Friday, December 30, 2005

R&B and "radio music"

I liked some of the R&B this year, but damn, can't somebody over 18 get some radio play? I think that the only R&B singer over 18 I can see getting radio play is Jamie Foxx, but I haven't heard his song much on the radio. Then there is Charlie Wilson, the ex-lead singer from the Gap Band, but Im not too impressed with his stuff at all.

Young Jeezy to me is just another in a line of manufactured gangstas. Last year it was the GAME, this year its Jeezy, next year, the beat goes on. Its just like Ice Cube rapped in his classic "Be True to the Game", they'll have a new nigga next year.

One artist to watch is Akon. Funny thing about Akon is that when he does that song with Jeezy, singing about having a gun in his drawers, and then he did that song about being locked up, it was all rotated on MTV and on the radio, but now he's got this song "Lonely", and I havent heard that song anywhere but on my IPod. Akon is really taleneted though, but I hope he wont be reduced to singing hooks for rappers like Nate Dogg. Hes got too much talent for that.

When is the ignorant nonsense in rap gonna stop? Radio seems to love Jermaine Dupris "Boy I Think They Like Me", D4L's "Laffy Taffy" and Nelly's "Ice Grillz". I just wanna know, when will that madness stop??????????????? Sure, people have a right to make crappy rap records, but why do rap radio stations play that as though that is all that is out? Makes no sense to me.
Latino rap stuff I liked

I liked alot of the trends of this year. Latinos seemed to take the rap world by storm with the whole Reggeaton thing. Truth about Reggeaton is that it has been around for at least 10 years; and I used to buy CDs of the stuff in Latino record stores in like 1994. My favorite artist has always been El General. One song he did called "Muevelo", I can't understand, but I have a feeling its about booty.

These days, the music industry has to beat it to the ground and try to sell it to suburban white kids, which is cool and all, but Vibe going so far as to claim that Daddy Yankee is the Latino Tupac is a bit ridiculous.

Check out Reggaeton Online!

I also got into Chicano rap this year. At first I hated it, because its a bit simplistic and regional. However, like fungus, it grew on me. In at nutshell, it's Mexican gang kids rapping over oldies (r&b music from the 50s to the 70s) but Im just open minded like that; I picked up this one CD "Chicano Rap Oldies" a couple days ago, and the rappers got minimal skills, and sometimes it gets ridiculous hearing a "vato" screaming bloody murder over a slow jam, but really its quite enjoyable.

In a way, its like Trina and Twista's latest songs, in that they were rappin' over oldies; Trina over that "Tender Love" song, and Twista over that song by Ready for the World. There has always been a practice in hip hop to rap over old music anyways, but rappin' over slow old songs is cool now, and thats the whole epitome of Chicano rap.

Check out Chicano Rap Magazine and Chicano Rap News!
AHH News Feature: Rappers Talk Patriot Act & Presidential Powers
By Nolan Strong
Date: 12/29/2005 6:00 pm

Last week, the U.S. Senate struck a deal to extend requirements within the Patriot Act that are set to expire soon, ending a dispute between prominent Democrats and Republicans.

On Dec. 21, Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) announced that Congress had reached a compromise to extend expired portions of the act until Feb. 3, 2006.

The Patriot Act was passed in 2001 and gives the government sweeping surveillance powers, which were set to expire Dec. 31, 2005.

Republicans wanted the act permanently extended before its Dec. 31 expiration date, but various senators from both parties used obstructionist tactics, filibustering the anti-terrorist act and claiming it does not protect American civil liberties.

Rappers M-1 of Dead Prez and Immortal Technique, Rock The Vote director Hans Reimer, and Hip-Hop historian, journalist, DJ and community activist Davey D offered their thoughts on the controversial act.

M-1 stated that civil liberties could be compromised or worse.

"The Patriot Act in general is a violation of the human rights of the citizens of the United States," M-1 told "Even though I consider myself a world citizen, I also recognize this abuse of power a continuation of government programs such as the counterintelligence program (COINTELPRO), which was historically put together to undermine the forward progression of the Black community."

COINTELPRO was founded by infamous FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover in 1956, out of the government's frustration with Supreme Court rulings limiting the government's prosecution power against dissident groups in the United States.

The once-secret program was expanded to include domestic surveillance and actions against various U.S. counter-cultural organizations and leaders, including the Black Panther Party, the Ku Klux Klan, the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr.

In 1971, COINTELPRO became public when a group of radicals broke into FBI offices, sending classified files to various news agencies. In the midst of the controversy, Hoover publicly disbanded the program, although many believe the FBI continues its surveillance activities today.

In 1976, a Senate committee investigating the program found that "the Bureau conducted a sophisticated vigilante operation aimed squarely at preventing the exercise of First Amendment rights of speech and association, on the theory that preventing the growth of dangerous groups and the propagation of dangerous ideas would protect the national security and deter violence."

"What's ironic about COINTELPRO is that it effectively destroyed many of the pro-black militant youth movements of the time, which in turn created a void [that helped give] birth to Hip-Hop," Davey D. said.

Like the COINTELPRO program, the Patriot Act has been criticized by various civil liberties groups since being passed in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks on Washington, D.C. and New York.

The act grants federal authorities across-the-board rights for warrantless searches and wiretaps on individuals or groups who they believe pose possible terrorist threats.

Other controversial sections of the act grant government access, without court authorization, to business records and library patron files, and the use of National Security Letters (NSLs) to obtain records from "electronic communication service providers."

Immortal Technique said he believed the short-term effects of the Patriot Act were not as important as the long-term effects it can potentially have on civil liberties.

"It's not what liberties it will deprive the American public of today or tomorrow, but rather if it's renewed indefinitely," Immortal Technique said. "What liberties will be sacrificed on its altar many years from now when it's no longer an issue? This Federal Republic is run by patient architects, patient enough to wait two presidential terms for a war in Iraq. They can wait for things to fall into place," he added.

A recently-exposed secret executive order issued by President Bush in 2002 created uproar among U.S. legislators, prompting members of Bush's own Republican Party to question the president's powers.

"There is no doubt that this is inappropriate," said influential Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Penn.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who vowed to hold hearings into the matter in 2006.

"If this could be helpful in any way to the population, why then does President George 'Washington' Bush [get] the consent of not only the population, but even his own people in leadership around him?" M-1 pondered about the secret executive order.

Bush defended the secret order and the Patriot Act, stating the surveillance was within the "inherent powers" of the president.

Opponents of the bill fear it can easily be abused and used against individuals for reasons other than those related to terrorism.

"Many of Hip-Hop's pioneers and political groups, including Afrika Bambaataa, Public Enemy, X-Clan, and Paris to name a few, have all come under surveillance for their political activities, especially when they began traveling overseas," Davey D. said. "Artists like Bambaataa who worked to raise money for Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress during South Africa's apartheid regime, really caught hell. Others like Public Enemy and Paris, who were connected to or did things with the Nation of Islam as well as artists affiliated with the 5 Percenters (The 5 Percent Nation of Gods and Earths) also came under fire."

In a statement, Bush said the Patriot Act has helped disrupt terrorist plots and cells, and that he would work closely with the House and Senate to ensure the United States is not without the act "for even a day."

According to Immortal Technique, "This country and this system never needed an act like this to conduct surveillance on its citizens; it has always been done, especially with Black and Latino people."

While the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits "unreasonable" searches, including eavesdropping, some Republicans rallied behind President Bush to support passage of the act.

"You could argue it one way and you might argue it the other," said Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah). "But the White House certainly has some case law on their side and the inherent powers of the president on their side, and those two, I think, would cause any reasonable person to side with the executive branch."

"These surveillance tactics were later applied to so-called 'Gangsta rappers' as an extension of the war on drugs," Davey D. stated. "The recent realization of a Hip-Hop Task Force underscored this fact."

According to Hans Riemer, director of Rock The Vote, upcoming 2006 elections could be decisive for the current adminstration's agendas.

"The 2006 election will be about whether people are happy with President Bush and his buddies in Congress," Riemer told "Right now the winds are blowing against them. If young people vote against the Bush agenda again the way they did in 2004, and turn out in big numbers just like they did in 2004, that could spell real trouble for these guys. The only thing these people fear is losing an election, so the only way to impact them is to make them worry about their job security."

The debate will continue as the 109th Congress enters its second session on Jan. 3, 2006.


Saturday, December 24, 2005

The War On Christmas and other things....

Here we are, Christmas Eve, and its just funny how time passes. Its tripping me out the whole "War on Christmas" thing, its quite stupid and lame to me, like its purveyor, Bill O' Reilly.

Check out this pic of Bill O Reilly I found on Peking Duck. The girl in the pic is kinda cute, I mean the sista in the pic, not Bill.

It tripped me out the whole story about the woman who swallowed her phone. I was like damn. I know every man wants a woman that swallows, but this is just outta control.Anyways, what was up with thiswoman? Isn't this dangerous?

Friday, December 16, 2005

The whole "Stop Snitching" thing....

I was just reading the Black Electorate hip hop Fridays editorial, and he talked about how hypocritical it is when people get upset about "stop Snitching" t-shirts, and how this idea of not snitching resonates in all of society.

I'd have to say that basically, I don't believe in being involved in outting criminals. Why should I? One time me and friends at the time were going to go to a club, but we saw some dudes run up into the club and so we drove past. We came back and found out some nigga got shot. Cops asked us did we see anything, I said I didn't see nothing.

So, was I in the wrong? I don't know and I don't care. Why should I be held to a higher standard than journalists who out CIA agents, trifling ass soldiers who want to play "frat party" in Iraq, and police who beat down and harass people. Why should I do anything? I just went out for a night to party. I don't want to be involved in that.

At the beginning of the classic movie "A Bronx Tale", this kid gets in that whole Mobster lifestyle because he didn't tell on one of the good fellaz. Is that irresponsible, to put that in a movie for all to see? What about the rep of a kid in school who always "tells the teacher" when other students do wrong?

Americans seem to have these ideals that in order to be a good citizen, you have to do things like get involved in every situation, because that is what good American people are suppossed to do.

I guess that is good and all, but Im going to put it like this, I am not putting myself on the line for nothing. Im not snitching on nobody. And if some self righteous do-gooders dont like it, tough.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

What I learned from the whole Tookie thing

I don't really feel any connection to the whole Tookie case; to me it seems like a West Coast thing; and it hasn't really had me angry or anything.

However, I can't help but think about how willing the government is to kill people to prove a point. It just makes me think about something really simple. Is the government really wanting to give people who've done wrong a fair shake? What about the whole idea of rehabilitation?

Granted, he did wrong, and in Republican circles they are trippen about the fact that Tookie's main defense that he was selling childrens books to discourage kids from joining gangs was a dud because he only sold 300 books, I mean, look, does that really matter, the # of books that he sold?

What this points to is that these Republicans don't care about rehabilitation, and the jails are not for that, they are for just locking the criminal up and throwing away the key.

So, I think the main thing that we should all learn from the Tookie thing is kids, all these videos showing you the dangerous lifestyle, don't emulate it, because these Republicans are all to willing to throw u on Death Row and throw away the key. Go to school, get a job, keep out of trouble, don't be a "gangsta". Its like that kid on the Boondocks cartoon said, "We should go to college so we don't end up like (gangsta rapper) Gangstalicous."

I think that Tookie would agree.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Sunday, December 11, 2005 -

With all the controversy over the impending execution of Stanley "Tookie" Williams, founder of the L.A. street gang the Crips, who is on death row for multiple murders, it's noteworthy that the story of another black man facing execution is not making the headlines. In this case, the state is Mississippi, and the man on deathwatch is Cory Maye.

With the exception of libertarians Radley Balko, blogging at the Agitator, and Steve Gordon at Hammer of Truth, there is almost nobody in the media ranks who seems to care. Meanwhile, Maye's story is far less convoluted than Williams' sordid tale. According to both Balko and Gordon, the man was minding his own business, asleep in his bed with his baby daughter in her crib, when several armed men stormed his door and entered his Prentiss, Miss. home, one night in December, 2001. In fear of his life and those of his family, Maye raised a gun and shot one of the intruders, seriously wounding him. After a bit more struggle, during which the other intruders identified themselves as police officers, Maye surrendered and was taken into custody, while his home was searched for illegal drugs.

As it turned out, the troops were looking for Jamie Smith, the man who lived on the other side of the duplex, suspected of drug dealing, and had stormed the wrong door. Nobody among the officers on the scene had even been made aware that the property was occupied by more than Smith himself, and they assumed the other door was only a side entrance to the house. Unfortunately, the officer Maye shot ended up dead; more unfortunately for Cory, who is black, the officer was not only a white man in Mississippi, but the son of the local police chief.

According to the stories by both sources, the trial featured an incompetent defense attorney, an all-white jury and a prosecutor who played fast and loose with the rules of courtroom conduct. Maye was convicted of first-degree murder of a police officer, and sentenced to be executed. Appeals since then have only served to delay the process. At no time has the fact that this man was merely protecting his home from invaders been taken seriously, even though Mississippi law does allow such self-defense as a justification for killing someone.

Attempts to appeal the jury's decision have been unsuccessful, perhaps also hampered by the shortcomings of his legal counsel. The latest word on the situation is that Cory Maye is due to be executed by lethal injection, unless Governor Haley Barbour can be convinced to intervene on his behalf with a pardon, or failing that a reduction in his sentence. Steve Gordon ends his coverage with an e-mail link for the Governor, at:

in hopes that at least some readers will do what they can to convince Barbour to rectify this tragic miscarriage of justice.

From Free Market News

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

New York vs. the World?

I listen to hip hop from all over the world. I've brought albums from artists from Cuba, Israel, Italy, Africa, and all over.

When I read a posting like "Why Doesn't New York Accept World HipHop?" , I think about closed minded heads who only accept hip hop being one way. They think its corny for foreigners to rap, they can only accept the music from people like them, and they think that people from other countries are "perpetrating".

I don't think this at all; I think that hip hop is a forum for cultural expression. I cram to understand how closed minded cats are who can't even listen to rappers who rap in Spanish. Its like, if they only knew what a big market there is in Japan, in Germany, and even in Brazil for homegrown stuff and for American rappers. It could be a real cultural exchange, connecting people who are going through the same experiences.

But, people want to be all territorial about stuff. It trips me out how NYC rappers aren't really in the spotlight besides 50, but then NYC cats want so hard to keep it to their city.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


I find it really funny that some of these hip hop bloggers and board posters have nothing better to do with their time but argue over how much Sheek Louch of D Block is getting per album. Who gives a crap? Acting like they actually are doing stuff in the industry; one board poster actually said he spoke to Bone Thugs who told him how much they per album; its like, wow, y'all niggaz got friends in high places!

I mean, come on now, let the man do his thing. I don't like Sheek's style either, but Im willing to put a link up to his album on Emusic as a show of support. I don't give a crap about that petty stuff. Niggaz talking about how much he's getting an album, and these clowns couldn't even put together a verse worth recording. At least I admit I can't do it, but Im never going to get up all in the next man's ability to get his money. Then people waste their time debating about it. Funny.

I was listening to Russ Parr here in DC and he was joking about 50 Cent doing a Bat Mitzvah. I thought he was bullshyttin', but I found the article: The Jewish War Profiteer, Gangsta Rap, and 13 Year Old Girls

Now the damndest thing about this is that it was for the daughter of a rich "war profiteer". Not that I would expect 50 to know his azz from his elbow in regards to this, but I like the angle of the article:

Why the world's best 13th birthday party has Iraq vets' blood boiling On the day the President told the American people to prepare for the long haul in Iraq, here’s a story that seems to perfectly sum up our priorities as a nation. They’re calling it Mitzvahpalooza. It may go down in history as the world’s most obscene birthday party (eat your heart out Dennis Kozlowski). David H. Brooks, CEO of bulletproof vest maker DHB Industries, spared no expense for his 13-year old daughter’s entry into adulthood. The girl and 300 of her closest BFFs were entertained recently in New York’s Rainbow Room by Don Henley, Stevie Nicks, Kenny G, Aerosmith and, believe it or not, 50 Cent (I guess 500 large can make you forget all about street cred). It was hosted by Tom Petty. The reported cost: $10 million.

It's some pretty heavy stuff. Check it out.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Straight up hypocrite....

"A lie moves around the world at the speed of light"-Donald Rumsfeld, directly quoted from USA Today "Rumsfeld calls for optimism about Iraq involvement"
Beef amongst bloggers?

My thing with this whole blogger deal is that Im just matter of fact about this. I just do this because its fun, and Im not really trying to make this into anything else per se.

But now, Im seeing bloggers "beef", and though I respect everybody doing this and taking it to different levels, I think that is real corny.

Now we got Byron Crawford versus Clyde Smith, which I found out about on Hip Hop Blogger.

My thing is this. You start using this to talk trash, and I don't think the drama is all that deep. Bloggers calling out other bloggers. LOL. If anything, that is just funny.

So you begin to see what this is about. Clyde Smith is under the impression that if he had been invited to contribute, someone over at Entertainment Weekly would have discovered his blog and made him rich and famous, thus erasing the past 47 years of his worthless, pathetic little life.

The jealous woman continues:

I'm also interested in who becomes prominent in the hip hop scene. There was an early phase in which Eric at Stink Zone put out a call to create a network of bloggers and suddenly I found myself associated with folks like Eric, Jay Smooth, Oliver Wang, Lynne d Johnson and Hashim Warren, among others. Early this year, Eric stopped blogging.

Ah, so who "counts" and who doesn't count in the hip-hop blogging scene should be decided by a committee primarily consisting of, presumably, Clyde Smith and the staff of Entertainment Weekly, not the actual kids (myself included) who frequent these sites.

You wonder if it ever occurred to Clyde Smith that he wasn't invited to contribute to this year's list because his blogs fucking suck.

LOL. Look, us "hip hop bloggers" are doing what we are doing for the simple reason that most of us couldn't get attention doing nothing else. I know I can't rhyme, can't cut a rug, can't graph to the point where I could get $ for it, and we all couldn't get writing jobs at magazines. So, we found this other outlet for which we could make our voices heard. So, when I see another cat doing this "beef", Im looking at a cat like myself. I dunno, shyt is funny.

As Rodney King would say, "Can't we all get along?"

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Latest news from some hip hop blogs!

I haven't had any time to make any entries! I just brought a new house and in a couple minutes the cartoon show The Boondocks is about to be on!

