Kings and Jokers

Everybody was saying, “This is the worst year for hip-hop. Hip-hop is terrible this year. Nobody’s selling.” And that — forget the sales. “Nobody’s good. The albums are trash.”

J. Cole on NPR Hip-Hop’s Microphone Check

Every year is the worst year in the history of Hip-Hop. Every year is the dumbest year in tech. Every year culture hits a new low and we can find 100 songs or shows or products or anything to confirm our suspicions that the sky is falling.

But our worsts don’t matter. Our trivialities don’t stick. They may have a bad odor, but the wind blows them away.

Our greatness is what endures and our quality is all that transitions into timelessness. Today’s trivialities rarely even make it into tomorrow’s trivia.

So if you want to see what’s important. If you want to know where things are going. Or if you want to judge the state of a scene or an ecosystem:

We shouldn’t judge our quality by our jokers, but by our kings.

Eminem – Lose Yourself Demo

Eminem’s Lose Yourself is one of the all-time classic tracks we will surely be listening to 40 years from now during the World Series or Superbowl. As part of his celebration of his new album ShadyXV Eminem has given us a peek behind the curtain at one of the early demos of this iconic song.

What is so amazing about this track from Eminem is how good it is. Even for a demo it’s polished. The verses are classic Em and, like many of his great verses, uses complex structures and rhyming schemes for entire on-theme verses.

There’s little throw-away and no filler.

But it isn’t even close to what ended up being released.

Great writers are great editors, and great rappers are great writers. So Eminem rewrote, edited, rewrote and kept making it better until it was great.

So often finished products are so perfect that it seems they came out formed that way – like inspiration delivered flawlessness – but that’s rarely the case.

For anyone else, this would be so good they’d be happy, pat themselves on the back and release it. But good isn’t good enough for Eminem.

Don’t be good. Be great.

Want to grab some Eminem vinylMy company Merchbar has the 8 Mile Soundtrack vinyl and will soon have the ShadyXV vinyl in the Eminem Store on Merchbar.

 

Merchbar Holiday Gift Guides

Holiday Gift Guides from Merchbar

We’ve had so much fun over the last few months releasing Merchbar and finally after weeks and weeks of shipping, testing, customer servicing, and more, we finally got some time to dedicate to digging into a lot of the great merchandise we have. The result: 9 Holiday Gift Guides to help you find unique, interesting merch for your boyfriend, your coworkers, your neice or anyone on your list.

You can check them out below, on Merchbar.com or download and view and shop in the Merchbar App.

UNIQUE BABY CHRISTMAS GIFTS

UNIQUE BABY CHRISTMAS GIFTS

HARD ROCK HOLIDAY GIFTS

HARD ROCK HOLIDAY GIFTS

UNIQUE HOLIDAY GIFTS FOR VINYL LOVERS

UNIQUE HOLIDAY GIFTS FOR VINYL LOVERS

21 GREAT GIFT IDEAS FOR BOYFRIENDS THAT LOVE HIPHOP

21 GREAT GIFT IDEAS FOR BOYFRIENDS THAT LOVE HIPHOP

HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS FOR ROCK LOVERS

HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS FOR ROCK LOVERS

GREAT HOLIDAY GIFTS FOR YOUR GIRLFRIEND

GREAT HOLIDAY GIFTS FOR YOUR GIRLFRIEND

UNIQUE GIFT IDEAS FOR DADS THAT ROCK

UNIQUE GIFT IDEAS FOR DADS THAT ROCK

HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS FOR ELVIS LOVERS

HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS FOR ELVIS LOVERS

Find something else that we should highlight? Want to make create your own holiday collection or holiday gift guide? Comment below and we will get you set up!

Hmm… Now that I think about it, maybe I’ll make my Christmas list as a collection on Merchbar.