"AYO!!!! LISTEN TO MY MIXTAPE!"
Me like every day.
Not that that means anything considering how many times I’ve torched it to the ground and started over. In any event…
Me arriving to your wedding
Me arriving at your funeral
Me arriving at my high school reunion
Me arriving to class late
Me arriving to your bedroom.
yall can barely leave your rooms shut up
I got this question at my Ask.fm account but I’m giving it a signal boost here because I have a bit to say about this. I’ve been home sick for the last 3 days steady receiving tweets about random people’s projects I’m too under the weather to fuck with so I’m arguably at my most Over It when it comes to the whole rap artist submission game right now. No shots, no subs, just truth bombs from here on. Flowering fruit from the garden of truth so that all who follow may eat and enter into the knowledge of submission etiquette. Show it to your friends, I’m not saying it again.
Regarding my supposed inaccessibility, I have a day job that’s not related to the music industry and a night life that’s not related to the music industry, and whatever music industry activities I do manage to get in are gotten in during the hours between getting home from work and leaving home for work again the next day. That’s true of a lot of us, so expecting us to be, like, perennially accommodating is a little much.
If by “inaccessible” Anon meant “I couldn’t find his email address after a casual search online”, know that there’s a number of my colleagues for whom the same is true. Even so, if you google my name the first thing that comes up is my Twitter, where I’m wild active talking to people I do and don’t know at stupid hours of practically every day. How am I hard to reach?
About social media, and I think I speak for a lot of us when I say this: if your approach is off, I’m sorry, you’re probably getting ignored. Do try to get on at least the vaguest of speaking terms (It’s VERY easy) before springing your music on me. Maybe don’t send me anonymous requests for info that doesn’t appear to be publicly available (that don’t contain any info about you either. How I know you not Sallie Mae or some shit?)? Don’t jump in my Twitter mentions all perpendicular to the conversation mollywhopping me with links. Don’t ask me for a follow. (Don’t ask anyone for a follow, actually. It’s weird.) Definitely don’t use “Now following [insert Twitter handle]” as a conversation starter. Respect that I am particular about who I follow.
If I do follow and send you my contact info (which artists consider a mandate to send out everything they ever make ad infinitum until death) respect the fact that there’s rarely less than two thousand other messages banging around the inbox. Maybe this means I never get to yours. This is where a lot of artists adopt a Quick Picks mentality and figure if they double- or triple-down on follow-up, it increases their chance of getting noticed. To be honest, this has worked before, but there is rarely a point where you don’t come off like a telemarketer.
Say you get a call frommmm… Sprint, trying to sign you up for a new plan or whatever. Say you politely hit the clicker on the call in an effort to stop wasting both of your time. You’ve got shit to do, they’ve got more calls to make, amicable break, Godspeed, have a nice life. Say Sprint guy were you back two days later leaving a message about the exact same offer. Say you don’t reply to the message, and you get another call a week later about it. Multiply whatever hypothetical weird feeling you’ve got in your chest right now times a hundred, and now you’re walking in my shoes. Fucked, right?
Try to be chill and remember that we’re humans, not turnstiles to your own national renown. Holla, but don’t feel entitled to time of day just because you did. Everyone else is doing it too.
***Girls Tyme Triple Star Bonus Question***
Waittt, did I just deliver a pick up artist diatribe for struggling rappers?
#NeverForget Kanye West dressed as Spider-Man nemesis Kraven for the 2010 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
My favorite post of the year is BACK
KENDRICK IS RIGHT BECAUSE KANYE IS RIGHT
Kanye is right.
This past spring I attended an intimate brunch with a hand picked group of Black women. Usually overlooked by the hosts, despite being a Black woman in media, I was surprised by the invitation. Still, I went as myself and enjoyed myself, grateful for the morning of celebration. Two days later I received a follow-up email from one of the hosts – she began with complimenting how ‘lovely, smart and articulate’ I was. She was surprised.
I read over her email again. Nice to officially meet you. You’re very lovely, smart and articulate. I was surprised. Here’s my contact information.
Yup, ‘surprised’ was still there.
Everyday I’m shown examples just how little social understanding we have of our words. While this well-meaning woman thought enough of our table conversation to make sure we kept in contact, she was unaware of the insult she’d used to do so.
“I was surprised,” is the politely masked way of saying, “I didn’t expect you,” which begs the inevitable question well, why not?
Classism is defined as ‘a biased or discriminatory attitude based on distinctions made between social or economic classes.’
Two days after its anticipated release, several major-publications headlined ‘surprise’ over The Best Man Holiday’s $30 million opening. But, whom did it surprise? Best Man Holiday was heavily promoted for weeks; with it’s cast making all the rounds from television, radio and even blogs. There were numerous screenings held in every major city. The tracking on this film was high. Yet Forbes claimed its success ‘stuns’.
Steven Marsh’s ‘surprise’ at TDE’s discipline is the same obnoxious backhanded snobbery that has plagued Hip Hop, lower socio-economic groups and people of color for generations. Classism is the new (accepted) racism.
It’s an acknowledgement of low expectations based on a pre-judgment. It is not a compliment. It’s biased ignorance based on their thoughts on a particular person, group or culture. It is the idea that encloses around us, caging us into a narrow room marked ‘what we’re only good for.’ Classism is a new zoo, with a wide cultural variety of monkeys.
Either way, it’s still wrong.
Classism is tricky because we celebrate it…until it’s used against us. We revere GQ, often using the book as a benchmark of success. You’ve had to really impact pop culture to make it into its pages. In a sense, we’ve given it its own class, celebrated with news stories, parties and social media conversation for those who’ve made it onto the cover. What happened with Kendrick was simple: the machine we’ve revered acknowledged the gap between them and us.
The success of Best Man Holiday ‘surprised’ so many because (according to USA Today) it was a race-themed film. It wasn’t an ensemble or a romantic comedy, but a ‘Black movie’ thus lowering the expectations.
So how do you fight classism? Especially when you need it? Without a separation of class, GQ is no more important than a free blog written by your unqualified neighbor.
The important tool here is an understanding that your we includes me too. You can’t be surprised if I wasn’t surprised, and just because you don’t look like me, or listen to what I listen to you, you still speak to and for me. You can’t be surprised because I knew it all along. If you’re writing a story about the Rapper of the Year, he’s your Rapper of the Year too. And you should know enough to not be surprised by his discipline. You should simply want to promote and celebrate it.
The Best Man Holiday didn’t over perform. It was under estimated. And that’s the story that needs to be told.
We have to tell this truth. We have to point classism out as we do racism. As the game changes, so must our understanding of it. Without an evolution in our knowledge of the rules, we can and will be played.
Don’t tell me you’re ‘surprised’. Tell me you misjudged me.
Kanye combated this by taking over Jimmy Kimmel’s hour to explain why he won’t play nice. Black twitter – which like it or not is a thing – will come for you creating an embarrassing PR nightmare. And the Rapper of the Year will skip your party. Still surprised? Don’t be.
Kanye already told you, “It’s not safe for you in this zoo.” Nor should it be.
Couple people asked me for a recap of what I’ve been up to lately on the literary front but I think I’m doing this more to convince myself of the rewards of a summer I rarely felt like I was enjoying during. I got these links! That’s something, right?
* - contributed words but didn’t write the whole thing.