ANIMOSITY BREWING “Nothing against Sam Adams or what he represents, but there are people who really live hip-hop culture — who are best suited to do this shit — and he isn’t one of them,” says Hoppie X-Ray.
In the epic hip-hop mockumentary CB4, Chris Rock's suburban MC wannabe character steals the name and image of a jailed thug rapper named Gusto. That's fine and randy — at least until Gusto, played by a young Charlie Murphy, gets out of prison and hunts down his imposter. It's not a far-fetched scenario; from the other members of N.W.A famously co-opting Eazy-E's criminal steeze, to Eminem jacking Cage's degenerate identity, hip-hop is full of real cats who got passed up for clones, and pretty boys who out-buzzed their roughneck nemeses.
The Gusto story especially rings bells for Click Animosity, a Mission Hill drug game-spawned posse that, on solo merits and collective stripes, is hands-down one of Boston's most respected hardcore crews of all time. But there's a twist in their saga: while Click members Trust, Rhetoric, and Hoppie X-Ray were locked down, the young MCs who found shine in their wake never tried to be like them, nor did they clone their vagrant underground insanity or gutter-wild backdrops. Instead, the so-called frat rappers who put Boston on the atlas in ways unseen since Marky Mark (not an insult — just the commercial truth of the matter) looked and acted like the preppies Click Animo used to sling boom to.
"Sure, there are all these new voices, but now we're trying to put things back in perspective," says X-Ray. "Nothing against Sam Adams or what he represents, but there are people who really live hip-hop culture — who are best suited to do this shit — and he isn't one of them. Him trying to represent the voice of Boston hip-hop was a real smack in the face to us. We want our voice to be heard too, and we're not asking — we're yelling." Adds Rheto: "It's like hustling. If you've been on the block all this time making small change, and someone comes along with all this backing, we'll be inclined to speak on it."
Though a slew of Boston vets — and also rookies — tried to run Sam Adams through the ringer following his explosive debut on the iTunes rap chart, Rheto sunk his gold teeth in deep, coming out of semi-retirement and a Suboxone clinic to drop the dis track "Cherry Wheat." Though there was no direct reply from Adams, the aggravation moved Rheto and his Click comrades to get back in high gear. Gage had been waiting; the de facto facilitator of the pack, he was sitting on an arsenal of joints recorded in Animosity's dope days, as well as tracks from more recent sessions.
"I'd been telling Trust that we'd been dormant for too long," says Gage, who since late last year has spearheaded two Click Animosity releases — Feeders of the Flamez, and the Charred Remnants throwback compilation EP — plus a Def Jam-distributed solo outing as Gage the Conqueror. He continues: "The goal now is to promote and let people know that this music is here. You can say that you're going to walk away from it, but you feel like you're walking away from yourself. We do this because we love it, even though at this point we're not about to tour in a van all over the country doing wack underground gigs."
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