It’s always the good ones that have to die
How am I supposed to get any press, if all of the cool magazines are going out of business?
It occurred to me the other day that the reason I – like my fellow public intellectual Noam Chomsky – get more pub outside of the US is probably not because I’m just that much more famous in places like Canada and the UK. I’m tempted to head over to England to see if I might be able to make love to a woman with huge cans and fucked up teeth (which I’m willing to deal with) on the strength of my blogging, but something tells me I’m about as anonymous there as I am here. Plus, I don’t have any money.
I did a post the other day for my own site about how a couple of different magazines I was once featured in – Arena, which was supposedly like the original Maxim, and Hip Hop Connection, which was supposedly the longest-running hip-hop magazine – have gone out of business, and I was reminded of the time, probably like four years ago, when I was involved in a minor beef with kris ex, whom I later ended up working with here.
Back then, he had this blog, and I guess he was one of the first prominent hip-hop journalists to have a blog. It only ever got to be about as successful as RapRadar is now, which is to say not at all in the least bit, but it probably did lead to him being commissioned by Vibe to do an article about hip-hop blogs, not to mention his blog here. As they say, nothing succeeds like success.
I can’t remember too much about the article itself, but I do remember there was this “sidebar,” as they say in the magazine business (I’m assuming), with a list of hip-hop blogs to check out. Of course, the list was a bunch of fucking bullshit. My blog was nowhere to be found. One of the few blogs I remember being on the list was the late, great Jay Smooth’s hiphopmusic.com, which has only ever been what it is now, i.e. roughly tantamount to a spam blog.
To make a long story short, let’s just say I had to take certain measures. This led to a lengthy phone conversation in which I asked kris ex how come my blog wasn’t worth checking out. His response was that he couldn’t have people thinking he was a fan, what with some of the shit I’ve posted over the years. Weak! To his credit, he’s obviously become a lot less concerned with his image. And the two of us have long since patched things up. He’s actually turned me on to a lot of good pr0n. No homo.
Now, I don’t necessarily mean to suggest that the reason most rap magazines here in the US haven’t so much as mentioned me is because they don’t like me personally. I happen to know for a fact that Danyel Smith, the editor in chief of Vibe, has no idea who I am. One time I was listening to the obnoxious podcast she does with Elliott Wilson, and he mentioned me, possibly in reference to his wife’s boobs (there’s a story behind that, but it’ll have to wait for another slow news day), and she was like, “I don’t even know who that is.” Or was she feigning ignorance as a sort of insult?
I’m just saying. It’s too bad that lot of the magazines and newspapers that have shown interest in my work are going out of business. Imagine how much shit’s gonna fly under the radar once the only rap magazines left are (the hollowed out carcass of) Vibe, and XXL. At least I sorta kinda work for XXL. If I can’t be in the real magazine, at least I’ve written the bulk of the (some would say the only) substantive articles on the website. But I can’t imagine that anyone who comes along from now on, if there were gonna be two people who approach hip-hop blogging with ambition, could possibly get as much pub in conventional dead tree media as I have.
Not that I’ve gained much from having been written about so often. They don’t pay you to write about you, and unlike most people who are featured in magazines and newspapers, I don’t have a book or a movie or a film or anything to promote. Occasionally though, it’s been nice to show my parents, just to help alleviate what must be the huge disappointment of having a son who was once recruited by Harvard and now gets cursed out for a living at the BGM. They could show it to their friends and be like, “See, my son was in The Guardian. Never mind what you heard about him spending half the day looking at pr0n.”
What am I supposed to do now that all of my fans are out of a job, actually achieve something? Pshaw!