The End

It started one night with an epiphany.  It occurred around 2 am, in the form of a self pep-talk in a bathroom mirror, I have these from time to time, they usually consist of me dissecting my life, what am I doing, what should I be doing, where did I go wrong and what should I do to fix it?  It’s always the same questions, but the answers change.  I’ve had these “epiphanies” countless times, but this one stuck.  The answer.  Write.

I’ve never been a good writer, but I’ve always wanted to be.  The plan; write one post everyday for one year.  Practice make perfect, right?  For one year now, I’ve done that, only being interrupted by natural disasters and impromptu road trips.

When I started, I had fantasies of grandeur.  That someone would discover me.  That I would be plucked out of obscurity.  That someone would be so impressed with my musings on Kanye West’s greatness that they couldn’t resist.  That they would pay me real money, in the form of dollars and cents, to write for them.  It never happened.

I became obsessed with getting Freshly Pressed, in my eyes the pickers of the Freshly Pressed were the key holders to the next step.  Then I became consumed with the WordPress stats, checking views, likes and comments, I knew a well placed fashion post would always help boost my numbers.  Then I turned my pursuit back on being Freshly Pressed.  Then back to the stats.  Then back to Freshly Pressed again.  Then I stopped caring.  I started writing things I, and perhaps only I, would find interesting.  That was better.  I never became Freshly Pressed.

During all that, life happened.  I got fired from my job.  My dog died.  I lost touch with some good friends.  My mother had a cancer scare.  My father was diagnosed with stage IV cancer and then, just to pile it on,  was found to have a blocked artery in his heart.  Not to sound over dramatic, but 2012 sucked.

It had been two years since I graduated college and I was still in the same place, expect now with no dog, fewer friends and a sick father. I was 23 years old and my life had already stalled out.  I started Whiskey & Ice Cream Sandwiches roughly a week before any of this happened.  I had no clue how important it would become.

As the days ticked by, writing one post a day gave me some feeling of purpose.  I had committed to myself I would do it.  So I did it.  It kept me thinking.  Maybe it was just a needed distraction, but I would fill my day with trying to come up with ideas. My nights with writing.  It was an escape.  Some days I hated the obligation I made to myself.  A post a day is hard.  If you read the blog at all you could tell which days my mind was fried.

As I thought and thought and wrote and wrote, I surprised myself on what I was writing about.  I had no idea that I would write as much as I did about hip-hop or politics.  I also came to some conclusions.  I really don’t like hip-hop music, I like about 25-30 hip-hop artists, but that’s it.  As much as I pride myself on being a “political nomad,” I’m pretty much a hardcore liberal.  And most importantly I came to the conclusion, that I enjoy writing more than just about anything else in the world.

Earlier, I alluded to how hard it is to write one post every day.  Because of that, this blog became filled with a tremendous amount of filler.  That filler is my least favorite part of this experience.  That’s partly why I’m not extending the Whiskey & Ice Cream Sandwiches experiment to include a year two.  So today ends the Whiskey & Ice Cream Sandwiches period of my life.

But don’t worry, I’m not done droning on about my opinions yet.

So starting March 1st, I, Greg Massaro, am On The Pursuit of Awesomeness.

Anyone Can Host

SNL hostWhile watching an old Saturday Night Live episode from 1977 today, I saw this.  Apparently they had a contest during season 3 of SNL where they choose one random person to host.  All you had to do was send this address a postcard with a 25 words or less essay on why you would like to host.  Miskel Spillman won.

I know I’m 36 years late, but I’m sending my entry in tomorrow.  I’m 80% sure that Lorne Michaels will be charmed by it and I’ll have a hosting gig by the end of March.

It will happen.

2 Years…

Two years ago Tyler, The Creator thrust himself into the mainstream, jumped on Jimmy Fallon’s back and caused the artist formerly known as Mos Def to viscerally shout, “SWAG! SWAG! SWAG!”

Since then, he’s released one pretty good but uneven solo album, an equally so-so collabo Odd Future album and got tacked onto the end of Channel Orange, the album of the year, as a throw away hidden track.  He’s received no radio traction and has been regulated to nothing more than the random Complex blog post here and there.

What happened?  This guy was suppose to be the future of rap.  In two years he’s only had one hit.  And that’s only if you count popular YouTube videos as hits.  And by that measure what’s the difference between Tyler and Kreayshawn?  Okay, that’s a low blow.  I mean have you heard Somethin’ ‘Bout Kreay?  If you haven’t, don’t.

Tyler is still young.  He’s only 21.  He has a lot of career left.  I even once compared him to a young Eminem (I wasn’t alone).  But after asserting himself as the leader of Odd Future, he’s already lost footing in his own entourage.  Think Vinnie Chase post-Medellin.  He’s been totally eclipsed by Frank Ocean and Earl Sweatshirt may have passed him too.

Was Tyler just a gimmick disguised in cool 5-panel hats and graphic button ups?  Is he a one hit wonder?  Is he little more than a foul mouthed hype man?

I’ll tell you what I think.

I think he’s a good technical rapper who puts together rhyme schemes in an interesting way.  I think he’s a totally underrated producer who strings along catchy abrasive beats.  I think he’s 21 and bereft of any life experience that could fill a full album.  I think he’s hip-hop’s version of punk rock.  I think he has the talent to possibly recapture some of his buzz, but I mostly think he’s done.  A fad, like those 5-panel hats and graphic button ups he’s so smitten with, doomed to a life of tumblr reblogs and little else.

But I’m rooting for him.  Since Eminem stopped being Eminem twelve years ago, rap has been at a loss for a strong anti-hero.  Hip-hop needs an Anti-hero.  Someone hostile, politically incorrect, who gives a big middle finger to the Lou Pearlman and/or Scooter Braun pop machine.  It’s either going to be Tyler or Chief Keef.  For the sake of hip-hop, let’s all hope it’s going to be Tyler.