Hey did you guys hear that Juelz Santana got arrested and then let out on bail? Probably! A lot of people were talking about it—including us. In fact, the amount of talk was not very proportionate to the seriousness of the whole thing. But hey, people just want to talk about Dipset, and any excuse for us to go on a rampage through the storied halls of YouTube to listen to obscure Dipset mixtape tracks and get in extensive office discussions about Shiest Bubz is a good excuse. But it also got us thinking. Today is Peter Macia's last day as editorial director of The FADER. He’s been here awhile. Up above, watch a Dipset-related video. After the jump, read a first person mindgarden about blogs and music and people we know in Real Life. Warning: it's kind of insidery.
In that weird nebulous period before everyone posted MP3s, there was a lot of great writing on blogs. It’s probably still there, floating around the wayback machine. I know Pete’s old blogspot is. Apparently there’s a secret Tumblr out there somewhere, too. Google around, you’ll find them. Pete was part of a group of people that were really into writing about music and life on the internet with great frequency and talent. No one was posting MP3s really. Rapidshare was just a gleam in some offshore dude’s eye. Music videos loaded too slow for the coffee shop internet I was siphoning on a regular basis. I'm not even sure if YouTube was around yet, it all kind of blends together. Dipset still ran New York. Rick Ross didn’t run Miami but he had a huge hit (and huge eyelashes) in “Hustlin.” TI had people talking about Louis bags a lot. The first time I consciously remember reading Pete’s writing, I was working at a small publishing company, sitting in an uncomfortable chair in Dumbo and combing the internet for people writing intelligently about the music I was spending a lot of money on. Pete wrote about music, but in a real life context. He told stories about breaking into some property as a kid. He wrote about the Clipse. He had some weird text exchange with Fam-Lay once. Some Virginia connection, I think? He wrote about living on a beach, or maybe he just told me about that. Pete likes to tell stories.
When Pete first started working at The FADER as an online editor, he lived in LA and wrote blog posts in Hawaiian shirts and didn’t have a car or an oven. He used to mow lawns for a living. It seemed like he just sort of arrived naturally at writing about music, which is something I can’t say about many other people I know who do this for a living. He did it because it made sense to him, and he could write things in a way that made so much sense you wanted to smack yourself in the face for not coming up with it. Without knowing him, Pete is a great writer. From working with him, I know he’s also a great editor. He has an instinct that a lot of people don’t have—he can read a sentence and cut right to the heart of it. Multiple times while writing, I've gotten stuck on a closer, burst into his office half-mumbling potential conclusions, and had him look at me and be like, “Dude. You are too far down the hole. Take a walk around the block. You’ll get there.” I don’t think I learned to write from Pete, but he did teach me to trust my own writing.
Mostly though, Pete encouraged us to write. When blogs turned into MP3 depositories that we could not possibly keep up with, Pete made us develop ideas. If I leaned on lazy ideas to get a blog post done, he called me out.
There’s actually not a lot of connection between Pete and Dipset, except that he was a name I recognized at the same time I was devouring Dipset mixtapes, thinking too much about Hell Rell and trying to figure out what Chris Ryan was talking about. But there’s an infectious celebration of music that the Dipset dudes have that Pete has too. None of them will ever admit it—which is kind of weird actually—but it's there. Luckily for all of us, Pete’s not gonna pull a Cam and disappear from the public eye for a bunch of years, but even if he did we’d still have an unfuckwithable selection of stories about weird ass Swedish dudes, old men, and rappers that never quite made it to read and revisit.