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June 2005 Archives

June 1, 2005

And America Out of New York

Back from the ever-tasty Montreal.. My circle of McGill-attending friends is mostly moving on this year, so this might be my last time up there for a while.. I'm gonna miss y'all! Peace to Anne, Amy, Neale, Jon, Jessica, Tomiwa and the rest of the crew (and of course Gramophone Sean whom I've got pegged as blogger most likely to become world famous author.)

No Poutine this time but I did test the bagels, and my fellow NY-ers, I think they've got us on that one. Impressive enough that I'll politely ignore the attempts at pizza. Also took a million graffiti pics, digitized and webbified when time permits. And got the following books at Cheap Thrills for a total of $30 Canadian:

"The Rise and Fall of a Proper Negro" by Leslie Alexander Lacy
"Harlem: the Making of a Ghetto" by Gilbert Osofsky
"Soul Sister" by Grace Halsell (a female "Black Like Me"!?)
"Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky: The Life of Jimi Hendrix" by David Henderson
"What To Listen For In Music" by Aaron Copland
"The Recording Angel: The Experience of Music from Aristotle to Zappa" by Evan Eisenberg

Plus the book I've been dying to read for the longest, "On the Real Side" by Mel Watkins. The prologue has already planted the seeds for about 5 new posts...


.. perhaps including one on this week's Big Blog Topic, which I'm just catching up on today. No time to jump in now, but I thought this previous colloquy covered all the bases. And I'll just mention.. no, let me not get started.

June 2, 2005

Oscar Brown Jr. RIP

Oscar Brown had a big impact on my formative years as the host of "From Jump Street" on PBS. To my young eyes he was the epitome of cool, and taught me that knowing your musical roots was the foundation of that cool.

Oscar Brown Jr., Entertainer and Social Activist, Dies at 78

Oscar Brown Jr., a singer, songwriter, playwright and actor known for his distinctive blend of show-business savvy and social consciousness, died on Sunday in a Chicago hospital. He was 78 and lived in Chicago. The cause was complications of a blood infection, his family said.

Mr. Brown was most often described as a jazz singer, and he initially achieved fame by putting lyrics to well-known jazz instrumentals like Miles Davis's "All Blues" and Mongo Santamaria's "Afro Blue," but efforts to categorize him usually failed. As a performer, he acted his songs more than he sang them; as a songwriter, he drew as much from gospel, the blues and folk music as he did from jazz. He preferred to call himself an entertainer, although even that broad term did not go far enough: he saw his art as a way to celebrate African-American life and attack racism, and it was not always easy to tell where the entertainer ended and the activist began.

His song "Brown Baby," recorded by Mahalia Jackson and others, was both a lullaby for his infant son and an anthem of racial pride. Other songs, like "Signifying Monkey" and "The Snake," took their story lines from black folklore. The album "We Insist! Freedom Now Suite," for which Mr. Brown wrote lyrics to the drummer Max Roach's music, was one of the first jazz works to address the civil rights movement.

His commitment to art as a tool for change was most evident in the numerous stage shows he wrote and directed in his native Chicago, which addressed social issues and often had poor black teenagers in their casts. The most famous of these shows, "Opportunity, Please Knock," was created in 1967 with members of the Blackstone Rangers, a street gang. His most recent production was a 2002 revival of "Great Nitty Gritty," a show about gang violence that he had first staged 20 years earlier with young residents of the Cabrini Green housing project...

Montreal Graffiti 2005

Trying out flickr for these, got about 50 more coming.

New Yorkers, remember to get on the good foot tonight.

June 3, 2005

Informant Backs Off Biggie/Suge Knight/LAPD Theory

As we've learned from certain other cases, just because your accusers are liars doesn't necessarily mean you are innocent. Still, yet another frustrating development..

Notorious B.I.G. Murder Informant Changes His Story

A paid informant who alleged to police and the FBI that the murder of rapper Notorious B.I.G. was a conspiracy hatched by Death Row boss Marion "Suge" Knight and a rogue Los Angeles Police Department officer has changed his tune.

