Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Let's take it back to '05.  DIPSET was on everybody's lips (no homo).  Viewin da whole movement thru retrospective goggles, DIPSET's greatest contribution may have been its injection of controversy back into hip-hop.  They got under everyone's skin: conservatives jizzed they pants over the giddy, amoral spectacle that was central to DIPSET's aesthetic, so unabashedly tasteless they basically delievered a VERY SPECIAL EPISODE directly into the hands and Nielsen ratings of the O'Reillys and Riveras of the world.  The loathsome creatures known as REAL HIP-HOP HEADS was always bitchin bout DIPSET cause they strayed too far from NY orthodoxy and most certainly wasn't on no "artistic" or "conscience" bullsheeit.  There was even some noise about white hipsters fetishizing DIPSET's exotic blackness, quasi-racistly, in certain rap circles.  Dayum!

I just thought it was all fun.  They were the Macho Man Randy Savages of rap.  I was 15 and felt on top of da world every time HELL RELL or 40 CAL came up on the CD changer.  But those days have long passed.  In-fighting and splintering factions threw a wrench in the gears of the purple DIPSET tank just as it was threatening to roll over the whole industry.  The tacky pink party came to an end, the hangers-on hung up their purple mink coats and went home.  All subsequent DIPSET related releases have lacked the elan of the original era.  Some cats like JUELZ SANTANA just disappeared.  The long-rumored I CAN'T FEEL MY FACE with LIL WAYNE never materialized; while WAYNE became a corny skateboarding pop star, SANTANA languished without an album in some kind of record label purgatory.

But never fear!  SANTANA is back wit a new mixtape, GOD WILL'N.  And it's very much a 2013 rap mixtape; SANTANA makes sure we know this on the corny "Blog That" ("Just put a picture up on Instagram / Now I'm in the kitchen whippin insta-grams!").  It's not bad, either--essentially what you'd expect SANTANA to be doing in 2013.  But it also means the DIPSET garishness we all love so much is almost entirely gone. 

Obviously we can't (and shouldn't) expect an artist to remain the same forever.  That's stagnation.  But within SANTANA's transition lies a message on life: appreciate what you have before it fades.  One day you're living it up in a delirious orgy of rap cliche, the next you're scrounging the darkest corners of the Internet for FREEKEY ZEKEY b-sides.

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