Da (Lost) Art of Storytellin'

Maybe Nas had it right.

In a post that will serve as a long form response to my man Raven Mack’s short “Are There Any Lyricists Left?” diatribe, I’m here to openly lament not only the passing of true lyricism (not the occasional flashes of brilliance we’ve been so sadly forced to swallow as of late) but to mourn another long-forgotten facet. That casualty is the story.

Believe it or not, there actually used to be a time, way back when, when a rapper had to show real skill and be a well-rounded and versatile threat before he could consider or call himself an emcee. And this wasn’t just to get a record deal or be included in a crew, that was just for the privilege of even touching a mic anywhere. When was the last time a friend came up to you excited about a new talent saying he was a “beast” or a “problem” and meant it? Even guys who did somewhat earn that label or distinction were very rarely successful. Canibus was a fierce and highly-touted lyricist but also easily dismissed as merely a “battle” rapper who could never make a “complete” album because all of his rhymes were more fit for a street corner cipher than on an officially manufactured CD. Sound familiar, dropped-from-Jive Papoose? The flipside to that coin, of course, would be Eminem, who gained his underground rep by being similarly battle-tested but was able to dodge whatever pratfalls that lay in wait by proving himself as commercially viable with witty, catchy hooks and crafting songs that actually had a concept or real subject matter. Can you honestly see Canibus concocting something like “Stan” or “The Way I Am”?

No matter how absurd or blatantly untrue (I guess that’s why they call it a “story”) the old school songs used to be, they were at the very least always entertaining. But today’s entertainers (I don’t dare call them anything else) are so concerned with their image, they wouldn’t dream of writing a song like Dana Dane’s “Delancey Street” or The Ruler’s “The Moment I Feared” (probably my favorite Slick Rick song EVER). I think the last great show of this long-lost ability may have been the appropriately titled “I Got a Story To Tell” by The Notorious B.I.G. Not only is it an awesome song but Big ups the ante at the song’s end by retelling the same story but in plain speak, making you appreciate what he did previously and at the same time marvel at the relative ease with which he did it.

I remember when it was possible to learn something from rap music. Albums like By All Means Necessary, One For All, To The East, Blackwards and of course, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back had me scrambling to the library when I was a middle schooler. But nowadays what began with Master P and his No Limit cronies, the game is so dumbed down that terms like “droppin’ science” and “kickin’ knowledge” are as passe’ as “def” and “fresh.” There are no jewels to be found with every Atlanta rapper creating a new dance or espousing the virtues of living in a strip club. Texas seems to only care about gripping woodgrain or a Styrofoam cup full of codeine, regardless of how many lives it continues to claim. And New York is far from off the hook. If I hear one more song about jewelry, guns and drugs I’ll happily and highly consider listening to country from here on out.

To quote Hell Rell (talk about irony!) these niggas “just rapping to rap.” Way back when I first decided to contribute to this blog, one of the first things I wrote, the gist was basically that if you had told me around the time that “Back That Azz Up” was out that in 2008, out of all of the Hot Boys, that Lil Wayne would be the guy calling himself The Greatest Rapper Alive and have a good many people agreeing…well, you probably would’ve gotten smacked in the face with my bloody, coughed-up lung as I died laughing. Now that it’s come to pass, I just want to die but it’s far from funny. And Wayne’s voice does, at times, make MY lungs ache. Especially with this “Lollipop” bullshit he’s got out right now. We waited this long for Tha Carter III for THAT? But I can’t front: I was right there giving that “whooooo” for lines on Dedication II’s “Cannon (Remix)”, “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” and especially on “Dough is What I Got”, that’s usually reserved for those “hot” bars where the beat drops out when something especially profound or just plain dope has been spit. I guess the dearth in talent has inadvertently and subsequently lowered my own standards as well. Wayne, for better or worse, was the devil I knew, the least rotten apple of an entirely bad bunch.

And things will only get worse.

