What We Talking ‘Bout?
Some of ya’ll might be familar with me, most of ya’ll, not so much. I go by the pen name of Combat Jack. Picked up the tag a few years back, from the chapter in that Generation Kill book, mainly cause of how I like to bust shots in the heat of battle. ’70’s-’80’s baby, Brooklyn born, Ivy league lawyer that jumped into the music industry way back when it was a viable industry. Worked with the best, Jay, Dame, Puff, rubbed shoulders with most, 50, ‘Ye and whomever else was around in the ’90’s and the earlier part of this decade. Seen a lotta movements come and go. I put in a good 10 years plus before I got burned out, tired of the music, fed up with the shenanigans, bored with the game back in 2003. That’s when I left, specifically at the top of 2004.
Getting my head together as to what my next step after the industry would be, I wrote a book (a perfect stocking stuffer for the upcoming holiday season. Heh). That’s around the time I met the dude that writes down the other end of the hall, Byron Crawford. Being new to the blog game, bol put me down with his site and let me guest a coupla posts. Them shits was fires. Put me as a blogger on the map and helped Byron expand his audience. Being how dude tends to piss a whole lot of people off, my association with him hasn’t always worked out in my favor. In 2005 I worked briefly in television as an exec at MTV. That didn’t last long. Was the worst professional experience in my life. Ever. Decided I would take some more time off, see what else life had to offer beyond punching a clock. Not that I could afford to, especially with me being married, having four kids, a mortgage and what not, but there comes a time in a man’s life when one says “eff it”, throws caution aside and follows their dreams.
In 2006 I linked up with the homey Dallas Penn who used to blog here under the name Billy X. Sunday. That dude is one of the realest, illest out, and is a true friend. I’m saying that because it’s true, and also for when he blows up big time, which he will, I want him to remember that I said this here. Back then, still not ready to go the blogger route full time, I guested and brought the fires to his site as well. Had some well publicized beefs too. Like the time I took out former XXL blogger Sickamore for running his mouth real flagrant like. Ran his lil ass off this site even. I do that sometimes. Blog beef. Does the body and mind good. Great for ratings. Blogging, like rap, is a full contact sport. And I love the sport of rap. I blame that on my Hip Hop pedigree though, you know, it being one of the most combative forms of popular art known today. For fun though. And of course, never personal.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a battle blogger, even though I’m nice with mines and welcome all challengers. Eventually realizing it was way past time for me to stand on my own two with this blog thing, I finally launched my own site, the Daily Mathematics earlier this year. In the short time that I set it off, it seems a lotta people have appreciated the work that I put in. Stories about deals and execs and other music biz experiences, album reviews, geek ish, movies, video games, all that. I also managed to get into a long winded, still existing feud with New York’s Hot 97 radio personality Peter Rosenberg. Plain and simple, dude gets on my nerves. Maybe cause of how wack he is. And how nobody else in New York is standing up to say it, careful to co-sign how much New York rap radio has fallen off, scared to go at cats hiding behind major corporations for fear of backlash. And me not being so good at being able to hold my tongue. I guess.
But I digress.
Seems the noise I’ve been making over the years and during the ’09 has finally caught the attention of the fine people over here at XXL. I got the call a coupla weeks ago to join on as a regular blogger. I jumped at the chance. Wider audience. Plus, I respect XXL for the brand that it is, the legacy it’s created. I’m truly humbled at this shot and I aim to please. I hear that you XXL readers are a tough crowd though. They got ya’ll labeled as haters, disgruntled rap fans and what not. I don’t see that. What I see is a group of people that probably feel like they’re not well represented in this Hip Hop media thing for what they’re really about. A group of people not too thrilled about the music that gets selected by corporations to be played endlessly on the radio, on the videos. A group of people that’s too smart to keep letting suits tell them what they’re supposed to be listening to, what they’re supposed to be wearing, reading, watching, playing, all that. A group of people who don’t get the encouragement they need to help them in veering off the tired employee road and onto the journey to achieving their own personal dreams. Support to help them turn the impossible into reality. If I’m wrong, pardon me for my silly little assumptions. And if I’m on point, then whaddup fam?
So here I am, an old school cat with brand new pen game. I ain’t here to make no types of promises, but trust that I’ma bring my most honest, realest, most unadulterated thoughts to the screen as carved through fine blogsmanship. Hip Hop and all things related is what I’ll be writing about. I live this like I hope you do. Day in and day out. And for years. Trust. We can evolve and get sophisticated, building on things like economic empowerment, the only effin route left for each and everyone of us to walk down in this day and age of financial effery, or we can break down and get ig’nant, goonish and all types of nonsensical thuggish shit that the game tends to bring. I prefer the former. I can do both.
But really B, who gives a shit if I’ve done a whole lot, more than some cats will do in their entire lifetime? So effin what? That’s all in the past. I’m here now. Today. Writing on XXL. On the regular. Welcome to Today’s Mathematics with me, Combat Jack as your host. I’m ready to burn a hole through this bitch. So… what we talking ’bout?
By the way, and with all due respect to the late great Mr. Rios, the Notorious B.I.G. was better.
Also, an XXL salutes to my man Dara Taherpour over at Subcon Threads for blessing me with the artwork that graces my banner. Good looking D!