Posted tagged ‘embarrassing’

Drake’s Letter to Aaliyah – Letter Review

August 31, 2010

I know way too many people here right now who had songs on the Dr. Dolittle soundtrack. What am I doing?

Last week marks nine years since the death of sultry songstress Aaliyah. Moved by her body of work in life and in the years following her death, rapper Drake (AKA “Wheelchair Jimmy”) publicly expressed how much the singer meant to him in a way that touched some and offended others. He writes:

Dear Dana,

I’ve never lost a parent, a friend, or a lover but I will never forget this day for the rest of my life. I remember getting the news that you had passed and it connected with my heart like a clean shot from Muhammad Ali. I was crushed. Not only was I one of your biggest fans but I was truly in love with you. I loved the way you carried yourself, the way you dressed, the confidence with which you addressed passion and relationships in your music. I said to myself that even if we never met, I wanted a woman in my life just like you. I am pained that we will never get to connect now that music ended up being my career path. But you should know, we all listen to you everyday and we remain inspired and moved by all that you’ve given the world. I hope I make the right life choices so I can end up in heaven where I know you rest your head. I’ll continue to make music in your honor until the day we finally meet. Dinner’s on me!

Love you always and forever,

Drake

Right off the bat he addresses the the R&B Princess posthumously by her middle name ‘Dana.’ Now remember that this kid never met Aaliyah once during his life, and was all of 14-years-old when she died, but feels intimate enough with her to address her by a name that she was never once referred to by any public figure. Balls. He goes on to express that he’s never had to deal with the concept or reality of death at any point in his life, so we might as well be reading Drake’s letter about his time playing water polo with dinosaurs in space. Yes, the death of a celebrity he’s never had any interaction with or connection to is the absolute worst thing to ever happen to Drake in his life, and he’s about to tell us about it.

Or is he?

The next line, where Drake actually uses the word “like” in a simile, suggests someone else may have written it for him. If you’ve ever heard a Drake song, you know he’s somehow incapable of using this word and instead substitutes it with a dramatic pause. (SIMULATED DRAKE LYRIC: “Haters be all up in my ass (dramatic pause) colon / they need to get up off my dick (dramatic pause) foreskin”) Lucky for us, we’re soon reassured Drake’s holding the pen by his hyperbolic high-school heart hemorrhaging the sentence “I was truly in love with you.” At the risk of sounding cheesy, Drake fell for the girl on TV. He then states how his inner-turmoil for never having an Aaliyah to his own is compounded now that’s he’s wound up in the music industry. This is followed by him adding a royal touch by suddenly jumping to the first-person plural perspective, stating “we all listen to you everyday and we remain inspired and moved by all that you’ve given the world.” I know age ain’t nothin’ but a number, but I’m pretty sure most would agree that numbers are, in fact, numbers. So either Drake is suggesting both he and Aaliyah’s ghost are still listening, inspired and moved by HER OWN MUSIC or he’s returning to the writing device that can now only be referred to as “Drakeperbole.”

Aren't you that somebody from the wheelchair from that kids' show?

The letter closes by proving Drake really thinks he’s (that?) somebody. He states with no real certainty or confidence that he hopes he “made the right life choices” so that he could end up in a lower-case “heaven” (must be the generic off-brand afterlife) where he knows she is. He then dedicates the rest of his career to her and asks her, CEO Dame Dash’s dead fiancee, to dinner. Again, balls. Not only does Drake believe that when he’s truly so far gone he’ll wind up somewhere that isn’t a proper noun BUT it’s a place where even despite his celebrity he’s expected to pay for food.

Best I Never Met.

While the sentiment is strong, the numerous errors and overindulgence within the letter really takes away from any beyond-the-grave quality or impact it might have. Furthermore, it’s troubling that this letter is eerily similar to one I wrote to early 20th-century bluesman Blind Willie McTell earlier this year:

Dear Bill,

I’ve never lost a parent, but I have lost grandparents, close friends, a choir teacher, a gerbil, a hamster, and a beta fish. Still, I will never forget the day I found out you died twenty-six years before I was born. I remember getting the news that you had been very dead for a long time and it burned me like a George Foreman Grill. I was smushed. Not only was I one of your biggest fans but I would use your name as an inarguable trump card when hooking up with guitar-enthusiast music snob girls in college. I loved the way you carried yourself, the way you dressed, the confidence with which you addressed beating your triflin’ woman in your music. I said to myself that even if we never met, I wanted a woman in my life to know her southern can belonged to me. I am pained that we will never get to connect now that music ended up being what I’ve convinced my former high school classmates I’m doing with my life. But you should know, we all listen to you everyday and we remain inspired and moved by all that you’ve given the world. I hope I make the right life choices so I can end up with you where the good lord sends women down. I’ll continue to make music in your honor until the day we finally meet. Hope you like Taco Bell!

Yours in dated misogyny,

Chaz

We give Drake’s Letter to Aaliyah a Two out of Five

So until next time…let’s agree to agree!

ABC News – “Music + Children = MURDER!”

March 12, 2010

Yeah, one more Kanye joke. Anything to finally get a Big Lurch reference on this site.

