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August 2004 Archives

August 6, 2004

Blogging Is Hard

According to page 13 of Blogville for Dummies, blogging works best if you do it everyday. I'm not sure if that's always true, but I know traffic is much higher when I maintain my daily regimen here, and plummets almost instantly when I fall off the pace.

So whenever I miss a day or two, I feel like I better break the silence with something extra special, to draw people back in.. that makes me get picky and say "just linking to this little article is not good enough, I'll come back later when I have a cooler idea." Then the blog stays silent for another day, I feel even more pressure to make up for the drought and get even pickier, and next thing you know I haven't posted in a week and I'm embarrassed to show my face around here.

Do any of you face similar issues? How do you break the cycle of shame? Is there some kind of pill I can take for this, Blogitol or something? Maybe I shouldn't have deleted all that comment spam.

Prince and Rick James

EDIT: Just after I posted this, and discussed Rick James in the previous post, the news broke that Rick died this morning. Wow. I kinda feel bad for having posted something so trivial in that context, but it was purely coincidental, and I think I will leave this up, if only to document that he was on our minds at the moment his loss was revealed.


[original post from before the news broke]

A member of our extended DJ family, who shall remain nameless, was recruited recently to DJ for a few of Prince's afterparties on his current concert tour.

At one of the parties someone came over from the VIP area to ask if our friend had any Rick James.. he promptly fished out "Give It to Me Baby," but before Rick made could make it through the first verse one of Prince's assistants rushed over with a look of concern. "Prince doesn't like this song," she instructed him, "please mix out of it immediately."

When our friend pointed out the guest who had requested it she rolled her eyes and explained "Oh, that's Morris Day, don't pay him any mind." Evidently Morris knew what would happen, and was playing a little joke.

Rick James, 1948-2004

Damn. Just when his name had become so big again thanks to Dave.

Farewell, Rick. We will be forever grateful for the funk. I hope Mary Jane will be there to greet you, wherever you are headed.

August 7, 2004

Black August

Is it this time of year again already?

Black August 2004

David Banner and Talib Kweli have been tapped to headline the 7th Annual Black August Hip Hop Benefit Concert taking place in New York City on Sunday. The concert is produced by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. It’s held in August and according to organizers, that particular month should be honored as a time of reflection.

“The first Afrikans were brought to Jamestown as slaves in August of 1619, so August is a month during which Blacks/New Afrikans can reflect on our current situation and our self-determining rights,” the official website for the concert reads.

dead prez, Jean Grae, Saigon and Flo Brown will round out the evening’s performers. Fat Joe, The Roots, Mos Def, Keith Murray and others are previous performers. Surprise guests are known to drop in and participate in the festivities.

In addition to the traditional U.S. show, an international show will take place August 14th in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Previous international shows took place in Cuba and South Africa. The concept of Black August originated in the California penal system and the history and ideology was conceived by Khatari Gaulden, leader of the prison movement group Black Guerilla Family.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased through Ticketmaster or by calling 212.307.7171

I notice David Banner is not on the flyer, dunno if that means he dropped out.. should be worth seeing either way though.

TV Gods, Please Make This Show Happen

anneformerlyinbrazil: i feel like jay-z and beyonce's relationship is like some arranged marriage
anneformerlyinbrazil: like very formal
anneformerlyinbrazil: i dunno why
jsmooth: HAha
anneformerlyinbrazil: her parents are so involved in everything
jsmooth: yeah
jsmooth: i really want that reality show
anneformerlyinbrazil: i can just see jigga coming to the knowles house with gifts
anneformerlyinbrazil: and like everyone sitting around the living room
anneformerlyinbrazil: i don't know where i came up with that but it's stuck in my head

This Also Must Be Televised

I mean, like, seriously. Dude.

Can we take up a collection for one of us to put in the winning bid, and blog about the evening? That would be pulitzer material.

(via SFJ)

August 8, 2004

L.A. Reid: Joe Budden is "Too Wordy"

I hate that, when rappers get all wordy.

Def Jam's New Tune

It's near midnight on a recent Wednesday, but for Antonio (L.A.) Reid, the new CEO of Island Def Jam music—he took over in February—the workday isn't done. He's spent hours with young staffers critiquing music to be released soon on Def Jam, the hip-hop label. He's dancing in his seat and issuing sharp opinions on everything he hears. "I like this record, but sometimes he gets too wordy,'' Reid says of a cut by rapper Joe Buddens. Despite his take-charge approach, others are openly skeptical about Reid. For one, Russell Simmons, the hip-hop icon who cofounded Def Jam but sold it years ago, worries the stylish Reid may be ill-suited for the scrappy world of hard-core hip-hop. "L.A. Reid is one of the best record men in the business, but he doesn't hang out with [Def Jam artist] DMX. I'm with rappers every day. Managing them is a cultural process,'' says Simmons. "These are the things that made Def Jam...''

...Simmons, who is hugely influential in the hip-hop community, is uncertain whether he will have a role at the company he cofounded. His position as Def Jam chairman was cut short late last year when, he says, Universal Music ended his contract without notice. "I don't know what's going to happen," Simmons says. Reid says he wants to work with Simmons, though they have not talked at length. "I'd love to keep that relationship," says Reid.

Their apparent differences may be difficult to bridge. "What new thing are we trying to build?" Simmons asks. He worries that the Def Jam brand may be diluted with smooth and styled R&B stars...

August 9, 2004

Preemptive Backlash

Is it too early for me to say I'm sick of Shyne already?

Rise & Shyne

He's locked up in a maximum-security prison on a 10-year sentence. But rapper Jamal (Shyne) Barrow doesn't see why that has to dampen his career. "It's like Ray Charles or Stevie Wonder, they had their handicaps," the hip-hop star tells the Daily News over the phone from the Clinton State Correctional Facility in upstate New York. "It didn't stop them from making their mark."

Umm, ok, i guess...?

August 10, 2004

President Bush vs. Bart Simpson

The resemblance is uncanny:

Too bad George didn't even have a book cover to work off of..

Masta Ace and Wordsworth, Writtens and "Freestyles"

Masta Ace and Wordsworth came by the show last week, and we got into a three way rant about the proper relationship between writtens and freestyles, and how the definition of "freestyle" has been altered over the years. Then they gave a demonstration of how the two can work together. Wordsworth was under the weather and sitting way back in his seat, but still held his own quite nicely.

Cocaine Blunts recently posted the Casual vs. Saafir battle, a textbook case of what I was talking about with Ace and Wordsworth, how ridiculous folks have gotten with this "freestyles are always better than writtens" orthodoxy they've caged themselves into.

Saafir comes with writtens aimed directly at Cas and their history together, and even stumbling through half the verses clearly blows Cas' "when you rap you're a sap and you know that" freestyles out of the water. But some will still proclaim Heiro the winners, often even admitting that Saafir came harder, but declaring him disqualified because kicking writtens in a battle is "not allowed." This is pure insanity.

The extremism on this issue has become profoundly unhealthy for the culture, one of the worst things that ever happened to the art of emceeing. As I've said on okayplayer about fortyleven times, folks who uphold these laws usually think they are "keeping it true" or something, but they are actually shitting all over hip-hop's traditions.


[sidenote: at the end of Ace's 2nd verse he dropped a "faggot", to which I yelled "HEEEEY!" and shook my head, but listening now I wish I'd made it a little clearer on the mic that I was expressing disapproval.. I'm not sure that came across effectively. You'll hear Ace correct himself afterwards, to his credit..]

August 12, 2004

Montreal Graffiti Vol. 3 - Supersize Edition

I'm trying out imageshack.us to host my photos, instead of filling up space on my own servers.. All these pieces are in a magical graffiti wonderland I found after walking through this little alley on St. Catherine and Rue de Bullion.

click on each thumbnail for the full-sized image

Debra Dickerson Pays Us A Visit

The irrepressible need for all minor public figures to google themselves has struck again, this time bringing much-maligned author Debra Dickerson to our humble pages. You may peruse our colloquy here.

