Vinnie, I’m Not Mad

Death by Party | Vinnie Paz- Cheesesteaks 

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I’m not mad at you, Vinnie Paz. I like what’s going on here. I mean, more and more I am struck by the impossible sameness in rap these days- that it has become an industry of metaphors and similes for how much more tough/rich/talented any given artist is than anyone else. On one hand, this is very repetitive, on the other; it may be the last great use of the English language. Even Vinnie here is stretching the use of words, creating imagery and building rhythm out of syllables- who else but rappers are working words this hard anymore? Is that why we ignore the repetition and bob our heads along, reach for the volume knob and learn how to twerk? Or is it more basic than that?

A lot of bass, a chant-like structure, flashes of beautiful or shocking images…… we are being hypnotized, yo. Replace incense with the urban pot haze and modern rap culture is doing us just like a catholic mass, and we are just as hungry for it. The martyrs look different- handcuffs instead of thorny crowns, gold chains in lieu of crosses- but the tactics are the same. It is the religion of dissatisfaction and we can all identify with that.

So, Vinnie, I’m not mad. I like this Kool-Aid and I’ve got such a hard on for this city I’ll just turn the sound off and watch Philadelphia happen around you if it comes to it. I love a cheesesteak and spent a year in Canada watching Cold Case and Parking Wars just to get my fix…. I’m smelling what you’re stepping in, friend. You’re tough, tougher than me, tougher than all those other rappers, tougher than the streets and cops and prison and death and you fucking love your hometown. No, Vinnie Paz, I’m not mad at all.

By Courtney Shayne

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