Skin Deep 211

This week, I received an email from a publicity company looking for some press for a music artist they had picked up – presumably this has come in off the back of the Lemmy interview we ran a couple of issues back. This music artist happened to be a tattooed rapper. I must confess, I didn’t read the entire biography, but he looked to be about 17 or so – 20 at the most I would say.

I watched the video clip they had included – and, to be fair to myself here – from start to finish. Twice. Once out of respect for them having contacted me professionally and a second time to make sure it was as bad as I thought it was the first time.

It’s become pretty easy to go and get yourself heavily tattooed these days. It doesn’t carry the meaning it once used to – and that’s OK. Really it is – the world keeps turning and everything in it changes all the time. That’s what the world does. When Motley Crue came out swinging covered in ink, they were different times – it was a real talking point. Now, even the security dude in my local Tesco has two full sleeves and it’s no big deal. What I’m saying here is, just getting a ton of ink doesn’t make you ‘inked’ in a way that makes everybody want to hear your story – there has to be more to it than that. With some people trying to use it as leverage into fame and fortune, I swear I would be more interested if they coloured themselves in with felt-tips.

Anyway, this wasn’t even sophisticated rap. Eminem it was not (man, I could make a meal out of that interview), more like my kids kicking about in the garage on a Saturday afternoon to be frank, but a class act?

I’m not stupid and neither are you readers; I know artists can make world-changing music at a crazily young age. But this particular ‘artist’ got to me more than most, because it was obvious somebody had thrown money at it to make it happen. There appeared to be a mass of encouragement for very little talent. Backing up a project with cash and not hard work is not the best way to secure a future for yourself in a world that will chew you up and spit you out faster than an old Hubba Bubba you found under the seat in your car.

I do however, wish to take this public opportunity to apologise for my shoddy response to said company, in which I politely gave my editorial reasons for not taking up their kind offer of an interview. When I had finished my email, I found there was a devil sitting on my shoulder that forced me to conclude: ‘It looks like some kid in a big hat pointing at this dick a lot. Maybe he should go and watch some old clips of Van Halen.’

It was rude of me. Rude… but justified.

Somewhere in my despondent heart that loves what’s left of music, I know I will no doubt see said artist sitting on top of the charts before the end of the month, but somebody has to stand up and tell the Emperor he isn’t wearing any clothes.

Tattoos yes, clothes, no – and that’s where you have to draw the line.


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