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Showing posts from April, 2004
Comic Book History- The Hypestyle Universe
I have always enjoyed reading comic books, even before I could ‘read’, as per the term. Being the youngest out of five—more specifically, having three older brothers- I got ahold of their cast-offs in various capacities- including whatever comic books they had. Combined with the various animated adventure shows on television, my taste for superhero fiction was stoked like a furnace. My earliest interests in drawing and relateds artwork tended to revolve around super-characters. In terms of collecting comic books on my own, that didn’t happen for several years. You see, for a long time I didn’t have an allowance, per se’. I received spending money on a sporadic basis, and usually outside the context of where comic books were available. Also, my mother (indeed, all the elders in my family) had grown up in poor backgrounds, and when they were kids, comic books were still 10 cents. By the time I was 10 years old, the average price had ri…
Rap concerts in Gary were few and far between, though.. in suburban Merrillville and beyond, certain theaters like the Holiday Star would advertise mainstream pop and country acts-- Toto, Kansas, Mickey Gilley, Starship, Gladys Knight, Patti Labelle.. but forget about rap, really.. and the Jacksons never, I mean NEVER, came back to Gary for any kind of homecoming concert-- the closest they came was Chicago during the Victory tour, and that sold out in like 3 hours.. but like a good soldier, I kept my Mike Jax posters on the wall... "He'll come back someday.. Just you wait and see..." whoo-boy... well-- Jermaine did once do an impromptu visit to their old family house, which caused a minor stampede, but I digress... Whenever I got to hear about some show, I either didn't have the money, didn't have a ride (mom went through about 4 hooptie cars between 6th grade and 9th.. the last of which sat rusting in the driveway until well into my senior year when she finally …
Hype’s History with Hip-Hop:
I was 5 years old when I first heard “Rapper’s Delight”. To me, of course, it was just another record. Growing up in Gary, Indiana, I was as far from the ghetto boroughs of New York as you could get, so there was no one hipping me to the ‘phenomenon’ of hip-hop culture. The first rap song I really got interested in was the B-side to ‘delight’, “Apache”. My cousin Scott had the 45, and we played it at 33 so we could understand the lyrics and write them down. In my youngest days, I was listening to whatever happened to be on the radio, so if it was rock, r&b, or even country, then that’s what I was tuned into. Being as I was perpetually outside of the popular kids’ clique, I always seemed to be behind in knowing whatever was the latest record on the streets. Scott always seemed to be in the know about what records were out and who the performers were. Given that rap at that time was primarily singles-driven, and rap videos were few and far betwee…
“You think you know me.. But you don’t.. not in the least..” ‘Be yourself and people will like you’- that is the worst lie that you can tell someone, especially a child; because humanity being the species that it is, often times, it just doesn’t work out that way. No matter how ‘yourself’ you may be, there will always be adversaries for you to contend with; perceived differences breed misunderstanding; misunderstanding breeds contempt and hatred; and hatred often leads to violence. We are all conditioned to be skeptical and wary, supposedly for our own protection- I’ve been a ‘nice guy’ for the better part of 25 years, and what has it gotten me, besides being rejected, humiliated and ignored…? I am both abhorrent of humanity and yet lonely at the same time- People look at me, they either see the silent ogre to keep your distance from; or the gentle-giant/manageable negro/helpful doormat/’all-around nice guy’, who should be above petty concerns of whether or not people, especially …
Saga of hip-hop and mass media.
To me, part of the problem is not with Puffy, Missy, Funkmaster Flex, sampling, or the Beasties’ seeming lack of props from blacks. Rather, it often the self-congratulatory nature and general cluelessness of the mainstream pop culture media. More often than not, the press will fawn over a white rap act’s success in the pop field. But given certain historical parallels, this is really nothing new.

Back in the 1950’s, black rhythm & blues artists were regularly ripped off by record labels through shady accounting, and the free reign given to White artists to do cover versions. Many of which were often lame- how in the heck did Pat Boone and Bobby Vee get over? More often than not, no royalty money was paid to the original composer. By default, the ‘real’ money black acts made was from touring, not record sales. Then, there is the mega-phenomenon of the King himself, Elvis Presley. Despite the excesses he indulged in later in life, most people…
The (depressing) Life, (unrequited) Love, and (mis) Adventures of Broke Man. I first met ***** during my stint here at 4C. She originally worked out of an agency branch office, and would come over for staff meetings. I thought she was pretty (she was), and she occasionally made valentine presents that I bought from her, through *****. Eventually, she apparently left 4C, then came back-- and she came back here at the administrative office. She started off being situated in the cubicle next to me. She’s very gregarious, and likes to talk-- a lot. Since i’m the affable listening type, I suppose she grew to feel close to me. I didn’t mind looking at her at all, especially when she would wear small clothing. she’s very religious, and generally only listens to gospel performers on the radio and CDs. She regularly listens to Christian music radio stations. Well, I needn’t go into my apprehension towards people who are ultra- spiritual-minded. It’s like an ironic curse-- people who are so “in…
now if i can get to work on my own damned homework.. writing and reading Calvino "If a Traveler..." , Perec, "W".... arcane stuff.. but I gotta turn it into a 10 page paper..
whoa.. lotta homework tonight.. some craziness for sure.. accounting.. bad thing is, it's not even my own! the insanity! she's not paying me.. am I at least getting some nooky out of this? Nnooo.....