J-ZONE is a connoisseur of humbling reality checks, lesser-known rap albums from the early '90s, self-deprecation, and full-fledged lampoonery. His primary hobby is assailing our daily acts of bullshit. Throughout his decade and change in the music business, he's worked with the likes of Gnarls Barkley, The Lonely Island, Biz Markie, E-40, and Prince Paul, to name a few. As a writer, his work has been published in the Common Culture pop culture textbook series, SLAM Magazine, The Source, and London's Hip-Hop Connection (HHC), among others. He's a regular contributor for ego trip NYC and moonlights as a high school sports reporter in the New York Metropolitan area. J-Zone has also taught music classes in the SUNY (State University of New York) system. He's an insubordinate curmudgeon and a New York native who will invoice you if you send him emoticon and acronym-laden text messages. He lives in Queens, New York with his beloved grandmother, "Evil E."
Root for the Villain: Rap, Bull$hit, and a Celebration of Failureby J. Zone
Yawn. Another book from another musician. Let's guess: He rose from the depths of hell with his talent and went big time. He changed the face of music and made millions. Yeah, a few drug addiction, arrest, and STD stories are sporadically sprinkled throughout for excitement and authenticity, but at the end of it all, he finished his ride a musical legend. He finally gave up dressing room groupies and nose candy; he currently resides with his wife and the children that aren't illegitimate in Calabasas, CA.
Who the hell can really relate to that besides other prestigious, millionaire musicians?
My name is J-Zone. If you actually know who the hell I am, either you listen to way too much rap music, you're a Tim Dog fan, or you stood outside my distributor's warehouse the day my CDs and records were destroyed.I was on the hip-hop come-up, then I came down - hard. Splat. Some critical success, incessant praise from pop stars and hip-hop legends alike, and then...abysmal commercial failure. I did tours on Greyhound buses filled with wide-bodied, Jheri curled women and knife-wielding gang members. I witnessed my life-long passion for music dissolve in 12 hours and my final album sell a whopping 47 copies in its first month for sale. I left my little-known spot in a small, niche quadrant of the hip-hop world and joined my fellow overqualified stiffs with useless college degrees in the world of dead end jobs. For some sick reason, I find all of the above hilarious and have made an omelette out of any egg that wound up on my face.
I pin my cross-hairs on everyday bullsh*t just as accurately as I do the dysfunctional ways of the music biz. I ask the public at large questions like "Are men the new women?" and "Is going out on Friday night worth it when you're a socially homeless man in a deceptively segregated New York City?" Chapters dedicated to cassette tapes, defunct record stores, the SP-1200 sampling drum machine, hip-hop recording studios of the 1990s, and overlooked rap artists like The Afros, Mob Style, and No Face all point to my fascination with the obscure. The annoyances of a cell phone-driven society, dating in America, and Facebook are also explored.
A collection of memoirs and think pieces written by a curmudgeonly commercial failure who is somehow laughing hysterically at both himself and the stupidity of the world large probably won't become a New York Times best-seller, either. Be honest though, you need something to place drinks on when you have company; at worst, my book is a perfect cocktail coaster.
- Old Maid Entertainment
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