RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition who publishes zines & physical books & electronic books & music & photography & digital art & just generally whatever feels necessary to survive this deluded earth thru Rojonekku Word Fighting Arts survival systems (Version 69, establish 14 Feb 1973). Comments encouraged.

Monday, October 1

SONG OF THE DAY: Stay Woke


Been contemplating killing off all forms of social media because it continues to trip me out how gentrified internet stream of consciousness poisons our collective thinking wells. As if recent major elections in the world shouldn’t be enough to show that effect, recently there was a surge in white rapper beef news, all because Eminem dropped an album that allegedly dissed a bunch of other white rappers, so the world was forced against its will to discuss white rappers endlessly for about a week, because the internet stuffed it into all our brains. The whole thing was weird, because I never even listened to a Machine Gun Kelly song before, and all it did was make me google him and remember what shitty tattoos he has. Like, I’m a man that loves shitty tattoos, but his are not that for-real shitty style – they are the heavy coverage of someone with money who gets them all at once. But also the best hip hop related Machine Gun Kelly is the ill beat my man Boogie Brown made from James Taylor’s “Machine Gun Kelly” song, built off a sick sample from the first couple measures.
I listened to like two songs off the Eminem shit but it sounded exactly like every Eminem song of the past 15 years, but shittier, like Jimmy Iovine and the music illuminati built an Eminem song machine at the turn of the century, which they also used pieces of for their 50 Cent song machine, both machines Dr. Dre helped to engineer as he is very much key member of music illuminati now. But the Eminem machine hasn’t had any new parts in all that time, so it still spits out the same things it’s programmed to spit out, and sure it fits the criteria of “good” rapping, but it’s predictable and boring and ultimately worthless. Plus the machine is aging so it’s ever so slightly not as crisp in the edges it creates, so the edges are soft and pliable and it feels like a waste of time, which it is.
The fucked up thing is, Royce da 5’9”, who is mostly considered Eminem’s sidekick, dropped a pretty fuckin’ great album called Book of Ryan earlier this year, which has actually stayed in heavy rotation in the Dirtgod Abode. Whereas Eminem is mechanically manufacturing polysyllabic predictability, Royce is digging into familial traumas, to a pretty raw level, including calling out his own brother. While Eminem is like “my mom sucks” in his predictable cadence, with stale pop culture celebrity references interspersed, Royce is digging into a specific incidence of his dad knocking the shit out of his brother on Christmas. It’s very much the difference between these two MCs offerings as it is with commodity and art. In our culture, commodity very often masquerades as art, in order to make us believe we’re not wasting our time. And emotional triggers of adrenaline, like a bunch of high school kids crowding around yelling “FIGHT! FIGHT!”, are woven in as well with these fake ass beefs. But Eminem wasn’t saying shit, while Royce was, but the internet just ignored Royce entirely for the most part, while it went crazy over “best white rapper” conversations for a whole week. It’s hard for me to believe that there’s not some sort of underlying racism concealed in the music illuminati that causes all this. Or possibly (probably) the algorithm itself is racist. I’d say that’s likely, which also means the information you’re being fed – seemingly in a meritocratic way – is not based on actual merit at all. That leads back to the first sentence about how elections can be manipulated simply by engineering human consciousness, through these mechanisms now in place which we consider altruistic, and being more connected.
Of course, the immediate irony of all this is the title of the song of the day by Royce – “Stay Woke”. That phrase went from a call for awareness to cliché pretty fast, due to the internet blowing it up, so that it lost its meaning once grandmas and the very obviously unwoke would say “stay woke”. In fact, I’d say more online acts of wokeness are performative than of substance. Online personal brand signaling. (A twitter friend, Eric Nelson, once made a tweet saying “performative acts of wokeness” and that phrase has been etched into my head ever since, because of how often I see it happening.)
Anyways, sleep remains the cousin of death, and most of us are dying slowly, 24 hours a day. So stay woke (by hitting snooze).

No comments: