There are a few songs out there that get immediate reactions from me. Some songs that fall under this category: Outkast’s“Git Up, Git Out”, Biggie’s “Kick In The Door”, T.I.’s “B-Eazy” (Obviously). But then there are some songs that will make me cold cock somebody at a moments notice. N.O.R.E’s “Banned From TV” featuring Nature, Big Pun, Styles P, Jadakiss, & Cam’ron is one of those songs (The video above could never compare to the actual song. Should have been more “I Shot Ya”).
With Weezy’s own rendition of the song off his No Ceilings mixtape, there been a lotta current talk about the track. Lil’ Wayne did the beat justice, but let’s not forget about the 1998 original.
The Opener: Nature’s Verse
I honestly think Nature’s verse here is one of the best opening verses of any Hip-Hop posse cuts ever. He killed it. That shit alone made me waist money and go out and buy the Wild Gremlinz album. But that verse still stands up 12 years later:
“Regardless of rain or snow, sleet or hail/I kick street tales, choking niggas like I’m Sprewell/Golden State, holding your fate in the palm of my hand/Blow you away like its part of the plan/I gotta call it like I see it, talk it like I be it/Walkin’ my walk, thugged out orthopedic/Cause I’m soon to be up, give me room watch me heat up/Niggas try to stick me like Abdul Lerima, follow the leader/Make me go extra hard, yo Nore should I hold back or show the repertoire/Quit at 16 or throw in extra/Bars just for the non-believers/I show them why its so hard to reach us/I get pussy with my father’s features/Puff heavenly, see me at 6’1″ weigh a buck 70/Catch me in spots yall niggas never be/Packed in like green bay/Harlem Week to Queens’ Day/Performing a capella, no DJ/98 Live, no replays/Make it seem easy, so tell a friend to tell a friend/That its them again, Nature, Noreaga, Wild Gremlins”
The Pain: Big Pun
The only one who could follow that verse on this track was Pun. It makes you say to yourself, “Oh shit. Back to back like that”. Big Punisher comes on the track talking about “Porkchops & applesauce” and “Hit your shorty while he potty training”. Crazy. Then comes my favorite quote of the whole track: “Soning niggas so long I think I gotta a grandson”. What? Do you know how many times I used that line?
“Yo, yo, champagne on the rocks/Pour on the Fort Knox Lazura/Shark salad with cabbage/Pork chops and applesauce/Twin connection, disrespect watch your body cave in/Pump the shotty gauging, hit the shorty while he potty training/I ain’t playing, I’m truly the worst/Simply the first to get his whole body fully reversed/Uzi it hurts, leave you double-dead/I’ma a bubble-head, I never listen to nothing my mother said/Ay yo i hold niggas ransom for money/Like Johnny Handsome been soning niggas for so long/I think I got a grandson/My passion is money, a stash and a honey/That won’t ask questions but will blast anybody/That’s my kind of girl, kinda of world i want to live in/Not a cell or a prison or in hell’s Armageddon/Just a little ghetto/Where my niggas control the middle/And know the riddles of life where others know only a little”
The Middle: Cam’ron, Jadakiss, & Styles P
Don’t think because I lumped these parts together it means that they were terrible. Naw. This was Cam when he was trying hard with the stutter flow and he gets in some quotables (“Your girl know I fuck her off of furlough”). And even though Kiss and Styles do the back and forth great, I thought them doing it here kinda slowed down the song. This whole portion may be the weak part, but it’s still not bad though (“And if the feds brung us in we get the same time Gotti got”).
The Closer: N.O.R.E.’s verse
Now at this point, N.O.R.E. has to be thinking; “Ain’t now way in hell I can go harder than these other dudes!”. But instead of trying to out rap the other rappers here, Noreaga used his charisma making it the sing-a-long part of the song. If you around people who know this song well, they will be yelling this part. He wins big points on crowd participation.
“A yo, there’s two ways into the hood, one plain/The other smoke chronic like straight to the brain/Ay yo lets get loose, Hennessey straight, with tomato juice/Queens stallion, my guns, fully Italian/now y’all niggas recognize medallions/I play the best hood, o-t with Tim Westwood/Used to be on section 8, now my section is good/Thugged Out niggas, we eat as much as we could/And I don’t give a fuck what! yo I save my shit/And I don’t give a fuck what! you can save your shit/Yall niggas like extra skin on my dick/Listen to Bob Marley, you funny niggas like Steve Harvey/Frontin’ live with a weak army/I play the nice guy too, I’ll smoke wit you/but the realness, I ain’t got no love for you/That’s why I never do a song with you/Not even if your babies mom fucked the crew/And promised to give us head and swallow too/I still say no, no is no, no can doe/ya niggas drinking Haterade drinking my flow”
So that’s it. A breakdown of one of the best Hip-Hop posse cuts of all time in long format.
I included the original “Banned From TV” song and the Lil’ Wayne’s version.
Bonus: The Making of Lil’ Wayne’s “Banned From TV”