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Rap Magazines Lied To Me

Posted: January 10th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | 9 Comments »

Luke Sick just dropped the latest issue of his zine Let’s Side and I wrote something for it again. He asked me to contribute something and said just write whatever so I complained about dying publications that kids don’t care about in 2013. I thought it was amusing even if it does lean towards the autobiographical bitch session. Whatever I’m posting it here. If you’d like a copy holler at the Let’s Side’s Facebook. Read about my disappointment in rap magazines after the jump.

They were my bible, words that held so much weight and really molded my young mind. In a society that is constantly teaching me not to question those of authority I looked to them for guidance and to frame my idea of what was good and bad. As a young boy trying to find my place in a world that I was still discovering these elders from far away meccas that I had never witnessed were my guides who taught me what was critical and important. They showed me the scrolls and my own ignorance when I presented my own ideas. What I wouldn’t know until years later is that these authorities that I looked at as masters were actually liars presenting ideas warped by their own bias or even for their own financial gain. The curtain would be pulled back and the machine behind the gods would be revealed to me, but before that would happen I would hold their every word as the real truth.

These gods were fucking rap magazines.

As a dumb ass kid growing up ninety-five miles northwest of Houston who only got to spend couple of summers in LA unwillingly watching novelas and touring the streets of Huntington Park the rap meccas seemed so far away and unreachable. Yeah Houston was there and I would get rapalot bootlegs and dubs but the rap gods did not talk about southern rap. I watched Yo MTV raps on a tv in a church that my parents cleaned at night for extra money. I don’t know why they had cable but they did and we didn’t. Where we lived we didn’t get The Box so my best hope was to pick up a late night pirate station out of Hearne, Tx or to call in requests to our local bullshit top 40 station and sit by the tapedeck with my finger on the trigger.

December of 1991 we moved to the cosmopolitan city of Phoenix. This was my first time actually living in a city that had an actually “HipHop” radio station, commercials for stores that I could actually go to and buy cross colors. It was Phoenix where I was able to actually walk into a store and buy my first copy of The Source. I was actually able to read about all these rappers I’d only ever heard of or seen a random video for. They flipped my perception of rap though, I would thumb through magazines and be confused why there was no mention of Texas rappers. Maybe here and there but it was all east coast with a sprinkling of west. I didn’t understand why this Rakim dude, who I’d heard like twice in my life, was the greatest rapper in the world.  You have to understand where I grew up no one listened to dudes like that. Somethings filtered down De La or Tribe at the skating rink but not Rakim.

Point is I was barely a teenager being exposed to a different interpretation of a rap world that I thought I had some understanding of. I became aware of my own ignorance and so I began to collect as many as these magazines as possible and read every page as if it were a holy grail of knowledge. I’d buy records based on mics given and even if I didn’t think they were that great I would question my own ideas before I ever questioned a rap magazines opinion. I was young and the sense of discovery during the early/mid 90’s still had me in awe. I would stay up late dubbing late night Phoenix mix shows, save my pennies and cop tapes. As I got older it meant getting rides to Swells to cop mixtapes, discovering z-trip tapes, and eventually going down that underground hiphop rabbit hole. Around that time I started stealing copies of RapPages from ABCO and becoming a believer in the 4 elements. This lead to reading graf mags, discoverying On The Go and all those other one off failed magazines of the mid 90s. Somewhere around the mid/late 90’s my pops got us the internet so I now had another place to consume opinions. As I went further down this lane and the whole underground vs commercial rap thing was starting to split even more I began to question these ideas of rap that these magazines had formulated within my own mind. Could The Source be wrong? Why didn’t I ever get my WuTang Army Membership card? I sent it in TWICE WTF. I would look at old magazines and wonder why was that dude on the cover?

In the late summer of 1998 I had moved back to Texas with more ideas in my head and more cash to go to shows and buy music. The money was for food but I didn’t need that, I needed independent releases and magazines that didn’t subscribe to the commercial path that the source was now on no return from. Benzino was the disease I didn’t have a name for yet but would learn soon enough about. To me this was what AIDs must have been like in the 80s. Shit was all bad but the root of the problem was still being hidden from me. I started picking up joints like Equinox, Life Sucks Die, complex, even shitty ass Blaze that vibe released, XXL had just popped up and wasn’t too terrible yet. I’m sure there are plenty I am forgetting but you get the idea.

Point is that as new ideas and perspectives presented themselves my dumbass finally began to reject all these ideas that I thought were absolute truths. Magazines that didn’t acknowledge the music of my childhood were seen as bullshit ass guardians of a fake ass temple of xeroxed KRSone faces and paid for 3 page spreads on groups no one ever gave a fuck about. Motherfucking hiphop journalists tried to tell us that hiphouse was the future of music, that we should all worship teddy riley. I remember a piece in the source about how every rapper really wished they were singers. I remember my naive ass seeing that and thinking “they do?” Later that whole piece just infuriated me. Some dumbass writing trying to make up some bullshit ass idea to place this singsong ass motherfucker on a nonexistent pedestal. Nelson George wrote a book in 1998 and it fucking sucked too.

