Hoodrats are from the future

Part of the reason hip-hop is in such a sad state of affairs is because hoodrats have all of the money, and obviously they don’t give a shit about rap music.

I realized this was the case a while back, when Elliott Wilson was let go from XXL and replaced by that one guy who was only around for a few weeks, as if he was part of the blogging department. The period leading up until that point had seen XXL make a lot of bizarre moves, clearly out of desperation: letting writers with an established following on the Internets blog for the website; putting Lil Wayne on the cover every other month, etc. Obviously, XXL wasn’t doing as well as it did back in its early to mid aughts heyday. But at least it didn’t lose its contract with Luster’s Pink Oil Moisturizer and end up having to go out of business, like Vibe, or become the vanity operation of some guy who clearly couldn’t put together a decent magazine if he wanted to, despite his intellect, not to mention his presumably abundant resources.

XXL started running a lot of stories on suspect-looking R&B artists. I read in an interview once that that’s why eskay left, though I’m not sure if I should believe it. I know he was integral in parroting the idea that the reason the late, great Sickamore left Atlantic Records.was because he could make more money working for himself. This may have even been around the same time. Later, someone told me what was supposedly the real reason, but I’m not gonna say what it was, both because that post I did on Kevin Nottingham taught me that the hip-hop community has no concept of ethics, and because shoddy fact-checking has already cost me my mostly imagined relationship with Necole Bitchie, this week. Which sucks, because that was probably the best relationship with a woman I ever had. If I’m ever gonna ride in an expensive car, that doesn’t belong to my parents, I’m gonna have to work on becoming a better journalist.

The thing is, a brother such as myself is not gonna spend a whole lot of money on material bullshit, both because I don’t have any money to spend, and because I know better than to spend a shedload of money on something that’s not really worth a shit, aside from the value projected onto it by people who lack the sense god gave geese. And I’m assuming that’s why XXL is trying to expand into that coveted hoodrat demographic, both with these articles on Trey Songz and The-Dream, and with the knockoff version of Hip Hop Weekly they’re putting out this summer. Even if a lot of XXL’s male readership would buy something just because it was advertised in a magazine, they probably don’t have any money anyway. Black women, meanwhile, stay balling, despite themselves. I read on formspring – a veritable fount of fascinating information about conceited hip-hop journalists (or so I’ve been told) – that the biggest single check Necole Bitchie ever received from blogging was in the five figure range. And because my annual salary is in the very low five figures, it could very well be the case that Necole Bitchie made more money in that one check than I made all year long. Damn.

Normally, such a revelation might lead me to reflect on some of the things I’ve had to do over the years just to put food on my family (no homo), and to lament the fact that it seems like the more effort I put into my work, the worse my situation gets, while relative no-talents are out here reaping such handsome rewards, but I’m starting to come to the realization that thinking like that is not gonna get me anywhere in life. I shouldn’t just treat a woman like Necole Bitchie any old way. And I should be supportive of my employer, in its efforts to find an audience that’s (even) more susceptible to advertising. Who knows. It might get me that living wage I’ve been dreaming about all these years. At the very least, it might keep XXL from going out of business.

  • http://letyoutellit.com http://letyoutellit.com/

    Who U Tellin Good Read

  • Apollo Moses

    wow dude, you really took the effort to get introspective on this one…good post

  • what

    Taking it to that new level… I like! (no Borat)

    I think your argument that hip-hop journalism has an ethics problem is true, but just a part of the whole. Hip-hop journalism suffers from not only the low journalistic standards of its audience, but also the deteriorating state of journalism in general.

    David Simon (creator of the Wire, former Baltimore Sun journalist) discusses this problem in his interviews. The Internet is killing journalism.

    Because no one buys newspapers, news outlets can no longer pay good journalists to go “out in the streets” and get NEW information via interviewing, investigating, being embedded and so on.

    Instead of searching for relevant new information, modern journalism considers it adequate to simply gather and aggregate it, and you, Bol, are part of the problem.

    It’s not just that XXL is slackin’, but that nobody holds them accountable to produce quality journalism.

    You know all that shit that the Smoking Gun does, where they actually dig up court documents which prove there’s more to Rick Ross and Alfamega than meets the eye?

    XXL SHOULD BE DOING THAT. Wouldn’t it be great if it was a flagship brand of hip-hop journalism that uncovered these stories, instead of a bunch of pasty crackers with too much time on their hands?

    I’m under the impression that it would. As a great man once said, What do you fruits think?

