Egging on a nerd fight

The other day, some guy did this post about how blogs are ruining hip-hop, by promoting bums like Wale, B.O.B., and Asher Roth, to the point where all three of them are now on the cover of this month’s issue of XXL.

Then this guy Brandon Soderberg (once described by my boy Ian Cohen as being “like Tom Breihan, but twice as long and twice as wrong”) offered a rebuttal, explaining that the ascendence of the aforementioned bums isn’t really a blog phenomeneon per se, and also accusing Eskay, proprietor of the venerable Nah Right, of sucking Asher Roth’s dick.

Figuratively, mind you.

This apparently set off a huge argument that took place in the comments sections of several different blogs, and ultimately led to Eskay posting a cryptic threat to his Twitter (which is where I caught wind of this mess), suggesting he might have to introduce Soderberg to the hand of god, similar to how Maino had to do Yung Berg the other day.

Aww dang…

Is it really all that serious? In the interest of confusing things even further, for my own personal amusement, I figured I’d have a look.

Soderberg actually brings up a good point, in suggesting that blog rap, of the sort featured in this month’s XXL isn’t really a ground-up phenomenon. These aren’t guys, like Donny Goines, sitting around in their mom’s basement kicking freestyles, then someone at XXL heard it, thought they had potential, and decided to put them on the cover. Pretty much all of these guys are signed to major labels. And let’s keep it real, it’s probably not a mere matter of coincidence that the guys on Interscope – Wale and Charles Hamilton – ended up on the main cover, of which I’m sure they printed way more copies, while poor Kid Cudi had to share a cover with motherfucking Ace Hood.

(For what it’s worth, I’ve never heard an Ace Hood record before in my life. But I’m assuming he’s corny, based on the fact that he looks like he could be in middle school, and the fact that his name is Ace Hood. What’s next, a rapper named Lil Yung? Er, nevermind.)

Where Soderberg falters, I think, is in suggesting that the reason Eskay posts so much material from pretty much all of the guys on this month’s XXL covers, except for maybe Ace Hood (hence, presumably, my never listening to any Ace Hood), is because the major labels put him up to it. Specifically, Soderberg says that Eskay “has always had tight industry connections.” I couldn’t help but be reminded of John McCain alleging that Barack Obama is a socialist. (As my brothers in Hanson would say, if only!) If Soderberg was gonna go there with it, he probably should have produced some sort of smoking gun.

Eskay, for his part, claims that he only posts material by artists that he likes, and I’m tempted to believe him, both because, well, he says so, and because that’s the impression that I get from having read his site for the past few years now. He’s posted a lot of shit by guys like Asher Roth and Charles Hamilton, but he’s also posted a lot of shit by Donny Goines. And there’s plenty of artists I like, who could be considered blog-type rappers, who hardly ever show up on Nah Right.

If anything, Eskay could be accused of not having very good taste in music. He’s like that one friend at the party that pulls you aside and tells you, you need to check out a new comedian named Dane Cook. Then, if you’re like me, you just kinda nod and go, “Yeah, I’m gonna have to check that out!” then pretend you have to go take a piss. Which I guess, in this analogy, would make Asher Roth the hip-hop equivalent of Dane Cook. And wouldn’t you know, that song “Roth Boys” includes a reference to Dane Cook’s bit about turning out the lights and playing, who’s in your mouth? Coincidence? No homo?

What do you fruits think? Does the fact that so many artists he’s championed have turned up on the covers of this month’s XXL mean that Eskay is a tool of the industry? Or is he just that guy during freshman week who claimed he listened to “everything except country,” and then several years later you ended up working for him and hence hating his guts? Does it matter? Speak on it.

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  • FAIR

    Lets be real this whole convo is a joke all of these guys have out in work and earned their spot, and most of them are actually pretty good bloggers whine over shit music like souljah boy but then u get 10 guys who can actually spit and oyu bitch about that too some people are just never happy. the list is solid, sure its not perfect and some guys should have been there and some maybe shouldnt have but none these guys are garbage. People need to stop complaining just for the sake of complaining its kind of annoying

  • dj ashy fingerz

    it’s his blog, he can put up he wants. bottomline

  • P-Matik

    I thought XXL finally got off of just putting commercial rappers and Interscope bums on the cover…until you reminded me that Wale was signed to Interscope. If that’s the case, where’s Bishop Lamont cover then?

