Moby leaves NYC and the world stops for us all

You know, it’s been a great week for “Open letters”. That’s a code word for essays by famous people with something they feel the need to expose. I suppose, this could be considered an open letter if I was more famous. Instead, let’s just call it a blog post. That way we can strip away all the ideas of what I’m saying being even remotely important.
So, anyway, recording artist Moby recently wrote an article about how he left NYC for the sunnier side of things in L.A.
He’s not the first or the last and , honestly, I don’t blame him. It’s a different lifestyle out there and I can certainly see how it might be more suitable for all sorts of people. The thing is, Moby felt necessary to write an open letter explaining his move , as if any of us give a shit where Moby lives. Now , before I get into this let me share a few things about my history with Moby.
1)I do not know him (Pretty sure we are eskimo bothers though)
2)I like that tea he makes
3)I’ve never been a fan of his music.
4)When I was in my early 20’s, I saw him at a weekly party I used to go to and drunkly tried to start a “Fuck Moby” chant. That was my bad. I was drunk and young.
5)My song “Carnivores unite” is based on him. Well, not him so much. When I made the track, I jokingly felt it sounded like a Moby song, so I called it that as an answer to it ever being mistaken for one. Cause, you know, he’s a vegan and shit.

That’s it.
After reading this article I learned a few things about Moby I didn’t know.
1)He’s was born in NYC. No shit! This surprised me so I wiki’d him to read more.
What he didn’t mention was how didn’t grow up there. So, in a way, that kinda makes him one of those “Oh, I’m from NYC cause I came out of my moms vagina in a hospital that was located in NYC”. When, in reality, he’s actually grew up in Connecticut. Nothing wrong with growing up in Connecticut, it’s just even mentioning he was born in NYC is misleading…as if that makes his move to L.A. even more valid and heart wrenching..
2)He apparently lived in the play “Rent” in the early 80’s. In fact, he might have lived on the same block my sister lived on during that same period of time. It was indeed a mess…thugged out drag queens and heroin everywhere. The good old days.
Now, here’s the thing, none of the complaints that Moby is talking about are wrong. It’s all well worn territory. Yes, NYC is too expensive. Yes, it’s competitive. Yes, it’s landscape has changed greatly. Even the most blindly loyal NYC person can’t front on those things. Hell, a friend tagged me in this pic on facebook of 14th st and 7th avenue from the 70’s and I almost shed a single tear.
Look how awesome that was. But you know what? I wasn’t even alive when that existed. I was alive in the NYC in the 80’s though. And, without question, NYC was better then. Of course it was! All old things are better. This is all “fact” that has been rehashed over and over again. So, for that point, I could never argue with Mobe-dawg. Granted, he’s an extremely successful musician who can afford to live anywhere. His old crib was in Little Italy and , I’m told, it had an elevator in it. Not in his building…in his apartment. The point of that is , dude is rich. That’s even crazier considering I can’t remember the last time he put out music. If I recall, after he made himself famous by making slave hymns danceable , he started singing a little and people stopped caring. I could be wrong but that was my outsiders perspective. Whatever the case, he’s not hard up for money. So, this move clearly isn’t about that (as much as he does harp on the price of living). No, this move is about how NYC effects creativity. His whole reason for leaving is cause , with how NYC is now, he can’t be the kind of creative he needs to be. NYC doesn’t allow you to fail, is something he harps on. But you know what? I’m okay with that. While I think that’s a fairly black and white way to look at it, it’s true that this city has been known to chew people up and spit them out. That’s kinda the point. Not everyone is supposed to be able to make it here. Even Frank Sinatra knew that. But, let’s remember, this is Moby talking. A person who has not failed. But what about his creative friends?!?! They live in deep dark brooklyn and that’s just not okay with him.Again, keep in mind, this is a rich person talking who can afford an elevator inside his apartment and the best music studios the city has to offer. He’s not stuffed in a 200 square foot apartment with two roommates, banging away on his acoustic guitar , recording on a four track while the sound of firetrucks blare in the distance.

I spend a lot of time trying to demystify the musical process. When people get all wishy washy about some vague “inspiration” they require or they feel a room needs candles and incense , I call bullshit. However, I’m me. I don’t need that shit. Maybe others do. So, it’s really not my place to tell another person how to feel or what gets their engine revving, creatively. A change of scenery can be refreshing, without question. Personally, I find I’m at my most creative when I return to NYC after beign away from it for a while. I don’t doubt that Moby will go to L.A., live in some huge house in the hills and toil away in a home studio he built making music he really loves. I get that. But, if that’s the goal, just go do it. Move to L.A. and get those creative juices flowing. Shitting on NYC with the same complaints people have had since the late 90’s isn’t doing anything. I think the thing that has always annoyed me about Moby is that, while he’s an intelligent and talented guy, he’s also kind of a pussy about everything. He’s always been the poster child for people who get offended easily. That mind set and being in NYC never really clicked with me. It’s almost as if he was destined to be out west where things are slowed down, more free spirited and less aggressive. That makes total sense. As much as he loves/loved NYC, perhaps it was never for him. Too rough around the edges for a man of his sensitivity. And, like I’ve said, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. The same way I might have a panic attack if you dropped me in a forest somewhere, NYC is 100% not for everyone. Perhaps Moby lived here so long cause he was based on the east coast and just assumed that that’s where creative people go? When, in actuality, he was a west coaster in his heart the entire time. I say this cause, while I agree with his issues with the city, it’s never gotten to me (Or most people I know who are from here). It’s just some things we accept in exchange for all the awesome parts of living here. The good and the bad. Maybe , in three years, Moby will move back east and write a 2000 word essay on how much he can’t handle traffic and how fake everyone is in the L.A. music scene. I suppose we’ll have to wait with baited breath for that one.
In reality, I think he just got bummed out because of this terrible winter we’re having. It’s been cold as fuck. Who doesn’t want to be in 80 degree weather right now? Well…actually…maybe no Moby cause I feel like with his fair skin he might just burst into flames in that dry so-cal heat.
So, to Moby, I say, Bon Voyage, I’m not mad at you or bitter (i don’t know you, how could i be?)…I just think you’re corny. That said, if more people took it upon themselves to reevaluate if they belong in this city, then left this city, it would undoubtedly be a better place. So, hey everyone, listen to Moby! NYC is dead! Leave as soon as possible. The rest of us stuck here will be forced to deal with it. Oh well. Someone’s gotta do it, right?

37 thoughts on “Moby leaves NYC and the world stops for us all

  1. Imagine how indescribably amazing if all those who don’t belong in the city were to follow Moby? Nothing gets under my skin quicker than when some ‘renegade’ twat from an affluent family moves into Brooklyn and then a week later they think they are New Yorkers and think they’ve seen it all. If all of those people left, maybe it’d be possible to catch a train that isn’t chock full of bohemian douchery

  2. Speaking of moving from NY: why did Aesop move out? (not trying to do a “ha! you shit on Moby but your friend left NY, too! What about his fair skin?!?” or anything, just wondering. Like you, I don’t care about Moby or where the fuck he lives)

  3. It seems like an awful lot of what you tend to write about is NYC-based. Whether you intend to come off this way or not, the fact that you seem to gush with pride about your home town (?) is a bit aggravating. We get it… you constantly, subtly infer that ‘real’ New Yorkers are the most badass, real people on the planet. Pat yourself on the back. Yes, it’s a city with a lot to offer, and yes, it can, as you said, “chew people up and spit them out.” If that’s how you prefer to live, kudos. Personally, that would make me want to leave with the quickness. Anyway… all I’m really getting at here is that your level of civic-mindedness is kinda nauseating for someone like me who shuns ideas like ‘hometown pride,’ patriotism, et al. NYC seems like a miserable shithole from the outside looking in. (Just being honest!)

    As far as Moby goes, I’ll just say this. He’s an electronic artist, but he doesn’t made the kind of electronic music that I like. He HAS dropped a few tunes that I enjoy (The Beach soundtrack, anyone?) but all-in-all, meh. It’s shit that I could imagine playing at a Barnes & Noble store, or hold music for your local cable company. The only truly rockin’ Moby joint ever released IMO is “Oil 1” and that tune is old as shit now.

    I understand that these posts of yours are generally stream-of-consciousness rambling and that you’re not really trying to make much of a statement, but they often remind me of hearing some NFL fan talk about their favorite team, except you’re talking about the city you live in. I’m sure that loads of people agree with you and that’s cool and all, but in my eyes (and I’m not being intentionally inflammatory here) NYC hasn’t been relevant to me in like 10 years.

