Pop Culture
Apr 06, 2023, 06:27AM

I’m Everything, Man

A 2013 Vice interview with rapper Kaseem “Ka” Ryan vs. 2019 The Believer interview with Ted Chiang.

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Kaseem Ryan: It is kinda bittersweet. But it's out of necessity. You know what I’m saying?

Ted Chiang: Yes, yes. [Laughs] I think it has reached a level where I have to take some action.

Ryan: But that didn’t happen.

Chiang: Well, I don’t read Asimov anymore, if that’s what you mean.

Ryan: I don't know if guys do that these days. The city starts pricing everybody out.


Chiang: That sort of thing happened to us constantly. There are a lot of different reasons for why that happens, but nothing lasts very long in the current software landscape that we live in.

Ryan: Especially in this climate, you put something out and 15 minutes later there's something new.

Chiang: How many people are going to be able to make a living off that? 


Ryan: I'm the record label, the only artist, the distributor, the video guy. I'm everything, man.

Chiang: There’s raising the emotional stakes; in screwball comedy, the situation for the protagonist usually gets worse, so there’s a doubling of the complications that Cary Grant has to juggle.


Ryan: If you give somebody a diamond every day, then after 300, 400, 500 diamonds, that first diamond you gave them don't mean shit.

Chiang: Sometimes. Is that what you’re working your way toward?

Ryan: I’ve always thought of that. Bob Marley’s still alive.

Chiang: So you’ve seen the whole thing.

Ryan: I’m ready to die now.


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