Why don’t most New Year’s resolutions succeed?
Author: Christopher Pierznik
Christopher Pierznik is the author of 9 books and has contributed to numerous websites on a variety of topics including music, sports, movies, TV, personal finance, and life. He works in corporate finance and lives in northern New Jersey with his family. His dream is to one day be a member of the Wu-Tang Clan.
Cross another off the concert bucket list.
Rappers and hip-hop artists of a certain type value lyricism (“bars”) over pretty much everything else.
As a purist, I appreciate that, but I think it ignores a vital yet rare skill that only some MCs possess, even those that can fill notebooks: the ability to write and deliver a great chorus.
MC’s that can craft an intricate hook hold a higher spot in my personal rankings and the LOX have some of the best rap choruses in hip-hop history.
We’re all dinosaurs and the asteroid is already in sight
Let’s get right to it. According to a report by the Europol Innovation Lab that leverages other books and articles, “Experts estimate that as much as 90% of online content may be synthetically generated by 2026. Synthetic media refers to media generated or manipulated using artificial intelligence (AI).”
The last half of the 1990s was a period of major transition in hip-hop.
The game’s two biggest stars were gunned down and the genre’s mightiest record label crumbled.
From the ashes rose the shiny suit era, but there was something else bubbling underground. A cadre of small, independent record labels began releasing all types of rap as an entire new class of young, hungry artists burst onto the scene.
One of those labels was Rawkus Records and its roster included one of those artists, Mos Def.
The Cure for Imposter Syndrome
“I am not a writer. I’ve been fooling myself and other people.”
— John Steinbeck
Maybe it’s a new job or even a new career. Perhaps it’s a promotion. It could be a spot in a graduate program or a leading role in a big show.
The details can vary, but the underlying thought remains: I don’t belong here and, worse, everyone will realize it any moment now and I’ll be shunned forever.
It’s called imposter syndrome and while it seems to affect all of us, we internalize it to the point that we believe it affects only us.
My Terrible Job Interview Experiences
“Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
I’ve had so many bad job interview experiences. For years, it felt as if every time I went for an interview, I walked out feeling dejected and miserable. There were times when it felt like it would never improve. As someone that is now in the position where I interview others to join my team, I’m empathetic to those that come in looking for an opportunity.
In the opening moments of the iconic track, “N.Y. State of Mind,” Nas almost mumbles, “I don’t know how to start this shit.”
It’s appropriate, almost poetic, that this line kept running through my head as I thought about how to approach this review because Daniel Levin Becker’s What’s Good: Notes on Rap and Language is all about lines and lyrics – how they’re created, how deep they go, how they get stuck in our heads, and, awkwardly, what they mean within the larger societal context.
“Remember the last new firework you saw? I’ll save you some time — you’ve never seen a new firework. Same show every year, and every year you all act impressed.”
I fucking hate fireworks.
I don’t hate them because of the environmental cost or how they scare animals and people with PTSD or how they celebrate things that don’t always deserved to be celebrated.
I hate them because they’re completely overrated. I hate them because they’re dumb and pointless and redundant. Most of all, though, I hate them because of everything that is involved in experiencing the supposed magic of colorful explosions.
I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that Chuck Klosterman influenced a generation of writers and unconsciously blazed a path for how online critique and analysis would be presented in the first two decades of the 21st Century.
He came to the realization that “people want to think critically about the art that informs their life,” and has created a successful, impactful career as a result.