Things that are wrong with the world vol. 33

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Maybe it’s cause I’m based in NYC but , over the last three days this clip of a youtube based reality show called “The bedford Stop” has been popping up everywhere. It’s pretty much like that MTV show “The hills” except it takes place in Williamsburg , Brooklyn. It’s exactly what you might think…well…maybe not. Remember when people spoke of Williamsburg as the epicenter of hipsterism? It was a while ago but #neverforget. Well, those days are gone and now it’s apparently home to the most basic of basic people of all time. At least that’s what “The Bedford stop” would have us believe.
Avert your eyes, cover your ears, grab a vomit pouch. This is The Bedford Stop. I’m so so sorry.


Now, I could harp on how NYC and Brooklyn are becoming terrible cause of people like this moving in and how it’s changed and blah blah blah. Listen, that’s old news. We all know that it’s beyond the typical gentrification horseshit cause now even the original gentrifying white people hate the new white people moving in. People will actually say shit like “I moved her in 2007 , before all this stuff happened” like that validates anything. It’s double gentrification. I’ve spent enough time complaining about NYC related stuff on this blog over the years and, trust me, I know you’re sick of reading it. Instead, I’d like to discuss these girls. Or, i should say, the type of girls they are. The term “Basic bitch” gets thrown around a lot. sometimes it’s fitting and sometimes it’s seemingly just said to try and make a point with no real merit. But, with these girls…I start to wonder. Where did they come from? How did they become these people? What kind of monsters were their parents to mold such completely worthless humans? It’s a special kind of parental failure that creates kids like this. Instead of being raised on a diet of abuse and fear that might turn a good kid into a troubled one, I’m thinking these parents showered their kids with gifts and entitlement. Everything they wanted was at their fingertips. Coddled and told they were special from the day they were born to the day the left for college, even though they never had an original or interesting thought in their entire life. Creating a vapid , empty, stepford human who’s only point of existence is to eat brunch, drink wine, say “like” a lot, and waste many natural resources.
Now, there is obviously a male counterpart to these awful people but no ones giving them a show. Four vertical striped ,button up shirt wearing bro’s , watching college football and talking about who they fingered last night just doesn’t make for a compelling watch. I mean, neither does a show about these girls but what sets it apart is seemingly the audiences desire to want to physically harm the people on the screen. With every “Um, OMG, did you text you baccckkk?” or “Work hard, play harder!” any self respectful human being with their own thoughts and feelings tenses up. It’s the television equivalent to hate fucking. Nothing new. The Kardashian’s been running that game for years.

But, again, how did we get here? Vapidness is nothing new. Shallow and thoughtless people have been around since the cavemen days, no question. But when and why did being this person become the norm for “basic” people? Like all bad things, I choose to partially blame the internet. For all it’s good, it’s done just as much bad. The youth is a bunch of people who speak in meme’s and emojis. Something which I don’t even think is necessarily bad. But when that becomes all you have to offer? We have a problem. Your existence becomes recycled material. These types of people are basically breathing version of played out internet memes minus the part where they were ever funny. They’re watered down beyond recognition. As an old person who’s well out of any place where what I think is relevant, all I can do is sit back and watch it spread. It’s like the blob but with blonde hair and an ipod full of bullshit. It’s bigger than Williamsburg. These people exist everywhere. In different shapes, sizes and colors. It’s the new norm. Orange is the new black (is one of their favorite shows to watch, btw). All I can ask is, to you people having kids or parents to young children, your job is not create these kinds of people. Do what ever you can. Chris Rock said his only job was to keep his daughter off the pole. Well, your only job is keep your daughter from becoming a girl who might get a professional tinder pic taken and yell shit like “I’m just looking for a husbanndddddddd!” drunkenly at age 22. Please. I beg of you. Make it stop.

Things that are wrong with the world vol. 32

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It’s the same old song. At least round these parts. About twice a year, a new painfully average white rapper pops up that threatens to blow up. I hear it, get somewhat sad then eventually write about it cause , hey, this blog needs content. This case, however, is a little special. This rapper, JT, is a protege of Dr. Dre. Yes, the same man who bought us Snoop, Eminem, 50 Cent and Kendrick lamar has decided to pluck this fucking kid out of obscurity and prop him up to be the next big thing. Will it happen? I dunno. In this day and age, a co sign from Dr. Dre doesn’t hold the weight it once did. Hell, a Co-sign from anyone doesn’t promise anything. But it certainly can’t hurt.

Sometimes, all you need to know about a rapper can be summed up in one line. As writers, a rappers awareness of what is and isn’t corny or played out is crucial to sounding even remotely original. I realize that “being original” is completely unimportant to many of the new generation of rappers, much like striving for authenticity has gone the way of the dodo bird. However, as much as Dre can look at this pimple faced kid and see dollar signs, I know he still has that old mentality. The dude is 50 and has been around for every generation of rap. Every rapper he’s ever put on has had something. You may not like 50 cent but there is a thing that makes him special, like it or not. This kid, though?

He said “Wettin’ em like a shower” in a rap song in 2015. Seems harmless enough but, if you step back and think about it, it speak volumes about how little creativity is going into his verses. That’s a line that a c level rapper would have snuck on a deep album cut in early 90’s. Like Kid n’ play would say that. It’s really all I need to know about this kid. He’s willing to write that line and say it. It doesn’t make him a bad person at all, it just speaks volumes of his character as “an artist”. The same thing as anyone who would rap “Smoking rappers like cigarettes”. It’s novice rapper 101 shit. It’s lazy. It’s a glaring sign that reads “Meh, who cares?”. That’s fine and all. It’s not Like Wocka Flocka or Cheef Keef are walking around caring about lyrical integrity. But this music isn’t that. I’d almost give this kid more credit if it was.
This article I read about him talks of what makes him special is how he carefully crafts lines and is a workhorse. In reality, dude sounds like he’s freestyling after listening to drake for a week straight. But his shortcomings as a rapper are secondary to me. There are COUNTLESS mediocre rappers out there.The emergence of the overly cocky swaggy white rap dudes who look like someone mad magazine would draw as a slack jawed teenaged fast food drive thru worker is boundless. It’s the fact that anyone takes them seriously that befuddles me. There is nothing about the kid that sets him apart from every other dude who has made a youtube video of him rapping while smoking weed. Mac miller was the first to really run with that and, compared to this kid, he’s the god mc. It’s as if human taste can no longer be trusted so the tastemakers simply go off algorithms. I can imagine , when Dre decided to fuck with this kid, he didn’t listen to the music as much as write an equation that ends in “= $$$$$$”.
I think the thing that gets me most about this is that it’s unnecessary. Dre is a billionaire. He can do whatever he wants. The fact he hasn’t put out Detox says it all. Clearly, the guy hasn’t actually made music in like 15-20 years but to see this kid and be like “He got next!” ? That’s just irresponsible. I could sort through my demo reviews and find 100 more worthy rappers who would fit this kids description. You would think a guy with all the money in the world might be like “Fuck it, I’mma just put out stuff I like, regardless of it’s marketability”. After all, he’s Dr Dre. His name still has enough pull that that could work on some level. At the very least , it could shine a light on someone who deserves it. But, no. He’s gonna back this middling , old navy wearing dork. Oh well…I just hope when Detox drops in 2055 , it’s not full of lost takes from this kid.

I realize this just sounds like hating but, I swear, I simply expect more of people. This kid is just doing him. He’s not out to ruin hip hop. I can’t fault him for anything outside of his skill set. He’s just doing what he’s been allowed to do. But who I can fault are the people who are paving the way towards success for mind numbing shit like this. There is a ripple effect to all of this. Do better.

Things that are wrong with the world vol. 31

In this video we see Bobby Shmurda dancing to his own music to the “delight” of the epic record staff. Bobby signed a big deal to epic and is next in line to the “it” rapper they will forget existed in a few month. I’m by no means here to bash on young Shmurda. “Hott Nigga” is , without question, the biggest song of the year and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t know every word to it. It’s just one of those songs where the stars align and, against taste and better judgement, you gotta just submit to it. Sorry, angry purists and snobs, it just is.
But this isn’t about that…this is about the video above. It’s been a long time since I’ve done anything remotely “industry” related. Probably cause I’m not really in the industry. However, when I was younger, I finagled my way into a few things here and there. A couple times getting to be a part of “listening parties”. That phrase can mean two things. One is when people get invited to a club or lounge and they play the artists new album while people get drunk. That’s the good kind and the one that makes sense. The second kind is the one we see above. It’s a small gathering in a boardroom. It’s basically a meeting but with a super awkward part where the meeting stops and every sits quietly and listen to an album, while staring at the person who made it. That person, then has to be all animated and shit, in an attempt to show all the people in the room how excited he is for his new project. It’s a very “Dance, monkey, dance!” kinda vibe. As you can tell, it’s unbelievably awkward and pretty much the opposite of how any artist would want to present his music.

