Nick's Journal
2005-10-07 00:52:28 (UTC)

I'm a bit too analytical now (even about rap)

they should really re-name the whole "applying to law school
and working at a law firm" stint to what it really is
"becoming an anal asshole and pass yourself off for
analytical". you see right now i am reading steve forbes'
flat tax book and i have found 8 errors. no fucking joke.
one so egregious that it really makes him look like a
fucking joke. let's just say it has something to do with
subtraction and making a mockery of his own proposed flat
tax system.
in short, i am a giant asshole.
now when i read shit or listen to people (especially
politicians or obnoxious celebrities) whining about their
latest cause i tear it apart in my mind and either agree
with it or feel that i could do a great service to humanity
by killing the person espousing their opinion.
anyhow, today i ventured into the local record store as i
realized that i am quite out of tune (no pun intended) with
what is cool and what the kids are listening to these days.
i rolled up into the nearest record store and was
astonished by the number of grinning faces on cds that had
gold teeth. i saw mack 10, some other rapper, 3,000 other
rappers, 4 black women with a posse in the background that
made me scared just looking at them too long.
in short, i have come to the conclusion that rap is now what
is mainstream and extremely popular. as i browsed through
the latest rap records i noticed a trend. all of them had
guns in their pictures, all of them were wearing gangster
clothing, and all of them looked like they'd rape their
grandmother for a dollar and half a bag of doritoes. then i
looked up and saw the craziest thing ever. it was an ad for
a show on BET and the tag-line was, "hustle never sleeps".
apparently it was a reality tv show hosted by a man who
looked like he had just woken up yet still had the presence
of mind to keep it real. apart from the ludicruous notion
of creating a reality show about "hustling" i noticed a
young white man in the poster. he was skinny with a color
shirt popping out from underneath a red-knit sweater. the
president (comb-over) haircut. hmmmmmm, i wonder who isn't
going to win the hustlin' contest.
back to my main point. rap has become mainstream. but to
my knowledge i have never seen anything so sad and
ridiculous being marketed to the mass public. whenever
anything becomes great it inevitably hits the paradox of
becoming trite down the road. it is simply because money
rules everything and people can exploit a certain "formula"
to what was originally......well, original. rap stars are
being churned out through this system and plugged into the
formula. look at the multitude of no-namers coming out
now-a-days. it reminds me a lot of when "alternative"
(ironically enough) music succumbed to this formula creating
one hit wonders and branch one-hit genres (a la the swing
craze to alternative and the latin craze to pop music).
the added ridicule that is a part of rap being mainstream is
that in its originality (i believe) gangster rap, promoted
and still professes to promote a lifestyle. furthermore it
is supposed to be an extension of a lifestyle. rap isn't
like the bubble-gum big-haired rock of the 80s in which the
purpose was escape from a highly structured life, but
instead it is supposed to be a direct representation of what
has been experienced by the artist. this whole formula of
"you are bad, here's a 40, sneer at that camera, sing a
couple of rhymes into this mic (make sure to push in as many
cuss words as possible), then act like you don't care" just
seems ridiculous.
i don't know if i've written about this yet, but i picked up
a XXL a while back with a suge knight interview. the man
talked shit about everything he had encountered in his life.
and who interviews suge knight? shit, i love suge knight.
i am vanilla ice in that respect (i think i've written thsi
before but oh well) when v-ice all of a sudden said he was
real cool with suge. i don't think he's a douche cos of
that, i fear suge knight, cos i fear anyone who uses hatred
as his motivation.
rap will come and go and these solutions that have popped
out of the formulas will fall into obscurity. i'm sorry to
see something that was a truly noble (yeah i said noble) and
non-conformist way of music fall to an industry. if you
don't believe me, then just ask yourself why Dr. Dre bowed
out with his Chronic 2000 CD. he was an original and knew
damn well the exploitation he could potentially be labeled
under had he continued.
Kurt Cobain used a gun. Dr. Dre used common sense.