    • “from the outside looking in” is the key sentence here. Honestly, if you’re basing your opinion on the idea of NYC you might have, then you really shouldn’t even be allowed in the discussion. But, that said, I’m admittedly over the top with my NYC love. I’ve stated that many times. Your comparison to my fawning over it like a sports fan is apt , except I’d argue where one grows up and evolves as a person is somewhat more impactful than rooting for a home team. I don’t know where you’re from but the fact you shun any sort of pride from that place leads me to believe it’s a shithole. It’s not your fault. You don’t get to choose where you grow up. I didn’t choose to be a New yorker. I just happened to be dealt that hand and now I’m very proud that I was able to experience a city like this in the way I did. I’ve traveled all over the world and seen hundreds of different cities. So it’s not like I’m basing this off nothing. I honestly didn’t get this kind of pride until I went and saw other places.
      But NYC being relevant to you (a person who’s seemingly never spent much if any time there) isn’t really something I’m gonna give a fuck about. The same way you don’t give a fuck about NYC. I’m sure where ever you’re from is just as irrelevant to me. See how that works?
      So, you know, my bad that I write about this kinda thing every now and then. Trust me when I say it’s of no cost to you and , really, you don’t have to read it. So what are you rally complaining about?

      • I don’t think he falls into either. He explained himself and didn’t write it simply to get a rise out of me. He’s just a guy that is easily angered at people who talk about NYC too much. Not a troll at all though.

      • Excellent reply. I’m from Chicago and usually shit on NY but it’s beyond me how anyone doesn’t have pride in their city.

      • I think taking pride in where you are from is an instinct kind of thing, going back to when humans actually depended on the land… Validating yourself on where you stay is a survival thing, its basically saying I can actually survive and mate here. That means fuckall today as we’ve grown to the point where you can survive basically anywhere with fairly minimal effort (Im way too awkward to make social commentary on mating though). Our brains just simply can’t let things go, I think we have adapted our survival instincts more towards cultural aspects and use that as leverage in other adaptations of human psyche. A city isnt just a name applied to an arbitray geographical area, the human aspect applied to a city is what makes it special. I’ve talked to people from far away lands who automatically make inferences to cultural phenomenon simply because I tell them I’m from Detroit. Certain areas bring with them a huge amount of culture, it defines who we are. Damn right people often boast about where they’re from as it often brings them a great deal of satisfaction. I’m proud of where I’m from and whenever I meet others who feel the same way about where they’re from, its an odd sense of mutual respect. People assoicating with with homes is sign of the success of man or some shit.

  4. The only place I’ve even heard Moby mentioned in the last ten years is your blog. I had no idea he was still “famous”.

  5. lol, this is a funny post. Let me be the first to say on this thread that I have mad respect for Moby, and in my journey and growth as a musical artist, especially one who went from singer/songwriter indie rock band beginnings to now making electronic music and beats, Moby was one of my hugest influences. Some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard has been made by Moby, and because of this I consider myself a Moby fan. However, from an “inside” perspective of a fan trying to keep up with his career, I found it so funny, and couldn’t really put it better myself, that he started singing and everyone stopped caring. Ultimately I stopped caring too. The music Moby made back in the day before and including the Play album, is for the most part really dope. Then he started dabbling in being more of a songwriter, which he is average at, and the music and whole brand suffered; that’s how I feel anyway. People love shitting on Moby, but I’ll always stand up for the music that dude made, and is capable of making.

  6. Although you are a musical genius, your skill with words is clumsily cute. Your blog posts seem like a younger, unrestrained (can also be read as stupid) version of my rants. I love them.

    I am very new to the city, yet I think my heart belongs here. I am not from the US, I am from India, and it is not the coolest place on earth, and surely doesn’t have the coolest people on Earth (but accidents are known to happen), and I wouldn’t wish more Indians on NYC. NYC stands for the truth, a truth that is happy, miserable, spontaneous, and cool. You never feel lonelier and in touch with humanity at the same time in any other place. I fucking love this city. You are very lucky to be born here, but luckier because you have the character disposition to appreciate it.

  7. Man, lately I’ve found myself defending NYC a lot too. It’s always against people that are either crippled by depression (and don’t realize that happiness is always going to be in their head, not in the city they live in, NYC or elsewhere), or secretly racist/whateverist and don’t want to believe that so many different people from so many different places could possibly live together without killing each other.

    They should go, I like that. The city would be better if all the people who don’t want to be here just left, already.

