Back in da day I was a club jock. I was spinnin' disco, R&B and funk long without having my ass hang out of my pants. I started in '78 and still do to some degree. My music tastes are wide and varied. I don't poo-poo pop music because if you remember The Stones, Zeppelin and others were all pop at one time before they became classic rock. To say the Backstreet Boys, Nsync and others "suck" is to say you're a miserable prick. Their music ain't aimed at you, it's aimed at kids and soccer moms. Let them enjoy it. Just because there's nothing ignorant, negative or degrading about it doesn't mean it's not pleasing for them to listen to. That's what old timers said about The Beatles, The Monkees and others.

I was a fan of many styles of music because I took such pride in exposing people to it. I was a mix show DJ at a radio station where house music was born and seldom poo-poo'd music but today's music, for the most part isn't about music, it's about imaging and the more negative the image the more it sells. The more bizarre and whacked out the Artist is the more publicity they get. That's not the industry's fault, that's the public's fault.

As an ol' skooler, I'm very glad to have been able to participate in the History of Radio and music history. Back in the early 80s I was doing mixes for a radio station that, as I look back, was truly unique. WBMX FM in Chicago is where house music was born. It's where mix shows were redefined via "The Hot Mix 5". It's where great music ranging from The Talking Heads to Teddy Pendergrass was heard and it 's where black people, white people and Hispanics worked without ever once saying "that black guy" or "that white woman". We saw each other, not color. Everyone spoke properly and no one on air dare speak down with unintelligable streetisms - it wasn't professional.

The "BMX" part stood for "Black Music Experience," but 48% of their listening audience were white people 18-34. It always amazed me that back then the CHR (Contemporary Hit Radio A/K/A Top 40) radio stations acted as if the only thing white people listened to was Springsteen [the almighty whitey savior], Cabaret Voltaire and Bon Jovi. It was to their loss. Sometimes it seems as if people sit around and wait for someone to come around and tell them something is wonderful in order for them to like it. (See Marlon Brando & George C. Scott's "The Formula" to understand that one.)

Back then you couldn't get a white station to play a rap song. Now? You can't get 'em to stop. It's become awfully boring listening to someone rant on in "thuganese" about the merits of some chick sucking him off in his hotel room because he's got money and a bottle of "Cris". I can remember when a bottle of Boone's Farm or Mad Dog did the trick.

How did this all come about? Thank Tipper Gore. Back in 1984 the Two Live Crew was known only in the clubs and underground scene for their song "We Want Some Pussy". Us Billboard Reporting Club/Mix Show Jocks figured it would just be like a 'flash in the pan' kind of thing - hot in a few clubs and then we'll never hear from them again. A few years later they sampled Mass Production's "Firecracker" and some dialogue from the movie Full Metal Jacket to make the song "Me So Horny". At that time Tipper Gore must've been confused because she became an ultra-right wing conservative and drew more attention to it than the label could ever hope for. It was her and the PMRC that ultimately gave Two Live Crew and others like them a ticket to ride [so to speak]. From there, white kids went nuts to buy the song because they "swore" in it. Childish? Yup. But then we're all allowed to be childish when we're kids. Hell, being a club jock, we figured they were already washed up until Tipper made an issue of Two Live Crew and before you knew it... it was now cool to swear and be ignorant on record. It was cool for a while but we're going on about 15 years now and it's kind of played out.

I laugh when I see the label bosses talk about how it's a "culture thing". That's the "spin" they put on it to mainstream it and justify it. It's funny though, that's the part of the culture most displayed on radio today and yet it's disproportionate to the "entire culture" of the people these artists claim to be speaking for - so in my eyes, it's all bullshit. It's all about the money, so can we just call it like it is please?

Back in the day rappers like Heavy D, Whodini, Kurtis Blow and others were pioneers who entertained without having to be a thug-maggot-low-life dirt bag. You'd be hard pressed to find that anymore. Even worse is that there's no BANDS from the R&B side of music anymore. At least none that are mainstream. There's no Gap Band, no Con Funk Shun, no Starpoint, no Parliament (granted Outkast comes close to that) or other great black artists making great MUSIC. Why? There are many reasons and I don't have all day to list them.

