I just picked up my copy of the latest XXL mag with Fisty on the cover. I kind of forgot about all the production that is entailed in delivering a monthly publication that is worth buying. Incidentally, I copped mine on the corner of Joralemon and Court Streets in downtown Brooklyn. The arab dude pumps so many XXL’s that he sells them for $3 cash. Most of the cats buying them are prah’lee coming from their P.O. Their offices are in the Municipal building that the newsstand fronts. I always see someone I know coming or going to their probation appointments. For a lot of Black men that is equivalent of a business meeting. But not for all Black men.

I was reading something from Elliot Wilson (E Dubbz) that reminded me who ultimately pays the bills that keep the lights on here at XXL. We’d like to think that we don’t have any bosses to overlook our “creativity” as journalists, but we certainly do. That being said it doesn’t mean that I will throw some shine onto something that I don’t feel deserves a second look or the valuable “rewind”. I’m contracted to write about Hip-Hop and as far as I’m concerned eating FrankenBerry from a salad bowl while watching Cartoon Network is an official Hip-Hop activity. So when you see me write that there is some rap shit out here that I consider understand that I honestly feel that way. No one can pay me any amount to bless trash.

I’ll assume that for argument’s sake we have all seen the music video for Fisty Scent’s ‘Amusement Park’. This is one of the examples where a track that has some fire and pop is nullified by a silly studio video. I love video ho’s vixens as much as the next man, but at what point do we move past these retread images? I would have rathered that Fisty just invested his paper in another track. This is part of the problem with his brand image. He goes from the same themed songs on several separate albums to the music videos which have the same actresses and outlandish sets. The casual fan can’t process the difference between the ‘Candy Shop’ images or those from ‘Amusement Park’. I thought that Fifty’s retaliation to Cam’Ron on the ‘Funeral Music’ video was going to be his return to producing more gritty looking, downscaled music videos. I need Interscope to spend less money on their music videos and more money on print ads. If Elliot Wilson is worried about HIS money machine slowing down then I already know that I need to protect my neck for this check.

Speaking of music videos…

No one will argue that ‘International Players Anthem’ isn’t one of the best Hip-Hop videos produced in recent memory. All I can say is that OutKast continues their movement forward artistically while the majority of their regional counterparts remain stuck on stupid repeated rehashed images and themes. True story is that I used to dig the DipSet version of ‘Hey Ma’ that sampled the same soul classic as ‘Int’l Players Anthem’, but after listening to 3000’s verses I feel like I’m hustling backwards when I listen to Cam’Ron. Kanye West is killing shit with the ‘Stronger’ video and if any of you are a fiend for that anime shit like I am you will be digging on the visual Akira references. Music video of the year has to go to the evil genius known as Kellz. That ‘Same Girl’ track where he and Ersher collabo is part of his portfolio which includes all that crazy Mr.Biggs drama.

If asking you humps to buy CD’s is too much then at least keep buying that print copy of XXL. Otherwise I’m gonna have to go from eating turkey sausages for breakfast back to Utz pork rinds.