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Stuck working for the man

“I’m off the wall like Michael Jackson, these other niggas is like Tito. Shout-out to Randy.” – Jay-Z

The other day, I got so bored that I actually watched a bit of MTV Cribs. It may have also been the case that I was too drunk to move myself from my sofa unless I really, really had to piss, but I can’t remember.

At any rate, they had that guy DJ Unk on there. I don’t think he’s been around for a year yet, but it could be the case that you’ve already forgotten him.

Earlier this year, he had a pretty big hit with that song “Walk It Out.” I don’t know if he actually sold very many albums, but that shit was on the radio (out here in the sticks) 24/7, as is often the case with awful rap music.

At the time, he was being put forth as one of the key factors in the rise of Koch Records, along with Jim Jones. Of course Jim Jones has since signed a supposedly fairly substantial deal with Rick Rubin over at Columbia. But I’m not sure if Unk is destined to leave the Koch fold, because, to be honest with you, I’m not even sure what he does. Perhaps Noz could fill us in.

This guy’s crib wasn’t impressive in the sense that it was genuinely impressive, like one of these athletes or something. I’m not even sure if it was nicer than the house I grew up in. But it was fairly impressive in the sense that, like I said, I’m not sure what the fuck this guy does.

His name is DJ Unk, but there isn’t any scratching in his record, is there? Maybe the main function of DJs in the South is to think up dance steps. Is there a connection to be drawn between today’s southern rap and the country line dancing phenomenon from the early ’90s? Hmm…

At that moment, it occurred to me: how bad off can hip-hop be business-wise when every bum who’s ever had a song on the radio lives in a much nicer house than I’ll ever live in again in life, unless I end up having to move back in with my parents?

The reason I bring this up is because I was reading last night. A lot of these rock groups are just saying fuck it and giving their shit away for free, as if they were Roosevelt Franklin.

I’m sure you fruits have heard that Radiohead is offering their new album In Rainbows for download for whatever you feel is appropriate. I’m not sure if there’s an option for, “I don’t feel it’s appropriate for me to be paying for music at all, given my financial situation.” If there isn’t, I may just have to steal it the old-fashioned way.

Similarly Trent Reznor has been pissed for some time now that his CDs cost so much money, so he’s been going around telling kids at his show to just steal his shit. So his label got pissed and dropped him like a bad habit. Or was it vice versa? At any rate, he’s done with this working for a major label bullshit.

Between this and the RIAA suing single mothers (read unscrupulous whores) for the amount of money DJ Unk paid for his house, many are suggesting this may be the beginning of the end (for real this time) for the recording industry, but I wonder if such a move would be as feasible for a rapper.

Of course if you’re Papoose or somebody, and a major label has no use for you anyway, you might as well give your shit away. But what about a group with an actual significant following? Presumably, groups like Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead plan to get paid anyway, from touring. But you know how rappers can’t perform live without running the risk of Saigon showing up and beating everyone up.

Fortunately, like I said, I’m not buying for a minute that the situation in hip-hop is really that dire any time a bum like DJ Unk can go from being entirely unheard of to having a house with not one, but two barbecue grills (something I’ve often dreamed of myself) in the space of like six months.

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