I’ll make this brief for anyone who doesnt know.
1) A “journalist” stole heavily from the review I did of Danny’s Payback album on this very site. Said journalist was caught and shunned to the point of cancelling their Twitter page
2) Said journalist issued the apology below, blaming the industry’s pressures for her indiscretions when the fact is she was making a name for herself without a shred of actual talent. It’s important that you read this to the end for the real kicker.
I’m taking this opportunity to address the recent reports of plagiarism that have been surfacing over the Internet this past week. As someone who has spent the last seven years building a career in journalism it pains me to be sitting here trying to find the right way to explain how I could have made such an error in judgment. I am someone that takes great pride in being a writer and takes journalistic integrity very seriously. However, I say all that to say that I am not perfect and I have in fact made a mistake that goes against everything I stand for as a professional. While my name has been subjected to much criticism and judgment by numerous people as of late, trust that no one will ever be as hard on me as I am on myself.
With that being said, it was never my intention to negatively affect anyone or try to make a gain from someone else’s work. I write about Hip-Hop because it’s something I am very passionate about. Most of the gigs I get in this industry don’t pay. I have a day job for that. For me, it was always about the love – of the culture, of the artists and of documenting a movement that served as a huge source of inspiration to me growing up. When print publications didn’t allow the freedom to cover the music and subjects that really spoke to me, I turned to the Internet. Besides my own blog, I soon discovered the world of underground Hip-Hop sites that offered a space to share and continue to contribute to the dialogue with like-minded individuals. Here, I created a home.
But it takes a special kind of person to be a writer – someone that spends most of their time in their own head. It takes someone who can sit and take the time to digest information and dissect in a way that forms an educated opinion and then creatively expresses that opinion so that others can understand. It takes an even stronger kind of person to do all that AND be in this industry. Above all you have to be very competitive, aggressive, and have a thick skin to stand a chance. And somewhere while navigating that fine line between writing for passion and being ”successful” at it, I got lost.
When the opportunity to write for HipHopDx came along, I was thrilled. It meant that I was being recognized for being some sort of authority on music and that what I said would really matter because of where my byline would be. But what I didn’t realize was the level of pressure that would come with this. Self-doubt has a way of creeping up at the most inconvenient times and making you question whether or not you are good/smart/relevant enough to keep up with such a fast moving, over- saturated business. I took assignments that I didn’t truly have the time or capacity to fulfill to the best of my ability. I was being pulled in many directions and should have been honest with myself about my limitations. It gets exhausting to be ambitious and take on assignments that have to be turned around in three or four days. None of this is an excuse, but I am just trying to honestly answer everyone’s number one question: “What happened?”
It wasn’t fun anymore. You figure, well I need to put something together, because I don’t want to say no and miss out on this opportunity. Then suddenly you are scrambling to meet one of many deadlines. It is also easy to think that I am one of millions of online writers/ bloggers and the likelihood of people actually reading my work is slim, and paying attention to it even less. So, I ended up using other people’s words to express something I was too tired or too uninspired to come up with myself.
This action is so far from the person that I really am it embarrasses me to admit it. However, it was my mistake and I will own it. It’s one thing to discredit me, I can handle that, but what hurts me the most is the thought of somehow discrediting or letting down all the people that have supported me in my career thus far. In this business it is all about the co-sign, we all know that. I have had the honor of working with so many talented and legendary people that respected me and co-signed me with nothing to gain. I hold each and every one of these relationships in high regard. I hate the thought that these people will now think differently of me because of a mistake I made. To all of you, and you know who you are, I apologize for disappointing you.
To HipHopDx – I am sorry for inadvertently impacting your credibility. It was an honor to work with you and I thank you for the opportunity.
To the writers affected– I apologize for not citing your work and using it as a quick fix for myself.
Personally, I am using this time to take a step back and reassess what is important – to get back to the essence of why I write. When I write, it will be about things that authentically touch and inspire me and not because I think I “should” be doing it. I am learning it is okay to say no when necessary. Most importantly, to stay true to my own voice and my own vision at all costs. Otherwise, the only person I am really cheating is myself.
3) Yesterday the apology was taken down, today it’s back up. This is becoming a weird game of cat and mouse.