drugs, reporting, etc

I’ve been thinking a whole fuckton about heroin recently, mostly because a very close member of my family—someone who is essentially my little sister—is going through it and my heart is fucking broken. But it’s nothing new to me; I’ve had dope addicts in my family and among my friends since I was nine years old and my older cousin had a “seizure” (what I would later figure out was an overdose, which she thankfully survived [and kicked]). I’ve had friends die from the drug since I was 17 years old, ongoing, including this year. I still can’t believe I’ve been seeing this drug devastate people for essentially TWEEEENTY. YEARS. So I feel like I have at least a decent cursory understanding of the struggle that is getting off heroin, a drug that is increasingly prevalent in both cities and small towns (I just did some research into this very fact, first because of my baby sis and broken heart, second because it turned into part of a larger report [not a personal one], TBA). I understand that it is a drug that will devastate you and make you do crazy shit you would never do under non-addicted circumstances and turn you into a shell. The addiction always, always eclipses whatever problems you were trying to cover up in the first place. 

So, respect to David Ford for putting it out there like that in his Noisey piece. I found the personal addiction anecdotes, like selling off everything to score, incredibly brave and emotional. My heart wrenched when he wrote about building up his tolerance and wanting to end it. Especially at that part: the detached resignation in his tone was pretty fucking familiar. 

But I have to say, I also found the piece to be incredibly problematic. My main question is about his dealers, contacts he made (or peripherally discovered) while working on a documentary. (?)  I was left wondering if he at any point told them he was a journalist, or that he was going to write about them, or asked for their permission post-facto. That’s the first major problem to me: that it’s unclear in the story, even whether or not it was made clear to community activist Arnetha Habeel (I’m assuming it was, since she can google herself and has been written about plenty—at any rate, the story would have been more credible if she had been quoted rather than paraphrased). 

And if the dealers weren’t told they’d be written about, even despite the name-changes, could there be other identifying details, like the cross-streets where he copped or the reason Little Man wasn’t there to deliver? As Ford points out, this is a life-or-death situation, and all of that affects the way I read it, despite his acknowledgments (more than one) that he is operating from a completely different situation (not just white and in grad school: when *his* Southside Chicago situation became deadly, he didn’t have to decamp to Skokie; his dad drove cross-country to extract him). 

I fundamentally agree with the points that Ford was trying to make in this piece—that we should “de-totemize” Chief Keef, still just a kid in a devastating environment; that the cops aren’t helping and god knows neither is the government in a city that’s been corrupt basically since its inception. I also fundamentally believe that music can be, and is, a lens to political and sociocultural issues, whether Keef or Beyoncé or MIA or Brad Paisley. But I think the way it was executed was irresponsible at best, unethical at worst, and while the writing can be great at times, I hope that people do not take this as the way to do court reporting, police reporting, or street reporting. Cultural tourism is never great reporting, and sweeping pronouncements about the negligence of the Chicago PD based on two incidents helps no one, even if they’re (and they probably are) 100% correct. (Even the link to the CPD torture reporting dates back to 2007. While I doubt much has changed since then, the piece could have been boosted with more recent statistics and reporting. Again, not doubting the presence of the hip-hop cops—there’s a good amount of reporting out there proving that they exist from coast to coast—but this kind of reporting needs to be airtight, if you want the credibility of your premise to be unflappable.)

We got a lot of educated white men feeling entitled to tell other peoples’ stories, especially stories afflicting poor people of color, from that dude who got himself arrested to “report on what the prison system is REALLY like” or that story where the white American guy who went to Cuba and ate on the median income/rations that the average Cuban has for a month. (I tried to find it and couldn’t, it’s from a few years back and was, I think, also in the Atlantic.) Or that dude who pretended to be gay for a year and got a book deal. (This topic was, incidentally, discussed on Twitter today by @bad_dominicana, whose TL inspired this paragraph.) It’s stunt journalism to them, it’s life to everyone else, and yet who gets to narrate the stories? Not saying these issues shouldn’t be reported on more, by everyone. But stunt pieces by privileged white folks often get way way way more leverage than the voices of, or pieces by, those who are actually affected. 

Anyway, if I was assigning this piece, it would have been a Q&A between Ford (as an addict) and one of his pushers. Or just an as told to with Earvin or Little Man. 

