articles: Word from the Inside

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Gossip 101

By a Gossiping Bitch on January 5th, 2004

Our sources stay anonymous, our mercy is none, we spot blowin’ maaaaan. We’ll show ya how to gossip. Yeah, it’s a new year with new fears, but before we play a friendly game of Who Can Ruin Whose Career, let’s cover a few basics. There are tons of gossipy rumors flying around—some of them many years old, some of them pretty new, all of them juicy. So before we start punching throats in the ’04, we Gossiping Bitches wanted to start addressing some of these rumors so you can know what’s fact and what’s fiction. So we now present to you the first installment: Gossip 101.

ITEM: Eric B didn’t do a damn thing for the Eric B & Rakim albums
STATUS: Fuckin’ A right!
This one has been making the rounds for years, and with good reason: It’s totally true. “But wait,” you say. “What about all those credits on the albums that say ‘Produced by Eric B & Rakim?'” Ah, you’re a sweet kid, but don’t be so fucking naive. The discrepancy between who got credit for what on an album versus who actually did what is huge. It was even bigger in the ’80s, because hip-hop wasn’t big business then. So let’s break this down. First of all, Eric’s classic vanity cut in which Rakim nominated him for president? Marley Marl did those scratches. And most of the rest of the scratches performed on Eric B & Rakim albums were performed by none other than the God himself, Rakim. So Eric B wasn’t the scratcher. But surely he made beats, right? Not so fast. Rakim did most of the production work, plus, as your ears may have already informed you, he got massive (and uncredited) assists from 45 King (Follow the Leader) and Large Professor and the late great Paul C (Let the Rhythm Hit ‘Em). So he didn’t do cuts, he didn’t do beats, what did he do? Well, he was indisputably the tour/performance DJ. But mostly, he was a guy with a lot of street cred and a lot of money for studio time. Artistically, his input was nil. Check his solo album if you don’t believe us.

ITEM: Tupac is alive
STATUS: Bitch, please
He’s dead, whitey. He didn’t fake his death. The only thing he faked was his entire on-wax persona. And he got shot the fuck up for it. Do you see a connection there? Of course you don’t—you’re so stupid, you believe he’s living in Cuba and have personally combed through every nanosecond of Makaveli material and rearranged it to prove you’re right. Give it a rest, everybody. Because there’s nothing more gangsta than riding the nuts (actually, I guess that would have to be nut, singular, since he had a uniball) of a dead man.

ITEM: Terminator X didn’t perform those crazy cuts on the classic Public Enemy albums
STATUS: Terminator’s caught—can he get a witness?
Hell no he can’t get a witness. We give props to Terminator for being the world’s only mute DJ and for making wraparound granny shades seem hardcore. And he was also a fantastic tour DJ. But those mind-warping scratches on the early PE albums? It wasn’t the “norm” for Terminator to do those cuts. (Ha ha ha! Get it? His real name is Norman!) In a strange case of brownwashing, PE was 2 black, 2 strong, and 2 ashamed to admit that a Puerto Rican turntable wizard was the one speaking with his hands. The truth is, hardcore B-boy and scratch guru Johnny “Juice” Rosado (as in “Juice on the loose—electric wire”) was the guy transforming his ass off, adding the crazy-ass tags and throw-ups to the Bomb Squad’s famed wall of sound. Even the “Terminator X Getaway” version of “You’re Gonna Get Yours” is a horrible misnomer: The remix, ill cuts and all, was done by Juice. Get the whole story fresh-squeezed from Johnny right here.

ITEM: Dr. Dre doesn’t make his own beats
STATUS: True, but the sound is Still D.R.E.
Has anybody else noticed this cycle yet? People work with Dre, enjoy success. Dre gets tired of the bullshit and moves on to the next thing. People aren’t so successful anymore and suddenly hate Dre and claim they, not the Doctor, did all the work. Then they go hug up with Suge and Benzino and whoever else regularly throws a “Dr. Dre Is a Big Stupid Poopyface” party. Dre has never ducked the fact that he has coworkers in the studio who contribute heavily to his material. But none of that shit matters because at the end of the day, those studio noodlings ain’t shit without the diggy diggy Doc. Suckaz make beats; Dre makes songs and puts his sonic stamp on everything. If that ain’t a producer, then you better go dis Quincy Jones, newjack.

