I've got a whole city to hold down

January 10, 2005

Here we go again

It happened to the alt-rock Guyville scene 10 years ago - one local band got over on a gargantuan scale, and within months seemingly half the population of certain hoods were either cats with fat new label deals or sharks trying to give said deals away.

That none of the hype and hoopla amounted to much - well, much good, anyway, for art or commerce - mattered little. It's the nature of the beast - and when Twista and Kanye West finally broke out with hits last year, that foul odor you noticed was the animal's filthy breath, the sound you heard the clacking of its nasty little teeth.

So who could be surprised at this, from Crain's Chicago Business: "[L]ocal record producer Terrell Harris — a.k.a. Shorty Capone — and entrepreneur Lewis Pitzele recently received $1 million from Chicago's AA Capital Partners Inc., a former affiliate of ABN AMRO N.V., LaSalle Bank Corp.'s Dutch parent [to] fund production, distribution and promotion of debut albums by two local rappers, Reggie Ruckus and Sosa Q'uran."

Who are these guys? Crain's says AA Capital invests in hotels and casinos, Pitzele "once owned the House of Lewis clothing chain," and Harris, 33, is a former gangbanger and ex-con from the West Side most notable for signing Crucial Conflict to their 1993 label deal. He's also the scout credited with inking big contracts for such never-weres as Fuskee, Danny Boy and Freckles.

"I made about $4 million, but sort of blew it," Harris told Crain's. "The dumbest purchase was probably the bulletproof Mercedes. I bought three."

Yyyyyyyyeah, that's the guy I want to give a cool mil of my venture cap bank.

Aspiring sharks can peruse Sun-Times freelancer David Jakubiak's list of local hip hop acts "who could reach mainstream success in 2005," while the subjects of that list should memorize Steve Albini's essay "The Problem with Music," aka "Some of your friends are probably already this fucked."