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October 2004 Archives

October 1, 2004

The NY Press Rides the Railroad

If you're gonna get mentioned in the NY Press' annual "Best of Manhattan" issue, it's much cooler to be victimized by one of their snarky hatchet jobs (like the Gawker crew this year). But here's a little item Debra Dickerson might enjoy next time she's googling me:



Don't ever stop. Thirteen years and still going strong, WBAI's (99.5 F.M.) Underground Railroad on Saturday nights at midnight is the little radio show that could. Monk1 and Emskee are diggers of the highest order, dropping their needle on obscure grooves, soul, funk, hiphop, pop, reggae and house. (Monk is also one of the editors at the record geek bible, Wax Poetic.) Jay Smooth, who started the two-hour slot as a teenager, is still the host. The alumni of the show speaks for itself: 3D, Qool Marv, Spinna and a host of other dusty finger dudes. If you want to learn what DJing is all about, tape these shows. Or when your date ditches you on a Saturday night to go out with some guy who's got deeper pockets, tune in and zone out. Sigh.

One correction: DJ 3D is still a starting member of our team, although I'm sure it won't be long until he is indeed too large for us, if all these rappers keep snatching up his beats.

Of course we all pale in comparison to Wonkette, who just graced the cover of the NY Times magazine.. I've had a blog-crush on her for quite some time (skewering vice magazine is the surest way to my heart), but I'd never seen what she looks like.. would it be unenlightened for me to note that she's, like, totally hot?

The Verdict: Kerry Yapped That Fool

I didn't want to get my hopes up, cuz I always keep myself in an assume-the-worst posture during these elections, but I guess we now have a consensus that Bush got straight Roy-Jonesed last night. Even Limbaugh is totally conceding defeat this afternoon, and hoping everyone will just forget this ever happened. yyyyeah!! My man Bunny Rabbit is a genius!!!

Let's see what folks are saying:

Josh Marshall cautions that we if we want this good feeling to last, we need to stay on the offensive in controlling the post-debate spin.


1115.org echoes my earlier assessment that Kerry won the battle of the vibes:

We've heard from the media for years now that people don't as much listen to debates as watch the body language and demeanor of the participants. I've always been uncomfortable with that conclusion because it reveals the laziest tendencies of the American people: Don't think, just look at the pictures. Conventional wisdom (not something we traffic in here) predicted a Bush win on body language. After all, that's largely how he won the debates in 2000. But by any measure, Kerry looked significantly more Presidential to the point that by comparison Bush looked like a petulant child who was trying to convince his parents that he didn't break a window.

That's exactly what I was thinking early on in the debate, that Bush looked like a boy arguing with his father.


National Review must think Kerry won too, if they are hoping we'll all just forget everything we saw:

Before the debate, the common wisdom was that the debates were Kerry's last chance to win the election. In 2 days, nothing about what he said during this debate will be remembered because nothing was memorable.

Same thing Limbaugh was saying. Guys, if that's the best spin you can muster, you are in serious trouble.


Some other righties are trying to milk Kerry's "Global Test" line, as if it was akin to Ford liberating Poland.. this tactic is also pretty sad, but we should keep an eye on it.


Which reminds me, looks like Bush had his own Poland gaffe last night, when he was so eager to take credit for their presence in his coalition, not realizing Poland's President had said thislast week:

They deceived us about the weapons of mass destruction, that's true. We were taken for a ride.



Things are really getting strange when I agree with about 80% of what Andrew Sullivan is saying:

...from the very beginning, Kerry achieved something important. In tone and bearing, he seemed calm, authoritative, and, yes, presidential. I watched the C-SPAN version on a split screen, and in that context, it was particularly striking. In stark contrast to the Bush-Gore debates, it was Bush who was grimacing, furrowing his brow, almost rolling his eyes and at the very beginning, looking snippy and peevish...

..For many people, who have only heard of Kerry from Bush ads or sound-bites or from droning campaign speeches, it will be the first time that Kerry seems strong. In the simple, symbolic man-versus-man contrast, Kerry often seemed bigger. That strikes me as a big deal...

...If you believe, as I do, that the Iraq war is beginning to spiral downward, Bush was not reassuring. He seemed as out of it as ever. When Kerry rightly pointed out the failure of Bush to revamp the CIA or to secure Soviet nuclear material, Bush simply and sadly responded that every morning some guy comes in and briefs him on national security. Now I feel better. And you don't want to be the president who is forced to say, "Of course I know Osama bin Laden attacked us." Moreover, his fundamental critique of Kerry - that by criticizing the war, he had made himself unworthy to be commander-in-chief - was dumb and border-line offensive. It implies that if you've ever criticized the president's war conduct, you cannot succeed him in office. Huh? By that logic, the only credible alternative to Bush is someone who has agreed with him every inch of the way. Memo to Bush: we live in a democracy.

Yes, yes, and yes.

Finally, George Bush has united us all. The whole world stands together, to proclaim him a loser.

October 2, 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.

EDIT: Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Chip Fu(!!!) are here.

October 3, 2004

Ali Shaheed: "George Bush is Not The Only Tyrant"

Ali Shaheed Muhammad stopped by our show this week to give us the scoop on his new album "Shaheedullah & Stereotypes," and he brought along his old friend Chip Fu of the Fu-Schnickens, who makes his return to the mic on Ali's album.

The interview is up now on our soundclick page, featuring their takes on the election and Ali Shaheed's experiences at the American border post 9/11. And yes, I did ask if Tribe is putting out a new album.

October 6, 2004

Edwards-Cheney, Please Tell Me What To Think

Relying on a shaky webstream for the debate last night, it was impossible for me to properly assess the outcome.. so I looked to blogville for answers, but they only brought more confusion.

The (moderate) lefties at Pandagon thought Cheney dominated, at least in the first half.. but the (moderate) righty Andrew Sullivan diagnosed the VP as "roadkill." Come on people, make up your minds! I need someone to tell me what my opinion is supposed to be!

From what I heard and halfway saw I thought Edwards was ok, but could have been much stronger (about what I thought of Kerry), while Cheney exceeded expectations by failing to have a heart attack, and not reminding anybody too much of Darth Vader.

I did enjoy Cheney's humbled silence after Edwards ran off Dick's despicable voting record in Congress (He voted against the MLK holiday! He voted against getting Mandela out of jail!! He voted to outlaw puppies and rainbows!!!)

The only thing I can say without a shred of doubt is the moderator sucked ass. AJ and Free could have run things better than that. Or better yet, next time we should get Wendy Williams.

So, my esteemed readers, can you please tell me who won?

EDIT: Slate is running down how Edwards fell short, while a commenter on Pandagon points out a sweet Cheney gaffe: Instead of inviting viewers to factcheck.org for the truth about his record, Cheney gave the wrong URL and sent everybody to factcheck.com, which redirects to George Soros' vehemently anti-bush homepage. D'oh!

EDIT 2: Let me see if I've got this straight.. Cheney's explanation of the American casualties in Iraq is: "Sure, over 1,000 Americans have died, but hey, a thousand of our Iraqi allies have died too!" Oh, yeah that makes me feel much better.

Eminem's New Video, "Just Lose It"

This is something else I need help with.. the new Eminem song and video.. Is he, like, making fun of himself, satirizing the cookie cutter banality of his previous leadoff singles? Or is he actually serious about this warmed over gruel?

And One More Thing

Did Mos Def just say "quasi-homosexuals is running this rap shit" ? Umm, where are we going with this, Mos?

(I'm assuming "tall Israeli" is an Elroy Cohen swipe..)

Also while I'm here, rest in peace to Rappin Rodney.

NEW AUDIO: DJ 3D 10/2/04

New set from 3D up at our Soundclick page, partial playlist below:

  • The UN - Golden Grail

  • Murs - Hustle

  • Wordsworth - Trust

  • ???

  • Dilated Peoples - Reach Us

  • Vordul Mega - Neva Again

  • The Odd Couple- Between Your Legs
  • (err, cool track but I'm filing it in the "TMI" section, didn't really need to hear all that about your predilections.)
  • ???

  • Handsome Boy Modeling School w/ De La Soul - If It Wasn't For You

  • Insight - Visual Audio

  • The UN - Game of Death

  • The Marxmen (MOP) - Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

  • Ed OG - Takin Over

October 8, 2004

A Genuine Surprise in Tonight's Debate

As an atheist/agnostic/non-believer, this may be the first time I've ever heard a presidential candidate, or any other prominent politician, refer to my beliefs in a tone that was not belittling or disapproving.. that did not implicitly remind me that I am less of an American than those who believe in some sort of God.

John Kerry is further to the right than I am on many issues, and you could say my vote for him will be of the "hold your nose" variety. But that was one moment when I felt genuinely happy to pull the lever for this guy.

Other than that.. not as decisive a victory as the first one, but Bush is clearly 0 for 2 now, right? What the hell was he so angry about? He looked like a pro wrestler doing his pre-match interview..

And what in damn hell did he mean with that "those drugs might come from a third world" comment? Was he referring to the inhabitants of Mars or Bizarro World? Either that or he was making blatantly racist assumptions about where dangerous drugs might come from.

Anyway, what did y'all think tonight?

October 11, 2004

Revisiting Nader

An old friend from high school googled his way over here this weekend, and while writing to say hello he wondered about my support for Kerry here in the blog, and my rather sour comments about Nader. He suggested that voting for Bush or Nader would be more beneficial to progressives in the long run, and asked if I'd heard Nader on Democracy Now this week.

I'm going to justify the crapload of time I spent composing a reply by reposting it here:


You mean keep Bush in cuz then maybe things'll get bad enough to wake people up and spark some real change? While Kerry will keep things just bad enough to be tolerable? I can understand that to some extent.

But A) I'm pretty skeptical about America's ability to wake up, and B) I don't think now's the time to go for that gambit cuz the effects of another Bush term could be so long-lasting, if not irreversible. Between the "War on Terror" and the looming Supreme Court vacancies, I see this as more of a stop-the-bleeding-before-we-flatline moment..

I just read this week's DN transcript, and I can't say it really moves me.. every party tries to get every other candidate off the ballot if they have a shot at
it, that's how politics works.. so when he wails about the Dems' "unprecedented dirty tricks" honestly it strikes me as Nader feigning naivete so he can paint
himself as the victim again..

And this whole "I'm running because the democrats are trying to stop me from running" thing doesn't fly for me.. if the main reason you offer for continuing to
run is a circumstance that didn't exist until AFTER you started running, what does that tell me about the reasons you started running in the first place?

This is the kinda stuff that always turns me off when I see or hear him this year, he comes off as evasive and disingenuous.. constantly switching up his reasons for running as previous explanations lose their
currency.. answering questions without really answering them, and protesting the myriad ways he's being personally victimized by critics of his
campaign, which just keeps making him look more self-absorbed..

To be fair to Ralph, I think a lot of this is just caused by his extreme lack of media-savvy. He just can't see that he's making himself look less sincere
and less committed than he actually is.

But even so, it just reinforces my original point when I posted about him on my site: that in 2004, no matter
how well-meaning he was and how right his message, he was the wrong man to deliver that message. That because of how things went down in 2000, any campaign he ran in 2004 would put far more focus on himself as a controversial personality than on the issues he's trying to push. I think at this point he's
proven me right on that.

Newsday's Unsightly Tribute to Hip-Hop

Each day this week New York Newsday is paying tribute to Hip-Hop's (more or less) 30th birthday with a series of feature articles. They've also got a special section for it on their site, where you'll find all the articles along with lots of bonus audio and video, including a nice little Jean Grae interview.

It's just too bad all this cool content is presented on the ugliest freaking page I've ever seen in my life. What the hell were you thinking with that faux-graffiti title graphic? Guys, you're in the big leagues now, time to upgrade from MS Paint.

Also note the horrific flash intro, that features repeated mispellings of the word "rap." Yeesh!

The Big Lie of Political Hip-Hop

(This is basically a sequel to what I wrote here)

The worst thing about all these 30th Birthday Hip-Hop retrospectives is how many of them are perpetuating the "real hip-hop=political hip-hop" mythology. Like this one from Kristi Turnquist of the Oregonian:

Hip-hop Has Transformed Pop Culture -- and Vice Versa

When it first boomed out of New York's South Bronx more than 25 years ago, hip-hop was bare-bones but expressive, made by young men too broke to buy instruments. With turntables, microphones and words, they made music that, at its best, spoke out against poverty and injustice. Early milestones such as Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five's "The Message" and Public Enemy's "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back" established rap as a new form of protest art...

...But now, with a few exceptions, mainstream hip-hop is more party than politics, defined by videos featuring artists rapping about their cars, their jewelry and their booty-shaking women -- the all-American materialism of Madison Avenue.

Ugh. What kills me this time is how Todd Boyd tries to help this writer see the error of her ways, and she even includes his quote, but still clings to her fantasy in the rest of the piece.

"People seem to routinely agree that hip-hop was political at one point, then it became gangsta, then it spiraled downward in terms of its significance and importance," says Todd Boyd, professor of critical studies at the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television. "That is not true."

As Boyd points out, the 1979 single that started it all -- Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" -- wasn't what you'd call deep (not with such lyrics as, "I said a hip hop the hippie the hippie to the hip hip hop, and you don't stop").

"What is sillier than that?" asks Boyd. "You can't make hip-hop into something it's not. It's not politics. Hip-hop, at the end of the day, is about beats and rhymes."

It's about beats and rhymes. Why is that so hard to understand?

Why has everyone become so attached to this fairy tale that hip-hop was all about "socially conscious" lyrics in its early days? That it was only when rap went commercial that everyone started bragging and boasting and kicking party rhymes? And that those party rhymes are inherently less valuable?

Anyone who is at all familiar with hip-hop's history knows that is a bunch of baloney. It is a lie that not only distorts our history, it demeans the art form and all of its pioneers by assuming that hip-hop is not important or valuable as a musical form.. that its value derives only from the content of its lyrics, the subject matter it chooses to address.

I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll have to say it 1000 times again: this is the biggest lie that's ever been told about hip-hop.

