The Fish
for 27 May 1999. Updated every WEEKDAY.
 
 
Suck Staff
 

Joey Anuff
Joey Anuff
Editor in Chief

 

[Tim Cavanaugh]
Tim Cavanaugh
Special Guest Editor

 

Terry Colon
Terry Colon
Art Director

 

[the fixin' pixie... ]
Emily Hobson
Production Manager
& Rhythm Guitar

 

Heather Havrilesky
Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor

 

[Ian Connelly]
Ian Connelly
Marketing Manager

 

[Brian Forsyth]
Brian Forsyth
Production Editor
& Pool Monitor

 

[Copy Edit]
Erica Gies
&
Merrill Gillaspy

Copy Editors









	
Suck Alumni
Suck Alumni Text
 

Carl Steadman
Carl Steadman
Co-Founder

 

Ana Marie Cox
Ana Marie Cox
Executive Editor

 

Sean (Duuuuude) Welch
Sean Welch
Suckgineer

 

Owen Thomas
Owen Thomas
Copy Editor

 


T. Jay Fowler
Production Manager
& Ass Kicker

 

[yes, it's a plunger. i'll l
eave the rest up to your imagination ... ]
Erin Coull
Production Manager

 

Monte Goode
Monte Goode
Ghost in the Machine

 

Matt Beer
Matt Beer
Development Manager

Strictly for My Wigguz

St. Huck,

Very amusing paean to the
honkies that time forgot, but
some sampling credits would
have been nice, e.g., a nod
to "Unoriginal Gangstas: A
Collector's Guide to White
Rap Players" in the new
Motorbooty (the same source
that provided Suck with Mark
Dancey and David Merline,
creators of "Menace II
Society: Stop the Schmendrick
Cleansing
," which, methinks,
provided some of the shoutout
flow at the end of your essay
(Awesome D, Maroon, Balthazar
Getty, Icy Blu, Misa, etc.).
You know what happens to
sucka MCs who bite other
playas' flava, now don't ya?
I wouldn't want to have to
get all Gilbert 'n' Sullivan
on your ass. You better
check yourself before
you wreck yourself.

Peace out (for now),

Mike, "the James Brown of
white rap research"

Chill, dawg. We're tight with
the Motorbooty crew and meant
no disrespect. Indeed, the
"Unoriginal Gangstas" feature
was our best source for the
names we used in the shoutout,
and any hardcore scholar of white
MC spitnology who wants the
full 411 on Maroon, Awesome D,
and a whole cracker barrel's
worth of other hip-hop chalk
children that time forgot is
encouraged to get his/her
own copy of Motorbooty #9.
All it takes is US$6, sent to:
Motorbooty,
PO BOX 02007, Detroit, MI

Huck

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

I like Suck. I like Filler. I
like your sense of humor.
That's all.

Andrew Hime
<hime1@gte.net>

PS If I write enough letters,
and they get printed,
can I be as famous as
Alan Kornheiser?

It would take you years to
catch up to Alan Kornheiser.

 
Fish With Letter Icon

Polly:

We must have been separated
at birth because people in
the corporate world want me
to go away, but they are
afraid of how I how
high I will fly and who I
will land on. Thanks for
the weekly reality check -
you are awesome.

Deborah

Um. No one's worried about
how high I'll fly, Deborah.
Sometimes they worry about
how high I'll get, but only
because I eat all the Reese's
cups in the vending machine.

Polly

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Polly,

Didn't you say something
like, "you always were a
stranger"? See, on one hand,
that song, which sounds like
it's addressed to a woman and
is condemning men, is
actually addressed to God and
is condemning, uhh, mankind.
Well, if you were aware of
that and then said to me "you
always were a stranger," then
that would be an extremely
fucked up thing to say. On
the other hand, if you
weren't aware of that fact,
then this is yet another
example of you, out of
ignorance, making a bad joke
that, in a certain sense,
amounts to blasphemy.
This is why you shouldn't
do that, right?

Thank you.

Demmy Rooster
<root@treehouse.dyndns.org>

Demmy, who are you to take
these many forms? You'll
never catch up with
Kornheiser - you know
that, right?

Polly

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Polly,

I just discovered your Web
site. I am a therapist and
you are one sick monkey. I
have an opening this Friday
at 2:00. I think we should
talk. But then again, talk is
cheap, and cheap talk is
something I like but cannot
afford. I think we should
meet. But meeting is
complicated, and South
Carolina is so very far away
from where you are, I
suppose. I guess I'll have
to be satisfied with the
daily email for the cheap talk.

