Thursday, December 30, 2004

A Tsunami of Greed

Great article from those damned liberals at the Village Voice

As the poor of Asia count their dead, Wall Street basks in riches

The money being put up by the U.S. is nothing when compared to what’s going on in the corridors of Wall Street, where year-end bonuses for the securities industry are the big story in New York. Readers of The New York Times were greeted Tuesday morning with above-the-fold images of destruction in Asia and below-the-fold accountings of personal riches.
This year the New York state comptroller reports bonuses are estimated to total $15.9 billion. In a press release, the comptroller reports, “The $15.9 billion to be paid in 2004 divided among the approximately 158,000 securities industry employees in New York City works out to an average bonus of $100,400. This is slightly higher than last year's average of almost $99,700, and just short of the record of $101,000 paid in 2000 at the peak of the last Wall Street boom."

Also: More news about the continuting devastation.
The Latest News on Gangs: Is there a gang epidemic?

In Washington DC:D.C. Jury Convicts 3 in Deadly Gang Plot
In a major strike against the Latino gangs that have taken root across the region, three men were convicted yesterday in D.C. Superior Court of carrying out a murderous conspiracy that left four members of rival gangs dead.

N.Va. Gang Members Indicted
Two members of the violent street gang Mara Salvatrucha were indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury on racketeering charges that included the slaying of a Herndon teenager, drawing federal authorities deeper into Northern Virginia's struggle against gangs.

In Los Angeles:There are about 100,000 gangsters in Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties, and they account for at least half the region's homicides. About 80,000 to 85,000 of those gangsters are in Los Angeles County, which has the nation's largest gang problem.

In South Carolina:Authorities have identified between 80 and 100 gangs in South Carolina, Stewart said."To the average citizen, this is a subculture in our society that most of us don't know much about," McMaster said. "It's hard to believe that it's actually going on, but it is. It's in every neighborhood. Rich, poor; old, young; black, white; it doesn't make any difference. It's all over the place."

In Kansas: "We've got Mexican gangs, Asian gangs and black gangs," said Shirley Smith, a longtime resident of Planeview. "And as the children grow up, they look up to gang members."


Also, the latest on that Honduras incident, apparently it wasn't the gangs.
The attackers left behind a note saying they represented the Cinchonero People's Liberation Movement, a revolutionary group opposed to the reintroduction of the death penalty in Honduras.

Possible solutions to the gang problem: Programs aimed at youth and organizations like Barrios Unidos. Check out the Barrios Unidos website. The success of such organizations is crucial, or more sad stories like this one,14-Year-Old Charged in Fatal Stabbing of Va. Store Clerk, will continue.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

A real life Tony Montana?

The end of the drug trade? Colombian police say they have arrested a man on a list of the drug-traffickers most wanted by the US.The US says Dagoberto Florez Rios is a member of the Norte del Valle cartel, which is estimated to smuggle at least 30% of the cocaine that reaches the US.

50 Cent rakes in $50 Million in 2004. That's more than the U.S. aid for victims of the Asian tsunami. Kinda messed up to me. Is the US government being stingy?

Those "collector editions" CD's are a rip off! The collector's edition of Eminem's Encore album, which sells for about $27, comes with 25 glossy photos depicting the rapper firing a gun into his theater audience, and a bonus disc that allows access via the Internet to an Eminem cellphone ringtone. LOL....what a scam!

The Year in Twin Cities Hip Hop

Monday, December 27, 2004

Players Ball 2005

Bishop Don "Magic" Juan will be there for sure!

I had no idea, but after reading this about this cat D Money and his Players Ball, I found out that the Players Ball 2005 will be in my favorite city Las Vegas on 1/6/2005. Check out The Official Website to get your playa pass. For more information also check out The Publicity Whore.

Also check out:

San Antonio strippers say they're scared and angry, one day before that new law forcing them to wear badges when performing in public is set to take effect.

Check outJay's Homepage. this is funny: Has the Hip-Hop NBA become the thug league?

Hip-Hop And The 9/11 Truth Movement:Politics in hip-hop is nothing new, and some argue it is the fifth, or sixth, element of hip-hop – depending on where you place the art of beat boxing.

Check out the mildly offensive New Zealand site "Homie Central"

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Today was a nothing day

Today, I was messing with the new Ipod that I got for Christmas. I went around mostly websurfing, playing around with the Pod, watching the Austin Powers flick, and drolling at pics of Toxic(and Terrie).

Interesting article: NBA Embraces Hip-Hop Beat, Risks Alienating Older Fans

Big pimpin' baby in South Africa: Alleged child pimps to appear in court

Check out Crazy Leg

That Menace II Society scene ain't real:2 drug dealers convicted of killing addict

Who the hell is Renegade Foxxx?

A book about Mafia gangsters! A movie about mafia gangsters!

Top Ten Blackpoitation flicks.....

It seems like the gang situation in Honduras has gotten really outta control; check out this story you wont really see on the American news:
Gunmen Kill 28 on Bus in Honduras; Street Gangs Blamed

Also check out:
Street gangs blamed in massacre and Honduras troop blitz hits gangs.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Gift of freedom?

Christmas in Iraq
Pic source: Sign of the Times

I went to the PG County mall in Maryland, one of the most ghetto fabulous strip malls in the area. It was crazy today with all the people just hanging, spending, and there was people just all over the place. It's funny how people are just so obsessed with spending. Reminds me of after 9/11, when Bush told Americans not to worry about anything, just "go shopping". Shopping seems to be the opiate for the masses, and even poor folks will sacrifice to get the latest X-box or whatever is the latest, hottest toy for their peoples.

When a soldier ends his life with his own gun
Beef is tryin to figure out what to tell his son
Beef is oil prices and geopolitics
Beef is Iraq, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip

Mos Def "What's Beef?"

I remember one time I was in one of those chatrooms. I was talking to mostly right-wingers. I was telling them that it was a good idea for all Americans to give at least 10% of their income to the Iraqi people. The responses:

I don't think you are going to get far pushing such an agenda.
Screw you! I'm not giving 1% of my money to the Iraqi people!
We're giving all we can in the form of tax dollars!

I even got into it with one person. This person was like, "we have given the ultimate gift to the Iraqi people, their freedom." She went on to say that her relative is over there, so that is her contribution. I grilled her. I was like, "What have you done for the Iraqi people, personally." After a heated exchange, she said something alone the lines of "Kiss my ass, I'm not giving anything to the Iraqi people, nor do I intend to."

I'm not now going to go through some argument about the war, but I just think that it is messed up the responses of these people. Do they represent the feelings of the whole majority? Or put it this way, would the people rushing to the shopping malls find it in their hearts to give anything to the Iraqis after what has been done to parts of their country?

I think that it is the best thing in the new year for people to get away from being so self absorbed and just ignoring what is going on in the world. A good place to start is The American Institute of Philanprothy,which lists charities which are helping in Iraq.

This Christmas, ask yourself, where does your money go? Toward mindless consumption and big corporations, or to help people? I know my choice.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

The Mind of Mannie?

You know, I was this close to buying "The Mind of Mannie Fresh". It was on sale at Sam Goody for like $12.99. I wanted to buy it, but my thing is, I have never been a big CD buyer.

I am really picky when it comes to CD buying. I brought CDs back in like 2003 because the main store here, Kemp Mill, went out of business. I've taken more or less to downloading off of EMusic, my main site, and Napster. The last CD I brought was Talib Kweli's "Beautiful Struggle", which I have yet to review but I wasn't super thrilled by it.

I gotta have something to go on before I buy any CD. It's gotta be like a major event or a classic before I mess with it. I would rather just read up on some reviews on sites and magazines, find out from other people, and hear a couple of songs before I get something. If I have extra cash, maybe, but its Christmas, and I don't have any money "floating around".

I really haven't messed with much Cash Money stuff since "Guerilla Warfare", which to me was one of like the top 10 of Southern rap music. That was back when they were all together. Individually, I'm never really feeling B.G., Juvenile, Birdman, Wayne or Mannie. "Hood Rich" was hot, but I brought the bootleg. I haven't heard nothing from Mannie, haven't heard a first or second single, so I gotta have much more to go on.

Anybody heard it? Drop me a comment and let me know if it was worth them dollars.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Books, politics, and stuff

I am like really tired today. I brought this book, "Stand & Deliver: Political Activism, Leadership and Hip Hop Culture." It seemed to just jump out at me, so I was willing to spend a little dough, but it was cheaper on Amazon than it was in the booksore I went to. I did want to get it like right here and now.

The Biggest Geek in Politics Today

It's real entertaining to watch the White House Press Secretary, Scott McLellan, he's a real winner. Of course I'm being sarcastic. He's like a combination of Elmer Fudd and a fatter Pee Wee Herman. Catch him on C-SPAN or on the news, and you will see how funny he is; how he snaps at reporters who ask him questions, or he just has that nasly voice.He's just a big weenie; that's the only word I can use to describe him.

Does anybody actually watch MTV anymore?

Blame Gangs, Not Guns, For Violence.

Violence dominates in popular video games Excuse me, does this really matter, since we live in a violent world?

Monday, December 20, 2004

Jewish hip hop, thugs

Jewish hip hop artist Sagol 59

"The two sides of purple 59" is the third album from Jerusalem based hip hop artist, Purple 59.Check out more info on Audio Collage

Hip hop is a worldwide thing, and I like to point out examples of rap from other cultures to show hip hop's global impact. Here in NCM Online is an article about Jewish Hip Hop.

Those damn thugs!
This is funny:Leominster's Club Liquid and Fitchburg's 3rd Base clubs, both of which sometimes featured hip-hop music, have temporarily shut their doors.3rd Base owner Rudy Baldarelli told a Sentinel & Enterprise reporter earlier this week he plans to change the format of his music at his club to rock music by groups like Pearl Jam, to help keep what he calls the "thugs" out of the club.

Check out the rest of the article here.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Napster sucks now

Turn Your Back On Bush

I subscribed to the "new Napster" today, and I hate it now. It went from being free to being unreasonable!

I downloaded some tracks, but then, there's all these limits, and you have to pay all this money. I mean, really, did they really think we were all going to say, "Oh yeah, I got free music, but I feel so bad, I just have to pay now!"

Looks like as far as I am concerned, Im not going to be a Napster member for too long and pay all that money for music. I'll just go to the bootlegger, forget Napster.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Eminem-Tupac's Pimp?

I went to the Sam Goody store to shop around and saw the new Tupac-Eminem collaboration album. I guess being the purist that I am, I just am not feeling that whole concept. This is more for the Tupac cult of kids born between 1985-1990 who wear Tupac t-shirts and saw the movie Tupac Ressurected. Maybe some hardcore Tupac fans might like it, but I don't.

Why? Im just saying that first of all, I don't like how it's other folks (his mother, Eminem, and a bunch of other people) controlling his image. They even manipulate his voice so he is shouting out to people he never even knew. It's a shame that the people he kicked it with when he was alive don't benefit from his legacy.

Instead, now his mother, an ex-Panther, has found her ultimate meal ticket. This beats the days she spent in jail when she was doing time for robbing banks. Now, she seeked out Eminem, the ultimate moneymaker in hip hop, and found that combined with Tupac's cult like status and Eminem's cash-producing abilities, she doesn't ever have to work a day in her life. Shot, I don't blame her, after all, I don't like going to work every day, and if I had a way out, I'd take it too!

I haven't heard it, but the whole concept I detest. I've read some reviews and they all seem to show little enthusiasm for Em's beat making. I myself find it despicable that Tupac's voice is just being sold to the highest bidder, so he can be molded in the image of what somebody else thinks he should be, not what he really is.

I would hope that anybody who bothers to buy this has already brought all his other albums first. Please do that first, if you are considering buying this album.

Strictly for My NIGGAZ

2Pacalypse Now

Me Against the World

All Eyez on Me

Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory

Thug Life: Vol. 1

The typical Eminem fan responds:

Nelson Muntz of "the Simpsons" fame
"You're just hating, dude! Eminem rocks, man!"

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Dressing "black": urban fashion

Has urban fashion come to this? The "white tee"

Looks like the whole trend of dressing "black" (i.e. urban) is going through a slump, according to the New York Post.

The across-the-board slowdown is alarming some of the major department-store retailers that had allocated a growing amount of space to these brands on the belief that the double-digit sales growth of recent years would continue, sources said.

Federated Department Stores, which operates the Macy's and Bloomingdale's chains, for instance, is seeing recent sales of urban brands decline in the double digits, compared with year-ago levels, said one person, who added: "It has everyone worried."

What has happened to "Urban Fashion"? We're in the day and age where you have groups doing songs like "White Tee". You see artists in videos wearing white tees, kids in the streets wearing white tees, and there was nobody who could cash in on that. Who would buy a $100 white tee?

Urban style moves fast like the music itself. That could make the work of an urban designer label much, much harder. White tees, Rocawear and Sean John I see on alot of kids in this area. Fubu is played out. Phat Farm never got any play here in the District, that's a New York thing. Nobody is messing with Snoop Dogg wear or Shady Wear at all.

I would say that Urban fashion merchants should do 3 things:

1) Lower your prices

2) Go for the women. Women are more loyal consumers, they buy more clothes, and they love to shop!

3) Don't just go for the kids who have no money, dirty money, or their parents money. Sell clothes to adults too, and make them good quality. I'll never forget the FUBU dress shirts I bought once. I liked them, but the quality was just not as good as shirts I brought from Ralph Lauren or Tommy Hilfiger. Dont half ass!

Urban fashion just doesn't have the same variety it once had. Who remembers "Wu-Wear", Cross Colours, The African American College Alliance, Tribe Vibe, Mecca Wear, Karl Kani, Maurice Malone Designs, and countless others whose names just escape me. Urban fashion isn't what it used to be!

Monday, December 13, 2004

It's 2:26 in the morning. What the hell am I doing?

I gotta be up early to go to work. But, I dunno, Im just pumped up today. I been reading a bunch of hip hop blogs. A summary of my favorite entries. I'll admit that I am not really the greatest at this, but these folks take it all to a higher art form or something. HIP HOP LYRICS: NO HOMO, MISOGYNY, AND ANTI-SEMITISM

Black on Both Sides:Black employees + Customer Service = Customer Dissatisfaction

Byron Crawford: The Game = A less charismatic 50 Cent

Can't Stop Wont Stop: R.I.P. Gary Webb

Hip Hop Blogs: Hip-Hop Nerds

Funk Digital: Destiny's Child - I heard they slippin'

Hardly Art: J. Hov's declaration that the artist f.k.a. T.I.P. was the real deal (I've been known to believe the hype from time to time) I figured Urban Legend would bang, if not break. All it really did was make me realize that everybody really, truly wants him to be great...but he's not.

Keeping it Real and Right: When it comes to action, however, that historical perspective is a limiting factor. Samantha does a good job of illustrating that in The New Black Freedom Fighter.

Street Dreams: Strictly Business and Dime Time

Im off to bed. It's like, waaaayy past my bedtime, like 2:35 AM. I'm going to sleep well tonite!
And who says all Japanese ain't "down"?

No mention of the Japanese hip hop culture, but still pretty interesting.
Read more at Yahoo! News.

Japan advised to promote "Gross National Cool" as foreign policy
"Japan has developed a full range of admired cultural resources, from the Japanese sense of beauty appreciated since the mid-19th century by foreigners such as Lafcadio Hearn and Bruno Taut to today's movies and anime," it said.

"These cultural assets are now considered a part of Japan's strength, as is evident from the expression now being bandied about, 'Japan's Gross National Cool'."

Also, check out the "Sach's Report"
Bush Monkeys.........

Why are they closing an art exhibit because it makes fun of Bush? Im so sick of everybody getting all tense trying to bend over backwards to show respect to this a-hole.

"Bush Monkeys," a small acrylic on canvas by Chris Savido, created the stir at the Chelsea Market public space, leading the market's managers to close down the 60-piece show that was scheduled to stay up for the next month.

Read more here.

Screw him!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

The genius of Rush Limbaugh

From the December 8 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: You just gotta be who you are, and I think it's time to get rid of this whole National Basketball Association. Call it the TBA, the Thug Basketball Association, and stop calling them teams. Call 'em gangs. You have the Laker Gang, you have the Heat Gang, you have a Timberwolf Gang [distortions of official team names], and let 'em strap up out there, and let 'em market their CDs. Instead of selling concessions, sell CDs out there at the concession stand.

All the players get involved in this, and if a fight breaks out, hey, it's what happens! It's what happens with gangs, and if a cop gets bloodied, you know, that's a bonus for the gang member that pulls that off, and let the fans, you know, go in knowingly. They're going in to watch the Crips and the Bloods out there wherever the neighborhood is where the arena happens to be, and be who you are.

Read more about this nonsense he said on Media Matters

Saturday, December 11, 2004

More blah, blah, blah

Election 2004: Learning from the Loss
Maybe the Republicans were confusing the outcome with a mandate from heaven (more on that later), but as soon as the polls closed their propaganda machinery began repeating the mantra of mandate, using the mass media as an echo chamber. By the next day, Grover Norquist was announcing that America is a "Republican majority country," and you could hear him squelching the urge to say "love it or leave it."

Read more here.

Exhibit Examines Race, Effects on Whites
It's the part of the conversation on race that doesn't usually get talked about —what it means to be white.

Read more on Yahoo! News.

Nas pushes it

"You lay the record down, and then you don't want nobody to hear it," Nas told MTV News. "'Are they going to judge me?' After it's laid, I'm scared, and I don't want the record to come out. I'm like, 'Let's change it.' ... But I say forget it and just let it be out."
Read more in Louisville Scene.

Mos Def, Rockin' Old-School Hip-Hop

Mos Def has always known that it's kinda dangerous -- literally, physically -- to be an MC, but that awareness never kept him from the task of producing sharp, illuminating hip-hop. For the past few years, however, the Brooklyn mike master has been playing it awfully safe. Much to the chagrin of his fans, Mos has been sharpening his skills in every art form but the one he is most known for -- he has been acting, singing and even assembling a big, bad rock-and-roll band.

Read more in the Washington Post.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

New MF Doom CD!

There's a story on ZWire about the followup to Operation Doomsday. You can get the CD at Amazon. I haven't heard it yet, if I get it I will review it.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Mac Dre, Hip Hop and Politics, etc.

First off, I didn't have any idea that Mac Dre was dead.That's too bad in that I did download some of his music offEmusic, so I was really starting to like his music.They even had a story on OnlyPunjab, an East Indian website. Damn, that's messed up.

I found out about it on Andisa Banjoko's website Lyrical Swords. He had an interesting essay "The Quest for Realness in Religion, Hip Hop and Politics" It's a really tight essay where he makes lots of good points.

I'm pretty disappointed at Stevie Wonder for getting into the whole stupid Eminem vs. Michael Jackson conflict. That whole thing first of all is so retarted it's not funny. However, I was not really suprised at some of what I saw on the Yahoo message board of Eminem's fans insulting Stevie Wonder. Making fun of his blindness, calling him a "has been" and saying that a video should be made of Eminem mocking Stevie Wonder.

First of all, what I define as a "has been" is a flash in the pan like Hammer who came and was hot for a summer and then disappeared into obscurity, until he turns up on a reality TV show, a emerging medium for has beens. Stevie Wonder's music has influenced generations, has spanned decades, and has made a great impact on music. I,and hundreds of other people would go to any concert he was giving.

The utter lack of respect that these fans of Eminem who want to berate Stevie Wonder is something I have come to just expect. They generally have no real knowledge of black music, or do they really care to have any interest in anything without curse words and monotonous basslines. And to make fun of Stevie Wonder because of his blindness? I can't find the words to describe some of these people.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Some stuff........

Nelly and Ashanti?

LOL...Sam Jackson is doing a movie "Coach Carter" with Ashanti, and he was saying about Nelly and Ashanti being an "item":

And Jackson has hinted that Ashanti's "friendship" with rapper NELLY is much closer to a love match.

He says, "Let's just say I ate more craft service because Nelly wasn't bringing food to me everyday."

Read more here.

By the way, her new album title "Concrete Rose"-a reference to Tupac?

Destiny's Child

That video for "Soldier" is hot! Watch it on Launch.

Friday, December 03, 2004

More hip hop, politics, and stuff........

Cointelpro reloaded?"Nationwide Effort to Expose Possible Illegal FBI JTTF Spying on Political and Religious Groups"

J Edgar Hoover
What is Cointelpro?

Kinda looks like a dork to me, but......Actor Colin Salmon has said that he should be the first "hip-hop" black James Bond as he emerged as the hot favourite to take over the role.

Who is James Bond?

Daara J
Exploring African Hip-Hop

You ask, "How could those "bushmen"take hip hop from us Americans"? Read more about African hip hop on, you arrogant Yankee American!

Afrikaans hip-hop/rap group Kallitz went behind bars at Pollsmoor Prison in Tokai to perform an gig for hundreds of juveniles.

'Fade to Black' an entertaining look at a hip-hop icon

Reggae, Hip-Hop and Politics:When ask why such a harsh stance was taken against Colin Powell, Bookman replied: ‘Well I am a Jamaican and he is of Jamaican heritage, so I hold him to a much higher standard than the other major players within the Bush administration. When those high standards are not met, then it is only natural that he be shown the errors of his ways through words, powers and sounds.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Stuff on the internet..........

She was in Nelly's "Hot In Here" video. Check out Vilayna's website.

The "Hip Hop Cop"

Check out the "Saturday Night Agenda"

Jay-Z vs. Nas

Hip-hop protest song rocks Ukraine

Police Investigating Suge Knight's Involvement In Vibe Awards Melee