    • I think the thing that is being lost here (possibly cause of my over the top NYC defending) is that I’m 100% aware that NYC isn’t for everyone. When I’m telling someone who doesn’t like that they should leave, I’m doing so that it can be beneficial to us both. The west coast lifestyle suits some people better. That doesn’t make that person a loser or pussy. Some people like a mellower existence and I totally get that. New york can be a nightmare for anyone who doesn’t embrace the idea of a huge, bustling city. I was raised in it so it’s the norm to me. Anything else would seem incomplete, to me. But , for another person who came here, tried it out and didn’t like it? They should by all means leave. I think a lot of the problem is that people feel the need to stay cause it’s “NYC” and it’s “where you go” on the east coast to be successful. But there should be no shame in saying “You know what…fuck this place. I want space and quiet. I’m out.” L.A., SF, Portland…all great alternatives and great cities that are way more suitable for people who feel that NYC claustrophobia.
      I think I targeted Moby cause he felt the need to write an open letter , repeating the same old “New york is dead” reasoning (as true as it may be) with an added “it crushes my creativity” angle that I just don’t buy. The whole thing just came across as self serving when no one asked. That said, if I ever moved to a different city, I’d probably have to write something to explain myself too…but mostly cause I’ve talked so much shit about staying in NYC my whole life.

      • That wasn’t lost on me; I wasn’t saying people who are depressed are “losers/pussies” just that they have bigger problems than where they are. Their whole lives need realignment. I also recognize that NYC isn’t for everybody. When I was younger I traveled as much as possible in some journey to find ‘my place’… I guess I was lucky to finally find it at back at home, here in NYC.

        Anyway, my main reason for repeat posting here, way past this post’s shelf life, I suppose, is that I just learned that Moby is the great nephew (or some sh*t) of Herman Melville (the writer of Moby Dick and a ton of other books). As a fan of books, and Melville specifically, this came as a surprise… Am I a jerk if I say I was disappointed, and secretly hoped the long-since dead writer would’ve disliked this younger member of his family…? At least it proves that Moby’s whole starving artist ‘routine,’ and even his claim to ‘knowing artists in Brooklyn’ or whatever are that much less likely; Grew up in Connecticut, had a famous (and probably rich) family, with an artistic background, no less… Hardly a kid trying to get by on the mean streets of New York… I’m sure he had some nice little connections growing up as well, but that’s all just poor detective work…

        Also, having been to a few Pratt parties over the years, this dude kind of sounds like half of the art school kids who move to NYC for college and then settle into cushy, BK lifestyles off of daddy’s credit card… Just sayin’… No offense Pratt folks… there are exceptions to every rule…

  8. pride isnt usefull. to be happy for people and wanting good for them (including yourself as long as you consider yourself a person also) should be enough for everybody as a standard feeling.

    you say nyc is so great, never been, you may be rigth whatever. but even if i spend a lifetime in nyc, it would be a single experience and there must be many many people that suffer in nyc.
    but its not your or my fault, is it? theyre doing it to themselves, right? or have had bad luck? i mean with dedication everybody is able to get rich…

    why dont you point out something really great about nyc? or something really fucked up?
    you wrote that you dont care about shit you have no control over. but do you have control over all the other stuff thats important to you? and i dont mean become an activist or hug a tree or anything. but really? no thoughts at all that you would share?

    here some thouhts about taking pride:
    “im proud, my city cares for everybody and prevents homelessness, not by getting rid of them, but providing good housing and good food for free.” makes sense but pride doesnt do shit

    “im proud, my city has the best waffles in the country” makes no sense
    “im proud i make good waffles.” makes sense but usefullness of pride=0, since you are already happy and satisfied.

    “im proud, in my city almost nobody gets killed, not because they are contantly watched or afraid of the consequences, but because theres no need or urge to kill” makes sense

    “im proud, my city has the best fashion, the coolest bars, the hottest women, the biggest dicks, the most money, the greatest skills in art, technology and science and uses it to build tall buildings so more money can be made” nonsense

    now evil:
    a misogynistic father orders his boy to find a nice looking woman and rape her. then he can be proud. he is happy for his boy who earned his right as a alpha male who does not accept no from women. they bury her in the woods.
    happy can be fucked up too, right? wrong, he is not happy for the woman whos raped and killed. he doesnt give a fuck.
    the same applies to taking pride in your city.
    really i dont know, but i think its dangerous to have pride, its a feeling of superiority. i think being happy for others and yourself or satisfied are much more important and better.

    i am not proud about the city i live in, i lived my whole childhood here, i admit im kind of a loner, a crazy person maybe, but im not isolated or something and theres 2million people here i guess. but there is so much wrong, so why would i be proud. im happy about certain people that are doing good things, but i would be as happy, when they would do it elsewhere.