Here are two more pieces I found today after googling the Chicago heroin trade (both by white dudes but good reporting and good for context in tandem with Ford’s piece): 

Heroin, LLC,” by Mick Dumke in the Chicago Reader

 

From Mexico to the Midwest, a heroin supply chain delivers,” by Chip Mitchell for WBEZ (super important topic esp to me—don’t ever forget your dope and coke is probably connected to cartels and 200,000 civilian deaths in Mexico)

 

MY PERSONAL BEST OF 2013 VIA THE PAZZ & JOP BALLOT I JUST SENT IN AND STICKY NOTES I KEPT ON MY DESKTOP YEAR-ROUND, WITH THE OCCASIONAL LINK TO WHATEVER I WROTE ABOUT SAID MUSIC (WHERE APPLICABLE) AND/OR THE MUSIC ITSELF
ALBUMS
1. Kelela, Cut 4 Me (Fade to Mind) [context: my 2011 piece on Night Slugs]
2. Beyoncé, Beyoncé (Parkwood) 
3. La Insuperable, La Mami del Swagger (Complot)
4. Kanye West, Yeezus (GOOD Music) 
5. Spooky, Ghost House Dubz v. 1 & 2 (Ghost House) [no writing on it yet but here’s the standout single]
6. Beat Making Lab, No Puede Conmigo (Beat Making Lab)
7. MIA, Matangi (NEET)
8. Ty$, Beach House 2 (mixtape) 
9. Ian Isiah, The Love Champion (UNO NYC) [restream my radio show from Nov 2012 when Ian was my guest/debuted some songs, I interviewed him, and we gushed over inc. the band]
10. Selena Gomez, Stars Dance (some major label) 
SONGS
1. Beyonce, “Flawless" 
2. Kingdom f. Kelela, “Bank Head" 
3. Amara La Negra, “Poron Pom Pom” 
4. Ellie Goulding, “You My Everything" 
5. El Alfa, “Yo Lo Que Vine A Da Mambo”
6. JME, “If You Don’t Know”
7. Tigga Calore, “B.E.A.D.S.”
8. Janelle Monáe f. Erykah Badu, “Q.U.E.E.N.”
9. Bashy, “These Are the Songs”
10. Sky Ferreira, “You’re Not The One” [I WROTE A THING FOR ROLLING STONE THAT IS NOT ONLINE OK BYE]

MY PERSONAL BEST OF 2013 VIA THE PAZZ & JOP BALLOT I JUST SENT IN AND STICKY NOTES I KEPT ON MY DESKTOP YEAR-ROUND, WITH THE OCCASIONAL LINK TO WHATEVER I WROTE ABOUT SAID MUSIC (WHERE APPLICABLE) AND/OR THE MUSIC ITSELF

ALBUMS

1. Kelela, Cut 4 Me (Fade to Mind) [context: my 2011 piece on Night Slugs]

2. Beyoncé, Beyoncé (Parkwood) 

3. La Insuperable, La Mami del Swagger (Complot)

4. Kanye West, Yeezus (GOOD Music) 

5. Spooky, Ghost House Dubz v. 1 & 2 (Ghost House) [no writing on it yet but here’s the standout single]

6. Beat Making Lab, No Puede Conmigo (Beat Making Lab)

7. MIA, Matangi (NEET)

8. Ty$, Beach House 2 (mixtape) 

9. Ian Isiah, The Love Champion (UNO NYC) [restream my radio show from Nov 2012 when Ian was my guest/debuted some songs, I interviewed him, and we gushed over inc. the band]

10. Selena Gomez, Stars Dance (some major label) 

SONGS

1. Beyonce, “Flawless

2. Kingdom f. Kelela, “Bank Head

3. Amara La Negra, “Poron Pom Pom” 

4. Ellie Goulding, “You My Everything

5. El Alfa, “Yo Lo Que Vine A Da Mambo

6. JME, “If You Don’t Know

7. Tigga Calore, “B.E.A.D.S.”

8. Janelle Monáe f. Erykah Badu, “Q.U.E.E.N.”

9. Bashy, “These Are the Songs

10. Sky Ferreira, “You’re Not The One” [I WROTE A THING FOR ROLLING STONE THAT IS NOT ONLINE OK BYE]

carefreewhitegirl

carefreewhitegirl:

Part I: Statistics

When I meet a white person in a casual space there is a good chance the white person will touch my hair. White women touch my hair way more frequently than white men. White men pretty much exclusively touch my hair when they’re drunk. Of the white women who touch my hair, a…

TWO UNDERRATED SINGLES

MySpace put up their underrated singles of 2013 today. I contributed but my choices got AXED because they weren’t on proper albums (to which I countered: IT IS 2013!!). The lovely edit staff offered me another chance but I didn’t have time, however. HERE ARE MY ORIGINAL BLURBS. 

Para One f. Irfane, Teki Latex & Cam’ron, “Every Little Thing”

In a year when Cam’ron revealed a softer, gentler, more in-love side of himself (via Vine and Instagram, no less), he foreshadowed his romanticism by hopping on a sex-funk track made by three crooning Parisians. There’s no Juju shout-out, but you can hear her influence, and even Irfane and Teki seem mesmerized by the thought of her visage. Cam sings too, obvs: “I usually tell the girl to blow this…but you that deal for real.” THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS AFTER SATURN RETURNS, LADIES; KEEP YA HEADS UP. 

Tigga Calore, "Beads"

"The bitches throw shade cause they just can’t take": Azealia Banks tweeted the chorus earlier this year to one of her many adversaries, but it went over most peoples’ heads. Tigga Calore has been quietly running New York in low-key stealth mode for years, an underground boss who deserves wider acclaim; this MikeQ-and-Brenmar-produced house banger was essentially her sole release this year, but heavy enough to be bumped for ten straight months. Rooted in ballroom culture and spat with the most-unbothered of tones, "Beads" ("Bitches Everywhere Always Desire Shade") precedes a future when the boroughs will be Calore’s undisputed kingdom; bow down while you still can. 

Anonymous asked:

all right, i wish i could somehow ask Dap this, but here it goes... isn't he a little embarrassed to be dating a fashionista like yourself? i mean, hipster blahblah whateverwhatever, you can deny it all you want, but it's clear that you fit in with the Noisey/Vice/RookieMag/various 90's-nostalgia-bullshitters crowd, and it just seems a little embarrassing. i mean, do you "blog"? and isn't your twitter a little ridiculous? just seems like a cool guy that kinda exists a little above it. maybe not

Haha. This actually amazing and I suppose in theory I should feel offended because… what kind of asshole asks something like this, like are you seriously asking me to justify my existence/TELL YOU, BRAVE ANONYMOUS, WHAT MY BOYFRIEND OF FOUR YEARS SEES IN ME?! But also it is so completely off base about who I am/what I do/where I come from that I read this aloud to Dap just now and we just laughed. Seriously, just Google me. 

Nguzunguzu - “Mecha”

—-

Nguzunguzu, comprised of two of the most uncompromising, creative producers out, and proudly repping #laraza, makes the crucial link between “mecha” (robots controlled by humans inside them) and MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán). Cyborg feminism is cool, but I’m all about forging Cyborg Xicanisma (en la discoteca). LET’S GET IT.

chrianna

chrianna:

ASAP Rocky - Fashion Killa (starring Rihanna) HQ

In mid-August, a British friend of mine said he had been asked to fly from London to New York for one day, in order to deliver a one-of-a-kind, fur Dolce & Gabbana dress that would be worn by Rihanna in the “Fashion Killa” video shoot. He declined—he told me this as we were drinking beer on the dancefloor at a Swedish warehouse party, feting our “holiday,” which for us, as writers, was also “work”—but it clearly happened, because a gown of that nature must not travel unaccompanied. I have been waiting patiently for this video since, and though I totally did not expect it to be so boring, I guess as a song expressing how well your girl dresses, it is as effective as it needs to be—the banality of the bourgeoisie. I find it especially fitting (and hilarious) that they take a twilight stroll right by the distinct fencing of 40 Bond, the fancy NoHo apartment building where the Olsen twins lived until recently. #THEROW. 40 Bond was designed by Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron, which I am sure was taken into consideration since this video was directed by Virgil Abloh, Kanye’s art director. #jiggy