Hip-hop is important because it is great music. Period. All the "conscious" anthems these writers exalt would never have mattered one iota, if they were not delivered within a musical form so compelling that it forced the world to listen.

Hip-hop's influence has extended far beyond the music, but it's always been the music that made everything else possible. And that music can be equally valuable no matter what topic the emcee chooses to discuss. "Ante Up" and "Who Shot Ya" are every bit as important to me as "The Message" and "Dear Mama." Because they speak to me musically in ways that no concrete verbal expression ever could.

That is the essential power of music, and hip-hop's pioneers knew this. They understood there is no greater purpose, no goal more noble for any man, than a commitment to rocking the party. It's a shame that after 30 years, so many people still haven't figured that out. They all must lead such drab and grooveless lives..

Dred Scott Ain't Got Nuttin Ta Lose

It's astounding how many layers of stupidity can be peeled back from Bush's debate answers. Props to Joho the Blog for plumbing the depths of Dubya's mind-boggling Dred Scott reference, including the moment when Bush realizes that he cannot finish his sentence, because finishing would require some knowledge of what is actually in the constitution:

...Clearly, Bush considers the Dred Scott case to be a bad decision by an activist judge who is not a strict constructivist. Actually, the case wasn't about whether slavery was legal; that was not only taken for granted, it was written in the Constitution. The case was actually about whether slaves had enough standing to sue in a federal court. Chief Justice Taney said not only didn't they have the standing, but the Missouri Compromise unconstitutionally violated the right of property owners to transport their property — whether it's a chair or a slave — anywhere they wanted. Scott's legal owner could not be denied his rights as a property owner, Taney wrote, basing his opinion on the Fifth Amendment's promise of due process. This is from Taney's decision:
...Thus the rights of property are united with the rights of person and placed on the same ground by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, which provides that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, and property without due process of law. And an act of Congress which deprives a citizen of the United States of his liberty or property, without due process of law, merely because he came himself or brought his property into a particular territory of the United States, and who had committed no offense against the laws, could hardly be dignified with the name of due process of law...

Note that in this passage, the person being deprived of property is not Scott but Scott's owner. That Taney didn't need to explain that shows just how embedded was the Blacks-as-property "frame."

Then we get this mind-twister of a sentence from Bush:

That's a personal opinion. That's not what the Constitution says. The Constitution of the United States says we're all — you know, it doesn't say that. It doesn't speak to the equality of America

Here's what I think happened in Bush's brain:

Dred Scott= slavery ok. Dred Scott decision bad.

US Constitution says "All men created equal."

ALARM! ALARM! ALARM! Is that in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence? ABORT THE SENTENCE! ABORT!

Go for safety: "It [the Constitution] doesn't say that."

Ditch the entire thing. Go back to "Dred Scott bad": "It [Dred Scott decision] doesn't speak to the equality of America."

Taney was an activist in that he could have ruled narrowly on whether Scott had standing to bring suit. Instead, he ruled on the issue that Scott was raising, in effect saying, "No, you can't sue, but we're ruling against you anyway." That's not a very good example of what it means to be an activist judge. Worse for Bush, Taney's decision was based on a narrow, literal and strict construction of the Constitution's meaning...

October 13, 2004

Beanie Sigel, Philosopher

Stuff Magazine: So, you're keeping it real?
Beanie Sigel: I don't even like that term. Everything is already real.

Possibly my favorite quote of the year..

Nelly: Republicans Buy Pimp Juice Too

I will admit there are some crimes even worse than telling the world that the only good hip-hop is "conscious" hip-hop. For example, telling the world that hip-hop should never be political, because it might affect profit margins:

“If you want to do the politics thing, be more involved personally, but you could talk about that and then tomorrow wake up and you’re not selling records. So now you protested the war…and your broke!”

Poor Nelly, does he really think that wake-up call will never come for him, if he studiously avoids offending the plantation owners? All he'll be doing is assuring that when the bell tolls for him, he won't even have his integrity to keep him warm.

(courtesy of Different Kitchen, who also has everything you need to know about tonight's debate)

How to Get Sonned by Russell Simmons

From allhiphop, courtesy of Catchdubs:

Russell Simmons Pulls Out Of Source Event, Mag Owners Comment

The Source and Russell Simmons continue to feud. The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network recently pulled out of an event scheduled to take place over the weekend before The Source Awards.

Simmons and The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) pulled out of speaking duties at Saturday’s (October 9th) "Join the SIPHA: Hip-Hop Voter Education Rally."

"Russell Simmons has been exploiting Hip-Hop for years,” The Source’s Dave Mays and Ray Benzino said in a statement. “We invited, and expected him to participate in the largest annual Hip-Hop weekend of the year, and he bailed from the event because he is afraid of the authenticity and influence of The Source Magazine..." [cue laugh track]

...Simmons reply to The Source’s comments and allegations were simple: "God bless them," the mogul told AllHipHop.com.

