This post is the last one in the life of Poisonous Paragraphs, a blog that represents three years of continuous work. I had left my job in management & quit emceeing between October 2005 & Summer 2006 and I needed a new direction. I used to have no problem getting work in record stores or video stores but they'd been all but phased out by then & they no longer needed to hire knowledgeable staffs anymore due to new advances in technology.
I needed to get into Hip Hop journalism but I had spent the past 10 years working and I had no resume, writing credits or journalism degree so no one would dare hire me. I needed a plan. I ended up running a stickied thread on AllHipHop.com called "School Me On Some Hip Hop" and frequenting Hip Hop blogs but it wasn't until the AHH users began posting blogs by Tara Henley, Sickamore, Billy X. Sunday (who I didn't know was Dallas Penn @ the time) & Byron "Bol" Crawford. Needless to say, I soon became a frequent XXL blog commenter as Poisonous Dart.
Other XXL blog comment regulars of the same time include Meka Soul (Meka @ HipHopDX & 2DopeBoyz) and Khal (Khal @ Rock The Dub) so I was in some distinguished company back then. Most of my comments were venom directed towards Byron Crawford, though. I noticed that of the 100 hateful comments direct towards him he'd often respond to mine. That let me know that I was on to something.
Back in the summer of 2006, XXL blogger, mixtape DJ and Atlantic Records A & R Sickamore started these series of blogs called "80 Reasons You're Not An 80's Baby" . I thought that he had a point to some of the stuff he was saying though I didn't totally agree with his viewpoint.
Most older heads just got pissed off and blindly attacked him and the younger generation for not knowing their Hip Hop history and reveling in their ignorance of it. Every Hip Hop site with a message board seemed to have a flame war going on with older heads on one side and younger heads on the other (usually Dipset fans...why was I not surprised?).
Rather than take part in this "divide and conquer/Willie Lynch" mentality, I decided to stay out of it and try to bring the sides to a middle ground if I could by posting on AllHipHop.com with more regularity. I was already running a stickied thread called "School Me On Some Hip Hop" along with some other regular posters but I wasn't big on posting in "The Reason" because it was wild ass hell on that messageboard (those that used to frequent it before the new version went up can attest to that) and it was hard as hell to get a point across to readers as The Reason wasn't really used to reason, ironically enough.
After Sickamore fanned the flames with the second post of what was to be a four part series I could see that by reading the third part that he really ran out of stuff to write about and began using shortcuts. I knew that he probably didn't feel like doing a fourth part and that he would only do one at his own leisure because it seemed like his heart really wasn't in it. I figured that if I made my own version of his blog series, but for older heads it would help the situation out some. I had to go all out, though. I decided that I had to do "100 Ways To Know If You're A 70's Baby".
My first draft was about Coleco Vision and Atari 2600 and shit only a kid born in the 70's would be able to relate to. I realized pretty quick that my blog would actually help more if it could be relevant to a wider cross section of readers. After all, most heads that old weren't the ones actively frequenting Hip Hop messageboards anymore. I wrote another draft of my blog and began revising it all night until I got it where I wanted it to be.
I posted it up on my MySpace page first (the same place I posted all my early blogs that only about 20 people read) and then I posted it up in The Reason section on AllHipHop.com early in the afternoon. I was surprised to see that people were reading it like crazy. Eventually it got stickied and I began getting PM's and e-mails from all over the place. I thought that would be the end of it...not even close. That night, Sickamore posted up a new blog on XXLmag.com ...mine.
It turns out that he went on to AllHipHop.com that afternoon and read it himself and liked it so much he posted it where even more eyes could see it. Now the e-mails and PM's really started coming in like crazy. It got to the point where I even asked Odeiesel (of AllHipHop.com) for a bigger PM box. He responded by saying yes provided a post a regular blog each week on AllHipHop.com and posting it in The Reason. I said "Hell yeah".
