Tuesday, August 31, 2004

THEY'RE putting the hip back into hip-hop.

Andre 3000-chic elegance, but not a Republican.

The thug look is officially out - and urban music's trend-setting peacocks are ushering in a new era of chic elegance.

Usher, P. Diddy, Jay-Z and OutKast's Andre 3000, among others, cruised the red carpet at MTV's Video Music Awards Sunday night in an attention-grabbing array of raffish, tailored suits - and there wasn't a throwback sports jersey in sight.

"The game has changed," says Usher, who distinguished himself in pale blue.

"The classic look is coming back. Every time I step out the door, I try and make sure that I look as stylish and classic as possible."

In a surprising twist, female stars at the awards show struggled to keep up - but, frankly, were outclassed on the red carpet by their nattily dressed male counterparts.

Three-time award winner Usher, whose wardrobe is crafted by his personal tailor, Edgar Palmer Roy, told The Post a bright new era in hip-hop fashion is just dawning.

"Obviously it's important to be as classic as possible," Usher says.

"I am not afraid to wear light shades," he boasts, noting, "all the real gangsters wore pastel colors."

Vibe magazine accessories editor Rajni Jacques says "Rap is moving away from the down homeboy look.

"These guys are starting to grow up, and their sense of style is maturing. But also, they're no longer just rap artists, they're businessmen - and many of them want to work in the world of fashion."

P. Diddy (sporting a new Mohawk) and his pal Mase made quite an entrance dressing in perfectly contrasting black-on-white suits.

Soon, Diddy's fans may be able to dress like him too. Word is, the dapper rapper is bringing out a line of ready-to-wear suits before the end of the year.

Others who looked more like Rat Packers than rappers on Sunday night included Kanye West, who sexed up a natty black suit with a pink striped shirt and fat pink tie, and OutKast's Big Boi, who accessorized his black suit with a silver tie and diamond medallion.

White suits were everywhere - on new Miami Heat superstar Shaquille O'Neal, on Jay-Z (with a zesty orange tie) and on Ludacris (with a spashy tangerine shirt under his white suit).

Usher also wore white early in the evening, when he arrived at the awards in what he called a "simply sexy" suit with a fedora and canary-diamond earrings.

"He's great at pulling it all together," says Jacques. "The hat, the earrings, the chains - he knows how to glam it up without making himself look silly."

Andre 3000 - named the world's best-dressed man in the current issue of Esquire magazine - is typical of the new sophistication.

Esquire magazine fashion director Nick Sullivan, who oversaw the magazine's list - which also includes the Neptunes' Pharrell Williams - says the new hip-hop look is "flashy in a quiet way."

"The more sophisticated stylemakers are more about hand-tailored quality than the 'bling' luxury sportswear look," he says.

"Of course, this aesthetic has been around for hundreds of years. In a way, the quality of a handmade Savile Row suit from London is the original bling."

Source: New York Post

Also check out Hip Hop Slam Bush

Monday, August 30, 2004

The MTV Awards Mostly Abstain by the Biscayne

By Nekesa Mumbi Moody
Associated Press
Monday, August 30, 2004; Page C05

MIAMI, Aug. 29 -- Held for the first time in the city of skin, Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards were sizzling, energetic and colorful -- yet tame, by MTV standards.

There were no wardrobe malfunctions (sorry TiVo). Britney didn't kiss Madonna like last year -- or anyone else, for that matter (neither was at the blowout affair).

The most skin shown was from Usher, who preened in front of the camera bare-chested as simulated raindrops fell on his chiseled body during the opening performance.

Even Christina Aguilera was classy, dressed sexily yet demurely as she debuted a jazzy number, "Tilt Ya Head," with rapper Nelly. And the sometimes raunchy comedian Dave Chappelle even kept it relatively clean -- despite teasing that he wouldn't.

"It's the biggest mistake you made since Janet Jackson at the Super Bowl," he joked, alluding to the MTV-produced Super Bowl halftime flesh show that created a firestorm earlier this year.

There may have been plenty of sex appeal, but there was little shock appeal on hand, even though MTV was ready, using a several-second video delay for the first time. (The audio delay, used for years, was in heavy use during the hip-hop medley, which featured Lil Jon, Petey Pablo and Fat Joe.)

Still, MTV provided the already broiling Miami with even more sizzle as MTV brought its annual party to the city for the first time in the awards' 21-year history.

The change of scenery for the awards, typically held in New York or Los Angeles, helped raise the decadence level at the already raucous, celebrity-soaked affair, held downtown at AmericanAirlines Arena.

OutKast's vivid "Hey Ya!" -- perhaps best described as the old "Ed Sullivan Show" on acid -- won four awards, including video of the year. Jay-Z's "99 Problems," the most nominated video with six, also won four. The gritty black-and-white "99 Problems" depicts his own killing as a metaphor for his much-ballyhooed retirement, which has yet to happen.

"I felt like I was trying to push the envelope," Jay-Z, dressed in a dapper white suit and hat, said as he accepted a moon man for best rap video. "That was my punishment and this is my reward."

Usher won his first moon man as he took best male video for "Yeah!"

"This is my first time coming up here -- let me take my time with this," a beaming Usher said. "I'm so damned happy right now I don't wanna leave."

As usual, the awards were an afterthought to explosive performances and surprise cameos.

Alicia Keys gave a dramatic, soulful performance of her hit "If I Ain't Got You," buoyed by Stevie Wonder on harmonica. Moments later, she joined Wonder and Lenny Kravitz as they sang a classic Wonder hit, "Higher Ground."

The daughters of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry and President Bush made an appearance -- the Bush daughters on videotape -- to urge people to vote. Even the Rev. Al Sharpton made an appearance connected to voting -- not for the election, though, but for the Viewers Choice award.

There was also an appearance by uber-twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Mary-Kate, who recently was treated for an eating disorder, alluded to her ordeal before introducing Jessica Simpson:

"Thank you to everyone -- you have been very supportive for the last couple of months," she said.

It was one of the few subdued moments during the lavish night.

Usher and Simpson arrived on the red carpet not by car, but by luxury yacht. Simpson, glamorously attired in a white dress with a silver bodice, arrived with husband and "Newlyweds" co-star Nick Lachey in a 68-foot boat.

The biggest entrance, not surprisingly, came from P. Diddy. Dressed in a white suit and with a Mohawk haircut, he arrived on a towering yacht along with Ma$e, Naomi Campbell and Bruce Willis.

The scene outside the arena was frenzied before the show. Performers Ashlee Simpson and Jadakiss rocked an energetic crowd while stars walked the red carpet, showing off their fashions -- or lack thereof. Lil' Kim looked anything but, as she almost burst out of the skimpy top of her flowing dress.

The show, held a day before the Republican National Convention was to kick off in New York City, ended on a patriotic note, as red, white and blue balloons fell from the rafters and fans held "vote" signs during OutKast's closing performance.

Winners of last night's awards:

Video of the year: OutKast, "Hey Ya!"

Best pop video: No Doubt, "It's My Life"

Best rap video: Jay-Z, "99 Problems"

Best female video: Beyonce, "Naughty Girl"

Best male video: Usher featuring Lil' Jon & Ludacris, "Yeah!"

Best R&B video: Alicia Keys, "If I Ain't Got You"

Best rock video: Jet, "Are You Gonna Be My Girl"

Breakthrough video: Franz Ferdinand, "Take Me Out"

Best director: Mark Romanek, "99 Problems"

Best special Effects: OutKast, "Hey Ya!"

Best art direction: OutKast, Hey Ya!"

Best editing: Jay-Z, "99 Problems"

Best cinematography: Jay-Z, "99 Problems"

Best choreography: Black Eyed Peas, "Hey Mama"

Best dance video: Usher, featuring Lil' Jon & Ludacris, "Yeah!"

Best hip-hop video: OutKast, "Hey Ya!"

Best group video: No Doubt, "It's My Life"

Best new artist in a video: Maroon 5, "This Love"

MTV2 award: Yellowcard, "Ocean Avenue"

Viewers Choice: Linkin Park, "Breaking the Habit"

Source: Washington Post

Other news:

Rap-rock tour takes retro turn

Triumph for hip-hop at MTV Awards

A victory lap for 'Hey Ya!'

"Discover Hip-Hop"

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Aug 28-29-The Olympics, the RNC and the VMA's

RIP Aaliyah, she died this weekend in 2001

Today, I managed to miss three important events. I went home to East Hampton, CT where my father lives, and the ride back was all delayed and hectic. Travel up the East Coast is a bummer because of the Republican National Convention. Of course I missed the 2004 VMA's on MTV; I'll probably watch it at 11:30 tonite. I also didn't get to answer the question of the week; did Andre 3000 perform at the MTV VMA's or the Republican National Convention. Then there was the Olympics ending. I didn't really get into the Olympics and would have been totally oblivious if it wasn't for the girls in the various events with the tight shorts. Oh well.

But, Im going off to watch the VMA's, and I don't know if everybody is on the same page, but Aaliyah died on 8/28/2001. In this day and age of chickenhead divas who get much play at the VMA's, she is missed. She had it all, talent and looks. I miss not hearing her music.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Grokster Ruling Fuels P2P Battle

By Brian Garrity and Susan Butler
NEW YORK (Billboard) - The battle against Internet piracy could shift in earnest to Capitol Hill and further into the homes of individual consumers as the recording industry presses its legal case against peer-to-peer networks.
The industry promises that a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling -- which found that the operators of Grokster and StreamCast are not liable for copyright infringement -- does not mark the end of its litigation against the file-sharing services.
The Aug. 19 decision by the Ninth Circuit Court covers only one part of the case, and an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the ruling may be in the works.

A little more than a week after the decision, the Recording Industry Assn. of America expanded the scope of its litigation strategy against consumers. The RIAA filed 744 new lawsuits against individuals who upload music to file-sharing services.
Meanwhile, label executives and artist groups are stepping up their demand for federal anti-P2P legislation like the proposed "Induce Act."
"This ruling underscores the need for legislative solutions, and it points out the need for enforcement against individuals engaging in file sharing," says an executive on the corporate level at one major label.
In its latest round of lawsuits, the RIAA extended its list of targets to include users of a new generation of networks like eDonkey.
"Just as enforcement strategies for street piracy adapt with changing circumstances, the same goes for combating piracy online," RIAA president Cary Sherman said in a statement. "We are adjusting and expanding our efforts to target illegal file sharing on additional platforms like eDonkey and others."
RIAA general counsel Steve Marks cautions that the ruling does not clear the users of P2P networks to engage in copyright infringement.
"The underlying activity of uploading and downloading files is direct infringement, and we will continue enforcement against individual users," he says.
The ruling potentially casts a long shadow over the recording industry's ability to beat "decentralized" P2P networks in court.
RIAA lawyers say that not only is the decision precedent-setting, it promotes file trading by supporting the argument that there are substantial non-infringing uses of P2P technology.
Carey Ramos, an attorney for many of the music publisher plaintiffs, says a petition will be filed with the U.S. Supreme Court. But still to be decided is whether they will first seek reconsideration by the Ninth Circuit Court. That decision will be made in the next few weeks.
"It's a matter of timing," he says.

Meanwhile, the Induce Act (bill S. 2560) would enable artists and labels to sue P2P networks that profit by "inducing" consumers to share protected copyrighted works illegally.
While members of the electronics and Internet communities oppose the bill, saying it would snare innocent parties and stifle innovation, sentiment for the Induce Act clearly is building among copyright owners.
Evan Medow, CEO of independent publisher Windswept Pacific, says that while the Grokster decision is clearly a setback for the industry, it could "serve as an impetus to pass the legislation."
Not all artist representatives share that enthusiasm.
Attorney Ken Hertz, a partner with Goldring, Hertz & Lichtenstein, says that attempting to thwart P2P technology will only encourage its proliferation.
"The decision is going to force record companies to consider that an arrow is gone from their quiver in their attempt to fight a battle they can't win," he says.


Also check out:

Rapping the vote: the Former Public Enemy front man on the political power of hip-hop.

With the issue of Beenie Man and his homophobic lyrics, I truly believe the fight needs to be led by black people. I am not saying that other people don't enjoy reggae and hip-hop, but at the end of the day, the majority of reggae and hip-hop consumers are black.

Hip-Hop Fridays: Which Way Hip-Hop Vote? Three Perspectives From Hadji Williams, Bakari Kitwana, and Adisa Banjoko

Thursday, August 26, 2004

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has filed 896 new lawsuits against file traders using peer-to-peer (P-to-P) services, the organization announced Wednesday.

Wednesday's total includes 744 new lawsuits against users of a variety of P-to-P services, including Kazaa, eDonkey and Grokster Ltd. The RIAA filed an additional 152 lawsuits against people already identified in the litigation process who declined RIAA offers to settle their cases, according to the RIAA. Not including the lawsuits announced Wednesday, the RIAA has filed more than 1,500 lawsuits against alleged music uploaders since January.

The 744 "John Doe" lawsuits, against unnamed users of P-to-P services, were filed in Atlanta; St. Louis; Oakland, Calif.; New York; Austin, Texas; Covington, Ken.; Denver; Trenton, New Jersey, and Madison, Wis.

The RIAA's expansion of lawsuits to eDonkey users is an attempt to respond to "changing circumstances" in the P-to-P world, RIAA President Cary Sherman said in a statement. "Without a strong measure of deterrence, piracy will overwhelm and choke the creation and distribution of music," he added.

A July survey by Peter D. Hart Research Associates Inc. found that 64 percent of those surveyed believe it is illegal to make music from the computer available for others to download for free, while only 13 percent said it was legal, according to the RIAA. By a margin of 60-17, those polled were "supportive and understanding" of legal action against individual illegal file sharers, the RIAA said.

The RIAA did not disclose the perimeters of the survey.But P-to-P vendors continue to question the RIAA tactics. Instead of suing music fans, the RIAA should negotiate a way to pay artists with P-to-P vendors, said Adam Eisgrau, executive director of P2P United, a trade group representing five P-to-P vendors, including Grokster and eDonkey."Nothing's new," Eisgrau said of the new lawsuits. "The fact that the RIAA has the right to bring these lawsuits doesn't make them the right thing to do."Eisgrau called the lawsuits "highly unproductive." "These kinds of suits just can't be squared with a pathological refusal to so much as even discuss collective licensing proposals advanced by respected academics and economists across the country," Eisgrau added.

EDonkey owner Meta Machine Inc. has tried to talk with music labels about licensing music for the P-to-P service during the past six months, said Sam Yagan, president of the New York-based company. The lawsuits announced Wednesday are the first such lawsuits against eDonkey users to Yagan's knowledge, he said.Meta Machine is more concerned about the lawsuits' influence on those discussions with music labels than the potential negative effect on the number of eDonkey users, Yagan said."I thought, prior to today, we had been making some real progress with the labels and the studios," he said. "This comes as a total surprise. This is not the behavior of a business partner acting in good faith."


Other news:
According to media reports out of New York, rapper Sean "P. Diddy" Combs pulled out of Monday night's dedication ceremony in Cincinnati because first lady Laura Bush's handlers refused to let her appear on stage with him.

Mase and Buck Fight for a Strong Debut

Dupont Circle (in Washington DC) has national guard out there because of "all the violence" thats been going on as of late.... WTF is this?

Jacki-O: It's that Good!

Nervous Records Returns To Hip-Hop

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Hip Hop makes its way into south China

In north China, groups of brightly clad grey heads can often be seen performing graceful and lovely Yangge dance, a popular folk dance native to northern and northwestern China, to the accompaniment of high-pitched drumbeats and cymbals in parks, on squares or open grounds along roadside is ubiquitous.

In south China, however, the streets are often full of youngsters listening to popular hip hop music and "break dancing," an athletic and dynamic style of dancing favored by black teenagers in US cities in the 1980s.

At the stage erected in Chaoliu Plaza on the Tiyu East Road, Guangzhou city of south China's Guangdong province, under the scorching summer heat in the afternoon, 22-year-old Liao Zhiyang and two other young men danced fervently, rolling and headstanding, to the sounds of vibrant hip hop music, drawing applause and cheers from the crowd time and again.

The plaza is also a regular venue for weekend competitions among young street dancers from Hong Kong, Macau and elsewhere on the Chinese mainland.

"Hip hop is a cultural form that caters to young people, and it makes me feel energetic and carefree," said Liao, a sophomore at South China Normal University. Offstage, however, Liao seemed shy, gentle and graceful.

Liao said he had danced to hip hop for three full years. "I love the strong rhythm of hip hop music and the state of self appreciation," noted Liao. "Hip hop makes me sunny, confidant and full of vigor."

Hip hop has evolved from urban street singing in the United States into a larger culture that encompasses not only music, but clothes, basketball, skateboarding and other activities, said Chen Jijing, deputy head of Guangzhou Municipal Institute for Research on Juveniles in Guangdong province, Hong Kong and Macau.

Hip hop culture spread to Asia in 1990s and has become very popular in Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Taiwan. Considered an embodiment of fashion and representative of consumption trend, hip hop has also taken root in China and quickly found favor with young Chinese under the influence of cultural shock from ROK.

Wearing yellowish hair matched with a baseball cap, and sporting a variety of jewelry, including several necklaces, bracelets, a baggy T-shirt and a pair of sports shoes, Peng Jingtong, a member of the Guangzhou Youth Cultural Palace and also a hip hop dancer, is eye-catching.

"I am not a typical member of the 'hip hop generation,' as I do not have pierced my ears, nostrils or navel," noted Peng, who acknowledged that girls often got hurt in learning street dance.

"But it is indeed a challenge. We would like to mix Chinese Kungfu into hip hop during the process of study and practice, and we will have a sense of accomplishment whenever we master a difficult move," added Peng.

Deng Ying, a woman graduate student of medical sciences, said that on the surface, hip hop is just a combination of several trendy elements, including wearing trendy garments and stylish make-ups, but she was attracted to it for it is innovation and free spirit which are difficult to find with the conventional life.

Along with several of her friends, Deng operates a street dance center named "All Steps" in Guangzhou where youngsters can learn street dance including hip hop. The center also stages street dance shows outside Guangzhou on invitation.

"As long as we don't bother others, we can express ourselves by indulging in hip hop openly in disregard of others' supercilious looks," said Deng, who has danced hip hop for five to six years.

Chinese society seems to be more tolerant of new emerged things such as hip hop thanks to the opening-up drive over the past two decades.

Li Minghua, chairman of the Guangzhou Federation of Social Sciences Community, holds it is natural for young Chinese to embrace hip hop in the wake of economic globalization.

Zeng Jinhua, head of the Guangdong Provincial Juvenile Research Center, said the emergence of hip hop among young people showcased a development in cultural diversity and would surely exert influence on the country's mainstream culture.

Chen Jijing, deputy head of Guangzhou City Institute for Research on Juveniles in Guangdong province, Hong Kong and Macau, said that as a sub-culture for young people, hip hop meets youngsters' wish to challenge tradition and pursue the ego, and offers a unique stage and opportunity for young people to express themselves.

"Young people resort to hip hop to vent their dissatisfaction with the adult society, the family and the school, alleviate psychological pressure laden on them, and to fulfill the aspiration that cannot be realized in formal occasions," Chen said.

While acknowledging hip hop's positive impact of injecting vitality and life onto the mainstream culture, Chen urged the hip hop generation to show restraint toward personal spending in dressing themselves up and to avoid extravagance.

Source: Eastday

Other stuff:

Increasing numbers of schools across the US are giving in to virtual blackmail.They're allowing the entertainment industry to turn their institutions into marketing and distribution outlets, and school police units, to protect students from being sued - by the industry.

Composers Inspired by Hip-Hop

Nelly, Jadakiss Boost Biggest Hip-Hop Summit Yet

From hip-hop to punk, musicians are urging students to vote

I was both shocked and amazed by Bakari Kitwana's piece about Hip Hop NOT voting for Kerry entitled "Why We (Hip Hop) Shouldn't Vote For John Kerry". I understand his frustrations with the Democratic party. But to vote for Bush is political suicide.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Md Lt Gov. Addresses Hip Hop Summit

Maryland Lieutenant Governor, Michael Steele, addressed the Hip-Hop Summit in Saint Louis on Friday.
The event, organized by the nonpartisan Hip Hop Summit Action Network, attracted more than five-thousand people.
Hip Hop Mogul, Russell Simmons is head of the organization.
A variety of entertainers took part in the event educating young people about the importance of voting.
Hip-hop stars including rappers Nelly and Jadakiss encouraged the audience to register to vote.
Singer Anthony Hamilton encouraged participants to look at how voting or not voting impacts their community.


I'm a little curious about Pitbull because he's Latino, and I like Latino/Hispanic rappers. You can get his CD at Amazon when it is released tommorow.SOHH, Ballerstatus, and AZ Central all have stories about Pitbull. His website is Pitbullmusic.com.

Other Stories and internet plugs:

Music Piracy Lawsuits Wend Through Courts

Usher: I Have No Beef With Timberlake

Simmons' Hip-Hop Summit Hits St. Louis

Check out G-Unit's website.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Hip Hop Concert breakdown

I missed out on the Usher concert last night; didn't even know it was going on in my area (Washington DC). So, here is my way of being on top of all the shows in my (and your) area:

Bone Thugs N Harmony
Thu, 09/16/04 07:00 PM House of Blues Sunset Strip Hollywood, CA Fri, 09/17/04 07:00 PM Ventura Theatre Ventura, CA
Sat, 09/18/04 07:30 PM House of Blues Anaheim Anaheim, CA

Fat Joe
Fat Joe Thu, 8/26/04 08:00 PM Beacon Theatre New York, NY
Sat, 09/04/04 11:00 PM Hard Rock Live Orlando, FL
Sun, 09/12/04 8:00 PM Congress Theatre Chicago, IL
Thu, 09/23/04 9:00 PM Cumberland County Civic CTR Portland, ME
Sat, 09/25/04 7:00 PM The Liacouras Center Philadelphia, PA

Funkmaster Flex Celebrity Car Show
Sun, 09/05/04 1:00 PM Bicentennial Park Miami, FL
Sat, 09/11/04 12:00 PM The Liacouras Center Philadelphia, PA
Sun, 09/12/04 11:00 AM The Liacouras Center Philadelphia, PA

Gorilla Pimp Records / C&B Adventures Presents....
"The Fall Classic" on the Cornucopia Princess
Music by DJ Ice & DJ Luv is Luv
Sat, 09/25/04 12:00 AM Perth Amboy, NJ
T icket Contact: Crystal (908) 296-4087

Fri, 08/27/04 8:30 PM House of Blues Myrtle Beach, SC
Sat, 08/28/04 07:30 PM House of Blues Orlando Orlando, FL
Fri, 09/03/04 7:00 PM Convocation Center Coral Gables, FL
Fri, 09/10/04 7:30 PM Towson University Towson, MD
Sun, 09/12/04 8:00 PM Congress Theatre Chicago, IL

Kanye West
Sat, 08/21/04 8:00 PM Continental Arena East Rutherford, NJ
Sun, 08/22/04 7:30 PM Fleetcenter Boston, MA
Wed, 08/25/04 8:00 PM Schottenstein Center Columbus, OH
Thu, 08/26/04 8:00 PM Csu Convocation Center Cleveland, OH
Mon, 08/30/04 8:00 PM Staples Center Los Angeles, CA
Thu, 09/02/04 7:00 PM Staples Center Los Angeles, CA
Sun, 09/05/04 8:30 PM Mandalay Bay Resort Las Vegas, NV
Thu, 09/09/04 7:00 PM Target Center Minneapolis, MN
Fri, 09/10/04 8:00 PM Allstate Arena Rosemont, IL
Sat, 09/11/04 8:00 PM Palace of Auburn Hills Auburn Hills, MI
Fri, 09/17/04 8:00 PM FedExForum Memphis, TN

Lil Flip
Sat, 08/21/04 8:00 PM Power 99 Back To School Jam
The Liacouras Center Philadelphia, PA
Fri, 10/01/04 6:00 PM Albuquerque Convention Center Albuquerque, NM

LL Cool J
Fri, 08/27/04 7:00 PM Dream Washington, DC
Sun, 09/05/04 7:30 PM LL NY State Fair Syracuse, NY
Mon, 09/06/04 7:30 PM LL Pepsi Arena Albany, NY

Snoop Dogg
Thu, 08/26/04 7:30 PM Peoria Civic Center Peoria, IL
Sun, 08/29/04 7:30 PM Pershing Center Lincoln, NE

The Roots
Thu, 09/16/04 7:30 PM House of Blues Chicago, IL
Thu, 09/30/04 8:00 PM Trocadero Philadelphia, PA
Mon, 10/18/04 7:00 PM Earthlink Live Atlanta, GA
Thu, 11/11/04 7:00 PM Andrews Hall Detroit, MI

Sun, 09/05/04 7:30 PM LL NY State Fair Syracuse, NY
Mon, 09/06/04 7:30 PM LL Pepsi Arena Albany, NY
Fri, 09/10/04 7:30 PM Towson University Towson, MD
Fri, 10/01/04 9:00 PM Twista The Electric Factory Philadelphia, PA

Sat, 08/21/04 8:00 PM Continental Arena East Rutherford, NJ
Sat, 09/11/04 8:00 PM Palace of Auburn Hills Auburn Hills, MI
Fri, 09/17/04 8:00 PM FedExForum Memphis, TN
Sun, 09/19/04 8:00 PM Kemper Arena Kansas City, MO
Thu, 09/23/04 8:00 PM American Airlines Arena Miami, FL
Fri, 09/24/04 8:00 PM ST Pete Times Forum Tampa, FL
Sat, 09/25/04 8:00 PM Jacksonville Veterans Arena Jacksonville, FL
Thu, 09/30/04 8:00 PM Usher Charlotte Coliseum Charlotte, NC
Fri, 10/01/04 8:00 PM Usher BI-LO Center Greenville, SC
Sat, 10/02/04 8:00 PM Usher Philips Arena Atlanta, GA
Sun, 10/03/04 8:00 PM Philips Arena Atlanta, GA
Wed, 10/06/04 7:00 PM Usher Mellon Arena Pittsburgh, PA
Fri, 10/08/04 8:00 PM Usher Hartford Civic Center Hartford, CT
Tue, 10/12/04 7:00 PM Usher Pepsi Arena Albany, NY

Also, check out:

USHER "Confessions" Arista KANYE WEST "The College Droput" Roc-A-Fella Records

Beyonce might want to consider insuring her long, luscious mane from unforeseen coif catastrophes, because it's worth about $47 a strand.

Shyne Loses Phone Privileges

Is this really Kelis?

No more of Mase's "S.A.N.E. Ministries"? Notice that the website has been taken down.

John Kerry will win, but so what?

Friday, August 20, 2004

Andre 3000 performing at the Republican National Convention?

Andre 3000-reppin' the GOP?

Checking the BET Message Board, I came upon a posting which made me really curious:

Many fans are in disbelief as Dre of Outkast, has plans to perform at the GOP convention in New York City. On Sunday, August 29th, Andre will be shaking it like a poloroid picture for the Republican party.

Could it be that this is the Republican's way of reaching for that so-called "hip hop vote"? Have they been watching Russell Simmons, P Diddy and BET and taking notes? I could think that this is such a contrast from the days when Bob Dole and George Bush Sr. made negative comments about hip hop in their campaigns. Has hip hop gained that much clout to be showcased at the Republican convention? If so, what's up with Andre 3000 getting in the mix?

Now, the thought of Andre 3000 performing "Hey Ya" to an audience of excited and hyped up Republicans is funny to me. The Young Republicans would get loose and do the "Harlem Shake", the older Republicans wouldn't know what to do, or they'd be twisting and doing "the bump" in the ailes! LOL. Then you'd have your rap haters, Bill O'Reilly, and the Religous Right who just wouldn't know whats going on or who would hold their ears in disgust. Makes me want to watch at least this night of the RNC, to see the responses of the audience!

I did a little research and found some links which explain what Andre would be doing at the RNC. In this site, I found this statement:

Declare Yourself brought its acclaimed Spoken Word Artists, DJ and Beat Boxer to the Democratic National Convention in Boston, as well as an original copy of the Declaration of Independence. Additionally, in partnership with Declare Yourself, Andre 3000, a first-time voter, covered the convention with a documentary crew to chronicle his political journey. Declare Yourself and Andre 3000 will also go to New York for the Republican National Convention later this summer. *

So, that makes me think he is doing work with Declare Yourself, a nonpartisan organization marketing the idea of voting. Okay, thats cool, but its a long way from actually performing.

In the Washington Post I read this:

And, it turns out, both Mr. Diddy and Andre 3000 of OutKast (who were all over Boston with the Dems) have applied for credentials to shoot documentaries and TV specials from the convention. Their applications are "in process," the official revealed.

So, that further confirms that he will be more of an observer than he will be a participant or indirectly an endorser. I think that this tabloid like announcement in the AZ Central may have got the rumor started:

In another unholy union of politics and entertainment, first daughters Jenna and Barbara Bush are set to host the Republican National Convention's opening bash Aug. 29 in New York with André 3000, Stephen Baldwin, Barret Swatek (7th Heaven), Angie Harmon and hubby Jason Sehorn (St. Louis Rams) and Bo Derek, the New York Post reports.

Does it really matter? I don't want to get into all the political arguments, I just somehow can't picture this going down. If it does, I'll watch it, and tape it. I guess in the end we'll have to see just what the RNC planners have up their sleeve.

More stories:

Although Saul Williams' new self-titled full-length boasts shotgun lyrics like "White boys listen to white boys/Black boys listen to black boys/No listens to no one" and "Hip-hop is lying on the side of the road/Half dead to itself," the multitalented wordsmith nevertheless claims that he merely set out on his latest sonic journey to have a good time."

What will get those pesky kids to vote?

Political parties get creative.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Note: This is a major news item today!

Hip-Hop Mogul Wins Ruling on Lobbying Law

Wed Aug 18, 4:50 PM ET

By MICHAEL GORMLEY, Associated Press Writer

ALBANY, N.Y. - In a victory for hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, a judge declared part of New York's lobbying law unconstitutional Wednesday, ruling regulators don't give those facing possible penalties the right to be heard.

The state's lobbying commission was investigating Simmons and Benjamin Chavis, the former head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (news - web sites), for their roles in a June 4, 2003, rally against New York's harsh drug laws.

The commission contended the event was lobbying and that the two had to disclose how much was spent. Simmons, founder of Def Jam records and head of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, and Chavis have argued the rally was simply the exercise of free speech.

In their lawsuit, Simmons and Chavis argued that the agency determines guilt and levies penalties without giving defendants their due process.

Judge Bernard Malone agreed, ruling that two sections of the Lobbying Act violate due process rights by failing to give notice or a hearing prior to deciding on penalties.

Lobbying commission Executive Director David Grandeau said the ruling was "not a surprise."

"We've known for some time there were deficiencies in the act," he said. "Now, hopefully, the Legislature and governor will take the opportunity to fix the unconstitutionality of the statute."

Grandeau said the decision will stop anyone from being fined for failing to file disclosures for the Simmons-Chavis rally, which protested the Rockefeller-era drug laws that impose long sentences on drug dealers and users even for relatively small amounts of narcotics.

"We are extremely pleased," said James Featherstonhaugh, Simmons' attorney.

Featherstonhaugh, himself a prominent Albany lobbyist, said he hoped the decision would prompt the commission and the Legislature to work with so-called good government groups on a law that would assure disclosure on lobbying "while assuring free speech will be protected and people will be encouraged to approach the Legislature and make their views known."

The state Temporary Commission on Lobbying was created in 1981 by the state Legislature and requires semiannual financial disclosures of lobbyists on their spending to influence bills and lawmakers.

The commission has leveled fines against many targets, including $75,000 against the Philip Morris cigarette company and the New York Yankees, and $250,000 against developer Donald Trump and his associates

Taken from Yahoo! News.

Also check out the ABC News storyand Business

Other stories:

There are only supposed to be four elements of hip-hop culture — breakdancing, graffiti, deejaying and rapping. But the 3rd Annual Twin Cities Celebration of Hip-hop is gonna stretch that out a bit.

A former "mobb" rapper who kept it real with lyrics about fast hustles and homicides, T-KASH -- who raps for the East Bay hip-hop-agitprop outfit the Coup -- now grounds his authenticity in his ideals.

Hip-hop, R&B stars issue 'Wake Up Everybody' to get out vote

FORMER BAD BOY EXEC CHARGED: Feds say $1 million in drug money was laundered.

Play Spades on MSN!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Sony BMG Begins to Cut Work Force

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Sony BMG Tuesday offered either early retirement or voluntary severance to all eligible employees at the newly formed music giant, warning that future layoffs may not be accompanied by such generous terms.
More than 2,000 jobs at Sony BMG's worldwide operations are expected to be cut as the company looks to generate at least $350 million in savings following its Aug. 5 creation as a 50-50 joint venture between Sony Corp. and Bertelsmann AG.
Billboard magazine recently estimated the combined company had about 10,000 employees.
"We have designed these programs to offer you an opportunity to separate from Sony BMG with a favorable exit package that would not otherwise be available to you," Sony BMG Music Entertainment chief operating officer Michael Smellie wrote in a staff memo Tuesday.
"Please note that the new company is continuing to evaluate its work force needs, and that the benefits provided to employees in connection with any possible future reductions in our work force may not be as favorable to employees as the benefits provided under these programs."

A spokesman for Sony BMG declined comment

Taken from the Washington Post

Get R Kelly's latest at Amazon when it comes out!

Internet bits:

Mase to Diddy: Don't Dance in My Videos
Fahrenheit 9/11 to get DVD release before election
Lyrical Swords Vol.1 Deals With Hip Hop & Politics
Do We Need A Cure For Jungle Fever?
Dave Chappelle's Wild Ride
Tupac Assasinated By the Cointelpro?
Hoodlife on Emusic
St. Louis Hip-Hop Summit

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Rappers 'Targets' For Prosecutors For Song Lyrics

An inquiry into homophobia in song lyrics and within the media has been launched by police and Crown prosecutors. The targets include four rap / hip hop artist.
The crackdown on offensive material has been set up following a growing number of complaints to police about allegedly homophobic language.
As part of the review, the Crown Prosecution Service is re-examining the lyrics of four of the most famous Jamaican dancehall artists who are accused of using homophobic language, including calls to kill gays, to consider charging them with criminal offences.
There has been growing frustration within the police and gay communities that despite apparently explicit lyrics and comments that are clearly homophobic, there have been no prosecutions.
The Metropolitan Police's racial and violent crime task force last night met the CPS to discuss allegations of homophobic and threatening song lyrics by the four artists Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Elephant Man and Buju Banton.
The Association of Chief Police Officers is also drawing up a dossier on allegations of homophobia in the media, including newspaper articles, television and radio, and on websites. The joint inquiries aim to assess the scale of the problem and to establish what evidence is needed before a prosecution can be brought.
One of the main difficulties for the CPS has been to decide what constitutes freedom of speech and what is considered to be inciting a person to commit a crime of violence.
If a person or organisation is found to be using extreme homophobic language they could be prosecuted for inciting a number of offences including assault, actual bodily harm, and grievous bodily harm.
Gay rights groups have been particularly outraged by the 31-year-old artist Beenie Man, who real name is Anthony Moses Davis. In June, a concert in Hackney in east London was cancelled after he was stopped at Heathrow by detectives from Scotland Yard and questioned about lyrics such as, "I'm dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the queers".
Peter Tatchell, of the gay human rights group OutRage! said yesterday that his organisation had written to Virgin Records, and its parent company EMI, to protest over their signing and promoting of Beenie Man. The letter points out that four of Beenie Man's past songs urge listeners to "shoot" and "hang" gay people he abuses as "queers" and "faggots".
Mr Tatchell said: "Free speech does not include the right to encourage the criminal act of murder."
Boom bye bye inna batty bwoy head
Rude bwoy no promote no nasty man
Dem haffi dead
Send fi di matic an di Uzi instead
Shoot dem no come if we shot dem
Guy come near we then his skin must peel
Burn him up bad like an old tire wheel
(Shoot a queer in the head
Rude boys don't promote queers
They have to die
Send for the automatic gun instead
Shoot them, don't help them
If a guy comes near we pour acid over him
Burn him like a tyre wheel)

Taken from Rap News Direct

Get 213 at Amazon!
Article: Code 213 for hip-hop After all these years, Snoop, Nate and Warren G bring together their Long Beach sounds.

Odds and Evens:
Hip Hop group Arch Ryval set to release first single in states
Stabbing at G-Unit Concert (scroll down to read article)
Jay-Z To Head Def Jam?(scroll down to read article)

Monday, August 16, 2004

Hip-hop world congregates for battles and camaraderie

Scribble Jam
By C.E. Hanifin
Enquirer staff writer

With thousands of fans, performers and vendors from all over the globe crammed into Annie's on Friday and Saturday, Scribble Jam felt like an impromptu village square erected by an international community of hip-hop devotees.

The pungent scents of beer, grilled food and the aerosol paint wielded by graffiti artists permeated the air. Indie musicians and record label owners hawked their own CDs, hoodies and other wares. And whomping bass reverberated through the soles of the crowd.

For nine years, hip-hoppers have converged at the festival to catch performances by underground acts. This year's bill included the Living Legends from Los Angeles, Minneapolis rapper Brother Ali and local favorite DJ DQ's group, Glue.

The Scribble Jam events most responsible for accelerating the pulses of those in the mellow crowd this weekend, though, were the battles. DJs, MCs, breakdancers and practitioners of the human beatbox duked it out for dominance during two days of ferocious competition.

Here are some highlights from the battles royale and the other Scribble Jam festivities:

Old school vs. new school: As part of his bid to win the DJ battle finals on Saturday, DJ Brace spun a snippet of OutKast's ubiquitous radio hit "Hey Ya!" His opponent, Skratch Bastid, grabbed the spotlight with Parliament's funkadelic classic "Flash Light," then segued into Pink Floyd's "The Wall."

O, Canada: Hollering good-natured epithets during each onstage showdown was de rigueur for the crowd. But they honored the DJ battle's victor for the second year in a row, Skratch Bastid from Nova Scotia, with a different sort of exclamation - cries of "Eh!" (Could Canada be the new Compton? Brace hails from Winnepeg.)

War and peace: During Saturday's fierce b-boy finals, the two competing crews of breakdancers, Motion Disorders from Milwaukee and Chicago's Style Rebels, got in each other's faces, shouted jeers and, at one point, started pushing and shoving. The moment the music stopped, though, the rivals shook hands and hugged. The goodwill even survived through the announcement that Motion Disorders had taken the prize for a fourth year.

Getting it off their chests: The most cantankerous T-shirt slogan was "Hip Hop Sucks Because Of You!," available in burgundy, khaki and black - XXL, of course. The most amicable greeting? A baby T inscribed with "I know you got soul.," worn by Michelle Lukmani, 21, who drove from Fort Wayne, Ind., to attend her first Scribble Jam with her boyfriend Yox Villavicencio, 23, a veteran of the b-boy competition.

Worth the drive: Black Pegasus' trip to Scribble Jam, like many festivalgoers, entailed a really long car ride. The MC (whose birth name is Robert Houston II) and three of his buddies packed into a Grand Prix for an 18-hour haul from Colorado Springs, Colo.

Black Pegasus, who took second place in last year's MC competition, came out this time just to network and promote his upcoming solo album. He says his appearance last year amped up the buzz about his music.

"I gotta give a lot of love to the city of Cincinnati for holding this battle," he says. "It's a great thing for artists who are underground and independent."
And many more: As Saturday night turned into Sunday morning, Scribble Jam co-founder "Fat" Nick Accurso celebrated his 30th birthday on stage at the festival he helped nurture as it grew from 50 people in a parking lot to an internationally known event.
Taken from the Cinncinatti Inquirer

Get Shyne's "GodFather Buried Alive" at Amazon!
Internet odds and evens:
P Diddy booed off stage
Stylish hit maker L.A. Reid wants to fashion a fresh direction for his iconic hip-hop music label. But will the rough transition pay off??
A slick, young, conservative group prepares for an ideological rumble at the Republican convention.
Fans gather to remember Rick James
The 2004 Video Music Awards

Friday, August 13, 2004

Taken from All Hip Hop:

Respecting the Living Legacy of Def Jam: An Open Letter to the Recording Industry from Russell Simmons

In a recent Newsweek article by Johnnie Roberts, appropriate questions were raised not only about the future of Def Jam, but also about the future of the recording industry's relationship with the creative genius of hip-hop culture. The enduring legacy of Def Jam is that from the very beginning we were focused on building stability for the lives and careers of our artists as well as making hit music that authentically represented hip-hop culture.

My quotes in the piece by Roberts were not aimed at disparaging or discounting the value and potential for L.A. Reid to profitably lead Def Jam. My concerns, however, are about the future of Def Jam and the industry as a whole as to whether the legacy that Def Jam established will be maintained to the benefit of the artists and the culture.

Let¹s remember when LL Cool J first came to Def Jam, he was a runaway at the age of 15. Our first priority for LL was to work to nurture and sustain him as a gifted and talented young man. Now over 21 years later LL represents the best of what hip-hop can do for a young man coming out of struggle. He has become a beacon of light for families and communities out of the darkness of poverty.

When artists face trying and difficult life circumstances, will the executives of the industry today care or give a damn about the actual lives of artists outside the studio?

I told Chuck D that his mouth was his Uzi and his words of truth were his bullets. We defend Public Enemy's rightful place in the genre. I would like to think we helped Chuck D define his career. During the time Slick Rick was unjustly incarcerated, Def Jam executives helped lead the national and international campaign with his devoted wife, Mandy, to secure his freedom from a Florida prison.

Recently Kevin Liles, Rev Run and I visited Shyne in prison. Will the new transition team at Def Jam see Shyne for the potential he has to become a Spiritual Prophet as he defines himself or will he be reduced to the thug that the street is racing to define him as. Will Shyne become Tupac (a) or Tupac (b), dead or alive? The truth is Tupac was worth more alive than dead. But, my guess is there are some industry executives who are not too sure about that fact.

As we worked to broker a peace between Ja Rule and 50 Cent, there were some who thought it was a fruitless exercise and even worked against the national television broadcast aimed at bringing the parties together for dialogue. Those in opposition felt that the broadcast might compromise the record selling potential of one or both of the artists. We prevailed and the broadcast was well received across the nation. It is important to me that today Chris Lighty is serving as a good role model who mentors young men and women whenever he gets a chance.

Irv Gotti came to my house last Saturday night and when he saw Chris Lighty he gave him a hug. Irv thanked me for bringing them together and for nurturing their ongoing dialogue. Yet, the best thanks I can receive is the knowledge that Irv will continue to be a great teacher and mentor for the young millionaires he is developing.

Almost all of the artists in hip-hop come from situations of extreme poverty and when money is put in their pockets, it is also important and responsible to help them erase the poverty of their mindsets.

No one owes an artist anything but a fair record deal, marketing and promotions. But Def Jam always in the past worked hard to offer more. The question that I have for the industry is what will you do to support the evolution of the collective consciousness of hip-hop?

Will you water the good seeds that have been planted? As you make future decisions, if you do not have P. Diddy, Master P, or Damon Dash at your table, who will you use to effectively mentor these up and coming young artists?

If Damon Dash sells his company, who will be at Vivendi to show Kanye West the ropes? Who will look after Cam'ron and Beanie Sigel?

How does Vivendi and the industry in general plan to maximize the gifts of an Irv Gotti?

What about Earl Simmons (DMX)?

I am asking these questions to hopefully further sensitize an industry that is contemplating its future. I wish nothing but success for L.A. Reid and Def Jam. This generation of today's hip-hop artists are some of the most talented ever and most committed in their giving back to our communities.They all deserve our best guidance and support.

What will Shyne come home to?

Bits and pieces I found while surfing:

Download Defari's "Odds and Evens" on Emusic!
Interesting article: America is still at war, but so is the Hip-Hop Generation. Are rappers and politicians the answer or the problem?
Check out Slam Bush: Rap Battle Lets Rappers Battle the President
Check out this interview with Wise Intelligent of PRT!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

'OutKast' not allowed in Kansas libraries

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (AP) -- The Kansas attorney general has withheld more than 1,600 compact discs from distribution to state libraries because officials determined the albums promote violence or illegal activity, records show.
The albums removed by Attorney General Phill Kline's office were part of 51,000 discs given to Kansas as part of a nationwide settlement to resolve allegations of price fixing.

The confiscated CDs included recordings by 25 musicians, including rap artists such as OutKast and Notorious B.I.G., rock bands Rage Against the Machine and Stone Temple Pilots, and even older acts such as Lou Reed and the 1980s experimental group Devo.

The list of albums was obtained by The Associated Press last week through an open-records request.

The American Civil Liberties Union said the decision amounted to censorship.
"What he's doing is enforcing his concept of decency on libraries around the state of Kansas, and that's not his business," said Dick Kurtenbach, executive director of the ACLU in Kansas and western Missouri.

Whitney Watson, a spokesman for Kline, said the attorney general would not discuss the screening of the CDs but said the decision to remove some albums was made to ensure state officials were not disseminating objectionable material.

Watson said the office's consumer-protection and antitrust division vetted the list. In some cases, they were familiar enough with the albums to determine if they had questionable content. In others, they looked at Internet databases of lyrics.

"We don't have the manpower to look at every album and every song lyric, but we feel we removed most of the albums that did not mesh with the values of a majority of Kansans," she said.

Kansas is one of 40 states receiving the free CDs for public libraries as part of a 2002 court settlement with the music industry over claims of CD price-fixing.
Attorneys general in several other states also have screened their CDs, often removing controversial artists or albums including explicit lyrics. Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter removed 5,300 discs, or 5 percent of the 107,000 his state was scheduled to receive.

The Kansas Library Association, which advocates for public libraries, said it had no objection to the attorney general's actions.

"This was very similar to what libraries do all the time," said Rosanne Siemens, the group's executive director. "It wasn't so much an issue of taking things out but determining what would be best. They did libraries a big favor by selecting these CDs because there's no way libraries could have said what they wanted."

Will Smith-I, President?

Will Smith may diveinto politics
By Jeannette Walls

Don’t be surprised if Will Smith starts referring to himself as I, Politician.

The “I, Robot” star startled his fans in Sweden with his strong political views. “He was really jokey and laid-back about most things, until it came to politics, then he became very serious and very emphatic,” says our source there. “It became pretty obvious he doesn’t have a high opinion of President Bush.”

“Of course I could be president if I wanted to,” Smith told the newspaper Aftonbladet, according to our translator. “But being president isn’t the kind of job you’d want to have with the way things are today.”

Smith also said that he has toured the world many times before, and says he’s never seen peoples’ opinions of the U.S. this low. “As luck would have it, every four years, the people decide if the president gets to stay in office,” Smith said. “I believe it’s not going to happen.” Smith revealed that he’s going to meet with Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry once he returns to the U.S. and is probably going to campaign for him. “I can be very involved,” he said.

The actor also said that "I, Robot" has a political message about the current administration. “”The main robot Viki says in the film that ‘for the good of the people, some freedoms and some people’s lives have to be sacrificed,’ ” Smith said. When told that the line sounded like it referred to Bush, Smith laughed and said, “Exactly! It’s so beautiful that you get it and know where that line comes from. It’s a comment about what’s going on right now.”

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Damn it feels good to be a gangsta!

The Geto Boys

I was watching MTV Jams this morning and though Im a big Geto Boys fan I had never heard the song "Damn It Fees Good To Be A Gangsta", and I liked the last verse of the song which was to be rapped by the President. I love this verse. They even have the president saying "To All You Republicans who helped me win" and this CD it was on, "Uncut Dope", was released in 1995! Here it is:

Dubya Bush

And now, a word from the President!
Damn it feels good to be a gangsta
Gettin voted into the White House
Everything lookin good to the people of the world
But the Mafia family is my boss
So every now and then I owe a favor gettin' down
like lettin' a big drug shipment through
And send 'em to the poor community
So we can bust you know who
So voters of the world keep supportin' me
And I promise to take you very far
Other leaders better not upset me
Or I'll send a million troops to die at war
To all you Republicans, that helped me win
I sincerely like to thank you
Cuz now I got the world swingin' from my nuts
And damn it feels good to be a gangsta!

Friday, August 06, 2004

Russian Skinheads Sentenced For Attacks After P.E. Concert

A group of skinheads in Russia were handed stiff jail sentences yesterday, after they attacked a group of people and killed a police officer following a Public Enemy concert.

The Moscow City Court sentenced six defendants anywhere from four to 18 years in prison. One was banished to a mental institution.

A brawl broke out in a Moscow subway last summer when the men attacked a group of people returning home from the Public Enemy concert that took place in DK Gorbunova.

Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported that the men were not pleased with Public Enemy's ‘black nationalist attitude” and waited for fans of the rap group after the concert shouting "Russia is for Russian's!"

When two officers intervened to stop the ensuing fight, one of the officers was struck on the head with a broken bottle and died a short time later.

A separate group of men were also arrested at another subway station causing havoc, breaking glass and attacking people passing by.


Get Wyclef Jean's Creole 101 at Amazon!

Monday, August 02, 2004

Republican take on the "Hip Hop Vote"

If Only Bonecrusher was a Republican!

The efforts of some in hip hop has been written off as "corny" by "towering" Republican hip hop head Darius Mitchell. And he should know, according to this article in the Weekly Standard.

A funny bit of dialogue between the article's write and Darius Mitchell, some "generation gap" type interaction going on:

Remy Martin is on the list. I joke to Darius that I know him, he makes a fine cognac. "She" he corrects.

"That guy is Lloyd Banks," he says, "his single right now is on fire." "It's pretty, hot, huh?" I counter, trying to speak the language. "No, no," he says with a pitying glance, "That's the name of the single: 'On Fire.'" "Oh," I say, now feeling as though my press pass should read "Whitey W. Whitebread."

"There's Jadakiss," he says, pointing out the rapper who recently suggested in rhyme that George W. Bush felled the World Trade Center. "What about this Benzino fella?" I ask Darius. A look of concern crosses his face. "I hope he's not here," he says, "because him and Jadakiss don't get along. Benzino's crew got stabbed-up a while back." That would be bad, I agree, though I'm secretly pleased, since the Democratic Convention has already proven on the dull side, and it is highly improbable that anyone's crew will get stabbed-up at The National Conference of Democratic Mayors luncheon.

Who the hell cares what Babs of Da Band has to say? Apparently, the author seems to care and picks her to represent all politically active hip hoppers:

I ask Babs if Puffy's had any second thoughts. "Da Band is a wrap," she says with finality. Still, even without job security, she felt she had to be here since "it's a big thing--it's more for the kids." I don't take Babs for a current-events buff, but she has seen Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11." "Woowwwww!!!" is her reaction to it. I ask her what she holds Bush responsible for. "Everything," she replies, "The war, the World Trade Center, just everything." Asked if Bush was complicit in the Twin Towers going down, she responds, "I think he had a part in it. There was a lot of people that was involved, but he knew it was going to happen."

He goes on to say that she is in charge of "voter education" for the Hip Hop Summit Action Network, and that if she is, then "voters are in trouble".

He also talks to Farnsey Bentworth:

Over in another corner, Puffy's protégé and former Jeeves, Farnsworth Bentley, stands immaculately tailored, crisply appointed in a bold-stripe suit, his cap-toed kicks shining like light bulbs, and an umbrella--from his new line of umbrellas--hooked over his arm. Bentley likens the voter-registration seeds being planted to his own umbrella entrepreneurship. "They're not going to understand until they see the umbrella fly out, like okay, this is serious. This man really started something. He made using umbrellas indoors a not-bad look." Not voting he says, is exhibiting bad taste, "like walking around without a pocket square." But he won't say who he'll vote for. He's waiting for the debates--"I want to hear people talking smart."

My problem with this article is that people who are dimwitted politically are given some kind of attention and focus. Who the hell cares about Babs from Da Band, and Farnsey Bentworth? Furthermore, I don't know who Darius Mitchell is, and I don't care if he's a "towering black man", as though that's some form of validity. Reminds me of Bill O Reilly's stunt of having an ex-gang member on his show; again, another "towering black man" who should have the last word because he's towering, black and now he's a Republican!

"It's corny," says Darius Mitchell, and Darius should know. He is a towering black man and hip-hop head who edits an online newsletter called masspoliticalnews.com, which sub-specializes in policing the intersection between political and hip-hop cultures. Mercifully, it's not a very busy intersection. But on this day, unfolding in the shadow of the Democratic Convention, is the Hip-Hop Summit, which for Darius, is sort of like Christmas, and Mardi Gras
and Oscar-Night all rolled into one.

Of course, he's towering, he's black, he edits for a Right Wing website, so, hey, he should know! LOL....next they should find a Right Wing version of Bonecrusher who screams pro Bush slogans. That'll work! LOL.