Posted by Billyjam, January 9, 2008 01:49pm | Post a Comment

You know, James Dean is dead.
But don't worry or get upset or anything, He's been dead for a long time
But a week after he died he received more fan-mail than any other living American actor,
Which is weird right?  'cause he's dead, he's not gonna read that shit
But still, people felt inclined to write him

I think that's the first sign about what's happening with the entertainment industry today,
Especially with music:
I mean, you're gonna make more money dead, have more fame dead
And more people are going to hear your message dead, than ever would've alive. And that's weird

I mean, no one cared about Nick Drake until they put his song in that Volkswagen commercial and now everyone loves Nick Drake...
He died, man, he died poor and alone and no one gave a crap.
2Pac, Biggie, sure they were big in their lifetime but how many albums did they put out after they died...? Man that's fucked up!

Stop messing with peoples legacies like that!
Stop jumping on the bandwagon the second somebody dies and then make a movie about them.
Go out and find that music right now 'cause there are people out there right now working, living, and creating to help make this world a better place and if we don't help them now, or wait until after they're dead, what point is there to being an artist? What point, what point is there?

 Stop doin' that shit, stop ridin' shotgun for the industry and jump in the car with us cause we're going to Weinerschnitzel, then maybe later we can have some muffinz

- 4AM from the track "Ridin Shotgun" off the new Dopestyle 2CD set
                         The Little Happy/Fool's Pool
(Daly City Records)


The author of the above track is Jason Chavez, aka 4AM, the DJ and producer half of Dopestyle, aka San Francisco Amoeba Music staffer, aka Bike Messenger Boyfriend blogger. Pictured right, 4AM, while best known as a talented producer and turntable master is also quite the talented spoken word artist -- as anyone who has witnessed one of his adrenaline- fueled spoken word rants ("balls to the wall poetry" -- commented one fan) will attest.

Over the years 4AM's spoken word pieces have included a hilariously entertaining rant about the downside of what it's like being in the shoes of a record store clerk. Note that before he worked at Amoeba the artist worked for some time at other record stores, including at Tower Records. Another great spoken word piece by 4AM is the one above about the weird phenomenon of artists being more appreciated (and often more prolific) posthumously than while they are alive -- something that many of us have often thought and wondered about but that 4AM took time to articulate.

4AM, who typed out the above lyrics specifically for this Amoeblog since he never wrote them down when he recorded them a few years back (the "Fool's Pool" CD half of the new 2CD set was recorded few years back but never properly released), added that he had a couple of clarifying points to make: "Weinerschnitzel is my favorite fast food. And the muffinz thing came from a freestyle session at my man Nocturnal Ron's crib in Hollywood between myself, Ron, Fathed and Dopestyle. There might have been some herb involved and for some reason I screamed out in a feminine/clown voice: would you like some muffinz!!!?" 4AM is pictured left with emcee Dopestyle.

 "I believe everyone has an equally important contribution to make to society: doctor, dentist, mechanic, secretary, parent, teacher, custodian... i just happen to consider myself an artist; therefore my concern is in the field of art and commerce. There are no small contributions to society as long as you do what you were put here for.

The death fascination thing is not the fault of the people. The media will only glorify (promote) most artists after they die, no matter how obscure. When I worked at Tower Records in North Beach here in San Francisco, we had a rack by the front door that I lovingly nicknamed the "who died this week" rack and the product placed upon it sold regardless of genre or price. It seemed if you had died and had performed "Over The Rainbow" on at least one recording then you were destined for post-mortem greatness.

Last but not least I "wrote" this piece in late 2003. I'm more focused and less angry...ha ha          Matchbox 20 sucks.     

-- luv J"

For more on 4AM/Jason Chavez, buy the new Dopestyle 2CD set (avail at each Amoeba Music), visit his MySpace, or check out his ever-entertaining Bike Messanger Boyfriend blog.

Relevant Tags

Amoeba Music San Francisco (33), 2pac (36), Biggie (8), Tower Records (4), James Dean (3), Dopestyle (9), 4am (9), Jason Chavez (3)