That one blog ended up being posted all over the internet and MySpace. If I Googled it I'd find it all over the place. I was in shock that so many people read it and responded to it. It was then that I decided that as much as I posted on all of these messageboards all over the internet that I might as well write. It's pretty much what I had already been doing anyways if I really thought about it.
After four months of blogging every week on AllHipHop.com, I decided that on January 1st, 2007 I would start my own blog where I could write about whatever the hell I wanted at any time. Blogging was like playing Uno with two people to me...mad fun ("Skip you back to me, skip you back to me, reverse you back to me, reverse you back to me, Wild draw four and the color is green...Uno!" and the one card you have left is a green nine that looks like a six with the line underneath it).
I decided to call it Poisonous Paragraphs after the underlying name of my blog series on AllHipHop which was called "The State Of Hip Hop: Poisonous Paragraphs". I initially started that series to directly combat the ignorant shit posted on Bryon "Bol" Crawford's blog at XXL.mag, he had what I wanted...mad readers. I eventually realized that he's a grown ass man that has to answer for his own ways and actions and going at him was a waste of time when I should be focused on myself and my own writing (though, he still does piss me off with the ig'nant shit he posts from time to time).
To read any of my old ass blogs from the State Of Hip Hop series read 'em here (some have been posted here already). I'd like to thank my boy Rideout from Detroit who first encouraged me to blog by doing his MySpace blogs. I'd like to thank Odiesel and all the heads and moderators from AllHipHop.com for being first to acknowledge me and giving me a forum to address people.
I'd also like to thank all of my old BostonRap.com, RepDaBean.com. Okayplayer.com and Dissensus.com compatriots for trading information with me and putting me on to things I normally wouldn't be into. I'd like to thank all of the bloggers I met when I did those legendary threads on Okayplayer where I'd go around the internet finding links to out of print albums for understanding that I wasn't just jacking their links and not giving them credit..that's how I met a great deal of the bloggers I know now.
I'd also like to thank all of the regular readers of this blog for bearing with me even when I didn't know how to post links to albums until February 2007, post pictures on the blog until May 2007 and imbed YouTube videos until April 2007.
I wish knew when I first started to switch to Firefox from Safari when posting blogs from my Mac so I could use "Compose" and add functionality to Blogger. In September 2007, I went into Newbury Comics and saw the cover of a New Avengers comic book drawn by Lienil Francis Yu that gave me my now iconic avatar/logo.
In the past three years of blogging on Poisonous Paragraphs I've run though about 4 laptops, run afoul of a bunch of bloggers, writers, websites, film studios, television networks, celebrities (both local & international) and record companies. I've also learned how to be a better writer by regularly reading posts by the best bloggers, writers and journalists in the game. I don't understand why so many people use the word "blogger" as a blanket derogatory term.
The print media is dying so many of us bloggers that would be writing professionally for a publication or didn't attend journalism school will never get the chance to become "legitimate"writers. I don't give a fuck what company you draw a check from, you're either good or you're not. Period.
I'd like to thank all of my blogging brethren & sisteren for tolerating me posting up eleventy billion jpegs thereby freezing your Blackberries and writing all the goddamn time like a graphomaniac madman (anyone who follows me on Twitter can attest to that). I'd also like to thank you all for making me step my game up over these past 734 posts over 156 weeks and 1,096 days.
I'd like to thank the collapse of the print media for preventing me from ever getting a job doing this, eMusic for fronting on the dough once they realized I was going to bankrupt them and all the publications & sites I turned down because I refused to write some bullshit about some wack artists I didn't believe in.
In turn, I'd also like to thank all of the producers, emcees & artists that made material that inspired me to get up every day and write. I'd like to apologize for being a damn ninja to all the people in Boston's Hip Hop community since late 2005 as well. All my peoples that knew who I was and didn't say anything get all the props in the world. I'm ending this blog without compromising my integrity and keeping my reputation & principles intact which is more than I can say for some folks. You'll be seeing me soon. Believe it.
Steve "Dart" Adams