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This is so empty and hollow to me.

Act II‘s been coming out since Christmas Day 2007, yet a full 7 years later we’re still milking this same shallow, faux-mystical, man of the world, master of the orient posturing and imagery dredged up from the deepest recesses of privileged label heads and yes men, and it just stinks of cultural tourism.

I recall how annoyed and put off I was when I read the pitch and treatment before Jay’s brief signing to Decon, knowing that the lack of marrow this trip and short film would have, would be lost on most thanks to excellent cinematography and adequate editing. A walking enigma of a rapper, walking amongst coloured and colourful people that have been itching the imaginations of late 70s and 80s silverspoons since they first saw Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

The irony that this is released to the public on Columbus/Indigenous Peoples Day is not lost on me.

Act II has been coming out since Christmas Day 2007.

The post Roc Nation signing version of Act II that I heard nearly 5 years ago, which I gauge was at 30% completion (and has surely changed significantly since then), was more compelling than any other music project voiced by a single person I’d heard in, at the very least, years. What I heard at roughly 30% completion, 5 years ago, still holds (I use holds vs held as if this project is still forthcoming) more potential than any lyrically driven music project I’ve heard since, without exclusion, in its scope from macro to micro; from some of the existential quandaries of collective human existence to the smallest insecurities and desires in the singular human life. Wordy, but I mean it.

I’m not even talking about the version that Bun B heard and was said to have brought him to tears around the time that masterpiece of 1%er Hip Hop Watch The Throne dropped. Or the version Just Blaze said he was helping touch up September of last year.

Meanwhile we’re suffering through records from lesser talented artists and news about their girlfriends and scant appearances at small scale Hip Hop festivals across the country.

Furthermore, how many more times can we milk this same, albeit excellently shot, footage? Decon gotta let it go.

It’s fitna to be Christmas Day 2014.

If I hear one more “I got a call from @FamousRapLandFriend who told me to drop that scripture, you takin’ long, hurts when breathe” guest verse on someone else’s song or project I might punt a coffee mug of white girl tears across the street.


Founder of Rappers I Know and Art Director to the Stars...of the Underground. Follow him on Twitter @fwmj.

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