If Websites Were Rappers, Vol 1.

Caveat: this post isn’t about a single site, but more a genre, if you will. The ‘single-topic blog.’

With that out of the way, if the single-topic blog were a rapper, it’d be Canibus.

WTF are you talking about?

Single-topic blogs are basically those sites someone posts on Facebook or Twitter that you visit a couple of times and think are the most hilarious thing ever. I think the first one I ever saw was Stuff White People Like. Other, probably better known ones include Lamebook and Damn You, Autocorrect. Basically, these are mini-blogs that have one funny joke that they run with until the proprietor gets bored and shuts it down, like the sadly defunct Selleck Waterfall Sandwich.

Generally, one will visit the site when first informed of it; if the user enjoys the content, he/she will spend some time browsing through it before sharing it him/herself. The user might follow the blog if a tumblr user/site, or bookmark it and revisit it. However, after a while, it just fades into the background until the next time it gets shared around, when you have less interest in revisiting the same rehashes of the same joke.1 My current favorite is Tripadvisaaargh, which i think is so great because it’s a mixture of reviews by people who seem awful and reviews of places that seem awful, so the awfulness is spread around a little, like at a high school reunion.

Are there single topic blogs that are more serious? Like, are there ones that make you mad/outraged? If so, maybe that could tie in somehow based on diff. song types?

What’s a Canibus?

Canibus is a rapper who reached some small degree of notoriety when, after appearing on an LL Cool J song, he decided to record and release an LL diss on his subsequent album. This resulted in a short-lived, fairly well-publicized beef between the two that fizzled out and was forgotten.

So… how exactly are these related?

When I first ecountered lookatthisfuckinghipster.tumblr.com, I thought it was the greatest thing ever created. I shared it via all my social networks, via instant messenger, and even emailed it to a few folks who I knew wouldn’t see it on FB/Twitter. Then, of course, I just kinda stopped checking it. The captions all tended to blend together and I started to feel like it was just overly mean spirited and a wasted of bandwidth. I don’t like the idea of throwing people’s pics online just to make fun of these easy targets: young kids who are just trying on different styles and figuring out their identity. It’s like taking candy from a baby that happens to be deaf and blind and whose parents don’t really care too much about him or her anyway, so the candy is actually really old grapes from a gift basket that’s like a month old.

My first encounter with Canibus was similar. I heard his aforementioned LL diss and thought it was just the best thing ever. So, I looked into him more and loved it. I looked past all the flaws, like his terrible voice, nonexistent flow, and inability to pick an engaging beat. Bear in mind, at the time I was obsessed with writing and words and the ability for really great rappers to create their own inimitable styles and to twist words and syllables in ways I’d never heard before.  So Canibus became my favorite rapper with lines like the below.

“With the scientifically quantifiable megalomaniacal viable style;  It’s like trying to ride a bull; Let’s have a dictionary duel after school

However, after about a week or so of rockin every ‘bis tune I could get my hands on, the cracks started to appear.  Why does he over enunciate so much? Why does he sound constipated all the time? Why do all the beats ride this weird line between arty and grimy while having none of the best aspects of either? And, most egregiously, why are ALL these songs about some weird-ass shit nobody understands or cares about?  It was like being a 12 year old reading David Foster Wallace’s densest, most masturbatory work.2

So, I stopped listening to Canibus. I can appreciate his place and his hustle (and that weird period when he joined the army and then got kicked out) and his skill at verbal gymnastics, but it’s just not for me. So whenever someone brings him up, I tell them as much.3

Similarly, if anyone ever mentions/shares BLOG X with me, I tell them “oh yeah, that site is silly, haha.”4 Mostly because I don’t really like getting into debates about the ethical nature of using other peoples’ pictures for your own amusement or picking on defenseless targets5

In summation, the STP and Canibus are similar becasue most of the time there’s a very strong chance that they will elicit the world’s fastest progression from an exclamation of delight to a yawn of boredom.

  1. For a big-ass list of single-topic blogs, visit the Single Topic Blogs tumblr. []
  2. FYI, that would be “Westward The Course Of Empire Takes Its Way,” from the collection The Girl With Curious Hair. I do looove me some DFW, though. []
  3. But, damn, did he KILL it on 2nd round KO. Dude could be great if he just made better decisions. []
  4. “Haha” may be said out loud or may just be implied by my demeanor. []
  5. Some might say I’m doing that with Canibus, but, uh.. he’s semi-famous sorta and raps for a living, so that is ok I think. Right? I mean I do kinda compliment him too. I think… []

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