Pin It
Favorite

Bomb Garden 

by Luke Baumgarten & r & & r & SAD 4TH ESTATE OF AFFAIRS





Did the last cover of Rolling Stone piss you off? It infuriated me. The one with Kanye West and 50 Cent staring each other down. I couldn't have been angrier at a magazine if it were Nazi Pedophile Jaywalking Litterers Monthly (though the previous RS, with a half-naked Zac Efron on the cover, came close).





I haven't trusted Rolling Stone as a harbinger of music taste since, like, ever. Irrelevant as it gets, though, the magazine is still undeniably a symbol of the counter-culture, and I want the damn thing to avoid trumped-up rap-beef marketing ploys. (Ye and 50 are on separate labels owned by the same parent company, Universal. Kanye took 50's advice in making "Stronger" his first single; 50 covers Kanye songs. They're friendly acquaintances, not bitter rivals. The two album releases, originally scheduled to drop weeks apart, were both moved to Sept. 11. The rappers immediately began trading barbs about which album would sell better, and a media frenzy was born.)





The winner was never in doubt. On release day, Ye's "Stronger" was at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 song chart and had been in the Top 10 for seven weeks; 50's wack "AYO Technology" had been floundering in the high teens. The result is unsurprising: Kanye outsold 50 easily. There's no story. there never was. The hype was groundless. Even half-assed rap fans knew it.





Hype is still hype, though, and it works the same for magazines as for record labels. Buying into the hype means Rolling Stone sells more issues, just as creating hype through a fake beef sells more records. As long as I can remember, Rolling Stone has been behind the times. With the beef cover and the Efron cover, they've become the poster child for how cynical, self-serving and disingenuous the media have become.
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Everybody's Business
  • Everybody's Business

    Publisher's Note
    • Sep 2, 2015
  • Enough is Enough
  • Enough is Enough

    Too many students are being sexually assaulted on our college campuses
    • Sep 2, 2015
  • Trick or Treaty?
  • Trick or Treaty?

    Even Ronald Reagan would sign a treaty with evil empires when it served the cause of peace on earth
    • Sep 2, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
Paul Bunyan Days

Paul Bunyan Days @ St. Maries

Sept. 5-7

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Luke Baumgarten

  • Chasing Whales
  • Chasing Whales

    Let's focus less on courting big companies and focus more on nurturing big ideas
    • Feb 5, 2015
  • Completely Repellent
  • Completely Repellent

    How can we expect people to find constructive uses for space that wasn't built for them?
    • Dec 30, 2014
  • Screw Big Cities
  • Screw Big Cities

    A mid-sized manifesto
    • Dec 3, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Manufacturing Fear

    Spokane's Republican sheriff says members of his own party are dangerously dividing people
    • Aug 12, 2015
  • 'Flip of a Coin'

    A Spokane Valley deputy trained to spot stoned and drunk drivers is wrong nearly as often as he is right, blood tests from drivers show
    • Aug 19, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


marijuana


Comment


Publisher's Note


BUSINESS


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation