Haven't posted in a few days but...
I'm gearing up my new digs at funkdigital.com I need to leave mama's house and find a little studio apt. on my own, so to speak. I'll probably take my entries with me. See ya soon.
So, the argument is on. Is Hip-Hop really dead? If so when did Hip-Hop "eat the dirt"? .... Hip-Hop, Current Events, Pax Americana, Hip-Hop, Rants, Sex, Conspiracies. And you guessed it. MORE HIP-HOP
I'm gearing up my new digs at funkdigital.com I need to leave mama's house and find a little studio apt. on my own, so to speak. I'll probably take my entries with me. See ya soon.
Leave it the Wallabee King to drop knowledge on us about the mixtape promotors:
"You got n*ggas making money off your sh*t which they ain’t even toss up a dollar,” he said. “Then want to front on you when you don’t give them a drop. Don’t come over here cause a n*gga ain’t give you a freestyle.”
Inspired by fimoculous.con mention
HAL:I'm monitoring the ships systems, Dave. I'm detecting something quite...Strange.
Dave: What do you mean by strange, HAL?
Dave: Yes, HAL.
HAL: Do I make you horny?
Radio is too specialized right now. It's probably been that way for atleast 10 years. Once New York got a stricly-dickly assed 24 hour hip hop station things just went went pitch black for me/to me. See 106 and Park. Not sure if it's the media conglomerates takeover or a society attempting to re-segregrate...
I'm happy to report that we are still pumping human blood. My hope has been restored in our hallowed land called the United Stated of America. The ad execs responsible for this debacle warrant guest spots on Extreme Fear Factor. Picture them naked and chin high in muridae rodents. We would all chuckle.
Black women don't take no shit. Our mothers, sisters, girlfriends and spouses have been made to live up to this misrepresentation for awhile now. Quite frankly, its a paradox. Which came first: The media image or the sista gurl eye roll? Regardless, its a coping mechanisms over-utilized for too long--hard and cold exterior meant too mask a crumbling, mushy center.
A Washington Post writer ponders the reputation of black women on reality shows, spotlighting the show producers tendency to showcase the ultimate black bitch. It's a decent read. Take a look why don't cha.
While some may think that this wedding proposal rejection made by this D.C. woman was callous, I on the other had think she did the right thing. Something has to stop these attention-hounds. Not only must the woman give this chump an answer to his potentially life altering request, she has to do it to a crowd of 50, 000 strangers(more like 15,000. It is the Washington Wizards) in a musty basketball gym. Think of the pressure.
Additionally, now it's destined to be replayed non-stop like the janet nip slip on her local news affiliate following a good news, dog drags neighboor from fire story. Those affiliates will pimp her heart renching denial, undoubtedly leading to Leno, Letterman and Sports Center Not Top Ten re-broadcasts.
With the attention that Dj Dangermouse's, The Grey Album has received you had to figure The Roc would weigh in on the matter eventually. Roc CEO Dame Dash spoke commented recently about the unauthorized masterpiece:
While Damon Dash, head of Roc-a-fella, told The Associated Press that proper permission should have been obtained, he said, "I think it hot. It's the Beatles. It's two great legends together.''
So, I decided to get serious with this blogging thing. Not incredibly happy with the functionality on blogspot. I acquired a domain. My new address will be www.funkdigital.com Don't ask me the significance of the name. It just sounds cooool. I'll still be updating this site until I get my new site up. I plan to use Movable Type hosted by bloghosts.com.
Conversations with self-loathing blacks often go like this:
"The first step in freeing one another is for black people, collectively, to surrender. Blacks must consciously give up on achieving racial justice. . . . "
Debra Dickerson has jokes. Sadly, this is not comedy. Matter fact, I'd take this even from a white comedian but when you're a black author receiving glowing reviews in the New York Times with statements like this:
"Blacks must surrender themselves to America. Why not? Their enslaved ancestors did."
Fortunately, there are writers out there like Thulani Davis. Read on...
Found at American Black:
An Underground Railroad theory being questioned
WASHINGTON - A popular book that asserts that escaped and freed slaves used quilts as message pads to guide themselves north on the Underground Railroad is under attack by scholars, who say its basic thesis is unproven.
Other Black Matters: Anyone peep this series on Public Broadcation Television? It aired on NJN in New Jersey. My mom gets all credit for this find. I believe it's a series from 2002. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. presides. Explores the Black experience in a number of cities, including Atlanta, Chicago and L.A.
American Black: So more...
The blog lists the Top Ten Reasons to Vote Against Bush in '04. Number 5 peaked my interest.
5. Using Black People- When the rubber hits the road Black people see where they stand with this administration. They fucked Powell, bring out Rice to explain stupidity, and Bush himself shows up to put up a wreath on MLK's grave the same day he installs Charles Pickering to the federal appeals court. Black people are used as deodorant to cover shit.
I saw the entry over at hiphop dot com and on another site that's not coming to mind right now. It reminded me that I didn't add my own random list of my nearly 3000 tunes on my Ipod. J Smooth, you did it again.
But this one's kinda fun:
Step 1: Open your MP3 [CD] player.
Step 2: Put all of your music on random.
Step 3: Write down the first 20 songs it plays, no matter how embarrassing.
Step 4: Profit!
Let's see what comes up..
OK. Here's mine...
Onde Estas Nelly Furtado Whoa, Nelly
Enough Love Portishead Pearl
Exodus Darius Rucker
Carryin' On The Roots Organix
Hail Mary Tupac Shakur 2Pac Greatest Hits
We Need a Revolultion Dead Prez
Big Things Nas I am....
Ice King Res How I Do
Self Consciuos Kanye West Def Poetry - 05.09.03
Nas Is Like The Best of Nas
Brooklyn Zoo The Wu Tang Clan The RZA Hits
G'd Up G-Unit Beg 4 Mercy
Who Shot Ya Notorious B.I.G.
9mm Goes Bang Boogie Down Productions Criminal Minded
Day One Blackalicious Blazing Arrow
Shorty On the Lookout Little Brother The Listeng
Fixed Income DJ Shadow The Private Press
What's Going on [Reprise Live] Marvin Gaye What's Going On
The Double K Show People Under The Stairs O.S.T.
Hunting Bears Radiohead Amnesiac
I Got It Made Special Ed Old School Rap, Vol. 1
Still A Man Raphael Saadiq At The House Of Blues
Innocent Leader El-P Fantastic Damage
Let Me Be The One Mint Condition Definition of a Band
Sweet Justice Jill Scott Experience: Jill Scott
Arrow Root MF Doom Special Hearbs, Vol. 1-2
Hot Boyz (Remix) Missy Elliot Da Real World
Propaganda Dead Prez Let's Be Free
It May be more than 20 songs but you get the idea. It's a 1st gen and probably on its last legs. Damn thing won't link up with Itunes right now which would make this much simpler. In other words, no cut and paste.
Meanwhile, Ashanti's continue to do the heavy lifting over at The Inc. Again, over at a Different Kitchen, the blogger gives a brief review of Ja Rule's newest single. Me thinks he smells hot garbage. To be fair, I haven't heard that piece plus the B-Side seems to have flavor.
Ashanti's already pushing her new album after on two songs in the can. Irv already pre-ordered close to 500,000 copies. All the while, "the first lady" is feelin' herself right here when commenting on her upcoming DVD release :
"They captured all of the bad things that happen, like if ... my skirt flips the other way and backwards. It's all about seeing who I am as a person." ? Ashanti
We all saw that ep of Punk'd.
Oh, yeah Busta's leaving J Records for Aftermath... (Add cricket sounds here)
More to come
I'm conflicted about this...
Black Leaders Express Outrage Over ABC-TV Selection of Justin Timberlake as Co-Host of "Motown 45" Special
A coalition of prominent African American organizations and leaders are demanding that the American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) remove entertainer Justin Timberlake as co-host of "Motown 45," the upcoming ABC-TV special. Outraged over the selection of Timberlake to co-host this musical celebration, the coalition is launching a national e-mail, fax and phone campaign against ABC to protest Timberlake's inclusion in the Motown tribute.
While I don't agree with the addition of Justine (formerly Justin Timberlake) as co-host of the Motown 45 special, I also know that this is like one of those meaningless battles we take up while are greater issues on out there that need our attention.
Their are no sacred cows when it comes to the music biz or the TV biz and Motown definitly doesn't fit that. It was sold to a record cartel a longgggg time ago. This is no different than fighting about the quality of programming on BET. Or hoping they'll bring ROC to the Must See TV line up spot when friends call it quits. You can't win that. BET, Motown, hip hop and catchy phrases like "bling-bling" are no longer F.U.B.U.
How about getting out the vote, or something. Or focusing on communities and education of our kids. The larger jihad (struggle) is concentrating on what's important. It's definetly not watching more boob toob.
Negroplease.com theorizes a bit on Kanye West's album College Dropout. The blogger makes a number of valid points. His most convincing argument is that Kanye's music is deeply rooted in the tradition of R & B rather than hip hop...
He distills the power of Lauryn Hill's best track on her disjointed unplugged album on All Falls Down and twists an old Marvin Gaye track on I'll Fly Away into a song that, without Kanye's lyrics, would sound just as at home on Donnie's The Colored Section from last year.
However, the blogger throughout the piece hammers Kanye's rhyming prowess. Instead, he falls into the trap of focusing on Kanye's production. "If only Kanye was a better rapper," he laments.
His rhymes are ragged. He has a tendency to rhyme the exact same word (ending two successive lines with "club" or "felt") and rarely taking the opportunity to play off the different meanings one word might have... Most of the time he's trying to catch up to the beat and on every song he's outclassed by his vibrant hooks or by the guest rappers and many times, by both. Kanye is witty. The themes in every track are smart, often funny, and very timely. It's just unfortunate that he didn't spend as much time writing in his notebook as he did behind the boards.
In fact, I'd argue that he outshines his guest stars, with the exception of GLC on Spaceship. This album has nothing to do with Kanye's rhymes. Like the blogger suggests, it's a concept album. The "concept" has all to do with the paradoxical existence of black daily life. Its about acquiring self-esteem and then self-actualization--an idea that the artist dialogues in Last Call.
Kanye's album, again, is significant in ways beyond just his rhymes. Like many African-Americans, he has an understanding of his family history, and consequently, his peoples struggles. This is evident in the tracks Never Let You Down and Family Business.
Artists like Ghostface,Tupac, Eminem and EL-P conjured vignettes about the struggles of single parent and lower-class family life. Similarly, Kanye portrays middle class familial life. It's a life that didn't necessarily offer any psychological advantages compared to a lower income household or live up to expectations.
He articulates the current condition of black folks like himself--so called Cosby Kids--who matured in two-parent, two income homes and were bound for college. Material possessions were the key to happiness and that was obtained through education. Though many acquired that degree, the promise of that education had yet to come to fruition, resulting in doubt and despair. Kanye accurately illustrates the contradictions in tracks "Spaceship" and "All Falls Down".
Another archetype of post-slavery black life appears again on the cut Spaceship. Kanye illustrates how his people are marginalized and a denied any self-esteem in this life world through century long battles with the agents of racism. Maybe, like the missionaries and masters told us, our trials of enslavement and dis-enfranchisement was foretold in the Bible. We were taught that through our acceptance of God's decree, a better life would await us in the afterlife.
Kanye's concept is not without a few chinks. The reverence of drug dealing and the normalization of pimping and stripping isn't advantageous to the solidification of the black psyche. More to come...
That's it for now. These are the albums I eagerly await. Yesterday's New Quintet: Stevie is bound to be an Ipod fav. Ghostface and MF Doom meets Madlib are for rides down the NJ Turnpike. Throw Dead Prez in the mix, too. Yeah, I'm a backpacker. Eff you.
A few Dogstar mixtapes would be a welcome addition but I need to complete air traffic control before that goes down.
Speaking of Stones Throw. Have you seen this rapper lately? It's Stezo. Remember him. Contemporaries Special Ed, Kwame and even SuperLover Cee & Cassanova Rud still get some shine but Steezo got lost in the cracks a bit. Stones Throw is preparing his unreleased second album.
By the way, Kanye debuted at #2 on the Pop 100 chart. How long before people start the hate? Oops. That's already happening.
Oh yeah. Loon says he's innocent. Now, if Shine's lawyer shows up at your door, do like Tony Starks and run.
If you're like, into protests and stuff but are a shut-in, couch potato or morbidly obese (that's me) you can like support artistic freedom. Join in the "civic disobediance" and general mayhem to support Danger Mouse's The Grey Album. The online protest, set for Tuesday, February 24, will be marked by participating sites posting The Grey Album (you know, those tracks you had before the flying cease and desists). More detail here...
O'Reily skirmishes aside, you have to choose your battles these days. So, Pepsi dropped Luda awhile back and his lyrics were unnecessaryily debated. I could care less, but seems some AmeriKKKans want to beat this rug again. Don't get me wrong. You won't see me at the counter-protest.
One of the fliers was left on the porch of Joseph VanLandingham, a black Evansville resident. He said he returned home Saturday evening and tripped over the flier, which was anchored by a sandbag.
Fortunate that flier wasn't wrapped around a brick, darkie.
Oh boy, you done did it now.
Whatever sickness Browngirl and Chang have right now, I don't want it. Or maybe I do. They're both coming thru on the posting. While blocking those germies J-Boogie even manages to bash the Yanks.
Man, let me just say cheering for the Yankees because you're from New York is like rooting for the Republicans cause you're from Texas. You could do it, sure, but it's still wrong! And now back to my flu, already in progress.
A few interesting tidbits from this interview and SF/J on producer, Timbaland.
Q: DO YOU THINK PRODUCERS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN ARTISTS, AND HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PRODUCING STYLE?
A: I think producers are bigger than the artists. We're responsible for the sound that they have. We give them direction and bring something out of the artists that they may not realize that they have.
When I came, I was one of the people who started bringing the attention back to producers. I bought the flavor back to the meat...
Q: IF HIP-HOP HAS BECOME BORING, WHAT KIND OF MUSIC EXCITES YOU, AND WHAT TYPE OF MUSIC DO YOU THINK CAN HELP THE INDUSTRY OUT OF ITS SLUMP?
A: I like Coldplay -- that's real music to me. I like what the Neptunes are doing. But after a while, everything sounds the same -- even my stuff.
Q: YOU'VE BEEN QUOTED AS SAYING THAT YOU WANT TO WALK AWAY FROM HIP-HOP. WHY?
A: ...there's too much going on with the downloading and other problems in the music industry.
And I've gotten bored with hip-hop.
You see, I'm a decent DJ. Yeah, I can blend hip-hop, house, dancehall, or just about anything with a beat. I can scratch, too. Nothing too fancy--Your garden variety Funk Flex stuff. However, that stuff Roc Raida of the X-Ecutioners does is not in my playbook.
Matter fact, I crumbled my playbook up when I saw what kid could do. I mean, that beat-juggling-one leg up on the table-through the leg-shirt over your eyes thing is emasculating to your average record spinner. I'll go back to my dusties now, thank you.
Boston's Berklee College of Music has added a class in what it labels "turntable technique". Haven't heard much about this but the Scratch Academy has been around since 2002.
How soon before Grand Wizard Theodore and GrandMixer DXT receive honorary degrees. Hmm...keep waiting, fellas.
Thulani Davis focuses on the present dearth of Black leadership.
Black leaders are failing us for the same reason white leaders are failing us: They are not dealing with the problems on the ground. For the past 30 years too many have modeled their ideas of leadership on mythical icons.
Sharpton wanted to be the next Jesse Jackson, and Jesse Jackson wanted to be the next Martin Luther King Jr. Jesse Jackson Jr. probably also wants to be the next Jesse. Carol Moseley Braun was pegged the next Shirley Chisholm, whose chief significance as a black candidate is that she was the first. There are quite a few neo-Malcolms like Cornel West among the over-40 set, and Henry Louis Gates is out to be the new W.E.B. DuBois, but a televised one. Louis Farrakhan wanted to be the new Elijah Muhammad, and Chavis Muhammad looks to be grooming himself to be a new, kinder, gentler Farrakhan with sartorial touches from his hip-hop mogul boss, Russell Simmons.
A Southern University article examines this related issue.
I've been diggin' ghetto Chinese food for awhile. I like Sesame Chicken. Truthfully, for those of us living in "tha hood", buying a carton of beef and brocolli was, for most of our folks, was our first experience of cultural diversity. That, Korean markets and fish stores. Chinese food spots are as omnipresent in our neighborhods as the liquor stores and bodegas. In some neighborhoods, its the only food available outside of mom's home cooking. It's like a treat.
For this reason I'm perplexed by the utter ignorance exibited by these killers and residents of many inner-city communities. If it isn't mocking the their the owners speak, it's being blatantly rude. I've seen it from 7 year olds to grown folk who should know better. The relationship is complex and rife with misunderstandings on both sides. Ultimately, the situation deserves some intervention.
Quite a big weekend for the sports fanatics. Everything from The NBA All Star Game in La-La Land to the Daytona 500 (yeehawww).
A few notes:
Forget the game, (though it was slightly entertaining) Beyonce was looking hot as usual. Nice lipsync for the opening, then ole girl fired it up for Crazy In Love. Scared me for a sec. We don't need Britneyesque performances from honey. Yet, B is straight killing em. She did that forever patented booty bounce. Who's hotter right now?
OutKast performed their sets well. Always very crisp. However, I was eager anticipating Andre 3000's stunting. Maybe dressed as Eskimo Sea Monkeys 20,000 Leagues Beneath the Sea. Rather, Andre (Ice Cold) 3000 pulled off an act as the dead ringer for the janitor-come-mayor from Back To The Future.
Nelly Furtado shamed her country with a sonically challenged rendition of the Canadian Anthem. While, Christina Aguilera came dangerously close to over doing it with the ad-libs, once again.
The All-Star Game: I don't watch the actual game. Next.
The Yankees grabbed up Alex Rodriguez. As a Bronx-born Yankees fanatic this is monumental. Yankee haters are fuming. I understand. Steinbrenner is so sick he'll ruin the team to get another championship, and I love him for that. Yet, Boston still has a nice team. Hmmm. This should be interesting.
Finally, the New York Knicks trade for Tim Thomas and Nazr Mohammed. Out is Keith Van Horn. He would have disappeared had the Knicks reached the playoffs anyway. Good riddance.
Yeah I'm behind the curve, but I'm a quick study. So, can I get a late pass?
God's Stepson, the re-imagining of Nas's Godson, by an up-and-coming N.C producer, 9th Wonder was a sonic re-awakening. It seamlessly blended Nas's veiled threats and pained tributes to his departed mom, to a backing that both complemented and soothed the assault on the ears that was much of the original. However, it was somewhat underwhelming.
The licks from Nas's The Lost Tapes were superior to the beat riding going on in 9th's endeavor. However, the attempt was appreciated, nonetheless. More importantly, aspiring producers, the world over, scribbled on stickys this new Magna Carta. The fame generated for 9th likely landed on the ears of Nas's off-again, on-again nemisis, Jay-Z who in a Lenox Lewis style adieu, was set to release the then high-anticipated, The Black Album. May hip hop paradoxes never cease.
Here comes Danger Mouse. With acapellas in one hand and sampler and drum machine in the two hands he created The Grey Album, an imaginative blend of Jay's swan song, with the Fab Four's, The White Album. The re-work is a rousing piece of art. Check O-Dub's review right hurrrr...
Note: Cop Danger Mouse's, The Grey Album here Right Now while you still can. Most recently EMI has attempted to be the funcrushers citing copyright infringement of the Beatles music. Peace to J-Smooth
Most recently, upon calling New York's Turntable Lab, I was informed that the album is still available and is currently being re-stocked.
Subsequently (or concurrently) others followed. AllHipHop dot com compares and contrasts in a feature dubbed Shades of Jay
Different Kitchen put us on to yet another Paul Nice vs Jay-Z: The Black Album Remix CD.
Truthfully, with all the Verve Remix's and the recent Blue Note hijack by Madlib, entitled Shades of Blue, one's head get's to rattling imagining the unlimited remix possibilities.
More to come
Jon Caramanica shines the light on an intended sub-genre of hip hop--emo rap
In case you haven't heard, this is the latest and greatest form since, uhhh crunk.
More pearls from that piece
In 2004, the hottest thing going in below-the-radar hip-hop is that most foreign of rap concepts: feelings. Feelings of love. Feelings of insecurity. Feelings of despair. For an increasingly vocal niche of the underground, rap bravado is a relic of the past -- fear and loathing have replaced bitches and money. You could almost call it emo.
Can you float on that ensuing swell?
Truly inconsequential. Predicting the ascension of emo rap is about as cardinal as foreseeing Jay-Z releasing a post-retirement album entitled Blueprint 3 - I am Back, Bitch If it doesn't materialize, who cares. If it happens, who cares.
Though emo rappers often cite black hip-hop stars like Tupac, Scarface, and Ghostface Killah as avatars of the confessional style, the obvious touchstone for emo rap's mass appeal is Marshall Mathers.
-- Me says, Ghostface lyrically swooned over enduring "roaches in the cereal box" and fell to his knees over the shame of asking the neighbor for a cup of sugar. No love in Spin.
This says it all, in my estimation.
"Everybody's kind of freaked out about it a little bit," admits Slug. "They feel they might be doing a disservice to hip-hop. They didn't know the white kids were going to relate to white rappers, and suddenly, unjustly, Slug is outselling [black underground rappers] Murs and Jean Grae." "Slug is ushering in a movement that can gain real traction," says Craig Kallman, copresident of Atlantic Records. "We want to sign acts that appeal across demographics, and he can do that." Says L.A.'s Busdriver, a black rapper who explores similar themes in his music: "It's just an easy point of entry to latch on to one of these acts. People who seek out this kind of music are kids who are trying to rebel, college kids, mostly white kids, and there?s a class issue as well."
Meanwhile, spoken word artist turned sometime "emo rapper", Sage Francis, wages a campaign against media monstrosity, Clear Channel. The "Fuck Clear Channel Tour". Coming to a coffee house near you.
One music fan wasn't exactly mezmerized by Francis' antics, as noted in this Johns Hopkins University weekly,
Sage didn't earn another fan last night. Its not so much that he was bad or that his musicians were untalented, it's just that he's nothing new.
As a fan of Atmosphere (who appeared at the Ottobar last semester), I've already heard "emo-rap", and where Slug's delivery is poignant and tight, Sage's doesn't catch at all. Joe Beats's instrumentals were unremarkable, a fact made more apparent when Sage's best song of the night was produced by the wonderful MF Doom and was simply played on CD while Sage was rapped along. Everything combined left me wondering how professional these guys really were, and the only way I can really describe them is mediocre.
I knew playing the School Spirit Skits 1 & 2 from Kanye West's debut album, College Dropout would disrupt the perpetual silence (wink) in my happy home. I played it for wifey. I'm a sadist, I guess. Needless to say, it didn't go so well.
B-boys. Make Some Noise
Elemental hip hop for your pleasure.
Banished to the corner cyphas amidst the glowing malt liquor placards and to the suburban bassments, that whoreson, known affectionately the world over as "that crap", now wallows at the dinner table with its perennially embraced siblings in music.
Yes, after only a quarter century, the critics with outstretched arms, have finally acknowledged that hip hop and its off shoots --hip hop pop (OutKast, Missy Elliot, Pharell), hip hop soul (Anthony Hamilton, R. Kelly), and hip hop exiles (Dizzee Rascal, Sean Paul)-- are the heavy lifters that drag this culture along, often kicking and screaming.
Need a little more arm twisting? Look only to the Village Voice 2003 Pazz and Jop Critics Poll for affirmation. That swill at the bottom of my cereal bowl just curdled.
I'll give the Voice props for dialing up hip hop in the past (see Stankonia and The Mis-Education of Lauryn Hill). However, that feeling that hip hop is getting its due in its pages, only for lack of a anti-hero from another genre, straightens the naps at my medulla oblongata.
I remember '91, and especially '93, when every dime piece "bangin' the charts" was anything but hip hop, son. Where was all the love back then?
The Chronic saddled up next to that senile Grandma while ATCQ's Midnight Marauders and De La's Buhloone Mindstate sat at the folding card table in the corner with the children. Yet hip hop, through the years, endured the innocuous chatter that was Green Day and Moby.
Pump your fist to that! Better yet, can I get a Hip Hop Hoorayfrom my nuccas "sitting on deuce-deuce" Escalades?
Detroit's Super Bowl '06 Bid Photos Faked
A dead city. That's Detroit's downtown. See bombed out buildings and you known you're in the Motor City. The downtown, after numerous attempts, is a aging mass of concrete and steel long past its heyday.
The bid association decided to but that reality aside and fake photos for its Super Bowl '06 appeal.
In marketing Super Bowl XL at Ford Field in 2006, Detroit officials constructed a mock downtown loft -- two walls, tables, chairs, a couch and fireplace. The loft was at the media headquarters in the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, which hosted last week's Super Bowl.
They also provided a panoramic picture window that simulated the view of the Detroit skyline and two downtown stadiums snuggled against a seemingly vibrant neighborhood. The view formed the backdrop of the booth.
In real life, though, at least 10 of the photo's buildings are abandoned hulks. Some are burned-out, roofless and scarred with soot.
Artists touched up the photo by splashing light onto darkened windows and streets and adding roofs where there were none.
The final product made Detroit's lonely blocks look as Super Bowl-worthy as busy Houston.
Ha, exactly... Did we really think hip hop was gonna' take over the world because of those few nominations..
I'm disappointed that no partygoers were interviewed for this piece.
Soon after the club opened in the fall of 2002, the police investigated a case involving a reported rape; several more investigations followed involving assaults, stabbings, drug activity and unruly clubgoers blocking the sidewalks. "People were actually stumbling into the street, blood-covered, after being stabbed," said a resident who, like many critics of the club, spoke only on the condition of anonymity. "This was a rough crew."
What's the deal? Hip Hop held out to blame yet again. That's like so, 1989.
Diana Ross Convicted of DUI
Feb 9, 2:07 PM (ET)
By ARTHUR H. ROTSTEIN
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Diana Ross was convicted Monday of driving under the influence and ordered to spend two days in jail... (more)
After last years desperate televised attempt to stem the tide that is illegal downloading of music, you'd think that the NARAS--which runs the Grammy Foundation--would have received the message. Yet there was Neil Portnow, President of the Recording Academy, wagging his finger once again at those irksome file sharers...
LOS ANGELES (Feb 8, 2004) — “What’s The Download,” a comprehensive public education campaign addressing the value of paying for music, was unveiled today by the Recording Academy® in concert with the 46th Annual GRAMMY® Awards. Based on proprietary research showing a critical need for education among consumers on the topic, “What’s The Download” is designed to complement existing industry campaigns and empower music fans to make informed, ethical and legal decisions regarding how they get their music.
Reaching more than 650 million viewers in 160 countries globally, “What’s The Download” made its television debut with the airing of a public service announcement (PSA) during the GRAMMY telecast as part of the address by Neil Portnow, President of the Recording Academy. The launch also included the debut of www.whatsthedownload.com, a comprehensive, information-rich Web site, the introduction of print and radio PSAs, and simultaneous launches in key markets across the country. Future activities will include grassroots initiatives and retail activities.
The site itself comes off not unlike Phillip Morris' latest television ads that say all the right things about why you'd be crazy to pick up a Newport, yet continues to hawk it's products. "Yeah, we sell death but atleast we know we tell you we do so you can be informed." Oh really? Thanks, for the heads up, Malboro Man.
Possibly hip talk like this will convince the kids:
The big issue with downloading music isn't how we play the music, but where it comes from and what we do with it. If we download from one of the many cool legal sites no problem. But if we share or swap music files on non-licensed Internet sites (sometimes called P2P), or burn music onto blank CDs and give them away or sell them, then as a rule of thumb - it's not legal.
The hole won't be plugged up with that tampon anytime soon. Good try, though.
So, according to the Academy, downloading is out. How about a few copy-protected files instead?
RIAA TARGETS DJS
Words: Terry Church
The Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) has launched a new campaign against DJs in an attempt to control copyright infringement.
They have already confiscated $100,000’s worth of mix CDs from independent record stores across the US.
DJ mix CDs, sold in almost every independent record store are on the whole unlicensed and technically illegal to distribute. However, DJs and producers alike often rely upon these illegal mixes in order to gain credibility, and to promote themselves to the general public.
The practice is in fact approved of by most producers who see it as fundamental to the survival of the dance scene - even if it is their tracks that are being copied and played without permission.
This latest attack by the RIAA is therefore hypocritical – they claim that their pursuit of copyright infringement is primarily in the interest of the artist, yet most dance producers actually approve of and rely upon this illegal distribution.
The dance scene relies upon these ‘illegal’ ways to survive, and it seems that the only people who actually care about this particular copyright infringement are not the artists themselves but the record companies – who are only involved in the dance scene for profit.
Do we really care what the @#&! celebrities do or say? I guess I do at least because I'm talking about it here.
What is 50 Cent doing rollin' up on Evanescence? Can 50 be surprised that he didn't cop Best New Artist when "puckerface" been on the scene since like '90? His ass should have pulled up a seat next to Janet, wherever she may have been.
While on the subject, respect to Patti LaBelle for standing up for ole' girl. Sick middle finger to Justin Timberlake for even showing up to give that bullshit apology.
Ms. Jackson and Mr. Timberlake were invited to participate in the show as long as they agreed to apologize on the air for what happened during our network's broadcast of the `Super Bowl Halftime Show - CBS
I'm still not gettin' why JJ is being vilified and JT comes off baby ass clean.
I love Coldplay. And I'm no Bush vote. That said, Brits can stay out of this country's politics.
Luther Vandross via tape from the rehab center. Eerie
The all-Beyonce, all-the-time show. Whew!
The White Stripes
Yoko Ono. huh, what she said?
Robert Randolph and the Family Band. Blazing!
Andre 3000. nuff said.
This Could Be Your Ad
I don't wear jerseys. I'm thiry plus - S. Carter
This article by Guy Trebay should have been written about 12 years ago.
But now the generation that made these trappings an adolescent uniform is pushing 35. As fans mature and ascend the work-force ranks, they find themselves looking for a new sartorial statement. Musical stars who set trends like Jay-Z and P. Diddy, backed by hip-hop brands like Ecko and Sean Jean are ready with a simple proposition: The time has come to put on a suit.
Next Tuesday during New York's Fashion Week, Ecko will present an autumn 2004 collection that largely dispenses with track suits and sneakers, and arranges its new image around that staple of Everyman's wardrobe: the blazer.
We've been doing it in the business suits. What Wall Street cat is out there wearing Tims and sagging jeans. And I'm not speaking on that bro' in the Staples commerical coonin' around like a magical negro, either. I didn't log up that loan debt for these bastards to tell me it's ok now to where a suit.
Anyway, if the sport jacket is gonna have a logo emblazoned on it's lapel (like the Triple 5 Soul collection), I'll pass.
Overheard: Chris Rock Show at The Apollo Tuesday, 03 February 2004:
"So if I walk straight down this street that will take me to the train station that will get me back to Westchester? Yeah? Well, but how far is that?"
"That's Dana Dane, I think"
"Who Knew What He Looked Like W/O Those Trucks Jewels"
Slick Rick sloughed a Webster size kid in that detention center. "The Ruler" was studded in diamonds and a svelte black Italian suit accentuated with a heliotrope scarf and coordinating chintzy eye patch. Think Bugsy Siegel with a diamond encrusted pinky ring. Now that's gangsta!
Doug-E Fresh did his thing as well. The duo hyped the crowd well, with classics like The Show and La-Di-Da-Dee but Rock took way long come to the stage and his initial jokes came off flat on the ears the notoriously fastidious audience. Then again I nearly burst a blood vessel watching the laggardly bar maid knock over bottles and move with a gastropod's grace. Needless to say I missed more than a few jokes. Rock fulfilled his promise by half time, however. Good show. Back to The Ruler.
Mrs. Slick Rick appeared on stage with a platter of Rick's gaudy rope chains not unlike a The Price is Right model hawking Rice-a-Roni. With the jewels on Slick Rick went on to rock Children's Story. Classic hip hop at it's finest. Not so to the young motionless cats sitting directly behind me. It was at this point I realized I was irrelevant.
Hip Hop Documetary: Hip Hop Immortals We Got Your Kids
Seeing cats like Daddy Kane, Dougie Fresh and Slick Rick even Kwame(lol) brings a cat back to those great shows like Fresh Fest and so on. I remember Run DMC at the Garden. Even without Run the show with JMJ and DMC was hot by today's standard. And Erib B. and Rakim, whew. PE! Fuggedaboutit...That's a show.
The trailer to this doc reminds me why I'm a b-boy, kid. ha ha ha. Seems pretty R.A.W. Check it out.
How Hip-Hop Took Over The Grammys
Hmmm, how long before the "hip hop sucks" chants
With O'Reily serving up the very worst aspects of the culture on a near daily basis, and the Toby Keith of the world smacked to the sidelines, not long I'm guessing. The backlash won't come from young white kids that's for sure. Hip hop isn't going anywhere, atleast not while Eminem is breathing anyway.
Unreasonable. Not Unforeseeable.
Saw Chris Rock at the Apollo on Tuesday night. One of his rants centered on having to defend rap music to someone say like a older adult. You know the kind of person that thinks Elvis actually revolutionized rock n roll. "How do you do it", Rock asks. How do you do it when you have Lil' Jon raping "til the sweat falls off my balls."
However, absurd the lyrics can get does it warrant anything like this judge's decree involving loud rap music.
Carreras was given the choice of paying a $500 fine or listening to two hours of the opera.
Judge Jeffrey Swartz told him: "You've imposed your music on me and now I'm going to impose my music on you."
Ain't that some shit.
Ernie Can You Say Hijab?
For better or worse, a concept that will prove to be ahead of its time has been put on cinder blocks for the moment. Imagine Big Bird teaching arabic or Elmo reciting the Shahada!
Three months ago founders of the famous children's show proposed a new program called "Sesame Neighborhood." It would take place in South Dearborn, off Warren, and provide an inside look at the life of a community that boasts a population estimated at anywhere from 150,000 to 300,000 people of Middle Eastern descent. The goal was to produce five half-hour shows that would be available for syndication on Public Television stations across the country.
However benign this may all sound I'd be interested to see what messages (indoctrination) would be included in Bert's admonishments of Ernie. "Ahhh Ernie, we have intelligence that Sadaam had WMD and we'll surely find it. It'll just take a little time"
Are we so adrift that we've given up on this generation and we're we'll stoop to plying neonates with our country's doctrines masqueraded as childrens' television?
Terror Conspiracies Live ON
Read this... We'll talk later
Microsoft Hunts For New Prey
Interesting article in the NY Times Online Tech section. Microsoft is pouring through Google's patents searching for a weakness in Google's technology that can be exploited. Check this...
Mr. Gates, who for more than a decade has promised - but not yet delivered - "information at your fingertips" for his customers, has decided that the Internet search business is both a serious threat and a valuable opportunity...
While the Internet's dominant companies (Netscape and Microsoft) fought one another over Web portals, the promise of e-commerce and access to providers like America Online, Google developed a speedy search engine that soon became almost a universal first step onto the Internet. It displaced earlier search engines because the technology invented by Mr. Brin and Mr. Page did a measurably better job in returning results that satisfied Web surfers' requests.
For Google, though, the greater threat is that Microsoft will decide that Internet search, like the Web browser before it, should be an integral part of future versions of the Windows operating system.
Kill The Haitians: They Have AIDS, too
The struggle between free speech and promoting sterotypes
I'll admit it-I love video games. So do millions of other average Jacquans. However, we Jacquans and Rasheeds and Leroys aren't at all represented at all in the games we play. I can't choose to play as a brotha in most popular "reality" based first-person shooters. Whether it be Battlefield 1942 or Ghost Recon, brothas are missing. Where they aren't invisible are in game like this.
I'm torn because these video game studios should be able to represent how they choose. However, this is some otherness...Read on
Swipe from the Village Voice Online:
Popular Video Game Instructs Players to 'Kill the Haitians'
New York AG Takes on 'Grand Theft Auto'
by Andrew Bushell
January 30th, 2004 11:05 PM
NEW YORK, NEW YORK—State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer appears to be gearing up for a look into the concerns of civil rights groups over a popular video game instructing players to "kill the Haitians."
In "Vice City: Grand Theft Auto," a member of an organized crime group advances in the underworld through commission of violent acts. Originally developed by Rockstar Games, a wholly owned subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.—both companies are based in New York City—the game has sold over 11 million copies.
"Vice City" has met with controversy before. According to a report by the Associated Press, lawsuits initially filed in Florida state courts last month by Haitian interest groups were allowed to be moved to federal court at the request of Rockstar's attorneys. The groups now plan to re-file in Florida's state courts. The AP reported that Rockstar representatives agreed to remove the offending language from future versions of the game.
In a press conference outside of the attorney general's Manhattan office, the Hatians' lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein, told a group of shivering reporters, " 'Vice City' violates state civil rights statutes, and that investigation will be conducted by the attorney general's office." Rubenstein's clients have waited over a month for a response from Attorney General John Ashcroft's civil rights division at the Justice Department, but he said Mr. Spitzer's office "immediately responded to our request for a meeting, met with us today, and will be conducting an investigation."
Darren Dopp, spokesperson for Mr. Spitzer, declined to characterize the inquiry as an investigation, but said, "We are looking into it at Sanford Bernstein's request, particularly since the description was a source of concern."
Mr. Spitzer, who is widely considered to be positioning himself for a gubernatorial campaign, has taken on several high-profile issues in recent years. He has pursued Wall Street investment firms for alleged conflicts of interest and unfair trading practices, and commissioned the famous "Stop and Frisk" reports used to document racial profiling that occurred under former mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Janet and Justin one-up Madonna and Britney
"That's a nipple, 'cause I'm drooling." - Mevin Van Pepples, Boomerang
After the smoke cleared and the switchboards stopped switching it became apparent what the "wardrobe malfunction" planned by Janet and former boy-toy, Justin Timberlake was all about. MTV and parent company Viacom, which incidentally owns CBS, saw $$$ following the girl-on-material girl lip lock pulled off by sexpots Madonna and Britney Spears at last years MTV Music Awards.
It's no surprise that Janet whored herself on international television at this year's Super Bowl. It was essentially one-upmanship of her long-time rival, Madonna. The two have had virtual cat fights played out in the media for years now and with Janet releasing an album soon, a little nipplage goes a long way toward selling that first million. Throw the virginity stealing playa, JT in the mix and you've got the biggest middle finger display in history.
Even less surprising are MTV and CBS's deluge of press releases feigning ignorance to the singer's stunt. MTV quickly pulled it's web page hyping the Janet's "shocking moments". CBS squashed any chance of MTV doing future half-time shows. How convenient that by the time the next Super Bowl comes to CBS everyone will have forgotten this incident.
You want to pull my johnson? Put alleged pedophile, MJ, up there pulling the trap door on baby sis's goth outfit. At the very least you could rule out the Appalachian and interior backwoods harrassing switch board operators.
Can Kanye West Back Up His Boasts?
The beatmaker extraordinare and Chi-Town rapper has his work cut out for him. If he can find that perfect blend between radio play and street heat no telling how well the album will do.
Biggie's Baby Momma Got Drama
Seems a faltering career and disintergrating marriage aren't hip-hop soul singer, Faith Evan's only black marks recently. How about we add some Mary Jane and Scarface's finest cocaine to the mix? Faith and hubby and manager, Todd Russaw, were pulled over down South for possession while cruising a silver Hummer.
What would a "hip-hop" site be without a little T-n-A? Well here's some to wet your appetite a bit.
Dame Dash sued for alleged rape
Uh, don't particularly like dude's persona but I'm not believing this chick. She was high on x and booze and she knows a dick was in her!??
Benzino needs to be stopped...So do a few other so called "hip-hop artists".
Howard U. is on point with this editorial
Reading is Fundamental, Playa.
The clock is ticking....
Your 15 minutes are now down to 5.
Disturbing article from (B)lack (E)xploitation (T)elevision.com concerning
the drop in numbers of Black Male College Students.
I'm feeling these guys right now.
Andre 3000 is "killing" Hip-Hop while getting rock radio play
Chuck D - "Radio suckas never play me/"
This cat is toast. Literally. Black people got enough problems without brothas playing Son of Sam serial killers.
Electric chair certain for Muhammad
France gets at us. Yeah the world hates us. Thanks Dubya.
Special Report: The War on Iraq (or How Pax Americana will again provide a reason for the world to hate us). Our President is bananas. War is officially on. Get out of Dodge Sadaam! Yee ha!
Nab five in Times Sq. arcade horror
Contestant1: Alex, I'll take Things Stupid Negroes Do for $800.
Alex Trebek: Answer. These Negroes go to a arcade in Times Square to settle Crosstown Beef. Shots ring out. 10 negroes otherwise having a good time were shot or stabed because Tyrone had static with Dayquan.
Contestant2: Brothas Gotta Act Out When They Come to the Big City cause they got no home training.
Alex: Sorry, you didn't phrase it in the form of a question. The answer is: Negroes who got beef need to stay they ass out the streets and get them some "edumacation" and take care of their babies and baby momma and stop eff'ing around with this bullsh*t. 'Nuff said.
Special Report: The War on Iraq (or How Pax Americana will again provide a reason for the world to hate us).
Is it all falling apart? Is the war a no-go? LMAO. Are you crazy, son? We'll be in Iraq by April Fool's Day. France, Russia, China be damned. We scoff at the possiblity of the WWIII Jump Off.
This Day in Hip-Hop History
March 13, 2001---
Chi Ali Captured!
Former Native Tongue MC Chi Ali was apprehended on this day in 2001. Police caught the armed Bronx rapper at a hideout in the Throgs Neck housing projects in the Booggie Down.
Just another footnote in the tragedy that is Hip-Hop's fall from grace. This episode played out on the TV show "America's Most Wanted".
Common's "Come Close" Remix
features Pharrell Williams, Erykah Badu and Q-Tip will be made available on March 18. The track is supplied by Jay Dee.
Not sure if Common's record label is pushing this or Common and Erykah are seeing $$$ but I'll take a listen.
Check the Story Here.
Special Report: The War on Iraq (or How Pax Americana will again provide a reason for the world to hate us).
We dropping bombs, son. You wait. The MOAB has Sadaam and a few thousand Iraqi innocents written all over it. It's gonna be sick.
Puffy should be stoned for this.
Hmm... It's no St.Ides but damn. Stop it now! Give it a rest. Jennifa don't want you back and I don't think this baller mover is gonna do it either.
Nuff Said! Wait.. I can't resist. This is just dumb.
US Congress renames French Fries..
(AP) WASHINGTON, March 11 — Show the flag and pass the ketchup was the order of the day in House cafeterias Tuesday. Lawmakers struck a lunchtime blow against the French and put “freedom fries” on the menu. And for breakfast they’ll now have “freedom toast.”
THE NAME changes follow similar actions by restaurants around the country protesting French opposition to the administration’s Iraq war plans.
“Update. Now Serving in All House Office Buildings, ‘Freedom Fries,”’ read a sign that Republican Reps. Bob Ney of Ohio and Walter Jones of North Carolina placed at the register in the Longworth Office Building food court.
Jones said he was inspired by Cubbie’s restaurant in Beaufort, N.C., in his district, one of the first to put “freedom fries” on the menu instead of french fries.
Another Black TV show is headed for oblivion. Mark my words. Bernie Mac Show just jumped the shark.
Of course the Brotha who helped create it gets the blame for the slow ratings of the show. I put this too you for your approval. Rupert Murdoch and Fox suck. I have to create a blog for that "evil empire" too one day. Why you ask? Let's see...Bill O'Reily, Fox News Sunday, the NY Post just to name a few reasons. You think Murdoch's flunkies are gonna let a brotha give them lip about what is and is not funny? LMAO. Are you on E kid? Of course not!
I look forward to some sheer buffonery next season, if not earlier. What.. you got about three quality shows for us folk and one of those (Soul Food) don't even count since it is on cable. If you haven't checked out Spike's Joint, Bamboozled, get it. Oh, it's about to get real "ignant" over on Fox.
Why brothas gotta kill cops? Unless the revolution is on, just don't do it.
NYPD aka po-po are gonna serve up some royal CPR on their asses. These nigraas are lucky they ain't dead but they'll wish they were. Don't you know Guiliani time is still in effect. Go get a late pass.
If these "thugs" are kin to you I hope you found a rock big enough to crawl under.
And in other news... You are officially allowed to get your freak on again, Mayor James.
Wow. This is pure Newark politics. Newark wants to get the Nets into a stadium in downtown Newark so the gestapo is sent to clean the place up.
How you gonna get rid of a strip club frequented by Mayor "Freaknasty" Sharpe James.
Nothing wrong with adults at play. As long as they are adults, right?
Hey as if we needed the Hubble to tell us this.
Hubble telescope detects planet with hydrogen atmosphere in another solar system...
Here are another 10 Reasons Hip-Hop is dead. I can't make this stuff up by myself.
Why I hate Mos Def
Rant # 6080:
Why can't Mos get away from the movie industry soundstages for a sec and release some flavor like this?
It's only been what 4 year's since he released Black On Both Sides. I checked out that damn Black Jack Johnson show in NYC at least a year ago. What's up??
That movie money must be too good. If your didn't check out these crazy ass lyrics please click the link. But I warned you, this song is hot and it's a sickening reminder of why Hip-Hop is dead.
Hmm... This might just work. Talib, Mos, Jay-Z and Kanye West.
Is it me or is this eff'up going to jail?
I mean damn man what happened? You're a former sports star who is liked and cherished by people of all races, backgrounds, etc. You're living well in what is to most a mansion. You have girls and probably more 'tang than you can manage and what do you do? You have to go and kill your ex-wife and her boyfriend... Oh, sorry that not Jayson Williams but you get the point.
Another Ex-Jock Orchestrates Own Downfall