Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Is Twitter really the end of literature? Just ask Drake

Not only the Luddites have been voting no on proposition-Twitter. For many, tweets have become the Poster-children of the Corn for the threat that the 2nd generation Web poses to the future of quality literature. The argument isn't bad: sayin that while twitter, blogs and the rest of their posse make it mad easy for us to learn about a lot of things, we don't end up learning a lot about any particular thing. In the Twitter era, we're good on breadth, but we lack in depth of information, and a lot of people argue that lasting thought and great literature are products of depth.

It's an interesting idea, but ideas get a lot less interesting when we can’t find proof that anything is actually going down (mlb trade deadline, WMD’s). So unless Twitter’s hand fits nicely inside the glove that has literature’s blood on it, we must let Twitter join OJ and Iraq. But I think that Twitter’s hand(le) is actually getting redder these days, and we can see her effect on literature most immediately in a growing rap trend.

I'm trying to find the words to describe this rap trend without being disrespectfuul.

Everyone is doing her though - the rap trend that is. Rappers don't include "like" in their similes anymore. It's been dropped and replaced like it was hot in favor of the ":".

It might have started with Drake when he said in that song: "come and find me: Nemo/ if I was a the club you know I balled: Chemo". But regardless of origin, it's now everywhere (: gas stations). As some example, Lil' Wayne says he's got girls "running back and forth: soccer team"; Ludacris is "coming down the street like a parade: Macy's". And Nicki Minaj is telling us all that "it's going down: basement".

We start seeing that while riding this new wave (: Finding Nemo 2), rappers don't have to tie together cohesive arguments. When they're using colons (: digestive system) rappers just have to say something, place a colon and then finish the line with a couple of words only somewhat associated with the initial clause (: Santa's aloof Dad). "Ohh I see Nicki, to go to the basement you usually go down stairs, so you can say that 'basement' is like it's going down." I mean I guess it's true, but it's not clever. Or magnetic, or lasting.

And it is all very Twitter. You know, we have to save space, and get to the point; drop the "like" for a ":", and just blurt out the reference you are trying to make - fuck the form of it.

Imagine arguing a point on paper, and then reformatting the argument into a Twitter version. Wouldn't the result mostly resemble these Simile 2.0 verses? And as we can see in these shitty ass lines, doesn't most of the takeaway get lost in the transition?


I Couldn't Help But Wonder said...

Side note: in some versions of Bed Rock, albeit not the radio edit, Lil Wayne does slow down just enough to say "Like a socca team".

Walker said...

Two Thumbs Up: Ebert and Roeper