G Dep: Life, Pop Culture and Hip-Hop Redemption

| by RefinedHype

By Brando

2010 was the year of the comeback & the arrest. Blogs put up police blotter sections, rappers returned from exile only to go back in and Waka Flocka apparently hustles backwards by selling heaxus out of a house in Georgia. That’s not the point I’m running with on this column, my last one for 2010 so I thank all of the readers and commentators who’ve looked at this little section I’m given every Monday and either laughed or had some profound thought they wanted to share.

As a man, there are certain things I find hard to confess to. I found it hard when the state of Texas decided to label me a thief some two Thanksgivings ago and decided to give me a year of probation for it, but I felt worse letting my folks know about it. There’s so much disappointment to be thrown around in those situations that it makes all those redemption stories you see in pop culture all the more interesting to look into. 

It makes the cases of both Charles Hamilton & G Dep all the more thought provoking. I know many a blog have been up to the heavens in Sonic praise and even had plenty of fun documenting his rapid fall from grace but it’s a scary situation knowing someone with that much talent can seemingly be hip-hop’s version of Rainman.

Hamilton may not be completely functional in society after numerous mental setbacks. Not to mention the fact he currently finds himself in a jail cell for striking a cop and being charged with assault for it. It’s quite odd watching someone who had it all going for him: a XXL cover, buzzworthy mixtape releases and a serious cult following even though his songs weren’t mastered for anything after his Green Lantern mixtape dropped to getting punched in the face by an ex, mocked by Serius Jones and showing up in barbershops resembling an extra from the 1982 film "Trading Places" with Eddie Murphy.

It’s his tale that makes me wonder if the same thing that is going on with Hamilton will lead into the current fate of former Bad Boy rapper G Dep. The news report from Saturday that Dep turned himself in to NYPD to confess to a 17-year murder was both sad and comical. Many pundits set their sights on the sentence that read: “signed a $350,000, five album deal” with Diddy & Bad Boy Records and immediately shook their heads.

I found it more personal though. Since his debut dropped, Dep has been since released from the label, arrested for numerous crimes including robbery and has been troubled for quite some time. Going back to his very solid debut, his rhymes told you that certain things about him were too graphic for songs. Yes, Biggie rapped about sodomizing folks with plungers but we knew it was something straight out of a Mafioso picture. Dep lived that life to the absolute fullest from his days as a stick up kid around Harlem.

So when you hear of his troubled soul confessing to shooting someone that he didn’t know died, it makes you wonder if he’s going to jail to find peace. Crude jokes can be made about him being possibly homeless and the best possible place for him would be jail since they offer 3 hots and a cot but that’s beyond the measure here.

We live in a culture where cooperation with the police is frowned upon and in 2010, the ire of police brutality made it even harder to deal with the cops. Cam’Ron already etched the phrase “Stop Snitchin’” on his tombstone with his interview on 60 Minutes a few years ago by driving the point home of saying he wouldn’t tell someone if a killer lived next door to him. The ignorance in this is as blatant as anyone who tries to hate on Michael Vick for trying to clean up his image after going to prison for two years. It’s snitching if you were doing the same thing as someone else and then got knocked and you dimed everybody out.

It is NOT snitching if someone committed a crime against you, a family member, etc. 

You don’t think John Henkel’s family was relieved that someone came up and finally put their pain to rest? I know Mystikal wondered for albums about the man who killed his sister. But I praise G Dep for putting his mind and soul at ease with something that had been eating at him for years. That’s as bold as ANY rapper going to jail for senseless crimes but screams “Free Me” at the end of the day.

At least Dep was man enough to do something about his crime. It’s a tale of someone who’s been towards each end of hell and back. I only hope the same doesn’t happen for Sonic the Hamilton.