I have many likes in music but when I have to watch some freak go on a marketing blitz to sell his reasons why I need to like his music I wanna puke. I have diverse tastes in music as you'd see on my website. I'm not some stuffy ol' prick but listening to crap passed off as rock or R&B and having some moron go on a marketing campaign to twist minds into accepting it is pathetic.

I have to learn to speak "thuganese" to understand what the hell some ex-felon turned rapper is saying. [Also note I include Aryian brother WWWIII looking survivors] Once I find out what the hell they're all rapping about I find that IT'S ALL THE SAME; "I'm bad, I got doves, I got money, let's hump all night cause you wanna get with me". At least ol' skooler "Blowfly" was funny and I could understand what the hell he was saying!

Watching Russell Simmons talk about how "hip-hop" is a "culture thing" leads me to believe he's been "white-o-fied". The NAACP and other reverse discrimination groups would say that's the way whitey thinks. He's completely lost it. If that's the culture he wants the masses to see then the perception being marketed is thug, sex and being ignorant for money and in essence that's what they're promoting because perception is reality according to the thought patrol PC'ers.

Those dudes got all the right in the world to say and do what they want in music. If the label they're on can spin them just right they'll be a star - at any cost. Now we got that out of the way so can we stop the bullshit and get to the fact that it's all done for money, not to expose people to a "culture", not to show people a "side" of something, not to better anyone, not to save a tree or whatever bullshit they claim - IT'S FOR THE MONEY! I don't have a problem with that either but just stop bullshitting people about it, it insults our intelligence. For Simmons, the line Gordon Gekko used in 'Wall Street' fits. "What's worth doing is worth doing for money" - just add the phrase - "at any cost".

To listen to fantasy is one thing but to try and legitimize the ignorance, stupidity and outrageous lyrics as something that has value in society is a stretch beyond compare. The gangsta rap is all about making big dough and carrying a nice shiny weapon so you can get big props for runnin' a b'ness on the street where they're all keepin' it real. Lemme put that in English. "I wanna big car, I want people to respect me, I want the ladies to bow at my feet and I want to treat others the way I want whether they like it or not and if you don't let me have what I want I'll put a cap in your ass. Some may say thats harsh; thats the un-PC version of it all and as you know I'm not one to bullshit myself or anyone else. I dont have a problem dealing with the reality of why things are the way they are.

I sometimes wonder why Al Capone didn't become a rapper. He could've been idolized by millions including the mayor of Atlanta [ala Ludacris] while selling his "products" to Marion Barry in DC.

The Ol Skool didn't worship ghettoism, drugs and drinking expensive champagne to get laid. It didn't make heroes out of ignorant pieces of shit. If you want to talk about what was "culture" and what was "social commentary" then the man who said it best was Marvin Gaye's The truest social commentary set to music came from Marvin Gaye on his 1971 "What's Goin' On" LP. That was a work of art. That was a tapestry of a culture. It was done with class, tact and etiqutte NOT ignorance and illiterate slang. It wasn't one song after another about driving benz', being a gigolo spending lots of dough looking for some bimbo to satisfy my sexual needs. It didn't need all the hate, violence and made-up slang words to get it's message across. That album was social issues set to music and it exposed people to the pain and suffering without being rude and ignorant. That was "social commentary".

The "commentary" and "message" in the music of supergroups like The Isley Brothers, The Ohio Players, The Stylistics, Earth, Wind & Fire and others never contained inflammatory, rude or ignorant, degrading messages. They were about a variety of things that didn't require a class in thuganese to understand.

Now it could be said that the Ohio Players had their own issues in life with drugs and alcohol but it was never the only thing you heard about them and certainly nothing that would've made them marketable the way those things make someone marketable today. They won airplay on the merit of their songs like Who'd She Coo, Sweet Sticky Thing, Funky Worm, Love Rollercoaster, Fire and others. Few of those crossed over [into the mainstream Top 40]. Only in time would people [not privy to black radio] hear their music. The culture portrayed in the music of that time wasn't constantly one of having material possessions to get chicks. Perception is everything and if you look at the pop charts today that's pretty much all there is.

