Look. You don’t mess with these hip-hop dudes. To quote Black Star’s Mos Def and Talib Kweli:
1, 2, 3
It’s kinda dangerous to be an MC
They shot Tupac and Biggie
Too much violence in hip hop. Y-O.
And Kweli should know. He dropped some serious sh*t on this Australian guy over Twitter last weekend.
“yo Melbourne we have a problem. Who opened for me and Jean last night?” he tweeted, followed shortly by “Someone came in Jean Graes dressing rm last night, stole my laptop & phone. They was with the opener whos dressing rm was next to mine.”
And it was on. I won’t spoil the ending for you, but I will point you to the following clues.
1) The Twitter accounts of Talib Kweli, Jean Grae, Corey Smyth of Blacksmith, and, of course, Naughty By Nature. (Genius tweet from NBN: “There’s absolutely no excuse for stealing Other People’s Property!…”)
3) This security video.
4) This blog play-by-play.
5) The Facebook account of the alleged perpetrator, Amir Elashir.
Solve the mystery yet, Sherlock? You can see the solution, Encyclopedia Brown-style, at the bottom of this post.
The whole affair was fascinating to watch in real time. (Full disclosure: I’m a big Talib fan- seen him in concert, can expound on his better and less-better albums – so I was rooting for him. Oh, and I’m also a fan of justice.)
That the crime-fighting played out over Twitter (and Twitpic, and Twitter video sharing tools) is like the 2010 celebrity version of the guy who wanted to get his friend’s Sidekick back. The Root notes the strong presence of the black community on Twitter; in this case, engagement on Twitter leveraged digital media and real world relationships to resolve the issue.
And let’s be honest – it’s amusing to contrast how this played out with stereotypes of the hip-hop community. I mean, do you think Eazy (or a pre-Are We There Yet Ice Cube) would have tried handling this in 140 characters? Kweli isn’t what elderly white people would call “gangsta rap”, of course, but, still.
Long story short, Kwe – we survivalists turned to consumers just to get by. Just to get by.
And sorry that you didn’t get your fitted Yankee cap back.
˙unɟ sı ɥɔıɥʍ ‘ǝɹnʇɐu ʎq ʎʇɥbnɐu ɥʇıʍ spuǝıɹɟ s,ǝɥ ‘osןɐ ˙ʞɔɐq ɟɟnʇs ǝɥʇ ǝʌɐb ǝɥ ˙ɹıɯɐ ʎnb ʇɐɥʇ sɐʍ ʇı ‘ɥɐǝʎ :uoıʇnןos
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