I am just one of a great multitude of writers to have had a locker in the hallowed halls of XXL. Some of us have been great. Some of us started out great and fell the fuck off. Others have always been the weak sauce. I won’t name any names. Until recently, I could at least say we’ve all tried.
[Blogger’s Note: Some of this man and lady boy who make a bloggings, my people go crazy for. Others... not so much.]
I am a huge proponent of the guest blogger program. Whether it’s an artist or one of our loyal readers doing the blogging, I love it when people contribute thought-provoking shit to this site. This includes blog comments, which sometimes are the best part.
The Guest List sank to an all-time low this week when Shakur—a model-slash-rapper-slash-child genius who miraculously can no longer spell or write for shit—took hold of the reigns. Ironically enough, she immediately followed Skyzoo, who had just taken the section to new heights.
I can’t even count Shakur’s points of disrespect to the site, to hip-hop, to blogging as an institution and to our readers. In fact, all I can think of is how much she makes me miss Tupac.
Her first lazy-ass offering entitled “Meet Shakur” gives all of us “nobodies” a little background on who she is. She’s the upcoming XXL’s Eye Candy “as well as an upcoming artist”, whatever that means. In a couple more paragraphs of nothingness, she also informs us that she graduated high school at age 15 and was awarded a “full ride academic scholarship” to an unnamed university—I’m guessing University of Ummmmm, Let Me Leave This Shit Blank–which she attended for an undisclosed period of time to become a “Neurologist”, which she has the audacity to define as a brain surgeon.
[Blogger’s Note: A neurologist is not a brain surgeon. But the comments make all the jokes that need made about that one. She immediately made me think of that Al-Shid song, “Fight Club”. Check that shit out if you’ve never heard it.]
Doogie [Video] Hoser obviously catches feelings in her second post about absolutely nothing but herself entitled “U Don’t Know Me”, AKA the realest shit she ever wrote. I should clarify. I mean the title, not the entry. That shit reads like a booty magazine pullout. Despite breaking some kind of record for use of the word “I”, readers still know nothing about her except that her “passion [is] still in entertainment and being in front of a camera.”
That’s cool or whatever. There’s not too much wrong with being a video girl who wants to rap and be seen. But that shit doesn’t make you a writer. It also doesn’t legitimize one as a blogger for a hip-hop website.
Put a pin in that one. We’ll come back to it.
“Nada Hoe”, Shakur’s third display of lethargy, should have just been posted to the bangers section. Instead she makes the tragic mistake of directly belittling the XXL readers she once thought she could convert into fans. The “nobodies” who only demand what we at XXL claim to provide—that being something about hip-hop on a pedestal or some shit. I forgot. They told me at orientation—respond adversely to disrespect and being treated like Twitter pr0n bot followees. It also doesn’t hurt that the song blows, as expected.
I guess the scrutiny of her nonexistent music catalog that has healed people like Michael Jackson’s affords Shakur the ability to relate to Kanye West. I bet this delusional young woman thinks she can still make fans here.
“I like going against the trend and launching new futuristic sounds that are for the world, not just domestic for the United States. U have to think outside the box when it comes to the music game. My sound is a combination of urban/pop/euro. I can’t say that I sound like anyone because I’ve created my own lane.”
–Shakur, Nada Hoe blog
That’s why the song sounds like every other miserable Top 40 attempt and is produced by Top 40 producer du jour. Way to break ground with that never before heard “urban/pop/euro” shit! Also, way to play the genre slot machine and come up with a musical identity. Too bad none of them shits landed on “hip-hop” before coming to XXL.
[Blogger’s Note: Someone who has already been subjected to the auditorture, please point out something “real” that a real nigga might recognize from “Nada Hoe”.]
In Tyler Perry’s “Why I Fell In Love With Hip-Hop”, Shakur starts out with some shit Encarta might have told you about hip-hop. After informing us that hip-hop is both a culture and a movement, she sandwiches an attempt at personalizing her hip-hop experience with the most honest sentence she’s written to date.
“Hip-Hop is a brand engine and a commodity.”
-Shakur, Why I Fell In Love With Hip-Hop
Fortunately for us, people who look at hip-hop through this lens are transparent enough to get the Showtime at the Apollo treatment when “real” niggas squint their eyes looking for something they might possibly recognize.
Shakur… are you there? I… I can’t see you!
There’s some self-promotion involved in being a recording artist and featured writer. I’m not going to sit here and pretend like there’s not. But there must be some quality content to accompany the banner. Nipsey Hussle and Skyzoo used blogging as a brand engine by using the Guest List blog for its intended purpose. Sure, they got their plugs off, but they also provided some pertinent insight along the way. Dare I say they did more of the latter than the former. Unless some hip-hop and literary miracle takes place tomorrow, Shakur’s epic fail week will exemplify everything that’s wrong with hip-hop, journalism and their oft-unfortunate combination. If the only thing you want to do is plug your bullshit, take out an ad like Really Doe and Whyte Out.
I hear he’s the new face of hip-hop.
Aspiring rapsters, take note. Save everything you’ve watched Shakur do this week for your social networking interface spam. Then… don’t even do that.
Some of you niggas must condone this shit in the outside hopes that you’d get a chance to throw on your Foot Locker uniform and make something whistle. If this guest blogger looked like Bahama—ummm, Miss Celie—and wasn’t doing all that delicious stretching and jiggling, you wouldn’t have even given this writer the time of day.
To the niggas defending Shakur by playing the quasi-feminism angle to look cool, I say this: We’ve needed female presence on this shit since forever. But that doesn’t mean we should settle for the first mawfucka who fills out an application. Martin Lawrence could have run for president. I wouldn’t have voted for the nigga. I wouldn’t vote for just any nigga. I’d have to vote for THAT nigga. Accepting Shakur’s work—if you want to call it that—just because she’s a woman is an affront to feminism. There are qualified women out there. Fucking with blogs like hers, you’ll never find them.
Some simple-ass readers consider all criticism and discontent to be “hating”, and “stopping someone’s grind”. As a blogger, the grind is to write. This is what keeps our lights on and shit. You won’t see my nigga Dallas Penn doing a sexy stretch in the new Young Money video—I hope. That’s Shakur’s grind. None of us want to fuck that up, right? So, in turn, we need to keep terrible, thoughtless writers out of our blogs.
If you are a terrible thoughtless writer who happens to fall down the XXL rabbit hole and meet stern opposition, you need to take that D. Take that D like the champion that you are. It doesn’t matter if the only thing you cared to learn about blogging beforehand was stretching your fingers. One more thing: You’re very likely surrounded by great players. Don’t go into the game looking at them as nobodies.
If you’re lucky, you just might come out of this experience having hit the Jackpot. I’m sayin.
Questions? Comments? Requests? Feeling limber yet? firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S.: This is not how you want to be “seen”.