Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Deliver the gangsta, not the angsta

Posted By on Tue, Mar 21, 2006 at 5:28 PM

I was considering writing a review of the P.O.S./Mac Lethal show last night at the Record Bar, but two things stood in my way: (1) I missed Mac Lethal because I forgot about the damn thing and didn't get there until midnight, and (2) I just found a very good review of the engagement at What the F#@% is This?, a brand-new blog and print 'zine launched anonymously that covers all things pertaining to local hip-hop. Some really great turns of phrase in that review. Damn. I may be out of a job soon. The writer's take on Mac was affectionate and almost poignant — it was good to see that piece come out at a time when Mac could either become taken for granted or baselessly resented by locals for starting to become successful. That said, I wish Rhymesayers would fucking hurry up and release his album. That guy's working his ass off on tour, has worked his ass off on the album, and deserves to start getting real paid.

So, because the review side's covered, I can focus on another matter that many of you may be aware of but some may not. KRBZ 96.5 the Buzz has a fairly new Sunday night hip-hop show called the Jump-Off, hosted by Mac himself and Slimfast, who is best known as the victim of his boss Lazlo's caprices during the very popular and very commercials-and-bad-music-choked "Church of Lazlo" afternoon show. I ran into Slimfast at the RB last night, and he said he had beef with me for not mentioning the Jump-Off in a recent story I did in which I talked about how the commercial hip-hop stations (Power 103 and 95.7 the Vibe) don't play local artists. Well, the Jump-Off does, according to Slimfast, but it seems to me like their focus is mostly on introducing locals to national, non-mainstream rap, such as that produced by Rhymesayers artists, and also a lot of East and West Coast conscious rap. As one writer of mine, Andy Vihstadt, would say, they deliver the angsta, not the gangsta. They don't, however, deliver shovelfuls of spins of local records, or they would have had a few local shows on that 3/12 playlist, don'tcha think? However, until I'm sure they don't do all-local shows once a month or so, I will refrain from reaming Mac and Slimfast (actually, it would be boss Lazlo's decision -- according to Slimfast he's been a hard sell on hip-hop, period).

There is a show that does quite a bit of local spins, and that's the "Show-Me Mix" on KKFI 90.1 on Saturday nights hosted by DeShai "Mz. Shai" Hampton. Go to www.myspace.com/urbanmotion for info and to listen to her own specially recorded theme song. Though I haven't listened to it once yet, the Show-Me show, however unhiply named, seems a lot more street and definitely a lot more locally focused than its Buzz counterpart.

One thing that drives me nuts already about Mz. Shai, however, is her overuse of exclamation points and capital letters in emails. Local rapper Reach does it, too. I'll get an email with a subject line like "THIS FRIDAY AT THE JACKPOT!!!!!!!!!" and the message, too, will contain similarly grating visual noise. WANT TO GET YOUR MUSIC HEARD??? COMPETE ON THE AIR ON THE SHOW-ME MIX SHOW!!! Shit like that. To someone who spends pretty much his entire waking life dealing with written words, caps lock and exclamation point abuse is like SCREAMING!!!

Think about it, and calm the fuck down. Let the music do the screaming.

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