I took up substitute teaching last year, while waiting around for graduate school to start. One day I was assigned to high school/grade school music class. For the latter, I wound up cutting short the vague lesson plan to play jazz (seven-year-olds dig Dizzy Gillespie, Sketches of Spain not so much, although they enjoy hearing of Max Roach playing jazz clubs with when he was about their age) and quiz them on their favorite music. There were some Hilary Duff fans and one tiny, angelic blonde who declared her favorite song was "the `Hey ho let's go' one from the car commercial," but the vast majority were hip-hop fans--not for the beats or the rhymes or the message but "because of the dirty words" or, more often, "because I like the rapper."
It all got a bit ridiculoid when 7L and Esoteric's long-running battle-rap beef with Cage and Copywrite spilled out to throw barbs at Cannibal Ox. Vast Aire spat back, and the next thing you know Can Ox producer/underground space-beat kingpin El-P is poking his head into Aesop Rock's album to say hi on "We're Famous." "This is for all those super-scientifical geniuses turned underground thug who think hip-hop is dead but can't get their fuckin' style outta '94point to us like we're not hip-hop." Enter the Blade Runner/Akira remix of the "Grindin'" beat, and four minutes of Last Real Indie Rapper Alive fury, and a couple of fiercely obtuse verses from Aes later the beef has carved a deep schism in the post-Rawkus rap world. Subsequently, we were treated to the supreme ironies of an MC called Esoteric mocking the "nerd rap" of "Def Sux" and "Gaysop Rock" (damn, settle down, Beavis) and El-P barking mockeries of Dangerous Connection's poor unit-shifting over the same "Vital Nerve" beat he once spat "when sales control status I place no faith in the majority" over.
St. Paul, Minnesota
I had drinks with Meltzer New Year's Eve, and all of a sudden he says, "Can I eat your pussy?"
I'm a bit shocked, pause, say, "Of course you can, but may you?"