Here is a quick review of five stories from some blogs I been seeing:

Pimpwiz helps a brotha out with the Get Busy Gift Guide!

Cherryl with 2 R's calls Tucker Carlson a Poopyhead (To me he's a bytch-ass)

Miguel asks "Nigga, why you single?" on FukyoCouch!

Dude on Crunktastical be talking much shyt! But he's funny!

Byron Crawford sticks it to Lauryn Hill!

Alright y'all, the Boondocks is on!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Hampton University shutting out war protestors!

Drop the Charges and Stop the Harassment Against the Hampton University Students Against the Bush Regime!

Students who act as part of the national movement to Drive Out the Bush Regime because The World Can’t Wait, especially when they remain firm in the face of police harassment and administrative threats, are heroic, must be defended, and their example must be followed by many others.

Students at Hampton University took part in the November 2nd launch of a movement to drive out the Bush regime. In the course of organizing, they were followed by campus police, targeted by video surveillance, and forced to turn over their ID’s for the simple act of distributing literature. That these students were targeted for the content of their activities is clearly demonstrated by the fact that other students routinely post unauthorized flyers (often with scantily clad women advertising parties) without any harassment. On Friday, November 18th, weeks after November 2nd, 3 student organizers were issued summons for a hearing over possible expulsion the following Monday morning, giving them no time during the work week to contact lawyers, parents, or campus administrators. After hundreds of phone-calls from around the country to the Dean’s Office, their hearing was postponed. Days later, 3 more students were issued summons and campus police shut down an interview being filmed by the local media, attempting to prevent their story from getting out.

The attacks on the student organizers at Hampton University, a historically black college with a mostly Republican administration, is an ugly harbinger of the “dissent-free” future the Bush regime is trying to lock into place.

These attacks are part of a pattern of repression against high school and college students nation-wide on November 2nd that disproportionately targeted black, Latino and other oppressed students.

A standard cannot be set where the President of the United States can stay on vacation as a major city’s poor and Black people are left for five days without food or water, where influential friends of this President are allowed to float out genocidal notions of aborting all Black babies to bring crime rates down, and where the President’s policies of “abstinence-only” in the face of an international AIDS pandemic threaten millions of lives, but where students who dare to speak the truth about this and act to end this are silenced and expelled from school.

As it says in the Call for The World Can't Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime, "This will not be easy. If we speak the truth, they will try to silence us. If we act, they will to try to stop us. But we speak for the majority, here and around the world, and as we get this going we are going to reach out to the people who have been so badly fooled by Bush and we are NOT going to stop."

We, the undersigned, demand that the Hampton University administration to drop all charges against, cease their political harassment of, and to apologize to these students. These students must not be expelled! We also call on students at campuses nation-wide to send statements of support, and to join, strengthen and support the movement to Drive Out the Bush Regime because the World Can’t Wait!

Sunsara Taylor, co-initiator of World Can't Wait
Allen Lang, national student organizer, World Can't Wait
Howard Zinn, Historian and Author

Demand that the 3 students facing expulsion (Aaron Ray, Sheridan Owens, and Verness Hunt) be cleared of any disciplinary measures and intimidation and punishment for student protests stop! Call the Dean of Men (Woodson Hopewell Jr.) at 757-727-5303, the Dean of Women at 757-727-5486

From World Can't Wait

Monday, November 21, 2005

A little overeaction?

Gangs, poverty and racial divide could make LA another Paris
Fri Nov 18,12:26 PM ET

Luis has never heard about riots that shook Los Angeles in the past. Nor is he aware of the violence that rocked cities in France for three weeks.

He has been a member of a gang since age 13 because even then he believed that illegal Mexican immigrants don't have a future here, and that "made people angry."

"I arrived in Los Angeles when I was only 10 because my mother had decided to follow the American Dream," he said.

"She left my father back in Mexico, in Chihuahua state, and brought me here because she thought I would have here a better future," recalls Luis, who is now 30.

But in Los Angeles, he found himself in a Hispanic barrio in an eastern part of the city, which is home to the worst city gangs. Children made fun of him at school because he spoke no English.

To be accepted, he began selling drugs. He also joined The Mafia Crew (TMC), one of the most violent gangs in the second largest US city, which prides itself on being one of the most multi-ethnic and multi-cultural in the world.

Since then, he has been in prison four times for drugs and arms possession and conspiracy to commit murder. He now says he wants to change his life, but without proper documents and with a rap sheet like his, he realizes that his chances of getting a job are not very good.

"It is difficult to break up with a gang because nobody accepts you and nobody wants to give you a job," says Luis. "Police don't believe you and in many cases you just return to the gang."

He says he has discussed this impasse with other gang members on many occasions.

"We all have the same rage," he admitted. "Particularly those who have come from Mexico and don't have immigration papers."

Diego Vigil, a sociologist at the University of California at Los Angeles, believes the city could have the same kind of riots that shook France for three weeks. He insists they could be even worse.

"This already happened in 1992," he recalls. "The parallel already exists. And the ethnic and racial gap has since widened rather than narrowed."

The 1992 riots erupted here after an all-white jury acquitted four white police officers, who brutally beat black motorist Rodney King, a scene that was caught on videotape.

The riots, which went down in history as one of the worst episodes of violence on US soil since the US Civil War, left 54 dead and more than 2,000 injured.

But as the size of metropolitan Los Angeles grows and reaches 9.9 million people, half of them Latino, unemployment, poverty and the housing crisis have also grown. Government services have shrunk and schools have gotten worse.

According to the US Census Bureau, the poverty index in Los Angeles County has reached 16 percent, the highest in California. Unemployment stands at 4.5 percent.

"Can Los Angeles become a hotbed of violence similar to France?" asks Ernesto Cienfuegos, a member of the separatist group "The Voice of Aztlan," which wants to create an independent Hispanic state in the US southwest called "the Northern Republic."

His answer is "yes."

"Here in Los Angeles," wrote Cienfuegos on the group's Web site, "we see ominous signs of a possible social explosion that will eclipse even riots in France."

However, Jason Lee, an official with the Los Angeles Police Department, says illegal immigration is not a determining factor in gang violence.

He said he knows many illegal immigrants who have jobs and no need to join gangs.

According to the LAPD, a total of more than 65,500 youngsters belonged to 407 gangs that operated in the streets of Los Angeles in late 1990s.

This year, these gangs were responsible for 419 murders, 764 assaults and 12,000 acts of theft.

Police officer Frank Flores says the gangs just have to be defeated.

"I grew up near them, in constant fear," he says. "And that's the reason I became a police officer -- to defeat them."

From Yahoo!
The Sony Fiasco: How Far Will the Copyright Holders Go?

Note: I heard that this spyware is on the new Ginuwine CD.

Digital Rights Management has been right smack in the middle of the news for the last several weeks, ever since Mark Russinovich ran across a rootkit on his computer and tracked it down to a Sony media player that he'd installed in order to play a Sony music CD. It was part of the XCP DRM software that's supposed to prevent users from making more than a set number of copies of the songs on the CD.

The story hit the mainstream media and the proverbial waste byproducts hit the oscillating instrument as consumers learned that a major record company was introducing a type of software generally regarded as malicious to their systems without their knowledge.

Even the U.S. government got into the act. Stewart Baker, of the Department of Homeland Security, had a statement to representatives of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), one of the foremost defenders of DRM and the force behind all the lawsuits against alleged music pirates - including young children and grandparents who never even used their computers. Baker reminded them that "it's very important to remember that it's your intellectual property - it's not your computer."

You've got to wonder if that came as a shock to the RIAA. Although they are adamant about protecting their property, they seem to think they have every right to invade the privacy of computer users and use those people's property without permission in furtherance of their cause.

Some of our readers wrote to ask exactly what a rootkit is, how they can find out if they have it on their computers, and how to get rid of it if they do. Well, rootkits have traditionally been hacker tools, which can disguise the fact that a system has been compromised.

Luckily, Microsoft has included detection and cleanup of the Sony rootkit in their malicious software removal tool (MSRT), which is updated monthly to handle new threats. Sony has released a service pack to remove the cloaking technology, which you can download at:

However, Russinovich cautions that the patch itself can create problems and recommends that you uninstall the software manually. He provides instructions on how to do so in his blog at:

Experts say the rootkit has probably been installed on at least half a million computers.

Sony, perhaps recognizing what the bad PR can do to their sales, has now issued a recall of the CDs that contain the rootkit technology. This happened after several viruses were discovered that take advantage of the rootkit to hide their own activities. If you have one of the copy protected CDs, you can send it back to Sony and get a new one that doesn't have the rootkit. A list of the albums that contain the XCP technology and instructions on how to get the replacement CD are available here:

They've also placed a link on their frontpage providing information about the copy protection technology. And if you bought the CD from Amazon, that company is offering full refunds to customers who purchased the rootkitted CDs from them see:

Here's another thing about the whole thing that bothers me: No one else seems to have brought up the question of whether Sony could possibly be the only company doing this? I suspect it may be that they're just the only one who got caught. Of course, Sony is making sure to spread the blame to the British company that provided them with the DRM software, First 4 Internet. That company, along with Sony, argues that the rootkit doesn't pose a security vulnerability. We do know that Warner Music, Universal and EMI signed up with First 4 Internet for trials of their copy protection.

