Today, we talk relevancy. It's a topic which floats above all our heads, espcially with the emergence of faux reality television program. What will people do to become relevant? And what will they do to maintain that "relevance?" Is this social construct worth our souls? Drizzle and I discuss.
Drizzle: I just saw a Waka Flocka Flame 2016 bumper sticker.
Speed: Yeah. That was a thing at one point this year. Because people forgot he's
- Under 35 and ineligible
- Been in jail on criminal charges and is ineligible
Drizzle: It's a joke. I get it (laughs sarcastically). I'm more on the "Waka Flocka 'who'?" trail these days. Where's he been? Other than on this nigga's bumper sticker?
Speed: On Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta. White people love him now because of his work with Major Lazer and those types. Oh, and the Pixels soundtrack.
Drizzle: So...he's cooning on reality TV now? I hate reality TV. There's a meme for this somewhere (looks at phone).
Speed: That's the new thing for kind of washed-up rappers. But, at least he still puts out music. For instance, his freestyle over the "Fire Squad" beat.
Drizzle: "Fire Squad," as K.R.I.T. said regarding the "Control" beat, is like an ugly bitch everybody fucked raw.
Speed: So, in other words...today, we're talking reality TV?
Drizzle: No. We're talking relevancy.
Drizzle: Oh, you knew I wasn't going to give you bullshit...
Speed: Oh, yeah. Of course. If you did, I'd kind of have to look at you with the Nick Young face like "bruh...where's the fire? That's it?"
Drizzle: Everyone has a hard time dealing with this point: does anything we do matter?
Speed: Yes and no. I say no because the time we spend on this Earth, it's finite and humans tend to think small. That's why most rappers never see more than neighborhood success. Therefore, anything we do is limited. We're thinking about the wrong things because of this limitation, thus bringing us back to the "me me me me me" aspect we've discussed before.
However, I'd say what we do does matter, even if it's only on a small scale. I'm a firm believer in the idea of karma and doing well unto others. So, even if it's not a magnificent impact, making one random person smile, for instance, it helps me know that "hey, I'm doing something good." That's even if it's a moot point the size of the universe.
Drizzle: (laughs) Well, that was in-depth. I agree in some ways. But, Waka Flocka Flame matters (pauses, then delivers the following quote in a Maury Povich-esque voice). The lie detector determined...that was a lie. He doesn't. Sorry, Waka. Your influence is nil at this point. Well, at least it's not what he really wants.
Drizzle: He's fallen to the wayside for just about everyone else on Earth.
Speed: Agreed. I assume there's more to the argument.
Drizzle: Of course. We all want our influence to be "X." But, 99.99999% of the time? It's "Y."
Speed: That much, I've realized out the gate with the reboot of the site and the music and in real life.
Drizzle: Since we're talking Waka, let's deal with the hippity-hoppers first. They all wanna be the next Pac, the Big, the next Jay Z. But, most'll be lucky if they're the next Akinyele.
Speed: At least they'll get to put it in someone's mouth.
Drizzle: (laughs boisterously) But, Akinyele's known for that...but his real power and contribution is in his strip joints (Ed. Note: Akinyele owns the King of Diamonds chain). That's not exactly a bad life for all the self-proclaimed hustlers out there. But, in reality? Most will most likely end up broke. I mean, if 50 can go through bankruptcy, so can your ass.
Speed: Hopefully, I don't ever go bankrupt. That'd suck, to say the least.
Drizzle: Indeed. But, what they think makes them relevant...doesn't. You ain't hip-hop, Waka. You don't deserve a bumper sticker. You are a joke, Mr. Flame and that hurts my heart. Because, at the end of the day, your relevance is based on being a joke for white people. He went and made reality TV and started recording EDM bullshit. Jeez, I need to write a book. I'd call it So You're An Irrelevant: What to Do (and Not Do). I could save careers.
Drizzle: My heart hurts when niggas become the laughingstock of mainstream culture out of desperation. I'd rather be irrelevant--
Speed: Than to be a laughingstock? Yeah, I'm with you.
Drizzle: White people can do that. Because when a white guy becomes a clown, that guy is just that. He's a clown. When a black guy does it, people think "well, that's niggers for you."
Speed: A white guy can put on blackface and people'll say he's doing it to be "ironic."
Drizzle: But, we're guilty of that too. Every one of our comedians have that "white voice" they'll trot out. But, they can take it. The world won't judge them by that standard. But, a rapper's quest for relevance? It causes such things. So it got me thinking--dangerous pastime, I know. What do regular people do to be relevant when, in reality, on a universal scale, they don't matter?
Speed: Go out and kill people?
Drizzle: God, I hope not.
Speed: That's what some of them do--
Drizzle: Assholes. But, here's my suggestion. Instead of worrying about relevancy, just...don't. Don't be relevant.
Speed: Gasp! Egad!
Drizzle: Well, what is relevance? It's a relative term.
Speed: For me, it's a social construct.
Drizzle: Everyone has a different idea. Most'd agree with you and say it's a social construct. Or to dumb it down, "you're relevant when other people give a fuck." So, when people want to be "relevant," they want to do so by popular opinion. My point is this: fuck what people think.
Speed: Because it doesn't matter either way--
Drizzle: Not even. If you worry about what others think, you don't do what you think. How can you reach maximum potential like that?
Speed: We can't, especially if we're constantly out here trying to appease to others' demands.
Drizzle: Amen. In order to be relevant, in its relative phrasing, you need to be relevant with yourself first.