This will date me incredibly (but, hey, I’m old) but I went to the listening party for Busta Rhymes first solo single “WOo-ha!”. I was pretty young at the time and honestly don’t even know how I got in there. I must have known somebody who knew somebody. So, I walk into a boardroom where Elektra records was at the time. Inside there is a divide of people. I’d say about 80% of the people were oldish white people dressed like they had fancy dinner reservations. Another 10% was slightly younger white people who were clearly actual rap fans. The final 10% were friends of Busta rhymes. They were some family, some weed carriers and a few guy who I’m pretty sure dump the bodies when shit gets hectic.
We all sat around a huge boardroom table. There was finger foods and some drinks. I think the artist gets to pick what the highlight booze will be and , that day, it was Hennessey. I’d say it’s a safe bet that it was the first time most of the people in that room tasted that particular beverage.
Everyone is waiting, chatting like it’s an office, cause that’s what it was. Finally, Busta walks in and the whole room stands up and starts clapping. It was weird as fuck. Busta was extremely gracious and handled it all like a pro. He proceeded to walk around the room and give each person in the room a huge pound/hug. This meant he pound/hugged old men, women, and his boys in the exact same way. Again, it was fucking weird. He got to me and gave me a pound like someone I had known for 20 years. He was legit excited. He had reason to be. This was his first solo album and his single was “Woo ha!”. Things were looking up for him. He sat at the head of the table next to a man I can only assume was the label head. An old white guy who clearly had no fucking idea what was going on. He said some arbitrary words to the room and passed it off to Busta. Busta way hyped. The crowd? Painfully white and kind of uncomfortable. This was not his fan base. But, he powered through. He definitely had a magnetic energy that was undeniable. Finally, it came time to play his new song. I believe it was played of a Bose stereo sitting directly in the middle of the table. We sat there as the song played and Busta mouthed along to it, occasionally backing up his own vocals. He was the only one in the room standing, throwing his rap arms out , in what seemed like he was begging for the people witnessing to just wake up. Heads bobbed off beat. His boys and family were animated and , seemingly, fed him enough energy to get him through the song. The song ended and the room applauded like they had just seen the first act of an off broadway play. I left that day feeling two things.
1)Busta rhymes is a great sport and really deserves all he has coming to him (also, the song was awesome)
2)Uneasy. A basic overall strangeness from what I had seen. I didn’t get why that had to go down like that.
Seeing this Bobby Shmurda video reminded me of that day except I’d say that Shmurda’s video is even more uncomfortable. Probably cause of the context. Busta had made a fun song that very much fell in line with hip hop of that era. 1996. As stale as the vibe was in the room, it was at least a guy doing what is basically a mid 90s version of a party rap. In Shmurda’s case, we got a 20 year old kid doing hardcore murder music for a room full of dipshit ass white people whose job is to nod their heads to whatever is “next” and be like “Oh yeah man, killer stuff!”. Shmurda is kid from Brownsville. He caught lightening in a bottle with the success of “Hott Nigga”. But, he’s still an extremely hood kid from a very fucked up hood talking about selling drugs and shooting people…to a room of shitheads with dollar signs in their eyes. These motherfuckers don’t care about music. They just see who’s blowing up on youtube, throw money at them and then forget them when the buzz dies down…which is inevitably a month or two down the line. But first, before they forget them, they must prop them up and make them dance for their money.The whole thing leaves an unsavory taste in my mouth. I’m not one to typically jump on the “Hmm…that’s kinda racist” tip (after all, white male over here!) but I can’t help but feel some kinda way watching this video. Shmurda is just doing him. He’s getting paid. Pretty sure that was the game plan. I’d bet a great deal of money he never has another hit but, whatever, all he does is cashhhh ouuuutttttt! Hopefully, he did it at the expense of every dork in that room, fakely nodding their heads to something they not only probably don’t really like but something the most likely don’t understand.
It’s moments like this I’m glad the music industry is eating itself cause , at the very least, it means this kinda dumb shit might cease to exist. And that’s a victory for us all.