Think about it like this: Souljah Boy is 18 years old. Which means he was born in 1990. By the time he was old enough to listen to, buy or be influenced by music, what was available to him? Aspiring rappers in 2008 are a generation raised on this new ringtone b.s. To them, 50 Cent is old school. When a 16-year old James Todd Smith got in the game, he had a distinct advantage, he toured with the best and could count the people he toured with as his teachers and willing mentors. But times have changed. It’s so dog-eat-dog and every man for himself that no one’s bothering to show the newbies the way; scared to death they might take a dollar out of their pocket. So I’d prepare to see many more Hurricane Chris’, Lil Boosie’s, Flo-Rida’s and Shawty Lo’s before we see any future Rakim’s, KRS’, Nas’ or G. Rap’s.

Dana Dane – “Delancey Street”

Slick Rick – “The Moment I Feared”

The Notorious B.I.G. – “I Got a Story To Tell”


SORRY DUDES! I have no real excuses outside of not wantinig to play on the computer anymore when I get home from work. ANNNNYWAY, I was looking at Poisonous Paragraphs today and I saw that Dart reviewed the album above (THE NEW PORTISHEAD OMG!). I did not even know this was at the stage where it would be available for internet consumption. I don't think I really go to many, if any, high end music stealing blogs anymore, so if you have this and can throw me a link, that would be SUPER! I promise I'll buy the real thing if it's good.




Buncocky Episode 4: The World of The World of Warcraft

We start off with possibly the last round of five questions ever, Netflix talk including a review of some listener suggested material, which dork is the worst AKA Dungeons and Dragons vs. Warcraft vs. First Person Shooters, another chat with Gravedigger Jay, Jay reads poems he wrote for some very special listeners, We talk about the new movie we are making.







March Madness

Man, I love the college basketballs... I have made it a tradition to lay out of school/work/whatever during the first Friday of the ACC tournament to get drunk and/or high and watch them thangs for many years. This year has found my self-employed ass more unemployed than not in recent months, so I guess I'll probably work on Friday. Plus, I skimmed back my drinking pretty heavily so that I can get under the required weight for suicide bombers, although I also heard they were gonna expand the parameters for Americans.
Anyways, there is a March Madness college tournament pick 'em thing I set up for dumpin.net and me and Mike's various other activities. This is not an office pool, and there's no way anyone would ever send money like they're supposed to, but I can tell you the winner will get at least a wonderful XL t-shirt with iron-on letters saying you are DUMPIN BULLETHOLE NET SUPER HOTBALL MAN. I am excited to mail it out already. Hotball is what my four year old calls basketball.
If you go to Yahoo's fantasy sports bullshit, then click on the tourney pick 'em thing, you will join a group. The group number is #53883, and the password is juicyone. While you're there, feel free to join our dork baseball fantasy fag group too, which is group #121090, password is juicyone. Most of us in the baseball thing are sensible enough to not care about baseball, although one dude already asked me when's the draft through an email, which means he's already about 1000% more dedicated than most of us. I think the winner of that thing will get a collection of Mel Tillis 45s.


Method to the Madness

I still remember the mom & pop record store in Richmond, Va where I bought Wu-Tang Clan’s original “Protect Ya Neck” cassette single. Back in late ’93, the Clan weren’t yet on Loud/RCA, instead releasing this independent salvo on an Epic subsidiary, RZA’s Razor Sharp Records. I was immediately intrigued. I remember reading interviews in magazines where RZA claimed that he’d concoct his trademark dank and dense, kung-fu dialogue laden beats and then the other eight members of the group would lay down their verses, battling old-school style to see who would actually end up appearing on the track. Amidst all this martial arts-influenced insanity and freshness, the Clan’s most charismatic member was the commander of the single’s outrageous B-side, Clifford “Method Man” Smith. Early on, I don’t know one fan who wasn’t listening to Wu-Tang songs just in pure anticipation of hearing the Iron Lung’s sing-songy flow (and who can forget the way he'd "danced", moving to his own internal rhythm as he spit and had more dudes copying his swagger than LONS had dudes "East Coast Stomping" a few years prior) and gruff rasp over RZA’s hollow and eerie minimalist instrumentals. Perhaps I should have taken “C.R.E.A.M.”s popularity as a sign of things to come from Meth. Because while it went on to become Wu’s breakout and probably most popular single, Method didn’t actually rhyme on it; he only handled the now-unforgettable hook.

