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February 2005 Archives

February 1, 2005

UPDATED: Rick Delgado and Todd Lynn Fired, Others Suspended Two Weeks

2/2/05 UPDATE: More details on yesterday's firings in NY Newsday, the Daily News, Billboard

Today at 1:30 Councilman John Liu will hold a press conference, where he is expected to demand that Emmis give $10 million to Tsunami aid rather than $1 million.

It is now confirmed by John Liu's office and other sources that Emmis has fired Todd Lynn and Rick Delgado, and announced they will donate one million dollars to Tsunami relief. Miss Jones and the other staff will serve out a two-week suspension and then return, except for Miss Info who is not suspended. More details here.


The rumors that Todd Lynn was fired tonight have apparently been confirmed by the activist group Asian Media Watchdog, who report:

At about 9 PM on Monday, Lynn called Asian Media Watchdog from his home in Brooklyn saying, "You got your wish man. I'm fired. I'm gone."

More details on whether anyone else was fired are expected soon. Based on how the wind is blowing, I'm betting they fired Todd Lynn and Rick Delgado, and let Miss Jones off the hook.

Which I would find outrageous, personally. I'll post further details as they come in.

February 4, 2005

Miss Info Ponders Lawsuit, Immortal Technique Ponders the Big Picture

The Daily News reports that Miss Info is considering a lawsuit against Hot 97.

Meanwhile Jeff Chang and Oliver Wang (here and here) are stepping back to look for the big picture, as is Davey D in the San Jose Mercury News. On our radio show last week I spoke with DJ Kuttin Kandi, community activist Allison Faelnar and Immortal Technique, you can hear our discussion here.

As it stands now, Todd Lynn and Rick Delgado are fired, Emmis is giving a million to Tsunami aid. While Miss Jones and the rest of her crew will return to the airwaves on Feb. 9th, which happens to be the Chinese Lunar New Year. Councilman John Liu, who became the de facto leader of this protest once mainstream media moved it beyond the internet, is focusing on demanding more money from Emmis, and not making it a priority to seek any further firings or disciplinary action.

So how do you all feel at this point? What, if anything, has been accomplished? What more needs to be done, both short term and long term?

I am going to start posting about other subjects again, in order to maintain my sanity. but I will continue to post updates on this issue too as more news comes in, which it surely will.

February 5, 2005

Ossie Davis

Ossie Davis stood for so long as a titan of our culture that it's hard to imagine not having him around. He was America's living embodiment of nobility and integrity. Like many, I'll always remember him most for the eulogy he gave at Malcolm X's funeral, and I wish I could give Ossie as worthy a tribute.

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.

February 7, 2005

African Hip-Hop Radio

Africanhiphop.com is one of the oldest hip-hop websites around, documenting hip-hop's presence in the motherland since 1997 (the same year we started). Last week they stepped up their game by launching a new internet radio show:

Pan-African Hip Hop: 26 tracks from 14 countries

AfricanHipHopRadio is the first truly pan African hip hop radio show in the world. The first show (January 2005) features no less than 26 tracks from Gabon, Angola, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Algeria, Congo, Eritrea, Tanzania, France, Senegal, Usa, Nigeria and Ivory coast - all over the motherland in a pan African spirit.

African hip-hop also got some light recently in this NPR report.

February 8, 2005

UPDATED: Miss Jones' Comeback Postponed, British Parliament and Howard Stern Speak on Hot

2/8/05 UPDATE: The Miss Jones morning show was expected to finish their suspension and return to Hot 97 tomorrow morning, but now it is reported that her comeback will be postponed, until Friday at the earliest.

2/7/05 - Today's NY Newsday had a solid overview of the story as it stands now, except they spelled Miss Info's real name wrong (It's Oh, not Oho).

Last week members of British Parliament took America to task for Hot 97's Tsunami song, in the house of Commons. Their statement is detailed in the comments here, along with the outcry from Chinese and Sri Lankan communities in the UK.

And Howard Stern of all people voiced his disapproval of the song on his Friday morning show. His crew expressed amazement that Miss Jones is being allowed to return, and he suggested the other staff are merely "taking the fall" for her. Here's a synopsis from his site:

Howard said he heard the song and it was lame, unfunny and poorly produced. He also said the song was really out of line for mocking people who are dying from a natural disaster.

Howard said because he's leaving terrestrial radio, many of these "shock jocks" are tripping over themselves to replace him by being as shocking as possible. Howard predicted that once he's over at SIRIUS, we will hear about a lot of DJ's getting in trouble because they'll be trying to be as shocking as possible to get headlines.

Howard listened to a clip from the Miss Jones Show the other day and said that Miss Jones just screams a lot, it was really annoying to listen to.

