Recently in Politics Category
The bad news first: next week brings an industry conference loaded with narcissism, wide-eyed idealists following loyally, artists half-assing it, corporate partners causing traffic jams, too many writers becoming self-fulfilling prophets by covering what they've been force-feeding you since CMJ, The Austin Chronicle ratting out dissenters by providing APD with a list of unofficial shindigs, slimy human beings joining forces.
Get over it.
As a music fan, none of this should matter. As a free alcohol fan, none of this should matter.
With respects to Big Boi's OutKast singalong, Kanye's antics and Bun B's Texas pride last year, 2010 is loaded with rappers that matter and loaded nightly lineups only the most cynical of heads would tune out and boasts the best SXSW hip-hop lineup ever.
First, we look at the chalk; at the sanctioned, slated showcases:
ATG sizes it all up.
Sorry I've been a little absent this week.
This story has been making the rounds on the Net since last weekend, and I just want to say how retarded and painfully obvious ("check out the ego on THOSE guys!") the whole thing is. The author thinks he's cute or insightful, I guess. The editors are just happy I'm blogging about it.
Also, Glenn Beck is a terrorist, not a cute subject for the media to mull over.
Also, "gangsta rap"? Really?? I can't even let you skate on that one, creamy-New-York-Times-guy. Gangsta Rap is dead (not that any of the people you mentioned were ever associated with it). The members of NWA are all either retired, starring in family comedies, or long ago struck down by The Virus.
P.S. Anyone hankering for a legit academic treatise on a modern hip-hop subject (believe it or not, at least one actually exists) should scope this intellectually rigorous breakdown from ForeignPolicy.com's Mark Lynch. It astutely compares Jay-Z's relationship with haters to the United States' relationship with smaller, temperamental stone-throwers like Iran and North Korea.
Mr. O'Reilly absolutely adores quoting songs out of context and taking hip-hop to task.
But on the Drake-collabing "Off That," there's no violation of values with which to frighten isolated people, just a simple name check:
"Please tell Bill O'Reilly to fall back."
That's it. As such, the on-air mention only serves to rally O'Reilly's ever-eroding viewership against Jay-Z. Classic move: put the onus on your peoples to fight back on the basis of disrespect.
UPDATE: Rush Limbaugh, consumate conservative talking head, felt the need to acknowledge the drop. Check his shot at Obama after the jump.
..Really, the bigger story is how terrible "Off That" is. Phoned in lyrics, no Drake verse, wack beat. If you don't already have it, snag it here.
Slate's Jonah Weiner on the rise of "no homo" and homophobia's changing face in hip-hop. The timing of Kanye's backtracking opening line on Jay's new shit serves to validate this strong piece's timeliness.
The rap game? Homophobic? In other news, rappers enjoy sporting shiny metals.
"Cam'ron and the Diplomats are, ironically, among the most homoerotic MCs in rap...They wear pink and purple furs and brag regularly about how good they look. In the video for "Pop Champagne," Jim Jones and Juelz Santana giddily douse each other with frothy white geysers of bubbly. On Cam'ron's "Hey Ma," he describes having sex with a female paramour with seven vague words--"She was up in the Range, man"--but when the girl leaves, he immediately calls Santana to narrate the act in detail and, in a sense, to enjoy and consummate it fully."
According to a fundamentally sound Jonah Wiener piece in Slate, music magazines like Vibe, Blender, Rolling Stone and Spin are folding and suffering massive layoffs for three key reasons:
- Fading star power across the musical landscape.
- Customer servicing.
I'd like to offer a fourth general point: music fans never liked us. The biggest music fans in the world write to eat, the second tier of music fans hate music writers. We're seen as pretentious, guarded tastemakers who've long yielded too much influence. Any and every artist, having read negative comments, fires back and rallies his or her respective base in doing so.
"Fuck critics, you can kiss my whole asshole."
The fact major names heavily filter public images at will nowadays fails to carry any urgency or red flags because the electorate inherently sided with the artist.
As Weiner puts it, "If [music magazines] were to disappear entirely, people would still find out about new music, after all, and criticism would doubtless live on, online and in general-interest publications."
Sadly for most, that's enough.
Today, we defer to music critic, Jonah Weiner, and his excellent set up of questions we've all been grappling with:
- What will Obama mean to hip-hop?
- Will the moment and man usher in an era of enlightenment? More bohemian, thoughtful output?
- Won't pundits like Tim Graham use the occasion as a precedent with which to attack the culture?
- How will Obama's empowerment not make hip-hop suck?
Important points to consider and monitor during the coming months.
We'll do a progress report in exactly six months, in late August. Stay tuned.
Fuck every rapper ever, Tracy Morgan is the ultimate ultimate ultimate example of life imitating art. Yesterday evening, a malfunctioning light in Morgan's shark tank set off a small fire, and loads of smoke, in his Upper West Side apartment.
The shark survived, his neighbors' flats were flooded.
There were no injuries.
I'm so happy this man has a shark tank; his best career zinger after the jump.
ATG sizes it all up.
Here at ATG, we've consciously left the silly, circular back and forth between rapper, 50 Cent, and predatory clown, Rick Ross, the fuck alone. The two lost boys share management and release dates, it's concretely clear the whole thing exists for the purpose of buzzing two shitty first quarter albums.
I guess it's time to weigh in.