Not a good look at this point in history. You can't build from a graveyard by following a narrative that's been played to death. That's like stacking death on top of death and then you have a F*ck Sh*t Stack in your BackPack, homie.
Update: Little Brother as a group that included 9th Wonder was over in 2006. They might still be sniping at each other along the way but the news here is the breakup of Phonte and Big Pooh. I guess the cultists have been holding on to reunion dreams for all these years!
Update 2: I do want to make it clear that I really dig Phonte and Big Pooh since first seeing them in Austin like 6 or 7 years ago without 9th Wonder who seemed to be already spending as much time on his own gigs as on the groups. I hope they do well with whatever they do.
I'm not such a big fan of 9th Wonder but I think he's playing an interesting role with his teaching at NCCU and so forth. Unfortunately students told me that when they mentioned a Cool Kids performance at Cats Cradle, he recommended that people not go and so only the students that were already fans went. A more appropriate response would be to tell them to check it out for themselves. But the cult mentally permeates this scene and 9th Wonder is definitely a part of that.
Plus, his beats are weak and boring. But, if you hadn't checked him out, check him out for yourself. He's got lots of fans in the area and you can enjoy his work without joining the cult!
Update 3: If you've read this far and you care about hip hop, check out Indyweek's coverage of the arts. Though I definitely have criticisms of certain things they do, they've also boosted a lot of artists and that's all to the good. But if you look more closely, you'll see that hip hop is almost always held to a politically correct standard in a way that is different from the other arts, particularly rock. Sure, Indyweek addresses a lot of issues in their arts section, which should be the norm for left/lib media, but the hip hop writers there are playing a game that's holding back the development of the local industry and it's an ideologically fueled game that I think is detrimental to local artists.
Despite my serious criticisms, Grayson Currin is an excellent writer who knows how to tell a tale. His Little Brother feature has some great stories and also paints what is ultimately a tragic ending for any group of artists, whatever their impact on the larger scene.
And I have to wonder just how beaten down Phonte and Big Pooh must be to throw such a pathetic final event in Raleigh as that described by Currin. Damn, you guys could be making a lot more money on that exit than you're getting with that approach.
That's particularly sad because when I saw them in Austin many years ago without 9th Wonder, I felt they were two of the strongest and most generous performers I had seen in a number of years. To hear that they didn't even perform at their own party confirms that this game was over long ago.
It's not that I have anything against white people, partly because I'm as obviously white as it gets, but there's something creepy about a left/lib paper that does a music issue featuring white people on the cover and follows soon after with a Valentine's Day related print promotion featuring white people. Does this represent the Triangle's diversity or do people of other colors not make music or fall in love?
Maybe it all comes down to the fact that the Independent's writers hate hip hop that doesn't follow their guidelines and perhaps the advertisers in the print supplement requested only white or white-looking couples. I don't know. It puzzles me.
So I'd encourage you to check out the February 3rd print edition of the Independent Weekly, go to page 31, leaf through "The Gift of Love" ad/content section and you tell me how it looks. And then check out the February 10th print edition, go to page 31, leaf through that "Gift of Love" ad/content section and tell me how that looks.
Admittedly, there are stories without pictures. And, in the Feb. 10th edition, there is a Greek guy and, historically speaking, they weren't always considered white and there is a guy who looks like he's covered his face in some kind of bronzing cream or something (bronzeface, anyone?). Plus, they've got some apparently lesbian couples in the mix so you can't say they're only representing straight and/or bisexual couples, though the absence of gay white male couples is a bit surprising. That said, I find this all rather disturbing.
Nevertheless, they do have a traditional out that white people tend to use in such situations. They can claim that they just picked from what was submitted and they did the best they could given the circumstances.
Sorry, but even I know that what is submitted represents who you're reaching and how comfortable they feel having themselves represented in one's publication. If you want to represent diversity, I've always found that you have to reach out to those you claim to represent or you need to STFU about your supposed left/lib values.
Of course, it could be that African, African-American, Latin, Asian, Native American, mixed-race looking people and similar genres of humans as well as gay white men don't photograph well or maybe they can't write good stories or maybe, just maybe, they don't give a f*ck about the Independent Weekly.
If you've been reading Raleighwood, NC, you know which theory I'm going with!
This Haiti disaster is so big that I haven't even had an emotional reaction except for getting mad at Wyclef Jean for being so disappointing in his response to revelations that his Yele Haiti Foundation, which is taking in huge sums of money, has a long history of financial mismanagement. The tragedy of Haiti will probably hit me at a later date, as did the horror of 9/11, so I'm focusing on spreading the word about Yele Haiti over at ProHipHop: