Monday, May 31, 2004

P Diddy to give C-SPAN competition?

First I heard Howard Dean was getting his own TV show, and then Al Gore was getting his own network, but now Diddy of all people is getting a political TV show????????

Thanks to Hip Hop Logic I found out about P Diddy and his up and coming show, Project Change.

I'm not too crazy about who they have decided to make the host, the king of cool, P Diddy. In the press release he is quoted as saying, "I'm going to make Kerry and Bush squirm."

I'd only say that it's possible that P Diddy may, with the right priming and guidance, be able to make politicians squirm, but on the other hand, there are much more experienced people like Tom Russert at ABC who has been able to make politicians squirm for years. Politicians deal with people daily who scrutinize and criticize their every move. I think Bush and Kerry will be able to swat Diddy like a fly. Sad, but true.

If everything goes as planned, I will bet that Kerry will make an appearence being that I believe he will try to get every vote that he can. However, Bush would not touch this show with a ten foot pole because he doesn't have to. If you have all the "important" states covered and the vote of every kind of Republican, be they black, white, Latino and fudge ripple, what would you care what a bunch of rap music fans think? And Diddy making Bush squirm? Why would Bush risk the embarrasment? I can see the Washington Post and Drudge Report headlines now!

I'd much rather see Chuck D, Paris, Talib Kweli or even Ice T do the job. Diddy could get the ratings, but I really doubt that he'd lend much substance to the effort. Politics is a rough game, and Diddy can play the rap game, but can he really cut it in the political arena, dealing with these dudes. Despite my skepticism, I look forward to seeing the final product.

As for my response to this statement:

"The people who usually ask the candidates questions are screened, and I'm going to use real people off the streets to get their questions out there," Combs told the paper.

Diddy, brother, they've been doing that on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" TV show for years. Watch C-SPAN, and see how its done!
Happy Birthday to........

Two ol' school heavyweights were born today in the same year (1964)!

Image from Aerosol Planet.

Kid Frost

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Hip Hop Summit Action Network In the News

There was alot of different responses to the Hip Hop Summit Action Network in the News.

According to this article:in the Detroit Free Press:

Amid the boilerplate bromides about the value of voting during a roundtable headed by rap mogul Russell Simmons, officials made a big announcement: The summit has added 75,000 names to Michigan's voter rolls.

The news ignited a round of raucous applause. But it was hard to know exactly what was being celebrated. As with MTV's Rock the Vote effort, the Hip-Hop Summit faces a built-in dilemma.

These ventures are founded on a flawed premise: that the mere act of voting is a noble end unto itself. "Mobilization. Empowerment. Involvement." They're the inescapable buzzwords, oatmeal slogans whose constant repetition, rarely augmented with real argument, renders them meaningless.

CBS News was alot more optomistic, reporting and exposing the event. Alternet put together an excellent article about the hip hop voter movement, which highlighted the Hip Hop Convention and other movements as well.

About the Hip Hop Summit Action Network, this is what they had to say:

Meanwhile much of the grassroots work has been overshadowed by the glitzy, mainstream Hip Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN), a high-powered effort led by music and clothing impresario Russell Simmons and a gaggle of record industry heavies like Damon Dash and the "king of excess" P. Diddy Combs. The project is being run by the controversial Ben Chavis, a member of the Nation of Islam and organizer of the so-called "Million Man March." HSAN, which doesn't appear to have many actual members of the hip-hop generation in their leadership mix, has used huge concerts with A-list talent for high-volume registration of young people. With large events in Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston under their belt, HSAN has turned for support to corporate sponsors such as Anheuser Busch, PlayStation2 and the corporate media behemoth Clear Channel.

So, this makes me think how the Hip Hop Summit Action Network is a commercialized, corporate affair, and that's when I get doubtful about it. Its funny how with all the "Fight the Power" rhetoric offered by the group that they go for that big money from Busch and Clear Channel, of all companies. Registering people to vote and left-wing posturing is cool with me, but besides that, what does the group really stand for? Pardon my pessimism but for me, that remains to be seen.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Buy Dead Prez's "Revolutionary But Gangsta"

Freedom of Speech vs. The Patriot Act?

In this article, it seems that some guy got arrested for :

The Saudi-born Ph.D. candidate set up and ran Web sites that prosecutors say were used to recruit terrorists, raise money and disseminate inflammatory rhetoric.

However, for me the freedom of speech issue concerns this bit:

"To the extent that someone provides guns or money to a group for terrorism, that should be punished," said Kevin Bankston, an attorney for the civil liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation. "But you can't outlaw advocacy for any group or position, and that seems to be what they are attempting to do."

The implications are that if you take on an opinion that is deemed "a threat" by the Establishment?

The case is seen as a major test of a provision of the Patriot Act that targets "secondary" terrorists who provide "expert advice or assistance." In January, in another case, a federal judge in California ruled the provision violates people's First and Fifth Amendment rights.

