Each week brokencool.com will profile your average Hip-Hop fan and get inside their head, finding out what makes them tick and gauging their opinions on the current state of the music. If you want to be profiled email firstname.lastname@example.org.
broken cool: How old are you?
Maxine Ross: 25.
bc: Where are you from?
MR: Brooklyn,NY. Other places too but, mostly Brooklyn. I've been living in Denver for the past 2 years.
bc: What's your earliest memory of Hip-Hop?
MR: Maybe not the earliest but the one that sticks out: My older sister and our father sitting at the kitchen table debating the importance of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) being loud enough for Jesus to hear. He later came to love the Wu for his own reasons but that conversation had me in awe. It wasn't that the message was different based on the volume, it was the method of receipt that brought the change. Crazy.
bc: Do you remember the first Hip-Hop album you bought?
MR: It was Ready to Die. Biggie's first jawn. I was changed forever by his poetic nature and storytelling elegance. It was 1993...and I was in the third grade.
bc: Do you think Hip-Hop has gotten better or worse over the years? And why?
MR: I think Hip Hop has gotten worse because there are a select few that don't read books that have figured out how to conquer the masses....or record label execs.
bc: Who are your top 5 MC's, dead or alive?
MR: A sort of basic list: 1.Biggie 2. Nas. 3. Jay-Z (I don't care about 'Run This Town' I'm talking about Reasonable Doubt gotdamnit) 4. Mos Def 5. Ludacris (he who never disappoints on a record).
bc: Who do you think are the 5 wackest rappers of all-time?
MR: I have this conversation with people all the time. As a music critic, and a music lover, I believe there is a fundamental depth that exists with artists such as Nas, or Mos Def. These artists, and those like them, have all had their wack moments. I just stumbled upon Mos Def's cover of 'Time After Time' and am still scratching my head. It's easy to say that Soulja Boy is arguably the worst rapper ever...or at least held in those confines. It's harder, though, to acknowledge that, if for nothing more than the fact that HE believes it, he is carrying a message of his own creation to his people. Whomever, and wherever the hell those people may be. So, for that reason, I don't buy into the concept of 'wack rappers.' Some rappers are more developmentally able than others who are just inadequate. Ask them to identify themselves on any given Sunday you may be shocked at the results.
bc: Do you think blogs posting download links to artists music helps their sales or hurts them? And why?
MR: It's very delicate but ultimately, I think it helps artists' sales. Artists that think blogs posting download links to their music hurts their sales need to go back to the drawing board in the first place. No one cares about who you are based on your branding anymore. Blogs hold artists in positions of accountability in this era of fuckery. It works in the favor of the artist, and especially in the court of opinion to garner immediate control of the packaging. Blogs help facilitate the previewing process.
bc: What blogs (aside from broken cool) do you check out regularly?
MR: Rhymes With Snitch; This blog reminds me of watching the news with my Uncle Marty from Flatbush. "Did anybody get shot?" If anything major went down, I can quickly read it on this blog...If nothing major went down, I'll know cause it ain't on this blog.
Dallas Penn; I fucks with Dallas because the content is always thoughtful, provocative in the most intellectual way, and funny cause it's all real.
Crunk & Disorderly; Come on, you already know.
Nah Right; He does this Hip Hop thang the way I like it...covers all the bases.
bc: What kind of MP3 player do you have?
MR: I have the iPod touch.
bc: What have you done with all of your CDs?
MR: They are packed in crated with my records....decoration in my studio.
bc: What is one thing you wish Hip-Hop artists would do more?
MR: Flaunt their brilliance.
bc: What is one thing you wish Hip-Hop artists would do less?
MR: I wish Hip Hop artists would do less jail time. They need to be around to tell these stories...and they need to be true too. Some of y'all have just been lyin!
bc: What are your favorite social networking sites?
MR: I dig Twitter. I keep Facebook for the close peeps...family stuff. Not as many 'F' words.
bc: What are your favorite stores to buy clothing at?
MR: It depends...I'm the gypsy that will shop at thrift stores but will be carrying the latest Louis V.
bc: What was the last good movie you saw?
MR: I don't watch movies....at all...hard for some people to understand but I don't fuck with images too tough.
bc: What are your favorite TV shows?
MR: I'm a news junkie so anything CNN-ish or Democracy Now-ish.
bc: If you were a rapper what would your MC name be?
MR: My actual given name is Ru...like the sauce (Roux) like 'street' translated in french (Rue) and the herb. A while back some students of mine said my DJ name should be 'Street Gravy.' I think I'll go with that.
bc: How can people connect with you online?
People can always follow me on Twitter. But fair warning, it's the jungle over there and I talk a lot of shit...