Your very best friend, really,

Jim

I already have a therapist.
He says professional,
trustworthy therapists don't
generally call prospective
clients "sick monkeys." But
when I really pressed him on
the issue, he admitted you're
not far off the mark. But it
was really late when he came
to that conclusion, and we'd
been drinking since noon, so
take it with a grain of
salt.

Mo'fessional,

Polly

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 
Strictly for My Wigguz

"While things haven't really
progressed to the point
where, say, a really, really
fat white dude could pass
himself off as the crunkest
...."

Excuse me, the word is
crunkiest (crunky, crunkier,
crunkiest).

<gkmonica@
sophocle.imaginet.fr>

Not how I heard it, but I
know the French are far more
obsessive about the English
language than we Americans
are, so I'll take your word
for it.

Huck

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Dear Suck!

A recent UK publication
quoted your Web site.
Curiosity got the better of
me and I decided to have a
look. Your bigoted ranting is
great. I get the feeling you
have a lot of pent-up
frustration inside. As for
the cultural dominance of the
States, forget it! Bollocks
to that. Admittedly the
standard of living is higher
in your suburban mall
paradise. Your tolerance of
and constitutional right to
own guns is truly liberal.
With your death penalties,
you're reaping the benefits
of a peaceful, murder-free
society. Your world policing
never backfires and you never
leg it when things get
difficult. Musically, your
search for a white version of
a black phenomenon stems from
a whole history of the music
industry trying to find the
white version of the original
and then blatantly riiping
off the black artists
(Atlantic Records?). Elvis
Presley's success seems to be
the blueprint. Black music
and style is your best
cultural asset, and you do
not realize it.

Is Third World status heading
England's way? I doubt the
colony principle is really
accurate for Europe. But hey,
what do I know? I only come
from Europe. I look forward
to the year 2000, when I'll
get to see a big splurge of
ignorance-fueled lunacy
stemming from your side of
the sea. Please don't get me
wrong. I do not hate America.
I have met many interesting
and enlightened Americans.
But in the face of bigotry
and Shiite nationalism, I must
hiss and piss.

Paul McCormack, Japan
<sprocket3@hotmail.com>

So are you one of those mad
Englishmen I sometimes read
about? I really couldn't get
a handle on what it is you
are trying to say, other than
your recognizing fragments of
a few well-worn anti-American
sentiments. Please, next
time, a little less hissin'
and pissin', a little more
revision, and maybe I'll give
you a real listen.

Blatantly riiping,

Huck

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

I read your commentary on
white MCs, and I can't
believe you actually think
white MCs played a major role
in hip-hop's development.
As a matter of fact, hip-hop
is black culture, and for
you to think whites had
anything to do with its
development is ridiculous.
The only contribution whites
have brought to hip-hop is
their never-ending interest
in our music. I'm glad you
show interest in our music,
but don't claim white MCs had
anything to do with the
development of hip-hop.

<JDBNIGWES@ yahoo.com>

Not a "major" role, just a
role. And, remember, it was a
white guy who invented the
turntable, so that's one more
contribution to consider.

Huck

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

For the most part, no one
would argue with white MCs'
contributions to hip-hop as
an art form. I, however,
think it's a bit early to
start grabbing one's dick and
demanding the world express
reverence or gratitude for
said contributions.

You cite Rolling Stone's top
50 list and actually seem
surprised that it's only
sparsely littered with
talent from the paler side
of the spectrum.

Various artists have been
embraced, but not as a result
of the way they represented
themselves within the
industry. That you even
mention Vanilla Ice's name
and suggest hip-hop owes him
is inane. I do understand
that, as with most things in
life, especially art, one
needs the bad to further
appreciate the good. Not so
in this case, though. If
there's one thing hip-hop has
never had a shortage of, it's
wackness. Mr. Van Winkle's
folly lay in the fact that he
felt the need to paint this
wounded, thug portrait of
himself. In reality, he was
just another rich, white boy
fuck-up; but perhaps he
could not wear that stereotype
with pride. That one instance
was a slap in the face of
every MC, white or black,
trying earnestly to make it
in this business. Those were
his victims, not the 15
million idiots who actually
bought that crap - they
deserve what they got:
Robbie Van Winkle immortalized
on aluminum.

