Wednesday, February 28, 2007

FMT Matchmaker: Capo Status & New York

The director of A&R at Warner Music Group puzzles over the contradiction in terms that is Pink Pinot Grigio

Jim Jones is a generally crap rapper, but I don't think that's ever been in contention. He's built a career on his proximity to Cam'ron, constant and unabashed co-opting of Dirty South beats and conventions, and a furiously maintained presence in mainstream and underground hip-hop media. He's not to be confused with Jim Jones the cult leader, who, along with 913 of his brainwashed devotees, committed suicide in 1978, two years after the birth of Joseph Jimmy Guillermo Jones III, a.k.a. Capo Status, a.k.a. the subject of this post. JJGJ III embraces confrontation and the opportunity it affords him to push himself further and further into the limelight cast by the hype of rap beef. As of this post, he is blissfully engaged in track- and video-propagated conflict with Jay-Z, Tru Life, and 50 Cent. I don't care much for Tru Life (matter of fact, he annoys the shit out of me), but he's a better rapper than Jim, and Jay-Z and 50 Cent are in a class of artist that Jimmy Blanco can only hope to be counted part of.

Jimmy's "We Fly High (Ballin'!)" was one of the biggest hip-hop records of 2006, and one of the very few that achieved any kind of popular success outside of BET's Rap City (not Tha Bassment, because Tha Bassment is dead) or Most people probably got wasted at one point (or five) or another and did the "Ballin'!" dance and screamed it to the heavens. That was awkward. That was over. A while ago.

Jim never had a big record before that. I made the mistake of buying his 2004 On My Way to Church, and besides "Crunk Muzik" and some song he had with T.I. and Bun B, it was really bad. I don't remember the name of his second album off the top of my head, but it was the one with "Summer With Miami" and that song "Baby Girl" through which we were all introduced to random Jim affiliate Max B, who may be the worst singer/rapper/asshole of all time. Last year, Jones scored something of a hit with "We Fly High" and the album it's on, Hustler's P.O.M.E., both of which came out on Koch Records, a label that, allegedly, actually pays its artists pretty well. The LP is headed for gold, so Jim is making money, which means you can't hate on him, blah blah fucking blah -- that's exactly the sort of irresponsible attitude towards hip-hop as art that allows Jim to thrive.

Now that the relevance of "We Fly High" has faded away almost completely, Jim has spent more time posturing and talking shit than ever before, on the radio and on hip-hop DVDs (that I don't think anyone actually buys because you can watch the shit for free on Youtube/Onsmash). Jim knows that if he can continue to cultivate his tough guy (in tight t-shirts) image, a great part of the hip-hop community will be impressed enough by how "real" they're convinced he is and won't be discouraged by the fact that he sucks. They'll cheerily declare how "Ballin'!" they are til the end of their days, which will probably be long after rap is dead, but then as long as we're getting money (or claiming to), who cares, no?

Flavor of Love was a marginally entertaining, fairly unpleasant reality television program. Most of the people who saw that show probably don't know what Public Enemy is, and if they did they probably wouldn't care for P.E. because that shit does not make for good pop music. Flav was probably short on cash, and there's always a bevy of eager actress/model wannabes who are perfectly happy to pursue fame through the medium of reality TV. Flav's new reality TV career was going swimmingly, as he'd just spent some time masquerading himself and being publicly mocked for it on VH1's groundbreaking The Surreal Life. Some savvy TV execs and an eager-to-cheese Flav came together for Flavor of Love, and the show was a huge hit.

Inevitably, Flavor of Love's contestants, who were ostensibly vying for Flav's love, affection, and hand in marriage, were nothing but a bunch of posturing camera whores. They participated in the show in order to make themselves visible, and Flav (not sure he wasn't in on the joke) would occasionally lambast a soon-to-be-eliminated suitress for "being at the mansion for their career, and not for Flav." Whenever this happened, it was ironic and sort of depressing.

Tiffany Pollard a.k.a. Tiffany Patterson a.k.a. New York established herself as the star of Flavor of Love by her unmatched enthusiasm and the passionate animosity that the rest of the girls felt towards her. She claimed throughout to be the only woman on the show that really cared for Flav, and, at times, she was believable; her ardent professions of love for her man, along with her unbridled malevolence for her rivals, lent credence to her claims. After losing out in the finals of Season One to Hoopz (who dropped Flav like a washed-up hypeman after the show concluded), New York returned for Season Two, first as a surprise guest and then as a contestant once more. Again she made it to the finals, and again she was passed up by M. Flav, this time for a woman with one of the more ghastly mugs ever to sully my television screen.

Where New York failed to nose out Deelishis for the dubious distinction of the victor of Flavor of Love, she hit pay-dirt when VH1 signed on for a season of I Love New York, a show that identical to FOL in all ways save one. New York is the champion and prize, and the contestants are men, failed and aspiring entertainers who have chosen to drag their impotent careers through the mud in order to get some camera time. I Love New York is a really terrible show; where Flav played the older, seasoned entertainer who had at least something of a career to hold over the women vying for his amore, New York plays the exact same preening, malevolent character she played on FOL. It's her awful mother (who apparently teaches at Syracuse University or something weird like that) that steals the show this time around, polluting the screen with her visage and her ill will. Flavor of Love had one wobbly leg to stand on in that Flavor Flav was a celebrity (if B- or C-list); I Love New York has nothing but train-wreck appeal.

Is that a Spice Girl?

SP thinks that Joseph Jimmy Guillermo Jones III and Tiffany Pollard are perfectly suited for each other, and in this, the first installment of FMT Matchmaker, I'd like to propose that they propose to one another and have lots of awful, fame-grubbing kids with which to populate the world. Both will stop at nothing to keep themselves in the spotlight, and neither has anything in the way of legitimate talent, unless the ability to make oneself -- and remain -- sort of famous is a talent. I predict that "Ballin'!" and its awful remix are the only hits that Jim Jones will ever have, and that Hustler's P.O.M.E. will be the last record he puts out that sells more copies than FMT gets hits in a day. Finally, I foresee that on I Love New York season 3, your boy Capo Status will be among the contestants, along with Tru-Life and maybe Young Hot Rod. Capo will win, Hot Rod will go back to his banking job in Arizona, and Tru-Life will keep making mixtapes until he goes hoarse. Capo and Tiff will get married, and I Love New York season 3 will be hailed as the reality TV show that brought something more than pure narcisissm and flagrant self-promotion to our television screens: it will bring said qualities, each personified in New York and Jim Jones respectively, together, so that they will meet, conflagrate, and set off a chain reactions of wack people marrying each other all over the world. The rampant confluence of all the worst human traits will be too much for the balance of flyness and wackness that the atmosphere currently maintains, and the earth will eat itself. Don't say we didn't warn you.

The inspiration for this post came from the undeniable similarity in mannerisms that these two miserable human beings share. Observe the way Capo & New York speak loftily of their personal traits and trappings of their moderate success, and giggle and stuff. Both idiots attempt to assert, with every sentence that comes out of their mouths, the "obvious" fact that they're superior creatures:

Jim Jones on Rap City

New York on Jimmy Kimmel

FREE DESSERT: Crazy timing; this just popped up on Apparently some people think FOL and ILNY are worse than just shitty television. Eskay, you read my mind.


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