    Eskay is doing his thing and exposing new rappers instead of burying them just because they don’t do a bunch of radio-ready “songs for the ladies” is cool with me. And like Ashy Fingers said, it’s his blog so he can do what he feels.

    Finally, we get some rappers that aren’t thugs rhyming about cars, rims, and ice. Don’t hate on it yet, just let it work itself out.

  • Rob The Music Ed

    hahaha guess we can’t win with people. How ’bout XXL just did something innovative and from the heart? What other publication puts 10 virtual unknowns on the cover?

    These are the cats whose music we are bumping in the office, point blank, period!

    Have at it haters.

  • No Mames Buey

    ^XXL douches bragging about finding new artists is W Bush * Sarah PalInsane level of epic arrogant incompetence.

    Some blogs run by 1 individual dude, as a part time hobby, obliterate XXL when it comes to finding new dope albums & artists.

    Poisonous Paragraphs
    Wake Your Daughter Up
    When They Reminisce

  • No Mames Buey

    ^XXL douches bragging about finding new artists is W Bush * Sarah PalInsane level of epic arrogant incompetence.

    Some blogs run by 1 individual dude, as a part time hobby, obliterate XXL when it comes to finding new dope albums & artists.

    Poisonous Paragraphs
    Wake Your Daughter Up
    When They Reminisce

    XXL should hire dudes like these as consultants or employees. The existing employees like this douche Rob prolly fight against it, since it would expose their incompetence.

    • Rob The Music Ed

      “XXL douches bragging about finding new artists”
      Please find where I was “bragging about finding new artists”?
      Never once did I say that XXL discovered anybody.


  • Donny Goines

    Since my name was brought up I feel obligated to comment (plus I’m bored as hell lol)

    For the record Byron, I live in a room at my mothers apartment not her basement. We too broke to afford one of those haha.

    As for Eskay, I believe people like him are the backbone of the industry now. Even people like you Byron, help artists such as myself thrive in this business. Truthfully, I think Eskay single handily raised my awareness level to a much higher plateau and I respect him for it because there was no incentive for him to do it, expect for the sake of promoting music which he feels is good. I love the internet, bloggers, websites, etc. and without them I wouldn’t be anywhere today.

    Regarding the XXL cover. I think it’s a beautiful thing. I’ve worked with or associated with a few of those dudes on it and to see someone getting shine (even if it’s not me) is a great thing. Whatever the reason, I think it’s dope that they put these artists on the cover. Its forward thinking and most importantly they are taking a chance. I’m tired of hearing about the usual suspects all day everyday. To see them on this cover, 88 Keys on the Cover of URB, and shit like that is refreshing to me no matter what sort of politics or motives were involved. Much love to all the artists and much respect to magazines such as this one who are taking chances on emerging artists these days.

    As for myself, honestly it would have been great to be on that cover (or any for that matter) but its just not my time I suppose. Sometimes I think I should have took some of those deals I have been offered, or used my connections and such to get things quicker but in the end I’d rather have the respect then the money or fame. That’s just me though.

    Much love to all.

    Donny Goines

  • Sir Tony Blair

    I side with Bol & Brandon Soderberg – Be on the look out for my post on the same topic coming soon…

  • capcobra…….if y’all supporting these niguz…you mind as well come check me out….lol.

  • btrott

    all those guys are young fresh faces with aggressive pr campaigns behind them that have gotten them crazy internet exposure (the new tv).
    folks like elitaste and biz3 are superpower middle men that gets guys xxl, thefader, pitchfork, etc. exposure. they shoulda put cool kids on there too hell. don’t be shocked if he cost @ least 10k for any of these guys to rock a show. all power to them. Wale and B.o.B. are dope

  • amar

    ahhahahahah that IS some nerdy-ass shit! And I agree, some of these rappers’ names are ridiculous. All you gotta do is combine two unrelated terms together, one of which is potentially hardbody-ish. Here are some ideas for you up and comers:

    Project Cobra
    AK Rhino 47
    Killa’ Cow
    Chuck Norris of the Streets

    • G2

      You are clownin!!! Chuck Norris of the Streets!? He could beef with Bruce Lee of the Projects!

