Thursday, March 19, 2015

I Dreamt And Then Ignored The Future Of Rap

By: Pete Johnson

The Wu Tang Clan made a new album, and it is possible no one will ever get to hear it. They are keeping it super secret, and will eventually sell just one copy of it off to the highest bidder. I read a thing about how they let people come to a museum in NYC to look at the fancy box they put it in and hear 13 minutes of it, and how 'it was a cool/funny experience, but it was kinda just another Wu Tang album.' Of course that. I love this idea, but in the end it will probably end up being just another Wu Tang album that we all get to hear after some awful corporation buys it. I mean, probably a pretty good Wu Tang album, but still- once everybody hears it, and it doesn't somehow have Old Dirty Ghost Bastard rapping on it, novelty lost.

The ideal outcome is that some filthy rich guy buys it and shoots it into space before anyone can ever hear it. Actually the ideal situation is some filthy rich guy buys it, and shows up at a your birthday party and plays it in full, and the next day everyone who was there says it was AMAZING but was too drunk to remember any of it- and then he shoots it into space. One time I went to see Jon Lovitz do stand up with my law school roommates, and the next day all we could remember was laughing our asses off the whole time. We were drunk, and not one out of the four of us could remember a single joke. It's kind of beautiful when you think about it without realizing how sad it is.

Other things I hope happens with this album that probably won't because even RZA's artistic genius is no match for corporate assholery:
Rich person buys it and:
-Shoots it into space
-Donates it to science
-Fake me out shoots it into space, keeps it and only plays it for Kanye West, who is then murdered for secrecy
-Takes it on tour of US and world rough neighborhoods, and no one whose net worth is more than 'poor' is ever allowed to hear it
-Only plays it for babies

Jackass record label/phone company/ExonnMobil buys it and then:
-CEO fumbles it down a sewer drain
-Bag check guy named Big Vince steals it and only plays it for his poker buddies, who all hate it
-It is played for the first time at a once in a lifetime lavish corporate event for billionaires, and it is so good everyone in attendance kills themselves out of joy
-It is just 90 minutes of the members of the Wu Tang Clan shouting "Hahaha FUCK YOU, you rich dummy!"

Obviously some company is going to buy it and then find a way to make the most money possible off of it, because America. Even if that happens and the mystery is lost and the album is just ok with a couple real solid Ghostface verses, I gotta respect the hustle. It is a new and cool idea that no one but Wu Tang could really pull off right for the first time. It might be the future of rap for the small percentage of rappers who are big enough to try this move and have anybody give a shit. The more likely future of rap is way more boring, but not an hour ago I woke up from a dream that might help fix it.

It is getting harder and harder to make money from just selling albums, so a lot of artists make their bank by going on tour. This is a problem for rappers, because rap concerts generally suck. I once went to a Ghostface Killah show, and even though it was great because Ghostface Killah is great, the show itself was a mess. There were a hundred useless guys on stage, the sound quality was bad, and at one point Ghost said 'Ay I'm sorry the mics is fucked up, what y'all wanna hear?' Ghost is more of a showman than most, and I respect the sentiment of wanting to make it up to us, but I sided more with the guy in the crowd (hopefully the sound guy) who said "That's because only two of you showed up to sound check!" Plus, that motherfucker never played Fishscale.

In this dream I had, I was at the beginning of a weird but awesome Wu Tang concert. The stage was set up so that behind the actual stage area was kind of a sunken pit, so that we could see all of the Wu Tang members and their entourage (Redman was there too!) standing in it at around shoulder level and above. It was clear that whoever was actually rapping on a given track would be on the stage in front of them, but we would always be able to see the posse in the sunken background. Method Man and Redman would pop up and do their hits, then RZA would pop up and do his. It was going to be glorious. I wish I could tell you that I saw the whole thing and it was seriously so great, but right before they went on stage I started lucid dreaming.

If you're not familiar with lucid dreaming, that's when you realize you are dreaming in the middle of a dream, and then you go try to fuck something. Most people who don't lucid dream say it sounds amazing and that they would fly around and do fun things like play real live mario cart on the moon, but that has not been my experience. I still remember the first time I lucid dreamt- I was about 11, and I tried to fly around and did an ok job until I woke up. The very next time I had a lucid dream, and I think every single time since, I have spent the entire dream trying to find girls to have sex with and sometimes having sex with them.

This probably says a lot about me, specifically that I am a lot gross. Keep in mind that while I lucid dream a decent amount (probably around once a month on average, but it comes and goes), I'm still not great at it. It is tough enough just to keep yourself from waking up, and learning to control the dream without waking up takes a very specific kind of weird sexy dream zen mind state that is very hard to perfect. I started lucid dreaming right at the boobs start giving you boners age, and have never gotten good at anything but trying to get to Bonesville. That prepubescent instinct is so strong that even with an amazing Wu Tang show about to go on in front of me, the second I realized it was a dream I still started looking for sexy times. The sexy times got going a little bit, I thought to myself "sexy times at a Wu Tang show!" and tried to look up at the stage, but that's when it all went out of focus and I woke up.

Before I realized it was a dream, I was SO excited by this concert format and that I was going to see it. Lucid dreaming is great when it works, but my favorite dreams are the ones where I don't realize it's a dream. I was once having a normal stress dream where I was working in my hometown supermarket, when I was called to the front of the store and thought I was in trouble. Instead, popular rappers T.I. and Big Boi had pulled up in the parking lot in two private planes, and Big Boi hopped out and silently handed me a cell phone. It was my twin brother's voice on the phone and he said "T.I. and Big Boi are going to take you to Trinidad and Tobago now." Then Big Boi took his phone back and without a word handed me a lit blunt and motioned for me to follow him. That is my favorite dream. If I had started lucid dreaming, I probably would have spent the whole time looking for the produce section, because that's where the hot girls hang out.