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SXSW: Clipse

Clipse
Mohawk
Rhapsody Day Party
Thurs. March 13

There are construction workers standing on the balconies of the half-finished condos across the street, staring intently at our boozing/taco-scarfing/networking asses as we bask in a cool breeze and guzzle free Coors. I cannot tell if they are forlorn or merely amused. Regardless, an insistent jackhammer joins the clamor as Pusha-T and Malice tear into “Momma I’m So Sorry,” both more shrill and excitable onstage than on record, but redolent with the same ominous egomania that makes even a chorus of “Mama I’m so sorry I’m so obnoxious” sound like a boast. I don’t think they’re sorry. Call: “What we got, y’all?” Response: “We got it for cheap!” Pretty great, lively, responsive crowd, given the circumstances. (It’s 4:30 in the afternoon, etc.)

This fine afternoon they’re closing out Rhapsody’s yearly hoedown (disclosure: The event’s MC is in my wedding, and I bought him the T-shirt he’s wearing ), which began with British Sea Power at the ungodly hour of 12:30 p.m. and cycled through No Age (physically tremendous, remarkably Beastie-esque in their brashness), Cut Copy (a slightly dull drone-rock band periodically possessed by the spirit of the Pet Shop Boys), and Sons & Daughters (Scottish, pretty, vacant). But Clipse is undoubtedly the star attraction, delivering a triumphant set from a group that only sounds triumphant maybe 70 percent of the time: Every Hell Hath No Fury cut, the pinging, mesmerizing “Keys Open Doors” especially, is pretty great, the bass set to jackhammer-overpowering levels. But Clipse’s latest product, the Re-Up Gang mixtape We Got It 4 Cheap Volume 3, is a much crabbier, moodier affair—myriad sordid tales of drug-dealing from minor rap stars who’ve unfortunately realized that drug-dealing pays far better than minor rap stardom. When Re-Up partners Sandman and Ab-Liva take the stage (towering over their scrawny, more famous compatriots), the quartet sticks to the harder, more cocksure stuff—Lil Wayne disses, declarations of their target audience (“20k Money Making Brothers on the Corner”), etc.—and avoids all the complaints about music-industry bullshit. After closing with a rush of greatest hits (“Wamp Wamp,” Grindin'”), they make only a brief allusion to all that, in the form of the least believable boast of the whole set: “New Clipse album coming this fall!” Bet on these guys, but don’t bet on that.

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CULTURE ARCHIVES MUSIC ARCHIVES NEWS & POLITICS ARCHIVES THE FRONT ARCHIVES

Interview: Lupe Fiasco

Lupe Fiasco headlines Irving Plaza next Tuesday, December 18. The show is sold out.

Interview by Ben Westhoff

It’s the best of times and the worst of times for Lupe Fiasco. As of next week’s release of his sophomore effort Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool, he remains critically beloved. Plus, the day I called him, he’d just received his fourth Grammy nomination for “Daydreamin,'” off his debut, Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor. Meanwhile, he’s had a rough couple of months, flubbing the words to A Tribe Called Quest’s song “Electric Relaxation” at the VH1 Hip Hop Honors awards in October, and then threatening legal action against Vibe after they quoted him saying Tribe wasn’t all that. (He complained that Vibe misrepresented the timing of the quotes, and Vibe issued a correction.) On the phone from L.A., he doesn’t backpedal from his recent assertion that he may quit recording after The Cool‘s follow-up, but does talk about his love for Chris Brown and, unexpectedly, Ian Astbury.

Congrats on the Grammy nod.

Huh? I got another Grammy nomination? Oh, snap!

Glad to be the bearer of good news.

Nah, my publicist woke me up [with the news] this morning. So, that’s four.

Do you care about awards as much as Kanye West does?

Nah. I was thinking about this one, though, I was kind of pondering the importance of a Grammy nomination. It can really affect sales and things of that nature. We’ll see if I win one. It’s starting to be the little things that matter to me. Like, last night I got invited out to see The Cult, with Ian Astbury, and he shouted me out on stage. I’m a big fan of Ian Astbury. I think The Cult is a little bit before my time, but I’m a big fan of Ian Astbury’s due to a lot of the stuff he’s done with UNKLE. So, yeah, it’s more those little things and occurrences, which are the milestones. Like, “Frank Sinatra went over to Sammy Davis Jr.’s house and they had a barbeque.” It’s starting to be like, “Damn, guess who I was just with yesterday?” I got a chance to perform with UNKLE, which was phenomenal. It was with a live band, we were all in Vegas. Some people might be like, “Who the hell is UNKLE?” But for me it’s like, “Damn.” Those are the stories I’m gonna tell my kids.

So, are you actually going to quit?

I think I’m obligated for like, three more records on my label after The Cool, but you ain’t necessarily gotta do ’em. [Laughs.] If you really don’t want to, you don’t necessarily got to keep recording. But as far as quitting, that just [refers to] recorded music. The entity of recorded music really sucks, it’s really wack, especially when you’re doing it through a major. It’s like, you don’t make any money unless you sell tons and tons of records. And I’m not selling tons and tons of records. So, financially, it’s like, this ain’t making no sense. I’m making more money off my shows or off sponsorship or whatever. So, you start to feel like it’s 1950 again, like, “Damn, did I just sign away my life? Damn, I feel stupid.” I’ll still tour. It’s funny, because I just had the same conversation with Ian Astbury last night. I was like, “This recorded music shit sucks,” and he was like, “Yeah, it does.” But, we’ll see.

You’ve said you don’t think you have much to say on records, but your fans would argue that you’re saying more than many rappers out there.

It’s not that hard in this climate. [Laughs.] Especially in the realm that I’m kind of in – like, a commercial guy who’s on TRL – as opposed to the people who are not. In the realm that I’m in, it’s not that hard to be saying something. If we go down a few tiers to more underground [artists], there are people who are saying more than I am. But I just don’t think I have that much to say. A lot of the stuff that I want to say musically, it has a limit. You can’t compress and process certain things into 16 bars, or a song. It needs to be in a book, or it needs to be in a dissertation, or a speech, or a movie.

Are you going to go back to school? Write a book?

I might go back to school – I’ll never say never – but I’m writing a book now. I’m battling with Nietzsche. I went back and [read him] because I wanted to see what all the hub-bub was about, and I was like, “I don’t particularly agree with that.” So, now I find myself filling my spare time articulating and de-articulating Nietzsche.

You’re writing a book of philosophical essays about Nietzsche?

[Laughs.] Nah, the Nietzsche is in my spare time. The book I’m writing is about a window-washer.

A novel?

Yeah, it’s deep, though. Imagine all the stuff I don’t put into my music because I can’t find a word to rhyme with “plethora.” I’m trying to practice how to write for an extended period of time. In writing, you kind of hit a ceiling. I hadn’t wrote on it in like, a year or two. So, hopefully, when I have more time [away] from the recording and the road I’ll jump back into it. It’s really good. They printed a chapterette of it in a magazine in London called Blag.

Briefly run down the concept for your new album.

For this album, it picks up on a [song] from the first album called “The Cool,” which is about a hustler who gets killed and comes back to life and who digs his way out of his own grave, and goes back to his old neighborhood and gets robbed by these two kids, ironically with the same gun he was shot with. I kind of took that story and expanded on it. I just started to tie in all these different stories and characters and plots, to make it kind of the pre-history for “The Cool.” So, it’s about how The Cool starts off as this little boy, he grows up without a father, he’s raised by The Game, falls in love with The Streets, goes on to be this big-time hustler, gets killed, and comes back to life. He ends up at the crossroads with the little kids.