Speed: Look at Drizzle, the Buddhist--
Drizzle: Bite me. That's real for seriouscitiness (mimics dramatic sting). If you're relevant because you're what the masses want, then you're just the masses. Another face in the crowd. Basic, even. And if you're basic, you're irrelevant.
Speed: No one wants to be irrelevant, so you'd think no one should want to be basic.
Drizzle: Basic exists because soooo many people are. And the next think you know, you're on MTV or VH1 showing your ass to stay in the spotlight. And they think they're special, even though they ain't. Relevance is pretty meaningless on a social scale.
Speed: True. People like that, they're like a penny a dozen.
Drizzle: Not even just that. You live, you die, you're worm food. The next generation takes over. And they try to not make your mistakes. But, every issue you've ever had which was that life-shattering? It doesn't even hold up to the test of time in your own lifetime. Here's a list of motherfuckers who were big time in the 1990s and early 2000s who no one really cares about now:
- Junior M.A.F.I.A.
- Craig Mack
- Monica Lewinsky
- Elizabeth (not very) Smart
- Elian Gonzalez
- Smash Mouth
So, when I see "FLOCKA!" on a bumper sticker, I just shake my head. You're irrelevant, dude. You could've done stuff. But, you cooned!
Speed: Waka actually wasn't that bad of an artist for what he was/is. That's what makes me sad about this, in addition. He actually tried to improve his bars and all that. But, by the point we got to a, for instance, Flocka "Fire Squad" freestyle, he'd already been on LHHATL and shit. In other words, he was actually smart, but did some dumb shit which got him an L for his troubles.
"But, he's getting money. Fuck you doing?" This is what I hear say with regards to my thoughts. But, one: it's not all about the money. And two, he could've done so much more.
Drizzle: So, Speed, how much is your life worth? In U.S. currency?
Speed: According to some? Not a goddamned thing.
Drizzle: According to you?
Speed: All the money in the world and then some. But, that shit don't matter! Why? Because money won't go with you when you die. Nigga, I can't buy my way to heaven. I tried it already with one of my cousins. Jesus said "Speed, your card's been declined. Stop doing the most."
Drizzle: (laughs) So...what you mean to tell me is: you wouldn't dedicate your life to something you didn't believe in, for any amount of money? Is that what I'm hearing?
Speed: Yep. If I don't believe in it, or don't believe it, I'm not putting up cash, time, or energy for it. I can't feel it if it doesn't touch my soul.
Drizzle: Ahem. By your logic, I don't give a fuck what Mr. Flame is taking home because it ain't enough money for me to act like him.
Speed: No, I don't give a fuck about how much he's making because it's not my money. I'd love for Waka to put his money up for good causes and use his pseudo-celebrity for the betterment of his world and the community. I don't know if he's doing that or if he'll ever do that. I wouldn't act like Waka regardless of the money, though. Why? Well, to act exactly like Waka, it'd be completely detrimental to staying true to myself and who I am.
Drizzle: Game, set, and match. I guess it ultimately comes to this: "what is relevance worth?"
Speed: Hmmm...depends on how much of your soul you're willing to pay to the piper.
Drizzle: (scoffs) Whatevs. It's thinking like that that had Nicki Minaj apologizing for the original "Only" video. "Oh no, there's Nazi imagery! Oh, no!" Guess we've gotta have every anime and the Justice League cartoon apologize too...
Speed: No. What I'm saying is how far will some someone go to stay relevant? When does artistically pushing the envelope just become a sad cry for attention? Example, since we're on anime. Kill la Kill, for instance (plays "Ping Pong Circulate" in the background for effect). Don't worry, there's no stripping to come.
It's a decent series. I'd even argue it has some moments I'd rank as top 25, at least. But, its decentness and overarching themes and good-to-amazing storyline? They tend to get lost underneath its "We're like an R-rated Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann meets Sailor Moon meet Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt" fanservice. I wouldn't want them to apologize for it, tough. However, it had some of its message and bite overshadowed and skewed by the uber-Gainax bounce everything had (laughs).
Drizzle: At least Gainax is consistent with their insanity!
Drizzle: But the point I'm making is this: Nicki apologized for her (arguable) art and changed it because of a fear of a backlash. Which is why, one day, she'll be irrelevant. She didn't believe in her own shit.
Speed: Hence me saying relevance tends to come down to "how much of your self are you willing to sacrifice to maintain eyes on you?" People like that, they'll seemingly sacrifice their soul to keep the buzz up. I don't know Nicki personally. But, I mean, the video, controversial and everything, tried something different. It took a different approach than just tits and ass. Whether or not it was truly "art," as we both agree, that's debatable. It could've just been controversy for controversy's sake. But, yeahhh...
Drizzle: Kevin Smith didn't apologize for Dogma. Galileo didn't apologize for discovering gravity--
Speed: And 'Murica didn't apologize for getting pissy about tea!
Drizzle: High five. But, Nicki apologized.
Speed: I can see why she did, but still... As an aside, I finally saw the true "Super Mode" of the Shining Gundam. The one where it and Domon went all Super Saiyan.
Drizzle: That nigga ain't apologize to nobody! He Gundam-bitchslapped them!
Speed: And it was glorious. So, Domon...waitwaitwait...like around that same episode, this motherfucker bounced off laser-beam ropes like a pro wrestler and catapulted himself across the planet. Dafuq?
Drizzle: Yeah...don't question it.
Speed: I won't. But, I will close out by saying this. This has been volume six of Profound Assholes. Remember: if we didn't piss you off and make you think, we failed.