    • rec

      co-sign whole-heartedly

  • sealsaa

    “Instead of searching for relevant new information, modern journalism considers it adequate to simply gather and aggregate it,”

    More of ^^^THIS, and less of that tripe that the “staff” posted yesterday campaigning for Gucci Mane’s shitty music. Props to everyone who jumped in their asses for it.

    And i’ve been bitching about XXL’s R&B love fest ever since Yellow Nig got tossed out on his ass, Uncle Phil style. Doesn’t make a difference though. The staff has made it abundantly clear that they don’t give a shit, and that they know what you like, even if you don’t.

    • what

      I should add, though, that I don’t blame any one person or institution in particular for the state of hip-hop journalism today.

      Don’t take this the wrong way. Bol’s a dedicated, prolific hip-hop writer who truly recognizes the potential of the Internet as a unique medium for criticizing public figures. He will almost certainly be recognized as the greatest hip-hop writer of his time, and it’s a shame that economic realities have relegated him to the authorial ghetto in which he currently resides.

      But what about the JOURNALISM? I want to see the phrase “condition of anonymity” in XXL. As in, “Insider X from Interscope, speaking under condition of anonymity, gave us the scoop on Artist Y’s deal with Mogul Z.”

      Here’s another example. When crazy shit goes down in Iraq, Liberia, and Nepal, the New York Times has its people there within hours. When the Alfamega story broke, XXL was content to simply demonize him as an informant, but they should have sent their people to go get interviews from folks in the Atlanta State Pen and in the Bankhead community.

      I mean, there was such a fucking interesting story there that never really got told. Most rappers build their credibility on word-of-mouth or silly possession charges that don’t really mean anything.

      Has anyone actually read the court transcript of him snitching? It’s like a movie. Alfamega had a document which solidly PROVED that he really did all that shit that most rappers only rap about. He really did move that weight, he had the money, the cars, he had 13 kids by 13 different women.

      And that same document killed his career. But you know what? I wanted to know more. I wanted to hear about what led him to that decision. I wanted depth and context, without some jackass editorializing about Alfamega’s fraudulence or, like Bol, blindly speculating about why he did it.

      But Bol’s not really a journalist, as such. He’s a commentator. No disrespect intended; that’s not his job. And that’s the main problem here.

      There’s just no incentive. Why risk money trying to produce solid journalism when you can just aggregate the bullshit and call it a day?

      As long as we inhabit a capitalist society, there needs to be a viable economic model for producing substantive journalism in the Internet era, and hip-hop journalism is no exception. Talented writers shouldn’t settle for mediocrity.

      This is the kind of shit that changes the world for the better, but in a billion little ways that nobody notices unless they’re looking for it. Time to brainstorm.

      • http://www.bboycult.com www.bboycult.com

        well said, my man, well said!

      • Ashim

        tabernacle sir…

  • http://www.bboycult.com $yk!

    A goodbye posting?

  • SOUTHSIDE A-TOWN

    ^^yeah, it kinda had that vibe.

  • beaver

    ^^^yea i agree..sounds lik a goodbye postin..
    i hope nott..bol is a good blogger.

  • http://www.bboycult.com $yk!

    C/S what

    XXL should never be posting rips from WSHH or OnSmash. Prime example of hustling backwards, this place is supposed to get all and any type of exclusive.

    eskay came from here and gets all of the exclusives before here. Fail. The Internet Celebrities run this thing right now, Bol is the cousin you keep at arms distance because he’s a rebel rouser. CJ puts you on to game, Dallas is the people’s champ, Meka & Miss Info are them connects, Mexx’ NP is known like ‘C’mon Son’…

    Bol threw a dart @ the new chick…”hoodrat”…anyone can blog now…

    • http://www.bboycult.com www.bboycult.com

      thats exactly what i saw halfway thru! rebel rouser or not, Bol gets it the fuck in. well, now a days. he had a bad spell tryin his hand at that gossip style. this shit, like today is what makes this baw REAL wit his. as in a real talent.

      dont worry, big fella, you’ll get yours eventually. cause somebody, somewhere besides me n $yk over at the site has noticed that you are the ballast in this boat at this point. it’s the only reason to come here. even the bangers section is real suspect. they just need to rename it “top fortyers” and stop playin games. yall used to be the savin grace for the culture when The Source fell victim to niggadom. XXL became, like i wrote in my post “Cut That Out”, the place for responsible editorial. now take a good look what yall say is all good. look at what yall are responsible for.

      embrace the rap industry, XXL. yall stopped fuckin wit hip hop a while back…

  • 3rd eye clear

    It’s damaging on so many levels as well. It’s like I continue to grow and mature but the culture does not.
    I would hate to leave this behind but it’s true what they say..”it’s becoming hard to defend hip-hop.”
    You grow and your environment changes and you are just not willing to resort to playing RnB, yet you know that there is no way to explain to your co-workers, neighbors, or aquaintances…”what did he just say”

  • doggert

    Cool post, some of xxls more journalistic moments are wicked and i like some of the trash talk but honestly some of the guest writers are garbage unless they’re deliberatley of course to stir up hate and comments..who knows.

