Jay Electronica is off the artistic roll call

I guess Jay Electronica’s handlers didn’t want 2010 to come to an end with me thinking his deal with Roc Nation would work out well.

One of the other things I saw, when I briefly took to the Internets over winter break to check out Tumblr pr0n (which knows no such thing as winter break) and make sure no famous people had died, is this commercial Jay Electronica where he kicked one of those rhymes he dropped back when it was announced that he was signing to Roc Nation, then took a sip from a can of Mountain Dew (not even the real Mountain Dew, that makes your peen shrink, that nasty red shit that people who play Everquest drink), label facing outward, Real World-style, in case it wasn’t already cleat that this is a goddamn Mountain Dew commercial.

It was some sad shit to watch. I saw on Twitter where Noz was all upset. (Not that he’s ever not upset.) Normally, I’d take this as an opportunity to see if I could make him even more upset, for my own personal amusement (nullus), but in this case, I’m even gonna have to go so far as to agree with the late, great Noz. Bill Hicks, who’s actually dead, was right: You do a commercial, you’re off the artistic roll call. And that goes for everyone except Willie Nelson, who somehow managed to go in debt to the IRS to the tune of $30 million in 1990 money. Which must be like a billion dollars today. He pretty much didn’t have any choice in the matter.

You know, it’s funny, I grew up on Bill Hicks’ bit about Willie Nelson being in debt to the IRS up to his bloodshot eyeballs, and doing a commercial for Taco Bell (owned by the same TIs as Mountain Dew, oddly enough) being the equivalent of letting Satan (still essentially another guy) fuck you in the ass, but it wasn’t until fairly recently that I saw the actual commercial Willie Nelson did for Taco Bell, on YouTube. It really is as sad as Hicks described it, despite the fact that the lyrics aren’t really about taking Satan’s scaly pecker up the coat. But they really are about tacos – or whatever taco variant Taco Bell was pushing at the time.

(Pro Tip: If you notice, there’s like a million things on the menu at Taco Bell, but most of them, except for those cinnamon sticks, are all slight variations on the same shit that they use to make the tacos. But for whatever, some shit costs way more than its equivalent in tacos. For example, a Nachos Bell Grande costs about as much as four tacos, maybe even more than that. Do you actually get four tacos worth of meat? Hell no. You probably don’t even get two tacos worth of meat. And that fake nacho cheese dip they use probably costs less than the real (-ish) they put on the tacos.)

From the one time I listened to it, I don’t recall there being any mention of the cool, refreshing (penis-shrinking [||}) flavor of Mountain Dew in the verse Jay Electronica kicked in that commercial. But that’s about the best thing you can say about it. And that’s to be expected anyway, in this day and age of refined marketing techniques. This is not 1990. The TIs know better than to have artists singing songs about the products they’re shilling for. If it had been a more notable artist, the placement of the can probably wouldn’t have been as obvious. As far back as when I was in college (way back in the dark ages), companies were already up on the trick of promoting events where the corporate sponsorship was hardly evident.

The fact that the first thing to come from Jay Electronica post- his signing to Roc Nation was a Mountain Dew commercial, rather than, say, a single or a tour, and the way he held the can up for the camera, like Billy Dee Williams circa 1979, leads me to believe that his deal with Roc Nation is one of these deals where they sign him up for a shedload of corporate sponsorship and then take the lion’s share of the proceeds. I knew that was going to be the case with the tour anyway, because the company that really owns Roc Nation is a concert promoter, but I guess they figured Jay Electronica wasn’t enough of a draw to justify signing him as a traditional recording artist, which is to say an actual artist. If Jay Electronica goes out on tour opening for Jay-Z, it’s not like anyone would be there to see Jay Electronica. They could just as easily have me open, reading from some of my posts from this site, like Robert De Niro in Raging Bull, sad distended gut and everything.

It makes you wonder if Jay Electronica was aware of what kind of deal he was signing back when he signed to Roc Nation. Do we know for a fact that he can read? He talks funny, and not just in the way that all rappers talk funny, peppering their speech with the phrase “know what I’m saying” like it’s going out of style. And we know for a fact that he used to be homeless. I’m sure a lot of homeless people struggle with reading, and that’s part of the reason why they’re homeless in the first place. To think, back when Jay Electronica was sleeping out on Meserole Ave in the rain, there could have been a building across the street with a sign on it that said free warm, dry beds for crazy homeless people, and he wouldn’t have known.

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  • http://ctwashere.tumblr.com CT

    biggest laugh at one of bol’s posts in months:
    “To think, back when Jay Electronica was sleeping out on Meserole Ave in the rain, there could have been a building across the street with a sign on it that said free warm, dry beds for crazy homeless people, and he wouldn’t have known.”

    • malcymalc

      i was thinking the same thing hahaha

  • thoreauly77

    damn bol, if you’re going to wholesale rip-off an entire bit by hicks, at least give him credit for the entire thing. the avclub already has it’s own recycle-o-matic, it doesn’t need another one over here at xxl. have some standards, dude.

  • Los Angelez Angelz

    Dayum Homie!!!!! Bol went in on dude! Do the Dew!

  • Q461

    Surprised this is what Bol went with today… Could have done the Gucci mental ward thing, Chuck D’s hatemail to today’s hip-hop culture, Ras Kass vs Game Part 2….But Jay Elec’s soda commercial??? Cmon Son.

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

    Chuck D’s hatemail to today’s hip-hop culture

    ^ the REAL topic of the day…like how you gonna hate on Chuck, one of them who stood up for the team? After reading them comments, I drew the conclusion that some of these younger cats are smarter than we think, they KNOW the window of opportunity is closing (rap), they’re just picking a fight with the wrong people…and for this they will suffer…

  • Q461

    Chuck D one of the most intelligent forces in hip-hop history. Also one of the only active figures in rap in their 50′s .(Peace to Ice-T) PE still touring. Young rappers need to take heed to this man’s word.

    “As far as RAP and HIP-HOP, it’s like USA Olympic basketball, the world has parity now and have surpassed the USA in ALL of the basic fundamentals of HIP-HOP – TURNTABLISM, BREAKING, GRAFFITI, and now EMCEEING with succinct mission , meaning and skill. Skill-wise rappers spitting three languages, have created super rappers to move the crowd with intensity and passion. The “arrogant” American comes in blackface, but if there was a HIP-HOP or Rap Olympics, I really don’t think the United States would get Gold, Silver or Brass or even ass for that sake”- Chuck D

    This shit is the truth. Cats in Japan and Europe are respectful to and honor ALL of the elements of hip-hop, not just music, and their loyalty is the reason why rappers that peaked here in the 90s, can still eat. They still go and see these cats on tour and are excited to see them, whereas American hip-hop fans are content to discard our heros, for the next flavor of the moment. Cats like Jeru, Bahamadia, (Just 2 examples) get mad love overseas.

    The only place where a rapper can be considered ” not relevant” is in the U.S. Real Talk.

    • Selfish Gene

      That’s the truth. U.S respect very little other than money.
      Corporate America consumed the kids minds, as the kids purchased the product. Real Hip Hop artists are always here in London, simply because they know we appreciate good music.
      Fake rappers come here too but, somehow there shows always seem to get fktup!

    • Don mcCaine

      what Q said…

  • Selfish Gene

    I was also pissed off seeing Jay Elec trickin for paper. He may aswell of signed to Puff Daddy (that’s his name, fuck a re-brand) if that was his motive. I went to see him when he came to London, & he absolutely tore the fuck down, real A class performance. I’m disappointed with him but, not surprised.
    I realise that most of the rappers that talk all that knowledge of self shii, will step ‘n’ fetchit as soon as some corporate shows them a little attention.

  • Mutada Mullah Atari

    Glad to have you back you fat fuck. Only reason I check out the blogging section of this site. Hope your eye is all good.



