"I was at Jimbo’s last night on Two-Fifth, the original one on Amsterdam. They open for like 24 hours now. And um, me and homeboy, we was just talkin’. He sayin’ all the music out right now is garbage and all this and that…"
Would you say you like hip-hop but wish it wasn’t “dead”? Do you consider the genre an essentially bicoastal affair? Think it has only one Golden Age? Do you equate the Biggie/Pac feud with Waterloo? Ever watched Wild Style on repeat or caught yourself praising Joey Bada$$ like you were his PR stooge? Shelled out for that Once Upon a Time in Shaolin Kickstarter yet? Are you mystified and saddened by Young Thug thinkpieces? Horrified by or afraid of Vine freestyles? Do you rate albums on a scale of not Illmatic to Illmatic? Does the above quotation sound familiar?
Perfect. XL has just the album for you.
This guy can write a little bit.
On Sunday morning, or really Sunday afternoon, I awoke in a haze, courtesy of a red wine-fueled excursion to Chinatown. The night had turned to morning, and following an ill-begotten stop at White Castle, it had deposited me back in my Bronx apartment sometime after 4:30 a.m. I knew I would wake up hating my decision-making, or lack thereof, and sure enough, the most depressing moment of my recent existence came when I had to stare at myself in the mirror, barely able to keep my head up long enough without my illness manifesting itself in a particularly vile and violent fashion. Living alone, I utter very few words inside of my apartment, aside from the occasional out-loud reading of a recipe or outward reactions to Rangers games and Carmelo Anthony. On this day, however, there were even fewer words; only the occasional obscenity escaped for the most part. This all comes with the territory of the hangover, a lingering evil which reduces men to nonsensical animals, not unlike the substance that engenders them in the first place. Alcohol is poison; this is what we know. Yet many among us put it in our bodies and take temporary leaves of absence from the world, from reality, because we feel like we do enough to earn it, or perhaps don’t do enough to earn anything else. People say things like “I would rather be dead than feel like this,” and often, we think we mean it.