And ever since Method Man became the first member of the collective to go solo, that’s been the knock on him: he’s great in small doses and shines bright on other people’s songs or projects but seems incapable of carrying his own solo efforts. Anyone who owns a Method Man album knows this to be true. Even Tical, his first album and probably his best, only reaches its highest heights when Method is passing the mic around between himself and his fellow Wu brethren. He released a few more lackluster solo joints that I can’t even remember the titles of to his fans’ disappointment but now that he’s kicked a few slick verses here and there at the end of ’07, cats is talking “resurgence.” Shiiiit. The real Hot Nickz died the day he decided it was cool to crowd surf at a rap show.

So, as you can imagine, it bothers the ever-living fuck outta me that now, amidst the release of Wu-Tang’s latest album, 8 Diagrams and Ghostface Killah’s The Big Doe Rehab that people are hearing shades of ’93 Method Man and are too quick to claim that he’s somehow “back.” Back from where? From what? This nigga ain’t “back” y’all. He’s doing just what he’s always done and has been doing for the past 15 years (damn, has it been that long?). It’s just that you ain’t heard the kid in a few years but like Roy Jones, Jr. “Y’all Musta Forgot.” Did you forget the angry, disgruntled Method Man of ’06 who spent every interview crying about how Def Jam was mishandling his last basura album, 4:21…The Day After? Do you know anyone who actually owns that? Who even bothered to download it? But you hear “Campfire” or “Killa Lipstick” and suddenly all is forgiven? So all these bloggers and hip-hop fans all up on Mef’s nuts again need to back back and pump their brakes ‘cause this is one dude that ain’t fittin’ ta fall for the okey doke one more ‘gen. I’m begging that none of you do.

So when all this critical acclaim leads to Johnny Blaze getting yet another shot at solo stardom and he falls short YET AGAIN, don’t say I didn’t tell you so. When you’re about to pick up that CD off the shelf, think about all the other ones you wasted your money on and remind yourself that this one’ll likely be worse. Go home and turn on your TV. Remember How High, his sitcom and his part in the upcoming Meet the Spartans and maybe you’ll finally realize the truth: Method Man is more hip-hop “personality” (and in many ways, always has been) than an actual hungry rapper nowadays and to let a few hot bars over a decade-plus career sway your opinion is downright dumb. Let “Method Man” go. He has.

Even “Cheese” Wagstaff got merc’d on THE WIRE series finale…

Memory Lane:


are there any fucking lyricists left?

Of course if I say I'm audi 5000, I'm gonna think of some dumpinbulletholenet ass content the next day, which is what happened today. Last weekend, PSY/OPS came by and played me a song of our's he had mixed down that I'd completely forgotten about, and it was thick crazy lyrics, not to toot my own horn or anything, because I have terrible delivery like any white rapper. But lately when I've been writing shit, what I had done in that song I'd forgotten is the style I've been going for - very thick linguistics but with a build up of meaning. Lots of rappers have the crazy linguistics but suffer from Gift of Gabitis where it's just RAGALAGARAGA DEEDEEDEE RAGALAGARAGARAGALAGA forever, but goddamn... where does it go? Honestly, I don't even look to other rappers for inspiration to write lyrics anymore because as far as I know, there are no rappers even writing lyrics and shit.
At some fag board Mike posts at and I lurk at once in a while, a couple weeks ago someone posted the link to the stupid Da Drought 3 for Dummies blogpost somewhere or another, explaining all of Lil Wayne irreverence. Except none of that shit is irreverent. Most of it's common shit you should know if you weren't a retard, and the rest of it is just pop culture tidbits. Like is that brilliant lyricism? I mean, I'm not anti-pop culture, but at least twist the shit, bend it, make it have double meanings or something creative. With all apologies to Wayne's ghostwriting staff, Lil Wayne is not lyrical brilliance except for by accident in an idiot savant way. Except he's not a retarded southern kid raised by an overly religious grandmother who carved Revelations verses into soapstone; he's just a ghetto kid who all too often rhymes words with themselves like three lines in a row. That's not lyrical innovation either.
So what I'm asking is for you dumpinbulletholenet reader, is who the fuck is left who is a lyricist? I mean, as an old fool from the old college of rappitty raps, Rakim is the God. He twisted meanings and dropped left field metaphors with ease. Biggie had a good raw lyrical ability, but his aura was more delivery. And I've never really been sure why people worshipped Tupac, other than he died young and pretty. But I'm asking for you to come forth with songs that have the for-real lyricists going today. Not some dude who just throws together a thousand slang words in hyper pitter patters and shit, but people who twist bend camel clutch and figure four the motherfucking stupid ass language. Please, I have internet welfare, so just up a song to whatever file stealing service you frequent with your hi-fi steal it all mentality. Hopefully, someone will do this shit and I will come back and complain like an old man about it all. Or maybe I will learn about some shit that doesn't suck. I'm sick of putting John Prine acapellas on speeded pitch over top of David Banner instrumentals.


what I've been up to

Hi dumpin.net fool. As you've seen things have been kinda quiet around here lately. Mostly Mike's "fucking his wife" thing is true, except I got bored with the group sex blog things and did my normal springtime internet robot freak-ou, and unearthed an old ass blog I never deleted - rojonekku, to start moving manually a bunch of shit from here and from the xpertwhiteboyz blog to there, where I'm also gonna be putting up a bunch of old shit I've done for nowhere in particular or stupid mags or zines or whatever. Basically I'm circling the wagons and having all my various forms of retardedness in one place, for the most part. So check it out, but I doubt you'll like it because there are no download links or anything.
Also, my sucker ass rap group's page is supposed to start having music and shit on it soon enough, but we are just starting to feel the fire of spring motivations. It's been a dark ass winter motherfuckers, one I'm glad to see grow small in the rearview mirror. But you can check our myspace bullshit which is located in Mike's link sidebar, or go to www.solarisearthpipeline.com which is just a redirect to our barely functional blog at this point, but tunes in flash players and all the other bells and whistles, including upcoming shows will start being there, as myspace creeps me the fuck out, like everything does.
I have bugged Mike, hoping we can power through and throw the top 20 of the Hot 100 list up by the end of spring, but who knows... most likely he'll finally become motivated but I'll be oppressed by real life and won't answer the call. This blog has waxed and waned since I joined up, but usually either me or Mike has been motivated, and everybody else sort of fills in the cracks and shit. But now, neither me or Mike seem to give a fuck about doing stupid blog postings, and no one else cares to fill cracks much less gaping ass gaps. But fuck it, it's the internets, everything is temporary and fast-paced.
So use the little cuntbox thing on the side to bug Mike to finish the Hot 100 Jamz, so that he'll get amped to wrap it up, only to have me blow it off because I'm working on some stupid ass project of a retarded nature elsewhere. Also, if you are a long-winded motherfucker who thinks people care what you think, I bet Mike would hook you up with a spot on dumpin. Or you could even email me as I'm technically an admin too - raven mack at gmail dotcom. Also, if you are a wise ass retard who would like to just have the xpertwhiteboyz blog which still gets tons of traffic for some odd reason (pictures of donks!), hit me up as well. I ain't doing shit with it.
(And if you are named Dart, the armchair linebacker thing's not dead, just sort of on ice since no one but you and me seemed to be amped at one point. Like I said, that shit's in trial run till next football season anyways.)


More Buncocky

wow, a full week with no real posts!! We will be back in business soon. I'm actually kind of busy in real life now, but we have some shit planned. Until then....


Another round of 5 questions, Netflix, Horrible Movie remakes, Jays interpretation of Hey Dude, Ballet class, Eddie and the Cruisers, Help Jay out with his problems and more wacky hijinx and funky songs!

also covered: Dance fighting, Saga "On The Loose", predicting Bruce Springsteen's death, and life's most accurate equation: Gay + Robots = Gobots.


ELL YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORSPs. the sound is better but not really.