Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The Problem with Urban Media 2: Your camera phone is not a camera
Check here for part 1....
A little over a month ago, I was covering a listening event with L.L. Cool J. The publicist had set up a little time for media to do some quick, shoot from the hip interviews. So, I'm waiting for my turn-- when a certain blogger kinda D-Bo's his way in front of me. My homeboy, who was also waiting for his interview after me, is like "dude, she was here first, then me..." The publicist slides up and clarifies that he actually had promised dude to be next, and apologizes. Everyone was cool with it.
So dude slides up into the booth to interview L and.... whips out a damn camera phone. Read that again. A camera phone... to do a video interview with L.L. Cool J. As surprised as I was by this, I was later told it really isn't that uncommon for cats to interview folks with camera phones these days. After all, everyone has a website or a blog--and who has the professionalism to invest in their craft?
Remember back when blogs were for folks who were writers or editors and needed a platform to express things that weren't necessarily fit for the publication or site that they worked for? Remember when blogs were folks who, even if they weren't writers by trade, still had insight into a particular field/business/subject that made them qualified to speak on it? Remember when blogs weren't for folks who think interviewing stars on freakin' camera phones is acceptable?
See, this is the problem with the scene in Atlanta. Everyone thinks they are the scene. These days there's as much media around as there are lame ass rappers. Unqualified "media" I might add- clogging up events, parties, shoots, etc. with their camera phones, getting "content" for make-believe, fledging sites and publications. It's terrible, really. Pathetic at best. Who are the pr folks who are legitimizing/accomodating these confused people? Like really?
And since when did it become cool for bloggers to provide no legitimate information about any particular subject? Since when did it become cool to simply hate for the sake of hating? That's all these celebrity bloggers do-- hate on artists. Yet, artists and publicists still clamor to be acknowledged by them. It's the sheep theory in full effect if you ask me.
Now, I'm not suggesting that every genre doesn't have its fair share of throw-away, lame, wack, sensationlistic publications/sites. But with hip-hop or "urban" music in particular, we don't have enough legitimate ones to balance or completely overshadow the rest. Our "big" publications are mediocre at best (with few exceptions). Now, with the market flooded with an influx of camera-phone bloggers/writers, things just aren't looking good. And I don't expect nothin to change any time soon.