PAPERBOY: Slow-Jamming The Alt-Weeklies

paperboyartthumbnail.jpgBY DAVE ALLEN Like time, news waits for no man. Keeping up with the funny papers has always been an all-day job, even in the pre-Internets era. These days, however, it’s a two-man job. That’s right, these days you need someone to do your reading for you, or risk falling hopelessly behind and, as a result, increasing your chances of dying lonely and somewhat bitter. That’s why every week, PAPERBOY does your alt-weekly reading for you. We pore over those time-consuming cover stories and give you the takeaway, suss out the cover art, warn you off the ink-wasters and steer you towards the gooey center. Why? Because we love you!


CP: We might be about a month off on the April-showers-to-May-flowers transition, but spring is definitely upon us, and with the season comes the return of farmer’s markets and other sources of delicious produce.CP sinks its teeth into the local food co-op scene, from Weaver’s Way in Mount Airy to the Community Food Co-op in Kensington.

In case you don’t know, the co-op model goes something like this: You pay a membership fee cp_2009_05_07.jpgto a small nonprofit grocery store whose inventory specializes in local, natural and/or organic foods, especially produce. You work there a few hours a month. Joining the various committees that make buying and business decisions is optional.

“There definitely seems to be a resurgence of interest in co-ops,” McGoran says, pointing to Weavers Way’s various expansion projects. “When word got out that we were looking to open another store, another co-op in a nearby community, it was astonishing the amount of interest and inquiry we got.”

It’s a little lean – just three spots are featured – and maybe including Greensgrow would have made the thing too Kensington-centric. A list of the city’s farmer’s markets might seem like padding, but I’m grateful for a little service-y joint now and then. With any luck, all these places can reclaim the slogan “Eat fresh” from Subway.

PW: On the heels of the Asher Roth cover story, the second edition of “Yo! PW Raps” takes on Roth’s polar opposite. Phil Esposito AKA Big City Philadelphia is attempting to launch his career with a thuggish broadside on Roth and other rappers who not only lack street cred but have the audacity to wear form-fitting clothing in their videos.BMac digs deep once again, getting commentary from the rap blogosphere: Eskay from the site Nah, Right and Bryon Crawford, a contributor to XXL. Both are staunch opponents of tight jeans.

Last summer, Crawford, in a blog for XXL magazine, wrote a post explaining the growing conundrum facing the magazine—namely that younger kids coming up in hip-hop don’t wear extra extra-large clothing anymore, opting instead for tighter, form-fitting threads, and therefore they don’t really understand the magazine’s name.

5609_cover_1.jpg“It had gotten to the point where, when I’m talking to someone who’s never heard of XXL—which is the case more often than you’d think, even among people who listen to rap music—I just tell them it’s a magazine about fat men’s clothes,” Crawford wrote. […]

Big City insists his beef with hipster rap has nothing to do with choice of attire or sexual orientation; this is a battle about hip-hop’s soul, not its dress code.

“I think Cool Kids and the Asher Roths and a lot of these rappers, the Kid Cudis, it’s almost like an artificial insemination to the rap game,” he says. “It’s not a normal pregnancy. These aren’t real dudes.”

Eskay understands where Big City is coming from.

“Street rappers have the impression that these artists are trying to recreate a period that they’re not familiar with,” he says. “A lot of these [hipster rappers] are 18, 19, 20 or in their early 20s and weren’t around for that. I barely remember it, and I was young during the ’80s.”

The article really seems to be of two minds: Esposito has a compelling story apart from the subject matter of his raps (on the verge of stardom, derailed by an attempted murder charge), but that’s really undercut by the blatant homophobia of the track that’s launching his career anew. Of course, the beef in this article is generating beef of its own, but I think it’s pretty clear that BMac acknowledges that “hipster rap” is a straw man. The rest is static.


CP: Like life in Philly, it’s ugly and bumpy, but worth it. The downfall of the “Hipster Grifter,” now with extra commenter beef! Just let this story die already. The Frankenbudget: Sadly, not about the soon-to-be junior senator from Minnesota. A Mike Tyson movie? I’m all ears.

P. Diddy’s political legacy lives on. Police brutality on camera: You can’t beat it. Kebab hope. This is not your father’s Star Trek review.

WINNER: If it’s a battle for page views, CP is probably the victor — nothing sells like indie-rock entrapment — but PW’s ultimately got more substance and a cooler cover image (take that, Kanye! And Santogold! And a bunch of people I don’t recognize!). If the bloggers wanna riot, let ’em riot: PW takes it.

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