Wednesday, March 30, 2005


(by Oliver)

say my name, say my name

Far be it from me to bring to light an embarassing typo - like I said, I blew a few choice copy editing opportunities(1) on the book - but this is so glaring, it bears a shoulder tap.

A Pitchfork review of the "Triumph" Remix:
    Joe Budden, Rawkan, Oschino,
    Sparks, and Peedi Crack: "Triumph Remix"
    genre: hip-hop

    On 1997's Wu-Tang Forever, "Triumph" was our last chance to hear the fully assembled Wu-Tang Clan, all nine members plus Cappadonna, absolutely wrecking an eerie, swirling RZA banger. Every last Wu member brought ridiculous fire to "Triumph"; the track marks the last moment when it seemed like the Clan ran hip-hop before it splintered into a million underwhelming solo projects and petty feuds.

    Roc-A-Fella Records was the undisputable number-one brand in rap a couple of years ago. But now that Jay's left the studio for the front office and Damon Dash has announced vague plans to start his own label called Roc-4-Life, many of the label's supporting players face uncertain futures. So when a motley collection of former Roc D-teamers assemble to reassure us that they still run shit, it's impossible not to catch flashbacks of Wu-Tang's sad dissolution. Except that none of these guys have anything like the knife-edge gravity that the Wu had in 1997. Joe Budden, two years removed from his one hit, warns us: "Anybody let the milli spray by us/ Could get a ache in your heart like Billy Ray Cyrus". Rawkan, who I've never even heard of, says something about slashing the Vatican. Oschino (or Sparks?) lets us know that he's "trying to manage with Serena and Venus". The whole exercise remains sad and pointless until the end of the track when Peedi Crack's anarchic Bugs Bunny flow rolls through and saves the day. If Dash ever manages to get Roc-4-Life off the ground, he needs to build it around this guy. [Tom Breihan]
I don't have a real opinion about Pitchfork personally - I know some colleagues who like 'em, some who don't. Nor is this to pick on Mr. Breihan. From all accounts, dude is supposed to know his stuff. Apparently, there were copies of the song sent out with "Rawkan" printed as a typo...this is referring to, of course, Raekwon, who you'd presume that anyone who knows a single thing about the Wu is aware of.

Maybe Breihan is feigning ignorance as a way to draw attention to the typo though that would beg the question of 1) why is that even relevant to the review and 2) his grasp of sarcasm/satire needs some tightening since, if it's supposed to be a joke, no one's getting it.

In Breihan's defense, Immobilarity sort of made me want to forgot Rae too.

Speaking of questionable reviews...and again, I feel bad for picking on who I can only presume to be a young writer, but this college paper review of Jay-Z would be one of my first examples of "how NOT to write music criticism". This actually reads like a parody of what a bad culture writing looks like - something you might see in The Onion. Alas, I don't think this is a joke.

Not intentionally any how.

1. The most glaring is that in the entry for Brand Nubian's One For All, I missed that the writer misidentified "Concerto In X Minor" as a Grand Puba song. It is, of course, DMX rhyming on it.

I also put in an album cover image of BDP's Edutainment and labeled it as By All Means Necessary. Who must learn?
(credit: Soul Strut)