    Why doesnt xxl offer some paid writing opportunities to new talent, get peeps to send in free article if xxl like it they pay the next one. worst case scenaro you have loads of free B – rated articles to steal, best scenario you have good writers on books you direct for cash. Enough of these commenters churn out a good blind one

  • ChinCheka

    Bol: The only reason that I even come to this site (nulls). Nuff Said

  • DV8

    SMH, Bol holdin down 2 websites at once. WTF is going on at the XXL offices? Ive noticed some commenters who have been on here for quite a while have moved on. No Matt Herbz or Tony Grands lately. RonMex, Dallas Penn, Combat Jack all gone (these guys along with Bol kept me checking in at the X-spot). This website (and the mag for that matter) is heading in a direction I do not like. Come on Vanessa!!!!! You didnt put in all that work for all these years to run XXL into the ground and turn it into Honey or Vibe magazine did you? Bring that raw shit back and stop with the R&B shit (however isnt it great that Lady Gaga has Akon considering retirement? Please do Akon, please do.)

  • latino heat

    Bol, it seems your having the same problem that most of the truly talented hip hop artists have faced for many years now.

    in the blogging world you are Ras Kass, Boot Camp Click, M.O.P., etc. while Sandra Rose and other b.s. like her is Soulja Bitch, P.Shitty, etc. way less talented but cashing bigger checks by pandering to the lowest common denominator.

    i know it has to be disheartening to see these no talents making more then you. as Ras Kass once said, “i want a mansion and a yacht and all that shit all these rich wack rappers got.”

    i hope you stay true to yourself like the artists i mentioned above. but we all have bills to pay so if you do have to switch your style to make ends meet nobody could really be mad at you. you would simply then be referred to as the Black Eyed Peas of the blogging game. lol.

  • http://xxl All Dae

    Somebody at XXL give What a blog over here.

    And I mean a blog…Bols a blogger to me so he doesn’t need to cite refrences or add footnotes. I understand as well as most commenters on here that blogging is more a personal journal of the writers ideas, views, and personal opinions that he shares with the world.
    I don’t hold him to the same standards as a writer for the Ecnomist who’s publication is based on facts at all times for a serious reader. How many serious readers are on here? yeah the Eye Candy section is just improving my vocabulary. j/k
    The fact that Bol and other writers on here get entire blogs removed or fired(?) is lol for real. it’s common knowledge that blogs are tounge in cheek.
    I sure hope Bol doesn’t sell his ass for extra beer money. There’s a lot more self depreciaton jokes going on and I don’t like it. Where’s the shit talkin, heartless, virgin, lie exposer, favorite rappers least favorite blogger at?

  • capcobra

    primo ain’t make nowhere near the money that timbaland made but he still made an impact and left a legacy…so when it’s all said and done they gon salute you bol.

  • Caino

    co/sign^^^^

    shit even just the posts you have done so far this year are way superior than most!!

    l hope this isnt a goodbye, or xxl are gonna lose even more readers!!!

  • http://www.EricaVain.com Erica Vain

    I’m confused… was this a goodbye post or just venting… either way people make the mistake of thinking bloggers are dumb and have no talent… to be honest necole bicthie inspired me to start blogging and i have a bachelors degree and will receive my masters this May both in Biology… at the age of 23.. I’m far from dumb… and too many people assume the worse about bloggers… people need to be thanking bloggers like necole bitchie, miss jia, concrete loop and the like because they have helped so many people careers!!!! more than most will ever know…. i’m just saying…. they are successful in their own right and nobody has the right to take that from them….PERIOD!

  • Dave D

    Bloggers are not journalists, I repeat, and never will be.

  • I KNOW YOU!!

    THEY ALWAYS RAN IT, FROM THE START OF THE BAAAD BOY ERA. YOU BROKE NIGGZ AINT BUYING CDS. IF SHA KEY KEY AINT COMING TO THE SHOW, NOW YOU AINT MAKING NO DOE! ‘TAKE DAT TAKE DAT”

  • http://www.omgitsher.com AScott

    You love to drop Necole Bitchie’s name!

  • mav

    pretty good post