Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Where we left off yesterday, I was talking indirectly about how GangStarr had survived the Hip-Hop game by remaining underground: Chopping their samples to avoid getting sued, gaining enough of a cult following to stay afloat financially, and being admired by other respected hip-hop artists.
Like DJ premier said, this existence is kind of like that of a roach. Most roaches stay behind the walls, out of public view in a protected position. They seem to survive no matter what you throw at them, but they tend to scatter away when you shine the spotlight at them.
The problem with this hypothesis is that both DJ Premier and the roaches in my kitchen are full of shit. GangStarr has produced three gold records. They may not be super mainstream, but they are sure as hell aren't Aceyalone. Furthermore, DJ Premier doesn't stray from the spotlight, as he's produced beats for Jay-Z, Biggie and Common. So; appropriately enough, as I turn on the light in my kitchen, those fucking roaches aren't moving, but basking in the light. They are joyously gnawing on the leftovers of my Portuguese chicken like Premier producing an inconsequential remix for Janet Jackson. What a bunch of hypocrites: It's so cool to be underground until someone who matters throws you a (chicken) bone, isn't it?
So, I'm gonna treat these roaches like contemporary hip-hop artists treat Premier: Well-respected has-beens, with no food scraps (ie b-sides or filler tracks) being thrown at them whatsoever. That way, the roaches can go ahead and make their own album, but if it's as tedious as the Ownerz, they might as well retire and live in the memory of Kanye West shoutouts.
As for Guru, his solo career reminds me of the roaches in my room. Sure, they can survive on food crumbs and jazzamatazz albums, but as soon as my cat runs into the room (Rakim anyone?), they scatter away OUT OF RESPECT.