I went back and took the little boy from “He Say She Say,” off the first album, and now he’s The Cool. The three main characters, The Cool, The Streets, and The Game, they’re all walking, talking characters. The Cool is played by Kadeem Hardison, from A Different World. The Streets has dollar signs for eyes, and tattoos of all her slain boyfriends across her chest. She’s like a temptress, almost. When you see her tattoos you see Al Capone and Alexander the Great and King Tut. And then you have The Game, who is an amalgamation of all of those vices in the world. He has dice for eyes, he has bullets for teeth, he has crack pipes for lungs, and he breathes crack smoke, and his suit is made out of blackened dollar bills. It’s a really graphic, really intense kind of character.

[The concept is] only on five records, and some of it is done kind of abstractly. The artwork ties everything in, and if you want, you can go backwards into [my] albums and the mixtapes, and figure out the characters and the story. A lot of my fans are doing that now. It really has kind of a cinematic feel to it.

The song “Go Go Gadget Flow” from your new album is ridiculously catchy. Were you an Inspector Gadget fan?

Oh yeah, big cartoon fan. But, the song really came from the Go Go records in Chicago. In Chicago we say you’re from “The Go,” and so it’s really my anthem for Chicago. Just so Chi-town can have another anthem. Just to recognize that, yes, Lupe Fiasco is weird, yes, he’s eclectic, yes, he appeals to all these people worldwide, but the first song on his album is “Chicago.”

I know after your first album dropped you got pretty caught up in its sales figures. Do you think you’ll be watching the numbers as closely this time?

No. I don’t really care, to be quite honest. Unless it gets to the point that it [sells] a million records, or gold, because we sold 400,000 worldwide of Food & Liquor. But not really. It’s more to promote different entities [tours and merchandise]. I just did it for my fans. But I did make it somewhat commercial, with records like “Superstar.” There is an attempt at big records. Not really radio records, but just big records, that kind of appeal to everybody.

I’m just happy to see the longevity of the situation, to see that records from the first album are still getting nominated for Grammys now. To me, this album is much better than Food & Liquor, so I’m like, “Damn, I wonder what the response is going to be to this album.”

The Cool seems pretty light on big name guest appearances and producers. Did you consider trying to get will.i.am and T-Pain and Akon and all of them?

I had a song called “Blackout,” which is probably going to pop up on one of these store’s bonus tracks, and I was trying to get Chris Brown on it. And they turned us down. [Laughs.] I was like, “Oh, okay.” So, that was probably the only attempt to try to get somebody huge. But, I really like Chris Brown. He’s dope.

This has been a controversial fall for you. Are you sick of hearing the words “Tribe Called Quest” yet?

No. I have no problem with Tribe Called Quest. I never did.

I mean, are you sick of “Fiascogate”?

No, because it’s dying down. People are like, “Whatever.” You still got people that are using it for ammunition, but there’s no war to fight. I’m not at war with anybody. Me and Q-Tip are cool. Everybody’s cool from the situation that could have been disrespected by it, but weren’t. So, what’s the point?

Are you still planning to sue Vibe?

Um, no. I want nothing to do with them, though. They could give me 50 covers, I want nothing to do with them.

So, I knew you didn’t drink or smoke, but I was surprised to hear on that your rider stipulates yellow M&Ms. Only yellow M&Ms.

I don’t eat red #40 food coloring, especially when I learned where it came from, which is like these crushed up insect bodies. I was like, “Ewww.” So, I just have an affinity for yellow M&M’s. I bet everybody has that weird, kooky thing, and that’s mine. They all taste the same. I actually had to stop, because they gave me wicked heartburn.

Your new song “Gotta Eat” is told from the perspective of a cheeseburger, and it’s about the lack of healthy food in many black neighborhoods. Do you avoid trans fats and fast food and all that?

No, not at all. I’ll eat a bowl of grease. Solidified, white, crusted, all with a spoon. [The song] kind of reflects the health situation in the hood. People in the hood eat a lot of garbage. I was setting up this community activism group that works on the south side of Chicago, and one of the bullet points – outside of gang violence and drugs – was health. There’s definitely a lack of attention to the health issues [facing] black communities. You go through there and you’re like, “God damn, you can’t eat shit around here. There’s nothing but McDonalds and Taco Bell.” For a lot of people, if the bullets don’t get them, the diabetes will, so to speak. And my father passed away from diabetes, so that’s a real personal issue to me.

Since your future is kind of in flux, can you think of an entertainer who’s done his career the way you’d like to do it?

I don’t really want to follow in anybody’s footsteps, but I look at people like Ian Astbury, to see his career and see him on a personal level, how comfortable he is, and all the accolades and everything he’s received. So, if you can kind of make it out of the storm, and make it out to the other side, and still be comfortable with who you are and what you do, to me, that’s cool. But that doesn’t necessarily mean $100 million in the bank, everything’s lovely. It might just be, “I got a Prius and a nice little house in the hills, a family, and I’m cool.” But we’ll see.

Do you still live in Chicago full time?

Yeah, but I don’t have a house though. I’m kind of, like, Marc Jacobs-ing it right now, just living out of a suitcase. I’m so busy. I lived downtown when I was, like, 19. But now I’m kind of a drifter. No place to really call home. I’d like to live in Paris. I’d like to see what Paris is talking about.

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CULTURE ARCHIVES MUSIC ARCHIVES NEWS & POLITICS ARCHIVES THE FRONT ARCHIVES

An Interview With 50 Cent

DISCUSSED: Russell Simmons, The Sopranos, Kanye, Lil Wayne, Detroit, marriage, Hillary Clinton, and asparagus.

By Ben Westhoff

Recently, I met up with 50 at G-Unit Clothing headquarters on 23rd Street, which boasts a faux-library of gold-painted books and topless ebony mannequins. In the flesh, Curtis Jackson III repped his brand loyalties by wearing a white Yankees cap, white Reeboks, and having the office stocked with more Vitamin Water than one person could drink. He was shorter, but just as thick, as I’d imagined, and much, much nicer. Charming, in fact, and generous with his time. He answered thirty minutes of my questions–complete with compulsory Kanye, Fat Joe and Lil Wayne disses–and would probably have gone another thirty if I’d asked.

How would you describe the impact of “I Get Money”?

That record has impacted in a way that you can’t gauge. Hands down it’s the hottest record in the nightclub.

What’s your favorite song on Curtis?

“Man Down.” It’s censored, though. Even on the dirty version.

Why?

I think companies are sensitive to the nonsense that goes on in the media.

The Russell Simmons stuff?

Yeah, totally that. While that’s there, they want to avoid any possibilities of CDs being pulled off the shelves, with record sales the way they are.

Do you disagree with Simmons about self-censorship in rap?

I think he displayed to everyone that he aspires to pursue politics. I just think he was being politically correct. He said, “The rappers should censor themselves.” It’s the middle [ground].

Do you think he’s going to run for governor?

One of these days you’ll see him running. I’ma vote for him, too.

What’s the question you’re most sick of hearing right now?

It’s impossible for them not to ask me a competition question, with Kanye West. But I don’t see him as my competition. We’re so different as artists. He doesn’t have my sales history. I feel like his company’s done a great job of promoting him by putting him out on the same date. Because we’re from the same [genre] to some people we’re just the same, period.

And, you’re expected to do better, so. . .

If he even comes close to me, it’s going to look great [for him]. And they’ll probably do everything within their powers to make that happen for him.

Do you think he’s trying to appeal to white kids?

Absolutely. With the record that he’s releasing, it’s [clear] that he doesn’t care about the same audience. We’ll see who it actually matters to create for.

There’s not a lot of significance in my being successful–there’s a lot of successful people. The difference is my not having to compromise myself in any way. Not everything that comes out of my mouth is something you would hear from a role model. I’m inspiring to different classes of people out there, who have similar experiences. My CD reflects the harsh realities.

But it’s not your reality anymore.

Absolutely not. I’m in a whole ‘nother space, based on the finances from writing about it the first time. There are no real money references on Get Rich Or Die Trying, because I didn’t have any money at that point. Now, I’ll write “I Get Money” and “Straight to the Bank” because I’m in a new financial space.

What’s your favorite city, besides New York?

Detroit. The whole energy level–they embrace me immediately. I popped out in a few cities on the Screamfest tour. Virginia, Houston, St. Louis, Massachusetts, New York and Atlanta. Each one of those states was great, but for me, prior to that, during Get Rich Or Die Trying, Detroit was a big city for me. I don’t know if it’s my direct association and attachment to Eminem, but it showed me a lot of love.

Take me through a typical day in your life.

You know what’s crazy? I had a personal nutritionist and trainer come stay with me. I’d be up, about 7 o’clock, and I’d be working out. It allows you to have your thoughts fluent in your head. But I haven’t been using him [recently]. I was preparing myself for a film project, with myself and Nicholas Cage [The Dance, a film based on the life of prison boxing coach Billy Roth], but it’s actually further away than I anticipated. I got another project I’m working on now, for which it didn’t make sense for me to be [chiseled]. It’s called Righteous Kill, and it’s myself, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Donnie Wahlberg, John Leguizamo. I’ll be shooting in October. I don’t need to be as big for that film, so I kind of chilled out.

Do you have a cook at your house?

Yeah. They prepare the food specifically the way the nutritionist tells ’em. It’s a lot easier to be able to pay people to just help you with it. The money you pay them is a good motivation. You say, “I’m paying these people, I’m going to do everything they tell me, to get the best out of it.”

What do you eat for breakfast?

Egg whites. A lot of asparagus–it takes the water out of you. Later, I have three different supplements throughout the day. Protein shakes. So, I really eat six times.

What time do you come in from Connecticut?

By about 11 o’clock. I spend most of my time in the records office, unless it’s the buyer’s week, when everyone has to physically be here. But if I have to record something I’ll [sometimes] come here.

How many bottles of Vitamin Water do you drink every day?

It depends. I’ve been on water. That’s why you see so much SmartWater in here. And then I use Vitamin Water as a supplement to soda.

Do you think people want you to fall off?

I think they was giving me resistance with “Straight to the Bank” and “Amusement Park,” but with “I Get Money” and “Ayo Technology” they changed their mind, full circle. If you watch the computers, they were saying all kinds of stuff, but then, everyone [suddenly] changed their minds. I have so many more hit records to deliver.

What is “Ayo Technology” about?

It’s about not wanting the technology to bring it to you, but [rather] wanting her physically right in front of you. That applies to so many things. Like watching TV as opposed to seeing entertainers in the flesh. That’s why we tour internationally. They want to physically see this person there. But we made it a little sexier than that.

There’s a lot of guys so addicted to Internet porn they never meet a real girl.

That, and you got the guy out there who is, while not really addicted to pornography, just in a hotel on a business trip. Instead of being with someone outside his wife, he’s being with his hand. He’s got on-demand television playing, and he’s doing what he got to do!

If you got married, would you sign a prenup?

Absolutely. Even if she had more money than me I would. Because I see myself going so much further in the future. 53 percent of the people who get married, get divorced. Those are the facts. It makes sense.

You’ve been complaining about Interscope recently. Have you ever thought about doing what Fat Joe is doing and just going independent?

Nah, because they’re willing to pay me. See, Fat Joe’s in a space where no one wants him. [Laughs.] The majors don’t care for Fat Joe. He’s not generating any interest in the music he’s releasing, so that’s why he’s forced to go on his own to sell his records. I call Koch the graveyard. Because that’s when the majors no longer feel like you’re a safe investment.

But you probably didn’t tell KRS-One that.