This concerns me. Could Paris, Dead Prez, or even Talib Kweli be considered "secondary terrorists" if they say the wrong thing?

I know that it is a stretch to make a connection between rappers and terrorists, but I just think that this is a dangerous precedent to giving the opponents of free speech more power.

Friday, May 28, 2004

One of the actors in "Soul Plane"

Angell Conwell. This picture made my blood pressure go up. Enough said.

Soul Plane's Gettin' Some Bad Reviews

So far, this is the first review I've seen for "Soul Plane".
Karen Hunter did a good write up in the New York Daily News about how it was demeaning.

I can see why. The movie fits with my personal sense of humor, but when I find the article it will be posted to show that the Karen Hunter has some very valid points.

Soul Plane

With Kevin Hart, Snoop Dogg, Tom Arnold, Method Man, Mo'Nique. Director: Jessy Terrero (1:26). R: Strong sexual content, language, some drug use.
In "Soul Plane," about a black-owned airline that caters to an urban clientele, the less desirable seats behind first class are referred to as "low class." That also describes the humor in this gross, nearly unwatchable comedy.
It's true that some people think any joke involving a toilet is the height of sophistication, and they can have the low-class tickets to themselves. A thinking audience will reach for the barf bags.

Nashawn Wade (Kevin Hart) wins $100 million after an airline mistreats him (he gets stuck in the on-board toilet and his dog somehow winds up in the propeller). With the money, he sets up a carrier called NWA, a self-explanatory joke involving a rap group.
This is the airline he's always longed for — funky, hip hop, more like a hot nightclub.
"Airplane!" is the movie's most obvious inspiration, but "Soul Plane" simply uses an airplane setting for a series of mostly unrelated sketches about race, sex, travel and, of course, toilets.
Hart, a stand-up comic, is in over his head in the lead, and is not helped by having a role so amorphous that it could have been played by different actors in different scenes. Method Man has a sidekick role with, again, no particular character attached.

Snoop Dogg plays a drugged-out pilot with no flying experience, and Tom Arnold plays Elvis Hunkee, whose party of four are the only white passengers. Hunkee's girlfriend (Missi Pyle) leaves him during the trip for reasons that play on the usual racial stereotypes, and his daughter (Arielle Kebbel) celebrates her coming of age in an implied gang-rape scenario. Sex jokes are the mainstay — male inadequacy, female voraciousness, a blind man's mistake with a baked potato.

Sloppily directed by music-vid veteran Jessy Terrero, this movie should be flushed down one of its own ubiquitous toilets.
The only bright spot: Mo'Nique manages to wring a few laughs out of her role as an over-zealous airport security guard, patting down the handsome passengers and humiliating the others with an endearing imperiousness.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Shortage of black and Latino grads........

It's sad, but there is proof that those cliches about more Black Men in jail than in college. Here is one article that sadly brings out this underreported issue.

Some samples from the article:

Overall, 63 percent of four-year college students earn a degree within six years, the usual benchmark for college completion.

But the breakdowns at some colleges, particularly along racial lines, are alarming. Of the 772 four-year schools with student bodies that are at least 5 percent black, nearly 40 percent graduated fewer than 30 percent of their black students. Sixty-eight schools, or nearly 10 percent, graduated under 10 percent.

I remember back when I started school at Howard, some classes that I had already had in high school some of my friends were struggling through. So, it doesn't surprise me when they say:

Carey said some explanations are beyond universities' control, acknowledging poor and minority students generally come to college less well prepared academically.

Somebody has a solution:

Tom Meredith, chancellor of the University of Georgia system, said a task force there is working to improve graduation rates. About half of students who enter the system receive a degree, either where they start or at another state school.

He said the system wants to produce more prepared students, close a race gap, and simply make room for the hundreds of thousands of students the system must accommodate in the coming years.

"We need their seats," Meredith said. "We need to get them in, get them out, and get them to work."

The only way to get far in this society is through a good education. Education is Liberation.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Good grief, Bill Cosby!

Bill Cosby's comments have drawn much attention. I was surprised to see some leader of some organization commenting about the remarks! It's all over the news!

Granted, I don't think its all that serious. I thought this was Bill Cosby just being Bill. However, there is a darker side to this whole controversy. Say for example that Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage makes these same remarks. They would immediately be condemned for their statements, and that's the way it should be.

This whole controversy makes it so every right wing blowhard can say, "Yeah, we were right all alone, it just took a one of your own, a successful black man to put YOU PEOPLE in check! It's not far off to think that it will be open season for these right wing loudmouths, like Bill O' Reilly to say what they want about black people and then say:

"Well, Bill Cosby said it, why can't I?"

But do they have a right to make these statements? In America it is about free speech, but Rush Limbaugh and Micheal Savage have proven themselves irresponsible and reckless in their mannerisms. Furthermore, their audiences already have a negative image of black people burned in their minds, and this makes things worse because this encourages that negativity.

I wouldnt fool myself into thinking that what Bill was talking about wasn't true, but there are plenty of kids from the ghetto who get straight A's, plenty of single mothers who work their butts off to raise up their sons responsibly, and plenty of black teens who speak "proper" and are interested in more than Jay-Z and 50 Cent. I wish there were more, but I think that there should more praise for the winners and less focusing in on the losers.

Trifling as it was, it does not merit the controversy and attention it has gotten.
Today's hip hop beefs...zzzzzz

I usually keep up with the current beefs by buying DJ PCutta's "Street Warrior" series.

However, the beefs this summer now are just dull. As we know, the beef's are just a marketing tactic to sell records, and thats real in a day and age when an artist can sell 10 million records. It used to be real back in the day, but ever since Kool Moe Doe dissed LL back in '88 its been more one artist dissing another to draw attention to themselves. Its a marketing thing.

I was browsing the message boards and found rumors about beefs between Camron and Eminem and Joe Budden and "The Game". Now, I don't care too much for Eminen, which I guess sounds backwards because he's the voice of this generation, but Im not in this generation. Camron I don't care for either; I liked when he first came out with 3-5-7, but then he started doing this pop rap and that "Horse & Carriage", "Oh Boy" and "Hey Ma". I thought he was going to be some kind of agressive rhyme spitter, but he turned out to be like an East Coast MC Hammer or something, or a more agressive Ma$e. Joe Budden's got to come out and do something that will move me a bit; I didn't buy his record, and what I saw and heard from it was alright. As for The Game, I heard him freestyle, but I'm thinking his steelo is alot like Crooked I's. Matter of fact, I don't care if Dre is producing The Game, I'd rather hear Crooked I, for real.

I guess after the Nas and Jay beef came and went, there just isn't much further this "beef" thing can go.
Sex for Bracelets

Some middle school kids have made up a game of sex for bracelets. Girls wear the bracelets and boys will grab the bracelets, and each bracelet symbolizes a sex act.

Amusing, but Im not really comfortable with the fact that these kids are in the fifth grade.

I guess I could say that our kids are getting too fast through our cultural influences (does Britney have to do with this?) and a wider access to adult stuff.

On the other hand, this could just be natural; maybe kids have always been fast, maybe its a small majority, maybe its more harmless than its made out to be.

When I have a child, I will take responsibility for their moral upbringing, and without being overprotective, I would see to it that she or he would not be a "ho" or a "player". It's gotta start at home. Better that than the culture police trying to change the culture back to early 50's "Leave It To Beaver" and "I Love Lucy" days.
Hip Hop Convention a bust?

Here's an interesting article about the Hip Hop Convention which took place in Detroit this last weekend.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Cosby, Cosby, Cosby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I thought people would let his remarks go, but people are still talkin'!

It's funny how the Eminem controversy came and went but everybody just shrugged their shoulders and said "Em's not a racist!" and there were arguments back and forth about how black rap artists demean women in videos.

But talk about ridiculous. Nobody will finger point Eminem but now people are taking the backwards approach by attacking all other artists. It seems that some campus intellectual wants to accuse Nelly of being "racist". Yeah, right.

Professor William Jelani Cobb took a shot at Nelly and rappers overall in the body of his dissertation, Past Imperfect: The Hoodrat Theory, saying videos like the St. Lunatic's "Tip Drill" are not just sexist, but racist too. Earlier this month, Nelly had cancelled his appearance at a planned bone marrow charity event when word got out that some students, outraged at the portrayal of black women in his video for "Tip Drill," would protest the charity event.

Apparently, these self righteous moral crusaders are fighting for one "principal"-"anything that harms black women harms black people"

In my opinion, this is entertainment plain and simple. The reaction to the Eminem incident, and this as well, makes it clear to me that people are just taking rap music and artists like Nelly way too seriously. I don't expect to get any moral clarity from Nelly, I was offended by the Eminem tape but not suprised, but though having naked girls in your video is questionable, nobody should impose their values on others to tell people what they should and should not do.

Besides, half naked girls doing the shimmy in entertainment is nothing new; it was practically the backbone of all those "Beach Party" flicks of the 60's. The best part of living in this country is that people are free to put that in movies, videos and so forth. If you want moral clarity, read a book, or better yet, read a Bible!

Monday, May 24, 2004

IRS vs. Black America?

My philosophy on taxes is this, I have a real "render to Caesar what is Caeser's" attitude when it comes to taxes. I believe that when it comes to taxes, that's all they get from me. I'll pay my taxes and go on about my business being a citizen.

But some lawyer, William Wright is just not havin' that. He's suing the IRS by saying:

"I think African-Americans not only need tax refunds for all that period of time, but also a moratorium on taxes, too," Wright told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.

Wright makes his argument based on a phrase in that 1913 law that applies to "citizens and aliens." To Wright's thinking, blacks are neither "by reason of the denial of basic rights of citizenship."

His further reasoning:

In his filing, Wright cites examples of local discrimination. He notes that black police officers were not hired in Columbus until 1952. A year later, the Georgia Legislature used tax dollars - including those collected from black taxpayers - to pay private schools in order to maintain segregation, Wright wrote.

In a day and age when too many citizens are docile and don't speak their mind, or have a "gotta get mine" attitude, or have my attitude, its good to see somebody stand up and fight for what they believe in.
Say it ain't so Snoop!

I'm not too surprised that Snoop is getting a divorce, after all, he portrays the whole "pimp" lifestyle, hangs out with Bishop "Magic" Don Juan, makes porn flicks, and raps a lot about all these dimepieces he wants to get with, pimp, whatever.

How can a pimp be married anyway? Furthermore, what woman would put up with that act. She had more patience than Howard Stern's wife, thats for sure.
Im glad I never had to put up with this!

I would never be comfortable on a college campus with the KKK making appearences. Though I know its not unique to campuses that are predominately white, I just wonder, why would I want to be somewhere I am not welcome.

If I had to deal with this scenario, I'd have to say that I'm glad I went to a black university like Howard. The good thing about this is that a University of Louisiana professor is actually trying to have the klan blacklisted off the campus as a terrorist organization.

I say that its about time that somebody called them out like that, but at the same time I'd rather not be on any campus where they have been sponsored, or where they would even bother with them.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Honey,there's one thing you didnt shrink!

The only thing noteworthy in this movie is Jessica Alba'sbody. Thats the only thing. It's quite a treat to watch this woman in action, and how she moves. Unbelievable.

Other than that, the story I wasn't really feeling. I think that somebody must have seen the old school "Body Rock" movie with Lorenzo Lamas and decided to update it. The movies have in common somebody who makes a come up, pisses off the person who made him/her, and then despite being blacklisted from the scenes they are breaking into, they triumph in a major way.

Then there's the premise I've seen too many times of a dance group winning a contest, therefore winning money or something and triumphing in the end. Its been done too many times in movies like Sister Act, the Fighting Temptations, except in those movies they were singing but it was close to the same premise.

This stands as one of those quick cash urban dramas like Save the Last Dance and 8 Mile. The look and the feel is the same for showing young teens what urban America looks like. It didn't do anything for me, but it might excite the 14-18 year old young 'uns it was made for.

Check out the reviews on All Movie Guide and Rotten Tomatoes.

This can also be brought at Amazon.
Happy Birthday Malcolm X!

I know that I am late with this, but Malcolm X was born on May 19 in 1925, so that would have been on Wednesday this year.

What if Malcolm X returned?

I think if Malcolm X returned he would have truly been a force to reckon with. His death was part of a much bigger plan to undermind black leadership; his death was hand in hand with the death of Martin Luther King.

In a nutshell, Malcolm X was born the victim of racism in a major way. His father was killed by racists, being a radical himself. Malcolm took to the streets as "Detroit Red", the badazz gangsta role which most young black males try to emulate to this day. After ending up in jail, he was introduced to the Nation of Islam by family members. He then became Malcolm X the main speaker for the NOI; my favorite speech by him in this phase being "The Bullet or the Ballot." In my opinion this was one of the most important speeches in US history. He got kicked out of the nation for his "chickens coming home to roost" remark regarding the Kennedy Assasination; and then went on to explore the Islamic faith on a more personal and deeper level, leading to his going to Mecca. After discovering what Islam was all about, he became El Hajj Malik El Shabazz. He was assasinated in a conspiracy involving many players. Spike Lee made a wonderful (but flawed) movie about his life, purchase it here. Also, read >"The Autobiography of Malcolm X."

Check out the Zulu Nation website.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Bill Cosby is lunchin'

Bill Cosby did a speech at Constitution Hall here in DC for the Brown vs. Board of Education. I've seen him do speeches at different functions and making appearences, and he has a tendency to just go off the deep end.

Some of the comments he made:

"Ladies and gentlemen, the lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal," he said Monday night. "These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids - $500 sneakers for what?

And another gem:

"They're standing on the corner and they can't speak English," he said. "I can't even talk the way these people talk: 'Why you ain't.' 'Where you is.' ... And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. And then I heard the father talk. ... Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads. ... You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth!"

If you think that's bad, check out his movie"Leonard Part 6" Now that's offensive, to my intelligence, that is!

Friday, May 21, 2004

David Hasslehoff-rap star?

According to this tabloid clip, David Hasslehoff will be groomed by Ice-T to be a rapper called "Hassle the Hoff".

I don't think he will be giving Eminem (or even Vanilla Ice for that matter) any serious competition. No, I don't think so.
DC Hip Hop Weekend.....

This is like the ideal weekend in the DC Metro area to like rap music. You could start off tonite with a choice of parties to go to. You could see Petey Pablo at the Dream nightclub. That starts at 6 PM. If Petey isn't your thing, you could to this other party at the Juste Lounge.

I've already posted the WHFS Festival, which will have Jay-Z being the headliner, along with Cypress Hill, and alot of rock, punk and alternative bands. Roc A Fella artists M.O.P. will be at the Weapons of Mic Destruction tour Saturday night, but you gotta go to Baltimore for that. If you want something underground, you could go to Revolution Records on Saturday afternoon. There is a freestyle session from 4-6.On Saturday Night you could go to the Method Man record release party at H20 Club in DC.

It don't stop on Saturday night though, on Sunday, CEE-Loo Green is suppossed to be at Club 5 on Mass Avenue. I couldnt find any real link to confirm that, but it said so in the Washington Post, so it has to be true, right? If by the end of the weekend you dont have your fill of rap music and hip hop, I don't know what to tell ya!

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Who are we?

This is a book which is broken down in this article called "White Fear In Wartime".

Quotes from article:

What is the book about?

In his just published book, "Who are We: The Challenges to America's National Identity," Huntington speaks about the meteoric rise of white nativism in America, for which he offers not an apology but a rationale: "The most powerful stimulus to such white nativism will be the cultural and linguistic threats whites see from the expanding power of Latinos in U.S. society."

How should we react to "white fear"?

The failure to recognize white fear and confront it on its own terms has become Latinos' central strategic error in the domestic policy wars that vilify immigrants, destroy schools and disproportionately push larger and larger numbers of former students of crumbling school systems into prisons and into the ranks of the dead and endangered in Iraq.

Is the book racist? They say:

Rather than fall into the psy-op trap of reactive anger by dismissing the book as the rant of a "racist" or a 19th century backwoods nativist, it is best to interpret "Who Are We" as another very dangerous installment in the career of a seasoned national security specialist. With the steely calculus of a post-Cold War warrior in search of new enemies, Huntington is helping create a fear that is transforming American and Latino identity, and U.S. politics overall -- a fear most visible in our gated communities, gated countries and gated minds.

Why should we read a book like this? How seriously should we take "white fear"?

Even though ideas about race, ethnicity, culture and civilization are fluid and murky, white fear is cohesive and entrenched. It gets funding for research using state-of-the-art statistical methods to prove age-old ideas about white intellectual superiority; it informs government policies and media coverage that -- despite the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, white militias and private border battalions -- never link "white" with "threat," "terrorist" or (to use Huntington's term) "challenge." White fear mobilizes Republican and Democratic voters to defend their perceived racial interests under the guise of patriotism.

As it is, this article is interesting, but in the end, I think the only way to really approach these questionable ideas is read them for yourself. His ideas have been dismissed by the establishment, since nobody took his other book "Clash of the Civilizations" seriouly. However, its not too hard to believe there are extremists who do believe in his ideas.

Buy the book at Amazon if you want to see for yourself.

HFS Festival

Here in DC this Saturday (May 22) you got the HFS Festival, its mostly for like the punk rock/alternative set, but this year there will be a suprise.

Cypress Hill will be there, but thats a favorite group amongst the skater/punk/alternative set; if you do music about weed, you're a sure staple at events like this. Hard to believe that Jay-Z will be there though. He always seemed to me to be more the MC for the player/thug/jiggy set. Im not sure how the kids will respond to him, but it'll be funny if jigga fans have to sit through an Offspring set because he will be probably last. So most of Jay-Z's fans will be introduced to new music they never heard. Hey, it might work!
How the AK-47 Came To Rule the Street

You don't hear that much AK-47 and Uzi talk in rap anymore. Thank God, but in the early to mid 90's that was the staple of rap music. Ice Cube used to make references to Uzi's in like every other rap as part of his reality,as a problem and solution all at the same time.

This article here is about "How the Uzi Came to Rule the Streets"

A Quote:

The latest weapon of choice on the streets, the one getting all the attention today, is the Russian Kalashnikov, or AK-47 -- a large assault rifle capable of holding 100 rounds in one clip. On the streets it's called a street-sweeper, because anything it hits gets swept away. Cars and trucks are turned into Swiss cheese -- imagine what this weapon does to human beings.

Why is this gun the gun of choice? Simple. Let's say you have a shotgun, or a snub-nose .38, or a Glock 9mm. I have a rapid-fire, handheld cannon (the AK-47). When you run out of bullets, I'm just getting started. You can't hide. I'm the equivalent of seven well-armed hunters; you're a sitting duck. You've got a pellet gun; I've got lightning bolts and thunder

I'd say that I don't know if I am convinced, but then again, hey, I just like hip hop, I may not run in those circles, but here in DC you dont have many deaths being the result of big weapons. I don't think guns should be glorified or named; I remember back in the days here in DC kids would wear black T-shirts with guns on them; one had "Mac 11 makes ya, jump, jump." In this day and age, all guns should not be glorified or made to be "cool".

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Brown vs. Board of Education

The Brown vs. Board of Education decision happened 50 years ago.

In my opinion, I think that this was necessary at the time to break down the racial barriers and force America to confront the inequality that black people were experiencing.

However, this is a reminder of the importance of education. In today's culture, learning is somehow collectively frowned upon; its more important to be "cool", and people who are smart are seen as "nerds".

I wish that the younger generation could see how detrimental this attitude is to the future, and that learning is the most important thing to getting your foot in the door. Brown vs. Board of Education should show people that an education is the most important thing to get, and that in the past people died trying to get an education.

You're just easier to control if you're dumb, ignorant and uneducated.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

The Appeal of "Love Don't Cost A Thing", cheerleaders and cheerleader flicks!

I always wanted to date a cheerleader. I like cheerleaders. What is my obsession with them? Well, it goes back to the basic truth about cheerleaders.

Cheerleaders are like a man's fantasy. They embody that whole idea of a man getting the perfect woman, the one woman on top of the social ladder. They are usually the prettiest, the most perfect, total dimes, being a perfect ten.

I remember one time at college they had an auction for the cheerleaders. This girl that came up sat on the table and she had on her uniform, all posing and stuff. I was set to bid, but I dont know what happened, but I started thinking; does this insinuate that I cant get a date but with a cheerleader? That I have to take part in such an activity to do this? I was on not so level ground back then. I was shy, and a real cornball. So, I backed out on the whole thing.

I kinda wished that I went through with it; it would have been embarrasing as heck and I wouldve just been serving my own perverted fantasies and my lofty ideas of what she is as oppossed to who she is. Im kinda sick like that at times.

Not to say that we dont all fantasize about cheerleaders and such, but I think that if you are going to be out there doing your thing, you pursue people for who they are, not what they are. Because when she doesnt have the uniform, what will be the deal? Will there be anything that you bring to the table? Will there be anything that you can say that you really offer?
Seperate proms?,2933,120020,00.html
Where I live in Maryland, I can image totally integrated proms. The music of the moment, hip hop, would blair from the speakers, in addition to pop and R&B, as many interracial couples would take to the dance floor, bopping, doing all the latest dances, doing the Electric Slide, until the break of dawn.

However, where I grew up in Connecticut, most of the kids in my hometown or at the school I went to in the next town over would only imagine dancing to Led Zeppelin and Whitesnake. Back in the 80's, to go to a prom which had black music, I'd have to go to a school which had mostly black students!

In some small town in Georgia, they had 3 PROMS. One for the Hispanics, one for the black students, and one for the white students. I guess its very well defined what the kids like and what they want to dance to; in this case its a cultural thing, and people aren't like they are in Maryland everywhere.

From the article:

But high school Principal Ralph Hardy said it now has nothing to do with race — it has to do with diverse cultural traditions and different tastes in food and music.

School officials said students are invited to attend any of the proms — even all three if they wish.

I don't think its racist, I think the students have every right to kick it with who they want to kick it with, and in this case that is okay, but at the same time it should be remembered this is a multicultural society, no matter who denies it.

Friday, May 14, 2004

The War and 20 somethings

Interesting Yahoo! news item write up about the war and kids in their 20s

Shock of War Comes Home to 20-Somethings

Graphic images from Iraq (news - web sites) are being circulated on their medium, the Internet, riveting a generation sometimes criticized for being disengaged. And many of those images involve people their age, among them 26-year-old Nick Berg, whose horrific death was captured on video — as well as young American soldiers mugging for the camera alongside naked, hooded Iraqi prisoners.
"It's the first time we can't just point a finger at a leader and say 'You did this wrong' and instead have to say 'We're doing this wrong,'" says Sarah McAuley, a 24-year-old who lives in San Francisco. "The people shown abusing Iraqi prisoners are me, or at least not as distinguishable from me as some."
McAuley saw the first photos showing abuse of Iraqi prisoners on a TV at her gym. Soon after, she fired off an entry for her Web log, describing how she felt "sad, ashamed and disappointed."
The searing images have had that effect on many Americans. But some experts believe they will have particular influence on this generation and its view of the war.
"Words have a power to affect your mind and to get your brain waves going," says Matthew Felling, the 30-year-old spokesman for the Center for Media and Public Affairs, a Washington-based media watchdog. "But an image — and a visceral one at that — tugs at your heart. And that is the language that Generation X and Y speak more than any other age groups."
Increasingly, the Web has played a big part in that.

Internet company Terra Lycos reported that, for the first time since it started, searches for prisoner abuse images last week propelled the war in Iraq to the top of its "Top 10 Search Term" list. Earlier this week, the company said interest shifted notably to Berg, whose captors posted the video of his slaying on the Web.
An entry posted on the Web site Live Journal about the first prison abuse photos also has drawn more than 1,200 responses in recent days — many of them from young people.
"I think a lot of the reaction, particularly among kids, is a struggling to understand these horrors and put them in context," says Ryan Brenizer, a 25-year-old New Yorker who regularly posts his thoughts on Live Journal. "I got into political discussions online largely because it was fun, but none of this is fun or about entertainment — it's about grappling with an often scary, changing world."
Then there's the speed with which these war images are being circulated, says Abe Peck, a journalism professor at Northwestern University.
"It's this media stream that 20-somethings and certainly 'teen-somethings' live in — and that just accelerates everything," he says.
Access to such technology makes the Vietnam conflict — dubbed the nation's first "living room war" due to greater access to TV images — seem like the Dark Ages. Now it's instant war, in real time.
"It's coffins at Dover," Felling says. "It's Fallujah, bodies dangling. It's a snapshot of Pat Tillman (the 27-year-old former NFL player killed in Afghanistan (news - web sites)).
"It just builds a momentum of its own."
Erin Bechill, a 22-year-old Chicagoan, thinks that's true.
She remembers walking with a good friend recently and passing newspaper boxes filled with images of the Iraqi prison photos. And though their political views differed — she's more conservative, while he's more left-leaning — they agreed about the photos' meaning.
"We both saw them as a sign that this war has reached a tipping point," Bechill says. "It's time to bring our troops home."
Despite all the attention these latest war images are getting, there remain a few who still don't follow the war much.
"To me, the war is just kind of like another show on television," says Chris Urban, a 28-year-old from St. Louis who works in magazine distribution. "I try to check in on it a couple times a week. But it doesn't have much bearing on my life."
And as awful as they are, he says he's not shocked by these latest war images.
"It's part of war," he says, adding that there are plenty of other atrocities that never get this kind of attention because there are no photos or video.
Still others, including 24-year-old Brette Peyton in Dallas, have felt overwhelmed by images that are all too real.
"I feel like I can't even turn on the TV or look at a newspaper without seeing them — and I don't want to see them anymore," says Peyton, who's the daughter of a retired Army officer.
At the same time, she feels like it's her generation's responsibility — now more than ever — to keep informed on the war so young people can be "better voters and leaders."
Otherwise, she says, "we will be ill-prepared to handle our country when its future rests in our hands."

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

The Classy

I'm so mad that Latoya London got booted off American Idol tonight. She was a gem for sure. Those other scraggly trolls that they have left can't touch her. She is a born star, with the looks, a great voice, and she just has "it". Don't ask me what "it" is, but she got it!

Those other girls, they wont get far; they will at best be on VH1's "Where Are They Now". American Idol missed out on pure star material. She has the potential to be her generations Lena Horne or Diana Ross, she was that good! Plus she's hot!

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Million Mom March

I first saw somebody wearing a "Million Mom March" T-shirt on Saturday. The idea of this kind of march just had me dumbfounded. I was asking myself "What do Moms have a problem with?"

However, I got to check it out and read articles like this one, and found out that their main issue was the proliferation of automatic weapons and how it spills into communities all across the country. It is something that affects all races, all people.

Here in the DC metro area there is a problem with gun violence, and the victims are getting younger. For example, there is the continuing investigation into this 8 year old's violent death.

On hand were Dr. Benjamin Chavis and Dougie Fresh from the Hip Hop Summit Action Network. Benjamin Chavis is one of Farrakahn's right hand men in the Nation Of Islam, and he talked about how hip hop supports the Million Mom March, and related it to the Million Man March. Benjamin Chavis was one of the main people involved in the Million Man March; I remember how he was just coming out of the NAACP scandal since he was the president of the group at the time, and he was a Christian minister, but he converted to Islam and joined the NOI right after the Million Man March. Dougie Fresh got the audience hyped with some hip hop beats and some talking.

Ludacris's mother spoke and that was funny to me because of Luda's sexist, and violent lyrics. I'm not a Bill O Reilly Luda Hater, but for his Mom to be speaking at the Million Mom March against violence (and I assume female empowerment, somewhat). It was pretty contradictory, but apparently Luda has founded a non-profit organization called the Ludacris Foundation, and she was speaking on behalf of that. I guess his lyrics are just seen by his mother as a means to an end. She did a really good speech though, and I think she has a genuine interest in working in the community.

It was a good event with good intentions, but I don't think it really sparked the interest of many people, and there was a counter demonstration of Republicans who think this would be a better society if everybody had an AK-47 on their side. However, I think that the proliferation of guns in the inner cities have done enough damage. Its a sticky issue, but for a mother who has lost her son, I don't think its too much to ask to get the big guns off the street.

Check out Gun Guys, a good site dedicated to the issue of gun control.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

The objectification of women in music videos.....

A confused hip hop generation or nation didn't know how to respond to the Eminem tap because of how the objectification of black women is so ingrained in the culture. As it is, it is a bigger issue than Eminem and his tape, but also that incident shows the bigger issue that suggests the influence the culture has on people.


The use of women as hypersexualized props for the fantasies of male rappers is endemic in music videos. Though the objectification and abuse of women aren't confined to that art form, it sets a low standard of behavior. R&B singer R. Kelly has been indicted on 14 counts of child pornography. He allegedly had sex with a minor and videotaped it. Rapper Snoop Dogg recently branched out to direct porn films. Nelly is marketing an energy drink called "Pimp Juice."

The general silence, indifference and complicity of African-Americans when it comes to disrespecting black women remain as troubling as the individuals and corporations that produce this junk.

Check out Black Electorate.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

War and the black vet?

Intersting point in this editorial about the war and what a black vet thinks about it. Including this quote:

To this vet, this war means continued severe economic depression for the masses of our people to the point where they will become desperate and join the military. This war means a police state will be elevated to 10 times the level that it is now. This war means Black women will fill up the prisons faster than the men, and Black men will be incarcerated at an even younger age.

I wonder why the Black women would fill the prisons?

Friday, May 07, 2004

Why no one cares about prison rape

Article about the frequency of prison rape, an often overlooked aspect of being sent up the river.


While hard data on sexual assaults in prison is not easy to find, and observers dispute the precise frequency, no one who knows American jails and prisons doubts that rape and sexual assault—usually perpetrated by other inmates but occasionally by prison staff—are facts of daily life. What is surprising is how easily the citizenry and the judicial system have come to accept the brutal reality of our prisons and absorbed it into mainstream culture.
Those old prejudices we all got............

I can understand that everybody wants their kids to be close to white so they don't have to worry about their kids self esteem issues and gettin' stopped by the stinky 5-0. But this is just B.S. in the hightest order! Like, for example, in this article on rap, this poster argues that Jay-Z might ruin Beyonce's "gene pool":

He seems proud to be with her (including his 'Dirt Off Ya Shoulder' video), but I can't picture them getting married. There are other celebrities I could see him with like Blu Cantrell who wants him. He's going to ruin Beyonce's gene pool and they're going to make okay looking children instead of gorgeous children - all because of him!"

She proceeds to ask, what do you think? I dont even want to dignify this internet foolishness with a response. Just that she's full of tihs.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Al Gore's news channel?

Al Gore saw how the media messed up his shot at the presidency, so I guess he now wants a peace of the action. He's going to pump news to an age group (18-35) which is the age range of the hip hop generation. Maybe he's not such a big dummy after all! Quotes:

Gore, along with business partner Joel Hyatt, said they had acquired Newsworld International from Vivendi Universal SA for an undisclosed price and planned to transform it into a network aimed at viewers ages 18 to 35.

This is not going to be a liberal network or a Democratic network or a political network in any way shape or form," Gore said during a news conference.
Streets of DC aint no joke; culture of violence

Apparently there was a random shooting which claimed the life of a child. Sad. In the world of hip hop you got the random over the top cartoon violence, but this is the reality behind all that. Quotes:

"There is a culture of violence and attitude that exists among many people that leads to violence we've been witnessing," said Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey. "There really is no explaining this."

"It is hard to imagine how the parties responsible for this horrific crime could become so indifferent, so incapable of appreciating the gift of human life," the mayor said.

"We need better resources so our kids have something to do instead of hang out, chase each other around and shoot each other," Johnson-Bey said. "All kinds of resources in this country are going to the war when we have terror right here on our own streets."

Monday, May 03, 2004


Movie about a "Real Nigga Who Refused to Fail" done by Mario Van Peebles. A sequel to his Dad's classic "Sweet Sweetback's Badass Song"?
P Diddy for President?

This writer seems to think that P Diddy has what it takes to be president, that he's "savvy enough to be a Republican", and that he can market himself better than Bush and Kerry ever could.

P Diddy the first black president? I dunno..... I guess it would be kinda cool to have a president who "remixes" his speeches. Bad Boy, baby!
Farrakahn killin' it

Minister Louis Farrakahn gave a killer speech titled "Guidance to America and the World In A Time of Trouble" In it he addressed the war in Iraq, the whole thing about the prisoners, and I know its sure to piss more than a few white folks off! He said that hip hop was "awesome" and that he hopes that hip hoppers would rap about more significant things than what they have been rapping (ie bling bling type stuff). He also suggested that if he did a Million Man March, it would be something where action would be the outcome, but I really didn't get the impression, though the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March is coming next year.