Benzino + Eminem + Michael Jackson = Jay's Brain Aneurysm

Sweet Jeebus, the comedy never ends. Check out this new press release from The Source's "CEO" Ray Benzino:


The Source Magazine, the largest magazinedevoted to hip-hop music, culture and politics applauded today as BET (BlackEntertainment Television), pulled the newest Eminem video "Just Lose It"from its video rotation. BET Chairman and Founder Robert Johnson personallyremoved the video, which mocks cultural icon Michael Jackson and shows anoverall level of disrespect for black culture and its icons. Eminem's latest racial misstep comes on the heels of racist charges firstleveled against him nearly two years ago by The Source's CEO Ray Benzino.These charges intensified last November, after tapes where Eminem, real nameMarshall Mathers, is heard rapping using blatant racial epithets and makingdisparaging remarks about black women. The "Just Lose It" video isvindication for Benzino and The Source who were accused of overreacting by mainstream media outlets, other artists, and so called "hip-hop activists."

For too long influential people in the hip-hop community have stood byEminem while he has made a mockery of the culture that inspires andmotivates our young people to achieve and be proud of their black heritage,"said Ray Benzino, CEO of The Source. "I am proud of both Robert Johnson of BET for pulling the video, and for comedian Steve Harvey for urging MTV and VH1 to do the same. We as the leaders in the Hip-Hop community and music industry need to step up and realize that Eminem's lyrics and actions are tearing down the very culture that people like Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick,and Public Enemy have built from the ground up. I urge all members of hip-hop to come out and support Jackson, one of the most important, cultural icons of our time. No one should stand behind this mockery and only by supporting the airplay of "Just Lose It" are we giving Eminem a way out. Furthermore, The Source called upon Eminem's management to pull the single from his upcoming album, and to publicly apologize to Michael Jackson forhis offensive portrayal of the King of Pop. As one of Black America's most visible icons, the magazine views any criticism of Jackson as a direct snipe at the culture itself...

I'd agree that Eminem's Michael Jackson jokes are cowardly, and lazy, and boring. He always makes himself look like a punk by going after such easy targets (Britney, N-Sync, etc). Like the nerd who makes himself feel tough by picking on the one kid who's even nerdier than he is.

But for Benzino to seize on this as fodder for his Righteous Campaign Against White Supremacy is straight-up comedy. Will he be launching a similar crusade against Kanye West for his Michael Jackson jokes on "Slow Jams?" How about Ras Kass for spitting about "F**kin these kids like the Michael Jackson molestations?"

And didn't The Source just give an award to Ja Rule for "Clap Back," which not only mocks one of Black America's most visible hip-hop icons, it actually theatens to kill the guy? I guess tearing down Black icons it not a problem when you do it to someone like 50 who The Source has publicity stunt beef with.

October 14, 2004

Referrer Log Fun Time

Sitemeter says our traffic is way up lately..I wonder which google searches are bringing all these people around? Let's take a look at some of the most recent referrals:

"pics of people on drugs"
"michael jackson photos grabbing his crotch"
"black girls outside showing off there goodys"
"rappers in gay porn" (sorry guys, the Lloyd Banks rumor was fake)

Nice! Good to know we're being recognized as a resource for cultural enrichment. But here's the one I'm especially proud to be the top result for:

"f**king red sox"

This is shaping up to be a record-breaking week for that one.

(EDIT: Turns out we are also #1 for "red sox suck!")

EXCLUSIVE: Post-Debate Audio From President Bush

This is a juicy one, folks. Our intrepid reporter Irina was assigned by her day job to cover the debate last night, and somehow she managed to corner President Bush for a few seconds backstage, and get his thoughts on how the debate went. Check it out here, I think you'll be surprised by how much he lets his guard down:


The Lloyd Banks Gay Porn Rumor


You've probably seen this week's big internet rumor, that G-Unit rapper Lloyd Banks has a secret past as a perforner in gay porn flicks. The rumor was accompanied by a flash video of two guys, uhh, doing the things one does in a gay porn flick, and one of the guys does indeed look a lot like Lloyd Banks.

If this rumor and accompanying video were part of a conspiracy to take thousands of insecure, homophobic hip-hoppers and get them to spend all day watching gay men have sex, it has been a smashing success. But is the guy in the video really Lloyd Banks? Apparently not.

Allhiphop and others have noted that Lloyd Banks bears a strong resemblance to a gay adult performer named Ty Lattimore, and suggested it is actually Lattimore on the tape. Well, Mr. Lattimore himself contacted us this morning via email, and here's what he had to say:

There is a huge rumor going around the net that this is Lloyd Banks in this clip. It is not....This clip is of me and a model named Mocha from Bam 2. Folks got it all wrong. I have no idea how this rumor was started. Ty Lattimore

Thanks to Ty for clearing this up once and for all. Here is a link to Bam 2: Thug, evidently the source of the clip. Which one of you will volunteer to watch it and verify this? Anybody? Bueller?