The man, who now identifies himself as a lifelong paranoid schizophrenic, has admitted under oath that his elaborate story was "all hearsay," according to the Los Angeles Times...

I always forget Biggie was only 24, and it sounds younger every time I'm reminded.

June 6, 2005

Game, Jay-Z at Summer Jam

A couple of questions about this Summer Jam report:

1. Did Game really throw his gold chain into the crowd? As many people as I've seen trampled for a towel or a tamborine, tossing one of those diamond-infested monstrosities sounds kinda dangerous. Maybe it was just another counterfeit piece from Jacob..

2. What exactly is a "doormat audience"? Is the writer suggesting that anyone who pays to see this show must have self-esteem issues, and needs help from Dr. Phil to hold out for a show that will treat them right?

June 7, 2005

More Summer Jam Questions

Davey D touches on some of the other Questions that flashed through my mind about Hot 97's Summer Jam concert..

...However, it was Game who overshadowed the proceedings with his first New York appearance since his infamous altercation with 50 Cent resulting in a shooting outside the radio station. This as we all know, was followed up with a public burying of the hatchet with 50 and Game donating a ton of money to the Harlem Boy's Choir.

The public peace making suggested to everyone that the pair saw themselves as key figures in the public and wanted to set a positive example for all to follow. It seemed like a good end to what was a tumultuous situation. A lot of people were hopeful that the Game vs. 50 cent beef would not go the way that the Biggie vs. Pac beef went.

...as of late [Game] seemed intent on trying to overcome all these past dramas and move to higher and hopefully more positive ground. For example, he recently donated a lot of money to local Compton community organizations. He participated in the recently held West Coast peace Summit which was organized by Snoop Dogg and resulted in the Dogg Pound reuniting and Snoop squashing his troubles with Suge Knight. Game also came together with Snoop to do a West Coast Unity Tour which was significant because Game is affiliated with the Bloods in Compton and Snoop with the Crips in Long Beach which are rival gangs and rival cities in Southern Cali.

Now let's get back to the Hot 97 Summer Jam in New York. According to reports from sources like Allhiphop, Game took to the stage and threatened to knock out G-Unit members Lloyd banks and Tony Yayo. He called 50 Cent a rat and then proceeded to beat down a rat mascot that appeared on stage. This was followed up with Game throwing his G-Unit medallion into the crowd, him yelling G-G-G-Unot throughout his set and him telling folks that 50 cent is not the King of New York because dude had relocated to Connecticut.

Upon hearing about this all one can do is ask, "Why Game why?" and "When is enough, enough?" With all these things going on, why was it necessary for Game to get on stage and start up the beef again with 50 Cent and the G-Unit posse?

I'm hoping that this is all just a staged situation and that all this was done to generate controversy and press. But even if that was the case, these beefs, staged or not, are getting old. Even if 50 and Game never come to blows you best believe there is likely to be drama amongst the fans that have love and passion for these artists. Have we not forgotten the huge brawl that took place in Long Beach shortly after the initial altercation between 50 and Game?. Furthermore since all eyes are on them, all this talk about peace goes out the window and sends a strong message to folks who look up to artists like Game-that all this talk about shaking hands and moving past the drama is pure bulls**t.

Adding to all this, are the lack of steps that corporate radio giants like Hot 97 have taken. One would think this embattled media outlet would be the first to pull the plug and call it a day. One would think that Hot 97 would be the first to say to Game; you can have beef, but not on our stage and turn off his sound. We should also note that the station did cut the sound on Snoop and the D-Block camp when their sets went too long, so it wasn't out of the realm of possibilities and was within their jurisdiction.

Lastly it will be interesting to see how [this is handled by] Reverend Al Sharpton, who as I mentioned earlier publicly called for a 90 day ban by radio stations on any artists promoting beef. So here we have Game in New York City kicking up dust and promoting beef-now what? Will there be ban? I doubt it...is hot 97 really gonna pull an artists who is blowing up the charts?