Things that are wrong with the world Vol. 30

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In the hierarchy of “things the rap game needs”, at the bottom of the list, you will find these things:
3)More rappers in general
2)More white rappers
1)More White girl rappers

This certainly contradicts the hook of Minnesota based rapper ,T-quick. In fact, she’s pretty sure the game desperately needs a white girl. Luckily for her, Iggy Azalea is doing pretty well so , I suppose, that desire has been quenched. But, in case it hasn’t, let’s take a ride.

The irony of this all is that, clearly, there is nothing the game needs less than a white girl. This is not to say white girls can’t rap. There are a few who have popped up in history that were okay. Invincible. Snow the Product, etc…Rappers that, without question had/have skill. But, in this case, “the game” ,as I see it, definitively does not need this particular brand of white girl. A mid western, blonde girl rapping in a thick blackcent , saying words that literally don’t matter on any level. Now, to be fair, this is kinda where lots of rap is heading. It’s style over substance. To blame this one girl for that would be ridiculous. Many equally banal male rappers before her laid this groundwork down, for years. But I think the thing that gets me about her is how much she’s basking in it all. “All white everything” is a phrase she actually says in a rap song about how the game needs a white girl. I’m sure this is not her making a racial point but, jesus christ.
It should also be noted that being white and rapping is no longer a “thing”. It’s not taboo or weird. It’s just a fact of life. So, if you’re existence as a white rapper is pointing out that “Hey, look at me, I’m white AND I rap! I also have a vagina!” , you’re immediately exposing yourself as a hack .

As an old person, I remember when Vanilla Ice came out. Real rap fans/adults Loathed him. Rightfully so. He was a puppet that was created solely to make make money. And he did.
But , amidst all the hate for him as a rapper/entertainer, I feel as though part of the issue was what kind of repercussions he might have down the line.The splash he started would eventually become tidal waves. Sure, the 3rd Bass’s and Beastie Boy’s of the world held it down with integrity back then, but , even at the young age I was when Vanilla Ice happened, I sensed a tension that was more than just “Fuck these white rappers!”. I’d say this T-Quick video is culmination of all those fears. 25 years ago, when Vanilla Ice dropped, somewhere , people were worrying about T-Quick ever existing and they didn’t even realize it. She could be the Terminator of bad white girl rapping, sent back to the future to warn us all of grave danger.
Now, I feel a little bad cause I’m putting this all on her. Just to be clear, she’s a non-factor , in terms of both blame and influence. Her video has a little over 100,000 views so it’s not like this is a movement. I just use her as yet another example of white people getting WAY too comfortable. In reality, she’s harmless. She’s having fun. She’s a blonde sorority looking girl who raps. Cute. But it’s more an overall issue that we’ve gotten to this point where this is okay. That’s the issue. And I don’t mean that in a “she should not be allowed to make music!” kinda way. I mean it in a “So no one’s gonna check this girl?” kinda way. I think that’s my issue. Like I said earlier, I’m old and come from the era of integrity in rap music. I realize this concept is gone to the point of it being corny if you care about that type of thing at all. Hell, Rick ross has made a career out of people not caring about it. But, there was a time, when things like this got policed. Not physically or aggressively. Simply a large group of people say “eh, get the fuck outta here with that bullshit” and it would eventually go away. Those days are gone and I suppose I can accept that. It’s a good thing I’m somewhat removed from having any investment in what “the kids are into” but still…get the fuck outta here with that bullshit.

Things that are wrong with the world Vol. 29

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I think we’ve gotten past the point where simply being a white rapper is looked down upon. Unless you’re Lord Jamar, most people have just accepted that , at this point, hip hop is music for everyone. Hell, little kids make it. Still, while wealthy kids from suburbs and urban socialites proceed in making music, completely not understanding why people might question their authenticity, there’s a bigger problem. The children of famous people. Rapping.
I’m not talking those kids who were groomed to be actors like Will smiths terrible children. They’re just following after their dads. I’m also not talking about the children of rappers who, even though they have enjoyed the spoils of being the spawn of a rich and famous musician, they still rap as if they grew up in the trap just like their dad. I get those people existing. I don’t wanna hear it, but I get it. I’m speaking of the children of actors or millionaire moguls.
The one that comes to mind immediately is Tom Hanks song, Chet Haze.
This fucking guy.