October 15, 2004

Ann Coulter and Reggie Miller

Have you ever noticed they kinda look alike?


I guess it's mostly the chin. Strangely, I think my hybrid of the two looks more attractive than either one does on their own.

October 16, 2004

The True Red Sox Curse: Racism?

As pointed out by pnuthouse, OC Weekly's Steve Lowery was dropping bombs on the Bosox this week:

please, please, please, PLEASE, stop with talking about the Boston “curse.” You know the one about how the Red Sox have been cursed from winning a World Series because they traded Babe Ruth? Sure it’s a funny thing to put on a T-shirt, but it’s tired and, worse, glosses over the real reason the Red Sox haven’t won a World Series title since Woodrow Wilson was president: for much of the 20th Century, the Boston Red Sox were one of the most racist organizations in all of professional sports. They had an opportunity to sign Jackie Robinson but passed. They then had a chance to sign Willie Mays and passed, saying the game’s greatest all-around player wasn’t their type of player. In fact, the Red Sox were the last team to integrate their roster, grudgingly doing so in 1959, two years after Jackie Robinson retired. The end of it? Hardly. Between 1976, when free agency started in baseball, and 1992, the Red Sox signed no African-American free agents. Instead, for most of those years, they have cast their lot with big, slow white guys who could only score by hitting home runs. Curse? Karma.

It Will Be in 1,000 Blogs by the Morning

But for real, this video of Jon Stewart on Crossfire tonight? Magnificent.

Edit: More complete clip here

October 18, 2004

Very Good Things

Very good MP3 blog: Benn loxo du tàccu. Very good.

Very good MP3 blog battle: Cocaine Blunts vs. Soulsides (vs. Tofu Hut)

Very good photograph

Very good De La Soul interview/review: one and two

Very good drumming

Very good (NYT!) Cam'ron profile: plus outtake

Very good cartoon

Very sad spectacle: How much you guys were celebrating after winning one game in the series. I kinda wish they'd shown some mercy instead of prolonging the torture.. does anyone doubt that they will now take it to game 7 and then blow a lead in the 9th?

NEW AUDIO from Ty, and Scienz of Life

The soundclick page is updated with two live performances from our radio show.. one from Scienz of life this past weekend (with yours truly on the beatbox after the instrumental runs out), and an older one from Ty that I never got around to posting.

Our interview with Ty is here, in case you missed it.

October 19, 2004

The Exploitation of Rosa Parks

In case you missed it, the Times has the ugly backstory of the Rosa Park's lawsuit against Outkast, which it turns out was probably not her idea at all, but carried out by her caretakers who are viewed by many as exploiting Rosa's name (and ill health).

This has apparently been an issue for quite some time, check out this excerpt from a 2001 Parks bio:

Fellow civil rights leaders, friends, and family of Parks, expressed concern about her demanding schedule and finances in September 1997. They were unable to get answers from Parks' attorney, Gregory Reed, and personal assistant, Elaine Steele, who together had formed The Parks Legacy, a corporation that controlled the public property rights to Parks' image. According to court records, the "selling" of Parks included fees for autographs and pictures of the civil rights legend, her appearance in a rock video, and her image on a phone-calling card. An article in the Detroit News noted, "Civil rights leaders and marketing experts fear the products cheapen Parks' image and legacy as the mother of the civil rights movement."

This makes me wonder about other things, like when Rosa Parks supposedly boycotted the NAACP awards to protest the jokes about her in "Barbershop" ..a move that was explained only by a statement from Elaine Steele.

It also, unfortunately, reminds me of our run-ins here on this site with the clumsily dishonest wife of Richard Pryor, about whom I have similar concerns.

My Red Sox/Yankeees Dilemma

As neither a Yankee nor a Red Sox fan, I find myself inclined to simply root for the outcome that will cause the least suffering. Which in this brutally one-sided rivalry means rooting for the Sox and their long-tortured fans.

But as a New Yorker, I am haunted by a fear that if Boston finally beats NY for once, they will never freaking shut up about it. So I'm torn.


P.S. I've really had it up to here with this 7th inning "God Bless America" crap.

October 20, 2004

NEW VIDEO: F**k New York, The Sequel


The guys who brought us that F**k New York video are back with another anti-Bush call to arms, just in time for the home stretch. Hopefully we'll get some words from them about it later, but for now here's the world.. world.. premiere.. premiere.. premiere:

Mission Accomplished, Part Deux

They're voting.. are you?

October 21, 2004

I Watched the Yankees Lose, and I Liked It

Come on, honestly. The winningest and most arrogant sports franchise of all time suffering the single most humbling defeat in the history of sports. How can you not love that?

