Blog Watch Edition 2: Head Or Gut

This is a weekly feature in which I spotlight weak arguments, overdetermined conclusions, fallacious assumptions, and questionable leaps of logic from all around the rap blogosphere. Please email any relevant links to thun.nation@gmail.com

No, this is not a review of Illegal’s classic Chi-Ali dis. Today’s edition focuses on a pair of reviews from different sites, focused on different releases (in this case recent offerings from Lil’B and Curren$y), utilizing different approaches, that are united by a shared love of overdetermined claims and a strange tendency to engage in armchair psychology. More details after the jump.

Lil B – Angels Exodus: Amanda Bassa’s review is a cascade of generalizing assumptions about Lil B’s music and the mental capacity of everyone not named Amanda Bassa. She starts out with the presumptuous “the masses flock to the kid, most likely thanks to sheer entertainment value,” a claim burdened by the curious pair of implicit assumptions that “sheer entertainment value” and other characteristics like originality or talent cannot reside in the same artist and that the masses cannot be attracted to both. These assumptions predictably inform the rest of the review even in instances where a greater familiarity with Lil B’s admittedly vast body of work would render them useless. In order to reluctantly praise the album Bassa feels compelled to claim that it is a complete aesthetic and moral departure from Lil B’s previous work, incorrectly  reducing the entirety of his pre-Angels discography to ” ‘Woo! Woo! Swag!’ adlibs,” “references to cooking,” “name dropping of celebrities” and “pursuing sexual romps with his male listeners’ female companions.”

When limiting her focus to the album in question, Bassa’s false binaries continue to fester. She lauds “Motivation” and “Exhibit 6” as examples of “cohesive content” ((I’m guessing she meant “coherent?” Actually, I have no idea what she meant, come to think of it.)) for the sole purpose of contrasting them to songs like “Vampires” and “All My Life” remix, whose faults are attributed to being “Based.” The idea seems to be that Lil’ B’s music suffers whenever he records a song that resembles the music he made prior to the Angels Exodus epiphany that Bassa invented to justify her mildly positive appraisal of the album’s most conventional songs. Interestingly enough, Bassa does not believe that Lil B’s supposed “artistic and mental growth” ((Do other rappers get indirectly accused of being mentally deficient or otherwise stunted prior to recording songs that appeal more widely to reviewers?)) is complete or sustainable, as she warns that the poor guy is simply prone to relapse.

Bassa’s conclusion is quite damning for both artist and listeners: fans expecting misogyny and profanity will be instantly turned off by their absence ((Because they must be inherently dumb and stubborn, right?)) while their social betters will shy from “off-kilter methods of blending rapping with simply speaking and his “skewed perspective on life.” ((Take THAT Eazy E, Bushwick Bill, Masta Killa, Rass Kass, Kool Keith, and Divine Styler!!!)) After reading this review, I have learned precious little about Lil’ B’s latest work but I am now intensely curious as to why Sassa is unable or unwilling to imagine an audience of listeners with a greater grasp of nuance than she displays in her review. Any guesses, readers?

My Gut Reaction: Curren$y – Pilot Talk II: From what I can tell, Max’s “gut reactions” are unedited, real-time reviews of albums. I am not sure what he considers to be the exact merits of this approach. The internet is already littered with short form assessments that eschew thoughtful economic prose in favor of uninformed, glib pronouncements. Any validity that might be salvaged from a long form response lies in its usefulness as a chronicle of the act of listening, responding, and interpreting. If the reviewer’s preconceived notions about the album’s quality or meaning are challenged or even refuted during the course of a single listen, then the readers might benefit from a play-by-play description of that process. The problem, however, is that such a transformational experience is a tall order for just one listening session.

Listeners do not need reviewers to tell them how to instantly respond to a piece of music. They are enmeshed in networks of  friends that serve this purpose. Max’s gut reaction is less an insightful narrative about the distinctive experience of listening to Pilot Talk II for the first time and more a rant about how his cursory examination confirmed the misgivings he developed prior to listening. His responses to individual tracks reflect his stubborn adherence to his initial sense that Pilot Talk II was released too soon after Pilot Talk, that the album is somehow rushed, both in an artistic and business sense. Instead of analyzing Curren$y’s techniques in terms of how they succeed within the contexts of individual songs, Max continually reminds us about how the repetition of words or phrases tests his short patience, as if to suggest that Curren$y has outstayed his welcome simply by releasing two albums in a single calendar year.

