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This is so ridiculous. I think Azealia is great, but not even her supposed bisexuality makes it okay to call anyone a “faggot”. I understand hating Perez Hilton, as he is the penultimate internet troll, and I understand getting pissed at Baauer for being completely wrong in this situation, but using the other F word is not acceptable. Of course, some will say, “if Odd Future can get away with it, why not Miss Banks?” It isn’t cool for Tyler to say it, no matter how great he and the rest of the OF crew are, and it isn’t cool for Azealia to say it. It’s worth noting that Perez has said it before as well and it wasn’t alright then, no matter how much the masses hate will.i.am. Here’s hoping someone will either set Azealia straight about this or we’ll at least learn something about her that takes the edge off this topic, a la it’s a communal thing where she was raised or lives and it’s acceptable there, much like OF. Again, that won’t make it alright, but it makes it easier for people to ignore.
All of this said, Baauer is clearly an idiot if he has never seen rappers freestyling over his beat. If it’s not acceptable for Azealia Banks, El-P, or any number of other rappers to rhyme on his beat, why is it okay for everyone with a phone or a webcam to upload a video of them dancing like idiots to his beat? Is he this frightened by free publicity that earns no one other than himself money? I’m sure this is just as big an issue in the hip-hop community as Azealia using saying “faggot” to others. In the NY hip-hop community there might even be some improper argument making it acceptable to call someone a “faggot”, but not letting everyone rap over your beat? Someone is going to get some serious hate over this, if not serious damage to their still young career.
Last things on Azealia, all of this could also be stupid press activity. Are we really to believe that her label doesn’t monitor her actions? Would it be surprising to find her label is involved? How do you react to the bisexual woman from club culture using a derogatory word that she might be allowed to use by some unwritten rulebook? It would have been another thing entirely if she had used the term or something similar during the Angel Haze brouhaha, but perhaps she or her handlers are sharp enough to know that wouldn’t have been good? I read something where someone said Haze had bested Banks with both of her tracks, but only her first had truly devastating lines while her second sounded like the rant of a petulant child who couldn’t bother to record their response with anything beyond a micro-cassette recorded. Azealia’s rap wasn’t better, but her presentation certainly was and is. She’s smart enough to have made it this far, I’m sure none of these things are mistakes, so let’s take this all with a grain of salt. What more, while once again stating it’s not acceptable to use THAT WORD, would we care if it was a hard-nosed male rapper saying it in a freestyle or Twitter feud? Everything about “this” feels like there is a double-standard.
I feel like your article is missing the point, though its heart is in the right place. Personally, my issue with someone like Chris Brown is that he did something terrible and continues to act like it was nothing and that he’s worth forgiving. He can have good songs and people can like them, but it’s one thing to screw up once, it’s another thing to keep doing it and acting like we’re the ones messing up. When Chris Brown beat Rhianna, if he had honestly said “I’ve done a terrible thing” and repented for his actions I’d have less of an issue with him, but it’s well documented that everything he’s done since seems half-assed, and he continues to act like a repugnant jerk. There is a moment when you have to put your career to the side and acknowledge there are more important things than your fame, fortune or recognizability. He clearly hasn’t gotten there yet.
Regarding the fellow from Surfer Blood, I don’t know much about him and will openly admit that. It’s well known that couples, even loving ones, have fights, sometimes quite violent ones. I’m not saying that’s alright or that they should stay together, but do we know the whole story? I’m sure only those involved know all the facts about the Chris Brown story, but the kernel of truth shines through Brown’s actions, and that kernel says he’s an asshole.
Let me jump to another well-known musician, or at least formerly better known, that has had issues with violence against their lovers. Nick Oliveri was kicked out of Queens Of The Stone Age for beating up his girlfriend. Josh Homme has openly noted that Nick is and always will be his friend, but he wouldn’t allow him to remain in his band as he didn’t support his actions. Josh has a criminal record himself, but he hasn’t beat up any girlfriends or wives to the best of my knowledge, and I guess there is a line between being an outlaw and a villain. Is that kind of stupid? Yeah, but I’d much rather support the person with good intentions who is concerned about those around them than the one that isn’t. All of this said, Nick has had multiple problems since, has substance abuse issues, and has been trying to rectify them. Is he innocent? Of course not, but unlike Chris Brown he’s got a surprisingly better track record.
I have a hard time supporting anyone, be it monetarily or via publicity, if I know they’re doing wrong. 2Pac is recognized as a star and classic by many, but I’ve always had an issue with a guy that was convicted of rape and could openly yell to the world about his hatred for other rappers that was fueled by record label politics. I don’t buy his records, don’t support his legacy and don’t like more than a few songs I’ve heard by him. I care even less for Chris Brown. I choose to dislike everything about Chris Brown because I don’t see anything redeeming about him, and I don’t want to hear his songs or look at his art because that’s how I feel. Furthermore, his attitude continues into his art, with the infamous “beat the pussy up” line in a mixtape after the Rihanna incident. Why is that so shocking? I don’t hear anyone defending Ike Turner. And like Chris, Ike never made a real attempt to right his wrongs, and he deserves to be ignored for that. I’m amazed R. Kelly keeps getting chances, though I get the impression he might not fully understand how insane he looks to the public. Chris Brown has no excuse.
Okay, my attempt at a well written rant is over.
Okay, I’m a die hard and I easily fall into the trap of this being my favorite Prince album. That said, I think it’s fair to say, whether you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Prince fan (with purple pubes no less?) or a newcomer, this is easily one of his most satisfying and engaging works. If I ever felt the need to make a desert island disc list, this would surely be on it, and it would probably be the only thing I’d need by Prince to be included. It’s just so… complete. Funny to think it was almost a triple album, one of equal quality but certainly not as concise, if you can label a double album that.
I’m also of the minority that doesn’t look at Purple Rain as a favorite, but more as a very targeted attempt at making him a megastar. Great songs there, all of them, but it doesn’t have the same cohesive vibe of his best works. 1999, Parade, Dirty Mind, they are all so nicely formed. Even his later period works like Come and The Gold Experience are frustratingly underrated, although Gold treads a similarly difficult line as it wants to include everything in one package, logic be damned.
I’m hoping that sometime soon, Prince will come to his senses and embrace his back catalog with reissues and some of his countless, unreleased recordings. At the end of the day I’m sure he wants to get paid first and foremost, and good for him, that’s the American way after all, but I feel like he’s forgetting all the people that would gladly pay if gave them the opportunity. Make your bank account and your fans happy, Prince, because your fans will thank you time after time, whereas your accountants are just glad you’re paying them.