Hip Hop Is Dead (2006)
I was surprised no one named their album this before me. Bushwick Bill of Geto Boys had worn it on a T-shirt at one point. Tribe Called Quest talked about it in an interview I read about years ago. Outkast even mentions something in that area at some point. It was a topic within the hip hop community, so there had to be an album about it. And I felt like at the time it was needed.
Will.i.am produced this and I thought, "What’s better than to say hip-hop is dead than with will.i.am, who’s a genius but not necessarily known as a 'real' hip-hop guy, even though he is a hip-hop guy." To hip-hop people, will.i.am is over there somewhere, so to get him to re-do the "Thief’s Theme" beat, where—I don’t know if he knew when he played it for me—but I thought it was funny to have "Thief’s Theme" as a single on the last album and then to do the same track with the same beat. Because shit is dead, so it doesn’t even matter what beat you use. So yeah, it was big-time funny to me. I was loving the criticism.