Filed under: Get Off My Link,Not Your Average,The Unkut Opinion
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
It’s fair to say that the internets have not been kind to rappers. While DJ’s and producers have been able to use the new avenues to their advantage, most MC’s just end-up playing themselves when they get online. It all started with message boards, where ‘underground’ rap dudes trying to kill time until Fat Beats opened up would attempt to defend their reputations against anyone who posted about how shitty their latest 12″ was. This always ended with the said rap dude getting PWND pretty badly, making me wonder why they even bothered. Come to think of it, I seem to remember one of the dudes from Cannibal Ox getting snuffed by someone from a message board related dust-up. Call me old fashioned, but I preferred it when rappers just made records and lef tthe extra commentary to the shout outs on the back of the album. We’ve just listened to you flap your gums for 40 plus minutes already, no one needs to read you blog about it (other than hardcore Stans). Having endured painful blog entries from Lupe and Joe Buddens, to name just two – it’s fair to say that MC’s suck at blogging. As for emotional rants on MySpace pages? The less said on that topic, the better.
Not that I want to stereotype all lyricists as being retarded at writing online – both Prodigy and Bun B have produced some quality keyboard insanity, but for the most part it seems that only people who don’t get the chance to say their piece on record that are capable of making worthwhile posts. Stretch Armstrong and Just Blaze = good. Phonte and Naledge = not so much.
“I started OkayPlayer because my partner, Angela Nissel, was desperately tryin’ to talk me out of gettin’ a jeep, without havin’ a license first. Back then, rappers bought vehicles and just had their boys drive. I thought, ‘Okay, Biggie had an SUV and had Lil’ Cease drive it. So I’m gonna put down money, get an SUV, and get one o’ my boys a suit. And that’ll be my car.’ And she was like, ‘This is the stupidest thing I ever heard, Ahmir!’
“Basically, Angela said, ‘You should invest in your future. If you’re gonna squander 11,000 dollars, at least put your future behind it.’ She told me we needed our own website where it’s built every day, with good graphics, where we can communicate with our fans.
“As they were buildin’ the site, I was in turn goin’ on every website just lookin’ for how we could stand out. How could we be different? And whenever I went to the black websites, I didn’t learn anything different. All I learned about Lauryn Hill was that she lo-o-o-ves reggae. The most I learned from the Tribe Called Quest website was that it had a recipe for Tip’s Famous Spaghetti Sauce. Meanwhile, the Beastie Boys were leakin’ new material to their fans every week; Courtney Love would be arguin’ with and talkin’ to fans on everyone else’s site, and Michael Stipe was communicatin’ on a weekly basis on REM’s site.”
So it cost him 11 grand to make a message board and some site pages? That’s the old site too. I shudder to imagine what they dropped on the upgraded version. I mean, it has Flash and junk. Shit must’ve cost like a quarter mil, minimum. No wonder The Roots are always touring. I would’ve gone for the jeep, personally. Especially since he was going to get a weed carrier to drive him around!
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