Origins of Totalitarianism


We need to change this poll now, today, because even ignoring its TOTAL INCAPACITY to reflect how music listening has changed over the last 30 years and especially the last seven, it is also STRAIGHT-UP RACIST: even if all the Dicks and Janes and ILXors know how put rainbow sprinkles on their lists and have dipshit threads about tokenism, this poll itself is structurally slanted away from how music is made outside of the crack-white universe in which the singer-songwriter is the hysterically disavowed totalitarian ideal that dominates rock and indie and the electronic diaspora and every other I’m-a-genius-and-here’s-my-record form, and occasionally spits out an actual genius but mostly is just like getting beaten up by Big Willie in the prison yard the very morning after he’s appeared on Conan acting sensitive and urging us to vote Democratic.

So listen: until I can vote for something like Artist of the Year and point out that Jazze Pha who—no offense to Ciara who seems supercharming and Missy who is my second favorite rap star ever—but if we can name names at all in the way this poll presumes is somehow natural then we would have to name Jazze Pha for both “Lose Control” and “1, 2 Step” which right there gives him one more perfect song than the guy who will win this poll and oh also he made tremendous tracks on albums by Nelly, Slim Thug, Young Jeezy, Bun B, Trina, David Banner, Jacki-O and I can’t even remember what all else, this was his year even if he’s not a sonic adventurist on par with the other great producers of the millennium but this is his year because he made more good minutes of music listening than anyone else but also because he is better at narrating both cultural history and daily life through dance beats than anyone since Nile Rogers & Bernard Edwards which is to say Jazze Pha makes the most embodied music of this particular time and Place.

Berkeley, California