Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Al Sharpton's the man!

With the numbskulls who seem to be able to pass themselves off as presidents throughout US history, I think that Al would have done just fine. He did a good job entertaining on Saturday Night Live. He sang, and he was just the life of the party. I'll never forget when that other candidate, Joe Lieberman, said he would do the show, but he'd either have people snoozing, or laughing at him, not with him. I look forward to Al's new reality show.

Bored with commercial rap?

Check out Blackman Preach!

From the site:

The State of the Ghetto Address is a spoken word album that fuses Hip-Hop sensibilities with the Black Arts/ Black Power Movement legacies. Listening to The State of the Ghetto Address, you will see why he is not only a poet, but a leader in the poetry movement of Minneapolis, who has worked to help other poets and gain support for the art form that continues to gain popularity across the country.

The Hip Hop Convention

The Hip Hop Convention seems to be drawing some positive publicity, but I heard the attendance was no more than like 200. Just 200? I can see that, because it will take alot of work to make this something that hip hop fans will think is cool, and for the mainstream to actually think this is a serious thing.

Tupac's got the right wing mad!

The right wingers are all to forgiving of their flawed icon Rush Limbaugh, but when it comes to Tupac, they want to condemn him to Hell, and tell you that children shouldn't be reading his poetry. They only find literary value in stuff like Robert Frost, Edgar Allen Poe, and Shakespeare. Poetry slams, spoken word? For the birds, they say.

In the ultra-right wing World Net Daily, they go into this whole tirade of how the teachers are too lazy to teach, and how its wrong for children (who will hear his music anyways) to listen to his music. I guess they want to replace Tupac as a role model for many, and he is a role model to alot of youths black, white, hispanic and Asian, and replace him with another positive role model-perhaps Rush Limbaugh?

Joking aside, I think that this should be the subject of many more debates, like the acceptance of somebody like Tupac. Most conservatives will say that he is a drug dealer, murderer, thug, rapist, sexist, and so on. However, this because of the fact that he was a rapper, and put his lifestyle out there for the world to see. You read enough, and you will find the dark side to all poets. I mean, after all, thats why they are poets, because they are weird, odd, and different. Not many poetry buffs will be interested in the dull musings of some button down 9-5 average joe.

Then, another argument would be the validity of his work being considered anything of literary merit. Thats a funny argument, because who is too say that the four lines of "Nothing Gold Can Stay" by Robert Frost is anymore valid than anything Tupac writes? Poetry is always changing an evolving, and so why should teachers push the poetry of somebody who lived 100 years ago for somebody who is part of the current generation. Also, just because its not something you like does not mean you can easily dismiss it.

There should be balance, but in a nutshell, the conservatives dismissing Tupac will only increase his allure. Don't they know that most children crave the forbidden?

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

My baby Christina Milian!

I'm going to miss the BET Awards tonight, because I have to go to a class I am attending. It will be on at 8 o'clock tonight, and I wont get home probably until 10 o'clock. I could've recorded it, but its really not all that crucial for me. I'll wait, after all, they repeat the show like 20 times before they stop showing it at all.But, my girl is gonna be there, and Im going to miss it. Damn.

Available Today!

Get Slum Village's "Detroit Deli" at Amazon!
Read the review on the All Music Guide.

Also, today that highly anticipated Lloyd Banks release s well. Check out the review on the All Music Guide. I guess a lot of people are excited about it and will buy it, but I dunno,I'm not catching the wave.

I think instead, I'd rather buy Mr Complex's latest album "Twisted Mister". He's the best MC most have never heard of.

Also, Lil Wayne on why he said he's the "best rapper alive."

Monday, June 28, 2004

Pick CD of the Day.

Get Jadakiss's "Kiss of Death" at Amazon!
Baller Status review
Hip Hop DX review
Boxden message board thread on album
Police Brutality

I've been hearing about this police brutality incident in Los Angeles. The following is an article on the relationship between the black community and the police in LA due to the incident.
I got this off the LA Times.

Beating of Black Suspect Puts Bratton's Race Inroads to Test
By Jill Leovy
Times Staff Writer

June 28, 2004

The televised police beating of a black suspected car thief last week will test two years of efforts by LAPD Chief William J. Bratton to win over the city's African Americans.

But it also strikes at Bratton's deeper and more ambitious agenda: fixing America's race problem by fixing its crime problem.

"What is it that keeps this country so on edge?" asked Bratton. "It's race."

Putting his theories on race relations into practice is one of the reasons he came to the Los Angeles Police Department, Bratton said. He sees race and crime as "two seemingly intractable problems in American society, inextricably linked."

Since taking the job in the fall of 2002, the chief has attended barbecues and basketball games in black neighborhoods and held meetings in church basements. He has talked with unusual bluntness about such painful issues as black-on-black crime, and historic mistreatment of African Americans by police.

Many black community leaders — overcoming wariness and ambivalence — have answered Bratton's call, often at considerable political risk.

They gambled on the sincerity of a white police chief from the East Coast. Now, in the wake of Wednesday's beating of Stanley Miller, many of these leaders stand in an uneasy truce with the LAPD, waiting to see whether their trust was misplaced.

"Black leaders have really put themselves out on a limb with Bratton," said the Rev. Norman Johnson, executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's Los Angeles chapter. "To the degree that he demonstrates toughness in holding a line with his officers, he will justify the commitment that has been made. If it turns out that it's the same old rhetoric, then we will feel betrayed."

Miller was tackled by LAPD officers after a 28-minute car chase and was then hit 11 times by a flashlight-wielding Latino officer, John J. Hatfield, as cameras rolled. The incident has prompted an investigation, and on Saturday, Bratton announced that he would review the LAPD's policy on use of flashlights.

The beating is a pivotal moment for Bratton — not just for his leadership, but in his personal goals. Although he is famed for his bold promises on crime — L.A. homicides fell sharply in his first year, as he predicted — true success for Bratton means being seen as a progressive on race.

Bratton believes that Los Angeles is a crucial testing ground. Although Latinos are a growing majority and African Americans are now just 11% of the population, the city is still trying to overcome its historic white-black tensions, he said.

Read the rest at The LA Times (registration required)

Gang Culture

The following I took from an intersting article about gang culutre in North VA. In DC its a similar case from what I observe of the Latino gang culture: especially the LA influence.

Hayner told his parents that the teachers were picking on him because he was Hispanic. His parents wondered whether he was right. Unable to speak English and with little education themselves -- Hernandez is illiterate -- they tuned in to America through the big TV in their living room, where Spanish-language programs mentioned such discrimination. And as a cleaning woman at a school, Maria Isabel had had plenty of teachers look right through her.

Flores gradually assumed a new identity. He donned the Dickies twill work pants favored by his MS-13 friends, and looped a plastic rosary around his neck, acquaintances said. He shaved his head. Tattoos climbed his arms -- a rose, praying hands, the number 13. Like most gang members, he was known by his nickname: Spike.

If Hayner had sometimes been lonely, Spike was never alone. Mara Salvatrucha -- which means "Salvadoran Gang" in Spanish -- is believed to have about 3,500 members in this area, a multinational band of Salvadorans and Hondurans and Mexicans and Nicaraguans and Bolivians, immigrants and the children of immigrants, police said. They are as young as 9 and as old as 35.

"It's like they're a very united family," said one teenage friend, who declined to give her name for fear her parents would punish her for associating with Flores.

Flores floated from one friend's house to another, at one point moving to an apartment on Edsall Road down the street from where paramedics would discover the machete victim, one friend said.

But MS-13 was more than a surrogate family. The group has been associated with violence since its founding in Los Angeles in the 1980s. Young men who had fled El Salvador's civil war banded together at that time to protect themselves from Mexican American and African American gangs. MS-13 later expanded to the East Coast and back to Central America.

In the Washington area, the gang's followers are initiated by being beaten up by other members, police and Flores' friends said. And the gang requires members to take part in vicious attacks, on rivals and on members who violate its rules.

"It's a group mentality. Some of the kids doing it might not be that violent," said Clausen, the former principal. But the gang "doesn't leave them much choice sometimes."

Gradually, Flores' world divided in two: his gang vs. others. He no longer could stay with his parents because rival gang members lived nearby, he told his parents. Trejo recalled driving Flores and a friend to a soccer field one day. Flores suddenly asked whether anyone had a long-sleeve T-shirt. They didn't.

Read the rest in the Washington Post.

Shaq is selling his house for $7.5 million. He can't rap, but he's got it made! The following taken from the LA Times.

Shaquille O'Neal, who has expressed a desire to be traded since the Lakers lost in the NBA Finals this month, and his wife, Shaunie, are putting their home in a gated community in the Beverly Hills area on the market at $7.5 million.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Non rappin' Shaq is crap!

Stick to basketball!
You know one of the things that pisses me off in hip hop is the fact that Shaq had a record deal. Next thing I know, I was house hunting today and was listening to WKYS 93.9FM, and they addressed this whole ridiculous beef between Shaq and Skillz.

Taken from

On a recent DJ Sickamore mixtape, Shaquille O'Neil seemingly takes time off from battling in the paint to take a few stabs at Virginia's own Skillz. Some speculate that Shaq is getting back at Skillz for calling him out in "Ghostwriter," a track on which the Virginia emcee blasts clients he's written rhymes for on the low.
Shaq opens the barrage of lyrics by spitting, "I don't care how mad your skills is you can't serve me" before adding, "I don't f#@$ with dubs either / you the 4th best from Virginia and guess what I don't f#@$ with scrubs neither / matter of fact I don't know what you look like / you be spitting metaphors like you a geek Canibus studio book type /...I be watching your little shows ni99a / crying about not being paid by my label, shut up, stop acting like a hoe ni99a..."

Now, who is Shaq to be dissing a real MC who called him out? Skillz shouldn't have even bothered; Shaq's "skillz" on the mic speak for themselves. He should've been practicing free throws instead.

And by the way, when will Skillz record come out? Trading all three of Shaq's CD's wouldn't be an even trade for one new Skillz CD.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

DC Caribbean Carnival

Damnit I missed it, but I used to go to the DC Caribbean Carnival to try to get pictures of scantily clad women. It'd be alot better to get a video camera, really up the ante a bit, but oh well, I missed it altogether.

Weekend Vibe

Im watching the Weekend Vibe show, and Im just wondering, does anybody watch this boring show? The only thing they accomplish is making hip hop boring and forcing you to go out and find something interesting to do, or watch Mad TV.

Maia Campbell

I picked up the chickenhead magazine Sister 2 Sister because it had an article about Maia Campbell. She was cute as a mug on that show "In the House" with LL Cool J. She was doing some serious drugs, and rumors that she slept with Fat Joe, Tyrese, some dude from 112, and a bunch of other cats was put to rest. Then she also goes and disses Megan Good, Reagan Gomez Preston, and some other industry girl, but then she compliments them. Its an interesting read.

Friday, June 25, 2004

The Cointelpro Papers

Buy The Cointelpro Papers at BlackElectorate!

Who Wanna Be a Millionaire?
ESPN story on The NBA Draft.

Get it? "White Chicks?"
MSN Online and E! Online review of the awful "White Chicks". (Sorry Keenan!)

Now Dick Cheney indecent?

Dick Cheney caught using the "f" word.

Damn, DMX, is it really that bad?

Help pay for DMX's legal costs and drug rehab. Buy "Grand Champ" at Amazon!

Though he hasn't been out of the spotlight that long, DMX seems to have pulled a Chi-Ali move already. I thought that DMX was going to retire, go to the mountains and retreat, and read his Bible, and would come back a new man. I guess I was wrong. I didn't think anything of Ja Rule's reference to DMX having a "drug problem" in his interview with Vibe, but turns out to be pretty serious. Like really serious. He was caught "impersonating an FBI agent" in a car jacking:

According to a criminal complaint filed in the case, Simmons tried unsuccessfully to force another motorist from his car in an airport parking lot, claiming he was an FBI agent.
Simmons and Hudgins are accused of subsequently crashing their SUV through the lot's exit gate, as Simmons yelled at the parking attendant: "Let us out. We're federal agents." They were stopped by Port Authority police a short time later.

According to Newsday, he appeared "zoned out".
Rapper DMX, who was arrested Thursday night at Kennedy Airport for allegedly impersonating a police officer, was hospitalized after he appeared "zoned out" and was acting disruptively, law enforcement sources said Friday.

And a search of his car turned up drugs:

A search of the vehicle belonging to the rapper and actor, whose given name is Earl Simmons, turned up a small amount of crack cocaine and the drug depocate, which is often prescribed for bipolar disorder, the sources said

All this in the midst of worldwide gigs and legal trouble with some company that makes canine clothes. Now, if he's got concerts to perform and legal issues to take care of, when would he have time to take part in a petty carjacking? Maybe there is more to this than imagined.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

DJ'ing is an art, Tommy!

Tommy Lee got thrown out of a club for being a sorry DJ. I don't exactly know why this is news, but the story is even on an Indian news website. It was on E!, which is pretty good at breaking stupid news.

Beastie Boys record sales

I just got paid so now I can buy the Beastie Boy's latest. It sold quite a bit but has'nt broken any records. I guess. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

News for June 23,2004

Now what's indecent?

Janet Jackson, the one who started this uproar! Psyche, I just wanted a reason to post this pic up. LOL.

The latest in the battle over "indecency", how will this affect hip hop? The debate continues:
Bill Would Raise Fines for On-Air Indecency

Lotsa Poor Losers?

I never went to Lollapalooza, but it was cool in like 1992 and 1993. Looks like the roster, including Morrissey, Sonic Youth and The Flaming Lips needs a headline rap act:
Lollapalooza Canceled Due to Poor Sales

Farenheit 9/11 indecent?

I'm looking forward to the movie Fahrenheit 9/11, no matter the rating:
Board Upholds R Rating for 'Fahrenheit'

Check out the BASS MUSIC in EMUSIC.COM!

Pic of the day

Melyssa Ford
Check her out on the cover of the new KING Magazine!
Image Source: Blaqueimage

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Buy Eric Sermon's latest at Amazon!

Hip Hop Convention in the News

Sources: ,

Hip-hop convention delegates approve political agenda

Improving education, criminal justice and access to health care are among the priorities
Sunday, June 20, 2004
Star-Ledger Staff
Reforming public education and the criminal justice system, improved access to health care and an end to economic disparities were among issues that topped the agenda created by members of the first National Hip-Hop Political Convention in Newark yesterday.
Reparations for black Americans, statehood for Washington, D.C., federal legislation mandating free, universal and "holistic" health care and a truth-and-reconciliation commission to examine human rights abuses by the United States are of the utmost importance to the hip-hop generation. That's what more than 500 delegates from 17 states, including California, Oregon, Nebraska and Alabama, decided. To become a delegate, a person had to register 50 voters.
People didn't believe you were going to come here today and make something serious," convention co-chairman Ras Baraka said to cheers of the crowd gathered in the gymnasium of Essex County Community College.
"There are people who said: 'We don't want a hip-hop convention in Newark because we don't want a freak fest on Broad Street,'" Baraka added.
There was dancing during the convention. Traditional African drummers signaled the start of the agenda voting and several women were inspired to dance in the aisles, including artist and activist Amina Baraka.
The vote drew Baraka's husband Amiri, along with pioneering rap artist Chuck D. of the group Public Enemy, often credited with reviving conscious rap. A performance from revolutionary rap group Dead Prez made the delegates rush the stage.
Organizers say the plan is for convention delegates and participants to take the agenda back to their communities and use it in the upcoming presidential election as well as in local and statewide races.
"You have to take what you learn here and do something with it," said Angela Woodson, of Cleveland, a co-national coordinator of the convention.
While organizers say they want the Republican and Democratic parties to listen to their agenda, the mere mention of President Bush's name at the convention sparked debate, sneers and sighs of disgust from delegates.
"The Democrats are having a convention in July. Unless they embody the national hip-hop political agenda, then we should withhold our vote," said New York City Councilman Charles Barron, a mayoral candidate.
The hip-hop generation is usually defined as 18- to 35-year-olds and multiethnic but mostly African-American and Latino.
During the last presidential election, the percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds voting was lower than the percentage of other age groups, according to David Bositis, a senior analyst at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a Washington think-tank that focuses on black issues.
Unlike the civil rights and post-civil rights generations before them that believed in the power of organizing tools such as unions, Bositis said members of the hip-hop generation are much more individualistic.
But the convention could be the start of something interesting with several years of work, he said, adding that Democrats will probably be most interested in listening right away.
"If you want to change policy or change the agenda, it's not like you snap your fingers and it happens. It takes time, energy and commitment. If they get a hearing with the Democrats, it's not like they'll get everything they want, but over time you'll build support for your agenda," said Bositis.
The lengthy process of adopting an agenda looked more like the creation of a national constitution. Starting off with a base document outlining five major issues: education, human rights, economic justice, health and the criminal justice system, state delegations met Friday night to decide what they thought should be added or deleted from the agenda.
Yesterday, delegates submitted 45 requests for changes to the national agenda. Each delegate would suggest the topic followed by a vote on whether to discuss the issue. After discussion, delegates voted on whether or not to adopt the changes.
The delegation from Florida was interested in voter disenfranchisement because of the ballot dispute of the last presidential election, said state chairwoman Alison Wiley, 21, of Miami. Dwight Wilson, 36, from Trenton, said the New Jersey delegation was concerned about the impact of drug sentencing laws.
Juan Saenz, 27, a delegate from Chicago, made a motion to amend the education agenda to include support of the Development, Relief and Education for Minors Act, pending before Congress. If approved, the legislation would allow undocumented youths to apply for residency if they graduate high school, are attending college or honorably discharged from military service.
The addition was approved after discussion.
"I believe this message of social justice needs to be opened up to other races and cultures," said Saenz who is Mexican. "Hip-hop is a byproduct of the black experience, but is now a molecule in everyone's soul."
Both M-1 and Sticman of the rap duo Dead Prez say they question the power of electoral politics to make change in this country. But the National Hip-Hop Political Convention also was about creating leaders and introducing new ideas and ways of doing things, they said.
"What's happening here is about change, viable options," said M-1.
"It's the quality of the vote that counts," said Sticman. "People always say others died for the vote, so why give it away?"

Music label mergers: consolidation continues

Text source: Guardian

Whether British music group EMI and Warner Music become one hinges on the detail of the ruling regarding the proposed merger between their bitter rivals.

Sony and BMG have been waiting since late last year for European regulators to decide whether they can merge recorded music arms. Competition commissioner Mario Monti finally told them last week he had decided to clear the merger after the commission concluded that there was not sufficient evidence of "tacit collusion". An announcement is expected by July 22.
The ruling on the Sony BMG merger is expected to cut the five big recorded music groups to four, but the question for EMI and Warner is whether four will be allowed to become three. Universal Music is the largest firm in the quintet, so it will be left out of the game.

Text source: Reuters

With the record industry soon to be fronted by a quartet, the backstage chatter has started about whether a trio might not make sweeter music.
BMG and Sony Music are poised to merge with the blessing of antitrust regulators, creating a clear number two to Universal in a four-horse field, leaving rivals EMI and Warner Music at about half the size and leading to fresh speculation among industry executives that they will renew talks to combine.

Merged Sony-BMG would be world's No. 1

Source: Chinaview

BEIJING, June 22 (Xinhuanet) -- Universal Music maintained its status as the world's market leader in 2003, but a combined Sony and BMG would have challenged its dominance, reported The Sony-BMG merger plan cleared a major hurdle June 17 when European competition commissioner gave his approval to the deal.A music industry trade group released market share figures that show BMG and Sony had an aggregate share of 25.1% in 2003.

Picture of the day

I just had to post this picture because Amerie is hot!

Today in Hip Hop/Urban History: Artists who had an influence on hip hop

1976 - "Godspell" opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 527 performances

1963 - "Little" Stevie Wonder (13) releases "Fingertips"

Text source: History of rock

Check out Stevie Wonder

Born Steveland Morris May 13, in Saginaw, Michigan. Stevie Wonder was placed in an incubator and given too much oxygen, causing permanent sight loss. Playing the harmonica at five, he started piano lessons at six and took up the drums at eight. Lula Mae Hardaway Wonder's mother was afraid to let the young boy out of house. Thus a brilliant musical career was launched. To pass the time of day, Wonder would beat on pot, pans,and any other surface that helped him keep rhythm with the tunes he heard on the radio. As he became proficient on various real instruments, he started playing at the local church and soon grew to be something of a neighborhood sensation. A child prodigy at an early age, Steveland sang like a seasoned veteran. After the family moved to Detroit word spread of the gifted Wonder. It would be only a matter of time until someone from Motown caught wind of this talented youngster.
Writing his first song at the age of ten, his musical talents were first recognized by Ronnie White of the Miracles, hear him at that age old playing harmonica for his children in 1961. White took him to Brian Holland who arranged an audition with Motown Records' Berry Gordy Jr., who quickly signed him to the Tamla label and named him "Little" Stevie Wonder. His first album, Little Stevie Wonder the 12 Year Old Genius made the child a huge star, and gave Stevie a number one hit with single "Fingertips," #1 pop and R&B hit. The following year he enrolled in the Michigan School for the Blind where he studied classical piano.

1959-“Along Came Jones” by Coasters peaks at #9

Coasters websites:


Coasters Website

Text source: Wikepedia

The Coasters were an American doo wop and early rock and roll group, evolving from The Robins, a Los Angeles based doo wop group. After The Robins signed with Atlantic Records (1955, after the massive chart success of "Smokey Joe's Cafe"), the group split up. Carl Gardner (tenor) and Bobby Nunn (bass) formed The Coasters.
The Coasters continued their association with the Robins' legendary songwriters, Leiber & Stoller. They soon added Billy Guy (baritone), Leon Hughes (tenor) and Adolph Jacobs (guitar), releasing their first single "Down in Mexico", a major R&B hit in 1956. In 1957, The Coasters crossed over with "Young Blood"/"Searchin'". This was followed by a dry period, and the group relocated to New York City. Nunne and Hughes left, replaced by Dub Jones (bass, of The Cadets) and Obie Jessie. Jessie was soon replaced by Cornell Gunter (The Flairs). This new line-up released "Yakety-Yak", which included King Curtis on tenor saxophone. The song was a huge mainstream hit, as was the follow-up "Charlie Brown". This was followed by "Along Came Jones", "Poison Ivy", "Shoppin' for Clothes" and "Little Egypt".

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Lil Wayne on 106th and Park?

It was funny to me how Lil Wayne said that he was the "greatest rapper" ever (besides Jay-Z, he implied)at the end of his performance on 106th and Park. He's cool and all, but the greatest rapper? I dont think so! I guess confidence is good.

James Cromwell, panther?

James Cromwell, the actor, was a Black Panther, and had something really positive to say about the Black Panthers aims and goals in this CNN article:

Well, the story goes like this: In the late '60s Cromwell, a self-described "bourgeois white boy," joined the radical Black Panther Party by becoming a member of "The Committee to Defend the Panthers." Their focus was to free 13 Panther members who had been jailed in New York on conspiracy charges.

"The goal of the government was to get all the leaders of the Black Panther Party in jail so that they could be killed systematically through prison violence, and that way they could stop what was a very powerful and evolving movement," Cromwell maintains. The Panther 13 were acquitted in 1971 after two years in jail; a jury found them innocent of all 156 charges against them.
Cromwell believes strongly that if given a chance the group, which inspired passion from friends and foes alike, would have changed the world for the better.
"I don't think we would have the kind of prison population now and what happens in this country with the gangs if the Panthers had been allowed to continue what they decided to do, which was basically empower black communities to take back their self control ... and reestablish the dignity of being a black person in this country," said Cromwell.

CD Pick:KMD's Black Bastards

This is a classic album! It was never really released at its time which was like 1993 or 1994, but its still better than a lot of the crap out thuurr...

Funkmaster Flex Car Show

Image source:
The Funkmaster Flex Car Show is 6/19 and 6/20 at the Atlantic City Convention Center in New Jersey. Check out the KING Magazine booth, ask for "Sexy Gwen", get her autograph, and tell her that Robert sent ya!

Today in Hip Hop/Urban History

6/19/1967 Muhammad Ali is convicted for refusing induction in US Army!

Image source: Warrior Boxing
Full explanation taken from
Ali held the WBA and WBC belts from 1964 to '67, when he was arrested for evading the draft. Ali, whose number came up in the selective service, refused to serve in Vietnam and said his religious beliefs precluded him from killing anyone. Following his arrest, his boxing license and the heavyweight title were stripped.

Ali waited outside the ring until the Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 1971. He regained championship status in 1974, when he took George Foreman to eight rounds before knocking him out. He held the title until 1978, when Leon Spinks did what no other boxer had: He won the heavyweight championship from Ali in the ring. Ali, however, regained the title in a rematch six months later.


Newark Race Riots July 1967

In the late sixties and early seventies, there was lots of tension in the inner cities. This tension due to racism in everyday life and especially the police led to what was called "civil disturbances". On this day in history, there were two such "civil disturbances." In 1969, state troopers ordered to Cairo Ill, to quell racial disturbances, and in 1971 the mayor declared a state of emergency in Columbus Ga racial disturbances. Im pointing this out not to justify them, but to point out how the mix of racism, heat, and frustration lead to these conditions in the urban areas in the late 60s and early 70s.


Friday, June 18, 2004

Article spotlight: Will the hip hop vote abandon John Kerry?

I just had to print this whole article again, and add in pics for emphasis. This article says alot about what I am trying to focus on. I missed the Hip Hop Convention, which I was suppossed to go to.

The article can be found at:

John Kerry
Image source OSO Politics.
Where Hip-Hop Votes
Will the hip-hop generation abandon Kerry?

By Dan LeRoy

John Kerry can claim to be "fascinated" by hip-hop. He can say he hopes to succeed Bill Clinton as our second "black president." But despite the naked pandering, Kerry has failed to connect with voters in the hip-hop generation — that is, according to the guy who invented the term. Author and activist Bakari Kitwana's take on Kerry's candidacy should be a sobering one for Democrats: Not only does it suggest a loss in November, it also forecasts the defection of young black voters from the party they believe has long taken them for granted.

Bakari Kitwana
Image source:
"Historically, just watching the constant and repeated disrespect that the Democratic party has offered us... I just don't think they're serious," says Kitwana, who also predicts that a "shift is coming" in black voting trends.

Kitwana's opinion isn't offered in a vacuum. This week, he'll preside over the first National Hip-Hop Political Convention in Newark, N.J. The planned gathering of more than 15,000 delegates, organized by Kitwana and several partners, seems unlikely to endorse the "anyone but Bush" theory that advises holding your nose and, if you must, voting for Kerry.

"There are people who are so disgusted with Bush that they'll do that," says Kitwana. "I'm not one of those people."

But Kitwana is also no conservative. A former editor at the hip-hop periodical The Source and author of the 2002 book, The Hip-Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African-American Culture — which gave a name to the group of 18 to 40 year olds who grew up as hip-hop culture took over the world, and which also provided the inspiration for this week's convention — he voted for Ralph Nader four years ago and endorses a radical agenda that includes "living wage" jobs, more government-subsidized college tuition, and opposition to globalization. Meanwhile, several of his scheduled convention guests — including members of the Black Panther revivalist acts Dead Prez and The Coup — offer verses from Chairman Mao's little red lyric book.

Dead Prez
Image source: Art Of Hip Hop

Image source: Rosarioeduca
The Coup's original cover for "Party Music"
Yet Kitwana's is an influential voice arguing that black voters shouldn't toss their support to Democrats for tradition's sake. "We get nothing back when we do that," he says. "Most young people think that's a waste of time, and would rather sit on the sidelines." And if that means helping steer enough votes to Nader to insure a Bush victory, Kitwana won't be heartbroken. "Both of these guys," he says of Bush and Kerry, "there's very little difference between them."

Conservatives would undoubtedly challenge that assertion, as would some other scheduled guests at the convention. Pioneering rap legend Kurtis Blow takes the old, pragmatic line, right down to the assumption that every hip-hop voter belongs to the donkey party.

Kurtis Blow
Image source: UK Fresh
"Kerry is a better candidate than Bush, and we have an obligation as Democrats to support him," says Blow, who at age 44 is an elder statesmen of the convention lineup. "We don't know what Kerry's gonna be like, but he deserves a chance. Bush has already had his chance, and we've seen what he did. We didn't vote that guy in in the first place."

But Kitwana, several years Blow's junior, doesn't share those Democratic allegiances. Kitwana is less interested in 2004 and more focused on developing local candidates to implement progressive ideas, as well as registering voters who actually plan to vote. He applauds the registration efforts of groups like Russell Simmons's Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, which claims to have signed up 12 million new voters, though he takes a cynical view of the numbers.

"When you register these people at's almost like a drive-by," he says with a chuckle. "You sign these people up and never see them again."

If the convention outcome mirrors Kitwana's thinking, Democratic fears about Nader's November impact could get a fresh boost. But Kitwana is also one of the lone black leaders willing to voice one of the party's worst nightmares: that Republicans will eventually succeed in wooing enough young black voters to break a decades-old Democratic stranglehold.

"I think there's a shift coming," he says. "And I would be surprised if Democrats get it before the Republicans do. Republicans tend to be a little bit more savvy when it comes to bringing new groups in and recognizing new groups."

Right now, that seems as much a fantasy as imagining John Kerry parsing Tupac's lyrics for deeper meaning, in the rumpus room of his Beacon Hill manse. But first things first: If enough hip-hop voters support Nader in a tight election, Kerry might have the free time to actually listen to the music he allegedly loves.

— Dan LeRoy might be the only conservative hip-hop writer in America. He lives in Connecticut

Image taken from Amazon.
Buy Bakari Kitwana's book "Why White Kids Love Hip Hop", soon to be released!

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Nicole Richie

Image Source:

The first time I watched that TV Show "The Simple Life",I didn't really take it as something I would follow. I've watched and followed some really dumb TV Shows, but this one show I could not possibly follow! Two dumb girls stuck in the country, how good could that be?

So, I was reading Jet and it had Lionel Richie in it, and they had it in the article about Lionel Richie's daughter Nicole was in the Simple Life. I looked at the picture, and I thought, damn she cute, I could see her being Lionel's daughter. I guess I didn't read the part that said she was adopted.

Today, I was sitting in the doctor's office reading Entertainment Weekly, and there was a picture of Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton sucking on lollipops. I accept that Paris Hilton is nothing but a bimbo, but Nicole Richie? And I can't deny it, but I said to myself, "Nicole Richie was one of those dumb girls?" I guess when I really looked I saw them looking like Pamela Anderson on a good day, but I really had to look to make that connection between that girl I saw in Jet with that girl I was seeing in that Entertainment Weekly picture.

Useless debates aside about Nicole's "blackness" or her identifying with being a "sista" or a "blonde bimbo", I guess its best to think that there is only one race: human. That sure does simplify things a bit.

LL Cool J's new album

Image source: Ad2in1

Taking a day off from work, I was watching the Showtime at the Apollo on TV One, and they show the repeats from back in the day. Sure enough, there was LL Cool J as a younster, performing "I Need Love". Funniest thing was when some girls rushed the stage, and he had to fight along with his bodyguard to get away from them, but he still kept on performing.

He has a new album coming out called "The DEFinition". He will be in my area in Baltimore on Friday (6/18) at the African American Heritage Festival, as part of a three-day lineup that also features Kanye West, Anthony Hamilton, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Cee-Lo and Gerald Levert

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Ludacris and Bill O' Reilly: The Beef Continues

Bill O' Reilly
Looks like Bill O'Reilly won't let it go; in his piece bluntly titled "Why is Atlanta Honoring Thug-Rapper Ludacris?", you can just feel the love that Bill and his guest have for the ATL MC.

YOUNG: Well, it's interesting. There has been very little coverage locally in the media about the Ludacris Day and June 7 being the day that -- I guess forever now June 7, 2004, will be Ludacris Day, very little attention given to that. But I find it interesting that we have some very -- you know, like well-respected historically black women's college in Atlanta, Spelman College (search), I know many of the viewers will be familiar with that institution, disinvited one of Ludacris' fellow rappers, Nelly, because his lyrics and the lifestyle that he was a proponent of was denigrating to women. So we have educated black women in Atlanta speaking out pretty clearly here.

On Hip Hop as a culture:

YOUNG: Well, I think that's probably right. I think the word got out, if you read the Internet traffic and the media that covers the hip-hop culture, it was a massive event, it was a big event, a very important thing for the hip-hop culture, because what it did was it put the veneer of respectability, the stamp of government approval on behavior that is denigrating to women and advocates violence.

Bill even throws darts at Method Man and Redman, referring to the sitcom coming out:

One footnote to this report. The FOX Television Network, which is located in Los Angeles, is putting on a sitcom starring two thug rappers. These are bad guys. And to be fair, I'm not going to watch FOX as long as this program is on the air. This has nothing to do, of course, with the FOX News Channel here in New York. -- That's [created by] the entertainment division.

"These are bad guys". LOL. This coming from a cheerleader of the current administration. But he's entitled to his opinion.

Deep quote from Chuck D's current journal entry:

But this urban radio has an excuse stating in essence that the black listening audience has little or no time to check out political issue or in the Fearless Four terminology 'Problems In The World Today' obviously when major issues arise, the community seems so distant from learning about them. Joblessness, homelessness,drug abuse,disease,along with the lack of control over education,employment,and enforcement have positioned the black community to the point of dire straits. You wouldn't know this While this is not anything new,i would suppose that the disconnect has now led to a zone of denial. Younger heads have not been privy to the legacy of the music because marketing departments figure they cant sell history to this demographic audience.

Today in Hip Hop/Urban History

Buy Sista Souljah's book "No Disrespect" here!
On this day (6/16)in 1992, Rapper Sister Souljah called Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton a "draft dodging, pot smoking womanizer. He had criticized her for suggesting that blacks kill whites because there's too much black-on-black violence.

Tupac Shakur born 6/16/1971

"Reality is wrong. Dreams are for real."
2Pac Legacy

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Drama: T Boz and Mack 10

Looks like the last time you'll see these two as a couple.

I remember they were hand in hand on some awards show a couple of years ago, the perfect example of the "cliche" hardcore gangsta rap star and the "R&B chick", but I accepted it, wrong as it looked. I remember on TV T Boz said she wanted a "corporate thug", so I was like, hey, whatever.

If we are to believe the report filed by T-Boz, Mack 10 is acting out the bad boy gangsta that he plays in his music. Or is he a for real "gangsta"?

According to court documents filed by Watkins, the rapper allegedly threatened to “smash her teeth down her throat,” then pushed her to the ground and choked her, on one occasion when she was trying to leave the couples residence with their daughter. The document states that on another occasion, he threatened to have her “erased.” The documents reportedly make no mention of adultery.

If these allegations are true, I would say that relationships require a full measure of maturity. Handling disputes with "Im going to have you erased." WTF? If you act that way toward your wife of all people, I'd have to say you got issues.

I've been wondering about Mack's "career", and it seems like in the day and age of the million dollar rapper, Mack just fell short. He just wasn't making any hits, his deal with Ca$h Money seemed to fall through, 1 album and thats it, he was rolling with Suge Knight, and that didn't amount to much, and he's on indie labels. Must hurt in a day and age when the cats you influenced are coming up, and you are washed up. T-Boz has a chance to get back on top if she goes solo, and closes the book on the TLC chapter of her life. All she needs is one hit, and it could work better than this marriage did.

First Snoop, now Mack 10. Guess gangsta and gentleman doesn't mix. Check out the report in USA Today.

The Beastie Boys

Pick up the Beasties "To The 5 Boroughs"

Looks like Im going to be going to the record store to get the Beastie Boys latest. I've been into the Beasties ever since I heard "Rock Hard" back in like '84. I was digging them because they seemed to mix all the 80's styles of music (rap, rock, metal, punk) and did each style equally well. They were good rappers and they could've went the route of being a punk band, but they did it so good that back in the day you just had to get their records; the 12 inch single, the tape, the vinyl, the CD. I can't seem to jibe with Eminem to well, who has a similar formula, but I will always be into the Beasties.

Today in hip hop/urban history

Ice Cube born on this day in 1969.

On 6/15/92, the hard core rap group Public Enemy breaks up after group member Professor Griff makes anti-semetic remarks. They would reassemble 2 months later.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Today in Hip Hop/Urban History

6/14/1988-The Fat Boys file a $5 million law suit against Miller Beer and Joe Piscopo for using their likeness in a Miller Lite "Rappin "Fats" Piscopo commercial.

I remember those commercials; they were corny as hell.
Hip Hop Philosophy?

Taken from Hip Hop Philosophy:

Self-respect is the foundation, direction and principle of purpose. It must be the principle of purpose, because without it, we are without purpose.
Our ‘purpose’ is the reason ‘why’, and the answer to the question ‘why?’.
‘Why?' is the first question asked by a child, when they are instructed, by an elder, or anybody, to do, or not do, something, because people, of any age, need a purpose in life. A reason ‘why’ they should do the right thing, and not the wrong thing. An understanding, or overstanding, of having a purpose in life, or a sense of their responsibility to The Creator, and it’s many blessings: life, love, water, food, air-oxygen, The Sun, solar system, the miracle of nature (sometimes called Mother Nature), and the miracle of creation (like childbirth).

Also check out Marcel Lee

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Venus Williams-a sellout?

People been calling Venus a sellout because she was kissing some white guy. I say they should leave her alone. I've seen the email go around, and when I find the source I will print it. But my wife told me that Venus been losing, and she was found kissing a white dude who wasn't too attractive. Im cool with her, and she seems to be going through the same criticism that Tiger Woods is going through being with the white model chick and losing games.
Smooth Girl Magazine

One of my favorite magazines is Smooth Magazine. I just picked up this last Friday (6/11) the latest issue, but it wasn't really an issue per se. It was their newest offshoot, Smooth Girl. It has pages of video chicks in nice outfits. Its kinda a counter to "For Black Men", and how they have the same kind of special issues. It should be at your nearest store; pick it up.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Post Soul Nation

Image taken from
Buy this book here!

I haven't gotten this book yet. I am in the middle of reading "Getting Away With Murder" by Richard Mahoney, a book that tells the story of FBI Agent John O'Neill who died in the 9/11 disaster, and the John Micheal Spann and John "Taliban" Lindh Walker incident that happened in Afghanistan. I also have a lot of other books on my plate, but Nelson George has written other good books like Hip Hop America and Blackface: Reflections on African-Americans in the Movies. He is a very good cultural critic. I will get the book and write about it when I find it.

Friday, June 11, 2004

What a miserable week!

Ray Charles RIP 1930-2004

Well, this week is finally over. Being here in DC, I was subjected to the Reagan funeral so much I just couldn't tune it out. Im not a fan of Reagan, and I was suprised when I found out one of my co-workers waited 4 hours to see his casket. The events and proceedings I pretty much ignored but they still got on my nerves, and this day was just so perfectly dreary and summed up this week very well. Thing was, even if you weren't a big fan of Reagan, the next thing that happens is you hear Ray Charles died. So, now all Americans who didn't care for Reagan couldn't escape feeling like crap!

Davy D put together some of the articles which were critical of the man but the ongoing debates about Reagan that I hear are all so indicative of how divided not only Americans are but how divided minorities are. It's just like how most Americans either love him and overlook the "controversies" such as the Iran-Contra scandal and go to the extent of deifying him, or they bring up those controversies and insist that the man was no good. It goes as far as asking what can Reagan critics who talk about "Central American death squads supported by Reagan" tell the 15 year American citizen from Nicrauga who insists that Reagan liberated his people? It's all pretty complicated, this divide.

Very indicative of this division was 2 calls to C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" televison showin which one black man talked about how detrimental Reagan's policies were to African Americans,how Reagan was against the MLK holiday, and how Reagan was against sanctions against the then apartheid regime South Africa. The next caller refuted the first caller, saying in essence that the caller needs to recognize that present day South Africa is corrupt, and that the caller needs to stop talking about how government policies hurt minorities and "pull himself up".

These are very debatable issues, involved controversies which involve research and a complex analysis of policy, history and research. In order to really understand the issues people would have to go beyond emotional outbursts and various cliches and slogans. But, in the post 9/11 world it seems like people are very emotional and seem to take very rigid stances. Yesterday, even the hint that a plane was not accounted for and was headed for the Capital Building had people running away from the Capital Building, frantic and in shock. It was revealed to be the plane of an ex-politician headed for the Reagan funeral. The incident to me shows how bent out of shape most Americans are, and this fear leads to the emotionalism and rigidity of most Americans today.

Oh well, I'm glad this week is over.
Stanley Crouch, you are lunchin'

Davy Crockett-the father of rap?

Stanley Crouch completely ignores the African American oral tradition dating back to slavery, and the interesting history of the oral tradition which includes such limeriks like "Stagolee" (otherwise known as "Stagger Lee", which became a classic rock song by Lloyd Price in the 50's), signifying(which includes the poem "The Signifying Monkey") and the art of the dozens (the tradition of cracking jokes about your mother which dates back to slave days).

He ignores everybody from Robert Johnson and other blues singers,the "Beat Poets" of the 50s, James Brown, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, The Coasters, Blowfly, Richard Pryor, The Last Poets, Gil Scott Heron, and Afrika Bambatta, and credits the beginnings of rap to Davy Crokett???????????:

The worst of the early figures in American popular art appeared between 1833 and 1856, in fictional tales growing out of the life of Davy Crockett. Like a gangster rapper, this folklore character had no sense of fairness and fought without any rules other than winning. This Crockett also bragged himself into exhaustion. He opened the way for rappers when, in an 1837 story in "Davy Crockett's Almanac" he said, "I can walk like an ox, run like a fox, swim like an eel, yell like an Indian, fight like a devil, spout like an earthquake, make love like a mad bull, and swallow a n----- without choking if you butter his head and pin his ears back."

So when you next see some gold-toothed Negro strutting with a microphone, cursing, bragging, expressing hatred for women, realize that he is not doing anything black at all. He has fallen for the lowest version of white culture and, like the ignoramus he is, has absolutely no idea about his roots at all. Just like Davy Crockett, he should be wearing a coonskin cap.

Stanley Crouch, you're a dumbass!