Damn Ye…it’d be stupid to diss you…
I didn’t see the VMA’s last night. Truthfully, I haven’t watched the MTV Music Awards in their entirety in a while. I did flip it on somewhere close to 9PM and saw Lady Gaga’s bloody performance of “Paparazzi”. It was halftime of the Bears vs. Packers game, and when the VMA’s cut to commercial, I cut back to Sunday Night Football. I fell asleep pretty soon after, jet-lagged and exhausted from a weekend trip to Los Angeles. It didn’t matter anyway, the most exciting moment of the VMA’s had already happened when Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for female video of the year was broken up by Kanye West, who tactlessly took the microphone from her and proclaimed Beyonce’s video for “Single Ladies” to be the best video of the year. He shrugged his shoulders in a “I’m just saying” gesture before casually handing the microphone back to Swift, who was standing silent and stunned as boos rained down on Kanye and MTV scrambled to cut to commercial.
I woke up this morning to news of Kanye’s Beyonce campaign. It served as the cover of the Redeye, and the subject of the New York Times story that my brother emailed to me with the simple line, ‘what an idiot.’ For his part, Kanye apologized for rushing the stage, and said he spoke to Taylor’s mom. Someone “bumrushing the show” is nothing new to award shows, or the greater public psyche. Everyone old enough to, can and does remember when Ol’ Dirty Bastard hit the stage at the Grammys and said, ‘Puffy is good, but Wu-Tang is for the children.’ The VMAs are no stranger to a stage crash either, as the Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch, disguised as his “cousin” Nathaniel Hornblower, grabbed the microphone praising the Spike Jonze directed video “Sabotage” as REM’s Michael Stipe stood in surprise while accepting the trophy for 1994’s “Everybody Hurts”. Coincidentally, MTV gave “Sabotage” an award last night in a new category: Best Video That Should Have Won A Moon Man. As any great comedian knows, it’s all about delivery, and Kanye’s greatest fault was that his move last night didn’t have the humor or sincerity of ODB’s or MCA’s similar antics of the past. On top of that it wasn’t even his own award he was fighting for, nor was he championing the underdog with the small budget. Kanye gave critics another reason to dislike him, and threw himself in the temper-tantrum corner, just as everyone else was beginning to come around.
I didn’t want this blog to be about Kanye West, but it does relate to some of the things that have been on my mind over the weekend while I was in L.A. checking out the scene and taking meetings with various companies that play a role. What I noticed is that you need to act the part to have the part. You want to be the best, you need to conduct yourself as such, whether others have given you that title or not. That doesn’t mean being an a**hole with a big ego, rather doing things that leaders do. One thing that leaders don’t do is storm the stage at an award show. They stand and applaud whether or not they agree with the decision. They congratulate the winner or they don’t say anything. Similarly, I learned a lot this weekend about how music business is actually done, and feel invigorated to actually do it. The last two weekends I’ve been out of Chicago, as I traveled to Atlanta and Los Angeles respectively. I don’t think there is any better way to gain perspective about one’s home and industry than traveling to another city and being immersed in theirs. Chicago is just a different beast, and yes, beast is the word I’m looking for. I don’t really know how best to expand on that now, but just to say that I really hope to use what I’ve learned away from home to make my home life better.
In other news…
Emilio Rojas will be coming to Chicago this week to perform at Dimes and Dozens on Saturday night at Lava Lounge. I’m really happy to bring Emilio out here, and looking forward to the party that will also feature BBU, Mic Terror, and Vic Lloyd. I’ll also be on the 1’s and 2’s, and working on some special new s**t…I want to also say happy birthday to my colleague and one of my best friends, Jabari “Nalege” Evans, who joined me on the other side of 25 last week Thursday.
If you haven’t gotten it yet, you can download my new mixtape, In The Booth Vol. 2 presented by DJBooth.net and RubyHornet. Grab it here.
That’s it from me at the moment, as I get used to Central Time again. But I’m excited about the possibilities for growth that emerged over the weekend and look forward to sharing them with all of you.