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Laptops Lappin’

Damn, I remember when Joe Budden was the only* rapper online, ’putin on message boards and such, and people used to make fun of him. I interviewed Benzino one time for a Web site and he told me to get out the house, get off the computer and see what the world had to offer. It was supposed to be a diss. Ha! Now look. Rappers are all over the Internet. Before, most rappers would be considered geeks for even knowing what a computer was, let alone the Web, but now they’re all blogging (Kanye is the best worst-offender, if that’s really him posting), video blogging (Diddy, N.O.R.E.) and updating us constantly on their whereabouts. DIDDY BLOG, DIDDY BLOG!!

Now there’s Twitter, where you can only post 140 characters at a time, so it’s like mini text messages—essentially community instant message sessions. Cam’ron, Styles P, Jadakiss, Consequence, Rhymefest, Diddy (by the way, when did it become okay for us to call him this??), Q-Tip and Questlove are all users of the micro-blogging site that’s the It-thing of the moment. While Rhymefest loves to interact with his “followers,” pose questions and use it as somewhat of a forum, Jadakiss just wants y’all to buy his album. Sometimes, you can really get to know an artist’s personality through their random twitter posts.

Thanx for all the love, All Star Wknd was crazy! Check out that mixtape i did with Green Lantern called Kiss My Ass!! Ahhhhh Haaaa!!!

Shaq (he counts as a rapper!)
Just leavn lebrons party, i have no voice, can u hear this , ………………. C i told u , no voice, lol

@Missinfo minya this twitter shit retarded

Whether it’s actually them or just someone typing for them, it’s their words meant for you to see, as opposed to something like MySpace, which is more detached. All this visibility from artists has created a culture of access, which I think is a great thing for fans—being able to communicate with artists—as long as both parties know how to use it without being offensive. Which is asking too much. As a result, fans are more in touch with their favorite artists than ever. Maybe too much. Years ago, the most an average fan could do to get in touch with a Cam’ron or a Diddy was through a fan letter. Remember fan clubs??

As for beef, it’s no surprise that rappers are using the Web to their advantage in that department. Just last year, Photoshop was the weapon of choice and now we’ve graduated to Web skits (see: 50 Cent’s “Pimpin Curly” and “Officer Ricky” episodes). Jadakiss put it nicely in a recent interview: “When I was going through it with 50, I’m glad he didn’t have ’cause that’s like a crazy outlet. He don’t even gotta do no music, he can just do wild skits and put new stuff on there and new paperwork and everything and that’s drawing in so much traffic and attention that it’s almost like slaughter.” So is this a good thing, rappers on the Internet? —clovito

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