Reviewing reviews

By Nicole Renee

In my last post I reviewed the musician Gary Clark Jr., which sparked the following conversation:

mircea_popescu: aaahahaha this article of yours. say, you ever read zimbuzz ?
nicoleci: nah of course not
mircea_popescu: lemme fish it out for you.
mircea_popescu: read that article.
nicoleci: i did read this
nicoleci: we made fun of it
nicoleci: does mine sound like that?
mircea_popescu: a lot, yes.
nicoleci: jesus
mircea_popescu: for your own aedification : compare and contrast.
mircea_popescu: you know how to do that ?
nicoleci: i think so
mircea_popescu: do it as your next article then, lemme see.

Soo, here we go. I am starting with similarities and then the differences. Examples will be in the order of Kikky Badass by zimbuzz and then following from my post on Gary Clark Jr.

  • Album Announcements
  • The articles begin with arbitrary information by listing the details of when the album was released.

    Rapper and singer Kikky BadAss dropped her full-length release last Saturday at an exclusive launch at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Harare. The launch which was strictly by invite had all things glamorous as she launched her project “Queen of the South”

    Gary Clark Jr.'s new album, This Land, was released last month.

  • Comparison to established artists
  • Both I and 'zimbuzz' place emphasis on how the artist being reviewed is as talented as well established artists within the same genre. After comparing the reviews, this seems like a lazy attempt of appealing to the readers' possible interests.

    She gets help from friend Marcus Mafia, Shuver, Fucci and Jnr Brown, Like a bad ass she is, she proved to be wise beyond her years by standing head and shoulders (Or is it ass-tall) with the boys.

    At only 35, his music has the sound of a 1950's blues musician and can take a place next to both Buddy Guy and B.B. King. Gary Clark Jr. has entered into the league of legends

  • Creating history
  • Each article ends with similar claims in that the artist being reviewed will be notable for their future work.1

    When she released the much talked about video to Body Conversations, the sentiment was that she would need to prove herself more.
    This piece shows she is not a pushover and will remain a key figure in Zim Hip Hop for some time to come.

    At a time when the quality of music is dying, all is not lost as long as Gary Clark Jr. has a guitar.

    Another comparison is the obvious lack critical thought - shown by not listing any criticism of the artist. However, what stands out as the biggest similarity and possibly why the articles read so parallel, is that both lack any sort of narrative. The reviews read as a list rather than with any sort of structure.

    Moving on, I found minimal differences between the two reviews. The article on Kikky Badass goes into more detail about the her 'roots', collaborators, and how unique of an artist she is.2

    I was taking an eventful walk with Master around town; being schooled on almost every corner on the ways I could do better. I mentioned to him about how I had this review in my drafts folder and had not posted it because I was afraid of the feedback that I would receive. Long story short, two blocks later and I was crying on my knees for not realizing that, I often revert back to the unintelligent and easy way of doing things (among other reasons, of course). It's such an interesting life to not be afraid of kneeling on a busy city street corner while dressed as cheap as the common whore3, but to be afraid of criticism of bad writing. He was right then as he is right now. It's a much better existence to be called stupid on trilema than to merely exist as stupid.

    After all...
    mircea_popescu: TEH HUMILIATION INTENSIFIES!!!

    1. Reading it back this is type of cop out ending, because I didn't list anything substantive to back up the conclusion. []
    2. Unfortunately, if I had written a longer piece, I could see myself writing very similar things to these 'differences'. []
    3. This was before I was punished and had to walk around barefoot. []

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