Max Bell could not stop himself from writing this.
You’re probably wondering who the fuck is Aaron Cohen? That’s a good question, friends. Is he a Beverly Hill-raised Israeli counter-terrorism operative? Is he an globetrotting rake devoted to fighting international slave trafficking? Or is he the clandestine rapping love child of Ron Perlman and Ron Howard? We may never know the secrets behind the beard that is the new rapper who blogs have decreed that YOU MUST LOVE.
Here is what we know about the boldest feminist since Betty Friedan. 1) Aaron could give a fuck about a critic. 2) He doesn’t need Pitchfork to tell him he’s dope. 3) He’s broken challah with A$AP Lou. 4) Since his Murk tape dropped last week, I decided to write him a letter about the tape and his new song/video, “Mess With Us.” I really hope he takes a break from Playstation thugging to peruse it.
Dear Aaron or as they call you in the Bible — the object of
Blog’s God’s Choice,
Let’s start with Murk. Man. You murked everyone in the game on the first five tracks. I also really appreciate your sly titular reference to slang for a pubic wig. That’s razor sharp. Had your producer not already taken the name already, I’d say you should change your rap name to Infinite Jeanius — Because your genius is infinite and your jeans are very pretty bitchish. Swag.
I’m so glad that you had the foresight to anticipate all the hate on the VERY first track (“Hate This”) that anyone had ever heard from you. Not even twenty-seconds in and you’re already saying, “You know they gonna hate this.” That’s balderdash, son! When you have “skill” and imperial “swag” everyone will love you. Especially people who don’t find Riff Raff deep enough. We need the philosophoswag that only a 22 year old Seattle rapper can provide? Forget self-awareness or creating a comically absurd but bizarrely unique persona. You’re like a Ripley’s Believe it Or Not version of Brother Ali, and you smoke mad Newports, which I know is just your way of saying fuck mind enhancing drugs, performance art and art in general. Right? Swerve.
Let’s talk about “Stanley Kubrick,” where you proclaim yourself John Stockton, Johnny Cochran, and Johnny Cash in the same bar. That’s three “John” names, but all three are charming. The verdict is in: you’re a beast. Granted, Stockton won no rings, Cochran defended OJ, and Johnny Cash doesn’t rap, but it really works for you. And the hook, I mean damn: “Stanley Kubrick, motherfucker, I’m Shining.” All Eyez Wide Open! You must’ve spent like six hours on IMDB thinking about it. Your whole project is as haunting for hip-hop listeners as that movie was for moviegoers, right? You know what I mean, dawg. May your glasses be forever filled with nothing but the finest of red rums.
I also am hypnotized by “Hellen Keller,” where you claim that you’re “Hellen Keller to the bullshit.” Did someone tell you my mantra? Well, let me just say, firsties, sir. Not to mention that calling yourself the rap game David Hasselhoff puts you so high above Riff Raff. I just don’t know how you come up with this stuff. Probably just chill broing on the glorious beaches of the Puget Sound. Even though Baywatch ended in 1999, I really think the line shows how topical you can be. You must have bitches on your dick that look like Nicole Eggert.
But back to “Mess With Us.” I lurve the Radiohead sample. A lot of people have done it and I think it was a great idea every time. Sampling from one of the most critically acclaimed bands of all time while saying “I could give a fuck about a critic” is an ingenious form of cognitive dissonance without having to look the phrase up in the dictionary.
Also, the beat sounds like one I made on garage band when I was in middle school. Minimalism is always dope, especially when the effect is minimal. On related note, I’m glad you and/or your mom kept your raps from middle school (“You don’t want to see me mad / I go rude (or “wooh”), and scream on your ass like your dad”). By using those rhymes for your mixtape, you can save all of your new ones should Fila want to finance your next project. Keep it retro, son.
I know you won’t listen to me because well, you know, “Fuck your blog.” Fuck haters. Fuck clowns. Fuck the man, man. Totes, my bro. Totes. But I figured you would understand because on “Up and Down” you said, “I want The Fader, I want Rolling Stone.” I just Googled those websites and apparently, it seems that critics work for those places too. Sometimes they even blog. Weird. And though I usually see them talking about artists only after serious blog buzz, I’m sure it’s just some crazy coincidence or conspiracy. But at least blog hate will give you something to rap about? I mean on “They Don’t Understand” you said, “Then you drop a mixtape, let the blogs build the hype.” It’s so hard building buzz on these blogs that we hate, but need to build our careers. I wish I could explain this more, but I’m a blogger, so I’m one snapback short of a full closet.
Enclosing, I really hope we can chill after you’re done finishing your shift at Trader Joe’s. We shall yell “swag” at the top of our lungs and delight while eating dried mangos.
Your biggest Stanley Kubrick,
James Max Bell (My name is also in the Bible. Odd.)
P.S. Bronson has that red beard thing already and you dropped his name in a rhyme on the tape. I know you rep Seattle and Queens, but maybe if you throw in some really obscure city like Arapahoe, Nebraska people will really get you. Also, good luck getting a role on the new season of Sons of Anarchy.