These motherfuckers were in the business of selling lies; not in celebrating the music that most of my entire personality was based on. I was pissed that I had been so gullible. I thought I was such an independent thinker and my dumbass friends bumping that No Way Out had been brainwashed. That’s when I realized all these motherfuckers trying to pitch me their 4 elements of bullshit were really just trying to get me to buy some fucking shoes or whatever the fuck snake oil they were pushing. I mean fuck, The Source had a shoe spread about how Tevas were the new hot shit in 90’s footwear. FUCKING TEVAS DAWG! They didn’t give a fuck about some kid reading their bullshit in his bedroom trying to learn about rap.

The shit is such a fucking joke it’s incredible and they are still at it. Sure some of the names have changed even the places but come on, this is all a bunch of garbage. It’s even worse now because of the internet. You got some dumbass fresh out of college kids writing for free just to write and they are giving them hiphop records that they know nothing about to slap up on the front page of fucking pitchfork. There is some fucking kid reading those words as truths. Basing his opinion of music on a motherfucker who isn’t qualified to fucking have one. Some stupid ass fuckhead from southern Ohio is writing a list of 50 greatest bay raps so a website can get more page views. Rap Genius has a bunch of unpaid idiots attempting to interpret regional slang that they don’t understand so that a republican can bankroll his SuperPac and little Billy over there is believing it. Idiots are building castles and cannons for the insignificant. Interpreting their own versions of scenes they never were a part of for people who don’t know any better and won’t question their warped as views of this shit.

Is this all The Sources fault? No, but they laid the foundation of turds for all these other morons to build on. It’s a sinking shit castle that a new empire builds over every few years. The imperial shit never dies it just keeps on floating in a puddle of piss and lies. Sure a good piece will break through every now and then but understand that it’s just a turd that doesn’t smell as bad as the rest. Question every opinion because most people are fucking idiots and aren’t qualified to review a goddamn thing much less rap music in a landscape that is so vastly diverse now. How are you going to tell me about trap shit when your intro to southern rap was diplo at coachella or some other stupid ass shit. These are the ideas coming from the same people who had ideas like “Yeah let’s put Canibus on the cover this month” or “Yeah, a 5 page spread on Benzino benchwarmers is a good idea because Benzino said so.” If you really want to know how bad it’s gotten go pick up an issue of Hip Hop Weekly, it’s like US weekly or some other bullshit ass celebrity magazine but about basketball wives and rapper’s flavored vodkas of the week.

Rap magazines lied to me 20 years ago and I’m still salty about it, fuck hip hop.


9 Comments on “Rap Magazines Lied To Me”

  1. 1 GHOSTPIZZA said at 4:03 am on January 10th, 2013:

    RAP IS WRESTLING. RAP NEWS IS LIKE WRESTLING NEWS.

  2. 2 GHOSTPIZZA said at 4:03 am on January 10th, 2013:

    I fucking love this piece.

  3. 3 internet rappers said at 5:53 am on January 10th, 2013:

    I, too, was hoodwinked into a Blaze subscription. Fuck, this piece was awesome!

  4. 4 Thomas said at 12:27 am on January 11th, 2013:

    Hey good article Serg, I really enjoyed reading this.

  5. 5 nico said at 9:25 am on January 13th, 2013:

    when i was a kid i got to get my hands on murder dog and the source sometimes when i was lucky… i miss those days.

  6. 6 Beer And Rap said at 5:13 am on April 11th, 2013:

    […] Rap Magazines Lied To Me […]

  7. 7 BNagata said at 8:03 pm on July 4th, 2013:

    As I googled “Let’s Side” looking to cop an issue, I was brought here. Great article, I think your feelings are shared by more people than you think, including me. I have devoted a whole website to my rap magazine collection and love them. I think that the “newer” generation has to rely on the internet to understand hip hop unlike us, who as you said, relied heavily on these magazines for our information. I was recently a chaperone for my son and one boy told me he listens to hip hop. I asked who? He replied “Bruno Mars”.

  8. 8 SergDun said at 6:49 pm on July 6th, 2013:

    word I’ll have to peep your site, I’m still looking for an issue of Equinox that had a hilarious breakdown of the types of hip hop fans.

    but yeah bruno mars? man that’s ruff

  9. 9 BNagata said at 3:31 am on July 13th, 2013:

    I’ll keep an eye out for the Equinox, do you remember what the cover looked like?


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