What he found almost more offensive than the Tsunami song, however, was the promo the show ran going into a break. In the promo, they claim to be the "#1 morning radio show in New York." Howard wondered how they were able to claim that distinction since he's the #1 morning show in NY with an 8.0 while the Miss Jones show was #9 with a 3.7. Howard said if everyone can just say they are #1, what's the point of actually being #1?

Robin wanted to know why Miss Jones wasn't fired after she played the song on her show four times! Howard said it looked like someone else had to take the fall for her.

Miss Jones is still expected to return this Wednesday. More protests are likely in response, and I'll post details as soon as they are available.

Many others are also working on how to keep organizing and moving on from here with long term projects, which might be the best thing that comes of all this.

February 9, 2005

Vibe on Domestic Violence in Hip-hop

Sasha has PDF-ed up the Elizabeth Mendez Berry article that everyone's talking about, and it's well worth the hype. Rarely has hip-hop journalism been so real, or so chilling:

Love Hurts

Before going to sleep, many little girls pray for a new Barbie, an X-Box game or a trip to Disney World. At age 7, Vanessa Rios asked only that "Papi would stop hitting Mami."

It was May 1999, and Vanessa was staying with her aunt, Penelope Rios Santiago, in Miami. After Santiago overheard her niece's bedtime prayer, she confronted her brother, Christopher Rios. His reaction? It wasn't true, he said.

Thoguh he had much in common with other abusers, Christopher Rios was also different: He was Big Pun, a famous rap star. He first met his wife, Liza, when she was 16, and over the course of their 10 year relationship, she claims he sent her to the hospital three times and prevented her from seeking needed medical attention on many other occasions. "One time he told me to change the batteries in his beeper," says Liza Rios, now 31. "I totally forgot about it, and he took this lead pipe and started swinging on me. I had my daughter in my arms, and I told Cuban [Link, who was there] to take the baby. After he finished beating me, my elbow was twisted out of place. I was limping for two months..."

Oh and speaking of Vibe and realness: welcome to blogville, Danyel. I'm sure you don't remember but we met at WNYU about 10 years ago.

Jimmy Smith, 1925-2005

The unsurpassed master of his instrument. Which happened to be possibly the funkiest instrument in the world. So this is quite a loss.

Jazz pioneer Jimmy Smith dies

The world has lost one of its greatest musical innovators. Widely considered “the world’s greatest jazz organist,” Jimmy Smith died Tues, Feb. 8 of natural causes in his Phoenix home. He was 76.

Although Smith wasn’t the first to play jazz on the Hammond B3 organ, his virtuosity over the instrument combined with his brilliant infusion of gospel, blues and R&B riffs and melodies into bebop-inspired improvisations place him alongside other jazz pioneers, such as Charlie Parker, Art Tatum and John Coltrane – artists who revolutionized the way their respective instruments were played and who are continuing to have a profound influence of other instrumentalists...

Chances are you'll get a hefty dose of his music on our radio show this Saturday.

February 10, 2005

NYPD Arrests Activists for Observing Them

2/10/05 UPDATE: According to indymedia the Copwatch 3 were arraigned last night, and come back for their trial on March 30, 2005 at Brooklyn Criminal Court, 120 Schermerhorn Avenue, 6th floor at 9am. (BTW doesn't Lumumba's mom remind you of MC Lyte in that photo? You know that must be a cool family.)


These guys are in jail now, apparently just for doing what every citizen has a right to do: observing the police as they do the job we pay them for. You can call the 79th precinct at 718-636-6611 to demand their release.


Three members of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Lumumba Bandele, Dasaw Floyd, and Djbril Toure remain in custody after being arrested last night in Brooklyn. They were arrested while engaged in the legal monitoring of police activities as part of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement Copwatch Program.

According to Bandele, he Floyd and and Toure were driving down Greene Avenue in Bedford Stuyvesant when they heard sirens blaring. They observed an unusual amount of police activity on the block. They parked their car, turned on their video camera and approached the scene when a witness to the events ran past them stating that the police were beating someone. Bandele, Toure and Floyd continued to walk toward the scene when they were stopped by an officer who told them that they had to leave. Bandele told the officer that they had a legal right to observe the activities, and that they were not interfering with the arrest, only witnessing it. At that point, the officer, who was never touched by Bandele, Toure or Floyd placed the three under arrest, charging them with assault and obstruction of governmental administration.

The copwatch program was initiated in 2000 as a response to police brutality in central Brooklyn said Monifa Bandele, Lumumba's wife and
a founder of MXGM. "We'd been involved in a year-long struggle to bring the men who killed Amadou Diallo to justice and felt we had to do something to respond to the ongoing abuse of Black men, women and children by police.They were killing us, savagely beating us and they still are and they were doing it with apparent immunity. For Lumumba and I, as the parents of two small children, this issue had even greater personal resonance. Every time he or any of us stand up for some other parent's child, it's as though we are standing up for our own."

