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Busta Rhymes has some kind of tirade at his listening session. Complex magazine reports on it but then pulls the audio “at the request of Interscope Records”.
Wait, you can’t properly cover the listening session you were invited to report on? Interscope doesn’t own that audio. Grow a fucking sack, Complex! I thought you’re supposed to be a big deal now? Look around, nobody’s selling records. Are you sure you still need Interscope more than they need you?
So I search out the audio elsewhere online. Some maverick operation must have it right. Ah, there it is on world star hiphop. I’m listening to busta spit some high energy nonsense as if it’s 1996 again, and then all of the sudden I hear in the middle of the clip “WorldStarHipHop.com”. EXCLUSIVE! WORLD PREMIERE! Evil Dee is on the mix – come on kick it!
See, this is why we can’t have nice things.
You want to know who’s holding down hip-hop journalism these days?
Don’t look over here to us or to any of the places in our blogroll. We got day jobs and we’re mostly in it for the groupies. Forget the magazine stands, the Complex/Rawkus/Harris Pub/Viacom/Quincy Jones conglomerates. The SOHH whats and AllHipHops… Forget all those page-view pushers, what the fuck are they good for?
The place holding down hip-hop journalism right now isn’t the Smoking Section… it’s The Smoking Gun. In the span of three weeks, the Smoking Gun has dropped the two craziest hip-hop stories of the year. First they exposed the shoddy journalism of the LA Times and how a con-man served as the source for the paper’s controversial Tupac story. Now they’ve exposed the phony, “notorious” back-story of Akon.
Hip-hop journalism? No such thing. No one is doing their due diligence out there. We got pundits, publicist lackeys, gossips, posers… How about a fucking journalist? Can we make room for just a few of those?
Or is the problem that any number of incestuous media sources would have had to kill that story since Akon’s Konvict Muzik is distributed under Interscope?
Speaking of all this shit, did you know that someone at the LA Times was incubating a multi-authored hip-hop blog?
Not sure whether this was a mission from above or just some maverick Times staffer trying to show what they could do. But they had reached out to some quality hip-hop bloggers like Robbie, Brandon and Doc Zeus. They had this publicly accessible blogspot site (I swear to god, with the damn black background) that was supposed to be secret while they tested out the operation with multiple posts going up week after week.
But then you also had blog contributor Slav Kandyba dropping a link or two to the test site. I’m not sure if that’s how the search engines and LA Observed found the blog but find it they did… Just in time to catch a post by one of the LA Times Beatbox bloggers, with a ton of bravado, claiming his allegiance to his “colleague” Chuck Phillips and attacking Sean Combs for his response to the Tupac story.
As per the LA Observed quote, the blog post shockingly read “You might be a smooth criminal, but when you pick on the media, you pick into the devil’s nest and you will get stung.”
So the cat was now out of the bag on the LATimes Beatbox, and here was this lone blogger on it, defiantly gung-ho about the right of him and his colleagues to spread lies without fear of reprisal. Bear in mind, this is already days after the LA Times has retracted their Tupac story, having been disgraced by the Smoking Gun expose. Now a blog with their name on it is saying “step off Diddy, we are the all-powerful media!” Naturally the Beatbox demo blog was obliterated that very same day and we’d have to assume the idea of an LA Times hip-hop blog along with it and, if the world makes sense, perhaps someone’s job as well?
The craziest part to me is that these would-be LA Times bloggers weren’t offered a dime for their words. For some, the supposed legitimacy of the LA Times name on their resume or maybe the idea that they’d get more exposure was the motivating factor. For others, it may be enough to belong to a powerful, infallible, and vengeful crew known as the media.
But I can’t get over the fact that these smart, successful bloggers were sort of rehearsing for an non-paying job for a commercial newspaper. As I said to Robbie (who backed out of the arrangement early), the LA Times doesn’t give him any added exposure over Unkut. When it comes to hip-hop, Unkut is super-credible… and what is the LA Times? Just a desperate print newspaper.
The gang mentality on display in that now vanished blog post is nonsensical but also horribly outdated. What does it mean “don’t mess with the media” when we are all the media? When The Smoking Gun is trouncing big media and hip-hop media alike?
There’s no fair exchange in a good blogger getting exploited by a commercial website or print publication. Most of these operations you think are powerful, are actually in a bad way. Ask yourself, are they creating any value in this world? Or do you legitimize them, instead of the other way around. You might find ultimately that you hold all the power, what then are you going to do with it?