April was supposed to be our big reprieve from the unholy dump of tabloid fodder, indie buzz news jargon, and frivolous rap beefs that marr our days and clog our feeds. Baseball season and the NBA Playoffs were supposed to be our way of mentally checking out at 5 p.m., shutting out the noise of Morrissey soapboxes, Tyler the Creator mischief, and debates over whether the emo revival is real or fabricated or embedded in our DNA like a terminal virus we’ve all caught from coming in contact with Fueled By Ramen records in the ’90s (think piece in the making!).
Instead, the NBA Playoffs brought us face-to-face with a corporate waterhead who’s been reprimanded for decades of bigotry and corruption because his mistress was being sued by his estranged wife. Now we can’t check out like in those Corona commercials we see at half-time. If this is “our beach,” the events of April have represented a salty tide of mottled seaweed and jellyfish and debris that has mercilessly washed over our umbrella-and-towel setups. You thought Coronas couldn’t get any more watered down?
The past 30 days didn’t bode well for post-racial America. Allegations of racist behavior took down Sterling, Bob Dylan, Sky Ferreira, Avril Lavigne, and Pitchfork writers. We can’t believe we’re saying this, but we kind of felt like Drake sitting courtside with a lint roller, furiously trying to get the filth off. We get it, Aubrey. We totally get it. Stay fresh, stay clean.
Kurt Cobain is STILL rolling over his his grave, costantly
New morsels of information regarding Kurt Cobain’s death will continue to trickle out until we’re all dead… or until the next milestone anniversary of his death. None of these morsels will change the fact that we have no idea what the fuck really happened. “Piece of paper in his wallet” might be a little more accurate than “suicide note,” but this is about manufacturing drama, isn’t it? The note contained mock wedding vows calling out Courtney Love for “siphoning” his money and being a “whore.” Not as widely reported was that next to the “suicide note” was a “last meal grocery list” that included cryptic, poetic scrawling of words like “milk,” “eggs,” and “cigarettes.” Only the Internet can tell us what it all truly means (eggs = Courtney is a murderer?). A Rite-Aid Rewards card was also found at the scene.
Make “hipsters vs. hip-hop” stop.
The “hipsters v hip-hop” arguments continue to miss the fact that a greater class and culture struggle is at work here. The same folks that are making the game soft and commercial are most likely the same schmucks that are gentrifying your favorite neighborhoods, shutting down DIY spaces, and propagating a Stepford-suburbia the world over. Apart from the mud-slinging over vague terms alluding to the corrosive technocratic hordes of privilege, come up with a better pair of polemics to dissect any distasteful developments regarding hip hop’s current state of affairs.
Basically when Noisey/Vice becomes the voice of reason, it’s time to check one’s self.
Lil B + Katy Perry 4ever
Keeping on that iconic free play of verse, Lil B’s “Katy Perry” loosie prompted Katy Perry to ask the Based God on Twitter to, “Be my prom date @LILBTHEBASEDGOD”. Not unlike the alleged “Based God’s Curse” over Kevin Durant and the beef served up on the “Fuck KD” diss track, Oakland’s metaphysical/post-physical rapper makes these superstar-surrealist events manifest in real life.
Wu-Tang affiliate cuts off own penis
Remember that skit at the beginning of “M.E.T.H.O.D. Man” with Method Man and Raekwon trying out torture-brag one another, beginning each proclamation with “I’ll fucking, I’ll fucking…” Rapper Christ Bearer of the West Coast Killa Beez group Northstar took it too far.
Somehow we feel like D.A.R.E. is going to run with this in a new campaign since the fear tactics they told us in the 90s (ex: “acid makes you think you’re falling off a 10-story building but it’s just a chair”) resulted in a generation of adults ironically wearing D.A.R.E. t-shirts, while tripping their faces off at music festivals.
(Also, how fucking insane is it he was once on “Nutt Sackular Publishing”?)
Drake vs Jay-Z in a tickle fight
First Drake, in a courtside interview poked at Jay-Z that the rap mogul was “somewhere eating a fondue plate” instead of attending the playoff game. Then, Jay-Z got on a DJ Khaled record to drop the couplet “Haters wanna ball let me tighten up my drawstring / wrong sports boy, you know you soft as a lacrosse team.”
When we look back in a few months no one have been shot, we won’t recall why fondue was trending on Twitter, and Kool A.D. will have updated his “I’m Drake vs Common / who cares?” line.
Sky Ferreira x Avril Lavigne x Racism
There’s no doubt that Donald Sterling’s comments were bigoted and awful, but such instances of clear-cut racism to be outraged at are rare. Usually it’s a little more ambiguous and hazy, as it was for a few of April’s most talked-about music videos, namely Sky Ferreia’s video for “I Blame Myself,” for which she has been accused of using black men as “props,” and Avril Lavigne’s video for “Hello Kitty,” which certainly is using a caricature of Asian culture as a prop. What can you really even say besides that these types of appropriations of other cultures are never going to end—or they’re not going to end for a long time—and neither will the debate over how far over that hazy line these appropriations actually cross.
Mobb Deep vs. Jayson Greene of Pitchfork
After receiving a perfect 10 on Pitchfork for the reissue of 1994′s The Infamous, Prodigy took to Twitter to give reviewer Jayson Greene a piece of his mind about blood streams and credentials and who’s allowed to write about hip hop.
Greene attempted to rationalize with Prodigy by reminding him they’ve met before during an interview regarding Prodigy’s book, My Infamous Life—forgetting Prodigy’s oft-quoted nonsensical line, “I’ll throw a TV at you crazy”. The exchange deteriorated from there with Greene opting for the sardonic defensive and Prodigy being a curmudgeon of the Lord Jamar caliber.
What have we learned? You can’t end racially charged tension by throwing a TV, but damn if life wouldn’t be way cooler if you could.
Are you anti-anti-Record Store Day or pro-anti-Record Store Day?
Even something as seemingly innocuous and beneficial to all that is good in the world can’t go off without someone getting screwed. You might love Record Store Day, you might hate Record Store Day (some might prefer not to wait in line for hours to buy a 7″ for $40), but the one thing we thought we could agree on was that it was great for record stores. I feel like I saw a statistic that said brick-and-mortar record sales increased by 5 million percent on RSD (don’t quote us on that number). But now, apparently, some shop owners aren’t seeing as much green as they should, as register takes are being weighed down by the price it costs to stock all of the expensive limited edition releases, many of which don’t sell. How about we all just go leisurely shop at record stores on a normal Saturday that isn’t an industry clusterfuck? No? Oh well…
April Fool’s albums: Boogie & Madvillain
You know… somehow it feels like there’s an alternate plane of existence—of which we cannot reach—where Demarcus “Boogie Smooth” Cousin’s Misunderstood and the completion of Madvillainy 2 are real things instead of cruel April Fool’s day pranks.
And yet, here we are… not laughing, but furiously trying to lint roll our brains.