Filed under: Not Your Average,The Unkut Opinion
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
It’s only been a few days since another hip-hop legend has been taken away, and already the fuckery has reached fever-pitch. It’s almost like an unwritten law that with each and every death in the rap world, the same circus springs-up and goes through the motions. The extent varies according to how well-known the artist was, but the basic formula doesn’t change:
1. Every two-bit blog and news site posts an ‘R.I.P.’ piece with the basic facts, and maybe a song or a video.
2. A couple of DJ’s who knew and respected the artist do a quality tribute mix or radio special, followed by dozens of dudes who hadn’t played anything by the artist in years but are suddenly claiming to be ‘close personal friends’.
3. Rappers start recording quickly thrown together tribute songs that sound like they were down in five minutes.
4. Bootleg blogs post every single album and guest appearance by the artist and claim it’s a ‘dedication’.
5. Bloggers and mixtape DJ’s frantically raid the vaults in an attempt to find lost demos and outtakes that they can claim as exclusives.
6. Video interviews claiming to be the ‘last ever’ flood the blogs, followed by countless videos of rappers telling stories about hanging out the recently departed.
7. No name rappers start doing embarrassingly bad freestyles over the dead artists beats.
8. Corny ‘R.I.P’ t-shirts appear on Ebay.
I’m sure that the majority of these things are sincere attempts to honor the dead, but the combination of all of it at once can be over-whelming and makes it difficult to spot the fakers. This is not an attempt to point the finger at anyone in particular – even Unkut Dot Com has been guilty of some of these excesses in the past – but where do we draw the line? As fans of the music that these guys have made, it’s natural feel some kind of loss when they pass away, but there’s a thin line between paying your respects and milking a rap-related death to boost your page views or promote your new project. Rest In Peace is not the word to play.
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