Shout out to everyone who still gives a fuck about this site. Those who know me personally know I’ve dealt with a major life change in the last several months. As a result, my time and motivation have been severely shot lately. Here’s to fixing that!
I should be able begin with “in case you’ve been living under a rock”, but as far as I can tell, even those without stones for shelter could be very unaware of the Afrika Bambaataa drama that’s been boiling for about a month*. The long and short of it is that he’s been accused, multiple times, of molesting young boys. It started with Ronald Savage, then three others came forward, then a bodyguard confirmed that incidents like those alleged have occurred, and more keep coming. Bambaataa defended himself with the classic, battle-tested, “this is a conspiracy built to tear me down” defense. KRS-One made a confusing defense of Bambaataa on Noreaga’s Drink Champs podcast, and failed to clarify himself in a blog post on his website.
Continue reading KRS-One’s Supremely Disappointing Defense of Afrika Bambaataa
I do so love being right! Even when my prediction wasn’t at all a stretch, and in fact was quite obvious, it’s still nice for it to be correct. So guess how many levels my self-righteousness increased by when I saw that Raekwon called his crew’s weak last album, A Better Tomorrow, “too soft”, and blamed the weird musical direction on Rza.
Continue reading Called It! Rza Ruined Wu-Tang’s A Better Tomorrow
My experience with family reunions was my nuclear family traveling to some city (usually in the south) for a weekend, to “fellowship” with hundreds of other people who happen to share some great-great-great-great-ancestor with us. This was our attempt to fight the family-destroying legacy of slavery by establishing an extended family much wider than cousins, aunts, and uncles we saw at Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma’s house. Maybe I was too young to understand such a noble goal, and how to meet it, but for me, these events were mostly exercises in awkwardness and futility. Each one meant meeting strangers who I was supposed to build a connection with, using fumbling small talkish attempts to “get to know them”, but always remembering that Sunday would come and we’d head home to never think about each other again. Exchanged addresses forgotten without one letter sent, we’d return to our normal lives, until the next event 2-4 years later, where we’d repeat the cycle with a new set of people because no one ever attends every reunion. I’m sure these reunions still happen, but now that I make my own travel decisions, I can’t say I’ve been interested in attending one lately. It feels so artificial, and forced, that I haven’t been interested in finding a good reason to attend.
Cue A Better Tomorrow.
Continue reading Wu-Tang Reunion aka Dreams Better Than Reality
This topic has been bugging me for a while now. Rap crews just can’t keep it together lately. 50 Cent left Interscope, signed a new, apparently more lucrative, indie deal with Caroline/Capitol Records, and seems to have left G-Unit behind. Raekwon seems to be allowing money concerns to hold up the Wu-Tang’s work on a new album that would commemorate the 20th anniversary of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). What’s going on?!
Continue reading (Not At All Weekly) Retro and My Thoughts On Success and the Wu-Tang and G-Unit Dramas
Two recent interviews have all but confirmed what I suspected about Schoolboy Q’s Oxymoron album: it’s the product of the tedious, usually fruitless process of trying to please a major label while still making honest art. This isn’t surprising, nor is it a new trend. Most of my reviews note the lack of quality that results from serving these two opposing masters. But, until major labels curb their interference or mercifully die off, these stories will continue to be noteworthy. Especially when the artist complains so quickly after the release of his/her first album, and especially when that album seems to have succeeded with both critics and fans (Oxymoron has a 79/100 on Metacritic and debuted at #1) And, selfishly, especially when I just finished panning the album for this very problem.
Continue reading Did Interscope’s Expectations Stifle Schoolboy Q’s Creativity?
Drake’s been in the news lately for some controversial things that he said in a Rolling Stone interview. Number 1, he said that Macklemore’s posting of the apology text message that he sent to Kendrick Lamar after beating him for a Grammy was disingenuous. I totally agree. If he wanted to make a public apology, he should have done it in public from the start, not publicly sharing a private message. I’m trying not to judge Macklemore too harshly, so I’ll just say that that was done in poor taste, and it casts doubts on his motives.
Continue reading When Did Drake Become Such a Truth-Teller?