Thursday, September 15, 2005

Thank You "J.L." (whoever you are...)

Kanye West will go down as one of history's most overrated rap artists. He is one of those rappers that white music critics latch unto to heap praise on for the benefit of appearing to know something about hip-hop.
Pitchfork Media is one such guilty offender, a gigantic joke of a review site in which hipsters write long-winded and laughibly pretentious critiques of mediocre indie rock albums and score them on a scale of 0.0 to 10.0. While this system is fun ("Did you see what the new Radiohead album got!?!"), it's quite absurd when you think about an album being "rated" a "6.4" or a "8.1". I usually wonder, "8.1?, why not 8.2 or 8.0? What made this album a tenth of a percent better or worse?" After inspection it is obvious that this system is better for rating Olympic diving.

Pitchfork Media also suffers from the hipster plague of "post-modern irony". Actually , it's one worse than that. It's what my friend Chaz calls "post-post modern irony", in which the hipper-than-thou indie critics are sooo ironic and hip that they MAKE FUN of being ironic and hip! It's enough to make you wanna curl up with a Chuck Palahniuk and listen to Arcade Fire in tears!

While concentrating on independent rock, once in a while Pitchfork will prove it's eclectic knowledge and taste by reviewing a highly praised hip hop album by artists like Atmosphere, Sage Francis, 50 Cent and the Game. These reviews are often interesting for their transparency, through which you can see the clever, hipster, indie-rock critic...:

wearing a mask to fashion himself to be a learned lover of hip-hoppin' beats and rhymes, and African American culture in general. In these pieces the indie-critic is obviously ill-at ease, and knows that he is slightly out of place and is over-analyzing a music that resists it by it's very nature. He applies the same credentials that he does in every other piece of sham music journalism, and in doing so ends up making a "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" reference, much to the chagrin of this man, who has no time for cutesey games:

If you would like another example of this strained attempt at playing another field, and playing it poorly, read the Pitchfork Media review of an album of pieces by 20th century composer Milton Babbitt. Mr. Rock reviewer makes a fool out of himself by fooling himself that he understands Babbitt and his music just because he can enjoy Sonic Youth's more dissonant moments. It's truly a sight to behold.

But back on rap, the indie-rock critics, and rock critics in general more often than not make poor choices in who to exalt and who to ignore. Eminem, 50 Cent, Game and now Kanye are all examples of this. Mild to slimly talented artists who stand out in the barren landscape of mainstream rap. It's all a ploy to feign interest in something before continuing to ignore it again.

Time Magazine fell for the Kanye trick, and put him on the cover calling him the "Hamlet of Hip-Hop". Listening to his ultra-lame flow, and unoriginal beats (mostly sped-up choruses of obscure 70s R&B tracks), and watching himself make a stuttering fool of himself in interview after interview (and not to mention his "Bush hates black people" rant on live TV), is enough to demand Time Magazine print an apology to serious music lovers who've been waiting for worthy rap to get it's due. If Kanye is the "Hamlet of Hip-Hop", Arby's is the "Corlianus of Fast-Food".

Rolling Stone, already a joke of a magazine (the type that will print loving cover articles of Ashlee Simpson, and in the same issue savagely make fun of her for some lost cred), gave Kanye's new album 5 stars. However, the review was penned by Rob Sheffield, a pock-marked piece of skin and bones who's as irritating in his constant smarmyness, as he is in his lisping hyper-gay stereotyped delivery.

"Hey Rob, what do you think of Ashlee Simpson?"
"Ashlee Simpson? PUH-LEEZZZE! She's just another untalented corporate toy riding on her big-sister's coattails with the help of daddy!"
"Yeah...of course, but...umm..didn't you just publish a 24 page interview and article about her?"
(Rob drinks nervously takes another sip of his Jones Soda and then throws down a gay- rock-critic-elitist smoke bomb and disappears in the shadows).

When it comes to Kanye however, I think this reviewer on hit it right on the head:

6 of 29 people found the following review helpful:

RASCIST??? (sic.)NOT SURE. WACK??? DEFINATELY., September 10, 2005

Reviewer: JL (new york) - See all my reviews

the most overrated artist i've ever seen. this dude is an average producer and a well below average mc and you people treat him like you just saw buddha. i wouldn't put this in my top 500 albums released this year. kanye west sucks...he sucked last year...and he sucks now. also, stop mentioning tupac and kanye west in the same sentence or you're gonna get a baby powder pimp slap...want a fresh one?

Please do JL. Please do.


Blogger Omar said...

Clicked on next blog and arrived here.. loved the Jesus Foreskin article, and the personal add.. YIKES!

anyway keep on blogging!

9:13 PM  

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