in by Tupac Shakur as a teenager, Noble has been a major player in the US underground hip hop scene since the mid-‘90s. Featuring on some of the most successful albums of all time, Noble is something of a hero in the eyes of millions around the world. It is this age of ringtone rap that Noble cannot stand, as veterans of the game are being forgotten while labels leap at the chance to sign the next club sensation. For this an increasing number of hip hop veterans are turning to their overseas audience for some attention. “Overseas, ya’ll have better taste in music than America does right now,” Noble begins. “Ya’ll appreciate pure, real hip hop.”

There has been a growing resistance from rap pioneers to the increasingly more frequent use of the term ‘old school’ to describe them and their music. Tim Dog of the seminal Ultramagnetic MCs warned the public in a recent interview that there will be “no more old school references” and that “there’s no such thing as old school.”

Noble can’t help but agree. “We’re not an old group, we just came out when we were little kids,” he explains. “When I was rocking with ‘Pac I was 17 years-old. I’m 30 years old right now. I’m younger than Jay-Z and 50 Cent. I’m younger than all these motherfuckers. We’re not old. You’ve got motherfuckers who are into the popcorn rap who look at us like we’re some old rappers. We’re younger than all these motherfuckers.”

Laying blame seems to be the easiest way to provide some relief from the rap dramas putting purists in a mess. Surely someone is responsible for this sad state of affairs. “I think the DJs have got a lot to do with it,” Noble states. “The corporate structure has got a lot to do with it. The DJs ain’t playing what they like no more. They’re playing what motherfuckers are getting paid to play. That’s why when I’m in Atlanta, I fly to LA and hear the same songs on the radio. It ain’t even about the music no more. Motherfuckers are just following trends.”

“The talent that is presented to the world is not the best talent that’s out here,” he affirms. There are plenty of dudes that don’t get a shot. Just don’t think for a second that the talent you see on TV or hear on the radio is the best. I’ve got about 10 dudes in Jersey that would rap circles around 99 percent of these motherfuckers.”

Noble still has love for a few of the currently mainstream US MCs. Names like Kanye West, Eminem, Snoop Dog and Young Buck all command respect, according to Noble. “Kanye is one of those dudes that you see on TV that is trying to think outside the box,” he explains. “Without dudes like him all we would hear all day is how tough all the rappers are, how much money they’ve got, how many females they’ve got, and who was the greatest drug dealer of all time. It’s all the same bullshit.”

WHO: Outlawz
WHAT: We Want In through Inertia
WHEN: Out now