I like to imagine a thanksgiving dinner at the Hanks household. Tom and his wife are there. His successful actor son Colin is there. And Chet is there…slowly sucking the life out of everyone in the room as he regales them with amplified stories of the “moves he’s making”. Sure, his dad is a millionaire thousands of time over but Chet is probably acting like all his hard work and focus on rap singing in auto-tune is the real reason he’s been able to get music made. Not cause his dad was Forest Gump.
I also like to imagine Tom and his wife , alone in their bedroom later that night, silently weeping in each others arms asking the other where they went wrong with Chet. My guess? naming him Chet but, hey, I could be wrong.
Recently, this jewel got dropped by none other than Daniel Day Lewis’ son, Gabe Day.

(Editors note: Apparently he made the video private…which sucks. So just imagine a mac miller kinda dude rolling joints endlessly and rapping with his college buddies on the sarah lawrence campus cause that’s what this is)
Now, apparently, this is a kid from NY. I honestly thought Daniel Day Lewis was british or some shit but, honestly, who fucking knows with that guy. Regardless, Gabe is the son of possibly the most revered actor on earth. A man who can afford to make one movie ever 5 years and spend months in far away locations , whittling wood in preparation for what ever role he’s working on (I’d assume it was the role of a wood whittler). The thing about Gabe is that, just looking at him, I know him. I went to High school with 50 kids just like him. He’s a cornball. His friends are cornballs. Hell, even those wildly mediocre girls in his video are cornballs. But, at the same time, he’s also fairly harmless. Still, doesn’t stop me from wishing whoever played him hip hop when he was 9 years old had chosen bluegrass music instead.
Again, i like to imagine a family dinner where Daniel and gabe are sitting together. Daniel is brooding (I can’t imagine him any other way) and gabe is telling him about the new video he made where he raps about smoking weed and being his dads son. Cue more brooding…but with purpose.

Now, these two aren’t the first extremely well to do people from high profile families to decide rapping is their calling. No, before Gabe and Chet, there was Chilly Tee. Son of the Nike Owner Phil Knight.

He released an album in 1993 called “get off mine” that included production by the highly respected Bomb Squad member Hank Shocklee. I dunno if Hank Shocklee got paid in money or sneakers but it wasn’t the first time the Bomb Squad put their heads down and took a check from shitty white rappers (Young Black Teenagers, yall…never forget.)
Chilly Tee was exactly what you’d expect from a white rapper in 93 (Post Vanilla Ice rap was no easy time for most white rappers). He tried hard. Had good beats but, in the end, he just kinda sucked. But what he had in common with the other two dudes mentioned in this article is that he had the money to make it happen. That’s the thing. With wealth comes freedom to be an artist. All three of these dudes probably had very high expectations put on their shoulders from a young age. I’d imagine being the child of a famous/super wealthy person is not easy , in that sense. So, in a way, they were all rebelling. And what’s more rebellious that rapping? Well, probably being an actual violent criminal but, come on…these guys aren’t that dumb. Rapping is the perfect amount of rebellion. Weed and pussy. It’s ultimately safe but just dangerous enough to have Daniel day lewis quietly questioning his parenting techniques.

Now, I’m not here to say these guys shouldn’t rap. I don’t make those rules and they’re entitled to do as they please. Hell, there are people who could apply this very logic to me and most other white dudes who have made hip hop music over the last 20 years. But, in the end, talent is talent…and these dudes don’t have it. What they do is have the finances to ride it out as long as possible just in case. 5 years from now, Gabe Day (I suppose he dropped the “lewis” to keep shit extra real) might have released 2 albums and 4 mixtapes, done shows all over the country and made a plethora of uninspired videos of him rapping while rolling pinners. His situation and fan base right now could be the very same as it will be then. But, whatever it is, he’ll be okay. Once he gets over rapping, he’ll move onto the next thing he feels like doing cause…he can. Look at Chilly Tee AKA Travis Knight. He made one album that no one liked and faded away from music. Now he’s an animator and film executive. I have no idea if he’s successful in either of those ventures (it’s totally possible) but what I do know, for sure, is that he’s doing fine. He never wasn’t gonna be fine. While it must be nice to be able to do whatever you like in life , knowing there will never truly be dire consequences , I think I just wish that that kind of freedom could be given to people with actual talent and vision. Not some little dickface who’s only here cause he can be.