  • ZuluBoy Wonda

    Drake does Sprite (the product is clearly visible as well, and they tore him in piece [scary])…how’s that different from Jay-E doing Mount Dew? Double standards maybe Mr Bol? I also don’t find it funny to joke about homeless people… think 2Pac.

    • ermm

      Yes, its definitely a double standard. But Drake and Electronica have different images and different roles in the music industry. Drake had his come up on a teen drama, his music is very commercial and appeals to a wider demographic that makes him valuable to companies liek Sprite.

      Also, the swiftness of this move, as Bol mentions, before any real advances in his career were made he’s shilling for soda (or whatever mountain dew is).

      Also, who the hell is checking for what Jay Electronica is drinking? It makes no sense? He appeals to ppl that think for themselves, how do you sell crap to ppl that know better by virtue of listening to your music…?

      • ZuluBoy Wonda

        Fair theory… although it’ll seem that Jay-E did capture Bol’s attention, hence the post, so he is checking what Jay-E is drinking, he just didn’t like it – who nose (sic)… Besides, Jay-E’s job is to just plant an idea of mount dew in those ppl’s head.

  • caino

    thank god Bol is back !!

    like Q says tho, why not discuss Chuck D !!! it takes a nation of millions to hold us back!! USA have always been flippant with the rap acts, but Europe & Japan , love the full culture of hiphop and are always glad when a legend from the US comes over the pond to us !

  • mo

    grand puba and tribe ripped those sprite commercials. and lay off the soda bol, you diabetic f*ck. how is your record deal coming? your book deal? eat a dick. and good luck surviving as a homeless person. you’d die.

  • pharoethegreatest

    jay is getting his piece of this american pie you lames. Ya’ll aint gonna buy his cd anyway, get out of here with that shit.

    I’ll talk that shit all day for the simple fact, I still buy cds and downloads.

  • kidnothing

    He’s just trying to get his music out there to a wider range of people. At least hes expanding his fanbase instead of trying so hard to keep it underground that no one hears him

  • gadget

    Wow, way to be a fool and think jay elect cant read. No, he never mentions the likes of tolstoy or dolstoyevich or niche no never… have you ever listened to his tunes??? Also if you noticed he told dew they had to do the commercial in New Orleans or else he wouldn’t do it. They needed to agree to a partnership to help that city in its continuous struggle to pick up the pieces that were left after the bush era said fuck the levees let em rot. Foolish people and their narrow perspectives. PS Jay has turrets just like he said on extra extra. I’m so surprised by someone who know’s and enjoys bill hicks to be so dumb.

  • Davinci

    Bol, just lookin at that Benzino and Jay Electronica interview on some website that says hiphop artists are Illuminati shills (I call bullshit – they aint Illuminati, they’re just tricking for corporations – Jay Z’s that kinda hoe).

    Folks think that’s some kinda deep interview where the ol whiteboy Eminem is linked with Satan by of course the nutty Benzino. It’s just the usual Benzino paranoia but guess what – Jay Electronica’s nodding his head talking about Satan’s time being up blah blah and again linking it to Em.

    Yep, Jay Electronica’s not only nutty, he’s got the principles of a stray cat. He’s joined a label he and his new friends are trying to pretend is some All Black cult headed by the 41 going on 21 Jay Z but its just about cans of fattening soft drink, corporate exploitation, and the fat ego and lips of Jay Z and the fragile ego and paranoia of Kanye west.

  • MaxG72

    Shilling for that corn syrup. Who’s a Voodoo Man now?! Talk about throwing your rep away, we will never hear a Jay-E album in the same light again. This is how you shut someone up, sign them and shelve them. 1mc.us

  • DamnSon

    All you do is diss real artists man. Lupe, Jay Electronica, who by the way would be the main reason I go to a Jay-Z concert. I’d like to know your top 10 favorite rappers and why? You should do an article on that instead of just insulting the true talent that’s in this industry.