June 9, 2005

R.E.A.C.Hip-HopTown Hall Meeting

The coalition formed in the aftermath of the Tsunami Song continues to make noise:

R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop Reports to the Community on the "Stop Hot 97" Campaign

Join R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop (Representing Education, Activism and Community Through Hip Hop) this Saturday, June 11th for a Community Town Hall Meeting that will address the latest developments of the "Stop Hot 97" campaign that began earlier this year. The free event will be held at Unity Hall, located at 235 W. 23rd Street (between 7th & 8th Avenues) in New York City from 1 pm to 4 pm.

Confirmed speakers include activist and author, Kevin Powell; Newark Deputy Mayor for Youth and Social Services, Ras Baraka; media reform activist, Rosa Clemente; and R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop co-founder, DJ Kuttin' Kandi. The program will also feature poetry and Hip Hop performances by local high school youth, DJ Boo, and the UN Ambassador of Hip Hop, Toni Blackman. The program will be MC'd by activist and cultural arts entrepreneur April Silver.

The community-at-large is encouraged to find out the facts about this campaign, learn about the most effective ways to effect change in media, as well as join in on a celebration of the positive aspects of Hip Hop culture. As a courtesy, R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop will offer free on-site childcare for parents who want to bring their children.

June 20, 2005

The Most Music Ever Contained in One Post

After being away for so long I figured I better come back with something big, so I finally sat down and restored most of the audio in our mixshow and freestyle archives. Here's a complete list of the latest reissues:


2/28/04 DJ Easy Mo Bee - stream / download

2/14/04 DJ Monk One Valentine's Day set - stream / download

1/17/04 DJ Monk One MLK Day set - stream / download

12/20/03 DJ Spinna Dance Classics set - stream / download

09/13/03 DJ 3D - stream / download

01/03 DJ Oneman Classic Breaks set - stream / download

3/15/03 DJ 3D - stream / download

2/08/03 Guest DJ: Chairman Mao - stream / download

11/02/02 DJ Monkone - stream / download

11/02/02 DJ 3D Jam Master Jay tribute - stream / download

11/02/02 DJ Emskee Jam Master Jay tribute - stream / download

8/24/02 DJ Emskee Native Tongue set - stream / download

6/15/02 DJ 3D - stream / download

5/25/02 DJ Avee - stream / download

2001 DJ Spinna and Monkone trading breaks - stream / download

05/04/2002 DJ 3D - stream / download

01/27/2001 DJ Emskee - stream / download

04/13/2002 DJ Babu - stream / download

02/23/2002 DJ Monk One - stream / download

01/12/2002 DJ 3D - stream / download

11/24/2001 DJ 3D - stream / download

10/27/2001 DJ 3D - stream / download

10/27/2001 DJ Emskee - stream / download

10/13/2001 DJ 3D - stream / download

8/25/2001 DJ 3D - stream / download

4/15/2000 DJ 3D - stream / download

4/08/2000 DJ 3D - stream / download

9/18/99 DJ 3D - stream / download


The Anomolies Part 1, and Part 2 - May 2003

Shuman - April 2000

Talib Kweli with Medina Green (Jah Born, Cash Rule and DCQ) - October 98

Allstar Freestyle extended version - December 97: 25 Minute segment from Mr. Live, Tony Bones, IG Off and Hazadus, Kwest the Mad Lad, Poison Pen, A.L. Skills, Skam and Shadowman, and the Doxxmen.

A Tribe Called Quest - June 96

June 21, 2005

PHOTOS: Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, 6/18/05

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they used to do it out in the park

Thanks to Geology, Medina Green, Rhymefest, Leela James, Little Brother and Brand Nubian, plus everyone at Room Service for a day of hip-hop like it's supposed to be.

You can hear a little bit of my talk with Lord Jamar and Phonte of Little Brother (along with Alma and Wes from Room Service) at the WBAI Morning Show's new site.

June 22, 2005

Maximum Busy Muscle

Wishing Biggie's mom the best on this, but I have a feeling we won't see any justice on this case until some time around the year 2040, when a decrepit old Suge Knight is wheeled into the courtroom to get Edgar Ray Killensed.


this is clearly a setup for several corny jokes, but I'm too out of practice to find them.


Luckily some bloggers are still on top of their game. Mr. Charnas is still dropping bombs, and All-Star B-Boy Scholar Joe Schloss has finally entered the fray and is already sparking meaty dialogue with Mark Anthony Neal, who has also now been assimilated. Neal has been steady hitting home runs, even working in references to both of my favorite poets.


Many of you might not know that second poet, who was murdered by the NYPD right on the block where I grew up (145th and Lenox). But you probably heard his work without realizing it on the San Francisco season of MTV's Real World, when Puck recited that poet's "Fir" pretending he made it up himself on the spot (the main reason I always hated that peanut-butter-defiling motherf****r):

The fir stands.
The man watches.
Its height pierces the low cloud.
Its arms srtetch out to the winds.
Its roots walk deep into the earth.
The man watches.
The fir stands.
the man walks away.
"Perhaps you are right," he says.

This Noel Gallagher Thing

I'm impressed that people can find this much to say about it.

His rant is, of course, boneheaded. Like many such rants it consists mostly of reasonable criticism, rendered foolish only by the bonehead blanket condemnation that prefaced it. Remove the burden of justifying that inital outburst (and his cultural outsider status) and the rest of it is barely objectionable.

But the first sentence is there, and you can't expect folks to pretend it isn't.

June 23, 2005

Game - 300 Bars Freestyle

Good lord. Somebody needs to tell this kid that brevity is the soul of dis.

The original "100 Bars" was aiite, "200 Bars" was already taking the gimmick too far. Now he's become the rap version of "The new gillette Mach 10, with TEN blades!! That means the shave is TEN TIMES CLOSER!!!"

June 27, 2005

Grokster Loses in Supreme Court

Uh oh. What does this mean for BitTorrent and the other programs I'm afraid to even name now? Anybody? Bueller?

Supreme Court Rules Against Grokster

Peer-to-peer networks can be held liable for copyright infringements committed by users, court says.

Grokster and StreamCast Networks can be held liable for copyright infringements committed by users of their peer-to-peer file-sharing software, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday. The decision in the case Grokster v. MGM is a major win for the motion picture and recording industries, which took the case to the nation's highest court after losing in lower courts over the past two years or so.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs--Motion Picture Association of America, the National Music Publisher's Association of America, and the Recording Industry Association of America--asked the court to recognize that the Grokster and StreamCast's Morpheus P-to-P (peer-to-peer) software packages were created primarily to encourage users to illegally trade copyright songs and movies. They argued that while users are responsible for copyright violations, P-to-P vendors share a secondary liability.

The issue before the Supreme Court in the case focused on a relatively narrow question: whether movie and music companies should be able to sue the P-to-P distributors for the copyright violations of their users.

The Supreme Court ruling thus gives movie and music companies the ability to sue P-to-P distributors and sends the case back to a lower court.

Those who supported Grokster argued the case has broader implications, saying if copyright owners are able to sue inventors of new technologies for the sins of their users, few technology companies would be safe...

June 28, 2005

Hip-Hop Radio Under Attack

From my brethren at KPFA in Cali:


Family, Friends, Allies, Supporters, All Concerned and Involved:

It is with profound urgency that we write this letter to the people
with whom we have built this great community institution we call Hard
Knock Radio (HKR). Without your genuine love and support, we never
would have made it this far.

HKR was birthed from the struggle to save KPFA in 1999. We represent
part of the promise KPFA made to listeners then to transform and
diversify its airwaves. Since those early days, we have become one of
the most cutting-edge, unique and innovative hour-long programs in
of Public Radio. HKR is setting the standard by which HipHop on
Radio will be measured. HKR represents a savvy generational shift in
progressive programming -- mixing culture and politics in a new way
that makes the social justice movement attractive to the HipHop

As many of you know, funding for Public Radio is constantly
by government forces who do not value free speech and
media. The people who stand to lose the most are the next generation
of listeners: people of color and youth, poor folks, and immigrants.
These audiences -- grossly under-served by Public Radio, but readily
courted by Commercial Radio -- are being reached and politicized by
HKR, because we understand how to speak to their concerns, engage in
sincere outreach to their communities, and provide them with
programming that is neither patronizing nor alienating. Without HKR
a lightning rod, these audiences may abandon Pacifica and KPFA

Contrary to almost all of Pacifica/KPFA’s public affairs programming,
HKR is not designed to be an alternative to NPR; HKR is the
alternative to Commercial Radio, and we are rooted in the principles
of Media Justice. Part of our mission is to remedy the failure of
progressive radio and the progressive movement to bring the most
marginalized communities to the table.

Unfortunately, even at a community radio station such as KPFA, our
efforts to press for inclusion and Media Justice are being thwarted
the new General Manager, Roy Campanella II. Campanella has expressed
desire to take ownership of the name ‘Hard Knock Radio’ from us; he
has revoked promised staffing resources; he has helped foster a
hostile workplace for women and HKR Staff in particular; and he has
made attempts to divide HKR Staff. There is increasing evidence
indicating Campanella has spread harmful lies about HKR Staff,
apparently in an effort to build a case to take certain HKR Staff off
the air. On May 5, Campanella assaulted HKR Executive Producer
Southon with a threat of physical violence.

Campanella has made it clear -- through bullying and gossiping --
his intention is to crush HKR. We refuse to abandon all that we have
done in the last five years to build a NEW audience for KPFA,
Pacifica, and Public Radio. We will not allow such progressives to
continue to marginalize and ghettoize programming for young people
communities of color. We regret that it has come to this. But HKR
continue it’s mission and it’s message.

For many of our listeners who appreciate our work and
the fact that HKR has become a target of abuse at KPFA, probably
as a complete shock. For us, there is little mystery. Our very
existence has challenged mediocrity. Since graduating from KPFA’s
Apprenticeship Program in 1995, HKR Executive Producer Weyland
has been a very outspoken critic of KPFA’s status quo. HKR has been
targeted because we have emerged as a direct threat to KPFA’s
entrenched powers that be.

As employees of a progressive institution, we are alarmed by the lack
of due process afforded us in this crisis. We have received no
indication from Pacifica or KPFA leadership that our concerns about
workplace safety are being given any validity. The unapologetic
conspiracy of silence and overall inaction of Pacifica management and
the Local Station Board is suspect.

This crisis has seriously disrupted our production, and is imposing
incredible hardships on the HKR Staff who still work at KPFA daily.
The unwillingness of Pacifica and KPFA’s Local Station Board to
resolve these issues effectively is literally jeopardizing the future
existence of Hard Knock Radio on the Pacifica Network. We have
exhausted all internal processes regarding this matter. Our last
resort is to fully inform our listener-supporters and ask that you
have our backs.

Our demands and needs are simple and fair:

1) Roy Campanella II should resign for creating and fostering a
hostile workplace for KPFA workers – especially women and HKR Staff.
His monumental mismanagement of KPFA puts our FCC license renewal at
risk. We need and deserve professional, responsible, and visionary
leadership that is willing to build a team that will KPFA into the
future. We demand a safe and equitable workplace.

2) HKR has been victimized by neglect and gross mismanagement at
Pacifica and KPFA since our inception. We demand honest, efficient,
and transparent management practices. We demand fair and supportive
supervision. We demand an end to management favoritism and cronyism.

3) We want an equitable distribution of resources, and demand that
HKR be given the highest possible budget priority. We want Pacifica and KPFA to support and implement our innovative off-air fundraising
strategies so we can be more self-sufficient. We demand the necessary
institutional support to reach our goals so that HKR can realize its
fullest potential as a tool for social change. We demand the right of

4) All persons responsible for this attack on HKR should be held
accountable for their words and actions. Write letters in support of
HKR directly to KPFA’s Local Station Board. Letters typed on
letterhead carry more weight than emails, so we are encouraging
to fax letters to 510.532.8461 and/or send mail C/O Tumi’s, 3028
International Blvd, Oakland, CA, 94601. For emails, go to
www.kpfa.org/lsb and fill out the prompt. Email the Pacifica
Foundation National Board direct at board@pacifica.org. Be sure to cc
all emails to HKR at hardknock@kpfa.org so that we can make your
support public.

Yours in Struggle,

HKR Staff
Weyland Southon, Executive Producer
Anita Johnson, Senior Producer
David ‘Davey D’ Cook, Host
Favianna Rodriguez, Correspondent
Thenmozhi Soundarajan, Correspondent
Nishat Kurwa, Correspondent
Michael ‘Mike Biggz’ McKenna, Board Operator

Confession Reported in Biggie Murder

Prison informants are always iffy, but here's hoping sometihng comes out of this:

Rampart officer linked to Notorious B.I.G. case

Corrupt former police officer Rafael Perez acknowledged working security for Death Row Records on the night Notorious B.I.G. was killed, according to a prison informant quoted in documents revealed Monday in federal court.
If true, the purported admission would link the central figure in the Los Angeles Police Department's Rampart scandal with the record label whose founder has long figured in theories about the 1997 slaying of the New York rap star also known as Biggie Smalls.

Perez's one-time cellmate Kenny Boagni said Perez and fellow rogue officer David Mack "were involved in Death Row Records. ... They went to all their parties and stuff," Assistant City Attorney Don Vincent told the judge presiding over a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.

Boagni also said in the November 2000 declaration to a police detective that "Perez told him he was at the award show when Biggie Smalls was killed" and called Mack on a cell phone before the slaying to say the rapper was in his SUV, Vincent said.

Monday's revelation came after an attorney for B.I.G.'s family received an anonymous tip last week that Perez and the B.I.G. killing were mentioned during an LAPD disciplinary hearing held in a jail basement in December 2000. Boagni was a witness at the hearing for a now-deceased officer.

Attorneys for the city confirmed the account Monday, and outside the presence of the nine-member jury read from the declaration and hearing transcripts. U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper ordered a halt to the trial to give both sides time to review the documents. Testimony was scheduled to resume Thursday....

Jeff Chang and Nelson George, Wednesday Night

Y'all should come hang with us, good talk for a good cause:

June 29, 2005, 7:00PM
Jeff Chang and Nelson George on Hip-Hop, Repression, and the '80s

Elebash Recital Hall, CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue @ 34th Street ($15)

Jeff Chang, author of the highly acclaimed Can't Stop Won't Stop and
pioneering hip-hop writer and filmmaker Nelson George (author of the
Post-Soul Nation and the classic The Death of Rhythm & Blues) will
explore how urban art flourishes in times of repression. George will
show clips from his DVD documentary "Smart Black People Talk About the
'80s and Their Lives". Using the clips as a launching point, both
authors will explore how Reagan Era politics catalyzed the genre of
hip hop. Limited seating. Advanced ticket purchase advised. Major
credit cards accepted. (212)817-8215. Proceeds will go to fund summer
internships for high school-aged mediamakers at WBAI (99.5 FM) in New
York City.

June 30, 2005

And Don't Forget Big Hank

Thanks to everyone who came out for the excellent panel last night with Nelson George and Jeff Chang, which I sort of stood next to and pretended to host. Hopefully audio/video will be available by and by. And thanks especially to the Radio Rootz crew for putting the evening together, people with money please go here and support their charity work with the younglings.

And a belated congratulations to our DJ Emskee and Karen, now on their honeymoon in Hawaii (should ahve hooked them up with Jeff for local beatdigging tips!) My photos of the wedding festivities are here at flickr, featuring the entire Underground Railroad Crew in tuxedos.

I'm in Arlington/DC this weekend for my cooler-than-cool stepdad's family reunion. Any recommendations for how to spend my few spare moments?

About June 2005

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

May 2005 is the previous archive.

July 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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