“Everything Old is New Again.” – Peter Allen (1974)

“Those Who Do Not Remember the Past are Condemned to Repeat It.” – George Santayana (1905)

“Abracadabra Boom Shaka Dae, I’m Violent J and I’m back like a vertebrae.” – Joseph Bruce (1997)

Oh 1999, can it be the party that Prince predicted has returned? It was a simpler time of intern jokes and Furbies where dancing computer-generated babies ruled the world and anyone who released a compact disc became an instant millionaire. It was also the year marred by the Columbine shooting and thirty-five days later, the Insane Clown Posse releasing an album that debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200*. They had no radio or video play and lacked even the slightest mainstream media acknowledgement, yet their major label distribution propelled their word-of-mouth momentum to move over one million copies of The Amazing Jeckel Brothers into the homes and “homes” of millions. Not unlike James Cameron, they returned a decade later with Bang! Pow! Boom! and not only repeated their success but surpassed their original achievement. So of course with the numerous natural disasters happening all around the world and further unrest reaching a fever pitch in Iran and the rapid approaching of a turning point with health care legislation here in America no other news stories happening anywhere in the world, this week ABC’s Nightline took an investigative look at Horrorcore and the Insane Clown Posse.

Folks, this is a must see –

I’ll give you a second to regain your composure. Yes, in 2010, the American Broadcasting Company devoted a sixth of an hour of prime time programming to the Insane Clown Posse. Further, this trusted news program beamed into millions of homes suggested these middle-aged men in clown facepaint were somehow a threat to their children’s safety. While I understand there is something to said for the appeal of the sheer spectacle that Utah, Arizona and Monroe Country, PA all consider Juggalos (the nom du clown of Insane Clown Posse fans**) a “street gang,” but it’s the absurdity of this that warrants the coverage, not the non-existant legitimacy. Instead, Martin Bashir acts like the concerned social worker that Joseph “Violent J” Bruce and Joseph “Shaggy 2 Dope” Utsler never had and attempts to guilt them into apologizing for their “music” causing bloodshed at the hands of white trash across the country. Buena Vista stockholders, this is where your money is going to.

"I don't believe in this evidence you speak of."

My frustration here isn’t because I’m particularly “down with the clown” (I’m not***) but more so with the blatantly irresponsible journalism that has followed the duo for the better part of a year now. For whatever reason**** there has been growing media attention toward Juggalo-related crimes. The most bothersome was that of Richard “Syko Sam” McCroskey a 20-year-old who killed four people in Farmville, Virginia. While my sympathies go out to the victims and their families, it was infinitely aggravating to read the murderer referred to as an “aspiring rapper” and see numerous web headlines rushed to press as “Rapper Kills Four.” The kid had a MySpace, a Microsoft Sound Recorder and THAT’S IT. Records indicate he had only performed in front of people ONCE and this somehow designates him an “aspiring rapper?” You never read the name Charles Manson prefaced with “aspiring singer-songwriter” or Ted Bundy as “amateur tapdancer,” so why is it in the dwindling coverage ever offered our genre, it has to be that of an entirely irrelevant ginger caucazoid who assumably reeks of stale Funyuns and spilled Miller Lite.

"When Keeping it Horrorcore Goes Wrong" Pictured: Syko Sam who murdered four people and probably smells awful.

This is what happens when you give the seat of the great Ted Koppel to Martin Bashir. While the man is responsible for the glorious 2003 Michael Jackson documentary, it was a work of pseudo-papparozzi crash journalism. It’s hardly what should constitute the basis for modern edutainment, but he’s brought that same exploitive edge from the King of Pop to the guys who wrote “Chicken Huntin” and carried Bill O’Reilly into a discussion that went…well…here:

What Bashir either believes or wants to draw from his audience, is the perpetual fear that these entertainers are somehow pied pipers of misguided youth and that parents are/will be powerless to stop them. He further demonstrates his absolute lack of familiarity or research of the subject matter by implying children are endangered by “Horrorcore,” a sub-sub-genre at absolute most whose name hasn’t been said in any serious manner since its absolute failure in the mid-90s. The Posse’s perpetual defense is that of Jon Stewart’s, the “we’re entertainers, look who you’re aiming your ‘credible’ journalistic rage at” and honestly, they’re right. I could use this sentence to echo their sentiments of how it’s the parents’ fault that their kids are screwed up or let music have such a power over them, but I’d rather use it to tell you THE INSANE CLOWN POSSE RECENTLY COMPLETED A FEATURE FILM AND IT’S A WESTERN! Even the harlequin battalion in question never reached the level of insanity that is ABC’s Nightline expose. If they really wanted to cover the dire effects of irresponsible musicians, why not look at how the “We Are the World” remake has had a negative effect on Haiti donations? Why not address Gang Starr’s Guru present comatose state and the legal mess forbidding visitation from the man’s own family? Instead Martin Bashir rips the scab off a long healed Faygo-related injury and cranks the Riddlebox in a way that would surely put him at the Hell’s Pit end of the Wraith. It’s these tactics that both society as a whole AND the Psychopathic Family tend to look down upon. Awful.

So until next time…Let’s Agree to Agree!

*See how I just lumped these two unrelated events together? I could write for Nightline!

**People you’ve never met before who, allegedly, can ingest Monopoly and defecate Connect Four.

***But I do want to still send MCL out to my fresh Family reading this. Woop woop!

****No, the sixth Joker’s card magnifying Shaingra-La doesn’t count as a reason.