But he’s a different case. Look how long he’s been around. Hip-hop music is so driven towards the youth, and that’s why we’re taking such a hit, based on technology. Because they’re not conditioned to go purchase the CD. They’re young, so they’re like, “How can I get it?” They’re anxious–they get it the best way they know how.

If I complained about my boss in public–

–It’s hard to replace me. [Laughs]

Is it part of your marketing strategy to complain about Interscope publicly, or a way to acquire a bargaining chip?

I’m not going to say that. [Winks and laughs.] They get nervous when I say that, though, because they know it’s not easy to replace me.

If you could meet one person, alive or dead, who would it be?

I would probably meet…Did you say alive or dead? That’s a great question. Hmmmm….alive or dead. Man, that’s a good question, because, dead, there’s so many people who have had significant lives. Alive? I guess, I still haven’t met Michael Jackson.

Do you ever worry that you’ll become as crazy as uber-superstars like Michael Jackson or Prince?

I don’t think I’ll go crazy. But, then again, crazy people don’t think they’re crazy. Prince, Michael Jackson, they think that’s the norm. Having spent that many years in that position. It’s difficult searching for normalcy in an abnormal situation.

I noticed that you have Sopranos DVDs in your office. What’s your favorite plot line on the show?

My favorite part was the last episode. I liked it because it was entertaining, and then they just shut it off, to keep you buying the next thing. So, you’ll go see the movie. I was like, “What’s going on? Something’s wrong with my TV.” And that’s great marketing, because I’ll definitely go see the next thing they got going because of that. People who were upset about the ending, will still remember what they liked about the actual show. It’s going to be tough for them to forget how angry they were at that point, and we can remember anger a lot better than we can remember joy. Painful moments in life, we remember a lot easier than playful.

Were there any particular characters you liked?

Vinny. [Vito Spatafore.] I was just, “Wow.”

You call people gay sometimes, like Lil Wayne and Baby…

It’s the competitive nature of hip hop. Hip hop doesn’t have anything against gay people. It’s just that some people associate being gay with being soft. See what I’m saying? [Pauses.] But, yeah, I think it’s odd for a man to kiss another man on his mouth, even though it isn’t his biological father. For the father/son relationship, I think that’s a bit much. If it was my son, I would kiss him on the cheek. He’s a grown man! [Laughs.] Does your father still kiss you on the mouth?

I don’t think he ever did. So, do you have any close friends who are gay?

No. Not that I know of. [Laughs.]

What if, like, a top-of-the-charts caliber rapper came out as gay. What do you think would happen to him?

It depends on what kind of music he was making. Kanye West could come out and people would be like “You didn’t notice how he dressed?” Not to disrespect Kanye – because Kanye says he’s not like that.

Do you have your own jet?

Nah. On this promo tour, I’ve been flying commercial. When I go somewhere I don’t want people in my face, I go private. [Getting your own] plane is a bit much. You’ve got to pay maintenance, pilot fees. If I bought a plane, I wouldn’t do nothing but fly on it. That would make better sense than buying a boat, though. A boat is like just putting your money in a hole in the water.

Anybody you’re romantically involved with right now?

No, I’m just chillin’. I’m single, man. I like my lifestyle. Nobody’s disappointed, nobody has no false hopes.

You once said something about how George Bush was gangsta. Do you still think that?

I don’t support him, but I think George Bush is concerned with maintaining order. That’s the way gangsters move. So, there are similarities. That’s why I said that initially. [Pauses.] Kanye says, “Bush don’t like black people.” [Laughs uproariously.] Whether that’s factual or not, I don’t think it matters much to make that statement. It doesn’t change what’s actually going on. I don’t bother to say things I know don’t affect anything.

Who do you like in ’08?

I support Hillary.

Not Barack?

Why, ’cause he’s black? [Laughs.] Nah, I like Hillary. I like the fact that she didn’t leave Bill, under those circumstances. I like a lot about her. She’s been around, too. I think she was the [real] president when Bill was.

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CULTURE ARCHIVES MUSIC ARCHIVES

Who Played Ya? Continued: the Online Search for Biggie Smalls

As previously discussed in these digital pages, the quixotic search for the leading role in Notorious, the imminent Biggie Smalls biopic, continues apace—Fox Searchlight has announced an open-audition cattle call on the Internet. Budding thespians merely spirit themselves to biggiecasting.com, download a page of the script (somewhat problematic: As one commenter notes, Biggie would probably not say “Me and duke were cool,” but the more informal “Me and duke was cool”—it’s also entirely possible they meant dude), unleash a bit of freestyle rapping, and upload it to receive praise and/or constructive criticism and/or the part.

Fox Searchlight has kindly posted several of these videos, encouraging a sort of impromptu jury of one’s peers, who provide instant, valuable feedback. (“That was ridiculous, go home!!! Booooooo!”) In the interest of getting this show on the road, let us now pinpoint a few of the more remarkable entrants, and handicap their chances of starring in a movie even Netflix may one day be too embarrassed to carry.

Name: Thomas Lloyd
Location: Toms River, NJ
Production Values: Poor. Thomas is lit entirely by a tiny lamp he evidently borrowed from my grandmother, and some dude is clearly visible in the mirror.
Physical Resemblance: Could stand to gain 50-75 pounds
Script Read-Through: A bit rushed.
Freestyle Skills: Excellent. Robust shout-outs to Eddie Bauer, Rob Base, and the ignoble cancellation of Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper.
Peanut Gallery: “Time to put the camera down, and both you and your friend need to step out yo mammas room…. tiffany lamp and roses, DAMN!!”
Prospects: As dim as the video itself

Name: Undadog Gardner
Location: Jamaica, NY
Production Values: Cameraman helpfully zooms in and out periodically, inducing mild vertigo
Vocal Resemblance: A wee bit high-pitched
Script Read-Through: Just because you’re wearing sunglasses doesn’t mean we can’t tell you’re reading it off the paper
Conflicting Agendas: Prefaces freestyle rap with “Freestyle for my ladies. All my sexy ladies.” Espouses bumping, grinding.
Peanut Gallery: “SERIOUSLY…Are u high?”
Prospects: Not good, but sexy ladies make an excellent consolation prize.

Name: Orglister Robinson
Great Name: Seriously
Location: Memphis, TN
Production Values: “Let’s do it in front of this metal bookshelf with the beat-up DVD player”
Physical Resemblance: Sullen, brooding expression suggests “Picked last for kickball” rather than “Just heard ‘Hit ‘Em Up” for the first time”
Script Read-Through: Attempts to break the land-speed record, and is way way way too smiley besides
Freestyle Skills: Suggests blowing up a Dunkin Donuts, which Biggie himself is unlikely to have desired
Peanut Gallery: “BROOKLYN IS NOT GOING TO BE HAPPY WITH THIS”
Prospects: Seriously, what do you have against those giant chocolate-chip cookies

Name: Erròn Jay
Location: Chicago, IL
Self-Promotion Skills: Has absolutely dominated discussion on biggiecasting.com’s message boards from the onset, possibly by asking everyone he’s ever met to post in his favor
Production Values: Mocked up to look like an actual trailer, complete with voice-over and mock crowd applause—is consequently twice as long as anyone else’s video
Wardrobe: White suit is excellent; comfort level with a cigar leaves something to be desired
Script Read-Through: High on technique, low on menace
Freestyle Skills: Even lower on menace, and stop kissing up to Biggie’s mom
Peanut Gallery: “I THINK THE SUIT AND HAT IS THE ONLY REASON HE LOOKS LIKE BIG. WHAT HAPPENS IF HE HAS TO DO A BED ROOM OR SHOWER PART …….YOUR SCREWED.”
If There’s Actually a Shower Scene in This Movie, Then We’re All Screwed, Pal: Oy
Prospects: No worse than the actual movie’s