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05:00 PM on 04/15/14
the seventeenth
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You ever go to discuss a topic & just think "oh, whats the fucking point"? I'm there now...
Yeah... I tried to make a comment, then I edited it eight times and decided to just refresh the page... Not even worth it haha
05:24 PM on 04/15/14
Vance Mook
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1. I'm not talking about all music. I'm talking about a middle class white guy deciding the value of a black inner city gang member's music, based on content that he has no ability to relate to.

2. I agree that Prodigy should have handled it differently. Still, he has a reason to be upset when the opinion given is an illegitimate one.

3. Pitchfork having the right to say things doesn't make the things they say right.
I was directly addressing you, but your first point is what makes the second two invalid. How do you know that the person who reviewed the album is middle-class and white? Do you know them personally? Do you know what they've been through, and whether or not they may have shared experiences with the artist?

Further more, the goal of a review isn't just to relay content; it's to talk about music and the album as a whole. Someone can write a really heartfelt song that means a lot to them, but that doesn't make every other element of the song successful. P4k can't be right; no subjective publication can be. If one of their writers took the review, it's probably because they know a thing or two about hip-hop.
05:43 PM on 04/15/14
ParkwayTom
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I was directly addressing you, but your first point is what makes the second two invalid. How do you know that the person who reviewed the album is middle-class and white? Do you know them personally? Do you know what they've been through, and whether or not they may have shared experiences with the artist?

Further more, the goal of a review isn't just to relay content; it's to talk about music and the album as a whole. Someone can write a really heartfelt song that means a lot to them, but that doesn't make every other element of the song successful. P4k can't be right; no subjective publication can be. If one of their writers took the review, it's probably because they know a thing or two about hip-hop.
Google the dude. Something tells me that, no, he hasn't has similar experiences. I also think that if he had, he would have voiced that to Prodigy. Also, go back and read what I said. If this guy had said that the beats are catchy and he thinks the songs flow well, then that's fine. Would that have made for a good review? No, but that isn't the point. The guys in Mobb Deep have every right to say that this dude doesn't know enough about their culture and lifestyle to offer a valid opinion on their music, even if he did learn "a thing or two" about hip-hop in his college dorm room.
05:46 PM on 04/15/14
ParkwayTom
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Dude said in the tweets that anyone can enjoy it, but he has a problem with a reviewer trying to break it down like he has any idea what it was really about and how they felt or whatever.
Exactly what I've been saying this whole time.
05:46 PM on 04/15/14
RaginCajun
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that actually sounds racist...
05:49 PM on 04/15/14
Vance Mook
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The amount of things you'r inferring about someone you don't know simply because they did their job is absurd. Keep thinking/assuming whatever you want, but you said it yourself: just because they have the right to say it, doesn't make it right.
05:56 PM on 04/15/14
kianacarly
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The amount of things you'r inferring about someone you don't know simply because they did their job is absurd. Keep thinking/assuming whatever you want, but you said it yourself: just because they have the right to say it, doesn't make it right.
It's not really an assumption tho. A white, middle class man is not going to have the same experiences as Prodigy. Even a lower class white man would not. It's impossible. The reviewer will never face that same kind of discrimination or oppression in his lifetime. Sure, he can talk about the musicality, but when it comes to the lyrical content and analyzing things he has never or will never go through, I can see where Prodigy is coming from and I'm with Parkway Tom on this one. I don't blame Prodigy for being sensitive to that.
06:03 PM on 04/15/14
Ryan Dennehy
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Not having gone through that kind of thing does not mean someone is not empathetic to what they are hearing.
06:12 PM on 04/15/14
omgrawr
im on my van gogh, i dont hear shit
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I've always found reviews kind of weird in the sense that they often come from a person who in most situations could never dream of creating an enjoyable album, video game, movie, tv show, or whatever. These people are critically analyzing somebody else's work who may or may not have one or more of the aforementioned talents to the point of assigning a numerical value.

