Till My Head Falls Off 10.28.02: Passion

For Your Listening Pleasure
Faith No More ? Angeldust

News to You
First of all, I’d like to congratulate 411’s Widro on the new gig? sounds like some kick-ass stuff, and good luck! Also, for those pro wrestling fans out there, make sure to check out his latest Voice of Reason after you’re finished with me? Now, onto the news!

Scouring the latest music news, you’ll be sure to find info on the latest work from the prolific Nas, Tupac and Ryan Adams, how U2 and Tori Amos feel about music and the Internet, and even some recently announced tour dates!

The item over the last week or so that’s really jumped out at me, however, has to do with my favorite musician/artist/songwriter/Pisces, and if you’d like to catch up on what I’m talking about, check out Ashish’s reports here and here.

Passion

“Within the months between October 1991 through December 92, I have had four notebooks filled with two years worth of poetry and personal writing … The most violating thing I’ve felt this year is not the media exaggerations or the catty gossip, but the rape of my personal thoughts. Ripped out of pages from my stay in hospitals and airplane rides hotel stays etc. I feel compelled to say f— you F— you to those of you who have absolutely no regard for me as a person. You have raped me harder than you’ll ever know.” – Kurt Cobain, as excerpted from his personal journals

So, Riverhead Books has paid the Cobain estate $4 million, and whattaya know, Courtney Love Cobain has seemingly approved the rape of her deceased husband’s personal thoughts. Lovely, isn’t she?

This is the type of thing that drives someone like me truly insane. What kind of wife was this woman? I’m sorry, I wish I could give her the benefit of the doubt, but time and time again, she does nothing but alienate her husband’s fans and paint herself as a disgusting whore. Maybe, as some have suggested, it’s all a show, with her intentionally altering her image: first as a way to fit in, then doing a complete 180 and telling us all to f*ck off. Kurt himself was brilliant at manipulating the media. Perhaps the accusations that she once offered a man $10,000 to kill her husband — and that after this failed, she persisted until the job was finally done — are just conspiracy theories thought up by fans who don’t want to believe their hero took his own life. Maybe she really was looking out for the best interests of her daughter Frances Bean (who just celebrated her tenth birthday on August 18) throughout all of her legal battles with David Grohl and Krist Noveselic over the rights to all things Nirvana.

Wherever you stand on the above issues, and however you feel about this very intriguing musician/actress/widow, it’s hard to give her the benefit of the doubt after this latest outrage. Yes, I said “outrage” — because it’s outrageous to me that she would allow her very private husband’s very private thoughts be consumed by the public. She has no respect for his memory and I can’t see what this woman can possibly do to gain my respect. But, I’m entitled to my opinion, right? And, despite my disgust, I doubt I’ll have the will power to stay away from the journal excerpts that are made public. It’s almost impossible to not want to take a look into this man’s life, and seek answers to a true rock and roll tragedy why scanning through what he was thinking, especially in the months leading up to April 5: the day he was killed. Thoughts such as:

“I like punk rock. I like girls with weird eyes. I like drugs. (But my body and mind won’t allow me to take them). I like passion. I like playing my cards wrong. I like vinyl. I like to feel guilty for being a white, American male. I love to sleep. I like to taunt small, barking dogs in parked cars. I like to make people feel happy and superior in their reaction towards my appearance. I like to have strong opinions with nothing to back them up with besides my primal sincerity. I like sincerity. I lack sincerity.”

You didn’t lack sincerity, Kurt, and nothing will ever make me doubt your passion. You know I’m right?

Iago Ali vs. Greg Biscuiti
In his last Pop Culture Locket, 411 columnist extraordinaire Iago Ali waxes poetic about thy rhymin’ and profilin’ of Biggie Smallz, and compares him with Tupac, in a nice little piece on style vs. substance. I definitely recommend it, but had a few points of my own to make?

First of all, Tupac is absolutely one of the most underrated emcees of all time. The man has (again, if any of the “he’s not really dead” stories are true, from Elvis Presley to Eddie Wilson, I believe Mr. Shakur is still around SOMEwhere) a charisma hardly seen in hip-hop anymore, and I’m not talking about his rhyming style or flow. He exudes charisma just by being on stage, just by gracing a magazine layout or appearing in a film or music video.

Second, I think you’re underrating the Notorious B.I.G. While I agree with you that emcees like Mos Def or Black Thought wouldn’t have been big without Biggie, he’s easily the 2nd or 3rd greatest emcee to ever pick up a mic, behind only Rakim and possibly Eminem, and his influence has indeed been immeasurable. I feel what you’re saying about Em, too, and the man’s definitely got the talent, intelligence and creativity to lock himself in at #2, but I waver back and forth on this as I wait to see where his next two or three albums go. He’s definitely on the right track, though, and this movie of his is gonna say a lot about Marshall Mathers’ charisma, and I’m curious to see if the critics are right about him.

Finally, who in the blue hell is Greg Biscuiti? Thanks for the shout out in your column, bro, but I have to tell ya — if there was a Greg Biscuiti, he’d have a “thug life forever” tattoo right across his chest.

In case you were wondering, here’s my Top Five Emcees list, as it currently stands — and shout back if you disagree:

1. Rakim

2. Biggie Smallz

3. Eminem

4. KRS-One

5. Nas

But you know what? if you’re talking about passion, how do you leave any of these guys off?

LL Cool J

Mos Def

Jay-Z

Snoop

DMC

Tupac

Chuck D

Method Man

Okay, now that the new Eminem single — from the 8 Mile commercial — is in my head, it’s time to go out and let go of some aggression. Hope you all had a great weekend, and let me know your thoughts on Kurt, Courtney, Biggie, Tupac, and the rest of ’em by emailing me from the link below.

I Quit

All apologies to Flea for Gimmick Infringement, but come on, do you think I’d let you off the hook that easily?

This week, Spellchecker suggested I replace “Grohl” with “growl” and “Mathers” with “matures” — and I was honestly left without anything humorous to say, as you’re left wondering “what else is new?” So while, much to your chagrin, I am not giving up on this column, it’s sad for me to say that this will be my last contribution to 411’s music zone? that includes Fun With Spellchecker!

Thanks for reading, and until next time?

peace. love. moe.

– Matt

Till My Head Falls Off can be found weekly on 411 Music (old columns are archived in the pull-down menu below). Already read them all? Already read everything on the entire 411 site? In that case, Matthew Michaels also writes about various topics for 1-42.