Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Pack and "Hyphy"

I've been promising for a long time to do an entry about the "Hyphy" group The Pack. Now this Hyphy thing at first I thought it was merely a bunch of Bay Area rappers trying to revive their careers, but when I picked up the latest issue of Murder Dog I found out that this is big in the Bay!

That brings me to this group called "The Pack". I've had this CD since January and I am finally doing my review of it. Being in Washington DC, I can tell you right now that hyphy isnt to popular here. Its not on the radio, and people dont take it all that serious. The average kid will look at you crazy if you talk about hyphy. I mostly get any Hyphy off Emusic, thats my #1 source, which has the whole Thizz Nation catalog. One funny rap that I found which talks about Hyphy is MC Lars "White Kids Ain't Hyphy"

But anyways, The Pack is the real deal, hyphy wise and even just as a rap group. These guys look like the bad azz kids I see hanging out at the local Mickey D's. Their music is about as Hyphy as it can get. Some of their songs remind me of that ATL bass music I heard on the radio when I went to Freaknik back in '94. They got mad energy, style (they made Vans cool!)and talent.

On their first EP entitled Skateboards 2 Scrapers, we are introduced to the Pack with such songs as Vans, Shining, and Freaky Boppas. Throughout the CD there are nice tracks with slow beats and they bump. The "Shining" track reminds me of the old school Electro stuff. Freaky Boppas would sound great in the club! Too Short lends a rap to the Vans Remix. The lyrics are pretty raw, so if you are offended by the use of the "B Word" and the "N Word", this group isnt for you.

The success of the EP has led to them being able to put out a full length album. They are the next generation of this Hyphy thing, and after E-40 and Too Short retire, they will rep the Bay Area to the fullest.

Check out the video for "Vans" on YouTube! Their website is The Pack Online!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Black Power: Music of A Revolution

Going to the local B Daltons, I was just browsing when I came upon this gem of a CD. I dont always buy CD's; matter of fact in the last couple of years I have brought no more than like 10 CDs. But this one was hot; its called Black Power:Music of a Revolution and it was put out by Shout Records.

This 2 CD set puts together various anthems of the civil rights/black power movements of the 60s. Not only that, it also includes quotes by such black power leaders as Huey Newton, Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael (sorry, no MLK on here)

Although I have most of these songs in my collection, the CD is so well put together and how could I pass up a collection that has H Rap Brown, The Watts Prophets, Gil Scott-Heron and The Last Poets! Much of the soul music on here are the artists most relevant songs, such as Marvin Gaye's "You're The Man", Earth Wind and Fire's "Mighty Mighty" and The Staple Singers "Respect Yourself".

This should bring back alot of memories to the old heads who marched with King or hung with the Panthers back in the 60s, but also I would hope some of the youngsters of this generation would get this to hear music that best describes what the prior generation had to go through.

It's sad though how the apathy and destruction of today's generation contrasts with the activism and outrage of the last generation, and thats what I like about this collection, that it shows how unlike today, music really meant something. Check it out! Buy it on Amazon or directly from Shout! Records.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Barack Obama, Malcolm X and Al Qaida

It didnt get that much press, but there was some odd news blurb about one the of the leaders of Al Queda praising Malcolm X and asking Black Americans to join and support Al Queda. Thing about this was despite the seriousness of this news item (after all, we are a country at war against these people), I only found it on very few sites after doing a search for the story. Im not questioning the realness of the story or the validity, but why not the exposure? The only sites that I found this story on were mostly right wing sites like World Net Daily. Again, Im not questioning the validity of the story, I just find it odd that a statment by an Al Queda leader directed towards black Americans to join their fight was not given much exposure.

Funniest thing is that some right wing bloggers on Investors Business Daily and the American Thinker are trying to discredit Barak Obama because he is a black man who did not respond to this. On the Investors Business Daily site, they ask "Why the silence when al-Qaida's second-in-command urged African-Americans to join the holy war?" It's like, if someone with a black face doesn't tell all black America that terrorism is wrong and we shouldnt listen to somebody who we dont care about anyways, then we will all think, "Hmm, maybe I should drop everything and join these people." Do Republicans honestly think that ALL black people listen to Barak Obama?

This attempt on a very small scale to discredit Barak Obama for me brings up the notion that just because Barak is black that somehow he represents, speaks for, and is a leader to ALL black people. It's like, the implication is that he has to say something because he is black, and we have to listen because he is black!

This lumping together of black people is nothing new. Watching conservatives and these right wing extremists coming up with ways to discredit Obama is funny because so many of these people rely on prejudiced,stereotypical, backwards thinking about black people and it shows in what they write.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

New Track!Common!

Here's a new track from Common off his upcoming Finding Forever album. It's called "The People" and it's produced by Kanye.

The case of death row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal, now a quarter of a century long, is heading to a climax this Thursday in a hearing before a three-judge panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. It is a hearing that could result in a new trial for the Philadelphia journalist and former Black Panther, or possibly in a new date with the executioner.From Counterpunch

"If there's one thread that runs through this case, it's racism," Abu-Jamal's lawyer, Robert R. Bryan, said afterward.

A federal judge overturned Abu-Jamal's death sentence in 2001 but upheld his conviction. Both sides are appealing that order. Prosecutors want the sentence reinstated while Abu-Jamal is fighting for a new trial.

The appeals panel is weighing three issues: whether the trial judge was racially biased, whether the judge erred in instructing jurors on the death penalty, and whether the prosecution improperly eliminated black jurors.

From Chron!

Friday, May 11, 2007