Things that are wrong in the world V0l. 28

I just wanna preempt this whole thing by saying this could swerve dangerously into “Old man yells at cloud” territory. You know what I mean…
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Some of you more loyal readers may not believe it, but I actually do try to be a little open minded when it comes to new music. Even if it’s not my cup of tea, I ,at least, try to understand why other people like it. Not so I can learn from it musically as much as I just have a natural curiosity towards how peoples minds work in respect to these types of things. So, while I may not be sitting around listening to the new Rihanna album (or whatever) I’m also not sitting around cursing it’s existence and pretending like things were so much better when Ashanti was in her place. However, there is one “genre” that baffles me. It’s the rap/country music hybrid. Now, to be clear, I get why it exists. I even get why it’s perhaps popular (is it popular?). It speaks to the two lowest common denominators of pop music. Rap and country. I love rap. You know that. But dumb rap made by people with no intention outside of pandering to half wits is second only to power pop country music in it’s absolute worthlessness. It is the Mcdonalds double down of music minus the guilty pleasure of it actually tasting kinda awesome.
Put those two together and , Voila! You have a genre of music that make Juggalo’s stop and think “Wow, that’s REALLY in bad taste”.

I think , for me, this all comes down to how we don’t really have defined scenes in pop music anymore. Remember when country dudes looked like country dudes? Remember when rappers and R&B singers didn’t dress the same? Hell, remember when rappers and Michael Jackson dressed differently? Still, that’s just surface stuff. Dressing in a particular way is just your image. I really don’t care about that outside of casually making fun of Justin Beiber’s ridiculous genie pants or maybe Wiz Kalifa wearing a fucking bolo tie. It becomes an issue when the music itself falls into this same trap of “everything must be for everyone”. People are so busy trying to fit as many genres into everything as they can, they overlook that it typically just results in technicolored sound vomit. Certain fusions do not need to exist. In fact, some of the worst music in our recent history has been the result of people thinking “hey maaaaaan, if we put this genre with this genre, what do you think would happen?!?”. Sometimes it works. But most times, it results in oil and water poured into a shit milkshake.

This all leads me to shit like “Country boy fresh”. This is by no means the first kind of music in this genre. I could pull plenty of hilariously bad examples of rap and country music clashing. Things like these:


and , of course, who could forget this recent magical song that made all of us join hands and chuckle in unity

Now those are TRULY terrible. I mean, jesus fucking christ. THese people sat in a studio with straight faces, wrote and recorded those songs. Listened to them a bunch of times, had the songs mixed and then had the songs mastered. ALL THAT SHIT HAPPENED and, at no point, did someone in either camp for either artist go “Uh, hey guys…I think this was a bad idea”. I mean, I’m sure once the two sides went their separate ways, and cashed their checks, they had a nice laugh about it while also subtlety making racist jokes about their duet partners to their friends…but still…this kinda shit is not okay.

I will say this though, the above videos are as bad as it gets. Sometimes, it leans more towards the rap side of things. They just take a that “country swag” and throw it in the mix of a fairly normal and terrible rap song. I blame Kid Rock. Partially cause he made this song that seemingly got the rap/country ball rolling as the Lynyrd Skynyrd of rap:

but also cause he introduced the world to Uncle Kracker, and no one needed that.

Listen, i realize , as I yell at this pretty nimbus cloud hovering above my head, that we live in a time where everyone is the same. We’re all on the internet. We all have access to the same things. Nothing is a well kept secret anymore and very few people like to differentiate between the nuances. But some things aren’t meant to be. I wrote a piece similar to this a few years back about how rap and rock music blended together simply doesn’t work most of the time. Sure, it has worked, but it typically doesn’t.
In the case of country and rap? It has NEVER worked. I’m sure some of you are gonna start pulling names out to disprove this simply cause that’s what people do on the internet But know this: I know that you know that I’m right. Anything you pull that disproves this will 100% have an asterisk by it cause you’re reaching. I’m not talking about white rappers from the south like Bubba Sparrx or Yelawolf. Just cause they’re country doesn’t mean they’re “country rap”. They’re just normal rap from the south that tip their hat to those roots, for better or for worse. I’m talking when country music people make rap music. I defy you to find a song in this genre that isn’t ear AIDS. You can’t. Because it doesn’t exist. I’d say it’s a problem but, luckily, the genre is so bad it never really picked up steam beyond a few songs drunken frat boys might sing at a keg party in Mississippi.
At least we can all sleep well knowing that.

