“Checking” someone doesn’t always need to reach near-confrontation.

Earlier this year, former music executive, Steve Stoute criticized 50 Cent’s recent music while speaking on some radio programs. Obviously, it didn’t sit well with the fellow Queens entrepreneur. At a Knicks game in New York City, 50 confronted, and checked, Stoute – demanded accountability for his statements. The term was coined by the Hip Hop generation.

Checking – calling someone on something they did; holding them accountable

Accountability is essential. Society needs it more than ever.

We’re living in times where too much is allowed to slide. Our society has suffered, in part, due to that. Why? We’re overburdened, overworked, underpaid, un- or underemployed, stressed-the-fuck-out. * Too busy to care unless it affects them. * As is often the case: it is what it is. Think about, though, if we all did a little

I wouldn’t recommend folks adopt 50’s approach. Yet I respect that 50 is his own man. He did what he felt was right. This incident further established his rep as a no-nonsense guy. Considering a violent incident in Stoute’s past with another star, he had to shaking in his J’s. Luckily, it didn’t escalate. Security didn’t need to jump into action. Lawyers didn’t need to start filing paperwork.

Either way, if you talk about someone – expect the possibility that you’ll be checked. Checking each other will not only raise everyone’s accountability level. It’ll benefit our society, in general. When you know you can’t easily get away with certain behavior – you’ll stop doing them.

Snakes need to be checked. If not, they’ll continue snaking (real word).

In this day and age decency, respect and consideration for others is no longer observed across the board. Too many people will talk “slick” about others, taking jabs at them never expecting backlash. These snakes have to be checked. This is, especially, the case in the Hip Hop world where – I believe – many feel themselves a bit much. A sky-high opinion of themselves due to a systemized practice of catering to notable people (stars). They’re successful, they have others on the edge of their seats hanging on their every word.

The more people talk, the more they can get into trouble.

Watch what you say.

This goes beyond Hip Hop. Family. Friends. Your man. Your woman. Your kids. Your money/property. If needed – check ’em. Let them know when they’ve done something you don’t like. It can be done diplomatically. Recently, I checked someone when they didn’t handle their end of a matter. Doesn’t need to be disrespectful, cursing, making a person feel small. Avoid that. People don’t want to be put down. They’ll come back at you. It may turn ugly. I’ve done it in the past – you get upset and insult someone. I’d like to think I’m a wiser man now. I don’t live for drama. But … I’m a man and I won’t stand for bullshit. I ain’t a gangster. I ain’t gonna get people to get you so you can get your people to get me… forget that.

But I will stand up for me and mine.

And you’re within your human right to stand up for you and yours. 

Especially-dedicated to some in Hip Hop. There’s plenty of posturing, swag-dropping. But when it’s time to be a grown-up and stand up for a reason, a cause. Where they at?

* Too busy to care unless it affects them. *

I’m disappointed, but not surprised most rappers have been quiet about the latest unjust killings by police. Many of these artists feed their listeners trash, but neglect real opportunities to make an impact. Anyone can practice accountability. A person with a voice and platform can carry a message further, though.

People keep saying ‘it is what it is,’ but why does it have to be that way?

More should be taking a stand. Even if they pretend not to – they know what time it is. Below is an example of a man who took a stand. By doing so, he set a major example for the world to notice and follow.

“I Figured, I Could Get Respect From My Own People.” James Brown (1968)

April 5, 1968 at the Boston Garden. The day after Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. Highly-emotional time. The show was almost cancelled for fear of riots. Then it was kept on … for fear of riots had it been cancelled. James Brown entertained and comforted the crowd with his usual brilliance. Watch below how Mr. Brown checks audience members that began acting out. Waving off police, he taught the crowd a lesson in accountability. By the way, this scene was portrayed, beautifully, in the recent Brown biopic, Get On Up.

“I see a lot of people not give back to people that have given to them.” Damon Dash (2014)

Recently, Hip Hop Motivation has been releasing numerous videos featuring entrepreneur Damon Dash. The subjects ranging from success principles, business, accountability to name a few. In this one, Dash explains a criticism he has of, former protege, Kanye West. Dash feels West has forgotten about someone who helped him reach his level of success. Usually checking is done face-to-face and Dash mentions in the video he will “step to him.” I’ve included it here because it speaks to a bigger issue about accountability and paying it forward. More of this needs to be done on the regular.

Checking each other will, ultimately, raise everyone’s accountability level. Plus, it’ll benefit society, in general. When you know you can’t easily get away with certain behavior – you’ll stop doing them.


Fabian Baez is a, New York City-based, Hip Hop Web Copywriter/Creative & Marketing Specialist focused on helping others succeed while advancing the Movement. Learn more about him, his work and connect: | @FabianBaez | [email protected]