Jewish World Review May 28, 2003 / 26 Iyar, 5763

Media Person

Media Person
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Consumer Reports

How Hip Is Hop? | Because Media Person has never exploited his position of trust, a lot of you may be unaware that he is held in the highest esteem by all factions of the often-turbulent hip-hop community. Known there by his street name, MP3, he is considered a Yoda-like fount of wisdom among the hip-hop cognoscenti.

The late, great Tupac Shakur once chastised a few impudent whelps who were failing to show proper deference with the admonition, "Yo, dogs, if y'all think MP3 ain't down with hip-hop, you be wack 'cuz he 'bout the dopest n***a in the hood -- at least for an old, droopy-a** honky muthaf***a." And 'Pac's East Coast rival, the equally great and equally late Notorious B.I.G., a.k.a. Biggie Smalls, would often exclaim enthusiastically, "MP3, yo' flow is on point! You on top of the beat! You the illest n**g* on the street! Know what I'm sayin'?"

This year's most celebrated rap artist, 50 Cent, often wounded but still extant as we approac hed deadline, was recently quoted as follows: "Three? He da bomb! I'ma give any fu****' thing I got, 'cludin' my j*hns*n, to chill with that bling-bling m*tha*ucka for five f**kin' minutes!" And the sublime Snoop Dogg (formerly Snoop Doggy Dogg) simply put it, in his inimitable fashion: "******** *** **** *** ********* ***!!!"

Thus it was no surprise when some of the most influential figures in the industry approached Media Person recently with a plea that he lend his wise counsel, a boon Media Person of course readily granted. The problem, for those of you who may be what we funky rap aficionados affectionately call ignorant muthaf***as, is the considerable animosity that has developed between two leading hip-hop magazines, The Source, long regarded as the bible of hip-hop, and its younger but fast-growing rival, XXL.

While firearms have yet to be discharged, the literary donnybrook has grown ugly, with personal and institutional insults exchanged between editors in their pages, often, to make matters worse, in rhyme.

XXL editor in chief Elliott Wilson, who refers to himself as Yellow Ni*** and the enemy as The Sauce, has written, for example, "Your mag keeps me snoozin', what are you provin'?/You know that I'm 10 levels above you f***ers ... I'ma win 'cause I'm too smart for these cats/While they be makin' up facts I be rakin' in stacks." His Source counterpart, Kim Osorio, a.k.a. Kim O., riposted, "All of these wack mags claiming they better than us/Writing all sorts of twisted sh** with they fingers/Disrespecting my name, no home training or manners ... " In one particularly forceful critique apparently directed at Wilson, she pointed out, "You thinking you somebody/But your breath is ridiculous."

Since history instructs us that black music, styles and modes of expression invariably spread to the larger culture, Media Person felt he had best intercede and resolve this conflict before the editors of Time and Newsweek start calling each other bitches and punks or the publisher of Harper's Bazaar pops a cap into Anna W.'s sk**ny wh*te a**.

So it was that Media Person contacted both sides with an engraved invitation to parley: "A-yo! Come chill in my parla, we'll shout out and holla till we get this beef squashed, put you sins in the wash, then it's time for a nosh. Y'all bring the Cristal."

On the appointed day editors, writers, emcees, mixtape DJs and assorted playas and wannabes crowded into Media Person's squalid, cramped living quarters, pausing to pay obeisance to the bronze busts of 'Pac, Big, Jay-Z and Henny Youngman in the foyer. Unfortunately, while MP was still in the bedroom lacing up his orange Nike Vandal Supreme Kicks, Ja Rule and Eminem got into an altercation with Benzino and Fabolous, Lil' Kim bit Dr. Dre on the knee, shots were fired, and police, summoned by nervous neighbors, tossed several tear gas canisters into the apartment. Things only calmed down when P. Diddy arrived with his posse and threatened to "murk any **g*a muss up my Armani."

It was then that Media Person appeared. A hush fell over the assemblage as the revered media icon climbed atop a chair and delivered a stirring MLK-like appeal for peace and unity. He emphasized the need to keep it real, to give props to yo' homies and not diss some ho nor flip out on some n***a over some minor sh**, for such discord be exactly what The Machine craves, because they forever hatin' on us and desiring to f*c* up the Hip-Hop Nation. "Save the music!" MP passionately exclaimed to mad love from the room. Shouts of "You kickin' it, MP3!" rang out.

Media Person's eloquence apparently had a powerful effect, for the hip-hop mags refrained from attacking each other for several months. Encouraged, MP decided he had done enough for now and put his Middle East peace plan on the back burner. Time for a nap.

JWR contributor Media Person -- a.k.a Lewis Grossberger -- is a columnist for Media Week. Comment by clicking here.


05/14/03: Will endorse for food
05/06/03: Kick this sick shtick
04/16/03: Important developments you may have missed because of all the war stuff clogging up the media
03/25/03: To go or not to go
03/12/03: How to talk war talk
03/04/03: Two master debaters
02/26/03: The Miracle Continues: Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies
02/19/03: Yanking the Franks
02/05/03: LET MY LETTERS GO!
01/28/03: Into the Pity Pit
01/15/03: Not My Cup of Joe
01/09/03: It was back in '03
12/17/02: Did you get taken?
12/05/02: Mathers of importance

© 2002, Lewis Grossberger