Finally the time has come. Celebrated rapper, onion ring pimp, writer, egotrip contributor, Rap historian, and all around fly dude J-Zone has released his long awaited book: Root For The Villian: Rap, Bullshit and A Celebration of a Failure. The music industry has eaten many a performer, but very few have lived to tell about it in the way that J-Zone goes about it. His candid tales of life in and out of the Rap biz finally find their way from his mind to paper. If you are into useless Rap information, records, 90’s obscure Hip Hop band references/ reviews, Tim Dog, life lessons, and more, this book is definitely for you.
“My grandmother celebrated her 88th b-day with a bran muffin and a copy of my book. One rushed her to the toilet and the other entertained her while she was on it. ”
I can relate to the man, as I was a DJ in a major label band who did the same damn thing, toured big, released records, and then got the rug tore out from me and was forced to well, go back to what many would call a normal life. I mean, sometimes it’s hard for people to relate to a guy like me when I’m talking about records Edan Portnoy sampled in a live show not even in this country the same way J-Zone can talk about little known 90’s Rap records so easily. When I find 3 Diamond D promo Lps and a “Hiatus” remix white label at a thrift shop and get excited about it, I want to share it. The response I usually get is: “Who? I have no idea what are you talking about?” I always wanted to write about about how NOT to tour and be in a major label band. Shit I’ve got tons of material for that. That’s my own bullshit, and another article. Again I can feel this man’s pain. Through all he’s been through, it’s a guy like J who just really tells it like it is, pulls no punches, and calls bullshit on a lot of the stuff that goes on in the music industry and life around us. Listen to J-Zone tell it in his own words:
“My name is J-Zone. If you actually know who the hell I am, either you listen to way too much rap music, you’re a Tim Dog fan, or you stood outside my distributor’s warehouse the day my CDs and records were destroyed. I was on the hip-hop come-up, then I came down – hard. Splat. Some critical success, incessant praise from pop stars and hip-hop legends alike, and then…abysmal commercial failure. I did tours on Greyhound buses filled with wide-bodied, Jheri curled women and knife-wielding gang members. I witnessed my life-long passion for music dissolve in 12 hours and my final album sell a whopping 47 copies in its first month for sale. I left my little-known spot in a small, niche quadrant of the hip-hop world and joined my fellow overqualified stiffs with useless college degrees in the world of dead end jobs. For some sick reason, I find all of the above hilarious and have made an omelette out of any egg that wound up on my face.
I pin my cross-hairs on everyday bullsh*t just as accurately as I do the dysfunctional ways of the music biz. I ask the public at large questions like “Are men the new women?” and “Is going out on Friday night worth it when you’re a socially homeless man in a deceptively segregated New York City?” Chapters dedicated to cassette tapes, defunct record stores, the SP-1200 sampling drum machine, hip-hop recording studios of the 1990s, and overlooked rap artists like The Afros, Mob Style, and No Face all point to my fascination with the obscure. The annoyances of a cell phone-driven society, dating in America, and Facebook are also explored.
A collection of memoirs and think pieces written by a curmudgeonly commercial failure who is somehow laughing hysterically at both himself and the stupidity of the world large probably won’t become a New York Times best-seller, either. Be honest though, you need something to place drinks on when you have company; at worst, my book is a perfect cocktail coaster.”
Check out an excerpt from the book when a rapper has to get a day job (via egotrip).
I missed the advance cassette audio books and the personalized copy. Looks like I’ll have to bring one out to a Hot Peas and Butta event to get one signed. Look for the book tour at defunct record stores and better book sellers near you. I do not smell bullshit on this one, J-Zone is on to something here.
Order the book on CreateSpace, the homie gets a better royalty rate.
Order the book off of Amazon.