This arrest is outrageous,states Kamau Karl Franklin, attorney for the three. "They were involved in completely legal activities, and the irony is that their treatment by police underscores the very need for a program such Copwatch. We look forward to our day in court because it will clearly demonstrate the contempt law enforcement too often feels towards the Black community. Franklin hopes that this unfortunate event will serve as a catalyst to make significant changes in who polices Black communities, and how they police it.

The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement was officially organized in 1995 as an attempt to raise awareness about human rights violations in the Black community. It was part of the coalition of organizations that filed a lawsuit against the notorious street crimes unit, an effort which ultimately resulted in the unit's disbanding.

(Audio Posted) Miss Jones Returns to Hot 97 This Morning, Protest Set for Monday

UPDATE 2/11/05: Today's Newsday announces that their ads are being pulled from Hot's morning show, but their ads were heard throughout this morning's show. Apparently all ads will be pulled beginning on Monday.

Miss Jones returned to Hot 97 this morning, beginning the show with an apology you can listen to here. She followed up her apology with the maudlin gospel track "We Fall Down, But We Get Up" by Donnie McClurkin.

Note that her apology is carefully worded to avoid acknowledging that she herself specifically approved the airing of the song, suddenly referring to "all of us" instead of herself on that point.

DJ Envy was not heard on the show, and neither was Miss Info of course. Someone else was in the studio doing Miss Info's "celebrity drama" segment.

But everyone will be welcome this Monday Feb. 14th, when another protest is planned, in front of Hot 97's studios at 395
Hudson Street, from 12PM - 1 PM

Valentine's Day Protest Against the Tsunami Song!

Date: Monday, February 14, rain or shine
Time: 12:00 SHARP - 1:00 pm
Location: Hot 97 395 Hudson Street (at W. Houston St.) NY, NY

Join the Coalition against Hate Media's protest against Hot 97's Tsunami Song! On Valentine's Day, celebrate love by speaking out against hate, at the Hot 97 studios.

Travel directions: Take #1 train and get off Houston Street. Walk one block west to Hudson Street.

In unity, the coalition demands that Emmis Communications take corporate responsibility by doing ALL of the following:

- terminate Miss Jones and management executives involved in the production and broadcast of the Tsunami song

-Donate one week's worth of corporate revenue to a dvierse group of tsunami relief organizations and local community organizations

-implement independent sensitivity training conducted by a third party and approved by CAHM and establish clear written corporate policies against discrimination, prejudice and hate

--begin and maintain a dialogue with NYC Councilmember Liu's office and CAHM members and other community organizations to implement the above and oher long-term solutions to prevent the recurrence of hate-based programming.

Bring signs against hate, against racism, and against the tsunami song! Signs with wooden sticks are not allowed, but cardboard tubes and hand-held signs are allowed.

The Coalition Against Hate Media (CAHM) is a broad coalition of
community groups that opposes programs and broadcasters who deliver
messages of hate against people of any race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or religious background.

February 11, 2005

Site Announcement

Since this site has been dominated by serious issues lately, I've started to lose sight of what blogging is really about: self-indulgent yapping about pop-culture trivialities. So to rectify that I've started another blog on the side, which I'm calling the Inane Asylum. I'd advise you to politely ignore it.

Scamto: South Africa's New Rap Language

By the time we're reading about it here I doubt it's all that new anymore, but still fascinating:

Word on the street is ... Scamto

A hip new language drawn from 11 others is uniting South Africa's urban young

Hey Bro, wanna ride in my g-string? Nah, gonna score ma regte some jewish.

Welcome to Scamto, the street slang of South Africa’s urban youth — a mix of the country’s 11 official languages, including English and Afrikaans.

Raw, confident and energetic, Scamto reflects the reality of modern life in the sprawling townships outside Johannesburg. Much of it focuses on sex, beer, music and weapons. There are several words for girl friends or sexual partners and at least two for Aids.

Lebo Motshegoa, 24, an advertising executive who is to publish the first Scamto dictionary next month, says it is now the language of choice for hip youth. “Language says a lot about who we are and how we live . . . this language is the essential us,” he said. “It is about the new South Africa. It tells of diversity. It is not just political — it is bigger than that.”

Mr Motshegoa, dressed all in black, is the epitome of cool. After primary school in Soweto he went to a mixed-race school in Johannesburg, where he first ran into a language barrier. He said: “One of my brothers was put in detention ’cause he just said ‘No, No’ to the teacher. In Scamto that simply means ‘OK’...”

February 12, 2005

Join Us On the Radio Tonight, with Lizz Mendez Berry and EOW

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.

Tonight we're expecting Elizabeth Mendez Berry, to build on her feature in Vibe about domestic violence in hip-hop (and beyond). There will also be live representation from the End of the Weak crew.

You can also expect to hear a lot of Jimmy Smith. DJ Monkone may even end his hiatus for this purpose.

February 13, 2005

Obligatory Gates Pic

So that they don't take my NYC passport away, here is my mandatory photo of Central Park's gates. Tomorrow I will follow this up with a photo exhibit entitled "Bird on the Gates," which will consist of of me holding up my middle finger at the gates, from a variety of angles.

(EDIT: Just for the record I actually do like the gates, and agree with what he says here. See my comments below)

February 14, 2005

Does Kanye Rap Too Much for the Grammys?

EDIT: Kanye did indeed get india.arie-d on all the big awards, only going 3 for 10 overall. But thanks to that one speech he still comes out the evening's big winner. He's just so damn good at that pompous vulnerability schtick, you can't get the best of him!

Also, much props to J-Lo for paying tribute to Harry Partch, with a vocal performance that completely abandoned Western musical scales.

(posted pre-telecast)

I usually like to post Grammy predictions, but this year I'm stumped.

Lately NARAS has come around to nominating hip-hop artists in their major categories, as they strain to shed the old-fogey image. In their breakout years Lauryn Hill, Eminem, and Outkast all got shots at the a-list awards.

But while Lauryn and Outkast came away big winners, Em was shut out of the "big three" (song/record/album of the year), by Steely Dan no less. What was Em lacking compared to the others? Certainly he lacks their aura of positivity, and the lyrics surely scared some votes off. But the other difference is that unlike Lauryn and Kast, Em was actually rapping on most of his album.

I've been saying for years that NARAS only likes to reward hip-hop when they can do so without listening to any actual rapping, and this will be the year that really gets put to the test. Kanye West's album has that positive vibe Em lacks, and the music seems innovative but is never challenging, usually the formula for a grammy jackpot. But he's also a rapper who actually raps, on almost every song.

So I have no idea what to expect tonight, though I might try to throw some guesses up later. What do you y'all think?

Fossilized Kris Kross Website Unearthed by Archeologists

Behold the anthropological marvel of this ancient Kris Kross website, miraculously preserved by Sony Music in its original state since 1996. Gaze in wonderment at the monstrously pixelated graphics! The downloadable AIFF files!! The seizure-inducing backgrounds!

Let's see how long it takes Sony to wake up now and delete these pages.

(from here, sent to me by him)

PHOTOS: Zulu Nation Joins the Voices Against Hot Hate

Afrika Bambaataa and the Zulu Nation joined a diverse group of high school students, community groups and elected officials in a protest outside Hot 97 today:

Bam and others expressed hope that the hip-hop community will come together to address Hot 97's misrepresentation of the culture, as the response to the tsunami song builds into a long-term effort to hold corporate media accountable for how they (dis)serve the community.

After the rally wrapped up, The Zulus brought lead organizer Kuttin Kandi and the other hip-hop representatives upstairs to Hot 97's office, hoping to get management to come out and meet with us. We waited for nearly a half hour in this dry, dentist's office of a waiting room that Hot shares with Kiss and CD 101.9, waiting for one of them to find some backbone and come talk to us. Finally one of Hot 97's interns came back out and explained that Barry Mayo and John Dimick weren't available to meet today, but they are eager to arrange something soon. We shall see.

The contrast between the boistrous energy of the Zulus and the sterile corporate vibe of this office space (where hip-hop supposedly lives) was striking to say the least.

Props to the Coalition Against Hate Media and all the other groups working to build on this, and especially to DJ Kuttin Kandi for taking the lead in getting hip-hop voices involved.

February 15, 2005

Three the Blog Way

jeff enjoys my feeble approximation of a screwface

This morning Hashim of hiphop.blogs joined me in a roundtable with the great Jeff Chang, discussing his monster of a book Can't Stop Won't Stop. A historic meeting of the minds, to be sure (we talked for a solid hour and it felt like we'd barely gotten started).

You can hear about 15 minutes of it tomorrow on the WBAI morning show, if you get up early enough. I'll also post some of it here and play even more on my show this week. And you can hear him on Rise Up Radio this Friday at 11AM. The man is making big moves.

February 16, 2005

Kelefa Sanneh on Sage Francis

Damn, son:

What's Left After Bling, Boasts and Odd Beats

Why is it so hard to be an underground hip-hop hero? Perhaps because the mainstream hip-hop heroes have already claimed so much of the best turf for themselves.

"I like 99 rappers, but Jay-Z ain't one," Sage Francis declared at the Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday night. And to prove it, he steered clear of all things Jay-Z-ish. That meant no slick outfits (the rapper and his band all wore black jumpsuits), no jewelry, no high-life boasts or low-life threats. But it also meant no impossibly smooth stanzas filled with hidden jokes and counterrhythms; no mesmerizing stories or irresistible refrains; no state-of-the-art beats or propulsive club tracks...

And it doesn't get any kinder from there.. hooboy.

Will Smith Dissing Eminem on New Album?

Most Frightening Headline Ever:


WILL SMITH is determined to demolish his nice guy image with his new album - which includes a swipe at fellow rapper EMINEM.

The entertainer wants his fourth solo album, LOST AND FOUND, to present his tough side - and apparently contains "sumthin' for EMINEM" in the song MR NICE GUY about how people mistake him for being soft.

Smith describes lead track SWITCH as "a snapshot of my life", reports MTV.COM. He adds, "It's the most in-depth, revealing writing that I've done in my career."


I'll always have love in my heart for TAFKAFP (and I am curious to hear if he has any clever jabs for Em), but when he tries to act hard and put the bass in his voice I can only feel shame and pity.

(original mtv story here)

February 17, 2005

Crooked I Suing Suge Knight

Crooked I was the only halfway decent artist still associated with Suge, so this is not a good look:


Rap mogul MARION 'SUGE' KNIGHT is in the middle of another legal dispute just days after being released from jail.

The THA ROW boss, who spent a week in jail earlier this month (FEB05) on a parole violation, has been served with a temporary restraining order by one of his breakout artists, CROOKED I.

In the suit, the rapper - real name DOMINIC WICKLIFFE - claims Tha Row lawyers scared off rival record companies when his contract with Knight's label ended last year (04).

According to American news show CELEBRITY JUSTICE, Wickliffe is keen to settle the suit out of court and has offered to hand over the rights to all the material he recorded as a Tha Row artist to Knight in return for his freedom.

The Daily Show's Salute to the Blog

Last night Jon Stewart and the Daily Show focused on blogville last night, and its role in exposing the faux reporter Jeff Gannon/James Guckert (and getting Eason Jordan booted from CNN). Check the video here.

As we've seen even here in my humble abode, these little blogs have the power to make big things happen nowadays, and mainstream media folk are starting to take notice. Though Anil wonders if it's such a good thing, blogville becoming known as "those websites that get people fired."

Reggae and Homophobia

The Voice's Elena Oumano adds pieces to the puzzle:

Jah Division

Free speech, cultural sovereignty, and human rights clash in reggae dancehall homophobia debate

Here in New York City, gays in clubs win' up to wildly popular reggae dancehall lyrics like "Fire fi de man dem weh go ride man behind," much as older gays pray in churches that condemn homosexuality. A mere dozen or so protesters picketed the sold-out Hot 97 "On da Reggae Tip Live" at Hammerstein Ballroom last September. Why pay mind to the words when the riddim and the vibe sweet yuh so?

But on Sunday, January 29, JAMPACT, an NYC-based Jamaican American civic group, held a panel at St. Francis College composed of Dr. Gordon Shirley, Jamaica's ambassador to the U.S.; Rebecca Schleifer of Human Rights Watch; Jamaican gay activist Larry Chang; and others. Schleifer was asked to address and defend points in her recent report issued by HRW in which she found that widespread homophobia in Jamaica endangers the welfare not only of those at high risk for HIV/AIDS, but also of HIV/AIDS outreach health care workers. Three days later, Amnesty International's OUTfront! program and New York's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center hosted a panel discussion at LGBT's Manhattan headquarters with representatives from the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG), as part of J-FLAG's campaign for support in holding Jamaican authorities accountable for failing to protect the human rights of their LGBT citizens. While dancehall homophobia has been fodder for international headlines lately, "at the Forum, J-FLAG made clear that reggae dancehall's homophobia merely fuels Jamaica's widespread cultural bias against homosexuality and bisexuality," says Alisa Wellek, of the LGBT center.

Following widespread cancellations of dancehall concerts, Sizzla was banned in November from entering the U.K., while he and seven other dancehall artists—Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Elephant Man, Vybz Kartel, T.O.K., Capleton, and Bounty Killer—were investigated by Scotland Yard after gay activists asserted that their homophobic song lyrics constitute incitement to actual murder. In the U.S., where free speech is less restricted, "Stop Murder Music" had shut down only 30 or so Beenie Man and Capleton dates this past summer and fall, mostly on the West Coast. Meanwhile, U.K. gay activist group OutRage! shifted its "Stop Murder Music" campaign higher up reggae's food chain to retail outlets and record labels like NYC-based reggae indie VP Records. After months of negotiations, gay activist groups, the labels, and promoters announced early this month that they'd reached an agreement, and that the "Stop Murder Music" campaign had been suspended.

