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Watch out. Now that the processed haired nasty man has flexed against another paper tiger and the IMUSHARPTON beast is still simmering if you listen to the chatter you will hear two things loudly as background noise.

Censorship and Hip Hop. Those things cannot co-exist.

Even before I was born censorship had a chilling effect on art. In the 30's and 40's Hollywood was hit with censorship and had to meet a code to get a movie released. It resulted in the stifling of creativity.

Then they went after comic books and that watered down really scary, creative output.

Then down South the religious right lashed out at Rock and Roll it just made Rock and Roll more popular. Calvin Butts, C. Delores Tucker are just a couple of folks that have made moves against Rap artists to no avail.

 But if you scan thru the talk shows all of the talking heads (Black and White) are all saying Imus was influenced by Rap Music and now once again Rap Music is a big Black Boogieman.

Missing in the dialogue (and seemingly in the recent documentary "Beyond Hip Hop by Byron Hurt" also full of talking heads) is the colonization factor in Rap Music.

Yes, the artists that promote garbage, hate, and all of the poison they spout are guilty of having no class, self hate, lack of respect for women, life and their people but it is the CORPORATE RECORD COMPANY EXECUTIVES AND THEIR CORPORATE DISTRIBUTORS AND VIDEO OUTLETS all run by Black Women that trade, profit and merchandise from this climate of hate.

 It is also these same corporate moguls that block any attempt by conscious artists to get signed, widely exposed or get media attention or love by the magazines.

We, the Zulu Nation and Federation and Turn Off Channel Zero amongst many other grass root organizations with the help of a few non-cowards in the media like Bro. Davey D ( www.daveyd.com ) and Rosa Clemente (WBAI) are pushing and supporting a nationwide Balance Campaign to not censor anyone, but rather to push to allow access to Mos Def, dead prez, Marvin Gaye, Sly Stone, James Brown, Gil Scott Heron, George Clinton, Prince, Chaka Khan and Aretha Franklin and not just have the radio waves blocked, gagged and over exposed with non-talent, payola bought, corporate drivel that plays the same 20 songs and videos 24 hours a day, seven days a week on all music media outlets.  Stay tuned and watch the fallout and see who get burned and how once again the  invisible colonizers who sit in the smoke filled rooms and make decisions that affect our lives, economics and art forms remain hidden and safe from public scrutiny.

Peace, Bro. Ernie


"The times they are a changin..."

And I couldn't be more pleased.
It's about time someone started to call Kathy Hughes on the carpet for her many years of irresponsible behavior in supporting the destruction of Black youth & culture.

Now we have the rap community itself starting to beat drums about Kathy Hughes.
Take a look at this article written by Cleveland based rapper "JAHI".
Not only is he critical of Kathy Hughes programming & policies, he even mentions CONYA DOSS as one of the alternatives that Kathy Hughes should be programming!
And I couldn't be more pleased.

Two years ago, Soul-Patrol.com was criticized in some quarters for telling the truth about Kathy Hughes current day role in the destruction of Black youth & culture:

...And we said much the same thing that "JAHI" is saying now.
However, it's not too late for Kathy Hughes.
At that time we offered to assist her in helping to facilitate a change.
We even offered to help her to secure advertisers for a different and more responsible radio format.
That offer remains open and I am sure that others would be willing to help her to "repent for her sins" as well.

"The times they are a changin..."

Now folks are starting to figure out that Kathy Hughes needs to be held accountable for her actions.
Will her advertisers make her pay for her crimes against the Black community, just like they made Imus pay?
Maybe it won't come down to that?
Perhaps she will see that she's got to be a part of the solution as opposed to being part of the problem?

Oh one more thing...

Q: Who does Al Sharpton work for???
A: Kathy Hughes


This topic is DEFIANTLY on the agenda for the Radio Panel at the 2007 Soul-Patrol Convention in Philadelphia!!!

"The times they are a changin..."

Anyhow, read JAHI's article, he says it all much better than I could!

Turning Up the Heat on the conversation about Hip Hop


So I pick up the latest issue of Rolling Out Magazine. Big up to black indie press. I go to a page where it says, Spring Fest Miami 2007, hosted by AG Entertainment and Radio One. These are the acts performing live according to the listing:
  • Boy N DA Hood
  • D4L
  • DJ UNK
  • MIMS
  • T PAIN

    With all this talking closed doors, in public, on the radio, internet, and news about what's right or what's wrong with Hip Hop and the messages that are being said against women, gun violence, drugs etc. RADIO ONE, owned by a black woman, Kathy Hughes, co signs for this type of concert where many if not most of these artist are talking about the very things "so-called" people want to be changed in Hip Hop.

    I say "so-called" because there has been a different landscape of Hip Hop out there all along. It's just been ignored. I know many in my circle that are Hip Hop artists, but also working in communities with youth, creating and establishing business and teaching in a fun, creative, and Hip Hop kind of way..But most importantly for this conversation, making good music.

    Radio One can't be given a pass on this conversation, because all of the music that's being talked about is being played RIGHT NOW on Radio One airwaves. As an artist that currently has a song being played on Radio One (Cleveland z107.9fm Artist: BELLA feat. JAHI Song: Cleveland Bred) I'm happy about that, especially because our company is an indie, and we didn't have a major budget to "make it rain" in any DJ's pockets. The song is a tribute to Cleveland, and it has no mention of guns, sex, disrespect or anything like that. So I can say Radio One is doing something for a more conscious style of artist, at least at my case and only for a short moment.

    But the larger question is, when will Radio One be held accountable for the music they are feeding to our kids, matter of fact, all of us. I'm down for freedom of speech, but why do we have to have our children hear from R Kelly, for example, at 3pm in the afternoon talking about he's a flirt? When where they be radio hosts that can cover more than bling and beef, and step it up to community awareness and global warming. We as Hip Hop artist live lives outside the club and the studio. We are real people.

    The deeper point is, in the mist of all this hoopla thanks to Mr. Imus, and now Hip Hop questioning itself and it's direction, Radio One, next weekend will put on a huge concert in Miami, supporting the very issues that are hurting Hip Hop, and the urban community worldwide. Look at the artist list again and I can tell you, without saying names or songs, exactly what's going to be happening next week.

    TOPICS IN THE SONGS WILL INCLUDE MOSTLY Selling drugs, primarily cocaine "Push it to the Limit," disrespect of black women by seeing them as sex objects, only wearing less than nothing and not promoting their intelligence or womanhood, asking or aggressively pursuing sex before knowing a person, shooting and killing, purposely saying negative words and phrases that promote's death, violence, or the worse of ourselves. Now if you don't believe me, check out the list again and listen to their music. Oh I forgot excessive alcohol consumption, over materialism, diamonds (most full of conflict), excessive consumerism to the 100th degree, with a side of beef. "From the window to the wall."

    So I firmly feel the pressure needs to spread to the radio, and Radio One in particular, because it is owned again by Kathy Hughes. What is her stance on what Imus said? Why, the date after the controversy broke, I heard an artist say "beautiful hoe's" on the radio( RADIO ONE). Yeah they bleeped out "hoes" but was all know what it said. What does Radio One and Kathy Hughes have to say about that?

    To the cultural and social political audience, it's more than saying we need more local artist being played. We need to NOT be afraid to say that we want to hear more conscious music. More music with a message. Also, don't forget to make sure that artists like myself, who have for 10+ years maintained a conscious tone to my music get thru because like Paris just mentioned in his article, as soon as the money flows to more conscious or "positive music," watch how many people hang up their gangsta swag and start wanting to be all positive and clean. Message to the people, don't fall for it. There are thousands of artists in Hip Hop that won't have to change their image, their style, or the content of their lyrics, and yeah that's me included. We've been doing good music all along.
    Back to the Spring Fest 2007.

    If we really want to do something, I'd like to see how many Rev. Sharpton's, Russell Simmons, Paris', Chuck D's, Davey D's, Kevin Powell's, Dead Prez, X-Clan's, Oprahs, Bill Cosby's, Harry Belefonte's etc. will commit to go to Miami and shut things down. Or better yet put on a bigger concert. I'll get to that in a minute. How many will challenge Kathy Hughes to change up the format. Or will we just give more lip service and no change. The time is now. I challenge Kathy Hughes and Radio One to do another concert and have a different line up. I challenge Radio One to play more emerging artists who have something more to talk about than the normal things being programmed into our minds. As an artist, hell yeah I'm throwing my name into the conversation. Why, because I have something to say. But I'm not the only one. There's 21 people on the Spring Fest bill. So the question may come, who would I put in their place, here's my top 21. How about you check out their music, their messages, and what they are bringing to the table of Hip Hop and see if it's a better representation of what Hip Hop is and can continue to be. Here's my list, excluding my self so you can't call me an opportunist.

    1. Public Enemy
    2. Erykah Badu
    3. The Roots
    4. Alicia Keys
    5. The Marley Family
    6. Tiye Phoenix
    7. X-Clan
    8. Jean Grae
    9. Blackalicious
    10. Algebra
    11. Femi Kuti
    12. Choklate
    13. Zion I
    14. Traycee Lynn
    15. Pharoah Monche
    16. Conya Doss
    17. Deep Rooted
    18. Medusa
    19. Outkast
    20. Bella
    21. The Coup
    Oh and I got many..many more.

    And if Radio One won't do it, who will.




    Everything must be seen from the perspective of history which is best qualified to teach us.
    Public Enemy whose lyrics were dense and laced with slang, street code and double meanings included this seemingly obscure passage
    "Told the Rab get off the rag
    Crucifixion ain't no fiction
    and now they got me like Jesus"
    These three lines were interpreted to be Anti-Semitic and were published and blasted around the world to proclaim that those who claimed to be Pro-Black were in reality anti-Semitic.
    Michael Jackson used the term "Jew me, screw me" on one of his songs, that and his professed desire to become a member of the Nation of Islam forced him to remove those lyrics from his albums and I believe led to a climate that his personal live was scrutinized and led to criminal charges and the undoing of his career.
    Buju Banton, Beenie Man and many other Rasta influenced Reggae artists were banned from performing live, their albums kept from radio play and even some had their contracts and careers ended because the included lyrics that were deemed anti-gay or even called "Hate Speech". 
    Prof. Griff, Ice T, even Marlon Brando felt  extreme heat for uttering what was deemed as anti-Semitic, or anti police or anti gay remarks.
    Fast forward to I believe 2003, Mos Def releases a scathing attack on the corporate despots and criminals that run the record industry and includes the phrase "Some Tall Israeli is running this rap shit, cocaine and Ecstasy is running this rap shit, quasi homosexuals are running this rap shit (quoted from memory, may not be exact). Leor Cohen (Russell's partner in Def Jam etc) feels the lyrics are cutting too close to home and all future records must have the T.I. reference removed.
    Rappers can shout nigga, nigga, nigger, niggaz, niggers until their jaws lock up, bitch, hoe or whatever the minute they step on Jewish or gay toes they are called onto the carpet and
    even have their careers ended. Is there a "Lyrics Censorship" board you bet you sweet ass there is.
    Stay tuned to see how the Imusharpton charade impacts Rap lyrics. Just remember what Bro. Shep said recently, Rap is not Hip Hip is not rap. Rap is part of Hip Hop. and as KRS1 teaches, Rap is something you do, Hip Hop is something you live.
    Peace, Bro. Ernie

    Check out my websites:

    "Those willing to sacrifice Freedom for Safety deserve neither"




    Gangsta Moves Made by the Industry Designed to Shut You Down
    by Davey D
    Over the past couple of days two major rulings came out about the music industry in profound ways that will have long lasting NEGATIVE impact if we sit back and do nothing. One had to do with the FCC Ruling around the issue of payola.

    For those who don't know, the FCC cut a settlement deal with 4 radio chains including Clear Channel, CBS, Citadel and Entercom where they would be required to play one half hour worth of independent music per day. That means 6 songs by artists on independent record labels. Now a lot of people have been talking about it and jumping for joy, because they feel the airwaves have finally opened up and they now have a shot. Right? WRONG!!! This has got to be one of the most short sighted, full of crap rulings I've seen in a while. Here's a few things to keep in mind.

  • A while back former major label executives formed their own "Independent Label and Music group. This means that artists like Lil Jon and the Ying Yang Twins on TVT Records, Jim Jones on Koch/Dipset records, Mike Jones on Asylum records and Ice Cube on Lench Mobb Records can all be considered independent artists. If you think you're gonna hear a Peanut Butter Wolf cut, a new Hiero track or a new C-Bo cut think again. In all likelihood you will probably hear some of these major label connected indy artists and at most one or two cuts from an artists on Stonesthrow, RhymeSayers or Angeles records. In the words of Public Enemy... Don't Believe the Hype.

  • These radio companies agreed to donate 4000 hours of air time to indy artists. That DOES NOT mean 4000 hours per station. It means all the stations will add up their numbers and split that 4000 hrs. So you can get a company like Clear Channel that has 1500 stations. Add that to CBS 144 stations. Add that to stations owned Entercom and Citadel and divide that into the 4000 hours. All of sudden you have a commitment that can be short lived.

  • Hip Hop artists aren't the only ones seeking air play. Remember we have rock, country, reggae and R&B artists all vying for that coveted half hour per day slot. So that means your favorite Hip Hop and R&B station may opt to play 6 neo-soul cuts late at night when they slow things down and call it a wrap. Maybe they'll venture out and play a few reggae cuts. Remember a radio station is out to get high ratings and in doing so they will program themselves accordingly. Most are trying to win over female listeners. Hence, if they have choice between playing an independent artist like Goapele over a new hardcore joint by LA artist Mitchy Slick, who do you think these stations are gonna pick?

  • A radio station may decide that it wants to play indie records from another region as opposed to one that is local. So you could live in New York and instead of hearing Papoose or Saigon you may hear a bunch of southern records that are considered independent. Bay Area folks instead of hearing some new joints from Messy Marv, Zion I or San Quinn, may suddenly hear music from NY that falls under this independent label category. People in Seattle instead of hearing local artists like Chokalat, Blue Scholars, Dred I or Silent Lambs may instead hear LA artists like Ice Cube or Tha Dogg Pound who are on independent labels.

  • The decree doesn't stipulate that a station has to play 'New" music. Hence you might hear a Too Short or EPMD record from 15 years ago when they were on small independent labels. They may hear some old Snoop Dogg and 2Pac from Death Row which is considered independent. Heck if they want to they could go pull an old Sugar Hill Gang record like 'Rappers Delight' which was on an independent label. While hearing the classic can be good, it doesn't do any good for artists trying to break new records.

  • These radio stations are not doing you any favors by playing local or independent artists. Its what they SHOULD be doing. They were granted a license to broadcast on the public airwaves with the stipulation that they serve the public good. Hence there is no reason that Chicago artists should not be getting airplay in Chi-Town. There's no reason why Bay Area artists shouldn't be getting love from their local stations. Its a damn shame that it took a FCC ruling where they avoided harsher penalties for committing a crime (payola) that lead to them doing what they should've already been doing. Its akin to a dead beat dad getting hauled off to court and facing jail time suddenly holding a press conference to announce that he's gonna take care of his kids and pay child support.

  • Many are saying 'Fuck the Radio!'. 'Who needs them?' 'Hip Hop doesn't need to be on there anyway, we gotta take it back to the streets'. Well I agree. That's absolutely true...But here's the deal. Popular methods used to get around radio like Mixtapes and Internet Radio are under serious attack. Mixtape retailers and producers are getting arrested or fined.

    Even worse on the same day as the FCC rulings, major record labels cut a sinister deal with the Congress and US Copyright Office to basically shut down Online Radio unless you are very very rich. I don't wanna bog people down with too much reading so check out SaveInternetradio.com for all the gory details.

    For those who feel that they'll go out and just do shows keep in mind that even the venues are on lock. First in many cities, the main concert venues are owned by Clear Channel.

    Second, three years ago Clear Channel got a patent for the methodology used to record live performances, and sell it back to customers that same night at the venue. It's called Instant Live Performance Recordings. Well now you need a license from Clear Channel to do that in ANY venue. These cats went and got a patent for that and locked that income source up for themselves. A number of companies tried to sue them over this Draconian measure, but were unsuccessful. You can check out these two articles if you don't believe me:

  • EFF challenges Clear Channel Recording Patent

    All in all this FCC ruling was feel good measure designed to get everyone excited to the point that they start paying closer attention to these radio stations. In the beginning you are likely to hear a lot of fanfare about them reaching out to give the little guy a shot.. But after a short period of time when the lights and cameras go away they'll be catering to those who don't need any extra help.

    Please folks don't get hoodwinked.

    Davey D

    Below is a petition for you to sign to Save Internet Radio Please pass this far and wide..

  • http://www.petitiononline.com/SIR2007r/petition.html

    To:Internet Radio Listeners
    To my Congressional representatives, and to Congress as a whole,

    As a fan of Internet radio, I was alarmed to learn that music royalty rates were recently determined by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) which, if enacted, would certainly silence most or all of my favorite online listening services. For most webcasters, this royalty rate represents more than 100% of their total revenues!

    The shuttering of the webcasting industry would be a loss for not only independent business owners, but also for musical artists, for copyright owners, and for listeners like me who enjoy the wide variety of choices available via Internet radio.

    I respectfully request that Congress look into this matter and initiate action to prevent it. As the CRB rate decision is retroactive to January 1, 2006, please understand that time is of the essence -- as the immediate impact of this decision could silence many free Internet radio stations forever.


    The Undersigned

    A must read article:
    Please bookmark the http://fairness4hiphop.blogspot.com
    Thug Life, Right-Wing News & the Iraq War: How Big Media Manufactures Consent
    On his 2000 Black On Both Sides, emcee Mos Def declared that “You know what's gonna happen with Hip Hop? Whatever's happening with us. If we smoked out, Hip Hop is gonna be smoked out. If we doin alright, Hip Hop is gonna be doin alright…Hip Hop is goin where we goin.”

    Profound words. And for a long time I repeated them when I was often asked what I thought could be done about the state of Hip Hop. I would say if people want Hip Hop to change they had to demand better music. People had to support artists who put out better music, and not purchase albums of artists they found detrimental to Hip Hop overall. Change in the art would come, when a change in demand was made.

    However, by his second album The New Danger in 2004, Mos Def’s tone had changed. Gone were the mantras that Hip Hop’s rebirth was going to be pushed along merely by a moral uplift in the people. Instead, the forces arrayed against the art form’s future are more sinister—“ Old white men is runnin’ this rap sh*t! Corporate forces runnin’ this rap sh*t!”

    Some scoff when it is put forward that much of the derogatory rap lyrics and video they see today is pushed by the industry. They label it a conspiracy theory and assert that artists who make a lot of money are hardly victims, but should instead take personal responsibility. I once thought along these lines. What I didn’t understand, what I could not connect, was that the same forces that limit Hip Hop to one dimensional themes of sex and violence are the very ones that threaten media overall. It is no conspiracy, but the way an institutionalized system that works for corporate profit rather than the public good operates. It is what happens when you stifle diversity and instead pander to expectations. And until this is understood, acknowledged and challenged, changing the face of Hip Hop will remain beyond our grasp. But rap music is not alone. A more popular form of expression has found itself stifled by the same dynamics—journalism. I offer the following analogy in three parts.

    The Rise & Fall of the Fairness Doctrine

    In 1949, the FCC adopted what came to be known as the Fairness Doctrine, a policy that designated station licensees as "public trustees," responsible for addressing controversial and contrasting issues of public importance. The key requirement of the Fairness Doctrine was that stations allowed opportunity for discussion of differing points of view, for the necessity of furthering the public good. For instance, if a radio station wanted to present conservative commentary, the Fairness Doctrine required they give equal and fair time to progressive/liberal commentary. Political candidates could demand equal time from radio and television. The Fairness Doctrine also worked as one of the checks against big media consolidation, recognizing that the airwaves belong to the people, not to corporate interests. This placed the Fairness Doctrine at continual odds with media broadcasters who sought to do away with government regulation, so that they would be beholden only to profit and not the public. As the saying goes, business is in the business of making money.

    In the 1980s came the Reagan Revolution, and a major push for deregulation that would take the government out of the way of the broadcasters. Reagan’s FCC chair, Mark S. Fowler, was one such advocate. A former broadcast industry lawyer, Fowler had long made public his belief that broadcasters had no special responsibilities to democratic discourse or the public good. Instead, Fowler believed broadcasters should be concerned with the bottom line. “The perception of broadcasters as community trustees should be replaced by a view of broadcasters as marketplace participants,” he would state. By placing a broadcast industry lawyer in charge of the FCC, it was not long before courts found that the Fairness Doctrine did not need to be enforced. In a hurried attempt to save what some defined as “a struggle for nothing less than possession of the First Amendment: Who gets to have and express opinions in America,” the Congress passed a bill to make the Fairness Doctrine into law. However, President Reagan vetoed the legislation. A similar veto threat doomed another attempt under George H.W. Bush in 1991.

    How a Shift in the Media Helped Shift Public Opinion

    The results of the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine were stunning. Already not enforced since the mid 1980s by an FCC in the pocket of big media, with the doctrine out of the way broadcasters found themselves free to do with the airwaves much as they pleased. By the 1990s a series of laws allowing for media consolidation placed much of what we hear or see into the hands of fewer owners. Alongside all of this was the rise of right-wing conservative radio. As Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, noted:
      The rise of conservative talk radio is directly linked to the absence of the Fairness Doctrine. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and the myriad of shrill right-wing talk jocks are immune from having to provide even a modicum of balanced perspective. Media consolidation has greatly fueled the problem, creating powerful station chains with a distinct political perspective, such as Clear Channel and Sinclair Broadcasting. While on cable and satellite networks, Rupert Murdoch's FOX News Channel offers conservative commentary thinly disguised as journalism.
    The power of this limited media cannot be overstated. By shutting out nearly all forms of liberal radio, the public airwaves become dominated by right-wing commentary that enabled the monumental Republican Revolution of 1994 which culminated in the 2000 election of George W. Bush. Furthermore, channels like FOX News began to alter the very landscape of journalism. As noted by Robert Greenwald’s documentary Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism <http://www.outfoxed.org/>, by pushing sensationalist headlines, featuring mostly pro-conservative commentators, race-bating, creating scapegoats and fostering an atmosphere that reduced news to sex, gossip and one-dimensional opinions, FOX News slowly pushed competing broadcasters closer to its own style—favoring profits over journalism. Frightened by its success and envious of its ratings, other news media outlets became increasingly more conservative, more dedicated to gossip stories and less interested in hard-hitting investigative journalism. Instead of challenging or questioning power, they became increasingly subservient to it.

    After 9/11 this turn in the media became even more glaring. With FOX News and conservative radio leading the way, the manipulation of American fear and the appeal to jingoism became commonplace. Big news media became a willing tool of the White House, offering little in the way of journalistic criticism. During the lead up to the invasion of Iraq, the media practically “rolled over” for the Bush administration, becoming a mouth-piece in making the case for war. It was not that “alternative” voices didn't exist. On independent and underground news sources, everything from the charge of WMDs to the claims of a Saddam Hussein-Al-Qaeda link was challenged and even disproved. Tens and hundreds of thousands marched in the streets against impending war. Yet from FOX News to CNN to the NY Times, the face of mainstream media was either indifferent to these voices or decidedly pro-war. Anti-war journalism and activists were either marginalized or shut out altogether from the discussion. Not surprisingly, the majority of the American public—with limited diverse options in the way of information—turned pro-war, with some
    3 out of 4 supporting military action <http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/03/23/opinion/polls/main545568.shtml> against Iraq. Those that were fed a diet of strict conservative media like FOX News were the most prone to believe, falsely, that Iraq and 9/11 were linked <http://www.pipa.org/OnlineReports/Iraq/Media_10_02_03_Press.pdf>. It was only after Iraq turned disastrous, and the mainstream news media was opened up to more diverse opinions, that a shift in portrayal of the war took place. Consequently, another vast shift in American popular opinion began to take place, this time more to the center and left, resulting in plummeting poll numbers for the Bush White House, a change of control in Congress and a solid majority <http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=3046823&page=1> who not only think the war was a mistake, but now want it to end.

    How “Old White Men” Run This Rap Sh*t

    The experience of the news media under media consolidation bears similarities to Hip Hop’s current one-dimensional state. The rise of “thug” rap coincided neatly with the increase of control by major corporations. Pushing exploitative tales of the “ghetto,” and laced with sex and violence—that indulge heavily in racial stereotypes—media termed “gangsta” rap became commercially viable to corporations more concerned with the bottom line than with art. With such financial success, and racial expectations, this one-dimensional face of Hip Hop became marketed as mainstream. The continued consolidation of media slowly strangled any form of diversity. As Professor Akilah Folami noted in a March 2007 article:
      The Telecommunications Act of 1996 has strengthened corporate control of radio stations and has allowed for the commodification of Hip Hop music. Corporate control of radio has stifled social commentary and diversity present in “old-school” Rap and Hip Hop. Instead, corporate control has encouraged the proliferation of Gangsta Rap and the Gangsta Image, which has become the defacto voice of contemporary Hip Hop culture.
    As noted in a previous essay <http://fairness4hiphop.blogspot.com/2007/04/their-eyes-were-watching-smut-turning.html>, author Nick Chiles recounted the same dynamics behind the rise and dominance of black “street literature.” As “Street Lit” became pushed as mainstream black culture by the publishing industry, it steadily began to replace any other form of black literature. That there is a market for it should not be surprising. Sensationalist topics like sex and violence will sell books or music, as easily as it sells gossip stories about Anna Nicole Smith. Consumers further bought into the trend, as it became the most common black literature offered. A proliferation of books of this type took place as authors attempted to cash in on this trend, or were pushed in that direction. In ways similar to how publishers helped manufacture the demand of “Street Lit, and how corporations manufactured consent in the news media, the popularity of “thug” rap was manufactured by marketing a single type of music and limiting the space for differing genres.

    Today activists for diversity in journalism are increasingly pushing to limit further media consolidation and for some reintroduction of the Fairness Doctrine, so that news is made available in varied formats. In the wake of the Don Imus controversy, there is even
    fear <http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/04/16/fairness_doctrine/> in conservative and right-wing radio, television and print journalism, that a return to the Fairness Doctrine is on the horizon. In reality, the Democratic Congress is not poised to take up the issue, and there will have to be many more campaigns, rallies and more before it appears on their radar. Nevertheless, the momentum is there. A similar movement to end the one-dimensional depictions in Hip Hop is needed, where something akin to a Fairness Doctrine can be implemented on the corporate distributors and broadcasters of black entertainment media. Otherwise we will continue to have a music industry that merely manufactures consent and dictates the face of black culture.

    www.Playahata.com -Interesting Quote of the Day-"I am a snitch, If I see a crime, I’m telling instantly! -Russell Simmons to Anderson Cooper on CNN 4/25/07

    Visit the Playahatas at http://www.playahata.com
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    Join the discussion at http://www.playahata.com/hataforum





    An Open Letter to Hip Hop About Some Real Important Shyt

    Dear Folks who say they Love Hip Hop

    I wish there was a way to make this issue of Net Neutrality more interesting. I wish there was a way to spice it up and make it compelling like some sort of beef within the rap industry. Maybe I should get Brad and Angelina to talk about it instead of their baby. Maybe Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton can utter a few words and force us to take more of an interest.

    I wish Cam'ron spent his vast money holding press conferences, dissing punk ass Congress for taking tainted money from Verizon, SBC, and Comcast instead of going after Jay-Z. I’m glad Jay-Z ignored Cam’ron, unfortunately he remained silent as the President of Def Jam on this important issue. We'll see what happens after Def Jam finds it difficult or too costly to send out their e-post cards alerting me and others of their latest releases

    I’m sorry Miss Jones on Hot 97 was so upset and enraged that she felt compelled to make headlines calling Mary J Blige a bitch for not shouting her out at last week’s Summer Jam. It’s too bad that she didn’t use her 3-4 hours a day of airtime in the nation’s largest city to call the greedy Congress people who accepted money from these corporations ‘Bitches’. There ain’t gonna be any shout outs if the Senate follows Congress in passing this bill. Maybe she'll step it up when her parent company Emmis finds that folks from all over the country can no longer easily access their archived interviews on their website.

    It's too bad that many of us found this issue 'too complicated' and 'too overwhelming' and hence directed our attention to Ludacris and Ice Cube's beef with Oprah. This is the feedback I got after stories ran on my website as well as AllHipHop.

    Shyt I'm sorry Oprah was too busy telling Ed Lover that she really does love Hip Hop and that she listens to 50 Cent and his violent ass all damn day instead of alerting her millions of viewers about the issue of Net Neutrality.

    I’m sorry that KRS-One and others used these Internet airways to tell us about the Hip Hop Nation they want to build, but didn’t issue a call to action to protect a main arm of our communication. Whether you’re a ‘Hip Hop or Rap’ Lover the elimination of Net Neutrality is gonna impact you..

    Here's what's happening folks. The house has gone passed the COPE bill and rejected proposals to insure Net Neutrality. Those who sided with the Comcast and Verizon are well aware that the ability of ordinary people to communicate to the masses is a problem because it’s been the only thing holding them accountable. For the last 5 years, the biggest stories about government corruption, corporate swindles, global warming and no weapons of Mass Destruction has come through Internet bloggers who were able to push an issue to the masses and force Fox, CNN and other News outlets to pay some sort of attention.

    Anyone who is an activist and championed causes ranging from Election fraud and Diebold Machines, police brutality Freeing Mumia, Global warming, Media Reform and Saving the South Central Farm in LA just to name a few this is will especially hit you hard, because the Internet and its ‘neutrality’ provisions have enabled many of us to counter biased mainstream media outlets get information out about particular causes all over the world.

    Yesterday that ability took one step closer to coming to an end. The mantra being sung on Capitol Hill is ‘Shut it down’, ‘Shut that shyt down and redirect traffic to a handful of places and media outlets that they can influence and control’.

    Like Ice Cube said 'Laugh Now and Cry Later', because many of us will soon be crying when we see the Internet gets parceled up and we start paying outrageous tolls for basic amenities. And speaking of which why didn't Ice Cube talk about this issue instead of not being invited on Oprah?

    Anyway your next steps should you choose is to call your Senator's office and tell them to stand up and protect your interests. Ignoring this, waiting for others to take on your responsibility or acting like the issue will simply go away will not change this.

    While many of you may shrug this off and think it doesn't apply to you, stop and think of all the activities you do on the daily that involve the Internet. Such activities range from using phone cards which use Internet connections-(Many of y'all didn't realize that) on down to peeping your favorite blog... Many of y'all like to surf and check out my site, AllHipHop, Sohh, HipHopGame etc.. Folks that shyt is about to change in a big, big ,big way.

    You're soon gonna be left with only being able to peep monthly issues of The Source and XXL, who neglected to address this issue. The Source bypassed this in their Media Watch column and Elliot Wilson from XXL obvious saw his shyt talking editorials as more important then keeping you informed. I guess I can understand, all these Hip Hop Internet websites were eating into business.

    All you artists who felt like you can easily get your music out there via Myspace and the other sites, that's about to change… Oh yeah lets not forget the punk ass RIAA who like to sue everybody. They stayed silent on this and in fact while all this is going on they have quietly lobbying Congress to change laws so that they can fundamentally change the copyright laws in such a way that it will make it damn near impossible to pass things around via the net. Please read about this here:

    Also let’s not let Steve Jobs and his vast i-tunes network off the hook. Perhaps I missed it, but I didn’t see him alerting us when you went to download your favorite song or stepped into his stores. Perhaps he figures he’s rich enough to pay for the inevitable increases while the rest of us can’t. In other words controlling 90% of the market is not enough.

    Shame on former Black Panther, Congressman Bobby Rush for selling us out and supporting these corporations. Shame on the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and any other ‘Civil Rights’ group pretending to represent our interests while selling us out and taking the money to front for these groups. And while I’m glad former Congressman Ron Dellums did well in his Mayoral bid in Oakland, we should not forget that he’s also a lobbyist with one of his main clients being Verizon so shame on him as well. How’s Oakland gonna be a world class city that is a beacon for new technology and innovation when his client is one of the main people trying to shut down the Internet?

    In closing I'm gonna say this and it may be sobering for some... It's what my pops told me after I got caught fuccing up and then went home and tried to kiss up to him so I wouldn't get in trouble. He told me to stop acting like a wuss and start acting like a man. He told me it was time I grow up and accept responsibility. He then punished me for 3 weeks not for the fucc up, but for me trying to kiss his ass instead of owning up to my mistakes. This is about to happen to all of us...

    My point is this. Hip Hop is over 30 years old. We're not kids no more. This industry is not run by kids. To not involve ourselves in shaping the institutions that we rely on to get our information and music out is irresponsible. That’s some thing to pond about. Here's another breakdown on this issue courtesy of www.playahata.com

    Peace out for now
    Holla at your Senator before you holla back at me..
    Davey D

    House Rejects Net Neutrality

    The First Amendment of the Internet – the governing principle of net neutrality, which prevents telecommunications corporations from rigging the web so it is easier to visit sites that pay for preferential treatment – took a blow from the House of Representatives Thursday.

    Bowing to an intense lobbying campaign that spent tens of millions of dollars – and held out the promise of hefty campaign contributions for those members who did the bidding of interested firms – the House voted 321 to 101 for the disingenuously-named Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act (COPE). That bill, which does not include meaningful network-neutrality protections creates an opening that powerful telephone and cable companies hope to exploit by expanding their reach while doing away with requirements that they maintain a level playing field for access to Internet sites.

    "Special interest advocates from telephone and cable companies have flooded the Congress with misinformation delivered by an army of lobbyists to undermine decades-long federal practice of prohibiting network owners from discriminating against competitors to shut out competition. Unless the Senate steps in, (Thursday's) vote marks the beginning of the end of the Internet as an engine of new competition, entrepreneurship and innovation." says Jeannine Kenney, a senior policy analyst for Consumers Union.
    In case there was any question that Kenney's assessment was accurate, the House voted 269-152 against an amendment, offered by Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey, which would have codified net neutrality regulations into federal law. The Markey amendment would have prevented broadband providers from rigging their services to create two-tier access to the Internet – with an "information superhighway" for sites that pay fees for preferential treatment and a dirt road for sites that cannot pay the toll.

    After explicitly rejecting the Markey amendment's language, which would have barred telephone and cable companies from taking steps "to block, impair, degrade, discriminate against, or interfere with the ability of any person to use a broadband connection to access…services over the Internet," the House quickly took up the COPE legislation.

    The bill drew overwhelming support from Republican members of the House, with the GOP caucus voting 215-8 in favor of it. But Democrats also favored the proposal, albeit by a narrower vote of 106 to 92. The House's sole independent member, Vermont's Bernie Sanders, a champion of internet freedom who is seeking his state's open Senate seat this fall, voted against the measure.

    Joining Sanders in voting against the legislation were most members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, including its co-chairs, California Representatives Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey, as well as genuine conservatives who have joined the fight to defend free speech and open discourse on the internet, including House Judiciary Committee chair James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin, and Intelligence Committee chair Pete Hoekstra, R-Michigan.

    The left-meets-right voting in the House reflected the coalition that has formed to defend net neutrality, which includes such unlikely political bedfellows as the Christian Coalition of America, MoveOn.org, National Religious Broadcasters, the Service Employees International Union, the American Library Association, the American Association of Retired People, the American Civil Liberties Union and all of the nation's major consumer groups.

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, opposed COPE, while House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Illinois, and Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, were enthusiastically supported it.

    Among the Democrats who followed the lead of Hastert and Boehner – as opposed to that of Pelosi – were House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and Maryland Representative Ben Cardin, who is running for that state's open Senate seat in a September Democratic-primary contest with former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume. Illinois Democrat Melissa Bean, who frequently splits with her party on issues of interest to corporate donors, voted with the Republican leadership, as did corporate-friendly "New Democrats" such as Alabama's Artur Davis, Washington's Adam Smith and Wisconsin's Ron Kind – all co-chairs of the Democratic Leadership Council-tied House New Democrat Coalition.

    The fight over net neutrality now moves to the Senate, where Maine Republican Olympia Snowe and North Dakota Democrat Byron Dorgan have introduced legislation to codify the net neutrality principles of equal and unfettered access to Internet content into federal law. Mark Cooper, the director of research for the Consumers Federation of America, thinks net neutrality will find more friends in the Senate, at least in part because the "Save the Internet" coalition that has grown to include more than 700 groups, 5,000 bloggers and 800,000 individuals is rapidly expanding.

    "This coalition will continue to grow, millions of Americans will add their voices, and Congress will not escape the roar of public opinion until Congress passes enforceable net neutrality," says Cooper.

    Cooper's correct to be more hopeful about the Senate than the House. But the House vote points up the need to get Democrats united on this issue. There's little question that a united Democratic caucus could combine with principled Republicans in the Senate to defend net neutrality. But if so-called "New Democrats" in the Senate side with the telephone and cable lobbies, the information superhighway will become a toll road.



    How Hip-Hop Lost The Plot

    From its origins as a uniting force, hip-hop has become debased as rappers have embraced violence and materialism, Jorge 'POP Master Fabel' Pabon will warn aficionados in a lecture tomorrow


    May the real hip-hop please rise! As we complete the third decade of what has been termed "hip-hop culture", much has yet to be explored regarding its roots, history, terminology and essence. Deciphering theories from facts is a gradual process since many resources are scattered, leaving missing links in the chains of history. Nevertheless, there are facts. These truths, unanimously agreed upon by the architects, legends and pioneers of the culture, should constitute the "hip-hop gospel", whereas the questionable theories should remain as footnotes until proven to be fact. Hip-hop culture continues to evolve as the most relevant renaissance of this time period. Those who recognise the original essence and spirit of the culture build on its strong foundation while others innocently or purposefully tear it apart.

    During the 1970s, New York City was the canvas for an extremely complex society of urban warriors with social and cultural imperatives. In this vibrant mosaic of cultures flourished a diverse population with varying traditions, characteristics and attitudes. The fast pace and aggressive nature of the city warranted the average urbanites development of survival instincts, finding ways to exist against all odds. Certain neighbourhoods were truly concrete jungles laced with countless obstacles and an array of predators. Conscientious elders made an effort to educate their communities by sharing their history, wisdom and knowledge of self. These sages illuminated paths towards success by providing a strong foundation for the youth to build upon.

    When "hip-hop" was just words in a rhyme, NYC's urban youth engaged in various forms of artistic self-expression. For the most part, these cultural components were recycled from previous creative movements. Music, speech, dance, art and fashion were among the elements either passed down by earlier generations or emulated by the next. Mentorship played a major role as skills were passed down to protégés. In certain cases, teachers referred to their students as sons/daughters. With this acquired knowledge came responsibility. The protégés were expected to carry on the reputation and expertise of the mentor since they were reflections of each other's dedication. Sons and daughters were also encouraged to respect their elders and take their skills to the next level in order to stay on top of the food chain. The most dedicated settled for nothing less than the best, representing to the fullest. We took great pride in our art, as it was an extension of our souls, marked our status and a source of self-empowerment. It was a means for achieving ghetto celebrity status. Getting there was half the battle; the other half was maintaining our rank in a highly competitive arena.

    At the epicentre of this great renaissance there were the jams. Block parties became our pow-wows. These cultural gatherings served as a place to exhibit our skills, engage in artistic warfare and network. For the most part it was a celebration of life through art. These all age events were free and accessible to the community. They provided an alternative to the negative activities that plagued our neighbourhoods. Although violence still threatened our communities, artistic expression became tools of war as we battled for king and queenship. These cultural imperatives were obtained by any means necessary. Plazas and schoolyards were occupied without permits. Electricity was jacked from the lamppost giving power to the DJ's equipment. Subway cars and handball courts became galleries for outlaw artists. The spirit of revolution echoed into the dawn of a new era, the epoch of hip-hop culture. Outdoor jams and community events provided a platform for the unification of various art forms. DJs, MCs, dancers, and writers became identified as components of a common movement eventually labelled hip-hop.

    The common pulse which gave life to all these elements is rhythm, clearly demonstrated by the beats the DJ selected, the dancers' movements, the MCs' rhyme patterns and the writer's name or message painted in a flowing, stylised fashion. The culture was identified in the early 1980s when DJ Afrika Bambaataa named the dynamic urban movement "hip-hop". The words "hip-hop" were originally used by MCs as part of a scat style of rhyming, for example: "Hip-hop ya'll and ya don't stop, rock on, till the break of dawn." At about the same time, certain slang words also became titles of the dance forms, such as "rockin'" and "breakin'", used generally, to describe actions with great intensity. Just as one could rock the mic (microphone) and rock the dance floor, one could rock a basketball game or rock some fly gear (dress impressively). The term "break" also had more than one use in the 1970s. It was often used as a response to an insult or reprimand, for example, "Why are you breakin' on me?" Break was also the section on a musical recording where the percussive rhythms were most aggressive and hard driving. The dancers anticipated and reacted to these breaks with their most impressive steps and moves.

    In order to report properly the history of dance forms associated with hip-hop, one must journey both inside and outside of New York City. Although dance forms associated with hip-hop did develop in New York City, half of them (ie, popping and locking) originated and developed on the west coast of the US as part of a different cultural movement. Much of the media coverage in the 1980s grouped these dance forms together with New York's native dance forms (B-boying/girling and uprocking ), labelling them all "breakdancing." As a result, the West Coast "funk" culture and movement were overlooked and underrated as the public ignorantly credited "hip-hop" as the father of the funk dance forms. This is just one example of misinformation that undermines the intricacies of each dance form.

    It is imperative that we acknowledge hip-hop culture as a transcending force which belongs to those who create it, live it, support it, protect it, and promote it, regardless of their race, religion, nation, tribe, crew or organisation. We might fly different colours, which represent our individuality and commitment to various parties or beliefs, but in truth, we all produce one collective mosaic.

    Although hip-hop culture was, for the most part, initially celebrated by African and Caribbean descendants in the 1970s, it was also embraced by various other ethnicities during this period, especially after it found its place above ground. For the true hip-hoppers, our standards have never changed regarding who is "down by law" and who isn't. One's skills for speak for themselves, regardless of one's skin tone or background. To us, it's about being original and bringing something new to the elements while preserving the foundation set by the pioneers.

    Hip-hop culture continues to unite people of various religions, nations, and cultures through the universal languages of dance, art, music, fashion and many other tools. The fact that hip-hop is not a religion, philosophy or belief system gives us a neutral platform to unite upon. It is inclusive and has always consisted of various influences.

    Peace can be achieved by respecting each other's differences, uniting in our commonalities, and agreeing to disagree with each other's opinions and views. Hip-hop culture has not only given us a vehicle of expression, but when used positively, it has given us an opportunity to explore the world and change the lives of many. It has helped many of us understand ourselves as well as others. It has helped to educate us and challenge our views. It has given many the opportunity to become self-empowered. It has given us many ways to communicate with our youth and has helped us to exercise and stimulate their senses. The outcome of these efforts often brings about a strong conscious generation of individuals who have found peaceful ways to settle differences and who stand for the upliftment of their community.

    Unfortunately, hip-hop culture has been misrepresented by the media and those who are either ignorant or have a hidden agenda. In this quest for peace, we shouldn't depend solely on the media for information about hip-hop culture, since there have been many cases where the media has helped to promote division and corruption within the culture. We should not rely on sources that have no authority, knowledge or understanding regarding hip-hop culture's origins and evolution. We should make it our business to research, cross-reference and fact check all of the pieces to this great puzzle. With this we can become students of the culture. Ultimately I have found that the most honourable teachers continue to be great students.

    The inspiration for developing a lecture entitled "The Great Hip-Hop Swindle" is an attempt to address the misrepresentation and exploitation of this culture by the industry, media, educational institutions and in some cases even its own practitioners. For the most part the media became the gatekeepers of information and dictate what is or isn't "hip-hop". Irresponsible journalists distort history by not fact checking information and have been known to fill in the blanks with conjecture. So-called "hip-hop" magazines and radio stations claim to be "the home of hip-hop" meanwhile they only represent one component of the culture, rap. Radio station's programmers tend to rotate the same half dozen artists all day long excluding a wide variety of flavours within the rap genre. Corporations invest in a culture they hardly understand with no regard to preserving its integrity and authenticity. Once the recording industry convinced MCs/rappers they could stand alone without a DJ, hip-hop dancers or the element of aerosol art, the culture was stripped apart. This along with the death of the jams, also known as block parties, was the beginning of the end of hip-hop in its original state. In short, the recording industry hijacked the term "hip-hop" and made it synonymous only with rap. Artistic and educational institutions offer "hip-hop" courses often taught by individuals who are not only unqualified but never lived a hip-hop day in their life. Many of these academics do not support the hip-hop communities and are seldom seen at events. As the blind lead the blind, younger generations have few reliable sources.

    Unaware of hip-hop's magnificent legacy, some of our youth use the rap element to perpetuate and glorify many of the social ills our hip-hop forefathers were trying to overcome. The majority of pioneers were using this culture progressively while today many of our youth have reversed the order by promoting destructive lifestyles via rap. This is precisely one of the reasons why "The Great Hip-Hop Swindle" lecture was conceived. In order to embrace the essence of the culture one must know its history and purpose. The lecture is accompanied by an audio/video presentation that helps illustrate many key points and provides evidence regarding the true identity of hip-hop culture. Potential solutions are suggested including some that have had positive results. "The Great Hip-Hop Swindle" takes us on a journey through the rise, fall and resurrection of this era's most influential movement.

    © Pabon 2006

    The Great Hip-Hop Swindle Lecture is part of Robert Hylton Urban Classicism at the Purcell Room, London SE1 (0870 380 0400) 12.30pm tomorrow. Fabel performs a short dance piece today



    New venue is major performance resource

    by Omar-Abdul R. Lawrence
    for New Pittsburgh Courier

    A new venue has opened its doors to the Pittsburgh cultural community.
    Located at 607 East Ohio St. on the North Side, The Unda'Ground Lounge is an intimate performance venue, hip-hop museum, and retail outlet, created, co-owned, and maintained by international hip-hop icon, Paradise Gray.

    As a native New Yorker and recent Wilkinsburg area transplant, Gray made hip-hop history managing the legendary Latin Quarter Club during throughout the 1980s. The Latin Quarter was the major breeding ground for an underground movement making its transition into international commerce. Artists such as Queen Latifah, De La Soul, Salt and Pepa and Eric B & Rakim got their big break into the industry performing at the Latin Quarter for a crowd laced with powerful execs and tastemakers of the day. Def Jam founder Russell Simmons and Def Jam's inaugural artist L.L. Cool J were also regulars at the Latin Quarter.

    Following his work with the Latin Quarter Gray co-founded the Rap group X Clan along with Robert Lumumba Carson, son of activist Sonny Carson. Gray became known as "Paradise The Arkitech" and Carson dubbed himself "Professor X."

    Though Professor X recently passed away, the legacy lives on of a group that used their industry connections and politically conscious music to help bring consciousness to African-American youth.

    From 2000-2003 Gray was the executive in charge of urban music at the infamous Internet music company MP3.COM, one of the last Silicon Valley companies to go public in the dot.com boom and the precursor to all the music downloading companies and controversy. Gray adds," I wasn't a founder but I was there pre-I.P.O. and went public with MP3.com as head of Black Music. We were millionaires until Universal sued us and bought us out for one tenth the value."

    Now a Wilkinsburg resident, Gray is bringing his in depth music industry expertise to Pittsburgh. Gray explains," I came to Pittsburgh in 1992 just after my group (X Clan) broke up. I didn't travel again for nine months and in that time Pittsburgh healed my soul. So, I wanna' give back to the people of Pittsburgh."

    Enter the Underground Lounge. Housed in the first floor retail space of a building Gray manages and maintains, he decided this year to remodel it himself and open a business there instead of renting it out. Gray co-owns the business along with a silent investor who owns the building and other local properties.

    The Unda'Ground lounge is not a bar and restaurant as one might expect from the lounge moniker. Instead New York's legendary Lyricist Lounge inspired it, and The Unda'Ground Lounge is positioning itself to be a platform for emerging talent the way the Lyricist Lounge gave the world its first glimpse at artists such as Notorious B.I.G. and Mos Def.

    "There are a lot of venues with the name lounge in Pittsburgh," explained Gray. "However, the Unda'Ground Lounge is inspired by the Lyricist Lounge. Our primary focus is release parties, open mikes, and retail."

    The Unda'Ground Lounge also showcases Gray's unparalleled hip-hop memorabilia collection of photos and flyers. Gray's collection was licensed for the VH1 hip-hop documentaries that have been aired over the last two years. Prints of some of his classic photos will be available in the retail area that greets you as you walk in with framed photos, t-shirts, CDs, art and books along the walls. The retail area is connected to the cozy performance area that with a stage, seating, microphones, and sound system.

    The Unda'Ground Lounge opens its doors Monday thru Saturday 11 am-7 pm. Fridays and Saturdays beginning at 9 p.m. Gray will host an open mike series with a spotlight on a local artist with a recent musical release. The Unda'Ground Lounge is a smoke-free venue with a B.Y.O.B. liquor policy. Light food and refreshments will be for sale during events and plans are in the works for the regular sale of café items such as espresso drinks and deserts.

    Though he remains focused on culture, Gray plans to profit through event admission fees consultation, and developing profitable partnerships with local artists and craftspeople to feature local products such as CDs DVDs. T-shirts, books, hand made jewelry, incense and oils. The major niche of The Unda'Ground Lounge is the industry expertise and personal Hip-Hop archives of Gray. He still maintains personal relationships with the movers and shakers of the Hip-Hop industry and will be making his consultation services available through The Unda'Ground Lounge.

    "Pittsburgh has a lot of talent. But what most local artist lack is industry knowledge to really take their product to the next level" Gray explains. "The Underground Lounge is a place where you can get consultation on how to market and sell your product as well as find out how to align yourself with managers, lawyers and other staff you will need to be successful in the industry."

    To add to the resources and services that can be accessed at the Unda'Ground Lounge, artists can also book studio time with local studios as well as buy and sell production and writing from other artist with the Lounge acting as a "middleman" between its immense base of local and national artist relationships. Gray also owns a studio located in Wilkinsburg equipped with Pro Tools, a Macintosh G5, and an AKG414 Microphone, an MPC 2000XL, and a Roland Phantom X 8. He has partnered up with videographers Adam Smith and Les Bigelow of Underground Hip-Hop Video Magazine to provide video production services as well as a design team of local experienced designers to custom design anything from album covers to t-shirts.

    And to accommodate your CD pressing needs The Unda'Ground Lounge has a partnership with a CD manufacturer to get CDs professionally manufactured at industry standard quality. Gray continues, "I've been involved in every aspect of the music business for the last 20 years, from management to publicity to photography to production."

    "Black youth of today have to learn to generate multiple streams of revenue, through legal means," said Gray. "Our people have many needs we just have to get in the business of providing for them."



    "When you are moving the record back and forth over the headphones you
    are "cueing" the record - you are not scratching.
    When you are scratching you are doing it for the crowd - not through a
    pair of headphones.
    When you are scratching, you are scratching with the crossfader.
    What I was doing when I came up with the scratch: I was moving the
    record back and forth, with both up and down faders all the way up -
    out loud - you could hear both records at the same time. Using the up &
    down fader to further the scratch was added in hours later.

    Flash came up with cutting the record - you cut to the right and cut to
    the left. That's not scratching. When You are scratching, you are
    letting one record play and interjecting with the next record that you
    are scratching with. Not cutting. Cutting and Scratching are two
    different things. When you cue the record you are getting the record
    ready to be played.

    Some legends are mixing all the definitions up - confusing everyone and
    themselves. It takes no skill to cue. How can the word "cueing" be
    synonymous with the word "scratching"?

    I created something so phenomenal and now everyone wants to take credit
    for it when I was the only one who was doing it. I was the only one
    with a style that no one could match. Flash did not sit me down and say
    'This is how you cut and this is how you scratch.'" If you had someone
    teach you something, both of your styles would be identical at first.
    Flash and I are like night and day.

    I never heard any of the Disco DJs say, back in the day "I'm scratching
    the record in the earphones.'" Now several are claiming this
    accomplishment to journalists who don't have a technical understanding
    of DJing, therefore attempting to re-write history in their favor. If
    someone was to claim that they created something, they should still be
    doing it and be more advanced then everyone else around them."



    Audio Image

    Breakdown FM: Tribute to Professor X of X-Clan (40:22) by Davey D


    Listen to the Breakdown FM Interview
    Rick Rock & the Federation Going Beyond Hyphy

    by Davey D

    Last week the Bay Area was treated to good news when E-40’s new album ‘My Ghetto Report Card’ debuted on the Billboard charts at number one. His new single ‘Tell Me When to Go’ is a bonafide hit that is lighting up radio station and night clubs from here to New York, throughout the South and even spots overseas are checking out the buzz and everybody is asking ‘What does it mean to be Hyphy?’

    There is no doubt the Bay is on fire. Currently there are bidding wars amongst major labels for acts like Mista F.A.B. and Rick Rock and the Federation. T-Kash who is signed to Paris’s Guerilla Funk label is finding that his new politically charged album ‘Turf War Syndrome’ is one of the most sought after and heavily added on the college radio circuit. If that’s not enough the Paris’ produced Public Enemy album ‘Rebirth of a Nation’ came in at number 33 on the Billboard charts which is great for a small indie label. Lastly we have super producer Rick Rock and his group the Federation who are currently enjoying major radio play in cities like New York with their new smash “18 Dummies”. Now with that being said and done the 64 thousand dollar question is ‘Will the Bay Area’s Hyphy Movement’ catch on and become a nationwide thing that sticks?

    According to super producer Rick Rock aka the King of Slaps who along with his group The Federation put out the first Hyphy record 5 years ago, The Bay will become a nationwide stop only if people make a firm commitment to step their business game up and do good music. He emphasized the point that while Hyphy is the in thing right now, it’s going to take more than a bunch of songs that have the words Hyphy and other related lingo in the hooks to keep the momentum going. He elaborated by pointing out that the Hyphy Movement has gotten the music industry’s attention and helped opened a lot of doors, but Bay artists will have to stretch out and constantly challenge themselves.

    “You have to keep putting paint where it ain’t”, Rick Rock said. “You have to come with something different. It does no good to drive down the street and hear the same Hyphy record with all different artists. It’s what I call the Das EFX Syndrome.” Rock was referring to the rap group Das EFX who came out with a unique triple time rhyme style that got widely mimicked to the point it hurt their careers.

    Rock noted that his group is trying to stay ahead of the curve by taking innovative steps and pushing the musical envelop. Case in point, he dipped into his rock-n-roll roots and teamed up with drummer Travis Barker to do a song Rick noted that he has always been a rock fan and the beats he creates is influenced by bands like Metallica who he considers one of the best groups of all-time.

    Rock explained that Barker had heard some of the Bay Area’s Hyphy songs and felt that it was natural cousin to in terms of energy and drive you hear in hardcore rock. He was anxious to get down with the Federation cats and the rest they say is history. To hear lead rappers Goldie Gold, Stress and Doonie Baby spitting on fiery lyrics over Barkers drums and Ricks amped up hyphy oriented music is something that will undoubtedly change the game once it’s released.

    It’s these types of steps that are going to help keep the Bay Area’s profile elevated. It’s also going to take folks who are hungry for the spotlight to sit back and stop hating on one another. Regional infighting based upon who is getting recognized is what has crippled the Bay and other burgeoning regions in the past. These were points that were emphasized by Federation members Doonie Baby and Goldie Gold. They noted that there’s enough room for everybody to eat and share the spotlight.

    Rock who also noted this point said its time for a lot of folks to sit down and have close door meeting to 1-Get a clearer understanding of what to expect with all this increased industry attention. 2-Learn how to better handle the business expectations major labels and other outlets will have of local artists entering into the game .3- How to operate in a hater free environment. In other words as the Bay tightens up on its business and beats it will be national factor that enjoys the spotlight for years to come.

    Listen to the Breakdown FM Interview



    Hip-Hop's Betrayal of Black Women

    by Jennifer McLune


    Indeed, like rock & roll, hip-hop sometimes makes you think we men don't like women much at all, except to objectify them as trophy pieces or, as contemporary vernacular mandates, as baby mommas, chickenheads, or bitches. But just as it was unfair to demonize men of color in the 60s solely as wild-eyed radicals when what they wanted, amidst their fury, was a little freedom and a little power, today it is wrong to categorically dismiss hip-hop without taking into serious consideration the socioeconomic conditions (and the many rcord labels that eagerly exploit and benefit from the ignorance of many of these young artists) that have led to the current state of affairs. Or, to paraphrase the late Tupac Shakur, we were given this world, we did not make it. – Kevin Powell, Notes of a HipHop Head. [emphasis added]

    To hip-hop's apologists: You were given this world and you glorify it. You were given this world and you protect it. You were given this world and you benefit from it. You were given this world and even in your wildest dreams you refuse to imagine anything else but this world. And anyone who attacks your misogynistic fantasy and offers an alternative vision is a hater, or worse, an enemy who just doesn't get it. What is there to get? There is nothing deep or new about misogyny, materialism, violence and homophobia. The hardest part isn't recognizing it, but ending it. Calling it unacceptable and an enemy of us all. Refusing to be mesmerized, seduced or confused by what hip-hop has come to signify: a betrayal of our imagination as a people.

    Kevin Powell's "socio-economic" explanation for the sexism in hip-hop is a way to silence feminist critiques of the culture: It is to make an understanding of the misogynistic objectification of black women in hip-hop so elusive that we can't grasp it long enough to wring the neck of its power over us. His argument completely ignores the fact that women, too, are raised in this environment of poverty and violence, but have yet to produce the same negative and hateful representation of black men that male rappers are capable of making against women.

    Powell's understanding also lends itself to the elitist assumption that somehow poverty breeds sexism, or at least should excuse it. Yet we all know that wealthy white boys can create the same hateful and violent music as poor black boys. As long as the boys can agree that their common enemy is female and that their power resides in their penis, women must not hesitate to name the war they have declared on us.

    Hip-hop owes its success to the ideology of woman-hating. It creates, perpetuates and reaps the rewards of objectification. Sexism and homophobia saturate hip-hop culture, and any deviation from these forms of bigotry is made marginal to its most dominant and lucrative expressions. Few artists dare to embody equality and respect between the sexes through their music; those who do have to fight to be heard above the dominant chorus of misogyny.

    The most well known artists who represent an underground and conscious force in hip-hop – like Common, The Roots, Talib Kweli and others – remain inconsistent, apologetic and even eager to join the mainstream player's club. Even though fans like me support them because of their moments of decency toward women, they often want to remain on the fence by either playing down their consciousness, or by offering props to misogynistic rappers. Most so-called conscious artists appear to care more about their own acceptance by mainstream artists than wanting to make positive changes in the culture.

    The Roots, for example, have backed Jay-Z on both his Unplugged release and Fade to Black tours. They've publicly declared their admiration for him and have signed on to his new "indie" hip-hop imprint Def Jam Left to produce their next album. Yet Jay-Z is one of the most notoriously sexist and materialistic rappers of his generation.

    Hip-hop artists like Talib Kweli and Common market themselves as conscious alternatives, yet they remain passive in the face of unrelenting woman-hating bravado from mainstream artists. They are willing to lament in abstract terms the state of hip-hop, but refuse to name names – unless it's to reassure their mainstream brethren that they have nothing but love for their music.

    Talib Kweli has been praised for his song "Black Girl Pain," but clearly he's clueless to how painful it is for a black girl to hear his boy Jay-Z rap, "I pimp hard on a trick, look Fuck if your leg broke bitch, hop up on your good foot."

    The misogyny in hip-hop is also given a pass because some of its participants are women. But female hip-hop artists remain utterly marginalized within the industry and culture – except when they are trotted out to defend hip-hop against feminist criticism. The idea is that if women rap, then the industry and culture can't be all that sexist. If women find meaning and power within hip-hop culture, then it must be unfair to call hip-hop patriarchal. What about the ladies? they say. But the truth is, all kinds of patriarchal institutions, organizations and movements have women in their ranks in search of power and meaning. The token presence of individual women changes nothing if women as a group are still scapegoated and degraded.

    Unlike men, women in hip-hop don't speak in a collective voice in defense of themselves. The pressure on women to be hyper-feminine and hyper-sexual for the pleasure of men, and the constant threat of being called a bitch, a ho – or worse a dyke – as a result of being strong, honest, and self-possessed, are real within hip-hop culture, and the black community at large. Unless women agree to compromise their truth, their self-respect, their unity with other women, and instead play dutiful daughter to the phallus that represents hip-hop culture, they will be either targetted and slandered, or ignored altogether. As a result, female rappers are often just as male-identified, violent, materialistic and ignorant as their male peers.

    Hip-hop artist Eve, who describes herself as "a pit bull in a skirt," makes an appearance in the Sporty Thieves video for "Pigeons," one of the most hateful misogynistic anthems in hip-hop. Her appearance in this video displays her unity not with the women branded "pigeons," but with the men who label them. This is a heartbreaking example of how hip-hop encourages men to act collectively in the interest of male privilege, while dividing women into opposing camps of good and bad, or worthy and unworthy of respect.

    Some women sing along to woman-hating lyrics because they've convinced themselves that Snoop, Jay-Z, Ludacris and others aren't talking about them. They are talking about women who act like bitches and hoes and thus deserve to called bitches and hoes. When do women ask what men deserve? Too many of us sing along to woman-hating lyrics because we have allowed men to decide which women are worthy of respect and which women are asking to be called names. But as long as men define the terms upon which any woman is worthy of respect, we are all bitches and hoes. And as along as we allow men to divide and label us, they've conquered us all.

    Lip-service protest against sexism in hip-hop culture is nothing more than a sly form of public relations to ensure that nobody's money, power or respect is ever really threatened. Real respect and equality might interfere with hip-hop's commercial appeal. We are asked to dialogue about and ultimately celebrate our "progress" – always predicated on a few rappers and moguls getting rich. Angry young black women like myself are expected to be satisfied with a mere mention that some hip-hop music is sexist and that this sexism of a few rappers is actually, as Powell calls it, "the ghetto blues, urban folk art, a cry out for help." My question then is: Whose blues? Whose art? Why won't anybody help the women who are raped in endless rotation by the gaze of the hip-hop camera?

    They expect us to deal with hip-hop's pervasive woman-hating simply by alluding to it, essentially excusing and even celebrating its misogyny, its arrogance, its ignorance. What this angry black woman wants to hear from the apologists is that black women are black people too. That any attack on the women in our community is an attack on us all, and that we will no longer be duped by genocidal tendencies in black-face. I want to hear these apologists declare that any black man who makes music perpetuating the hatred of women will be named, shunned and destroyed, financially and socially, like the traitor of our community he is. That until hip-hop does right by black women, everything hip-hop ever does will fail.

    If we accept Powell's explanation for why hip-hop is the way it is – which amounts to an argument for why we should continue to consume and celebrate it – then ultimately we are accepting ourselves as victims who know only how to imitate our victimization, while absolving the handful of black folk who benefit from its tragic results. I choose to challenge hip-hop by refusing to reward its commercial aspirations with my money or my attention.

    I'm tired of the ridiculous excuses and justifications for the unjustifiable pillaring of black women and girls in hip-hop. Are black women the guilty parties behind black men's experience of racism and poverty? Are black women acceptable scapegoats when black men suffer oppression? If black women experience double the oppression as both blacks and women in a racist, patriarchal culture, it is our anger at men and white folks that needs to be heard.

    The black men who make excuses for the ideology of woman-hating in hip-hop remind me of those who, a generation ago, supported the attacks on black female writers who went public about the reality of patriarchy in our community. The fact that these black female writers did not create incest, domestic violence, rape and other patriarchal conditions in the black community did not shield them from being skewered by black men who had their feelings hurt by the exposure of their male privilege and domination of black women. Black women's literature and activism that challenge sexism are often attacked by black men (and many male-identified women) who abhor domination when they are on the losing end, but want to protect it when they think it offers them a good deal.

    Black women writers and activists were called traitors for refusing to be silent about the misogynistic order of things in our minds and homes, and yet women-hating rappers are made heroes by the so-called masses. To be sure, hip-hop is not about keeping it real. Hip-hop lies about the ugly reality that black women were condemned for revealing. Hip-hop is a manipulative narrative that sells because it gets men hard. It is a narrative in which, as a Wu Tang Clan video shows, black women are presented as dancing cave chicks in bikinis who get clubbed over the head. Or where gang rapes are put to a phat beat. Or where working class black women are compared to shit-eating birds.

    As a black woman who views sexism as just as much the enemy of my people as racism, I can't buy the apologies and excuses for hip-hop. I will not accept the notion that my sisters deserve to be degraded and humiliated because of the frustrations of black men – all while we suppress our own frustrations, angers and fears in an effort to be sexy and accommodating. Although Kevin Powell blames the negatives in hip-hop on everything but hip-hop culture itself, he ultimately concludes, "What hip-hop has spawned is a way of winning on our own terms, of us making something out of nothing."

    If the terms for winning are the objectification of black women and girls, I wonder if any females were at the table when the deal went down. Did we agree to be dehumanized, vilified, made invisible? Rather than pretending to explain away the sexism of hip-hop culture, why doesn't Powell just come clean: in the end it doesn't matter how women are treated. Sexism is the winning ticket to mainstream acceptability and Powell, like Russell Simmons and others, know this. It's obvious that if these are the winning terms for our creativity, black women are ultimately the losers. And that's exactly how these self-proclaimed players, thugs and hip-hop intellectuals want us: on our backs and pledging allegiance to the Hip-Hop Nation. If we were all to condemn woman-hating as an enemy of our community, hip-hop would be forced to look at itself and change radically and consistently. And then it would no longer be marketable in the way that these hip-hop intellectuals celebrate. As things stand, it's all about the Benjamins on every level of the culture. And black women are being thugged and rubbed all the way to the bank.

    Jennifer McLune can be contacted at jennmclune@hotmail.com



    Davey D, a San Francisco-based music writer and hip-hop historian, echoed the sentiment. "It's true, there is no balance in the media, especially in hip-hop, where the negativity is most prevalent. All we hear of on a commercial level is pimps, players and gangsters. That's not all us. What about the revolutionary voices? What about artists like The Coup? Like Public Enemy and Paris? They have a new album out together that speaks on exactly what's going on right now, but they don't get played on commercial radio. We've always argued that our voices are systematically suppressed. Well, here's the proof."
    Not all agree, however. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist took a more defensive stance. "Of course it raises some concerns, but we can't let this issue be blown out of proportion. Of course there have to be media guidelines. Hell, if we want to plant I.D. chips in people and torture their loved ones until they break, we will. I know the idea of governmental control over what the media can or cannot say during wartime may be an uncomfortable topic for some to digest, but it is a necessary fact of life when our enemies are trying to kill us."
    Debra L. Lee, president and CEO of Viacom's Black Entertainment Television, agrees. "Even though our moniker is BET, our allegiance lies with our government and its directives, not the African-American community. Anyone who believes that we will endorse messages in contrast to our government's wishes, or that express dissent, is sorely mistaken."
    Some entertainment industry insiders are becoming increasingly concerned, however. One longtime employee of Interscope Records, a leading record label and home to rap superstars 50 Cent and Eminem, stated recently under the condition of anonymity that the company "has a unique relationship with Viacom" and that it "deliberately focuses on marketing campaigns that depict black people in the worst possible light." When told of Rev. Sharpton's likening of the practice to 'genocide' on African-Americans, he agreed wholeheartedly, but expressed fears of reprisal should he publicly address his concerns.
    "It's beyond national security. That was the reason given at first, but now they just tell us what we have to endorse, and what we have to avoid." He added, "these kids eat it up. They don't know the difference between what's real and what's fake."
    An Interscope company spokesperson was unavailable for comment.
    "We will get to the bottom of this," Sharpton continued, "and heads will roll. Now that their practices of propaganda are common knowledge even Americans with limited political awareness will demand change."
    Agreed.........The Modern Day
    Go To---->
    It's Time All Soldiers Unite!

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    Son of a Panther Chairman Fred Hampton Jr
    Speaks Out on Black-Brown Unity
    by Davey D

    For those who don’t know, Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. became known to many within the Hip Hop community when dead prez did a song called ‘Behind Enemy Lines’  a few years back. Here they talked about his incarceration and the controversial case surrounding him. many felt the charges levied on him were trumped up and a result of his political activism. 
    Chairman Fred is the son of Fred Hampton Sr. who headed up the largest Black Panther chapter in America. His dad made major inroads by doing what was seemingly the impossible. He politicized many of Chicago’s notorious gangs and then laid groundwork to establish what many consider the first Rainbow Coalition. Hampton had reached out and brought to the table various Black and Latino organizations and gangs along with the white Patriots and folks from the Native American movement to organize and combat various political and economic oppressive conditions impacting People of color and poor communities.

    Because Hampton had been so successful in politicizing the gangs (street tribes), the Chicago police became increasingly threatened. On December 4th 1969, they raided his home and shot him and another Panther named Mark Clark while they slept. Fred Hampton Jr. was still inside his mother’s womb when this happened, but as an unborn he wasn’t spared the brutality and terrorism of the police. They placed a gun on the stomach of his mom who was pregnant at the time. It is with this backdrop that Fred Hampton Jr, came into the world, grew up and continued the political and organizing work of his slain father.

    We recently sat down with Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. who heads up the POCC (Prisoners of Conscience Committee) to get his take on a wide array of issues they are involved in including ; the purpose of the POCC, the recovery of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina of the POCC sponsored Black Cross, the African Anti-Terrorism Bill, the case involving political prisoner Aaron Patterson and the renaming of a Chicago Street after his father Fred Hampton Sr. We also talked at length about two important topics impacting the Black community, the immigration debate and Black Brown unity.

    We also spoke at length about celebrity culture and how many of the people and communities that need to be reached are addicted to it. For many people, if the message doesn’t show up on MTV, BET or the local radio station via popular artists then it doesn’t exist at all. We talked about the POCC’s code of culture and how they have attempted to combat that phenomenon and why they have been successful in engaging artists to help get their message and work across to the people. For example, during Immortal Technique’s sold out show in Oakland, Chairman Fred was invited onto the stage to address the crowd and introduce Technique. He was invited to speak before the sold out crowd of the We The People Show in Los Angeles  as well as a televised TV concert that will soon air on Starz for dead prez.

    The following day Chairman Fred and Technique along with author Adisa Banjoko hooked up with the Brown Berets in Watsonville, California for a Hip Hop festival that had Black and Brown unity as the main focus. Hampton was very adamant about the importance for the Black community to be in support and alongside those who are involved in the immigration struggle. During our interview he went into great detail about the legacy of the immigration struggle and how the land that we live on was obtained by our government in the first place. He talked about genocide and un-honored treaties and other atrocities waged upon Indigenous People.
    During his remarks at Immortal technique's concert , he likened those Blacks who have been siding with the government in this immigration debate to be no different then Buffalo Soldiers who ran around killing native people’s on behalf of white power structure in America’s government during the push out west. Chairman Fred continued on by talking about how various communities should be uniting around sets of principals and establishing mutual respect.

    In our interview Chairman Fred talked about the big battle in Chicago around the renaming of Monroe street to Fred Hampton Sr Way. There has been major opposition from Chicago mayor Daly and his co-horts who apparently understand the important symbolism behind naming a street after a Black Panther. People in the Chicago area are encouraged to come out City Hall 121 North La sale Street by 10am on April 26 when a vote will be taken on this matter. Later that day Hampton will be teaming up with comedian Dave Chappelle to do a Fred Hampton block party.
    You can peep the interview on Breakdown FM:


    Peep Game w/ Ice Cube

    by Davey D

    The Don Mega Ice Cube is currently on a West Coast Club Tour. We got a chance to catch up with him in San Francisco and have a more in-depth conversation with him since our last encounter which was about a month ago in LA.

    Here we got Cube’s thoughts on the current immigration debate and Black-Brown unity. This was an important question because in the past Cube has kicked lyrics on this topic on a number of songs. Most recently he addresses this in the song ‘Get You Down’ featuring B-Real and Warren G.

    We also talked about Cube’s recent television project ‘Black and White’ and whether or not he intends to expand the concept to include other ethnic groups.

    We talked to Cube about his upcoming album ‘Laugh Now Cry later’ and what sort of messages he hoped to convey. His new song ‘Why We Thugs’ is overtly political and we wanted to know if he was going to have more songs in the same vein.

    We also talked to Cube about his new label called Lench Mob records and whether or not he would get back together with the original Lench Mob and Kam. Currently there’s a lot of buzz in the streets that may happen. Cube smiled when I asked the question, and said there were no immediate plans.

    We also asked Cube to talk about his emcee skillz and how he maintains consistency over the years..

    As for the show at San Francisco's historic Fillmore, Cube along with WC and Crazy Toons wrecked shop from start to finish. The show which sold out within an hour of tickets going on sale, started out with the Clipse opening up and doing their thing. Next the Dogg Pound came through and got busy. Joining DPG on stage was JT the Bigga Figga. That caught a lot of people by surprise because it was just a year ago that Daz and JT were beefing with one another and publicly challenging each other to a boxing match.

    Cube hit the stage with WC as his hype man and Crazy Toons on the turntables. There were no stage props except a big balloon with the westside hand sign The first song Cube hit folks with was 'Natural Born Killer with WC doing Dre's part. He followed it up with 'Hello' which was originally done by NWA. The pace of the show picked up from there with the crowd getting cracked over the dome with hit after hit after hit.. It's really refreshing to watch a cat just put on a good show.









    The Stanford Hip Hop Panel featuring KRS-One & Busy Bee (Full Audio)
    by Davey D
    As many of you know there was a big conference at Stanford University this past weekend called Know-The-Ledge. It was centered around Hip Hop Journalist building with Hip Hop scholars and it was put on by the Stanford Hip Hop Archives.
    The event wasn't really set up so that we had the traditional panels. Instead it was like a huge round table seating close to 100 people from all around the country. As we covered various topics ranging from feminism and Hip Hop to politics and Hip Hop, specific people were chosen to spark off the discussion.
    One discussion was a panel called the Hip Hop Artist as Theorist.. Sitting on that panel was Stic from dead prez, ladybug Mecca of Diagble Planets, Boots Riley of the Coup,KRS-One and myself -Davey D. Missing in action was Yo-Yo and Lyrics Born...KRS rolled through and brought Hip Hop pioneer Busy B to fill the gap.
    The moderator was long time journalist/scholar Mark Anthony Neal who wrote the book 'That's the Joint' with his partner Murray Foprman who was also present. Seated around the table was avirtual who's who in the respective fields of journalism and academia as it pertains to Hip Hop.
    Michael Eric Dyson was original scheduled to moderate the panel but was sick and could not make it. other then that the room was packed with all sorts of people ranging from Bakari Kitwana the author of the book Hip Hop generation, Raquel Rivera, Kierna Mayo to local rap stars like Quam Allah.  Also seated at the table was Adisa Banjoko..
    The audio below is the full panel so folks can get an idea as to what was said and the context in which things emerged..
    Please keep in mind.. the panel discussions started at 8 that morning and many important topics were discussed vigoriously by this large gathering including 'Hip Hop vs Rap'.. The role Hip Hop plays in society, exploitation etc etc.. KRS did not show up until the artist panel.. Hence he missed much of the important discussion that took place early on..
    Here's the entire audio for part 1 of the stanford Hip Hop Panel
    or you can go here:
    Please note if you have a Mac you will need Windows Media to play the audio.. In a couple of days I will put this audio up for download and I will also upload the other panels which focused on Hip Hop and Politics, Hip Hop and Women, and numerous other topics..
    In part 1 you will here the opening remarks from the panelist as well as KRS-One's outbusrt and threat to journalist Adisa Banjoko. In part 2 you will hear addition remarks including KRS-One's closing remarks..Here is part 2 of the panel discussion


    News Headlines

    The Zulu Nation Demands Hip Hop Take Responsibility

    February 23, 2006

    "This is a town meeting for the survival of people!"

    That's what Public Enemy front man Chuck D said at an emergency meeting held yesterday, Feb. 22, at the National Black Theatre in Harlem. The Supreme World Council of the Universal Zulu Nation, which was established by Afrika Bambaataa, considered by many to be the founding father of hip hop, called the meeting to address the need for the reinstatement of balance, respect and love in hip hop music.

    “How can you say you love hip-hop without learning the voices, the sentiment, the soul, the legacy, the responsibility?” asked Chuck D.

    While the evening began with angry accusations of brainwashing by media, more specifically New York radio superpowers Hot 97 and Power 105.1, it was messages of change and constructive solutions that resonated with the culturally and religiously diverse crowd that overflowed into the hallways.

    “If you’re playing 50 Cent we want to hear Common Sense; if you play Missy Elliott we want to hear Sonic Force; if you play Sean Paul we want to hear Bob Marley,” said Bambaataa, referring to the recycled playlists on radio and television.

    “This is not a building full of bitter people, bitter old recording artists who are mad that their records aren’t getting played on the radio any more,” said Chuck D. “This is a town meeting for the survival of people.”

    “Hip hop is caught up in a time where one’s worth and status are contingent upon money rather than a genuine love for the music,” he said. Both he and Bambaataa went on to say that the degradation of women and the ubiquitous use of the N-word are not what the originators of hip-hop had in mind when envisioning what the culture would become.

    “This is not the hip-hop Afrika Bambaataa, Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and all the pioneers started way back,” said Bambaataa.

    Rapper turned activist, Chuck D, pointed out that the presidents of both MTV and BET are black women, an irony considering that black women are the subjects of unapologetically misogynist portrayals in an overwhelming number of rap songs and accompanying videos.

    Rounding out the evening was perhaps the most important call to action. Building on the theme that bringing about a balance between the responsible music of the Talib Kwelis and Mos Defs, and the shallowness of the s and Ying Yang Twins, will allow for hip hop to give other options to those who look up to it for guidance.

    “That’s all you hear… is a mixture of a thug life and children,” said Chuck D. “How you going to make a club song and your marketing campaign is aimed at a 14 year-old? Why? A 14 year-old can’t get into the God d*mn club, and not only is it a club, it’s a strip club. So what the hell does an 11 year-old who rushes home from school to turn on the radio or television know about strip clubs, anyway?” he continued.

    And, in true Chuck D fashion, his most powerful statement was a self-reflective one. “I have been blessed to go all over the world because of this music, to feed my family because of this music, I have an obligation and a responsibility to take what this music has given to me, and take whatever I have gained and learned from the brotherhood and the sisterhood of this music, and spread it.”

    Have a news tip? Email us.

    Read more vibe.com news headlines.












    APRIL 21, 2006
    6:00 AM
    CONTACT: Free Press
    Craig Aaron, 202-265-1490 x 25
    After Thousands of Activists Demand Investigation, FCC Launches Payola Probe
    Free Press calls for a crackdown on Big Media's abuse of the public airwaves
    WASHINGTON - April 21 - The Federal Communications Commission has launched a formal investigation into growing payola scandal at four of the nation's largest radio broadcasters. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times , the FCC has issued "letters of inquiry" seeking documents from Clear Channel Communications, CBS Radio, Entercom Communications and Citadel Broadcasting.

    In response to evidence of payola first uncovered by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, Free Press activists sent tens of thousands of letters to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and the three other FCC Commissioners urging them to "launch a full and thorough investigation into all allegations of payola in the commercial radio industry and hold bad actors accountable."

    "Media consolidation has closed off the radio dial to musical variety, silenced independent artists, and ushered in a new wave of payola," said Craig Aaron, communications director of Free Press, the national, nonpartisan media reform group. "It's time the FCC took the first steps toward exposing payola and putting an end to this illegal, shameful practice once and for all. Tens of thousands of concerned citizens have contacted the FCC, calling for a full and thorough investigation. They'll be watching closely to see that big radio executives are held accountable for abusing the public airwaves."

    For more information, see www.freepress.net/payola



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    Major props to Jeff Carroll out of Miami for penning this important article. It couldn't have come at a better time when you consider how the rascist white executives like Jeff Smulyan, Rick Cummins, John Dimmick and Barry Mayo over at Emmis's Hot 97 allowed their on air jocks to make disaparaging, racially offensive remarks about a group of people who are acritical in the foundation for Hip Hop music and culture. In short there would be Hot 97 if it wasn't for these good folks profiled in the article... I say read this and then email a copy to them at IR@emmis.com and demand an apology.....

    The 10 Most Influential Caribbeans in Hip Hop Culture
    By Jeff Carroll

    Note: Due to the highly debatable nature of this editorial, Urban America Newspaper is welcoming a round table community discussion on this topic. If you have any comments or suggestions in regards to the article, feel free to make them on our message board at www.uannetwork.com.

    Let’s get it started. This article was written for one reason and one reason only, to clear up the confusion around the origin of values within Hip Hop culture. This article isn’t written to promote the careers of any of the people mentioned. I’m not playing favorite with any artist and I don’t work for a record company. This list came strictly from my own independent research. The main motivation for this article is to show how we all have contributed to Hip Hop culture’s positive and negative characteristics. When I say we all I mean us African people.

    As an African American living in the huge Caribbean diversity of Miami I am a cultural minority. Living in a place where my Caribbean brothers and sisters out number the African Americans I hear comments about Hip Hop and African Americans that are different than the comments I heard from Caribbeans living in New York.

    I lived in the New York area for 32 years and never heard some of the comments I heard on a regular down here in the MIA. Down here Caribbeans feel they are much different than African Americans. Many of them feel that we blame the “white man” too much which makes us lazy. They feel African American moral values are low and are manifested through Hip Hop.

    Now, I know older African Americans have problems with the morals in Hip Hop culture too. There is a difference between the way African Americans 50 years old and older feel and than the way many Caribbeans in Miami feel about Hip Hop. African Americans who are upset with Hip Hop expect more responsibility from the future generation. They’re partial acceptance allows them to approach solutions from within their families and communities.

    Many Caribbeans in Miami on the other hand believe that Hip Hop is violent, anti-education, overly sexual and has a negative male/female relationship value system. They see these things as African American culture instead of something wrong that can be fixed. Their opinion of African American culture is so low they try to adopt the values of European/white Americans. Their attraction to European culture and desire to separate form African American culture creates other problems for them.

    In this article I’m just dealing with how Caribbean culture has influenced Hip Hop culture. Hip Hop is one of the greatest creations we descendents of African captives have produced. Hip Hop has produced tremendous wealth for us. It has changed American society and it is influencing world culture. Hip Hop’s greatest legacy is it’s ability to provide a path to economic wealth for America’s poor. The future impact of Hip Hop on the world is uncharted and something we all should embrace.

    Okay, here we go. When I say Caribbeans I’m talking about the one’s enslaved by the French and speak Creole/French, the Spanish enslaved that now claim that language and of course the Dutch and English enslaved Caribbeans who have put their own twist on English creating patwa. These people along with African Americans must acknowledge their role in creating and shaping Hip Hop.

    Hip Hop is ours and like Jazz and Rock it can be taken from us and used to build wealth in other communities. Consequently if ignored Hip Hop can be used to pull us down as well. From the very beginning Caribbeans have contributed to Hip Hop. Along with African Americans various individuals have made many positive and negative contributions. These contributions are so significant that they have shaped and produced today’s Hip Hop culture. Here is a list of 10 Caribbean people who have made significant contributions to Hip Hop culture.

    Kool DJ Herc, Clive Campbell, Kingston, Jamaica, born 1955

    He is an undisputed founding member of Hip Hop. He held outdoor street parties in the Bronx, NYC in the late 70’s. He came to NYC at 10 years old and brought his Jamaican rhymes and attitude with him. Kool DJ Herc spun the musical breaks in all types of songs that kept his parties hype which demonstrated what Hip Hop was. He is credited with naming and promoting Hip Hop and is widely regarded as “The Father of Hip Hop.”

    Grand Master Flash, Joseph Saddle, Barbados, Born 1958

    As a DJ his skill at speed mixing popularized Hip Hop DJing and made him one of the World’s most recognized DJ’s. He has remained a DJing advocate ever since he stood his ground against the push to switch the group and DJ lead structure to an MC lead structure when his group

    Grand Master Flash and The Furious Five split with MC Melly Mel. As a solo artist he produced 2 more albums with another group. He is credited with popularizing Hip Hop DJing and DJ producers.

    Notorious B.I.G., Christopher Wallace, Jamaica, born 1972-1997

    Considered the best lyricist ever in Hip Hop by many Hip Hoppers. Along with Hip Hop mogul Sean Puffy Combs he heightened the materialism as well the gangster image. He is credited with popularizing gangster rap. He legacy is still being made through the activities of his Patwa speaking mother.

    Wyclef Jean, Croix-de-Bouquets, Haiti Born 1972

    He probably reps for his Caribbean Island the most out of any other Hip Hopper. Born in Haiti, he moved to New Jersey at age 10. As a member of the group the Fugees he proudly boasts about his Haitian culture. He easily announced his nationality at a time when it was unpopular to say you were from Haiti because of nasty rumors that the man made AIDS disease came from there. Wyclef is credited for popularizing cultural awareness and pride.

    Luther R. Campbell, Bahamian and Jamaican, Born 1960

    Still the most famous Hip Hop figure to come out of Miami, Florida. As a member of the group T2 Live Crew, Luke pushed the limits of freedom of speech and was sued for selling sexually explicit lyrics to children. After winning the law suit he opened the door for more sexually charged rap lyrics. Since then he has produced many XXX videos. Luke is credited with advancing pornography in Hip Hop.

    Doug E Fresh, Doug E Davis, Barbados, Born 1967

    Hailed as the Greatest Entertainer in Hip Hop. Through the use of his mouth and charismatic personality Doug is still the most celebrated Beat Boxer in the world. A strict vegetarian he has steered his 20+ year career clear of gangster and sexually promotional songs. Doug was a member of the Stop the Violence movement and even toured Colleges raising social consciousness with The Get Busy Tour. Doug is credited with being a long lasting positive figure in Hip Hop.

    Foxy Brown, Inga Marchaud, Trinidad/Asian, Born 1979

    Foxy Brown is one of the most recognized Hip Hop females. In the 90’s her sexy outfits and gangster lyrics made her a top rap artist. Through the use of the sexually provocative costumes worn in Trinidad during the celebration of Carnival she helped popularize the sexiness of Hip Hop women. Foxy’s choice to use these carnival costumes designed to arouse men and get them to release their sexual sins as performance outfits credits her with increasing the importance of sexuality in Hip Hop clothes.

    Fat Joe, Joseph Cartagena, Puerto Rico, 1970

    He is currently the #1 Latino rapper in the world. He has attracted a bilingual audience with his heavy hitting English and Spanglish lyrics. With lyrics full of Puerto Rican pride, his chart topping songs have given not only Latinos from Puerto Rico worldwide recognition but, all Spanish speaking Caribbeans. Fat Joe is a Hip Hop icon. He is credited for making Latin culture something that everyone could enjoy.

    Prince Markie Dee, Mark Morales, Puerto Rico, Born 1960

    As the respected MC of the group The Fat Boys Prince Markie Dee took his fun image from records to film. His appearances in just 2 movies and music videos displayed a non-threatening example of Hip Hopper. He is currently a radio personality at Miami’s own 103.5 The Beat. He is credited with advancing Hip Hop’s youth appeal.

    Busta Rhymes, Trever Smith Jr., Jamaica born 1972

    One of the Hottest rappers in Hip Hop history with a unique style that has given him number one hits for over 15 years. He has been able to get respect from all Hip Hoppers by having an image that is not gangster or perverted. The content of Busta’s songs are on a variety of subjects. He is credited with being a long lasting Hip Hop celebrity that is entertaining enough to rock a crowd just like the hardest hardcore thugged out, sex promoting rappers.

    Honorable mention to other Caribbean rappers:

    Kid Creole
    Kangol Kid
    Special Ed
    Star (of The Star And Bucwild Show)
    Jazzy Joyce
    Big Pun
    Mad Lion
    Trugoy (of De La Soul)
    Crazy Legs
    Mr. Wiggles
    Karl Kani
    Mello Man Ace
    Shakim Compere
    Herbie “Love Bug” Azor

    These are the 10 Hip Hoppers of Caribbean descent that I feel have helped shape Hip Hop culture the most. These are Hip Hoppers who grew up in homes where they didn’t listen to Gospel, Jazz and Motown only like most African Americans. They ate plantains, curry goat, rice & peas and their parents searched for callous in produce sections of grocery stores. They were groomed in environments where Salsa, Meringue, Compas, Calypso, Reggae and varieties of Caribbean rhythms were dominant.

    Their influence on Hip Hop culture directly relates to their bi-culture orientation. Understanding the Caribbean cultural background of these Hip Hop figure will help you better understand where someone like a Foxy Brown got the idea for her stage outfits from. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to like her outfits, but at least you have something better to base your opinion on.

    I didn’t write this article just to tell people about negative contributions Caribbean Hip Hoppers have made that African Americans get blamed for. Knowing your History is important because it helps the world. In the case with Hip Hop being off track the way it is only those who know the history of Hip Hop can truly recognize it. Hip Hop started by positive personalities like Kool DJ Herc (from Jamaica), Grand Master Flash (from the Bahamas) and Afrika Bambaattaa (an African American) who used Hip Hop to give inner-city youth an option to gang activity and crime. Zulu Nation, the first Hip Hop organization, went so far as starting up chapters throughout New York where lessons on Black History and human behavior were circulated.

    Today, Hip Hop’s image is clouded by the commercialization by companies who’s only goals are to sell merchandise. These companies find their business through appealing to sex and violence qualities which are the very values that Hip Hop was started in opposition to. Afrika Bambaattaa popularized the values of Peace, Unity, Love and Having Fun, which are considered the base values of Hip Hop. These values are basically unknown to today’s commercial rap music fans. I will conclude with these thoughts. Hip Hop is a the leading American sub-culture.

    It is a great monument to the achievement of oppressed people in this country. It would be a tragedy if Hip Hop were to be considered a negative element to society. It was created to give hope and happiness to the children of lower economical areas and teach them that fighting each other is not productive and they must respect themselves and women. I get frustrated when I hear people, especially my Caribbean brothers and sisters, speak negatively about American culture. Hip Hop culture is something we created together in America and together we shaped it to be as overly sexual and violent as it is today. For Hip Hop to improve we must also work together and get it back on the track it was designed for.

    Jeff Carroll


                              ON CARIBBEANS IN HIP HOP

    For All Who don't Know Afrika Bambaataa is Also An Afrikan American of  Afrikan West Indian Parents  and was the 1st in Hip Hop Known as a culture to 1st play West Indian Music (Carribean Music), when others would not even dare play  roots music at Hip Hop Parties. He played Calypso,Reggae,Soca,Latin as well as break beats from the Carribean  when all would not touch it until they heard  all these jams being play at the Almighty Zulu Nation Jams and this is a fact. And a super large West Indian following especially Jamaicans would come to Bam jams cause they knew they were going to hear Reggae/Soca at his Jams. Bam made Trinty,General Echo,Big Youth,I-Roy,Yellowman,Eddie Palmari,Ray Berratto, Calpso Rose,Mighty Sparrow,Willie Colon,Mongo Santermaria, Manu Dibango,Fela Kuti and many other Carribean and Afrikan singers known in the Hip Hop World. So to the one who wrote the article respect to you for your research but you should of did more research and thats why we just want to Set The Record Straight.
    All The major West Indian Records stores like Moodies,Burland Records, and many of the early Latin Records stores in the Southeast Bronx all knew Bambaataa and knew he had a army of West Indian/Latino followers who was with him. What most do not overstand is that Afrika Bambaataa story is truly a whole seperate True School story,because he was and still is the most independent never had to Kiss no one ass  in all of Hip Hop World History. The Most Free person of Hip Hop Culture on the Planet. Most people when they write about Hip Hop as a Culture can never write the truth dealing with Factology until they speak with Afrika Bambaataa and all of the Groups and members of The Almighty Universal Zulu Nation. That is why we have Liars like Mr. Russel Simmons and many others who always want to rewrite our story to make it his  story.

    For any who wish to write a story about Hip Hop from when it was name Hip Hop as a Culture by Afrika Bambaataa and was  push as a Culture by The Universal Zulu Nation first  and gave all the True names as elements, if your want the True,factual of  Hip Hop as a Culture then Your will have to come and speak to Afrika Bambaataa and thosands of True School Zulus from back in the day as well as to speak to The Father Kool Herc ,Grandmaster Flash and all of Afrika Bambaataa 's Black Spades / The Organization True School members like Love Bug Starski, The late Disco King Mario, Tex Dj Hollywood, Kool Dj Dee and Tyrone, The late Keith Cowbow of  The Furious Five as well as The original Zulu Kings and Queens but for when Hip Hop was name as a Culture all roots go back Factual to The Universal Zulu Nation and if anyone wants to debate come with your Factology and we will beat you down with your lying BullShit of fake as Truth and this especialy goes out to Mr. BS of all BS  Russel Simmons and any one else who loves to keep trying to write about Hip Hop The True School Days Culture and know Jackshit about Hip Hop as a Culture.

    When you deal with trying to write about Hip Hop or Rap please come and speak with ones who were Truly there, not these fake johnny come lately so called scholars of  Hip Hop. Much  love and respect to Davey D, Jeff Chang ( The best Hip Hop Book so far Ever that deals with our story and not just his-story) ,Brother Ernie and to all the women of the early days and now who Kept true Hip Hop Culture alive and went through the struggles with the men to make this happen all over the world. To all who deals with Facts and not made of half Truths or false hood Hip Hoppers.

    Also a warning to the True School Pioneers, your to stop faking the funk on the Factology of speaking the facts on The True School days of Hip Hop Culture,selling your souls now to just make money and lying about Hip Hop as a Culture,to alter it up to please your new masters of deceit. Shame on You
    Bring It On
    The Universal Zulu Nation


    Hip Hop Awards (actually this covers 2004-2005)
    Hip Hop Man of the Year-From Golfing with Lee Iacocca to training kids to win ball games to being on every TV show, music video and CD in America to trying to rally support to help keep Tookie Williams alive he has no equal this year.
    and the winner is Snoop Dogg.
    Hip Hop same ol, same ol Award-Crunk videos, hoes, tricked out cars,gold teeth, spinning rims, champagne, bling, dancing in the club or spinnin on a pole. It looks like the same 30 women, the same 7 clubs, the same 20 cars, the same 5 recycled beats. Hands down Crunk videos win this coveted award.
    Hip Hop Sucker of the Year Award-This is a tough one, should be shared and was really fought for by many, but the winner is Arnold Swarzenniggerr. Signed a death warrant for Tookie Williams because he said Tookie dedicated his book to political prisoners. In Austria (are there any people of color living there?) there is a movement to strip the bodybuilder of his Austrian citizenship and change the name of a football field named after him to "Tookie Williams Stadium". Arnold is the winner for being a cold hearted punk.
    Hip Hop Cartoon Award-(I'm going to get  heat from the self righteous and thin skinned on this one fo' sho). "The Boondocks" by Aaron McGruder is laugh out loud funny as hell and dead on point. Yes, I know he wears out the N word, maybe that's his point. The Award goes to "The Boondocks"
    Hip Hop Noriega What? What? Award- Yeah I got caught spying on your behind.... What? What?. Yeah I invaded two countries illegally.... What? What?. Yeah I let a thousand people die in a hurricane.... What? What? Yeah I have a Federal deficit unequaled in the history of the world..... What? What? Yeah I allow torture and killing of innocent  people.....What? What? Yeah I stole an election or two.... What? What?.............no competition at all the proud but dumb and dull witted winner is "The Nig**a you love to Hate"- G.W. Bush
    Hip Hop Sell Out Ho of The Year Award-Yes there were many, but the winner beat out Superhead by a country mile for being cold hearted, mean spirited, just plain tacky and a bone ugly, gap tooth mess. For shopping at Ferragamo's for $8000.00 shoes on 5th Avenue in NYC while tens of thousand of her brothers and sisters were struggling to stay alive without food, water or shelter, five days after Katrina struck......the award goes to a skeezer named Condelezza.
    Hip Hop Journalist of the Year- To reporting non stop on everything that mattered in the world of Hip Hop. From Tookie to Katrina, from Public Enemy to Crunk to Richard Pryor to Snoop to the Gotti trial. This man kept us informed, made us laugh, made us angry, made us think, hell, even made us cry, but most of all made us think. The winner is Mr. Davey D. and www.daveyd.com
    Hip Hop Breaking News Award- This one was a very easy call :   allhiphop.com
    Hip Hop Movie of The Year- Ludacris proved he was a dope rapper long ago, in this movie he proved he can act. and the winner is CRASH.
    Hip Hop Trials of The Year- #4 Beanie Segal #3 L'Il Kim #2-Murder Inc. #1-Michael Jackson.
    Hip Hop Organization of The Year- We have two winners here
    # 1 - Universal Zulu Nation (32 years old and still going strong) and
    # 2 - The Universal Federation for The Preservation of Hip Hop Culture aka The Federation  It's members include Afrika Bambaataa, KRS1, Busy Bee, Luvbug Starski, Meli Mel, Kurtis Blow, Grandmaster Caz, Yoda of The Crash Crew, DJ Hollywood, Fable of The Rock Steady Crew, Pebble Poo, Simone Joy, and photographers Ernie Paniccioi, and Joe Conzo.
    Hip Hop Clothing Line of The Year-For promoting respect to the pioneers and supporting the truth about the birth of Hip Hop Sedgwick & Cedar is a non flossing winner. First Runner Up-...........................Exact-Science for creating a Hip Hop Photogrpher Collection Series
    Hip Hop Lifetime  Posthumous Awards-Richard Pryor, Rosa Parks, Ossie Davis and Stanley Tookie Williams.
    Hip Hop Latino Man of The Year-For the amazing music video "Reggaeton Latino" the award goes to Don Omar.
    Major Threat to  HIp Hop Award-For recycling and jacking more beats than Rap, for more bling than in any Crunk video, for more half nude hootchies and for shaking more booties than rap and even more tricked out rides.....This award goes to Reggaeton.  
    Hip Hop "You was hot and now you're not Award"-You could fill a stadium with these potential award winners. We would have to do this in alphabetical order to be fair to everyone. But the two that win by a landslide are The Source (they win for being drama queens and dissing everyone from 50 to Eminmen) and Vibe magazines (Vibe for having Bow Wow on the cover with fake hair Queen Ciara, then doing Mary J. Blige dirty by having a shot of her that made her look like an alien water bug).
    Hip Hop Beef Squash Award-Jay and Nas on stage together making peace. They showed how we should act like grown ups and keep it moving ( sorry Jay I still love Ether).
    Hip Hop Job of The Year Award- Jay being made the CEO and HNIC of Def Jam.
    Hip Hop Diss of The Year Award- To The Source for their cover with the logo G UAin't.
        Hip Hop Wackest Award- It's would have been tough to narrow this one down except the        winner risked his life to earn this award and proved that all his conscious lyrics came from smoking too much of his namesake. For joining the Army and asking to go fight in an illegal, immoral war in Iraq the unchallenged winner by first round knockout is Canibus 
        Hip Hop Hypocrite Award-By leaving the church to go back To Bad Boy, then hopping         over into G Unit he knocked out all contenders. Winner and still champion Mase . His trophy will be a small anatomically correct red shiny suited Puffy doll.
        Hip Hop Diva Award-Again this should have multiple winners but by her antics, lost voice and nutty behavior she  even beats out the crazy Mulatto Mariah. She demands nobody look at her, they must face the wall and even then just call her Ms. Hill. So I will respect her wishes, Ms. Hill you just won the Diva Award. (her award is a bronzed copy of the Betty Boop wig she wore after her 5 year retirement).
       Hip Hop Flaming Ego Award-Again a very crowded field, but the winner has been struggling   to win this award for years by being a flagrant media whore. His victory was assured when he sent out a mass e-mail of his shameless, bloated bio that stated in part that he was "....a CENTRAL FIGURE in the Katrina relief efforts....", this in spite of the fact that tens of thousands of folks across the country and around the world helped in ways great and small and many risked their lives to assist. The clear winner is Kevin "I Love The Spotlight" Powell.
    Hip Hop Master Detective Sherlock Holmes Award- For brilliant,outstanding, amazing forensic work, fantastic police work as well as swift solutions. For going way beyond the call of duty and critical analysis of the facts at hand. This award will have to be shared by the NYPD, the LAPD and the Las Vegas PD. For their not solving the murders of Big, Tupac or Jam Master Jay after all these years they will be presented with the First Annual Gas Face Awards.
    (The awards after party will be at Mickey D's. Jah Rule will be singing a duet with Ashanti called "Do You Want Fries With That?" )
    Peace, Ernie Paniccioli 

    McClusky Relinquishes Biz Model Amid Spitzer Probe

    By Chuck Taylor, N.Y.

    Well-known indie promoter Jeff McClusky tells the New York Times he is
    dumping the business model that he made an industry standard between
    record labels and radio stations, following the high-profile
    pay-for-play investigation by New York State Attorney General Eliot
    Spitzer, which all but makes his practices illegal.

    McClusky?s business provided annual fees to radio stations, which were
    said to be used to fund promotional budgets. While the payouts were not
    supposed to be linked to airplay of specific songs, McClusky would then
    bill record labels for each song that was added to one of his client
    station?s playlist.

    Federal law prohibits broadcasters from accepting anything of value in
    exchange for airplay, unless it is disclosed to listeners.

    Five years ago, the Times reported that McClusky had deals with 175
    stations. He now has only 30. McClusky said Nov. 2 that amid radio
    industry consolidation, shrinking music sales, and Spitzer?s sweeping
    inquiry, that he would not renew contracts that call for him to provide
    annual fees. He intends to continue working for major record companies,
    by being paid a flat retainer fee instead of fees tied to radio

    However, it appears clear that the decision was hardly McClusky?s own.
    Spitzer has called his business model "an effort to dodge the payola
    laws" and a means to "perpetuate the fiction" that stations were not
    receiving money or gifts from record companies in exchange for airplay.

    As part of a $10 million settlement with Spitzer, Sony BMG agreed not to
    reimburse independent promoters for any expense made for a station or
    programmer?in essence, squashing McClusky?s business.

    "Whether or not I agree with it, it is what it is," he told the New York
    Times, "and I choose to comply because I do not want to interrupt the
    excellent promotion relationship I've had with Sony BMG labels."
    Paul Porter
    "Moral responsibility is not an option"



    199 LINCOLN AVE ROOM 303

    BRONX, NEW YORK 10454

    PHONE: (718) 402-4087  FAX: (718) 402-4088  E-MAIL  Federation200@aol.com 

    Dear Friend of Hip Hop Culture:

    We invite you to become a member of one of the most unique and innovative organizations in the world, The Universal Federation for the Preservation of Hip Hop Culture, Inc. devoted exclusively to promoting, strengthening and preserving Hip Hop culture throughout the world.

    Established in New York City in 2003 as a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, the mission of the Universal Federation for the Preservation of Hip Hop Culture is:  To preserve Hip Hop culture and provide instruction on the ramifications, significance, social history, and placement of Hip Hop culture

    The Federation is the nation’s first nonprofit organization which includes the actual inventors of Hip Hop music and culture.  Our members include Afrika Bambaataa, GrandMaster Caz, GrandMaster Melle Mel, Lovebug Starski, among others.

    Our immediate goal is to create the National Center for the Study and Preservation of Hip Hop Culture.  This multi-million dollar, state of the art Center, will be located in the Bronx—the birthplace of Hip Hop.  The Center will house the archives of the chronological evolution of Hip Hop music through the preservation of documents, artifacts, musical compositions, collections, artist biographical information and other memorabilia.  Simultaneously, an educational program will be developed to serve as an international place of study.

    Why Become a Member?

    If you believe in and share our mission, if you are seeking an avenue to meet and interact with others who share that mission, if you want to be a part of something bigger than yourself, then join us. You will be an important part of an historical movement to preserve the 30+-year of Hip Hop culture.

    Who Can Become a Member?

    All individuals, public and private organizations, businesses, corporations and foundations are eligible to become members of the Universal Federation for the Preservation of Hip Hop Culture provided they subscribe to the mission of the Center, meet any additional qualifications adopted from time to time by the organization’s board of directors, and pay an annual membership fee determined by the board of directors.

    Types of Membership

    All memberships are non-voting.

    Cost of Membership

    All Members must pay an annual membership fee which will be valid for one year or other specified time period from receipt of payment. Current membership fees, which are tax-deductible, are as follows:

    Institutional Members with:

    Membership Program

    To join or renew your membership, complete the simple 3 step process below.

    Step #1: Complete the form in its entirety.
    Step #2: Select your payment preference.
    Step #3: Complete the gift form and mail your payment.  


    Step #1:
    I am pleased to become a Member of the Universal Federation for the Preservation of Hip Hop Culture.

    *Please enroll me in the following membership category:

    Full Member..................................................$75

    Associate Member.........................................$50

    Student Member………………………………$20

    Institutional Member

    with annual budget $100,000 or less................$200
    with annual budgets $100,001 - $499,000.........$350
    with annual budgets $500,000 - $1,000,000......$500
    with annual budgets over $1,000,000.............$1,000

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    (Member or Associate Member fee less 20%)

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    Print and Mail application and payment to:


    Membership Committee

    Universal Federation for the Preservation of Hip Hop Culture

    199 Lincoln Avenue – Suite 303

    Bronx, New York 10454

    Telephone:  (718) 402-4087

    Fax:  (718) 402-4088

    E-mail:  Federation200@aol.com








    check out your mind and read , the sister is dropping knowledge here and if you are a arrogant one who think it is all about you,your way or no way then do not proceed to read what our sister has to say,cause you will always be a fool with knowledge,or a fool who thinks they doing the work of The Most High. Now read on.
    From: goddess IsIs <goddess_isis_loving@yahoo.com>

    Beloved Ones:

    To My People.  

    Why are you sitting in the (SOS) Storm of Silence?
    Can’t you hear the noise in silence?  Can’t you hear
    everybody whispering, Terror is everywhere! 

    Assemble and listen, All of you!

    None of the gods (of this earth) could have predicted
    the men and women that are chosen to bring deliverance
    to the Afrikan people.  The Charge/Anointing in those
    chosen will not return void, no matter how much they
    are denied/crucified. For you gods (on this earth) did
    not put that Charge/Anointing in the Ones who
    surrender their earthly lower case (w) ill for the
    capitol (W)ill (Infinite) to be used as a
    vessel/vehicle for Truth and Reality, and you
    (earthly) gods cannot take it away, and
    wrestling/boxing with Truth and Reality makes those
    who do, rightful owners of hell.  

    True Master Leaders are Master teachers who have
    mastered Their Own Temple Domain. They are
    self-sacrificing, and there is no (EGO) Evil Going On
    in them.

    We should not declare ourselves a leader without the
    approval of the People.  We do not need any more false
    leaders (male/female.)

    Now come close to me and hear what I, and they, the
    chosen few among us (True messengers) who understand
    life and death, have to say.

    Do you for one moment think that these True messengers
    do not desire the commonalities of life?

    Some if not most live a Paupers’ life. They do not
    drive BMW’s’, SUV’S, and Cadillac’s.  Most if not all
    left foot is Mercedes, and the right foot is Benz. The
    only weapons they carry are the Weapons called (Truth
    and Reality.)  They do not live in any fancy house or
    apartment.  They do not wear a TIE and Suit.  Food,
    Clothing and Shelter is their Daily Bread/Need.  They
    do not Mortgage the future (building up treasures on
    earth.) They do not set their tent pegs up in one
    place and stay there. They are movers and Shakers of
    Truth and Reality. As a matter of fact they do not set
    a tent peg anywhere, because they are always on the
    Infinite move, constantly striving in the pursuit of
    the Infinite (Divine Creator’s Mind) that battles the
    Matters, (SIN) Self Inflicted Nonsense. 

    Queen Goddess Erykah Badu (MMM) said:

    What’s wrong with you?
    What’s wrong with me?
    What’s wrong with us?

    Thank you Beloved Erykah Badu.  I bow to your RAWNESS.

    Let me ask us some questions:

    Who the Hell do we think We are?
    Can we count the grains of sand?
    Do we know how many people are yet to be born?
    Do we know where the wind, rains, sleet, hails, snow
    is stored?
    Can we take a picture of the wind? 
    Can we take a picture of a sound?
    Were we there when the Stars was created?
    Were we there when the Sun made its appearance?
    Were we there when the Moon made its appearance?
    Were we there when the world was created?
    If we were, tell the world about it.

    Who/What decide how large the world would be?
    Who/What stretched the measuring line over it?  
    Do we know all the answers?

    We know about the Levee that supports New Orleans.
    Do we know what hold the pillars that support the
    Who/What laid the cornerstone of the world?
    Who/What closed the gates to hold back the sea, when
    it burst from the Womb of the earth?
    Have we ever commanded a day to dawn?
    Have we been to the springs in the depths of the sea?
    Have we walked on the floor of the Ocean?
    Have we any idea how big the world is?

    Please answer for those who know.

    Do we know where the light comes from or what the
    source of darkness is?
    Can we show them how far to go, or send them back?
    Who/What waters the dry and thirsty land, so that
    grass springs up?
    Who/What makes rain fall where no one lives?
    Does the rain or dew have a father?
    Who/What is the mother of the ice and the frost, which
    turns the waters to stone and freeze the face of the
    Can we tie the Pleiades together or loosen the bonds
    that hold Orin?
    Can we guide the stars season by season, and direct
    the Big and Little Dipper?
    Do we know the laws that govern the skies, and can you
    make them apply to the earth?
    Who/What dug a channel for the pouring rain and
    cleared the way for the thunderstorm?
    Can we shout orders to the clouds, and make them
    drench us with rain?
    And if we could command the lighting to flash, will it
    come to us and say, “At your service”?

    Have we been to the place where the sun comes up, or
    the place from which the East wind blows?
    Does a hawk learn from us how to fly when it spreads
    its wings toward the South?
    Doe an Eagle wait for our command to build its nest
    high in the mountains?

    Stand up now like a man/woman and answer the question
    “I”nfinite ask you.

    Again, I say who are we to question who the True
    Messengers are that brings our deliverance, with our
    ignorant, empty words with the flavor of arrogance.


    Our Beloved brother Dr. Graves risked his life to save
    ours, and what we did? Shun him. Blasphemy is what it

    Do we not know that when we are the victim of a
    tragic, we are the best ones that can testify to what
    happened, and enlighten the people, so that they too
    can be healed?

    The problems maybe that many haven’t been victimized
    enough to desire to do something about what is
    happening to our people.

    Will it take a famine in america of physical
    food/water for the unenlightened to be enlightened? 
    america needs this experience so america can see
    america’s ugly self.  Let us Afrikan be long gone,
    because this is going to happen.

    Does America need to experience all wrong america has
    done to others before the people began to see the hell
    they are in?

    Chief Elder Osiris has been seasoned to take us back
    to our right mind-set on the Wings of Spirituality,
    and what we do? Shun him.  Blasphemy it is.

    I was informed that Professor Oyibo was give
    approximately (5) minutes to speak at the MMM.  Of
    course that is not enough time to get Truth and
    Reality in the heart, minds, and soul of the people.
    Professor Gabriel Oyibo, came to take us back to our
    right Afrikan Mind-set with (GAGUT), God Almighty
    Grand Unified Theorem, the Blanket condemnation that
    will destroy the Oppressors institute, and what do we
    do. Shun him.  Blasphemy It is.

    Mumia and other Political prisoners sit behind bars/on
    death Row, and what do we do.  Shun them.  Blasphemy
    It Is.

    There are numerous other like minds out there who are
    seasoned to help in our deliverance (right mind-set),
    and what we do. Shun then too.  Blasphemy I say. 

    Who killed the Prophets of old? Those who shun them
    and did not show the support they needed. So do not
    blame others for what we did or do not do.

    Some body has to tell us about our ugly selves, why it
    can’t be the ones who know us best, and that is
    another Afrikan.  Oh, I forgot.  Afrikans do not care
    to listen to other Afrikans, but they will allow the
    oppressor to call them anything but the Children of

    The heart of the people s is gravely diseases, and it
    appears it is beyond healing.

    Please meditate that the Divine Creator does not give
    me the Key to the Earth for one day, for I will surely
    show the people the WAY.

    How do I know who the True Messenger are?  I Am a
    Messenger and like the Spirit knows the Spirit by the
    Spirit, True Messengers knows the True Messengers by
    the Message they bring.

    We are All Messengers.  As the saying goes.  The
    Harvest is plenty, but the laborers are few.

    Beloved Ones, the Harvest is your conscious,
    subconscious, Divine Creator, your three part self,
    your Majestic Servants.  This is the Works. The THINK
    TANK.  As they say in the churches pray, have faith. 
    Nothing is going to happen with the two if there is no
    Work (Original Thoughts/Critical Thinkers/Hungry and
    Thirsty people after righteousness…and the likes of. 

    The song:  A house is not a Home if there is no one
    there. If we are not THINKING righteousness’, we are
    comatose/unconscious/zombies, and our being is a
    HELL-O-WEEN, Haunted house full of Tricks of  (LSD)
    Lucifer, Satan, Devil. 

    Now you have been lead and guided to what and where
    the Harvest Is (Mind), what are you going to do?  Wait
    for another ten years for another March. 

    Come now Beloved Ones (Collectively), and lets come
    together and reason together so we can patch up that
    hole in our Souls

    Some say they Think better on their feet.  I Say
    Afrikans if that is what it takes for us to Think, get
    off our Behind and ON OUR FEET, and lets Collectively
    (Mind-set) cross the Bridges of Being Discredited.

    Do you know that if we do not have the right heart,
    mind, and soul to receive that which is good, we do
    not deserve it?

    We have been at ease far too long. Now lets fall into
    formation, line up, stand at attention, dress right

    Are we waiting for america to be like the Fourth of
    July/Jewlie, as we scatter like cocker roaches when
    the lights are turned on in the night.  

    Right now america is like a frog that has been placed
    in a pot of water.  A few disasters (simmering).  Soon
    more, and the heat will be up a little more, and then
    the heat will turn up higher, and then america will
    look like the fourth of July/Jewlie, and many still
    wants to build in the Belly of the Beast.  What a
    sadistic/masochist mentality this is. america is like
    a bad habit on a junkie.  A junkie do not care who it
    robs, to include a junkies mother.  

    Many of us will not make it back to the promise land
    because some of us must stay behind to lead and guide
    the rest back.  Those of us who are True leaders loves
    Afrika/Afrikans so much that to see us Afrikans back
    where we were before we fell into humanity, will be
    The True Afrikan leaders reward. 

    My People, have you no shame?  I have pleaded, beg,
    moan, groan, petitioned the ancestors to do what ever
    it takes to make our heart, minds, and souls right.  

    As I entered the gates of the Chambers of the Holies
    of Holies, and I danced on the floor with Spiritual
    Secrets, the Ballroom at the frontier of the future on
    the outskirts of the City of Eternity placing me in
    the Spotlight (in the company of our ancestors), and
    Truth reached out to me to dance with me.  After I
    waltz with Truth, It was Reality turn to Tango with
    me. Truth & Reality and I dance the Universe away.  

    When I danced with Reality, I Asked Reality to
    discipline our People thoughts so that they will have
    Critical thinking, during these critical and crucial
    times when Our Afrikan lives is in Grave jeopardy.  I
    asked that our people get out of their comfort zones,
    stop being so complacent, having no complaints, as
    they are having fun in hell (america).

    While I was dancing with Truth, I asked Truth to
    please bring a Storms that will flood the people with
    knowledge, understanding and wisdom, so that our
    memory will perfect, and we will remembered who we
    Were Once (Divine Beings). 

    Truth and Reality last words to me were.  Tell the
    people, if they do not get their act together, every
    thing that will happen to them, they bought it all on
    themselves, and they will have no one to blame but
    themselves. Tell the people they need to wake up and
    discover who it is that placed that curse called
    humanity on a once Divine people, and how they put the
    curse on them, and Reverse the Reverse, and do unto
    those who did that to them.  

    I asked Truth and Reality how are we going to do that.

    Truth and Reality said stop thinking like the ones who
    placed this curse on you.  Search high and low for the
    True Spiritualist Master Teachers who do not feed what
    is Holy to dogs, and cast their pearls among swine,
    and run far from untrue unmastered preachers/false
    teachers.  Seek True Master teachers among you who
    have been seasoned for such a time as these, so that
    they can lead and guide, and Bring my people back to
    their Original Thoughts.  Be Slow to speak (think
    before we speak), so that we do not speak ill to each
    other.  Be Quick to hear each other, for each one of
    us have a piece of the thread that will sew us back
    the way we were.  Be slow to wrath, because Wrath is
    not the way of a Divine people. 

    I said to Truth and Reality.  The people aren’t hungry
    and thirsty enough.  The only thing they search for is
    every evil act that can be done.  They have become
    PROS…at searching for channels on television, that
    subliminal seducer. 

    A Spokesperson at the MMM said, they will not stand by
    and watch the killing of innocent lives for the
    purpose of politics.

    IsIs: A True leader will not stand by and watch the
    killing of innocent lives for Religious (poison)

    Bring your tithing and offering into the Storehouse (a
    place in which goods are stored. An abundant source or
    supply: a storehouse of knowledge, understanding, and
    wisdom is stored in each one of us, and when we get
    the inner wealth, the unenlightened will stop tripping
    off the worse drug ( LSD, )Lucifer, Satan, Devil
    (mind-set. )

    My People, please put your heart, mind and soul right.
    I have lead you to the Fountain of Wisdom, please
    drink what has been said.

    Meditate that the Divine Creator do not give me the
    Key to the earth for one day, like people are given
    the key to a City, for I surely will lead the people
    Back to the Pyramids (right Afrikan mind-set), and  in
    a nanosecond, we will be there, back  to the way were
    before we became scattered (throughout the Diaspora).

    In the year of 2005, (OOG), Osiris, Oyibo, Graves True
    messengers came to bring deliverance to the Afrikan
    people, and like minds on theses groups and off these
    groups, and what do the people do?  Shun them.
    Blasphemy I say. 

    Mortal man/woman, you ask for things, and yet you act
    as though you do not need it. Down right disgrace. 

    We Afrikans have the Power, the Light in us that will
    be too bright for the wicked and restrain them from
    doing violence. Black Power.

    Are we ready for the future Storms ahead? Get back to
    Nature My people, before Nature take you Back,

    There you have It. Another Showdown for Justice and
    what happens. We Shun it. It is Blasphemy I say.

    Truth, Reality, Harmony, Balance…and the likes of is
    the Afrikan Way.

    Here is loving Afrika

    Goddess IsIs/Iya of Afrika/Arike Oshundele
    Spiritual RAW
    A Nation ruled by the Flesh will die
    A Nation ruled by The Spirit will live

    When you walk with Truth and Reality, you are never
    lonely, for Truth and Reality Is your friend.

    Truth is Loving
    Loving Is Truth
    I Will represent Truth where ever I can get Truth an
    appearance, even in the depth of Hell (Osiris)

    Erykah Badu
    Assata Shakur
    Harriet Tubman
    Sojourner Truth
    …and all my ancestors’ lives in me

    goddess IsIs Akkebala/Arike OshunDele/Iya of Afrika
    Being Thee Change Thee Afrikans/World Needs To See
    Spirituality IS MY Identity/Reality/Crown/Title/Gift/All

    Tuned out
    Why teens are turning off some of the Bay Area's most popular music stations
    By Momo Chang, STAFF WRITER

    SAN FRANCISCO — USING THE BACK of a rental pickup truck as their platform, 50 youths, activists and poets chanted in front of the Bay Area headquarters of the largest radio corporation in the United States.

    As a dozen or so police looked on, they sang, read poetry and rallied using a single microphone running off a generator, trying to elicit some kind of response from Clear Channel Communications.

    But the corporation, with 1.5 million listeners in the Bay Area and $9 billion in annual revenue, gave no indication that the protesters existed on this particular afternoon in September, except for the few curious employees who peeked through their office windows from above.

    When protesters tried to deliver a letter signed by organizations such as La Pea Cultural Center, Media Alliance, Youth Movement Records and EastSide Arts Alliance, they were turned away by a security guard.

    Most of the noise against Clear Channel comes from Oakland-based Youth Media Council, an umbrella organization composed of more than 20 community groups asking for better representation of youths in media.

    And youths — the target audience of 106.1 KMEL-FM and 94.9 KYLD, or "Wild 94.9" — are challenging the company, accusing the stations of lacking community programming and leaving local artists at the door. In June, 94.9's hiring of controversial producer Rick Delgado sparked a fire in the anti-Clear Channel campaign.

    It has been an ongoing challenge for the group after Clear Channel bought KMEL and Wild 94.9 in 1999. Two years later, KMEL, a local hip-hop station geared toward a younger market, fired its popular host and community affairs director, Davey D, and other employees, which sparked protests from local listeners.

    So what's all the fuss about now?

    Clear Channel, like all radio stations in California, is applying to renew its radio licenses this year through the Federal Communications Commission, an organization better known for slapping indecency fines against breast exposure at the Super Bowl and shock jock Howard Stern. The renewal process is one that occurs every eight years and consists of pushing paperwork through the FCC, an event that usually goes unnoticed by listeners.

    Opponents know it is unlikely the FCC will yank Clear Channel's radio licenses, including those for the two most popular radio stations geared toward youths, KMEL and Wild 94.9.

    But protesters want to make sure someone is listening.

    Since Aug. 1, YMC has promoted an "Unplug Clear Channel" campaign. The public - since it technically owns the airwaves - has until Nov. 1 to comment either in favor or opposition to any radio station in California; all are up for renewal this year. By Dec. 1, the FCC will decide which stations' licenses will be renewed.

    A radio industry representative says stations rely on the community to stay in business.

    "Everybody's got a different idea of what they want in a local radio station," said Mark Powers, vice president of the California Broadcasters Association, a trade organization. "That's why there are so many types out there."

    Youths speak

    But Meuy Saephanh, 21, of Oakland, a member of YMC for five years, says she likes the type of music the two stations play - she just wants them to be better. She still listens to 94.9 and KMEL - which is exactly why she is protesting them. The groups are asking Clear Channel to hire a community affairs director for each station, give local artists more airtime and include community affairs programming.

    For listeners who don't tune into these two stations with an "urban" format, there are many choices, from iPods to satellite radio. Many young people at the rally, though, want these stations that are supposedly geared toward them to be better.

    Leslie Santiago, a 16-year-old poet with Youth Speaks and student at MetWest High School in Oakland, says she is concerned that the way corporate rap radio portrays youths perpetuates stereotypes.

    "Youths of color are already getting stereotyped," she said. "The music promotes too much violence. There's already enough violence on the streets. When someone listens to these stations, they might think all youths are like that."

    "It's a serious battle over the airwaves and brain waves," said Chris Wiltsee, founder of Oakland's Youth Movement Records, an organization that works with teenagers to produce their own music and shows. "If you're 14 and on a steady diet of this corporate radio that's just all about sex and thugging, what does that do to your perception of reality about what's normal?"

    Others complain that stations just seem to rotate the same few songs and that KMEL and 94.9 are beginning to sound more and more alike.

    "A lot of people are dissatisfied and don't like how the stations are," said Chris Lyons, 17, a member of YMR. "It's hard to listen to these stations because it's repetitive. They don't give you too much selection."

    A community affair

    FCC's deregulation of media in 1996 has created near monopolies in regions such as the Bay Area. In 1996, Clear Channel owned 40 radio stations in the United States. By 2002, it controlled 1,200.

    Former FCC Chairman William Kennard said the 1996 laws "unleashed a frenzy of consolidation in the radio marketplace and forever changed the economics of radio station ownership." Activists say they deserve better than "cookie-cutter radio."

    Their goal is to have each station add a community affairs director, which Clear Channel eliminated when it bought the stations. Currently, there is one community affairs director for all 11 Bay Area stations Clear Channel own, which range from conservative talk-radio station KNEW-AM 910 to Al Franken's liberal talk-radio KQKE-AM 960, plus KMEL, 94.9



    Now Sharpton Wants to Jump In… What’s the Hustle?
    Hip Hop Activists Respond...
    by Davey D

    Today the NY Daily News ran an article about the Reverend Al Sharpton wanting to write letters to the FCC and call for a 90 day ban on 'gangsta rap' and anything that reeks of violence and has the potential to spill out in the streets.

    This sounds good on the surface and considering what took place last week at Hot 97 in New York it sounds damn near practical... But there's always a catch and a behind the scenes story to the one being sold to us.

    First we have to ask ourselves where Sharpton was over the past few years when these media reform campaigns were first conducted, the most prominent being the ‘Turn off the Radio Campaign’ that was launched and supported by community activists Bob Law, the December 12th Movement, Chuck D of Public Enemy, dead prez, The Zulu Nation and numerous others community organizations in New York.

    A huge tribunal featuring a number of NY City Council members, artists ranging from Hip Hop luminaries like Stetsasonic, Public Enemy and Afrika Bambaataa to legendary R&B crooners Ray, Goodman and Brown who filled a church on Madison Avenue in Harlem in January of 2003 to address the important issue of how Black folks were being depicted in media outlets serving New York.

    There were at least a 1000 people in attendance and the tribunal went on for at least 5 hours with community member after community member speaking and airing out their grievances. Sharpton was no where to be seen. Nor was he around to lend his considerable clout in the months that followed when Law worked tirelessly to get this campaign off the ground. Sharpton was not around when the Turn off the Radio Campaign sparked off in other cities like Kansas City, and Cleveland to name a few. Sharpton was no where to be seen when similar efforts were launched in places like Detroit (Black Out Fridays), Seattle, Chicago and most recently Miami.

    Sharpton was absent from the fight when the huge media reform campaign called the 'People's Station Campaign' sparked off in San Francisco. Here members of the Hip Hop community including artists and numerous organizations got together monitored the Clear Channel owned Urban Music stations in the area and issued a report to the community and various media outlets. The efforts not only forced change on the big Urban giants KMEL and KYLD, but it was the subject of numerous media stories including a huge front page story penned by author Jeff Chang on front of the Bay Guardian.

    Many of the issues that Turn off the Radio campaign as well as the other efforts around the country, were similar to the ones raised by the coalition that protested against Hot 97 last Friday at Union Square Park. People have grown tired of the racist remarks directed at the communities of color this station serves. They were tired of the type of degrading music that is constantly being pumped. The recent shooting in front of Hot 97 involving 50 Cent and Game's entourage was just icing on the cake for the momentum that had already been brewing within the Hip Hop community.

    Hopefully people do not forget that what was the real catalyst behind Friday's March 4th protest was the insidious, racist Tsunami song that Hot 97's executives allowed Miss Jones and her morning crew to put on the air. Initial complaints to the station were ignored and dismissed until websites like Okayplayer.com owned by the Grammy Award winning Hip Hop band the Roots and WBAI DJ J-Smooth and his blog HipHopmusic.com alerted their readers what was going on.

    This in turn sparked more people to come forth as Smooth, Okayplayer and other Hip Hop oriented websites began chronicling the tireless efforts of organizers with the Asian and Southeast Asian communities that had now taken up the fight against Hot 97. Because of the similarities and concerns raised in previous efforts, folks from all backgrounds were able to come together and re-address the grievances at Hot 97.

    Again Sharpton was absent. During the whole Anti-Asian Tsunami incident there were no headline making statements from Sharpton about media reform or restraint. He was absent from this highly publicized fight. No phone calls, no letters, no nothing. He didn't even come to the first protest at Hot 97 which was attended by City councilmen Charles Barron and John Liu who helped organized this effort along with Asian Media Watch. He certainly wasn’t at any of the planning meetings or any other media reform gathering.

    In addition to all this, let's go back into time when the Turn Back the Radio efforts were underway and we had all these hearings about how many stations Radio station owners could have in a market, you did not see or hear Sharpton raising this issue. You certainly didn't see him at too many of the hearings. I know because we covered most of them on our airwaves at Pacifica and I spoke at three of them. (Monteray, Seattle and San Francisco)

    So what's this all about? Why is Sharpton jumping in at the 12th hour? Is it because this is the hot topic of the day and he wants to be a part of it? Maybe… Maybe not. The media reform and media justice argument has been around for the past 3 years and have been hot topics. He could've ran to the bank with this during his Presidential campaign. But he didn't. He certainly never had any of the main Hip Hop activists who have been dealing with this from day one come on his Sunday night 3 hour radio show on WLIB which is now home to Air America. We spoke with Bob Law who let us know that not once did Sharpton ever help out with the widespread efforts behind this campaign.

    So what’s the motive behind Sharpton suddenly wanting to write the FCC and call for a ban on gangsta rap? Well, he’s seems to be redirecting the argument back to the artists and away from the media owners and executives who are really responsible for giving them air time.

    In the NY Daily news article, you don’t see him calling them into question the role Jeff Smulyan, Rick Cummings and Barry Mayo who are executives at Emmis. You don’t see him calling for a meeting with John Hogan, Steve Smith or Doc Winters who are key executives at Clear Channel. You don’t see him calling on Cathy Hughes or Alfred Liggins or Mary Catherine Sneed (MC Sneed) who run things at Radio One. He covers his steps by saying, he doesn't wanna mediate between the artists and that this is a recurring problem, but he stops short of placing blame where it really belongs on the owners of these outlets. Many of them not only grant platforms to these artists but they also grant platforms to other activities that help promote beef like the infamous Smackfest where they have sistas from around the way smack each other for cash prizes.   Everyone knows this hence the protests and objections over the past three years.

    This is important to note, because folks who have been organizing around media reform are very clear that artists like 50 Cent and Game have to own up to the role they play in these conflicts, but this is bigger then them. This goes back to those who have final say so as to what gets aired and how they ultimately profit off of these divisions. So now we have Sharpton who has good working relationships with Kathy Hughes at Radio One and Barry Mayo the General Manager at Hot 97 coming to the rescue.

    Sharpton was strangely silent and didn’t shoot off letters to the FCC a few weeks ago when members of Game’s entourage brutally beat a deejay (Xzulu) and hospitalized him after an interview they conducted on Radio One’s WYKS in DC. He never asked for a 90 day ban when Radio One banned and then un-banned the Game’s record from being played on the air. Industry insiders are wondering if pay for play tactics were behind that move.  

    Many see Sharpton’s involvement as a subtle but soon to not be so subtle smoke screen to protect the attacks on his media buddies at these outlets. Today he’s calling for ban. Tomorrow he’ll start focusing on the artists and will do all that he can to downplay the role and responsibility of this executive friends at these stations. Who knows perhaps they will even grant him a weekly show so he can air out these important issues.

    My point being is that what sort of ‘off the record’ conversations has Sharpton been having with these folks that he has not been able to come forth and say something like 'I just got off the phone with Radio One and they agreed to do a 90 day ban, or I just spoke to Barry Mayo and convinced him to do an on air truce and dedicate a day to conflict resolution which is what Pittsburgh radio station WAMO did the other day. '.

    One would hope and suspect that Sharpton had these conversations with them before making his announcement about going to the FCC. One has to wonder what's really going on? Did he speak to them and they told him 'No Way'? I find this hard to believe.

    In the words of Public Enemy.. 'Don’t Believe the Hype' and 'Can't Truss It' cause we aren’t.

    Rev. Al airs gangsta ban plan


    The Rev. Al Sharpton

    The Rev. Al Sharpton is calling for a 90-day ban on radio and TV airplay for any performer who uses violence to settle scores or hype albums.

    "There has to be a way to step in and regulate what's going on with the airwaves and with violence," Sharpton told the Daily News yesterday. "The airwaves are being used to romanticize urban violence."

    The activist minister plans to ask the Federal Communications Commission and the country's major radio broadcasters to back his proposal.

    His call follows last week's shooting outside Hot 97 radio's SoHo studios that apparently was sparked by a feud between rappers 50 Cent and The Game.

    A member of The Game's entourage, Kevin Reed, 23, of Compton, Calif., was shot in the buttocks after 50 Cent bad-mouthed The Game during an on-air interview at the radio station.

    Bad blood between 50 Cent and The Game continued to boil over the weekend when The Game challenged his former mentor to "Come get me, you little bitch!" during a concert in Long Beach, Calif.

    Last night, 50 Cent was escorted through LaGuardia Airport by Port Authority cops "for his own protection" when he arrived on a plane from Detroit about 8 p.m., a Port Authority spokesman said.

    Said Sharpton, "We may not be able to stop people from shooting, but we can stop people from profiting from the violence." Sharpton declined to comment specifically on the beef between 50 Cent, who was born Curtis Jackson, and The Game, whose real name is Jayceon Taylor.

    Sharpton said he has no intention of trying to broker peace between the two rap stars, who have both recently released top-selling CDs.

    "You can't deal with this on an artist-by-artist basis," he said. "I'm not going to become a mediator between artists. This is a recurring problem."

    In a letter Sharpton plans to send to the FCC and broadcasters, he said the outcry against violence among entertainers should be just as loud as the response last year to Janet Jackson's breast-baring Super Bowl stunt.

    "I recall the outrage that the FCC and others displayed in response to the Super Bowl performance of Janet Jackson," Sharpton wrote. "Yet, when acts of violence happen around radio stations that actually have caused bloodshed, there has been a strange and disturbing silence from all quarters."




    An on-air personality at one of Hot 97's sister stations says he was booted off the air after complaining about a song that features the lyric "Beat that bitch with a bat."

    Paul Porter said his falling-out with KISS-FM came after being told by the embattled hip-hop outlet, "Make up your mind: Do you want to stand up for kids or the company?"

    The freelance announcer, who is also a volunteer instructor at a public school in Queens, told The Post that he voiced his concern last year after a 12-year-old student asked him, "Why does Hot 97 play these records?"

    The offending song, "Party and Bulls- - -" by rap artist Rah Digger, was a favorite of the little girl's father — who had recently beaten her mother, Porter said.

    "I was shocked that a sixth-grader was so aware, but saddened that I had no answer," said Porter.



    Although the announcer's complaint led to a new zero-tolerance policy for on-air profanity, Hot 97 just five months later launched a violent on-air contest called "Smackfest."

    That's where young women compete for a $500 prize by striking one another in the face, not only to try and produce the loudest slap but do the most physical damage — including drawing blood.

    These revelations come less than a week after an associate of rapper The Game was shot outside Hot 97's Manhattan studio by a man believed to be an associate of rival rapper 50 Cent, while "Fitty" was inside promoting his new album.

    50 Cent had just said on the air that he was ejecting The Game, a former protégé, from his posse.

    Six weeks earlier, the station came under fire for playing "The Tsunami Song," a twisted "We Are the World" parody mocking victims of the natural disaster that killed more than 200,000 people.

    Porter says the Hot 97 DJs told him soon after the shooting that the controversies stem from programming director John Dimick's inexperience with hip-hop.

    Emmis Communications, the parent of Hot 97 and KISS-FM, hired Dimick in November from Jefferson-Pilot Communications in San Diego, where he oversaw country, jazz and alternative-rock stations.

    "It's been a zoo up there since Dimick took over. He doesn't know what he's doing," Porter says one DJ told him.


    Ntelek Speaks On Winning The Spiritual War!
    We all know that we are in a spiritual war! (Eph. 6:12). It's very clear on what we are to do:

    “Set our mind on things above…” (Col 3:1)

    “…take captive every thought to make it obedient to Tammuz” (2 Cor 10:5)

    “…think on these things” (Phil. 4:8)

    “…renew your mind” (Rom. 12:1-2)

    “Love the Lord with…all your mind” (Matt. 22:37)

    There is little doubt that a major facet in the spiritual war is a battle for our mind, for the control of our thoughts, our beliefs, our feelings, our desires, and our actions.

    I’m convinced that entertainment is a major influence in this war. Colossians 2:8 warns us not to let others spoil our faith and joy with their empty philosophies, wrong and shallow answers based on men’s thoughts and ideas instead of what Tammuz said, says and will say. Isn’t that a description of the vast majority of whats considered to be mainstream in today’s entertainment? When you put someone’s thoughts on celluloid, we call it a motion picture; on video it’s called a television program; put them on a CD with a tune and we call it music. I know the vast majority of the ammunition in this war is supplied by the entertainment industry!

    The sad truth is that many are being entertained to death. The evil one(s) wants us to undermine our spiritual life. They are convincing many.

    What is the effect?

    Follow this simple progression:

    1. Nehemiah 8:10 reminds us that the “…joy of the Lord is our strength.”

    2. For Zuen to make us weak, he has to destroy our joy.

    3. Col. 2:8 ....if we continue to entertain ourselves with the empty philosophies of this world, it will undermine our joy.

    4. Where do you find the empty philosophies of this world? Turn on most of those so called mainstream CDs, TV programs and videos.

    I know that this is a major reason why so many are struggling with their spiritual life. They have allowed their minds to be “conformed to the values of this world” (Rom. 12:1) without even realizing it. Things that once were considered offensive, is now excepted as entertainment.

    If theory is true, shouldn’t churches, masjids, temples, synogues and especially artist(s) all take a stronger role in educating their congregations and fan base on how to fight in this spiritual war for our minds? Most churches, masjids, temples and synogues along with parents want to avoid the entertainment issue entirely. But we will not! I will not! Are you with me? Music is all around us. It shapes our world.

    Some see what I have done and what I am doing with my mix tape series while others get caught up on judging my preference of studio recording. It is sad at times seeing how many of my very own tribal members walk by and look over the Nu-Wop effort! Many of you have children and even brothers and sisters who are being controlled by the devils entertainment. The Ntelek Movement has set out to reverse the negative energy and tua (yes) we need your help and we want your help! Help us help you and your families. Help us help the world! Show your support.

    What can we do?

    1. Pray for us in our mission. Nothing of significance can be accomplished without prayer.

    2. Realize that this is indeed a war and much of today’s entertainment industry supplies the ammunition in the spiritual war of life. If you realize who and what the enemy is, you will be better able to defend yourself.

    3. Become aware of whats really going on and mind your mind for the jewels of your soul!

    4. Set the example in your home by not entertaining yourself with philosophies that are against values. Teach/show your families how to make wise entertainment choices.

    5. On another level reach out and tell someone they look nice today if that is how you are feeling. Stop holding your compliments in because the energy can turn and become negative (hot) into jealousy! You will hear the music and eventually feel it.

    6. Make sure you are part of the success! We have defeated the odds in the past and we will again! The magician is at work!

    7. Keep pushing because it will be your push that will bust Maku and Kathy out!

    8. Do not be afraid to help others because they appear not to be helping you in return! Perhaps they are in fact helping you by being in need of your assistance! Think about that and lets keep our change absolute!

    9. Stay in tune-----> www.unnm.com and www.thentelekmovement.bravehost.com

    Rest In Peace Dj Leacy - U.K.


    Will the real Documentarians please stand up?

    By: Hadji Williams

    I spent the last week or so watching “And You Don’t Stop,” VH-1’s recent weeklong documentary on the history of hip-hop. And I could’ve gotten so mad over AYDS’s numerous oversights and inaccuracies. I could’ve gotten mad at Bill Adler, former Def Jam exec, anointing himself Hiphop’s official historian/archivist throughout AYDS. I could’ve gotten over his claim that until the late 1980s New York was the only city producing hiphop when just about every black community in just about every major city has local legends and verified histories chronicling their roots in hip-hop dating back to at least the late 1970s, if not earlier.  I could’ve gotten mad at AYDS’s marginalization of the Midwest and other regions in favor of rehashing BIG vs. Pac/East vs. West/Bad Boy’s brilliance for the umpteenth time. I could’ve gotten mad over AYDS’s refusal to highlight hiphop’s true forefathers— Gil Scott Heron, Watts Poets, Last Poets, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, and all the black poets who were rhyming and flowing over live drums and instruments for decades prior. Truth be told, they along with jazz cats like Cab Calloway were the original MCs. (Even the word “rap” was black slang from the 1950 and 1960s that meant black people talking intimately amongst each other, i.e. “Can I rap with you?”)

    I could’ve also gotten mad over AYDS’s refusal to acknowledge B-Boying and breakdancing’s roots in Capoiera, the fighting style born of African and tribal South American worship dances and fighting arts brought together via the transatlantic slave trade. I could’ve gotten mad over AYDS’s refusal to question or challenge any of the artists, labels and corporations who currently profit off hiphop to be more responsible to the communities and culture they exploit. I could’ve gotten mad at AYDS’s refusal to at least question the potential side affects of mainstream consumption and co-option of yet another urban art form…

    I could’ve gotten mad about all of these things and more, but I didn’t. Instead I was too busy asking myself one simple question: Where are our documentarians? Where are the people of our communities, of our heritages and culture telling our own stories?

    For decades I’ve watched countless documentaries on MTV and VH-1 and other mainstream outlets about hiphop, black music and black culture. I’ve watched Ken Burns dictate his history of The Blues. I’ve watched Clint Eastwood tell his version of Jazz. I’ve watched Martin Scorsese give us his mini-series version of the Blues. I’ve watched numerous whites tell the story of Bob Marley and Reggae music and culture. I’ve watched Trè (from Phish) and Dave Matthews (DMB) trace black music and African music through their own eyes and ears. I’ve watched countless documentaries on Rock & Roll, R&B and Soul, all from mainstream America and Corporate America’s viewpoint.

    And of those dozens upon dozens of documentaries, not one all seen was produced or directed or written by a person or color. Not one of those documentarians came from the communities or cultures they were documenting. They were all the result of outsiders, most of whom have little or no respect for the people and communities these cultures come from. Same applies to the likes of RollingStone, SPIN, DETAILS, JazzTimes, etc. the numerous magazines and books that’ve anointed themselves the official documentarians of Rock & Roll, Soul, Jazz and Blues. 

    At least one big reason why there are so many stereotypes about hiphop about blacks about Hispanics about Asians, etc. is that we continue to let people outside of our communities speak for us. We continue to accept their version of us. We continue to allow them to define us.  We continue to allow them to lay claim to us and package us as they see fit.

    A philosopher once said, “Until the lion has his own historian, the story of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” No culture is truly a culture until it cares enough about itself to tell its own stories and demand existence on its own terms. And until hiphop and black folks in general realize this, we’ll never be anything more than what we are right now— everyone else’s prey.

    Hadji Williams is author of KNOCK THE HUSTLE: HOW TO SAVE YOUR JOB AND YOUR LIFE FROM CORPORATE AMERICA, hiphop’s first success guide for business, culture and life. Email him: author@knockthehustle.com and read excerpts at www.knockthehustle.com.




    divine forces radio” Receives Award from Congresswoman Maxine Waters


    divine forces radio recently received an award for seven years of dedication to conscious radio in Los Angeles from Congresswoman Maxine Watters. "divine forces radio (dfr) in recognition of the seventh anniversary of one of the best programs on radio today featuring conscious hip-hop music and promoting political awareness, and for all the positive and devoted work dfr has done to uplift, enlighten, and educate while

    entertaining its listening audience and the community". 


    “divine forces radio” also commemorates 7 years of conscious hip-hop radio on February 21st, 2005.  Since it’s memorable beginning at Clear Channel’s 92.3 the Beat back in 1998, divine forces radio has been committed to raising awareness for youth and young adults through utilizing the radio airwaves as a tool to teach and disseminate critical information regarding history, politics, hip-hop culture and indigenous spirituality.  “divine forces radio” has also been committed to organizing and facilitating, cultural, leadership and radio youth workshops with Los Angeles based community organizations, the City of Los Angeles, LA Probation Departments and students from Japan.  Throughout the 7 years it’s host, Fidel Rodriguez, has been dedicated to speaking with numerous high school and college students as well as “at-risk” youth throughout Los Angeles’ inner cities and juvenile facilities.  “divine forces radio” began it’s program on February 21st, 1998, the date commemorating  the loss of human rights leader Malcolm X. “divine forces radio” will celebrate its anniversary with a two day conscious hip-hop concert in late August of 2005 in Los Angeles.  For more information on divine forces radio and Fidel Rodriguez please contact Adrian Veliz at 323-810-1080 or by e-mail at adrian13@sbcglobal.net.


    “divine forces radio: the oracles of hip-hop” or to devoted listeners dfr, is not your normal hip-hop radio show.  Utilizing the "cultured hardcore reality in hip-hop", dfr is a matrix-escaping hip-hop radio program that literally brings balance to hip-hop.  Innovative, positive, and exciting, divine forces radio, flawlessly blends rap music, education, in-studio guests, and spiritual consciousness within theme-based shows.  There is even a “Word of the Week”, where listeners improve their vocabulary and comprehension while having a chance to win books (over 3300 in the past 7 years) to promote literacy in Los Angeles. With rap songs intertwined with entertaining movie sound bites and knowledge breaks that are sure to make you scratch your head in astonishment, dfr focuses on getting back to the essence of “truth in the form of hip hop”.


    Fidel Rodriguez is Chumash & Mexican and is host and producer of "divine forces radio".  He hails from Santa Barbara, California and is a 1997 Mc Nair Scholar and graduate of the University of Southern California, with Bachelor degrees in both Chicano/Latino Studies and African American Studies.  He is joined on-air by DJ extraordinaire Icy Ice of World Famous Beat Junkies, Counterstryke, Breeze, and the Orator. divine forces radio can be heard Friday Nights from 10PM to 1AM Pacific Standard time globally at divineforces.org, in Los Angeles on 90.7 FM KPFK, and Santa Barbara County on 98.7 FM KPFK. 






    Also Paul Porter from Industryears will be on Hannity and Combs tonight.. Talking about all this drama.. Paul is a former programmer at Emmis who has been speaking out about all this..


     Davey D





    12 Point Program for Hip Hop's Revolutionary Rebirth
    By: Adisa Banjoko bishop@lyricalswords.com

    Right about now, there is a resurgence of conciousness in Hip Hop. It reminds me of what was once known as "The Golden Age of Hip Hop". This new conciousness is evidenced in the rise of Dead Prez, Talib Kweli, Paris, Zion I, Common, Mystic, Mos Def, Encore, Shamako Noble, Immortal Technique, the new tracks by MC Ren, and others. This is a beautiful thing to watch, and something that makes me proud to see.

    The Black Panther Party for Self Defense used to have a ten point program to rebuild the Black community. It was something to help keep the Black community focused how freedom was to be achieved. Unfortunately, the masses did not listen to them as well as they should have and many people lost out due a lack of follow though.

    This is a twelve point program I have constructed in hope of rejuvenating the Hip Hop community and industry across the board. I believe without fail that if these ideas are put into action that Hip Hop will gain a higher status in the minds of those who love it as well as in the hearts of those who hate it. This list can be used by anybody (regardless of race, faith, or culture) who is an MC/rapper. But for those that TRY to be concious, I feel these things are a must. Big props to Scape Martinez for helping me refine this (eventhogh we disagree with some points).

    1. Stop the cursing. If you are going to reach the people, you need to be refined lyrically. You will have one up on radio industry who try to ignore you.
    You must also make yourself loved by the parents of the children who love Hip Hop. Keeping it clean on wax is an easy way to gain an upper hand in the streets and in the industry at the same time. Plus you don't have to always make clean versions of everything- so it saves you money. In the movie Malcolm X's original mentor says that a man curses because he does not have the tools to tell you whats really on his mind. So chill out and tell us whats on your mind. Gangstarr's "Step Into the Arena" is a perfect example of how you can stay REAL and not curse.

    2. Stop using the word "nigga". The word "nigger/nigga" was a lyrical tool of empowerment for the Hip Hop movement during the late 80's and early 90's. It came at a time when Black people needed to counter the hateful words being put upon them for so long. Now, the word has indeed been dilluted in it's power (it does not hurt most Black people to be called that name anymore). However, it also lost it's painful historical relevence. We need to remind people of where the word came from, so it is never taken lightly. If you are unclear on the history of it, go read "100 Years of Lynchings" by Ralph Ginzburg.

    3. Read. The more you know, the more you can rap about. Read about the history of your people as well as the histories and cultures of others. Nobody is asking you to become Nerdball McGee- but you should open a book. Choose a topic and go learn something you did nto know the day before. Then bring that into Hip Hop. Ice Cube, KRS ONE and Tupac Shakur were arguably at their best when they were reading.

    4. Rap About YOUR Struggle. MC's and rappers who are remembered, are story tellers. Slick Rick, Ice Cube, Tupac and Rakim are able to bring you into their world and allow you to see from behind their eyes. This should be your goal as an MC. Tell us about your fam, your area, your personal journey in a way that no one else can tell it. If you cannot do that, you will certainly fail to impress and inspire. Tell us about your city. Nobody cared about the Queens, Compton, or Vallejo until MC Shan, Eazy E, and E-40 told the world stories about where they came from.

    5. Stop following trends, create them. The rap industry tries to create cookie cutter rappers now.
    They all come complete with pimp cups, loc's butt naked women and saggy pants. That has it's place. But we need more people pushing the lyrical envelope.
    Brothers and sisters don't try to flow with originality anymore. They just try to copy a carbon copy. Do not be afraid to find out who you are and challenge the trends across the board. N.W.A., Biggie Smalls, Beastie Boys, Common, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Public Enemy, Kwame, Paris, De La Soul, Queen Latifah, and Eminem (YES, I said EMINEM) all take creative chances musically and lyrically. From your look to your flow, be original in your life and on wax.

    6. Respect Women. This is a subject that cannot be discussed too much. We need to stop using the word bitch and hoe (I'm talking to myself as well as y'all). We need to stop objectifying all women. By undermining them, we undermine the cornerstone of all civilization. This is a serious thing. You can still make a dope jam and show respect to the women.
    Remember that every "hoe" and "bitch" is someone elses sister, daughter, mother- maybe even yours. So clean yourself up. I'm not asking you to take estrogen shots, watch Oprah 24/7 and wear a wig. Just show some respect.

    7. Don't forget to rock the party. This is a major problem in Hip Hop. Most of the MC's who try to be concious. They get so caught up in their mission that they forget to have fun. If all you do is spit politics and stuff, people never get to see you shine creatively. Show the people you have skills to rock the party, then give them something to take home.

    8. Learn an instrument. Since it's inception Hip Hop has gotten far by sampling. The record industry has come down hard on us at times for doing it. Sampling has served it's purpose, but it is time to show the world our full creativity. Learn an instrument for yourself. If you do, you will gain a new respect for those you sample and you'll get new insights on how to make music for yourself.

    9, . Listen all kinds of music from the past. This is crucial. Part of the reason Hip Hop is so stale is because Hip Hop only listens to Hip Hop, nowdays.
    Chuck D, Mix Master Mike, DJ QBERT, KRS ONE, P Ditty Poor Righteous Teachers, Premier, Jungle Brothers, Marly Marl, Timbaland, DJ Quick, Dr. Dre all listen to other forms of music. You should slso read the biographies of some of these artists as well (something I'm about to get into). They listen to Jazz, Reggae, Blues, Rock, Heavy Metal, Symphony, Salsa, Zen flutes etc.This is a BIG part of what makes them great. Now, go be great!!!

    10. Acknowledge the beauty of the other Hip Hop elements. This is a HUGE problem. Sometimes I think it is talked about too much. But the bottom line is that if you don't have a full appreciation for graf writing, b-boy'ing, popping, locking, and turntablism you are missing a lot of tools that you can both learn from and incporporate into your shows. A lot of people confuse appreciation of these elements with being a hippy or dealing with things that are not "real".
    Nothing could be farther from the truth. Don't sleep on that.

    11. Choose a Cause. Once you know who you are, it is important that you ask yourself "What will I champion in Hip Hop besides my lyrics"? You care about education? Poverty issues? are you just a party MC?
    Are you gonna champion your culture? Politics? Child abuse? Domestic violence? WHAT?!?!? Choose a cause then make sure you mention it from time to time. NOT ON EVERY SONG- becuase you will turn people off.

    12. Never forget the poor. This music is from them, for them, forever. Knowing that fact always, IS KEEPING IT REAL.

    Adisa Banjoko is author of "Lyrical Swords Vol. 1: Hip Hop and Politics in the Mix", available at

    "It's lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believe in myself." - Muhammad Ali

    Adisa Banjoko aka "The Bishop"
    1304 S. Winchester Blvd. # 441
    San Jose, CA 95128


    Facing the Copyright Rap  Associated Press
    Story location:

    12:30 PM Sep. 08, 2004 PT

    A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that rap artists should pay for every
    musical sample included in their work - even minor, unrecognizable snippets
    of music.

    Lower courts had already ruled that artists must pay when they sample
    another artists' work. But it has been legal to use musical snippets - a
    note here, a chord there - as long as it wasn't identifiable.

    The decision by a three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in
    Cincinnati gets rid of that distinction. The court said federal laws aimed
    at stopping piracy of recordings applies to digital sampling.

    "If you cannot pirate the whole sound recording, can you 'lift' or 'sample'
    something less than the whole? Our answer to that question is in the
    negative," the court said.

    "Get a license or do not sample. We do not see this as stifling creativity
    in any significant way."

    Some observers questioned whether the court's opinion is too restrictive,
    especially for rap and hip-hop artists who often rhyme over samples of music
    taken from older recordings.

    "It seems a little extreme to me," said James Van Hook, dean of Belmont
    University's Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business. "When
    something is identifiable, that is the key."

    The case at issue is one of at least 800 lawsuits filed in Nashville over
    lifting snippets of music from older recordings for new music.

    The case centers on the NWA song "100 Miles and Runnin," which samples a
    three-note guitar riff from "Get Off Your Ass and Jam" by '70s funk-master
    George Clinton and Funkadelic.

    In the two-second sample, the guitar pitch has been lowered, and the copied
    piece was "looped" and extended to 16 beats. The sample appears five times
    in the new song.

    NWA's song was included in the 1998 movie "I Got the Hook Up," starring
    Master P and produced by his movie company, No Limit Films.

    No Limit Films has argued that the sample was not protected by copyright
    law. Bridgeport Music and Westbound Records, which claim to own the
    copyrights for the Funkadelic song, appealed the lower court's summary
    judgment in favor of No Limit Films.

    The lower court in 2002 said that the riff in Clinton's song was entitled to
    copyright protection, but the sampling "did not rise to the level of legally
    cognizable appropriation."

    The appeals court disagreed, saying a recording artist who acknowledges
    sampling may be liable, even when the source of a sample is unrecognizable.

    Noting that No Limit Films "had not disputed that it digitally sampled a
    copyrighted sound recording," the appeals court sent the case back to the
    lower court.

    Richard Busch, attorney for Westbound Records and Bridgeport Music, said he
    was pleased with the ruling.

    Robert Sullivan, attorney for No Limit Films, did not return a phone call to
    his office.


    The racial and political dynamics of light bulb changing

      BY  Ernie Paniccioli

    Q) How many Hip Hop legends does it take to change a lightbulb?

    A) Ten or more, one to change the lightbulb, six to swear it was their idea and three to say they were the first to actually do it!
    Plus Kool Herc to go on the "NY tour circuit" and complain about how corporate America stole the lightbulb.........and KRS1 to preach about the spiritual value of changing lightbulbs, then Kevin Powell to go on VH1 and say he is a "Lightbulb Head for life" and how racist it is for Black folks to have to change White light bulbs and that he is about to do an anthology with the 100 most important Black light bulb changers and how he is an expert on the subject .......... and Nelson George to mumble something about "the streets and Charlie Parker's influence on light bulb changing" in an smug academic monotone.
    MTV would have a hit show showing Rappers vast collection of light bulbs aptly called "Bulbs".
    Puffy would sign twenty poor dim light bulbs and after they were burned out or shot, he would start a "Bulb Memorial" clothing line to sell to White kids who felt guilty that they had always had too many light bulbs just laying around unappreciated.
    Then Cornell West and Michael Eric Dyson would remind us that Tupac's poetry reminded them of Billy Holiday's soul searching wails which were actually about the childhood experience of never having enough light bulbs.
    Kanye would dedicate a song to the "Holy Light' Common and Mos Def would sing about finding the "Light Bulb Within" while hard core rappers would produce platinum songs about "shooting out dem bulbs".
    Russell would be holding "light bulb awareness and light bulb changing Summits". Then Jesse would jump in screaming "Keep Light Bulbs Alive" and "I am somebody, I am a light bulb changer" while stuffing his pockets with unmarked stacks of 100 dollar bills.......ad nauseum............
    Ernie Paniccioli
    PS No light bulbs or rappers were harmed in the writing of this piece.


    Hip Hop Reloaded: The Search for a Solution

    By Lamont Slater

    One of the best places in the world for quality cultural interaction and entertainment has to be the barbershop. As I wait patiently for my barber to put the finishing touches on a customers fade, I take in all of the sights and sounds of my surroundings. Two televisions: One has a music video featuring Missy Elliot strutting her stuff, while the other has throngs of teenagers crowded around it playing the latest edition of Madden Football on X-box. I'm seated near a crackling speaker system, blaring an instrumental version of 50 cent's hit song, "It's your Birthday", while a young kid wearing a faded Dallas Mavericks baseball cap walks by with a push broom. All 16 chairs are full, and there are multiple conversations worth listening to. I overhear three middle-aged men whine about President Bush's practices, policies and beliefs. As they discuss issues of downsizing, outsourcing and weapons of mass destruction, I decide to add my two cents by saying, "I bet none you brothers voted in the last election." As each one shook their heads, my cynical smile quickly shifted as I reflected on my position regarding today's hip-hop scene. As much as I despise it, how do I propose to change it? At that point my barber motions for me to come forward and sit in the vacant chair. I tell him to give me "the usual", which consists of a Caesar and line-up. Pondering over my thoughts regarding hip-hop's "reconstruction", I believe that we must first ask ourselves what is it that we want to reconstruct? In essence, what is the embodiment of hip-hop?

    I believe today's manufactured version of hip-hop is strictly one-dimensional, focusing more on the glorification of stereotypical images in an effort to increase market value, and maximize income potential. Hip-hop culture includes a strong sense of fashion, unique slang, expressive artwork, creative lyrics, turntables, dance and most of all the ability to freestyle at any given time. To bring attention to this dying art form, maybe Steven Spielberg should cast KRS-1 as Indiana Jones, and name his next installment of the series, "Raiders of the Lost Freestyle." It is absolutely imperative that underground artists continue to freestyle in hopes that it seeps back into the mainstream culture. For example, if I walked up to Loon right now and asked him to "bust a quick freestyle", he would reach for his back pocket, and pull out some wack rhymes on a crumpled piece of paper. The problem is two fold: 1) the people that can freestyle, don't want to do it for free anymore, and 2) record companies don't care about the art of freestyling, and thus don't require this ability as an integral part of their resume. Bringing this art form back through Internet downloads, Internet radio stations, and performances at local events would help stabilize the industry, and slow down the process of commercialized erosion.

    Secondly, we should allow limited access to record companies from other countries to mass-produce, promote, and market their music within our borders, especially when some foreign groups are on American labels. For example, Toronto (which by the way, has an existing hip- hop culture that rivals yesteryears American hip-hop scene) has several hip-hop acts, such as Cardinal Official and Saukrates that could sell out arenas across our nation, however their music has been intentionally omitted from radio waves in America. Coincidentally, Saukrates is on Def Jam's label, and is relatively unknown in America. Why is that, you may ask? The answer is simple: It's not just the traditional record companies that create self imposed sanctions against foreign groups to control what you hear, but you can guarantee that Russell Simmons has played the same game. The language barrier in Brazil may pose a slight problem in regards to importing, but socially conscious hip-hop acts still rein supreme thanks to acts such as Racionais MCs, and MV Bill. To understand the conscience of the Brazilian emcee, we must first examine South America from a historical context. During the triangular slave trade more Africans were shipped to South America than anywhere in the world. More importantly, in countries such as Bahia and Salvador, Blacks have maintained the bulk of their traditional customs and values that they brought with them via the Slave Trade. Making a generalized comparison, Blacks in this country have all but lost touch with their African heritage, and thus correlations exists between the African-American need to maintain their original traditions, and the African- American desire to wrestle from the music industry what they strived so hard to create. We can learn from these countries and appreciate their uncompromising approach to hip-hop. By importing, promoting and marketing foreign groups, it would provide hip-hop heads with a refreshing alternative to the bizarre disillusionment of homogenized hip-hop.

    Finally, we should have a multi-faceted approach when dealing with national record companies and radio stations. The best way to get the message across that "hip-pop" is unacceptable is simple: dont buy the CD. Most people complain about the content, but continue to purchase the CD. If the masses stop supporting these groups it will force the CEO's of the major labels to re-evaluate the market. When Napster, Audio galaxy, and Morphius were up and running, these record companies were taking such a hit in their pockets that they had to call upon the federal government to shut down these sites. Divesting, then re-investing in the production of our own Internet radio stations on websites such as www.live365.com will provide greater accessibility to underground, and old school hip-hop. Additionally, if artists that are featured on these radio stations establish web sites, it is quite possible that listeners can click on the artists web site, and purchase directly from the artist, eliminating the middle man. It is understood that everyone is not fortunate to have a computer or access to the Internet, but those that do can use this as a starting point. Take the Howard Dean Presidential campaign for example. The former Governor from Vermont used the Internet to single-handedly raise the most money ever during a primary election. The Internet provided Dean with instant name recognition, and the ability to reach potential voters that would have otherwise not cared about his platform. We can create the same enthusiasm by using the Internet to provide options to mainstream hip-hop.

    "Wake up. You're all done!" says my barber. With my eyes half open, I acknowledge my satisfaction by nodding my head, as I hold the mirror to review his handiwork. I smile as I give him a twenty before exiting the door.

    With a concerted effort by the masses of hip-hoppas that care about its legacy and preservation, I am confident that one day this industry will once again give me that same satisfaction.

    Lamont Slater is a freelance writer from Dallas, Texas. He can be reached for comments at Humv30@aol.com




    they do not do or cover all its elements of the hip hop culture

    This version of Hip Hop that the worlds media promotes globally, is a strange sissified version of its true self. It consists of middle-class fakers acting like gangsters, so-called hardcore rappers, so-called underground heads and so-called superstars killing each other, while the white controlled global media celebrates. Who are these imposters?

    Hip Hop is the MC (not rapper), DJ or turntablists, B-boys or B-girls (not breakdancers), Writer (not graffiti artists), BeatBoxer and students of Knowledge of Self. These according to the founders of the culture are the main elements of the culture. Now you have world media calling EMINEN, 50cents and the rest of the multi-nationally backed "rappers", the upholders of HIP HOP CULTURE. Excuse me, but do they b-boy, write, MC and DJ ? HELL NO! so why do we perpetuate these lies. They have no right to call what our ancestors created and gave as a voice for the people, whatever the hell they wish to call it. Strangely enough we just allow this bullshit to continue without any protest. We even reduce ourselves to speak their names and titles they named what we do. Hip Hop elders have not been approached in their research about the culture, they just named things as they wished. We sit in front of the TV and hear them spread these lies to the world and accept this powerless position they have put us in. I HAVE HAD ENOUGH. It is time to set the record straight. These titles that make up the HIP HOP CULTURE are titles that practitioners of writing, MCing, B-boying, DJing, Beatboxing earn and no just giiven to anyone. It is something that is earned with time, dedication, research and sacrifice. Nowadays everyone is a rapper and maybe they are right, because an MC earns that reputation for skill as well as ability to be the "master of the ceremony" (Where the name MC comes from by the way). Many of these rappers are studio rappers that have no stage, microphone or crowd/ audience control skills.

    A true MC or Hip Hop head would not lie to the audience about fake bling, bling that he or she does not have, especially knowing how many youths are listening to them on the radio and watching them on the TV. A true B-boy or Hip Hopper learns the history of the culture and gives respect to those who have gone before. Those like Afrika Bambaataa, Kool DJ Herc, Grandmaster Flash, Grand Wizard Theodore, MC Cowboy, the Rock Steady Crew, The Nigga Twins, Pop Masters Fabel, Phase 2 and Mr Wiggles to name but a few who contributed to the REAL HIP HOP culture. There are also hip hop histories in countries around the world and those contributions by those individuals have to be given the credit that they deserve. This new mentality of forgetting the past as quickly as a new song hits the number 1 spot on radio or MTV, is a global mentality. This eliminates resepct for elders and those that pave the way. It also seperates the younger practitioners from those who have experience and who could help them not repeat the mistakes that they have made before these young kids who are now earning millions. It is my opinion that it is for this very reason that the gap between the elders and next generation are made bigger by record companies and the entertainment industry. Their intention is to keep these younger artists as blind to the realities of the industry as possible. EXPERIENCE CAN NOT BE DOWNLOADED.

    Do you think that classical music lovers would allow the world media to call their music "Screeching noise" or simply rename it whatever they wish, without putting up a fight ? I think the arrogance of the world media is because HIP HOP is considered a black sub-culture or street culture. Even the usage of the prefix "sub", implies something that is lesser than or under what might be considered cultural. Think about it a bit more. We name it b-boying/ b-girling, they rename it breakdance, we name it writing, they rename it graffiti, we name it MCing and they rename it rapping. It is an insult to our creative ability. They control the media and thus feel that they have the power to name whatever they wish and get away with it. Like Michael Jackson being called Wacko Jacko, this is like calling us "Nigger"
    and "Kaffer" all over again. We internalies the lies they feed us and start to believe what they call us. Attached to the medias version of hip hop are gangs, profanity and violence. The REAL HIP HOP is a powerful tool globally bringing youth together and enlightening them to their true selves. REAL HIP HOP is educating youth, fighting AIDS, exchanging cultures, breaking down racism, protesting against global dictators.

    I do this call out to all defenders of the TRUE HIP HOP CULTURE to use the correct terminology and free our culture from their verbal enslavement of it. Only once we do this will we be able to regain the financial control of this multi-billion dollar industry that they have almost taken complete control of. I know that everywhere in the world their are true soldiers of the REAL HIP HOP. Like Mr Devious, from South Africa, who was prepared to die for what hip hop has taught US. In the USA is the Univeresal Zulu Nation, Eazy Roc and Asia One that started the B-Boy Summit, also from the USA is Poe One and Cros One from the Freestyle Sessions event, in Germany is Storm and Swift of Battle Squad, also in Germany is Thomas of Battle of the Year, in Japan is Dance Machine, in Spain is Kapi, in HOlland is Timski, in New Zealand is Norman, in South Africa is myslef Emile of Black Noise, wew have brothers in Brazil, Mexico, Sweden, France, Denmark, Zimbabwe, Australia and every other country on this planet. We are many my brothers and sisters and our voice can never be silenced, but we have to RE-IGNITE THE FIRE OF TRUE HIP HOP REVOLUTION. We have to insist that MTV Awards and Grammy Awards remove the false labeling of the best Hip Hop Artsist, until they are willing to call up a group that have writers, DJs, MCs, B-boys, etc.

    I hope that you will forward these thoughts to all those concerned with HIP HOP getting the respect it deserves.And hopefully we will enlighten more youth to the REAL HIP HOP and not the FAKE one that is spread MTV and other media.

    Change must come
    Emile YX?
    Black Noise
    Cape Flats Uprising cc 2004

    Their is Music and then their is Right Music! My name is Dr.Henry E.Gable II. Musically I am known as -NTELEK- which is pronounced intellect. After spending restless moments in the lab I have come to surface with a medicine musically which is helping change the climate from a negative to a positive in environments that are far beyond fare. We are NUWAUPIANS so the formula is in what we call Nu-Wop. We are interested in the Civil and human Rights of our people. Derived out of Hip-Hop "NuWop is our brand of music which is spiritually uplifting. It's beneficial qualities include educating and encouraging the listener(s). NuWop is about the lyrical content and tones of each word and drum. It induces love, joy, hope, peace, stability, self worth, pride and understanding. We are using Nu-Wop music as a means to help bring the listener(s) another level of awareness.

    Show you Care! Help Free political prisoners! 
    I am Touring, lecturing and performing as a means to help free Dr. Malachi Z. York and Mrs.Kathy York Johnson. 
    For CD distributions, show bookings and/or comments please contact Personal Manager "Ben Boyd" via email:


    Hip Hop Reflections on Ronald Reagan
    by Davey D <MrDaveyD@aol.com>

    Well, today is June 11th, and I'm watching all these TV stations play Ray Charles rendition of 'America' [Brother Ray just passed away yesterday] while showing the funeral of former President Reagan.  Some stations are even showing pictures of the two men together.  I can't help thinking something is not right about what I'm seeing.  In the words of Public Enemy, 'Can't Truss It' .

    To start with, I feel like my senses have been assaulted all week with non stop news coverage that seemed designed on getting me to believe that we had just experienced the passing of a Saint.  I keep asking myself how is this happening?, because when I think back to the Reagan years I recall some very troubling and contentious times that we are still recovering from.

    It has been suggested by President Bush that we stay home to mourn and reflect upon the life and times of Ronald Reagan.  Well, when I reflect, I like to do it to music.  So I guess it was only appropriate that I pulled out Gil Scott Heron's 1981 album 'Reflection' which contained a highly charged 12 minute spoken word song called "B-Movie", which was directed at Reagan shortly after he took office.  I also pulled out a landmark record from pioneering rapper Mele-Mel called 'Jesse' which was released in 1984.  Both these songs spoke truth to power and help me cut through all the hoopla, fanfare and blatant rewriting of history with regards to Ronald Reagan.  Gil Scott starts off his B-Movie song by saying:

    "Well, the first thing I want to say is.'Mandate my ass!'

    "Because it seems as though we've been convinced that 26% of the registered voters, not even 26% of the American people, but 26% of the registered voters form a mandate -- or a landslide.  21% voted for Skippy and 4% voted for somebody else who might have been running.

    "But, oh yeah, I remember.  In this year that we have now declared the year from Shogun to Raygun, I remember what I said about Reagan.  Meant it.  Acted like an actor.  Hollyweird.  Acted like a liberal.  Acted like General Franco when he acted like governor of California, then he acted like a Republican.  Then he acted like somebody was going to vote for him for President.  And now we act like 26% of the registered voters is actually a mandate.  We're all actors in this, I suppose."

    -- from '-B-Movie-' by Gil Scott Heron

    As I listened to all this lavish praise being bestowed upon Reagan, and US Senators proposing that his face be put on a 10 dollar bill and carved into Mount Rushmore, I kept asking myself -- is this the same guy who immediately started cutting back social service programs and started scapegoating folks in the hood as the reason for inflation and overspending in government?  Gil Scott early on let us know just what we were up against, as he kicks his third stanza.

    "... What has happened is that in the last 20 years, America has changed from a producer to a consumer.  And all consumers know that when the producer names the tune.  the consumer has got to dance. That's the way it is.  We used to be a producer -- very inflexible at that, and now we are consumers and, finding it difficult to understand.  Natural resources and minerals will change your world. The Arabs used to be in the 3rd World.  They have bought the 2nd World and put a firm down payment on the 1st one.  Controlling your resources we'll control your world.  This country has been surprised by the way the world looks now.  They don't know if they want to be Matt Dillon or Bob Dylan.  They don't know if they want to be diplomats or continue the same policy -- of nuclear nightmare diplomacy.  John Foster Dulles ain't nothing but the name of an airport now.

    -- from '-B-Movie-' by Gil Scott Heron

    Mele-Mel -- who helped kick off a wave of message-type songs from Hip Hop's then-emerging scene, starting with his groundbreaking song 'The Message' in 1982 -- also brings home some salient points.  After dealing with 3 terrible years of Reagan's economic policy, the 'trickle-down' theory, also known as 'Reaganomics', Mel summed up the situation in the first verse of his song 'Jesse':

    See Ronald Reagan speaking on TV
    Smiling like everything's fine and dandy
    Sounded real good when he tried to give a pep talk
    To over 30 million poor people like me
    How can we say we got to stick it out
    When his belly is full and his future is sunny
    I don't need his jive advice
    But I sure do need his jive time money.

    from '-Jesse-' by Mele-Mel

    I'm listening to these songs -- reflecting and asking myself how in the world are 200 thousand people standing on line waiting to see this cat's body?  Was this the same Ronnie Reagan who had no problems closing down mental wards and setting all those ill patients to fend for themselves back in our community?

    Is this the same Iran-Contra scandal Ronnie who back in the 80s showed his first signs of Alzheimer's by stating he didn't recall all the corruption taking place right under his nose?

    Was this the same Ronald Reagan, the jovial jellybean eating, 'great communicator' who is credited with ending communism and bringing down the Berlin Wall, but vetoed a bill calling for sanctions against the racist South African Apartheid Regime?

    Is this the same Ronald Reagan who wouldn't lift a finger to help end Apartheid, but in 1983 was more than willing to send US troops to smash the Black Government of the small Island of Grenada, who they said had links to Cuba and Communism?

    Was this the same Ronnie Reagan who got called out and embarrassed by Noble Peace Prize winner Bishop Desmond Tutu, who said he was "evil, immoral, and un-Christian" because of his 'Constructive Engagement' policies toward South Africa.  This article in the Boston Globe gives the breakdown on this:


    I kept asking myself with such a sordid track record that impacted so many and continues to impact many, how are folks shedding so many tears for this guy?

    Thank God for Gil Scott, who gives the breakdown as he eloquently explains the American mindset.  Peep the lyrics:

    "The idea concerns the fact that this country wants nostalgia.  They want to go back as far as they can -- even if it's only as far as last week.  Not to face now or tomorrow, but to face backwards.  And yesterday was the day of our cinema heroes riding to the rescue at the last possible moment.  The day of the man in the white hat or the man on the white horse -- or the man who always came to save America at the last moment -- someone always came to save America at the last moment -- especially in "B" movies.  And when America found itself having a hard time facing the future, they looked for people like John Wayne.  But since John Wayne was no longer available, they settled for Ronald Reagan -- and it has placed us in a situation that we can only look at -- like a "B" movie.

    "Come with us back to those inglorious days when heroes weren't zeros.  Before fair was square.  When the cavalry came straight away, and all-American men were like Hemingway to the days of the wondrous "B" movie.  The producer underwritten by all the millionaires necessary will be Casper "The Defensive" Weinberger -- no more animated choice is available.  The director will be Attila the Haig, running around frantically declaring himself in control and in charge.  The ultimate realization of the inmates taking over at the asylum.  The screenplay will be adapted from the book called "Voodoo Economics" by George "Papa Doc" Bush.  Music by the Village People, the very military 'Macho Man'.

    "'Macho, macho man!'

    "Put your orders in, America.  And quick as Kodak, your leaders duplicate with the accent being on the nukes -- cause all of a sudden we have fallen prey to selective amnesia -- remembering what we want to remember and forgetting what we choose to forget.  All of a sudden, the man who called for a blood bath on our college campuses is supposed to be Dudley "God-damn" Do-Right?

    "'You go give them liberals hell, Ronnie!'  That was the mandate.  To the new 'Captain Bly' on the new ship of fools.  It was doubtlessly based on his chameleon performance of the past -- as a 'liberal democrat' -- as the head of the Studio Actor's Guild.  When other celluloid saviors were cringing in terror from McCarthy -- Ron stood tall.  It goes all the way back from Hollywood to hillbilly.  From liberal to libelous, from "Bonzo" to Birch idol -- born again.  Civil rights, women's rights, gay rights -- it's all wrong.  Call in the cavalry to disrupt this perception of freedom gone wild.  God damn it ... first one wants freedom, then the whole damn world wants freedom.

    "Nostalgia, that's what we want ... the good ol' days, when we gave'em hell.  When the buck stopped somewhere, and you could still buy something with it.  To a time when movies were in black and white -- and so was everything else.  Even if we go back to the campaign trail, before six-gun Ron shot off his face and developed hoof-in-mouth.  Before the free press went down before full-court press.  And were reluctant to review the menu because they knew the only thing available was -- Crow.

    "Lon Chaney, our man of a thousand faces -- no match for Ron.  Doug Henning does the make-up -- special effects from Grecian Formula 16 and Crazy Glue.  Transportation furnished by the David Rockefeller of Remote Control Company.  Their slogan is, "Why wait for 1984?  You can panic now ... and avoid the rush."

    "So much for the good news.

    "As Wall Street goes, so goes the nation.  And here's a look at the closing numbers -- racism's up, human rights are down, peace is shaky, war items are hot -- the House claims all ties.  Jobs are down, money is scarce -- and common sense is at an all-time low on heavy trading.  Movies were looking better than ever, and now no one is looking -- because we're starring ... in a "B" movie.  And we would rather had John Wayne.  We would rather had John Wayne.

    -- from '-B-Movie-' by Gil Scott-Heron

    Deregulation, calling ketchup vegetables, the busting up of unions, trickle down theory economics, attacks and roll backs on civil rights legislation is what I recall about Reagan.  For the most part, it wasn't good.  Reagan was the great communicator because he had a nice way of smiling and a jovial way of talking while he put a foot up your ass.  The effects of Reagan are still being felt to this day.

    As Mele-Mel noted:

    The land of the free and the home of the brave
    But it might as well be the home of the slave
    They got me walking around saying freedom's come
    But my body is free and my mind is dumb
    The people ain't black but the house is white
    And just because I'm different they don't treat me right
    They done cast me aside and held me down
    Dragged my name down to the ground
    Oh beautiful for spacious skies
    With your amber waves of untold lies
    Look at all the politicians trying to do a job
    But they can't help but look like the mob
    Get a big kick back and put it away
    Watch the FBI watch the CIA
    They want a bigger missile with a faster yet
    But yet they forget to hire you, the vet
    Hypocrites just talkin trash
    Liberty and Justice are a thing of the past
    They want a stronger nation at any cost
    Even if it means that everything will soon be lost

    from '-Jesse-' by Mele-Mel

    Mele-Mel went on to completely embarrass Reagan, by chronicling this all-but-forgotten incident when Reverend Jesse Jackson succeeded where Reagan failed:

    The 30th day that's in december
    Is a day that everyone's gonna remember
    Because on that day a righteous man
    Thought about taking a brand new stand
    The name of the man is Jesse Jackson and his call
    Is for peace without an action
    Cause now is the time to change the nation
    Without just another negotiation
    He went to the East for human rights
    To free a lieutenant shot down in flight
    Just another statistic and the government knew it
    They didn't even want the man to go do it
    Before he left he called the president's home
    And Reagan didn't even answer the phone
    But I tell you one thing and that's a natural fact
    You can bet he calls Jesse when Jesse got back


    Dear Mr Peter Jennings

    I just finished watching the Prime Time TV special you hosted on ABC last night. It was with great anticipation that I tuned in especially after hearing all the provocative commercials on local radio stations and seeing the enticing ads on TV. The subject matter of gang violence and police brutality are realities many of us who live in certain communities have to deal with first hand. As was pointed out in your program there aren’t too many people in LA who have not been impacted by the police and the gangs.

    With all that being said, I have to say as a California resident and a fellow journalist, I was disappointed, and in many respects, angered by what I saw on your show. I felt the show was unbalanced in what was shown or in this case, NOT shown. I kept asking myself as I watched, where are the community leaders who strived for years and in some cases, even lost the lives of loved ones to try and bring about peace in these troubled areas? Why was there no mention of the historic gang truce that was forged in South Central in the aftermath of the 1992 Rodney King uprisings?

    How come you guys didn’t have people like former NFL great Jim Brown and members from his organization Amer-I-Can or former gang members like Bo Taylor and members from his organization Unity One? Bo can heard each week on the weekly Reality Talk [KKBT]? These individuals have been in the forefront of dealing with the challenge of eradicating gang violence.

    Where was urban peacemaker Nane Alejandrez of Barrios Unidos? You could’ve reached out to him as well as actor/activist Harry Belafonte who was just on Air America Radio talking about the work he has been doing with Barrios Unidos and other organizations to help LA gangs set up legitimate businesses. He even took a number of them to Africa? I would've like to have heard how LA police Chief Bratton and LAPD were doing with their interactions with those community leaders. After all, Chief Bratton kept repeating over and over that the police can not do this alone.

    Why didn’t Prime Time interview Minister Tony Muhammed of the Nation of Islam? The NOI has a long history of working with gangs in LA. Many of their members have grown from gang life thanks to their tireless efforts. Last year they were helping organize a 100 thousand man march in LA to help spark change. How has LAPD fared in working with the NOI?

    There are dozens of other people that should have and could have been included in your report including former gang members Twilight Bey who has been featured in numerous documentaries and was the inspiration and main focus for Anna Deavere Smith’s book and PBS TV special ‘Twilight Los Angeles’.

    You could’ve gotten former gang member Bone who was both a consultant and shown in the movie 'Training Day'. Actor/ Rapper Ice T, rapper Kam, record exec Micheal Conception, Alex Sanchez of Homies Unidos, author Louis Rodriguez, former Senator Tom Hayden, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, activist Fidel Rodriguez of Divine Forces Radio or activist Najee Ali of Project Islamic Hope could’ve been in the piece. The list goes on. The names of these community folks are well known. How were they overlooked by ABC Prime Time?

    One profound statement that you made in your report was that how the police are in the community some of the time, but the gangs are there all of the time. I would venture to say that scores of these unsung heroes and sheroes are also in the community all of the time.

    Many of them have been putting in work day in and day out trying to end gang violence while simultaneously dealing with an out of control notorious police department, are seen by many as the root cause for many of the flare ups and increased frictions and hostilities between gangs. The significant role they play in fueling gang tensions is an issue Prime Time touched upon and then skirted over, especially when you spoke about the Rampart Scandal.

    I understand that the Prime Time special was about the Los Angeles Police Department with the main focus being on the new chief William Bratton. I clearly understand that you can’t fit everything in one show. As a radio talk show host I frequently will do shows where I direct all my attention on one side of the story so that perspective can be shared uninterrupted. Perhaps in some respects it was good to get an unfettered perspective from the Los Angeles police. We got to see and hear exactly what their going through and how their dealing with a harsh situation.

    As Chief Bratton stated his goal was to try and heal the huge rift and mistrust that exists between the police department and the Black and Brown communities of South Central LA. Part of that healing comes with dialogue. He got to share that with you and the rest of the country during your one hour special. But now I think as a seasoned journalist who many of us look up to, you have the challenge and responsibility to bring to light those other perspectives that were missing from your Prime Time report. You spent a year working with the LAPD. I hope you take a year to spend time with some of the aformentioned organizations and individuals so you can convey to the country their hardships, challenges and sucess stories. Perhaps their tireless efforts can be a clarion call for those who had no idea that such activities were going on. This is extremely important since ABC is getting ready to do a similar special focusing on the NYPD.

    It would be a shame to leave viewers who never been to Los Angeles, with the false perspective that the only ones putting their necks on the line to end poverty, oppression and violence in the community is the police. It would also be a shame to not squarely address the full extent police corruption exits in South central LA and similar communities and how they systematically undermine ongoing efforts to bring about positive change.

    In closing I’m including a number of links for you and your producers to pursue so hopefully start putting together a compelling Prime Time Special that focuses on the challenges facing the community.

    Davey D
    Columnist San Jose Mercury News
    Source Magazine
    KPFA Radio

    by Mark Skillz

    Have you listened to hip hop radio lately?  Or should I say what passes for hip hop radio.  Like anything else in our culture the standards for urban radio have been lowered.

    Instead of deejays on air being conversational -they shout.  The art of one to one conversation style radio is lost in hip hop.  Maybe station managers think that blacks and Latinos don't want to be talked to intelligently.  Or does keeping it "real" mean that you have to sound like you perceive your audience to be?  For instance, take a station like the Bay Area's KMEL, the on-air deejays recently, not only sound like they're from the street - but also like they are broadcasting live from a street corner.

    Now, there is nothing wrong with being from the street, however, in our culture - I'm talking about African-American culture, historically, when a person is given the opportunity to communicate with our people, we've always strived to present a positive image.  But for some reason, when people think of hip hop they automatically lower the standards of excellence.

    Black people are not monolithic beings.  We don't speak with one voice and one mind.  Neither are all hip hoppers monolithic beings.  We range in age and taste.  Some of us prefer Mos Def and Talib Kweli, while others prefer Lil Flip.  With preferences in tastes so vast you'd think that the people who market music to us would realize that and would have more than one kind of on air personality talking to us.

    When I was coming up, deejays like Frankie Crocker, Nick Harper, Greg Mack, Jeff Fox and many others sounded like intelligent people.  They might not have been rocket scientists but never the less, these men sounded intelligent enough to communicate ideas to a mass audience without dumbing down to them.  For some reason, people think that being a part of the hip hop culture or even black culture for that matter, means that you have to dumb things down to relate to people.

    For instance, on the 70's sitcom Sanford and Son, whenever the Sanford's came in contact with the police - it was always Officer Smitty (a brother) and some white cop, the white cop would speak in "cop talk" meaning he would say things like "Hello Mr. Sanford we received a call about a domestic disturbance somewhere on these premises, and we came to ascertain the facts."

    It is at that point that Fred and Lamont would look at each other bewildered, as if they couldn't understand what the white cop had said.  They would then look at Officer Smitty for his interpretation - "Fred we got a call about a fight around here, do you know anything about it?"

    Like they were too dumb to understand what the white guy was saying, as if the words were too big for them to know.  Now this kind of white-speak-black man-don't understand kinda thing exists today but on different levels.

    What else do I mean by talking down?  Well, when a grown man, is talking to teen-agers instead of raising the bar for what and whom they should strive to be like, he communicates with them on their level.  Hearing thirty and forty year olds saying "What's crackalatin'" 20 times a day is embarrassing.  It's the equivalent of that 50 year- old uncle, at the barbecue, trying to talk the latest slang and worse, trying to do the latest dance.  That's what's happening on radio now.

    One night I was listening to KMEL and I happened to turn it on in the mmiddle of an interview, now this interview went on for like 10-15 minutes, and in all that time, never once did this guy say who he was, or who the artist was he was interviewing.  However, what he did get across was that this artist had a fat platinum chain on and how much he wanted to have one as well.  And also this guy enjoys hanging out with him 'poppin' collars' at the Beehive and checkin' out "breezies".  Now what the hell does all that mean to a listener?

    After 15 minutes of this crap when this artist was walking out the door I finally figured out he was talking to none other than Kanye West.  Oh snap!  I thought, damn I can think of a bunch of questions I'd like to ask Kanye my damn self like; What was the Chi-town hip hop scene like when you were coming up?  What influence did house music have on your style?  The Nation of Islam is real strong out there, what influence did they have on you if any?  The gang scene out there, how did you avoid that trap, when gang culture goes back 40 years plus out there?  Did you start off rapping over house records?  What Chi-town radio did you listen to, that influenced you to go the soulful hip hop route?

    The art of the interview, the art of conversation, all of that is lost in current hip hop radio.  Why is that?  It's because we've lost our culture to a bunch of groupies.  Not just here in the Bay Area, but all over the country.

    Radio stations like record companies have people working there who are just happy to be down.  They are content with the status quo, if you tell them that there is something wrong with hip hop radio, they look at you like your crazy.  As far they're concerned everything is all good and then some, because they're going to concerts and they're chilling backstage with their favorite rap stars.

    Greg Mack, the pioneering LA dee-jay that was on KDAY back in the 80's and 90's, the man that any-artist-that-wanted-his-record broken in LA had to see.  When he interviewed an artist, like, Big Daddy Kane, for instance, he asked Kane questions like; "So Big Daddy, where did you first start performing?"  "What year was it?"  "Who were some of the people that you looked up to while you were coming up?"  "What's this whole thing with the Juice Crew and BDP, the reason I ask is because you seem to be respected by both sides so, what's your take on things?"  "How do you think it can be resolved?"

    See, now that was from a KDAY interview I heard in 1988.  Never once did Greg Mack ask him how many hoe's did he have waiting for him back at the hotel or in the limousine like you hear so often today in hip hop radio.

    The groupie culture is one that loves to be seen in the places to be seen and to give the impression that they are down.  But really ask yourself, do you care if some idiot on the radio was chillin' in the club with some football or basketball player?  What does the stations event that they are constantly promoting every 15 minutes have to do with your school closing down because the state has no money for teacher's salaries and books for students?

    Let's really go back, to WBLS and Mr. Magic, the man who was the first person to play rap records on the radio.  I used to think that Mr. Magic was a big fan of the Force MC's, because they were on his show a lot, but to his credit he wasn't riding their dicks, he asked them good questions like; "So fellas, you just won the battle out in New Jersey, how much rehearsal time did you put in for it?"  "Ok, name some of your favorite doo-wop groups."

    In defense of the deejays, I have to say, that they are only carrying out orders from up top.  If station management didn't want that style of presentation they would've long since gotten rid of them.  These are young brothers and sisters trying to make it, trying to find their way in a very competitive field.  Managers are the ones that set the tone, so ultimately they are responsible.  You'd think someone older with more experience would want to lead them better - but not so.
    Don't get me wrong, there are some talented brothers and sisters on the radio today, and quite a few of them have real potential in the years to come.

    So what's changed?  What has changed in urban radio from the Frankie Crocker, Greg Mack era to now?  Yes, hip hop music is more dominant today, but what about the quality of talent?  Does a hip hop deejay have to sound like he just rolled out of the gutter?

    To a certain degree I can understand why urban radio programmers want their deejays to sound 'street', it makes them more relatable to a ghetto audience.  But aren't they doing the audience they serve a dis-service by going that route?  Do the station managers know that they are reinforcing negative racial stereotypes of the inner-city audiences that they are catering to?

    Yes, hip hop culture is far more influential today than it was when Frankie Crocker and Mr. Magic ruled the airwaves, but does that mean that radio has to appeal to the lowest common denominator?  No.

    Black people have always talked slang.  As far back as the 50's, the first black radio jocks were rappers - people like Jocko Henderson and many others.  Within that style they entertained and informed the community, later, people like Frankie Crocker took to the airwaves and just talked to people in a conversational style.  There was no need to 'talk jive' on air anymore.

    Do station managers know that by reinforcing these stereotypes that they are helping to keep black and Latino youth forever ignorant?

    Why is it I can turn on a rock station, and hear guys on there with a sense of humor and who aren't talking down to their audience?  But mostly I don't hear anyone yelling on rock radio.  Except on the records.  Is hip hop that low of a culture that standards have to be lower for us than anybody else?

    Hip hop radio is now notorious for being shout out and request radio, instead of being informative as well as entertaining.

    Now, the whole shout out style comes from the mix tape scene, which works really well in clubs and car systems, but radio should have a different standard.  Don't get it twisted, I like the mix tape dee-jays, but there needs to be a balance between that and regular radio.  I don't need to hear DJ Clue or Whoo Kidd, or even Kid Capri reading liners and doing interviews - let them rock the party

    Because I'm down for positive changes in our culture, here's what I think station owners can do to help change this situation.Station managers talk with your dee-jays, talk to them about being conversational, talk to them about them being role models in our communities, talk to them about preparing for an interview, you know, stuff like researching the artist, so that you can ask different kinds of questions so that fans and non-fans can walk away with more than."Damn look at all that ice in that medallion!"

    And remember mediocrity is only realized in the presence of excellence.

    Respond to Mark Skillz at markskillz@aol.com



    By: Min. Paul Scott

    Back in tha day during the P-Funk era, tha Brotha's on tha block with the Don Cornelius afro's used to warn each other about 'fakin' tha funk.' If we look at the term from a socio-political perspective, it means, not really being down for the cause or the true aspirations of your people. Although, the words may have changed over the Hip Hop years to 'perpetratin' or 'frontin' the meaning remains the same; not being TRUE to tha Game. This being an election year, we must take a more critical look at everything affecting Afrikan people and since most of the focus (and money) has been put on getting the Hip Hop generation to vote, Hip Hop is not exempt. To say the least, Hip Hop and politics make strange bedfellows; a case of sleeping with the enemy. Since most politicians are old conservative white men who don't' know Afrika Bambaataa from Bam Bam from the Flintstones, the  relationship between  politicians and 20-something year old Hip Hop headz should be examined.

    Bro. Cimerron of the Durham UNIA chapter once broke down to me how politics is all about obtaining and controlling resources. If this is true, then the contradiction of a limousine ridin,/champagne sippin'/ private jet flyin' rap superstar being the spokesperson for the millions of bill collector avoidin'/ struggling to pay rent/ repo man dodgin' Black folks becomes too obvious to ignore. As one of the talking heads on TV recently said 'voting is a Democracy's alternative to rioting in the streets.'  Or as Malcolm X would put it, a choice between the ballot or the bullet. Therefore, white folks always need some assurance that the most angry and potentially militant members of a society  are still going along with the program. They must have some indicator that Black folks still believe in the virtues of Capitalism and if we work hard and get an education (or go to jail for a couple of years and become a reformed Capitalist Hip Hop entrepreneurial evangelist) that we can one day be the president of the United States.

    White folks need a universal spokesperson for all Black people, whether it be a Jessie Jackson, Jay Z or Junebug  on tha corner with a jehri curl and a 40oz. They need someone to assure them that the natives ain't restless and everything is cool.

    In order to sleep at night Mr. And Mrs. White must know, without a shadow of a doubt that Tyrone Brown is going to show up at his job at Burger King at 5:55 AM to make sure their coffee is brewed just the way they like it. So politics in the Hip Hop Era is a Trojan horse or in this case a Trojan ,tricked out, 56 Impala with spinnin' rims and fuzzy dice on the mirror.

    Politics is a sophisticated science, a chess game between 'the haves' and the 'break me off a piece of thats'. Either you are the exploiter or the exploited; a player or gettin' played or a pimp or getting'
    pimped. But the powers that be want you to be political but not politically conscious.

    Since voting was denied to Black folks for so long, we look at voting as a religious experience instead of a tool to be used on the way to empowerment. Therefore, a trip to the polls becomes a divinely ordained pilgrimage. But the voting booth is not an absolution box and a pull of a lever does not erase sins done against Afrikan people. Voting is a practical means to an end and not vice versa.

    The power structure needs to periodically (at least every four years) check the pulse of the Black community. So despite what Bill O'Reilly and 'em say, politicians need Hip Hop more than Hip Hop needs politicians. (I'm sure both presidential candidates are planning a crunk after party at the White House election night.)

    It is the M.O. (Method of Operation)  of most politicians to play with the emotions of the masses of people and to manipulate them. Although, they may spend millions of dollars on fancy campaign slogans, their real campaign strategy is based on the simple premise that most people are stupid and their campaign anthem is jacked from the ole Gap Band slow Jam 'We got 'em Goin' Round in  Circles.' The ethnic groups who have realized this have put it into practice and have gone from borrowers to lenders, from employees to employers and from renters to real estate tycoons. Although,  many 'ethnic' groups enter into the 'Beulah Land of Politics'  with specific goals, demands and objectives, Black folks are just 'happy to be there.'

    Why doesn't the Hip Hop Nation become a political party? They could use the old PE logo as the party symbol and run Chuck D as prez and Prof. Griff as vice. The Hip Hop community already has enough money and resources to solve 90% of the economic and social problems in the Black community. What they lack is direction. What if all those get out to vote/ Hip Hop summit attending/ multi-millionaires pooled their resources and worked to solve the problems in the communities that they supposedly represent? What if the Black Hip Hop artists used their influence to fight for Reparations or any of the other Black Nationalist issues that have been ignored or dismissed by the so-called mainstream ? What if they joined forces with brothers like Uno and the Hip Hop 4 Black Unity Campaign. Why have we stopped asking why?

    Unfortunately our most brilliant young minds are caught in the middle between a Black Nationalist agenda that will leave them unappreciated, poor righteous teachers and a white supremacist system that can make them celebrities over night. Despite the hype, the people in tha 'hood don't need a voter registration form. The people in tha 'hood need food, the people in tha 'hood need jobs, the people in tha 'hood need a way out of their misery. And if a voter registration card is going to lead to that in a very practical and concrete way, fine. But if it is not, election day would be better spent sittin' it tha crib watching 106 and Park, instead of standing in line at the polls.

    So if the political process is not the ultimate answer, what is?  The greatest threat to white supremacy has and will always be Afrikan physical, mental and spiritual self determination and everything done by Afrikan people in the name of empowerment must reflect this reality. Voting has its place, but is just a microcosm of the bigger picture and must produce almost immediate and tangible results.

    Now lyrics like this won't get you invited to Hip Hop Conferences or Tavis Smiley symposiums  but someone has to follow the teachings of Yeshua the Black revolutionary Messiah and speak the TRUTH  that will make Afrikan people FREE.

    Contrary to popular belief, tha streets are not waiting for the next Biggie Smalls or Tupac Shakur. Tha streets are waiting for a voice of TRUTH to lead them out of oppression. That is why any Hip Hop artist who comes around now does not quench the thirst of the masses of Black youth.

    Someone has to be willing to go down like the hero of  Countee Cullen's great poem; singing  the hymns of Black Power and flippin' tha last finger in the face of White Supremacy.


    Minister Paul Scott represents the Messianic Afrikan Nation in Durham, NC. He can be reached at (919) 949-4352 email messianicafrikannation@yahoo.com Web site: ttp://members.blackplanet.com/THE-MYD

    Once again it's back and updated. Be sure to check out as many of these shows
    as possibly because for the most part they're all spinning REAL Hiphop!!!! The *'s
    represent how dope a show is (in my opinion) so please don't sleep peoples.. peace

    **Old Skool Mix at Noon with Kool DJ Red Alert
    Monday through Friday 9 – 10am PST/12 – 1pm EST (1-800-585-1051)
    105.1FM WWPR Power 105 – New York, NY

    Illadelements with Chasekillz & King B
    Mondays 3 - 5pm PST/6 - 8pm EST (570-941-9877)
    95.5FM WUSR University Of Scranton - Scranton, PA
    http://academic.uofs.edu/organization/wusr - www.doomsdaypromo.com

    **Hard Knock Radio with Davey D (Hiphop Talk Show)
    Monday through Friday 4 – 5pm PST/7 – 8pm EST (510-848-4425)
    94.1FM KPFA Berkely, CA
    www.kpfa.org - www.daveyd.com - www.hardknockradio.com

    The Hiphop Spot with Wildman Steve & Johnny Juice
    Mondays 6pm PST/9pm EST
    www.bringthenoise.com (Archived Shows + Playlists Available)

    The Underground Science Show with Teddy King, Hi Q & Chasekillz
    Tuesdays 7 – 10pm PST/10pm – 1am EST (973-655-4256)
    90.3FM WMSC Montclair State University – Upper Montclair, NJ
    www.tpln.net - www.sevenheads.com - www.doomsdaypromo.com

    The Over Seize Rap Show with Marnie & DJ Johnny Juice
    Tuesdays 8pm PST/11pm EST
    www.bringthenoise.com (Archived Shows + Playlists Available)

    The Chubby Kids Hiphop Show with Shortee Blitz & Big Ted
    Wednesdays 2 – 4pm PST/5 – 7pm EST
    100FM Kiss 100 London, UK
    www.kissonline.co.uk (Playlists Available)

    ***Half Time with DJ Eclipse, DJ Riz & DJ Skiz
    Wednesdays 7:30 – 10pm PST/10:30pm – 1am EST (212-998-1818)
    89.1FM WNYU New York University – New York, NY
    http://wnyu.nyu.edu - http://beatdiggaz.8m.com - www.fatbeats.com

    *Born In The Break with DJ Hunnicutt
    Wednesdays 9 – 11pm PST/12 – 2am EST (204-269-8636)
    101.5FM CJUM University Of Manitoba – Winnipeg, Canada
    www.cjum.com - http://pub32.ezboard.com/fbreakbreadfrm2

    Hiphop 201 with Dialog & At Large
    Thursdays 10am – 12pm PST/1 – 3pm EST (204-269-8636)
    101.5FM CJUM University Of Manitoba – Winnipeg, Canada
    www.cjum.com - www.tpln.net

    **Hiphop 120 with Craig Solo & DJ Edzon
    Thursdays 1 – 3pm PST/4 – 6pm EST – Amsterdam
    www.kinkfm.com - www.fatbeats.com (Playlists Available)
    (They Usually Have A NY Update with DJ Eclipse Weekly)

    Beats Don’t Fail Me Now “DJ Spotlight Show”
    Thursdays 6pm PST/9pm EST
    www.bringthenoise.com (Archived Shows + Playlists Available)

    Molemen Radio with JR
    Thursdays 10:30pm - 12am PST/1:30 – 3am EST
    89.3FM WNUR Northwestern University - Evanston, IL

    **Squeeze Radio with Timm See, DJ Jer2 & Adam Waytz
    (Bobbito aka DJ Cucumberslice retired in November 2002)
    Thursdays 10pm – 2am PST/1 – 5am EST (212-854-9527)
    89.9FM WKCR Columbia University – New York, NY
    www.wkcr.org - http://beatdiggaz.8m.com

    *The National Rap Show with Tommy Tee & DJ Gordon
    Fridays 1 – 4pm PST/4 – 7pm EST
    NRK Radio – Norway
    www.nrk.no/nrs - www.teeproductions.com

    Friday Night Flavas with DJ 279
    Fridays 1 – 4pm PST/4 – 7pm EST
    96.9FM Choice FM - South London, UK

    *Rhyme Time with Sha & DJ Peter Parker
    Fridays 2 – 3pm PST/5 – 6pm EST (917-337-4380)
    New York City, NY www.futureflavasonline.com

    Radio 1 Rap Show with Tim Westwood
    Fridays 3 – 6pm PST/6 – 9pm EST
    Radio 1 London, UK

    *SOL of Hiphop Radio with Nate G, DJ Buddhabong, DJ Naga & the Earl
    Fridays 4 – 7pm PST/7 – 10pm EST (714-278-5516)
    Cal State Fullerton - Fullerton, CA

    *In Control with DJ Kev e Kev
    Fridays 5 – 6pm PST/8 – 9pm EST (917-337-4380)
    New York City, NY www.futureflavasonline.com

    In The Mix with DJ Spinbad
    Fridays 5 – 7pm PST/8 – 10pm EST (1-800-585-1051)
    105.1FM WWPR Power 105 – New York, NY

    The Main Event with DJ Toast
    Fridays 6 – 9pm PST/9pm – 12am EST (518-276-6248)
    91.5FM WRPI Albany, NY
    www.wrpi.org - www.djtoast.com (Playlists Available)

    *The Best Of with DJ Lord Sear
    Friday’s 7 – 8pm PST/10 – 11pm EST (917-337-4380)
    New York City, NY www.futureflavasonline.com

    **Hip Hop Flava with DJ X-Cell
    Fridays 8 – 10pm PST/11pm – 1am EST (917-337-4380)
    New York City, NY www.futureflavasonline.com

    ***WeFunk Radio with Professor Groove & DJ Static
    Fridays 9 – 11pm PST/12 – 2am EST (514-398-4616)
    90.3FM CKUT McGill University – Montreal, Quebec
    www.ckut.ca - www.wefunkradio.com (All Archived Shows Available)

    The Ghetto with The AWESOME 2
    Fridays 9pm PST/12am EST
    www.bringthenoise.com (Archived Shows + Playlists Available)

    *Urban Inner City Experience with M-Smooth
    Fridays 9pm – 12am PST/12 – 3am EST (650-723-9010)
    90.1FM KZSU Stanford University – Palo Alto, CA

    *The Best Of Rhyme Time with Sha & DJ Peter Parker
    Fridays 10 – 11pm PST/1 – 2am EST
    New York City, NY www.futureflavasonline.com

    Friday Night Rap with JP Chill
    Fridays 10pm – 1am PST/1am – 4am EST (773-702-8424)
    88.5FM WHPK University Of Chicago – Chicago, IL
    www.tpln.net (A Few Archived Shows Available @ www.dj3rdrail.com)

    **divine forces radio (Formerly Seditious Beats) with Fidel Rodriguez,
    DJ Counterstryke, DJ Breeze, DJ Curse, the Aurator & DJ Icy Ice
    Fridays 10pm – 1am PST/1 – 4am EST (818-985-5735)
    90.7FM KPFK Los Angeles, CA www.kpfk.org
    www.divineforces.org - www.djicyice.com -
    www.beatjunkies.com - www.stacksvinyl.com

    Hiphop 101 with Dialog & At Large
    Fridays 10pm – 1am PST/1 – 4am EST (204-269-8636)
    101.5FM CJUM University Of Manitoba – Winnipeg, Canada
    www.cjum.com - www.tpln.net

    ***Friday Night Flavas with Marly Marl & Special Guest DJ’s
    Fridays 11pm - 1am PST/2 – 4am EST (1-800-585-1051)
    105.1FM WWPR Power 105 – New York, NY
    www.power1051fm.com - www.futureflavasonline.com

    ***The Fantastik 4our Show with The Fantastik 4our
    (Mr. Choc, C-Minus, J.Rocc & Truly OdD)
    Fridays 12 – 3am PST/3 – 6am EST (818-845-1059)
    105.9FM KPWR Power106 Los Angeles, CA (Stream Is Down)
    www.power106.fm/player (www.surfernetwork.com)
    www.beatjunkies.com - www.heavyweights.org -
    www.chronicavengers.com - www.fatbeats.com

    *The Friday Night Vibe with Davey D
    Fridays 12 – 2am PST/3 – 5am EST (510-848-4425)
    94.1FM KPFA Berkely, CA
    www.kpfa.org - www.daveyd.com

    The Live and Direct Show with DS, DJ PhenomeJohn & Big Drew
    Fridays 1 - 4am PST/10pm - 1am EST (607-777-2137)
    90.5FM WHRW Binghampton University - Binghampton, NY

    ***Friday Night Flavas Rewind with Marly Marl & Special Guest DJ’s
    Saturdays 12 – 2pm PST/3 – 5pm EST (Friday Nights Repeat from Power 105)
    New York City, NY www.futureflavasonline.com

    Radio 1 Rap Show with Tim Westwood
    Saturdays 1 - 4pm PST/4 – 7pm EST
    Radio 1 London, UK

    *Taking It To The Streets with Nickel “Big” Dee & DJ Music Rocka
    Saturdays 2 – 4pm PST/5 – 7pm EST (917-337-4380)
    New York City, NY www.futureflavasonline.com

    with Adict, Judgemental, Resonant, inka one, Mung & DJ Thought
    Saturdays 3 – 6pm PST/6 – 9pm EST (303-492-3243)
    1190AM KVCU University Of Colorado – Boulder, CO
    www.basementalism.com (Archived Shows + Playlists Available)

    **The Phila Flava Show with DJ Sun, DJ Krisis & Kevlar-3
    Saturdays 4 – 6pm PST/1 – 3pm EST (561-297-2842)
    91.7FM WOWL Florida Atlantic University – Boca Raton, FL
    http://wowl.fau.edu - www.philaflava.com

    **The Bushwick Connection with DJ Evil Dee, DJ Bazarro & Butta L
    Saturdays 5 – 7pm PST/8 – 10pm EST (917-337-4380)
    New York City, NY www.futureflavasonline.com - www.duckdown.com

    Suitcase Radio with Chuck D. (Unsigned Artists)
    Saturdays 6pm PST/9pm EST
    www.bringthenoise.com - www.rapstation.com
    (Archived Shows + Playlists Available)

    **Anything Goes
    with Pete Rock, DJ Premier, DJ Evil Dee, DJ Music Rocka & Guest DJ’s
    Saturdays 7 – 8pm PST/10 – 11pm EST
    New York City, NY www.futureflavasonline.com -
    www.peterock.net - www.gangstarronline.com - www.duckdown.com

    ***The Last Crate with DJ 3rd Rail
    Saturdays 7 – 10pm PST/10pm – 1am EST (312-663-3512)
    88.1FM WCRX Columbia College – Chicago, IL
    www.wcrx.net - www.tpln.net - www.dj3rdrail.com
    (Plenty Of Archived Shows Available)

    *The Ready Cee And Walkin’ L Show with DJ Ready Cee
    Saturdays 7pm PST/10pm EST
    91.9FM WHUT New York City, NY
    www.miccheckradio.com - www.nyc919fm.com
    (Some Archived Shows Available)

    True School Radio with Afrika Bambaataa
    Saturdays 8pm PST/11pm EST
    www.bringthenoise.com - www.zulunation.com
    (Archived Shows + Playlists Available)

    In The Mix with Tony Touch (Live From Babalu)
    Saturdays 8 – 11pm PST/11pm – 2am EST (1-800-585-1051)
    105.1FM WWPR Power 105 – New York, NY

    ***Saturday Night Flavas with Marly Mary & Special Guest DJ’s
    Saturdays 9 – 11pm PST/12 – 2am EST
    104.1 WMRQ Power 104 - Hartford, CT

    **Underground Railroad with Jay Smooth,
    G-Man, Damali, DJ Monk One, DJ Emskee & DJ 3D
    Saturdays 9 – 11pm PST/12 – 2am EST (212-209-2900)
    99.5FM WBAI New York, NY
    www.wbai.org - http://beatdiggaz.8m.com -
    www.hiphopmusic.com (Plenty Of Archived Shows Available)

    The Basement with DL & DJ Crossphader
    Saturdays 9pm – 12am PST/12 – 3am EST (631-632-9872)
    90.1FM WUSB University At Stony Brook – Stony Brook, NY
    www.wusb.org (Alternate Weeks)

    Off The Top with D Day & AJ Woodson (Formerly of JVC Force)
    Saturdays 9pm – 3am PST/12 – 6am EST (516-810-6264)
    1240AM WGBB Long Island, NY
    www.wgbb.com - http://beatdiggaz.8m.com

    ***The World Famous King Tech Wake Up Show
    with Sway, King Tech, Carmelita & DJ Revolution
    Saturdays 10pm – 12am PST/1 – 3am EST
    106.1FM KMEL San Francisco, CA www.106kmel.com -
    www.wakeupshow.com - http://pub29.ezboard.com/bwakeupshow

    ***The World Famous King Tech Wake Up Show
    with Sway, King Tech, Carmelita & DJ Revolution
    Saturdays 12 – 2am PST/3 – 5am EST
    105.9FM KPWR Power106 Los Angeles, CA (Stream Is Down)
    www.power106.fm/player (www.surfernetwork.com)
    www.wakeupshow.com - http://pub29.ezboard.com/bwakeupshow

    ***Saturday Night Flavas Rewind with Marly Mary & Special Guest DJ’s
    Sundays 12 – 2pm PST/3 – 5pm EST (Saturday Nights Repeat from Power 104)
    104.1 WMRQ Power 104 - Hartford, CT

    The Ghettoblasta Show with B-Boy, GabeReal & Sonic D
    Sundays 1 - 3pm PST/4 - 6pm EST (909-787-5827)
    88.3FM KUCR Univercity Of California - Riverside, CA
    http://kucr.org - www.gbradio.net

    *In Control (Hip Hop Flava) with DJ Kev e Kev
    Sundays 4 – 5pm PST/7 – 8pm EST (917-337-4380)
    New York City, NY www.futureflavasonline.com

    *The Warm Up Show with DJ Callie Ban
    Sundays 5 – 7pm PST/8 – 10pm EST (917-337-4380)
    New York City, NY www.futureflavasonline.com

    *The Foundation Radio Show with Papa D! & Este Uno
    Sundays 5 – 7pm PST/8 – 10pm EST (617-373-2658)
    104.9FM WRBB Northeastern University – Boston, MA
    http://wrbbradio.org - www.tpln.net - www.brickrecords.com

    *Beatsauce with J-Boogie, Raw-B & DJ Wisdom
    Sundays 6 - 8pm PST/9 - 11pm EST (415-751-5873)
    90.3FM KUSF University Of San Francisco - San Francisco, CA
    http://kusf.org - www.beatsauce.com (Archived Shows Available)

    *The Drum with Kevvy Kev (Since 1984)
    Sundays 6 – 9pm PST/9pm – 12am EST (650-723-9010)
    90.1FM KZSU Stanford University – Palo Alto, CA

    *The 54 Side Radio Show with Born Talent, JayLove & The Avid Record Collector
    Sundays 6pm – 9pm PST/9pm – 12am EST (877-723-4644)
    Radio Hiphop – New York, NY
    www.radiohiphop.com - www.the54side.com (Archived Shows Available)

    Street Soundz with DJ B-Mello
    Sundays 6 – 8pm PST/9 – 11pm EST (206-903-5397)
    90.3FM KEXP University Of Washington – Seattle, WA

    ***Future Flavas 10 Spot & Afterparty (The Spit Factory)
    with Marly Marl, Pete Rock, DJ Premier & DJ Evil Dee
    Sundays 7 – 10pm PST/10pm – 1am EST (917-337-4380)
    New York City, NY www.futureflavasonline.com -
    www.peterock.net - www.duckdown.com -
    www.gangstarronline.com - www.bbemusic.com
    (Archived Shows Availble)

    The Countdown Show with Wildman Steve & Gary G-Wiz
    Sundays 8pm PST/11pm EST
    www.bringthenoise.com (Archived Shows + Playlists Available)

    ***Dedicated with DJ 3rd Rail
    Sundays 10pm – 3am PST/1 – 6am EST (847-866-9687)
    89.3FM WNUR Northwestern University - Evanston, IL
    www.wnur.org - www.tpln.net - www.dj3rdrail.com
    (Plenty Of Archived Shows Available)

    *We Came From Beyond with Mike Nardone
    Sundays 11pm – 2am PST/2 – 5am EST (310-338-5958)
    88.9FM KXLU Loyola Marymount University - Los Angeles, CA

    And here’s some Hiphop sites you should already know about..

    www.undergroundhiphop.com - www.hiphop-elements.com -
    www.hiphopinfinity.com - www.sliceitup.org - www.sohh.com -
    www.hiphopsite.com - www.hiphopslam.com - www.b-boys.com -
    www.turntableradio.com - www.centralcali.com - www.allhiphop.com -
    www.downshiftradio.com - www.thaformula.com - www.true-skool.org -
    www.rapattacklives.com - www.turntablelab.com - www.heavybronx.com



    Info & Petition To Promote Positive Hip Hop
    By: Delores, AfriCreations / http://www.africreations.com

    We are The Foundation for the Study of Hiphop Consciousness - an
    activist group and philosophical think tank dedicated to social
    upliftment through Hiphop Culture. Our organization is spearheading
    the Strength in Numbers Hiphop petition, created to promote
    conscious Rap music.

    The debate about Hiphop's influence on our youth is well known. The
    materialism, misogyny, violence, and drug references seem to be the
    dominant subject in mainstream (meaning that which is played on Top 40/urban pop radio) Rap music. Record companies sign and
    aggressively market artists who appear to promote these behaviors in their lyrics and videos; radio stations across the country play
    these artists in heavy rotation; and various TV networks air their
    videos practically around the clock. It is no mystery that this type
    of "entertainment" is promoted and marketed because it is highly

    The Strength in Numbers petition, through obtaining one million
    signatures, is set up to hold the media accountable for promoting
    destructive messages via mainstream Rap music as well as to show
    that there is a market for conscious Rap music. The industry says
    that they are simply supplying the people with the type of
    entertainment that they demand but this petition will prove
    otherwise. More importantly, this petition will create a database of
    progressive minded individuals that independent and unsigned
    conscious artists can use to market themselves to without relying on
    the mainstream industry which cannot be trusted to act responsibly,
    honestly, and in the best interest of the youths. Thus, we the
    undersigned, petition for the following:

    1) Radio stations, music video shows, and record labels must promote conscious Hiphop artists as aggressively as their mainstream counterparts.

    2) The creation of a database via the email address voluntarily
    provided from the undersigned which conscious Hiphop artists can use to market themselves with. This will give artists financial
    empowerment and creative control without sacrificing their artistic
    integrity and social responsibility.

    Through this campaign, the mainstream media is given a chance to
    recognize its irresponsibility and take steps to rectify the
    situation. Whether they accept or reject this opportunity, is yet to
    be seen. Whatever their decision may be, we will nonetheless
    establish an alternative market and place Hiphop music back in the
    hands of those who care about its preservation and the youths
    influenced by it.

    Spread the word! Email everyone you know a link to this petition.
    Check out our website at:
    Email us with any questions or comments at:


    Gangstaz, Gunz and Half Naked Girlz
     Min. Paul Scott


     Baby Got back, but Baby needs backbone/Get off the video screen and
     put some clothes on
     Brother Khamisi (Revolutionary Son)

     Back in tha day, a radio program director told me that heavy metal
     was marketed to 16 year old white boys who were mad because they
     couldn t get a girlfriend.
     Fifteen years later, we must ask what is the marketing scheme behind
     Sex Guns and Hip Hop.
     I m not saying that some Brotha with a bad rap is somewhere sitting
     alone in his bedroom pumpin G-Unit while throwing darts at a picture
     of his ex girlfriend screamin Take that you slut Westside!!!!! But
     we do have to look at the way sista s are portrayed in videos today
     through the eyes of marketing executives who spend millions of dollars
     psychoanalyzing Brotha s in order to pinpoint our weaknesses and find
     ways to exploit us.
     Now be honest, Brothers, if you had to choose between looking at a
     centerfold of the sista from the Outkast video and reading this
     article, which one would you choose? (That s what I thought) So they
     are experts at appealing to our attraction to our Nubian Queens.
     Instead of denying our attraction to beautiful black women we must
     learn to discipline our natural urges.
     In other words we can t let the size of the booty blind us to the
     beauty of Afrikan Brothers and Sisters working together to ensure the
     future of little Black children.
     Also, we can never look at any issue concerning Black folks without
     putting the discussion in the context of the battle of Afrikan people
     against the agents of white supremacy. Since the Hip Hop Nation has
     all but called a truce with the white power structure, this issue will
     not be raised from those who view reality from a purely 'hip
     hop-centric' point of view.
     Many of the videos today feature a beautiful black woman prancing
     around while 20 Brotha s are rapping, Get off my block before I
     shoot, you , fool ! Those of us who are not sleeping while standing
     up must pose the question what in the world does a half naked sista
     have to do with drug dealin and Brotha s blastin Brotha s? This is
     an obvious attempt to kill two birds with one stone; a case of cross
     promotion of negative stereotypes.
     Historically , it has always been a goal of white America to portray
     the sons and daughters of Africa as animals lacking souls, culture
     and moral character.
     So Black women have been portrayed as disparate over sexed, Ho s and
     Black men have been portrayed as blood thirsty rapists and sexual
     So when a diabolical tool of oppression meets with a billion dollar
     marketing scheme the result is what you get gyrating across your
     favorite music video channel
     24 hours a day.
     Back in the day when the 2 Live Crew had Sista s 'movin sometin ' to
     the sound of 'Me So Horny' the excuse was 'Well. What about them
     white girls that be all up in tha videos, HUH?' But in 2004, the white
     video vixen is more or less, a thing of the pass.
     While Heather White has long since traded in her G-string for a
     government job, Shorty Doo Wop is still
     holding down her 9 (PM) to 5 at tha strip joint.

     The reason being that the entertainment industry has found their niche
     market and will exploit it until the well runs dry, until there is no
     such thing as a normal relationship between a Black man and a Black
     With thousands of Black men in jail , the future of the Black family
     is in danger. Most black men live everyday of their lives with the
     fear of winding up in jail before night fall, whether guilty or
     The music industry has capitalized off of this fear by manufacturing
     the 'we don t love them Ho s mentality.'
     For the Brotha who is looking at twenty years in the slamma a Sista
     becomes nothing but a quick hit while he is out on bail. Why market a
     video concept about long lasting caring relationships when you have
     created an environment where most of your market will be spending 20
     years of quality time with Big Bubba in cell block D ?
     Where the saying that made a Sista s blood boil back in tha day was
     women are only good for two places; the kitchen and the bedroom;' in
     Hip Hop, for the ride or die chick, they are also good for hiding a
     crack stash and working the strip club. (How many children out there
     who have to visit their incarcerated mother once a week because she
     caught a conspiracy charge for being in the car with drug Dealin
     What would happen if we turned this Mother s Day into Black Queen
     Restoration Day ? What if Afrikan Brothers and Sisters across the
     country joined with sisters like those of Spelman College or LaFonda
     Jones (Operation hood Freedom, Durham NC) and demanded more positive
     images in videos.
     What if an army of Angela Davis/Assata Shakur, kente cloth head wrap
     wearing Sisters rolled up on rappers like Trina and 'made' them
     understand the damage done to the self esteem of young Black girls
     through songs such as 'Big Ole D@### ?'
     As the saying goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with one
     step. Isn t it time that we started steppin in the name of love for
     Black women?
     Minister Paul Scott represents the Messianic Afrikan Nation in Durham
    NC. To join the Messianic Afrikan Nation contact (919) 949-4352 email
     minpaulscott@yahoo.com Web site:

    Hip-Hop Fridays: Exclusive Q & A With Ernie Paniccioli, Hip-Hop Photographer-Author, “Who Shot Ya?” ( Part 1 )

    On February 24, 2004 I had the experience of witnessing a unique and riveting presentation of culture and history, conducted by Ernie Paniccioli, before an enthusiastic auditorium of young students at the Lord Stirling Community School in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The man referred to by many as “the dean of Hip-Hop photographers”, used a portion of his vast volume of Hip-Hop photography, taken over 30 years, as part of an interactive, "call-and-response" slide presentation, to lovingly educate, inspire and even add discipline to his enthusiastic audience. Using exclusive photographs of 50 Cent, B2K, Tupac, TLC, Jay-Z, Notorious B.I.G., Lil' Kim, Queen Latifah and many, many more; Mr. Paniccioli taught students, barely in their teens, profound lessons about Black history, the music business, natural identity, economics, family values, respect, politics, and creative and critical thinking. It was a mesmerizing experience for many, including professional educators who were present.

    Ernie Paniccioli, most recently garnered critical acclaim for his Hip-Hop photobook, Who Shot Ya?”, edited by Kevin Powell, which features three decades of Hip-Hop photography. But his careful witnessing and documenting of a cultural phenomenon is only part of who this man is. A Cree Indian, born in New York City, who would later serve in Vietnam; the “Hip-Hop photographer” that many know in public; is a proud father and husband who is even more passionate about “waking up” the uninformed, and taking care of his family and tribe than he is about his unique talent; which has enabled him to chronicle arguably the most powerful cultural phenomenon to emerge in the last 40 years.

    BlackElectorate.com publisher, Cedric Muhammad, spent an afternoon with Ernie Paniccioli at Lord Stirling on February 24th; and hours of conversation and dialogue between the two have been shared since then. On March 4th and and again on the 11th, the painter-turned-photographer granted the former general manager of Wu-Tang Clan an exclusive interview. The wide-ranging conversation, divided in two portions, covered Mr. Paniccioli’s view of the art and science of photography; the impact of his work; the evolution of Hip-Hop over the last 30 years; the relationship between politics, activism and the cultural artform; Black - Native American relations; the reality of FBI COINTELPRO tactics being exercised against the culture; misogyny and “homophobia”; the power of imagery on the minds young people, and much more.

    Part I of this interview centers on "Who Shot Ya'?”; the art/science of photography; and the evolution of Hip-Hop.


    Cedric Muhammad: For lack of a better expression, Brother, I was ‘blown away’ by the impact that I saw, of the power of your presentation, as it affected the young people at Lord Sterling School, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. I think that provides a context for a question regarding how you see yourself and your role. Some have referred to you as a premier if not the Hip-Hop photographer. As I saw you give that presentation, I saw you as a profound educator, historian and witness-bearer of truth, humanity and an entire cultural phenomenon. I wanted to know how you see yourself.

    Ernie Paniccioli: Brother, I am not one of those cats that will look and say what I am or what I am not. What I do has to speak for itself. And more importantly, those people that I touch manifest the effect of my work and move forward. What they do with what I have given - in their actions - determines who and what I am. I can remember so many times at different Nation Of Islam functions where I would always see either myself and other speakers get applause. And I would always see Minister Farrakhan say (in response to applause), “All praise is due to Allah.” In whatever I do on this planet I call myself “Miles Davis’ trumpet”. That trumpet, sitting by itself on a shelf is a nice-looking instrument, but it didn’t do anything of itself. But when the master blew into it and made those amazing beautiful notes, people responded, so deeply. So basically what I try to do is keep my instrument pure so that the Creator speaks. And if you look throughout history all of the prophets and holy people – they were just men and women who were chosen. They did not seek the role. Nobody wants to be a prophet or a disciple. It happens. They were instruments. And they were all flawed men – whether Martin Luther King, Jr. or Malcolm X. That is all I am – an instrument. And I am an instrument who was developed through pain, suffering, hardship and psychic turmoil – being homeless, before I even reached puberty; being in the streets; and seeing my stepfather imprisoned for his beliefs; seeing the brutality that this country directed all over the world, while I was in the military; this is what made me who I am today. And also, experiences like speaking to Brother Khalid Muhammad for six months as well as being with Steve Cokley, and looking at Dick Gregory, Kwame Toure, and people who had something to say; not these little jack-legged clowns who are running around calling themselves activists and trying to fill their pockets and get praise from the White media. I am talking about Brothers who really love the culture, and that is what inspired me and made me who and what I am. And I also feel that I have got a limited amount of time on this planet and what I have to do is follow the precept of ‘each one teach one’. Each Brother and Sister who comes into my cycle and cipher I try and build with, and try and empower them because I can’t be everywhere and I am not going to be here forever. But if each person that I touch, if they have a little spark of the little spark that touched me, what happens is that we build a global movement at a time of confusion, pain, disruption and chaos – a time the Indians from the India call, Kali (the Hindu Goddess of
    Chaos and disorder). This is a time of Kali. This is a dreadful time.

    Look what just happened in Haiti. They said the man (President Aristide) left. But according to him he was taken out by armed thugs of the United States army. That is 120 miles from our shore. Look at the world today, we need voices of freedom. And to quote my brother, John Trudeau, a Native American poet, he said that he couldn’t understand why a little skinny Indian with holes in his jeans, and maybe 3 dollars in his pocket - he couldn’t understand why the government would follow him around, and bug his phone. He didn’t have a knife much less a gun. He couldn’t understand it until one of the elders explained that what he did which was most dangerous to all governments was promote clarity of thought. That was an inspiration to me and that is all that I want to do today, that is bring clarity of thought. I call myself a Red alarm clock. What I do is wake you up. What you do after you become awake is up to you. But it is my job, and my duty, as a poor righteous teacher, to be the one to help to wake up the sleeping or revive the dead, per the parable of Lazarus.

    Cedric Muhammad: Now, as it relates to your specific talent, gift, profession of photography, how are you fulfilling that function as “Miles Davis’ trumpet”?

    Ernie Paniccioli: I did not choose to be a photographer. I wanted to be a painter. Photography chose me. What I did is that I saw the world around me and I tried to capture it in paintings and drawings. When I began to photograph graffiti I began to meet young people who were telling me that something was happening, and unlike all of the people who are running around today talking Hip-Hop and (representing) Hip-Hop, if you were back here in the 1970s there was no such word (as Hip-Hop). We didn’t know what it was, we just knew it was a powerful thing. It is like now, if you turn on the radio and look at videos and the state of Hip-Hop there is no real name for it. I call it chaos and colonization. As a matter of fact I call it the second phase of the second colonization. The first colonization was when they came and took our people and our land in Africa, and put them in the condition of slavery. That was the first colonization. The second colonization was when they told us that Jesus Christ looked like Robert Redford and when they told us that Christopher Columbus discovered an entire continent. The second phase of the second colonization which they almost forbade me to put in my book, which I put in anyway – against all odds, against Rupert Murdoch, against Harper Collins, against everybody – is when we willingly enslave ourselves with Gameboy, sports, weed, beer, sneakers, half-naked women, pornography; with garbage and where the tell-lie-vision controls our lives; and where what a football player scores is more important than the absolute insulting of an entire people; where you know more about sports than your own wife’s birthday or her period cycle or the birthday of your children. Look at how many are more entranced by some athlete, or rapper, or some other fool who is walking around with a neck load of platinum or diamonds that were stolen from South Africa. People are more entranced by some $800,000 vehicle that has TVs, radios and swimming pools in it, than in the miracles of their own existence on this planet. Another thing that I see is this explosion onto the scene of these gay marriages. And that is an extreme situation but at the same time I see the extreme emasculation where men are afraid to use the m-word. I hear them use the other m-word calling people mother --------s. But they won’t stand up and say, ‘I am a Man!’ and ‘I have a responsibility and duty to my people.’ They are afraid to call themselves men because they think they will be called a misogynist and that somehow by saying you are a man, you are anti-woman. But Chuck D., after they called him anti-White; he said ‘I am not anti-White, I am just pro-Black.’ Well I am not anti-anything, I am just pro-Man. If you are a man you have to act like a man and conduct yourself like a man; and if you have children, damn it, you are supposed to take care of your children, nurture those children, and educate those children and support those children, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, and as a human being on this earth - preparing and helping them through what is happening and what is about to happen, which is global conquest.

    Cedric Muhammad: Brother Ernie, I would like to isolate your entry into Hip-Hop with the tool of photography – with that art and science – how did that happen specifically as it relates to the emergence of graffiti?

    Ernie Paniccioli: Well, there was something happening, which is now looked back upon through revisionist history as Hip-Hop. But what it was, was something far more significant. I saw it as a chance for revolution. At the same time that Hip-Hop was emerging, in the United States, out of the ghetto, slums and shanty towns of Jamaica came something called Reggae. ‘Get up stand up for your right!’. These cats were coming out with some powerful, powerful things. Of course the powers that be were scared out of their wits and they created something called dancehall, which is all about slackness and they tried to kill that rhythm as best they could because that was pure African revolutionary music that was coming out of Jamaica. In this country you had songs like ‘The Message’ and ‘White Lines’ (by Grandmaster Flash), which was powerful stuff that scared the government. And along came Public Enemy. But back in that time we knew something was happening but we didn’t know what it was, but what we did was we flowed. And that is how I became a photographer by flowing and meeting people like Grandmaster Flash, Grandmaster Kaz, and hundreds of Brothers and Sisters like Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, the Zulu Nation who were awesome. This was spoken and oral tradition that we were witnessing called rap, but it was actually Hip-Hop. And I saw Hip-Hop as a tool for social revolution and I saw it getting more and more powerful with people like Lakim Shabazz and Public Enemy and even Ice Cube on that amazing song they did back then with Big Daddy Kane and Public Enemy called “Burn Hollywood Burn”. There was so much stuff going on back then and even Latifah back then was called, Queen Latifah saying, ‘…who you callin’ a bitch?’. I thought of it as possibly a catalyst for revolution because psychological change brings about physical revolution. It was a chance to empower people throughout the nation and that is how I became involved in it as a photographer and pretty soon people started calling me, ‘Ernie The Photographer’. I was not skilled but I already had twenty years of painting, so when I picked up a camera I knew about light, shape, and composition. When I pick up a camera I can instantly make iconic images because I have been doing it in my house, my walls and in my life. When I picked up the camera it was instantaneous that I could do this. Instead of focusing on some flashy disco-dressed character what I was doing was actually beginning to capture the world of street and the environment around me and if you look at my early work you will see that I even captured the punk movement which again was – in their own way – a step away from the society, away from what they saw as dead, inert and not living. I captured the punk, I captured the early stage of the street. Jamel Shabazz is another Brother who practically did the same thing. To this day we look at each other’s pictures and we are like , ‘whoa’; because it looks like we Xerox’d one another because back then in the 1970’s, even though we did not know each other we were doing the same thing because we were guided by the same voice and we were part of the same breath and power. And that is how I became a photographer, through my skills as a painter, I immediately did that and also through my very life, I was gravitated toward things that were powerful and not just pretty.

    Cedric Muhammad: If I could, before I jump into, “Who Shot ‘Ya?” I want to isolate some of those things you just referred to. If you could, in laymen’s terms, as best as you can, what goes on in your mind when someone gives you an idea or you receive it, and you are inspired to capture a subject? Please take me through some of those dynamics from the time that an idea comes into your mind all the way up to the moment that you are focusing the lens.

    Ernie Paniccioli: Well I will answer your question with a question which I know is rude (laughter). Do you know how to swim, ride a bike or drive a car?

    Cedric Muhammad:Yes, sure.

    Ernie Paniccioli: When you do those things – do you think of what you are doing or do you do them with a certain higher conscience so that you won’t drown or crash, run over some body or fall off your bike?

    Cedric Muhammad: Sure.

    Ernie Paniccioli: That is what I do. I do those things on instinct. I work on instinct. And I will not photograph a person unless I communicate with that person first, and find out who that person is because a lot of things happen when you do that. First you learn about that person, second you teach that person something about yourself and what you are looking for and number three, you look for the God in that person and you try to photograph what makes that person unique. It is my belief that God, the Creator, Allah, Buddah, Jesus, Yahweh, Amen-Ra or Whomever you may call Him – the Creator put in each of us a separate breath. You could have identical twins who are born and raised together for twenty-five years, and they are entirely different. So, I look for what makes them unique. It is like we all have different fingerprints and different voices. You could call me from California and say , “Hey Brother,…” and I would know who you are by your voice. The Creator has made us all different in every single way and what I look for is that uniqueness, that magic and God in you. Also, I try to figure out who you are and what you represent and I photograph that. That does not mean that I just photograph the 5%. I don’t do that. I photograph the 85%, and I have even photographed Henry Kissinger who is definitely part of the 10%. I have photographed and worked with Colin Powell, Presidents and Kings. I have photographed the 5%, 10%, and 85% because my job, I believe, like Gordon Parks, before me, and like many, many people is to capture the world, to document the times, and where we are (Ernie Paniccioli is speaking here of the concept authored by Master Fard Muhammad the Founder of the Lost-Found Nation Of Islam in the West; which places human beings into three categories – the 5%, 10%, and 85% - based upon their knowledge of God and self; their exercised power, and the lifestyle they lead. A fuller definition, of these three groups is given by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in response to questions posed by Master Fard Muhammad as part of six written lessons given to registered members of the Nation Of Islam. Parts of these lessons were also popularized largely through teaching in the streets of New York City and via rap music, by members of the 5% Nation Of Islam also known as "The 5 Percenters").

    It becomes on one level like self-government, like breathing, but with breathing, if you are a Zen master you understand that with your breath you are breathing with the whole universe. And you start thinking a certain way. Some of it is automatic, some of it is conscious and some of it is God-driven. So, I can’t give you a more concise answer than that. Another thing that I do, and for any person, especially the young who pick up a camera – I want to say something that will give you power right now. Every day that you are working with that instrument, whether you are a writer, a singer, a producer, a cameraman, a photographer, a videographer – live each day like it is your last on this earth. Just think – “what would you do on your last day?”. Even this interview, I am doing it like I am going to be called in an hour. I am going to do it like that. Like with Malcolm X, as he found out, he wasn’t here forever. And you notice that with everything that he did he did it like it was his last day on earth. If you do that you get a power that you could not believe. And like at that school Cedric, when I told those children about slavery (Ernie Paniccioli told the children that they were not “descendants from slaves” but that despite the history of enslavement, their identity still came from the Creator and the essence within them), I am not sure if that message got through to a lot of people, but once you change your perception of who and what you are, and the time, you get power. And one of the ways that you get power is not through some high-energy drink or some super-caffinated liquid, eating raw steak, or some other madness, or lifting a huge amount of weight. Many times you get strength from what you take away from somebody. If you take away fear, bad self-esteem, or ignorance; a lot of times it is what you take away from someone that gives them power. If you take away the idea that too many young people have now - that they are going to live forever, if you make them understand that the Creator may give them one day left on this earth, and if you live each day – if you have children – don’t say ‘oh, well I will help you with that tomorrow’, no, you kiss them today like it was goodbye. I have lost my mother and father and two stepfathers. Ok, they are gone. I have lost Brothers. Ok they are gone. So what you have to do is treat those people, and your photography, and your skills, and your voice like this is your last day on earth. And when you do that you get a power that you never had before because you become right and exact, and you cut out all of the frivolous stuff. It doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun. Damn it, if you are dancing and singing, or playing or joking, tell that joke like it is the last one you will ever tell. I don’t want you to be all dried up inside like a prune. No, enjoy life, but look at it as if it is a gift and something that is temporary and not something that is going to last for a hundred years. And if you live like that, even if you live 100 years you would have made a profound impact on the world around you. So each day I wake up the first words out of my mouth are ‘thank you’. And the last words out of my mouth are ‘thank you’. And I live that day like it is a gift and I take everything, from a glass of water that somebody gives me, to a hug, to a smile as something sacred. I live each day like it is my last.

    Cedric Muhammad: I appreciate that. Let’s move into your book, ‘Who Shot ‘Ya?” In what context did that work appear, what does it mean to you, and last – did that book represent a tension between a pure, pristine, creative force in your work and the commercialization and the “commodification” of a culture?

    Ernie Paniccioli: I will begin with the first question. Kevin Powell, who was the curator at the Brooklyn Museum, and actually before that, at the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame, called, “Hip-Hop Nation: Roots, Rhymes, and Rage” that dealt with Hip-Hop, was quite concerned. He had known about my work and he had seen this vast body of work of mine or heard of it. And he was quite concerned that I was excluded from that (showcase). But the reason, unbeknownst to him, that I was excluded from that is because I have never been a photographer first, and a freedom fighter second. I have never been for Hip-Hop or art first. My mindset has always been what are doing to make ourselves aware, and what are we doing to activate the minds of people? So I was more than just a photographer, and more than just a commodity, and these people felt more than comfortable having some people up there with just glossy pictures, and knuckleheads wit their hats sideways, and gold chains, and gold teeth and all of that nonsense. And Kevin was very sensitive to that and he said, ‘why is this man – this elder – who has devoted thirty years or so of his life to an art form excluded?’. Everybody, in response, was mumbling and jumbling, and the more they mumbled and jumbled the angrier Kevin Powell got, until it got to the point where Kevin said well, forget it, if he’s (Ernie Paniccioli) not in the show we aren’t having a show. Then he came to me with humility and asked me to be part of it and to be down with it. And I liked his approach and manner and the idea that I would be part of the first museum’s exposure of Hip-Hop. I didn’t like the show at the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame. They have an entire floor the size of a city block devoted to Elvis Presley and they put of course all of the “darky stuff” in a little closet some where else. The whole Hip-Hop show was segregated. It was a whole ‘back of the bus type of thing’. But at least, I saw it as a chance for us to get in the door and take it from there afterwards, but you first have to get your foot in the door. So, I accepted that and even though they had a display of Eminem’s sneakers next to Biggie’s suit (laughter), I was down with it. And from that Kevin came to me and asked me why I had never done a book, and I said that it was because most writers are full of garbage. They come and they see, they start and then they flake off. And he said to me, ‘well I will make you a pledge on my honor, that if I work with you on a book and help you get a book deal, I will ensure that I follow through on it’. So he sent me to one place and they immediately made me an offer for a lot of money, but it was a paperback, and I had already seen too many paperbacks. So, we went to Harper Collins, which had Armistad Books, and the Brother who was running things knew a lot about jazz but not Hip-Hop so we talked for two-and-a-half hours about jazz, and I related to him how jazz was a forbidden art form and how Hip-Hop was a forbidden artform. And how jazz came from the street and what the word jazz meant, and where it was popular, and that Hip-Hop basically came from the same street and ghetto root and we talked and then we had another meeting and I was sitting there, and finally he called me over and said, ‘how does it feel to have a book deal?’ and my head started to swim and then it actually got into the process of doing a book, and that process is actually dealing with commercialism and the commodification of a genre and Kevin and I tried to keep it as tight as we could and we had a blessing in that the people from Harper Collins knew so little about Hip-Hop (laughter). And that was a blessing, at first we thought it was a problem but it turned out to be a blessing because they let us do what we had to do. And of course, with Kevin being twenty or thirty years younger than me, being born and raised in Hip-Hop, and me, in it for thirty years, between us we knew enough about who was what. Now the actual selection of pictures and their representation – I would say that I am only about 60% happy with the book and I am not happy at all with the marketing of the book because Kevin and I did so much to get the book out there. Kevin got us 4 and 5 pages in Vibe magazine, and of course I appealed to all of my media contacts that I have been working with for thirty years, and we did miracles. And I had gallery show, after gallery show. The book has been out for nearly 14 or 16 months and in that time I have had 8 gallery shows, including the largest one-man gallery show in the history of New York City where I had 110 16 x 20 and larger pictures at the New York City Urban Experience Museum which was attended by 3,000 people on the opening night. And yes it is the commodification of a culture and one thing I will say in humility is that no one book can capture it all. I have my take on it, Charlie Ahern had his, Henry Chalfant had his with Spraycan Art Subway Art. As many of us as there are is how many voices you could have. You know, Grandmixer DXT will tell you better than anybody how many voices there are. But in my book I was able to put Grandwizzard Theodore who invented scratching, Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa. I was able to focus on graffiti art, some of the fashion, some of the dance, so I was able to do some, I was not able to do all. And Kevin Powell’s introduction of who I am and what I am and how it coincides with the birth of Hip-Hop, I think was very eloquently written and I think that the back part of the book, “In My Lifetime: The Story Of Ernie Paniccioli” tells an abbreviated introduction to my life and struggles and we were going to make it a whole lot more political. We were going to put Khalid Muhammad, Minister Farrakhan, and Rev. Al Sharpton and just a lot of people whose voices have been heard on Hip-Hop records. But because of space and time and because we had gone from originally 300 images to 210, and it took 2 years to select the 300; and then to lose 90 of them, I don’t even know if you can imagine what kind of shock that is to your central nervous system, Cedric. Imagine you have written an 800-page book and then somebody tells you it is 500 pages, and you worked two-and-half years on the 800 pages, imagine what a shock that would be to your central nervous system.

    Cedric Muhammad: Yeah.

    Ernie Paniccioli: And there is the one thing I have to say for Kevin Powell - he prevented me from creating a book that was “Eastern-centric” (laughter). In other words, New York, New Jersey, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens-centric. He tried and succeeded in including Japanese artists – DJ Honda, and DJ Krush – and west coast artists. I have to admit this as one of my problems – I am from this experience here (in New York), as an East Coast- Eastern centric person (laughter), I don’t know a word for it, so Kevin kept me from that. The book is coming back out in June - June 1st to be exact - in paperback and hopefully because it will be half the price of the original hardcover which was $30, it will have a wider audience.

    Cedric Muhammad: How many did you sell?

    Ernie Paniccioli: Right now, I have no idea. I do know I have not gotten a royalty check yet. So, to the aspiring writers out there let me tell you one of their tricks, because I believe in ‘each one teach one’. Get as much money as you can – and this is for your recording artists cats as well – up front. Ok. Because when you are dealing with royalty checks you are dealing at their mercy. I don’t want to sow any seeds of discord but I do know that everywhere I go in the country and by my e-mails, and even in Europe, everybody I know has got my back. And what I hear in terms of sales is quite different. And unlike with the recording artists, I know people are not bootlegging my book (laughter). There were 25,000 copies printed, which is phenomenal for a first book and how many of those that have been sold, I don’t know. I do know that I have not reached a break-even point and we did get a nice advance, so I do know in publishing you are at the mercy of them. Also I do know that just like with recording artists, and I will let you be privy to this because I tell the facts and I name names. I am not one of these activists cats that mumble about the ‘white power establishment’. I name names, ‘cause I ain’t afraid of nobody except God. We had to sign 7.5% royalty rate. That is standard. A lot of you recording artists are going to go in there with a fifty-page contract but the bottom line is that you are going to get 7.5% if you are lucky and that is after they recoup and after expenses.

    Cedric Muhammad: Now did the higher-ups at Harper Collins and Rupert Murdoch specifically, support the book, or were they in opposition to it?

    Ernie Paniccioli I was told that I cannot include – and again I am naming names and going out there on the record – my essay on the second phase of the second colonization, which I put in there anyway, because I was very clear that without that there is no book. I would keep the advance and they could try and sue me and send me lawsuits in Guatemala. I don’t care. So, they agreed to that. I am sure that a corporation of that size only cares about one thing and that is making a profit. So as far as the specifics, I don’t know. The way you can tell whether or not you have struck a nerve is by looking at what they are asking you not to include. Ok, know if you have a 800-page book and they ask you to take out 25-pages I suggest to you, you could get rid of the 775 pages and that 25-pages that they are asking you to take out is what you should print. What they want excluded is what you should include.

    Cedric Muhammad: Who kept out Brother Khalid and Minister Farrakhan?

    Ernie Paniccioli We made a joint agreement on that simply because of space limitations and because we did not want to create a book that was killed from its inception predicated on a couple of pictures. So we had to not necessarily capitulate but we had to compromise, and I had to compromise more than anybody on the project because these are my images, this is my life and the book is reflecting me. I am not happy with the way the book is laid out. I am not happy with the way the little names are on the pictures like they were done with a sticker or little pasty. I am not happy with some things. But it is the first book. The second book I will have much more personal control of. And also, I am going on record as saying that any other books I do from now on will be by me and from me, and not as part of any collaboration. Because when I was out there ducking gunshots from the police and down in the subways (in dangerous situations) snapping shots of graffiti, I did not have anyone there with me. A lot of these cats weren’t even born yet that were involved in the project – the publicists, and so on and so forth. So the next book I am going to do is going to be a monster, and it is going to sell like a monster because it is going to be from my mind, from my hand and my eye. It is going to reflect my vision or I am not going to do another book.

    Cedric Muhammad: Beloved, how do you see the evolution of Hip-Hop? You mentioned clearly, earlier, that in its origination or in the earliest stages of its visible emergence, there was no name for it. So how do we go from that time period when you became a witness of what was happening and saw it as a revolutionary force, to what we have today as Hip-Hop in the year 2004?

    Ernie Paniccioli You called me “Beloved”, let’s use that as a starting point for my answer. When Chuck D. screamed at the top of his lungs, ‘my beloved let’s get down to business, mental self-defense and fitness’, there needed to be no more Hip-Hop; it could have stopped right there and rap could have died right then that day and there and it would have fulfilled its mission. It goes from that to singing about Courvoisier, and Tims (Timberland boots); and who has got the biggest spinning rims on their vehicle, who spends the most on their chains, and how many women you have in your bed when you wake up in the morning, and all of this other nonsense, and if you read something that I recently wrote called, “Imagine” (at the Zulu Nation website), you will see my mindset. When you go from saying “my beloved, let’s get down to business, mental self-defense and fitness” to singing about how many cars, broads, rims and Tims, and how much alcohol you consume, then you are poisoning the minds of our youth and the colonization is in full effect. And anyone who thinks that this musical form now is Hip-Hop is out of their minds and I am calling you a fool right now. Not only that but you have to go a little deeper and recognize that Hip-Hop is street music, Hip-Hop is organic. It came from our guts and our soul and from folk music and blues, reggae music, jazz etc… and now from it coming from the organic, from the gutter from street music and barbershops to the corporate boardrooms where you now have people who are not of the culture and not of the original man deciding what gets airplay and what gets 500 slots or spins a day, when you have somebody controlling it, it is no longer an organic thing; it has become inorganic. Organic is something that is helpful, uplifting, spiritually powerful, and educational and even physically empowering. Inorganic is something that is plastic that is disposable and something that is going to harm our spirits and our souls. It has gone from a group that calls itself the Poor Righteous Teachers to a group that calls themselves the Cash Money Click. Those two names will tell you everything you need to know right there. This is a sign. Take the R & B group Boyz II Men. That was one of the most powerful names that you could name a group. And the other name I mentioned – Poor Righteous Teachers. And everybody who is reading this I want you to go out and buy ten copies of the X-Clan. Look at the name “A Tribe Called Quest” - what does that mean? That is a group looking for something, a spiritual power. “Public Enemy”, “X-Clan”. You couldn’t come out back then calling yourself the “Cash Money Click” people would be throwing bricks at your head. Even the group called “The Ghetto Boys”. That tells you everything that you need to know. We are from the ghetto and we are ‘boys’. That does not mean young men – this means these are my boys, my crew, my family. And look at the name Ice Cube, Ice – T these are powerful names. And they just didn’t come out there and act like an ass. Look at the videos it has gone from organic to inorganic. When you go from “my beloved let’s get down to business, mental self-defense and fitness”. And how about the other line? Cedric I have to ask you as a man, what went on in your mind when you heard Dr. Khalid Abdul Muhammad in the Public Enemy record, “The Night Of The Living Bassheads” - his introduction ‘Have you forgotten, that once we were brought here we were robbed of our name, robbed of our language. We lost our religion, our culture, our God. And many of us by the way we act, we even lost our minds.

    Cedric Muhammad: Aww man…

    Ernie Paniccioli Brother, when I heard that I couldn’t even breathe. Now listen to the nonsense that is being pumped out there to keep our people dumb. If you want to see how dumbed down our people are now, just go to one of these rap concerts. And look at how dumb and dangerous and violent our people are. Go look. It will break your heart. And our women portrayed as prostitutes...

    End Of Part I

    Ernie Paniccioli’s work can be seen at www.whostotya1.com and www.rapphotos.com. Mr. Paniccioli is available for photography, gallery shows and lectures and can be contacted via e-mail at: rapphotos@hotmail.com

    Hip-Hop Fridays: Exclusive Q & A With Ernie Paniccioli, Hip-Hop Photographer and Author of “Who Shot Ya?” (Part 2)


    [Editor's note: In this second and final portion of BlackElectorate.com's exclusive interview with Ernie Paniccioli, the "dean of Hip-Hop photographers" expresses his view on the controversial Outkast performance at the Grammys and Black -Native American relations; misogyny and "homophobia" in rap; voter registration drives and political activism in Hip-Hop; COINTELPRO; and using Hip-Hop to educate young people.]


    Cedric Muhammad: You and I have discussed the concept of identity as it pertains to Blacks and Native Americans and areas where some are having problems understanding the basis for unity. Could you take me through the various levels in which you have thought of this subject – from your native identity, your belonging to a “nation” of people and a tribe, as well as your understanding of the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad that both the Black and Red people are original people; and how all of this informs your view of the controversy over Outkast’s performance at the Grammys which offended many Native Americans?

    Ernie Paniccioli: Well consider it from my personal experience in growing up among Black people and on the level of my interaction with the Nation Of Islam. I can remember first seeing them when I was younger - just, hundreds of Black men descending on Brooklyn, and I have never seen Black men look like that before. Spotless, from head to toe, and groomed like you wouldn’t believe, muscular, and their eyes looking like warriors. I never seen nothing like that before. That was my introduction to Black culture. On another level as a child, because I grew up in such a crazy environment in Brooklyn, Spanish kids would come up to me and speak Spanish and since I couldn’t speak Spanish I would get a beatdown. The Italian kids would look at me and call me a half-breed or something and I would get another beatdown. I have to say this for the Irish kids – they were tough, they didn’t care who you were, and they left you alone. But it seemed like everyone else had an axe to grind. I remember one time I was getting a severe beatdown by a group of like 7 kids all of whom were like five or six years older than me. And I was on the ground bleeding and it was 100 degrees outside and I remember looking up, with blood all over me, and seeing these Black guys who were fighting the 5 or 7 people who were attacking me; and the next day I joined that gang, to which they belonged, which was known as the Bishops – in Brooklyn. And in time, even though I came in at 9 or 10 years old, in time I became the warlord in that section in Brooklyn. So, that is my introduction. And from that day to this day I have never had a Black man look at me askance, and as a matter of fact, I will tell you that there was hardly a day that I could hardly walk through Harlem – although now it is increasingly either White or Hispanic – without getting “jumped” and not by gangs but by old ladies hugging me, saying , ‘Damn you look like my grandfather or my grandmother…’ because I had hair going down my back, and they would say, ‘ I am half-Cherokee…’ or ‘I am half-Seminole…’ or , ‘I am half-Blackfoot…’ and they would hug me and embrace me, and at times, take me home and feed me. As far as lack of love and identity, that was never a situation for me because I got love that was unbelievable just by walking down the street, and it reminds me of what KRS-One said, ‘when you walk, walk with authority, tell the negative people don’t bother me.’ You know I have to always bring Hip-Hop lyrics into it. But when I walk, I walk with authority. I don’t carry a knife, gun or bazooka. I don’t have a bullet-proof (vest) or nothing. All I have is me, and I walk with authority and the people respect and respond to that. And like I said, man, I walk through Black neighborhoods and the elderly folks embrace me, and a lot of young people who are seeking knowledge. So I really don’t see a split with the Black and the Red, plus there is my relationship with the Nation Of Islam. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad told all of his followers that you have to respect the landlords of this nation. Ok, so anywhere I go in the United States, I can be walking somewhere, and some Brother will walk up to me and not necessarily with a bow-tie on, but he will say something like, ‘Brother, I saw you in a tape with the Minister (Farrakhan) and I just wanted to let you know that I got your back.’ And from the leader on down, I have gotten that respect and our people have gotten that respect at Saviours’ Day celebrations and at the Day Of Atonement you will always see Native people and Native chiefs up there (on the dais or rostrum) talking. So that respect has always been there. I don’t see a problem with that. I think that what Outkast did – and regardless to who this Brother is and Arista, and I have worked with Arista for years, and I respect Outkast as artists and they are one of the more progressive groups – but they allowed themselves to do something that was foolish. They have not apologized. Andre specifically has not apologized and I call out to him as a Brother, to get out there and do what you are supposed to do. Don’t hide behind those ‘suits’ at Arista because the minute you don’t sell you are going to be kicked to the curb and your ghetto pass will have been revoked and don’t worry about how many people are buying your album or not buying your album. At the end of the day it is just you and your Creator and your soul. And you need to look inside of yourself and apologize to the people you have hurt, offended and the violence you have created against children of Native blood. And don’t hide behind that ol’ Creole or Black Indian thing or Mardi Gras. You are not in Mardi Gras! You are in front of a half-billion people on stage who don’t understand it and see it as a mockery and it empowers those people like it empowers young White kids who use the n-word. It empowers a lot of fools to act that same way, which is only going to create more violence and dissension. So if you are a positive person and you have a good soul, you need to come out Andre. Forget your record label. Forget all of that stuff. Forget the weed clouds, and the cars, and the strip joints and all of that other nonsense. Because I respect you Andre, you are an artist creating great art, but you need to apologize and be humble. That humility will help manifest you as an artist. And I can’t imagine Bob Marley or Jimmie Hendrix doing what you did and not apologizing. Bob Marley is a person that we need to look at. Look at his lyrics. Everything was about uprising and the revolution, and struggle, and burning, and purifying and cleaning ourselves. So we need to look at him as an example. We need to look at Chuck D. with that amazing album he did called, “Fine Arts Militia”, and everything else he did. We need to look at him. Chuck would never put himself in a position where he did anything that offended a group of people. He would never do that. So Andre, you need to get out there like a man and apologize to a whole race of people, and then you will come back stronger and more beloved and more beautiful, and with more of a shine than you could ever imagine that you could ever have from record sales or anything else. Arista Records and all of these other people better be careful because we are planning a nation-wide boycott of CBS, the Grammys and Outkast. So go ahead and play, but there is nothing like the power of the people.

    Cedric Muhammad: What tribe or Nation are you from Brother Ernie?

    Ernie Paniccioli: Canada. The Cree Nation. And I have been separated from that except for the power of my spirit and the love of my Brothers and Sisters. I was not raised on a reservation. I was not raised in tradition. I was raised on the streets of Brooklyn. Ok? But there are people from Haiti who are raised in the streets of Brooklyn. There are people from Senegal who are raised in the streets of Brooklyn and who have never been home but they manifest their culture and that energy and that spirit. So I don’t apologize to anyone for that and this is who I am on this earth as a man on this time.

    Cedric Muhammad: How do you think greater knowledge of and sensitivity to the oneness of the Black and the Red – as Original people – will occur?

    Ernie Paniccioli: First, you have to know who you are. You would not believe the amount of e-mails I receive from people who don’t know who they are. If they don’t know who they are; they can’t know who their tribe is, they can’t understand who they are as part of a global phenomenon at this time. Right now you are in a time of deviltry. You are in a time of revelation. You are in a time where the government says, ‘Yo, yeah we got a secret government - what?!?’ They holler like Noreaga, “…what, what…” Remember that song? That is what Bush is doing and that is what this whole generation of vipers is doing. But I got something to beat them with which is prophecy. Because the chiefs and the holy men, seven generations ago, said that , ‘in the seventh generation you would have a generation of warriors.’ We have a generation of warriors but we don’t have any leadership for that warrior spirit. So we have a generation that is seeking wisdom, knowledge, and self-awareness. How do you find out who the Black and the Red are? First, the Black has to find out who they are and that has been buried in the mythology of history. What they call “his-story”. So you need to read things like Message To The Black Man by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and The Autobiography of Malcolm X and then you need to go deeper than that and start reading things by Ivan Van Sertima, in particular, They Came Before Columbus. Many, many people can give you that information. "Dr. Ben", (Dr. Yosef A.A. Ben-Jochannan), who was my teacher when I was 13 years old. When I left home and was in the streets this man taught me at his knee. And there are many, many other people – Brother Dr. John Henrik Clarke. Start Reading! Don’t listen to that nonsense on the radio. Start reading. Go to the mosque. Go to the church and hear what they are saying. Read the scriptures. Read the Qur’an. Read, Damn it! And when you finish reading, read to your children. Read to one another, and form a reading class. Do something revolutionary. If you want to do something revolutionary, don’t pick up a gun or a rifle - because the man has atomic weapons. If you want to do something revolutionary, read. If you want to do something revolutionary, turn off the television. If you want to do something revolutionary stop walking around with headphones on and start reading the streets. Start reading the symbology around you. Look at why every part of the ghetto has churches and liquor stores. Start reading with your third-eye. Turn off the radio and don’t let Wendy Williams or 50 Cent guide your thinking, because they are in it to make money. Read and decide for yourself . And even put down a book, and just go walk. Everyday you should walk 3 or four miles and just look at your community. And then after a while you will begin to be perceptive and ask, ‘why every five feet I got a McDonald’s and every 20 feet I have a liquor store, and why every thirty feet I have a church or a store front?’ Where is the drug treatment center? Where is the place that I can go and learn how to eat? Where is the place where I can go and learn martial arts without having to pay Tiger Schulman $800 a week? Where can I go to join a group where I can learn how to be a man? And why is it that we don’t have any men out there who are using the M-word? How come it is I can’t find anyone who is willing to say, ‘I am a man’? People are saying well that is gender-oriented or insensitive. But I am a man and I have to walk and dress like a man. And that means instead of having 300 sneakers, I have one pair of shoes. And instead of having the White T-shirt that goes down to your knees and the crotch of your pants touching your shoe, that you start thinking – how would this look if somebody took a picture of this and showed it to my children in 15 years? And having two different color doo-rags on and a hat tilted sideways. What is that a uniform? A uniform of what? If you are wearing a uniform it means that you either have a job or you are part of a military force. What military force or job is it which compels you to wear that uniform? Think, stop, analyze and learn language because language is power. If I walk up to a young kid in the ghetto and call him an aborigine, he is ready to fight me but if he analyzes the word ‘aboriginal’ it means that he was first!

    Cedric Muhammad: You have read many of my writings and I am not sure that you have read my multi-part series on RapCOINTELPRO. Not too many people know what led to me starting the series or why I started, but it began as a response to a question from Wendy Day of Rap Coalition. She called me one day and asked me for a historic definition of COINTELPRO. She had already brilliantly taken that phrase “Rapcointelpro” and flipped it as a means to make artists more intelligent about the music business. I told her that I would do that by writing a piece at BlackElectorate.com, and that I would give her a real thorough definition. And that is the trigger event of how the series came about, although there were other things that preceded that. So, in my last installment – part fourteen - the title was, ‘President Kennedy, Tupac, Ja Rule, 50 Cent, and Minister Farrakhan’, I began by touching lightly on a belief that I have had for years, which is that the assassination of President Kennedy, combined with the study of the FBI’s COINTELPRO will tell you more about the 10% and those who rule this world, and who the greatest enemies of Hip-Hop are than practically any other two subjects you could study. And because I know that you are a great student of the assassination of John F. Kennedy and COINTELPRO, and you have experienced it and seen it from the standpoint of the Black community as well as the Native community; what are your thoughts on what I just said, as well as your independent view of the value of the study of JFK’s murder and COINTELPRO – how has that informed you?

    Ernie Paniccioli: Every act of coup d’etat had a specific point of reference, whether it was the killing of Patrice Lumumba or the installation of the Shah of Iran or 100 other things. The United States of America, in the last century – the one preeminent act was the killing of JFK. Everything revolves around that. Whether it is J. Edgar Hoover, the Bush organization, the Skull and Bones, the secret societies. It all revolves around that. There is a book called, “ Accessories After The Fact” by Sylvia Meagher. There are hundreds of books on the Kennedy assassination – most of them are misinformation, unfortunately. And yet, if you go and look at those who create misinformation, what they do is put in a lie between two truths. So, as you read those books with your third eye – knowledge, wisdom and overstanding – you will begin to see the truths and separate them. And there are some amazing books like, “Oswald And The CIA”. And for you to understand this New World Order, you have to understand Oswald and how he was used and there was a book called, “On The Trail Of The Assassins” by Jim Garrison, and you need to understand that. If nothing else what it does is give you a sense of history and a sense of learning how to read and decipher language which is powerful. COINTELPRO is nothing more and nothing less than an effort and a sense of spying and trying to direct the energy of minority communities in the United States, because minority communities are the most disenfranchised. And it is a way to get those communities to behave in such a way that they are no longer perceived as a threat to the forces of the New World Order. COINTELPRO is a way of using your neighbor to ‘rat’ on you if you are politically active. It is nothing more or less. When you go to the supermarket they can tell exactly what you do. They know whether you have women in the house because you buy sanitary napkins, whether you eat pork, how much alcohol you consume. They know everything about your habits and if they see enough negative habits, like alcohol and cigarettes and the over consumption of pork, then they know that you are not a threat. You are not perceived as a threat and therefore you are not any problem, on one level. But yet, on another level you are always going to be a problem. So, on one level you have an extreme person, who may be in the Nation Of Islam or some other group. They are considered a perceived threat. At the other level you may not be politically active or have membership in “extreme” groups but because of your bloodline… you might be a cat that drinks beer and watches TV and think you are not a threat but you are (because of your lineage). So, people say, ‘Brother Ernie aren’t you afraid because of your criticism and your analysis of this beast?’ And I say, “No, even though you may not think you are perceived as a threat because you don’t do anything that would warrant it, you are actually still perceived as a threat”. As a matter of fact in the 1960s all you had to do to get an FBI record, if you were a person of color, was to go to school. Try for higher education and they had a file on you. Well, now the entire nation (America) is perceived as a threat in something called Project Echelon. Every time you type on a keyboard or make a phone call it is recorded. And what I say to those who fear the beast is that the beast knows everything, they listen to everything. They analyze how flies have relationships and they are analyzing everything we do. They need to know “everything” – what we eat, who we are hanging out with, and our thoughts – but you know what our power is? We have a spiritual force and we need to focus on that. They know everything but they don’t know the value of everything. And it is that lack of sense of values that makes them weak. Look at these people who are running everything, without the power of the army, they are weak! Remember the movie, “The Wizard of Oz”? That was a lecture for us. Follow the yellow brick road, etc… the white man behind the curtain who appeared to have so much power, and of course there was the little dog. See today, how we refer to one another, “Yo that is my dawg…” Well, it was the little dog that pulled the curtain and exposed what was behind there. And what was behind the curtain? Was it a great and powerful Oz or was it a little punk? What I suggest to you is that you look at the Wizard Of Oz as a political statement. Look at Frankenstein as a political statement. Frankenstein was a Negro, created from this and that and everything else. You have to understand something – and this goes back to the last topic of Black and Red – before the European came there was no “Negro”. There was no “Indian” here. There were nations and tribes that inhabited this entire continent – North and South of this so-called America. There was no so-called Negro. There was no so-called Indian. This was Frankenstein created– he never existed before. And what did Frankenstein do when he realized who he was? He killed his creator and his family, when he got knowledge of self. So Frankenstein is a very powerful thing. And so is Dracula. I will tell you what that is all about later. It deals with the homosexual thing. I bite you on the neck and you bite her on the neck. Ok? Now that is going to create some dissension there – that Dracula thing, that vampire thing but I am putting it out there, I don’t care. Frankenstein was a Negro, not a Black man – a Negro, at the end when he realized who he was and rose up against his master he became a Black man. Look at these movies but look at them through the third eye. Look at the Star Wars trilogy. The original one was about a rebel alliance and Darth Vader was just like the head of COINTELRPRO (J. Edgar Hoover). Afrika Bambaataa teaches us to look at these movies carefully. Look at The Matrix. Look at these movies as a warning to us and as a form of education rather than entertainment. Look at the Matrix and think of our future – everyone has barcodes on their neck and shaved heads. That’s another thing for us to talk about here. I wear my hair down my back. Brothers all over the country right now are shaving their heads. Remember what Bob Marley said about baldheads – ‘we are going to drag them crazy baldheads out of town.’ OK, cutting your head is for a reason and I said this several years ago. I said the reason they are making that more popular is so that when you get into the military you don’t have a negative reaction. One of the reasons why people used to not want to go into the military was because they did not want to cut their hair. Now, everybody has a shaved head. This is part of COINTELPRO. Because the best way to diffuse any type of dissension in the ghettos is to have the young men in the military, or drafted, because when you are ducking bullets in Iraq you are not going to be concerned about what is going on in your community.

    Cedric Muhammad: Brother, I want to set up a question regarding political activity or activism – whether voting, protesting, boycotting and lobbying – but I want to set that question in the context of Hip-Hop as a cultural phenomenon, so could you please for the record, offer your definition or reference of the four or five elements of Hip-Hop?

    Ernie Paniccioli: Sure, the five elements as defined by someone greater than myself and someone infinitely more qualified than myself – Afrika Bambaataa - are, in his estimation, first, the DJ, second, the MC, the third being the graffiti arts, and the fourth is dance, in no particular order. Hip-Hop is a tree with many branches. Those are the four main elements. The fifth is wisdom, knowledge, overstanding, love etc...I fit into the fifth category because I do none of the other four. But as a documenter of the culture, and a love of the culture, I fit into the fifth. Afrika Bambaataa fits into many. So, that is the idea. But let me just qualify this by saying that one branch of the tree, which is the MC, known commonly as “rap”, has been colonized. That is very important to understand. The most visible, and loudest element of Hip-Hop, which is the MC- rap – has been colonized.

    Cedric Muhammad: Now, I wanted that context laid and framed because I wanted to ask as broadly as I could, is Hip-Hop, as cultural force inherently political or has politics been projected onto the culture - through those cultural elements that you just laid out?

    Ernie Paniccioli: Hip-Hop is from the streets, and is essentially a Black rhythm. And let me go back to those elements. Each of those elements – and this is not Bambaataa speaking, this is me. Each of those elements are gifts to us from the Creator and have been with us since the 400 trillion years since His face was shown. Since He created us we have been dealing with those elements of Hip-Hop. In other words, the DJ is the reincarnation of the drum, the manifestation of the drum. The drum has always been with us. The speaker of war, joy, and marriage and death. It has always been with us. Dance has always been with us - for tribal ceremonies, for celebrations of weddings, whatever. The MC is the spoken word, it has always been with us, the Holy Men etc…that has always been with us. Graffiti art is just the latest manifestation of what goes all the way back to the pyramids. And of course the fifth element, wisdom, knowledge, and overstanding, has always been with us and has allowed us to survive.

    Saying that, Hip-Hop is a straight manifestation, it is a thing of color. It came from our loins, culture and rhythms. It came from our breath and our love for one another. And therefore, since we are colonized as a people in this wilderness of North America and this madness that they call America - with three K’s. Because it is a form of continuity with ancestors, and who we are as a people, it is of course political. Since we are different from the colonizer by blood and birthright, of course it will be political. It will always be political. Even though elements of it have been colonized, the nature of Hip-Hop itself is political. Right now in New York City, and Miami, they have a Hip-Hop task force that follows around leaders in the Hip-Hop community and high-profile rappers. They have their own Hip-Hop COINTELPRO. And many of the so-called activists and leaders in Hip-Hop are whores! Media whores who are looking for the next write-up in Billboard, and the next write-up in Vibe and whatever ‘White shine’ they can get. They say, ‘Brother I love you; and Sister I love you…’ and ‘The Black man is this and that…’ and ‘R. Kelly this…’ and ‘Michael Jackson that…’. They are frauds. And when the time comes I am going to be denouncing those frauds. Log onto the Zulu website and read my poem, my warning, or my threat, an insult to these people. It is called ‘Imagine’. But it is also a love poem. It is about us, for us. It is the real FUBU – for us and by us; and not that clothing line that was sold to Koreans. This is the real FUBU!

    Cedric Muhammad: (laughter) In light of that, how do you define Hip-Hop activism?

    Ernie Paniccioli: I don’t like the word ‘activism’. Most activists that I have known in my near six decades on this planet have been punks, who are looking for money and the next write-up in a White glossy magazine saying (of them), ‘…oh this is the next political activist.” Most of them are straight-up frauds. To me, either you are a freedom fighter, a scholar, a soldier, a warrior or you ain’t nothing. Malcolm was a freedom fighter. Jesse was an activist, shall I go on? You know the names. I just read the article you had on your website, BlackElectorate.com, about Sharpton, and his campaign manager. It almost made my stomach crawl. How come that is not on the cover of the New York Times? So don’t tell me about activists and activism. You get a woman with three children and no husband working two jobs that’s activism. When you have got a young man who is going to school, working a job and trying to raise a family that is activism. When you have got a sister who has been raped and she is trying to counsel other women about rape and how to protect themselves, that’s activism. When you have got a Brother or a Sister who has been assaulted out in these streets, and they go and study martial arts and teach children how to defend themselves that’s activism. Some bitch-boy that gets up in an audience and has these little forums on how we all can love each other, and some psycho babble – that is punk stuff, man. I can’t even say it loud enough. When you are doing it for glory, fame and to sell books and products. That is just bitch stuff; that is the opposite of activism. When you, yourself, are dissin’ other Brothers and then you say in public that we are psychologically this or that…that is punk stuff. It is freedom or death. Very simple. You are either a fighter in the struggle to help us survive on this planet, in this wilderness of North America with the coming holocaust, or you ain’t nothing. Don’t come out here having these forums with people having kente cloths on and looking all righteous with beeds on, and smelling nice and looking like Erykah Badu. That is all frontery, man, that is nothing, going, ‘oh yes Brother…oh yes Sister…” C’ mon man. If you are going to be about it, then you have to find a way to feed people and educate them, inspire them and give them jobs, don’t just make these little bitch-ass lectures. They ask me all of the time to be part of this. I am not part of none of that man. It is freedom or death. Either you are feeding people, giving them jobs and giving them education, training them in martial arts, training them in how to eat, or the rest of it is glory man – Van Gloriuos, Ok? I am old school man, if you ain’t feeding anybody – if you ain’t adding to the mix, you are taking away from the mix, and if you are taking away from the mix then you are just another pirate, another vampire.

    Cedric Muhammad: How do you feel about the recent push to get the Hip-Hop generation, community and industry or artists involved in voting and voter registration drives?

    Ernie Paniccioli: (laugher). Can I pass on that question? No, I wont, I have never passed on a question in my life. I have this view (laughter again)…if people are picking horses in a race then you really don’t have a vote. In America, you have Kerry and Bush. Both of them are in Skull and Bones. They have taken secret oaths together. They have laid and wrestled nude in the mud with one another. They have been videotaped naked. Don’t take my word for it. This is part of the culture of Skull and Bones, where you have to wrestle naked in the mud with another man. Now, I ain’t wrestling naked with no man. I don’t know about you Cedric, but I kind of feel that this would not be your thing either. And to be videotaped, later in life, so that if you do anything that is considered to be against the Skull and Bones, they send these videotapes to the media etc…Now if you really want to get deep down into it, have the people do the research and find out what Skull and Bones is all about. Now, in America, you have an organization that only has 800 members and two of them are vying for President? And you are going to tell me about freedom, justice and voting? Not only that, but in a twelve-year period you have a father and his idiot son become president? And you are going to tell me about voting? Tell me who the alternatives are. Tell me who I can vote for. Let me know which one of those cats will come to my house and break bread with me. Tell me which one of those cats I can talk to personally. Which one of them can come to my neighborhood without 800 secret service agents, and jets and tanks? So that stuff really doesn’t relate to me. If someone else believes in voting, then, God Bless you. But look at this New World Order and what globalism means for us. When I can call technical support for a computer in America and I get somebody on the phone from Bangladesh and India, then something is seriously wrong and I really don’t see where voting is going to correct it because the voting process, itself, the whole democracy itself, the whole concept itself, is something alien to me. If somebody else wants to do it, or say, if Hip-Hop wants to do it and you want to get people in there who are righteous and not just quote unquote activists; then God Bless you man. I am really not apart of that, and if you all really want to do that, it is cool. Right now in New Mexico one of the Congressman is trying to lower the voting age to fourteen so at that age you get half a vote, at sixteen you have three-quarters of a vote, and at 18 you can vote. This is to encourage people to vote. But in a country that looked at us as three-fifths of a man, I really don’t understand the mathematics. And in an organization that has 800 members in it and two of them are vying for president I don’t understand the mathematics. If 30% of the people go out and vote for the Ten Percenters, and I am a Five Percenter or Poor Righteous Teacher, I really don’t understand the math. And when you can take a person like Nelly and can elevate him and help him sell a million records, and somebody like KRS-One, or Chuck D. and people that really have something to say are barely going gold, I really don’t understand the mathematics. I am really confused. I am not that intelligent and maybe I am not the right person to be asking about voting.

    Cedric Muhammad: Thank You for your answer Brother. I would like to move into some of the more emotional gender-oriented issues. I have my own opinion that much of the intellectual discussion about male-female relationships, and gender, is alien to our culture and nature; and is being projected into Hip-Hop culture through various political ideologies and external coalition partners. But there is a commonly-expressed belief among many in the community that Hip-Hop is a “homophobic” and misogynistic culture, and is patriarchical in nature, and many people mean this in a very negative context. What is your whole take on that issue of “homophobia” and the disrespect of women and misogyny as it is frequently discussed by many Hip-Hop intellectuals and others?

    Ernie Paniccioli: OK. Well. You are throwing all of the hot potatoes at me but I have gloves on so I am going to take it and hit you with an answer. Number one – homophobia. Homophobia is an irrational disrespect or fear of homosexual behavior, generally between two men but in some cases two women. Misogyny is hatred and abuse of women, Now, I feel that these activists, or voices, - those who get a lot of shine – who use gender to enrich themselves to do books, and to make money, that’s misogyny. When you call a women a sister or a man a brother and you aren’t psychologically capable of behaving with that person in a loving relationship, then that is misogyny. When you are using that to exploit it for your own enrichment, advancement and fame, that is a form of misogyny. That is directed at all of those people who are going to correct misogyny in the Black community. They are frauds. Now, let’s get back into misogyny. I have a wife and a daughter and I have nieces and goddaughters and I have always helped them to survive. My daughter is getting her master’s degree. My wife will break your arm if you put your hand on either her, her daughter or me. We are warrior people. We do not see a difference between male and female other than the man is responsible for that family unit. And if you go back to the traditions that is the way it is. The woman runs the family unit and the man is ultimately responsible for defending that home from anything, including his own excesses. This is very, very important. But if you are going to be a man in the house, you have to act like a man, you have to protect those women, educate those women, and help be the barrier or buffer for those women in between anything negative that is coming toward them, and you are to draw those things that are positive toward them. And if we stopped this nonsense of dividing the male and female, and started looking at all of those things pertaining to the female as “Sister”, ”Mother” etc…we would be better. The family structure is apart of us. We need to get rid of a lot of that other nonsense that is in the community.

    Now, let’s deal with homophobia in rap. Actually, knowing some homosexual men, they say that some of the images that are in the rap videos are quite homoerotic, actually quite homosexual. They say the males that are wearing furs, and diamonds, and platinum and all chained out and got make-up on in this videos – that’s homosexual. And a lot of homosexuals love these rap videos because these men are acting out homosexual fantasies –wearing the diamonds, the earrings, the whole over-the-top look. Now, you have cats coming out in pink, in furs, and Chincila. And they are spending so much money. One of the disses that are directed at women is that they are always buying shoes – having 80 and 100 pairs. Well a lot of these cats have 100 pairs of sneakers. What is the difference in behavior? Now, you gotta ask yourself some questions and say, ‘wait a minute, slow your roll’. A lot of these so-called “homophobic” cats, are actually homoerotic and homosexual in look. Just go through the pages of any so-called Hip-Hop magazines and look, these guys are trying to out-pretty the women – trying to compete with women. What are they trying to compete with the women for? Think about that.

    Cedric Muhammad: Finally, and this is a good way to end our discussion. You started with the man, we just dealt with gender, family, and male-female relations, and now let’s conclude with the youth. I will close how I opened by reiterating how impressed I was with your presentation at Lord Stirling School in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and what it revealed about the power of imagery in education. One of the most striking moments of the presentation, where you were showing different slides of photographs of the artists, that you have captured, was when you showed the photos of Tupac, and the children gave him as much applause as they did B2K and if I am correct, no one in that group of young people was over 14 years of age. So that struck me on two levels. One it showed me how the reverence of Tupac by the younger artists of today has led to their fans being more informed about those who came before their favorite artists. And secondly, I thought your ability to bring photographs of B2K, right behind Tupac, right behind, Biggie, right behind TLC, and Bow Wow and Snoop Dogg, shows that your function as a witness-bearer and really as a historian of the culture allows us to jump time and space in the education process. So I wanted to know what you thought of the role of imagery on youth in education, in what you do, as well as your view of how Hip-Hop lyrics and the other elements of the culture can be powerful tools in educating our young people, who as you know, are going through so much in a lot of these schools.

    Ernie Paniccioli: First, I will go out on a limb and say our youth have never been in more danger than they are now. They are psychologically assaulted and there is an effort to colonize their minds, hearts and souls. What I am doing and what you are doing is that we are in a battle for their minds and their souls. We don’t need no fake-ass activists and we don’t need any feel-good people. That is all tired. In order to reach the youth, you have got to use Hip-Hop. Ain’t nothing else going to reach them, nothing else, nothing. But so much of our culture is colonized – the television, the videos, the MTV. The 85% and children is who we, as the 5%, poor righteous teachers, are trying to reach and draw toward us, and the 10% has got technology with racism and evil embedded in it – even with the Gameboy, with its violent and sick images; and there is madness on the Internet. 360 degrees of that is virtually under their control. We only have 5% of that 360 degrees to work with. And you cannot approach those children unless you know the language, the cadence, and the rhythm of Hip-Hop. And you cannot reach those children, even armed with the tool of Hip-Hop unless you have powerful love and force within yourself. You can’t just go out there with the “Brother and Sister” thing or the simple “I’m good and they are bad” line or “us against them”, or “He’s ignorant and I have had therapy”. You just can’t do that. You have to reach those kids with love, power, and respect. And Hip-Hop is the only medium that can do it and not only do you have to know the language and the cadence and the rhythm of Hip-Hop but you’ve gotta have that spiritual power that children can sense like a dog smells raw meat. There is no thinking it. You cannot outthink a child. There is no getting up there and saying “oh, I am this and I am that”; that don’t mean nothin’ if you can’t reach those kids, one-to-one and hug them and make them feel like you are part of what will help them get through this twenty-first century. Unless they can sense the power, the force, and the energy, the vitality and the love in you. You can’t reach them no matter what kind of tools you bring. Now, that being said, you have got to understand that all of the forces that are against these children and you have to understand how I perceive my art as a powerful tool. And I say it 1,000 times. I use Hip-Hop as a bait to educate. I try with all of the power in my body to reach the children, because if I just get up there, then I am just one more cat that bored them. But it is the power of my art and the love and energy that I bring, and you have to see me work with a small group of children and you will not believe the transformation. Teachers have been astounded. Kids that were failing now get A-pluses. Kids that were sitting in the class daydreaming are now driving the teacher crazy with questions. 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade children are coming into classes with books and challenging the teachers saying, “No, Brother Ernie said this…” and the teachers ask them ‘can you prove it?’ and they answer, ‘Yeah, here look and read this…’ And the teachers call me and tell me that what has happened is a blessing and a curse. They say the kids are learning but also wearing them out (laughter) fighting with them (with questions and facts). So, I have that power and it is a blessing and gift from the Creator and I try, with all my heart and might to save them. If I go into a situation with 100 children and I can save one, it is a blessing. When all is said and done you aren’t judged by how many Hummers you have got and how much platinum you have, and if when you wake up you have six women in your bed, and you have a house with gold bathrooms. You aren’t judged for that. You are judged by what have you given, not what you have taken.

    Cedric Muhammad: Beautiful. Thank You Brother for your time and allowing us this picture of your heart and mind.

    Ernie Paniccioli: Brother thank you for giving me an opportunity to reach an audience and opportunity that I may not be able to reach. And I know one thing, I am famous now, I sign autographs all of the time. That means nothing to me. What does mean something to me is when people come up to me and vibe with me, cipher with me, talk with me, and that possibly, I can act like what I am supposed to be - a Big Red alarm clock that is waking people up and saying, “Yo man, check the time!” This is serious man. Brother I am so proud of you that you are a young person and you are trying to reach the masses and not trying to feed into that nonsense.

    Cedric Muhammad: Thank You.

    End Of Part II

    Ernie Paniccioli’s work can be seen at www.whoshotya1.com and www.rapphotos.com. Mr. Paniccioli is available for photography, gallery shows and lectures and can be contacted via e-mail at: rapphotos@hotmail.com

    T E M P L E   O F   H I P H O P

    Peace. May 16th-23rd 2004 marks the 7th Annual Hip Hop Appreciation Week. Our theme this year is faith—fear not, only believe. Every year during the third week in May,  conscious Hiphoppas come together to discuss Hiphop beyond entertainment. Such a discussion however is not for everyone. Everyone does not see the vision of a unified, self-governed and prosperous Hiphop Kulture. Most people can only understand Hiphop as rap music. Even more people prefer to only use the elements of Hiphop to satisfy their own individual desires. Are you one of these people? Hip Hop Appreciation Week is a time set aside to show one’s appreciation for what Hiphop has done to advance the quality of one’s life. Such a vision is reserved for those who truly care for the further development of Hiphop—the culture. We believe in Hiphop’s ability to prevent sickness, hate, ignorance and poverty while producing health, love, awareness and wealth. Hip Hop Appreciation Week is our time to publicly manifest such a vision. How will you support?


    Every year during Hip Hop Appreciation Week the Temple of Hiphop presents a series        

    of cultural conferences throughout the United States aimed at addressing some of Hiphop’s more pressing cultural issues. This year our conference will explore ways in which Hiphop can direct the attention of its community (especially youth) toward excellence in math, science, engineering and space exploration. We know that it is the power of Hiphop that authenticates people, places and things and makes them cool (appealing) to those youth influenced by Hiphop. We know that it is Hiphop that is actually speaking to our youth. With this in mind, we have decided to present our 2004 Hip Hop Cultural Conference at the National Aeronautics Space Administration headquarters (NASA) in Washington DC in an attempt to promote the coolness of math, science, engineering and space exploration within the Hiphop community.


    On May 19th 2004 the Temple of Hiphop will be inviting one hundred math and science students from the Washington, DC area along with NASA’s scientists, some three hundred prominent Hiphop activist, artist, ministers, politicians and teachers to discuss Hiphop’s cultural role in the positive promotion of math, science, engineering and space exploration amongst our youth. Would you like to be part of this historic discussion? What can you contribute toward the success of our conference? How will you support? We are confirming our panel of Hiphop speakers/activist now. We would be honored to include your name and/or organization’s logo to our list of speakers, contributors and sponsors. To pledge your support and/or confirm your attendance, please call 1-818-848-9030 or email: info@Temple of hiphop.org. Thanks for listening.





    From: Mike Ramey <manhoodline@yahoo.com>


    Brothers.we are gathered here in cyberspace to lay to
    rest 'Rites Of Passage'.

    The official causes of death: Apathy, Abdication,
    Amnesia and the Hip Hop Culture--with complications
    attributable to biblical, economic, and legal
    ignorance.  If I may borrow and amend a line from the
    immortal bard: "I come NOT to praise 'Rites Of
    Passage', but to BURY HIM!"

    I plan to be 'short' in my remarks as we are gathered
    round the graveside of the departed.  The sweet aroma
    of the flowers provided by government funding, social
    engineering, and academic fraud are filling the air of
    our small cemetery.  However, it is the grave marker,
    paid for by our local churches that is most telling:



    Let me say from the outset, as I press on with my
    remarks, that I did not dislike the recently departed.
     Quiet the contrary.  I had the utmost respect for the
    lofty goals and fervent rhetoric, which punctuated the
    speech of the deceased while he was alive.  There were
    times that Brother Rites visited me as I labored at
    the church house, or as I wrestled with my own sons
    and daughters in the course of being a married man. I
    remember him as always being talkative,
    challenging--and sometimes insulting. However, as we
    progressed down life's long--and sometimes
    hazardous--highway, we did grow apart.

    I noticed that 'Brother Rites' stopped coming by the

    I believe he thought that his youth, his intellect,
    his compassion and caring bypassed his need to be
    connected with the church, and elders who were
    concerned for his soul.

    But, I digress.

    It wasn't long before this old preacher got some word
    through the grapevine.

    Brother Rites--as most do when they walk away from
    God--had some issues.

    It didn't surprise me in the least.

    When I last saw him, I recalled that his eyes were
    growing cloudy, his breath was getting shallow, and
    his coordination was gradually deteriorating.  Upon
    closer examination (through repeated questioning by
    yours truly), I came to notice some early warning
    signs of trouble:

    Abandoning of God, the church, and the Bible

    Abdication of sexual purity

    Apathy towards the need for marriage

    Forgetting our true history and worth

    Refusal to listen to elders (both male and female)

    Minimizing fatherhood over elevating the village

    Lust for material wealth (the 'bling')

    Ignorance due to a lack of time in school

    Eagerness to pursue pleasure over a job or career

    I could go on with my listing of symptoms; but I can
    sense a rise in anger round the graveside as the fans
    are moving to and fro in a rapid matter on this spring
    afternoon.  No matter.I will soon be through with my
    eulogy and all that will remain is for the dirt to be
    laid upon the casket, and the grave sealed--forever.

    Traditional funerals are one of my specialties.  So
    are traditional weddings.


    While 'Brother Rites' was displaying increasing signs
    of serious illness and should have sought medical
    attention, he took a few aspirin, maintained he was
    'fine' and walked on. After all--he possibly
    rationalized--with more and more books coming out
    about him, and more and more commissions being formed
    to study him, and more colleges and high schools and
    'liberal' churches being used as forums to honor his
    goals and dreams.he likely believed that he was set
    for a long run, and solid prosperity.

    Ah, but 'Brother Rites' soon discovered that his
    vision had cleared.

    What he saw--truly shocked him.

    First, he discovered that he was an only child.  In
    the white, red, yellow, and brown communities, he had
    no kinfolk--no nuclear family.  'Brother Rites' had no
    counterpart--no brothers or sisters.  In these other
    communities, there were admittedly problems.but the
    use of hard work, education, thrift, respect, and good
    religion had overshadowed the need for his program.

    Something that he saw as being 'unfair'.

    These other communities, in his view, had young men
    who could profit from his teaching.  He felt as if he
    were being robbed of potential income.

    Second, he discovered that a good friend of his who
    had also fallen ill--Brother Common Sense--was
    hospitalized in a drug-induced coma.  Brother Common
    Sense had suffered a stroke when he had learned that
    so many young men in the African American community
    were voting for ignorance and incarceration with their
    feet, and feeding their brains with immorality.

    His condition was listed as 'guarded'.

    Brother Rites shed some tears when he got the news
    about Brother Common Sense, and rushed to the hospital
    to see him.  However it was the next discovery that
    pushed Brother Rites into the grave we see today.


    With Brother Common Sense on his deathbed, Brother
    Rites attempted to let some light into the darkened
    room.  As he opened the drapes, he was greeted by a
    sobering look at the accomplishments of giving his
    wisdom to the African American community for nearly
    two decades:

    Hard work had been replaced with laziness

    Excuses had been substituted for perseverance

    Scripture had been replaced with Flows

    Education had been replaced with expulsion

    Studio time outweighed studying time

    Advancement had been replaced with anger

    STDs and pregnancies abounded in our youth

    A good time outweighed the need for future planning

    The sight that truly sent Brother Rites over the edge
    and into the grave was when he peered down into the
    hospital parking lot two floors down.

    He observed a young man fiddling with his brand new

    Brother Rites thought for a moment, and then realized
    he recognized him.  He had once delighted in teaching
    the young man about disregarding the need to 'copy the
    old Black man's past ways of hard work and success'
    and getting a "firm grip" on what was 'happening'

    The former disciple popped the lock, and beat the
    alarm--in seconds.

    Brother Rites again and again taught this young man
    that his self-esteem, after all, was more important
    than valuing others bodies or property.  He had even
    urged the young man to memorize some of the 'Rites
    principles' .and how to hold them to be more important
    than schoolbooks--or even the Bible.

    Brother Rites watched his former disciple quickly
    peel out off the hospital lot.

    The former student had a firm grip--on Brother Rites'

    The student, it seems, had taught the teacher a
    painful and costly lesson.

    Brother Rites dropped dead--at the feet of Brother
    Common Sense.

    That concludes our graveside services.  On your way
    out, would you please sign the guest book for my
    records?  You can sign right under where I signed my

    The name is Living.  Upright Living.  I hope to see
    you in church on Sunday.

    MIKE RAMEY is the author of THE MANHOOD LINE. A column
    written for men from a biblical, business, and common
    sense perspective.  To correspond, drop your emails to
    manhoodline@yahoo.com. ©2004 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm
    Communications International (2).



    Peace My Brothers and Sisters throughout the world

    Its Emile from the Heal the Hood Project in South Africa. To explain the
    concept briefly, is that we have been involved in Hip Hop since 1982 and we
    have learned that the system as it is, is only after the money generated
    from hip hop and not the liberation and revolutionary importance of hip hop.
    We have thus researched the process of their control of the masses and how
    it is done. We have realized that our main downfall is our expectation that
    they will help us attain this freedom.

    Capitalism has no interest in the masses gaining freedom as that will mean
    that they will have to share their money with more people and thus even care
    about the most poverty stricken people that they use for gaining their cheap
    slave labor that ensures their capitalistic ways. We have thus seen that
    they have a network that will decide and dictate the way that hip hop is
    perceived by the masses by the control of the global media networks that
    they have control over. This network aims to get us into contact around the
    world and thus also create a network that aims to serve as a distribution
    network that will generate an income for the creative people from the
    various communities that we choose to work with. Those that gain from this
    project has the DUTY to pass what they have gained to others in the
    community and thus also ensure that more money is generated for more
    positive hip hop globally from the hip hop network that we intend to spread
    throughout the world. We have thus far started an interest in this network in
    Sweden, South Africa and Norway. We are currently speaking to England,
    Australia, Zimbabwe and a few  others. Our intention is to expand in each of
    our towns globally to get more people involved and spread a newsletter that
    will have stories about the real hip hop and spread it in each of the
    countries that we have spoken about above. If you want to get an article
    from your country into the magazine, please mail it to me and we will get it
    into issue one and we will then send copies of the magazine to each country
    and offer it as part of the global membership fee that will ensure that we
    get it out quarterly globally and we will also advertise whatever locally
    produced, non mainstream artists work in the magazine called DA JUICE, a
    heal the Hood project.

    In the future we intend to release CDs with hip hop from around the world on
    it and have that distributed internationally. We also want to have youth draw
    designs and create t-shirts and murals in each others communities showing
    that graffiti can also expose artworks from ghettos from different parts of
    the world to be done in different countries and giving them exposure as well
    as an income from their creativity, in various countries around the world.

    As you can hear , we have millions of creative ways of getting around their
    control of our minds and we know that you have many creative ways that you
    will also share and put into effect in your country. So my brothers and
    sisters .... What we are saying is that we are the majority on this planet
    and we have to reclaim our POWER from the corporate capitalist minorities
    that wants to keep us THE MAJORITY as slaves to exploit with their BULLSHIT
    LIE, democracy. Its more like bought and brainwashed dictatorship. I see a
    SAD FUTURE if we continue to believe the lies they sell us that we are world
    famous, when their world is only dictated by economic statistics and judged
    by the flow of wealth. It is a sad world, when a few countries dictates its
    desires and views on the majority of countries around the globe and we
    remain silent when they go to war and enforce democracy via their
    dictatorship. Its a sad world, when information is controlled by finance and
    they are able to get the world to forget millions of DYING AFRICANS from
    and get away with it, as they did with SLAVERY. No remuneration or
    compensation or even SADNESS for their deeds.

    TRUE IDENTITY AND VALUE ATTACHED TO LIFE. These colonials degraded cultures
    from around the world and made theirs look CIVIL- LIES- ED. Cultures like
    OURS here in Afrika that worshipped GOD in everything around us, thus loving
    the GOD in everything, thus not polluting, not taking life of animals
    without praising the GOD in it and thanking it and after they had their
    churches force their version of GOD on us, their children today worship
    spirits or GODS in everything like with so-called witchcraft. These children
    are running the world my brothers and sisters and know not what they do. It
    is time for that masses and elders to TAKE BACK what belongs to us all. I am
    not talking about their worthless money or fancy material things ... we need
    to re-value their values they have enforced on us. What gives their money
    worth ? Why is it worth more than life ? Who said that gold can by a fruit
    that was loved and nurtured and grown from the earth, what makes this
    mineral worth more than that or LIFE itself?

    I know many people reading this will think I am losing my mind, but think
    about your children and their children's children. What will these theives
    leave for them? What world will exist then, when they control life and will
    sell it to you. They will own the genetically modified seed, that killed the
    naturally grown seed and poisoned the soil and they will dictate what you

    This network can become that and we can let each other see what is really
    happening in our countries without CNN or BBC or their controlled media. We
    can create our own media and travel to each others countries to learn from
    each other directly, replacing the humanity of learning.

    My dear brothers and sisters, like everything else, this is just an idea
    that has grown into a concept that we have made a reality in two countries
    initially and now wish to spread throughout the world. Heal the Hood is not
    a economically driven programmed, it is a people driven programmed. So if you
    are an ambitious corporate type wanting to make money without giving back to
    the people that support you, then this is not for you. The name expresses
    our intention to HEAL THE HOOD (as in Neighborhood)

    All praise is due to the Universal Zulu Nation & Afrika Bambaataa for the
    inspiration for this concept. LOVE, THANKS AND RESPECT TO THE ANCESTORS AND
    ELDERS FOR GIVING US HIP HOP, Kool DJ  Herc, Rock Steady Crew, GrandWizard
    Theodore, Grandmaster Flash, Chuck D, Public Enemy, Nation of Islam, Nelson
    Mandela, Steve Biko, Ashley Kriel, Robert Sovukwe, Patrice Lamumba, Malcolm
    X, Martin Luther King, Bob Marley and millions of others that have died and
    continue to die for the world liberation from greed, white supremacy,
    racism, capitalism, neo-colonialism ...

    May our GODS and ANCESTORS be with us

    from Emile YX?
    Black Noise
    Heal the Hood , South Africa

    Just a thought

      I believe that hip hop is a powerful source for the black community. It has helped alot of brothers out and still remains to the black community. But as I see it the media the marketing the beast of the cooperate machine is not going to let hip hop grow. As hip hop grows and makes money its not going to give life to anything thats ground breaking as much as it is commercial. The problem is this.. They are writing a book and pretty soon they will make sure hip hop dies in the end. You can slowly see it they are pushing Rock and Roll and they are picking underground rock and roll artists where the talent is and they are leaving the hip hop underground heads starving. Pretty soon what will happen is they will pick nothing but gang members with nothing positive to say and reflect that to hip hop. What I am trying to push is underground hip hop the up and coming artists the talented ones that have respectfully earned there positions. If you look at some of the greatest mc's they all come from the underground like busta rhymes tpac jayz rakim notorious big and so on. But the problem is back then the door was open for these artist to come from the underground, now they have shut it down...I am doing my part as opening up a website called www.innerstate5.com where I shed some light on these talented artists because they are stuck in a basement with no light. The site contains hip hop music and house music.. I put the two together because they belong. 

    Would love to hear from you guys..

    Thanks Albert


    The Goddess, Wanda Dee & Company
    throwing down on her blazingly funky rendition of Prince's "CONTROVERSY"


    By Deardra Shuler

    Saturday, November 8th, the National Black Theater on 125th St., and 5th Avenue in Harlem, was the divine space and place, where denizens of the Hip Hop nation came together to rap, sing, break dance and honor Afrika Bambaataa, as part of the sold-out Universal Zulu Nation's 30th Anniversary Celebration weekend.  

    Though the evening got off to a slow start, the third floor had folks dividing their attention between two theaters and vendors selling their wares. The smoke filled Temple Room housed an array of performers, whose artistry ranged from mediocre to downright spectacular. Performers such as KRS-One, Grand Master Flash, MC Shan, The Cold Crush Brothers, Melle Mel & Freedom Williams of C&C Music Factory were in attendance. Time stopped as both old school and new, worked their black magic and musical spell as only gifted black folks can  

    One performer in particular, Wanda Dee, gave a performance that 'Goddessized,' awe-inspired and spell bound patrons. Her performance could be described as nothing short of a captivating, pulverizing assault on the collective senses. This girl obviously put the 'Dee' in Diva. The international star so electrified the room shock waves were felt throughout the theater  

    When Eric Floyd, Ms. Dee's husband/manager and renowned producer/impresario in his own right, stepped onto the stage at 2:00 AM, regaled in a navy blue Goddess Empire Flight suit and outback cowboy hat, (looking every bit the ringmaster and showman), everyone knew it was SHOW TIME!!!

    The excitement intensified and the energy so electrified, that even the throng of photographers, television news cameras (including a new UPN TV show "ONE NATION/HIP HOP" that was doing a story on 'A Day In The Life Of Wanda Dee' and a documentary film crew under the auspices of Brian Jones about Hip Hop female DJ's,) clamored to secure a safe space for shooting what promised to be a powerful 'spectacufest' extravaganza
       Dee, no stranger to the Universal Zulu nation, was asked personally to perform by Universal Zulu Nation Chairman, Afrika Bambaataa, himself. And, she did not disappoint.

    This was the first ever homecoming for UZN's First Lady, who was the first female inductee into The Universal Zulu Nation; the first female DJ in Hip Hop, and the first female Hip Hop DJ to tour the U.K., where she was the first solo female rap artist to go platinum. As the lead singer for the British Pop/Dance mega-group, THE KLF, Wanda Dee, sold over 15 million albums worldwide, earning platinum status in some 77 countries throughout the 90's.

    Ms. Dee opened her performance with an old school Hip Hop/Dance remake track of the Jimmy Bo Horne classic; "DANCE ACROSS THE FLOOR. " At first, dressed in a red 2-piece hooded sweatsuit, gold chain, baseball cap, sunshades and Adidas, Dee did a b-girl bit dance & stance bit that drew chuckles, until she began both rapping & scratching to remind us all where she came from, and how she first entered the game back in her early teens.  But then she took us into what has made her an internationally renowned concert attraction & multimillion selling recording diva to this day, as Hip Hops first glamazon, as she then 'Star' burst out of her 'hood attire' and rapidly revealed that she had poured her perfect 10 body into a black leather, metal and flesh outfit, which highlighted her searing rendition of Prince's "CONTROVERSY" and "WHAT TIME IS LOVE?" She also blazed the stage with a Salsa original entitled, "CLAVE', CONGA, BONGO y TIMBAL," singing it entirely in Spanish.

    Dee demonstrated her dancing talents as she burnt up the stage alongside her Hip Hop/Jazz dancers, Siameze, Kaat, and LaChita, delivering up such steamy choreography, she had some appreciative audience members standing to attention. Dee's costumes were eye-popping as she bottomed out with outfits that had some folks whispering "The Goddess Is Here and in the Temple." Dee received three well-deserved show stopping standing ovations. All of the songs performed are on Wanda's new album; "THE GODDESS IS HERE!" which can now be purchased at www.GoddessEmpire.com

    During a brief break in Dee's program, Floyd made took the time to introduce to the crowd that "the biggest selling rapper of all time was both in attendance and currently touring with Dee around the world as part of their SWEATFEST WORLD TOUR 2004 featuring The KLF, C&C Music Factory & Snap!...", and at that point, as the Dj began blasting "The Power", the massive mega-rapper & voice of Snap, Turbo B stood up to rousing applause.  And with international record sales in excess of 57 million units, indeed The Guinness Book of Records (2003 edition) has him properly listed as such.

    Some slated to attend like Queen Latifah and Missy Elliott didn't make the party. However, Busy Bee, Rodney Cee, Roxanne Shante, DJ Power, MC Lyte and The Juice Crew, Melle Mel, KRS-One & Kurtis Blow were all in attendance to freestyle and party down, while lending their talents and support to Afrika Bambaataa and The Universal Zulu Nation.  All and all, many came to thank Bambaataa for the support and aid he gave their careers and were instrumental in making The Universal Zulu Nation's 30th Year Celebration an event to remember.


    Hip Hop Ya Don’t Stop

    By Adrian Arceo


    What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?  This is the question faced by the current hip hop artist.  As defined by Cheryl L. Keyes, the author of the book Rap Music and Street Consciousness, “Hip Hop is an urban youth arts movement comprised of graffiti, emceeing, disc jockeying, and breakdancing; a street attitude displayed through gestures, stylized dress, and language” (1).  Hip hop was originally birthed in the Bronx during the early 70’s to stop gang violence.  Afrika Bambaataa, deemed the “godfather of hip hop,” was the first to set up artistic battles as an alternative to violent disputes.  Bambaataa himself was a Black Spade Gangster, yet he did this all for the benefit of the community.  Even though there were pushers and thugs present at the hip hop park jams, it was all about positivity and having fun.  Today the hip hop scene is almost the complete opposite.  Artists are claiming to be thugs and gangsters; disrespecting women, glorifying violence, and promoting drug use in their lyrics and videos.  This trend has led to too much media glamorization of thugs and gangsters in hip hop music.    

    When someone is known to listen to hip hop, the average “adult” assumes the person listens to the mainstream thug artists.  Most people do not realize there is another type of hip hop available that does not get media attention.  A kind of hip hop where the rappers do not pretend to be thugs.  Where the rappers recite rhymes intelligently and make you think about what they are saying.  This kind of hip hop is unknown to most people.  Instead the thug image has been ingrained into people’s minds as to what people believe hip hop is.                                                                  According to the International Recording Industry hip hop is the fastest rising music market.  In addition to that the Recording Industry Association of America already ranks hip hop as the second most popular form of music.  Given these statistics there is no doubt that hip hop is big a part of American culture.  However the thug image is not hip hop.  In a recent Internet interview, DJ Lord Ron a respected DJ and producer, discredits the thug image in hip hop.

    “Where is the validation in being a hooligan, a gangster, a mugger?..It’z a wack validation because REAL thugs move in silence and any real street person who represents being from the streets respects that code of silence na mean.  Now, when I see or hear these artists claiming to be thugs.  I see nothing but followers of a trend just for the dollar bill na mean.  I even heard the bubble gum group ‘B2k’ use the word ‘Thug’… Do you really think these artists are real thugs?…A person can be anything they want to be in this society and to blame others for your actions of being this thug is straight up wack yo!…America is in love with violence & sex it does sell but there are many other topics that these rappers can write about.”

     DJ Lord Ron starts out by saying that real thugs do not go out and boast about the things they do.  The real thugs keep it in the street.  For a real thug to go on an album and boast about the things they have done would basically serve as a confession and would lead to them going to jail.  Lord Ron states that the “thug” image is being followed because it is the current trend; it is what is selling.  The people who are buying into the thug image do not realize the motives behind these artists is strictly money. 

    The consumers buy into the thug image as reality.  The people who listen to that music begin to think that it is acceptable to do the things that are being talked about in the songs.  Listening to constant talk about violence and drugs does affect people.  Here is an example of what these people are listening to.  The following lyrics are from one of the more popular rappers Eminem, from his song “Killing” from the Marshall Mathers LP,  “You faggots keep eggin me on til I have you at knifepoint, then you beg me to stop? Shut up! Give me your hands and feet I said shut up when I'm talkin to you You hear me? Answer Me? Or I'ma kill you!"  This violent excerpt is just one of the many examples from Eminem. Eminem clearly relies on shock value to get attention.   Another popular “thug rapper” is 50 Cent, here is the chorus to his hit song “In Da Club”. “You can find me in the club bottle full of bub. Look mami I got the X if you into taking drugs I’m into having sex, I aint into makin love. So come give me a hug if you into getting rubbed.”    This song talks about taking drugs and having sex as everyday things.  Kids are going around singing this chorus as casually as if they were singing the alphabet.  50 Cent is what is wrong with hip hop today, almost like a microcosm of what's wrong with what the general public see as hip hop today.   50 Cent started off as a reasonably talented lyricist.  Then he got shot.  This provided the media with a marketing spark and had him touted as the next Tupac.  Now it is almost impossible to watch music television without seeing 50 Cent promoted in some way.                              Rappers such as Eminem and 50 Cent have taken a firm control over mainstream hip hop.  However, some hip hop artists are doing what they can to make a positive difference.    One example is the group Blackalicious, which consists of members Gift of Gab and Chief Excel.   Gift of Gab addresses the thug scene in the following excerpt from the song “Shallow Days”.  “But music does reflect life and kids look up to what you’re portraying and mimic what you act like.  Its time for a new day an era in rap, conscious styles, makin’ them aware of the happenings but their ears seem more steered towards self-annihilation so then they might laugh and write this off, like I’m out here just blowing wind, maybe label us soft or unreal, something they can’t feel, while they keep yelling murder murder murder, kill kill kill.”  The Gift of Gab starts out by trying to reach the thug rappers and make them realize that kids look up to them and mimic the things they do.  He wants to start a new era in rap with socially conscious lyrics.  However, he knows what is going to happen, he is going to be written off and the people will continue on with their ways. To the mainstream audience the message of positivity is thrown into the “soft” category.  The mainstream audience labels music with positive messages as not “real” when in fact the thug image is what is not real.           A big part of the thug image problem is the media such as MTV, BET and the radio.  The media is a money-making business and decides what is to be popular and who the next superstar artist will be. The media outlets essentially spoon-feed society what to listen to, this in turn shapes the product they are selling.  If the media only plays songs and videos with thugs and gangsters then the new artists coming up will conform to these standards so that they can make it in the business.  An artist that is struggling to survive day by day will naturally get desperate.  In this desperation the artist will do anything for that recording contract which will end his struggles.  In the quest for the recording contract the artist will conform his talents to what is popular so that he may be popular.  This in turn leads to an influx of thug and gangster copycats.  The solution to this cycle is in the power of the fan.  The radio and television stations need a wake up call.  The reason the stations keep playing the same thug music is because they keep getting bombarded by requests from kids.  The fans of good music and people who care about the youth must call in to their radio and television stations and demand quality music.  If enough people call in the media will listen.  The only problem with this solution is that a campaign must be made in order to really pull it off.  Although it will take lots of organization a successful campaign is possible.  In the words of the famous social scientist Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

                The media helps shape the hip hop artist but the individual artist still holds some responsibility for the current state of hip hop. The mainstream artist has been using the same thug cliché for several years.  The repeated use of this formula has cut off the creativity that once drove the hip hop culture.  Hip hop had always been about trying new things before other people could think of it.  Hip hop emphasized creativity.  Now as long as this formula is selling nobody is going to change.  Furthermore, hip hop is losing soldiers.  The pressure for the real hip hop artist to sell out to the masses has never been higher.  To illustrate this point is Krs One; a hip hop pioneer.  Krs One was one of the most respected true hip hop artists and several of his albums are considered by true hip hop fans as classics.  However he lost a lot of respect after working with mainstream artists such as Puff Daddy.  In an interview with ThaFormula.com, Krs One was asked about his change of style that started in 1996, Krs responded with, “I have to compete; this is the whole real issue.  I may not be able to continue my legacy as a classic Hip hop record maker.  It’s like, either I get with the Neptunes and let them produce a hit LP for me or… I don’t know… I am not being supported.” Krs One fell victim to the commercialization of hip hop by tailoring his style to appeal to the masses.  The reason for Krs One changing his style is money.  Krs One noticed that the less talented mainstream artists were making a lot more money and he sacrificed his music to get a piece of that pie.  This has happened to other artists as well and most have been unsuccessful in crossing over to the mainstream.  The mainstream artists hold the biggest responsibility.  What we need for them to do is to make revolutionary changes using the power they wield with their popularity, but as long as the money is being raked in it is doubtful this will happen.  What needs to happen is to get more grassroots artists and organizations striving towards creativity instead of record sales.  The way for this to happen is to support these artists.  One way to support them is to simply spread the word about them.  These artists do not get media attention therefore it is up to the people to let the other people know.  Another step to support these artists is to stop downloading their songs off the Internet.  These artists need the record sales more than a platinum selling artist does.  Although the Internet allows these artists to gain exposure, they also need to be supported financially by people buying the albums.  The financial desperation of some of these artists often leads them to adopting a thug image to attain record sales.

                There is no doubt that America’s infatuation with sex and violence is also to blame for thug glorification.  The reason this image is being sold is because there is a big market for it.  As long as something is not illegal Corporate America will supply it.  Society as a whole has gotten used to this.  In a recent survey people were asked if they were offended by rap music, 70% of the people were not offended.  Society has been numbed and for the most part is not easily offended, but another reason they are not offended is because they do not know the history of the hip hop culture.  If all the people surveyed knew the foundation of hip hop they would be repulsed by what is happening to it.  The people who are going out and purchasing these multi-platinum thug artists’ albums must learn about the history of the culture. Once the people know the foundation of hip hop they will come to realize that what they had been purchasing is not quality music.                                                                                                                                  The change must start with the people we need to decide how we want to be represented in the media..  Corporate America will continue to do anything in their power to make as much money as possible.  The mainstream artists will continue to conform to what corporate America wants them to do.  It is the people that must say that they have had enough.  This is not just going to happen on its own it is going to take a movement.  There are several ways to get involved and the people can start by visiting the forum at Anti-Thug.com. Here the people will find a medium with which to discuss the issues that lie within the mainstream media.  This will allow the people to develop their foundation.  In the words of DJ Lord Ron, “I know my foundation, people, do you know yours?”

    Works Cited

    Arceo, Adrian.  Personal Survey conducted at Mission Viejo Lake on 15 July. 2003

    “Local Repertoire Hits New Highs To Dominate World Market.”  International Recording

    Industry.  16 July. 2003 <http://www.ifpi.org/site-content/press/20010906.html>.

    Keyes, Cheryl L.  Rap Music and Street Consciousness.  Chicago: University of Illinois Press,


    “Krs One From BDP To Tha Temple.” Tha Formula.com Records. 15 July. 2003                                                <http://thaformula.com/Thaformula.com%20-%20Home%20Page.htm>.

    Recording Industry Association of America. 2002 Consumer Profile.  16 July. 2003

                < http://www.riaa.com/news/marketingdata/pdf/2002consumerprofile.pdf>.

    Stringer, Michael Laron aka “DJ Lord Ron”.  Personal Interview Conducted through the Internet           on 15 July. 2003 <http://www.DJLordRon.com

    Management. Caila, Alyssia. Esq., J.S.D., Ph.D.  Global Entertainment & Legal Services.




    Study conducted at Mission Viejo Lake on July 15, 2003.


    Survey Question: Do you find rap music offensive? 


                 Male                           Female

                 Y        N                     Y         N

    18-21   0          5                      2          3

    22-26   1          4                      1          4

    27-32   1          4                      2          3

    33-40   2          3                      3          2

    41-50   1          4                      2          3

    Total    5          20                    10        15

    70% of respondents were not offended by rap music.


                Michael Laron Stringer aka DJ Lord Ron is a member of the Universal Zulu Nation, which is the oldest, and most respected grass roots Hip Hop organization. DJ Lord Ron has been a DJ and has been producing Hip Hop tracks since 1994. DJ Lord Ron has produced tracks for numerous Hip Hop artists such as Lord G (formerly of Militia) and Geographic Empire, just to name a few.
    Interview was performed through e-mail.

    The following questions were asked:

    1.      Are you sick and tired of the same old thug cliché being glamorized in Hip Hop?  Do you consider it real hip hop?

    1)       First of all, that "THUG" cliche does not have anything to do with the culture of Hip Hop, plain & simple. It is not real Hip Hop and that is why Hip Hop was birthed in the early 70's by DJ Kool Herc in the Bronx and in 1973, Afrika Bambaataa (A Black Spade Gangster) formed what is internationally known as The Universal Zulu Nation to stop the gang violence.

    Bam, Herc and other pioneers from the foundation found a way for people in the community of the Bronx to express themselves through music with nothing but two turntables and a microphone in the name of positivity even though there were gangsters, stick up kids & thugs all present at these "Park Jams"....Now, when I see or hear these artists claiming to be thugs, I see nothing but followers of a trend just for the dollar bill na mean. I even heard the bubble gum group "B2K" use the word "Thug"...Do you really think these artists are real thugs?...It'z just the new slang far as I'm concerned. Real recognize real..Word up.

    2.      If you could fill in the missing word what would it be?  There is too much _____ in Hip Hop music today

    2) Separatism

    3.      Some rappers that portray themselves as thugs say that  they are just reflecting the society they came from.  Do you think this is a valid point?

    3) Where is the validation in being a hooligan, a gangster, a mugger?..It'z a wack validation because REAL thugs move in silence and any real street person who represents being from the streets respects that code of silence na mean. A person can be anything they want to be in this society and to blame others for your actions of being this thug is straight up wack yo!...America is in love with violence & sex, it does sell but there are many other topics that these rappers can write about.

    4.      Do you think Hip Hop has lost its creativity?  How can we make it so that Hip Hop artists start getting creative again?

    4) I don't think it has lost it's creativity in regards to hip hop culture. People just need to check for these dope artists here in the States and around the world. Hip Hop culture is worldwide now and not just here in our cities and backyards. The powers that be are only pushing one element of Hip Hop culture and that is rappin' but there are DJ's, B-Boyz/Girlz, Graf artists here and worldwide who are representin' Hip Hop culture to the fullest. Back to the Powers that be, on a mainstream level, the powers have shut down real Hip Hop. Those days are gone, word up!..The powers did the same thing to Rock, Jazz & Blues. There are plenty of creative Hip Hop artists on the "Underground" who are dope and I'm not going to lie, there are some wack artists also. I would tell people who want to hear some dope Hip Hop, the internet is a good source and to frequent the record stores like "ThaFormula Records" (www.thaformula.com) "Fatbeats" (www.fatbeats.com) "Stacksvinyl" (www.stacksvinyl.com) all of these Record Stores carry Hip Hop jointz...Hip Hop is alive and well.

    5.      A lot of real Hip Hop is out there, but most fans do not even know it exists because the mainstream media doesn’t play it.  How do you think we can expose the people to real Hip Hop?

    5) Like I stated earlier, mainstream in regards to Hip Hop is dead yo!..Therefore, it's up to artists to become involved in becoming owners of their own music. Start reading books from your local library and educate yourselfs about the music business na mean. The internet is very resourceful in promoting and selling your music, word up!..Get that website..The TRUE Hip Hop artists must grind to book their own shows and to basically be in the streets at the clubs, events, choppin' it up with the fans, I like to call the fans "Peoples"..All of this ownership takes time and years to build and that is the only way the "Peoples" will hear about these True Hip Hop artists..The artists who have a strong team workin' hard together will win in this Hip Hop game because the Powers that be have shut down Hip Hop on a mainstream level.

    6.      Most listeners are not educated in the history and knowledge of Hip Hop.  What do you think is one way in which they can gain that knowledge?

    6) Dope question...This is the Jewel..I strongly suggest reading this book by Jim Fricke, Charlie Ahearn and a introduction by Nelson George entitled "Yes Yes Y'all" and this dope book is a ORAL history on the beginnings of Hip Hop Culture as TOLD by the pioneers themselves who was there...This book is a must, word up yo!...to the younger generations coming up now, open your 3rd eye and get that true knowledge of what this culture is all about. I have tapes from back in the day and to purchase, visit my website at www.djlordron.com Learn and listen to how a "Park Jam was or to hear a MC "Battle"  like The Cold Crush Brothers v. The Fantastic 5. Go and purchase the dopest Hip Hop movie "WildStyle" because those are not ACTORS/ACTRESSES  but real artists from the Bronx..Peep out "Style Wars" and you can learn about the history from Graffiti Artists themselves...Each one, teach one...Also visit www.zulunation.com

    7.      There seems to be some disunity among the real Hip Hop artists, no one seems to want to pull together when Hip Hop is being attacked.  Is this just the way it is or can something be done about it?

    7) It seems like when their is some type of unity, it's usually a death of some sort na mean and then everything goes back to normal. I see and read about Russell Simmons trying to have unity amongst the community along with Jay Z, Mos Def, Dead Prez, Talib Kweli, Common but it's going to take the people along with these other artists to participate because Hip Hop and Rap are very powerful. The media just want to focus on the negative. We will always have disunity among Hip Hop & Rap...Too much money involved now.

    8.      A lot of people blame the major record labels, saying “hip hop is no longer about what the rappers think, but what their record companies say the public wants them to think”, do you agree with this?

    8) There are no more Hip Hop artists on a major..Gangstarr and Dialated Peoples are the only ones left and I say them because they both have DJ's along with MC's who still rock Hip Hop, word!....The majors have shut down Hip Hop, the majors are only focusing on one element of Hip Hop and that is a Rapper. The record labels don't know what's poppin in the streets. These cornball A & R 's want singers on these Rap jointz...Majors paying radio to play the same damn wack ass joint 50 times a day..It'z all a cycle to promote sex and violence, selling a lifestyle that kids can not afford but they think that Blingin' is the way. Fuck the majors with their gimmicks and images na mean..The real Hip Hop is over here, not at the Major Record Labels.

    9.      The mainstream media, major record labels, artists and consumers all hold some responsibility but what do you think is the main reason for the lack of quality in mainstream Hip Hop today?

    9) U mean Rap music because the last year for True Hip Hop in the mainstream was 1994....Bottom line is it's people who don't have no knowledge of..They are selling out for the dolla bill...I know my foundation..People, do U know yours?


    How Hip-Hop Holds
    Blacks Back
    By John H. McWhorter
    City Journal


    Not long ago, I was having lunch in a KFC in Harlem, sitting near eight
    African-American boys, aged about 14. Since 1) it was 1:30 on a school day,
    2) they were carrying book bags, and 3) they seemed to be in no hurry, I
    assumed they were skipping school. They were extremely loud and unruly,
    tossing food at one another and leaving it on the floor.

    Black people ran the restaurant and made up the bulk of the customers, but
    it was hard to see much healthy "black community" here. After repeatedly
    warning the boys to stop throwing food and keep quiet, the manager finally
    told them to leave. The kids ignored her. Only after she called a male
    security guard did they start slowly making their way out, tauntingly
    circling the restaurant before ambling off. These teens clearly weren't
    monsters, but they seemed to consider themselves exempt from public norms of
    behavior - as if they had begun to check out of mainstream society.

    What struck me most, though, was how fully the boys' musicóhard-edged rap,
    preaching bone-deep dislike of authorityóprovided them with a continuing
    soundtrack to their antisocial behavior. So completely was rap ingrained in
    their consciousness that every so often, one or another of them would break
    into cocky, expletive-laden rap lyrics, accompanied by the angular,
    bellicose gestures typical of rap performance. A couple of his buddies would
    then join him. Rap was a running decoration in their conversation.

    Many writers and thinkers see a kind of informed political engagement, even
    a revolutionary potential, in rap and hip-hop. They couldn't be more wrong.
    By reinforcing the stereotypes that long hindered blacks, and by teaching
    young blacks that a thuggish adversarial stance is the properly "authentic"
    response to a presumptively racist society, rap retards black success.

    The venom that suffuses rap had little place in black popular culture -
    indeed, in black attitudes - before the 1960s. The hip-hop ethos can trace
    its genealogy to the emergence in that decade of a black ideology that
    equated black strength and authentic black identity with a militantly
    adversarial stance toward American society. In the angry new mood, captured
    by Malcolm X's upraised fist, many blacks (and many more white liberals)
    began to view black crime and violence as perfectly natural, even
    appropriate, responses to the supposed dehumanization and poverty inflicted
    by a racist society. Briefly, this militant spirit, embodied above all in
    the Black Panthers, infused black popular culture, from the plays of LeRoi
    Jones to "blaxploitation" movies, like Melvin Van Peebles's Sweet
    Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, which celebrated the black criminal rebel as a

    But blaxploitation and similar genres burned out fast. The memory of whites
    blatantly stereotyping blacks was too recent for the typecasting in
    something like Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song not to offend many blacks.
    Observed black historian Lerone Bennett: "There is a certain grim white
    humor in the fact that the black marches and demonstrations of the 1960s
    reached artistic fulfillment" with "provocative and ultimately insidious
    reincarnations of all the Sapphires and Studds of yesteryear."

    Early rap mostly steered clear of the Sapphires and Studds, beginning not as
    a growl from below but as happy party music. The first big rap hit, the
    Sugar Hill Gang's 1978 "Rapper's Delight," featured a catchy bass groove
    that drove the music forward, as the jolly rapper celebrated himself as a
    ladies' man and a great dancer. Soon, kids across America were rapping along
    with the nonsense chorus:

    I said a hip, hop, the hippie, the hippie, to the hip-hip hop, ah you don't
    stop the rock it to the bang bang boogie, say up jump the boogie, to the
    rhythm of the boogie, the beat.

    A string of ebullient raps ensued in the months ahead. At the time, I
    assumed it was a harmless craze, certain to run out of steam soon.

    But rap took a dark turn in the early 1980s, as this "bubble gum" music gave
    way to a "gangsta" style that picked up where blaxploitation left off. Now
    top rappers began to write edgy lyrics celebrating street warfare or drugs
    and promiscuity. Grandmaster Flash's ominous 1982 hit, "The Message," with
    its chorus, "It's like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder how I keep
    from going under," marked the change in sensibility. It depicted ghetto life
    as profoundly desolate:

    You grow in the ghetto, living second rate And your eyes will sing a song of
    deep hate. The places you play and where you stay Looks like one great big
    alley way. You'll admire all the numberbook takers, Thugs, pimps and
    pushers, and the big money makers.

    Music critics fell over themselves to praise "The Message," treating it as
    the poetry of the streets - as the elite media has characterized hip-hop
    ever since. The song's grim fatalism struck a chord; twice, I've heard
    blacks in audiences for talks on race cite the chorus to underscore a point
    about black victimhood. So did the warning it carried: "Don't push me,
    'cause I'm close to the edge," menacingly raps Melle Mel. The ultimate
    message of "The Message" - that ghetto life is so hopeless that an explosion
    of violence is both justified and imminent - would become a hip-hop mantra
    in the years ahead.

    The angry, oppositional stance that "The Message" reintroduced into black
    popular culture transformed rap from a fad into a multi-billion-dollar
    industry that sold more than 80 million records in the U.S. in 2002 - nearly
    13 percent of all recordings sold. To rap producers like Russell Simmons,
    earlier black pop was just sissy music. He despised the "soft, unaggressive
    music (and non-threatening images)" of artists like Michael Jackson or
    Luther Vandross. "So the first chance I got," he says, "I did exactly the

    In the two decades since "The Message," hip-hop performers have churned out
    countless rap numbers that celebrate a ghetto life of unending violence and
    criminality. Schooly D's "PSK What Does It Mean?" is a case in point:

    Copped my pistols, jumped into the ride. Got at the bar, copped some flack,
    Copped some cheeba-cheeba, it wasn't wack. Got to the place, and who did I
    see? A sucka-ass nigga tryin to sound like me. Put my pistol up against his
    head - I said, "Sucka-ass nigga, I should shoot you dead."

    The protagonist of a rhyme by KRS-One (a hip-hop star who would later speak
    out against rap violence) actually pulls the trigger:

    Knew a drug dealer by the name of Peter - Had to buck him down with my 9

    Police forces became marauding invaders in the gangsta-rap imagination. The
    late West Coast rapper Tupac Shakur expressed the attitude:

    Ya gotta know how to shake the snakes, nigga, 'Cause the police love to
    break a nigga, Send him upstate 'cause they straight up hate the nigga.

    Shakur's anti-police tirade seems tame, however, compared with Ice-T's
    infamous "Cop Killer":

    I got my black shirt on. I got my black gloves on. I got my ski mask on.
    This shit's been too long. I got my 12-gauge sawed-off. I got my headlights
    turned off. I'm 'bout to bust some shots off. I'm 'bout to dust some cops
    off. . . . I'm 'bout to kill me somethin' A pig stopped me for nuthin'! Cop
    killer, better you than me. Cop killer, fuck police brutality! . . . Die,
    die, die pig, die! Fuck the police! . . . Fuck the police yeah!

    Rap also began to offer some of the most icily misogynistic music human
    history has ever known. Here's Schooly D again:

    Tell you now, brother, this ain't no joke, She got me to the crib, she laid
    me on the bed, I fucked her from my toes to the top of my head. I finally
    realized the girl was a whore, Gave her ten dollars, she asked me for some

    Jay-Z's "Is That Yo Bitch?" mines similar themes:

    I don't love 'em, I fuck 'em. I don't chase 'em, I duck 'em. I replace 'em
    with another one. . . . She be all on my dick.

    Or, as N.W.A. (an abbreviation of "Niggers with Attitude") tersely sums up
    the hip-hop worldview: "Life ain't nothin' but bitches and money."

    Rap's musical accompaniment mirrors the brutality of rap lyrics in its
    harshness and repetition. Simmons fashions his recordings in contempt for
    euphony. "What we used for melody was implied melody, and what we used for
    music was sounds - beats, scratches, stuff played backward, nothing pretty
    or sweet." The success of hip-hop has resulted in an ironic reversal. In the
    seventies, screaming hard rock was in fashion among young whites, while
    sweet, sinuous funk and soul ruled the black airwaves - a difference I was
    proud of. But in the eighties, rock quieted down, and black music became the
    assault on the ears and soul. Anyone who grew up in urban America during the
    eighties won't soon forget the young men strolling down streets, blaring
    this sonic weapon from their boom boxes, with defiant glares daring anyone
    to ask them to turn it down.

    Hip-hop exploded into popular consciousness at the same time as the music
    video, and rappers were soon all over MTV, reinforcing in images the ugly
    world portrayed in rap lyrics. Video after video features rap stars flashing
    jewelry, driving souped-up cars, sporting weapons, angrily gesticulating at
    the camera, and cavorting with interchangeable, mindlessly gyrating,
    scantily clad women.

    Of course, not all hip-hop is belligerent or profane - entire CDs of
    gang-bangin', police-baiting, woman-bashing invective would get old fast to
    most listeners. But it's the nastiest rap that sells best, and the nastiest
    cuts that make a career. As I write, the top ten best-selling hip-hop
    recordings are 50 Cent (currently with the second-best-selling record in the
    nation among all musical genres), Bone Crusher, Lil' Kim, Fabolous, Lil' Jon
    and the East Side Boyz, Cam'ron Presents the Diplomats, Busta Rhymes,
    Scarface, Mobb Deep, and Eminem. Every one of these groups or performers
    personifies willful, staged opposition to society - Lil' Jon and crew even
    regale us with a song called "Don't Give a Fuck" - and every one celebrates
    the ghetto as "where it's at." Thus, the occasional dutiful songs in which a
    rapper urges men to take responsibility for their kids or laments senseless
    violence are mere garnish. Keeping the thug front and center has become the
    quickest and most likely way to become a star.

    No hip-hop luminary has worked harder than Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, the wildly
    successful rapper, producer, fashion mogul, and CEO of Bad Boy Records, to
    cultivate a gangsta image - so much so that he's blurred the line between
    playing the bad boy and really being one. Combs may have grown up
    middle-class in Mount Vernon, New York, and even have attended Howard
    University for a while, but he's proven he can gang-bang with the worst.
    Cops charged Combs with possession of a deadly weapon in 1995. In 1999, he
    faced charges for assaulting a rival record executive. Most notoriously,
    police charged him that year with firing a gun at a nightclub in response to
    an insult, injuring three bystanders, and with fleeing the scene with his
    entourage (including then-pal Jennifer "J. Lo" Lopez). Combs got off, but
    his young rapper protege Jamal "Shyne" Barrow went to prison for firing the

    Combs and his crew are far from alone among rappers in keeping up the
    connection between "rap and rap sheet," as critic Kelefa Sanneh artfully
    puts it. Several prominent rappers, including superstar Tupac Shakur, have
    gone down in hails of bullets - with other rappers often suspected in the
    killings. Death Row Records producer Marion "Suge" Knight just finished a
    five-year prison sentence for assault and federal weapons violations.
    Current rage 50 Cent flaunts his bullet scars in photos; cops recently
    arrested him for hiding assault weapons in his car. Of the top ten hip-hop
    sellers mentioned above, five have had scrapes with the law. In 2000, at
    least five different fights broke out at the Source Hiphop Awards - intended
    to be the rap industry's Grammys. The final brawl, involving up to 100
    people in the audience and spilling over onto the stage, shut the ceremony
    down - right after a video tribute to slain rappers. Small wonder a popular
    rap website goes by the name rapsheet.com.

    Many fans, rappers, producers, and intellectuals defend hip-hop's violence,
    both real and imagined, and its misogyny as a revolutionary cry of
    frustration from disempowered youth. For Simmons, gangsta raps "teach
    listeners something about the lives of the people who create them and remind
    them that these people exist." 50 Cent recently told Vibe magazine,
    "Mainstream America can look at me and say, 'That's the mentality of a young
    man from the 'hood.'" University of Pennsylvania black studies professor
    Michael Eric Dyson has written a book-length paean to Shakur, praising him
    for "challenging narrow artistic visions of black identity" and for
    "artistically exploring the attractions and limits of black moral and social
    subcultures" - just one of countless fawning treatises on rap published in
    recent years. The National Council of Teachers of English, recommending the
    use of hip-hop lyrics in urban public school classrooms (as already happens
    in schools in Oakland, Los Angeles, and other cities), enthuses that
    "hip-hop can be used as a bridge linking the seemingly vast span between the
    streets and the world of academics."

    But we're sorely lacking in imagination if in 2003 - long after the civil
    rights revolution proved a success, at a time of vaulting opportunity for
    African Americans, when blacks find themselves at the top reaches of society
    and politics - we think that it signals progress when black kids rattle off
    violent, sexist, nihilistic, lyrics, like Russians reciting Pushkin. Some
    defended blaxploitation pictures as revolutionary, too, but the passage of
    time has exposed the silliness of such a contention. "The message of
    Sweetback is that if you can get it together and stand up to the Man, you
    can win," Van Peebles once told an interviewer. But win what? All Sweetback
    did, from what we see in the movie, was avoid jail - and it would be nice to
    have more useful counsel on overcoming than "kicking the Man's ass." Claims
    about rap's political potential will look equally gestural in the future.
    How is it progressive to describe life as nothing but "bitches and money"?
    Or to tell impressionable black kids, who'd find every door open to them if
    they just worked hard and learned, that blowing a rival's head off is
    "real"? How helpful is rap's sexism in a community plagued by rampant
    illegitimacy and an excruciatingly low marriage rate?

    The idea that rap is an authentic cry against oppression is all the sillier
    when you recall that black Americans had lots more to be frustrated about in
    the past but never produced or enjoyed music as nihilistic as 50 Cent or
    N.W.A. On the contrary, black popular music was almost always affirmative
    and hopeful. Nor do we discover music of such violence in places of great
    misery like Ethiopia or the Congoóunless it's imported American hip-hop.

    Given the hip-hop world's reflexive alienation, it's no surprise that its
    explicit political efforts, such as they are, are hardly progressive.
    Simmons has founded the "Hip-Hop Summit Action Network" to bring rap stars
    and fans together in order to forge a "bridge between hip-hop and politics."
    But HSAN's policy positions are mostly tired bromides. Sticking with the
    long-discredited idea that urban schools fail because of inadequate funding
    from the stingy, racist white Establishment, for example, HSAN joined forces
    with the teachers' union to protest New York mayor Bloomberg's proposed
    education budget for its supposed lack of generosity. HSAN has also stuck it
    to President Bush for invading Iraq. And it has vociferously protested the
    affixing of advisory labels on rap CDs that warn parents about the obscene
    language inside. Fighting for rappers' rights to obscenity: that's some kind
    of revolution!

    Okay, maybe rap isn't progressive in any meaningful sense, some observers
    will admit; but isn't it just a bunch of kids blowing off steam and so
    nothing to worry about? I think that response is too easy. With music
    videos, DVD players, Walkmans, the Internet, clothes, and magazines all
    making hip-hop an accompaniment to a person's entire existence, we need to
    take it more seriously. In fact, I would argue that it is seriously harmful
    to the black community.

    The rise of nihilistic rap has mirrored the breakdown of community norms
    among inner-city youth over the last couple of decades. It was just as
    gangsta rap hit its stride that neighborhood elders began really to notice
    that they'd lost control of young black men, who were frequently drifting
    into lives of gang violence and drug dealing. Well into the seventies, the
    ghetto was a shabby part of town, where, despite unemployment and rising
    illegitimacy, a healthy number of people were doing their best to "keep
    their heads above water," as the theme song of the old black sitcom Good
    Times put it.

    By the eighties, the ghetto had become a ruleless war zone, where black
    people were their own worst enemies. It would be silly, of course, to blame
    hip-hop for this sad downward spiral, but by glamorizing life in the "war
    zone," it has made it harder for many of the kids stuck there to extricate
    themselves. Seeing a privileged star like Sean Combs behave like a street
    thug tells those kids that there's nothing more authentic than ghetto
    pathology, even when you've got wealth beyond imagining.

    The attitude and style expressed in the hip-hop "identity" keeps blacks
    down. Almost all hip-hop, gangsta or not, is delivered with a cocky,
    confrontational cadence that is fast becoming - as attested to by the
    rowdies at KFC - a common speech style among young black males. Similarly,
    the arm-slinging, hand-hurling gestures of rap performers have made their
    way into many young blacks' casual gesticulations, becoming integral to
    their self-expression. The problem with such speech and mannerisms is that
    they make potential employers wary of young black men and can impede a young
    black's ability to interact comfortably with co-workers and customers. The
    black community has gone through too much to sacrifice upward mobility to
    the passing kick of an adversarial hip-hop "identity."

    On a deeper level, there is something truly unsettling and tragic about the
    fact that blacks have become the main agents in disseminating debilitating -
    dare I say racist - images of themselves. Rap guru Russell Simmons claims
    that "the coolest stuff about American culture - be it language, dress, or
    attitude - comes from the underclass. Always has and always will." Yet back
    in the bad old days, blacks often complained - with some justification -
    that the media too often depicted blacks simply as uncivilized. Today, even
    as television and films depict blacks at all levels of success, hip-hop
    sends the message that blacks are... uncivilized. I find it striking that
    the cry-racism crowd doesn't condemn it.

    For those who insist that even the invisible structures of society reinforce
    racism, the burden of proof should rest with them to explain just why
    hip-hop's bloody and sexist lyrics and videos and the criminal behavior of
    many rappers wouldn't have a powerfully negative effect upon whites'
    conception of black people.

    Sadly, some black leaders just don't seem to care what lesson rap conveys.
    Consider Savannah's black high schools, which hosted the local rapper
    Camoflauge as a guest speaker several times before his murder earlier this
    year. Here's a representative lyric:

    Gimme tha keys to tha car, I'm ready for war. When we ride on these niggas
    smoke that ass like a 'gar. Hit your block with a Glock, clear the set with
    a Tech... You think I'm jokin, see if you laughing when tha pistol be smokin
    - Leave you head split wide open And you bones get broken...

    More than a few of the Concerned Black People inviting this "artist" to
    speak to the impressionable youth of Savannah would presumably be the first
    to cry out about "how whites portray blacks in the media."

    Far from decrying the stereotypes rampant in rap's present-day
    blaxploitation, many hip-hop defenders pull the "whitey-does-it-too" trick.
    They point to the Godfather movies or The Sopranos as proof that violence
    and vulgarity are widespread in American popular culture, so that singling
    out hip-hop for condemnation is simply bigotry. Yet such a defense is
    pitifully weak. No one really looks for a way of life to emulate or a
    political project to adopt in The Sopranos. But for many of its advocates,
    hip-hop, with its fantasies of revolution and community and politics, is
    more than entertainment. It forms a bedrock of young black identity.

    Nor will it do to argue that hip-hop isn't "black" music, since most of its
    buyers are white, or because the "hip-hop revolution" is nominally open to
    people of all colors. That whites buy more hip-hop recordings than blacks do
    is hardly surprising, given that whites vastly outnumber blacks nationwide.
    More to the point, anyone who claims that rap isn't black music will need to
    reconcile that claim with the widespread wariness among blacks of white
    rappers like Eminem, accused of "stealing our music and giving it back to

    At 2 AM on the New York subway not long ago, I saw another scene - more
    dispiriting than my KFC encounter with the rowdy rapping teens - that
    captures the essence of rap's destructiveness. A young black man entered the
    car and began to rap loudly - profanely, arrogantly - with the usual wild
    gestures. This went on for five irritating minutes. When no one paid
    attention, he moved on to another car, all the while spouting his doggerel.
    This was what this young black man presented as his message to the world -
    his oratory, if you will.

    Anyone who sees such behavior as a path to a better future - anyone, like
    Professor Dyson, who insists that hip-hop is an urgent "critique of a
    society that produces the need for the thug persona" - should step back and
    ask himself just where, exactly, the civil rights era blacks might have gone
    wrong in lacking a hip-hop revolution. They created the world of equality,
    striving, and success I live and thrive in.

    Hip-hop creates nothing.

    Copyright The Manhattan Institute


    From Morgan Klein

    Regarding the 'hip hop holding blacks back' article, while what is written
    is all true, the author does not consider that as like attracts like. Those
    inclined to already view the world from such a position as the disenchanted
    black youth will seek the rap artists that validate a violent perspective.
    However, those who are more intellectually/spiritually oriented will
    naturally gravitate toward the hip hop artists that center more around those
    views and positivity, and there are plenty of them out there. There is a
    whole culture of positive hip hop that decries most of the values associated
    with the rap culture of which the author speaks, and ultimately it falls
    into the responsibility of the individual to either accept what facets of
    hip hop culture the mainstream media has chosen to popularize, or to hunt
    for something with more profundity. Blaming rap for the black kids in KFC's
    rude behavior is like blaming the tobacco industry for an individual's
    decision to smoke.

    Alton Raines

    Rap is a culture -- not a musical art form. If it were merely music, a
    pastime, a diversion... it would not have anywhere near the impact it has on
    people, black or white. We have suburban white kids now "pimping" and
    walking and dressing and talking and emulating "Gangsta" and "Hip Hop" and
    "Rap" inner-city CULTURE and its icons and overlords, and that includes the
    drugs, the demeaning of women and an attitude of self-destruction disrespect
    for authority and aggrandizement of ignorance and personal failure otherwise
    utterly foreign to the suburban white communities, so it's no leap of
    rationale to realize what its doing to the black community. The culture of
    rap/hip hop is a culture of apathy, spawned by the welfare state, and like a
    sexually transmitted disease, it's spreading itself and infecting others in
    different strata. There's nothing redeeming about it, nothing artistically
    unique or worthy. Its gutter trash and it makes people into gutter trash.
    It's not a fad, or a phase. It's a disease, or better yet, the symptom of a



    Peace and respect My Brothers and Sisters from Emile YX? of Black Noise Hip
    Hop Group in South Africa

    Previously, I have written about the need for alternative information being
    circulated by the elders who know how to counter the bullshit that gets
    publishes in places of so-called learning around the world about hip hop
    culture. Perspectives from fools with diplomas and thus used as points of
    reference for future studies on hip hop. Why, just because they have a
    degree or can justify the bullshit that the system or status quo puts into

    This article refering to rap being the cause of the black situation
    globally, shows the little that this person knows about the power of the
    media and who chooses what gets played on MTV and what get placed on radio
    around the world. Did he think about the upright , stiff necked, money
    hungry suites that decide to play this bullshit, one sided version of hip
    hop music. They also choose to not balance it out with the positive image of
    hip hop ... the reason, they get to get us to kill ourselves and do their
    job for them. They get us to loose our African tradition and culture that is
    inherant to native people throughout the world. They get to gain from that
    and get to sell us all that shit we don't need  but using rap and their
    version of hip hop gets that job done. It has become the perfect tool for
    them to get what they want and hide behind rap as the excuse.

    I am so tired of so-called intellectuals writing about something they are
    trapped within and they are too ignorant or blind to see that they are also
    working for the enemy. Reporters or rappers ... I know they should be called
    mcs, but they dont deserve that title ... you know what I am talking about.
    These people who were euro-cated to think like them and talk for them and
    defend the information they force on the world about us. They are praised
    and and told how amazing they are as intelectuals because they dont question
    the cause of our situation as black people globally and they dont see that
    they are just porns being used by the same system. It is also stupid of us
    to think that we will ever be allowed our rightful place in the sun as the
    amazing ZULU NATION and with all that Bam and The rest of the ZULUs have
    done for youth globally with bringing hip hop together. NO , they will never
    give that credit to the positive power of hip hop. I studied and taught as a
    school teacher in South Africa and hip hop has taught me more about myself
    than all that euro-cation put together. It has taught me that money is less
    important than morals and that I will not betray the legacy of my ANCESTORS
    by degrading my people. So, what this man writes about these youths
    behaviour, is not what hip hop has caused, but what socialisation and media
    mind fucking has caused. BY WHO ... let him do that as a research topic, who
    owns the media and why do they not play our positive stories and role
    models. Why is it bias to the detriment of Black people... I think he will
    find the answer and maybe along the way also find himself as I have through
    hip hop.

    Thanks to hip hop culture I am a proud African and have to fight the battle
    daily to not sell my beliefs for their cash. For me it is not bigger than
    hip hop , because my version of hip hop expands daily and encompasses all
    facets of life itself. Real Hip hop is how you experiment and learn and live
    life everyday to become the magnificent human that we all can become if we
    search beyond what MTV and the general media forces us digest.

    Much love and respect to all our elders and ANCESTORS for their inspiration
    and teaching
    I continue to learn more every single day thanks to the real hip hop
    Emile YX?
    Black Noise
    South Africa



    Although the writer makes some valid points about the degradation of hip-hop
    culture, the writer unfortunately characterizes Rap Music as the sole cause
    for the deviant behavior of urban teens.

    Yes, it's true that Hip-Hop's communal message of violence, drugs, and
    poverty has been over-saturated by media outlets on a global scale to the
    point where songs  emanating out of the urban community seem stuck on
    generating overused images of rage, sex, and diamonds.  But the problems
    within the urban community can't be blamed on Rap music alone.

    The problems of the urban community such as poverty, crime, drugs, and
    single parent households would not change one iota if the images spawned by
    Rap culture were only positive.  Rap is a reflection of the community it
    does not create the community's problems, although I will agree with the
    writer that Rap music recording artists and the executives behind the music
    are doing nothing to change the economic and political issues that are
    holding back the community that the culture reflects.

    Musically yours,

    Rocky Bucano,  MBA/TM



    Russell Simmons - New Black Leader?

    By Amadi Ajamu

    The emergence of Hip Hop entrepreneur Russell Simmons as an establishment-endorsed political leader of the new generation of Blacks gives me pause.  Being a member of this new generation, I think this should be put on the table for discussion.

    Why have mainstream media's political pundits given Russell Simmons an open mic?  He's a guest on Charlie Rose; he's become a constant feature in
    the New York Times, Newsweek Magazine and many other newspapers and magazine across the country.  Hailed as among the one hundred most influential African Americans by Crain Magazine, can helicopter to Albany for private meetings with New York Governor George Pataki on the Rockefeller drug laws. He has organized fundraisers for senators Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer, works closely with former HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo, teams up with democratic presidential candidate Al Sharpton to register new voters, and dines with Shimon Peres, Israel's former Prime Minister discussing a possible Middle East youth summit.

    Either the king makers have peeped Simmons' ability to use his influence over urban youth as leverage in his business and political ventures and they
    want to control him, or the severity of the US economic recession deems it time to send in the clowns.

    Russell Simmons and his Hip Hop Summit Action Network have orchestrated several very high profile, massive political rallies in New York City, using
    his connections in the entertainment industry to get mega-stars like P.Diddy, Mariah Carey, 50 cent, LL Cool J, Jay Z and Alicia Keys to attend and
    draw thousands of Black youth. But it was painfully clear that the majority of youth in attendance were more interested in getting a glimpse of their
    favorite rap artist than in the city budget cuts in education or draconian drug sentencing laws that send many of our peers to prison for decades.
    Simmons and his star-studded entourage put on a good show but have yet to present a clear political program of action and vision for Black people.

    Black youth have a tremendous amount of unused political power.  Young people represent the most revolutionary force in all movements for social
    justice around the world.  We have the energy and tenacity to fundamentally change our conditions, and we have nothing to lose.  That's why leadership
    is so important. 

    Black youth in the United States are under attack from all quarters. Police brutality, failing schools, mass unemployment, foster care,inadequate health care, and the exploitation of a criminal justice system by large scale corporations all simultaneously attack us in order to break our
    natural spirits of resistance.  But the most pervasive and unrelenting attack against us has been conducted by the multi-billion dollar entertainment industry with its overt and covert manipulation of Black Hip Hop culture.

    Culture is a weapon.   Like a double-edged sword, culture can be wielded in the interest of oppressed people to further our struggle for self-determinations or in the interest of our oppressors to keep us enslaved. 

    Originally, Hip Hop was a source of strength in our community. Created by young grassroots people on the streets, it defied the status quo. From seemingly nothing, no money, no musical instruments, no multi-national conglomerates or political connections, it emerged as an international cultural force.  Hip Hop exemplified our peoples innate creativity, social consciousness, and self-determination. It was our voice of resistance.

    Now that Hip Hop is totally controlled by giant international corporations, "artists" promoted by industry and media executives, including Russell
    Simmons, reflect a superficial petty criminality and a vulgar individualistic materialism that erodes our collective struggle.  The systematic degradation of Hip Hop is an example of the use of our culture to
    further the interests of our oppressors -- the wrong side of the double-edged sword.

    Russell Simmons' Hip Hop cultural credentials are key to his ability to influence this "new generation" on political and economic issues.  The
    phenomenal rise of Def Jam Records in the 1980's with groups like Public Enemy and RUN DMC made Simmons and his partners Lyor Cohen (son of Israeli immigrants) and Rick Ruben very wealthy.  In 1999 they sold Def Jam to Seagrams Universal Music Group for $130 million.  Universal was subsequently
    acquired by Vivendi to form the international entertainment behemoth Vivendi Universal.  Lyor Cohen was named Chairman and CEO of the Island Def
    Jam Music Group and Simmons named Chairman of the Def Jam Records division.  The brash B-boys that burst on the music scene are now corporate
    executives towing the company line.

    In an effort to ignite young people to social action, many Black grassroots community leaders have reached out to Hip Hop artists and impresarios
    for assistance.   Sometimes these efforts are fruitful and solid relationships are forged based on mutual respect and in the interest of our
    collective struggle.  Hip Hop maverick Tupac Shakur had intimate ties to respected political leaders like Dr. Mutulu Shakur and was a living example of a
    successful cultural / political link.  Tupac was the co-founder of The Code Foundation, a youth organization involved in the current struggles
    against racism, police brutality, and drug abuse, human rights and reparations.  His untimely and unresolved murder is a reflection of the work that needs to be done to make our generation aware of our collective political power and the power of our culture as a mechanism to spark the fire.

    Individual artists with consciousness like Chuck D, Mos Def, Common, Dead Prez, and others have also forged links with grassroots leaders and
    committed their creative skills to our collective struggle against oppression

    But when grassroots political activists reach out to Russell Simmons there is a recurring disappointment.  When organizers of the Millions for
    Reparations Rally in Washington DC met with Simmons, after going through an obstacle course of handlers, Simmons said "Wait till next year, I'll do it
    and I even let you all speak."  Rally organizers declined and decided to do it the hard way - without the superstars, media access, and strings attached.

    Simmons also launched a special "reparations" sneaker brand in his clothing line.  Advertisements for it have proclaimed that a percentage of the
    proceeds from the sneakers would be donated to the reparations efforts. When a youth organization working on reparations issues contacted sales
    executives at Phat Farm about donations, they were told that a larger percentage of the proceeds were applied to advertising the sneakers so that
    the idea of reparations is being exposed.  This maneuver is the extent of company's contribution to the struggle for slavery reparations.

    When Pepsi Cola dropped Ludracris, a black Def Jam recording artist, from its television commercial because of his profane and sexually explicit
    lyrics, Simmons threatened to organize a boycott citing Pepsi's use of the equally vulgar, but white Ozzie Osbourne.  Imagine boycotters chanting
    "Equal opportunity vulgarity!"  Nevertheless, Pepsi,
    acutely aware of the political and economic power of Black youth, acquiesced and agreed to donate
    millions of dollars to unspecified youth organizations.

    Like Pepsi, Courvoisier Cognac is strengthening its ties to the new generation of Blacks through Simmons, the Hip Hop power broker. GlobalHue
    Advertising Agency named Mr. Simmons its Vice Chairman and Senior Team member of the Courvoisier Cognac Team, which pushes the cognac for Allied
    Domecq Spirits of North America.

    Simmons's aggressive business style often rears its head in his attempts at coalition grassroots political campaigns.  The hostile take-over of
    the "Drop the Rock" (Rockefeller drug laws) coalition may be the most telling. For the past 30 years, the draconian mandatory sentencing guidelines
    incorporated into the NY state drug laws by former Governor Nelson Rockefeller, have sent hundreds of thousands Black and Latino youth to prison for decades for minor drug offenses.  These laws have
    contributed significantly to the rapid development of new state prisons and the corporate exploitation of prison labor.  A broad coalition of families,
    lawyers, ex inmates, students, churches, unions, civil right organizations, community activists, clergy, elected officials, and others waged a
    long and intense battle to repeal the laws.  In recent years, they had been gaining considerable ground and the drug laws became a pivotal issue in the 2002 campaign for New York State Governor.

    In an effort to galvanized Black and Latino youth, coalition members requested the assistance of Russell Simmons.  Then Simmons, at the urging of
    his friend and failed democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo, staged another star-studded massive rally at New York's City Hall drawing
    thousands.  Cuomo was the Master of Ceremonies.

    Thereafter Simmons began meeting with the New York Governor Pataki without informing or inviting veteran grassroots coalition members to attend.
    Negotiations between Simmons, Pataki, and two leading members of the state legislature ensued.  In the end Russell Simmons, who had audaciously
    appointed himself HNIC (head negro in charge) of the coalition, compromised their mission.

    Republican Governor George Pataki called a press conference and stood side by side with Russell Simmons and democratic presidential candidate, Al
    Sharpton.  Together they joyfully announced cosmetic changes to the drug laws affecting a tiny percentage of its victims.  All of them praised Pataki's proposed changes, which left the mandatory sentencing
    guidelines that lock up thousands of young Black and Latino men and women every year, intact.  Some people now call them the "Simmons Drug Laws."

    According to a Newsweek report, when asked about the ramifications of his actions, Simmons said. "I'm not running for anything.  I don't give a f-k.
    I did what I thought was right."

    New Black leader?

    Russell Simmons, Inc. has reaped enormous profits from the new generation of Blacks through his position and salary as Chairman of Def Jam Records
    and Vice Chairman of GlobalHue Advertising Agency, Rush Communications, Phat Farm Fashions, Baby Phat, Rush Visa, Simmons-Latham Media and other
    capitalist ventures.  He has aligned himself with the corporate class and works in their political and economic interest.  More often than not, these
    interests are diametrically opposed to the interests of the majority of Black people.

    Simmons's rebirth as a political activist is entirely manufactured. Wrapped in stylish Hip Hop packaging, displayed on top shelf media outlets,
    and presented to the new generation of consumers as the new and improved Black leader.  He is a product of corporate America, and we shouldn't buy it.

    The corporate imposition of Simmons as a "leader" is an affront to our people and should be exposed at every turn.   Leaders come from the people
    and their skills are sharpened and honed through struggle with the people. Our fight for human rights and self-determination demands principled leaders
    who are willing to sacrifice their own self-interest for the genuine political and economic development of us all.

    Russell Simmons' leadership can only be defined as --Def Sham.


    As much as I don't like much of what Russel Simmons does INSIDE Hip Hop, I MUST agree that he knows how to make things happen THROUGH Hip Hop. Any victory for the oppressed is a step in the right direction to helping us acheive a little bit more freedom. This is the power of our culture to bring change. We didn't do it on our own (props go out to all the organizations that form the coalition), but we were a main ingredient. This is what I was talking about in that mail about us getting involved and taking some responsible steps. And we need to unite with those who are moving in the same direction. But it has to start here, with us. We need to make a decision to stand up and not back down. Not to just watch what "they"do. Let "US" do! From the writing in a book of rhymes or a blackbook, to the cipher on the corner, to the walls that can't be missed as one passes, to the Hip Hop underground event, to the B-Boy battle that takes place there, to the studio and the wax, and to the big amphitheaters, let's make our voice in it's many forms be heard making a move for change. What the hell are we waiting for? We have seen proof that it can happen. We even had an era where that was the motivation for our daily lives as part of this culture. For those of us who were there, did you forget how ILL a Public Enemy show was. What about KRS-One, who can turn a crowd full of the hardest screw-faced thugs into a frenzy of cheers and hands in the air? What about the greatest Hip Hop influence of all time, Rakim Allah? And although I never got a chance to see them live, I have been absolutely charged from watching video footage of Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force just killing it on stage. Pac? Come on! He had so much to say, and we listened!
    Let's bring it back, but make it fit NOW. Let's make our voice count to the world we live in. And someone please tell Russell to fix things with Chuck D, and give P.E. a REAL contract to bring them back, while still allowing them to do their own thing on the internet. They deserve it. And if we can get him to have a sit down with Van Sylk, maybe we can finally clear the air and REALLY move forward.
    Click the link and dig.
    Vibe One


    2 Live and Die 4 Hip Hop:
              A Hip Hop Eulogy

                             Min. Paul Scott

    I recently attended a funeral for a young  brotha who
    was murdered. I'll spare you the gory details but I
    will say that not even a dog should go out like that.
    Although, I was cool with the family, all I knew about
    the brotha was what was read during his brief eulogy;
    21 years old/left behind a couple of kids/had dreams
    of being a freestyle rap artist. No, the brotha wasn't
    killed as a result of a freestyle battle gone bad but
    if Hip Hop is indeed the music of the streets, this
    scenario is blasting through the pavement of too many
    hoods across the country.

    As I took that long , walk from the back of the church
    to the casket to pay my respects , I was feeling a
    thousand emotions. I was angry that another potential
    black leader was gone and ashamed that with all the
    Black history  books that I had read in my life, I
    could not find a solution within those pages to stop
    our young people from killing each other. As  I
    approached the casket,  I could only look at the
    brotha's shoes, too ashamed to look in his face. By
    the time I reached the awkward part of greeting the
    family, who were quietly sobbing on the front row,
    including a the daughter who seemed oblivious to the
    fact that daddy wouldn't  be coming home anymore, my
    mixed pot of emotions had gelled into a deep guilt. As
    I passed the family, all  I could get out was a barely
    audible "I'm sorry."  But for me, it was more than
    just something you say at funerals. It was a solemn
    confession that no matter what I had done over the
    years in the name of stopping the violence/saving
    Black people/keepin' hope alive or the other hundred
    catch phrases that activists use, if young  brotha's
    in my city are still being murdered, I had not done
    nearly enough.

    As I walked past a sea of young people , all with
    faces of sadness and confusion, I wanted to do an
    about face, bum rush the pulpit and turn the funeral
    into an impromptu rally where we all made a vow that
    this would never happen again. But the thought of
    "this is not the time or place" coupled with the fear
    of being accused of exploiting a sad situation to make
    a "political" statement  kept me heading out the door
    past a congregation of people all trying to
    rationalize ways to justify their own inaction..

    For the last few years, the topic of the condition of
    Black men has not been on the agenda of "mainstream"
    America. Not since the Rodney King Rebellion era, when
    white America was faced with the fear of an army of
    angry young Black men storming City Hall and setting
    up an Afrikan nation in exile at the corner of Main
    Street and Martin Luther King Blvd have the airwaves
    been filled with conversations about how to save the
    lives of young Black men.  But since the media has
    done a good job of de-politicizing Black people, for
    most white folks, the Black man in 2003 is only a
    threat to other Black men.  And while white America
    has moved on to bigger and better things, like saving
    the ozone layer, so have the minds of Black folks, who
    are so dependent on the white media that they will not
    even take an umbrella outside in a hurricane unless
    the white man tells them that it is really raining.
    For many black folks the issue has been replaced by
    conversations about wars, Star Search and the latest
    Ja Rule vs. 50 cent drama.

    So when I look at our current condition and those who
    help to perpetuate it,  my guilt and frustration turn
    into righteous rage! I get mad. I am mad at you white
    America for stripping my ancestors of their culture
    and turning the descendents of Kings and Queens into
    thugs and gangtsa's. I am mad at you Hip Hop magazines
     who promote "beefs" between Black men by putting
    rappers on their  covers like a Hip Hop/Wild Wild West
     Wanted Dead or Alive Poster and not expecting the
    same thing that happened in the mid nineties to Biggie
    and Pac to happen again. I am mad at you Hip Hop
    artists who could undo our psychological damage
    overnight if you wanted to but instead you brag about
    doing "fly bys" in your private jets while little
    black children are dying from drive bys because you
    have made them believe that dying for something is
    nothing and dying for nothing is something..

    Those of us in the struggle must channel our anger and
    frustration into a quest to find a solution to the
    problems facing Afrikan people. We must have an
    unconditional, undying love that keeps us trying to
    reach those who don't want to be reached, teach those
    who don't want to be taught and FREE those who don't
    want to be FREE.

    So through it all we will keep on trying.  We will
    never stop and we still got love for ya 'till the last
    casket drops.
    Min. Paul Scott represents the Messianic Afrikan
    Nation.  He can be reached at minpaulscott@yahoo.com
    Website: http://members.blackplanet.com/THE-MYD

    Open Letter to Russell Simmons

    from Project Islamic H.O.P.E.'s Najee Ali

    please refer to Jigsaw's interview with Russell Simmons @

            In the name of Allah, The merciful Benefactor, the merciful

    My name is Najee Ali, National Director of Project Islamic H.O.P.E. Our 
    organization is one of Los Angeles, Ca  leading civil rights organizations.
    Mr. Simmons I pray that this letter finds you in good health and good 

    Recently you took it upon yourself to slander my name and discredit our
    organization's position on the new T.V. show “Platinum.”  While we at
    Project Islamic H.O.P.E. felt that the show was shot and cast well, we feel
    it unfortunately it played into many unhealthy stereotypes of the Hip Hop
    community. We openly suggested that the integrity of the writing be 
    heightened, you openly supported the show, which is your choice.

    For the record, our intention was never to boycott the show outright. We
    suggested a meeting with the producers of the show, so that we might
    communicate to them our concerns in hopes that they would honor them in
    upcoming episodes. We further suggested that if indeed the same stereotypes
    continued that possibly, a boycott might be in order. You decided to
    transgress all bounds of balanced speech by saying, "I don't need that one
    ni**a to debate with…We don't need them. That just makes  it seems as if
    there is some following or agreement with him,"  you said.  "There are very
    few supporters."

    For the record our organizations e-mail address is packed with letters of
    support against the show "Platinum." 
    Nevertheless I was both shocked and offended to hear you speak like that
    about me and my organization. I am no N!@#. I am however, a young Black man
    who provides leadership to many in the city of Los Angeles.  Your speech
    calling me the N-word violates your supposed “yogic centeredness”  you often
    boast of.  Let's be honest Mr. Simmons, your probably still upset with the
    boycott we suggested on your magazine “ONEWORLD”, after you had the female
    rapper Lil Kim on one of your covers mocking the Islamic dress code.

    We will never apologize for our position on that issue and we still demand an
    apology from you for your disregard for Muslim woman. The bottom line is that
    virtually all of your political, and moral decisions are clouded by your
    personal aspirations.  For instance, you admitted in a statement to
    Allhiphop.com saying, "I had the script a long time ago. I thought the script
    was over the top, but they calmed it down. I had the script when it was
    called "Empire" years ago. I  passed on it. I didn't want to do that work."
    So why would anyone in Hip Hop expect you to NOT to back "Platinum?  You are
    clearly close to the people who created the show.

    When you have political aspirations, you want people to vote (so eventually,
    they can vote for you). When you have aspirations to go into soda ventures,
    you tried to steal Pepsi drinkers (by using Ludacris/Bill O'Reilly Pepsi
    fiasco) so that you could make money “in the name of hip hop.”  You sell off
    Hip Hop culture part and parcel in the name of “Black business”  but the
    main one who always gains financially is you. I, on the other hand, have no
    record label, no clothing company, or magazine. I only want people to know
    that Hip Hop can still be entertaining, be fun, be  educational and have
    integrity at the same time. I just want them to be inspired to live peaceful,
    cleaner lives. That is my duty to the people of  Hip Hop and humanity, as a

    The truth is that you buy most of your alliances, while mine are authentic
    relationships. I have no monetary stake in Hip Hop. My only goal is to help 
    uplift and educate the people in hope that they might incline toward the
    better things in life.

    For this, you call me a N!@#?. Often you use your close relationship with
    Minister Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam as a shield. You mock Muslims on 
    magazines with your name on them and then run and hide behind the Nation Of
    Islam and the Final Call newspaper with a claim of allegiance to Minister

    Many in the Islamic community are tired of seeing you do that. Understand
    something though. Minister Farrakhan and I, we pray in the same direction. We
    embrace the Qu’ran, the  Bible and Torah as divine books and it is through
    those books, and the God that made them possible, that we work to uplift the
    Black race and all communities.

    Since you are so close to Minister Farrakhan please ask him if he thinks that
    the violence, gangsterism, misogyny, alcohol and drug use on the T.V. show
    “Platinum” is healthy for young urban minds?  Ask him if it portrays Black
    people in a favorable light? Ask him if, by the Islamic standard, the Holy
    Qu’ran, is our organization justified in its  position against the show
    “Platinum..” as well as your magazine "One World"  which mocked Muslim

    Let's take it a step further ask Rev, Jesse Jackson and Rev, Al Sharpton if,
    by Biblical standards, this is acceptable? You see, I do what I do not for 
    votes, not for T.V. deals or soda sales, I do what I do for God, in hopes
    that I am able to help the people of this world see a better day in their

    Ask Minister Farrakhan about what the Honorable Elijah Muhammad's position on
    redeeming the Black woman is.  I suggest you read “Message to the Black Man”
    and find out for yourself.

    My leader and father in law, Imam W.D.Mohammed the son of the Honorable
    Elijah Muhammad has encouraged his community to respect women. Ask him if his
     father, and teacher would agree with me, or with you on the anti-Islamic
    issue ONEWORLD, and the show “Platinum.”

    I will not try to demonize you, and engage you with immature name calling. As
    you have chosen to do. It will not bother me if you to continue trying to
    slander my name and attack my organization. Our work is well known nationally
    and respected by  many black leaders we have the support of  Rev Jackson, Rev
    Sharpton, and many others.  Our work speaks for itself. Our supporters are 
    the people we serve and help nationally.   The reality is your verbal insults
    on me and our organization. Demonstrates the anger and rage you have inside
    yourself. I'm sure when you sit down in the comfort of your home … You know
    that man to man, and mind to mind, you cannot deal with, Project Islamic
    H.O.P.E. And  our principled stands for our community .

     I would like to encourage you to contact me if you have a problem with our
    views. Real  men and leaders attempt to have an intelligent conversation when
    there is a difference of an opinion on issues with other leaders.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    with hope,

    -Najee Ali National Director Project Islamic HOPE (323)769-5267 PO box
    43-A-122 L.A.CA 90043

    <A HREF="www.projectislamichope.org">www.projectislamichope.org</A>

    "The Ink of the scholar is more holy than the blood of a martyr"  Prophet
    Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him)



    by Davey D

    It looks like the Hip Hop community now faces its biggest challenge.
    Forget police task forces or discriminating night club owners, folks
    will now have to gear up to do some serious battle with a Los Angeles
    businessman named Richard Gonahangya and his company America Media
    Operative Inc.  For those who don't know AMO Inc is a little known
    company that specializes in lobbying Congress and advising government
    officials on media policy.  They yield a lot of influence over the FCC
    and other agencies that determine policy.  The word around town is
    'what they say goes'.

    Gonahangya a staunch conservative, held a small press conference in
    Compton, Ca yesterday to announce that his company AMO Inc had
    recently trademarked and brought the rights to the word/phrase 'Hip
    Hop'.  As a result they will soon start charging a licensing fee for
    anyone who wishes to use the word in a commercial/ for profit project.

    Taking advantage of a provision in the recently amended Millennium
    Copyright Act of 2001, Gonahangya explained that he and his company
    have all the legal ammunition and clearance to own the rights to the
    phrase 'Hip Hop'.  He noted that the Hip Hop industry has generated
    over 20 billion dollars last year in the United States alone.  The
    phrase Hip Hop is now a powerful marketing tool and his company is
    posed to profit handsomely in 2003 from its 'proper' usage.  The new
    licensing fee is estimated to net AMO Inc a whooping 5-8 billion
    dollars a year.

    "Any business including record labels, videos, radio stations or
    television shows that use the phrase 'Hip Hop' in the title or
    marketing body of their work will have to pay AMO Inc a licensing
    fee", Gonahangya told reporters.  'We are not attempting to stifle
    free speech or muzzle popular culture..  we have no legal grounds from
    preventing anyone who wishes to use the word in everyday speech,
    however if you are using the word in a manner that associates you with
    a salable product, then we fully intend to collect our fee".

    Gonahangya went on to explain that what he is doing is not unusual.
    There are many popular words that are used in everyday conversations
    that are trademarked and cannot be used in commercial ventures without
    permission.  'The word 'Xerox' is often used interchangeably with
    'copy'.  The word 'Vaseline' is used interchangeably with lotion or
    grease.  he also explained that the word Rock-N-Roll is trademarked by
    a major label record executive who at the time could not charge a
    licensing fee.

    Gonahangya laid out his company's strategy for 2003.  He explained
    that AMO Inc is giving record labels and performers a one month grace
    period to get their business affairs in order.  Starting in May
    letters will be sent out to anyone who is using the term 'Hip Hop'
    explaining that the word is now trademarked and that if they wish to
    continue to use it in the body of their work, they will have to
    register with his company and be assessed a licensing fee.  Letters
    have already been sent to several Hip Hop internet websites with more
    to come.  He estimated the average fee will be anywhere from 2-5
    thousand dollars plus residual fees per project.  Permission to use
    the word will be on a case by case basis.  In addition any future
    projects released using the term ' Hip Hop' will have to have the 'TM'
    symbol next to the word.

    When asked if he felt AMO Inc was being exploitative and attempting to
    blackmail a viable popular culture, Gonahangya bluntly stated; 'This
    is not about culture.  This is about business...  The laws have been
    set up for anyone and everyone to use.  Our company took advantage of
    what was on the books for almost a year and that what we are doing is
    now perfectly legal...  Hip Hop is a big multi-billion dollar a year
    business.  I was surprised that a big executive like Russell Simmons
    or Clive Davis or even business savy rappers like Jay-Z, P-Diddy or
    Eminem never trademarked the phrase.  Everyone in America knows that
    you don't do business without protecting your assets.  It's just plain
    stupid not to leave yourself this wide open..  If the Hip Hop
    community is that dumb when it comes to business then too bad.  Don't
    make me out to be the bad guy".

    When asked if he intends to share any of the profits from licensing
    the word 'Hip Hop' with any of Hip Hop's pioneers including Lovebug
    Starski who first coined the phrase back in the lates 70s or Afrika
    Bambaataa who popularized and spread the word, Gonahangya laughed.  'I
    never heard of a Mr Starski and as for sharing profits with people
    from Africa..No my people are originally from Denmark, Norway.

    When another reporter told Gonahangya that Afrika Bambaataa was
    someone's name, Gonahangya shrugged it off and said he had no
    intentions of sharing the profits with anyone but his company and his
    family."  However, he did offer a discounted licensing fee for Starski
    and Bambaataa since they coined and helped popularized the term.

    When asked if there would be any sort of criteria set up to determine
    who will and will not be allowed to use the phrase 'Hip Hop',
    Gonahangya explained that for most part if a company has the money and
    a viable revenue stream for residual payments then it should be a
    'piece of cake'.  As for criteria, Gonahangya explained that he has
    very little tolerance and respect for individuals and companies that
    are attempting to use the phrase Hip Hop for political gain.

    "Recently the term 'Hip Hop' has been positioned as a
    progressive/liberal movement.  That's unfair and a totally one-sided
    approach to what is an American institution.Hip Hop is for everyone.
    It is not a slick political campaign tool for Jesse Jackson, Al
    Sharpton or Hillary Clinton.", he retorted

    Gonahangya became evasive when asked if he would allow the term Hip
    Hop to be used by any of the conservative organizations that he
    regularly associates with and lobbies for.  " To be honest we have not
    ruled them out.  We believe that Hip Hop needs to be politically
    balanced.  For years Hip Hop has been associated with liberal causes
    that have totally undermined the moral fiber of this country.  We will
    be very selective as to how Hip Hop will be used politically", he said

    Gonahangya continued; "I will assure you this...  In the future you
    will not be seeing billboards or magazine ads with the words 'Hip Hop'
    and Reparations, 'Hip Hop' and Affirmative Action or even 'Hip Hop'
    and Black Power anytime soon.  If it hasn't come through our offices
    and been granted a licensing fee then its existence will be in
    violation of the Millennium Copyright Act of 2001 and we intend to
    aggressively go after any violators and prosecute.  This about
    political integrity and money".

    Some our speculating that Gonahangya intends to use his ownership of
    the now trademarked term 'Hip Hop' to quiet down any sort of political
    movement that has been organizing around the term in time for the 2004

    We caught up with Greg Watkins webmaster of the popular site
    allhiphop.com and he noted that he had received a letter from
    Gonahangya's AMO Inc company earlier this month.  "He told us in the
    letter that we were in violation of his this trademark law and that me
    and my partner Chuck would have to pay licensing fee if we wanted to
    keep the word 'Hip Hop in our name.  We checked with our lawyers and
    found out that we were safe because we are allhiphop and not just 'hip
    hop'.  It's obvious these guys are serious about collecting their

    We caught up with long time Bay Area writer and Hip Hop deejay Billy
    Jam who does the Hip Hop Slam radio show and has the website Hip Hop
    Slam.  "Yeah this attorney contacted my attorney and said I would have
    to take the 'Hip Hop' out of Hip Hop Slam or pay a fee if I want to
    continue doing business.  At first I thought it was a joke and then
    days later I received a subpoena to show up in court.  I was told if I
    don't remove the word Hip Hop from Hip Hop Slam or pay a licensing fee
    then I could lose my house, my car and my prized record collection".
    Normally I don't give a damn about such things, but I can't afford to
    lose my records", Billy Jam said

    We caught up with popular Bay Area rapper /writer JR The Rap Slanger
    out of East Oakland.  He said: " Look man, this country's always been
    about business and fools is gonna try and collect their paper.  But
    this is straight up bullS%$T.  How's this fool gonna try and trademark
    a word and collect a fee?  Brothas need to rise up and retaliate and
    put a foot in his ass.  But let's be honest, me personally I don't
    have to worry because I'm not really Hip Hop.  I rap.  I'm a rapper.
    There's a difference between rap and Hip Hop.  I guess Hip Hop is
    gonna die but rap is gonna go on forever!  He didn't trademark the
    word Rap did he?  "

    As far as I can tell the word rap is not trademarked.  Nor can it be
    because of it's long standing everyday usage.

    We checked with famed NY copyright attorney Arnold Esquire Sullivan
    and he soberly explained that the new provisions that have been added
    does indeed give AMO Inc the right to trademark and collect a
    licensing fee for use of the word Hip Hop and any other coined
    'unique' phrase.  If the word is made up or unique to the American
    lexicon then it can be trademarked and people will have to pay a fee
    if they wish to use it in any sort of business endeavor.

    Sullivan explained the new amendment went through around the same time
    they were crafting the Patriot Act.  "It's a shame people went to
    sleep on this.  I hate to say this but Negroes had better wake up and
    start smelling the coffee.  These people in Washington are not

    Sullivan concluded by noting that failure to comply with the new
    trademark laws can result in serious economic repercussions and a
    stiff 5 year prison sentence.  He noted that the stiff prison sentence
    came after music industry executives and software companies lobbied
    congress for harsher penalties for bootleggers and other 'copyright'
    thieves'.  "Unfortunately this new trademark law as it pertains to the
    phrase Hip Hop can potentially land people in jail if they try to make
    a profit off it', Sullivan noted.

    At the end of the press conference Gonahangya explained that he is
    currently in negotiations with a major broadcast company so that they
    will have the exclusive rights to the word 'Hip Hop'.  Gonahangya
    declined to name the outlet that he is dealing with, but he did note
    that should everything work out according to plan this media outlet
    has vast resources and will set up offices throughout the country and
    help determine which projects and products will be allowed to use the
    term 'Hip Hop'.  Gonahangya refused to say whether or not it would be
    an outlet like Clear Channel, Viacom or Emmis that would be
    determining who can or cannot use the word 'Hip Hop'.  "It would be
    premature for me to give out that information", he said

    It is clear that big corporations and government lobbyist now own Hip

    Gonahangya also reiterated the fact that he is extending a month long
    grace period.  He also used the occasion to pitch his new licensing
    service.  In what appeared to be a real cheesy move he stated that he
    was offering a one time discount for the next two weeks.  He explained
    that he understands that there are a lot of non-profits that use the
    phrase Hip Hop in literature and other marketing schemes and as a
    result they will be granted a one time 500 dollar processing fee and
    will subjected to the similar constraints of their 501 non profit
    status.  That means they can not use Hip Hop as a political marketing

    Non political Independent record labels and artist can obtain a
    lifetime license to use the word Hip Hop for 500 dollars.  Gonahangya
    explained that he believes in doing things for the community and this
    is his way of giving back.

    "Let it not be said I don't care for the underdog", he said.  AMO Inc
    is all about helping the downtrodden.  We normally charge on average
    of 5000 thousand plus lifetime residual fees, but because we care
    about the little people we will offer Hip Hop [TM] for 500 dollars
    licensing fee for the next two weeks.

    If anyone wishes to fill out an application to see if you qualify to
    use the term 'Hip Hop' in your product or if you want more information
    on AMO Inc call them at 1-800-233-456

    or  Go to their webpage.

     or drop me a line at misterdaveyd@earthlink.net

    Civil Rights Legend Dick Gregory, Other Activists & Artists, To Address Fourth Annual “Hip Hop As A Movement” Conference.


    Human rights anti-war activist and comedian legend Dick Gregory will deliver the keynote speech to open the fourth annual “Hip Hop Generation-Hip Hop As A Movement” Conference, April 11-13, 2003 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. 


    Gathering under the banner of Peace and Anti-Militarism, the weekend event will feature panels, strategy sessions, and performances.  The conference will also feature panels on the “Gentrification of Hip Hop” and Hip Hop and Prophecy in addition to film screenings and exhibitions. 


    Dick Gregory will give the keynote address on Friday, April 11th. In the tradition of his work with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and social justice movements, Gregory joins the event in its call for peace and an end to inequality at home.  


    Other confirmed panelists and performers include Smiff N Wessun (Rawkus/MCA), Buckshot, DJ Evil Dee, and Sean Price aka Ruck of Duck Down Records, Charlie Ahearn (Wild Style), Mario Africa (Move/AWOL Magazine), Billy “Upski” Wimsatt, Ernie Paniciolli, Eyedea feat. Bro. Ali and Musab (Rhymesayers), Kuttin Kandi (5th Platoon), Wordsworth (Lyricist Lounge), Greg Watkins (allhiphop.com), Rise & Shine, Cristina Veran, Immortal Technique, DJ G Brown, Black Elephant, Pri the Honey Dark, and many more. 


    The “Hip Hop As A Movement” conference has garnered the praise of both Hip Hop pioneers and music industry opinion leaders and has distinguished itself nationally as the premier collegiate Hip Hop event.  This year promises to be a milestone in the Hip Hop activist movement.


    For more information and updates visit the official conference website at www.hiphopgeneration.org

    Contact:  Patrice A. Sulton
                                   716 Langdon St.
                                   Madison, WI 53706
                                   (608) 663-0331

    "The Great Hip Hop Swindle"

    lecture by Jorge "Fabel" Pabon

    In his lecture "The Great Hip Hop Swindle", Jorge Pabon delves into the
    circumstances that have led to the fragmentation of Hip Hop culture, as it
    stands today.  He discusses the ways that Hip Hop was celebrated in the 70s
    through the early 80's and compares this to the media and industry dominated
    control of Hip Hop today.  Not only does Fabel discuss the circumstances and
    situations that led Hip Hop to the state it is in today, he also offers
    solutions to how people can revive the culture and attempt to restore it to
    its original state.  Fabel backs up his assertions with visual images and
    artifacts which he has collected or produced himself.

    Lecture points include:
    Hip Hop as a Revolutionary Movement
    Hip Hop is a Cultural Melting Pot
    Urban Culture
    Art Forms Predating Hip Hop
    The Early 80's - The Beginning of the End
    The Mid 80's - A Stripping of the Culture
    The Media Swindle
    The Late 80's - Early 90's: Picking Up the Pieces
    Non Hip Hop Artists Incorporating Hip Hop
    Hip Hop Artists Clean Up the Mess Rap Industry Leaves Behind
    Institutional Swindle
    Devils Come in all Colors, Genders, Shapes, and Sizes


    JORGE "FABEL" PABON was born and raised in Spanish Harlem, NYC where, at an
    early age, he developed his dance and choreography career at Hip Hop jams and
    clubs throughout the city. His pioneering individuality has been showcased
    internationally since 1982. President of the Hierophysics crew, Senior Vice
    President of the Rock Steady Crew, member of Magnificent Force, and an
    honorary member of the Electric Boogaloos, Fabel is also co-founder of
    GhettOriginal Productions, Inc. With GhettOriginal, Fabel co-authored,
    co-directed, and co-choreographed the first two Hip Hop musicals ever, "So!
    What Happens Now?" and "Jam on the Groove" (first official Off-Broadway Hip
    Hop musical).  He has also toured internationally as a featured performer
    with "Jam on the Groove," which was nominated for best choreography at the
    Drama Desk Awards in 1996. Fabel was also featured in the cult classic Hip
    Hop movie "Beat Street."  Along with fellow members of the Rhythm Technicians
    and Rock Steady Crew, he won the 1991 Bessie Award for choreography.
    Highlights of his career include performing in Lincoln Center's "Serious
    Fun!"; P.B.S.'s "Great Performances 20th Anniversary Special"; the  Boston
    Ballet; the 1994 American-Japan Festival (sponsored by the Smithsonian
    Institution); both the 1983 and 1991 Kennedy Center Honors Gala events, and a
    Hip Hop version of Kurt Weill's "September Songs" for P.B.S.  Fabel was the
    first American Hip Hop dancer to perform in Cuba, in 1986 & 1988, with the
    dance company, Ballet D'Angelo.

    In 1999, Fabel served as a consultant, moderator, panelist, and writer for
    The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's exhibit and conference: "The Hip
    Hop Nation: Roots, Rhyme and Rage." When this exhibit traveled to the
    Brooklyn Museum of Art in September, 2000, Fabel was invited to lecture and
    serve on the exhibit's Honorary Committee.  A vintage Hip Hop outfit, owned
    by Fabel is presently on display at the Experience Music Project in Seattle,
    WA.  Visitors to EMP are guided through the Hip Hop clothing exhibit with
    Fabel's voice detailing every aspect of the outfits displayed.

    He is the first Hip Hop dance instructor to be employed at N.Y.U.'s
    Experimental Dance Theater Wing and has recently been commissioned to teach
    at the New School. Fabel gives lectures, demonstrations, master classes, and
    participates in outreach programs and conferences internationally. In 2001,
    he addressed delegates at the United Nation's "Hip Hop Conference for Peace."
     Fabel regularly teaches dance in various schools for the Sports and Arts in
    Schools Foundation. Fabel has also been commissioned to teach dance workshops
    at such institutions as The Dalton School and Central Park East One, among
    the many. Fabel specializes in the foundational dance forms of Popping,
    Locking and Rocking.

    He is currently working on two documentaries: "Fabel's History of Hip Hop
    Fashion Vol. 1" and "Puerto Ricans in Hip Hop." Fabel is a historian of and
    activist within Hip Hop culture. His other forms of expression include
    "graffiti" art, DJ'ing and rhyming.  Fabel is a co-founder of Tools Of War, a
    grass roots Hip Hop company covering publicity, events coordination and
    promotions, activism, bookings, and consultation.

    As a witness to the growth of Hip Hop culture since 1976, Fabel believes that
    true Hip Hop culture is a blessing from the Creator given to uplift and unify
    youth globally.

    Hip Hop In The Hour Of Chaos
    By David Muhammad

    As a body of people united by the common thread of urban cultural expression, i.e. Hip Hop, we suffer from a collective memory loss, where we forget the trends of no more than a few months prior.

    I remember the first Gulf War and how Hip Hop responded. Some of us supported "our" troops by wearing fatigues in videos, desert boots, and by shouting out the corny ass phrase "peace in the middle east". These cosmetic responses offended my NWA & PE sensibilities. However, I was sincerely impacted by the bold statement of a young and revolutionary publication...The Source.

    Back when The Source still printed college radio Hip Hop play lists, the Source's original Mind Squad articulated why their publication would not accept United States military advertising dollars, the same way they had refused Alcohol and cigarette ads. They knew the destructive impact of the US government's hypocrisy in it's exploitation of soldiers of color and their denial of justice to Black and Latino communities.

    Well, gone are the days of Hip Hop idealism and cultural militancy, but once again the Hip Hop generation is confronted with war. Ironically, we are partying more in the midst of a slew of events attacking Hip Hop and urban youth culture. To compound this political indifference, we are being bombarded with military recruitment campaigns ranging from advertisement on websites like SOHH.com and Blackplanet.com, video games, and youth publications like Urban Latino and The Source.

    It is critical that Hip Hop culture reflect the condition of the communities from which it came. These are communities that have been plagued with police brutality for years, but are now confronted with a militarized police force and a government hell bent on controlling social protest.

    This is in addition to the already massive US prison population of people of color. Will members and practitioners of Hip Hop's various cultural forms remain silent on the Government's crackdown on urban youth culture? Historically, it is a fact that racist violence rises during periods of warfare. How will the multicultural Hip Hop audience and community confront this backlash against Black, Latino, and Asian youth?

    This crisis forces us to look inward and be self critical. For years we've used terms like "The Hip Hop Nation" and "The Hip Hop Generation", acting as if there were an assumed set of politics one must subscribe to in order to be "Hip Hop". This was good in theory but it has yet to be defined by the broader Hip Hop community. Many people who call Hip Hop a culture rarely are able to define it as such outside of its 4 or 5 recognized "elements", much less address the political power of Hip Hop.

    The Honorable Louis Farrakhan in his riveting address during the Nation of Islam's Saviours' Day convention, spoke of a backlash of white anger for tearing white youth away from the mentality of their parents through Hip Hop culture. It is no coincidence that there is heightened scrutiny on the Hip Hop community during this period of "homeland security". Now, more than ever, is there a need for those who identify with Hip Hop culture to organize and defend the communities who produced it.

                                               AN open letter to RUSSELL SIMMONS

    As I sit and watch Showtime t.v.this friday night promoting JAY_Z concert as a 1st for hiphop is a HIPHOP Lie. Russell Simmons has done hip hop a diservice by lying to the world of rap fans and all of interest. If he is about keeping HIPHOP TRUE and HISTORY in tact in telling the truth of past events that has happened in HIPHOP, then he should do so.We are the same age and I can remember what has happen in HIPHOP since the BEGINNING.Or is the age of 45 years old is catching up with him and we are the same age.. Jay-Z upcoming concert is not the 1st rap concert to be televised lived. Not even showned lived.

    The 1st NATIONAL TELEVISED hiphop concert, was produced and created by HIPHOP PIONEER VANSILK. RAPMANIA,the 15th anniversary of HIPHOP which featured 55 ACTS is the first hiphop televised concert event which aired in MARCH of 1991. The 2nd event was SISTERS IN THE NAME OF RAP Which featured 25 of the HOTTEST FEMALE RAPPERS at the time of it showing.. Lets think back and remember that M.C HAMMER also did a live event for Pay Per View T.V. Both shows VANSILK produced and created were HIPHOP historical events.For Russell Simmons & Lyor Cohen to sit on showtime t.v promoting this as a 1st is one reason why HIPHOP is the way it is now.When you tell the HIPHOP listener false statement, and those who were not even fans at the time because of age, then you alters history. To be even more assure of this for RAPMANIA in 1991 we used 13 of DEF JAM or RUSH productions managed artists for the show.The only RUSH managed acts that did not perform at RAPAMANIA was PUBLIC ENEMY due to the statement of Proffessor Griff at the time.I was told if PUBLIC ENEMY performed that RAPMANIA  would not be carried in certain state or aired. And STETASONIC did not perform because of reson not to be discussed.I Feel that after depositing at that time $228,000.00 in escrow for the Russell, Rush & and Def Jam acts paying all top rappers $12,500.00 FOR ONLY 10 MINUTES.And not remembering that RAPMANIA is the 1st hiphop televised concert is wack.But what make it even more crazy, they didn't pay any of their artists that performed for RAPMANINA telling them all, that this was a free & promtional event.

    To be honest every rapers was paid for RAPMANIA with our talent budget exceeding $465,000.00 and the show costing 1.2 millions dollars. Most of the artists were not paid by their management.Russell need to wake up, and stop lying about HIPHOP history and events.For years  has kept HIPHOP SEPERATED,he has lost his edge to the streets by refusing to meet with AFRIKA Bambaataa an myself.Especially when he organizedthe HIP HOP action network.how can you make up a organization without including those of high interest for the CULTURE.

    The Zulu Nation could have been very instrumental in this for the purpose you couild have gotten all the pioneers of hiphop together to help the caused. Then with the world wide clout of the nation in many countries we could have united the whole Universe.BUT for some reason Mr Simmons refuse to communicate with us, but you didn't have that problem back in the day when you needed us, or when Dj Afrika Islam & Grandmaster Mele Mel  was really the main reason why LYOR COHEN came to New York, lets not forget LYOR you was promoting parites in CALI, and you jocked Mele Mel & Afrika Islam about geting down and working with them.But you betrayed them and jumped ship to Def JAM.This is not about HATIN, but about how some are keeping HIPHOP apart.

    All I know is that RUSSELL you have been approached by us, and we will keep letting you know the BULLSHIT you are doing.You are still my man, but you changed on those who help you.We all could have worked together.You tell Bill Adler that myself and Bambaataa have something against you. Well since you don"t read email this was a way to get at you.All I want you to do is wake up and respect those who did for you. Meaning the pioneers of this game or CULTURE.I'm not asking you for anything personally, because I'm ok, and have always been. But to keep this real and save face, tell the truth and stop FRONTIN.

    You remember that saying..You are a highly respected by many, and I respect that you are the chosen one.So who has a problem with that.But you arethe chose one for RAP music,not HIPHOP.You know that records or cd's can't represent the 5 elements ofthis CULTURE.Have you taken the time to explain, since you are in the media all the time that the record companie and music industry have twisted the wording and name HIPHOP.You personally keep HIPHOP twisted, but have you really reach out to Kurtis Blow and help him with the project he wanted to do to coinincide with the HIPHOP,EXCUSE me the RAP ACTION NETWORK which it really should be called. Remember, no one is asking you for anything but UNITY.

    Kurtis Blow was your ticket to HIPHOP.Bambaataa was your ticket, JAZZY JAY your ticket, not RICK RUBIN or that fraud ANDRE HARELL. We let you be down, we promoted your acts when you was starving.You know this can get deep, and I PERSONALLY will give you major props for your work in helping build this CULTURE, but in the same vain you are part of the DESTRUCTION. Nothing will be settled until you sit with us, and lets bring the world and universe of HIPHOP together, if you from the old school. We all grew up on EACH ONE,TEACH ONE. Money is not the ISSUE, UNITY IS! Because some nut will read this and think that we are HATIN on you, or there is some kind of Hate.This is about HIPHOP and the truth.







    This is directed to RUSSELL SIMMONS & ALL HIPHOP.COM,as we move into
    the 30th year of hiphop, I VANSILK-HIPHOP PIONEER has offered RUSSELL
    SIMMONS to be part of a one on one HIPHOP DEBATE. Knowing that he
    really lack the KNOWLEDGE of something he claim to be the GODFATHER
    of. We the true skool,know that everyone looks up to him as if he was
    JESUS CHRIST. But his former label DEF JAM that he use to own is the
    main reason why RAP music is the way it is now.

    Russell you have shitted on mad people on your way up, I"m not
    speaking for me, but for the people who gave you a way to be in this
    business, the same people who never disputed your lies of your
    contribution from the early days of HIPHOP. And Kurtis BLOW can't
    help you on this one. You call Tavis Smiley a sellout when he had his
    show on B.E.T. But You Been Sold HIPHOP out a long time ago. You
    refuse to deal with my family the ZULU NATION in fear of them letting
    you not lie.It was not you who introduce HIPHOP to the world. And you
    know this within your heart. At one time you was real cool,we all
    struggle back in the day.. But when you needed help, you came to us..

    Personally I DON'T NEED YOU,Money is not the issue.So you can tell
    all your PUBLICITY PEOPLE FORGET IT. Let's keep it honest,and not the
    streets, because you know where I can go. And I know our lives are
    worth more than some street shit. But I'm the only one with ballS to
    speak my mind on you, for one people like you and STEVE RIFKIND,who
    basically licked MELE MEL NUTS TO LEARN WHAT HIPHOP is really have no
    street knowledge. And STEVE know he can't say shit about this, so he
    needs to be quiet on this, and yes I'M CALLING HIM OUT.

    You have
    divided HIPHOP along time ago,and now you guys want to stop all the
    infighting among artists today. Well who going to stop this one
    especially when you hide like a RAT.
    This is not about ME or YOU or the ZULU NATION or the PIONEERS, THIS
    IS bout Honesty and Truth,in the end HIPHOP. But I'm THE ONLY ONE WHO
    And I know you will come up with all kind of reasons not to expose
    yourself. I CAN GIVE 2 SHITS ABOUT PHAT FARM, BABY PHAT and all that
    fag shit you put yourself into. I'm proud of you as a black man
    making paper,I can never hate..But all I want everyone to hear from
    your mouth that you are not what everyone build you up to be in this
    cultural artform of HIPHOP. That's the only thing important, when the
    industry find out that you are a fraud, Like your man ANDRE HARELL
    then we all can live in peace.

    Then you started the Hiphop Action network,and try to build a nation
    with out the true elements and people who built this culture over the
    last 30 years.You try to keep the blackball lists going on forever,
    and you know in your heart I can bust you down any day of the
    week.That why whenever you see me, your facial expression change to
    bitch mode. Don't ask me no stupid shit like how much money you got,
    ask me some shit like what going on. You did foul shit to KURTIS
    BLOW,and you tried that shit with CHUCK D. The only group that made
    gave you props, but not once have you ever said anything good about
    me..You was on some jealous shit when I did the first HIPHOP CONCERT
    for NATIONAL T.V called RAPMANIA in 1991 spending 1.2 million dollars
    on a rap show Which Featured 55 Rap Acts, AND 13 OF THOSE ACTS WAS
    YOUR ACTS. You went and brought the front cover of BRE MAGAZINE,You
    couldn't see a brother shine,I had mad respect for you and that non
    rappping DR Jeckyll. I never dissed you, you gave love and so did
    I.Just like when I did the RAP AWARD IN THE ROXY and held down THE
    roxy'S EVERY friday night you and ANDRE DIDN'T HAVE $20 DOLLARS TO GO

    It's not about hatin, I'm a Congraulator,. So I challenge you on
    HIPHOP KNOWLEDE and HISTORY. Since you want to act like you did this
    all by your self.
    And you still do not know what this is all about, again TRUTH &
    HONESTY..When ever you decide to meet the prophet, I'm here..Outside
    of this if you refuse to take this challenge, then we all know you
    are not really the CHOSEN ONE.
    But in love and respect for those who you fooled,



    -> BEST OF 2002


    BLOG: http://cantstopwontstop.blogspot.com

    'STAKES IS HIGH': "Conscious rap", "neosoul" and the hip-hop generation

    [in the January 13, 2003 issue of The Nation]

    Fifteen years ago, rappers like Public Enemy, KRS-One and Queen Latifah were
    received as heralds of a new movement. Musicians--who, like all artists,
    always tend to handle the question "What's going on?" much better than "What
    is to be done?"--had never been called upon to do so much for their
    generation; Thelonious Monk, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder were never
    asked to stand in for Thurgood Marshall, Fannie Lou Hamer or Stokely
    Carmichael. But the gains of the civil rights and Black Power movements of
    the 1960s were being rolled back. Youths were as fed up with black
    leadership as they were with white supremacy. Politics had failed. Culture
    was to become the hip-hop generation's battlefield, and "political rap" was
    to be its weapon.

    Today, the most cursory glance at the Billboard charts or video shows on
    Viacom-owned MTV and BET suggests rap has been given over to
    cocaine-cooking, cartoon-watching, Rakim-quoting, gold-rims-coveting,
    death-worshiping young 'uns. One might even ask whether rap has abandoned
    the revolution.

    Indeed, as the central marker of urban youth of color style and
    authenticity, rap music has become the key to the niching of youth culture.
    The "hip-hop lifestyle" is now available for purchase in every suburban
    mall. "Political rap" has been repackaged by record companies as merely
    "conscious," retooled for a smaller niche as an alternative. Instead of
    drinking Alizé, you drink Sprite. Instead of Versace, you wear Ecko. Instead
    of Jay-Z, you listen to the Roots. Teen rap, party rap, gangsta rap,
    political rap--tags that were once a mere music critic's game--are literally
    serious business.

    "Once you put a prefix on an MC's name, that's a death trap," says Talib
    Kweli, the gifted Brooklyn-born rapper who disdains being called
    "conscious." Clearly his music expresses a well-defined politics; his rhymes
    draw from the same well of protest that nourished the Last Poets, the Watts
    Prophets and the Black Arts stalwarts he cites as influences. But he argues
    that marketing labels close his audience's minds to the possibilities of his
    art. When Kweli unveiled a song called "Gun Music," some fans grumbled. (No
    "conscious" rapper would stoop to rapping about guns, they reasoned, closing
    their ears even as Kweli delivered a complicated critique of street-arms
    fetishism.) At the same time, Kweli worries that being pigeonholed as
    political will prevent him from being promoted to mass audiences. Indeed, to
    be a "political rapper" in the music industry these days is to be condemned
    to preach to a very small choir.

    "Political rap" was actually something of an invention. The Bronx
    community-center dances and block parties where hip-hop began in the early
    1970s were not demonstrations for justice, they were celebrations of
    survival. Hip-hop culture simply reflected what the people wanted and
    needed--escape. Rappers bragged about living the brand-name high life
    because they didn't; they boasted about getting headlines in the New York
    Post because they couldn't. Then, during the burning summer of the first
    Reagan recession, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five released "The
    Message," a dirge (by the standards of the day) that seethed against the
    everyday violence of disinvestment. Flash was certain the record, which was
    actually an A&R-pushed concoction by Duke Bootee and Melle Mel, would flop;
    it was too slow and too depressing to rock a party. But Sugar Hill Records
    released the song as a single over his objections, and "The Message" struck
    the zeitgeist like a bull's-eye. Liberal soul and rock critics, who had been
    waiting for exactly this kind of statement from urban America, championed
    it. Millions of listeners made it the third platinum rap single.

    Through the mid-1980s, Melle Mel, Afrika Bambaataa and Soul Sonic Force,
    Run-DMC and others took up the role of the young black lumpenrapper
    opposition, weighing in on topics like racism, nuclear proliferation and
    apartheid. And just as the first Bush stepped into office, a new generation
    began to articulate a distinctly post-civil rights stance. Led by Public
    Enemy, rappers like Paris, Ice-T, X-Clan, Poor Righteous Teachers and Brand
    Nubian displayed the Black Panther Party's media savvy and the Minister
    Louis Farrakhan's nationalist rage. Politics were as explicit as Tipper
    Gore's advisory stickers. As the Gulf War progressed, Paris's "Bush Killa"
    imagined a Black Power assassination of Bush the Elder while rapping, "Iraq
    never called me 'nigger.'" (Last year, he returned to cut an MP3-only
    critique of the war on Afghanistan, "What Would You Do?") Rappers' growing
    confidence with word, sound and power was reflected in more slippery and
    subtle music, buttered with Afrodiasporic and polycultural flavor.

    Many of these artists had emerged from vibrant protest movements--New York
    City's resurgent Black Power movement; the swelling campus
    antiapartheid/multiculturalism/ affirmative action movement; local
    anti-police brutality movements. In each of these, representation was the
    cry and the media were a target. Rap "edutainment" came out of the
    convergence of two very different desires: the need for political
    empowerment and the need to be empowered by images of truth. On 1990's "Can
    I Kick It?," A Tribe Called Quest's Phife Dawg captured the mood of his
    audience sweetly and precisely: "Mr. Dinkins, will you please be our mayor?"
    But while Mayor Dinkins's career quickly hit a tailspin, hip-hop rose by
    making blackness--even radical blackness--the worldwide trading currency of
    cultural cool.

    In the new global entertainment industry of the 1990s, rap became a hot
    commodity. But even as the marketing dollars flowed into youth of color
    communities, major labels searched for ways to capture the authenticity
    without the militancy. Stakes was high, as De La Soul famously put it in
    1996, and labels were loath to accept such disruptions on their investments
    as those that greeted Ice-T and Body Count's "Cop Killer" during the '92
    election season. Rhymers kicking sordid tales from the drug wars were no
    longer journalists or fictionists, ironists or moralists. They were
    purveyors of a new lifestyle, ghetto cool with all of the products but none
    of the risk or rage. After Dr. Dre's pivotal 1992 album, The Chronic, in
    which a millennial, ghettocentric Phil Spector stormed the pop charts with a
    postrebellion gangsta party that brought together Crip-walking with
    Tanqueray-sipping, the roughnecks, hustlers and riders took the stage from
    the rap revolutionaries, backed by the substantial capital of a quickly
    consolidating music industry.

    Rap music today reflects the paradoxical position of the hip-hop generation.
    If measured by the volume of products created by and sold to them, it may
    appear that youth of color have never been more central to global popular
    culture. Rap is now a $1.6 billion engine that drives the entire music
    industry and flexes its muscle across all entertainment platforms. Along
    with its music, Jay-Z's not-so-ironically named Roc-A-Fella company peddles
    branded movies, clothing and vodka. Hip-hop, some academics assert, is
    hegemonic. But as the social turmoil described by many contemporary rappers
    demonstrates, this generation of youth of color is as alienated and
    downpressed as any ever has been. And the act of tying music to
    lifestyle--as synergy-seeking media companies have effectively done--has
    distorted what marketers call the "aspirational" aspects of hip-hop while
    marginalizing its powers of protest.

    Yet the politics have not disappeared from popular rap. Some of the most
    stunning hits in recent years--DMX's "Who We Be," Trick Daddy's "I'm a
    Thug," Scarface's "On My Block"--have found large audiences by making whole
    the hip-hop generation's cliché of "keeping it real," being true to one's
    roots of struggle. The video for Nappy Roots' brilliant "Po' Folks" depicts
    an expansive vision of rural Kentucky--black and white, young and old
    together, living like "everything's gon' be OK." Scarface's ghettocentric
    "On My Block" discards any pretense at apology. "We've probably done it all,
    fa' sheezy," he raps. "I'll never leave my block, my niggas need me." For
    some critics, usually older and often black, such sentiments seem
    dangerously close to pathological, hymns to debauchery and justifications
    for thuggery. But the hip-hop generation recognizes them as anthems of
    purpose, manifestoes that describe their time and place the same way that
    Public Enemy's did. Most of all, these songs and their audiences say, we are
    survivors and we will never forget that.

    The "conscious rap" and "neosoul" genres take up where 1970s soul
    experimentalists like Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield left off. At their
    best, they are black-to-the-future havens of experimentation that combine a
    grandiose view of pop music's powers, an earnest hope for a better world and
    a jaded insider's disdain for rote commercialism. Crews like Blackalicious,
    the Coup, Jurassic 5, Zion I and dead prez have attained modest success by
    offering visions of twenty-first-century blackness--hypertextual rhymes,
    stuttering rhythms and lush sounds rooted in a deep understanding of
    African-American cultural production and ready-made for a polycultural
    future. The Roots' album Phrenology stretches hip-hop's all-embracing
    method--the conviction that "every music is hip-hop" and ready to be
    absorbed--to draw from a palette as wide as Jill Scott, Bad Brains, James
    Blood Ulmer and the Cold Crush Brothers. Common's Electric Circus takes cues
    from Prince and Sly Stone in reimagining the hip-hop concept album.

    Tensions often spring from the compromises inherent in being given the
    budget to build a statement while being forced to negotiate the major
    label's Pavlovian pop labyrinth, and others have left the system to, as
    Digital Underground once famously put it, do what they like, albeit for much
    smaller audiences. Public Enemy has gone to the Internet and to indies in
    order, they say, to "give the peeps what they need," not what they think
    they want. After spending more than a decade in unsuccessful efforts with
    major labels, rapper Michael Franti now records on his own Boo Boo Wax
    imprint. It's hard to imagine his latest effort, "Bomb Da World"--whose
    chorus goes, "You can bomb the world to pieces, but you can't bomb it into
    peace"--passing muster in the boardrooms. Berkeley-based rapper Mr. Lif cut
    two of the most funky and politically challenging records of the year, the
    Emergency Rations EP and I Phantom LP, for the indie Definitive Jux. The
    EP's clever conceit--that the rapper has literally "gone underground" to
    escape angry Feds--is easily the wittiest, most danceable critique yet of
    the USA Patriot Act.

    Hip-hop has been roundly condemned within and without for its sexist,
    misogynistic tendencies, but it has also created room for artists like
    Me'shell N'degeocello, Mystic, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Goapele
    and Angie Stone to mix up and transform both rap and r&b. "Neosoul" has been
    especially attractive to women and post-young 'uns. Its hip-hop feminist
    critique came into sharp relief last year. After years of flying high, rap
    sales crashed by 15 percent, leading an industrywide plunge. But
    multiplatinum newcomers Alicia Keys and India.Arie were garlanded with a
    bevy of Grammy nominations. Keys and Arie celebrated "a woman's worth" and
    were frankly critical of male irresponsibility. India.Arie's breakout hit
    "Video"--in which she sang, "I'm not the average girl from your
    video"--stole the music that had once been sampled for a rap ode to oral sex
    called "Put It in Your Mouth."

    Hip-hop feminism has been articulated by Joan Morgan as a kind of loyal but
    vocal, highly principled opposition to black (and brown and yellow) male
    übermasculinity. In the same way, neosoul dissects the attitudes and ideals
    projected in the hip-hop mainstream. Me'shell N'degeocello's compelling
    Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape opens with the line, "You sell your soul
    like you sell a piece of ass." The most commanding of the neosoul artists,
    Jill Scott, imagines reconciliation, no longer having to love hip-hop from a
    distance. On "Love Rain" she sings of meeting a new man: "Talked about Moses
    and Mumia, reparations, blue colors, memories of shell-top Adidas, he was
    fresh like summer peaches." But the relationship ends badly, "All you did
    was make a mockery of somethin' so incredibly beautiful. I honestly did love
    you so."

    Neosoul personalizes struggles, but the approach has its limitations.
    India.Arie's Voyage to India, for instance, suffers from reducing black
    radical conviction to self-affirmation mantra. At the same time, the genre
    mirrors a deeply held conviction of the hip-hop generation: Revolution does
    not come first from mass organizations and marching in the streets, but
    through knowledge of self and personal transformation. "Back in the '60s,
    there was a big push for black senators and politicians, and now we have
    more than we ever had before, but our communities are so much worse," says
    Talib Kweli. "A lot of people died for us to vote, I'm aware of that
    history, but these politicians are not in touch with people at all. Politics
    is not the truth to me, it's an illusion." For a generation that has made a
    defensive virtue of keeping it real, the biggest obstacle to societal change
    may simply be the act of imagining it.

    These are the kinds of paradoxes the silver-tongued Kweli grapples with on
    his second solo album, Quality, as masterful a summation of the hip-hop
    generation's ambivalent rage as Morgan's book, When Chickenheads Come to
    Roost. On one of his early songs, Kweli synthesized 1960s militancy and
    1990s millenarianism in a phrase, rapping about the need for "knowledge of
    self-determination." At one point on the Nina Simone-flavored "Get By," he
    sees the distance his generation still needs to cover: "We're survivalists
    turned to consumers." Echoing Marvin Gaye's "Right On," he measures the
    breadth of his generation--from the crack-pushers to the hip-hop activists.
    "Even when the condition is critical, when the living is miserable, your
    position is pivotal," he concludes, deciding that it's time to clean up his
    own life.

    Kweli never fails to deliver fresh, if often despairing, insights. On "The
    Proud," he offers a sage reading of the impact of 9/11 on the 'hood--"People
    broken down from years of oppression become patriots when their way of life
    is threatened." Later in the song, he cites California's Proposition 21--the
    culmination of nearly two decades of fears of gangs, violence and
    lawlessness--and ties it to the intensifying nationwide trend of profiling
    and brutality against youth of color. But he scoffs at a revolution coming
    at the ballot box. Of the 2000 Florida elections, he angrily concludes,
    "President is Bush, the Vice President is Dick, so a whole lotta fucking is
    what we get. They don't want to raise the baby so the election is fixed.
    That's why we don't be fucking with politics!"

    But politicians can't stop fucking with rap and the hip-hop generation.
    Senator Joe Lieberman regularly rallies cultural conservatives against the
    music. Michael Powell's corporate-friendly, laissez-faire FCC has censored
    only the white male rap star Eminem and the black feminist hip-hop poet
    Sarah Jones. Texas Republican John Cornyn overcame African-American Democrat
    Ron Kirk's November Senate bid by linking him to police-hating (and,
    interestingly, ballot-punching) rappers. When Jam Master Jay, the
    well-respected, peace-making DJ of rap group Run-D.M.C., was murdered in
    October, police and federal investigators intensified their surveillance of
    rappers while talking heads and tabloids like the New York Post decried the
    music's, and this generation's, supposed propensity for violence and

    Now a hip-hop parent, Kweli hopes to steel his young 'uns for these kinds of
    assaults. "I give them the truth so they approach the situation with
    ammunition," he raps. "Teach them the game so they know their position, so
    they can grow and make their decisions that change the world and break
    traditions." While he critiques his elders for failing to save the children,
    he knows his generation's defensive b-boy stance is not enough: "We gave the
    youth all the anger but yet we ain't taught them how to express it. And so
    it's dangerous."

    Here is the hip-hop generation in all its powder-keg glory and pain:
    enraged, empowered, endangered. The irony is not lost: A generation able to
    speak the truth like no other before is doing so to a world that still
    hasn't gotten the message.

    How Joe Strummer rocked the world.


    Coming this week in the San Francisco Bay Guardian

    He was born John Graham Mellor into a family that served the Crown. His
    grandfather was a functionary for the Indian Railway, and his father moved
    through posts in Turkey, Mexico, Malawi, and Iran. The boarding school boy
    left to the suburbs of London grew up to be Joe Strummer, and he spent his
    life purposefully undoing everything his forebears stood for.

    Strummer would describe 1976 as his own personal year zero. Across the
    globe, the arc of the revolution was falling. The Baader-Meinhof gang and
    Patty Hearst were on trial. The Weather Underground and the Young Lords
    Party were in the final stages of violent implosion. The Khmer Rouge were
    filling their killing fields. Washington bullets were destabilizing Jamaica.
    In London, as in New York City, capitalism¹s crisis had left entire blocks
    and buildings abandoned. Here Strummer came of age as a radical squatter and
    a spirited pub singer. In a welfare line, he met Mick Jones and Paul Simonon
    and they invited him into the intensely charged musical sect they would come
    to call The Clash.

    Strummer fast affected his mates. Mick¹s tune, "I¹m So Bored With You"
    became "I¹m So Bored With The USA". While their punk contemporaries flirted
    with Nazi imagery and ideology, they romanticized the Jamaican roots reggae
    rebels. When Strummer, Simonon, and manager/advisor Bernie Rhodes
    white males
    against the police, the band found its footing. Rhodes had images to
    contextualize the band¹s defiance. Strummer found an opening to explore
    radical whiteness. "White Riot" distilled his awakening into a 2-minute
    breakneck, ear-splitting call for England¹s fair-skinned sons and daughters
    to join in striking back against the Empire: "Black people gotta lotta
    problems but they don't mind throwing a brick. White people go to school,
    where they teach you how to be thick."

    The record also captured the essence of the Strummer¹s philosophy: "Are you
    taking over or are you taking orders? Are you going backward or are you
    going forwards?" These are the fundamental questions Strummer bequeathed his
    Strummer epitomized the conviction that progressive politics ought to fire
    progressive music
    folk but progressive music of the most fevered imaginationBR risky /> that inspired less awe than love, more noise than silence, music that moved
    down the street with the people and knew when to toss a brick.

    Triangulating the First and Third World across the Atlantic in the sunset of
    the Empire, London Calling was a perfect album, an endlessly mesmerizing
    reading of American and Jamaican music and myth through English eyes. It¹s
    probably the last great record of the rock era. Many would have been happy
    if the Clash had stayed there forever and indeed, who knows how many more
    gems there were to mine. But unlike the generation of indie rockers (and now
    indie rappers) that followed, the diplomat¹s son was not content to repeat
    "Train In Vain", much less "Capital Radio", over and over. Instead, he would
    turn his eye to the emerging world
    after rock.

    Perhaps Strummer¹s background gave him a unique insight into the waves of
    change that were about to be unleashed on the world, or maybe he just had a
    good instinct for getting to the right place at the right time. Just as
    deftly as "Clampdown" had dissected the rise of the National Front,
    "Bankrobber" captured multiracial alienation inna Thatcherite time. Then
    "The Call Up" somberly reflected on the working classes¹ prospects amidst
    rapidly militarizing geopolitics. (Now heard next to the Hitchens-esque hit
    "Rock The Casbah", the tracks offer a dissonance, a clash, if you will, of
    anti-war and anti-fundamentalism ideals that seems unusually timely for
    today¹s conflicted left.)

    Where to go next? New York City. By 1981, hip-hop was pushing through the
    walls of resegregation erected in the previous decade. The band that once
    couldn¹t see past 1977 would become the hinge between the rock and the
    hip-hop eras. When city officials tried to pre-emptively squash their
    seven-night stand, they unwittingly sparked a riot in Times Square. With
    permits in hand and seven gigs stretched to sixteen, they introduced
    Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five to their audiences and egged confused
    punkoids into their own cup-tossing mini-riot. Later they would frequent the
    downtown hip-hop club, Negril, as fans, soaking up vibes with Afrika
    Bambaataa, the graffiti elite, and the Rock Steady Crew. Now the Clash were
    pulling their audiences by their leather dog-collars out of their self-made
    ghettos into the real ones where the future was being made.

    Over the years, *Sandinista* has taken its lumps. But in these days of
    routine double-CD releases, it¹s hard to understand why. *Sandinista* sounds
    more like the 21st century than any rock made in the past two decades. Its
    incessant forward motion is a welcome contrast to the revival-minded
    micro-faddism that passes for most of today¹s allegedly edgy rock. Alongside
    the dub and rap and rock, the Clash took on ambient noise, kiddie karaoke,
    twisted muzak, whistling carnival calypso (echoes of Notting Hill),
    roof-raising gospel, and the odd fiddle jig. Over it all, Strummer and
    colleagues tried to give voice to the people of Kingston, Havana, Hanoi,
    Tehran, and Managua. "The reign of the superpowers must be over", they sang
    on "Charlie Don¹t Surf". "So many armies can¹t free the earth."

    From the ashes of the sixties, Strummer and the Clash moved toward a kind of
    musical multilateralism, consensus by connecting-the-dots. *Sandinista*
    marks the point where they sketch a map of the new musical and political
    world, where rock myth topples into hip-hop¹s corner soul, where the
    trumpets of polyculturalism collapse Jericho¹s imperialism. And Strummer
    characteristically kept moving. In a short July 2001 guest DJ set with WFMU
    (http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/shows/321), he revealed where his expansive
    curiousity and compassion was still taking him. He moved from a
    scintillating collaboration between Ernest Ranglin and Baaba Maal through
    Algerian rai, Sudanese soul, South African mbaqanga, and Colombian cumbia,
    ending with Cornershop¹s Indofuturist pop. The prophetic stance he
    articulated in his life and music falls somewhere between Paul Wellstone and
    Jam Master Jay, a romantic, hopeful, inclusionary vision of progressivism
    and a cultural globalization that we¹ve only just begun to see swelling in
    the streets at the turn of the century.


    This is an excerpt from the book 'Who Shot Ya Three Decades of HipHop
    Photography' by Ernie Panicolli and Kevin Powell It gives us alot to
    think about plus the book makes a wonderful Holiday gift...

    Enjoy the reading..
    -Davey D-

    by Kevin Powell

    This thing, this energy, ghetto angels christened "hiphop" in the days
    of way back is the dominant cultural expression in America, and on the
    planet, today.  You think not, then ask yourself why business
    interests as diverse as McDonald's, Ralph Lauren, Sprite, Nike, and
    the National Basketball Association have all, during the course of the
    past decade and a half, bear-hugged the language, the fashion, the
    attitude of hiphop to authenticate and sell their products.  Or why,
    if you are a parent, your child, be you a resident of the Fifth Ward
    in Houston or an inhabitant of Beverly Hills, routinely strikes a
    hiphop pose and dons mad baggy clothes when leaving home for school on
    the daily, or when cruising a mall on the weekends.  The rapper Ice-T
    said it best near the beginning of the 1990s: "Hiphop is simply the
    latest form of a 'home invasion' into the hearts and minds of young
    people, including a lot of White youth."  Ice-T should be crowned a
    prophet for that proclamation.  Sure, hiphop still rocks the
    boulevards but it is so much a part of American culture-hell, it is
    American culture, with all the positives and negatives attached to
    that reality-that even the bourgeois reach for it and stake claims to
    it nowadays.

    Therefore we can comfortably say that hiphop is bigger than ever.  (If
    bigger is better is another essay altogether.) Just as we have
    witnessed the globalization of the economy, hiphop is global, making
    heads nod from Cleveland to Tokyo to Paris to Havana to Capetown,
    South Africa.  Who knew that this thing, this energy, started on the
    streets, in the parks, of New York City, circa the late 1960s through
    the decadence of the 1970s, by working-class African Americans, West
    Indians, and Latinos, would surpass jazz, rock 'n' roll, and R&B in
    popularity and come to be the gritty, in-your-face soundtrack of a
    generation, of an era?  From where did hiphop emerge?  Think
    institutionalized White racism as the midwife for poor neighborhoods,
    poor school systems, poor health care, poor community resources, and
    poor life prospects.  Think the United States government's slow but
    sure abandonment of its "war on poverty" programs (sending more money,
    instead, to that war in Vietnam) as the Civil Rights Movement came to
    a screeching halt.  Think the material and spiritual failures of that
    Civil Rights Movement: the disappearing acts of leaders of color, the
    fragmentation of communities of color due to integration, lost
    industrial jobs and new migration patterns, and colored middle-class
    folk jetting from the 'hood for good.  Think the New York City fiscal
    crisis of the early to mid-1970s, and the effects of that money crunch
    on impoverished residents of color in the Bronx, Harlem, and other
    parts of the metropolitan New York City area.  Think of slashed art,
    music, dance, and other recreational programs in inner-city areas due
    to that fiscal crisis-homies had to make due with what they had, for
    real.  Add these factors together, multiply by, um, field hollers,
    work songs, the blues, Cab Calloway, zoot suiters, bebop,
    jitterbuggers, low-riders, doo-wop harmonizers, jump-rope rhymers,
    lyrical assassins like the Last Poets and Muhammad Ali, Nuyorican
    salsa and soul, Jamaican dub poetry, Afro-Southern sonic calls and
    responses in the form of James Brown, the wall carvings and murals of
    Africans, Latinos, Native Americans, and the drum, the conga, the pots
    and pans, being beat beat beaten here there everywhere and it all
    equals hiphop.  Part of a continuum: magical, spiritual, a miracle
    sprung from the heavy bags and hand-me-down rags of those deferred
    dreams Langston Hughes had sung about years before.

    Maybe it is no coincidence, then, that 1967 is not only the year that
    Langston Hughes, the great documentarian of ghetto life, died, but
    also the year that Clive Campbell, aka Kool Herc, came from Jamaica to
    New York City, to become widely regarded as a trailblazing DJ and one
    of the founding fathers of hiphop.  Maybe it is no coincidence that
    the last political act Martin Luther King Jr. attempted-his famed
    "Poor People's Campaign," which essentially ended when he was murdered
    on April 4, 1968-was aimed at the same subgroup-and their children-who
    would ultimately drive hiphop culture.  Maybe it is no coincidence
    that when Marvin Gaye asked the question on his landmark 1971 album
    What's Going On "Who really cares?"  and, later, pleads "Save the
    children" he was talking about, well, these forgotten children, the
    "throwaways" of post-Civil Rights America, who would merely need
    courage, imagination, one mic, two turntables, spraypaint and magic
    markers, and cardboard or the linoleum from their momma's kitchen
    floors, to not only make a new art, but a cultural revolution fueled
    by four core elements, in no particular order: the DJ, the MC, the
    dance component, and the graffiti writing.

    Accordingly, we have not been able to avoid dreaming of a hiphop
    America since, nor the ubiquitous image of a b-boy standing in a b-boy
    stance.  Ain't no secret that hiphop is a boys' club.  No denying,
    either, that the ladies have been in the house from jump.  Pioneers
    include graf legend Lady Pink, Sha Rock (from the seminal rap group
    Funky Four Plus One More), the Mercedes Ladies, and entrepreneur
    Sylvia Robinson, whose Sugar Hill Records label scored hiphop's first
    commercial hit with the Sugar Hill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" in 1979.
    And, yup, gotta speak it as I see it: "Rapper's Delight" shamelessly
    borrowed Chic's "Good Times" rhythms and straight jacked the Cold
    Crush Brothers for lyrics.  So while a momentous disc, not mad
    original.  And the rest, as they say, is a very short herstory, with
    names like MC Lyte, Dee Barnes, Lauryn Hill, Fatima Robinson, Gangsta
    Boo, DJ Kuttin Kandi, and Missy Elliott.  Exceptions to the rules,
    these women have been blips on the testosterone screen.  It be like
    that this go-round because, I submit, there is a direct link between
    '60s souls on ice like Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, H.  Rap Brown,
    Huey Newton, and Eldridge Cleaver, and all that posturing by brothers
    around the way-the afros, the dark shades, the black turtlenecks and
    black leather jackets worn, even in the summer, for the right mix of
    rage and cool-at hiphop's break of dawn.  In fact I think it kinda
    deep that the 1960s marked the first time that rank-and-file Black
    people, especially Black men, used the word to tell it like it is,
    holding back nothing.  Replicate Nat Turner by thousands of suddenly
    fearless coloreds and you begin to understand them was some angry,
    signifying Negroes.

    Kinda deep, again, that the Civil Rights era literally overlaps with
    hiphop 's first boom-baps and public-surface scrawlings.  Might it be
    possible that them brothers scared White America so bad that as the
    movement was ending it was them same brothers who were
    disproportionately left behind?  I'm not declaring brothers got it
    worse than sisters-nope, not me; we got it bad equally, just
    differently-but I am declaring that it is wild, when you really stop
    to ponder this, that Blackbrownbeigebutterpecan men, principally the
    younger ones, have always been viewed as dangerous by this country and
    that a concentrated effort to hush these cats through police force and
    a whole bunch of other things you can find in those FBI files did
    leave a whole bunch of Black cats, and their Latino brethren,
    invisible, unseen, gone, with the sounds of silence clanging in the
    air.  So hiphop, to me, is about these males, with names like Lee
    Quinones, Seen, Crazy Legs, Dondi, Afrika Bambaataa, Cowboy, and Pete
    DJ Jones, shining light on their invisibility.  Think a merger of
    Ellison's Invisible Man, Wright's Native Son, and Thomas's Down These
    Mean Streets and you begin to get the complexities of the heads who
    have populated the hiphop nation.

    So, yeah, no question, hiphop owes a debt to the best and worst of
    being so dude-centered.  On the upside it is about male-bonding,
    autobiographical vulnerability, reportage you don't see on your local
    news, and, if you are truly willing to listen, some of the best
    speak-to-the-times poetry this side of Shakespeare, the Beats, and
    Sonia Sanchez.  I cannot tell you how many White devotees have told me
    they knew nothing about Blacks and Latinos until they began absorbing
    hiphop culture.  Nor have I ignored the throngs of Asian hiphoppers
    who assiduously study and manifest the culture better than the Black
    and Latino folks who birthed it.  It is an organic cultural (self)
    education for insiders and outsiders and self-empowerment in the face
    of impossible odds.  At its worst hiphop serves up some of the most
    destructive and myopic definitions of manhood this side of all the
    caveman-like things Mick Jagger, Sid Vicious, and other drugged-up and
    oversexed rockers said and did in their prime.  Indeed, like rock 'n'
    roll, hiphop sometimes makes you think we men don't like women much at
    all, except to objectify them as trophy pieces or, as contemporary
    vernacular mandates, as "baby mommas," "chickenheads," or "bitches."
    But just as it was unfair to demonize men of color in the '60s solely
    as wild-eyed radicals when what they wanted, amidst their fury, was a
    little freedom and a little power, today it is wrong to categorically
    dismiss hiphop without taking into serious consideration the
    socioeconomic conditions (and the many record labels that eagerly
    exploit and benefit from the ignorance of many of these young artists)
    that have led to the current state of affairs.  Or, to paraphrase the
    late Tupac Shakur, we were given this world, we did not make it.
    Which means hiphop did not breed ghettos, poverty, single mothers,
    fatherlessness, rotten school systems, immorality, materialism,
    self-hatred, racism, sexism, and the prison-industrial complex that is
    capturing literally thousands of young Black and Latino males and
    females each year.

    What hiphop has spawned is a way of winning on our own terms, of us
    making something out of nothing.  Hiphop is a mirror for the world to
    look at itself, for America to take a good look at the children it has
    neglected, to see the misery it has been avoiding or covering up.
    And, no, it is not pretty nor pristine.  Hiphop is the ghetto blues,
    urban folk art, a cry out for help.  The same cries that once emanated
    from the mouths of a Bessie Smith, a Robert Johnson, a Billie Holiday,
    a Big Momma Thornton, a Muddy Waters.  Hiphop is rooted, to a large
    extent, in traditional African cultures and the Black American musical
    journey.  Thus, no big surprise that the face of hiphop's songs has
    mainly been Black, although others have grabbed the mic as well.
    Hiphop is an unabashed embrace of the past, sampling any and
    everything at its disposal, the world clearly its altar of worship.
    Booker T.  Washington once urged his peeps to cast their buckets where
    they were.  Hiphop, in its purest form, is about ghetto youth casting
    their buckets into dirty sewer water and coming up with hope, new
    identities, fly names, def jams, acrobatic dance moves, cutting-edge
    art, and, if we are lucky enough, something other than lint in our
    pockets, anger and confusion on our brows, and hunger in our bellies.

    Given the mass appeal and multiple layers of hiphop, you can
    understand why the images of Ernie Paniccioli are so incredibly vital.
    I call Paniccioli the dean of hiphop photographers because I don't
    know of any other person who is as uniquely qualified-and
    positioned-to dramatize the culture as Paniccioli is.  Nor do I know
    of any other photographer who has single-handedly built a visual
    vocabulary for hiphop as Ernie Paniccioli has.  Recall James Van Der
    Zee's majestic portraits of Harlem in the 1920s and you begin to sense
    the breadth of Paniccioli's life-calling.  We cannot think of that
    Harlem without thinking of Van Der Zee, and we cannot think of the
    first three decades of hiphop history without referencing an Ernie
    Paniccioli print.  His art and his personal saga are that intertwined
    with hiphop's evolution.

    For here is a man spit from the pig guts of New York City in 1947,
    predating hiphop by twenty years; a man who was not supposed to have
    had much of a life because of the price of the ticket given to him; a
    man who learned the art of war, during his formative years, on the
    concrete floors, in the libraries and museums, during his
    socialization amongst hustlers and musicians, gang members and street
    dancers, and as a sailor in the United States Navy.  That Paniccioli
    is Native American, yea, suggests he understood, the moment he could
    decipher the world, what it meant to be marginalized and an outsider
    in his own country.

    It is this outsider status that has propelled Paniccioli's craft-first
    his sketches and collages while in the navy during the 1960s, then his
    photography beginning in the early 1970s.  We know that some of
    America's greatest artists-Zora Neale Hurston, Thornton Dial Sr.,
    Prince Paul, to name three of thousands-have been folks beyond the
    margins for much, if not all, of their natural lives.  That
    marginalization is a wide canvas on which they interpret their
    realities and conceive new possibilities.  An artist cannot do this if
    he/she ain't got what painter Radcliffe Bailey labels "grit."  And an
    artist cannot do this if he/she has not been touched, cosmically, by
    ancestral hands, to feel, to see, to be, freely.  Amiri Baraka said it
    best: All important art is self-taught and the most significant artist
    is the one who feels he/she has nothing to lose and everything to gain
    from a relationship with the soul, with the community, with the
    universe.  By self-taught I only mean that Paniccioli is an eternal
    student of politics, the visual arts, literature, religion and
    spirituality, science and mathematics, the JFK assassination, music,
    love, peace, and war.  Academia could not have molded an Ernie
    Paniccioli just as no university molded Gordon Parks.  There are
    artists who do it because they are told to do so by an instructor; and
    there are artists, like Parks and Paniccioli, who do it, and have done
    it, because their work is blood, bone, breath, to them.  Or: more
    often than not school trains us to be something for someone else.
    Self-education demands we train ourselves for ourselves and for the
    people.  Hiphop is a self-taught art because the MCs, the DJs, the
    graffiti writers, and the dancers nurtured themselves, and each other.

    So as Paniccioli was learning how to use a camera, he found himself
    recording the biggest cultural phenomenon since rock 'n' roll.
    Paniccioli knew it intuitively because he had seen Little Richard,
    Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, live.  It was the same power, the same
    passion, the same rebels without a pause.  And like the pioneering
    hiphoppers, Paniccioli's work was not sanitized.  When you look at his
    photographs you see warmth, camaraderie, texture, detailed
    composition, an insider's raw, painstaking truth.  Just as Edward
    Curtis's iconic offerings of Native Americans presented them as regal,
    proud, defiant, so too does Paniccioli's work portray hiphop society
    as human, dignified, remarkable, as survivors, winners, and losers,
    all of it brewed as uncut funk.  It does not matter if a shot is at
    the dance club or in an alley, at a video shoot or in a studio,
    Paniccioli's pictures are murals, snapshots of history, reflections on
    urban American fashion trends, and love-soaked tributes to this thing,
    this energy, called hiphop.  No matter how much bigger hiphop gets, or
    if it one day returns to the margins, like the blues and jazz before
    it, we will always have the photography of Ernie Paniccioli as a
    reminder of what it was we created and what it was like for us hiphop
    heads to dream our own worlds.

    Ernie Paniccioli can be reached at rapphotos@hotmail.com
    Kevin Powell can be reached at kevinpowe@aol.com

    WHO SHOT YA?  Three Decades of Hiphop Photography (Photographs by
    Ernie Paniccioli, Edited by Kevin Powell)...the FIRST major pictorial
    history of hiphop culture IN STORES NOW or ORDER at www.amazon.com


    The FNV Newsletter c 2002
    Send comments to
    peep the websites



    Wanda Dee, as a pre-teen was arguably the first  Hip Hop female DJ ever, and the first female inductee into Afrika Bambaataa's Zulu Nation.  She went on to be the diva voice of techno superstars The KLF throughout the 90's, selling well over 15 million units worldwide, but not before she was the first solo female MC to release two consecutive platinum singles ("The Goddess" and "To The Bone" in 1989), respectively, solidifying her forays into the rap game as one of it's true (and youngest) pioneers.  Nowadays, a multimillionaire many times over (from a seemingly endless global touring schedule and having written every hit she's ever had, including her KLF smashes), she CO-owns & operates her own label, G.E.R.L. (Goddess Empire Record Label) with her husband, creative collaborator, and manager, Eric Floyd (who also played 'Jerome' on the hit TV show "Fame"), which is about to release her full length, debut solo Pop/Dance album ("The Goddess Is Here!) in early '03.  She's also preparing to tour in an original musical production that would have her (once again) portraying the legendary Josephine Baker, whom she readily admits to sharing a kindred spirit with as Wanda was born the same day La Baker died in her sleep; and whose internationally renowned careers show many similarities indeed.

    You have a new CD coming out on Valentine's Day next year...  Tell me about it?

    WANDA DEE: Well, this is my first (full length) solo album, and it's called Wanda Dee: The Goddess Is Here! "The goddess is an image, she's just a creation; a symbol for women, all over the nations, and that is, beauty, body, brains and sophistication can coexist within glamorization... and there's a goddess in every woman." This is what this album is all about.  It's about the love, grace & support of the female deity and that's what's happening now all over the world... everything was so male oriented, and even the thought of a male/patriarchal deity was always one of 'jealousy, rage and war' (at least in the hearts of men), but we're living in a world now that needs, requires and is hungering to be nurtured, loved, cultivated, harvested, respected and exudes an energy of peace to Her children; as only a true Mother can give.  This dominant male's point of view; is the world that I came up in--the hip hop world. It was a constant fight for me as a DJ, firstly because I was soooo young (I was safe at the block parties and park jams, but I had no business in those clubs) and as a female in that world.  You know, a lot of people just didn't believe I could do it, and I got a lot of guys who wouldn't let me on because they didn't believe I could do it--until I got on, and they saw me deejaying and saw how good I was. Afterwards though, every head would bow and every mouth would confess; "I'm sorry shortie, I didn't know you could rock it like that... my bad, my bad!"  But I'm glad I came up that route, because it made me a stronger artist and it prepared me for what I'm doing now on the solo tip.

    Were you always such a versatile performer?

    WD: Yeah, I've always sung, since I was two years old.  I just didn't imagine that I'd end up getting into the business through deejaying.  That was my door in; then I became a rapper, then a performer, and that's when I got back to my singing, so that was the best thing for me 'cause I ended up learning from the ground up.. and thanks to my manager/husband, I've managed to learn, befriend and absorb from some of the best (i.e. Lena Horne, Eartha Kitt, Iris Chacon, Chita Rivera, Diana Ross, Diahanne Carroll, Shirley Bassey, Leslie Uggams, Loleatta Holloway, Sharon Redd, Ann Margaret, Tina Turner & Cleo Laine, just to name a few).

    ERIC FLOYD: What kills me is they keep attributing Li'l Kim with being the first glamorous female rapper and (of course) that's NOT the case.  Years ago, Wanda... well, it was such a male-dominated industry and a lot of the girls coming out were adapting their behavior and style of dress to fit that male domination--sneakers, jeans, gold chains and sweatsuits, minimal make-up.  I said, "You know, Wanda, the only way to beat a man is to be the one thing he can't be, and that is a woman."  And so we incorporated this high-glamour, Las Vegas, exotic, erotic, hypnotic persona into her act, and it worked for her.  She pulled it off brilliantly, as if it was her birthright!  It's the reason why her first two rap singles went platinum, and she's become an international recording and performing sensation, ever since.  And this was way before Lil' Kim ever got her first nose job, boob implants or collagen injections; and might I add that ALL of Wanda's parts are real... mother nature made, sculpted and approved!

    WD: And of course, when you're the first to do something it's not easy, you take the slings and arrows, and boy did I take some slings and arrows!

    EF: We'd go to events and female rappers would be there upset with her, saying, "You're making us look like sluts who are selling records with our butts!"  But now if you look around, Salt N Pepa, Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, everybody's glamorized. Even Missy Elliott has false eyelashes, lipstick and has been told to slim her hefty self down... it's no crime to be a woman, you know!

    WD: And it wasn't easy for me because I was too young to get in clubs so I had to go underneath the wing of Afrika Bambaataa (who'd sneak me in the back door usually); he got me into the big time as a DJ, so I thank him a great deal for getting me into the game, for I went on to become
    the first female DJ immortalized on the big screen in Harry Belafonte's "Beat Street", where I played myself in cameo and was auditioned by Mr. Belafonte himself.

    Do you have any thoughts on where hip hop might be headed?

    WD: Well, it's clear; it's in everyone's faces. I'm happy that it's grown so much as it went from just being in someone's basement, and out on someone's street corner to now being on the TVs, radios, big screens and collective consciousness of people worldwide. That is a tremendous accomplishment.  Now people can retire on it; before, you'd be doing it for the love of it, hoping and praying you'd hit paydirt.  But now, they're selling millions of records, the smarter one's of us now own real estate, businesses, and are directly responsible for feeding peoples' families, while setting up our own dynasty's. That is tremendous.

    EF: There are so many pioneers who started this game, and paved the trail that others now walk upon who didn't benefit. That's why each of us have a responsibility to include, celebrate and pay them every professional chance we get; I'm so glad that Will Smith and Latifah and others are reaching back and using some of the talents that didn't get those big paydays.  Wanda and I have done the same with this new album with the likes of Doug E. Fresh and even the inclusions of several veteran disco divas who came out of the same era, such as Peggi Blu, Sharon Brown, Carol Douglas, Taana Gardner, D'Atra Hicks, Loleatta Holloway, Freda Payne, Fonda Rae, Alyson Williams & Carol Williams.

    WD: I'm also glad to see that there are a lot more women who are now able to be in charge of their careers, dreams, goals & artistic visions, while still selling millions of albums and doing TV, concerts, films, soundtracks, productions, label ownership and other businesses; while still being health & spirit smart.  It's just awesome, and I intend to continue to survive and thrive while contributing my positive love energy to the cause, Goddess be willing.





    Author: Paradise (X-Clan) 

    (I must have debated this a thousand times on the web!)

    Hip-hop is and has always been "A Black Thing" born of Black culture and Black People of the inner city experience.

    There have always been people who are not Black (many Latinos and a even some White folks & Orientals) involved in Hip-hop, but that does not change the fact that Hip-hop is a Black Creation.

    This is not said as a diss to non Black people nor is it meant to say that you should not be involved in the culture now, it is a simple reminder because people like to forget the origin of things created by people of color and our History has been high-jacked many times over. From biblical figures to Egyptian culture, Our "legacy" has been stolen and changed over time.

    I for one will not see the creation and culture of Hip-hop "White-washed" like Rock & Roll and Jazz has been. Look around, the "Elvization" of Eminem has already begun.

    I am not making a "Black Power" stance over this and I'm not saying that "It's A Black Thing and Yall' Don't Understand".

    I am asking that you "Overstand and Respect" the fact that what has affectionately been named "Hip-hop" was born long before 1980. We did it in the streets for years before it was officially named.

    My first dose of Hip-hop came in 1972 at 8 years old I lived in the same building as Disco King Mario (1715 Bruckner Blvd. in The Bronx Dale Projects). Mario was in the community room with 2 turntables hooked up playing "Just Begun" by "The Jimmy Castor Bunch" and I stood there awed and amazed by what I was seeing and hearing. I went on to join "The Baby Spades" (the jr. division of the local gang "The Black Spades" which would later be transformed into "The Universal Zulu Nation") and began a life dedicated to the creation and preservation of Hip-hop music and culture.

    Hip-hop's "Black Roots":

    Hip-hop culture is the descendant of many aged African traditions including but not limited to "Griots", "Hieroglyphics" and "Capoeira".

    The Roots of Hip-hop also travel through "The Last Poets", The Watts Prophets and "Gill Scott Heron" (who by no coincidence spent most of his high-school years in the Bronx).

    Another great influence on Hip-hop culture was Jamaica's Sound Systems and DJs.

    That said, if Hip-hop were a religion the Holy Trinity would probably be Kool Herc, Africa Bambaataa and Grand Master Flash (all of Island Desent).

    Even today, the culture of Hip-hop mirrors the culture of the streets and the people who invented it, It's official language is the hip slang that is spoken by young Black people. It's official dresscode is styled in the worlds ghettos. It's vibe and energy is very, very Black.

    I am happy to see where Hip-hop has ascended to:
    A Bridge between cultures, religions, races.
    A international youth movement.
    A multi-billion dollar industry.

    All are welcome into the family of Hip-hop, but please wipe your feet at the door and Respect the memories of the Elders.

    Paradise Gray (X-Clan) 11/12/2002
    Hip-hop Historian, Archivist, Activist

    No Ho's this Christmas
    (cause Ain't Nuthin' Merry 'bout Genocide)

    Min. Paul Scott

    twas the month before Christmas and all through tha
    hood; Black folks buy stuff so White folks can
    live good.

    Master Minista P

    One of the saddest things about being Black in America
    is seeing our people fund their own destruction. This
    is especially evident during the holiday season when
    many of us will run out and buy the latest CD or video
    that degrades women and promotes Black on Black
    violence, all the while drinking egg nog and singing
    Peace on earth, goodwill towards men.

    This is especially sad this year when the Hip Hop
    community is still in mourning the death of Jam Master
    Jay, not to mention the other unnamed brothers and
    sisters who have had their lives cut short by the
    senseless violence that some in hip hop want to
    glorify. Things have gotten so bad that even one of
    the most famous rap stars was quoted as saying that he
    was scared of his Black fans.

    Many people in the Hip Hop community are now coming
    together in efforts to put an end to the glamorization
    of violence. However, power concedes nothing without
    demand. There must always be an O. E. (Or Else!)
    factor. I can see the CEO of High Morality Records,
    parent company of Death Music, Inc, sitting back in
    his reclainer smoking a cigar saying, So what ya
    gonna do, huff and puff and blow my house down ?
    Invite me to another meeting, so I can make some more
    promises that I dont intend to keep? Or write essay
    number 1099 begging the music industry to change their
    ways? There must be consequences for disrespecting
    the Black community.

    I am sick and tired of corporate fat cats filling
    their childrens Christmas stockings with the blood of
    the Black community. This season we must say, no more!
    The Black community is always coming to the rescue of
    White America when their backs are against the wall.
    Whether it is a TV network that uses hip new Black
    programming to build an audience, only to drop us like
    hot potatoes once they get off the ground or, in this
    case, using Black artists to save a lack luster year
    of CD sells.

    During the next few weeks we will be bombarded by CD
    and DVD commercials trying to get us to drop $20
    dollars of our hard earned money as the industry tries
    to capture the urban market for the holiday season. It
    is their goal to have you go out and buy Cousin Renita
    the new Christmas CD by the Gangsta Grinch, whether
    you can afford to or not. In the age of bootlegging
    and downloading the music industry needs us to spend
    some benjamins this holiday season more than ever. I
    always find it funny when the same rapper who
    glorifies stickin' a fool up, and how rattin' on
    somebody is against the code of the streets, starts
    whining about someone downloading his music. (But I

    This year we have started the "No Ho's This Christmas"
     Boycott (cause ain't nuthin'  merry 'bout GENOCIDE).
    We must not only boycott the CDs that call our
    sista's ho's, glorify Black on Black violence and have
    us buck dancing for the pleasure of White America but
    we must put the focus on the parent companies as well.

    The entertainment industry is used to us calling out
    Brothers and Sisters that promote negative images but
    we must put the responsibility on the shoulders of the
    heads of the corporations who sell our community
    mental and spiritual poison but at the same time
    attend holiday functions and brag to White America
    about how moral they are.

    We must bring attention to the fact that the company
    that is putting out I Saw my Ho Kissin' Santa Claus,
    So I Shot 'em' by Gangsta Grinch in tha hood is the
    same company putting out Have a Holly Jolly
    Christmas by Rudolph and those darn elves in the
    burbs. We must hold these companies accountable.

    So it is up to us to begin marking the negative stuff
    off our wish lists. We must seize this opportunity to
    teach our children about the mind games that are being
    played on Afrikan people every time they ask for a CD
    that they will see advertised on television over and
    over again. Everyone must get involved in this boycott
    from the leaders of Black organizations to the dudes
    ringing those bells outside of the mall.

    As many will be celebrating the birth of the Messiah,
    we  must also see a rebirth of the pride of Afrikan
    people this year.

    and I heard him exclaim as he rolled outta sight,
    next year we'll celebrate; but this year we fight!

    Minister Paul Scott is the founder of the Durham, NC
    based New Righteous Movement. For information on the
    No Ho! Boycott contact the National Hip Hop
    Reformation Campaign at : nhhrc@yahoo.com




      Jam Master Jay  1965 --2002....




    NEW YORK (Oct. 31) - Jam Master Jay, a founding member of the pioneering rap
    trio Run DMC, was shot and killed at his recording studio near the New York
    neighborhood where he grew up, police said.

    Two men were buzzed into the second-floor studio shortly before shots were
    fired inside its lounge at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, police said. As of early
    Thursday, police had made no arrests.

    The 37-year-old disc jockey, whose real name was Jason Mizell, was shot once
    in the head in the studio's lounge and died at the scene, said Detective
    Robert Price, a police spokesman.

    Urieco Rincon, 25, who was not a member of Run DMC, was shot in the leg,
    police said. About five other people in the studio at the time were not hurt.

    ``Rest In Peace Jam Master,'' Run DMC's official Web site read early
    Thursday, underneath a picture of Mizell.

    Mizell served as the platinum-selling group's disc jockey, providing
    background for singers Joseph Simmons, better known as Run, and Darryl
    McDaniels, better known as DMC.

    The group is widely credited with helping bring hip-hop into music's
    mainstream, including the group's smash collaboration with Aerosmith on the
    1980s standard ``Walk This Way'' and hits like ``My Adidas'' and ``It's

    ``We always knew rap was for everyone,'' Mizell said in a 2001 interview with
    MTV. ``Anyone could rap over all kinds of music.''

    Mizell is the latest in a line of hip-hop artists to fall victim to violence.
    Rappers Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur were murdered within seven months
    of each other in 1996 and 1997 - crimes that some believe were the result of
    an East Coast-West Coast rap war.

    But Run DMC and their songs were never about violence. The group promoted
    education and unity.

    In 1986, the trio said they were outraged by the rise of fatal gang violence
    in the Los Angeles area. They called for a day of peace between warring
    street gangs.

    ``This is the first town where you feel the gangs from the minute you step
    into town to the time you leave,'' Mizell said at the time.

    Mizell's friends and fans gathered near the studio, located above a
    restaurant and a check-cashing business. The crowd included many people from
    the Hollis section of Queens, where the members of Run DMC grew up.

    ``They're the best. They're the pioneers in hip hop,'' said Arlene Clark, 39,
    who grew up in the same neighborhood. ``They took it to the highest level it
    could go.''

    Chuck D, the founder of the hip-hop group Public Enemy, blamed record
    companies and the advertising for perpetuating ``a climate of violence'' in
    the rap industry. ``When it comes to us, we're disposable commodities,'' he

    Doctor Dre, a New York radio station DJ who had been friends with Mizell
    since the mid-1980s, said, ``This is not a person who went out looking for
    trouble. ... He's known as a person that builds, that creates and is trying
    to make the right things happen.''

    Leslie Bell, 33, said the band members often let local musicians record for
    free at the studio, and had remained in Queens to give back to the community.

    ``He is one great man,'' said Bell. ``As they say, the good always die

    Publicist Tracy Miller said Mizell and McDaniels had planned to perform in
    Washington, D.C., on Thursday at a Washington Wizards basketball game. Mizell
    had performed on Tuesday in Alabama, she said.

    Mizell was married and had three children, she said.

    Run DMC released a greatest-hits album earlier this year. In 2001, the
    rappers produced ``Crown Royal,'' breaking an eight-year silence.

    By Shemia Muhammad

    We all murdered Jam Master Jay that night. Maybe you didn't. But anyone that
    purchases and continues to support music, art, businesses that do not honor
    life, do not honor the Black community participated in Jam Master Jay's
    murder.  Some of us think that our hands are clean because we escape to the
    nice area of suburbs, yet I caution you to be apathetic to a circumstance
    makes you still guilty. We share this universe together, and as long as there
    is one person that desires to murder instead of respect life, then we are
    just as guilty as the cold blooded killers.

    We watched corporate executives take Hip-Hop and rape her without mercy. Yet
    we watched without uttering a word. We heard Hip-Hop cries of foul play by
    Common, by Kam, by The Coup, by Dead Presidents, by KRS1, by Paris, by Malik
    Z. Shabazz, by Public Enemy. Instead of stepping up and taking up for Her, we
    blamed her for the rape. Unfortunately the rape of Hip Hop made her believe
    it was ok to be a prostitute for anyone and thing with the right money.  We
    continue to spend our $16.00 on CDs that glorify dangerous life styles and
    self degrading concepts, we take part in the continuous murder of our
    community. We murder our standards of ethics, of high morale, and of respect
    for human life.

    No one said anything when Tupac was murdered, when Biggie was murdered.
    Everyone blamed it on their life style, and some orchastrated east versus
    west. We all knew deep within that it was Self versus Self. It was self
    hatred that continued to allow the prostitution of Hip-Hop, thus our
    community.  Corporations realize that we have a deep seated wound and a deep
    seated need, so they profit off of our madness of our illness off of our
    sadness.  We spend billions on music that identifies our Women as Bitches our
    Men as Niggas and our work ethics as a Slimey Hustle.  Corporations can
    continue to prostitute Hip-Hop as long as we have such a low self esteem in
    our genes, that we spend billions of dollars on designer jeans. Any name but
    our own name will do. The fashion industry participates in this prostitution.
     We take on names and images from crime bosses, fashion of industry blood
    suckers, and listen to music that defiles our vessel. We defile our vessel
    (bodies daily), so it shouldn't have been a shock when someone could actually
    walk up to a Black man and shoot him without regard to his life, his breath,
    his journey, and his destiny.

    A lot of us believed that the Civil Rights era took care of our needs.
    Although I respect the Civil Rights era, many wanted to prove to Caucasians
    that they were worthy of being honored. What really should have taken place
    was proving to ourselves that we are worthy. Now, Hip-Hop generation - you
    have emerged, we have emerged to take on our ancestors battle.  Many of us
    are so disenchanted with this system that we don't even respond when a crisis
    takes place in our community. So many of us are not even available to make a
    change. Thus we all murdered Jam Master Jay that night.

    Some blame the "youth".  Some believe that it is only the "youth" in the
    Hip-Hop era. But if you remembered listening to Curtis Blow, the Dead
    Presidents, then you too are apart of this changing Hip-Hop community. People
    born in the late 50's and 70's are the hip-hop generation, rather they
    realize it or not.  The generation that decided to pound loudly and go back
    to the drum, step up and be entrepenuers. We are the Hip-Hop community. And
    until we take a stance and help heal our communities we will continue to
    murder. Until we make a definite pact to no longer support artists who
    glorify murder, going into debt over cars and clothes, use sexual
    exploitation, disrespect Black women, we will continue to murder.  We already
    murdered Tupac, Biggie, and Jam Master Jay.

    Nation of Islam's Very Own Kam
    Former Protege' of Ice Cube
    Breaks off to do THE SELF
    Cd So Controversial- Sources are saying HE SHOULD BE BANNED


    Time to Talk About Us

    By, Adisa Banjoko “The Bishop of Hip Hop”

    The other night, my buddy Jiga Dre from the Bay called me up to confirm that Jam Master Jay was dead. I had not heard anything on it, but checked one of my secret emails and told him, in shock, that “Yes, he was shot about an hour ago.”

    My phone rang so much I had to turn it off a few hours later. It still rings as I write this. My hear still morns the reason I stepped into Hip Hop. I didn’t wanna be Run or DMC ( all do respect to the Kings of Rock)- I wanted to know how the guy in the back who never spoke but could create those sounds I had never heard before. I wanted to be Jam Master Jay.

    Jam Master Jay is the reason I would be locked in my room all weekend while most of my friends went to house parties. At the Fresh Fest, I was inspired further after watching Jay make the crowd scream so loud I thought the Oakland Coliseum would collapse from the sound. His poster sat above my turntables as I sat in hopes that by having it there- I might get better…..that never happened, I still suck. But it was the inspiration, created by Jay’s skill that I remember the most.

    Before Qbert, Mix Master Mike, Apollo, Vinroc, DJ Disk, The X-men, Alladin, Joe Cooley, Cut Chemist, of all of them cats- JAM MASTER JAY WAS THE ONE IN CHARGE…..He inspired many of the worlds DJ’s, without question. This is not to mention how all that Rage Against the Machine, Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock, P.O.D., all them cats know Run DMC gave birth to them. Look at all the rock bands with DJ‘s now. That’s a direct effect of Jam Master Jay- period.

    He set the tone for DJ’s to get and maintain respect. Run DMC was one of the first groups to make songs ABOUT their DJ. Songs like “Jam Master Jay“, “Peter Piper“, “Daryl and Joe” and others ensured that other DJ’s got love on Hip Hop records. UTFO’s “Leader of the Pack”, Eric B and Rakim‘s “Chinese Arithmetic“, Gangstarr‘s “DJ Premier in Deep Concentration” was all a part of the seminal seeds of Hip Hop that spawned all across the world. Today, that part of Hip Hop is a virtually forgotten tradition, and it’s a shame.

    I don’t think anybody realizes fully the hole that has been created in Hip Hop with his untimely passing.

    I spoke to Bay Area Graf legend Scape One. And he hammered something home to me that he as been telling me for years. To paraphrase him “I don’t ever wanna hear about how “the industry” has people short in the game. I don’t wanna hear about the “the man“, I don’t wanna hear about anything. This is a classic case of Black folks not policing them selves and their community.”

    Scape One is right. We can’t chock this tragedy up on the “white man”, we can’t put up on “illuminati conspiracies” or “alien abductions“, how “soft MC’s are distorting Hop Hop” and “Masonic mystery’s” . This is another example of young Black males, refusing to love themselves, and the people who tried to make this world a better place.

    The kicker is that Jam Master Jay was no “thug type” rapper. Ain’t no coast wars dealing with this. All of DMC’s stuff was spun toward the positive. Especially after Run DMC got closer to the church. That compounds the tragedy ten fold.

    In my last article, “Ballots or Bullets 2002” written a few weeks ago, I wrote about the following. It pertains to voting really, but I am re-framing it a bit and changing portions of it for this discussion:

    “We, as the Hip Hop community can sit around here and quote people from Malcolm X, to Chairman Mao, to Farrakhan, to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) till we are blue in the face. But no amount of dread locks, no super fresh silkscreen shirt of Malcolm X, no sporting of a skullcap and African garb will take the place of action in your community.

    We need to take ourselves, and our communities seriously. Black people have been used as an entertainment commodity for so long that we don't even value ourselves anymore. We think of ourselves as social and political junk, but in truth, we have been and always will be a beautiful, intelligent people. When united, sober minded and properly educated we are a force to be reckoned with. It is time our generation picks up the torch of justice seeking beyond songs and manifest change…

    You need to pull the ballot box in your own brain and choose integrity over insanity. Make a vote for morality over madness in the streets. You don't need a ballot box to stop calling Black women (all women for that matter) 'bitches', 'chicken heads' and 'hoes'. You don't need a ballot box to stop calling yourself and your friends 'nigger's' and 'dogs'. Vote in you head NOT to shoot your brother over petty BS. Vote not to be violent toward your children and girlfriend. No ballot box is needed to respect your elders when you see them and speak to them in a courteous manner. You don't need a politician to go to Marcus Books and buy James Baldwin's “No Name in the Street,” Bakari Kitwana's “The Hip Hop Generation“ or Charlie Ahearn’s “Yes, Yes Ya‘ll“. Make the personal vote to do that.

    Like My buddy Himelick Manuever said “It’s like today, people are becoming numb to the value of life.” So day I pray that you will honor the DJ in your local area. Take some time to honor and remember all of the people who died, loving Hip Hop. It might be a local MC from your block. It might be a graf cat you knew, or a b-girl you used to dance with.

    The death of Jam Master Jay, is another painful symbol of the issues Black America, and poor America needs to resolve among themselves. We’re gonna need to look in the mirror on this one, and be honest with us, about us, and take the real time to find and help us. Listen to Ice Cubes “US” and tell me he’s wrong…..It’s time to clean up ourselves and our communities like never before.

    While I’m writing this, I believe that the suspect is still at large. I hope anyone who saw anything lets the authorities know. This is not the time for silence. This is the time to be responsible. Jam Master Jay was married with three kids. Help that brother and his family get the closure they need.

    What Jam Master Jay gave to Hip Hop and Rock music no one can give again. Whoever shot Jam Master Jay needs to know that by killing him, they still have not taken him, or what he gave the world away from us.



    Dear Zulu Brothers & Sisters,

    We are living in an incredible time, a time of confusion........a time of change, a time to open our hearts for wisdom to speak...Inwards.  Please search inside yourself and find PEACE and Harmony and spread it to as many people you can and as quickly as possible in order that these senseless tragedies will cease.    PEACE, LOVE, to ALL...........Pray for 40 days and ask God to liberate his spirit to the HIGHEST REALM possible..........Please ask at least 3 people close to him to do this.....it will help him very much and comfort his well being.  God's Eternal Blessing!

           Grace Adams

    by Davey D

    I'm not sure what exactly can be said at this time...All sorts of
    emotions are whirling inside my head and to be honest its hard to
    believe Jam Master Jay [Jason Mizell] is dead...Dude was 37 years old,
    had a wife and 3 kids..  I believe his oldest son is 15..  And if you
    ever met Jay, you knew he was a cool cat..  He didn't bring a gangsta
    persona to the table.  He wasn't the type of cat who needed a bunch of
    body guards when he walked down the street.  As far as I knew he
    wasn't living foul, causing drama or somehow instigating any sort of
    'rap feud' which are all but too frequent..

    Jam Master Jay was a cool cat and it's for that reason I don't wanna
    do what we always seem to do when we encounter violent death....I
    don't wanna simply 'keep it moving' and act like him being killed is
    no big deal..It is a big deal.  I don't wanna put a good face forward
    and stick the emotions of yet another violent death of another brotha
    in the back of my mind.  There's been one too many deaths and I no
    longer have room in the back of my mind.  I don't wanna fall back on
    old tired clich s and say things like 'death is a part of life' or
    'when it's your time to go its your time to go'.  That don't cut it
    for me anymore.  I don't wanna act like this doesn't bother me cause
    it really does.  .  I don't wanna give into this unwritten code among
    us as Black men to not be phased by violent deaths because it's an all
    too common occurrence..

    I don't wanna hold a candle, pour liquor on a curb or go on the radio
    station and play all my Run DMC records and rebroadcast all my old Run
    DMC interviews.  I don't want Jay's death to be reduced to yet another
    tribute.  It seems like in the past two or three years we've been
    doing a hella of a lot of tributes.  In the past couple of year alone
    we've lost Big Pun and DJ Screw out of Houston to heart attacks.  Too
    Poetic of the Grave Diggaz passed from cancer, but he courageously
    recorded his last album while he had the disease.  We lost Aaliyah to
    a plane crash and Left Eye of TLC to a car crash.  We lost San
    Francisco pioneering rapper Cougnut and San Jose's D-Mac who died
    together in a car crash just days before the Sept 11th attacks.  Days
    after the attack we lost Boogie Knights of the group The Boogie Boys.
    Many of us are still grieving from last moth's the sudden death of
    Money Ray of the Cold Crush Brothers.  He was diagnosed with cancer in
    August and died 5 weeks later.

    And, Yo, I gotta be honest, I'm still recovering from the emotional
    upheaval of the sniper killings which just ended last week...  I'm
    still asking questions with regards to Kenneth Bridges-co-founder of
    Matah.  Why did this community activist and community leader have to
    be killed?  Why was it another brother to be the one to take him out?
    I'm still trying to get over the haunting images of the distraught
    mother of the 35 year bus driver who was the last sniper victim.  I'm
    still trying to process those heart breaking images....I'm still
    asking why?  I'm still asking why there are 94 murders in Oakland?
    And I'm really bothered by the fact that damn near everyone I know
    knows someone who has been killed in the past few years..  And I'm
    still asking why we seem to take death so lightly?  Why do we see life
    as so expandable?  I keep asking myself what happened to the promises
    and commitments we all made when we came together in '95 during the
    Million Man March?  We promised to uplift and affirm life.  What has
    happened since then?  Why is loss of life no longer a big deal
    anymore?  Why is Black life so cheap?  What are we doing to ourselves
    and why?  What's going on?  Will we ever get it together?  Will we as
    Black people ever get it together...Will we ever get it together?  I
    keep thinking about a song that poet D-Knowledge did a couple of years
    ago where he asks 'Does Anyone Still Die of Old Age'?

    I don't know if we've been able to fully grieve and process all this
    death.  Many of us are still left with unanswered questions as to why?
    Why did this have to happen?  It seems like as soon as we start the
    process we're hit with another sudden death which means we wind up
    shoving a lot of feelings and emotions in the back of our minds, doing
    another tribute and moving on.  This time around I don't just wanna do
    another tribute..  There's just too many tributes to the point that
    it's becoming routine and that's bothersome for me...  Jay's death and
    for that matter anyone's death should not be routine...

    Maybe I'm feeling this way because I'm realizing that in many
    respects, I still never really got over the deaths of Pac and Biggie
    and Jay's death is making me realize that..  There's really been no
    closure despite all the VHI documentaries, articles, movie etc.  This
    morning I was talking to my boy Pharrel over at Roc-A-Fella records
    and he pointed out something that really hit home..  He told me..  'I
    hope they catch the guy who did this..  I hope they catch him because
    there have been way too many unsolved murders in Hip Hop'.  I kept
    thinking about that and all these names that ran through my mind..
    Scott La Rock, Freaky Tah of Lost Boyz, East Palo Alto's Karisma, JoJo
    from Bored Stiff, Ray Luv's Dee jay DJ CAE, The Mac out of Vallejo, DJ
    Quick's partner Mau, Pac's homier, Yare "Kauai" Foal, Oakland's
    Seagram, 2 Pac and Biggie...  The list goes on...There's a whole lot
    of unsolved murders in rap and I don't care what anyone says, that
    lack of closure has an effect.

    And while one can easily make the case that there's a lot of unsolved
    murders in our community in general, one would hope that we would be
    able to get to the bottom of some of these high profile slayings...
    The fact that we never seem to solve the murders of some of these
    artists the same way we don't seem to be able to solve the murders of
    'Pookie' or 'Ray Ray' from up the block, underscores the notion that
    in many circles the loss of Black life is no big deal...It don't
    matter whether you're a high profile artist or a d-boy on the local
    corner in the hood.  It's like we're expected to die a quick and early
    death.  And even sadder is the percieved circumstances of our deaths
    are all the same.  In other words since last night, I've been fielding
    a lot of calls from local reporters who seem bent on making this
    connection to JMJ's death with the deaths of 2Pac, East-West coast
    feuds and on going beefs in rap like Ja Rule vs DMX and Nas vs Jay-Z.
    This is not the Jam Master Jay I know.

    It's like cats are trying to make the case that perhaps Jay lead a
    crazy lifestyle that somehow invited the violence that befell him..I
    don't wanna put JMJ in that category.  Almost all the newscast and
    stories I've heard end with reporters trying to make that connection..
    "Jay Master Jay like 2Pac and the Notorious BIG' is in a long line of
    rap stars who have died violently in a violent rap world".  Heck CNN
    has a poll on their website as we speak..asking who has the most
    musical influence 2Pac, Biggie or JMJ..  As innocent as it may seem to
    some, there's something about that poll and the overall approach and
    questions raised that don't sit well with me.

    I don't wanna say Jam Master Jay and 2Pac in the same breath.  I don't
    wanna compare him to Biggie.  I don't wanna say JMJ is in a long line
    of rap stars who died violently...Jay deserves his own space in our
    minds and hearts.  We all need to take time out and reflect on Jay the
    musician, the pioneer, the man, the father, the husband, the friend,
    the associate and not categorize and compartmentalize him.  I don't
    wanna see him reduced to another violent casualty in a 'violent rap
    world' as one TV reporter described it.

    Before asking questions about Hip Hop and violence let's began by
    asking 'Did you know Jam Master Jay?'  'How are you coping with this
    sudden loss of life?'  Are you sad?  Are you angry?  How will you deal
    with it and what changes will you try to bring about?  'What type of
    man did you know JMJ to be?'  What did he mean to the community?  What
    did he mean to his family?'  ..  Words cannot express the hurt,
    sadness and anger I feel for this loss...

    Please take time to hug those you love..  It should be obvious by
    now..no one is promised tomorrow..  Please take time to say a prayer
    for Jay's three kids and the wife he left behind Pray for the rest of
    his family and friends.  One can only imagine what they must be going
    through.  Pray that God gives them strength to get through the pain of
    his death..Pray that they be comforted..Lastly take time to reflect
    and allow yourself to grieve.  Allow yourself to heal..  We've been
    hit with a lot of stuff over the past few years..

    If you wish to post a reflection head on over to their website:

    Your truly
    Davey D



    On behalf of the Hip Hop community, our children and the memory of Jam
    Master Jay, Biggie Smalls, Big L, and Tupac and at the urging of Hip Hop
    pioneer Daddy O of StetASonic Allow me to propose;
    A joint effort by Hip Hop Legends, Pioneers, Writers, Spoken Word Artists,
    Rappers, Dancers, Graf Artists, Zulu Nation members world wide, The Temple
    of Hip Hop, Rock Steady Crew, Tools of War, Emcees and DJ's both older and
    younger to promote peace and to reclaim Hip Hop as a voice of sanity and
    A coming together, a peace treaty, a video, book and album all proceeds to
    go to anti violence, pro youth charities.
    A Sequel to The Stop The Violence Movement, possibly called STV2 or even STM
    (Stop The Madness).
    An attempt to remove all violent names and titles from Hip Hop including
    Murder Inc, C-Murder, Joey Crack, and other forms of verbal hostility.
    Each person who receives this communique can add or change this message
    with heartfelt input. Please reach out to your contacts to help make this
    vision a reality. Use the media and whatever means at your disposal to help
    insure this comes to pass for the sake of peace and growth in Hip Hop.
    I have already spoken to Afrika Bambaataa and Chuck D about this and they
    are in tune with and overstand the need for a change in the current
    direction of Hip Hop and it's most visible element, Rap Music.
    Respectfully and humbly,
    Ernie Paniccioli



    The Definition:

    "In psychoanalysis, the component of waking awareness perceptible by a person at any given instant = consciousness"

    "Conscious Hiphop" is music created to open ones mind to more than simple earthly possesions, sexuality or braggadocios ego stroking with an agenda other than entertainment.

    True consiousness is hard to come by in Hip-hop as many of the best artists lack focus and walk both sides of the line sometimes making songs and living lives that contradict consciousness.

    Even then, I still prefer to hear music that closer represents the lifestyle that I choose to live. I accept conscious lyrical content however I can get it, Whomsoever the spirits chose to bless with "verbs of power" become medicine for my soul.

    The words transend the messenger and become vital principle, food for faculties of thought, action, and emotion.

    Conscious Hip-hop is the "Red Pill": it opens your third eye, reads between the lines, questions authority and peels back the "Curtains of OZ" allowing open minded individuals sight beyond sight.

    The Blue Pill: is booty shaking, bitch calling, Hoe slapping, materialistic, Crack dealing, corporate Rap, designed to pull a false world over your eyes to blind you.

    The choice is yours:

    "You take the blue pill, the story ends. . . you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland and I'll show you how deep the rabbit hole goes"

    Paradise (X-Clan)


    10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY  1002



    Tara Brown, HarperCollinsPublishers

    212-207-7058 or tara.brown@harpercollins.com

    Lauren Summers, Sapphire Communications

    973-743-7698 or sapphirecom@cs.com

     Amistad set to publish the first major pictorial history of Hip-Hop culture

    While Hip-Hop culture continues to reign as the dominant youth expression on the planet, Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, plans to publish WHO SHOT YA? Three Decades of Hip-Hop Photography, featuring the images of legendary rap photographer Ernie Paniccioli. Scheduled for a November 2002 release, WHO SHOT YA? is edited by noted poet, journalist, and political activist Kevin Powell. Regarded by many to be the premier Hip-Hop photographer in America, Paniccioli first made his foray into the culture in the early 1970s when he began capturing the ever-present graffiti art dominating New York City. Armed with a 35-millimeter camera, Paniccioli has recorded the entire evolution of Hip-Hop, much in the same way Gordon Parks recorded the Civil Rights Movement, or akin to the manner in which James Van Der Zee, the documentary photographer of Harlem in the 1920s, met the energy and spirit of his times head-on with his picture-making. And like Edward S. Curtis’ monumental prints of the Native peoples of North America 100 years ago, Paniccioli, himself a Native American, has found a beauty and resiliency in a community often ignored by mainstream society.

    From Grandmaster Flash at the Roxy (a popular Manhattan nightclub of the late 1970s and early 1980s), to the athletic dance moves of the renowned Rock Steady Crew, to the fresh faces of Tupac Shakur, Lauryn Hill, Eminem, Will Smith, and Queen Latifah, Paniccioli has been in the forefront documenting the greatest cultural movement since rock ‘n’ roll in the 1950s. A true renaissance man, Paniccioli is also a painter, public speaker, and historian. And he has also photographed a number of popular figures beyond Hip-Hop, such as Frank Sinatra, Liza Minelli, John F. Kennedy, Jr., Britney Spears, Ricky Martin, Andy Warhol, and Jimmy Carter, to name a few.

    Ernie Paniccioli initially worked with Kevin Powell during the mounting of “Hip-Hop Nation: Roots, Rhymes, and Rage”, the first-ever exhibition on the history of Hip-Hop, which originated at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. Kevin Powell has served as both a curator and a consultant to this national traveling show. Additionally, Powell is considered one of the leading voices in the Hip-Hop community, due to his articles, essays, and reviews, which have appeared in publications such as Newsweek, The Source, Rolling Stone, Essence, and Vibe, where Powell was a founding staff member and served for many years as a senior writer. Powell also regularly lectures on the state of Hip-Hop culture at colleges nationwide, and his fourth and most recent book, Step Into A World: A Global Anthology of the New Black Literature, features over 100 of the best writers of the Hip-Hop generation. Indisputably a fixture on the pop culture stage for over a decade, Powell first came to national prominence as a cast member on the first season of MTV’s mega-hit series “The Real World.”

    The chief photographer for Word Up! magazine since 1989, Ernie Paniccioli's work has also appeared in The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, Life, Rolling Stone, Spin, Vibe, Ebony, Life and The Source. His television credits include MTV and VH1. Ernie Paniccioli's images can also be found in numerous books, including: Turn Up The Volume: A Celebration of Black Music (UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History), Rap and Hip-Hop: The Voice of A Generation (The Rosen Publishing Group), and Lift Every Voice and Sing (Random House).

    WHO SHOT YA?, which contains over 200 images, represents the visual diary of a generation, and follows this socio-political art form from the streets of New York City to the billion-dollar global music industry it has become. While some of these iconic renderings have graced the pages of magazines and fanzines through the years, most are published here for the first time. Taken together, these photos constitute no less than the core of Paniccioli’s enormous legacy to date. Furthermore, Powell provides a provocative essay entitled “Notes of A Hip-Hop Head,” and he has also included an as-told-to account of Paniccioli’s life and long-term relationship to Hip-Hop, making WHO SHOT YA? both an historic photo book and an important contribution to the study of Hip-Hop culture.

    WHO SHOT YA? is scheduled for national release on Tuesday, October 22, 2002.  For additional information, please visit www.harpercollins.com.


    On FridayOctober 4th one of the legendary Cold Crush Brothers passed away. Please inform the HipHop community by sharing this with them. We received sad news this morning from both Easy AD and DJ Charlie Chase that fellow Cold Crush brother, Money Ray (Eric Hoskins), had passed away last night and the young age of 38. His recent diagnosis of cancer, just 5 weeks ago, took everyone by surprise as he was the youngest and considered to be the healthiest member of the crew. Charlie Chase emphasized that Ray was always eating right and working out. Money Ray has been down with the Cold Crush since 1980. Originally he had been a dancer for the crew. He and his dance partner, Henry, were known as the "Smurf Twins." One day, when JDL wasn't able to make it to a performance, the Cold Crush Brothers asked Money Ray to fill in. He knew all the songs and routines and since that day he had emceed with the crew full time. He will be greatly missed by the Hip Hop community but even more so by his fellow Cold Crush Brothers (DJ Tony Tone, DJ Charlie Chase, GrandMaster Caz, KayGee, Easy AD, and JDL).

    Memorial Information Will be Posted as soon as arrangements have been made. The ColdCrush would like to send their thank you's to eveyone who called, e-mail and posted on the site. "We appreciate your repect." - ColdCrush

     Hip Hoppers and Black Panthers in the Holy Land

    By Hisham Aidi

    Last week, the Jewish affairs weekly, The Forward, reported that a
    leading Conservative rabbi in Israel was charging two Orthodox kibbutzim
    in Israel with discrimination after they refused to admit two Ugandan
    Jews to their Hebrew language programs. The director of the Rabbinical
    Assembly of Israel, Rabbi Andrew Sacks, alleged that the two East
    Africans -- members of the Abayudaya community of 600 Ugandans whose
    forefathers embraced Judaism in 1919 -- were not allowed into the
    classes because they were black. "We have had a myriad of problems with
    the Interior Ministry in regards to persons of color," Sacks stated.
    "Virtually every Conservative convert that was a person of color was
    immediately suspect."

    The incident sparked a lively discussion in Israeli newspapers about
    race and discrimination in Israeli society, and about the increasing,
    well "blackness" of African Jews in Israel. At the Central Bus Station
    in Tel Aviv, in an area known locally as Little Africa, one often sees
    Ethiopian Jewish teenagers milling around, sporting baggy jeans, Kangol
    hats, sports jerseys, voguish hairstyles - African braids, Rastafarian
    dreads, bald heads - and the occasional yarmulke. The Ethiopian youth,
    many of whom are often suspected of petty crime and drug use, are an
    indicator to many social critics that Israel is developing a new kind of
    underclass. They're also another example of how marginalized,
    disaffected youth of color the world over increasingly look towards
    African Americans, American black culture and the Civil Rights struggle
    when trying to make sense of their own predicaments.

    The link between African America and Israel's African Jewry is more than
    a matter of shared style and global popular culture. In Operations Moses
    and Solomon in 1984 and 1991, over thirty thousand Ethiopian Jews were
    airlifted from their East African land of birth to Israel. Eleven years
    hence, and despite government policies of affirmative action (such as
    tuition-wavers for Ethiopian university students, and favorable mortgage
    terms) the situation of Ethiopian Jews, who make up one percent of the
    Israeli population, remains grave. A report earlier this summer in the
    Christian Science Monitor stated: "The gap between black and white
    Israelis seems, with some exceptions, to be growing. For Ethiopians, it
    is visible in impoverished neighborhoods, soaring unemployment, and the
    highest high-school dropout rate of any Jewish group in Israel.
    Twenty-six percent of Ethiopian youths have either dropped out or do not
    show up for classes most of the time, raising concerns that the
    community's current difficulties may become chronic. Drug use, including
    glue-sniffing, is on the rise, and criminal activity, hardly known among
    Ethiopians before they came to Israel, has been growing." Ethiopians,
    according to various reports, are the poorest of Israel's Jews: 77
    percent of Ethiopian adults are unemployed, and 72 percent of Ethiopian
    immigrant children grow up in families that are living below the
    official poverty line.

    Cultural differences, illiteracy, poverty and discrimination have
    contributed to the current predicament of the Ethiopian community. So
    has the fact that Ethiopian Jews often live in refugee camps reminiscent
    of those in which Palestinians are confined. Many of the Ethiopians were
    initially placed in mobile caravan communities on the periphery of
    cities, and many have yet to relocate (or be relocated) to urban areas.
    Mayors shamelessly urge the Israeli government to keep Ethiopian
    immigrants away from their municipalities. Masha Aroshes, an official
    from the Rishon LeZion municipality, told the Christian Science Monitor
    that Ethiopian families were not welcome in her municipality: "They are
    going to a neighborhood which the mayor has been trying very hard to
    improve. It is just starting to flower. Adding another 35 Ethiopian
    families is not right. It impacts on the education level."

    Ethiopian Jews say they are often referred to as "primitives," that
    their Jewishness is regularly questioned and they are often made to go
    through conversion rituals despite being born and raised Jewish. Habad,
    one of Israel's orthodox religious groups, does not recognize the
    Ethiopians as Jews and does not allow their children into its
    kindergartens. Ethiopian Jews also complain of discrimination in the IDF
    (Israeli Defense Forces), and note that Ethiopians have the highest
    suicide rate in the army.

    In 1996, relations between the Ethiopian community and the Israeli state
    hit a low point, when it was discovered that Israeli hospitals regularly
    threw out all blood donated by Ethiopians for fear that it was
    contaminated by AIDS. Ethiopian youths rioted, and the race row was
    commemorated by Ethiopian groups such as Dreams in rap style lyrics
    ("You distanced us from society as defectives / But more than anything /
    you drew a conclusion / when you threw away our blood like dry leaves"),
    as the search for Ethiopian Jewish cultural identity leading
    increasingly not towards Israel but transatlantic, to African American
    and Caribbean identities. Rahamim Elazar, the director of Israel's Radio
    Amharic, says the marginalization of Ethiopian youth in Israel has led
    to a sense of solidarity with African Americans and West Indians. "When
    you see their behavior in terms of haircut, dress, and jewelry, it's
    entirely different than what we are used to," Elazar explains. "Black
    people in Israel don't feel they are part and parcel of the Israeli
    public or society, so they are trying to relate to African-Americans or

    To understand the particular "blackening" of Ethiopian Jews, one must
    examine the schism between Jews of African and Middle Eastern origin
    (called "Mizrahi") and the Jews of European ancestry (called
    "Ashkenazi"). In March 1971, riots erupted in the Musrara neighborhood
    in Jerusalem, home to Jews of North African (Mizrahi) origin. The riots
    were led by a group of unemployed, disenchanted North African (mostly
    Moroccan) youths who were protesting the neglect of the Labor government
    and the purported racism of the Ashkenazi political class. Calling
    themselves the Black Panthers, this local youth organization, which
    began with demands for better schools and extra-curricular services in
    their neighborhood, would become one of the most powerful and militant
    radical groups in Israeli politics whose legacy and influence would
    reshape the country's political landscape.

    The Israeli Panthers evocation of the rhetoric and tactics of the
    American freedom struggle was obvious. The Israeli Black Panthers
    borrowed their name from the American Black Panthers, and the symbol of
    the panther and the fist was displayed on every banner and T-shirt. They
    sported Afros, and adopted black nationalist concepts and expressions
    such as "white power," "masters and slaves" and "police state," applying
    them to the Mizrahi/Ashkenazi dynamic. The Panthers also borrowed the
    tradition of uncompromising, aggressive protest, bringing together
    thousands in rallies in Jerusalem throughout 1971. At one rally in Zion
    Square, Jerusalem, the Panthers burnt an effigy of then Prime Minister
    Golda Meir, and declared: "We are warning the government that we will
    take all necessary means against show trials of the Panthers...a state
    in which half the population are kings, and the other half are treated
    as exploited slaves - we will burn it down." The Panthers rhetoric was
    controversial and polarizing: They claimed the Ashkenazi state was
    racist and that darker-hued Jews of North African were the victims of
    Zionism just like the Palestinians - a comparison considered the utmost
    treason by many Ashkenazi's.

    Golda Meir responded to claims of racism by blaming the victims: "They
    brought discrimination with them. Back in the countries they came from,
    there was discrimination against them...They are not very nice boys."
    Then, in an eerie echo of events on the other side of the Atlantic,
    Black Panther "uprising," as it has been called, would fizzle out after
    a year, as state authorities granted some concessions and encouraged
    Panther leaders to run for seats in the Knesset. Because of their
    incendiary rhetoric and bad-boy image, the Panthers never gained
    widespread electoral support, but they did electrify and mobilize the
    Mizrahi electorate who bolted from the Labor Party. The absence of
    non-white votes lead to the so-called Upset of 1977, when the Labor
    government was dislodged from power after three decades by the even more
    conservative (and some would argue, xenophobic) Likud, an unintended to
    the Mizrahim's newfound political muscle.

    Speaking by telephone from Tel Aviv, Dr. Sami Shalom Chetrit, a
    professor of cultural studies at Hebrew University who has written
    extensively on the influence of African-American ideas on Israeli
    politics, told Africana that the smaller (and more recently arrived)
    Ethiopian community has yet to develop a political movement on a par
    with the North African Mizrahi: "The Ethiopians feel rejected by Israeli
    society. They've adopted African-American and Caribbean styles, and they
    feel more at home with the [non-Jewish] African immigrants. But any
    protest has been local, it's not a movement yet."

    Like the North African youths in the 1970s, the Ethiopians say they
    inhabit "the other Israel" - not the promised land of which their
    parents spoke. Nadav Haber, a lawyer/activist who works with Ethiopian
    youth, however, points to differences between yesteryear's Black
    Panthers and todays's Afrocentric Ethiopian youth: "Unfortunately, the
    African-American influence is quite superficial, coming mostly through
    MTV. Ethiopian kids do not understand English - 81 percent study in
    schools that don't teach English, so how can they be influenced by
    Malcolm X or Martin Luther King?"

    Government officials emphasize that in 2002 there are 1,500 Ethiopians
    in universities, compared to a 100 in 1997, and that $600 million has
    been earmarked for a nine-year job-training and educational program for
    Ethiopian immigrants. Activists like Haber are unfazed. "They receive
    mortgages to buy houses, but the mortgage plans send them to the poorest
    neighborhoods, like in the city of Lod, a drug center that is now 50
    percent Ethiopian. There's a lot of anger at the establishment. Crime is
    growing rapidly. Very soon in all Ethiopian families there's going to be
    someone with a criminal record. And the sad thing is that there is no
    public discussion of this"

    At street level, though, Ethiopian youth and other disaffected Israeli
    teenagers congregate regularly at Tel Aviv clubs such as The Soweto and
    The House. In May, a "hip-hop dance protest" was held in downtown Tel
    Aviv bringing together some 1000 youths calling for an Israeli
    withdrawal from the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza.
    The rally was held under a gigantic banner that read, "Get out of the
    territories so we can get out of our houses," and included performances
    by Arab and Jewish rap groups. Born in American inner cities, hip-hop
    and the language of the black freedom struggle have traveled to the
    other side of the world, bringing together youths of different
    background to call for peace and social justice in one of the most
    troubled areas of the world.

     Bling Blingin' in the Era of Terror

    Min. Paul Scott

    Back in high school, I remember having to read some
    ol' tired story about some white dude playing a fiddle
    while Rome burned. I remember telling my crew "so what
    if he wants to get his groove on; play on, playa play
    on!" I did not think about the incident again until
    September 11, 2001 while listening to a DJ emotionally
    talk about the World Trade Attack, only to have his
    report followed by some brotha rapping about how "he
    was going to work; but then he got high."

    I started to call the radio station and in my best
    imitation of Lawrence Fishburne (he was Larry back
    then) in School Dayz shout "WAKE UP!" in my
    "cellie" as the DJ asked for caller number 9; but
    instead, I chilled and took a deep look at the effect
    of the negative variety of Hip Hop has had on the
    condition of Black people.

    After 10 years of "bangin' on wax" and "Bling
    blingin', " I have always wondered how the Hip Hop
    community, would respond to a really heavy
    socio-political issue. Could they really make a smooth
    segue between "I got Ho's in different area codes"
    and political discourse? Of course, those of us from
    the "old school" could have easily done it as we were
    being mentored by the X-Clan
    and Public Enemy who encouraged us to at least read
    "Malcolm" whether we wanted to become
    "revolutionaries" or not. Although, we had the
    annoying habit of starting each statement, with "Well,
    basically." we could hold our own in an intellectual
    debate as being a "militant brainiac" was cool at the
    time. Even the brothas on the block who today would
    call themselves "THUGS" , referred to themselves as
    "Intelligent Hoodlums"

    Am I saying that we were somehow smarter than this
    generation; of course not. But to quote Beauford's
    uncle from Spike Lee's Drop Squad, "Let me tell you
    something young brotha. The game they're running on
    you they developed on your daddy and me. Y'all
    are just the next phase."

    The Era of Terror that white folks in this country
    dealt with over the last year, is something that Black
    folks have had to deal with since we were kidnapped
    from Africa and brought here in chains. The South is
    full of stories of houses and churches bombed by the
    KKK other terrorists. The failure of the Hip Hop
    generation failure to put present day issues in a
    historical perspective has crippled
    our advancement. The events of 9/11 made the
    depressed state of Black culture (in the form of Hip
    Hop) even more depressing as I heard more than
    one Hip Hop Talk show host sigh in disgust that "we
    really need to become more aware," in post 9/11

    Call me paranoid, but I think that a society that has
    prided itself in manipulating Black folks; physically,
    spiritually and mentality gains certain strategic
    advantages when it convinces black youth that "knowing
    your history" means being able to name all the members
    of NWA. Did rap crews Cash Money ( army) and No Limit
    (soldiers) with all the videos with brothas riding
    around in military hummers and tanks so condition the
    minds of our youth that they have become Manchurian
    mercenaries; lean, mean fighting machines who will
    kill at the snap of a finger(or change of a beat)
    without asking who, what, when why or where? To borrow
    from Dr. Carter G.Woodson' s "The Miseducation of the
    Negro" once you control a man's thinking you do not
    have to worry about how he will act.

    When you add this with negative Hip Hop's constant
    urging for brotha's to get high
    (drunk, blunted, etc) it is the perfect making for a
    Stephen King novel. For if your sense of reality has
    been altered by mind dulling substances, it would be
    impossible to grasp the seriousness of the times in
    which we find ourselves. And believe me, anytime white
    paranoia mixes with a great celebration of the "great
    white way" historically, it has meant serious times
    for Black folks. Just ask your grandma how cocky white
    supremacists can get when there is even the slightest
    rise in their popularity poll.

    We are witnessing the dawn of an era that will make
    racial profiling look like a walk in the park. And the
    Freedom of Speech that many in the Hip Hop Nation have
    misunderstood to mean the right to give explicit
    details of sex acts or the murdering of another
    brotha, may fall under the knife of the censoring of
    anything that does not promote the ideals of white

    Some young brothers have been brainwashed into
    swallowing the capitalist idea, hook, line and sinker.
    Survival of the fittest and the pursuit of the bling,
    bling, American dream, reigns supreme in the lyrics of
    hip hop artists. Just look at how many CD's
    (Jay-Z) sold weeks after 9/11 , even in a time of
    "national turmoil." Now that we are  in a recession
    (depression for Black folks) can the rappers
    (playa'sballa's and shot calla's) in good conscience
    brag about how they have "enough ice on their wrists
    freeze their arms" while little Black children are
    going hungry because Daddy got laid off. How many
    homeless people can you roll by in your Escalade
    before the guilt of an over indulgence in the
    philosophy of "all about me 'ism" wakes you up at

    After the accusations of playa hatin' and the excuses
    of "not being my brotha's keeper " have faded away,
    the ramifications of not viewing the welfare of the
    Black community as a collective responsibility will

    The scriptures teach us that without vision, the
    people perish. I just hope that once the thick haze of
    Philly blunt smoke clears we do not find ourselves
    back on the plantation or in concentration camps.

    Min. Paul Scott is founder of the New Righteous
    Movement based in Durham NC. He recently launched the
    National Hip Hop Reformation Campaign. For more
    information contact: operationmedia@yahoo.com


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    Dear Brothers and Sisters
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    All forms of media have been selling SIMUNYE and the "I have a dream" mentality to South Africa, yet we the "so-called coloured" (MULATO) product of that marketed lie have been forgotten and made to appear ignorant and as gangsters, thieves, coons, fools and "happy people". We see Da Juice as an opportunity to voice the opinions of our youth (Irrespective of race), but also wish to use this vehicle to balance the misinformation about places like the Cape Flats, being Proud of being African and the "so-called coloured experience".
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      Hip-Hop in Dakar

    from <portside> -- the news, discussion and debate service of the
     Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism

    This is from the liner notes to Africa Raps, an excellent compilation of
    Senegalese rap just out on the German Trikont label. It's written by Jay
    Rutledge, a German-based journalist. Even if you're not a hip-hop fan, I
    would recommend you read this for its intelligent expostion of the
    of contradictions of Islam and the "movement" of the poor in West
    Introduction:         Hip-Hop in Dakar

    Bamako - Serekunda

    Every street in Dakar has it's own posse today. With over 2000 bands, the
    capital of Senegal is the center of Hip Hop in West Africa. "Everybody is
    always very surprised", Didier Awadi explains, slightly annoyed, "when I
    tell them that rap is really big here." Even in the year 2001, when
    about Senegal the whole world still just thinks of african Djembe drums
    world-music stars like Youssou N'Dour or Baaba Maal. "We don't want to
    in a cultural ghetto", Didier continues, "we want to get out of this
    ghetto,the youth in Dakar is just like anywhere else in the world.
    We feel the same vibe, listen to the same music. But at the same
    time we do have our own
    reality, believe me, Africa is not the US." One look into Europe's music
    shops is enough to see that modern African music still does not travel
    abroad easily. Music has frontiers. Africa Raps goes where Europe's
    selection has not yet taken place: the small cassette shop in West
    There, a young generation has adopted Hip Hop as their means of

    Dakar the capital

    Rap has been around in Senegal for more than 10 years. At the beginning,
    prodominantly muslim Senegalese did not really take the Hip Hop movement
    seriously and even rejected it as a strange and immoral copy of US
    rap. Their attitude started changing when Positive Black Soul, Senegals
    School, started rapping in Wolof and had their first hit song 'Boul
    (don't care about what the others say, do what you think is right), which
    became the slogan for a whole generation and established Hip Hop as the
    language of Senegals youth. 10 years later still only a few bands have
    some international exposure like Daara J, Pee Froiss  or Bideew Bou Bess,
    who recently  went on tour with Youssou N'Dour. Positive Black Soul just
    released their third album 'Run Cool'. The essence of Hip Hop in Senegal
    still a social commentary on the day to day realities of Senegal. The
    example were the elections of Senegal's new president, at the beginning
    2000: "Here in Senegal Hip Hop is a lot more than style", explains Xuman
    Pee Froiss, talking about the lyrics of the songs, "during the election
    example many of the bigger bands were offered a lot of money by the
    political parties campaigning to play at their rallies." Considering that
    more than 80% of Senegals population is younger than 30, that's not all
    surprising. "A huge temptation", Xuman continues, "everyone needs money
    here, but most of the bands refused, because we are fed up all this old
    corruption crap. For years we have fought for truth and justice, and have
    built up our reputation, now we have what they need: integrity and you
    cannot buy that."

    Dakar is one of the most urban cities in West Africa almost a kind of
    Paris. Dakars Hip Hop scene (together with Abidjan) has taken the lead
    entire West Africa. Bands from other places like Guinee, The Gambia, Mali
    even Niger come to Dakar to record their tapes. However, with such an
    immense output of cassettes it has become difficult to stay up to date:
    everytime you go to Sandaga market you find new stuff you've never heard
    before. There are also a whole number of studios who do rap-productions
    Dakar now: Studio 2000, Xippi, Youssou N'Dours studio that has a small
    in the basement where Youssou N'Dours brother Ibou (see DaBrains) records
    rap crews. Then there is Studio Wings and Studio Yes, a little studio in
    Yoff, run by Steven Töteberg, which has become quite important in Hip Hop
    lately (see C.B.V.).

    Business, Religion und Rap:

    Senegals Nr 1 pop music is Mbalax, but the importance of Islam can be
    in that the second biggest selling cassette genre are religious tapes.
    Speeches of well known marabouts (islamic scholars) can easily sell up to
    10000 copies. Hip Hop comes in third. For a number of years Talla Diagne
    his production company K.S.F. have held a monopol in the cassette market.
    The abbreviation stands for his marabout (serigne in wolof) Keur Serigne
    Fall. Up until today, Talla Diagne controlls the Sandaga market the most
    important place in Dakar for selling cassettes. Talla is a businessman,
    around thirty years old, who's family comes from Touba (the religious
    capital of the mourides, an important islamic fraternity). He never went
    school, does not read, write or speak French. A close relationship to the
    highest spiritual leaders of the mourides is more important in Dakar,
    than a
    western education.  For his business decisions he consults the marabout
    (K.S.F.) and gives him huge amounts of money for his advice. The marabout
    turn uses the money to support his family, his students and fulfills his
    religious duties, gives money to the Koranic school, gives out food to
    poor and takes care of all his other social responsibilities. Marabouts
    an influential economic force in Senegal. Many of them run taxi fleets,
    stores, or cassette shops (that boycott non K.S.F. productions). They
    maintain businesses as far away as Italy, where their Talibe (students)
    African jewellery on the beaches. The marabouts invest the money and
    Talibes pass on the profit to their spiritual leader. Abuse of their
    religious responsibilities occurs. The senegalese press has coined the
    Cadillac-Marabouts for those who do not care for their Talibe, but
    them to live a life of luxury. The spiritual authority of the important
    marabouts though is highly respected. Talla Diagne and his company K.S.F.
    have seen the rise of some competitors lately. The new cassette of
    well-known rapper Pacotille f.e. was produced and distributed by
    Fall and his company M.S.P. (Mouride Sadekh Production) A couple years
    M.S.P. was only selling religious tapes.

    90% of all rappers are muslims. Religion plays a very important role in
    daily life. Amadou Bamba, the founder of Mouridism, is probably the most
    popular Senegalese hero. Quite a number of  rap crews have made
    for Amadou Bamba or have even named their bands after him, like Bamba J.
    Fall. But for many there is a big gap between what the Koran says and
    the marabouts do. Especially during the election, many crews, (Sen Kumpe

    7) or BMG 44 / 15), rapped against marabouts who had accepted bribes from
    politicians and in turn misused their vast influence on the public,
    them to vote for a certain candidate. Many of the rappers grew up in
    urban Dakar and have a far better eduction than the average population,
    which has also changed their outlook on religion. One of the differences
    between islamic nations and western democracies is the question who has
    lead the country: the politician or the imam? Many rappers reject any
    connection between politics and religion, (BMG 44 / 15). A good example
    is F.I.T.N.A., (Fight In The Name of Allah, track 5+7), Mister Kanes
    production company, which has released influential tapes like D-Kill-Rap
    Rap'adio's first tape that led to a re-politisation of rap in the mid

    Although the name sounds pretty radical, F.I.T.N.A. has little to do with
    islamic fundamentalism. Islam is seen as a kind of moral counterweight to
    the corrupt Senegalese society. The cover of F.I.T.N.A.'s latest release
    "Politichien" shows a marabout: "The Koran is lying behind him", explains
    Mister Kane, "he doesn't care about it anymore. He is facing the
    next to him, a man in a business suit with a head of a dog, that is
    him money." The close relationship between religion and politics is also
    maintained by the new president, Abdoulaye Wade. The new president is
    mouride. After his victory, he and all of his ministers went to visit the
    marabout for three days.  Even today, outright criticism of the
    between politics and religion is a tabu in Senegal. The cassette
    created a huge stir in Senegal and the Senegalese press gave Mister Kane
    name 'derangeur public'. Confession is not all that important in the rap
    scene. Manou of BMG 44 is christian. His band rapped the most critical
    'Def Si Yaw' on the cassette 'Politichien' that accused a marabout by
    of taking money from a politicien before the election. For him the Allah
    F.I.T.N.A. is God and not Allah and everyone knows what they are trying
    say anyway. The song 'Axirou Zaman' (9) by DaBrains that talks about
    religious hypocrisy, points in the same direction. DaBrains are all
    mourides, but recorded the song with a christian choir.

    Rap and Mbalax

    The combination of rap and mbalax has become quite fashionable in the
    couple years, especially since the rapper Disiz la Peste got a disc d'or
    'Gnibi' a duett performed with famous mbalax singer Thione Seck.
    quite a number of tracks are on the market. DaBrains did 'Assalo', a
    wonderful duet with Thione Seck.  PBS and others also worked together
    Omar Pène, Youssou N'Dour and others. The mbalax artists like working
    the rappers to be able to stay in touch with the youth. The closer the
    scenes get, the more criticism can be heard. Many think the two scenes
    don't go together. Mbalax is commercial pop music, the lyrics are
    superficial. Mbalax singers have the reputation of being praise-singers,
    singing songs for rich businessmen or mostly doing love songs. Despite
    high social standing, (for instance of Youssou N'Dour), it is hard to
    find a
    Mbalax singer who has openly critizised, for example, the former
    Abdou Diouf. Lately some rappers have also started crtizising mbalax for
    another reason. For them the dance itself is immoral. It makes girls
    in a morally unacceptable way and degenerates them. Their criticism has
    far been ignored, because as mbalax is the heartbeat of Senegalese dance
    music, nothing could question its popularity  not even religion.

    The Gambia - the second Jamaica

    Neighbouring Gambia is a five hour bus ride away from Dakar. The kids in
    Gambia have been following the developement of Hip Hop in Dakar in
    Senegalese radio and television. Many Senegalese bands have also toured
    Gambia and presented their tapes there. A number of Gambian bands have
    travelled to Dakar (f.e. DaFugitivz) mainly to record an album and make
    copies of their cassettes, especially since there wasn't anybody in
    until recently with experience in programming Hip Hop tracks. Compared to
    frankophone Senegal the anglophone Gambia is more reggae-orientated. The
    well-known DJ Corrah even speaks of Gambia as the "second Jamaica". The
    close ties to their former colonial power Great Britain have made reggae
    popular. Even one of Lee Scratch Perry's sons, Omar Perry, has settled in
    Gambia and does a weekly radio program there on Radio 1 FM. In the last
    years the music scene has exploded. The creation of a Gambian state-owned
    television station, (a few years back one could only watch Senegalese
    televison), has also brought along Extra Touch, a weekly music program.
    Extra Touch recorded the first videos of Gambian rap artists and really
    kicked off a new young music  scene. After the first few videos had been
    played by Extra Touch, new bands were queuing up each day for
    In the wake of this boom, small studios like Galan or the more commercial
    Yellowgate have started to work with these new bands. A Gambian Music
    was created and a whole new infrastructure was developed. Even though the
    scene has been hot for the last three years, none of the bands have
    to get real international recognition. There is lot of talent around:
    Bi, Born Africans, Masla Bii, Black Nature, Dancehall Masters and many

    Mali, a village on the move

    Bamako, Malis capital, can be reached by train from Dakar. The trip
    can take up to two days. The tracks are in bad condition, derailments
    and there are routes where you can walk alongside the train because its
    going any faster.  Compared to Dakar, Bamako is a village. Most of its
    inhabitants have moved to Bamako in the last 15 years in search of a
    life. Many of them never visited a school. People mostly listen to music
    from their home regions or Malis two predominant styles Griot pop music
    Wassoulloumusic from the south. Hip Hop sounds too foreign for many, the
    beat is unusual and the lyrics are difficult to understand if they are in
    English or French. The Hip Hop scene is still small, the infrastructure
    limited. Until today the number of Malian Hip Hop tapes has probably not
    exceeded 20. There are only two bands who have been successful so far:
    and Tata Pound. Tata Pounds latest album 'Ni Allah Sounama' (13) sold
    copies  which is a whole lot for Mali. Like their first album, 'Ni Allah
    Sounama' was produced in Senegal, this time at Studio Yes together with
    Steven Töteberg  because Hip Hop producers are non-existent in Mali. Rage
    live spread out in France, USA and Mali. They are the only Malian Hip Hop
    band so far that managed to get a record deal in France (Maquis). Hip Hop
    still something for lone-rangers in Mali, but with the success of Tata
    that will change. A key role is played by private radio. In the early 90s
    after the new democratically elected president Alpha Oumar Konaré came to
    power ,a whole lot of small private radios popped up and ended the long
    reign of  state controlled Radio Mali (ORTM). Most of them were playing
    mainly music, making popular music a lot more accessible and diverse.
    the first private TV channels are supposed to be set up, that might even
    have a greater impact on the music business.

    One of the largest private radio station Radio Kledu hosts a popular Hip
    program by Abba (formerly Abba and Mo) every saturday called Groove
    Marathon. It's quite funny actually with a lot of freestyling, featuring
    Westafrican and international releases. The most important music program
    Samedi Loisir on public television hosted by Braddox. Braddox is also
    planning the first Malian Hip Hop compilation and has a radio program on
    Radio Mali as well. Fla Yoro is another hard working Hip Hop promoter in
    Mali. He also has a program on Radio Mali; two hours once a week playing
    Reggae and Hip Hop, in his sparetime he works with some of Malis Hip Hop
    talents: which are King Da Dja, Zotto Boys, Zion B, Dr Foulani, Mènes,
    Fing, Mandé Possi ...

    Selection of the tracks:

    There are many criterias for the selection of tracks for this Cd. It is
    impossible to satisfy everybody. The selection represents different
    of Hip Hop. Whereas Hardcore Rap, in the manner of BMG 44 or C.B.V.,
    fascinates with its raw force, anger and tight rapping, groups like Les
    Escorcs, Gokh Bi System or Djoloff open up new musical perspectives. Les
    Escrocs from Mali are respected at home, not so much for their rapping
    skills, as for their political lyrics. But it is difficult to compare
    from Mali with those from Senegal, because Mali hasn't really found its
    Hip Hop style. All groups are still doing their own thing without a
    for a real scene. Besides, it is still revolutionary to critizise the
    government publically, which was one reason for the recent success of
    Pound (and for the popularity of Les Escrocs). Other bands such as Gokh
    System were merely lucky. They were invited to the US and integrated in a
    cultural exchange project. When performing in Dakar, they take off their
    traditional Boubous that they wore on the advertisements for their
    in the US and put on all the fashionable Nikes, Adidas etc. gear. In
    they are nearly unknown, their music is more interesting for a foreign
    audience. The music of the few internationally successful West African
    Hip-Hop bands shows, that in order to get the attention of an
    audience, African Hip Hop must incorporate something specifically
    Didier Awadi (PBS) is familiar with the problem of exotisation: "The
    in Europe want us to be exotic, but sometimes we refuse to be exotic". On
    stage PBS are one of the few bands that wear African Boubous and have a
    player in the band etc.  Xuman (Pee Froiss) sums up the problem many
    rappers encounter: "We want to be respected as Hip-Hoppers, not as
    Their records are not supposed to be standing in the African section of a
    record shop, but in the Hip Hop section. Very well, the only problem is
    rap is a music heavily dependent on producers and Africa does  not, so
    really have the possibilities and the know-how to compete on an
    international level. The rappers too are still caught up in the values of
    US defined sound ideal. Studios and records are mostly discussed in terms
    whether, f.e. the bass sound is as awsome as on a US production, or
    a studio is capable of creating a string section sound  that sounds like
    Tang clan.

    A band like Djoloff living in Paris who have the only track on the
    compilation that was released only on CD not on cassette is right at the
    intersection of this discussion. They are a part of the African Diaspora.
    Étragers they have a nostalgic outlook towards their homeland. On stage
    present themselves as 300% African. Even if not all of them are the
    rappers, it works. Their message is actually  just trying to speak to
    Senegalese fellowmen, but for the Senegalese long Boubous and traditional
    dresses do not only represent a 'rich african heritage' but also the
    conservative mentality of their parent's generation. In Xumans words:
    laugh at you if you play a concert wearing a big Boubou, you have to wear
    the newest Nikes to get respect". One way to avoid this polarisation of
    modern rap versus an exotic Africa might be Mbalaxrap. Positive Black
    'Boul Ma Mine' und 'Kay Jel Ma' by Xuman and Bibson give a bit of a
    of this style. Instead of using the age old klischees of Africa: Kora,
    drums, ngoni etc. modern african pop music creates the difference. But
    relationship between the two scenes is not all that easy.

    Senegalese Hip Hop - like any Hip Hop - is at its best not as an
    internationally marketed music, but as local culture; Senegalese Hip Hop
    best in Senegal. I was totally fascinated by the incredible relevance and
    about how up to date the topics in the songs were, especially in Dakar
    also in Gambia and the Mali). With such a reality overkill in the lyrics
    question of whether Senegalese Hip Hop is a copy of US or French Hip Hop
    becomes irrelevant. No matter how poor an instrumental is produced, an
    interesting message is always discussed and commented on on the next
    casssette etc. A good example is Pacotille, ('rubbish' in French), who
    together the music for his first cassette from beats and intros he found
    US Hip Hop tapes, because he couldn't afford an own production. The cover
    shows him wearing cheap plastic sandals, making him one of Dakar's only
    rappers that puts message before style. Unfortunately the music itself is
    not powerful enough to be interesting for anyone outside of Senegal.

    The energy, the look in the rappers eyes and their lyrics show one thing:
    the immense force and dedication to kick off their message. Omzo, C.B.V.,
    Xuman&Bibson, DaBrains or Sen Kumpe especially, transmit this feeling to
    Their tracks sample Senegals election, voice a real opinion, pass on a
    feeling of what it means to grow up in Senegal and demand that the
    perspective of Senegals youth be heard. And that's paid off.

    Additional information:

    Anyone who wants to get into the world of African Hip Hop should check
    www.africanhiphop.com, a website who really has done an exceptional job
    collecting information on this extremely local scene. There is another
    website in Munich called www.senerap.com which also is well worth
    Then there are a few authors who have published interesting articles on
    scene: Omid Nouripour has written an often cited article on the history
    Hip Hop in Dakar (ntama.uni-mainz.de), Ania Faas and André Lützen from
    Hamburg have written a few arrticles on the topic. André Lützen has
    published 'Generation Boul Falé' (Wunderhorn) a book with
    of Dakars Rap scene. Stéphanie Binet has published an interesting article
    called 'Dakar, du griot an rappeur' in artpress. Eva Kimminich has done
    research on the topic in the domain of social science. I have also
    a few articles on Hip Hop in Dakar (Juice 02-2000, SZ 7./8. Aug 99 und
    BlueRhythm (Jazzthing) Sommer 99/10). There is definately a lot more out
    there than is represented here in this arbitrary summary. All in all this
    was made to pass on contacts, start a discussion about Hip Hop in Africa
    open up this exciting scene and make its music and artists accessible.

    Jay Rutledge

      The Hip Hop Hatin' that Hate Produced

                Min. Paul Scott

    Massa Thomas and the good ole boys laid their bets
    down as Big Buck and Black Sam threw down in the
    cotton field. All it took was for Massa Thomas to tell
    Big Buck that Black Sam was bragging that he was the
    baddest slave on the plantation and then tell Black
    Sam that he caught Sallie Mae'round the cabin with
    Big Buck for it to be on.
    After the fight Massa Thomas walked away counting the
    money that he had won, while Buck and Sam lay on the
    ground in a puddle of blood. Although they fought each
    other with everything they had, the bottom line was
    they were still slaves and Thomas was still the

    The white exploitation of Black on Black violence has
    long been a stumbling block for the advancement of
    Afrikan people. From the manipulation of tribal wars
    during the African Holocaust (Transatlantic slave
    trade) to the "tribal wars" taking place in 'hoods
    across America, today,  the damage that this has done
    cannot be overstated.

    With the history of violence, bloodshed and disunity
    that this has caused, it is a cryin' shame in 2002, we
    see our people falling into the same trap, especially
    among those in Hip Hop.

    Battlin' is nothing new in the Rap world as it was a
    sure fire way to prove your superiority on the mic.
    Many of us old school brotha's can remember battles
    between the Cold Crush Brothers and the Fantastic 5.
    Or, those impromptu MC battles that were waged in high
    school halls between classes, with two brotha's rappin
    and one kicking the beat by beating on a locker with
    one of those big wooden brushes , the ones that came
    with the Murray's and doo rag that we used to keep our
    waves tight.

    The Rap Wars of the 80's were between struggling
    teenagers fighting to carve a living out of a cold
    world that cared nothing about them. However, in 2002,
    we have 30-year-old millionaires still trying to prove
    to each other who is the hardest.

    The Black community in America is one big project. Not
    in the sense of a bunch of buildings surrounded by a
    black iron fence and miles of poverty but a project
    meaning an experiment to see if people are thrown
    together in cramped conditions and denied economic
    opportunity, so much so that they have to fight each
    other for the crumbs that fall  from the white power
    structure's table, will they be so indoctrinated with
    that mentality  that even when they break the physical
    and economic barriers of  "tha hood" they will  still
    keep the same psychological  programming that was
    produced as a survival technique in the projects.

    This year has seen the resurgence of the Hip Hop Wars
    with the much-heralded Jay Z vs. Nas, kRS vs. Nelly,
    Dre vs JD; etc. While some of the rhetoric coming from
    artists such as Nas and KRS may seem revolutionary to
    16 year old kids, if the dialogue is not put in the
    context of the struggle for the survival of Afrikan
    people, it quickly becomes counterrevolutionary. The
    fight that the more conscious rappers must rage is to
    put Black consciousness back into Hip Hop and not
    allow these so called Hip Hop Wars to divert
    attention away from the real issues facing, not only
    the Hip Hop Generation but Afrikan people, in general.
    In post 9/11 America, where the issues that are
    exclusive to the Black community have all but been
    forgotten by the so called mainstream, Hip Hop must
    play a major role in shoving these issues in America's

    We must also hold our brothers and sisters in the rap
    game accountable for their actions. Yeshua (misnamed
    Jesus) once said "he who is without sin, cast the
    first stone." This can be applied to Hip Hop, as all
    have come up short when their ways and actions are
    weighed against that historical struggle for Black
    Liberation. So, it seems somewhat hypocritical for a
    rapper who has never owned up to the contradictions in
    his own music to point fingers at another rapper whom
    he considers less conscious than himself.

    The message that this is sending to the young brotha's
    and sista's  is also problematic as they will see the
    insanity of  disunity among Afrikan people as not only
    normal but as a cause for celebration and admiration.
    This will later manifest itself into them developing
    the same intense hatred and mistrust of other Black
    folks from which many of us are suffering. Malcolm X
    once pointed out that the media is so powerful in its
    image making role that it can make your enemy seem
    like your friend and your friend seem like your enemy;
    so it is in Hip Hop.

    What we are fighting for is the survival of Afrikan
    people; not lyrics; not respect for Hip Hop; not even
    which Hip Hop radio station is the best. If we are not
    clear on this, we will be forever running around in a
    circle, like a dog chasing its tail and wondering why
    with all the talking, Black folks are still living in
    such hellish conditions.

    Despite the strategic placement of Black faces in high
    places within the entertainment industry, it is the
    white owned corporate giants that control the media
    images that our children see and ultimately it is
    white businessmen who reap the profits from the Hip
    Hop Wars (whether the artists themselves survive them
    or not). So history repeats itself; the slave's fight
    each other while the slave master laughs all the way
    to the bank.

    Minister Paul Scott is founder of the Durham NC based
    New Righteous Movement and has recently launched the
    National Hip Hop Reformation Campaign. For more
    information contact: operationmedia@yahoo.com


      Hip Hop Is Dead; Long Live Hip Hop

    Under the Radar
    By Evan Endicott
    In These Times * Under the Radar

    Everywhere you turn, the secret is being whispered. In
    the aisles of independent record stores, where groove
    lovers congregate among dust-covered slabs of vinyl; in
    the neighborhoods of New York and Los Angeles, where
    hip hop has shaped two generations of youth; on college
    radio and in cyberspace, the words are heard and seen.

    'Hip hop is dead.'

    How can this be? After all, hip hop, a 'fad' born in
    the Bronx two decades ago, has weathered the media's
    ceaseless attacks to become the dominant form of pop
    music. Rap's mainstream acceptance, enabled by multi-
    platinum pretenders MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice, created
    a cottage industry that comprises not only albums, but
    stadium tours, film franchises and fashion imprints.

    Yet the secret persists, winding its way through smoky
    nightclubs and streetcorner ciphers. Hip hop remains
    alive in name only-a brand like any other. As a voice
    of dissent against 'Amerikkkan' culture, it has ceased
    to function. These days, P. Diddy proclaims, 'Don't
    worry if I write rhymes / I write checks,' and
    listeners nod their heads in agreement.

    But for every action, there is an equal and opposite
    reaction. Hip hop's underground, much maligned after
    years of in-fighting and self-obsession, is showing
    signs of renewed vitality. The first element of this
    renaissance is musical. While Eminem recycles Aerosmith
    tunes and Jay-Z squeezes the last drops of soul out of
    Bobby Bland, innovative 'undie' producers are employing
    vintage vinyl, digital software and live instruments to
    create new classics.

    Take Fat Jon, a Bay Area producer with a knack for
    putting everything in its right place. His new LP, Wave
    Motion, combines slow-burning jazz-funk with ethereal
    trumpet solos, phased guitars, swirling keyboard licks
    and haunting vocal samples. His grooves are neither as
    complex nor as challenging as DJ Shadow's (with whom he
    is often compared), but for listeners craving head-
    nodding soul in a melancholy vein, Fat Jon supplies
    satori through simplicity.

    A more ambitious, trippy and downright bizarre
    instrumental voyage spans the 19 tracks on Angles
    Without Edges, the debut LP from Yesterday's New
    Quintet. Billed as a jazz-meets-hip hop jam session
    among mysterious players with names like 'Malik
    Flavors,' YNQ is the musical brainchild of L.A.
    producer Madlib. Juggling a mind-boggling array of
    vintage instruments, Madlib whips up a '70s-flavored
    melange of jazzy improvisation and inventively
    programmed beats.

    At the other end of the spectrum, Atlanta's Prefuse 73
    mixes experimental, glitch-infused computer programming
    with the 'beats first' aesthetic of hip hop to create
    completely idiosyncratic instrumentals. On his latest
    EP, The '92 VS '02 Collection, complex keyboard
    melodies surf fearlessly over steadily evolving
    electro-breaks, while minute vocal samples are woven
    into intricate webs of rhythm and sound.

    But what about the words? When rap first emerged, it
    was a venue for the voiceless, the neglected residents
    of America's inner cities. Seminal artists KRS-One and
    Public Enemy rapped about a world most white Americans
    had never bothered to notice. They were
    confrontational, angry and, above all, honest.

    Today, rap lyrics resemble a twisted fusion of the Robb
    Report and hardcore porn, holding conspicuous
    consumption and sexual conquest in equally high regard.
    Jay-Z drives a Bentley and spends summer 'lampin' in
    the Hamptons,' while Nelly prefers 'fuckin' lesbian
    twins now.' Hip hop is moving backwards, having traded
    real life for the phallocentric fantasy Hugh Hefner
    patented in the '50s.

    New York group Company Flow opted out of this charade
    back in 1997, declaring themselves 'independent as
    fuck' and deconstructing the American mythos on
    venomous tracks such as 'Patriotism.' Though their
    moment was short-lived, group member El-P went on to
    form Definitive Jux, a record label whose artists are
    emblematic of the underground's return to socially
    conscious lyrics.

    On his debut solo LP, Fantastic Damage, El-P spits
    razor-sharp rhymes over bombastic beats built from
    white noise, distorted synths and unidentifiable blasts
    of sonic violence. Incredibly, El-P's flow is as
    intense as his music-a dendrite-dense stream of
    consciousness that sounds senseless at first but is
    poetically precise once deciphered.

    El-P rhymes as if trying to exorcise his thoughts upon
    formation, and with good reason-his thoughts are often
    terrifying. On 'Stepfather Factory,' he imagines a
    company that manufactures abusive android surrogates.
    Brilliant allusions swim through his murky sentences:
    Americans are 'Simple headed vagrants / Trying to chase
    where Forrest's feather went;' El-P is 'Monkey number
    one million / Flipping Tempest texts.' Accidental
    genius or no, Fantastic Damage is the 21st century's
    first hip hop masterpiece.

    While El-P conjures America's dystopian future, fellow
    New Yorker J-Live brings the present into sharp focus
    on his album All of the Above. A literate, passionate
    tirade against the industry pimps and music moguls who
    have 'turned hip hop to a get-rich-quick scheme,' Above
    skewers thugged-out MCs who 'keep it real' by imitating
    the movie mobsters in Goodfellas.

    Many underground MCs focus on fixing hip hop because
    they lack the vision to address the bigger picture.
    Fortunately, J-Live's eyes are wide open. Above is a
    State of the Union Address, delivered with more candor
    and heart than any president could muster. On
    'Satisfied,' J-Live rhymes: 'The poor get worked / The
    rich get richer / The world gets worse / Do you get the
    picture?' Addressing America's recent adoption of
    patriotism as fashion statement, he observes, 'Now it's
    all about NYPD caps and Pentagon bumper stickers / But
    yo, you still a nigger.'

    A coast away, Blackalicious draw similar conclusions on
    their major label debut Blazing Arrow. From the
    blackest streets to the Whitest House in the land, MC
    Gift of Gab captures the fall of the American Empire in
    chilling detail: 'Liquor stores upon every corner and
    younger people done accepted defeat / In the melting
    pot the lava's seeping and the hood is all the mind can
    conceive / =E2=80=A6 The cops is the Klan and the planet's run
    by a government of genocidal thieves.'

    Fortunately, Blackalicious and J-Live buttress these
    dark treatises with bouncy, sun-soaked songs that
    celebrate life's pleasures-friends, family and hip hop
    itself. Less optimistic, but no less funky, is
    Oakland's The Coup, a pair of Marxist revolutionaries
    who drop communist theory over rump-shaking

    On '5 Million Ways to Kill a CEO,' (from the LP Party
    Music) MC Boots Riley sums up America's captains of
    industry in three brilliant lines: 'They own sweats
    shops, pet cops and fields of cola / Murder babies with
    they molars on the areola / Control the Pope, Dalai
    Lama, Holy Rollers and the Ayatollah.'

    Over the next few years, the secret of hip hop's demise
    will reach everybody's ears. But when consumers move on
    to the next trend, the underground will still thrive.
    If today's crop of artists is any indication, it will
    be a resurrection well worth listening to.

    Evan Endicott is a freelance music writer in Los
    Angeles. >>




    DAVEY D-We here on 94.1 KPFA with Chuck D, You know it's always hard
    to interview someone that you know...But it's gonna be all good!  I
    mean, this is a landmark situation and maybe a crossroads of sorts,
    with you at this stage and your career and the rest of the P.E.[Public
    Enemy] Camp, comin' out with a new album.  How do you see it and why
    at this point in your career did you return to the fold with a new

    CHUCK D-Right-well, number one, I just think other aspects of music,
    are revered because they are more organized and Hip-Hop has never been
    one to organize itself properly.  I just look at other genres and they
    still talk about Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones and the Beatles who
    have been a part of 30 years of rock and they are still a part of

    In Rap music why can't it be the same for us?  Or why can't it be the
    same for me?  And I just made it up in my mind as Public Enemy to be
    able to make a statement with each one of my records, especially after
    I made up my mind in '95 that I would do so.  I mean "He Got Game" was
    the first time that a rap group, did an entire sound track ala Isaac
    Hayes or Curtis Mayfield.  Then in 1999 we released the album, There's
    A Poison Goin'On with the first down loadable album from a mainstream

    The statement with this new album [Revolverlution]is how it was put
    together, partially by it being the first interactive record and as
    well as just creating a standard for classical old skool artists and
    showing how they could be relevant to the mainstream.  We redesigned
    the structure of making albums so that you could use your past for you
    as opposed to your past being used against you.  That is what
    Revolverlution is about.  It's about revision and it's revolutionary
    and the process of it's structure and also it's ingredients.

    DAVEY D-Now you mention a couple of things that I want you to build on
    a little, one of them is you mention the fact that the album is
    interactive so explain how that's the case....

    CHUCK D- Well, we have all our accapellas done over thanks to the idea
    that you- Davey D made years ago!(laughing)...And we just said that we
    go one step further.  Our interaction with the Internet and starting
    with PublicEnemy.com in 98' which is a world of it's own.  We then
    established Bringthenoise.com, Rapstation.com and Slamjamz.com which
    is our online label.  We said we could launch the online label just by
    having the audience being a participant and this shows people that
    technology's allowed artists, producers, record labels across the
    world to actually upgrade their music and they not just be demos and
    demonstrations, but real records.The fat wires [broadband] on the
    Internet have allowed for people to actually distribute these real
    records across in MP3 format which is to be transferred back to a wave
    format which is the same sound format you hear on an everyday CD.  We
    said we want to be able to use this process to see who's out there in
    the world of Hip-Hop and see what they could bring to the table
    production-wise.  So we looked at a whole new way of production.

    In the past, the usual way of doing production was, you got words and
    rhymes, you got together with a guy making beats and you go in the
    studio together and you make a song.  Well, in this new production
    method,we say alright we got the flow, here is the lyrics, put it out
    there and have people find their music and see if they could attach it
    the same way that the remix was founded.

    For the Revolverlution project, we put up 4 accapellas on slamjamz.com
    last August.  They were downloaded 11,000 times.  462 mixes came back.
    Our virtual staff of 50 people on slamjamz had to go and diagnose 462
    mixes to come up with 4 winners and that was how history was made.

    DAVEY D-Now you had already kind of done some unique stuff before
    'cause I know there's a cat Bill the Pharmacist who's out of Santa
    Cruz.  I know early on, people like you and him were hooking up and
    doing these virtual recordings with cats from all around the world.
    Could you speak on that and also just the fact that now with the
    Internet you've been able to bring in people from far off places like
    Argentina to work on your album.  Maybe you could talk a little bit
    about the world wide impact this has?

    CHUCK D-Well, first speaking about the winners...  The first winner
    was chosen by our virtual staff.  They were just strictly the winner
    on what they thought was the most eclectic sound.  So the first winner
    who remixed the Public Enemy #1 accapella was this group called "The
    Geronimo Punx Redu" which came from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    The second winner who remixed one is on The B Side Wins Again, were
    these guys were college kids from Madison,WI called "Scattershot".
    And they actually put together their song in their dorm room.

    The third winners came from Austria, his name was "The
    Funktionist"-he's a beatmaker from Austria.  He remixed the song 'Shut
    'Em Down'

    The fourth winners came from Long Island, he was named Mike-His stage
    name is the Moleman.  So the virtual staff was the first virtual staff
    of it's kind with 50 people who would all take these links of these
    songs and they would put them on a virtual board in the back of
    slamjam's admin area and they would have discussions over the
    selections on what was hot or top 5 and what was not.  So it was the
    first virtual staff of it's kind that discovered and evaluated the
    music.  So that is how the different cats from the different parts of
    the world were chosen.

    DAVEY D-But you had been doing that stuff on the internet just
    recording with people sending tracks and things like that prior to

    CHUCK D- We tried it on our own with Bill the Pharmacist who's out
    there in Santa Cruz.  He teaches out there at the School of Media Arts
    in Emeryville.  Bill is actually a producer for this group that we
    called the first interactive Rap squad called " The Impossibulls".
    There are 8-12 cats from around the country.  Bill would send the
    tracks around and we all rhymed to it and re-uploaded it back to Bill.
    He would put the song together based on the uploaded versus on his
    track.  The project has since been picked up by C.  Doctor Warhammer
    who operates out of Kitana,PA near Pittsburg.  He has pretty much the
    first cat to have a virtual lab studio.  He is the orchestrator of The
    Impossibulls and also he also one of the head virtual A& R cat in
    slamjamz.  The funny thing about it is half of the cats I never even
    met and they all worked on this Revolverlution album.

    The album cover was put together by a guy who said that he just wanted
    to be involved in making some of the covers because on slamjamz.com we
    had released MP3s and we would include a cover with each one.  We say
    that MP3 is the new 45.  We believe that a record label is just
    delivery of music and art and we're able to do that digital-wise and
    interactively, deliver music and art and MG [Mike Gorney] came along
    and he actually took to doing the artwork for the album.  The inner
    sleeve and liner notes is done interactively by a guy named Josh from
    the UK, who I didn't meet until last year.

    DAVEY D- I know you did a cut w/ Paris. How did that come about?

    CHUCK D- DJ Johnny Juice did "Give the People What They Need" & the
    fact is that Paris went to the Enemy Board on PublicEnemy.com &
    inquired about being on the album.  They passed his email to me and I
    corresponded w/ him.  Paris later did his verse, flipped it over to
    wire [Internet] and Johnny Juice, laid another version of "Give the
    People What They Need".  Brothas came together from East to West and
    got it done through the new technology of the Internet.

    In the same form, myself and Flava Flav are gonna do what Paris needs
    to do on his upcoming album 'Sonic Jihad'.  I can't explain how
    thankful I am for Paris who is always a warrior and detonating verbal
    bombs.  I am more than happy to be involved w/ whatever he does.

    DAVEY D- Lets talk about the overall structure of the album

    CHUCK D- I just think that we put together an album the way that
    people put together albums on the Internet.  You got young people out
    there that assemble their own albums so when we had to put together an
    album Public Enemy wise we put together a combination different of
    things.  We included some old classics mixed in a new way.  We have
    live joints & some new joints that represents some new flava, that is
    the most I can do.  We have a live version of'Miuzi Weighs A Ton'
    which we did last time we performed here in the Bay Area.  To me
    that's invigorating.  I made up my mind in 1999 that I was gonna
    change how I recorded & how I approached the concept of a whole album.
    How things existed in existed in the 90s,80s,70s, is outta here.

    You ask a young cat which cut that they like and they'll say: " Well I
    like track 9."  They don't even try to figure out the title.  So we
    have to be able to think, that's how the climate is out there.  So we
    wanted to put something together that was a combination that some new
    heads will bop to & some old heads will say; " Oh yeah I know that".
    That is what is gonna keep my CD in there.  It is very hard to keep
    albums in the CD rotation.  It is very hard to get albums played from
    cut 1 on down to the last cut.  So you gotta program an album like a
    radio show.  That's where a lot of cats are falling short- they are
    making albums that are really extended singles.  There are a lot of
    albums out there.  People want to her compilation albums w/ a lot of
    different things so we made a compilation of ourselves.  So in this
    record Revolverlution, we have come full circle, we are revisionists &
    we are revolutionary & that is what makes this record come full circle
    b/c we use our past to our advantage regardless of what anybody says.
    When they hear this Revolverlution album, they will hear song like
    Fight the Power Live in Switzerland 1992.  They are gonna say;


    We first did this on It Takes A Nation.  There I segwayed those live
    parts in the middle of It Takes a Nation to show us here in the states
    that these are people in London who are into Hip Hop.  The first
    impact was people here in the US saying;

    "Well I didn't know it was like that in London?"

    Hell yeah that's right...  In a place like London, they are loud &
    they are more into Hip Hop then you!  You gotta use the psychology of
    what already is happening to let a person know.  We are in charge of
    our own media so we gotta let people know directly.  I just overstand
    too much that we are too much of a present people in order for me to
    fall victim of not using my past & not being able to scope out
    something from the future.

    FNV: Interview w/ Chuck D pt 2


    DAVEY D-We here on 94.1 KPFA with Chuck D, You know it's always hard
    to interview someone that you know...But it's gonna be all good!  I
    mean, this is a landmark situation and maybe a crossroads of sorts,
    with you at this stage and your career and the rest of the P.E.[Public
    Enemy] Camp, comin' out with a new album.  How do you see it and why
    at this point in your career did you return to the fold with a new

    CHUCK D-Right-well, number one, I just think other aspects of music,
    are revered because they are more organized and Hip-Hop has never been
    one to organize itself properly.  I just look at other genres and they
    still talk about Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones and the Beatles who
    have been a part of 30 years of rock and they are still a part of

    In Rap music why can't it be the same for us?  Or why can't it be the
    same for me?  And I just made it up in my mind as Public Enemy to be
    able to make a statement with each one of my records, especially after
    I made up my mind in '95 that I would do so.  I mean "He Got Game" was
    the first time that a rap group, did an entire sound track ala Isaac
    Hayes or Curtis Mayfield.  Then in 1999 we released the album, There's
    A Poison Goin'On with the first down loadable album from a mainstream

    The statement with this new album [Revolverlution]is how it was put
    together, partially by it being the first interactive record and as
    well as just creating a standard for classical old skool artists and
    showing how they could be relevant to the mainstream.  We redesigned
    the structure of making albums so that you could use your past for you
    as opposed to your past being used against you.  That is what
    Revolverlution is about.  It's about revision and it's revolutionary
    and the process of it's structure and also it's ingredients.

    DAVEY D-Now you mention a couple of things that I want you to build on
    a little, one of them is you mention the fact that the album is
    interactive so explain how that's the case....

    CHUCK D- Well, we have all our accapellas done over thanks to the idea
    that you- Davey D made years ago!(laughing)...And we just said that we
    go one step further.  Our interaction with the Internet and starting
    with PublicEnemy.com in 98' which is a world of it's own.  We then
    established Bringthenoise.com, Rapstation.com and Slamjamz.com which
    is our online label.  We said we could launch the online label just by
    having the audience being a participant and this shows people that
    technology's allowed artists, producers, record labels across the
    world to actually upgrade their music and they not just be demos and
    demonstrations, but real records.The fat wires [broadband] on the
    Internet have allowed for people to actually distribute these real
    records across in MP3 format which is to be transferred back to a wave
    format which is the same sound format you hear on an everyday CD.  We
    said we want to be able to use this process to see who's out there in
    the world of Hip-Hop and see what they could bring to the table
    production-wise.  So we looked at a whole new way of production.

    In the past, the usual way of doing production was, you got words and
    rhymes, you got together with a guy making beats and you go in the
    studio together and you make a song.  Well, in this new production
    method,we say alright we got the flow, here is the lyrics, put it out
    there and have people find their music and see if they could attach it
    the same way that the remix was founded.

    For the Revolverlution project, we put up 4 accapellas on slamjamz.com
    last August.  They were downloaded 11,000 times.  462 mixes came back.
    Our virtual staff of 50 people on slamjamz had to go and diagnose 462
    mixes to come up with 4 winners and that was how history was made.

    DAVEY D-Now you had already kind of done some unique stuff before
    'cause I know there's a cat Bill the Pharmacist who's out of Santa
    Cruz.  I know early on, people like you and him were hooking up and
    doing these virtual recordings with cats from all around the world.
    Could you speak on that and also just the fact that now with the
    Internet you've been able to bring in people from far off places like
    Argentina to work on your album.  Maybe you could talk a little bit
    about the world wide impact this has?

    CHUCK D-Well, first speaking about the winners...  The first winner
    was chosen by our virtual staff.  They were just strictly the winner
    on what they thought was the most eclectic sound.  So the first winner
    who remixed the Public Enemy #1 accapella was this group called "The
    Geronimo Punx Redu" which came from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    The second winner who remixed one is on The B Side Wins Again, were
    these guys were college kids from Madison,WI called "Scattershot".
    And they actually put together their song in their dorm room.

    The third winners came from Austria, his name was "The
    Funktionist"-he's a beatmaker from Austria.  He remixed the song 'Shut
    'Em Down'

    The fourth winners came from Long Island, he was named Mike-His stage
    name is the Moleman.  So the virtual staff was the first virtual staff
    of it's kind with 50 people who would all take these links of these
    songs and they would put them on a virtual board in the back of
    slamjam's admin area and they would have discussions over the
    selections on what was hot or top 5 and what was not.  So it was the
    first virtual staff of it's kind that discovered and evaluated the
    music.  So that is how the different cats from the different parts of
    the world were chosen.

    DAVEY D-But you had been doing that stuff on the internet just
    recording with people sending tracks and things like that prior to

    CHUCK D- We tried it on our own with Bill the Pharmacist who's out
    there in Santa Cruz.  He teaches out there at the School of Media Arts
    in Emeryville.  Bill is actually a producer for this group that we
    called the first interactive Rap squad called " The Impossibulls".
    There are 8-12 cats from around the country.  Bill would send the
    tracks around and we all rhymed to it and re-uploaded it back to Bill.
    He would put the song together based on the uploaded versus on his
    track.  The project has since been picked up by C.  Doctor Warhammer
    who operates out of Kitana,PA near Pittsburg.  He has pretty much the
    first cat to have a virtual lab studio.  He is the orchestrator of The
    Impossibulls and also he also one of the head virtual A& R cat in
    slamjamz.  The funny thing about it is half of the cats I never even
    met and they all worked on this Revolverlution album.

    The album cover was put together by a guy who said that he just wanted
    to be involved in making some of the covers because on slamjamz.com we
    had released MP3s and we would include a cover with each one.  We say
    that MP3 is the new 45.  We believe that a record label is just
    delivery of music and art and we're able to do that digital-wise and
    interactively, deliver music and art and MG [Mike Gorney] came along
    and he actually took to doing the artwork for the album.  The inner
    sleeve and liner notes is done interactively by a guy named Josh from
    the UK, who I didn't meet until last year.

    DAVEY D- I know you did a cut w/ Paris. How did that come about?

    CHUCK D- DJ Johnny Juice did "Give the People What They Need" & the
    fact is that Paris went to the Enemy Board on PublicEnemy.com &
    inquired about being on the album.  They passed his email to me and I
    corresponded w/ him.  Paris later did his verse, flipped it over to
    wire [Internet] and Johnny Juice, laid another version of "Give the
    People What They Need".  Brothas came together from East to West and
    got it done through the new technology of the Internet.

    In the same form, myself and Flava Flav are gonna do what Paris needs
    to do on his upcoming album 'Sonic Jihad'.  I can't explain how
    thankful I am for Paris who is always a warrior and detonating verbal
    bombs.  I am more than happy to be involved w/ whatever he does.

    DAVEY D- Lets talk about the overall structure of the album

    CHUCK D- I just think that we put together an album the way that
    people put together albums on the Internet.  You got young people out
    there that assemble their own albums so when we had to put together an
    album Public Enemy wise we put together a combination different of
    things.  We included some old classics mixed in a new way.  We have
    live joints & some new joints that represents some new flava, that is
    the most I can do.  We have a live version of'Miuzi Weighs A Ton'
    which we did last time we performed here in the Bay Area.  To me
    that's invigorating.  I made up my mind in 1999 that I was gonna
    change how I recorded & how I approached the concept of a whole album.
    How things existed in existed in the 90s,80s,70s, is outta here.

    You ask a young cat which cut that they like and they'll say: " Well I
    like track 9."  They don't even try to figure out the title.  So we
    have to be able to think, that's how the climate is out there.  So we
    wanted to put something together that was a combination that some new
    heads will bop to & some old heads will say; " Oh yeah I know that".
    That is what is gonna keep my CD in there.  It is very hard to keep
    albums in the CD rotation.  It is very hard to get albums played from
    cut 1 on down to the last cut.  So you gotta program an album like a
    radio show.  That's where a lot of cats are falling short- they are
    making albums that are really extended singles.  There are a lot of
    albums out there.  People want to her compilation albums w/ a lot of
    different things so we made a compilation of ourselves.  So in this
    record Revolverlution, we have come full circle, we are revisionists &
    we are revolutionary & that is what makes this record come full circle
    b/c we use our past to our advantage regardless of what anybody says.
    When they hear this Revolverlution album, they will hear song like
    Fight the Power Live in Switzerland 1992.  They are gonna say;


    We first did this on It Takes A Nation.  There I segwayed those live
    parts in the middle of It Takes a Nation to show us here in the states
    that these are people in London who are into Hip Hop.  The first
    impact was people here in the US saying;

    "Well I didn't know it was like that in London?"

    Hell yeah that's right...  In a place like London, they are loud &
    they are more into Hip Hop then you!  You gotta use the psychology of
    what already is happening to let a person know.  We are in charge of
    our own media so we gotta let people know directly.  I just overstand
    too much that we are too much of a present people in order for me to
    fall victim of not using my past & not being able to scope out
    something from the future.


    DAVEY D-You had also mentioned something which goes to a deeper issue
    that we have often discussed.  The fact is that in other genres of
    music we celebrate the past.  For example, this year we just
    celebrated Paul McCartney going on tour..We celebrated the Rolling
    Stones tour and they're in their 60 's We celebrated Tito Puente just
    before his death.  We celebrate and honor a lot of people who have
    contributed to their respected genres of music and who are idolized
    all around the world.  But when it comes to Hip-Hop, in particular
    Hip-Hop here in the US, it's almost like once you are over 25 or
    you're on your 3rd album, your considered Old Skool.  Where is this
    coming from?  Is it from the streets?  It is from the industry?  Or is
    this just the way the American culture is right now?

    CHUCK D- It is the way that American culture is...  because Hip-Hop at
    its root is the reflection of a lost people still trying to find
    themselves.  So Black people who at the root are still judge by our
    quantity as opposed to our quality.  We're just numbers and we got
    people that are just judging us on numbers.

    For example, the past and the future are blurry and we have people who
    want us to be in the present...  but the present is being sold back to
    us.  That is what is happening right now.  We're here , we're in the
    present but every aspect of culture and cultural reflection in the
    present is being sold to us because it's being concocted in a board
    room by a corporation and being put up for sale.  So it's no surprise
    when you look at the clothes on people's backs,the language we speak
    or even down to the reflecting situations on radio and TV.  They have
    now become dictating forces for sole purpose getting our dollars.

    Today its all about being told to forget the past and forget the
    future and make us think the present is something brand new out the
    box and the never even been there before.  This is reflected in our
    everyday existence, so why wouldn't it be reflected in the music
    situations where we're judged by quantity as opposed to our quality?

    People are always asking me "Yo,so where you at?[on the charts] What
    are you scanning [Soundscan]?  Well, first of all, I make records> I
    create records, I don't count records.  I don't count hits on web
    sites.  I'm not an accountant so I don't count.  This has been a
    problem spread throughout is that music business has turned the
    business of music but when you talk about Black people w/ in the
    business of music basically it is music employment , people trying to
    hold on for jobs.

    DAVEY D-Is it feasible to expect Public Enemy, especially w/ the years
    of wisdom and the vast knowledge that you guys have, to reach the cats
    who are now running around listening to artists like Nelly,Jermaine
    Dupri and Juvenile and what they spit is all he or she knows?

    CHUCK D- The only thing that saves Public Enemy is from the beginning
    we expanded our marketplace.  When Public Enemy released a record, we
    had to think 7 continents.  We were older and so when we traveled
    across to Europe in 1987 w/ LL Cool J it was two different
    mentalities.  LL wanted to stay home and we wanted to go to as many
    places as our grown selves would figure.  These areas across the world
    was where we were able to plant seeds.  Over the years we have been
    able to go to all parts of the world to pick fruits not as a greedy
    type of thing, but to set a standard for Hip-Hop so other groups could

    Now a lot of groups in Hip-Hop in the US have not followed this
    example, because the record companies have found out it's convenient
    for artist to stay here in the US.  The labels don't make money
    internationally.  The artist sells but it's a hard dollar to make b/c
    you have to go to the areas, really get into the art and really
    perform, but this is something that worked for Public Enemy.
    Therefore when we put out a record it's a platform to discuss whatever
    we want to discuss worldwide.

    Number two, it's our passport to go to the world.  So when we can talk
    about releasing a record ,we figure that we take 4 months out of the
    year and we have a different arrangement on what we have to do as far
    as to following through on all the records.  So therefore in December
    we are looking at Cuba then Surinam, then Brazil and South Africa and
    closing it out in Australia.  This would not necessarily be Nelly's
    plan.  I'm not being derogatory but it is just a way to look at it.

    I mean this is a business and in many cases artists don't realize that
    until they have turned their business over to somebody who just treats
    all this like a job.  This is something that is serious and we as
    Public Enemy are spread out in 8 different parts of the US, so we have
    to really be able to scour the world.  This is something that made
    Public Enemy .  If you limit your thinking, you're gonna have limited
    results and a situation that might be controlled by corporations b/c
    it's only one country.  You have to expand your horizons.  We will go
    to Australia.  We will go to Hong Kong.  We'll do Canada.  We'll do
    Europe and Asia and other gigantic territories.  We'll go to Africa
    and do the US.  We can only tour the US for 4 weeks then we have to
    move on.  Pirates, we're world pirates.

    DAVEY D-Talk about the way people internationally view what you do and
    what we do over here.  I recently made my first trip out of the
    country to Spain and it was real eye opening.  The first thing that
    really struck me, was two things- one, how deep people get into the
    art....I mean they really study what comes out of here in the US and
    they usually know more than the people that create the art half the

    The second thing is that, the amount of people who are up on politics.
    I mean I was looking at newspapers and trying to understand the TV and
    they were just covering stuff that we don't even talk about over here
    in the states.  Whether it is about then AIDS situation on down to
    what our own US president is doing.  They were talking about stuff
    that has not even broken out over here.  It was a real deep for me
    being the first time out of the country, but how do you see it after
    all these years of traveling around the world?  How has that impacted
    the type of approach you have towards music?

    CHUCK D-One quickly realizes that America has an arrogance and has had
    an arrogance for the last 100 years.  That has permeated all the way
    down so that Hip-Hop artists talking about He's the "King of New
    York".  This arrogance does not allow the US to see itself as a
    country alongside different countries.  It looks at itself as a
    country above the rest of the world.  Whereas when you went to Spain,
    you find that they have to think about the fact that they that we have
    to co-exist with other countries.  To the East there is Italy or to
    the West there is Portugal.  In an evironnment like that, one has to
    be able to discuss the world politic or be able to fit in.

    The US is not about fitting in it is about dominating & thinking your
    cut above.  This attitude is being permeated to a Black kid that is
    living in a Black area thinking he's gonna put it in a rap song like
    "Yo, I'm the King of the World".  What's sad is the fact that he don't
    even know what the World is.  It's a mentality that America would like
    Americans to believe so they can still control them.  It goes down to
    your average rap song saying more fantasy then reality.

    The rest of the world looks to Black people in the US.  For a long
    period of time Black culture has transcended the world society because
    Black culture has made a statement against the world.  We have been
    shipping our legacy since Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington & the Billie
    Holidays and now all the way up to where we are today.  The problem
    now is when corporations have the final say-so over what should be
    said and how it should be said.  That is a danger zone because nobody
    is gonna wanna say anything different, they're gonna wanna say the
    same thing b/c/ it works just to maintain their contract.

    When you try to make the perfect record & perfect promoting ways of
    putting a record to the forefront then a lot of people are gonna make
    similar moves.  Those moves might not relate to different parts of the
    world but they still gonna look at the culture coming out of the US as
    the hot culture.  The problem is those artist will never visit those
    lands because they are trained to stay in US w/ an American mentality
    like it's the only place.

    DAVEY D-It's interesting that you say you do the Soul records.  I'm
    listening to the 1st two singles, " Give the People What They Need",
    now if I close my eyes, I have to ask myself, is this Joe Tex or James
    Brown?  CHUCK D-(Laughing)A lot of times people say well what kind of
    records do you like to make?  I like to make Soul records and if I
    happen to rap soul records then that is what it's about.  I think in
    Soul, you are taking chances.  Half of a soul record is a accident and
    the other half is the actual execution.  It's based upon feelings.

    DAVEY D-You really kind of came w/ that type of flava-literally!
    James Brown could have been on the record and we would not have known.
    What was that about?  And contrast that w/ the lyrics that you were
    putting in that song where you're talking about H Rap Brown and Mumia.
    First of all do you think that today's audience will adjust to this
    James Brown approach & will they be able to relate to the lyrical
    topics of Mumia & H.  Rap Brown?

    CHUCK D-One statement which is off the top and the title of the next
    album which is part of the triolgy is "How Do You Sell Soul to a
    Souless People that Sold Their Soul?"  The answer is, you might not
    sell it but you can give it away.  Like James Brown said "If you ain't
    got no Soul, we gotta have soul to loan you some".

    DAVEY D-(Laughing)

    CHUCK D- I think in the execution of people making the perfect record
    & looking for the perfect beat & the beat being the predominate act of
    Black music for the last 10 years, I think Soul is the sacrifice.
    Soul is the aspect of the piece.  It's an aspect of the bass, the lost
    instrument.  Another aspect, just to break it down, is even the
    lyrics.  Today you can't get caught up into the point of a thesis.  I
    was criticized by this one journalist, she said; "Well it was just too
    much sloganeering."

    I have been doing sloganering since day one because I am not writing a
    thesis I am creating a song so in that aspect I have to be able to
    come and hit on topics and points that sound good enough over a beat
    and have enough soul in it to spark interest.  I know of no other way
    unless I am doing a lecture and that's something else.

    I look at cats like Mystical...  When people say Mystical sounds like
    James Brown, I say 'No-Mystical sounds like Joe Tex.  When you hear
    him say "I got ya", that line is by Joe Tex.  From a person that
    doesn't know the difference between James Brown and Joe Tex, of course
    they are gonna say James Brown.  I am able to say that b/c there are
    some aspects there that I can use.

    Also I gotta give kudos to DJ Johnny Juice who was one of the key
    executioners who helped put out 'Bumrush the Show' and 'It Takes a
    Nation'.  With him coming back to the fold has been tremendous!  He
    provided us with a musical backing that is Afro-Cubanish.  So if you
    are actually bringing something musical wise that is Afro-Cubanish w/
    the rhythm, then you can recognize that aspect of soul here in the US
    that has basically weened itself away from soul.  I know one thing,
    some of these songs will work in Cuba!

    DAVEY D- (Laughing)

    CHUCK D-Like I said, 'how do you sell Soul to a Souless People That
    Sold Their Soul'?  You don't sell soul, you are gonna have to give it
    away.  That is how interactivity is...  Before you give people what
    they want, ya gotta give people what they need.  Ya gotta bring people
    back to soul.

    FNV: Interview w/ Chuck D pt 3....


    DAVEY D-You were just touching upon the transmission of information.
    How that is a factor in the game right now.  So maybe you can continue
    on that vein.

    CHUCK D- I am not trying to come off as bitter b/c it has nothing to
    do w/ being bitter.  It's about being clear & concise about the exact
    & absolute problems that we have in our communication.  As a community
    we don't have any control over our communication.  What it basically
    boils down to is Black people as a community is served into two
    areas-TV and radio.  It is B.E.T.  which is controlled by Viacom & a
    handful of radio stations that are no longer independently owned.  So
    you can have something concocted in a board room from a company &
    delivered to two of these gigantic industries and it could take on a
    whole new realm of community soul.  What difference is that from what
    George Orwell said in "1984" when he talked about Big Brother?  To
    have these discussions about these stronger, I mean these higher
    beings w/ higher controls, the more & more the people get simplifed
    ,dumbed down & not even being aware of these things.  It is almost
    like alien speak to bring it up & have it be an impact on our day to
    day lives.  These impacts are greatly felt in the US, most especially
    on Black people who live in communities that don't get this
    information from anywhere else but these middle men.

    DAVEY D- Hmmmm

    CHUCK D-Like I said this is a high discussion that very few people can
    understand & it has nothing to do w/ conspiracy theories and it's not
    really rocket science.  It is just the way that it is.  If you got
    somebody that controls the information therefore they can manipulate &
    sway the people anyway they want them to.  Whether they want to sell
    them a pair a pants or a shirt, or music, or a way of life and
    culture.  The culture has been bought, sold, & packaged & delivered.
    As a people we aren't even at the packaging table.  These
    determinations are made elsewhere.  Somebody actually speaks about
    these controlled forces.  It is real frustrating to look at that as
    bitterness as opposed to just being the real deal.  Mind control &
    propaganda are tools of manipulation of the masses going way back
    since the Roman days.  Using higher forms of media such as radio &
    picture images is definatly a tool for exploitation & manipulation
    during the 1900s or 20th century.  Look at the past, Hitler- Nazism,
    subliminal seduction and all that it's nothing new.  Manipulating
    people by a governed rule and the governed law as annointed by God and
    the Gods (laughing) & you can actually propagandize or flip people to
    think that this is THE way as opposed to any other way.

    DAVEY D-There is also something that comes up in this pattern and
    maybe you can speak to that b/c it might be connected to Cointelpro...
    What happened to people like Bob Marley one of the things that it
    seems like is that there are a handful of gate keepers & whenever you
    start to have this conversation those people that have direct interest
    in the continuation of this type of system are usually the ones that
    they let out to either try to discredit you or to silence or shut you
    down.  For example, hearing you say this there would be two types of
    reactions, people would be like man, that is true, and then you got on
    the other hand; "Oh man,Chuck is just bitter."...  until you find out
    they are connected to the radio station or to these media outlets &
    it's kind of like their job to just to keep their position in line.

    CHUCK D- To the naysayers, when you lay out the facts in front of them
    & then they say 'that's the way business is in America, baby, so you
    gotta roll with it'.  I say then, what difference is that then with
    slavery?  So then you are gonna say that because slavery is a business
    then it is legitimate?  It is just a whole different type of slavery
    today.  Just b/c there is paycheck that is being given to Black
    people, a 6 or 7 figure salaries to Black faces to a select few of
    them mean that it's legitimate so that you have to claw for survival,
    for information?  You mean that you are thrown a bone, a bisciut in
    the form of a platinum chain , some rims & maybe a house out in
    Concord [California]...  Ya know what?  You guys have made it, you
    have achieved the American dream?[Chuck says sarcastically]

    DAVEY D-Hmm

    CHUCK D-This is a bigger picture for the masses of people to exist as
    human beings on the planet.  It's just not Black people living all
    alone in America, b/c first of all, we don't live for ourselves, we
    live for 2 or 3 generations afterwards & it takes more than possession
    of material items or things that actually make your generation go
    further.  The more we look at it ,it has nothing to do w/ business.
    The more I look at education, I just say that we are in a situation
    now that the Black community where average Black kid has 14 grades.
    Really.  The extra two grades that a most Black males gets is the
    streets & jail anyway at 18, 19.  If they don't go to the service, if
    they don't get a job, if they don't go to college, the streets or jail
    are there waiting for them, like it's a extra two grades.

    So the fight is something for certain things you have to be aware that
    should be common knowledge.  Common sense which isn't common knowledge
    anymore it's nonsense.  I don't want to get into the thing where
    someone is listening to the radio and they say "Man, that's deep and
    then they tell me how deep it is so they can have 362 days of nonsense
    and then they have like 1 day of me enlightening them.  My whole thing
    is that I have to set up spark for people to at least think for
    themselves to know that it is beyond what you get and it is how you
    treat what you got.  There are certain intangibles that you gotta work
    for & fight for that really can't be given to you on a silver bar.

    DAVEY D-Let me ask you this, one of the things that seems to be a
    phenomenon right now which some people will use as a criticism is that
    now that Hip Hop is wide spread you have a real interesting dynamic
    where some of the most conscious rappers very rarely get to perform in
    front of all Black audiences.  You go to a Mos Def show and it's
    mostly white people.  A Talib show, white people even a PE show you
    start to find , at least on the younger end you find there are a lot
    of white people.  With you guys you still seem to have a lot of older
    brothas but on the younger end you find a lot of white kids.  Some
    people would go "Well, are these artists & you guys still relevant to
    the community if they are not showing up?  Considering the type of
    messages and politics you're supporting what is that all about"?

    CHUCK D- It's a new found dynamic.  I was talking to a young Caucasian
    writer, his name was Soren [Baker]..he used to for the LA Times.  I
    have always been pleased at how much Soren has known about the
    parallels in Black music & Jazz & things like that.  He is up on it-
    music education as well as a Journalist He would strike me out of left
    field, by surprise he is able to make comparisons w/ Jazz & Blues- in
    reference to Black-White.  But you look at white people in America
    they are always continuously sold on their past, they always
    continuously being attached w/ the past.  If you are attached to a
    past, that's not trying to tell you about everything they are gonna
    claw & try & find the real deal in their past.  If they are always
    attached to their past & there is something hidden in their past, they
    are gonna have the inhibition to actually claw for some actual facts
    to come up w/ a full picture of a past which will basically be a road
    map to their future.

    Like I said as far as the Black community is concerned there has been
    a systematic success & disconnecting us w/ out past & totally just
    ruining our future & selling us the present for a price, & that's the
    difference.  In 2012 when they have elected Public Enemy for the Rock
    & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland there is probably going to have 300
    white folks in there that know every nook & cranny about our history,
    where we are from, our impact around the world, different
    nationalities will be there & meanwhile Black folks in Cleveland will
    be waiting for the Ludrcris of 2012 or wondering why Marvin Gaye won't
    come back or Al Green won't cut secular records anymore.

    DAVEY D-What do you think can be done to change that?  That is a big
    problem b/c it seems like that's been the new dynamic is to separate
    the consciousness or a large part of the consciousness of the Black
    community from the masses.

    CHUCK D-If it doesn't get through a captive system like the school
    systems & if television doesn't actually re-attach ourselves in the
    past, & our legacy & our music & if radio doesn't go much broader than
    what's the here & now for profit's sake, then Black people will
    forever be detached from this important information of our cultural
    giving..  So we will always be in a position thinking that whatever
    comes along is a brand new thing when it could be done just 10 years
    earlier & somebody could go "Dag gone!  This is Hot!"  Oh yeah, you
    already seeing people making covers of records from 2 years ago & ya
    got some Black people sayin' it's hot.  Ashanti is singing over the
    Biggie beat from 5 years ago and people say, oh that's hot.  So we
    don't even have things that actually float & take on the legacy of
    time b/c we're constantly regurgitating right back into it.  It's good
    in some aspects but it's bad as far as creating a root.  So I am not
    trying to get in the matter of White kids knowing more & more about
    us, it's been going on for a long period of time.  As far as Black
    kids being not concerned it's not just Black kids - Black people
    20-30, 30-40.  What does the average 40 year old know about Jay
    Mcshan?  [editors note: Jay Mcshan is a popular band leader from the
    1940s who sung a popular song called Once Upon A Time']

    DAVEY D-Right, right

    CHUCK D-What does the average 40 year old, my age know about the Funk
    Brothers or what does the average 40 year old know about Chuck
    Jackson?  (Laughing)

    This is some of the information that we need to get in the household,
    now the households aren't even passing their information down.  If it
    doesn't come from the schools of education or it doesn't come from the
    areas that Black people are subservient to as far as television &
    radio then we're not gonna get it all.  You see, in the past when
    everything was kept off of television and when everything was kept off
    of radio & when radio was independent then everything had to fight to
    get on anyway.  Now since a certain amount was accepted & has been
    accepted that means they can pigeonhole & streamline into what they
    want as accepted as being Black & kinda exclude the other stuff that
    might be detrimental to the whole big picture that wants to work
    against them.

    DAVEY D-I ask that question b/c I remember a couple of years ago,
    actually it was the year before last, when we had you on KMEL, the big
    station [Hot 97 equivalent] around here.  Even though you had done the
    interview at my other station at KPFA , it was ironic b/c for the
    first time in 6 or 7 years people here in the Bay Area had heard you.
    The reaction was like 'Yo, I didn 't even know that he was still

    That incident made me realize made me realize, it's like wait a
    second, the dude has been to the Bay Area dozens of times.  But every
    time you came to town or KRS-1 came to town or even Talib or those
    guys there is somebody telling them, green lighting to say 'NO- they
    can't get on these airwaves'.  They would say NO for no rhyme or
    reason.  It would be somebody half your age saying:" Oh no, Chuck is
    too old," or somebody is saying: " KRS is too deep," or " Talib's
    music just ain't right."  I'm just looking at this and I'm seeing at
    something that is almost deliberate...  I don't know if similar
    incidents were taking place around the country.

    I remember one incident where they wouldn't let you on the air, it was
    at a time when we were talking about the Digital Divide & you were in
    the fore front of fighting that and trying to hip people to the
    Internet.  All of sudden, it's like we had people at the station
    saying; 'Naw we can't let Chuck on to talk about computers..  only
    music'.  I'm like; 'Wait a second!  This really concerns the
    community!  He's on the cutting edge, if anybody is gonna get young
    kids to get into technology it might be him so how come you aren't
    green lighting that?  I don't know if that's a phenomenon that is
    taking place all around the country?

    CHUCK D- All around country!!  It's a 2000, 3000 mile box.  I'll put
    it to you this way, Dave, once they found out that they could use a
    Black face to sell to the whole country , a Black face & still sell to
    us, right?

    DAVEY D- Uh huh

    CHUCK D-Maybe you get that Black face in any other position that they
    want.  It's the marketability of how they can use ANY Black face to
    sell across anything that they want.  Once upon a time, if I couldn't
    get on radio nobody couldn't get on radio & rap so nobody had any
    other choice but to scratch & scrape & find it.  They would try & find
    it in areas to look for it.  Once it became accepted then they were
    like a Black face , a Black voice, a Black face , a Black voice- we
    could put it on there.

    If somebody who just has the naive nerve to be just like; " Oh man,
    where has Chuck been?"  I could be on CNN, I could be on HBO & I could
    be on Fox News all in one night and they all say "Where has Chuck
    been?"  While they are sitting in front of the TV watching BET Comic
    View, or listening to KMEL all day long & expect me to pop on there?
    They got you where they want you!  They got you not moving the dial &
    they could sell you anything from chicken neckbones, canned soda..
    anything !  Cause they got your head where they want your head.  We
    are no longer even challenging who's selling us what.  It's a shame
    that they know what comedians do b/c they watch Comic View or Martin
    Lawrence who got a special.  Come on now.  We know more whereabouts of
    the comedians & rappers who get arrested & in trouble more than people
    who actually do something for the community.  So you shouldn't be
    surprised to hear artists that come along that say to themselves; "If
    I get arrested maybe I get publicity".

    Yeah b/c that's free publicity getting arrested.  Now you got cats
    that will say; "Yeah I will do 6 months- I will get a big enough news
    story that I will get 200,000 units".  How twisted is that?  We just
    think that as long as there is a Black face coming to me, I am with
    it.  That's the biggest strip in the plan...

    The people aren't people, the media has turned Black people into
    SHEEPLE.  Following shepherds who are wolves dressed in sheep's
    clothing.  To where?  Just like sheep go to slaughter, hey use Hip-Hop
    as a counter intelligence program to garner people in like a Pied

    Yeah we gonna drag you in w/ this & it's gonna be a big hook & a big
    worm & we gonna put all y'all on a plate to feast.  Who's actually
    gonna go to the feast?  Well, the culprits all have their names, big
    business or whatever it might be, you got Black faces sitting at the
    table too.  Sayin' "Yessim massa!"  It's like the House N***a is
    actually the one that is getting the 8-9 figures & everybody is sayin'
    well it's the House N***a, he is the one that made it big!  He's the
    big money makin' man.  Yeah he's the House N***a that is sitting next
    to The Man.  Now when I say the word N***a , first of all , even when
    you can't say it, ya know people can't say the word in such a way
    that's so negative that's only negative connotations to me.  They
    might say it that you can't say it ,that I am condoning N***a
    activity.  When you condone N***a activity they praise it, they put it
    on a pedestal & at the end of the day they say that there is a problem
    in Hip-Hop, there is a problem in our community, b/c the same
    N***a-izm that you put on a pedestal & praise, it happens to be around
    them.  It reeks & it stinks & you try to ask where the problem be?

    Now, none of us are saints, we do music, we do Hip-Hop music or
    whatever.  My whole problem was that too many adults have brought too
    many kids to the table.  Let the kids be kids.  You got 29 & 30 year
    old makin' songs, selling songs being in companies , running TV
    stations, running radio outlets & they have brought children to the
    party- they brought children to the club.  They got children wearing
    clothes that adults wear.  My whole thing is as an adult you have that
    right, at 14, 13, 12 you don't have those rights w/ out navigation.
    Everybody comes down on R.  Kelly but it has been 10 years of people
    that have adopted pedophilia in the media!  Bob Dole is sitting around
    w/ a Pepsi can looking at a teenager, I mean that's White society but
    in videos you se a 12 year old going;"Ooohh, oohh.."  What a 12 year
    old know about a club?  What a 12 year old know about a pool party?

    At the same time, you got adults saying, "Well you know, I gotta eat,
    I gotta eat!"  So they will sell anything b/c the first people that
    are gonna be impartial are on adult life is somebody that ain't even a
    adult yet.  A 30 year old will be like; "Yeah, I listen to KMEL, but I
    ain't gonna be going 'Ooohh, ooh' let me request this song."  So when
    people are up there trying to say "Well, we gotta go by the number one
    request."  Who you gonna think running up to the phone other than a

    DAVEY D- Right (Laughing)

    CHUCK D-Somebody gonna be sittin' up in the car sayin "Yeah I listen
    to it."  but a adult might want to hear about Kam.  He might wanna
    hear Guru.  An adult might wanna hear E-40 , he might not wanna here
    Jadakiss on the first listen.  But at the same time they ain't gonna
    want to request nothing on the radio.  When you judge people based on
    the quantity as opposed to their quality of life & you look at them as
    just numbers, that is no different than slavery.  That's where
    Hip-Hop/ Black music/the Black community that's why it's in a rut
    right now.  The people screaming about the problems, they can't do no
    screaming now b/c they chasing it on a pedestal.  The same thing that
    they're complaining about is pertinent to aspect to where we are at
    right now.

    DAVEY D-Wow that's a lot to take in.

    CHUCK D-That's what I've been saying Dave, somebody sayin' it's not
    business , it's just the way it is.  Somebody sayin' "Wow that's
    deep."  It's not deep that's unfortunate b/c it's not deep it's the
    obvious.  Like I said, it's too bad that common sense, ain't common.
    So people pass it up & say "Oh man, brotha's deep."  and 20 years ago
    it would be like he's a grown cat just speaking his mind & what's


    DAVEY D- That makes sense & all that.  Just before I wrap this up, a
    couple of things- KRS-One is on record saying he paid Funkmaster Flex
    $40,0000 to play his record & Funkmaster Flex only played it one time.
    How common is this phenomenon of money being exchanged for airplay &
    even on the level where it's not even the Program director but it's a
    DJ like Flex?  What is this doing for the Rap game?  Is this enhancing
    it?  Is it just business as usual?  We play the game if we get into
    it?  Or is this messing things up for everybody?

    CHUCK D- It's a cycle of greed that takes place when people instead of
    doing their job feel that they have the power.  the Source Magazine
    has their Power 50 or 40 or whateva number that it is [Power 30] ,
    they got faces in there that have nothing to do w/ Hip-Hop.  So what
    if you're a head of a big radio conglomerate?  What that got to do
    with power & Hip-Hop?  That's like saying George Bush might as well be
    one of those power brokers in Hip-Hop b/c he is President of this
    country.  Come on now!  I think it's a cycle of greed.

    Once a upon a time, Hip-Hop as an industry had everybody was on the
    same accord so a balancing act had to take place.  In the 1980's
    college radio DJ' s were just happy to see their name on a back of a
    record, like Run would put on the back of Rock the House, Profile
    Records, Rush Management & Run DMC would make the effort to thank a
    Lady B[Well known Philly DJ and pioneer].  Later on Public Enemy would
    make the effort to thank a Beni B [Bay Area Hip Hop Coalition, Davey D
    & Marcus Clemmons[DJ at SF community station KP00].  As we went
    further along a lot of these record companies and DJs got greedy.  The
    DJ's went from getting their name acknowledged, then they got the free
    hats & t-shirts.  All of a sudden the college & the street play meant
    a lot more then it did previously.

    DAVEY D-Hmm

    CHUCK D- Then in the mid 90's when the corporations started to get
    involved started going tit for tat.  They began using big corporate
    money to swing guys in.  They were flying people to Hawaii & bringing
    them to different places & just lacing them.  So if a DJ just happen
    to get free records from a label & they got laced out & they were just
    a college jock from Tulsa, Oklahoma, you know they was thankful!  So
    for the first time in 80's they was getting acknowledged & getting
    catered to w/ no structure around them at all.  There was nobody
    watching and setting a standard.  If you hit off a DJ real nice & give
    them some play for the first time in their life when they going to
    college, you as a record label, got them in the pocket.  All that got
    out of hand b/c everybody, in the record industry if you not inventing
    a method then you copy a method.  All of a sudden you got all these
    sub-labels under 5 or 6 major record labels all trying to do the same
    method.  All you got to do is check the waist lines of all the Rap DJs
    & college DJs in the mid 90's-late 90's.  Record labels reps were
    getting Diner's Cards & they was feeding these DJs just like pigs in
    the sloth.  "Come on over little piggy- we'll feed you, we'll feed you
    to the point of no return.  By the end of the century you had all of
    these rap radio DJ's who were all over 280 pounds.At one point, a guy
    like Flex had to check himself because he had gained so much weight.

    DAVEY D- That is so funny, but people joke about that but that is
    true.  That would be the trick, take everybody to dinner.

    CHUCK D-Yup!Let them pig out.  So if the food didn't work, then cats
    was getting hit off with cars.  It was the same thing that happened
    back in the days in the 50's when you had so many record companies
    operating making 45s & the DJ was getting 150 45s every two weeks.
    How are they going to fit it in the whole time?  So that was when the
    first levels of PAYOLA was in effect & they had to get that regulated.

    Nobody was going to pay attention to Rap music b/c Rap music was
    pretty much relegated to college shows & mix shows on major radio.
    This was under the radar so to speak.  It was under the radar but the
    music was so contagious that although it was under the radar the music
    just caught on like wild fire anyway.  Cats got influence and cats got
    hit off all the way to the point that somebody like a was Flex getting
    a record played in New York could demand price tag of $40,000 to play
    it once.  That is too much power to any individual b/c the airwaves
    belong to the people.  They don't belong to a company.  At least the
    was the formal understanding.  You are not gonna put the airwaves in
    the hands of 2 or 3 individuals in front of 15-16 million people.
    Somebody got to put that back in check or put that person back in
    check b/c it's just too much power.

    That is the same thing that goes on w/ MTV or even BET.  You got
    people sitting around a table judging what's a video, what's not a
    video.  That's why I say these situations are very easy to attack, if
    you feel that the community is not getting the proper say so and a Rap
    Label is not getting the proper representation it is very easy to go
    to BET and try to figure out who sits around the table and judges
    these videos and end up making a 12 year old wear a thong to the 8th
    grade.  You can find out about these people real quick.  Who makes the
    decisions on what.  It's only a few outlets-BET,MTV,M2 ,Much Music.
    As far as radio you got Clear Channel, Emmis, Radio One Those 3 are
    the main culprits.

    DAVEY D- Right

    CHUCK D- The biggest thing is that what you want to do is if you want
    influence, you want to change some of the imagery, get it by the
    culprits.  I will put it to you in real plain speak-, when you go into
    the kitchen & your kitchen is infested- you got a problem.  When you
    turn on the light them roaches start running but turning on the light
    is just identifying their name & that's why we use the Internet.  Get
    their name around, get their address and their names.  You don't have
    to threaten them, all you gotta do is pass their names around.

    DAVEY D- Well, that's something to think about.  CHUCK D- In the case
    of KRS-1 or myself we are always in the public eye & we are always on
    'Jump street'.  My whole thing is like I just welcome people to the
    party.  People know me so why don't people know you?

    DAVEY D-Right

    CHUCK D- Steven Hill runs BET so a lot of times when I have a
    discussion w/ Steven Hill & I'm beating him up I'm like 'come on now,
    come on'.  Lyor Cohen runs Def Jam- people should know this.  Black
    people are lacking, it's almost like the knowledge that we have is
    just as painful as having no knowledge at all.  You have to be
    thorough w/ information in order to make a judgment call.  So when
    someone actually clear enough to make a judgment call it is easier for
    someone that doesn't know anything at all to pass it off and say; "Oh
    man, he's just bitter."  Of course it sounds like the House N***a who
    is looking in the field & when the field brother looks at him & says;
    "Damn, sometimes I want to get in there & get a glass of water."  The
    House N***a says:" "I'm in a good position, you are just bitter b/c
    you out there in the field.  You don't even know how good it is to be
    sitting here w/ the massa hitting me off w/ platinum jewelry & big
    rims & get to sleep in the massa's bedroom w/ his girls & his chicks."
    It's the same thing.  We got all the way to the point where here we
    came to 2002 & to where we actually endorse slavery all over again in
    another form.  And it's in a higher form b/c it's mind control.  It's
    intangible, it's not something that you can readily put your finger
    on.  So all them cats that say that they never go back to slavery
    again, think again & just look at yourself & just figure out what
    world you're in.  Is the world outside your head?  Or is the world
    inside your head?

    DAVEY D- Chuck, I appreciate it.  Good luck on everything & if people
    want to get a hold of you they can drop you an email at

    CHUCK D-You can also go to Slamjamz.com or just got to PublicEnemy.com
    & it will take you everywhere you that want to go on the home page.  I
    really appreciate talking to you Dave always.  When we come to the Bay
    Area we are going to build with some people.  I hope people will be
    like " So what's Chuck been doing?"

    DAVEY D- Yup & that is a reality.  Look, appreciate it & thanks a lot
    for that...
    ===========END OF NEWSLETTER===========

    The FNV Newsletter c 2002
    Send comments to:
    peep the websites


     Rap/Hip Hop Music And Parenting
    By Kwaku Person-Lynn, Ph.D.

    In the adult population, from the age 40s on, many of us remember when
    blues, jazz, rhythm & blues and rock & roll started there was
    basically a
    public and parental outcry against those various forms of music. The
    common objections were: "That's devil music;" "That's a bad influence
    on the
    young;" "It drives them to sex and drugs;" "It destroys the moral
    of society." The list is endless.

    Well, guess what, most of us are still here and whatever bad things we
    going to do, we were going to do anyway. Even more ironic, some of the
    people who were critical listen to one or more of those same musical
    and are telling the youth today, regarding rap/hip hop music, "That
    music. You don't know what real music is;" a debate that may never see
    conclusion. There will always be generational differences on various
    of music.

    When rap first came on the scene in the late 1970s, out of The Bronx,
    York, it was a natural creative, musical eruption against disco music.
    music industry was in a serious economic recession. Record companies
    laying off hundreds of employees. It was anxious times for the music
    industry. Desperate moves had to be made. One universal factor played
    critical music decisions at that time; people like to dance. The
    and easiest way to get people to dance, buy records and go to clubs
    was to
    create a mono beat music with little or no meaningful messages. This
    of music came to be known as disco. It was successful and provided a
    short-term economic stimulus for the music industry.

    It may have solved one problem, but the predicament it created was
    than what anyone could imagine for that period. It offered nothing for
    young urban population; what some would refer to as street kids. This
    created a musical void the music industry could not fill. It had to
    from the streets, so to speak, and it did. Rap/hip hop music is now
    biggest money grossing youth music in the world. It has created its
    sub-culture of: music, language, dress, walk, dancing, ways of driving
    car, and has greatly influenced the advertisement, fashion,
    and sports industries. Wherever there are young people, it is almost
    impossible not to hear it. Not even churches are immune. Gospel rap is
    among young devout Christians.

    Because rap/hip hop music is different than any other form of American
    music, and seemingly has no moral boundaries among many of the
    artists, it
    can pose a serious problem for parents raising young children. The art
    in and of itself is not bad, it is the negative themes found in many
    of the
    songs. On the East Coast, where it all began, rap/hip hop music did
    not have
    a reputation problem for the most part. The music was mostly
    youth interest, boosting, bragging, party-time feel good music.
    It was not until NWA and Ice T, West Coast artists, came out with what
    became known at time as "violent rap," which later took on the name,
    "gangsta rap." Profanity (originally started because of anger against
    society, but continued because record producers and executives saw it
    as a
    selling tool), materialism, the degrading of women, sex and drugs
    consistent themes that are now nation-wide. The N word was practically
    resurrected to a new status. The MF word and B word became so common,
    it was
    impossible to hear street conversations without hearing those words
    five to ten seconds. Morality didn't disappear, it got corrupted.

    By the same token, it was rap/hip hop music that addressed issues no
    else wanted to approach, such as: drive-by shootings, the dangers of
    dealing and consumption, not being true to yourself, knowing your
    unprotected sex, and a host of other topics common among the youth
    population. Rap/hip hop music has to constantly endure a damaging
    because the negatives in the music are focused on the most in the
    media, and
    the negatives sale. Watch the first ten minutes of any television
    and you would think that this society has gone to hell. But television
    stations do that to get ratings, which interpret into advertising
    It's all about the money. Artists are reflecting that in their music.

    Parents are hearing it in their homes, which starts many heated
    when the parents banned the music or told their sons and daughters to
    that music off." Many parents are able to keep the negative themes out
    their homes, but once their child steps out of the house, there is
    they can do. It's like putting food in front of a starving person,
    them alone and telling them not to eat. The children should start a
    to have their parents not watch the first ten minutes of the news.

    The harsh reality, nobody can stop this trend unless the artists, and
    society, make a concerted effort to stop. As long as the decadent side
    rap/hip hop music is making huge money, the blood stream of American
    culture, the chances are slim it will ever stop. When young artists,
    producers and executives are rolling in the 'Benjamins', living in
    homes, buying multiple luxury cars, jewelry, cloths and the groupies
    constantly hounding them for attention, those are enormous obstacles
    doing something meaningful.

    Weighing all this, it is easy to see how parents can legitimately feel
    are in a losing battle. It is the equivalent of trying to stop a
    There is some hope on the horizon. The axiom of "If you cannot fight
    join them" is not applicable here. For parents not to lose their
    children to
    the negative aspects of rap/hip hop music, a little effort is
    required. It
    is assumed, hopefully, that parents already know about loving,
    providing for and communicating with their children are mandatory
    requirements in a positive parent/child relationship. But taking that
    step may require a little more.

    For instance, if a parent feels that the less than desirable aspects
    rap/hip hop music are negatively influencing their child, parents
    engage their child in meaningful conversations about the music. The
    would be totally surprised if a parent asks such questions as, "Why is
    Shakur (2 Pac) considered the best rap artist of all time? Why was
    Big considered such a great word technician?" Surprisingly, this can
    generate a long and involved conversation. Then the parent can drop
    real intention: "Why don't you listen to more artists that are saying
    meaningful things? Artists who are not concentrating so much on: sex,
    thug life, belittling females, materialism, not getting an education
    spending life just chillin'?" When asking one of my sons (Jaaye) for a
    of current artists who have some meaningful messages, he gave me the
    following list: Talib Kweli, Xzibit, DJ Quik, Redman & Method Man, Ras
    Nas, Scarface, Common Sense and Outkast. They may have some important
    messages for the youth, but they are not profanity free. Get ready for

    For parents, there is no substitute for building a strong moral
    from day one, before society and peer pressure take over. American
    not the music, is the real culprit here. Just look at the movie
    where sex, violence, profanity and drugs are common everyday themes.
    are, if a solid rock love, communication and support foundation are
    established and consistent in the home from the beginning, the
    negative and
    decadent side of rap/hip hop music influences will more than likely
    have no
    lasting effects. They will be looked at for exactly what they are.
    consistent parental love is the key. Believe it or not, that can
    change the

    Kwaku Person-Lynn is the author of On My Journey Now - The Narrative
    Works Of Dr. John Henrik Clarke, The Knowledge Revolutionary. E-mail
    address: DrKwaku@hotmail.com


     Hot 97 is at it Again!

    > I live in NYC and Hot 97 (97.1 FM), a hip hop and R&B radio station has
    > up
    > some really sexist ads in the subways that really disrespect black women.
    > one
    > add a sisters legs are spread wide open (all you can see are her legs from
    > the
    > back as if she’s on a stage...real misogynistic objectification!) as
    > black men star up into her crotch. In another ad a sister is gambling with
    > some
    > other black men and they are all staring obviously at her very exposed
    > breasts.
    > Hot 97 seems to be on a mission to disrespect and humiliate black women
    > the
    > black community in general...It didn’t begin with the Aalyah incident!.
    > The Star & Buck Wild Show comntinues to be one of the most degrading shows
    > to ever hit the "black" air waves. This "man" Star regularly referes to
    > women as bitches & hoes and black people as monkeys, gorillas,
    > name it! And he's black!
    > Anyways, These
    > ads make me sick and as I get off the trains each day I'm confronted with
    > these disrespectful images of women. It's not enough that this kind of
    > behavior takes place all the time on the subways & men ooogling body
    > harassment, groping etc., now this nonsense is being used to sell a hip
    > and
    > R&B radio station to our community…at the expense of black women! I
    > these ads contribute to an already sexually hostile environment for black
    > women
    > on the subways and streets of NYC. What can we do about them? I'm already
    > boycotting the station which includes all artists and advertisers who
    > contribute
    > or endorse the station. I've been writing very angry letters to the
    > advertisers. But I'm thinking about taking a can of spray paint to these
    > ads.
    > What does everyone think?
    > Jennifer


    By Jeff Chang

    Voice Literary Supplement

    The Hip Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African
    By Bakari Kitwana
    Basic Books, 230 pp., $24

    Without dogma or jargon, Bakari Kitwana's important new book, The Hip Hop
    Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture, cuts to
    the chase. "What will be our generation's contribution to the centuries-long
    African American struggle for liberation, and how do we redefine this
    struggle for our time?" he asks.

    For us freedom-thinking young'ns, Kitwana's emergence as a young Black
    public intellectual is itself as important as the questions he poses. Up
    until now, folks who have been grandfathered into the hip-hop generation
    have interpreted and explained, per DMX, "who we be" to the world. Last
    summer's Hip-Hop Summit, sponsored by 44-year-old music mogul Russell
    Simmons, proffered the brains of author and pundit Michael Eric Dyson,
    Columbia professor Manning Marable, and prophet-turned-rapper Cornel West to
    augment hip-hop's industrial brawn. The three promised to set up a think
    tank, which was kinda like the Impressions saying they'd like to study what
    makes the Neptunes so cool.

    While rappers like KRS-One and Chuck D have been celebrated (and attacked)
    as the hip-hop generation's vanguard, the difference between these
    edutainers and hip-hop generation intellectuals is the difference between
    Nina Simone and Angela Davis. Since the mid '90s, the intellectual output of
    the much maligned, oft misunderstood hip-hop generation itself has expanded
    exponentially. But the hip-hop intellectuals find themselves laboring mostly
    in obscurity, and waiting, often graciously, sometimes angrily, for the baby
    boomers to clear the lane.

    For years, intergenerational conflict has underscored the relationship
    between the civil rights generation and the hip-hop generation. Baby boomers
    of color wholeheartedly supported many of the repressive anti-gang and
    anti-crime laws that led to the widespread racial profiling and jailing of
    youths of color. Although C. Delores Tucker denounced rap misogyny, many
    hip-hop feminists felt her 1995 crusade against gangsta rap was a
    generational attack. "We often see our parents themselves (and their peers)
    as the enemy within," writes Kitwana.

    Kitwana's personal story reflects this tense relationship like Radio
    Raheem's "Love/ Hate" four-finger rings. He was a 19-year-old sophomore
    mechanical engineering major at the University of Rochester
    family of African American migrant workers to attend college
    the tailwinds of the revolution, during a reading by Chicago-based Black
    Power poet and author Haki Madhubuti. After picking up master's degrees in
    English and education, Kitwana followed Madhubuti back to Chicago to take an
    editing job at the Third World Press, a publishing house founded by
    activists specializing in Afrocentric books. Black Power exemplars such as
    Sonia Sánchez, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Kalamu ya Salaam nurtured Kitwana
    there. At one point, Kitwana was tapped as Madhubuti's successor.

    "But," Kitwana says in an interview with the Voice, "I felt that the
    message, as important and as critical as it was, had to be redefined for our
    generation." He moved to New York to join the influential hip-hop magazine
    The Source. The contrast couldn't have been greater
    rollers, agenda-minded to hype-oriented, black-and-white to living color,
    from the past into the future. He might have appeared to fit a Gen X
    stereotype with a hip-hop twist: Seduced by power and money, soft of moral
    and ideological fiber, the career-minded hip-hopper squanders the
    opportunities afforded him by the civil rights activists' frontline heroism.

    Kitwana argues that the truth is much more complicated. The hip-hop
    1984, but which could well apply to youths of all colors who came of age
    with and after Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force's "Planet Rock"
    been shaped by globalization and unemployment, incarceration and racial
    profiling, gender wars and nihilism. Gone forever are the days when "the
    struggle" was simply about fighting segregation. The hip-hop generation is
    beset by economic dislocation, environmental racism, AIDS, inadequate
    schooling, inner-city disinvestment, culture wars, and ya don't stop.

    At the same time, Kitwana notes, the hip-hop generation is the first to grow
    up without the limitations of legal segregation. He writes, "It is
    impossible not to see young Blacks in the 21st century's public square
    television, in film, and on the Internet. Our images now extend far beyond
    crime reports." This is a conundrum: Images of Blacks proliferate in global
    media at a time when they remain politically marginalized. Not many civil
    rights/ Black power intellectuals have fully grasped the implications of
    this turn.

    Hip-hop gen thinkers, largely inspired by early-'60s-born "elders"
    Kitwana terms the "bridge" generation
    Allen, Robin D.G. Kelley, and Greg Tate, have been advancing their own
    thoughtful responses to this new world. Mark Anthony Neal, Ogbonna Ogbar,
    and S. Craig Watkins examine the image of the Black male in music and film.
    Raquel Rivera, Cristina Veran, and Oliver Wang use hip-hop to understand the
    effects of immigration. Everything loops back into the African American
    experience, but there's a whole lot going on in that cultural flow.

    Hip-hop's cross-fading mixology is the perfect analogy for this polycultural
    generation, as Farai Chideya's book The Color of Our Future (1999) makes
    clear. This year's biggest conference, the University of Wisconsin-Madison's
    third annual "Hip-Hop as a Movement," was launched by a white student, Ben
    Runkle, and a biracial student, David Jamil Muhammad. "I'm half Boricua in
    the Nation of Islam and then my boy is this punk-rock kid," laughs Muhammad.
    "I was like, yo, we're the hip-hop generation!"

    Hip-hop intellectuals tend to share a combustible mix of beliefs. They sneer
    at the very idea of "intellectual." They resent being called "apolitical"
    but use "political" as a curse, don't need "radical" to be "chic" but tend
    to abuse the word "revolutionary." They have internalized the most heated
    debates of 30 years ago and may agree with both sides. They prefer hard
    negotiation to taking a hard line, dig independence but don't fear dancing
    with the devil. They are both more equal and more separate. In other words,
    unlike baby boomers, they embrace their contradictions, indeed, throw them
    into the mix.

    All hip-hop intellectuals still labor under the long shadow of baby boomers.
    Take Joan Morgan's classic, When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost. Morgan
    addresses gender issues in the best hip-hop fashion, rocking ample wit,
    candor, style, and, emblematically, ambivalence. As she reaches for the
    right words to describe her generational break with the past, she falls
    Icarus-short, calling us the "post-Civil Rights, post-feminist, post-soul
    children of hip-hop." That long, ugly appellation reveals our insecurity in
    defining ourselves more concretely than simply "post" our parents.

    But although many a hip-hopper's point of view was forged in the heat of
    argument with an elder, Kitwana insists he bears no animus. The Hip-Hop
    Generation takes us beyond a counter-punch reflex. The book synthesizes
    positions into a kind of intergenerational Third Way.

    To Kitwana, as with "bridger" Russell Simmons (my former boss at the late
    360hiphop.com) and his Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HHSAN), the next stage
    requires moving the global reach and the national infrastructure of hip-hop
    toward political power. The Hip-Hop Generation is Kitwana's manifesto. No
    self-esteem-driven mazes or passive-voice philosophizing here. Kitwana
    issues a generational call to bridge culture and politics to pursue an issue
    agenda for the hip-hop generation. He argues for renewed focus on education,
    employment, reparations, business development, health care, and

    Equal parts generational critique, pro-Black youth polemic, op-ed analysis,
    and hip-hop Molotov, Kitwana's book has already garnered comparisons to
    Harold Cruse's brilliant 1967 rant against Black leaders, The Crisis of the
    Negro Intellectual. It may be closer in spirit to another classic of that
    year, Kwame Ture and Charles Hamilton's Black Power. Kitwana hasn't yet
    achieved Cruse's depth or Ture and Hamilton's focus, but The Hip-Hop
    Generation passionately makes its point: The Black community can only move
    forward if it stops living in the past.

    Kitwana blames the civil-rights-gen leadership, in part, for their failure
    to address the hip-hop generation's poor education, high unemployment, and
    unprecedented incarceration rates. The flagging power of civil rights
    organizations, like the NAACP and the Urban League, is directly linked to
    their exclusion of a more youthful voice. "If these organizations take our
    issues and our agenda and make them the centerpiece of their own agenda,
    they're going to breathe new life into their own organizations. Those
    organizations are going to inevitably change, and become more relevant,"
    Kitwana said in a recent interview.

    But Kitwana also decries images of nihilism in rap videos and hip-hop
    movies. He believes no generation has ever seen an uglier war between the
    sexes. He rips the hip-hop generation for being enamored with celebrity
    worship and materialist fantasy. In fact, this year's UCLA nationwide
    freshman survey
    participated in some kind of political demonstration than students at the
    peak of the civil rights movement. Still, the point is taken: We've got work
    to do.

    Kitwana's pragmatism argues against ideological rigidity and dismisses both
    civil rights and hip-hop era orthodoxy. "We don't mythologize the social
    gains of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, because having experienced the
    benefits of these gains firsthand, we know they weren't panaceas," he
    writes. But if many hip-hoppers believe that debates over the usage of
    "bitch" or "baby mama" are just played-out semantic games with sensitive old
    folks, Kitwana systematically attaches facts, citing evidence that two out
    of three Black marriages now end in divorce.

    Hip-hop, Kitwana argues, can be the solution. The global hip-hop industry
    offers a powerful infrastructure that can be turned toward transformative,
    liberating purposes. A generational agenda can be pursued in a "unified
    front" merging culture and politics.

    Simmons's HHSAN has already been working this angle. But Kitwana has sharp
    criticism for the HHSAN, at one point calling it an organization that runs
    "the same game with another name" for the benefit of music execs and
    entrenched civil rights leaders. Kitwana argues the HHSAN has neither
    reached out to hip-hop activists nor fostered hip-hop gen leadership.
    Mercifully, he stops short of inviting the HHSAN to holla at the hip-hop
    activists he highlights. Yet his critique fails to clarify how he proposes
    to create this "unified front." Where might we find common ground between
    music execs and anti-globalization activists?

    Hip-hop culture has impressively energized global and local motion among
    disaffected youths. From Poland to Cuba to South Korea, the voice of young
    rage is hip-hop. In communities like Selma, Alabama, and San Francisco,
    California, hip-hop activists have begun building substantial power bases.
    And Los Angeles City Council president Alex Padilla, Detroit mayor Kwame
    Kilpatrick, and Newark City Council candidate Ras Baraka (the son of Amiri
    Baraka) point to the coming wave in electoral politics.

    But can hip-hop culture, now a precious commodity, really do the work? For
    Kitwana's Third World Press mentors, politics
    African decolonization and American civil rights activism
    Kitwana and the hip-hop intellectuals are faced with the opposite dilemma.
    In this generation, the culture must foster a politics. "The real question
    is this," he writes. "Why should hip-hop generationers continue to
    participate in and support a multibillion-dollar industry if it fails to in
    any way address the critical problems facing our generation?" Well, we built
    it. Is it hip-hop's
    accelerate entropy? As Gangstarr would say, the question remains.

    [Cuz hella folks' still trying to get published!]

    Farai Chideya, The Color of Our Future (1999)

    Brian Cross, It's Not About A Salary: Rap, Race, and Resistance in Los
    Angeles (1993)

    Rob Kenner, ed. Hip-Hop Divas (2001)

    Aaron McGruder, The Boondocks (2000)

    Joan Morgan, When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost (1999)

    Kevin Powell, ed. Step Into A World: A Global Anthology of the New Black
    Literature (2000)

    William Upski Wimsatt, Bomb The Suburbs (1995)

    ZEN'Z 10-4-10
    [10 words for 10 records]

    Mr. Lif-Emergency Rations EP
    As many people lectured me: protest music--not dead. Yeah!

    Augustus Pablo-East of the River Nile, 25th Anniversary Edition
    Are you satisfied with J-Live's version? Try the original.

    No more Fela comparisons. Do the diaspora with Pan-Afrobeat.

    Cassandra Wilson-Belly of The Sun
    Might have been more, but it's still more than enough.

    Ruts DC vs. Mad Professor vs. Zion Train-Rhythm Collision + Remixes
    Classic white punks on dub--so nice it's dubbed twice.

    Paul Nice-Breaks For Days
    This is what it sounds like when diggers cry. Bananas.

    Sizzla-The Story Unfolds
    Don't mind the other seventy releases last year, get this.

    Gang of Four-Solid Gold
    Blinking. Paralyzed. Why don't they make it like this anymore?

    Bounty Killer-Ghetto Dictionary: The Art of War & The Mystery
    Keep him and his multiple personalities away from nuclear weapons.

    Blackalicious-Blazing Arrow
    As the immortal Tuff Crew asked: what, you don't know?


    © 2002 Jeff Chang


     The Hip Hop Manifesto
    Min. Paul Scott

    For too many years the Afrikan community has allowed
    the negative side of Hip Hop to completely dominate
    the positive. We have allowed radio stations to play
    the same 10 songs over and over again, which talk loud
    and say nothing, while the artists whose words could
    uplift the Afrikan community, struggle to get their
    messages out to the masses.

    While corporate America will say that they are just
    supplying a demand, we do not believe the hype. We do
    not believe that it is a case of  "giving the people
    what they want" but giving the people what you want
    them to have and that is music that will keep them
    mentally, socially and spiritually oppressed.

    We believe that the masses of Afrikan people are fed
    up with the negativity that aids the genocide of
    Afrikan people, disrespects our Sisters and guides are
    youth down a path of destruction.

    We believe that given  a choice, the masses of Afrikan
    people will choose music that will uplift the Black
    community instead of tearing it down.

    We have declared May 27th as Hip Hop Reformation Day
    and we are appealing to all community activists,
    conscious rappers, spoken word artists, Black
    organizations, educators and religious institutions to
    raise their voices in support of the life enriching
    messages of our Brothers and Sisters who speak TRUTH
    to our people and against the forces which have used
    Hip Hop to keep us mentally enslaved.

    In preparation for Hip Hop Reformation Day, we appeal
    to the conscious rappers and poets to send their best
    materials to radio stations and recording companies.
    We also urge the Afrikan community to compile a list
    of positive rap CD's by both local and national
    artists and send it to their local radio stations.
    This will alleviate the excuse that there is no
    positive material available for the radio stations to

    On May 27th, we will flood radio station request lines
    across the country asking them to play songs by
    Conscious rap artists. We will visit local CD stores
    and ask them to stock positive CD's. We encourage all
    those who are having Memorial Day cook outs and other
    gatherings to play Conscious music and to mix in some
    speeches by our Afrikan leaders. We encourage our
    Brothers and Sisters to wear African attire instead of
    what is referred to as Hip Hop gear. Lastly, Brothers
    will refer to each other as "my Brotha" or  "Black
    Man", instead of  "my dog" or  "my nigga"  and sisters
    as, "my Sista"  or Queen instead of Ho or chickenhead.

    When we do this we will make this Memorial Day a day
    for our children and grandchildren to remember. It
    will be known throughout the ages as the day that the
    Conscious Brotha's and Sista's took over!

    For more information email: operationmedia@yahoo.com

     How Hip Hop Destroyed Black Power

    Min. Paul Scott

    From the moment Stokley Carmichael (Kwame Ture')
    grabbed the mic and yelled Black Power ! the phrase
    has struck fear in the heart of white America. Not
    that they were overly concerned that we posed some
    sort of military or economic threat, as the white
    power structure had those two options on "lock" but
    possibility that the phrase would galvanize the masses
    of Black youth to action and motivate them to do more
    than get their grove on Saturday night and their
    praise on Sunday morning sent chills up the spines of
    those who had a vested interest in holding the Black
    community down. Something had to be done to destroy
    this uncompromising desire for FREEDOM, JUSTICE and

    The blackploitation movies of the 70's were a good try
    as they served as a funkier alternative to the Black
    Nationalist struggle. However, even the pimps and
    pushers were Struggling against "the man."  Also,
    during that period, the blood of the Black Panthers
    and our other martyrs was still fresh on the pavements
    of many neighborhoods of Black America.

    So the weapon of choice was a movement of young Black
    teenagers who had developed a system of
    organization that could do anything from educate
    children about the historical struggle of African
    people to turning the deadliest gang rivalry into a
    break dance competition.

    First, the power structure tried to ban rap music
    altogether by strengthening indecency laws in states
    where rappers performed and forcing them to place
    parental guidance stickers on their albums. But the
    contradiction of having those who have robbed,
    killed and murdered every culture on the planet
    serving, as morality police was too much to swallow.
    Also problematic was the fact that to them the members
    of the 2 Live Crew and Public Enemy were

    So they fell back on their old standard "if you can't
    beat them, corrupt them." It was not an overnight,
    hostile takeover but a slow, cunning infiltration,
    kind of like the annoying scratchy throat that you
    ignore until it has you sick in bed for two weeks. By
    then it is too late.

    What arose was a Hip Hop nation that held no
    allegiance to the Black Nation as the hip Hop nation
    was all inclusive and anyone regardless of race,
    class, religion or political views where anyone who
    had 15 dollars to buy a CD and could imitate the style
    of dress from glossy magazine covers could be down.

    There is a saying in Afrocentric circles that when the
    European missionaries came to Africa they had the
    Bible and we had the land and when they left, we had
    the Bible and they had the land. In terms of Hip Hop,
    when the white missionaries in the form of corporate
    executives came to the 'hood they had the 20 inch rims
    and courvoisier and we had the music, when they left,
    we had the rims and courvoisier and they had the
    music. We traded our dashikis for Rockawear, our
    African medallions for platinum chains and our souls
    for a moment to shine in front of white America. As it
    is said, we crossed over and couldn't get black.
    Black Power became an example of racism in reverse and
    a term that should have gone out with the Afro pick.

    Hip Hop should serve as the background music for the
    Black Nation and should be heard pumpin' through
    speakers at every uprising, protest, or demonstration.
    However, the forces, which control Hip Hop, have taken
    measures to make sure that the Hip Hop Nation and the
    Black Power Nation never unite. While most rappers
    would swear on their mammas' graves that they are in
    control of their Hip Hop destinies, I can not help to
    think that behind the back stage curtain at every rap
    concert  is an oldwhite "Wizard of the 'hood"
    carefully manipulating the lives of our children.

    What we have here is a failure to communicate; a
    convesation that never happened. A dialogue between
    the Black Nation and the Hip Hop Nation has been
    skillfully blocked by the white power structure. While
    talk shows often pit Harvard educated, middle class
    journalist, Bob Smith against straight up gangsta, MC
    Cut Throat, I have yet to see a debate between "MC Cut
    Throat" and straight up Black militant, revolutionary,
    "Bro. Shaka Zulu."

    We must not be afraid of alienating our children (as
    many of them cannot become more alienated, anyway) by
    engaging them to observe Hip Hop against the back
    drop of the struggle for Black LIBERATION. As many of
    them pride themselves on being the "realist" and
    shocking white America with their lyrics that talk
    loud and say nothing, we must teach them of the
    ancestors who were really controversial and were
    rewarded with a bullet in the head or noose around
    their necks and not heavy rotation on a radio station.

    We must not be afraid to use the term
    "anti-afrikanism" in describing some of the
    disrespect that white corporate America gives us in
    the guise of entertainment.  While it may be
    too early to grill Lil Bow Wow on his views on the
    mental genocide of Afrikan people, it is not only
    proper; but our responsibility, to engage 30 something
    year old Black men on their views on colonialism. If
    they are able to tell our children about the correct
    way to sell crack or murder another Black man, the
    issue of white supremacy should not intimidate them in
    the least.

    Although many would like to write off the age of Black
    Consciousness as a lost era ;if you walk outside on a
    warm summer night, after the last video has played on
    BET, if you listen closely you can still hear the
    voices of the ancestors shouting black power, Black
    Power, BLACK POWER!

    Minister Paul Scott is founder of the New Righteous
    Movement based in Durham NC, which teaches Afrikan
    Liberation Theology.  He can be reached at


    Official Battle Statement to Corporate Structures and Powers that Be.

    (May. 9, 2002) A Tribe Called Quest once said, "Industry Rule Number
    4,080/Record company people are shady"..Well get ready for INDUSTRY RULE

    Hiphop icon, KRS-ONE has recently released "The Real Hiphop is Over Here" a
    blazin' response to Nelly's diss featured on Beanie Sigel and Freeway's
    "Rock The Mic" remix. Nelly's verse on the tail end of the single vehemently
    attacks KRS-ONE. The "Real Hiphop" single is quickly gaining momentum and is
    a sign of the summer months ahead.

    "I'm sending a message to Nelly, his management team, and the entire
    corporate structure of the recording industry (namely Universal Records)
    that you cannot be insensitive to our cultural traditions and elders." Says
    KRS-ONE. "Furthermore, I am organizing a strategic campaign designed to
    topple Nelly's record sales. I am saying to the record buying public and
    real hiphoppas.. DON'T buy Nelly's album on June 25th. Unfortunately Nelly
    will serve as the sacrificial lamb to anyone that feels that they can battle
    me on any level." However, the question remains.is KRS-ONE bringing the heat
    to Beanie, Freeway, Roc-a-Fella and Def Jam camp as well? The answer can be
    found in KRS-ONE's Official Battle Statement (see attached).

    KRS-ONE's plans to release "The Real Hiphop is Over Here" on his forthcoming
    September 2002 album, "Kristyle" are unclear at this time. He is currently
    preparing to celebrate the 5th Annual Hiphop Appreciation Week May 13th -
    20th , with activities to be held in Atlanta and Los Angeles. For more
    information visit www.templeofhiphop.org.

    "The Real Hip Hop Is Over Here!" (Battle statement by: KRS-ONE)

    Well,. after speaking with Nelly's management, and after consulting with a
    few other un-named associates, in addition to some hard contemplation of my
    own, as well as after reading many of the e-mail responses and hearing some
    of the radio responses to Nelly's performance on the re-mix of "Rock the
    Mic"," I've come to the conclusion that a battle (or rather a response) to
    Nelly's comments may just be good for Hiphop after all. The last thing I
    wanted to do was look like I was using a battle with Nelly to somehow boost
    my career. However, my personal wants may be unimportant in the larger
    scheme of separating real Hiphop from fake hip-hop for future Hiphop

    I had put forth an "olive branch" statement which Nelly, and his management,
    ignored! I had kept as quiet as I could. Even though I am well prepared for
    any threat, I chose to practice restraint. His management and production
    team had even sent me some tracks for my Kristyle album (only later to take
    them back). Now I am wondering what makes Nelly think he can call me out
    like this? What made the staff of Universal, Roc-a-Fella or Def Jam records
    think it was wise to allow Nelly to appear on such a re-mix and make such a
    statement? As I listen to Nelly's weak dis, and as I read some of these
    ignorant e-mail responses, I constantly hear a repeated reference to KRS-ONE
    being old and trying to make a come-back .Many of these ill advised comments
    miss the whole point that I make when I suggest that we, as Hiphoppas, have
    an important responsibility to the future preservation of what we call

    How long are we (Hiphoppas) going to sit quietly and allow these major
    recording institutions to validate what success is for our culture and way
    of life? How long are we going to allow rap music performers to participate
    in our cultural degradation and international humiliation? I'm not talking
    about what a rapper's video looks like, or the content of a rapper's song.
    I'm talking about the idea of an industry of rappers, deejays, music
    editors, radio programmers and television producers allowing cultural elders
    to be disrespected by new-comers when such disrespect breaks Hiphop's
    cultural continuity! Even if my critique of Nelly's image is debatable,
    where is the respect for my cultural seniority and acquired wisdom. Do I not
    know what I am talking about? Or are we at a point in hip-hop where cultural
    contribution takes a back seat to record sales?

    Normally, I would have just sat this one out. But as I think about it, there
    seems to be more at stake here than whether I am perceived as arrogant,
    contradictory, or trying to make a come-back. The lesson that must be taught
    to those recording corporations, doing business with Hiphop Kulture, is that
    they cannot think their artist can disrespect a cultural elder and not
    expect a fierce cultural retaliation! Nelly is only a symbol for rappers
    that are willing to trample over the achievements and developments of over
    30 years of Hiphop Kulture! However, the real battle is with those major
    distributors of rap music that care little for the preservation of Hiphop's
    culture, and actually disrespect us as they exploit us! This is
    unacceptable! Nelly may perform in ignorance because he is new to the game.
    But someone, knowledgeable of Hiphop's history, should have fore-warned him.
    Unfortunately this did not happen, and as a result, he (and his distributor)
    will serve as an example to all recording corporations that allow such
    mistakes to occur.

    It is of extreme importance that all true Hiphoppas concern themselves with
    the idea that being an elder, being a classic, being an adult, being a
    longtime contributor to Hiphop's cultural continuity is not something to be
    looked down upon; but in fact, it is something to look up to. Such a status
    is something to look forward to. A community that respects only what is
    young and new, lacks even the wisdom to continue itself. It cannot even
    learn from its own past successes and failures because it does not respect
    the collective voice of its experienced leaders. Such a community is bound
    to continuously repeat the mistakes of its past, or trap itself in
    continuously re-inventing its own wheel-- never learning, never growing,
    never developing.

    As I think about this whole thing, it becomes obvious to me that we shall
    all become elders of this or that one day. That our children shall also be
    elders one day. But what if being an elder is not cool? What if being an
    adult is not cool? What if being wise and experienced is not respected by
    our children? Do we not then find ways to destroy ourselves at younger and
    younger ages? This i