Besides, the Yankees didn't have anyone on my Yahoo fantasy team, which was carried to the championship by David Ortiz and Mark Bellhorn. I'm pretty sure that's how the curse was broken, in fact.

The Times has a lot of good coverage, including Selena Roberts' breakdown of why the Yankees' attempts to conquer the world with high-priced mercenaries have always doomed to failure.

Most interesting to me is how frustrated Jeter sounds, in that piece and elsewhere, with how the team has been run for the last few years.. Since 2000 the Yankees have tried to reclaim their throne by assembling a new set of million dollar robots every year, hoping they will combine to form an invincible Voltron. But none of the Yankee teams that made up their 90s dynasty were built this way, the backbone of all those teams were guys like Jeter, Bernie, Mariano.. basically homegrown players who became stars by finding a role to play in their Yankee team.. right now those guys must feel like they are the only ones who remember that.

But really, this season was over for the Yankees as soon they began it by screwing Andy Pettite. The lesson is clear: They started the year by dissing their most ardent christian, and ended the year getting schooled by Jesus himself.

Immortal Technique Wants You To Vote

Immortal Tech at latinrapper.com (via J.S.):

"Certain rap artists have stated that they wouldn't vote in the presidential election because they feel neither political party has the interests of minorities in mind. What's your take?

The greediest most money grubbing people I ever met in my life were corporate conservative leeches. And these are the people that are digging into their pockets to give the Bush Cheney campaign non tax refundable money. They are giving them money because they know that your vote counts, they care more about their money than they care about life, and they are willing to invest in us, in getting our vote by buying adds, propaganda and such. If they believe in our vote then why shouldn't we. Let us become our own voting block, and build the type of respect and power that the lobbyists for the bible belt of white America have. People will not listen to Black and Latino people until we make them listen, our votes will make them listen, and I know we tried that last year but Revolution isn't fought on one battle field, I think every hardcore anarchist can take 15 minutes out of their schedule in early Nov. and try to get rid of emperor Bush."

October 25, 2004

How New Yorkers Can Help Defeat Bush

We are not exactly a swing state here in the Big Apple, but actforvictory.org says we can still make a difference by volunteering:

Attention New Yorkers!

Thousands of passionate New Yorkers have been working with ACT for
months to defeat George W. Bush and elect Democrats to federal, state
and local governments.

Now, with just 9 days left, it's time to make the final push.
Listed below are dozens of specific volunteer needs here in NYC and in
the critical battleground states of PA and Ohio.

Please sign up today and help ACT get the job done on November 2nd. ACT
now, when it matters most.

Spend 96 Hours in Ohio!
Travel with ACT to the Buckeye state for the final days!
Sign up at: http://acthere.com/signup.php?eventID=4321
Email Contact: ACTNYohiotrips@hotmail.com

Get on the bus to PA and Ohio for Election Day!
Sign up at: http://acthere.com/signup.php?eventID=2940

Volunteer at local Volunteer Phonebanks this week!
We have the following phonebanks open in New York City this week. This
is your chance to reach out to the targeted voters of the battleground
states and urge them to get out to the polls next week.
Each location is in need of callers this week.

MONDAY MORNING AT SEIU, 10a to 12 noon
(330 West 42nd Street/8th Avenue; 7th floor)
Sign up at: http://acthere.com/signup.php?eventID=4034

(50 Broadway; look for a sign for floor)
Sign up at: http://acthere.com/signup.php?eventID=4276

(330 West 42nd Street, 7th Floor - 50 callers needed)
Sign up at: http://acthere.com/signup.php?eventID=4030

MONDAY NIGHT AT DC37, 6p to 9p:
(125 Barclay Street in Tribeca - 40 callers needed; look for a sign for a floor)
Sign up at: http://acthere.com/signup.php?eventID=4344

(330 West 42nd Street, 7th Floor)
Sign up at: http://acthere.com/signup.php?eventID=4035

(330 West 42nd Street, 7th Floor - 50 callers needed)
Sign up at: http://acthere.com/signup.php?eventID=4031

TUESDAY NIGHT AT DC37, 6p to 9p:
(125 Barclay Street in Tribeca - 40 callers needed; look for a sign for floor)
Sign up at: http://acthere.com/signup.php?eventID=4345

(50 Broadway; look for a sign for floor)
Sign up at: http://acthere.com/signup.php?eventID=4276

(330 West 42nd Street/8th Avenue; 7th floor)
Sign up at: http://acthere.com/signup.php?eventID=4034

(50 Broadway; look for a sign for floor)
Sign up at: http://acthere.com/signup.php?eventID=4276

(330 West 42nd Street, 7th Floor - 50 callers needed)
Sign up at: http://acthere.com/signup.php?eventID=4030

(125 Barclay Street in Tribeca - 40 callers needed; look for a sign for floor)
Sign up at: http://acthere.com/signup.php?eventID=4344

(330 West 42nd Street/8th Avenue; 7th floor)
Sign up at: http://acthere.com/signup.php?eventID=4034

(50 Broadway; look for a sign for floor)
Sign up at: http://acthere.com/signup.php?eventID=4276

(330 West 42nd Street, 7th Floor - 50 callers needed
Sign up at: http://acthere.com/signup.php?eventID=4030

(125 Barclay Street in Tribeca - 40 callers needed; look for a sign for floor)

FRIDAY MORNING AT SEIU, 10a to 12 noon
(330 West 42nd Street/8th Avenue; 7th floor)
Sign up at: http://acthere.com/signup.php?eventID=4034

FRIDAY NIGHT AT DC37, 6p to 9p:
(125 Barclay Street in Tribeca - 40 callers needed; look for a sign for floor)

Please call 212 388 3109 with ANY questions.

October 26, 2004

Eminem "Mosh" Video

When I first heard Eminem's anti-Bush manifesto "Mosh" I was too turned off by the leaden synth dirge he rapped over to get much satisfaction from his political awakening. But this video helps it go down easier:

High Speed Windows Media
Multi Speed Windows Media
High Speed Realaudio
Multi Speed Realaudio

The cynic in me is tempted to write this off as a bunch of platitudes calculated to reposition his branding. But if the message is reaching people maybe that doesn't even matter? Could this go down in history as the election decided by Eminem and Howard Stern?

October 27, 2004

Congratulations, Boston

And on a related note, Jimmy Fallon is now banned from New York for all eternity. What the hell was he doing out there?

October 28, 2004

Jay Z to be Def Jam President?

Hopefully Nas will become president of Sony, then we can take this battling stuff to a whole 'nother level.

Jay-Z may become new Def Jam president

...As Island Def Jam president, the 33-year-old New York native would report to chairman Antonio “L.A.” Reid, who joined the label in February. The label’s last president, Kevin Liles, was ousted in July.

It’s expected the label will seek to sign Jay-Z to a three-year deal, the source said.

Separately, Universal Music Group has also been in talks with Jay-Z and longtime business partners Damon Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke to buy their Roc-A-Fella Records label. But Universal’s bid to hire Jay-Z is not contingent on acquiring Roc-A-Fella, the source said...

Chuck D on Voting

I recently had the chance to chat with Chuck D, who was kind enough to stay on his cell phone with me for a good hour as he drove through Ohio. Most of our talk will appear in a future project that you'll have to wait for, but I'm gonna sneak in his comments about the election while I can. I could almost swear Chuck's words here are aimed at Nas' anti-voting rants.

Chuck: ...Organizations are encouraging young people to vote, which to me I think is like, yes, it’s so necessary. It’s like washing up in the morning. But I'd say there’s a bigger picture to even that. That, okay, in December 2004, how are the issues gonna be met? And who’s keeping score? My thing if you’re voting and you aint keepin’ score, what the f**k are you voting for?

That's why when people are like "yeah you know, Kerry, you
know straight up, that nigga the devil, you know? So, Bush, Kerry, they
the same niggas" …it’s like, you're not keepin’ score though! And if you’re not keeping score, don’t even pass a comment.

Cuz the one thing with Bush, you gotta understand what’s on the table to knocked off immediately. Child Care. Health. You know, these are things that are like one and two in our area. Don’t even get in the discussion of jobs cuz we ain't got Black businesses or encouragement for Black businesses, and then you ain't even have encouragement for education that tells you it’s possible to have a Black business that ties into the diaspora. All that shit is out the first day that Bush continues to stay in office. So when a cat tells me that the cats are one and the same.. dude, alright. But are you keeping score?

October 30, 2004

Join Us On the Radio Tonight, 3 Hour Daylight Savings Special

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.

We'll be rocking an extra hour thanks to Benjamin Franklin and his daylight savings scheme, so you'll be getting full sets from Emskee, 3D and Tomkat tonight. Recording devices are recommended.

October 31, 2004

My Election Nightmare

I've been nerdily sifting through all the horse race data at electoral-vote.com and elsewhere, then plugging in the most likely results on this interactive map (that 1115.org is using for a nifty little contest). I stumbled onto one scenario that scares the crap out of me.

I suspect Kerry's got the popular vote on lock. But if Bush carries Ohio and Florida, while Kerry takes most of the other swing states, we could easily wind up with the results pictured above, adding up to:

A tie in the electoral college, which leaves it all up to our House of Representatives (whoever is the newly elected batch for 2005). I'm sure you can guess how that would pan out.

Hopefully this won't happen, but I'm reserving a bus ticket to Montreal just in case.

About October 2004

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

September 2004 is the previous archive.

November 2004 is the next archive.

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