Reggae may have started out as a poor man's party—a turntable, homemade speakers, and a public light source—but it's grown into Jamaica's survival dream, one shared by politicians, businessmen, and scrawny boys rocking toothbrush microphones. Now that the worldwide debate over what should be a universal right—to love and/or sex the adult of your choice—is focused on that live wire of an island, the dream is threatened, big-time...

Miss Info Speaks, Reports Hot 97 is Trying to Fire Her

Miss Info spoke out tonight for the first time since leaving Hot 97's airwaves, in an interview with UPN 9 News. Here is the complete audio of UPN's report. Incredibly, she reports that Emmis/Hot 97 is theatening to fire her, as soon as tomorrow.

A longer news piece on Monday's protest is up here.

Transcript (thanks Prema, and Dex):

BRENDA: She calls herself Miss Info and she's a big name on Hot 97 but she tells us that her bosses are threatening to fire her in the morning. Megan Vega with the story for you. Good evening Megan.

MEGAN: Well Good evening Brenda. Ms Info is hearing some info tonight
about her absence from HOT 97's Morning Show and in an exclusive
interview she says that she's kind of in her own celebrity drama.

MISS INFO: "I'm really confused and kinda hurt because yknow the
station, um, has made a policy, um and stated that they feel that the
tsunami song was wrong but yeah I'm the one person who kinda
represented those ideals from the start but I feel like I'm being

MEGAN: "For the first time Ms. Info from Hot 97 is speaking publicly
about the now infamous tsunami song.

MISS INFO: I objected to the tsunami song, um not just because I'm
Asian American but because I'm a human being.

MEGAN: After the song was played, the station caught some serious
flak, DJs were fired and others including Ms Jones were suspended and
a 1 million dollar donation was made to a relief effort. Now the
Morning Show is back but Miss Info is missing and her attorney,
Kenneth Thompson, says the station is threatening to fire her.

MISS INFO'S ATTORNEY: "Ms Info has been more than willing to go back
to work immediately if her requests are met."

MEGAN: Miss Info wants the workplace hostility to be addressed and she
doesn't want to work with Ms Jones. She wants to talk to her audience
and explain her absence and she would like to see a diversity program
started in the community.
Hot 97's reply, quote: "We have previously stated that Miss Info was
not suspended and we would absolutely like her back on the air at Hot
97. We have not been able to get an answer from her or her attorney on
whether or not she is coming back but we are hopeful she'll return."

MEGAN: Miss Info's attorney says that the station is lying, he insists
that he and his client have been in contact with the station and if
Miss Info loses her job tomorrow - well, he and his client are
prepared to sue. We're live outside the Hot 97 studio, Megan Vega UPN News.

February 18, 2005

Roc-A-Fella Fan Fiction

Though the "fanfic" scene offers thousands of untold stories from the worlds of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Card Captor Sakura, the equally colorful characters of hip-hop have largely been ignored.

But rocascenes.com is out to change that, with a collection of stories exploring the secret lives of Jay-Z, Dame and crew. Purists probably won't consider these true fanfic, for one thing they don't focus enough on exploring the subjects' latent homoeroticism. But they are very stange and comical, for sure. Here's an excerpt from the latest entry, imagining a tet-a-tet between Jay-Z and the Game:

[ Somewhat unnerved by the beef brewing between him and Jigga, Game shows up at Def Jam's offices to straighten things out. Jay-Z, currently Def Jam's President, is welcome to hear what the Compton rapper has on his mind. ]

Jay's Secretary: Sir, your 1:15 is here to see you.

Jay: Aight Bleek, send 'em in.

Game: Allow me to reintroduce myself, my name is Game! *chuckles*

Jay: ....

Game: Remember that s**t?

Jay: .... come on in. *Jay invites Game into his office*

*Game steps in and his entourage tries to follow*

Jay: I'm gonna have to ask y'all to wait downstairs. No disrespect.

Game: Oh, no doubt, like Gwen Stefani.

Jay: .....

*Jay lets Game into his office and shuts the door*

Jay: Have a seat...

Game: *while walking towards Jay's desk, notices a 5 foot tall, 30 gallon container of water sitting in the middle of Jay's office* What's that there for?

Jay: That's not important right now... so, you have urgent business to discuss with me?

Game: Yeah man, I wanted to get at you dawg, like DMX.... you know...

Jay: Uh huh

Game: I just wanna clear up this so-called beefin s**t... like Ice Cube and Common.

Jay: I'm listenin.

Game: Please don't let me be misunderstood, like Nina Simone.

Jay: Why are you makin that face?

Game: What face?

Jay: That face you always make.

