SpeechIsMyHammer x ItsTheReal.com

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Jeff, Eric, it’s finally up. Pause.

Late this summer I did a Skype interview with Jeff and Eric Rosenthal, the brothers behind hip-hop sketch comedy web site The Real. I was going to just transcribe the interview and make it a text article per usual, but these guys were so funny, and I figured the comedy would translate best as the audio file. For the faint of ear, however, here are some standout quotes from the interview.

On why they started The Real:

Eric: “We felt that hip-hop was missing something. We felt that artists were taking themselves too seriously, and the genre too seriously. There was an element that wasn’t there for a good 10 or 12 years that we felt we could impart. What continues to this day is this feeling that we have an opinion, we look at things from a different perspective, and if we keep our ideas fresh and our perspectives different, people will be attracted to that, and they’ll keep coming back.

On Nas’ critically-lauded album, Untitled

Jeff: “My take on it is, I won’t download it then, and I won’t download it now.” … Actually, not even to make this a pun or whatever, but I was listening to “On The Real” today, which is such a good song. I’m a Nas fan, I just wasn’t feeling this record too much.”

On being real

Jeff: It’s interesting that for a genre of music and a culture that think that honesty is so valued, that people [are] assuming different identities. Like Rick Ross allegedly making up this whole gangsta persona. You don’t see that in other genres of music, or in culture. I don’t know why, but it sort of has to do with why Hip Hop has this obsession of being ultra-masculine. Like when Jay-Z is teased for wearing chancletas.
Eric: We call ourselves real because we think it’s such a malleable term. Everybody claims to be real. Kanye’s real, but so is Young Jeezy, and so is Eve. ┬áSo who’s “real,” then? What is “real?” … So we’re not angry at anyone else who’s inauthentic; it’s just not what we’re going to buy, or listen to, or support in any way.
Jeff: Although I do like Rick Ross’ music.
Eric: Yeah, I actually think that Rick Ross is really talented. And he abides by the law.
Jeff: He’s a good citizen. … You know who I think would like him? John McCain!

Yeah, it’s a great interview. I took a while to post it, but the good thing about classics is that they’re timeless. [/excuses]

Thanks again, guys. Keep up the good work. Readers/listeners, hope you enjoy it.