It's a shame that it sometimes take some sort of conflict to bring heads together. Take Rik Cordero and I for instance.

I wrote a post entitled "What Do You Guys Think Of Rik Cordero?" not too long ago. The gist of the entry was for me to get a feel for the impact Rik is making out there. Sure, he's the most sought after director, but stones always come with the throne. Lil Wayne sold a million records in one week, yet he's still one of the most hated (yet loved) rappers on this site. So I wanted to know how cats felt about Rik's work, because At I personally didn't know what to make of Rik's video monopoly at the time. I had enjoyed some of his clips, but felt I needed to see some more of his material before being able to share my opinion.

I felt like I pretty much remained neutral in the post, so imagine my surprised when I heard that Rik responded. He primarily responded to comments XXL users left on my post, but also managed to call the anonymous writer (me), "a 19-year-old intern" in the process. I didn't mind the actual remark. I just didn't think the blog warranted a jabby response. I initially thought about jabbing back, but then saw an opportunity. The conflict between rappers and bloggers is getting out of hand. Mediation doesn't look like a likely option either. Chances are a sit down between Trick Trick and Ron Mexico would have turned ugly one way or another. But I thought Rik and I could set a precedent by talking things over, not embark on a blog feud. So, rather than retaliate, I reached out to and invited him to stop by the XXL office so we could speak on our respective positions and the growing tension between artists and bloggers/writers. [Blogger's Note: I ain't a blogger, I just blog a lot.]

[video:http://www.xxlmag.com/uploads/video/Rik-Cordero2.flv 400 300]

I totally understand Rik's position. He actually handled it a lot better than I would have. For him to take pride in his work, put in countless hours and then have someone call him a "cancer to filmaking" is some heavy stuff. Here's Rik's response to that particular comment.

[video:http://www.xxlmag.com/uploads/video/RikCordero.flv 400 300]

It did end up doing my research by the way and it turns out I was a lot more familiar with Rik' catalog then I realized. I totally forgot he did clips like Joell Ortiz's "Brooklyn Bullshit," Wale's "Artistic Integrity" and a few other videos that I actually dig. Be on the lookout for Artistic Integrity Pt.2, in which Rik will share his video philosophy. You may just perceive him differently after peeping the piece. -Jackpot