Did the Internets just ruin 4/20?

The TIs might be shooting themselves in the foot by not respecting the power of the Internets.

Yesterday, while scanning the Internets for r-word humor and baiting pr0n stars on Twitter, i.e. the kind of shit a man does when he already went to college once, and obviously it didn’t do him any good, I stumbled upon XXL’s review of the new Jadakiss album.

I figured they might have panned it, since I’ve heard it and it’s awful. Not to start any shit between Yak Ballz and Jadakiss, but I was telling Yak Ballz – when he was here in the STL the other day – that I heard the new Jadakiss album and it wasn’t very good, and he was like. “Well, what did you expect? Jadakiss albums always suck balls.”

I suppose I should have known XXL wouldn’t give The Last Kiss a bad review. They actually went so far as to give it an XL – one notch below full-on classic status. I guess the TIs at Def Jam made it clear this was an important release.

Or who knows? Maybe the guy who reviewed the album really did like it. The review was written by Anslem Samuel, whom I worked with once or twice when I did that column for the dead tree version of XXL. He seemed like a nice enough, except when he was flipping out on you over some ol’ bullshit. He might be bipolar, but I’m not sure how that would cloud his music judgment. I’d encourage you to check out his blog. It’s a bit grown and sexy for my liking, but that’s because I’m neither grown nor sexy. Your mileage may vary.

But I digress.

Anyhoo, it’s hard for me to say how an album like The Last Kiss gets an XL rating without being privy to the editorial process here at XXL. I hardly know anything more about XXL than the rest of you fruits – I just blog for the website. It could be that a big meeting is held where the white guy in charge runs down a list of how much the major labels spent on ads that month and the attendant ratings said labels’ albums should receive, or it could be that they purposely hire people they know are gonna be deferential to the most commercially successful artists, a la the theory laid out in Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent.

But that’s just XXL. And while XXL could end up the only print rap magazine left (and I hope it does), they’re (we’re?) just one voice in the vast expanse that is the Internets.

I was googling my own name yesterday, to make sure no girls mentioned that they might want to have sex with me (in which case I might have to gas up the van and take some vacation time), and I notice what seemed to be more or less the opposite effect with the new Asher Roth album. A lot of people who could obviously give a rat’s ass about how much money Steve Rifkind is spending to promote Asleep in the Bread Aisle have been calling that album the shit sandwich that it is. My own review was cited in roundups of reviews by Fat Lace Magazine and my boy TAN.

Reading some of those other reviews, most of which are negative, I couldn’t help but wonder what it must be like to be a fly on the wall in the Universal Records building right about now. Mofos must be pissed! Asleep in the Bread Aisle sprung a leak a good 10 days before it’s supposed to hit record stores (er, wherever it is you’d buy a CD at this point), and the word of mouth is decidedly negative. People might read all of these bad reviews and decide to stay home and smoke weed on 4/20. You know it ain’t hard to convince a pothead to stay home and smoke weed, let alone on 4/20. Come to think of it, Asher Roth might have tripped picking that as his release date, given the nature of his fan base.

Which begs the question – and this is a two part question: 1) Could the Internets kill Asher Roth’s career, before his album even hits the streets next week? I know the kind of people who read this site aren’t gonna cop, except for maybe Dallas Penn, but it’s not like we buy shit anyway. What about all of those people who bought “I Love College” from iTunes? 2) What, if anything, can be done to make the Internets at large more like the dead tree version of XXL, i.e. a place where people still know to show some respect for a TI’s money?

Honestly, I’m not sure if there’s much that could be done at this point. They could try spending some of their marketing budgets on people who actually live on the Internets, rather than whatever it is they’ve been spending it on. But a brother such as myself isn’t gonna be swayed by filthy lucre. I’ve long since parted with the idea that I might be able to live well. And even if they managed to find someone who isn’t quite as defeatist, it wouldn’t matter, since some people’s opinions count way more on the Internets than other people’s, and mine counts more than most.

Could it be that we’re finally arriving at a point when labels can’t just release any ol’ bullshit and count on the MSM to help sell it?

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  • Pierzy

    Hey look! An Asher Roth post! http://www.AsherRothMag.com strikes again! I guess we didn’t discuss it enough yesterday…or the day before…or the day before…

    But thank you, Mr. Crawford, for finally being the only one on here to talk even a shred of negativity about the reverse Obama and his supposedly “fun” album. Thank you.

    Also this is hilarious:

    “I was googling my own name yesterday, to make sure no girls mentioned that they might want to have sex with me (in which case I might have to gas up the van and take some vacation time)…”

    Well done.

    • $ykotic

      LOL! Aw man ya’ll got P heated!

      How can you ruin 4/20(besides getting pinched)?

      Let shorty come out with Ross next week and we will see. I can see the bickering starting it’s ascent.

  • sealsaa

    “Could it be that we’re finally arriving at a point when labels can’t just release any ol’ bullshit and count on the MSM to help sell it?”

    This would seem to be the case, what with music pirating having been such a major issue for the past several years. God forbid that people should be able to listen to a new album and rip their favorite songs rather than blowing $15 on a certified piece of shit.

    As to your speculation about whether or not record company’s use add space to manipulate album reviews, need I remind you that Lil Kim got a 5 mic review from The Source a couple of years back?

  • OG Matt Herbz

    Fuck a lark on his go-kart, I’m a Mack in an Escalade. The only fools’ opinions that are getting swayed by all the negative reviews are those of muthafuckas who gots like $11 in their piggy bank and wanted to buy the CD, but wouldn’t if they knew shit sucked. Smart consumers, see? Well, if all the reviews aren’t enough persuasion, let me just tell you that $11 of weed could theoretically last up to a week, whereas an Asher Roth CD would only be worth about 1 spin on the boombox–or, about 1 hour of your time. It’s simple mathematics, stupid.

    And what’s with dude’s video? Dude wakes up on the couch? Nigga, what? Then he’s walking around kissing bitches on the mouth? That’s how you gonna get that bump on your lip, homey.

    Check yo’self before you wreck yo’self.

    –OG Matt Herbz–

  • General

    His CD is marketed to the perfect crowd, it can be used as a weed plate or a frisbee

    • yoprince


  • http://xxlmag.com Brandon Robinson

    This nigga dont like shit

  • http://www.asdf.com Sleeze Money

    Since when are you allowed to drop a CD on a Monday? White privilege, SMH.

  • http://www.myspace.com/crockerishiphop Crocker

    Wow. Yeah, I’m white….this is AWKWARD. Ah well, least I’m 1/15 Cherokee.

  • geico lizard

    “Your mileage may vary”

    That is what guys say when they have sex at a strip club,lmfao. They are trying to use code so cops wont bust the place.

    Bob-”How was that lap dance from porsha rick?”

    Rick-”It was outstanding but your mileage may vary if you know what I mean bob*wink wink*” ROFFLE

  • sealsaa

    “I suppose I should have known that XXL wouldn’t give The Last Kiss a bad review. They actually went so far as to give it an XL – one notch below full-on classic status. I guess the TIs at Def Jam made it clear this was an important release.”

    Careful Byron. Tread softly, lest you roll off the couch tomorrow to find your username and login in-valed, or this post mysteriously deleted.

  • DV8

    I would rather listen to his “Greenhouse Effect” mixtape then buy his album. I dont smoke (for the time being) so I will unfortunately miss out on the April 20th festivities. But then again why the big deal over 4/20 anyway? Real burners spark up anytime on any day.

  • What’z crackin

    I think that we are focusing on the wrong thing with this asher roth album. the real tragedy about this shit plate of a album is that real MC’s that are giving us street product on the daily can’t sniff a release date. but this fucking clown gets his album rushed out with little delay. for all y’all that are coping this bullshit I want a hit of what your smoking.

  • latino heat

    XXL now is much like the Source used to be. no big name artist would / will ever get a less then average review. how many albums from a major artist ever got below 3 mics? how many albums got below a L from XXL? NONE. i don’t care how much of a shit sandwich it is. these mags praise the wackest shit in there reviews, then a couple years later when there next album drops the SAME mag that gave it a good review will go back and say “your last album wasn’t that hot, what’s the difference with this album”? it’s not hot? didn’t you give it a XL rating just 2 years ago? magazine reviews have always been about politics. it’s sweet karma now that major labels and magazines are both sinking ships.

    • http://www.myspace.com/emcdlthemusicprofile EmCDL

      Yep I co sign that completely…I noticed that trend with XXL for the past, oh…12 or 13 issues LOL. That last issue they had, they gave Dirt Clump Jones an XL, and that shit sold like what, 40,000 or so copies its first week? I guess as long as them major labels are feeding them that dough they’ll keep giving out XLs nad XXLs so to make people wanna buy the album…down rotten burnt biscuit bent bitch-ass politics….

      Most cats now starting to realize that indie is the way to go, so I can see them major labels going down under.

  • KCC

    I haven’t decided if I’m gonna cop or not, I liked the Greenhouse effect but the album stuff hasn’t really hit me very hard. I got some friends who don’t listen to rap, talkin bout coppin it the day it hits the shelf. Dude is gonna do big numbers I bet he goes gold in a week.

  • RiZob

    so xxl deleted your other post…lol EPIC FAIL…fight the power Bol, you fat faggot you….


    wtf! how-tf! damn homey. e.w. didnt like dat shit too much huh?


    oops! i mean, ‘No Fishsticks’. LOL. didnt like that too much huh?

  • Crocker

    Co-sign Latino Heat’s (guffaws) comment about the XXL – Benzino owned Source comparision. Sad that journalistic intergrity has a price. U guys fucking suck.

  • Yayza

    It really makes me angry that we have tools like you commenters hating on Asher Roth, who really has no beef with anybody, while real douchebags like Rick Ross, Charles Hamilton, etc. get a free pass after doing some reprehensible shit. Hell, nobody is commenting on Jadakiss here I noticed, when his album is shit under a shoe compared to Asher’s (Though Cartel Gathering is hot). Y’all need to get your priorities in order, real quick. This mentality is not a good look for the rap game, and if we ever want to see some actual change for the better we need to look at ourselves first, instead of dissing Asher just because he’s white (you know that’s why you hate him, don’t lie).

  • chillin mayne

    with regard to crockers comment…ever notice how white people always claim to b an odd fraction of sum other race (usaully “native american”)….that tickles me…then again i AM 1/100th of and inch, with .50 carry the 3, sqaure root of letter A throo d, 3, north north eastern, 20 below, hard a starboard white!…pythagoreaclly speaking that is!