Elsewhere, Max engages in wild speculation about the choices that inform Curren$y’s music; every element of the album he finds faulty is attributed to one of three fictive concepts: a rush to finish the album to meet a release date, Curren$y’s weed habit, and a vague master artistic plan concocted and overseen by producer Ski. To some, such flimsy guesswork and easily countered reasoning might be amusing to read, but as I’ve already suggested, the same level of amusement can be conjured up in an AIM chat or message board discussion about the album. What does this kind of review purposefully add to what we know about Curren$y’s music or how to listen to it, especially when the “last word” is presented as axiomatic truth and not an invitation for further analysis? — Thun

Tags: , , , ,


81 Responses to “Blog Watch Edition 2: Head Or Gut”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by SteadyBloggin.com, Thun Nation. Thun Nation said: Blog Watch Edition 2: Head Or Gut http://bit.ly/frvtJK […]

  2. hl says:

    Ouch! “Blog Watch” is like the hiphop internets summer jam screen. lol Good read, but now I have to go back and read the Lil B and Curren$y reviews you linked.

  3. done says:

    your just right with these man, and that hip hop isnt dead dudes the worst. hes dead popular for some reason tho.

    your neglecting to mention the intended humour in his reviews probably wont help your argument if this ends up bein one of those comment section debates with the author ala those meta “a labarynth, a maze” cocaine blunts posts from a while back. once he goes “you completely missed the irony” or whatever theres not much responses other than the kinda lame “probably cos it wasnt funny and that still doesnt negate the other stuff i said bout your awful reviews”

    hiphopdx do good interviews tho

    • Thun says:

      I did address it, I just didn’t give ascribe intentionality. Intended or not, the humor is stretched thin over the course of the play by play narrative. I get it, he thinks the album has some sloppy moments and it’ll resonate if he blames them on Curren$y’s heavily advertised vices. But the problem is that he is homing in on them as problems in order to justify his original thesis. Thats not ironic humor, that’s just fallacy, and bad reviewing. But I’m preaching to the choir right now I guess.

      • done says:

        yeah he never seems to really make any strong arguments to why he doesnt like it or have any insight at all into it really. you come away from the review with no more than that its not too his taste, which isnt really a review at all. all that comparing, blaming on outside irrelevancies and prejudice just makes for a lazy opinion peice disguised as actual journalism/objective reviewing.

        which i wouldnt really mind if it had funny or interesting writing but it doesnt. its like dude saw bols sarcastic album reviews and decided to do his own take without realising that peole read em cos bols an entertaining arsehole, not cos they actually care bout his taste. voicing an unpopular opinion just cos is pointless.

        with the internet evryones thinks theyr a journalist now, and while in some ways theyr still accountable with comment sections and all, that shit can be written off as trolling/hating. thats why objective posts like yours are important and more people need to do them, so long as they dont get all sensitive and resort to politickin and blog beef. iv seen eskay and gotty get theyr panties in a twist more times than i can count when theyr questioned in any way. least gotty has a sense of humour tho, eskays gotten a bit e-thug occasionally which made for some laughs but still.

        really sorry if the namedrops set off them dudes google-alerts or whatever

        • cenzi says:

          I think you are both arrogant and idiotic.

          Max’s site is just that. His opinions. It isn’t journalism, and you are the retard for thinking so. It clearly states “music commentary”.

          Thun, your arrogance has hit a whole new level. Its one thing to belittle everyone and their grandma on your forum, but a whole other thing to take it to a website. T.R.O.Y. reborn should just be called T.H.U.N., since the other guys are just putting in quick links with a couple of sentences for reference. My guess is that they are too scared to write something not as “intellectual” as you. Congrats for scarring everyone with your intellectual dictatorship.

          This whole “Blog Watch” is pretentious and TROY is exaggerating their own sense of importance in this online hiphop world.

          • cenzi says:

            and thats my gut reaction.

          • Thun says:

            You have every right to think I am arrogant and idiotic. I’m not sure what you seek to gain by calling me that while at the same time caterwauling about the TROY forum’s terrible meanness or my supposed intolerable personality, though. Makes you look a tad hypocritical and childish.

            I didn’t criticize his post based on an assumption that it constituted journalism. I criticized it based on it being a review of an album, because that’s actually what it says on his site. That he calls it “commentary” means that his views can’t be criticized? Is that your stance?

            Really? The other members are scared to write? They are scarred by an “intellectual dictatorship”? For real?

            At which point has TROY exaggerated its importance? If its unimportant then people will ignore it, right? How is this post belittling anyone?

            You’ve bemoaned the TROY Forum and my personality as you interpret it for a while now. Are you going to continue reiterating the same stance until the sun explodes, or clarify your stance in a meaningful way? You’ve had ample opportunities to regale us all with your gut reactions.

          • done says:

            “so long as they dont get all sensitive”

            ha relax man. calling peolple “arrogant” and “retard” is kinda personal when we both were just making objective commentary. keep that shit for message boards and the nah comment section

            what thun wrote wasnt accurate cos it was hyper-intellectual, prententious or made use of extensive vocabulary, he just made good points. yeah its not that serious, but no ones claiming thuns this big authority on how to blog properly. he just had opinions on some bad, misleading and possibly negatively influencing writing and backed them up with convincing, informed arguments. something neither amanda or max ( in particular) did in their significantly more “arrogant” in tone (especially if you take them at face value and cant differentiate between criticism and personality traits) reviews.

            this stuff needs to be kept in check, if theres no healthy, honest discussion amongst different blogs stagnancy and conservatism in music criticism thrives. its no longer 2002, saying
            “Max’s site is just that. His opinions. It isn’t journalism, and you are the retard for thinking so. It clearly states “music commentary”
            isnt really relevant when a significant number of people are increasingly getting most, if not all of their music writing online. “music commentary” is just as open to criticsim and discussion as serious, objective journalism.

            and man if people are scared of voicing their opinion next to someone they think is more “intellectual” then them then thats the fault of their own lack of self esteem, not the person whos best able to articulate themselves by using a lot of big words. a more extreme version of that kinda attitude that got bush elected twice “least he doesnt think hes better than us with all his book learnin”. fuck that. if you dont have anything interesting to say with or without a big vocab and correct grammar than dont speak. and dont blame the cunt who just happens to have been an english major

          • Teddy C.D. says:

            Just playing, saw your comment at the bottom, done.

          • philaflava says:

            “since the other guys are just putting in quick links with a couple of sentences for reference.”

            you continue to take shots at me and i don’t care, just letting you know that i’m not blind.

  4. Ivan says:


    It’s what’s for dinner.

  5. hl says:

    Regarding the Lil B review, you’re dead on. Amanda doesn’t seem to be familiar with his music, which wouldn’t be a problem if she wasn’t comparing Angel’s Exodus to his previous work.

    The Curren$y review was initially entertaining, but I couldn’t read the entire track-by-track break down of the album. Reviews like that are exhausting to read and even more so to write.

  6. done says:

    oh. i typed my thing before i saw yours. so yeh there was no need, especially when he was talkin bout you in the first place. um im aware you can speak for yourself sorry bout that ha

  7. done says:

    Teddy C.D.: i just dont play that “arrogant retard” shit son.

    is cenzi the one that always has them arguments with mercilesz in the unkut comment section?

    if so i retract my previous statement and fully regret if anything i said may have dissuaded you in any way from voicing your opinion in future.

    them dudes are the business.

  8. […] Blog Watch Edition 2: Head Or Gut by Thun […]

  9. I simply want to tell you that I am just beginner to blogs and absolutely loved this website. Almost certainly I’m going to bookmark your blog post . You amazingly have fabulous stories. Thank you for revealing your website page.

  10. . When I originally commented on the clicked-Warn me when new tests are added box, and the comments are added and within four e-mails focus on the same reaction may in any way. you are able to contact me about this website Thanks

  11. fantastic points altogether, you just received a emblem new reader. What would you suggest in regards to your submit that you just made a few days ago? Any positive?

  12. Simply wish to say your article is as astounding. The clarity in your post is just excellent and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the enjoyable work.

  13. Helpful info. Lucky me I discovered your site unintentionally, and I am stunned why this twist of fate didn’t took place earlier! I bookmarked it.

  14. My spouse and I stumbled over here by a different website and thought I might as well check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to looking into your web page yet again.

  15. Faytech says:

    MetroClick specializes in building completely interactive products like Photo Booth for rental or sale, Touch Screen Kiosks, Large Touch Screen Displays , Monitors, Digital Signages and experiences. With our own hardware production facility and in-house software development teams, we are able to achieve the highest level of customization and versatility for Photo Booths, Touch Screen Kiosks, Touch Screen Monitors and Digital Signage. Visit MetroClick at http://www.metroclick.com/ or , 121 Varick St, New York, NY 10013, +1 646-843-0888

  16. MetroClick specializes in building completely interactive products like Photo Booth for rental or sale, Touch Screen Kiosks, Large Touch Screen Displays , Monitors, Digital Signages and experiences. With our own hardware production facility and in-house software development teams, we are able to achieve the highest level of customization and versatility for Photo Booths, Touch Screen Kiosks, Touch Screen Monitors and Digital Signage. Visit MetroClick at http://www.metroclick.com/ or , 121 Varick St, New York, NY 10013, +1 646-843-0888

  17. Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is excellent, as well as the content!

  18. foreclosure says:

    I simply wished to say thanks once more. I am not sure the things that I would’ve done in the absence of the type of aspects shared by you directly on such topic. Entirely was the troublesome setting in my position, but finding out this professional technique you resolved it made me to weep over gladness. Now i’m happy for this guidance and then trust you recognize what a powerful job you are always providing teaching the mediocre ones thru a web site. Probably you haven’t got to know all of us.

  19. I went over this internet site and I conceive you have a lot of good information, bookmarked (:.

  20. I gotta bookmark this website it seems very beneficial very useful

  21. Usually I don’t read post on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to take a look at and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, quite nice article.

  22. hey there and thank you for your information – I’ve definitely picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise a few technical points using this website, since I experienced to reload the site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement in google and can damage your high quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Well I’m adding this RSS to my email and can look out for much more of your respective interesting content. Ensure that you update this again very soon..

  23. Thanks for some other informative website. Where else may I am getting that kind of information written in such a perfect manner? I have a mission that I’m just now working on, and I’ve been on the glance out for such information.

  24. But wanna comment that you have a very decent internet site , I like the pattern it really stands out.

  25. Fashion says:

    Perfectly composed written content, appreciate it for entropy. “Life is God’s novel. Let him write it.” by Isaac Bashevis Singer.

  26. dadang says:

    Everyone loves what you guys are up too. This type of clever work and coverage! Keep up the terrific works guys I’ve added you guys to my own blogroll.

  27. News says:

    Wonderful web site. Plenty of useful info here. I’m sending it to a few pals ans additionally sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks for your sweat!

  28. Hello, i believe that i noticed you visited my web site so i came to “return the prefer”.I am trying to to find issues to improve my web site!I guess its good enough to make use of some of your ideas!!

  29. News says:

    Perfectly composed content, Really enjoyed reading through.

  30. News says:

    I gotta bookmark this website it seems very helpful handy

  31. News says:

    I love the efforts you have put in this, thanks for all the great articles.

  32. What i do not realize is in reality how you are not actually much more well-liked than you may be right now. You’re very intelligent. You already know therefore considerably in the case of this subject, produced me in my opinion consider it from a lot of various angles. Its like women and men are not interested unless it’s one thing to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your own stuffs excellent. All the time care for it up!

  33. News says:

    Wow! This could be one particular of the most helpful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Magnificent. I am also a specialist in this topic therefore I can understand your effort.

  34. wonderful points altogether, you simply received a logo new reader. What might you suggest in regards to your submit that you made some days ago? Any positive?

  35. Hi my family member! I want to say that this article is awesome, great written and come with almost all vital infos. I would like to peer more posts like this.

  36. Fashion says:

    Its wonderful as your other articles : D, thankyou for putting up. “Reason is the substance of the universe. The design of the world is absolutely rational.” by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.

  37. News says:

    Its good as your other blog posts : D, thanks for putting up. “The present is the necessary product of all the past, the necessary cause of all the future.” by Robert Green Ingersoll.

  38. News says:

    Keep up the excellent work , I read few posts on this internet site and I think that your website is rattling interesting and has got bands of great info .

  39. News says:

    It is in point of fact a great and helpful piece of info. I’m happy that you just shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  40. With every little thing which seems to be building inside this particular area, your perspectives happen to be very exciting. Nonetheless, I beg your pardon, but I can not subscribe to your whole theory, all be it refreshing none the less. It seems to me that your comments are generally not entirely rationalized and in actuality you are yourself not really completely convinced of the point. In any case I did take pleasure in examining it.

  41. Enjoyed examining this, very good stuff, thankyou . “It is in justice that the ordering of society is centered.” by Aristotle.

  42. News says:

    I gotta favorite this web site it seems handy very helpful

  43. Fashion says:

    I view something genuinely interesting about your blog so I bookmarked .

  44. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  45. I do accept as true with all of the ideas you have introduced on your post. They are very convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are too quick for beginners. May you please extend them a bit from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

  46. I have read some good stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much effort you put to make such a wonderful informative site.

  47. Hi there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months of hard work due to no backup. Do you have any solutions to prevent hackers?

  48. travel says:

    I keep listening to the news bulletin speak about receiving boundless online grant applications so I have been looking around for the top site to get one. Could you tell me please, where could i find some?

  49. travel says:

    Valuable information. Lucky me I discovered your site accidentally, and I am shocked why this accident didn’t happened in advance! I bookmarked it.

  50. Fashion says:

    Thank you, I have just been searching for info approximately this topic for a long time and yours is the greatest I’ve came upon so far. But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you positive about the supply?

  51. like to have you share some stories/information. I know my audience would value your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e

  52. Wonderful beat ! I would like to apprentice at the same time as you amend your site, how can i subscribe for a weblog website? The account helped me a applicable deal. I were a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered brilliant clear concept

  53. Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your web-site is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this web site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for more articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found simply the information I already searched all over the place and simply couldn’t come across. What an ideal website.

  54. Healthy says:

    I’m still learning from you, as I’m trying to achieve my goals. I absolutely enjoy reading everything that is posted on your website.Keep the tips coming. I liked it!

  55. Awesome blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog jump out. Please let me know where you got your theme. Appreciate it

  56. Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is wonderful, as well as the content!

  57. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  58. Really significant highlights you’ll have stated, thank you for adding.

  59. Fantastic goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you’re just too magnificent. I really like what you have acquired here, really like what you’re stating and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it sensible. I cant wait to read much more from you. This is actually a great site.

  60. content says:

    I was excited to discover this great site. I want to to thank you for ones time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely liked every part of it and I have you saved to fav to see new stuff on your site.

  61. Fantastic goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely excellent. I actually like what you have acquired here, really like what you are saying and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it sensible. I can’t wait to read much more from you. This is really a great website.

  62. Well I really enjoyed reading it. This article procured by you is very useful for correct planning.

  63. blog here says:

    Hey there, just turned conscious of your web page through Bing and yahoo, and found that it is seriously educational. I’ll value should you decide persist this post.

  64. Look At This says:

    It can be near close to impossible to come across well-updated viewers on this theme, yet somehow you come across as like you fully understand what exactly you’re revealing! Excellent

  65. I just intend to inform you that I am new to having a blog and certainly liked your webpage. Probably I am probably to bookmark your blog post . You really have impressive article blog posts. Get Pleasure From it for telling with us your current internet page

  66. Honeymoon says:

    What i do not realize is if truth be told how you’re no longer actually a lot more well-preferred than you may be right now. You’re very intelligent. You know therefore significantly with regards to this matter, made me personally believe it from numerous varied angles. Its like men and women aren’t involved unless it¡¦s something to do with Girl gaga! Your personal stuffs great. All the time care for it up!

  67. Legal Aid says:

    certainly like your web-site however you need to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very bothersome to tell the truth nevertheless I¡¦ll surely come back again.

  68. I am constantly invstigating online for tips that can help me. Thanks!

  69. Health Plus says:

    There is apparently a lot to realize about this. I think you made certain nice points in features also.

  70. Flights says:

    I have recently started a web site, the information you offer on this web site has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work.

  71. Hello there, I found your blog via Google whilst searching for a similar topic, your web site got here up, it seems great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  72. Cruises says:

    Valuable information. Fortunate me I found your web site unintentionally, and I’m stunned why this coincidence did not happened in advance! I bookmarked it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *