Tag Archives: The Smoking Section

Cannibal Capitalism the Birdman edition

Photo of Birdman’s RG (perhapsRich Gang) and YMCMYSL (perhaps Young Money Cash Money Young Stoner Life) tattoos. Thanks to The Smoking Section for the photo, I assume taken from Birdman’s social media.

Birdman is trying to sign Young Thug to his record label.  To prove his sincerity he tattooed several Young Thug associated tattoos on his hands and face.

Cannibal capitalism is the mediated experiences of human suffering projected for human entertainment and profit.   It is obvious that the bodily impact of Birdman’s tattoos is a particular kind of communication.  Tattoos have often been the indication of long-term committment for gangs, military units and fans of musical artists.  Birdman’s tattoo is amplified on social media and through dozens of rap blogs.  It is a public communication of his commitment intentionally articulated to bring his company more profit (by signing a strong young artist).

In some ways the suffusion of cannibal capitalism into many so-called reality television shows (cooking shows, real estate flippers) is an indication of the desperation of many people.   But Birdman isn’t desperate (not in the poverty sense) — he can give expensive cars and jewelry to friends and label-mates.  I heard on NPR he just gave a Bugatti to Justin Beiber.

Fleeting fame and the potential for profit have encouraged more than one reality TV contestant to become a public exercise in morality and exclusion. (Did you hear about Stephanie on Top Chef when she cut herself and she went to the hospital?!?! How about that Survivor episode where that guy broke his leg? What a wimp!)

Cannibal capitalism can be mapped whenever a human is harmed and it is filmed and amplified for other people’s pleasure.  When this happens a particular morality of self-sacrifice is usually articulated.  Announcers and other contestants express just how someone should take the suffering.  In some ways the harm done to the body gives access to comment on the body.

In the case of Birdman’s new tattoo’s the morality expressed isn’t how tough Birdman was for getting the ink, but rather how idiotic it is to tattoo to something as fleeting as a new potential corporate rap alliance.   Here is the Smoking Section‘s Gotty mocking the social costs of multiple face tattoos.

We recognize that the fact that Birdman will never have to go to a job interview ever in his life. The Cash Money CEO’s so loaded his kids kids most likely will never have to worry about working either. With that said, his continuing effort to ink his whole body with scribblings dedicated to Cash Money subsidiaries is a little odd.

Actually, the “RG,” presumably for his Rich Gang management company, added to his right cheek isn’t that bad because what the hell would two more letters do to a face littered in tats? It’s the “YMCMYSL” scripted on his fingers that doesn’t make sense. Assuming the letters rep Young Money Cash Money Stoner Life as in Young Thug’s movement, that’s more confusing.

via Birdman Permanently Pays Homage To Young Thug | The Smoking Section.

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Filed under capitalism, communication, hip hop, music, representation

Tech N9ne: indies buying majors

The Smoking Section has a nice interview with Tech N9ne, who get’s legitimate props for his hard work and business savvy.  Here he describes getting emcees for Strange records.  An independent record label poaching musicians from major labels.

TSS: What are your thoughts on major label record deals in 2014?

Tech N9ne: I don’t know about ‘em. It’s not my world, anymore. I just know that some of the artists I’m interested in have been just sitting on these labels, for years. I don’t like that shit.

That’s why we took Jay Rock off Warner Brothers. That’s why we took Stevie Stone off Ruthless. That’s why if Atlantic don’t quit fucking up, I’m gonna’ snatch Snow Tha Product. She’s supposed to be out, doing her thing. Yeah, she just put out a mixtape. But, fuck that, let her do her album.

TSS: I’m pretty sure I didn’t even get proper press for her mixtape.

Tech N9ne: Yeaaaah. I just retweeted her mixtape. I saw she had 2,000 views in three days. I’m like, ‘Baby girl, you killed it.’ I don’t get anything for that. She’s not my artist. But, I got love for her, because she’s an MC. And, I love MCs.

via TSS Presents Smoking Sessions With Tech N9ne | The Smoking Section.

I think Tech should get more respect for his wordplay and genuine style. But if he has to gain access to greater fame via his business swagger then so-be-it.  And I think another powerful independent hip hop label with Tech, Jay Rock, Rittz, and Krizz Kaliko could make some really gooooood music.

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Filed under capitalism, do-it-yourself, hip hop

Juxtaposition: Nike

Artifact one: Cambodian Nike factory fires 300 striking workers. 

Around 300 workers on strike for better pay at a Nike factory in Cambodia have lost their jobs. A union spokesperson said the fired workers’ dismissal letters cited their involvement in the strike, which seeks a wage hike of $14 a month. Although the vast majority of the factory’s 5,000 workers have taken part in the strike, many have begun returning to work after over three weeks off the job. It’s the 48th strike by Cambodian garment workers this year, more than in the entire years of 2010 or 2011.

via Headlines for June 12, 2013 | Democracy Now!.

Artifact two: Nike Air Foamposite One

Nike’s showing no signs of slowing down with Foam releases, but why should they? The Foamposite One’s received a ton of love at retail for the past year with even the most absurd color schemes ending up selling well. And when this sport royal-game royal-wolf grey colorway hits retail – especially in a hue that’s Orlando-themed – they’re likely to join the ranks of this year’s most wanted footwear.

via Coming Attractions: Nike Air Foamposite One “Sport Royal” | The Smoking Section.

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Filed under colonialism, fashion, human rights, juxtaposition, propaganda, resistance