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".