Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Nas's "Hip Hop Is Dead" is quite a stellar collection of hardcore NYC tracks. What I liked about it was that it was typical Nas-gritty urban drama laced with an updated version of the 90s Queensbridge gangsta sound. Its the musings of one of the last men standing in a day and age when rap is dominated by alot of non NYC corny MF's who are making monotonous commercial crap rap.
A review of each track:
Money Over BS- This cut has a nice melodramatic track, though the beat is okay, its got those lyrics about street life values and its a good opener to the album.
You Can't Kill Me-This song has a strong beat, and he's talkin' about hitting a spot, you know, the club, and this kinda reminds me of his "It Was Written" album. Me being a Capricorn, I dug the lyric "Son of a capricorn, my Dad's a Don."
Carry On Tradition-He's talking about this new school of rappers he don't like, but paying tribute to the old school rappers, and the need to take hip hop back to its roots!
Where Are They Now-Roll call of old school rappers to a James Brown (RIP)beat. Dope.
Hip Hop Is Dead-I thought this was the best song; I liked how he used the Iron Butterfly sample (the song is called In A Gadda Da Vida, for all who dont know. Of course this is all over BET, dont know if the radio is liking this though.
Who Killed It?-Sounds like one of those mobster Soprano type songs; I liked the beat at the beginning, kinda reminded me of Rakim's "I Aint No Joke".
Black Republican-Straight up, this was some fire from 2 great rappers of the same era, and its got a hot beat, lyrics and is a good radio type single. Plus the title, though vague (I dont know too many RICH Black Republicans, or Black Republicans known for their wealth), I know what they are getting at.....
Not Going Back-Starts out with a skit about a drive by; kinda chilling that this would be taken so lightly......
Still Dreaming-I like the Kanye beat, and Nas is talking about not being a lazy nigga.......
Hold Down the Block-Another of my personal favorites on the album, its got a hot chorus and a hot beat, and he's talking about, well, holding down the block.....
Blunt Ashes-I dont know why, but this song reminds me of "One Mic", which was good, but this song is so-so.
Let There Be Light-By now, the hip hop and street life thing has worn thin, but I like the chorus of this song and Nas's flow on this one.
Play On Playa-Another song about street life with Snoop Dogg sampling Marvin Gaye. Original....
Can't Forget About You-On this track he samples some song from the 50s, with a basic hip hop beat and something you dont hear to much in hip hop these days, some good ol' DJ scratchin'
Hustlers-Song with the GAME; good to hear them on a track together, but not the greatest.
Hope (Acapella)-gospel sounding ending to album; choir sings "Hip Hop will never die, Hip Hop is forever." Amen to that.
IPOD KEEPERS-Hip Hop Is Dead, Black Republican, Hold Down the Block, Can't Forget About You, Let There Be Light
SONGS I LIKE BUT WONT STAY ON THE IPOD: Money Over BS, You Cant Kill Me, Where Are They Now, Still Dreaming, Play On Playa, Hope (Acapella)
SONGS THAT ARE "ALRIGHT":Carry On Tradition, Who Killed It, Not Going Back, Blunt Ashes, Hustlers
BUY ON AMAZON!
Monday, December 25, 2006
James Brown, the dynamic,pompadoured "Godfather of Soul," whose rasping vocals and revolutionary rhythms made him a founder of rap, funk and disco as well, died early Monday, his agent said. He was 73.
Thanks so much for the greatest music that everybody ever heard.........
Santa Clause, go straight to the ghetto.
Pitch up your reindeer. Uh!
Go straight to the ghetto.
Santa Clause, go straight to the ghetto.
And every stockings you buy,
The kids are gonna love you. So, Uh!
Leave a toy for Johnny.
Leave a dog for Mary.
Leave something pretty for Donnie.
And don't forget about Gary.
Santa Clause, go straight to the ghetto.
Santa Clause, go straight to the ghetto.
Tell him James Brown sent you. Ha!
Go straight to the ghetto.
You know that I know that you will see
Cause' that was once. Me.
Hit it! Hit it!
You see mothers and soul brothers.
Santa Clause, go straight to the ghetto.
Santa Clause, oh lord, go straight to the ghetto.
And every stockings you buy,
The kids are gonna love you.
So, pick up a stocking you find.
You'll know they need you.
So, I'm begging you Santa Clause,
Go straight to the ghetto.
If anyone wanna know,
Tell him James Brown told you.
So, Santa Clause, oo straight to the ghetto.
Never thought I realized, I'll be singing a song
With one of you. My!
Santa Clause, go straight to the ghetto.
Don't leave nothing for me.
I have you . Can't you see?
Santa Clause, go straight to the ghetto.
Santa Clause, the soul brothers need you.
So, Santa Clause, tell him James Brown sent you...
SOURCE: LYRIC WIKI
YOU WILL BE MISSED!
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
DJ Illipse has a hot mix he put together. It's the first mix of East Coast sounds that I have checked out in a long time! Its a great mix with a little for everyone; party jams, lyrical type songs, songs with deep thought provoking lyrics, and some straight up street rap. Check out the playlist. The songs which I have indicated as (HOT!) are my personal favorites;but the whole mix is nice. For more information or to get the CD, holler at DJ Illipse on Myspace....
3V(DJ Illipse blend)-Big L, Jay Z, Obie Trice (HOT!)
Stone and Roberts-Camp Lo(HOT!)
Do It Again-Chaudon and the Away Team
Set It-Classical the Great
The Hustle-Classical the Great
Here We Go-Classified
Cazual Drinking-Classified ft.Tash
Cot' Damn(DJ Illipse blend)-Clipse
Mr Mee Too(DJ Illipse blend)-Clipse
Wamp Wamp (What It Do)-Clipse ft. Slim Thug
Where It Started At-Hi Tek ft. Dion,Jadakiss,Papoose,Talib Kweli,Raekwon
Uncommon Valor;A Vietnam Story-Jedi Mind Tricks ft.RA the Rugged Man (HOT!)
Life of the Party-Little Brother ft.Carlitta Durand (HOT!)
It Hits the Fan-Obie Trice
Prisoner of War-Papoose (HOT!)
On the Grind(Momma Told Me)-Random ft.Ron Damian, Wordsworth
Best Rapper Alive-Royce da 5'9"
Country Cousins-Talib Kweli ft. UGK
Speak On It-Wade Waters ft. AZ
Too Much-Zion 1 and the Grouch ft. Chali 2na
Download at these sites: Sendspace, Megaupload, Mediafire
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Release date: March 30, 2007
Label: Tuff Gong/Universal Records
There's this old black and white photo of Stephen Marley; it's a portrait of the lion as a young man. He's standing against a wall of bamboo rocking short hair and an '80s-style I-Threes t-shirt--puffed up and proud the way only a rebel youth can be. But there's something else in the image--something about the intensity and focus in Stephen's face even as a teen--that shows in an instant that having the last name "Marley" has nothing to do with being the son of a musical icon or an heir to a throne. It does, however, have everything to do with being an individual with a purpose.
Stephen hammers this point home with the release of Mind Control--his highly anticipated solo debut. Music heads have been up on his work for years, whether for collaborations with R&B stars like Erykah Badu or his part on the dancehall burner "It Was Written", and especially after Chant Down Babylon, the platinum-selling star-studded Bob Marley tribute he produced. But Mind Control represents a new stage in Stephen's evolution, one that brings together the genius of his production and his wise and soulful voice with hip-hop beats, smoky bass and winding keyboard runs. This is the sound of a man coming into full realization of his powers--and his legacy.
"It's a blessing to not have to stagger through life. I was born firm and conscious," explains Stephen, who was first heard on record at age six as part of the family's group Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers. All the Marley children share the politics and passion of their father, so Stephen needed no introduction when he stepped up to become the de facto musical hub of his father's recordings and the family's various projects around age 18. "It was a special experience but at the same time it was nothing new, because I grew up around it--so I had it," he continues. "But even though I had it, I still had to man it. And even if it's anticipated, it come when it come."
Now the wait is over, and perhaps the most surprising thing about Mind Control is just how rooted in the real world it is. Never content to simply rehash the sounds and themes of the past, Stephen uses the full length of the album to balance his range of ideas as a songwriter, musician and a man. The lead single 'Mind Control" opens the album with a slow-burning groove that builds to a brushfire as it calls out the unseen social forces that still subject us to mental slavery; "Chase Dem" is even more explicit about the effect of political corruption on our lives. Stephen is never dragged under by bitterness, however: "Inna Di Red" is a poetic mystical soul search that escapes the shackles of everyday strife, while the album's title track is a family roll call that shows the unity of the Marley clan in the face of struggle.
