New “Complex” Cover: One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

Dec 6th, 2006 // 11 Comments

Complex Editor No. 1: So, we got Lil’ Wayne booked for December.
Complex Editor No. 2: Awesome! Let’s make sure we crop him so he doesn’t look too short–you know, more “Wayne,” less “lil’.'”
Complex Editor No. 1: Yeah, but I feel like we need some counter-programming. Who’s someone that people recognize from television and magazines, yet feel neutral about? Someone whose music is negligible, but who nonetheless telegraphs “edgy and cool” to people who only buy three records a year? Who is the white Black Eyed Peas?
Complex Editor No. 2: I got an idea…

[via Nah Right]

  1. Ned Raggett

    You can play the same ‘one of these things’ game with the first row of names at the bottom there.

  2. Weezy F Baby

    if that picture was taken together, that would make travis barker about as tall as prince.

  3. lucasg

    it’s not a case of ‘one of these things is not like the other’ for me. oh, no. both of these dudes are completely disposable hacks.

    come on, a PUNK ROCK DRUMMER? ooh, man. and what a virtuoso he is! i heard that drummers talk about travis barker in the hushed tones usually reserved for neil peart. oh the technique! oh the mastery of his instrument!

    and lil’ wayne, i am sure he is a musician of the highest caliber as well, with an amazing command of the english language. i bet he speaks it as well as any polish immigrant steelworker in the earlier part of the last century. i am descended from them, so i know.

  4. Furman P. Slothra

    Interesting that you would just post about the “hilarious” pairing of Travis Barker and Wayne on the cover of a magazine that is basically an organ of Mark Ecko’s retail empire, when the real story is how rap blogs are absolutely livid about what wayne said inside. I mean it is really crazy how a rapper and a drummer (both short and inked to their subcutaneous layer) are on a magazine cover together, because those genres are, like, just totally different and listened to by people of different races. CRAZY! You might have paid attention to Wayne’s across the board shit-talking on the inside.

    In a bizarre move, eskay of Nah right, who broke the story originally and usually doesn’t come out with explicit opinions, decided to blast Wayne, the most consistently great rapper of late (save maybe Ghost) and defended Jay-Z’s middling new album. Meanwhile, NBA center/Voice blogger Tom Breihan said Wayne, besides getting a little frivolous with his hate of Clipse, has rapped himself worthy of such comments.

    For some reason this interview became a line in the sand for the rap blogosphere, probably because NY rap fans from the earlier generation like eskay feel like kids/white people are jumping on a critical bandwagon with Wayne, and forgetting that Jay-Z is part of the front rank of the rap canon. I think defending Kingdom is just indefensible, and anyone who doesn’t give Wayne props for his recent output is not listening. But that’s just me.

    Anyway, might’ve looked into that rather than just made written a really hilarious hypothetical dramatization of the editorial decision to put two famous people on the cover of an irrelevant magazine.

  5. Brian Raftery

    Good point there on the Nah Right/blogosphere bruhaha, Slothra. But the fact is that the Complex piece is not online yet–only some excerpts on the magazine’s blog. And for the most part, we try not to comment on stories we haven’t read yet, or that we can’t link to-especially when all we have is out-of-context quotes.

    Also, the post was not meant as a “Gee, white people and black people can appeal to different audiences! That’s hilarious.” It was about Barker, whose endorsement deals, print ads, and VH1 fame have escalated him into a strange realm of telegraphed iconography, where he’s immediately supposed to signify “cool” to people who don’t know anything about his music. The fact that he has basically branded himself as a “punk” is fascinating, and lame.

  6. Weezy F Baby

    has anyone seen the Game’s AOL session with Barker drumming? Kind of cool, kind of a head scratcher, as he’s playing with only one arm and basically hitting his crash and a pad along to a record.

    this link (along with pretty much everything else rap-related in the blogosphere) from

  7. brianp

    I love both Lil’ Wayne and Jigga (even the new one), but I guess I don’t get the pairing of Weezy and Barker. Weezy is absolutely at the top of his game and his genre, while Barker is, well, Barker.

  8. Weezy F Baby

    the dallas penn post was pretty funny, but i think his arguments are weak. he seems to have alot to say about “wigsters” but his only real defense of Jay Z is the obligatory reference to Bed Stuy and how the kids on the street are still into Jay and this and that. He didn’t even go as far as to ask the beef pattie kids WHY they preferred Jay so much more.

    If i went to a random corner on the Upper East Side and asked the kids who was better, The Strokes or, say, The Arcade Fire (what up, 2004), im sure the strokes would win unanimously. Does that make them a better band? Of course not.

    He also references Jay’s first week sales number, carefully overlooking the huge drop-off that occured this week (which really gave validity to Breihan’s argument)

    According to combat jack i shouldn’t be entitled to an opinion because I am, indeed, a wigster. So maybe after a few years of eating beef patties in Bed Stuy I’ll finally realize who is a better MC, but until then, I’ll enjoy my Jay Z and Lil’ Wayne records without putting too much thought into bullshit blogs.

  9. FunkyJ

    Why’s it called “Men of Next Year” when it’s all people who have pretty much had their day?

  10. Feh Am Legend

    Y’all go ahead and hate on Barker – obviously he’s kinda a joke. But there is indeed a reason that drummers pay him respect. Say what you will about Blink-182, he completely elevated those first 2 Blink albums he was on. Most “punk” drummers just bash away with no sense of dynamics; he was in a whole different league. (For the record, I’m neither a drummer nor someone who likes commercial punk. And that final Blink album sounds like what it is: an album largely written in ProTools.)

  11. Furman P. Slothra

    Brian, I got the joke, I just don’t see why you would bother post about Barker being on a magazine cover. Sorta like when people say Dane Cook isn’t funny or Puff Daddy isn’t a good rapper. It’s like, well they (or the people behind them) have constructed a tremendously successful commodity or image that has everything to do with business, something you can’t really argue with, or bother caring about.

    More importantly though, the Lil Wayne/Jay-Z/rap blogs thing has ballooned even further, with an all out attack on Tom Breihan by a guest blogger at, a consistantly funny blog that has made the questionable choice of allowing a guest blogger to compare Breihan with the cops who shot Sean Bell. Check that out if you haven’t already. Xgau gets dissed somehow, Breihan is repeatedly referred to as a “wigster,” and there is a picture of Kfed.

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