Thursday, April 22, 2010

O Blogger, Where Art Thou?

I would’ve gone in on this issue a couple of days ago, but Guru’s passing put things into perspective for the time being. Byron Crawford had a great post on it, but lemme recap if you’ve been out of the loop:

Shyne called up Elliott Wilson. Wilson apparently dismissed the call and penned a write-up on Shyne. Shyne called up Eskay. Eskay heard him out and penned a write-up on Shyne. Both of these big time blog owners discussed Shyne’s post-prison music and his stubborn refusal to switch up his flow (for the better). Wilson’s article – which I enjoyed – is filled with skepticism and questions unanswered. But Eskay’s article is even more telling, not just for the content itself but rather the words that can be read in between the lines.

Titled “The Re-Education of Jamal Barrow”, Eskay’s post reads like a transliterated press release. No disrespect meant, but it’s literally the equivalent of a suave palming of a TI’s sack. Nah. Right? Again, no disrespect meant, but lines like these are mad suspect:
So the Shyne you hear now, like it or not, for better or for worse, is the Shyne we’ll be hearing from here out. You don’t have to like it, but I think you have to respect it.
Nah, son. Nobody has to respect it. You don’t either. His new shit is laughable at best (literally laughable). There’s no respect for an underachiever.
On the one hand, he wants to progress as a human being, and on the other he wants to succeed as an artist.
That’s a crock of shit because he’s doing neither of the two. A) He’s not progressing as a human being (I’m assuming that’s code for “cleaning up his act”). Last I checked, his raps were violent as ever (more so even), and if I recall correctly, he said something about being the “same ol’ Po” on one of his new tracks. B) He sure as hell won’t succeed as an artist (I’m assuming that’s code for “make money”) if he continues to sound like Lloyd Banks on muscle relaxants.
But we all know how fickle this game is. This game? It eats its young. People like what they like and if they don’t like it, they’re not trying to hear you out.
Fickle? Why is Eskay critiquing/making excuses for practices he’s applauded himself for over the years?
I think homie will be alright though, one way or another. I wish him the best.
No comment.

A year ago, Jon Stewart invited Jim Cramer onto his show. If you remember, he ethered him. Why? Because Jim Cramer didn’t speak for the people; he didn’t do his job, which was to inform investors. He parroted whatever was fed to him by his reptilian overlords. Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks took Jim Cramer to task as well. Here’s an excerpt from a great article he penned for Huffington Post, emphasis mine:
The CNBC reporters and anchors make the Bush press corps look like draconian inquisitors. They are obsessed with access. This is a problem with all of the media, and something Jon Stewart points out all the time. But it is particularly acute at CNBC (and all other business news channels).

I have a close friend who works at a business news station -- and here is the worst kept secret in show business -- it's all about the access. If you piss off the CEOs or the companies, you're going to get a call from your boss. You have jeopardized our relationship with them!

That is very thinly disguised code words for -- don't ever say anything negative about a company we cover otherwise your job is in the trouble. The message is clear -- go along to get along. This isn't journalism. It's public relations by another name.
On a much smaller, certainly less significant scale, I feel that this behavior plagues the hip hop blogosphere as well. Again, I don’t really want to single out Eskay, because it’s deeper than his one post on Shyne. But I definitely feel that as a general rule, it’s something for readers to look out for.

If Shyne ever calls me up (unlikely), I’ll greet him with a Shalom Aleichem (“Peace Be Upon You”) and wish him Mazel Tov (“Good Luck”). But I’d also give him a strong tongue lashing. And no, not that kind of tongue lashing.