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Thursday, September 16, 2004
I'm putting together the label copy for a release we're doing, a hip-hop comp called N@sty C0nfessi0ns. The guy who was supposed to get me the liner notes wasn't getting them to me. So in a fit of boredom/frustration/annoyance, I wrote my own. They, um, probably won't make it into the finished product, for reasons that will soon be clear, but I thought I'd reproduce them here.



What is a N@STY C0NFESSI0N? There are many ways one could take this. One way, of course, would be in the sort of Tobias Wolffean sense of a confession meant to wound, emotionally I mean, a truth given up with the intention of causing distress to the confessee. We see this meme reproduced in a particular way in Khia’s “My Neck, My Back,” which could under certain circumstances be understood as a message to an ex-lover explaining why he no longer enjoys his paramour’s charms, i.e. that despite assurances to the contrary given during their assignation, the ex-lover was in fact a barely competent partner, sexually I mean.

But this is not the primary mode being used here. I think a better approximation would be to imagine two interested parties, their clothes partially asunder, locked in erotic conflagration. To heighten the mood—one could also imagine this being done via the telecommunications network—the young lady would tell the young man of some previous exploit, perhaps, with another young lady one might assume, if the purpose is indeed to heighten the mood, or alternately of some fantasy she might have, some fantasy the young man could, mayhaps, one day fulfill.

Again, however, I remain not entirely convinced that this really captures the true spirit of the fine compositions embodied herein. What fantasy or previous experience is really being expressed in a song like “Pull Your Shirt Up,” “Nothin On,” or “What That Thing Smell Like?” It is unclear. (Although one could make a case for “Brains.”) No, I think the true raison d’être of this particular document is to document the confessions of the male gaze, the particular impulses and urges men are compelled to suppress in favor of more socially acceptable expressions, and that these c0nfessi0ns are NASTY should come as no surprise. With lines like “Mama show your tits/jump up on the pogo stick/no homo shit” sandwiched in between the personal confession of “shit, I’d fuck me” and the third-person revelation of “I heard one of you rappers fucked a transsexual/now how the fuck you gonna touch another man’s testicles?” we get a revealing glimpse of the full onslaught of the masculine psyche.

No doubt is left in the mind. And we want you to dance to it. This is my confession.