Featuring cameos from roots-rock star Ben Harper, hip-hop hero Mos Def and younger brother Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, it's a collection of songs that range from conscious critiques of society ("Mind Control") and politics ("Chase Dem"), to the sweet and open-hearted ("Hey Baby"), to the simple and fun (the sexy, club-rocking, Latin-tinged grinder "Let Her Dance," which features Maya Azucena & Illestr8).
The softer and sweeter side of Stephen is also on full display in the album. A smooth, smart slab of hip-hop featuring a dose of Brooklyn flow courtesy of Mos Def on the album's first single, "Hey Baby," is based on a song Stephen would sing to his children to keep them from being sad while he was on tour with The Melody Makers: "Hey baby/ don't you worry/ even though the road is rocky/ I'll be coming home to you again." The hypnotic "Lonely Avenue," is a sweet, harmony vocal- and organ-soaked take on the Ray Charles classic-done Marley style. "I'm a big fan of Ray," says Marley. "I couldn't tell you the first time I heard him, but I could tell ya what I remember is hearing him and feeling him in pain." Blending modern sounds with classic roots vibes, Mind Control finds Stephen carrying the Marley legacy even further into the future with such samples as the smart piece of the Martina Topley Bird song "Sandpaper Kisses" heard throughout "You're Gonna Leave."
The album includes a trilogy of sorts ("Officer Jimmy Interlude," "The Traffic Jam," featuring Damian, and "Iron Bars," featuring brother Julian Marley, Mr. Cheeks & Spragga Benz) inspired by the few hours that Stephen and Julian spent in a Tallahassee jail in 2002 for marijuana possession: On "Iron Bars"-the song in which he sings "Let me out!/Let me out!/I'm an angry lion!"-Stephen asks himself, "What am I doing here, among the wolves? For some herb? It's like I'm a murderer. Ya know what I mean? Ya make me feel like I'm a murderer, for some herb, where, ya know, it's my culture."
Mind Control "has more magic than 'great songs,'" says Stephen mischievously. "But it has a little magic in it, still." And perhaps more than anything that's the secret to this Marley's auspicious solo debut: the magic created when diverse roots combine in an artist's singular musical vision--when a blistering electric guitar solo slides into a bluesy harmonica riff and Stephen's wails let me out, let me out/I'm an angry lion on "Iron Bars", a collaboration with brother Julian and longtime friend the rapper Mr Cheeks--the only guest artists on the album. With the release of Got Music? that lion is out--and he's roaring.
Listen to:"Traffic Jam" - Stephen Marley ft. Buju Banton and Damian Marley
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Interview with rapper Shakti
Whether you like it or not, hip hop has become a means of communication between people around the world. In this day and age this is important considering how after 9/11 the world became something of a clash of cultures. The problem with American hip hoppers is that they have a tendency to be very close minded about what real hip hop is. Depending on where some cats are coming from, they have a tendency to be very loyal, to think that real hip hop is from NYC, from the South, or from the West Coast. Then when you get into styles or subject matter, it all has to be presented a certain way or else its just considered fake or illegitimate.
What heads have to realize is that there is a big world out there beyond just their "hood" and people are rapping in Spanish, Arabic, French, and the list goes on. They are going beyond talking about hustlin' and ballin', they are talking about the way things are in far off countries. That is why I like Shakti. She is a female rapper from India, and she's hot too! Didn't think that people from India rap? Well, read on with an open mind and realize that hip hop is truly becoming a global movement.
First of all, where are your from, and what city, country or town are you reppin'? My parents are of South Indian decent; they immigrated from India and Singapore and settled in Detroit (Motown) which is my hometown. Just imagine a traditional Indian family living in the hood. I remember playing outside where kids were beat boxin, rapping, and break dancing while at home it was all traditional Indian. When people ask me where I grew up it’s always a long answer because I am very much like a gypsy. Even though I was born in Detroit for the most part I grew up in San Francisco and Chicago. When I was younger I also spent my summers overseas between India & Singapore. I’ve lived in New York for 5 years so now I’m reppin’ “hoods” from all over.
Tell us about yourself.... Shakti stands for feminine energy and power. I draw my energies from so many places and experiences. I’ve been in music since I was six years old. I eat and breath this passion I have for entertaining. I’ve studied a lot of different styles from R&B to classical Indian singing and it’s helped me to differentiate myself from other singers. I belly dance and hip-hop dance and integrate the east and west in all that I do. I’ve been called an innovator and that gift has been ever present in my life. I’ve always wanted to be different from what everyone else was doing and I’m fortunate to have music as my medium of expression to project all that is in me to the public. I have a great family support system with my mom managing me and being there for me since my first note.
What is up with hip hop in India is there a hip hop scene? Hip-Hop has influenced the world! India is definitely included in that hip-hop take over. Who would have ever thought Hip-Hop would be represented in a third world nation. It has reached over mainly through music videos. Music and film is a big deal over there with the “Bollywood” industry. I don’t think many of the Indian youth understand what Hip-Hop really is or how it started other than black folk speaking a crazy kind of English and rapping. They have crazy clubs over there and their own versions of Rap. I remember going to a club in Bombay a while back and they were playing the same records I heard in New York. I think music videos have shown that America has a poor side too and the glorified gangster thing is replicated even in the Indian movies. Much of India is extremely poverty stricken and the same time you have the very rich. Whenever I go over my cousins are always asking me if I get shot at in New York and all of that cause they kind of think it’s the way it is on TV. They also get shows like Oprah and Baywatch over there.
When I think of hip hop in India , I think of the bhangra form of music and Punjabi MC, the artist who did that song with Jay-Z. Is what you do along those lines? My single “Do the Thang Thang” is based on Bhangra which is a folk music style that comes out of Punjab . Punjabi MC is actually a DJ and not an artist. He crossed over from England in the US when they got Jay Z on the track. Some of my material is like that but I am doing the singing. We’re not using samples.
Who are your influences as far as your music goes? My musical influences range from Rakim, John Coltrane, Michael Jackson, Missy Elliott, Mary J, Beyonce, to the music of my own culture, and other styles of world music. I listen to music for different reasons, sometimes for studying other times just for enjoyment. My music is also heavily influenced by my travels. I try to share my life experiences in my songs.
Tell us about your music. What do you sing or rap about? Much of my record started out very sensual and party oriented. Most recently I’ve started writing more about what I was going in my life. I have subjects ranging from a track called “Jealous Bitch” about how woman treat other woman to a song called “Blame” talking about a relationship falling apart. I am primarily a singer. Every now and then I will rap in my language for fun. The rhythms in Indian music are really hot and the sounds or so distinct. So many producers like Timbaland have copped a great deal from Indian music. From Missy, to 50 cent, and lil Kim, its crazy how many Indian samples are being used in songs. There just hasn’t been an Indian artist out in the US that is from the US yet. That is where my project comes in.
What is the audience you are trying to appeal to with your music? I want to reach as many people as possible with my sound. My culture has not been represented in Americaand there are so many of us growing up over here. I definitely have strong a strong Asian support base and the urban audiences that I have been performing for have also been very supportive. People started calling me the Indian J-Lo in Europe and I think it was because she has her Latino roots but she is also “Just Jenny from the Bronx Block”! Musically I am like Mississippi Masala.
Where would you say most of your fans are, or where are you most popular? My campaign has been geared online and there are people from all over responding to the project from Italy to India to Australia . I’m on myspace and have over 100000 views. People have been reaching out to me showing a lot of love. My music has been released in several countries on different labels like Sony Australia , and Avex in Japan. What I am doing is international. The label I am working with has a focus that is world wide and not just in the states.(Global Soul Entertainment) You can hear some of my songs on a lot of mixtapes floating around. I am so fortunate to have the support of some of the hottest DJ’s.
How do people in India respond to what you are doing? The response is always incredible I usually perform there for audiences of 7-10 thousand. Fans screaming at my shows help create a lot of energy in the performance. It’s nothing in the world like giving all of yourself to a crowd and feeling it back from them. My single just came out on a compilation album over there. I’m planning to shoot the video in September. I am really excited about everything because the kids over there are able to relate to me and yet I’m still an American Desigirl.
