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Zilla Rocca is the rap Jack Bauer. Which makes Jack Bauer, the CIA Zilla Rocca. Either way, the terrorists lose.

Before I began my career as a highly paid guest blogger here at The Passion, I worked at a national retailer specializing in music in movies from October 2001 until November 2004. For a music nerd like me, it was great. I made roughly $80-$120 per week, which was enough to support my weekend drinking, new magazines, gas and fast food. Wait, that actually sucked. But I got a sweet discount on CD’s, DVD’s, accessories and old Playstation games (Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style anyone?). I slaved away for three years, selling Scorpions CDs to immigrants, chasing thieves across the parking lot and working my hardest to recommend good albums to people who came in looking to buy the latest Ja Rule record.

Around late 2002, the company decided to start buying back used CDs and DVDs from customers. This was a great idea because crackheads would steal all the newest releases across the parking lot at Wal-Mart and then sell it to us for $8. Everyday. Plus, since we knew they were committing illegal acts, we could make requests for the new Spiderman DVD or the latest Jay-Z CD. It was a great deal: we wanted free stuff, they wanted crack. We could call the cops and deny them crack money, or they could just steal an extra copy of Training Day and everybody would win. Most of the time, everybody did.

 The only downside about buying and selling used items is that we would absorb the overstock from other locations when they went out of business.  This presented a HUGE problem because we would always get eleven copies of the same twenty titles mixed in with scary metal CDs and shitty west coast rap compilations nobody had any business buying or selling in Pennsylvania.  Obviously, our used inventory was stocked full of the boy bands of the late 90s: O-Town, 98 Degrees, LFO, 2Gether (that kinda-funny MTV satirical group with Chris Farley’s brother), and of course the Corey Haim/Corey Feldman tag team of teenyboppers: The Backstreet Boys and NSYNC. Not counting the shaved chest crew, here’s a list of the most returned albums of 2002-2004. 

   1. Limp Bizkit: Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water.

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Fred Durst, at his peak of supreme douchery, thought he could make the worst possible album in the worst possible genre with the worst possible album title and people would buy as many copies as Significant Other. Thankfully, the general public turned on the balding nu-metalist and their wretched single “Rollin” in which Durst rhymed, “I know you’re loving this shit right here, B-I-Z-K-I-T right here.” This technical wizardry would later be used to much dope boy acclaim by Cam’ron, Young Jeezy and Jim Jones only a few years later. Apparently, that kind of lyricism works if you’re not wearing a red Yankees hat backwards and you sell crack on Christmas. 

   2. Sisqo: Unleash The Dragon.

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“Thong, tha-thong, thong thong!�

You see that? I just typed the hook to the biggest song of 1999. Considering the top song on iTunes right now is ‘Crank Dat Soulja Boy,’ I don’t feel so bad for the music buying audience of eight years ago. We’ve actually become dumber.

Unlike Limp Bizkit, Sisqo had some credibility by being a member of the R&B group Dru Hill, which was Michael Vick’s alias back in his Virginia Tech days of giving herpes to sorority chicks. Even his Silver Surfer hair and Kids R Us/Mo Money Mo Problems-styled outfits didn’t seem to bother consumers because, dammit, who else was talking about thongs in 1999?!?? Well, three years later, Sisqo’s opus found its way into the used bins by the dozens. I wonder if the number of returned thongs at Wet Seal and Fashion Bug actually increased during this time period as well

 3. Ricky Martin: Ricky Martin

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I have to thank Ricky Martin: I was never really comfortable with men wearing v-neck shirts with nothing underneath it. Once Ricky Martin (the album and the man) came out with v-necks in full glory, hair gel-a-plenty, and candle wax dripping on his naked torso, I had all the proof I needed. Straight men and v-necks with no shirt underneath are not a good look.

This album and its massive single “Livin� La Vida Loca” also proved to me that the government does hate rap and will pin a tail to one donkey while there’s hella ass everywhere else. Example lyric: “She’ll make you live her crazy life but she’ll take away your pain, like a bullet to your brain.” Granted, Ricky Martin is a flaming homosexual with pearly white teeth and bronze skin. But just imagine if at his peak, DMX said something similar. His album would get pulled from Wal-Mart. He’d be accused of encouraging suicide. Oprah, Al Sharpton, Bill O�Reilly and the other media clowns would slam him daily. But throw on some snug trousers, quit a boy band and you can recite the lyrics to Cormega’s Dead Man Walking. No problem.

   4. Mystikal: Let’s Get Ready/Tarantula (Tie)

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My theory with both of these albums is that people really liked “Danger” and “Shake Ya Ass” from Let’s Get Ready and kind of liked “Bouncin Back” from Tarantula. So they put those three songs on CD-R or their first generation iPods, then sold the Mystikal combo pack back to us for a cool $7.00 combined. And who needs more than three songs from Mystikal in their collection? It’s like owning more than 2 Snoop Dogg albums. ‘Nuff said.

5. Crazy Town : The Gift of Game

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I forgot to include in my previous post on William (no more periods, I’m done)that he also sucks for helping put together Crazy Town . I remember when they hit #1 with “Butterfly” they did an interview with MTV stating that William was friends with one of the non-talented MC/singers and put him in contact with his other non-talented friend who was already doing Crazy Town. You see, William never stops sucking, even when he wasn’t famous. 

I’ll even show you two reviews for this album, one clearly written by a nu-metal enthusiast who helped push this album to platinum status and one written by the type of person with good taste who sold this CD back to us for $1.75. By the way, did you know that KRS-One is on this album?

Review #1 on Amazon.com:

Crazy Town is definetly the band of the future. They combine rap and metal in a way that is unlike anyone else. This is no Kid Rock or Limp Bizkit or any of that. What this is is a totally new level of rapcore. They combine the rhyming skills of rap godfathers Dr. Dre and Ice Cube with the thick guitar chords of Korn or Incubus. And yet they still cease to sound like any one of those. Songs like “Darkside” “Toxic” “Think Fast” and “Hollywood Babylon” are smooth, fast and furious rap metal. The best song on here, “Black Cloud” features Jay Gordon of Orgy, and is a dark, soothing, melodic song. “Butterfly” is their version of a love song, and “B Boy 2000” pits KRS-One against Epic and Shifty in one of the best collaborations ever. If you just pass this off as a bunch of wiggers with guitars, then you are mistaken my friend. Look for this band to blow up and make it big someday soon.�

Review #2 on Amazon.com (this is the most precise one):

They dress like punks and play limp-wristed rap-rock. Lameness personified.”

 

CONCLUSION

When I read articles about the music industry collapsing, I picture the people people who made millions and millions of dollars forcing consumers to buy the entire Crazy Town album for that one song they actually wanted. I think about the same people suing their customers because they refuse to waste their money on garbage like Crazy Town (even Kris Parker feels good about that in retrospect). The economy sucks, CDs are quickly fading and radio is a joke. But at least we have options now. Never again will we be forced to spend $18 on a Sisqo CD. Unless William produces his comeback album.

 

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