J-Zone Vs. USPS (and LinkedIn and Russell Simmons)

J-Zone by Keith HasVision Rogers Photography

[Editor's note: In Tweets is Watching, Phillip Mlynar asks local artists questions based solely on the contents of their Twitter timeline.]

J-Zone has taken a break from his self-imposed exile from the rap world to ready his new album, Peter Pan Syndrome. The excellent project drops next week; before then you can listen to some snippets at Zone's SoundCloud page. Cue that up in the background while we take you through the rap curmudgeon's Twitter timeline, which includes ranting about LinkedIn profiles, Russell Simmons' tofu issue, and his epic beef with the United States Postal Service.

See also:
Mr. Len's Guide to Surviving a Catfish Situation and a Zombie Apocalypse

What happened with USPS?
It's deeper than that! I have a Mac, right? So I had an old Epson printer that I used to use and it wouldn't recognize the drivers. I called up Epson and they're talking this shit about it's not compatible with OSX and you've got to use Windows. I'm not a tech savvy guy, I just want to plug the shit in and have it work. They told me the printer I have wasn't Mac compatible so I borrowed a couple of other printers from friends and the same shit happened. So I go to Staples and ask for a printer that works with Mac and they don't help me at all 'cause Staples is a PC place so they're trying to sell PCs.

So I basically couldn't print my labels so I was going to go to the library 'cause I pay tax dollars for that shit and I was going to print the labels there but the problem with it is if you use PayPal you can't ship international as air mail -- you have to ship priority. They have all these rules -- nobody allows you to ship the cheapest way possible! So I went and got the software for Click 'N' Ship from USPS and that shit doesn't work on Mac either, just Windows.

So I go to the post office and I'm like, "Look, what do you want me to do? 'Cause if I come in here with 250 packages you guys are gonna be upset 'cause you have to sit at the computer and punch in the entire customs form manually." I've shipped like two packages international and the clerk went nuts 'cause they're not used to doing it. And they've increased the rates of the postage, everything got more expensive, they're gonna stop weekend delivery, but when you go in there and ask them to do their job they get aggravated. My thing is, alright, I'm about to go up in there with 250 pieces and see what happens.

Which post office was this?
This is all of them! I planned out a little route! I mapped out a little route in Queens of ten post offices that are all off Springfield Boulevard starting from Bayside. I'm a get in my car every day and do like ten packages a day and chip away at it.

Do you think there's a grand conspiracy going on involving the post office, Epson and Staples?
I think there is. I think the printer companies, the software companies, USPS, PayPal, Stamps.com, I think they're all in there fuckin' around cross-collateralizing and making this shit hard for people. It's like buying software -- everything becomes obsolete within six months and you got to go and replace things that aren't even broken. That's why I still use ProTools from years ago. People laugh but it works. I'm not upgrading shit. I'm not gonna get got -- I'm just gonna make everyone else work harder.

The snippet of "Jackin' For Basquiats" seems to have got a good reaction on Twitter.
Yeah, I think because of all the songs the subject matter is the most current. This summer everyone was talking about art show rap and rappers talking about these painting and shit and Watch The Throne or whatever. It's like a hot button topic, whereas the other topics on the album are either too obscure or someone else has talked about them, but no one has specifically made a response record to that shit. That's what it is, rappers are flaunting cash but their audience is broke. My thing is, the guy who painted it lived in Central Park, he was homeless, you know? The paintings are going for millions so instead of rapping about them why don't we just go and steal them and hang them in a fast food joint so the poor people can come in and eat chicken nuggets and enjoy art that was made by somebody was who as poor as they are? To me, that makes more sense rather than having it up in some gallery.

Are you a fan of Basquiat?
Yeah, I mean I'm not really an art buff though. I'm not really a guy you can ask about art. I'm not really into art so if I give you an opinion it's gonna be completely subjective. But my song's more about using his painting and fine art as a symbol of status. So let's jack it. Ice Cube jacked for beats. Hip-hip has to go back to jackin' shit and being disrespectful. You wanna rap about shit that your fans can't afford then we gonna start jackin'.

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