Game: Whatchu mean homie, that's just how I loo- *catches on and starts laughing* oh, I get it. You got jokes like Martin Lawrence. Tha's funny man. *points at Jay*

Jay: *points back*

Game: Aight, so about this lil beef or whatever. I was in the club, like 50 Cent, then I heard through the grapevine like Marvin Gaye, that you wanted some problems like Lil Scrappy.

Jay: Okay, well first off--

Game: NWA.

Jay: Huh?

Game: Express yourself.

Jay: .......okay, well first off I don't appreciate some of the comments you been throwin at my lil homie, Bleek.

Game: You got this nigga answerin yo' phone. He's Mr. Telephone Man, like New Edition.

Jay: But my homie is like my brother, and that's family. So it's like you disrespectin my family. You dig what I'm sayin?

Game: YEAH! like Usher and Lil Jon, baby.

Jay: *puts his hand on his forehead*

(found at OKP)

(EDIT: upon closer look I'm not feeling everything on this site, the misogyny and homophobia is a bit much at times)

A Conversation With Lizz Mendez Berry

Last week we got a chance to speak to Lizz Mendez Berry about her piece in Vibe magazine on Domestic violence in Hip-Hop. The interview is up now on our soundclick page.

February 19, 2005

Troops in Iraq Seek Solace in Rap

From Mr. Chang, who is quoted:

Fighting Words

On one more steaming day in Baghdad, word filtered out to the artillery regiment that some of the younger guys were not going to get to fly home for their promised rest-and-relaxation break. Soldiers fumed. They'd spent months of long hours in this crazy place, knowing that at any moment a homemade bomb might explode, a rocket-propelled grenade might land or an Iraqi child might spit at them.

But though they were armed to the teeth, they chose to respond with a different kind of weapon. They stepped outside and, of all things, began to rap...

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.

Tonight I'll play excerpts from my interview with Jeff Chang, author of (I'm sure you know this by now) "Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation." (props to Leanne from Rise Up Radio for hooking us up, and Hashim from hiphop.blogs for sitting in)

February 21, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson, 1937 - 2005


Author Hunter S. Thompson Kills Himself

Hunter S. Thompson, the acerbic counterculture writer who popularized a new form of fictional journalism in books like "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," fatally shot himself Sunday night at his home, his son said. He was 67...



I won't try to say anything deep today. Just turn on the radio and hear the man for yourself.

AUDIO: New (Serato Scratch) Mix from DJ 3D

DJ 3D - Underground Railroad Serato Scratch Mix, WBAI 2/19/05
Okay, I'm trying out a new system for posting clips from the radio show, let me know how this Rapidshare site works for you. If y'all can roll with this I might start posting audio more often, and working on higher sound quality.


Partial playlist:
Wordsworth - "Be A Man"
De La w/ MF Doom - "Rock Co Kane Flow"
InI - "Think Twice"
Sir Menelik w/ A.L. Skillz and A Butta - "At You"
Chef Words - "Jumped Out the Matrix"
Emanon - "Count Your Blessings"
Nas - "Bridging the Gap (remix)"
That Usher/J Lo Beat
Chic - "Good Times"
Booker T and the MGs - "Sing a Simple Song" (mixed w/ Jay Smooth interviewing Jeff Chang)

Download Instructions: Scroll down to the bottom of the first page and click the "free" button, then scroll down on the second page.

February 22, 2005

AUDIO: 8 Minute End of the Weak Freestyle

The End of the Weak Crew, with Dj 3D on the wheels. These guys should teach classes on how emcees can work together in a live performance, check how seamlessly their flows interact here:

Download Instructions: Scroll down to the bottom of the first page and click the "free" button, then scroll down on the second page.

February 23, 2005

AUDIO: Jimmy Smith/Hunter Thompson Memorial Mega Mashup

Anybody can mix two songs together. But how many people can take an entire 30 minute DJ set, and combine it with a 200 page book?? Prepare to behold the most audacious mashup of all time!!

I was about to post DJ Monkone's tribute to Jimmy Smith and Tyrone Davis when the news came in about Hunter S. Thompson. So I decided to see if I could re-edit 30 minutes of rare funk and hip-hop into a musical adaptation of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." Here are the magical results:

Download Instructions: Scroll down to the bottom of the first page and click the "free" button, then scroll down on the second page.

EDIT: How are these rapidshare links working for you guys? Please let me know if I should try out other sites instead..

February 26, 2005

NYU's Public Enemy Conference: Night One Roundup

2/28/05 EDIT: I'll try to get up my notes from the second day soon. In the meantime be aware of this.

Tonight's event brought up a lot of emotion for me, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one getting choked up here and there.. Gonna try to run down as much as I can, before I rest up for tomorrow's marathon. This is mainly for my benefit, to remember as much as I can, so it may ramble on and on:

With the auditorium fully packed and many more left outside, the evening began with some rare footage from 1988: a series of gritty b&w PSA clips directed by Brett Ratner, with a young Flav and Chuck advising the kids to vote, honor black history month, and use condoms.

Then a (still in production) documentary mixing PE's 2003 trip to the UK with footage of their historic 1st visit in 1988. It was slow and flat at times, to be honest, but all the 1988 footage was great, and gave a rare glimpse of PE with their guard down and just being regular folks, instead of the mythological heroes they still seemed to be back then; Chuck straight cracking up as Flavor keeps clowning and ribbing him like "Yo Chuck be farting out his mouth! I don't know how be be doing that! There's a party in Chuck's mouth, everyone's comin!"

Continue reading "NYU's Public Enemy Conference: Night One Roundup" »

February 28, 2005

50 Cent Hot 97 Interview, Dissing Game (AUDIO)

If I may quote okayplayer.com:

It's official. Black History month is over, but Negroes obviously paid absolutely no attention. Y'all heard of Tupac, right? Biggie? If we learn nothing else from their lives and deaths, we should at least clearly understand that this game ain't worth dying over.

Just as I see the debut of The Game and 50's new video... I hear about some "he can't hang out with us no more" high school ish. It is what it is... egos, politics, whatever. Even if it's legit tension, you've gotta be responsible for how you handle it. Can you shut it down once the guns are drawn, or do you have to prove your rep until we all lose?

Peep your history. No one is safe until cats' mentalities grow up. This is the same bulls**t that kills kids in front of schools. The same s**t that's got fathers/brothers/uncles looking at 25 to life. We don't need radio stations putting everybody's side on blast, either. This ain't news, cuz we've seen it before. Let grown men work out their own differences behind closed doors, like they're supposed to. I'm pretty sure there's enough money for everybody. Just make your music and live your lives. Nobody needs the side drama.

Here is the audio of 50 Cent's interview on Hot 97 tonight with Funkmaster Flex. A shooting soon followed, outside hot 97's studio. All this occurs just as hip-hop activists are planning a protest against Hot 97's misrepresentation of hip-hop, in NY's Union Square this Friday.

People have said that this is nothing more than pro wrestling, and I can understand the cynicism. But as Owen Hart's family will tell you, even pro wrestling can turn real at a moment's notice, and become serious as cancer. Once necks get broken or bullets start flying, it doesn't much matter whether you started out with a script.

It is truly sad to see such bright and talented young men, with limitless opportunity in front of them, putting their lives in jeopardy over such trivial nonsense. I hope the hip-hop community will take every opportunity to speak out against our self destruction, and those who seek to profit from it:

Shooting Outside Hot 97 Tonight, After 50 Cent Interview Attacking Game

NY's Fox 5 News is reporting a shooting outside Hot 97 tonight. No details yet, but many of you will be aware that 50 Cent and G Unit were there tonight, stirring up lots of drama on Flex's show. I'll post details as I get them.

(Most of 50's comments tonight were aimed at Game, and they were not of a friendly sort. I'm sure the audio will be all over by tomorrow. EDIT: in fact, MTV is already on it. Shaheem is on point.)

EDIT: Fox had another report from Lisa Evers, who hosts "Street Soldiers" at Hot.. she was in the building when it happened, and was told to evacuate along with everyone else who was running out of the building, saying there was a shooting. 50 and his entourage were not hit, they were shuffled out of a back entrance. A 20 year old male was shot in the leg and thigh, and is expected to recover... that's about all she had.

11:30 PM EDIT: Game's brother Big Fase is posting on Game's Black Wall Street website, saying:

"them hoe ass niggaz security shot my lil homie. its all bad @the radio station."

[second post]
he got shot 3times.he is ok.
it wasnt 50cent security,it was 1 of his niggaz though.
im holdin 50cent responsible.

Also on blackwallstreet, someone posted a report that Sway gave on KMEL:

"Game came to the building with BWS and in the end one of BWS was shot 2 times but will be ok. Also said that 50 is going to diss eminem and dre and he wants nothing to do with interscope. MTV will have and interview but not all questions will be shown"

SOHH is reporting the victim was one of 50's security.

1:30 EDIT: Here is the audio of the interview, and here is the moment when 50 was told of the shooting and ushered out of the studio.

Whatever the details turn out to be, after the blissful nostalgia of our Public Enemy weekend this sure is a sobering return to reality. As Mr. Fishburne said: Welcome to the desert of the real.

I just hope this doesn't escalate any further. It almost seems tragically poetic that all this takes place as hip-hop activists plan a protest against Hot 97's misrepresentation of hip-hop, this friday at Union Square.

About February 2005

This page contains all entries posted to hiphopmusic.com: in February 2005. They are listed from oldest to newest.

January 2005 is the previous archive.

March 2005 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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