I like the format that I've seen some places where they just discuss what they think about something without actually giving a review score. That counterproductive in most instances though because most people click on a site or buy magazine in part because they WANT somebody to assign a score because it makes it easier to immediately think of something as "good" or "bad." It also helps them get some affirmation that they have good taste in music if they listen to something that gets a high score or confidence that they can bash something because it got consistently negative scores.
06:13 PM on 04/15/14
Vance Mook
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It's not really an assumption tho. A white, middle class man is not going to have the same experiences as Prodigy. Even a lower class white man would not. It's impossible. The reviewer will never face that same kind of discrimination or oppression in his lifetime. Sure, he can talk about the musicality, but when it comes to the lyrical content and analyzing things he has never or will never go through, I can see where Prodigy is coming from and I'm with Parkway Tom on this one. I don't blame Prodigy for being sensitive to that.
I can understand what Prodigy is getting at as well, but that doesn't mean I agree. You bring up valid points; the assumption is in claiming to know anything that reviewer has gone through in their life (something that should hardly affect the review), including the term 'middle-class'. No one knows how or where that person grew up.

What kind of solution would you propose? Should lyrical content not be covered in an album review by someone who hasn't gone through similar experiences? All I'm saying is that a song.album can be heartfelt and meaningful to the artist, but that doesn't alone make it good, and one negative review isn't a reason to throw a tantrum and insult the reviewer.
06:15 PM on 04/15/14
kianacarly
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It's possible to be empathetic of course, but I can see why a poc would feel iffy about a white man who will never fully understand those experiences, to be picking them apart, even if the feedback is positive. I would feel weird about dissecting and picking apart a lbgtq person's experiences that I'll never go through or never understand. I can try as hard as I can and be sympathetic and listen to them speak about their experiences endlessly, but I'm never going to fully understand them as a straight person because those are things I'll just never have to go through. That's not to say that no white man should ever be able to review a poc's album, or a straight person can't ever review a lesbian woman's art or what have you, I can just see where Prodigy is coming from and I think he has a valid opinion, and I'm not gonna dismiss his feelings about the matter because I think he's entitled to those feelings (not trying to say everyone else is being dismissive or anything)
06:20 PM on 04/15/14
ttmessick
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Fuck him. This is so obnoxious and racist. As an artist you don't get to decide who likes your art or why. Art, by its nature, can be interpreted and processed in different ways. His claim (if its not flat out racist like I believe it to be) is that art can't be judged without shared experiences between the artist and viewer which is nonsense because art is, in fact, judged by people every day (that's the point of art) who don't share the experience with the artist that brought forth their creation. The artist's job is to portray the experience in a way that shows the viewer what that experience entails. If a white, middle-class guy can feel a little bit of the experience Prodigy speaks of by observing his art, he has done his job as an artist. Personally, and I'd at least like to think that with a majority of people, the talk of crime and gang life isn't the main appeal of rap; I like smooth/energetic beats, alliteration and clever wordplay. If Prodigy felt the content of the album was too personal (or needed to be excluded from people outside of his "blood line") he shouldn't have released it as a public piece of art because he will obviously be easily susceptible to having criticisms (and apparently praises) feel like judgments on him as a person. I also feel like it screams racism that Prodigy didn't know who the columnist was outside of him being white. I see white people living less-than-stereotypical, inner-city lifestyles more and more these days; but I still don't find the shared experience aspect of this to be relevant from a standpoint of observing a piece of art. Those shared connections can obviously make something more meaningful for a person, but as I said, if the art good enough it should speak to people outside of the realm of shared experience.
06:36 PM on 04/15/14
Jason_Merch
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Dude said in the tweets that anyone can enjoy it, but he has a problem with a reviewer trying to break it down like he has any idea what it was really about and how they felt or whatever.
Ah well. Yes, there is that. I'm white and I know I'm white. I was raised in a middle class home and don't know "the struggle". I can understand why he would have a bit of an issue with someone like me saying what I feel without knowing said "struggle". Still, I feel like he's blowing it a bit out of proportion.
06:42 PM on 04/15/14
incognitojones
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Ah well. Yes, there is that. I'm white and I know I'm white. I was raised in a middle class home and don't know "the struggle". I can understand why he would have a bit of an issue with someone like me saying what I feel without knowing said "struggle". Still, I feel like he's blowing it a bit out of proportion.
ehh, I mean who really cares

this is not something people will remember in a few months. Maybe the guy who he called out, that's about it.
07:02 PM on 04/15/14
CBKRP
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Pitchfork just wants to look cool and get in on the action by calling what IMO is the greatest hip hop record ever released

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