A lot is going on in your region of the world, what with the recent bombings in India. Do you touch on that whole situation? Me and my producer “Bellringer” went over to record in India for four months and while we were there a bombing happened on a bus not far from where we were. We got calls from people back home checking to make sure we were ok, and the tripped out thing is that the people over there were telling us “oh that’s nothing it was just a small bomb!” It’s sad that wars are happening and the twisted politics behind them. It’s sad that innocent people die. My uncle rides that train that was bombed in Bombay every day. It’s a blessing he wasn’t on when the bomb hit. He just happened to have left work an hour earlier! My other family couldn’t get home that night because the trains shut down. In America you don’t hear everything that’s going on in the world. We have all this technology and advancement yet people still find reasons to kill. There is nothing sexy about blood shed. I have seen it on the streets, people getting their throat cut or shot. Music is a vehicle for change and I’m using all that I have within me to bring light and love and try to make a difference. Life is short and I take nothing for granted. (Note: The bombings referred to in this question took place in July 2006)
I'm very open minded and I will like your music, but for all the hip hop heads who are very selective and picky about their music, what would you say is the best thing about your music they will like? Take a chance on something different…you might like it…When something is real it’s real. Whatever I am doing is the truth and its coming straight from my heart and that’s what is at the core of Real Hip-Hop. I’m Indian over Hip-hop beats. It’s like putting hot sause on some mac and cheese.
Those are all my questions. Anything else you would like to tell the people? Any shout outs? The music industry is a hard game and there are so many artists hustling doing their thing. It’s important that these artists get a chance to get heard if they are hot they are hot. You can pay for plays and buy fame but no money in the world can buy genuine talent. I have been involved with the music industry since I was a little kid. It moves me when people support what I am doing and it makes the hustle worth it. Thanks Hip-Hop Politics for letting me share myself with you! Hope to see you at a show in your city or hit me online at www.shaktionline.com or www.myspace.com/shaktionline.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
COCAINE AND HIP-HOP share a long history but over the last few years, there's been a surge in coke-themed songs and artists — aka crack rap.
The roots of this fad date back to 2002, with the critical and commercial success of both Scarface's "The Fix" and especially the Clipse's "Lord Willin'." While Scarface spoke mostly on the necessary evils of drug dealing, the Clipse's Pusha T and Malice gleefully glorified hustling as the way into wealth rather than path out of poverty. Their songs were cartoonishly outrageous, even by Tony Montana-standards, as they co-opted children's rhymes into coke boasts and dropped punchlines about yayo-smuggling grandmothers.
Four years later and the genre shows little sign of decline. E-40 started off 2006 with his ode to blow, "White Gurl." Then a parade of mixtapes like Juelz Santana and Lil Wayne's "I Can't Feel My Face" kept things frosty until the last few weeks where Jay-Z's "Kingdom Come," the Clipse's "Hell Hath No Fury" and Young Jeezy's upcoming "Inspiration: Thug Motivation 102" promise that talk of snow this winter won't necessarily be about the weather.
Check out the rest on Inside Bay Area
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
A Liverpool-born associate professor from Miami University in the USA has hit back at an LSE researcher who claims that low IQ is to blame for poverty in Africa, citing colonialism and white supremacy for its under-development.
Scientific racism reached its peak during European chattel enslavement
A Liverpool-born associate professor from Miami University in the USA has hit back at an LSE researcher who claims that low IQ is to blame for poverty in Africa, citing colonialism and white supremacy for its under-development.
The row erupted after Asian lecturer Satoshi Kanazawa recently published research in the British Journal of Health Psychology claiming that low intelligence is the cause of poverty, disease, low life expectancy and high infant mortality on the African continent.
Kanazawa’s research compared the IQ scores with indicators of poor health in 126 countries and claimed that the countries with the poorest health have the lowest IQ ratings. The findings already attracted criticism from development NGO War on Want, who said that similar theories had already been disapproved and accused Kanazawa of rekindling “racist stereotypes.”
But an LSE spokesperson defended Kanazawa’s right to publish the research on the grounds of academic freedom, saying that his evidence was based on empirical data. But theories denigrating African people are nothing new. Dr Mark Christian, Associate Professor at Miami University who was born in Liverpool told Black Britain:
“There will always, I'm sorry to say, be views from people of colour who've been educated in the West and from a Western point of view that will fall prey to pseudo-scientific theories that consider Africans or Asians as not as intelligent as those persons considered "White" of European origin.”
Read the rest on Black Britain!
Friday, November 17, 2006
Well, Michael Steele here in Maryland never had a chance at winning the Senate race, despite taking those cute pictures with a dog he doesnt even own and looking like a big smiley b--ch all the time, but this article on BAW has some good tips for other Black Republicans who need to up their ante with the black community.....
They need to stop with the condescension and cheap psychology -- like claiming that that black people are stuck on the “Democratic plantation.” What that implies is that black Democrats have a slave mentality. It’s offensive in that it implies that most of us vote Democratic because white Democrats tell us to do so; that we’re too passive or stupid to compare the records and the facts for ourselves.
I choose to remove myself from that Republicrap foolishness and be an independent. But its funny watching you all go back and forth at each other; kinda like Jim Jones vs. Jay Z; an entertaining and sad spectacle.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Harsh Times on IMDB What I expected this movie to be about when I saw the preview weeks ago was a Mexican thug who becomes a cop and ends up in a tug of war mentally between the streets and his role as a cop. Instead what I saw was something of a cross between Training Day and Friday. It was a story about the lives of 2 Latinos in the barrio of Echo Park in LA. Like most kids who done dirt in the hood and the main character did dirt in Iraq, they got issues but their lives have come to a point where they are going to leave the past behind, get real jobs and go straight. However, the hood is still in them; they are into drugs, cheap liquor, scuffling with the local gangs and traffiking dope. All this drama leads to a vague but disturbing climax as the hood takes these guys under.
What I liked about this movie:
The setting....there hasn't been any movies lately that capture that East LA flava; I think this caught that in the best way ever since Mi Vida Loca back in 1993.
The women...Or should I say "Firme Hienas"(thats Latin Lingo there for ya)?All the ladies in this flick were hella tight! The main character had a girl he was going to marry who lived in Mexico; and she was the bomb. You dont see many hot Latinas in the movies these days, but there were plenty in this movie.
The Latino street culture...This movie portrayed it well, at least as good as it gets in the movies.
The message.....I thought that despite all the flaws this movie had, there was a positive message for all the youngsters out there who are attracted to the "thug life", and this movie addressed the affects of war on peoples psyche, and the sacredness of human life.
What I Didn't Like......
The soundtrack....Im not talking about what they will put out in the stores, but what I heard in the movie. Instead of some LA gangsta rap, reggeaton, or even salsa, I heard alot of old stuff I havent heard in like 12 years, like the 2 Live Crew, MC Breed, and the song "Dazzey Dukes". West Coast Latino rap is getting popular, and there are plenty of artists out like Mr Shadow, Mr Sancho, Lil' Rob, NB Ridaz, Mr Capone-E, and the list goes on. Also, why no special appearences of these rappers, or maybe even B-Real, Sen Dog, Frost, Chino XL, T-Bone, etc could have had guest appearences or cameos in the movie.
Christian Bale....he was so annoying. I think he was good for the part, but why all the serious overacting?
Uneccesary drama...In one scene, they are sitting in a bar, and some guy they are doing "bizness" with gets murdered, and hes all on the ground, bleeding and blood is all over the ground. That was one scene that didnt add or take away from the story, really. This and some other scenes were too over the top and excessive.
The ending...On the one hand, you can take the ending and read too much into the symbolism and hidden meanings of the movie. On the other hand, you can just come to the conclusion that this movie was going nowhere and needed to end in any way possible because people's patience generally runs out after two hours.
If you havent seen it yet....I suggest, wait for it to come out on DVD! That should be next month. Check out the review on PopMatters
Thursday, November 09, 2006
INTERVIEW WITH RAP GROUP RHYTHM RUCKUS -VERMONT HOMEGROWN IS BACK!
Dr. Caucasian and Scribe1 are Rhythm Ruckus. Since their live debut, opening for Ol' Dirty Bastard in 2004, they have been the go-to supporting act for national rap artists touring in New England. Now located in NYC and Boston respectively, Doc and Scribe are working toward breaking Rhythm Ruckus on a major scale. In the past two years, they've recorded the “Narcotico Spectre Trilogy” of EPs and played shows with C-Rayz Walz, Immortal Technique, Gift of Gab (of Blackalicious), Breez Evahflowin', Mike Relm (of Invisibl Skratch Piklz), Zion I, Jedi Mind Tricks, Sabac Red (of Non Phixion), LIFE Long, and Q-Unique. Rhythm Ruckus has also headlined shows at Galapagos, Bowery Poetry Club, Skidmore College, Tufts University, Marymount Manhattan College, Hampshire College, Pearl Street and the Iron Horse (Northampton, MA). Rhythm Ruckus' latest industry demo was produced by the legendary Nonezeo (Notorious B.I.G., Vast Aire, Black Rob) and recorded at the Dojo in Brooklyn. They've recently collaborated on tracks with Breez Evahflowin' and Chris Ballew of the Presidents of the United States of America. Dr. Caucasian’s solo LP “Fucking Try Me” was released in the Fall of 2005. The next Rhythm Ruckus LP "We Blow Minds For A Living" will be released in Winter 2006. Check out my interview with the controversial, thought provoking lyricists Rhythmn Ruckus!
1) For the people who don't know, tell us your group name, your names, and what city are your repping? That’s Rhythm Ruckus out of Saxtons River, VT. Scribe1 is now located in Boston; Dr. Caucasian is now located in New York City.
2) What group or MC was the most influential in getting you to rap and in your rhyme style? We grew up on NWA, Biggie, Busta Rhymes, Cypress Hill, cats like that. As far as the style, that’s an amalgamation of everything under the sun. No genre limitations, no concern for image or what’s considered cool, we don’t care.
3) Collaborating with Chris Ballew of the Presidents of the USA must have been interesting. What came out of that? Nothing really came out of it per say except we got to work with one of our all-time heroes and idols as kids and PUSA is still killing shit. We might do something again in the future.
4) Tell me about your upcoming album, “We Blow Minds For A Living.” We Blow Minds For A Living represents the death and re-birth of hip-hop on our own terms. It ain’t even a rap record, it’s a cataclysmic event.
5) Do you think that in this day and age, hip hop and politics can co-exist? Of course. Rap music is a commentary on society and politics are always going to be inflammatory to the point that lots of motherfuckers have to speak on the subject.
6) You've played shows with a ton of artists. My favorite of your list was Immortal Technique. What do you think was your best show or the show that was the best experience of all the shows you ever played? Every show is our favorite; we especially enjoy playing with cats that we respect immensely and finding that they’re actually cool people.
7) What audience are you trying to get to and reach with your music? Also, where can I or anybody else get your music? Rhythm Ruckus is for everybody that’s mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. A lot of stuff is available at http://www.ruckusnet.com/– go get it! We Blow Minds For A Living will be in a store near you when it surfaces.
8) Any shout outs or anything else you want to tell the people? The only difference between now and the Holocaust is there wasn’t advertising on the box cars.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Black Entertainment Television Friday announced a stellar lineup for the 2006 BET Hip-Hop Awards in Atlanta.
On the roster for the Nov. 15 awards ceremony are Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, Young Jeezy, The Game and others, BET said. The BET Hip-Hop Awards were created to celebrate the history and culture of hip-hop.
Hosting the awards will be comedian and actor Katt Williams. Joining Williams will be Grandmaster Flash, who received the I Am Hip-Hop Icon Award, BET said. Flash is credited with helping to make hip-hop into a musical genre.
BET will also feature the unveiling of the Best United Kingdom Hip-Hop Act as part of the awards show, a news release said.
Friday, October 27, 2006
I started out the week listening to the CD for the funk/latino/rap group 40 Watt Hype, and I wanted to write a review, but I just didnt have the time. It's a good CD available for download on Emusic, and I'm going to write that review this week for sure. On Tuesday, I read about "Gangs and Street Power" which is part of a series being written by Darryl James of EUR Web about gangs and their birth. In this part he talked about how drugs and guns came into the whole gang thing as an initiation into street organizations. On Wednesday, it was all about white America scrutinizing the black senators who are trying to make a come up. Its funny how in articles like "Obama is overrated" and then the anti Harold Ford political advertisment showing how he is "messing with white girls" like it really matters makes you think that white America doesn't want black politicians to succeed. Harold Ford will be the second black senator after Obama if he wins. And regardless of whether he wins a senate seat in Maryland or not, in terms of blackness, this punk Michael Steele does not count. I dont care if Russell Simmons is supporting him. Quite frankly, I dont care who Russell Simmons supports!On Thursday, I found an interesting definition in Wikipedia-"Black Supremacy" On Friday, I was wondering, why are 2Pac fans (most of whom probably didn't like his music when he was alive)mad about the upcoming 2Pac album that Afeni is putting out?
Seriously to diss an album you never heard is really a depressing look at some of the fan base that Tupac has. A world loved icon not only in hip hop culture; but Tupac was a poet, actor, writer, activist and a strong Black man who made his mark in this world and is due more respect than he is showed. The most distressing thing is to see Afeni have to go thru this with every album that Amaru puts out.
But these people who are mad are the same ones who brought that crappy 2Pac album that Eminem put out a couple years ago. If Eminem put out this one, they'd buy 2 copies of each and tell everybody else to do the same. Screw 'em.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
I dont know what it is with me, but I felt the urge to do some research on the origins and stigmas surrounding the lower back tattoo AKA "tramp stamp". I couldn't believe it, but there is even a definition on Wikipedia! What is the origin of this design? Is it merely for whores, sluts and strippers?
Quite simply, the reason people get lower back tattoos vary, but the simple stigmas surrounding them exist, as can be seen in random Google and Yahoo! searches:
BabyNamesWorld.com: "I am afraid to say but yes they are indeed known by that and aka c_m target. Guys are not nice about this. Look nice, can hide, but labels you as a [she-goat] I like them but wouldnt get one for that reason."
Raven Mack:"America’s a great place because there’s all kinds of weird shit around to occupy time, whether it be drugs or porn or weird chicks with tattoos on their lower back highlighting the fat ass they’re barely covering up with a pair of blue jeans."
Mother Tongue Annoyances: "Let me repeat what I think is a key part of the Wikipedia definition: "the lower back tattoo functions as body decoration, while underlining sexual attractiveness." "
E's Surf Report:Speaking of that tramp stamp, big stripper/slut tatoos on the lower back, I saw the funniest thing this weekend at the 24 Hr Fitness off of Bryant. There was this short dude, in his 30's, with a flabby behind that was walking butt naked in front of me to the showers. The guy had a big stripper tatoo above his ass on the lower back. It was so hilarious!
And I can go on for ages...the whole idea is that the lower back tattoo seems to be synonymous on a surface level with whores, sluts and strippers. It simply is, as the guy in the Wedding Crashers movie said, a "bulls eye" for Playboys!
However, I came upon this site "The Tao of Tattoos", and as much as I am always doing research to get to the root of something, I found this interesting quote:
According to ancient beliefs the lower back is an area that has a lot of stored energy in the form of 'kundalini' so this may explain why people are naturally drawn to this area. A lot of people have reported extraordinary sensations when getting lower back tattoos done. Kundalini is a Sanskrit word whose essential meaning is circular or winding. It is also a name used in Yoga for a snake like inner energy. It is believed that this energy was stored in the lower back area.
Now, this doesn't mean that a woman who has a lower back tattoo put it on there because of some ancient beliefs. Truth of the matter is that she may be a stripper, a whore, or a slut on one hand, but on the other hand she might be just a trend follower or somebody who got the lower back tattoo because she thought it looked sexy! Following that logic, its one thing to put on a pair of lower rider jeans to look sexy; styles can be switched up. But, a lower back tattoo is something that more or less could be for life, even after the novelty of it has came and went (if that kind of novelty has such a short life.)
I admit, I like them, I think they are hot, but as I have shown in this post, the stigmas surrounding them are too negative, and though nobody should care if they are labeled a slut or a tramp, and the fact that nobody should be seeing it unless they show it to the whole world, all things should be considered........
Friday, October 20, 2006
Trips me out how alot of this generation of hip hop fans can break down Tupac's life story down to every date, place and event that Tupac ever experienced, but when it comes down to other history, they remain totally ignorant.
Like this week marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Black Panther Party. However, unless you watch History TV or C-SPAN, you would never know it!