You also suggest that because
of his mainstream acceptance
he paved the way for the
superstardom of Tupac, Snoop,
etc. Ridiculous. White fans
propel MCs into the
mainstream and usually to the
detriment of the artist, who
loses his or her core
audience. Look at MC Hammer,
unquestionably a commercial
success with all the elements
backing him, but I highly
doubt you find yourself
overhearing people
reminiscing about that bygone
era, Hammer Time. Even
grittier acts, like Wu-Tang,
The Fugees, or DMX, get
diluted as they are spread
over millions upon millions
of fans.

What set white groups like
the Beastie Boys apart from
others was that they never
tried to be black. They were
simply white kids who liked
imitating the Hollis styles
of Run-DMC. The fact that
they could play instruments
didn't hurt either because it
allowed them to open new
channels within hip-hop
(e.g., Check Your Head,
Paul's Boutique,
etc.). But
any freckle-faced kid in
baggy jeans and timbs does
not a rapper make. Lyrical
prowess as you call it,
while obviously subjective,
is something that emanates
from the artists' ability to
be true to themselves. It
does not automatically assign
itself to an MC on the basis
of race. There are phony
black MCs as well.

Your elucidations go on
even further to suggest that
if a cracker never picked up
the microphone, hip-hop might
still be in a primitive
(albeit pure) state of "yes
y'allin'." This is the most
preposterous thing you write
in this article. Hip-hop
would have evolved with
or without the help of
white MCs. The real thanks
should be doled out to the
behind-the-scenes people -
the engineers (Bob Power),
etc. Even if their hearts
weren't in what they were
doing, they had a hand in
something that's genius.

You correctly state that
hip-hop is a "black thing,
born, bred, perfected, and
disseminated from the Bronx"
and other urban areas.
Hip-hop is indeed a black
creation that is packaged,
marketed, and distributed by
whites. It is for this reason
that blacks hold on so
tightly to the reins. It's
not that we as people of
African descent don't realize
we are responsible for the
inception and cultivation of
most of the musical genres
throughout history, but that
we are not given credit or
the rewards that follow
creation. So, if the doors of
hip-hop (which has accepted
its white counterparts) do
not fly open and admit every
Josh, Filbert, and Basil,
then they haven't much choice
but to sit and wait until
they are acknowledged. Or,
following the ancient maxim
of "show and prove," kick
some ill shit and bust the
door down. There truly is
always room for more.

mok <mok10_99@yahoo.com>

I wasn't surprised by the
absence of white rappers on
the Rolling Stone list - just
cited it to show how, in six
months, many white MCs of
some industry consequence
have appeared on the scene.

Also, I think you read the
piece a little too seriously.
Suck is a primarily satirical
publication that includes
heavy doses of hyperbole,
preposterousness, and
"sardonicisms." And
basically, I'm giving white
MCs credit for being bad or,
at best, competent, so the
"tribute" is essentially
ironic, you know?

Finally, while I do
understand why blacks have a
proprietary attitude
regarding hip-hop, I
nonetheless maintain that
that attitude contradicts
some of the principles that
inform hip-hop. Like you say,
there's always room for more
- and if white kids really
want to contribute to the
music, they've got to bring
something of themselves,
rather than just their best
renditions of whatever
hip-hop's gatekeepers will
allow them to imitate.

Huck

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

 The Shit
Left for Dead in Malaysia, Neil Hamburger, Drag City, 1999
The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium: American Culture on the Brink, Mark Dery, Grove/Atlantic, 1999
Crazy from the Heat, David Lee Roth, Hyperion, 1998
Keep It Like a Secret, Built to Spill, WEA/Warner Brothers, 1999
Abbott's Pizza Company, near the corner of Abbott-Kinney and California, Venice Beach, Los Angeles (delivery hours limited)
Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Pink Floyd, CD remaster, EMI 1994
Motorhead, CD remasters, all
Det Som Engang Var, Burzum, Misanthropy, 1998
Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, Nashville, Tennessee
A History of the Modern Fact, Mary Poovey, University of Chicago Press, 1998
V., Thomas Pynchon, HarperCollins Publishers, 1999
The Coffee Mill, Emeq Refaim, Jerusalem, Israel
The Salesman and Bernadette, Vic Chesnutt, Capricorn Records, 1998
Good Morning Spider, Sparklehorse, Cema/Capitol, 1999
Third Floor, Anderson Building, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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