Tough Bloggers (Article/Essay) (2009)

I am beginning to believe (well, maybe not beginning) that as much as blogging has been extremely resourceful in spreading information and creating an alternate line of communication, it also must be credited with the creation of many monsters. I know you are wondering, “WTF is he talking about?” I’m talking about the monsters that are better known as “tough bloggers” or “hide-behind-user-Ids” people. See, as a businessman/artist/producer, it is a requirement that I browse the net, see what’s poppin’, what’s not, who’s hot, who’s not, etc – basically keeping my ear to the street. So this means that I, like many of you, read several blog posts and magazine/news articles each week. Many suck, some are cool, very few are great. 

The good thing is blogging has given a voice to many who felt they never had one, on any given topic. The bad thing is the voice now heard is that of an angry, judgmental, arrogant, elitist alter ego of the blogger. Blogging was originally designed for the regular Joe Schmo user to post his diary or journal over the net. On the lines of “I did this today, that yesterday while listening to this song at the same time.” As blogging evolved, and users posted more about the music they were listening to, musicians, magazines and other websites discovered that blogging was an easy, real time way to get the word out about their projects, music they were feeling or something equivalent. 

So in comes the ideas of the blogger “Hey, I can review this album and say whatever I want without repercussion. I can link up with only those blogs/artists that meet my standards start a web circle of people who only like this type of music and run the web.” While artists and labels are thinking, “Wow, blogs create an easy (free in some cases) way to advertise, market and promote our projects. We can feed money and traffic to these sites in exchange for…..” As a result, those with the ears to the best new talent (A&R’s) were replaced or retrained to be the guy who sits and browses through blogs all day and once esteemed publications are now out of business or “online-only.” Publications now sign-on professional bloggers to do their reviews and news stories, etc. 

In come the monsters: the blogs owned by the tough bloggers where any musician-outside-of-their-favorites-are-wack; the blogger with an “about me” profile that states in the description “if you don’t like what I have to say, go fuck yourself.” The blogs where the writers are more concerned with showcasing paragraphs of random complex words to show they can browse a dictionary well rather than presenting a review that actually help a possible fan buy an album. Blogs where people who don’t even create audio or video presentations but have raised the bar beyond standards their favorite artist can’t even reach. 

These are the tough bloggers, the 20-something college student who writes reviews while high as hell who still has yet to learn what music really is. The 30-something writer who thinks he has heard everything hot and nothing can match what he has heard. These are the people who are apart of why the music industry for some may suck. If you look at some of these blogs closely, you can see a form of payola, where only a handful of artists are reviewed well – or if you have paid for advertising you will be reviewed a tad bit better. Don’t get me wrong, there are some good blogs where the reviews are balanced, and they really help filter through the garbage out there but most only big up the same cats often. 

I write this after reading many bullshit reviews of artists with dope music by people who won’t say half the things they wrote to your face; bloggers who write to stir controversy rather than to stir the ingredients to keep an artist with potential going and a possible legendary publication standing. I guess blogs have created supermen behind closed doors. Be different, be unique, be real and recognize the like.

- ScholarMan