I guess given that its an old school thing, a whole other generation and time, and alot of these kids might think, "If that group were so great, then why are things still so messed up today?"
That whole era of the late eighties, with Public Enemy teaching kids about Assata and Huey Newton, made movements like that relevant to us who lived at that time. When that got played out (after the movie Malcolm X came out), and when "gangsta" moved in, that paved the way for somebody like Tupac to replace Malcolm X as a relevant figurehead for black history.
I still think that the legacy of the Panthers is relevant for this generation and beyond. Check out BlackPanther.org to see what I am talking about.
The teenagers started lining up early on the lilac stairs, arriving by Metro, bus and car and on foot. Word had spread: The Market Lounge in Northeast was playing go-go.
At the door, they waved their ID cards, and soon they were in the middle of a throbbing dance floor, 100 teenagers dancing elbow to elbow, holding up T-shirts honoring their dead homies and flashing neighborhood signs with their fingers: Lench Mob (Woodland Terrace), Choppa City (Anacostia), Simple City (Benning Terrace).
That's about the time at many go-gos that fights break out and someone winds up shot or dead. But here, the two police officers assigned to the event didn't budge, pretty certain there'd be no trouble.
These teens and preteens trained -- took lessons -- to come to this club.
They sat through two documentaries. They endured tough-love lectures.
They made a pledge: We will not come to go-gos to settle scores. We will not fight. We will abide by the rules and be respectful.
Check out the rest in the Washington Post
Monday, October 16, 2006
Author and former Mad Rhythms magazine publisher, Yasmin Shiraz is embarking on a series of book talks-dubbed the Politics of Hip Hop Culture tour-on college campuses and bookstores discussing the behind-the-scenes politics of hip hop culture. Drawing on her 12 years involved in the entertainment industry as publisher, marketing consultant, journalist, and researcher, Shiraz has crafted two breakout novels that drip of realism, dramatic storytelling and backstage incidents that you won't see on television.
Read more about it on Frost Illustrated!
Visit her blog at Yasminshiraz. blogspot.com
Sunday, October 15, 2006
You just have to love New York from the "Flavor of Love" show; she's crazy, and she just makes me laugh. No shame in her game. She curses, she smokes, she argues with the other girls at the drop of a hat! Every major issue a woman could have, she has. But I can't help it, I luv her to death! Will she be Miss Flav? It's 9 PM, and I am waiting.......
Miss New York, in her own words....."[Will I do it again?] Ummm, probably…..NOT. What it is is that the success of the show, it's a great show. I often watch the show, I love the show, but you gotta remember I never went on the show to be famous. I just went on the show to give my heart to a wonderful man and to see if we can be together or not. Yeah, I am a little tired of the camera action." See, now doesn't that prove this show is real?
"I'm a little mortified to tell some of my co-workers that I'm into the show," Toni Rasavong, an intern at CBS5-TV in San Francisco, says sheepishly. "They work on news programs with serious subject matter. And 'Flavor of Love' ... well, it's just kind of trashy."
Say it loud, I like trash and I'm proud! On the real though, I tell everybody that Im into Flavor Flav. Do I care what people think? Hell naw! Matter of fact, I hope they take offense...
Read more about this "shame" in the Contra Costa Times....
I've had my eyes glued to the Flavor of Love show all season and today, almost all day. I just can't stop! Even though I've seen every show I have to watch them again! Plus, I'm just all up in arms waiting for the season finale! Who will he pick to be "his girl"? Will it be the superbiootch New York or the halfway decent halfway busted looking Delishis? Im betting it will be Delishis. I just cant wait to see! Plus New York's mother is like totally scary! I know I've said this show is stupid and ignorant and Flav is a total stereotype and whatnot, but I just can't get enuff!
It's all about Flavor Flav! Yeah boy!
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
No More Boondocks?
Universal Press Syndicate announced on Monday that Aaron McGruder's wildly popular comic strip "The Boondocks" will be ending this November.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the comic strip, which is currently in reruns, was initially set to return with new material in October but Universal reportedly said that it could not get a commitment from McGruder on when, or if, he would return to work on the strip.
McGruder announced a six-month sabbatical in March reportedly to concentrate on other projects including the animated version of "The Boondocks" for Cartoon Network. While the strip is ending syndication, the cartoon will continue to be in production.
"Aaron is a brilliant cartoonist who brought a revolutionary voice to the comic pages," Universal President Lee Salem said. "Our hope is that we can work with him in the future, either in newspapers or in different media"
The strip began in April 1999 and at its peak had about 300 clients, according to Universal. The comic also spawned several book-length collections including Boondocks: Because I Know You Don't Read The Newspaper, A Right To Be Hostile and Public Enemy #2.
Newspapers and other media outlets currently carrying the strip will be allowed to until November 26.
Friday, September 15, 2006
After reading this....Fans of hip hop music are likely to have had more sexual partners in the last five years while many of those who prefer classical strains will have tried cannabis, according to a study released on Thursday.
I'm wondering, more sex than people who listen to jazz? Amazing!
Read more about it in Times Of India
I often forget that there still is a "crackhead" culture. I remember when I see crackheads on the streets of DC or in Maryland. But this is off the hook: somebody made a DVD called "Crackheads Gone Wild". The things people will do for $. This is crazy!
After reading this....Seventy-four members of the Florida A&M University Marching 100 have been placed on academic probation and, separately, the entire band faces possible suspension after accusations that some members stole sheets, pillows and other articles from a hotel after a road game in Detroit.
I'm just shaking my kid, wondering how kids are going to blow a whole season over some sheets and towels. Stupid! Think, kids, think. I'll bet they didnt even need the towels or sheets; they probably just thought stealing them would be "the cool thing to do." Dummies!
Read more in Black College Wire
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
I like that song "American Pie" which has that line "the day the music died". It wasnt that literally rock n' roll died, it was that pretty much an era ended and in came in a couple of years of really bad rock music until Hendrix got big.
For hip hop, Tupac's death was alot like when Buddy Holly died. However, Tupac's death differs in context; what Tupac rapped about, the life he chose as oppossed to the life he had the potential to live, the mentality he preached as a reaction to the establishment, and what he stood for.
I saw the movie Resurrection today and what suprised me about Tupac was how articulate he was. Back in the mid 90s most rappers like all the guys down with the Wu-Tang Clan and the Lost Boyz, they were the stars, but when they got interviewed, they just came off as ignorant and dumb in my opinion, saying "You know what Im saying?"at the end of each statement, or some other dumb played out hip hop cliche.
Not Tupac. When the camera was on him, he spoke using proper English, grammer, and the occasional "you know" but everybody talks like that. Tupac could get around regular street cats and speak their language, but he could still present himself in such a way that showed his true intelligence.
I'm like damn, I'd give up all the rappers today to just get Tupac back, for real. Let him be the only rapper, because 97.5% of these MC's today dont need to even exist.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Being as into the ol' skool as I have always been, I brought a couple days back a box set of all the Breakdance movies of the early 80's. It included Beat Street and Breakin' 1&2. I just had to have it. Check it out at Freak Film Central.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Ok, the MTV VMA'sweren't that bad....I do have a headache now because of it though. Some parts of it were just so annoying (like this Jack Wack, I mean Black, why MTV, why?)He was so unfunny he made Damon Wayans at the BET Awards earlier this summer look like a comic genius. But, the most interesting part was the dude who interrupted when J Lo was giving that award to one of those rock bands for I guess song of the year or video of the year, whatever. That dudes website is MTV6000. He's some guy who crashes award shows and sells DVDs doing it. His site must have been getting a ton of hits because it wouldn't load. I guess I'll check tommorow.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Somebody needs to revive the "Stop the Violence" Movement......
From News10Now:Mothers Against Gun Violence hold candlelight vigil:More than a hundred candles were lit last night to try to end violence. The candlelight vigil at Clinton Square was put on by Mothers Against Gun Violence.
From Post Gazette: A mother recounted the day her 14-month-old son was shot, a police officer told of his experiences, a sportsman voiced his rights and a professor expounded facts and statistics during a hearing on urban violence conducted by the state Senate Judiciary Committee here yesterday. The purpose was to identify problems and possible solutions regarding gun violence in Pennsylvania cities
From Boston Globe: Stereotyping recent gun violence (``Park shootings spark fears of gangs, calls for jobs," City Weekly, Aug. 6 ), as gang-related, blaming victims, and proposing park closings and curfews create unnecessary distractions from demanding real solutions and police accountability in protecting our neighborhoods from gun violence. Two things have become very clear: There is a group of young adults approximately ages 18 to early 30 s who are not hopeful about their future. Secondly, the police department has not built a positive working relationship with these residents in a way that enables the police to get information that will both help to prevent and solve these acts of gun violence.
FromCBS4: Monday night police responded to the area of 1419 NW 56th Street in reference to a shooting. Witnesses who spoke to CBS4 News said they originally heard several gunshots raging through the street, and then another set of gunshots which sounded like retaliation.
From WKRN: The 100 murders that beset the Nashville area in 2005 represented a 72% increase over 2004. Chief Serpas said the police department is taking steps to crack down on gangs and gun crimes
From KLTV: Two people are in jail, the first arrests today in a string of drive-by shootings. The violence started last night on South 12th Street in Longview. Longview Police say Anthony Lamar Harvey challenged another man to a fight, then pulled out a gun and fired, injuring 19-year-old Decorian Allen. Nearly two hours later, there was a drive-by on Wylie Circle. Then, this morning, there were three more drive-bys, all within an hour. The first on Bolton Street, the second on Flanagan Drive, and the third on Margo Street. On Flanagan Drive, one woman was shot in the leg. She was taken to a local hospital.
Friday, August 11, 2006
August 12 National March to Stop the U.S.-Israeli War:There has been an amazing response to this call for a national emergency action to protest the U.S.-Israeli war against the Palestinian and Lebanese people. The streets around the White House will fill up with a sea of protestors on August 12. Read the call to action for August 12.
Find out more information on the ANSWER site.
EUR Web: Jesus wasn't black
Reading this piece in EUR Web, at first I was pretty apprehensive:
Preface: I am Christian. This is written from a Christian standpoint. If you are of another religion and don’t agree with what I’m saying from a theological standpoint, respect my gangsta enough to not indulge me in an argument about God…please…
Now, I agree with his one view that "black" isn't really BLACK....
You see, unfortunately, I am not black. There are lots of different kinds of blood in our family. But here in the United States, the word ”Negro” is used to mean anyone who has any Negro blood at all in his veins. In Africa, the word is more pure. It all means Negro, therefore black. I am brown.
I skimmed through the rest of the article, and none of the points really caught my interest but that one.
And I agree. FREE YOR MIND, suckas. Jesus is as much black as He is every other race in this world. Like it or hate it, it really shouldn’t matter at the end of the day.
You know, its funny how the writer of the article went out of his way to do a little "scripture digging" to refute the idea he was black. However, he failed to refute the idea that he is white, a powerful idea that though it can easily be refuted, is pretty much the dominant idea in our society. Ever walk in a church lately?
Thursday, August 10, 2006
The legendary hip hop act, A Tribe Called Quest, are reuniting to headline the first leg of the 2nd Annual 2K Sports Bounce Tour in 15 cities. This marks the renowned hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest's first tour in over half a decade.
In addition to headlining the tour, an exclusive track from A Tribe Called Quest will appear on the upcoming 'Dan The Automator Presents 2K7' soundtrack with Phife Dawg appearing as a playable character. Joining A Tribe Called Quest on this historic national tour is hip hop artist Rhymefest.
Find out more on Thug Life Army!
Event: All Hip Hop Week Social Lounge Panel DiscussionAugust 9, 2006 7pm
Location: BB King’s Blues Club & Grill237 West 42 St, New York, NY
Roy Innis, National Chairman of CORE, has been at the forefront of raising concerns about the influence of rap and hip-hop on Black culture and the Black community. He sees the invitation as an opportunity to talk about an art form that is influencing the destiny of the Black Community. Innis questions the value of rap and hip-hop on society. He will raise questions about the growing signs of the negative impact that rap and hip-hop culture have on today’s society. He accuses the industry of censoring decency and fostering vulgarity.
Find out more from the press release!
The Black August Hip Hop Project is a celebration of Hip Hop and our Freedom Fighters. Organized by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement we strive to support the global development of Hip Hop culture by facilitating exchanges between international communities where Hip Hop is a vital part of youth culture, and by promoting awareness about the social and political issues that affect these youth communities. Our goal is to bring culture and politics together and to allow them to naturally evolve into a unique Hip Hop consciousness that informs our collective struggle for a more just and equitable world.
AUGUST - 8 - 7:00 PM FREE outdoor movie screening of "PALANTE, SIEMPRE, PALANTE: The Young Lords"Harlem State Office Building Plaza - 125th St & 7th Ave (NYC)
AUGUST - 13 - 8:00 PM Black August Hip-Hop Project's 9th Annual Benefit Concert.B.B. King Blues Club & Grill (NYC) Purchase tickets from ticketmaster.com
AUGUST - 19 - 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM GROW / STEM / SPROUT / STRUGGLE / BEUATIFULLYBlack August Hip-Hop Project presents ... a day of BUILDING SESSIONS St. Johns Rec Center (Brooklyn)
AUGUST - 27 - 9:00 PM Black August Hip Hop Project Showcase in Collaboration with IA Universal and Molina Entertainment R&R - 416 West 14th street - bet 9th /10th ave. - (NYC)
Check out their website: Black August 2006
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs edged out Jay-Z to earn the title of the Richest Person in Hip Hop, according to Web site Panache Report.
Following six months of research, the site’s creator, Myra Panache, found that Bad Boy mogul Diddy had the most bank with $346 million, followed by Def Jam president Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter at $340 million and Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons with $325 million.
Most of Jay-Z’s millions come from his stake in the New Jersey Nets, Armadale Vodka, his 40/40 night-club chain and the $3 million in salary from Def Jam, reports Panache.
Sales of Diddy’s fragrance, “Unforgivable,” proved to be the deciding factor in his win over Jay-Z. According to Panache, he has received an additional $6 million this year from the men’s cologne. Most of his other earnings come from the sale of his Bad Boy record label to Warner Music Group and his Sean Jean clothing line.
So So Def founder Jermaine Dupri was the lone newcomer to the top 10 this year, tying Nelly for 10th place with $60 million.
Here is the full Top 10:
1. P. Diddy, $346 Million2. Jay-Z, $340 Million3. Russell Simmons, $325 Million4. Damon Dash, $200 Million5. Neptunes, $155 Million6 Dr. Dre, $150 Million7. Ice Cube, $145 Million8. Eminem, $110 Million9. 50 Cent, $100 Million10. Nelly, $60 Million10. (Tie) Jermaine Dupri, $60 Million
King of bling P. Diddy chartered a private jet to transport his luggage from France to Italy after being told he would need more room.The music mogul was travelling from St. Tropez to Rome on holiday, and paid an additional £9,000 for a second jet to transport his arsenal of Lois Vuitton suitcases."What Diddy wants, Diddy gets," a source told The Daily Mirror.On top of that, the rapper reportedly also flew in a different chef to take over duties for his catering, after his girlfriend Kim Porter complained the food wasn't up to scratch.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
I am trying to experiment with writing like relevant pieces like alot of other more serious bloggers. But, really, I cant write on the Israel/Lebanon crises. It was really weird to me, yesterday Myspace was having issues and for a minute my accout was deleted. I was devastated! It seems like Myspace had issues last week, and yesterday somebody hacked into the system and erased accounts. But, I thought to myself, considering the death toll in Lebanon, the most important thing to me was my Myspace account? That contrast was weird to me. But really, what would I be without my Myspace friends? Strange indeed.
I used to hang out at the strip clubs out here in Maryland in PG County, and now that I dont anymore, I guess that era is over. Really it is. Apparently, the strip clubs was such a pressing issue that The Prince George's County Council has voted to adopt strict regulations for strip clubs, including requiring them to get a license. On the real, if you know as much as I know about this scene, and I dont know much, but this will just force them to be more underground more or less. Those places were nothing but holes in the walls and there were so few. Like I said, I dont really got to those spots anymore. But it is funny how the governments on the local and federal level are working so hard to legislate morality (or reinforce "traditional American Values") Traditional conotates "old school", so were these the values Americans had when they were lynching slaves? Hmmm........
Saturday, July 15, 2006
When I was younger like in the mid 90s I always thought it would be cool to work for Death Row and No Limit records, small record labels who were in their prime in the mid to late 90s. I wanted to be an accountant. I think that if I was in there at the time, things for Death Row would have been different.
For No Limit, I remember Master P saying that there was absolutely no accountability of the money being spent when No Limit Records was big. Thats why at the time it all made sense to me when he said this when things started going bad for them. On video you would see all the fancy stuff....the limos, the Crystal, the fancy clothes and women. But, in reality, No Limit had absolutely no accounting system in place.
Most recently, the same thing happened with Death Row Records (see:SOHH:Suge Knight Loses Death Row To Bankruptcy)It's understandle how the statement by the bankruptcy judge was made:
Carroll said the accounting practices at Death Row were in a state of disarray, and pointed to testimony from Knight admitting he had not reviewed the company's financial statements in over ten years.
Being in accounting myself, this makes perfect sense that back then, it wouldve been great to be part of that process of putting Death Rows financials in order. For anybody entering the game, that should be the #1 concern.
It's relevant that the story makes the statement that this marks the "End of An Era". It truly is. Gone are the days that most of us who wanted more substance in the music complained about; the days of poppin' Crystal, expensive cars, the whole era of "Bling Bling" which was popularized by Jay-Z (though thats not all he was about, I admit), Puff Daddy and Mase, and then later Cash Money Records, Murder Inc., G Unit Records and just about everybody with a record deal and 1/2 a brain.
Excess was celebrated; it was all about "having things", throwing all your money around, and well, "Bling Bling". Financial responsibility was not in the cards, and out of this, a few people got paid, alot of artists got broke and had nothing to show for all the records that they put out and the videos they filmed, and as this whole ordeal shows, none of this seemed to be on paper. Its like going out to the club one night, spending and charging up a storm, and you have alot of fun, but you dont check what you got first.
So, to all the young artists trying to come up in the game, the best thing I can suggest is keep your finances in order. Whether you are a young battle MC who just won $500 dollars in a rap battle, an MC who got a fat advance with a record deal, and so on, keeping track of your finances is the most important thing.
A great place to start is with Suze Orman. She's got a great show about finances and stuff. Check it out.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
The media's approach to the so-called "terrorist plot" on the Sears Tower has been totally brainless. I prefer the commentary of Juan Cole and Truthout.
Too bad when these big companies cut up the internet into 2 tiers; we'll never get any alternative to the trash the major media gives out.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Im always putting Emusic out there because its so damn fresh! Anyways, there are new releases from KRS One and Mr Lif...check them out!
KRS One's"Life" and Mr Lif'sMo Mega!
Check this out:Those of you who continue to be fascinated or repelled by how frequently, and sometimes joyously, some black people employ the word "nigger" among ourselves might want to check out a particular Web site which is leading a grassroots charge to abolish use of the "N" word altogether. The Web site, abolishthenword.com, according to its introductory statement, was begun by a group of frustrated African-Americans who feel that we as blacks have become far too comfortable with a word that was created by slave owners to degrade an entire oppressed race of people. This year, however, actor-comedian Damon Wayans — who is black — stirred up a bit of controversy when the story broke that he has actually been trying to copyright the word "nigga" with the U.S Patent and Trademark Office for nearly two years. Apparently he wants control of the word so he can use it to market some products he's trying to sell. So far his application has been turned down twice.
Read the rest onMetro Times!
Saturday, June 10, 2006
I saw this as one of the comments in a story on SOHH:
You ignorant hood rats and your gangs make me sick. I hate ghetto people. WHo pays for you internet bill you slum dwellers? get a life losers. i hope all the ignorant people kill each other off so the upstanding citizens can thrive and prosper in this great nation of ours. we need a hurricane katrina in New York, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Philadelphia, detroit, and anywhere else stupid niggers destroyed. why dont you all just go smoke some crack, fuck a HIV-infected "breezie", shoot your guns a "some bitch ass niggers", and just bascially DIE!!!
The commment was totally off topic, the article being about the NYC thug rapper Tru Life. But, for me, this commentary by a white web surfer showed that the sentiments of the white Republicans all across the country parallel those of their old school KKK counterparts. But why do they feel this way? Read on......
It may seem self-indulgent to talk about the fears of white people in a white-supremacist society. After all, what do white people really have to be afraid of in a world structured on white privilege? It may be self-indulgent, but it's critical to understand because these fears are part of what keeps many white people from confronting ourselves and the system.
The first, and perhaps most crucial, fear is that of facing the fact that some of what we white people have is unearned. It's a truism that we don't really make it on our own; we all have plenty of help to achieve whatever we achieve. That means that some of what we have is the product of the work of others, distributed unevenly across society, over which we may have little or no control individually. No matter how hard we work or how smart we are, we all know -- when we are honest with ourselves -- that we did not get where we are by merit alone. And many white people are afraid of that fact.
It only gets better....Read the rest on Alternet
Sunday, June 04, 2006
I aint got a damn thing, but at least I have an Ipod!
This is the ideal Ipod playlist for just a lazy Sunday afternoon in the local bookstore, bored stiff while everybody else has laptops all running, and u aint got one, where the only excitement is the various array of phat booties that pass by the window on their way to the movies. Put this on your Ipod for the next boring Sunday afternoon. This is by genre, so find songs in the genre....Start out with some NYC underground hip hop, then switch to some of that English UK drum and bass or whatever form of hip hop is popular over there, then switch to NYC hardcore hip hop twice with 2 back to back cuts, then slow the tempo down with some funk by a real live band as oppossed to just a DJ, then take it overseas to Europe and put in some hip hop by a French, German or Italian artist. Slow it down a bit with some reggaee from Jamaica (did I spell it right?)of the roots variety, then speed up with some dancehall(and not that Sean Paul nonsense either), throw in some neo soul, then some West Coast LA or Bay Area underground (avoid the hyphy though), then really switch things up with "world" music (some African drums maybe?). Get back to some ol' school funk, then pick it up with some of that funky 60s jazz, then some ambient techno, back down to 60s jazz again, bring back some of that ol' roots reggaee twice , then some ol' jazz (John Coltrane, maybe some Cab Calloway), some bluez, and then wrap it up with some old r&b from the 50s.
Now thats guaranteed to let you chill as you watch all the girls walk by and sip your Strawberry/Raspberry Smoothie, watching people punch stuff up on their laptops which you dont have.
Monday, May 29, 2006
Went to the record store and saw this and it creeped me out: Salam Wreck Featuring Big Proof: Grown Man Sh*t
On the album cover we have Proof(RIP) posing with a big gun on the front and the back of the album. Im not saying its anything like the Seven Day Theory and such.
It just creeps me out that the life he chose to portray was what did him in.........
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Earlier this week, the true roots of hip-hop resurfaced via the Subway Series, a traveling concert made up of dancers, beatboxers, emcees, and singers that perform on an NY subway train.
It was the latest of the series, and will be the last for a while, which is a shame; in an era where hip-hop is plagued with pop-friendly tunes, trashy Paris Hilton collabos, sellouts like Jadakiss and Fat Joe, corny southern snap music, and lack of lyricism, there should be more, not less, of the support which preserves "real rap" and reminds us that true hip-hop really exists.
Pop artists like 50 Cent, Eminem, and Nelly have all contributed to the destruction of hip-hop that was first birthed from constant radio rotation. Have you ever heard a corny rap song that you couldn't stand but then you realized that its constant airplay grew on you? Brainwashing the listeners into thinking a song is hot--even though it's not--is an effective marketing strategy that always works. Not only that, but a kid once asked his teacher, as I read in a magazine years ago, if "Eminem created rap." That was the ending of hope for hip-hop.
So in the event of rap's demise, the only mainstream hip-hop pioneers to be granted an afterlife in rap's heaven would be Nas, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Common, Dead Prez, to name a few--the only few, which is hardly enough. Nas wasn't lying: hip-hop really is dead.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
I found the news funny about The Game getting in trouble with the law. See SOHH.He was driving his Bentley without license plates. Now, funny as this might be, I have to wonder, is The Game really in that MC class to be getting a Bentley? Bentley driving MCs would include Diddy, Em, 50, TI,Dre and so on. MC's with consistent track records for making hits, being able to branch off into other ventures like movies, owning companies and a sizable fan base. To me, The Game is still iffy. He got his hit record, but one hit a career does not make. He had hit maker 50 behind him for his last album, but for his new album? I hardly see a buzz. If anything, there is more doubt out there about what Game is capable of. To his credit, he did bring back the mid 90s West Coast rap style, but thing is, is that whole style and posture played out? Will there be enough interest in it for his second album? And as for Black Wall Street, I havent seen that produce much. It seems to be Murder Inc. part 2. They even have an female MC named Vida, or is she the same one who did all those records with Ja Rule? I dunno. I think the GAME should have held off on buying a Bentley and maybe waited a couple more years to see if people will still be digging him like they did when he was part of G-Unit.
Being into hip hop and whatnot, I cant help but think, this Taylor Hicks is just mad corny! "American Idol" just proved itself to be whiter than toast. How could anybody think that this guy will make it in today's music industry? I mean, really, even Vanilla Ice could whup this guy's azz. I just dont see him being a real attention grabber.
The American Idol finale had a performance by the amazing Prince (which is what I still call him!). Prince is light years ahead of anybody who has stepped on an American Idol stage! Being I have been into rock music in the past, I was really pulling in the end for that bald headed heavy metal dude named (I think) Chris. If anything, that guy was marketable.
Who is going to "idolize" the new idol? Who is going to buy his music? Who will go to his concerts? Simon has got alot on his hands to actually get a buzz going on this guy. I suppose he'll just drop an album and then just go away. Yeah, ultimately, that will be his fate.
On the real, doesn't that happen to alot of MC's who get the record deal, then you don't even hear from some of them. Like, I remember a freestyle contest a couple of years ago. It was on MTV and had MCs from Rocafella, you know, Beans and Memph Bleek and all them. The winner turned out to be some geeky lyrical cat who got a record deal with the ROC (this was before the whole Jay as prez/Damon Dash thing)and then in the end, the album never got recorded. In short, the A&R's at the ROC probably were like "this aint gonna happen". Then Kanye came out after this contest and blew shyt out the water, making this unknown MC(along with Memph and Beans) irrelevant.
I say all this to say that I look at this corny dude and Im like, America's Idol? Ultimately, the best this guy is going to do is get some part on some Broadway show, or be some drugged out loser performing in Vegas doing show after show in an empty room with half naked cocktail waitresses for an audience of depressed, drunken losers who lost all their money gambling.
He aint going nowhere..........
Dag, you know, I just don't get around much, what with how hectic my life of 36 years is. So, its good to see that I can get a blogger round up at About rap regarding what is going on, cuz I sure as hell will admit that I dont know!
From:LiveJournal Hip HopWord is 50 says he'd like to executive produce 2Pac's new album and make sure 2Pac is promoted correctly. 50 also says he's concerned about the direction of 2Pac's material from his last effort. "I mean look at his last album. You can say there was no single and if it was it wasn't released in time and not only that, but it was probably released quietly, where absolutely no one heard about it. How do they expect to make money by doing that if the marketing isn't on point," asked 50.
From:Assimillated Negro:So last night was the first of a two night engagement for The Roots and Company at Radio City Music Hall. The first night had Nas, Common, Talib Kweli on the bill. The second has Erykah Badu, Mos Def, Angelique Kidjo, and R&B duo J. Davey. Which means the first night might be worth the $75-80 beans. But Day2 ... ehh. (UPDATE: this would be true except Day 2 apparently had a ten minute set by Dave Chappelle and a finale with Jay-Z, D'OH!!!)
From:Bitter VibesI just received an email from an angry and obviously, very disgruntled freelance writer regarding The Source Magazine. Apparently, the gangster tactics didn't stop when Dave Mays and Benzino were given the boot
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Despite what 50 say, Oprah loves her some hip hop:
"I got a little 50 (Cent) in my iPod. I really do. I like In Da Club. Have you heard the beat to In Da Club? Love that, love Jay-Z, love Kanye, love Mary J. Mary J is one of my friends."
Check it out on Irish Examiner
Monday, May 15, 2006
Sunday, May 14, 2006
I just figured out like a couple of months ago that the name "Dem Franchise Boyz" has dope boy (ie drug dealer)connotations. Well, what about the whole "snap" music thing that they claim. SOHH blogs offers a distinct definition of "Snap":
1. A style of music originating in the Dirty South. Unlike Crunk music, Snap music has a slower tempo but still talks about clubbin' and strippers (what about bubble gum and candy tho'). It is characterized by the finger snap effect in place of the snare drum. Different people may be able to take credit for originating this style from Fabo, D4L, & Dem Franchise Boys. (Fabo was a member of D4L the last time I checked and since when did he start producing beats)
2. A type of music that is very easy to snap your fingers to, hence its name. its made from simple beats and originated in atlanta, georgia. there is a specific step that people often do, along with the snapping. a good example of snap music would be the song "Laffy Taffy" by D4L.
But as the blogger states-"For the record, I don't call it snap music. I think it's all hip hop and just one of it's many facets. And let's be real, the only people who really call it snap music are those outside of Atlanta."
The definition was made up by the suburbanites at Urban Dictionary. Is there anybody out there that actually takes the "Urban Dictonary" seriously? Its good for 14 year old high school kids but for the rest of us living this reality? I don't think so.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Recent comment by Ghostface:"I knew New York was wack when they shot my man Amadou Diallo forty-one f-ing times and ain't nobody stand up," Ghost explained. "But if that sh** happen in L.A. somewhere, they would have went to bat for Amadou Diallo. It would have been hell. Stores getting burnt the f up. New York don't stand for nothing."
Friday, May 12, 2006
Let's see, what happened this week...I finally watched these "Beef" CD's and the Beef IIis the most interesting one. Sometimes those beefs can be so uninteresting, but this CD breaks down some classic beefs. However, at the end of the DVD, I liked how Roxanne Shante broke down how she used some education clause in her contract to get $175,000 in a college education. She didnt have to pay a cent back. Now thats smart, she also got her PHD. Thats hot.
I was always a big fan of Royce the 5'9", but seeing him in the Beef II in a segment about his beef with D12, I now see him as a lil punk. He looked like a poodle or something. I always thought he was a tall scary looking MF. Instead, he looks like a lil girl or something. I still like his music though. But T.I. is right now projecting that whole "living on the edge" vibe, and thats cool, Im digging it. In a gun fight one day, and now he's in jail again. I know the females are getting hot over that. "You been to jail? Can you be my baby's daddy?" Yuck.
I was hearing about Star's(of Star and Buckwild")comments about doing some sick stuff to DJ Envy's daughter. I think this is "Beef" taken to another level. He must've thought he was being "ill", but he went too too far. The morning shows were all condeming him, and Star, he's not really a presence in DC, hes on none of the stations, but I heard his voice a couple times on some mixtapes, and I could tell that even though Cedric Muhammed of Black Electorate likes him (see his Hip Hop Fridays collumn), I just wouldn't be feeling this cat.
Another thing that happened this week that was sad was a little girl who was shot and killed over a rap battle that went bad. Now, my thing is this, why the victims in this case and the target in Star's attack were both little teen girls? The irony is quite chilling, don't you think?
I was bored at work and a thought crossed my head: what ever happened to Fab Five Freddy? I remember that scene in Wild Style were a graf artist friend of his and this journalist both are getting robbed and he sees this as he is getting back to them, this robbery going on. He says "Yo, there's no need for any of this!" Then the robbers apoligize to Fab and say "we didnt know these were your friends!" Now thats juice!
As much as I am open minded, I really think that people are going too far in trying to push this whole "hyphy thing". On my home station, WPGC, they said that in the Bay Area all they play is hyphy.I dunno, this whole hyphy thing, its cool and all, it was explained by the DJ as being a slower version of Baltimore House. On the BET Board they said it was related to ATL Crunk.
Listening to the radio tonite, and hearing some of the corporate endorsed garbage (Dipset, the Clipse, Lil Wayne, etc.)I long for the old days when I used to hear hip hop mixes with Run DMC, the Fat Boys, Kurtis Blow, Whodini, Kool Moe Dee and the Boogie Boys when I was in high school and Tribe Called Quest, Diamond D, Brand Nubian, Common (when he was called Common Sense), De La Soul, and Showbiz and AG amongst many, many others. I miss that kind of music.
Congratulations to the Class of 2006 at Howard University who graduate today. I been out of Howard so long its crazy, but I know how exciting it is. You all dont party too hard!
Is it just me, or does anybody else out there simply not give a f#@% about the NSA monitoring our stupid phone calls? And the Republicans still love him! LOL.Screw 'em all.