27 April 2007
I CAN SELL A MILL SAYING EVERYTHING ON THE TRACK
WAYNE'S WORLD IS AN INVISIBLE COTERIE
YOU ARE NOT PART OF AFOREMENTIONED INVISIBLE COTERIE
Julianne wrote a great piece on Lil Wayne today, worth reading because it is most likely about you, the hyperfingered blogskimming danceremixing motherfucker who hasn't listened to any one song the last six months more than six times, except maybe "Young Folks." The general buzz is that Wayne is all-pleasure anymore, one moneyshot after the next, something like a rapping Girl Talk. He writes lyrics with their repurposing in mind, ready to be quoted out of context, which they happen to be from the outset. He chases tangents because he knows we're not listening; maybe he isn't either?
Am I jumping off the Wayne train? No but I feel like Drought 3 is a dare and I don't expect many people to take Wayne up. Here's a guy who can say whatever the fuck he wants on a track, free-associative, ADHD, "lyrical" or whatever, and most times it will hit really really hard, every two-bars something to take back home, a fount of one-liners that coincides with our embarrassingly short attention spans. Maybe you write these lines down in a moleskine, in a section called "@lyrics" using GTD, or maybe you have a sweet blog that needs a headline to go with an mp3 once in a while--maybe the line ends up there, cleverness by association, etc.
But what happens to all the other rhymes is pretty much the same thing that happens to all the other rappers' rhymes, just sorta forgotten, spit out and gone forever, so my question is: effectively what's the difference for attention-deficient you between a guy who says nothing on the track and a guy who says everything? The internet is basically leaving Wayne on the level of Mims, interacting with him really literally, at best "love of the language" or something equally anti-intellectual or just the kind of anti-intellectual that masks no intellect. I just don't think anybody's going to take the time to weigh the juxtapositions, feel the resonances of those one-liners and how they interact with one another, read and create the connections Wayne is begging us to make with all this ridiculous output.
Granted there's something incredibly liberating to knowing your intended audience doesn't give a fuck what you say as long as there are jokes in it and a sweet beat or a hot rating. Definitely characterized the track reviews glory days when Indie Rock America was bothered simply because there was a black man wearing a purple fur in the tracks graphics box, angered and alienated by that much more than any critical flourish. Zach Baron and Pete L'Official's mini-reviews remain some of my favorite things that have ever run on the internet, just so dead-on critically, tones that rose to the levels of the art they criticized, and if you didn't understand it, it's because it wasn't meant for you to understand. Reading can and should be a challenge sometimes. Sorry mommas, they're so obnoxious, it's not like riding a bike, etc.
So who the hell knows what's going on between the (one-)line(r)s. There could be elaborate missile deployment codes for all we know, or ingredients for a new kind of sandwich. It'll be too much work for your numb face though won't it, plus fuck it all if the virtue of hard work hasn't become the internet avatar of homosexuality, god forbid we act like this stuff is more important than it is, treat it like Langston. Somebody's decided our reading is supposed to be as effortless as Wayne's delivery, which presupposes something really fucking shaky, i.e. that Wayne is an effortless writer. He's prolific for sure but I'd love to see the floor of his chopping block, the lines that don't make it, etc. Except as has been mentioned in prior live action riffing type situations, you'll never get guys like Wayne into the chair to talk about how they write, where they write, what they're drawing from, because they know admitting anything but 100% inspiration 0% perspiration is such a fucking death knell. Because rap music is supposed to be really fun, really popular, an entertainment whose artists ostensibly conflate artistic with statistic, end of story.
So then again what about Wayne, who's giving this stuff out for free before Khaled jumps on the tape and screams lisssssteen! every fifteen fucking seconds, because Wayne knows how annoying that is. What about a rapper who secretly albeit clearly to me gives a shit about what he's doing, so much so that he doesn't even want to get paid for it. He just wants validation. He wants somebody to rise to his level and read the fuck out of these lyrics, really think about how they fit together track after track. The people who buy CDs aren't hearing these tracks. You and I are though and, excepting Julianne, we are utterly (utterly) failing him.
WHO WILL JOIN ME ON THIS JOURNEY?