The Year of Living Rap

January 19, 2009 06:02:10 Posted at January 19, 2009 06:02:10
Lainey Posted by Lainey

Ugh.

What happened to Joaquin Phoenix?

As you know, he said BYE GOOD to acting and instead has chosen to document his attempt to become a rap artist – yes, a rap artist – with bestie Casey Affleck. Apparently hip-hop is his life’s love, and he is now dedicated to pursuing the perfect rhyme.

Joaquin told People:

"This is me saying this is who I am. This is my story. After all the years of reading scripts and reading lines, this is my chance to do something straight from the heart and put it out there. When I was young I liked punk rock music but then I discovered rap. I love the storytelling aspect of hip-hop. Are there people out there who think I'm a joke? I'm sure there will be," he told PEOPLE. "Are there people who think it's going to suck? Probably, but I can’t worry about that."

So this weekend, he and Casey were in Vegas at a club called LAVO where Phoenix showcased his creative stylings to an ambivalent crowd. He was in a great mood afterwards, despite FALLING OFF THE STAGE after his 3 song performance and was actually pleasant to fans who approached him for a photo and a hug, a departure from the truculence he’s displayed in the past.

Many of you have wondered and written to me – is Joaquin Phoenix sad smut? Considering his family history, and his stint in rehab, doesn’t this mean he’s totally lost his mind? Shouldn’t he be off limits?

First of all, he’s talking to People Magazine. If he’s granting interviews to People Magazine, he’s obviously still whoring himself out. Game on. As for whether or not he’s f-cked up and deserves sympathy…

It’s possible, sure, but he’s not flailing around with no support system either. He’s not hanging out with unsavoury strangers. Casey is married to Joaquin’s sister. Casey is a father or two. Casey has never had issues with addiction. Joaquin and Casey are not undercover junkie lovers. Summer Phoenix, Casey’s wife, isn’t calling up friends in the middle of the night worried about her brother and her husband. All this doesn’t lend credibility to the sad smut angle.

But…

Like Joaquin, Casey can be incredibly dicky. And pretentiously arty. And this totally stinks of some kind of stunt.

Like the Year of Living Biblically…even down to the beard! Only A.J. Jacobs, despite his occasional hilarious irreverence, was never disrespectful.

With Joaquin and Casey however you get the sense that this is one massive joke that only they are smart enough and talented enough and special enough to understand.

Because you can’t tell me this sh-t is good. You can’t listen to him and actually argue that if he wasn’t Joaquin Phoenix, Oscar-nominated actor, that anyone would care. Or that he’d make it out of the bar without getting his ass beat down.

And this ultimately is what undermines the entire exercise.

Because there are people with real musical talent out there busting their balls mopping floors somewhere trying to hold it together, convincing themselves not to give up on their dreams.

Meanwhile here’s Joaquin Phoenix, so rich from moviemaking he’s cavalierly able to walk away from it, without a care in the world, who has decided on a whim he wants to be a rapper. Thanks to his bank account, he can do this without facing the same everyday financial challenges as everyone else. At the same time, he’s probably also taking AWAY someone else’s opportunity.

Now THAT is artistic integrity, non?

So should you be making excuses for him? You are too kind.

I however am not. No excuses. Only explanations.

Joaquin Phoenix, arrogant douchebag, major disappointment.

And…

He sucks.

Photos from Flynetonline.com and Wenn.com

Joaquin Phoenix raps in Vegas Part 1

Joaquin Phoenix raps in Vegas Part 2

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