Things that are wrong with the world part 27

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For the past few weeks, I’ve been hearing buzz about “The Harlem Shake”. Particularly on twitter but I’ve even got a few emails about it from people asking me my thoughts on it. Even though I am a professional unlicensed sociologist who has a hunger to know all things, for some reason, I chose to just ignore whatever was going on with this “Harlem Shake” thing cause, well, I honestly couldn’t care less. I was familiar with the dance. Turns out someone made a song named after a dance that is older than willow smith. It was something people were talking about literally almost ten years ago. This is what that was:

Just some stupid dance. However, a dance that did take a little skill to do. I surely couldn’t do it without throwing out my back. So, when “Harlem Shake” started popping up in my twitter timeline, I thought “hmm…that’s strange but, also, who gives a shit?”. Besides, I felt as though the Harlem Shake had peaked in 2004 when Cam’ron shouted it out in his song “Down and out” saying
“Nowadays a nigga got bake in the bake
Harlem shake? Nah, I’m in Harlem shakin’ the weight
Shakin’ the bake, shakin the jakes
Kill you, shoot the funeral up and harlem shake at your wake”

That’s pretty much as good as it’s gonna get.

But, regardless, I guess the lack of thought I gave it kept me from realizing what was going on. The white man had done it again. I honestly should have known the second I saw that name start recirculating that, in all likelihood, there was a viral video behind it (there always is). So, today, with a clear mind, I looked it up. Partially out of curiosity and partially cause I had a feeling it would be the 27th thing that’s wrong with the world. Jackpot. This is the first video I happened upon:

Within about 1 second I started to get that feeling I get every time I’m embarrassed to be white. Now, I’m not gonna get all soapbox on you and overlook that, on the surface, this is just some kids having fun. That’s all it is. THIS VERSION of the Harlem Shake is stupid and anyone can do it. That’s a huge aspect of this. But it’s hard to watch this and not feel like this shit is a little racist. I mean, it’s not even the same dance. They could call it the New Canaan shake or the Bethesda shuffle. Whatever it is they’re doing surely has no roots in harlem. But, like i said, I don’t doubt it’s origins were harmless enough which leads me to my beef:
Fuck all these dances

Is this something that is subtly racist? Of course it is. Do the frat boys who just stopped planking and doing borat impressions to do a Harlem Shake video have any idea of that? hell no. They’re just imitating some shit they saw on youtube. The only connection this song has to race for them is that the word “Harlem” is in it. While that should perhaps tip off the more inquisitive mind into maybe looking into said craze and really seeing what it’s all about, I’m afraid we aren’t dealing with the worlds greatest thinkers here. It’s just dumb kids having dumb fun. And it’s dumb.

All that said, these fucking dances…Between Tv shows where celebrities dance terribly for then entertainment of people too stupid to watch Honey Boo Boo and movies involving beef like situations that results in “Billy Jean” like gang wars that turn into dudes in bandanas backflipping and doing pirouettes, it’s safe to say that dancing is out of control. The world could use a little justice taken from the rule book of that hick town in Footloose. Much like all types of art, it’s been taken out of the hands of professionals and thrust into the grasps of just some average dickhead with a little time on his hands and decent camera on his phone.

There was a time when I would say dance crazes started from an honest place. They would get popular in one area and spread. I have no clue how any dance move originates but I’d like to think it’s typically some off the wall gay dancer kid in the hood who gets the ball rolling. Most likely at a school dance. Props to that kid. However, because of the popularity of viral videos and peoples undying need to get notoriety, the new shit is simply make up a dance where it’s sole purpose is to become a viral video.
From “Superman that hoe” to “walk it out” to whatever the fucking dumb dance the kids were doing 5 years ago. Much like the music behind it, it’s not coming from a creative place. It’s coming from the mind of the self made promotional artist. But, you know what? I suppose in 2013 , there is art to being a promotional artist.

So, while I’m mildly offended by the resurgence of “The Harlem Shake” , as done by out of touch, entitled white morons, I’m more taking a stance against all viral dance crazes. That includes the Macerena and the fucking electric slide. I’m against them partially cause they’re moronic but , most of all, cause none of these dances will ever compete with the pinnacle of dance, the “Movin’ Like bernie”. Now THAT is a fucking dance.