Wednesday, September 13, 2006

At Times I See the Mirror and Tell Him He Doin Good


Rap on the internet is weird. If you frequent the massive blogspace devoted to hip-hop, you probably encounter the same four or five basic threads over and over again, no matter where you visit. You've inevitably been exposed to the neverending rumor mill surrounding the potential release of a new Jay-Z album. You've heard of Lupe Fiasco, who is good, but I refuse to believe that this amount of hype was ever good for anyone. You've been informed as to who (whom?) Jim Jones is threatening to beat up this week, or who's the latest G-Unit affiliate who'll never release an album. I could go on and on; point is, very, very little room is devoted to actual music, and unless these bloggers cop on to themselves, I see the whole thing imploding in a mind-numbing maelstrom of shit like this. Ish like that (this?) seems harmless at first, but it's starting to piss me off. Shouldn't Raekwon be more worried about making sure that Cuban Linx Part 2 doesn't suck than about beating Mike Jones at golf? I was at the Wu-Tang show in Philly when Ghostface called out D4L for contributing to the demise of real hip-hop or whatever. That clip of Rae on the 'way, when you consider it in the context of Ghost's comments, is sort of troubling -- why did he feel the need to get on some bullshit XXL DVD to putter around a golf course? To be funny? Or is it a move he felt the need to make, in an age when it's nearly impossible for rappers to sell major numbers without marketing the piss out of themselves? I mean, literally -- like, marketing their piss. When the beat to "Laffy Taffy" came on at the Electric Factory in Philly, in a typical maneuver, I leaned into my best Fabo impression and paid little attention to what Pretty Toney was saying. Ghost was in the middle of his Fishscale promotional stuff at the time, and for the couple of weeks after the show, I kept hearing cats asking him about his comments. Unsprisingly, he took the diplomatic stance that he wasn't trying to hate, he just loves hip-hop so much, he thinks southern rap is cool, blahzy blah. I forgot about the whole thing until I saw that stupid golf video.

I'm not so ridiculous as to be in denial of the fact that tracks with simple beats and formulaic videos outsell more involved stuff 99% of the time. I was just unaware that someone like Raekwon would feel the need to jockey for screentime with the guy who made this song and signed D4L (and Tigger? Tigger from Rap City???). I thought the dudes from the Clan didn't need that type of exposure, thanks to nerds like me who check for Wu-Tang records like they check for the latest Woody Allen. What I'm saying is, when the nerds with the blogs are the ones not paying attention, it starts to look a little grim for our boys. It's not just Wu-Tang, either (but can we please get a second single off Fishscale? No? Thanks a lot. "Back Like That" really does the album justice); the new Oh No album, Exodus Into Unheard Rhythms, is really nice, and the new Ras Kass could be phenomenal. If you don't spend a lot of time in record stores, hovering over CD racks, you have no idea. The online press (not sure if bloggers count, but for the sake of this, I'm including them) has a responsibility to report on new music, for the sake of consumers and artists, and I'm not seeing it.

Time's come to stop talking empty shit. Furman P. Slothra and Sordid Puppy are dedicated to keeping it real. Foodmantooth will prevail. After all, I'm trying to get some cheddar so I can grab a pair of these...

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