Wednesday, February 11, 2004

I've been trying to compose a 5-minute response encompassing all my views on P+J and finding myself stifled by anger and sympathy. Weird feeling.

What I can say is that P+J and all the comment threads burning up the gigabytes prove definitively why P+J remains relevant, why all my half-hearted attempts to dismiss it really mean nothing at all.

P +J gets the blood boiling and puts everyone's cards out for everyone to see. And then we get to the nub of things, what these critics really believe, behind all the 200-word style markers and 800-word canned interviews. And then we get to argue like hell about them all over again.

Beyond that, I gets emotional, some old Jennifer Hudson on American Idol, John Lennon, big-dreaming emotional. I gets angrier than a hornet and corny as fuck.

Here's Elder Tate: "For the first time since Public Enemy hit, popular taste and that of the modern Afrocentric bohemian are in bizarre sync. It's an opera and there's supposed to be a movie coming. Yay."

Here's Dean Christgau: "With all flaws and flat spots assumed, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below means to prophesy structurally: Big Boi is the self-created positivity of the gangsta culture both rappers long ago moved beyond, Andre the national aspirations they make so much more of than Eminem, Dr. Dre, and 50 Cent."

No exclamation points here. Just question marks. Do I feel happy that Outkast topped the chart? Yup. (Sympathy.) Am I happy that it needed crossover love to do it? Nope. (Anger.)

See Nate's anti-hipster I Love Music thread below. He's making a simple point. Outkast became this year's Arrested Development because they slipped over. In a good mood, those of us on this side of the line--the hip-hop gen side--get to marvel at how they did it; that Outkast can get underdog love and remain non-corny is our victory, too. In a bad mood, we go, why the fuck do we need them to validate us?

That's the stifling thing. The folks from my side that ain't bother to vote (in generals, primaries, and P+J) care as little about crossing over (just pay 'em the guarantee) as the don't-wanna-know-nothings on the other side who do.

Integrationists are corny. They're passe. They're 60s. All those politically correct teachers teach this shit to kids in elementary school. Pop music criticism, fucking America is all about teen rebellion. It's about pleasure, not politics. Sell me something, don't preach at me. Here I am, motherfucking entertain me and pass the Coors. God bless America.

I think well, I'ma go halfway. I vote, because that's what I do in elections. I don't submit comments when asked, even politely, and I refuse to become affirmative action officer because I need protection against being let down. But despite all the knee-jerk know-nothing bullshit that explodes whenever anyone begins with the letters R-A-C (or G-E-N-D-E or G-A or whatever), despite knowing without a doubt once this moment passes shit will go right back to the same old shit, I still care enough to agitate.

That's the height of corniness, to believe in something that you have no right to believe in, something that matters so little that comparing it to the Democratic primaries, let alone American global imperialism, seems the height of puffery, something that is bound to let you down but that can't be replaced by anything else in your little life.

OK there's a motherfucking comment.

posted by Zentronix @ 2:41 PM   0 comments links to this post


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