You know, the thing is, lotsa dudes regurgitate/recycle/repeat all that code-of-the-streets stuff all day, and if that's still interesting to anybody, more power, right, dig what you dig, but a switch goes off for me at some point during every litany of street-soldier imperatives: I feel like I'm listening to some dude telling me for the 1,000,000th time that he loves to rock and roll because he can lose control and it takes hold of his soul, and so on & on. You know? Same vibe, different content. Or that's how I feel until I hear a new Scarface record, by which I get reminded that your content can be 100% seen-it/heard-it nothing-new and you can still come off like a shiny new quarter if your writing is good enough. I'm bourgeois, right: in my life, knowing whether somebody is a snitch or not has exactly zero practical applications, and I only vaguely care on principle: at the end of the day, people protect their own asses, that's not exactly news. But when Scarface hates on a snitch, his tone is so measured but passionate and the writing so tight that I'm able to share his outrage, even though for all practical purposes he might as well be calling out the guy who fucked up his topiary or something: my level of real-life engagement is about the same. That's what good writing is about, as far as I'm concerned - drawing things so vividly that you can make people give a shit about stuff they needn't actually even know about.
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