To coin a phrase, "don't believe the hype". If today's hip hoppers are all so down with the movement the least they could do is to know the heritage of the song and the artist they're about to sample. Most of them as well as those listening to it have no idea they're listening to either some obscure R&B track or hit from the past. They're smart enough to know an incredible groove (see Dr. Dre's sample of Leon Haywood's "I want'a do somethin' freaky to you used for his "Next Episode" single for example) and know that they're going to make big dough from it. Listening to samples in Ewok played backwards to a Truth Hurts record is nuisance enough - to pawn it off as if it's their song when it's BT Express's makes it even worse. At least pay respect to those who enabled you to bastardize their song.

I find it ironic that the very songs that white people would never listen to back in the 70s and 80s (because they weren't marketed to them for a variety of reasons) now listen to them as samples of some rappers looping of those very songs. Does that say that people need to be marketed something in order to like it? You be the judge of that.

I'm well aware of where it all came from and what it came from. Most of the hip-hop comes from records I played when they were new. Bands and R&B artists like Lakeside, Doug E. Fresh, Con Funk Shun, Slave, Shalamar, Phyllis Hyman, Whodini, Maze, LTD, The Gap Band, Kool Moe Dee, Big Daddy Kane and more were the Snoop Dogg, R. Kelly, Missy Elliot and J-Kwon's of their day. The difference being that folks today seem to tolerate the tasteless and classless as opposed to thoughtful, tasteful and talented. It's to today's artist's advantage that the shit is rammed down our throats on every radio station and TV show 24 hours a day so our resistance level to it breaks down after a while.

And to show you that I'm an equal opportunity offender... today's rock n roll blows too. There's some bands I can tolerate but for the most part I listen to more than two or three songs and I'm ready to rip off my arm and beat the shit out of myself. I fail to see the logic of wanting to listen to Artists/Activists preaching their 'save the trees and hump a whale agendas because they've been too stoned to think much of anything out.

For me music ain't been the same since Milli Vanilli broke up. Everyone got all flustered and pissed off because they didn't really sing their songs. So what! Their manager was smart, he knew they couldn't sing so he did what most music moguls do today. He created a gimmick and bullshitted his way. Maybe more people with limited talent should hire others to sing for them.

Today's rock n roll is more like an anger management session set to music. You know what the record labels do? They go out, they look for some freak band that looks like they came out of a Mad Max movie. They feed the anger [via marketing] to a bunch of other whiny, misinformed mass of mindless people who are looking for some kind of light in the tunnel of all that screaming and yelling over the one chord the guitarist knows how to play REALLY REALLY BAD. The label then hopes that the band has kind of genetic dysfunction that'll cause them to do outrageous things while they're signed so that the label will be able to have enough material for the label's CABLE CHANNEL DIVISION [thank you Mr. Clinton for that wonderfully hideous 1996 De-Reg act) to pass on for a "behind the music" special (when the band's dead or washed up) so that the entire CORPORATION can continually profit off the band of misfits. If the band has all that... THEY'RE STARS! Then people look at these bands and wonder why the band makes more money than the man who works for a living. Maybe they should look in the mirror for that answer.

Many of these bands all scream and yell about how mad they are about the world in which they live and how hard the lives of people like them are. Gimme a break! What the hell do these people have to be upset about? They get laid much earlier in life than when I was a kid, they all had cars earlier than we ever did, they get to hear swear words on TV and radio more now than ever before, they get to drink pop more than just on Sundays, they get condoms in school, they got more than just Magnavox's Odyssey video game system to play with, they don't have to look between the squiggly lines on TV anymore to see boobies and chicks dig chicks regularly, so that's a big plus for any guy. Thanks to music and TV, I accept all of that now as cool.

I know when I was a kid my grandparents were the ones who should've been angry - hell, they sacrificed. I often wonder what this generation of tattooed and pierced Beyond-The-Thunderdome looking generation will tell their grandchildren about the pain and sacrifice they had to make when they were kids. I imagine it would be something like "When I was a kid, we used to have to dial up to use the internet". Oh, the humanity!