“What I Learned as a Teenage Hip Hop Critic for Pitchfork” | Rollie Pemberton aka Cadence Weapon is one of several hip-hop acts who nurtured careers as music journalists. (Others that come to mind include Questlove, Dan Charnas, Kevin Beacham, and Kimani Rogers.) In a long-ish essay published in The Walrus and excerpted from his memoir Bedroom Rapper: Cadence Weapon on Hip-Hop, Resistance, and Surviving the Music Industry, he recounts his time penning reviews for Pitchfork as an enterprising Edmonton teenager. Much like his writing back in the early Aughts, it’s filled with ridiculous assertions: rap fans were well aware of DOOM long before he and P4K “helped to solidify MF DOOM’s rightful place in the pantheon of great emcees.” Meanwhile, an acknowledgement that his infamously clumsy takedown of Juelz Santana’s all-time banger “Dipset (Santana’s Town)” was off the mark will strike old internet heads as unintentionally funny. He conveys it all with the kind of self-deprecating humor and grace that comes with hard-won maturity.
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