When I mentioned the other day that it’s probably a good idea not to buy any more rap albums, I probably should have noted that it’s an especially good idea not to buy any rap albums you don’t even want. Obvious though it may seem, this is actually getting harder than you’d think. I’m only 25 years old (which is actually probably pretty old by Internet standards), but I notice that the entertainment industry has gotten a lot better at selling us shit that we don’t actually want just within the scope of my lifetime.
When I was 16, going on 9 years ago, I remember having my mom drive me to a Blockbuster Music (remember those?) to pick up a copy of whatever that album was by that group Prodigy*. You know, the one with “Smack My Bitch Up.” But then I got there and listened to a bit of it in one of those elaborate-ass listening stations they used to have in record stores, and I was just like, Man, what the fuck is this bullshit? Who would want to buy some shit like this, even if Kool Keith is on it? Indeed, this store didn’t seem to have sold a single copy of the disc.
But that’s the thing: There was a time when major corporations would try to predict the next big thing in youth culture and would fail miserably. Nowadays, rather than trying to guess what’s going to be the next big thing, they’ll actually create the next big thing themselves and then have the media “predict” that shit for them. These d-bags are literally taking a piss on our heads and then trying to tell us it’s raining. By the time anyone realizes this is all bullshit, they’ve already sold maybe 500,000 copies, which is all it takes to be considered successful these days.
Take for example this group Gnarls Barkley. In case you haven’t heard, they’re already the biggest group in the UK (which is a lot more susceptible to phony, manufactured hype) since, I don’t know, the Libertines or whatever. Their new album, which I reviewed yesterday, is bound to go down as one of the year’s greatest abortions in musical form. It fucking sucks balls. But given its current amount of hype, not to mention the world’s most elaborate MySpace profile, it seems poised to be a rather big hit.
If the TIs at Warner Brothers actually manage to sell any more than 100,000 copies of this garbage, it has to represent the dawn of some new era in pop music. But I’m holding out hope that today’s youth will listen to it beforehand (which is easier now than ever) and decide to spend their money on something more worthwhile, like a shitty dime bag of dirt weed.
* Nullus on considering buying a techno album, even if I was a teenager at the time.