Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Return of The Gully One

Your favorite blogger's (that would be me) favorite blogger is finally back in form. And none too soon.

As a neophyte blogger, I'm a big fan of St. Louis based slacker/blog-master Byron "Bol" Crawford. The blogosphere didn't really interest me until I stumbled upon Jimi Izrael's brilliant, but seldom updated site a few years ago. Little of what was out there spoke specifically to my worldview, and thus, the thought of putting my own opinions in cyberspace was hardly of interest.

Jimi's seemingly retired nowadays, unless it's to pick a quick cyber battle with an ex-protege or chime in with some mild female bashing. But I'll give him credit for being the dude to introduce me to BryonCrawford.com, the world's most dangerous website.

If you're not big on blogs, understanding the allure of BC.com will probably take some time. Crawford, or "Bol" for short, blogs daily, with biting criticism of rap music, black folks, and pop culture, not unlike yours truly. Known as a "shock blogger" along the lines of Matt Drudge, Bol (which he says is Swahili for "gully") routinely attacks celebrities and others in the blogosphere, having made a name for himself outing Kanye West for not writing Jesus Walks, and poor Lupe Fiasco for actually being a drug dealer in addition to being a conscious rapper. His style is a easy to follow mix of biting humor, sarcasm, satire, and homemade slang (nullus, evar, TI, weed carriers) that's enjoyable and often informing at the same time. While his scathing critiques of black women often seem on the verge of self-hatred, I'll give Bol lots of credit: he's sophomoric, but never boring. The website's been an extraordinary success, with tens of thousands of daily readers waiting to see who Bol is gonna hate on next.

A few months ago, however, the wheels fell off. Unless they're already public figures, most bloggers choose to remain semi-anonymous, because it's alot easier to be critical of others when your own identity is a secret. Crawford, has seemingly never cared about this, liberally disclosing his day job at Super K-Mart, his college alma mater, and even his parents names in print interviews. Crawford made a colossal mistake when he appeared, via "satellite" on the popular vlog (video blog), the Parker Report. Shy, overweight, and seemingly a little disturbed, seeing the man behind the scathing criticisms in the flesh unraveled quite a bit of mystery about himself. Readers and commenters alike began to turn the tables in poor Byron, openly questioning his sexuality, weight, and ability to criticize others.

Probably as a knee-jerk reaction, Crawford slightly adjusted his blogging style, realizing his credibilty had taken a hit of sorts. Most posts included an increased amount of self-deprecation about his lack of career, physique, and personal life. It was almost as if the man whose entire shtick was built on hating others was now asking for a little pity. The two aren't a good combination, and over time, Crawford's comments sections were usually filled with more personal attacks than replies about what he was blogging about. I sure can't quantify this, but I'd be willing to bet the kinder, gentler Bol saw a dip in his number of daily hits as a result. Personally, I didn't bother checking for him unless I saw something of interest in my RSS feed, which is more or less death for a person who makes his living off ad revenue.

Thankfully, somewhere along the way, Crawford saw the error of this approach and shifted gears. Over the past few weeks, we've witnessed a return of the Bol we all know and love (nullus), on his site, as well as his Bol's Saturday Night Workout column on XXL. The blogosphere is a far better place as a result.

Hopefully, Bol stays off cheesy vlogs and sticks to the go-hard (nullus) formula that made him popular in the first place.

Jimi Izrael would be proud.

Some Of Bol's Recent Gully Posts

Was Barack Obama ever on crack?

Lil' Cease is more teh ghey than Lil' Wayne

Wendy's chili sauce is that crack

Convenience stores selling crack pipes

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