Slate assistant editor Josh Levin finds bloggers and rappers equally despicable and derivative (but bloggers are poorer and less glamorous):
Essentially, blogging is sampling plus a new riff. Political bloggers take a story in the news, rip out a few chunks, and type out a few comments. Rap songs use the same recipe: Dig through a crate of records, slice out a high hat and a bass line, and lay a new vocal track on top. . . . [I]n newspaper writing and rock music, the end goal is the appearance of originality . . . For rappers and bloggers, each theft is worth celebrating, another loose item to slap onto the collage.
Rap music and blogging are populist, low-cost-of-entry communication forms that reward self-obsessed types who love writing in first person. Maybe that's why both won so many converts so quickly. If you want to become MC I'm Good at Rapping, all you have to do is rustle up a microphone and a sampler. If you want to blog as AngryVeganCatholicGOPMom, bring a computer, an Internet connection, a working knowledge of Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V, and a whole lot of spare time.
Although bloggers and rappers are free to write about whatever they damn well please, they mostly talk to each other and about each other. . . .[Well, he's got us there.]
But rappers' and bloggers' self-importance also has something to do with the supremely annoying righteousness . . . [of] those who believe they're overturned the archaic forms of expression favored by The Man—that is, whitey and/or the mainstream media. Ninety percent of rap lyrics are self-congratulatory rhymes about how great the rapper is at rapping, the towering difficulties of succeeding in the rap game, or the lameness of wanksta rivals. Blogging is a circle jerk that never stops circling [at least he didn't say "never stops jerking"]: links to posts by other bloggers, following links to newspaper stories about bloggers, following wonderment at the corruptions and complacency of old-fashioned, credentialed journalism.
Sure, there are a few differences between the blogosphere and the blingosphere. Although bloggers have a certain buzz about them these days, they'll never be cool the way rappers are cool. The blogger lifestyle is dangerous—staying up all night and eating Cheetos will eventually kill you—but not sexy dangerous. Rappers can afford to be more conspicuous with their triumphalism because selling millions of records is more financially rewarding than getting millions of hits.
Sounds like a slightly envious, two-dimensional description of two percent of the blogosphere. (Tip o' the iceberg.) Sounds like the writer is one of those "credentialed" journalists, a little nervous that he may have signed on to a profession just ripening toward obsolescence.