By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
FAKE IT 'TIL YOU MAKE IT
Editor's note: Plenty of readers criticized us and/or local singer Sonny Long for our recent cover story, "Sonny Long Is a Legend in His Own Mind," but few were willing to sign their full or real names to their comments. Here's a sampling of the response:
His mom must be mortified: It took four minutes to listen to Sonny Long's track "Favorite Girl" on MySpace. Thirty seconds in, it was apparent I'd never get that part of my life back. Long might rock the house ripping off Keith Sweat at karaoke, but he is in no danger of "making it" with his current "branding" plan.
The more compelling story would be that of a regular dude working a regular, honorable job, trying to make it in hip-hop.
Long suffers from what I call "urban narcissistic personality disorder." He wants to put out a tough persona when, in fact, he is product of suburbia. Think Asher Roth with melanin, knock-off Versace shades, and six-pack abs.
The affectations of a doughy, unnecessary bodyguard (probably a high school chum) and translucent post-goth publicist may be cool for gaining VIP access at Barcelona. I'm sure it enthralls the orange-faced, fake-boobed cougars that gush over such. But the façade crumbles when they see him climb into a six-year-old Maxima on 20s and roll out of the parking lot jamming his mix-tape that no one has ever heard.
His mother sounds like a nice lady. I'm sure she's embarrassed.
A "true leader" in his own mind: To the writers of this story: Why even bother to use the ink, paper, and time to write it? This is not a story about Sonny Long and who he's not; it's about how can we destroy who he is?
I believe that it's important to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This article is truly an injustice to Mr. Long. I support Mr. Long. I believe he is truly a fighter in taking the punches of New Times' unprofessional, unethical conduct.
Mr. Long has maintained style and class. He is who he knows he is instead of what others say he is. How many of you could tolerate this type of heat — or, should I say, un-researched lies?
New Times is saying it's okay to manipulate an article for [its] personal opinion and gain. That it's okay to continue to beat an opponent when you are convinced that you have successfully depleted him. I believe Mr. Long is that opponent, and that he gets up, dresses his wound, and keeps moving forward. That is what a true leader does.
I believe Mr. Long is going to embrace this experience and achieve great accomplishments. Thumbs up to Mr. Long!
Loser: Your cover was great, and it sums up Long: There the fool is holding up the international sign for "loser," right there for everybody to see. He's in newsstands all over the PHX, declaring, "Hey, world, I'm a loser!"
And that part was rich about him saying he's going to try out for the Phoenix Suns: "For real, that's one of my goals. There's been no talks yet. There's no talks. It's something that's been on my goal list. I was a basketball player. I love basketball."
Billy Neal, Phoenix
We look for the truth: So, I can't believe New Times wasted time trying to destroy someone's life. So what if he stretches the truth some? Hey, parts of his stories had to be true. So why are you trying to destroy this black man?
He's trying to do something positive with his life. He's not gang-banging, selling drugs. He's trying to get his music out there. Why don't you go and investigate all the killing going on? Go investigate some gang members who are shooting and selling drugs.
I think you're just as scandalous as you tried to make Sonny Long be.
Can't stop laughing at this fool: I just want to say thanks for this article. I went to high school with this fool, and this has to be a joke. He's always been a douchebag. He's a fake rapper and not an athlete of any sort. I can't believe he's fronting like this. My friends and I can't stop laughing at how he is trying to fool this state. I'm glad you exposed this fuddy-duddy. We all knew what was up; we were just waiting for someone to pull his card.
Pray all you want; it won't help: Ahhh, the lovely media, I applaud you! You should definitely win a Nobel Peace Prize for this one. Not to mention your lack of thorough and complete research to back your allegations. I'm here to support Sonny Long.
I want to commend his courage and pray for his strength. We tell our children that they should dream and that they can be whatever they want to be if they put their minds to it. Motivational speakers such as Anthony Robbins and Rhonda Byrne tell us to believe in ourselves.
So who are we to thrash someone else's dreams, to destroy vision, to judge?
Did you read the story, Michael?: Give me a break! This guy is all complete bullshit. Nothing he says is true. He has no credibility, and no actual songs other than three Internet songs.
I mean, he sounds like every other wanna-be you meet in a bar who bullshits you all night about how rich or crazy his life is, and he actually drives a Geo and lives with his parents. If you ask me, the cover story, if not the article, was a complete waste of time.
I'm not saying your writers are bad journalists. I'm sure they're great, but let's work on substance. I read New Times to be informed about my city, not to read the same lies I hear everywhere. If anything, this article should have been a few paragraphs, not a main story and cover art.
Michael Clark, via the Internet
Sonny's biggest fan: All I can say is, Shame on New Times for trying to destroy someone who is trying to do something positive. Sonny, I hope you continue to push on until you reach the top. I attended your show at OT's in November, and I really enjoyed it.
Like the other guy said about it, 'Nuff said: I always feel very sad when I read stories like this that clearly speak to someone having delusions. I'm no doctor, but some of his grandiose pronouncements remind me very much of a talented, kind person I knew who suffered from schizophrenia.
When I got to the last paragraph and read the part about his declaring that he will be trying out for the Suns . . .
How could it be a waste of time if you were amused?: Sooo, what did Sonny Long and/or his publicist do for New Times to warrant a cover shot and multi-page article? I can't believe I wasted so much time reading this worthless attempt at journalism.
In fact, I'm mostly disappointed in the writers and editors at New Times. I give Sonny Long credit for having his people [persuade] a normally outstanding periodical to devote so much time, paper, and ink. Shame on you, New Times!
Although the article was interesting and quite humorous, I'm confused as to why the paper would spend so much time on someone who's an obvious fake. I'm sure 99.9 percent of the population has never heard of this person — deluded or not.
How did Sonny Long get any press in the first place? I'll pretend to be a deranged, fake star and call the newspaper for an interview — if it's that easy!