Image by Mike Piscitelli
Ski Mask Way
Three the hard way? Yeah, it felt a lil’ like that at times. Guess the problem is I don’t really have a plan. Or, scratch that—I have one but then I change it. And probably change it again. I tinker like Grant. And you wanna know why? Well, each issue of RESPECT. is special, and not everyone is worthy of being in these pages. These other mags are disposable. But no, sir, not we.
Decisions are tough but they have to be made. Adapt and react—quickly. Thankfully, JR still believes in my vision, and this time I hired a new co-D to help me craft the creative well. You might have heard of him: Benjamin Meadows-Ingram, longtime former editing force at VIBE and one of the sharpest minds in the game. BMI and I took refuge in the Rap Radar Mansion and instituted an issue plan that I firmly believe will deliver the best-selling edition in this mag’s history.
But truth be told, it’s not about ABC stats for the kid anymore. That’s my old style. All I really want to do in 2011 is impact culture. Hip-hop culture. Our culture. No shots to any of my super disciples, but the thought of my final product resembling yours gives me the shakes and shivers. So I dig deep for something that may take longer to come to fruition. Tick tock. Fuck a shot clock. I got the game on lock. Rock with me.
Enter Eminem. Never met him, but finally got a chance to chat with Mr. Mathers and his new/old right-hand man, Royce Da 5’9”. Someone rekindled my inner rap-nerd gene; the Bad Meets Evil concept has been resurrected! We see you, Shecky Green! Who says you can’t go home again? The besties are back, and they could never be the wack. Winning!
It’s damn near impossible to find someone who hasn’t hopped on the Odd Future bandwagon at this point. So I took my caboose to Cali to check in with Clancy’s cash cow, Tyler, The Creator. This ADD lad lived up to the hype. He’s out of his mind and talented as fuck. He hates you gate-keeping bloggers so much, I must admit I’m jealous. I missed the boat on that one.
After a couple of missed opportunities, I couldn’t wait to connect with DJ Khaled. You talk about thug motivation? This dude makes me feel like I could make an album. Y’all ready for YN Records? Seriously, Miami’s favorite adopted son hit me with some nourishment at a five-star telly, and we had a long talk like two real Gs. I appreciate my Palestinian pal for his passion and sense of purpose. I would never bet against him.
I also believe in Killer Mike, who, despite a few missteps, is finally back on his path to present us with some intelligent but equally tantalizing rap tunes. From Georgia with a mind that won’t stop racing, Bigga can make you think and wanna punch somebody in his face. He’s a double threat. Ha! The outcast from OutKast? Nah, a complex artist who’s gonna last.
Nothing leaves a mark like a powerful photo and we stay true to RESPECT.’s roots. Our amazing images continue to astound and are leaps and bounds above any and all comp. Saluting the men behind the lenses, in this issue we profile Jason Goldwatch and my dude from the South, Motion Family’s Diwang Valdez. Yeah, you can rip the page and hang it on your wall, but first read the stories behind the making of those captivating flicks.
In a nutshell, you can go to hell if you think Half isn’t enjoyin’ his return to print. In fact, I’m just gettin’ started. Again. Lord knows that I know independent publishing ain’t easy, but I’m committed to making RESPECT. a true success. Check my track record—I’m pretty damn good when I put my mind to something. My goal list got a lot of red check marks on it, chump. I dare you to beg to differ.
And I double-dog dare you to assemble a better team than the aforementioned BMI, our design machine Davina, anchor Rachelle, photo-editing duo KWC and the rest of the maniacs on our masthead. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Don’t forget the period! We’re always worth the wait, we’ll carry the weight, and it’s gonna be great to see what we cook up next. Swag!
Doin’ the Lil B dance,
P.S. I want to do Drizzy next. Shhh!
Dedication: Dany, 1; Surgery, 0.