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I Opened and Read it, it Said They Were SUCKAS

April 26, 2007

It’s been quite awhile since anyone has written a Love/Hate mail about my Scene pieces, in fact I knew of one only (I imagine the soft hearted staffers there have tried long to spare me the ignominy by not publishing many). If the letter, printed in this week’s issue, passed unoticed, it’s just as well, and actually had I not been so bored with the White Sox/Tigers game, I wouldn’t have noticed either. Yes, some one wrote a brief missive critical of my writing, and furthermore was kind enough to suggest I read H.L. Mencken, the Don Imus of his time, so that I may become a better critic.

I’d have written the letter off with a bored sigh, however, it turns out the author of the letter is actually a member of the band (Lord T and Eloise) that is the subject of the piece at issue. He sent in the letter under a psuedonym (should have used a different Email!). Cute, eh? I know how hood cats would describe the act, however Russ has said we can’t use those kinds of words anymore.

Since “Morgan” wishes to know exactly how Lord T and Eloise “failed,” I’ll explain. The original sentence (pre-editing) went like this: “Lord T and Eloise fail in the same way Saturday Night Live characters fail when a five minute, one joke skit becomes a crushing bore on the big screen.” That means your White guys rapping in wigs gag isn’t all that funny when turned into a concept record. You know, like the Butabi brothers.

Also pre-edit:”Rap’s infatuation with new money is about the joy of having just made it out of the hood, not about having lived your life in luxury.” So using the landed gentry to mock rap’s conspicuous consumption is a bit off point. Moreover, elsewhere T and El say that they rap about the things “White” people talk about, like investments. I’ll let that one lie.

I pointed out where Lord T and Eloise “works” (it’s the hot word in criticism! Everyone else is using it, why not me?) by pointing out two of their record’s stronger cuts; both contain biting commentary. I wistfully imagined that the band was not taking the piss of contemporary rap as much as the conspicuous consumption that has most of the world in a grip. Thinking of the rappers in that way makes the whole Falco thing they’re working with a bit more palatable. Apparently they prefer we only see one layer of (faux) irony.

In neither version: I thought the band did a lot of beat-jacking and facade jacking from Mickey Avalon, with whom the band will be paired at their next Nashville show. A better pairing might be Avalon and The Stooges, however one can only dream. I’d actually planned to see the Lord T show of last week, however, I couldn’t make it.

Speaking of Mencken, I wonder what he might have said of this band? Perhaps: “The thing we need is a realistic picture of this inner world of hip hop by one who sees the music and culture from within–a self portrait as vivid and accurate as Dostoyevsky’s portrait of the Russian or Thackeray’s of the Englishman.”

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Cameron permalink
    May 1, 2007 4:25 pm

    Now, now Mark….don’t be hatin’. We are having drinks with Tracey and Lee at The Mickey A show – you should join us, and no you dont have to like us or be convinced otherwise than what you already believe. We’ll dust the shaken pride under the rug and call it a wash. Let’s party on the 9th!

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