ITEM: Paul Oakenfold wasn’t always a shiny-shirt-wearing, trance-spinning gaydick
STATUS:Prohibitively true
We say “prohibitively” because it’s entirely possible that Oakenfold has been a total gaydick his whole life. But he wasn’t always the uber-gay non-DJ who now graces the Guinness Book of World Records. Believe it or not, dude was instrumental in bringing hip-hop to the U.K., acting as the lead A&R for none other than Def Jam (back when Def Jam actually stood for top-quality product), and then for Priority. But quicker than you can say “Norman Cook U.K. remix,” Oakey ditched hip-hop in favor of more light-in-the-loafers musical pursuits. I guess all those black people scared him away.

ITEM: Big Daddy Kane has AIDS
STATUS: I mean, Kane having the germ? Oh, come come now.
Look, Kane is guilty of a lot of things, including having one of the worst fall-offs in hip-hop history. And maybe his bad decisions mean he deserves to be known to the kiddies today only as a Jay-Z punchline. But the man does not have AIDS, OK? Nor did he ever say he had AIDS on Oprah or a Barbara Walters special or on fuckin’ “Downtown” Julie Brown’s gossip show or anything like that. The gossiping bitches love a good rumor, but this one needs to die.

ITEM: Suge made Puffy drink piss
STATUS: We’re calling this one a salad cuz it’s a toss-up.
OK, salad-tossing jokes aside, we have to let this one live on as unconfirmed for now. Obviously, the only ones who know the truth are Suge, Puffy, and the glass that held the piss. We’re inclined to believe it actually happened, but we can’t prove it. Yet.

ITEM: Dose One is gay
STATUS: His picture is in Webster’s, and it ain’t next to the listing for “lyrical genius.”
There are tons of gay rappers. Ja Rule, for example. DMX. That guy from The Neptunes. That other guy from The Neptunes. That guy who’s in N*E*R*D but isn’t one of the Neptunes. Ain’t nothing wrong with that. Who you fuck is your business. But can we finally call a spade a spade, people? The entire cracker-ass midwest, we’re looking in your direction. Ya boy enjoys the company of men. Stinky, pseudo-intellectual men. Just accept it.

ITEM: Bone Thugs-n-Harmony bit their whole steez from Freestyle Fellowship
STATUS: Sure, why not?
Actually, the Three-6 Mafia would have you believe that they were the ones being bitten by the Boners, but since when has Three-Six Mafia mattered to anybody anywhere? Style-biting is generally pretty open to interpretation, but who else but the Fellowship was busting that hyperfast, sing-songy steez back then? Nobody, that’s who. At least nobody of any consequence. So how did a bunch of stoners with bad perms from Cleveland come to bite everybody’s favorite L.A. backpackers? We’re guessing the Good Life Cafe, home to many a Fellowship rhyme workout, is the missing link. Lots of heavyweights outside of your typical gangstafied artsy-fartsy Project Blowed soaked up the Good Life. Ice Cube, for example, was a regular spectator. So why wouldn’t Cube’s ol’ buddy Eazy-E take his latest wick-wack proteges to the same spot to soak up some knowledge? Granted, even the corniest Blowedian wouldn’t come with something as corny as that harmonized “bonebonebonebone, bone, booooooone” shit, but the similarities are too close for comfort. And Abstract Tribe Unique’s “L.A. Styles Back,” a not-too-thinly veiled dig at some g-ed up doo-wopping biters, backs up the idea. Besides, Self Jupiter could singlehandedly whip all the Bone Scrubs’ asses, so whatever he says goes in this argument.

ITEM: RJD2 is DJ Shadow
STATUS: Hell nah!
You think Shadow would come with some wack shit like that Soul Position album?

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