EDIT: Scroll down a bit on this page to find yet another visit from Ms. Dickerson.

George W. Bush and Wordsworth, Writtens and "Freestyles"

Why didn't Wordsworth tell us about this when he came to visit? Superb.

The funny thing is, according to the orthodoxy some of y'all uphold, George Bush is the winner of that battle because Words kicked a written.

August 13, 2004

I'm George W. Bush, and I Approved This Bulls**t

Bush's new campaign ad: "I can't imagine the great agony of a mom or a dad having to make the decision about which child to pick up first on September 11th"

Atrios' reponse: I want to hear about the agony of 7 minutes reading "The Pet Goat" after your chief of staff whispers "Amerca is under attack" in your ear.

Also note what Bush says next, and read it carefully: "We cannot hesitate. We cannot yield. We must do everything in our power to bring an enemy to justice, before they hurt us again."

Bring an enemy to justice. I'm not gonna specify which enemy, and I'm damn sure not gonna specify any enemies that were actually connected with 9/11, since we haven't been focused on that at all in the last couple of years. But hopefully you won't be listening closely, and you'll assume that's what I meant. We're the GOP, and we bank on your stupidity!

(Laura Bush creeped me out, sitting there stone-faced the whole time. I was waiting for her to chime in with a "yeahhhh boyeeeeee!" or something. Also, why does George sound so mush-mouthed whenever he says the word "message," like he's been hitting the bottle?)

A Few Pics From Montreal Jazz Festival

Everybody put your hands up!

click on each thumbnail for the full-sized image

August 14, 2004

Join Us On the Radio Tonight

Once again we hit the airwaves tonight at Midnight EST, with our radio show the Underground Railroad. You can hear us online here, or on WBAI 99.5 FM if you live in the tri-state area. And while you check out the sounds you also can talk to us live in the chat room.

It is my understanding that Open Thought will be in the house this evening.

August 16, 2004

"Child Pimp & Ho Costumes"

There is no emoticon for the pain I am feeling right now.

P.S. - I'll post about the Nas show tomorrow.

August 17, 2004

Nas in Central Park: The Concert (and The Bumrush)

Nas is a very big star, and Central Park Summerstage is a very small space.

Even for most of their standard indie/boho acts you have to get there mad early if you want any chance of getting in and seeing the stage. So with God's Son taking the stage at 3pm, and me doing my radio show the night before, I knew there was no way I'd be making the cut. And since most of the other fans who came wouldn't make it in either, I decided to see how the concert would turn out for all the outsiders looking in.

I got there about 3:45, and the scene was pretty much what I expected. Lots of cops inside an elaborate fortress of iron gates, and hundreds (thousands?) of mildy disgruntled young folks on the outside, hoping and pleading for a last minute shot at the promised land. Some were muttering about getting bamboozled by all the radio promotion, that gave no indication the venue would be so limited. Kids up front were engaged in a spirited discourse with Summerstage staff (see 3rd picture below), but the scene was relatively calm all things considered.

(pardon the namedroppy stuff here, I can't make the story work without it)

A little after 4PM I ran into Easy Mo Bee, who'd brought his daughter along for the show, and as we listened to Kid Capri hype up the crowd Mo Bee was scanning the area for someone who could get him in.. but then the instrumental for "NY State of Mind" started cutting through the park, and the world came to a halt. Mo Bee and I just looked at each other and shook our heads in awe, watching the entire park lose themselves in what might be the nastiest beat ever made.

That beat is just nasty as hell. Like, Make That Mean Face Like It's Hurting You nasty. Punch A Hole In The Wall And Then Throw Your Couch Out The Window nasty. Or in this case, Jump Over The Gates And Rush Past The Cops Like Bulls In Pamplona nasty.

Almost instantly we saw a mob rush the gates over on the left side, sending the cops in a mad dash to head them off. Then everyone around us realized our side was unguarded now, and the onslaught began in full. Parents were even pulling their little kids along with them into the breach (note young girl in the 3rd pic below).

I was worried things would get mighty ugly at this point, but I gotta say the cops showed a lot of restraint, from what I saw. They almost seemed to be letting it happen, and waiting for the rush to die down before they started pushing the latecomers back out (apparently there was only one arrest). So most of the bumrushers made it in successfully, and the those who got repelled seemed ready to accept their fate, as we heard Nas get on the mic to settle things down and start the show. "Yo, wherever the fire exits are, please let the devils clear that shit out!" he implored. "Let's show them it's all peace up in here."

This led into a jumbled political rant where Nas explained that "the white man is a genius-motherf**ker, and we shouldn't be mad at him for that!" Then he encouraged everyone not to vote, because "look at who's running? Bush and Kerry, two devils. Neither one of them niggas want to do nothing for us. We should only vote when one of us is running, from our community."

A few days before I'd heard Nas on the radio professing a certain respect for Bush because "at least he is gangsta," and he echoed that sentiment here: "Bush is gonna win though, cuz he's gangsta. Unless he decided he's made enough money already, so he wants to let Kerry start taking care of all this work."

Thankfully he got the speechifying out of his system pretty quickly, and the show got underway. Nas has never been known as the best live performer, but he brought a lot more energy than usual this time, and the guest appearances kept the crowd hyped throughout. From the outside listening in, it seemed like a solid show. Here's the setlist, possibly missing a song or two:

  • Represent

  • It Ain't Hard To Tell

  • One Love - with the show's first guest appearance, from Q-tip. Tip told Nas how much he values his work because "you rap about all 360 degrees of life, and it takes so much courage to do that."

  • Life's A Bitch and Phone Tap - with AZ

  • Eye For An Eye - with Mobb Deep, for whom Nas stepped aside so they could rock that new Thomas Dolby Joint.

  • If I Ruled the World - This was the biggest shock of the day, as Lauryn Hill appeared on stage in a hooded monk's robe, accompanying herself on a sitar while she held down the chorus. Then she made alittle speech about how when her new album comes out she won't be accepting any manmade money for it, and it will only be on sale for "spirit dollars." Okay, none of that actually happened.

  • Hate Me Now - with Busta for some reason

  • Oochie Wally - come on man, we were trying to forget you did that to us

  • Got Urself A Gun

  • Get Down - after this Nas said "there's a song that I don't do no more, but I think that NY deserves this" and to the crowd's delight he went into:

  • Ether - after which he acknowledged "I got love for that brother [Jay Z]."

  • Thief's Theme - Then the first minute or so of "Apache," which of course segued into

  • Made You Look - which has gotta be his best song post-illmatic. He probably should have ended here, cuz the energy seemed to drop off as he closed with

  • I Can - and then

  • One Mic

And then we all started on our way back through the park, about as happy as you can be with a show you didn't actually see.

(Peace to Hashim of hiphop.blogs.com, whom I also ran into.)

Robin Bechtel, Who Are You Kidding?

I admire your commitment to being a loyal corporate flack, every posse needs an Ari Fleischer. But there comes a point when you need to cut your losses and just admit that you're busted.

Warner's Tryst With Bloggers Hits Sour Note

...Two weeks ago, at least eight MP3 bloggers received an e-mail message from Ian Cripps, a Warner employee. In the messages, which were identical and came with an MP3 file attached, Mr. Cripps told the bloggers that he loved their sites.

"We are very interested in blogs and I was wondering if you could post this mp3," he wrote. "It's by one of our new bands - The Secret Machines. They are an indie rock band and we would love for people to hear the band's music from your site. Here it is, listen to it and let me know if you will post it. Thanks!!"

The pitch to MP3 blogs was part of an ambitious online campaign that was the work of Robin Bechtel, vice president for new media at Warner Brothers and Reprise Records. The campaign's first unusual component was a decision to start selling the Secret Machines album through Apple's iTunes store and other online outlets last February, nearly four months before it was available on CD. The move drew attention to the album, which received strong reviews.

Ms. Bechtel said that the company had contacted many sites for the Web part of the publicity effort, and that the messages to MP3 blogs were an experiment. "We're really progressive in trying things," she said...

...In the week after the song was posted on Music for Robots, a message board on the site attracted some thoughtful commentary on Warner's move. But a few comments, posted under several different names, stood out because they looked like something one might read on a teen-pop fan site.

"I never heard these guys before, but theyre awesome," read a posting last Thursday under the name Ron. "I went to their website and you can listen to a lot of ther other stuff, very cool and very good!" Another post, sprinkled with casual profanity, asserted that big corporations could still release good music, and cited the Beatles as an example.

A check of site records by Mr. Willett revealed that all four of the suspect comments had been posted from the same Internet Protocol address, indicating that they came from the same computer or from a computer within the same company. That address was also the source of two e-mail messages that Ms. Bechtel sent to a reporter, as well as the original messages sent to the bloggers.

The entertainment industry has for some years been going into chat rooms and message boards to promote its products. But Ms. Bechtel said this kind of activity was not part of the Secret Machines campaign. She said the comments could have been posted independently by fans of the band who worked at the company.

"We're not sitting here typing in message boards that the band is great," she said. "But if somebody in the building loves the band, I can see them doing it. People at record companies are also huge fans..."

Robin, please.
Just stop.

Blame it on some junior employees who were acting without your approval or something. Anything but this. I can't bear to watch.

Seriously, from what I've read Robin Bechtel deserves a lot of props as a pioneer in pushing the industry to seek a healthy relationship with the online world. And even this seems like a good idea that had just wasn't very well executed. But she does herself a disservice with this line of defense.

(via anil and the ab. props to cocaine blunts for the soundbyte.)

August 19, 2004

Street Ball All-Stars: NY vs. LA at Rucker Park

G Unit/Aftermath up-and-comer The Game was in town today with a team of all-star street ball players from LA, that he co-owns along with NBA stars Baron Davis and Gilbert Arenas. And because I'd been assigned to interview him for Mean Magazine, I was lucky enogh to ride up with The Game to the Entertainers Basketball Classic in Harlem's hallowed Rucker Park, where I watched his squad take on a NY All-Star team led by Rafer "Skip To My Lou" Alston.

Quick synopsis: The Game does, it turns out, have game. And Baron Davis is apparently something other than human. But the East took it 122-120, in one of the better street ball games I've seen (and I went to the Rucker every weekend for years back in the day).

I might post a little more about the game (i mean the game, not The Game) tomorrow, but for now here are some pics.. One of them has Michael Bivins in it, see if you can find him...

One scoop I can give you cuz it'll be old news by the time the magazine comes out: Game and Joe Budden officially squashed their beef on Tuesday. And it appears the moment was captured on film here.

August 26, 2004

New Audio: DJ Monkone 8/14/04

I set up a Soundclick page to enable more frequent audio offerings from our radio show. I will inaugurate the page with a new set from DJ Monk One, with some cool UK sounds in the mix. mp3 here, partial playlist below:

  • Richard Pryor Interlude

  • Beyond There feat. Yungun & Jhest - Slumber

  • K-OS - Love Song

  • Saukrates - Action (rmx)

  • Filthy Immigrants - Find Us

  • Blend Crafterz - Pow

  • Ten Twelve white label (??)

  • MF Doom - Dead Bent

  • Horror City - Oohs and Ahhs

  • Libretto - ???

  • Maspyke - instrumental

  • Mystro - ???

  • Kardinal Offishall -We Good

  • Numark - instrumental

  • Bob Azzam - Rain Rain Go Away

  • Lunar Funk - Slip the Drummer One

  • Main ingredient - You Can Call Me Rover

  • Ray Conniff ???

  • Dewolfe - ???

  • The Invaders - ???

(you will have to do the free sign-up for soundclick if you haven't been there before.. my apologies!)

August 27, 2004

The Password is What

Prince on file sharing: "File-sharing seems 2 occur most when people want more QUALITY over quantity. One good tune on a 20-song CD is a rip. The corporations that created this situation will get the fate they deserve. 4 better or 4 worse, 4 every action there is a reaction. An MP3 is merely a tool. There is nothing 2 fear." (via Anil)

(BTW, I just picked up the 20th Anniversary Purple Rain DVDs, review forthcoming)

Did you know today was Women's Equality Day?

(I mean yesterday, took too long to get this post up)


Wow, CL Smooth sure did let loose on Pete Rock. You know a man has lost his temper when he starts referring to himself in third person over and over, a la Irv Gotti. This makes me sad. Witness the wigout at allhiphop.
(via O-Dub)

This morning at 11AM EST our friends at Rise up Radio will the give the lowdown on various anti-convention events around the city. You can listen in at WBAI.org.

Mason Betha Infidelity Scandal!!!!!!!

This is from Howard University's paper. Scandalous!!!!

Students Question Mase's Credibility as a Minister

Students welcomed back rapper-turned-minister Mason "Mase" Betha from his five-year retirement at a meet-and-greet in Cramton Auditorium last Friday. Hosted by Entertainment Power Players (EPP), the Bad Boy Records artist signed autographs, with messages such as "Jesus cares about you" to promote his new album "Welcome Back," for two hours. Along with a similar message, Mase gave a cell phone number where he could be reached to Erica Pinkett, a freshman psychology major, with "don't talk" written below. As a result, some students question Mase's credibility as a minister...

...When escorted by security out of the auditorium and into an escalade around 5 p.m. Friday, fans crowded the side of the vehicle pleading for autographs and pictures. Mase rolled his window down halfway and signed a few handbills until the path in front of the vehicle was cleared of pedestrians. It was at this time that the married minister wrote the contact information on a handbill and gave it to Pinkett. "I came out just because Mase is a cool guy," the freshman said. "I just wanted to meet him."

After interviewing Pinkett and viewing her handbill, a Hilltop reporter called several times. When a young man answered, the reporter explained how she had gotten the number and requested a brief interview with Mase. Sounding confused, the young man hung up the phone and called back within 10 minutes to say that Mase was playing around by giving out the number and that the number did not belong to him. The young man, who identified himself as a Bad Boy Records intern, said the interview request would be passed to Mase. Within 30 minutes, Mase called the reporter's cell phone and questioned how the number on the handbill had been retrieved. He then claimed to have given the freshman the contact information "to get her off my back" because she supposedly pestered him for it. Pinkett later said that she called the number but that she and Mase never met...

Paging Wendy Williams...

Hip-Hop Shortlist Nominees

The nominees for 2004's Shortlist Music Prize were announced this week, here are the hip-hoppish entries:

  • Cee-Lo "Cee-Lo Green Is The Soul Machine" (Arista)
  • Dead Prez "Revolutionary But Gangsta" (Columbia)
  • Dizzee Rascal "Boy In Da Corner" (Matador/XL)
  • Ghostface Killah "The Pretty Toney Album" (Def Jam)
  • Jaylib "Champion Sound" (Stones Throw)
  • Non Prophets "Hope" (Lex)
  • Ty "Upwards" (Big Dada)

Who gets your vote? Who's on the list that shouldn't be? Who's not on that should be? How thankful are you that Northern State's not in there?

August 28, 2004

Thank You, Paul Hamm

First things first: Yes, the Olympic officials are punking out on this one, and they should really just take the initiative themselves to award Yang Tae-Young a second gold medal instead of passing the buck to this 21 year-old kid.

And yes, I have a lot of sympathy for that kid, Paul Hamm.. he's been put in a terribly tough spot here, at what by all rights ought to be the happiest and proudest moment of his life.

But isn't that the true test of any champion, being faced with a tough spot and rising to the occasion? If so, Paul Hamm has proven himself anything but a champion when he walks off the mat.

Hamm not only refused to give his gold medal to Tae-Young, but even announced his opposition to Tae-Young receiving a second gold (as described in Reggie Rivers' excellent Denver Post commentary). And as pointed out here, in doing so Hamm missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime. If he had stepped up and given Tae-Young his gold, he would have gone down as one of the great heroes of olympic history, held up to generations of children as an icon of virtue and sportsmanship. People would would have started walking around with WWPHD bracelets. He'd be exalted for the rest of his life as the embodiment of our noble American values. And he'd be paid up the wazoo.

But he couldn't see the forest for the trees.. his pride blinded him to the big picture, and now he'll only be remembered for the big moment that proved him a small man.

And I'm glad he went out like that. Because by failing to see the difference between a winner and a hero, Paul Hamm gave the world a much more honest representation of what our American values have become in 2004. He reminded the world once again that America no longer seems to grasp the simple concept of doing the right thing. He showed the world that today's America, AKA George Bush's America, is a nation driven by a stubborn pride that overrides all honor and integrity.

I'm sure, for the rest of the globe, this only reinforced what folks already knew about us. But I hope we Americans will also remember how Paul Hamm represented us to the world, and will ask ourselves in November if that's really the America we want to be.

(And it should be easy to remember, cuz like O-Dub said, Hamm even got his medal the same way Bush got his presidency)

And speaking of Sports and Integrity

Some of you, such as Theresa, will know that one of my pet issues is the soul-shattering evil of the institution known as collegiate athletics, where "the purity of amateurism" has damn near become a euphemism for "the legality of slave labor."

This is a system where every year the NCAA and its colleges make millions upon millions off the labor of teenage boys, selling their image, their name and even their very bodies, by signing contracts that require the kids to wear a certain brand of sneaker, etc.. Millions upon millions of dollars every year, that go to everyone but the boys whose work made it all possible.

And if one of those boys accepts so much as $100 dollars, or a throwback jersey, from the mountain of riches his work has produced for everyone else? In the through-the-looking-glass logic of collegiate athletics it is that boy who is the criminal. It boggles the mind.

Jeremy Bloom, a student-athlete who witnessed the insanity firsthand, has written an essay that hits the NCAA right in its exploitative, hypocritical heart, especially the last few paragraphs. I'm gonna post it here in its entirety cuz it deserves to be preserved. Like I said in bignick's OKP post, the NCAA is a sad old horse that needs to go to the glue factory.

Educating Jeremy - by Jeremy Bloom

Last week, the NCAA rejected Colorado's request to restore wide receiver Jeremy Bloom's eligibility. Bloom, who also is a standout freestyle skier, has battled the NCAA for the past two years to allow him to play for the Buffaloes while also accepting endorsements to fund his ski training. Bloom left Colorado's camp earlier this month and currently is training with the U.S. Ski Team near Santiago, Chile, in hopes of making the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin, Italy. Colorado, which hoped to have Bloom aboard to add speed and needed experience at receiver, has appealed the decision.

I think I've been wrong about the caring folks at the NCAA all along. They have received way too much negative attention about their unwillingness to have an open mind concerning my unique athletic situation. As it turns out, their reasoning behind this decision has taught me some of the greatest lessons in my life.

I owe them an apology, and I hope that after reading this, you, too, will understand this was just a case of an immature and over-ambitious 20-year-old asking an organization to allow unacceptable and selfish circumstances.

Two years ago, I became a proud member of the 2002 Winter Olympics team and then won the World Cup overall title as a freestyle skier. Then, a few weeks later, the NCAA informed me that if it were to allow me to continue my financial means of paying for my trainer, nutritionist, physical therapist and agent for skiing, I would be endangering the core principle of amateurism as a college football player. Although at the time it seemed silly, looking back I believe they made the right call. It is true my relationship with those people would have been more damaging to the spirit of amateurism than, say, the University of Miami's relationship with star football recruit Willie Williams, who has been arrested 11 times since 1999.

So I took their advice and dropped all my legitimate ski-related sponsors and enrolled at the University of Colorado, where I became a proud member of the football program and the social science department...

Continue reading "And speaking of Sports and Integrity" »

Debra Dickerson Loves Us!

She just can't stay away! And she's got a brand new batch of grade school insults for me. (scroll to bottom)

August 30, 2004

PHOTOS: Republican Convention Protest, 8/29/04

WARNING: This protest contains adult content.

We ran into a small contingent of right-wing christian zealots with serious anger management issues, but they got more than they bargained for when confronted with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog(!!), who interrogated them on what exactly they think is wrong with sodomy. Triumph's appearance soon inspired a rousing "Poop on Bush!" chant, and he also took a moment on 34th street to lead us in an "H&M makes shitty clothes!" side-protest.

I wonder how much footage Conan will use, if any.. you could tell Robert Smigel was totally down with the march, but it seems like Conan prefers to keep things mostly non-partisan? When I saw Triumph's live show in Montreal he was dissing Bush all night, and getting much more topical than I've ever seen him on NBC.

After finishing the walk from 14th and 7th up to 34th, over to 5th, then back down to 14th, we took a minute to chill in Union Square, then went up to Central Park for a Be-In of sorts. And after all the huffing and puffing that preceded it, even Police Commissioner had to admit "the event went very well."

click on thumbnails for the full size image

Other Protest Notes

There were some ridiculous arrests: Mike of Satan's Laundromat, Joshua Kinberg of Bikes Against Bush and many others at Friday's Critical Mass bike ride.. plus Rosario Dawson on Sunday?? Rosario was filming a remake of the cult-classic "Medium Cool," which mixed actors in with the real life action of the 1968 convention protests. So maybe the arrest will make into the film?

But overall I thought most cops on Sunday did quite a fine job. Early on in the day I saw the guys from protestwarrior.com try to instigate something by slipping inside the main march and baiting people with their sarcastic fake protest signs. Pretty soon they ran into some anarchist kids and a scuffle ensued, and the cops immediately did the right thing and simply booted the right-wingers out of the march, and set them up where they belonged, over on the side in a sad and tiny counterprotest.

So five-o should get credit where it's due, as they did from the marchers around me who started a "give the cops a raise!" chant on 34th st.

These guys have a nice collection of RNC blog feeds, while the booby prize for worst commentary so far goes to Jeff Jarvis' anti-protesting rant. Nuff respect to Jeff as a major player in blogville, but I often disagree with his political analysis, and he's rarely been further off than he was there. Everybody doesn't have the same talents, interests, and resources as you, Jeff.. expressing yourself individually via mass media is what works best for you, and more power to you for sticking with it. But that doesn't make it the most constructive choice for everybody else.

August 31, 2004

Buck 65 Hates Hip-Hop?

Transcribed from Kerrang magazine, courtesy of Gumdrops at Okayplayer. I will post without comment.

"I now hate hip hop, the more I've educated myself about music, the more I've grown to hate it. I don’t use that word lightly, either."

"The change on the new record is me taking steps to try to be regarded as a proper songwriter and not just someone who writes lyrics. Those efforts could lend the idea that ive commercialised what I do, but when I think of the greatest records I've heard, everything from nirvana to my bloody valentine to miles davis and elvis, there's a lot you can do within the traditional framework of traditional songwriting."

"The people behind hip hop don’t know anything about music theory or have any appreciation for other kinds of music outside hip hop. I challenge anyone to show me a case where theres actual musicality."

kerrang: Explain why you – a rapper –hate hip hop?

"Every genre of music you can think of has more shit in it than it does gold; what I'm thinking about is the fact that I would be surprised if anyone could show me someone who's made a hip hop record who could actually read music."

kerrang: Why should musicians have to be able to read music?

"Because I'm a snob and that’s what I'm looking for and what I appreciate. I'm as elitist a bastard as you could possibly find."

Update: Read Sage Francis' comments here, and Buck 65's apology here.

About August 2004

This page contains all entries posted to hiphopmusic.com: in August 2004. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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