  • Smel

    Brandon Soderberg should call T.I.’s snitch hotline on Eskay for that threat…

  • real talk

    FAT FUCKING NERD, BOL you look like a child rapist who kidnapps little boys in a big white van full of garden utilitys.! FAT FAGET!!!

  • real talk

    FAT FUCKING NERD, BOL you look like a child rapist who kidnapps little boys in a big white van full of garden utilitys.! FAT FAGET!!! DIE

    • amar

      at least he can compose a simple sentence, which is more than I can say for you, you sesame street-deprived crack-bred half a homo food stamp baby.

    • amar

      at least he can compose a simple sentence, which is more than I can say for you, you sesame street-deprived, crack bred, half a homo, food stamp baby

  • greg

    fuck the writers. let the music speak this bullshit site is like fox news slanted coverage…………..

  • jmill1224


  • Incilin

    First of all, Eskay worked at XXL for a while and only left a few months ago (When the last G-Unit cover came out) so it’s very likely the influence he has with Nahright, is similar to the one he had at XXL long ago and Complex now. I mean, at that party you can fake it and go take a piss. But if he’s playing Asher Roth in the office all day, don’t you think other people who work at XXL might get into Asher Roth?

    Secondly, Eskay doesn’t always post shit he likes. Dude posts 50 all the time, but adds a caption about how much he hates 50 along with it. I think it’s fair to say he posts items of interest for himself and his fans, but as far as up and coming dudes, he uses his own descretion.

    And I know he’s mentioned that he thinks Ace Hood is a shitty rapper. The first time I heard Ace Hood was a week ago when he was in the BET cypher with Fab, Jada, and Julez. And yes, Ace Hood is not worth a shit. I downloaded the link from Nahright since Eskay posted it for the purposes of it having Jada and company on it.

    Does Eskay have “strong industry ties”? Of course he does. How else would he get all the scoops he gets? It comes with the terrority. On the other hand, there are plenty of people with major label deals that he doesn’t really post (like Nelly, but then again who gives a shit about Nelly?)Plus, Eskay posts Sharebee links all the time. Would Soderberg say the major labels put him up to that?

  • FLIP

    How many people just got aired out in this one post? My head is spinning.

  • Moi

    I found this cover so refreshing. XXL had lost me as a reader with the Gunshine state, and G Unit and so much might as well be a press release bullshit . .. suck, generic, shiny “drug dealer” rappers dominating.

    corey gunz is the future. but don’t think a cover means these rappers have made it yet . . . mickey factz was next to me headed downtown on the train the other morning. (50 Cent was not).

  • ron mexico

    it’s about to be a what… a nerd fiiiiight.

  • TheCo!!inB

    Eskay is the only nigga I know willing to post Max B cuts…..i’da never known I was such a wavy nigga if he didn’t post that Byrdgang flunky…..owwwwww

  • boi-dan

    I though Eskay was a tool when he went crazy with the Fat Joe posts a while back, but I thought about it and he does the same for Kweli. Its easy to call blog-payola if the guy you happen to hate (Fat Joe) was on every five posts, but when I analyzed it, Kweli haters could feel the same way.

    Eskay just goes heavy with some artist some of the time, and it happens to be the wack Asher Roth this time.



  • brandonsoderberg

    LOLCATZ on the twitter. I don’t have a twitter so I missed that one.

  • The Watcherz

    I fucks wit eskay man (n/h) I cant front he put alot of people on to good sum really good music…..

  • Kornphlake

    Eskay is your dad Byron. Careful how you speak of the man.

  • allnice

    Who cares what Esgay writes on his blog or the rappers he likes. If he is a tool, fine whatever. Most industry dudes are tools. The facts: Asher Roth sucks, Bun B sucks, Royce Da 5’9 sucks, Lupe sucks, Kweli sucks, Mos Def sucks, all them B list niggaz suck. Pharoah is probably the only B lister that I like because he is one of the best mcs who just likes B listing.

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