If there is one thing Jay-Z’s American Gangster Conference Call proved, it’s that DJs should stick to DJing and let the journalists ask the questions. Not only did dudes ask the same questions asked ten seconds before, but they used their 30 seconds with Hov to try and become his dude while everyone else could listen to them drool over themselves in between pledging their allegiance and dissing the “haters.” Here’s some pointers I think all DJs can learn from reading the transcript of the conference call:
If you have Jay-Z on the phone, please do not bring up Punjabi MC. This is the No. 1 rule. This is never acceptable. The only time you can bring up Punjabi MC and Jay-Z in the same sentence is after you’ve played a continuous season of Madden with Jay, driven cross-country with Jay and then rode on a hot air balloon around the rest of the world. After you’ve talked about everything else there is to talk about, then you can say something about how you liked the song he did with Punjabi MC almost five years ago.
Never, ever, ever try to pimp your beats to Jay on a conference call – Not only does this show how pathetic your connections are, it also shows how incredibly selfish you are to take up Jay’s time and a ton of DJs’ and journalists’ time to ask him to check out your beats. If that’s the only way you can get to Jay, you are not going to get to Jay. I know everyone is trying to get on and all, but asking Jay to listen to your beats on a conference call is like having diarrhea in your drawers and then putting on some deodorant to cover the smell – it’s just not going to work.
Don’t ask about Dame Dash and Biggs – It’s very clear they all went their separate ways and there’s no chance of them ever coming back together. Dame and Biggs are doing their thing and Jay is doing his thing. Their relationship is not relevant anymore. Unless you’re trying to stir up controversy, asking that question is as pointless as jerking off to Rosie O’Donnell and Star Jones. Jay’s not going to restart that topic again by giving you anything other than a generic answer because that’s the last thing him, Dame and Biggs want. Maybe you missed the title of the conference call, but it was the American Gangster Conference Call, which gives me a smooth transition into the next point.
Stay focused – Jay-Z got on the phone to talk about American Gangster. He didn’t get on to talk about Punjabi MC, Young Chris and how you can get on his album. Ask him about “Blue Magic” or ask him about “Roc Boys.” Ask him about working with Denzel. You got Jay-Z fielding your questions and the best we can get is dudes asking about Young Chris? No offense to Young Chris, but let’s stay focused. It wasn’t the Jay-Z Punjabi MC Conference Call. Ask about the album, ask about lines from “Blue Magic,” ask specific questions about the trailer…Ask anything as long as it’s intelligent and relates to American Gangster. It’s more difficult than it sounds.
Don’t ask questions that Jay’s already answered in other places – Do not ask Jay about Kanye’s “Big Brother.” Jay already answered that question on BET and in Entertainment Weekly (I think). He’s not going to give you a different response now. A month later he’s not going to be like, ‘Well, I take great offense to that record because Kanye is more like a cousin to me.’ And of course Jay’s going to say it’s a great record – it’s about him!
Don’t try to parlay your conference call position into directing a movie for Jay-Z – It’s not going to happen. All you’re doing is wasting everyone’s time on the conference call because Jay’s most likely going to go with someone he knows and trusts. A conference call is not your opportunity to get on. If you have to be on the conference call in the first place, chances are you’re not in Jay-Z’s inner circle. Trying to get in there in front of everyone is just a bad reflection on yourself. Again, don’t show how pathetic your connections and don’t play yourself in front of everyone.
To Jay’s credit, he was very gracious in dealing with the absurd questions and shameless attempts to get on. After sitting on that tortuous call for 45 minutes, I realized why these guys don’t do more press. I would rather sit at a desk selling reams of paper for a small, independent paper company in Scranton, PA than face questions like Jay did for 45 minutes. I never really knew the price of fame was so steep until this past week.
Moving on…would the supposedly best MC in the game today come with a line this? “Her body’s sicker than a retard.” That’s your boy Weezy doing what he does on “Operate On Me.” I had the pleasure, if you want to call it that, of finally hearing that track and peeping one of the worst lines ever mumbled in hip-hop. You don’t actually approach real-life females with lines like that, do you, Weezy? Honestly, how would any normal girl respond to a line like that? “Uh, thanks”? Hell no! If you approach anyone with a fraction of OJ’s common sense, they are not going to think that’s a great line and they are not going to do whatever you want. And no, they probably won’t even call you if their house was on fire.
”Her body’s sicker than a retard”? I think you need to take a lil’ break, Weezy. Good job.
I’m trying to get over that line but I really can’t. OJ Simpson just hit me up telling me that’s offensive. Uncle Luke says Lil’ Wayne needs to tone it down. Scott Peterson thinks this dude is out of line with those lines. Seriously, Wayne, nice job.
Lupe, will you please listen to Midnight Marauders so everyone else can stop talking about this?
One thing I don’t understand surrounding that whole situation is why Lupe wouldn’t just listen to the album. Has there ever been a time in hip-hop when fans were more surprised that an MC didn’t hear an album? If you don’t listen to the album for yourself, Lupe, please do it for the rest of us who are tired of hearing about how you haven’t listened to the album.
What’s next? Is someone going to tell me that Uncle Murder doesn’t like snuff films?
Plus it’s Midnight Marauders. Why would anyone intentionally not listen to it? There are plenty of things in life to avoid. Girls with itchy crotches, living next to Bill Belichick and attempting to get over on OJ Simpson all fall under that category. Listening to one of the greatest albums ever made doesn’t quite fall in that category. Why avoid something as dope as Midnight Marauders? If there was something that everyone said was worth my time, I would hope I would find the time to check it out. Lupe, the next time you go on a trip, cop the album on iTunes, put it in your iPod and check it out. You have nothing to lose by listening to it. And if you don’t like it you don’t like it, but hey, at least you gave it a chance. That’s all you want people to do with your music, right?
Was anyone else creeped out by how good Jim Jones sounded over Pete Rock’s horns on “We Roll”?
T.I., T.I., T.I…It looks like T.I.P. is winning the battle against T.I. right about now. I know it looks really bad right now, well, actually I don’t think it could look any worse unless T.I. tried to sneak one of those machine guns into the BET Awards, but let’s wait a few days and see how it all shakes out.
At least we have knowledgeable officials in control of the situation. “Machine guns pose a serious danger to the community," said David E. Nahmias, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. Really? I never would have guessed that. I was actually looking into finding ways to bring more machine guns into my community. There’s three things every little kid should have – ice cream, a bicycle and a high-powered machine gun. I think the real problem is that we have people like David E. Nahmias trying to get all the machine guns for his own community.
And you’re going to arrest T.I. for having a silencer? He was just trying to keep the noise down. He didn’t want to be rude and wake anyone out of a peaceful night’s slumber.
In all honesty, I really don’t think T.I. did this. I really, really hope he didn’t because the dude has everything going for him right now and he’s a few inches away from getting Michael Vick’d. He gets respect as an MC, is intelligent, makes music that a lot of people like, has a movie career taking off and has a lot of influence over kids everywhere. If he really is guilty, everything he worked for goes down the drain and he becomes just another waste of talent.
If anything, every other entertainer out there should maybe think about tightening their circle just a little bit. And no, A&Rs, don’t get excited. We’re not talking about circle jerks here.