Welcome back to Turning the Screw, Rocks Off's weekly rap post. It probably won't rhyme, at least most of the time. E-mail tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks, homies. For the past year, every Monday we've tallied the week's most relevant happenings in rap (rappenings?) and packaged them nicely here for you. Here we'll take a step back and recount our five favorite 2009 storylines. The Emergence of the Internet Rap Star This was, without argument, the year's most important development within hip-hop's ever-evolving culture. But even if it weren't, of course we're going to give a nod to a movement that has incidentally increased our own machismo among rap fans tenfold. We mean, have you been to a Kid Cudi concert lately? If you've got some hair on your balls, you could probably kick the crap out of at least 94 percent of the people in attendance. The remaining six percent would be the other, hairier-balled gentlemen who showed up solely to rob the kids you're planning on beating up. Even in a room full of sissies, we still can't earn an A+ for toughness. Trae Day Ends With a Bang (Several, Actually) It's not really accurate to say the shootings that occurred at the tail end of Trae Day were one of our "favorite" things that happened, per se, because the whole situation was just awful, but it was definitely one of the things that happened that we won't soon forget. When the shootings occurred, we were about 30 yards away, sitting in traffic with fellow rap writer Henry Adaso (most probably know him as "Rizoh" from www.therapup.net, however we will never ever, call him that, nor will we ever not not giggle when he introduces himself as such to other people). Now, Henry, the big, strong, virile African that he is, his initial reaction after hearing the shots was to turn the car around and go investigate. Us, our immediate reaction to the shootings was a tad different, something along the lines of DRIVE, MOTHERFUCKER, DRIVE!!! Henry eventually relented to our sobbing and got us out of their safely. We - the editorial "we," not myself and Henry - spent the rest of the evening at the Trae Day afterparty at The Roxy trying to talk strippers into giving us colorful quotes about the situation. Chris Brown Beats Up Rihanna We're certain we weren't the only ones that initially thought this was a terribly funny situation. We mean, pretty much every email we received about it mimicked regular reader Dirvish's response: "Shea did you see this Chris Brown beating Rihanna thing? I wonder if he hit her with an umbrella, ella, ella, eh?" Thus, we're also certain, then, that we weren't the only ones who felt like total shit when the pictures of an abused Rihanna surfaced on TMZ. Domestic abuse is never funny. Not ever. DMX Tries To Rack Up More Arrests Than Lil' Wayne Does Illegitimate Children We are really disappointed that we didn't come up with some type of running chart or something to keep tally of the number of times that DMX got arrested (about 119, we think) vs. the number of illegitimate children that Lil' Wayne was credited with having fathered (37, maybe). Poor, mischievous DMX. Where will the judicial system be when he dies? Trying to figure out what to do with all of the lil' Lil' Waynes, probably. Scarface and Z-Ro Did Not Die We spend a fair amount of time each week trying to verify rumors that show up in our inbox. Two of the rumors that we hoped most to be untrue were when people started emailing us saying that Scarface had died (which was the result of the title of a magazine article that people didn't bother to actually read) and that Z-Ro had died. Thankfully, both were erroneous. When we called Rap-A-Lot to see what was up with Ro', we had the following conversation with the guy that answered the phone:
Rap-A-Lot: Hello. (Note: He said this in the rudest way possible that anyone could ever say hello. It was impressive, really, and caught us a bit off guard.) Us: Oh, uh, hi. It's Shea from the Houston Press. I wanted to ch-- Rap-A-Lot: Nah, he ain't dead. [click]
It's a glamorous life we live, for certain.