    there, im a hater and your followers should tell me to not read this blog, or not to comment, jerk off more, or less, or faster, or slower or rip it off and attach it again

    a rookie priest is ordered to take confessions for the first time. his superior tells the young priest, its always the same people and they always tell him the same stories, so he put up a list with the common sins and the according penances.
    after everybody has made confession, a young boy comes to the booth and tells his sins: i have had sex before marriage. with myself. three times a day.
    the priest doesnt know what to say, so he goes over the list. no such sin is on the list.
    luckily an alter boy walks by the booth and the priest grabs him and asks. what does the elder priest give you for masturbation? ten euro and a snickers, the boy answers

    • I really have no idea what you’re talking about here. I’m not even saying that to be a dick…Like I literally do not understand what you’re talking about at any point of this long post. It might be a “lost in translation” kinda thing. Cause, judging from what I can understand, you definitely didn’t get what I was talking about in the same kinda way.

  9. I used to think you were kind of just a big jerk, and it sorta tainted your music for me. But it seems like you’ve gotten a lot better at being able to express your blunt, somewhat assholish thought processes in a manner that is actually really difficult to be offended by. (Unless you’re Moby, I’m sure.)

    This is an important skill for someone in your position, who needs to care about potentially insulting the fans that provide their livelihood. You depend on us, and we depend on you to not make us feel like idiots for giving some asshole our money.

    I’m sure you’d never admit that you’ve worked on your formerly jerkier approach, but to me it seems like you have, and I think you’ve done good. Kudos.

    • Thing is, this blog is me in my most hyperbolic form. In real life, I’m a pretty even handed, nice guy. I’m not the type of person who gets into arguments with people or ever really has problems with people. This blog is me just having fun and, to me, it’s way more fun pushing buttons than it is writing boring shit about whatever. Granted, I generally mean what I say here but what gets lost is that nothing I say here is ever that important or serious. Meaning, I mean it, but I’m typically aware of when I’m being ridiculous…I’m nothing if not aware.
      But, yeah, I’ve definitely worked on wording things better and covering my bases when it comes to how I present my points. This is 100% because of how reactionary people on the internet are and the amount of times I’ve had to defend something that’s clearly, in my eyes, a tongue in cheek joke to someone who didn’t get it.
      I’d also add that fans have been giving assholes money for years. YOu think R-kelly and Chris brown still don’t sell out shows? I guess, for a lot of people, if the music is still good to them, they’re willing to over look personal flaws.

      • No, you’re right about that for sure. I know more major artists get away with a lot and still sell out shows. I just think that with a more DIY/independent kind of artist like you, the connection between us and you is deeper. It’s less like blind fangirl/fanboyism and involves a lot more respect for you as a person. Because of your methods of interaction with us, I would think that fans of your music are more likely to think of you as almost a sort of… friend, and maybe hold you to a higher standard than they would an artist they couldn’t ever get to know the way they get to know you.

        I guess I was probably one of those reactionary types who read you the wrong way in the beginning. But I really do feel like you express your humour a lot more clearly than you did when I first found your blog, and I think I ‘get’ you better as a result.

  10. I was born in Tehran. It’s a big bustling city too…and it’s built on the foot of a mountain so you can catch some nature in 20 minutes. I fucking love Tehran. Out of the cities in the US I think NYC is dope as it satisfies my appetite for BIGGGG – But there is something that I read in mobys letter that I do feel about NYC: while there is a shitload of creativity… There’s a lot of emulating…acting interesting, knockoff personalities and most daunting to me: talk about NYC. But things could be worse. This place is still dope

    • Oh, he was right about that for sure…but it’s not like L.A. is any better. It might actually be worse in some respects. You ever spoken to an actor? They’re even worse than musicians. The fact of the matter is, both are hubs that people flock to with hopes of “making it”. that mindset alone is gonna lead to endless fronting and emulating.

      • Maybe ‘art’ is itself the “hub” that attracts fakeness (mostly), wherever it’s being produced. The good stuff, that’s done for ‘better intentions’ filters through occasionally (in cities all over the world), so those of us who are paying attention (or at least who think we are) can be satisfied and not worry too much about the state of the rest of it…? Both in NYC and LA it’s magnified, but I mean… even when you look at movies made in NY vs. LA… there’s a noticeable difference. The LA stuff is polished, made to appeal to as many people as possible. A lot of people like that, in NYC just as much as anywhere else, but the films coming out of NYC always seemed of a different… mindset…? Same for music, but these are all just opinions… Seeing as how ‘art’ is the topic here, that should be pretty clear I guess… Sorry if I’m being captain obvious here…

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