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Change we’re not supposed to know about

The other day, I received an email from some woman talking about how the Knux had talked shit about Rick Ross in an interview.

As it turns out, one of the guys in the Knux used to work as a prison guard himself. He explained that the reason he got into it is that it’s one of the few jobs a black man can get fresh out of high school that pays a decent salary (probably because you have to spend all day looking at other guys’ joints and having poop thrown at you), and that it’s hardly anything to be ashamed of.

Well, aside from having to spend all day in the presence of guys taking it up the coat.

He went on to discuss how rappers these days are so full of shit, and how he’s disappointed in the fact that Rick Ross continues to lie about the fact that he used to be cop, when everyone knows he did.

Aww dang!

At the time, I figured it was merely a matter of her trying to get the Knux mentioned on my site again, without having to pay for advertising. (I must have still been caught up in the false sense of accomplishment I felt when Barack Obama was elected president.)

Then it occurred to me: If all they were looking for is free advertising, they could have recorded a video of the Knux scratching their balls, or eating a bowl of cereal or some such and emailed it to Eskay. Ha!

Clearly, they were trying to get me to start some shit between the Knux and Rick Ross.

How else to explain the fact that an Intercope operative is emailing me unflattering information about Rick Ross, when, unless I’m mistaken, Interscope and Def Jam are ultimately owned by the same group of tall Israelis?

I’ve actually noticed for a while now that these labels will try to pit rappers against one another. Take for example the announcement, the other day, that the new Ludacris album will be released the same day as 808s and Heartbreak. The TIs have to know that anyone with tastes mediocre to cop a Ludacris album is also gonna want the new Kanye West. Why not just push one back a week?

I didn’t really buy the argument, last year, that, despite the fact that Fiddy Cent lost in his first week sales battle with Kanye West, he still benefited from having his album released the same day. But that was 2007. The economy is way more fucked the fuck up now. And it’s not like we’re about to get a check just because we’ve got a black president. Who can afford to buy two CDs in one day?

But I digress.

I realized what might be going on here when I read, in an interview with LAist, that the Knux received enough money in their deal with Interscope to cop a crib in the Hollywood Hills to record the album in, as if they were the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and throw wild house parties and shit.

The fuck?

Maybe I just lack a frame of reference with regard to the economics of the music business, but it seems insane to me that a label would spend that much money on the Knux, when none of these hipster rappers have actually sold very well yet. That Cool Kids album came out earlier this year and only sold something like 3,000 copies. Imagine the L Interscope would take if the Knux’ album only sells that much.

Or could it be that Interscope is not sweating how many albums the Knux sell their first week out, like we usually do in hip-hop? Maybe Interscope is planning to develop the Knux’ career more along the lines of a rock group.

That would explain a number of things, including the ridonkulous advance; them not appearing on the cover of this month’s XXL, along with their hipster rap brethren (you know that wouldn’t have taken more than a phone call); and the label purposely trying to drive a wedge between them and Rick Ross, and hence the LCD rap crowd in general.

Interscope probably figures the Knux can develop a substantial following as a touring act. You know how white people love the idea of a rap group that plays its own instruments. But they’re probably concerned about the Knux being tainted by association with too many black people. If the Knux come to be viewed as a black group, it could fuck up ticket sales.

Or am I reading too much into this? What do you fruits think? Is it a mere matter of coincidence that Interscope invested millions of dollars into the Knux, and yet, somehow, the Knux didn’t turn up on the cover of XXL’s hipster rap issue, which actually hit stands the same month the Knux’ album came out? Or is there some Obama-esque race strategy going on with the Knux’ marketing campaign? Speak on it.

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