Medium treats each comment as a separate story, which gets added to a writer’s list of articles. Comments also get queued up as a “Next story” and in other recommendations. This suppresses discoverability of the stories I spend time researching and thinking about. As a result, I made the decision that I wouldn’t respond directly to comments going forward. But I do want to engage with my readers and build a community. As a result, I’ve decided to create this weekly feature, where I respond to some of the comments I’ve received.
I’m going to deviate from the plan a bit and talk about some of the off-site responses to my most-read story this week.
I’ve had quite the past couple of days on Twitter thanks to the response to my piece, Hip Hop’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm”: Why You Should be Listening to The Joe Budden Podcast. It was my first long read, and it’s very different from everything else I’ve posted thus far, so I was happy so many readers enjoyed it.
I tweeted out the link to the story early on Thursday morning, hoping the early rising retired rapper would see it and grant me a retweet. I got my wish.
I thanked Budden and hurried to revise the article and correct the mistakes he’d pointed out.
I was embarrassed by the two minor factual errors, but was pleased to find this response singling out the act of correcting them for appreciation.
It had never occurred to me not to make the corrections, but the interaction reminded me that plenty of people wouldn’t have. Owning up to mistakes can be tough, but it’s better than the alternative of being careless with the truth.
Budden’s retweet got me a huge boost in reads and views — about the same as when Medium put my article on Rachel Dolezal on the front page for a few hours.
I wanted to share this all to highlight something: I had only 12 Twitter followers when I @’d Budden (I now have 34!). If you’re struggling to get your writing or other creative work seen, don’t lament low follower counts on your social media. There are opportunities to get your work boosted. It’s definitely tough, but it’s doable.
Staying tangentially with the music business…
I wrote a piece on Spotify’s new “Hate Content and Hateful Content” policy. Sherry Kappel had this to say:
I’m torn here. On the one hand, justice has been a long time coming in the R. Kelly case; and in theory, I’m not against enforcing real-life accountability. In practice however? I’m a little queasy about who gets to set the rules and who sits on the jury. What if someone’s served time — are they redeemed or permanently banned? Does it depend on the crime? How bad is “too bad”?What if they’re “just” a producer, like Dr. Luke — can they be banned, and if so, what does that do to the artist(s)? I imagine the artists can (and will) sue, which could get ugly, so I’m surprised their legal team wouldn’t have an issue with all of this.
I co-sign all of this 100%. I think Spotify painted itself into a corner with this move, and they’re going to regret it. I’m honestly starting to wonder if this whole production is Spotify trying to get ahead of allegations that are going to come out of its own house.
Sherry went on to say:
And of course the real elephant in the room is their starting with three black men. While I’m no expert on artists, it seems quite unlikely that there are no white performers who belong on the list and it sends an ominous message. It’s not like the public legal system has a great track record in this area.
Again, I agree. There are people of all races, colors and creeds abusing their power and influence in the music business. I definitely don’t like the optics of this move.
I can’t help but compare this to the interviews news journalists kept having, with inner city children about a decade or so ago, about their life expectancies in the ‘hood. These mass school shootings are just more proof to me that, eventually, every problem that White supremacy ignored, or chastized and shook their finger at, when it was only happening to PoC, will take up residence in their neighborhoods, too.
“Racism is just fascism that hasn’t reached your doorstep yet.” I wish I could remember who said that, so I could give proper credit. A lot of the guns that end up on inner city streets were initially purchased legally with the intention of selling them to gangs. The way the “opioid crisis” is being addressed vs. the “crack epidemic” is another point of comparison. Sensible interventions (as opposed to “wars” on crime and drugs) might have prevented the unfortunate outcomes we’re watching unfold.
I have trouble accepting compliments, so I was taken aback by these incredibly kind words from Derek Womble :
I love the way you break down the pathology of the entire diaspora of American thought. Outside of Coates piece on Kanye in The Atlantic, this was probably the best critical piece I’ve read in the past few months. I read it slowly, read it again, then made my 16-year old son read it.
Not sure how I feel about being compared to Ta-Nehisi Coates (you’re doing the most, Derek…), but thanks so much for such a high compliment, and the even greater one of finding enough value in my work to share it with your son.
Last week, I highlighted my piece, Jay-Z, TIDAL’s Fugazi Stats, Hip Hop, and the End of Capitalism, because it hadn’t been receiving much attention, and I’m really proud of it. I’m happy to announce that Medium’s editors selected it to be a Member Feature Story! It’s being copyedited, etc., so I’m not sure when they’ll share the updated version.
I’m heavily invested in the outcome of Colin Kaepernick’s situation, and I’m thinking of doing a super deep dive into it and writing a really long read (or maybe a series…?). That will probably take a few weeks or maybe even a few months to put together. In the meantime, you can see some of my thoughts on the matter in these stories:
Colin Kaepernick Can Win His Case Against the NFL
In August 2016, soon after Colin Kaepernick began his silent protest against police killings of people of color…
Reaction to the NFL’s “Kaepernick Policy” Reveals Fractures in Ownership’s United Front
I’m interested in stories, and since its inception, I’ve been riveted by the story Colin Kaepernick has been trying to…
The NFLPA’s Support of Eric Reid is Several Days Late and a Rack of Dollars Short
Yesterday, the NFLPA announced that it is filing a grievance on behalf of Eric Reid, alleging that he remains unsigned…
I hope you enjoy what’s coming up next week!