Ha, actually, goodbye seems a little melodramatic, so let’s call it more of a “so long for now”. As you may have heard, the Ack and I are putting our beloved Herohill out to pasture. It’s a bitter-sweet decision to be sure, and I encourage you to read the Ack’s post from last week announcing our exit - it’s thoughtful, eloquent, and does a much better job encapsulating the past ten years (yes, ten years, which is a long ass time when you think about it) we’ve spent working on the hill than I could ever manage.
In fact, the Ack did such a great job saying farewell, that I was tempted to leave it at that and not post a final time. It seemed fitting - as it has been the case in actual, non-internet life, I’ve been legitimately happy to (somewhat) silently man the hill’s back end and spend my time boxing out and clearing the glass so the Ack can head back up court for the more glamorous 3-point style work of Polaris-jurying and the like. Bryan touched on it in his post, but one of the main reasons it’s so hard to say goodbye to the hill is because of the way it’s strengthened our friendship over this last decade-and-change. Regardless of whether we were living in the same city or not, and irrespective of what was going on in our lives, the hill always gave us something to talk about and obsess over on a daily basis. I’ll miss that. But it’s been fantastic watching my friend become such a great writer, and I’m hopeful we’ll come up with another project to suck up way too much of our time in the future.
In this particular instance, my usual bout of posting procrastination has allowed me to sit back and read the many, many tweets, emails and posts of well-wishes and thanks that have been sent our way since last Monday. The volume and quality of these messages has been truly surprising. It’s humbling and heartening. It seems trite, but reading all of these messages made the work we put into a website that, at times, was like working a second job, very, very worthwhile. Many of them were from artists we’ve covered in the past, folks thanking us for their first review and describing the impact it had on them. That’s the role we saw ourselves filling for a long time, and to actually hear that something you wrote, and blindly fired out onto the internet, had a small impact on someone, is a good feeling.
So that’s my main purpose in writing this farewell screed: to return that favour and say thanks. Just thanks in general. Thanks to anyone who ever read the hill. Thanks to anyone who submitted their music to us. A special thanks to those artists who submitted music to us and never heard back. Also, sorry! Thanks to any other sites that ever linked to, or mentioned us. Thanks to all those sites that straight up stole our reviews for their skeevy purposes…wait, no, fuck those people. Anyway, I think you get the point: we’ve had a blast doing the hill all this time, so a hearty thanks to anyone who’s played a role in its (extremely moderate) success.
So we’re almost out of here, but it wouldn’t be right to leave without some music. I have to say, we’ve done thousands of posts over the years, of various styles, length and quality, but in the end, I’m pretty proud of what we’ve done. Speaking for myself, as the hill’s “Rap Guy” (that was the original plan in the beginning, I’d write about what I knew- hip hop, and the Ack would review the kind of banjofied-emo-acoustic-funk he was into at the time), the site exposed me to such a wide range of music that I was able to rather quickly realize something I might not have otherwise: good music is good music, no matter what type of limiting genre label we are compelled to put on it. My desire to provide a bit of coverage for hard working local musicians led to me branching out to post on/review a wide range of artists from local Halifax folk to emcees and bands all over Canada. It’s been a great experience, and I cannot give enough props to the people working in the Canadian music biz, the vast majority of whom do so out of passion and take an enviable amount of pride in what they do.
I shall leave you with new music from an artist that fit into my blogging crawlspace as perfectly as anyone ever has: legendary Halifax MC Champion Ghettosocks. As I’ve said in the past ‘Socks “makes the kind of hip hop I would hope to make if I weren’t just some chaunce with a blog”, so he’s as good a choice for my swan song as anyone. Plus, his new album, For All You Pretty Things, features cover art with ‘Socks eating sushi and various other treats off the back of a nude model. As a married father of three and 9-5 schlub, that kind of braggadocios decadence is what I’m all about. So one last time, I’ll encourage you to go get yourself a copy of FYPT and hopefully I’ll see you around.
In the words of the esteemed philosopher Greg Nice: Peace, arrivederci, I’m out the door.