Some industry pundits have speculated that Sony's merger with BMG may have contributed to the whole fiasco. You can read more on that theory here:

Whatever the reasons, I hate to see this happen and I especially hate the way Sony has dragged their feet on taking responsibility and fixing the problem. I say that because, as a consumer, I have a long and good relationship with Sony. We own Sony big screen TVs, Sony home theater systems and Sony Vaio laptop computers. We've had good experiences with all of them.

However, we've heard horror stories about Sony's entertainment divisions before. Best-selling author Dean Koontz has repeatedly recounted his experiences in trying to get his name taken off a movie made by Sony Pictures (and recently got in hot water for the way he told the story). We know that in a company as big as Sony, it's very possible that one hand doesn't always know what the other is doing. We hope the rootkit disaster will be a wakeup call to all music companies and movie studios that all is not fair in love and war and copyright protection.

What do you think? Should Sony take most of the blame for the rootkit, or do you think they were duped by First 4 Internet? Are they unique, or do you think other record companies are doing similar things and just not getting caught? Should users who installed the rootkit be compensated (beyond the exchange for a new non-copy protected CD)? Do you support the lawsuits filed against Sony? Do you support a boycott of Sony products? Or is the whole story just much ado about nothing? Let us know your opinions at

Thanks to Melanie @ HBCU Talk for the following emailed news:

DMX Does Rikers, Jeezy Aint Sorry For The Snow, Cam Won't Snitch...

On Friday DMX was sentenced to 70 days behind bars including an extra ten days because he showed up thee hours late to court. The judge says he gave him the additional punishment because he showed a lack of respect and immediately sent him to Rikers. X blamed his lateness on an asthma attack.

More on Diddy and the lOx- for the record- diddy says he only made about 400-thousand dollars off the group throughout their career, while they had only generated about one-point-five-million dollars total. HE also made a really good point he said. .."I want to see them or any other artist (try this with another label- call sony and ask them to just let me out the contract -- No. You ain't gonna call Sony with that, because they are not gonna take your call. You not going to call Universal with that, because it's a contract... This isn't gangsta. This isn't even manly. This is borderline funny-style... Diddy didn't stop there- he called Voletta because Cease had said that Voletta wanted him on the biggie album and that diddy had blocked it- so Voletta said that Cease should mind his own business—

Young Jeezy makes no apologies for his past as a drug dealer, and he says the snow man isn't such a big deal. Jeezy says he'll continue to promote the Snowman -- in fact, it's the logo for his forthcoming clothing line.

The suspect who shot Cam probably won't go to jail. The case has stalled due to Cam's lack of cooperation. D-C authorities can't track him down, and now they're trying to find ways to force his assistance. Cam is serving five years' probation for a gun conviction in New York so they may subpoena him. Juelz Santana tells the Washington Post, "Cam isn't going to do it. It's not in our nature. He isn't going to stand up and point out a guy in a witness line and say, 'That is the dude who shot me.' We all came from the street."

The money laundering trial of The Inc. hasn't even entered its third day yet, and 50 Cent has already become involved. The defense is arguing that Fif has nothing to do with the trial, but prosecutors asked the judge to allow witnesses to be questioned on 50's June 2000 shooting. They claim the hit was orchestrated by Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff as a return favor for Irv laundering Supreme's drug money through The Inc. The Judge allowed the line of questioning, which could eventually lead to 50 being subpoenaed to testify. The trial continues today.

Nelly is putting his money where his mouth is. He and Jermaine Dupree –Nelly says they left a strip club feeling guilty after spending more than $10,000 in a single night. So they thought: "How 'bout we go to the toy store and break the kids off, [it's] almost Christmas time." The next day the two matched the amount they'd spent at the flesh palace in toys, and delivered the gifts to needy tots

50 CENT won Best Original Song for " maybe we crazy" (it's from his new game bulletproof) at the 2005 Video Games Awards over the weekend. He performed the song on the show and this must have been awkward because it was hosted by SAMUEL L. JACKSON who turned down a role in "Get Rich Or Die Tryin'." The show airs December 10th on Spike TV.

50 CENT'S "Get Rich Or Die Tryin'" soundtrack debuted at number one after selling 317 thousand copies last week, however the movie dropped from number four to number seven - it earned four point-four million dollars. Last weekend it earned twelve million (wed through Friday it made 6).

"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" grossed one hundred one-point four million ($101.4 million) to easily claim number one at the box office. That is the fourth-best, three-day opening weekend ever, behind "Spider-Man" at $114.8 million and "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" and "Shrek 2" at $108 million.
On the album chart the new CD from FLOETRY, "Flo'Ology," debuted at number two selling 77 thousand copies.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Jamie Foxx
Unpredictable IN STORES December 20
J Records

Jamie Foxx Official Website
Check out the Video and Audio (both play on RealPlayer)!

The release of Foxx’s long-awaited J Records debut, UNPREDICTABLE, demonstrates the lessons the Oscar-winner learned at the feet of one of music’s true giants. With a wide range of sounds and emotions, and a breathtaking list of guest stars adding to the mix, the one-time music student at San Diego’s United States International University finally fulfills his true dream. From the party-starting first single "Unpredictable" to the smoldering "Love Changes," UNPREDICTABLE reveals an artist ready to play in R&B’s big leagues. Of course, Foxx’s musical skills are no secret — the album follows his appearance on Kanye West’s #1 single "Gold Digger," which reprised the magic of their collaboration on last year’s Grammy-nominated smash "Slow Jamz."

That hit was just one taste of Jamie Foxx’s recent unprecedented accomplishments. In addition to winning the 2005 Oscar Academy Award as Best Actor for his career-defining performance in Ray, he was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category for his part in Collateral, making him just the second male actor with nominations for two different films in the same year. Those roles, in conjunction with his acclaimed turn in the FX Networks’ Redemption, led to him being the first person ever nominated for three acting awards at the Golden Globes and four SAG awards in one year.

But Foxx, 37, is quick to point out that music isn’t just a sideline to his history-making acting career. "I’ve been working on music for the last 15 years," he says. "I don’t do nothing sideways. If I’m gonna get it, I’m gonna get it 100 percent." He did much of the work on UNPREDICTABLE at his own home studio, and even on the set of his current production, Miami Vice, he’s been logging hours in a portable studio lent to him by super producer Timbaland (who manned the boards on the album’s "Can I Take You Home").

In fact, Foxx says that the success and notoriety he’s enjoyed since his breakthrough performance in 1999’s Any Given Sunday is sometimes held against him when he focuses on a different medium. "I’ve been told many times, ‘I know what you did on the acting side and the Oscars and all that, but that doesn’t mean anything on the music side!,’" he says. "And that’s completely wrong, because the medium of television has bashed that in the head. Music is visual now, as well."

To convince the skeptics, he says, "I had to make sure that the album was tight even if I didn’t have anybody to enhance it." But in the end, Foxx was also able to assemble a line-up of guests that reads like a Billboard Top Ten chart— Mary J. Blige, Ludacris, and Twista all add their flavors to UNPREDICTABLE, with production by Timbaland, Babyface and others.

Foxx says that these collaborations all came together naturally. "Those are my friends," he says. "These are people I’ve formed relationships with over the years, thrown parties for, hung out with."

The Texas-born former star of In Living Color and The Jamie Foxx Show notes that these artists all share a drive and passion he was able to relate to and learn from. "They’re all going to be legends," he says. "They want to win—not just for the monetary thing, but for the soul and the spirit. That history does something fantastic to your body and your soul. If it feels that good in the studio, when it gets out there with that Clive Davis presentation, man, people are in trouble!"

Hooking up with Clive Davis—Chairman & CEO, BMG, US, and the music legend behind superstars from Janis Joplin to Santana to Alicia Keys—was part of Foxx’s vision for his music career. In 2005, he engineered a performance at Davis’s famous pre- Grammy party at the Beverly Hills Hotel, as a way to showcase his talent directly to the top. "I’d been to the Clive Davis party before," he says, "and I was like, I know how it is, it’s high ground up in here, you got to come in legendary already. So I used a little of my comedy to break the ice, and then slipped my singing in on them before they even knew what was happening." A performance of "Slow Jamz" alongside Kanye West and Twista led to an impromptu sing-off with Alicia Keys and Angie Stone. By evening’s end, Davis was a believer and, says Foxx, "I knew I had performed in the right place for the right people at the right time."

True to the album’s title, Foxx points to a few songs on UNPREDICTABLE as the most surprising, and thus the ones he’s proudest of. "There’s a song called ‘I Wish You Were Here,’ about my grandmother," he says. "It’s a heavy, heavy song — we put it at the end of the album, because I want people to bump and grind and enjoy themselves before they get to that. That’s the one that measures your soul." The track "Til I Met Your Sister," he says, presents a new perspective on a slippery situation. "It’s about a guy having this infidelity with his girl’s sister," says Foxx, "but nobody ever has sung about that in a way where it’s not embarrassing, it’s not jokey, it’s really serious—like, we really did click and there’s no way I can fight it."

So did he feel any pressure in following Ray? Was it hard to find the motivation to be creative after giving the performance of a lifetime? Foxx waves off such concerns. "If you go to the mountaintop," he says, "and you hit the very top, even if you go down a hundred feet, you’re still on that mountain, and you can still see a whole lot of things. We got a lot of things we passed up ‘cause we were on our way to the top. Now we’re gonna go down and maybe set up camp, have a barbecue down here, have a little party over there. That’s what we’re doing now.

"We just didn’t let the curtain go down," says Jamie Foxx with a laugh. "We’re at the after party right now."

Thanks to Iced Media
Wild Style on Emusic

Wild Style soundtrack on Emusic!

Growing up in East Hampton, CT, I was far away from NYC. It's a small town, but we had some really good breakers who won a bunch of breakin' contests. It was funny, they were white lower and middle class kids comin' straight outta East Hampton, a little dump of a town with like 1% non-white folks back then.

It was like 1984, and my father used to dominate the TV on Friday Night. I never got to see USA Network's "Night Flight", a music and pop culture oriented bunch of shows thrown together which was a staple of the the pre-MTV 80s. USA Network sucks now, but they were on some shyt when they had that on.

However, I remember them advertising the movie "Wild Style", and I had heard about it from books I was reading and I read about in the local NYC papers when I took trips to NYC to visit my sister. I just had to see it, so I had to make a plan to get my father away from the TV.

At the same time, I was starting all boys Catholic school. I used to like sit by myself at the bus stop, waiting for the bus to take us to the school which was like in the next town, because I dunno, I hated the idea of going to Catholic school, and didn't wanna hang with Catholic HS kids. My father saw this, and he was all wondering why I didn't mix and mingle. So when he asked me about it, I told him I would mix with the other Catholic School kids at the bus stop, and if I did, he would let me have the TV that Friday Night.

He did, and as a result, he allowed me to see Wild Style, the greatest hip hop movie of all time. I recorded it on our VCR, and it was flawless. I cut out the commercials and everything. I still have that copy to this day. I even drew some graf on it, and made it look real live. It was the shyt!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Local DC News

A couple of interesting Washington DC items:

There used to be a club called Killimanjaro's in the Adams Morgan area of Washington DC. That club got shut down. People used to joke about that club, calling it "Kill a nigga man jaros" I remember one story about how they thought this guy was asleep and at the end of the night woke him up, and found out he was shot. Now they got a club called Kili's which is being shut down because too many people are getting shot up. But really, why would anybody go to a club if the name even sounds like "Kill"?

Finally, they are admitting it: Most D.C. Property Priced Out Of Reach But really, I was told again and again that this would happen. I lived in DC in the 90's when property was mad cheap. However, rents were cheap too, and I was hooked! I was paying like $540 for a halfway decent spot not far away from downtown, very convenient, and I wasn't even thinking of buying any houses back then. In the old days I could've brought a nice house for $100,000. Instead, I've just closed on a house in Burtonsville, MD. We are all getting pushed out there. As the article says:

Soaring prices since the late 1990s have reshaped the profile of the typical home buyer, who is increasingly likely to be white and well off in a market where the average home sold for $450,000 last year, the report said. The cost of ownership rose in every part of the city, the report said, with sharper increases in modest neighborhoods such as Anacostia than wealthier ones such as Cleveland Park.

And Anacostia is the 'hood! As for Cleveland Park, that's old folks and 20-30 something Starbucks drinkin' attorneys making at least $150,000 a year.

The house I just got is nice, but I have always wanted a house in the city. Oh well, better a nice house in a decent neighborhood in the 'burbs than a sky high expensive house in the 'hood.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Source Owners Deny Stoute Buyout

The Source Magazine has responded to Steve Stoute's claims that he wants to buy the publication by calling him a liar and accusing him of spreading false rumors.

Back on November 3rd, during an interview on New York's Hot 97 radio station, Stoute revealed that he, Russell Simmons, Jay-Z and Warner Music Group's Lyor Cohen were interested in buying The Source. According to the self-proclaimed "Hip-Hop Bible," Stoute's assertions were untrue.

Simmons released a similar statement late last week via Rush Communications, "Russell Simmons has expressed zero interest in a business affiliation of any kind with The Source Magazine, nor has he had any conversations of any kind on the subject. Russell considers The Source an important voice and wishes it every success in the future."

Meanwhile, The Source says that reps for Cohen and Will Smith, who was also rumored to be interested in the mag, both denied Stoute's claims. Stoute is closely linked to Interscope. He is the label's former Vice President and the company recently bought a stake in his Translation Consultation and Brand Imaging marketing firm.

The Source believes that Stoute invented the buyout story to take attention away from the magazine's current investigation into the music industry's shady practices. The Source has taken several shots at Interscope Chairman Jimmy Iovine, Eminem, 50 Cent and his G-Unit during their investigation.

Stoute's claims come several weeks after reports surfaced that the magazine was in financial trouble. The Source reportedly owes Textron Financial Corp. $18 million and has lost $11 million in the past four years. In New York State Supreme Court, Textron recently requested for The Source Enterprises to be placed into its control to prevent owners Dave Mays and Raymond "Benzino" Scott from ruining the company.

The Source has also failed to file any state and/or federal income tax over the course of the last two years. Also, the magazine has not delivered issue subscription mailers the publication, and a lawsuit regarding that is still pending. The case states that nearly $3 million in bad checks, over the past nine months, have not been paid for.

The Source is scheduled to return to court for a preliminary hearing with Textron Financial Corp. December 6th.

From Shades of Hip Hop
Black Enterprises's 2005 Hot List

List I got from the weblog Hip Hop Press Releases:

Shawn D. Baldwin, 39, CEO, Capital Management Group Securities
Tyra Banks, 32, Supermodel, Producer, Bankable Productions
Halle Berry, 39, Actress, Producer, Spokeswoman
D. Steve Boland, 37, President & Managing Director, Landsafe Inc.,
Countrywide Financial Corp.
Cory Booker, 36, Mayoral Candidate, Newark, NJ
Nicole E. Brown, 28, Project Engineer, Malcolm Pirnie Inc.
Nick Cannon, 25, Actor & Producer
Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, 36, President & CEO, Def Jam Recordings
Susan Chapman, 37, Global Head of Operations, Citigroup Realty Services
Toure Claiborne, 33, Director of Specialty Marketing, Sears
Sean "Diddy" Combs, 36, Chairman & CEO, Bad Boy Entertainment
Lisa Ellis, 35, General Manager, Acting President, Sony Urban Music
Damon Evans, 36, Director of Athletics, University of Georgia
Kenneth H. Fearn, Jr., 39, Founder & Managing Partner, Integrated Capital,
Harold Ford, Jr., 35, U.S. Representative (D-Tenn.), Candidate for U.S.
Njema Frazier, 35, Physicist, National Nuclear Security Administration
Antoine Fuqua, 39, Film Director, Producer, Fuqua Films
Richard C. Gay, 37, Senior VP, Strategy & Business Operations, VH1 and CMT
(Country Music TV)
Ralph V. Gilles, 35, Product Design Director, Truck Studio,
DaimlerChrysler Corp.
Gregg A. Gonsalves, 37, Partner & Managing Director, Industrial & Natural
Resources Group, Goldman Sachs
F. Gary Gray, 36, Film Director, Producer
Jason Hall, 34, Senior VP/Interactive Entertainment, Warner Bros.
Corey Harwell, 27, Neuroscience Ph.D. Student, MIT
Mellody Hobson, 36, President, Ariel Capital Management, L.L.C.
Dr. Kevin Holcomb, 38, Director of Gynecologic Oncology, Beth Israel
Medical Center, NY
Phil Ivey, 29, Professional Poker Player
Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, 30, Rapper, Entrepreneur, G-Unit
Dr. David C. Johnson, 36, Orthopedic Surgeon, Mt. Vernon Orthopedics and
Sports Medicine
Paul Judge, Ph.D., 27, Chief Technology Officer, CipherTrust
Charles King, 38, Vice President, Agent, William Morris Agency L.L.C.
Beyonce Knowles, 24, Singer, Actress
Dale LeFebvre, 34, CEO, CEO & Chairman, Pharos Capital Group; Converge
Global Trading
Derek R. Lewis, 38, Vice President of Retail Sales, Great West Business
Unit, The Pepsi Bottling Group Inc.
Kevin Liles, 37, Executive VP, Warner Music Group
Elliott J. Lyons, 39, Director, Severe Service Truck Product Center &
Global Defense & Export, International Truck & Engine Corp.
Suzanne Malveaux, 39, White House Correspondent, CNN
Sam Martin, 37, Vice President, HBO Films
James Mason & Wendell McCain, 36 & 35, Managing Partners, Parish Capital
Anna-Maria McGowan, 36, Aerospace Engineer, NASA Langley Research Center
Aaron McGruder, 31, Comic Strip Creator, The Boondocks
Andrea Nelson Meigs, 37, Motion Picture Talent Agent, Creative Artists
Scott Mills, 37, Executive Vice President & CFO, Black Entertainment
Jada Miranda, 28, Vice President, Comedy Programming, HBO Entertainment
Vanessa Morrison Murchison, 36, Senior Vice President, Production, 20th
Century Fox
Bernard Muir, 36, Director of Athletics, Georgetown University
David L. Nichols, 36, Executive Partner; Practice Lead, Global SOA,
Soledad O'Brien, 39, Anchor/Reporter, American Morning, CNN
Tyler Perry, 36, Playwright, Actor, Producer
Adrian D. Parker, 26, Advertising Manager, Foot Locker Inc. USA
Brian Parker, 30, VP, Emerging Markets & New Business Development, Choice
Hotels International
Donald M. Remy, 38, Senior VP & Deputy General Counsel, Fannie Mae
H. Philip Salmon, 39, VP, Corporate Treasurer, MetLife
Jeffrey Scott, 35, Managing Director, Black Enterprise/Greenwich Street
Corporate Partners
J. Marshall Shepherd, 36, Meteorologist, NASA's Goddard Space Flight
John Singleton, 38, Executive Producer & Filmmaker
Stephen A. Smith, 38, NBA Analyst, ESPN
Will Smith, 37, Producer, Actor, Overbrook Entertainment
Stephen Stoute, 36, Founder & CEO, Translation Consulting and Brand
Raven-Symone, 20, Actor, Singer, Producer
James L. Tanner, Jr., 36, Lawyer, Agent, Williams & Connolly L.L.P.
Kanye West, 28, Producer, Hip-Hop Artist, Roc-A-Fella Records
Pamela M. Wheeler, 38, Director of Operations, Women's National Basketball
Players Association
Pharrell Williams, 32, Producer, Star Trak Entertainment
Eldrick "Tiger" Woods, 30, Professional Golf Player
Russell T. Wright, Jr., 38, Chairman & CEO, Dimensions International Inc.
Wyclef, 33, Hip-Hop Artist, Producer
William Young, Jr., 36, Military Strategist, U.S. Air Force School of
Advanced Air and Space Studies.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Paris riots in retrospect

It's both easy and hard to really reflect on what went down in France. It's easy because the song remains the unrest, one incident of police brutality, and then riots. It reminds of the Watts riots back in the 60s. It's all pretty simple when you think about it.

But it's hard because I don't really understand France. At the same time, there's the whole issue of immigration, and the social conditions of immigrants and then there is that one thing people don't want to talk about, that ugly thing known as racism.

There is common ground however between what people experience here and what is going on in France. Take the analysis from ABC News:

Difficult Integration: Because of the difficulty integrating into French society, many young males of African and Arab descent work for the lowest wages and often live in ghettos where crime is rampant.

As usual, life is a bytch. Also, like here in the US, you got your gentrification:

As in many cities around the world, Paris rents have gone through the roof. As a result, many people have been forced to move out or shack up in dilapitated buildings. Last year more than 100,000 people competed for 12,000 available subsidized housing units in Paris, according to official figures. Among the hardest-hit without housing are immigrants (legal and illegal.) The three back-to-back Paris fires over the spring and summer, which killed many children, occurred in such rundown buildings.

I guess I could go on about how messed life is in France for the African and Arabian people. It all boils down to this: in situations like the LA Riots, or the Watts Riots, this has been a product of anger just simmering. Like the Paris riots, the LA Riots didn't happen just out of the blue. They resulted from years of police brutality, bad schools, problems with gangs, drugs, and crime. People I think tend to act like this stuff results from flaws of the people, that they are inferior, immigrants, and "savages".

In a nutshell, things are messed up for these people, and this is a reaction to the situation. How can anybody expect an oppressed, abused minority to not react to their situation in such a way?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Hip-hop's code of silence hurts police By Gelu Sulugiuc
Thu Nov 10, 8:59 AM ET

When rapper Lil' Kim was sentenced to a year in federal prison this summer for lying to a grand jury about a Manhattan shootout, she was lionized by media covering the hip-hop music scene for not "snitching."

Even as prosecutors confronted her with security camera tapes showing her standing next to one of the shooters, she lied about who was involved.

The media hoopla helped the rapper enter the Billboard chart at No.6 with her latest record "The Naked Truth," released shortly after her incarceration in September.

Criminals have always relied on a code of silence to evade prosecution. But calls to "stop snitching" have grown louder in hip-hop, which grew out of black inner cities to become a huge influence on youth culture across America.

Critics say this taboo on "snitching" or informing is now part of hip-hop's mystique and makes it increasingly hard for police to solve violent crimes in inner-city neighborhoods.

"The cultural shift that it is acceptable to tell people not to come to court to testify imperils the criminal justice system," said Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham.

Many hot hip-hop artists glorify crime and violence in their music. The "stop snitching" calls have helped sell records and magazines while branding those who cooperate with law enforcement as traitors.

The message is that drug dealing and shootings are normal and it's more noble to go to jail than to talk to police.


The phrase "stop snitching" gained mainstream attention when DVDs with that title showing scenes from inner-city life surfaced in Baltimore last year.

"We've got a lot of rats up here we want to expose," a man says in one scene. "There ain't too many of them because we deal with them."

NBA star Carmelo Anthony is shown laughing while another man threatens informers. Anthony has said he was an unwitting participant in the DVD.

The slogan "stop snitching" has begun appearing on T-shirts across America to the dismay of anti-violence groups such as Men United for a Better Philadelphia, which encourages crime witnesses to cooperate with police.

"Your life is at stake," Bilal Qayyum, the group's co-chairman, said of the risks of not cooperating with police to solve crimes. "If you don't step up, it could be you or your family tomorrow."

But cultural pressure not to talk to police is effective, said Judge John Glynn of Baltimore City Circuit Court, adding two-thirds of violent crime witnesses recant or refuse to testify in his court.

"If a kid lives in a culture where being a thug is supported, he's going to feel much more comfortable not cooperating with the authorities," he said. "Most people go along and take the easy way out."

Baltimore is full of examples of what happens to some people when they try to testify about crimes they have witnessed: 16-year-old Edwin Boyd was killed in a hail of 13 bullets after he witnessed a murder in 2003 and became a prosecution witness.

The rise of hip-hop culture has heightened the phenomenon by transforming street thugs into role models, critics say.

Popular hip-hop magazine The Source lamented Lil' Kim's prosecution. "She didn't do anything. She didn't pull no guns. She just told a little fib," it wrote in its October issue.


In July, the magazine XXL boasted "exclusive interviews with hip-hop's incarcerated soldiers" and promised to publish a yearly "jail issue." Most of the rappers portrayed were in jail for an array of violent crimes, from murder to armed robbery.

Calls to editors at The Source and XXL requesting interviews were not returned.

"XXL named it the jail issue, but every issue of a lot of magazines might as well be called the jail issue," said rapper Chuck D of Public Enemy, who had hits in the 1980s with politically astute albums such as "It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back."

"Somebody who might want to play gangster or thug is being reflected as being the guideline for the culture, and to me that's wrong," he said.

Rapper 50 Cent, known for his hit album "Get Rich or Die Tryin"' and who regularly boasts of his numerous gunshot wounds and his drug-dealing past told Reuters, "A snitch would be the worst thing that you could be in the neighborhood. If you tell on them, they don't want you around."

Public Enemy's new album "New Whirl Odor" with its positive message doesn't sell nearly as well as new rappers such as Young Jeezy, whose hit debut "Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101," glorifies drug dealing and gang life.

The rise of the "stop snitching" culture comes as violent crime among juveniles in the United States is rising.

Federal Bureau of Investigations data showed a 2.4 percent drop in the murder rate in 2004 compared to 2003, but the number of juveniles arrested for murder rose by more than 21 percent over the same period.

That trend prompted the FBI to make combating street gangs a top priority, along with counterterrorism. But community support is key to that effort.

"I support snitches," said Chuck D. "If a person is cancerous to society, then a snitch sometimes is the best solution, with an army behind him."

(Additional reporting by Larry Fine.)

From Yahoo!

Monday, November 07, 2005


Santa Monica, California, November 7, 2005 – Geffen Records will release Mary J. Blige’s seventh album, “The Breakthrough,” on December 20, 2005. “The Breakthrough” delivers Mary’s fan- pleasing, trademark, straight-up messages to players, cheaters and fools with serenity, conviction and compassion. Mary’s prior multi-platinum hit albums include such classics “No More Drama”, “What’s the 411,” “My Life,” “Share My World,” “Mary” and “Love & Life.” On “The Breakthrough,” Mary showcases this considerable talent, all while displaying a newfound spiritual growth.

The songs on “The Breakthrough” are evidence of Mary’s journey from her childhood in the projects of Yonkers, New York, to her early successes plagued with drama, to her current breakthrough. “Yes, she’s gotten lost, she’s done this and that and she’s been trying to figure it out,” Mary admits in her typically forthright manner. The album takes the listener on a journey through its 14 tracks. Essential stops on this trip are the album’s debut single, “Be Without You;” an inspiring duet with Bono on U2’s “One;” “MJB Da MVP,” with Mary’s vocal over The Game’s “Hate it Or Love It;” and “Can’t Hide From Love,” a track that received early airplay due to a version leaked to radio.

Nobody tells it like Mary. Over the course of 14 years, with a voice that is rough and ready, sweet and pure, Mary J. Blige is capable of conveying heartache and happiness in a single musical phrase. A confessional singer, her emotional honesty reflects the great traditions of blues and soul with a ripped- from-the-pages-of-your-diary immediacy that has won her countless honors and a devoted, ever- growing audience around the world. More than a vocalist, she is an accomplished three-time Grammy Award winning recording artist known for her electrifying live performances and dramatic videos.

Mary is known for her innovative studio productions with a veritable who’s-who of musical talents from Elton John to Dr. Dre. On “The Breakthrough,” Mary continues to work with a hot-list of producers. Helming this album’s musical journey is an all-star cast of producers including Bryan-Michael Cox, Rodney Jerkins, the Black Eyed Peas’ Will I Am, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Dre & Vidal, Raphael Saadiq and more.

Beyond giving to the world through song, Mary is committed to helping through deed. In addition to filming anti-drug PSAs, Mary has worked with various education groups and received Rock the Vote’s highest honor, the “Patrick Lippert Award.” She is a tireless fund-raiser for people with AIDS. Most recently she has joined the Crest Healthy Smiles campaign to bring awareness to the oral health care epidemic and provides children in underserved communities with necessary tools for preventive care, education and low or no cost dental services.

Whether pouring her heart out in a recording booth, on a concert stage, or privately learning how to love herself and help others, Mary has discovered something powerful: The music that she makes, the songs that have brought so much joy and solace to so many, have also been her own salvation. When you think of perseverance, strength and commitment, you think of Mary J Blige.

Courtesy of

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Why I started "blogging"

I started “blogging” a couple of years ago. “Blogging” as the practice is called, is starting like a journal through such websites as or On these blogs, an individual can talk about anything. This has become really popular with political types, who use the weblogs to give their opinion of what was going on in Capitol Hill. I decided to take this and use it to talk about hip hop and politics. Hence, I named my weblog hip hop politics. The purpose of my weblog is to give a “hip hop” perspective of the news. In the world of weblogging, these days mostly anybody who starts a weblog either likes President Bush or doesn’t like him. What I wanted to give the “blogosphere” was a political hip hop perspective. What is a political hip hop perspective?

Coming from a small town in CT back in 1988, I went to Howard University, and it was much different than it was now. Brothers were listening to Public Enemy, wearing black medallions, reading “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” and adopting politically radical attitudes. I was exposed to the teachings of the 5% Nation and Minister Farakahn and the Nation of Islam. The campus was very volatile back then, from the protesting of politician Lee Atwater’s seat on the Board of Trustees because he produced racist campaign ads for the Bush Administration, to the South Africa issue, to the issues in the city of Washington DC (crack and crime). It would take years really for me to learn what goes on in the House of Reps and the Senate, but now with my background in hip hop, radical politics, and an ability to see what goes on in Capitol Hill, I wanted to bring this out to the world in the form of my site.

One time I spoke to a co-worker about Common. I broke down the beef that happened between Ice Cube and Common, and how Cube did that song “Westside Slaughterhouse” and Common did that song “The Bitch In You” and put Cube in his place. Beef in hip hop has a lot in common with beef in politics. For example, there has been a running scandal in which people in the Bush Administration outted a CIA agent, and it has been causing quite a ruckus on Capital Hill. Without going into too much detail, the whole situation is an example of the product of beef between those who are against the Iraq war and those who are for the war. The husband of the CIA agent proved that one of the reasons for the war was wrong, and they made the couple suffer for stepping out of line.

Not many of us really concern ourselves with these situations. We all know, however, the beef that 50 Cent has with Dr Dre. This is what my weblog is about; breaking down and following the politics of hip hop, focusing in on the political side of hip hop and promoting music that is not really promoted on BET or VH1. I feel that most of us don’t really follow what is going on in the world of politics, but we know what 50 is saying all day everyday. If we could see the similarities in 50 Cent dropping Dr Dre if Dre works with The Game, and Bush dropping Karl Rove because he may have had something to do with the outing of a CIA agent, we could see the common drama that rappers and politicians share rather than feel like outsiders in the political arena.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Canadian rap artist DEEMI "THE HOODZ PRINCESS"

DEEMI “THE HOODZ PRINCESS” Chris Styles presents Dangerous LLC...Midi Mafia presents Family Ties Entertainment...And together they bring you DEEMI “THE HOOD'Z PRINCESS” Check out the new site - Click Here Album “SOUNDTRACK OF MY LIFE” Coming Soon!!!!

Deemi VIDEOS: "Tree'd Up" and "So Hood"

::VIDEO Tree'd Up

::VIDEO So Hood
Deemi - Soundtrack Of My Life
Chris Styles presents Dangerous LLC/Midi Mafia presents Family Ties Entertainment

DEEMI “THE HOODZ PRINCESS” Chris Styles presents Dangerous LLC...Midi Mafia presents Family Ties Entertainment...And together they bring you DEEMI “THE HOOD'Z PRINCESS” Check out the new site - Click Here Album “SOUNDTRACK OF MY LIFE” Coming Soon!!!!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

CNN is a Whore... FOX News is a Prostitute!

From Chicotown!

Via Chicotown, check out "All major news networks take it in the aXX". LOL....Chico is a trip!

Time is tight today, so I had to just blog and run. But, plan to post some original stuff soon, and I will review Public Enemy's new album "New Whirl Order" (yeah, I know what you're thinking, but it's PE!) Later!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

50 Cent lashes out at Kanye

Also check out:SOHH Media Chin Check: Jay-Z Calls Peace With Nas: Winners and Losers

Via PopLicks, I found about 50 Cent's political leanings:

Rapper 50 CENT has lashed out at fellow hip-hop star KANYE WEST for accusing US President GEORGE W BUSH of racism in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

The IN DA CLUB star believes human intervention could not have prevented the effects of the hurricane, which killed over a thousand people in the US gulf states in August (05), and sees no point in reprimanding the President for something which was beyond his control.

He says, "The New Orleans disaster was meant to happen. It was an act of God.

"I think people responded to it the best way they can.

"What KANYE WEST was saying, I don't know where that came from."

I guess the best response to this that I saw was on the PopLicks comment:

why should we care? is this even worth bringing up? he's simply a pop musician, and a dumb one at that... i don't think 50's opinion will be swaying anyone's vote during the coming election.

yes he's a dipshit... get over it.

I second that. Check out Chasing Red and Fear of a Brown Blogger.
Hip Hop Against Terrorism?

When I came across the list of new releases via Pro Hip Hop, I found a "Hip Hop Against Terrorism [IMPORT]" I thought that it was going to be a bunch of songs about terrorism. I thought it would thought provoking, challenging stuff. Here is the song list:

1. Meeting (Intro)
2. Pimp Talk
3. Get This Money
4. Toast 2 the Pussy
5. How Rife
6. Baller's Night Out
7. A.K. Ripper
8. Mar Chin
9. Golf Course
10. Gangsta
11. Pandemonium (Against Terrorism)
12. Rider's Ride
13. Pandemonium
14. Gangsta Sh*t
15. Do It 4 the Gangstas
16. Thug Lords
17. Respect (Song for East)

Oh well, I guess I was just asking for too much. Thought provoking indeed. At least they had one song "against terrorism".

Monday, October 31, 2005

Myths of New Orleans: Poor, Bad Blacks -- Who Got What They Deserved

The attacks of 9/11 tore aside a significant part of the veneer of civilization that had shrouded us from certain continuing, ugly truths about ourselves. In the wake of the attacks of that day, many of us -- led by our president, cheered on by the neoconservatives, and also by many conservatives and liberventionists (those alleged "libertarians," who think government should stay out of our lives at home but should simultaneously seek to rearrange the globe by military force -- and who appear to think it represents the apex of intellectual integrity never to even acknowledge this contradiction, let alone try to justify it) -- enthusiastically embraced a simple storyline: Western civilization, more particularly the United States, constitutes the highest point of possible human development. It is only "freedom" and "democracy" as practiced in the West that can guarantee a future of peace. (Never mind the West's uninterrupted history of warfare within its own ranks, and never mind the West's unending, centuries-long interference with the rest of the world.)

The West has the answer to successful human life. Since it does, and because certain elements in the rest of the world have now chosen to attack us on our own ground (and never mind that we have invaded and ruled over vast portions of the rest of the world since time immemorial), we must enlighten those benighted portions of the globe in our defense. Our chosen method of enlightenment is brute military force, to be deployed even against countries that did not threaten us. The lack of a genuine threat is no argument against spreading our version of "civilization," for our mission is grounded not only in self-defense: it is also a moral mission. Our success and our "peace" directly correlates to our virtue. Those countries and those civilizations that do not enjoy the same success and peace are without virtue. In the most extreme (and, one could argue, most consistent) version of this tale, non-Western parts of the world are less than human -- and they are subhuman by choice. They are immoral, and sometimes even evil. Since we represent the good and they represent the evil, we are surely entitled to improve them, by invasion and bombing if necessary. If they do not threaten us today, they might at some indeterminate time in the future. And while we might kill many innocent civilians in our campaign of civilization, those who survive will be infinitely better off than they would have been otherwise. Besides, how "innocent" can any of them be -- since they are members of inferior, less than fully human civilizations, and since they are so by choice?

Read the rest at the Power of Narrative weblog!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Arnold get back to Terminating

Check out Arnold's Neighborhood!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Stories this week...

I believe that Bush and co. will get off scott free and won't get in trouble for anything. I agree with the quote in the story "Beginning of the End? Watergate 2005? Gotterdammerung for the Bushies?":

Despite all the enormous hopes vested in the Plame affair, that it is playing the same role in the downfall of the Bush administration as did the "third-rate rate burglary" that kicked off Watergate, this could be the end of the story, even if Fitzgerald has said there might have to be further investigation of Karl Rove, identified in the Indictments as Official A.

All this, and I believe this story that soon enough, there will be war with Iran by Christmas. Check out "The Real Reasons Why Iran is the Next Target:
The Emerging Euro-denominated International Oil Marker

In 2005-2006, The Tehran government has a developed a plan to begin competing with New York's NYMEX and London's IPE with respect to international oil trades - using a euro-denominated international oil-trading mechanism. This means that without some form of US intervention, the euro is going to establish a firm foothold in the international oil trade. Given U.S. debt levels and the stated neoconservative project for U.S. global domination, Tehran's objective constitutes an obvious encroachment on U.S. dollar supremacy in the international oil market. A good follow up to this is the article from the Information Clearing House, appropriately entitled "All over the globe, our leaders seem to be suffering from a severe bout of infantilism"

Being that I am in DC, I will have no excuse for paying my respects to her. According to the Detroit Free Press:

The body of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks will lie in repose at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington as part of the series of events that will allow the public to pay tribute to her.

The public will be able to pay their respects in the memorial's rotunda Sunday from 6 p.m. to midnight, Karen Dumas, a spokeswoman for the Rosa & Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development, said Wednesday night.

Friday, October 28, 2005

50 CENT: Refuse 2 Die. Revealing Unofficial Autobiography on DVD Nov 8th!


Featuring Revealing Footage with 50 CENT’s Grandfather, Treach, DJ Skribble, DMC As Well As All-New Music from TOMMY COSTER, Co-Writer of EMINEM’s Mega-Hit “Slim Shady”.
LOS ANGELES, CA (October 27, 2005) – Hip-hop’s biggest superstar, 50 Cent, shocked the world by defying outrageous odds to become one of the music industry’s most successful crossover artists of all time. The unauthorized documentary, 50 Cent: Refuse to Die, available on DVD on November 8 from New Line Home Entertainment, chronicles his inspirational journey from the streets to the stage and his unprecedented acceptance into the heart of mainstream culture. The DVD features interviews with 50 Cent’s grandfather and DMC from the legendary RUN-DMC, as well as 3-D animated segments and behind-the-scenes footage. The DVD will be available at a $19.97 SRP.

After thriving for several years in the hip-hop underground, 50 Cent’s hip-hop anthem "In Da Club” propelled him to instant stardom. Despite his infamous past and headline grabbing run-ins with the law, fans of all ages and races embraced 50 Cent as Get Rich or Die Tryin’ flew off the shelves, instantly becoming a number one album on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. His current album, The Massacre, was number one on the charts for six weeks straight, the longest streak for 2005. With over four million albums sold and four top 10 hits, The Massacre has gone four times platinum, securing 50 Cent’s place in music history. From multi-platinum selling albums to his G-Unit clothing line and starring roles in television and film, 50 Cent has made an undisputed impact on the music scene and the world at large.

50 Cent: Refuse 2 Die is the inspirational journey of the hottest artist in hip-hop, Curtis Jackson (aka 50 Cent). Adored by fans of all ages and races and the face of hip-hop for both the hardcore and mainstream fan, this gritty documentary tells the tale of 50 Cent’s life and the obstacles he overcame to become an icon of the hip-hop generation. From a life of crime to the recognition of the world at large, the East Coast rapper defied the odds to enter the celebrity lifestyle without losing his street credibility. Including interviews with his closest family members and influential figures who guided his career (such as members of RUN-DMC), this raw documentary presents 50 Cent as he has never been seen before.

- 50 Cent’s mother was 1 of 10 children. When she became pregnant with 50 at 15, she hid the pregnancy from her father, telling him she had a tumor.
- 50 Cent started selling drugs when he was just 12. At 15, he was expelled when school officials found crack in his shoes.
- 50 Cent dropped out of school and sold drugs full time with his girlfriend until they got busted twice in 3 weeks. 50 used to say his girlfriend had "Magic Draws". She hid the crack cocaine in her underwear and delivered it to 50s customers after a signal.
- 50 Cent lifted weights and earned his GED while incarcerated for selling drugs. He also wrote rhymes and learned to box. His boxing name was BooBoo.

You’ll have to check the DVD for more on Hip Hop's rap star...

Check out the Refuse2Die website. Here is the trailer.
Condoleezza Rice: Selling Her Soul For the White Man's Approval

This I picked up from the blog Radical Left:

Like a lot of African Americans, I've long wondered what the deal was with Condoleezza Rice and the issue of race.

How does she work so loyally for George W. Bush, whose approval rating among blacks was measured in a recent poll at a negligible 2 percent?

How did she come to a worldview so radically different from that of most black Americans? Is she blind, is she in denial, is she confused -- or what?

After spending three days with the secretary of state and her entourage as she toured Birmingham, where she grew up in a protective bubble as the tumult of the civil rights movement swirled around her, I have a partial answer:

It's as if Rice is still cosseted in her beloved Titusville, the neighborhood of black strivers where she was raised, able to see the very different reality that other African Americans experience but not to reach out of the bubble -- not able to touch that other reality, and thus not able to really understand it.

Rice's parents tried their best to shelter their only daughter from Jim Crow racism, and they succeeded.

Forty years later, Rice shows no bitterness when she recalls her childhood in a town whose streets were ruled by the segregationist police chief Bull Connor.

"I've always said about Birmingham that because race was everything, race was nothing," she said in an interview on the flight home.

When she reminisces, she talks of piano lessons and her brief attempt at ballet -- not of Connor setting his dogs loose on brave men, women and children marching for freedom, which is the Birmingham that other residents I met still remember.

A friend of Rice's, Denise McNair, was one of the four girls killed in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. That would have left a deep scar on me, but Rice can speak of that atrocity without visible emotion.

She doesn't deny that race makes a difference. "We all look forward to the day when this country is race-blind, but it isn't yet," she told reporters in Birmingham. Later she added, "The fact that our society is not colorblind is a statement of fact."

But then why are the top echelons of her State Department almost entirely white? "That's an artifact of foreign policy," she said in the interview.

"It's not been a very diverse profession." In other words, there aren't enough qualified minority candidates. I wondered how many times those words have been used as a lame excuse.

One of the things she somehow missed was that in Titusville and other black middle-class enclaves, a guiding principle was that as you climbed, you were obliged to reach back and bring others along.

Rice has been a foreign policy heavyweight for nearly two decades; she spent four years in the White House as the president's national security adviser.

In the interview, she mentioned just one black professional she has brought with her from the National Security Council to State.

As we were flying to Alabama, Rice said an interesting thing. She was talking about the history of the civil rights movement, and she said, "If you read Frederick Douglass, he was not petitioning from outside of the institutions but rather demanding that the institutions live up to what they said they were.

"If you read Martin Luther King, he was not petitioning from outside, he was petitioning from inside the principles and the institutions, and challenging America to be what America said that it was."

The civil rights movement came from the inside? I always thought the Edmund Pettus Bridge was outside.

I know very few black Americans who think of themselves fully as insiders in this society. No matter how high we rise, there's always that reality that Rice acknowledges: The society isn't colorblind, not yet.

It's not always in the front of your mind, but it's there. We talk about it, we overcome it, but it's there.

When Rice was growing up, her father stood guard at the entrance of her neighborhood with a rifle to keep the Klan's nightriders away.

But that was outside the bubble. Inside the bubble, Rice was sitting at the piano in pretty dresses to play Bach fugues.

It sounds like a wonderful childhood, but one that left her able to see the impact that race has in America -- able to examine it and analyze it -- but not to feel it.

If there's a "Rosebud" to decode the enigma that is Condoleezza Rice, it's Titusville.

Eugene Robinson @ Washington Post

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Worlds Greatest Entertainers

You know, if nothing else, you have to appreciate the Bush Administration's soap opera approach to politics. Even if you don't like politics, you would be kept at the edge of your seat with what is going on in the world.

With Iraq, you have your 2,000 soldiers all gone due to this war. But is it really that bad? Check out this comparison of Iraq and Vietnam. Anyways, what remains is more bad news coming from Iraq and not enough good news. Good news for pro-war people would include stuff like building schools, and that kind of thing does not win wars and does not get on the front page of newspapers. So, what you are left with is grimy stuff like soldier casualties everyday. Not exactly entertainment to me, but I'm sure there are plenty of sick puppies in this country who get off on it. After all, this culture produced slasher flicks, WWF Wrestling and porn, so how far off are violent Iraq war headlines from that? It's all the same side of the coin to me.

Harriet Myers quit her nomination today for the Supreme Court...I thought that she wasn't qualified to sit on the Supreme Court anyways. But watching her looking like a deer looking at headlights when the Senators question her would have been classic stuff. Im so sorry I had to miss it. The drawback is that now they are going to dig up some other right wing nut to take her nomination. I'm hoping its not Janice Rogers Brown, she's a real nut. For that reason, the Republicans will love her.

Then there is the whole CIA leak investigation, that's been really funny. I can't wait until the indictments are handed down to Karl Rove and all the rest of these people who broke the law. I don't like Bush; I don't like anything about Bush and seeing all this drama happen right now, all I can say is that I'm loving it. I just hope it gets better.

Check it out; Between Bush One&Two, Ronald Reagen, The Terminator, Karl Rove, and Dick Cheney. Republicans are the world's greatest entertainers.