New York Times Magazine chief questioner-and-answerer Deborah Solomon seems to have a lot of awkwardness when it comes to chatting with musicians. A few months ago, she was told to “step back” by a member of the brainiac rap act Das Racist. And in yesterday’s magazine, her conversation with lead Black Eyed Pea will.i.am got contentious over the always-controversial topic of clubbing:
A friend of mine says that nightlife represents the greatest waste of human energy in the history of mankind.
Your friend probably doesn’t go to clubs. Right now in the world, clubbing is needed. It’s a time when people want to rub shoulders against people they don’t know and share, even if the sharing is expressing your like over a beat.
O.K., but clubbing seems to invite a lot of drinking and drug use.
So do restaurants. I could go to a restaurant and get drunk. I could go to a restaurant and eat all the wrong food and get freaking diabetes and high cholesterol.
Do you think rap music glamorizes guns?
Just as much as Hollywood action films do. They glamorize more, because there’s dialogue, there’s emotion to it. There are visuals. Actors went to holding-gun school to learn how to hold an AK-47 right. They glorify guns more than any hip-hop song, because the song just says, “Shoot ’em up, bang, bang.”
So write a song about gun control instead.
But is gun control the solution? Here’s the problem: Profiteers haunt America, and for everything we try to control, someone’s going to profit from it, more than you control it.
So, the takeaway—Clubbing: Better for you than guns or McDonald’s! (Also the lighting is a lot more flattering than the fluorescents illuminating your Filet-O-Fish.)
And taking the “someone’s going to profit from it” concept to heart, did will.i.am tell you that the Peas are hawking their wares through a brand-new app? No, apl.de.ap hasn’t been updaed; instead, the group has launched BEP360, which has as one of its features a version of the video for “The Time (Dirty Bit)” in which viewers can get a 360-degree look at the action. I just spent a verse of the song staring at the bulbs on the ceiling of the club where one of the video’s dance scene was set—just like I would if I had collapsed from heat exhaustion! The future rules.