Vote or Die!
Last year I cursed the critics surveyed in the Village Voice's annual Pazz&Jop issue for their poor selections. A leisurely read of 2005's Pazz&Jop lifted from Union Square's Virgin Megastore no less may or may not be equally off target. I can't tell. I knew last year's list was bollocks cause I was noticeably angry but as I read this year's list over a banging vegan caesar salad at everybody's favorite diner since Veg City closed, Kate's Joint, I did not scowl and I may have even cracked a relucant smile.
You see 2003 was a very, very, good year for black music (Kindred, Anthony Hamilton, and Donnie all put out muthafucking CLASSICS!) none of which charted on Pazz&Jop while obscure hipster white bands and overseas imports stormed the charts. It seems being black isn't exotic enough anymore and when it is its deemed to commonplace; uninventive. Oh and don't get me started on the undeniable race and class politics of mash ups better known to city dwellers esp. people of color as a muthafucking remix! If its this 'genre distinction' bs as some folks claim: mash ups are two tracks that don't belong together. Who says so and how is that determined? Jay Z's "99 Problems" is over a so called rock track so how is it a mash up if put over another rock beat? Do mash ups say more about the social location of the remixers than anything else?
Okay I'm still not mad but I bet anybody reading this thinks I am.
But back to Pazz&Jop 2005 Kanye graces the cover as expected; captured within the greying pages is pencil jockin' of 'Ye and it-bands Scissor Sisters, Franz Ferdinand and redemptively white and exotically british rapper The Streets. The best things in life are free but "A Grand..." isn't one of them. But anyway glaring omissions in my opinion are:
The Grind Date~De La Soul
(If Diddy's pockmarked parolee know "Hot Fiyah" when he sees it, why can't 700+ critics?)
This Week~Jean Grae
Van Hunt~Van Hunt
"It's All Real"~Pitch Black
"Bang Bang"~Big Noyd
"Got It Twisted"~Mobb Deep
I'll think of more later and add them...
PS-Where are today's Vestas? Where is the 2005's Stephanie Mills? SWV please reunite!
J "I will listen to you!" B