There’s been plenty of rappers and athletes apologizing for their not-so-thought out actions. Now it’s time to give props to Josh Howard of the Dallas Mavericks for the apology blueprint for anyone who ever gets in trouble. Howard is apologizing for admitting he likes to get baked, drag racing and for dissing the National Anthem. That’s a lot of headlines for someone to make but when you can average almost 20 points a game, you can smoke all the weed you want and drag race in any school zone and the only punishment you may face is a blog entry about you by your owner. Anyway, here’s the apology to end all apology. Fellas, take notes.
"I'd like to say that I'm truly and really am sorry for everything that's happened in the last five months. This is not the way I carry myself, not how I want to be portrayed. I'm sorry to everybody I've offended. I'm upset with myself and the way I've acted." – Josh Howard
Can you get anymore succinct than that? “I’m sorry for everything that’s happened in the last five months”? Just knock everything out in one shot. I like it. I think if everyone could adopt this apology procedure there would be a lot less fights going on. Jay-Z could apologize for every artist’s project he mismanaged at Def Jam. George Bush could apologize for the last eight years. Young Buck could apologize for every backhand comment he made about G-Unit. Nothing would change, but I’m sure a lot of people would feel better getting apologies like that.
Been cheating on your wife for the last five years? “Sorry, wife, for everything. We straight?” “Yeah, we’re good. Why don’t you go get your laptop and computer mic and move right back in with me. I just got a new job and I wasn’t sure what I should do with all this money. I’m glad you’re back so I can invest in your ‘career’ some more.” That’s just one of the many happy endings that I can pretty much guarantee you’ll have if you just give the blanket apology for everything.
Or you could just enlist some crappy singer to apologize for you. Oh, wait, that dude on BET who’s always smiling at every song he introduces like there’s some secret, hidden joke that only he gets has already done that. Damn.
One thing you know about me is that I’m here to help you. Whatever you need, I got you. That’s why for all you up-and-coming MCs, I’m here to offer you some free advice. Do not, and I can not stress this enough, do not send me the same song from five different email addresses with similar messages in each email.
“yo son this shit is being played everywhere in canada. u need 2 get on this now!!!!”
“This is my boy (insert MySpace rapper here). He’s got a crazy buzz in (insert town where Pizza Hut is the main attraction here).”
And my favorite, the ALL-CAPS email:
“HIPHOPGAME WHAT YOU PLAY IS TRASH PLAY DIS ITS THE HOTTEST SHIT!!!!!! HE KILLS THIS BEAT WE WANT TO GET LIL WEEZY ON THE REMIX WE ALREADY IN TALKS WITH MAJOR LABELS AND GOT 800,000,000 PLAYS ON MYSPACE AND 2,000,000 VIEWS ON YOUTUBE GIVE US A JOURNAL YO HOLLA BACK”
Sorry, that’s not gonna work. And another thing, don’t send me emails from fake email addresses. If you send me the exact same email that you’ve been sending me but change the email address to email@example.com, I’m going to put two and two together and realize that it’s not really Funk Flex emailing me. And let’s face it, Funk Flex and all those other DJs are all such avid email blasters and advocates for unsigned rappers.
And here’s another thing – if you send me an email and it didn’t get returned to sender because of quota issues, I got your email and I’m going to listen to the music and try to hit you back. You’re not guaranteed an email back but you’re guaranteed a listen. Sometimes I don’t get back to rappers as fast as they think I should but hey, if you’re respectful and cool, there’s not going to be any problems. And 99% of the up-and-coming dudes that send me songs are respectful on the email even if they’re not that great on the mic, but what I just detailed above happens more times than you would think like Ohio State choking in big games and it had to be put out there because like I wrote earlier, I’m here to help.
One more thing that’s important to hit on – Never ever be fooled into doing something “for the love of hip-hop.” If someone who is known for jerking rappers out of advance money and royalties hits you up to do something “for the love,” just say no and slowly back away. If a rapper who put out one big single in the ‘90s is dropping a crappy new album and pressures you to buy it with your last $5 or you’re not a real hip-hop fan, grab a slice of pizza and Pepsi and take a deep breath. Shelling out $5 for a crappy album by a once-good artist does not make you a good hip-hop fan. It makes you a sucker. What it also makes you is an enabler – not only are you helping and supporting this has-been or never-been rapper, you’re also positively reinforcing his wackness by giving him money to go record more wackness. And another thing, not only are you not a good hip-hop fan for supporting that, you’re actually a bad fan for supporting bad shit. Hang onto your money if it’s not good and don’t let those dudes standing on weird streetcorners take your last buck.
And if you have to pressure someone to buy your album by saying, “You need to support that real shit,” what that’s a translation for is they got nothing. They’re not telling you to support their music because they produced every song on the album or they put their whole life on that soon to be obsolete disc. They’re not saying, “I took all my favorite beats from the ‘90s and paid tribute to them in my own way.” Even though that’s not the best idea, at least it’s something. At least I know what I would be getting into if I gave you my money. If your only way to sell an album is to make someone feel like they’re a chud if they don’t cop, you got nothing to stand on and no one anywhere should give you their hard-earned money. And fans, if you got $5 to get rid of, get a gallon of gas and find out how to volunteer at your area’s Special Olympics.
And to the publicists and all the industry people who are telling me that I need to “support that real hip-hop” and to “keep it alive,” I have a few things to say to them. You weren’t illegally ripping artists off in the name of hip-hop when you didn’t give them money they were legally owed. You didn’t “big up hip-hop” when you signed and promoted a bunch of snap rappers because one snap song was a commercial smash. You didn’t care about “preserving the culture” when you try to trade ad money to get your guy Artist of the Month (side note: once you ask how much Artist of the Month costs, you’re pretty much disqualified from getting it. We’ll wipe everyone’s slate clean for now, but from now on there’s going to be automatic and DQ’s). How “hip-hop” is it to pay for love that you can’t earn through consistently dropping quality music and doing interesting interviews?
Let’s recap this week:
Brief apology – always good, will always work no matter how large your transgressions are
Sending the same thing through multiple emails – not gonna work
“Doing it for the love” – Don’t believe the hype
Asking to pay for HipHopGame Artist of the Month – automatic public lifetime DQ from ever winning the honor
Now you can expect 30 different emails from all my “friends” telling you to read this column or else you’re not real and you will probably get one apology from all 30 “friends” in a few months for everything. The economy may be shit but now you have something really cool to look forward to.