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We were kids without fathers…so we found our fathers on wax and on the streets and in history.

Jay-Z
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Magna Carta, hacked; ironically, malware that merely reflects what Jay-Z was already doing to his fans. That’s Obama wearing headphones.
Magna Carta, hacked; ironically, malware that merely reflects what Jay-Z was already doing to his fans. That’s Obama wearing headphones.
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Brooklyn, the Remix: A Hip-Hop Tour

For many, the word “Brooklyn” now evokes artisanal cheese rather than rap artists. The disconnect between brownstone Brooklyn’s past and present is jarring in the places where rappers grew up and boasted about surviving shootouts, but where cupcakes now reign. If you look hard enough, the rougher past might still be visible under the more recently applied gloss. And if you want to buy a piece of the action, Biggie’s childhood apartment, a three-bedroom walk-up, was recently listed by a division of Sotheby’s International Realty. Asking price: $725,000.

Go Brooklyn?  Too soft.  

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Niches are growing niches and the mainstream

The array of niches is making mass appeal less attractive but much larger. The long tail makes what’s popular even more popular, like an obsession.

Just scan your newsfeed. Everyone is tying in Jay Z, Beyonce, Bieber to one of their stories, hoping to woo a wider audience.

Forcing the conversation around a sly disconnect means that both people that love it and hate it will see it. The publications and celebrities both get richer, leaving limited space for new hyper-mainstream entrants.

On the whole, people gravitate to online tribes. The Internet connects a mass of niches and curators. Styles such as jean shorts and genres such as dub-step now have huge cult followings.

We really don’t even need the mainstream. It’s unnecessary noise acceptable only to people that don’t know any better. A online niche is a massive craze within itself.

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“Ether”