November 22, 2006

The Bill Withers Model.

History tends to repeat itself. Vietnam and Iraq. Strom Thurmond and Trent Lott. Nazi Germany, Rwanda, and Darfur. Pop culture is not immune to the virus. Minstrel shows are still alive and well.
Hip-hop is especially vulnerable. Anger, race, culture, diamonds, and socioeconomics are all mixed into a batter that should explode. When money talks, people listen. Hip hop is doing fine, just ask Clive Davis and Lyor Cohen.
You can even ask Jay-Z. Hip-hop isn't his life. Hip-hop's his slide-off. His Rihanna. He's not rapping for the street. The streets just don't have that kind of capital. Just ask Budweiser. He knows its bigger than hip-hop.
I know it's marketing. I know it's clothing lines. I know it's a swagger, a lifestyle, a brand name. But don't tell me you don't miss the hunger, the drive, THE MUSIC. Rap is not pop, if you call it that...
Bill Withers didn't need excuses. He didn't need to be called president. He didn't need beer endorsements and he sure as hell didn't need to make up a champagne. He let his music do the talking.
Bill did what he had to do. He took his money, his Grammy's, and his family, and left the spot light. Don't get me wrong, he still collects his royalty fees, but he needs to get his kids through college. He needs to take care of his garden. He needs to read a book or two.
We're left with nothing but Bill's music. And that's completely fine with me. No memories of fake retirements. No failed attempt to irrigate the Africans. No Game-styled hypocrisy. No verses on Fall Out Boys new record. Just Bill. Period.
If he does come back to Carnegie Hall, you KNOW I would be there. Front and center, rain or shine, Ticketmaster or not. It's Bill motherfuckin' Withers. Are YOU gonna be there when Jay flies through your town?
History has a way of repeating itself. Where our ELDERS at?

4 Comments:

Blogger Hummingbyrd said...

Yo that J-Montage is priceless.

8:57 AM  
Blogger vik said...

thanks. i had a lot of fun puttin that one together...

7:19 AM  
Anonymous ron said...

i felt wrong when you talkin' down on jay, but after reading the following part of the great b. withers, it hit home and made sense.

you opened my eyes to my own art, and its purpose.

big ups to you.
ron

9:22 AM  
Blogger vik said...

what up ron?

glad you liked what you read. i wasn't tryin to diss jay, but shine light on my man BILL WITHERS.

he never really left us.....we have his music. and we'll ALWAYS welcome him back

PEACE

12:05 AM  

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