The new Wax Poetics is out, with the usual music nerd's treasure trove we've come to expect from Andre and the gang. I even contributed a little Dangerdoom interview, on page 28. We'll be having a release party tonight at APT (downstairs section), with our own Monk One joining KOOL DJ RED ALERT on the wheels.
And here's a little snippet from the cover story on David Axelrod:
So, your production and arranging style wasn't a response to that of, say, Phil Spector?
I nevr paid a lot of attention to him anyway. I wasn't aware of him. What did I care what Phil spector was doing? I didn't listen to his records. And I never went for that "Wall of Sound" thing. Spector just booked the studio. It was Jack Nitzsche who did the arrangements. He was a weird dude, but I liked him a lot.
So you're saying that the arranger should have gotten credit for developing the Wall of Sound?
I always thought the engineer at Gold Star [Studios] should have gotten about half the credit for that. He had a studio that would hold fourteen people, and in walks Spector with twenty people. You have to give credit to the engineer to make it possible to hear anything. And still have room to record the singers. He probably called Spector a f**king idiot.
We can't print that, can we?
Why not? Is he paying your salary? F**k him...
Scoop Jackson is mad.
In October 1999, these words came out of his mouth:
"I don't mean to say [that] as a snide remark toward a certain population in our society, but they have a limitation of their attention span, a lot of it probably due to too much rap music going in their ears and coming out their being."
OK. Let that one slide. Chalk it up as generational hate. Cultural Alzheimer's.
In October 2005, these words came out of his mouth:
"I think it's important that the players take their end of it, get out of the prison garb and the thuggery aspect of basketball that has come along with hip-hop music in the last seven or eight years."
OK … the camel's thoracic and lumbar vertebrae just went into trauma. Forget a broken back, this is spondylitis. A disease...
...In the words of SNCC: I AM A MAN.
In the words of KRS-One: I AM HIP-HOP.
And just like any subculture inside of America -- rock 'n' roll, grunge, heavy metal, country, bluegrass, electronica, reggae, merengue, punk, funk, rave, classical -- that has been given birth through music, there are both good and bad sides. All open not only to judgment, but interpretation.
But when a Hall of Fame-bound, messiah-like respected coach who is a child of a subculture of imperfection feels that he needs to go out of his way to defame and slander another culture and its music while making an irrelevant point about music and basketball, someone has to Kanye West: Stand up!
The "attention span" thing is especially random and stupid. If anything hip-hoppers should be ahead of the game, since we have to memorize 3 times as many lyrics for each song, compared to any other pop music.
Why must they always be so evil?
Sony Ships Sneaky DRM Software
Music giant uses spyware and virus writers' techniques to prevent unauthorized music copying.
Mark Russinovich couldn't understand how the rootkit had sneaked onto his system. An expert on the internals of the Windows operating system, he was careful when it came to computer security and generally had a pretty good idea of what was running on his PC at any given time. And yet the security tool he was using to check his PC was pretty clear: It had found the rootkit cloaking software typically used by virus and spyware writers.
After a bit of detective work, Russinovich eventually tracked down the source: a Sony BMG Music Entertainment CD titled Get Right with the Man, performed by country music duo Donnie and Johnny Van Zant.
It turns out that Sony is using techniques normally seen only in spyware and computer viruses in order to restrict the unauthorized copying of some of its music CDs. Sony's software, licensed by Sony from a Banbury, UK, company called First 4 Internet, has become the basis of a dispute that once again pits computer advocates against an entertainment company experimenting with new ways to prevent the unauthorized copying of its products...
The slashdotters already posted a fix for the Sony malware here.
You know what's really sad? This is still better than "My Humps" .
(plus you gotta give him a few points for the pronunciation of paparazzi as "pavarotti")
Track from Kevin Federline's album posted on the Internet
The dawn of Kevin Federline's hip-hop career has begun, though it remains to be seen if it will last past breakfast.
A track by Federline was posted on the Internet by Disco D, the producer of his upcoming album, "The Truth," to be released next year.
Though the song has since been taken off Disco D's Web site, it has popped up elsewhere, giving a glimpse of Mr. Britney Spears' rhyming, um, abilities.
"Back then, they called me K-Fed, but you can call me Daddy instead," he intones in the chorus of "Y'all Ain't Ready..."
Yep, it's that time once again, and our all-star DJ squad is gathering up their illest house and dance classics for tonight's Rare Radio special, from Midnight to 6AM on WBAI 99.5 FM in NY. And as always, you can catch us online right here, and party with us in the chatroom while you tune in.
If you're looking for a comprehensive breakdown of the situation in Paris, Black Looks is the place to be.
The rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, was at the premiere of his new semi-autobiographical film "Get Rich or Die Tryin" when he stuck up for the President:
"There is a lot of pressure on Bush as president of our country. A lot of things going on, this doesn't happen so often all the things that have happened under his presidency."
He also added that he thinks they have a lot in common: "We are both gangsters."
Clarence Thomas better watch his back, someone's creeping up on his throne. Rumor has it 50 will continue to flesh out his right-wing agenda on his next album, tentatively titled "Choose Life or Die Tryin".
(Also, note how 50 echoes the dubious analysis of his archrival)
I knew something wasn't right when I kept seeing this framed as "muslims vs. whoever" in the American press...
Paris heat not from Muslims
The violence erupting in France reflects social, not religious, grievance, reports James Button in Paris.
They wear hoods, baggy jeans and brand-name sneakers. Their heroes are American rappers like 50 Cent. They have begun to describe their assumed antagonists as "white". They have a particular hatred for police and when they go to fight them they say they're "dancing with wolves".
...The riots, described as France's worst since May 1968, have been linked to the threat of radical Islam. But both descriptions are misleading. The violent unrest is better compared to the riots that burnt down African-American ghettos across the United States in the 1960s...
(The original story is here)
Congresswoman wants Shakur files released
U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., has introduced a bill urging the government to release any secret files on slain rapper, Tupac Shakur. McKinney suspects Shakur was under government investigation when he was shot to death after attending a Mike Tyson fight in Las Vegas Sept. 7, 1996, AllHipHop.com reported Monday...
...McKinney's proposal wants all government records on Shakur released as well as the creation of a Tupac Amaru Shakur Records Collection at the National Archives and a second repository at the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts in Stone Mountain, Ga...
via Spine Mag
Jay-Z pays tribute to his rap roots
The Grammy-winning rap band's new affiliation with a Def Jam roster that already includes Kanye West, Juelz Santana, and Ludacris might heighten commercial expectations, yet that's not the aim of Def Jam Left. As Jay-Z told Billboard, the label is designed to be ''an artist-driven label with very low deals so people are not pressured by first-week SoundScan [sales], so we can build artists." (Jay-Z could not be reached for comment.)
When's the last time anyone in mainstream hip-hop spoke of the merits of creativity over commerce, and actually meant it? We may have snickered when Jay-Z claimed ''The Black Album" would be his last, but his signing of the Roots is giving serious hip-hop heads a reason to believe.
With Def Jam Left, and his inaugural signing of the Roots, Jay-Z has created a boutique label for rap artists with more on their minds than the run-of-the-mill topics stifling mainstream rap. For the most part, commercial hip-hop is where rock was in the early 1990s before Nirvana and its seminal 1991 album ''Nevermind" flushed away all that brain-dead hair-band nonsense. Jay-Z has been in the game long enough to know a change is long overdue...
Kos says yesterday's election results are pretty ugly for Bush and crew. Glad there is some good news somewhere, because New York's Democrats are freaking depressing. Props to Virginia, and Cali for sonning the governator.
Also: Why is NY's setup for write-in votes (all the way on the side of the booth) totally discriminatory against left-handed voters?
Fill in your own joke:
Snoop Dogg Gets in the Hot Dog Business
Rapper and actor Snoop Dogg is involved in several business ventures including clothing, automobiles, and sneakers. Now the rapper is getting into the food business by launching his own line of foot-long hot dogs. The Boston Herald reports that the rapper has partnered with Platinum One Media’s Franco Petrucci and Jeff Earp for Snoop Doggs. The hot dogs will be produced in Massachusetts and are scheduled to hit grocery stores in January.
Snoop’s brother and manager Bing Worthington said, "There aren’t any celebrity hot dogs out there. Who’s the competition ? Ball Park ?....Imagine a long, skinny hot dog just like Snoop."
Worthington added, "Snoop takes advantage of everything. This rap money isn’t long. Just ask MC Hammer."
Sent along by Big Poppa Davey D:
Man Killed at Opening Night of "Get Rich or Die Trying"
Gunfire in the Loews Waterfront movie theater killed a man Wednesday night, West Homestead police said...Police said nobody has come forward to identify a shooter, even though the building was busier than a usual weeknight, with the 50 Cent movie, "Get Rich Or Die Tryin'" debuting on two screens... The West Homestead police chief told Channel 4 Action News that the department put an officer on duty at the theater -- which is unusual for a weeknight -- due to the showing of the movie... The Waterfront theater pulled the movie until the investigation is complete, Channel 4 Action News reporter Sheldon Ingram said.
...Brentin Mock left the Loew's Movie Theatre with his 2-year-old son right before Shelton Flowers, 30, of Wilkinsburg, was shot in the thigh and chest at the Waterfront. Mock writes movie reviews for the Pittsburgh City Paper.
"As a person who's a defender of all things hip-hop, I think it's the worst hip-hop movie ever made," said Mock... "This movie comes out and completely reinforces all the stereotypes people had about hip-hop anyway," said Mock...
Up until today there was only one show left on network tv that I cared about. Now there are zero.
Fox, you've made a huge mistake.
Fox puts abrupt stop to 'Arrested Development'
There was no official announcement -- there rarely is when the networks wield the ax -- but after two and half wonderfully funny seasons, Fox's Emmy-winning ``Arrested Development'' is dead.
Network TV's best comedy has been abruptly pulled from the Fox schedule for the rest of November sweeps and has had its `order'' for this season cut from 22 episodes to 13.
The episodes that have already been filmed will be burned off in December and, as of January, ``Arrested'' will vanish, the victim of low (really low) viewership...
So, the species known as "sitcom" is officially extinct now, right?
Saturday's edition of the Underground Railroad is up in the WBAI archives, with a new set from Emskee, interview and freestyle from Doujah Raze, and another Serato Breakbeat Megablast from DJ 3D:
Yet another scam from the good old Prison Industrial Complex.. hopefully we can make enough noise to shut it down:
Dial R for Ripoff
Protesters will rally in Bryant Park tomorrow at noon, then head over to Gov. Pataki's office to protest, once again, New York State's shabby, unethical practice of forcing the families, lawyers and religious counselors of prison inmates to pay outrageously jacked-up prices to receive collect calls from those behind bars. At the same time, family members of hundreds of inmates around the state will mount an organized boycott by refusing to accept phone calls for a day.
Good for them. Those who want an immediate halt to the prison phone ripoff should support the demonstration by contacting Gov. Pataki at (212) 681-4580.
The boycott and demonstrations will put a dent, albeit small, in New York's policy of shamefully squeezing people who have done nothing wrong. Thanks to an exclusive contract that gives monopoly control over prison phones to MCI, the price of talking to New York inmates is 630% higher than the cost of regular collect calls - a higher rate than what it costs to speak with federal prisoners or those locked up in any other state.
[insert "no, that death row" joke here]
I don't understand how anyone supports something like this. What purpose is served that justifies killing this man?
Snoop Dogg to attend anti-execution rally
The former Crips member Snoop Dogg who turned musician will be among thousands expected to protest the Dec. 13 execution of Stanley Tookie Williams, who was sentenced to death in 1981 for killing four people in two Los Angeles robberies.
The rally will take place Saturday outside San Quentin State Prison to support a former gang leader scheduled to be executed next month, according to an advocacy group...
During his years on death row, Williams has earned international acclaim for his children’s books urging kids to stay out of gangs, among other peace-preaching efforts...
Wow, Sony really took a L on this one. Praise Jebus.
CD's Recalled for Posing Risk to PC's
The global music giant Sony BMG yesterday announced plans to recall millions of CD's by at least 20 artists - from the crooners Celine Dion and Neil Diamond to the country-rock act Van Zant - because they contain copy restriction software that poses risks to the computers of consumers.
The move, more commonly associated with collapsing baby strollers, exploding batteries, or cars with faulty brakes, is expected to cost the company tens of millions of dollars. Sony BMG said that all CD's containing the software would be removed from retail outlets and that exchanges would be offered to consumers who had bought any of them.
A toll-free number and e-mail message inquiry system will also be set up on the Sony BMG Web site, sonybmg.com. "We deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause our customers," the company said in a letter that it said it would post on its Web site, "and are committed to making this situation right..."
Market research from 2004 has shown that about 30 percent of consumers report obtaining music through the copying and sharing of tracks among friends from legitimately purchased CD's. But the fallout from the aggressive copy protection effort has raised serious questions about how far companies should be permitted to go in seeking to prevent digital piracy.
The recall and exchange program, which was first reported by USA Today, comes two weeks after news began to spread on the Internet that certain Sony BMG CD's contained software designed to limit users to making only three copies. The software also, however, altered the deepest levels of a computer's systems and created vulnerabilities that Internet virus writers could exploit...
I'm a little late on this, but it looks like Marc Maron is gone from Air America? Apparently being replaced by Mark Riley from 5-7 and Rachel Maddow from 7-9.
No disrespect to Riley or Maddow, but this is a bonehead move by AAR boss Danny Goldberg and whoever else is in charge there. Maron was the best on-air presence they had, at least in the regular weekly shows. And that's coming from a contributor to the show that competes against him on WBAI, but I gotta give props where they are due.
On second thought, I should be happy our competition is playing themselves. Forget what I just said, this is a great move, Goldberg! And you should give Jerry Springer even more airtime, while you're at it!
Many of you probably heard the word going around that the rapper Paris had been killed yesterday, in a "home invasion." The original source was Sage Francis, who posted it on his message board.
However word is now coming in from numerous sources that Paris doing just fine.. unfortunately another member of the bay area's hip-hop scene apparently died, who has a similar name and is affiliated with the Coup.. I'll post more details as they appear.
EDIT: It appears the man who died was Coup member Tarus Jackson, whom we had just met a few weeks ago when he came to our radio show along with Boots and the band. Details are here.
It looks like the person who died yesterday was Tarus Jackson, who was down with Boots Riley and The Coup. From what I am reading here, it looks like Tarus was the young man I met a few weeks ago when the Coup came to my show. He was introduced on the air as "T", for those who were listening. He also came out and introduced them at the Southpaw show.
My deepest condolences to Tarus' family, and to Boots and all the the Coup fam as well.
Here is a local news article with details. This is just a horrible, horrible story.
West Oakland man shot dead following robbery
Slain man was 'hype man' for Oakland rap group The Coup
Robbers pistol-whipped and then shot to death a West Oakland man Tuesday morning, moments after threatening one of his relatives to force him to reveal where his cash was, police said.
"It looks like he didn't move fast enough so they killed him," homicide Sgt. Phil Green said. Slain was Tarus Jackson, 36, also known as Terrance Jackson, who police said was a "hype man" for The Coup, a well-known West Oakland rap group he had joined a year ago...
As I've said a few times on the radio show now, I am vehemently pro "snitching". This "stop snitching" ethos can only be diagnosed as dementia:
But the police say their investigation is stalled for one maddening reason. The victim -- platinum-selling New York rapper Cameron "Cam'ron" Giles, who was shot in both arms -- doesn't seem to be cooperating. Nearly four weeks have passed, and the police can't even get Cam'ron on the phone.
"Cam isn't going to do it," said Juelz Santana, Cam'ron's rapping buddy and protege. "It's not in our nature. He isn't going to stand up and point out a guy in a witness line and say, 'That is the dude who shot me.' We all came from the street..."
Are you kidding me? Seriously. Who are the people that think this makes sense?
Maybe these kids don't remember, but the word "snitch" used to mean something specific. Usually someone who provided information about associates who committed crimes with him, or crimes they told him about, in exchange for money and/or a deal on his own legal troubles. And there are many legitimate questions about this sort of snitching and its role in our justice system.
But nowadays kids think "snitch" means anyone who ever talks to cops about anything, including innocent bystanders who witness a crime and even victims who report crimes committed against them. This is really amazingly stupid.
Believe me I have more than my share of issues with the NYPD. But if I get shot, and I have to choose between helping the police and helping the guy who just shot me? This will not be a difficult choice.
A while ago WBAI's morning show ask me to do some remixing on their longtime theme song, "Sweet in the Mornin" by Bobby Mcferrin (don't be scared by the name, it's a hot song). I tried editing it in with the beginning of "Baara" by Amadou & Mariam and I think they went together pretty well, let me know what you think:
Peace to Doble Filo who came to visit us at the Railroad a while back, and of course Ariel Fernandez:
Hip Hop Storms Havana’s Streets
The 11th Hip Hop Festival kicks off in Havana tomorrow, will be on until Saturday
Hip Hop Storms Havana’s Streets
By MICHEL HERNANDEZ
The 11th Hip Hop Festival kicks off in Havana tomorrow, will be on until Saturday. Hip hoppers from all over Cuba are gathered in Havana to participate in their eleventh festival. The event will take place in the East Havana suburb of Alamar and the Salon Rosado de la Tropical dance center – the traditional hubs of this event in Cuba. The festival will begin Wednesday and run until Saturday...
...The first visible roots of hip hop in Cuba were break-dance competitions in the streets in the early eighties; but it was not until the next decade that the music became really popular among Cubans.
During those years, Cuban rappers injected a renovating energy into Cuban music that was taken from hip hop culture. The greatest boosts to this movement came from the Hermanos Saiz Association’s support, the Orishas phenomenon, the foundation of the Cuban Agency of Rap and an increase in public appreciation.
The aesthetics and style of the Cuban rappers draw from Afro-Cuban rhythms and roots, the influences of jazz, reggae, funk, soul and rock and roll, and social consciousness. Among the premier bands participating in this festival are Obsesion, Doble Filo, Hermanazos and Anonimo Consejo.
Tara Henley has it.
Here's a happy hip-hop story to usher in the holidays:
In the world of New York City graffiti, the artist who calls himself Tracy 168 is a kind of presiding deity, a founding member of the old school.
So it was somehow fitting the other day to find him in a classroom at his old school, specifically his old high school, Julia Richman, on East 67th Street in Manhattan. He admitted that he remembered little about his time there in 1975, a brief pit stop on the road to full-time delinquency. "Basically, lunch was my best subject," he said.
So even in his wildest, aerosol-enhanced dreams, he never thought he would be asked to return to the school as a mentor, certainly not for what he did best: painting and drawing, usually on subway cars or other highly visible pieces of public property.
But there he was, sitting in a second-floor classroom, and on the walls around him were classic Tracy 168 pieces, including one of his signatures: a smiling, feathered-haired cool guy who looks like a fugitive from a Hanna-Barbera cartoon. Surrounding this drawing and covering almost every inch of the classroom, from the radiator to the lockers, was an explosion of other graffiti, making the room look as if it had been struck in the middle of the night by a spray-can army.
In fact, all the artwork was legal, and far less indelible, rendered in chalk atop a special bottle-green chalkboard paint that had been used to coat the entire room and make it into an interior canvas for the kind of art that usually shows up outside the school's doors.
The project - conceived by Hugo Martinez, an art dealer who has long represented street artists - has allowed students of Urban Academy, a specialized high school inside the Julia Richman building that serves sometimes troubled students, to work side by side over the past several weeks with renowned, and sometimes infamous, graffiti artists.
Starting on Dec. 3, and on most Saturdays through the end of January, the school will allow the public to see the results in the classroom, at 317 East 67th Street, from noon to 6 p.m. At the end of the viewing period, depending on how students and teachers feel, the work will probably be erased - adding it to a long tradition of ephemeral art - and the classroom returned to its previously scheduled institutional color...
As you know, making the world see the truth about the Source has been a mission of mine for years, in the blog and on the radio. But if I posted every time they were publicly shamed there would be no room for all our other riveting content (i.e. 50 more "Join Us On The Radio Tonight" posts).
So I try to stick with the biggest scoops, and from what I've heard this one just might be major:
Benzino Hit With Tax Charges
Raymond "Benzino" Scott, embattled co-owner of the Source Magazine, has been charged by the United States attorney's office in Massachusetts with failing to file tax returns in 1999 and 2000.
Scott plead innocent in a U.S. District Court to willful failure to file tax returns on Oct. 28. Scott is accused of not reporting an estimated $1.5 million in combined income from 1999 and 2000.
He was arraigned and freed on $10,000 unsecured bond.
"There was an extensive investigation into this matter," FBI spokeswoman Gail Marcinkiewicz told The Boston Herald. "We took a sweeping look at this individual. We were aware of the allegations of murder and everything else. This is what we came up with"...
Sidenote: not crazy about how they tried to spin this in the original Boston Herald story, as part of some epidemic of federal hip-hop charges.
If you're as nerdy as I am you already found the hidden features on the "Revenge of the Sith" DVD, and discovered that Yoda is an Okayplayer. But did you know that Darth Vader's favorite emcee is J-Live?
So reports another NY emcee who will remain nameless, that also works in film production.. he's working on the set of Hayden Christensen's latest project right now, and reports that Hayden was totally geeked to meet him, and revealed himself to be quite the underground hip-hop connoisseur. So if you're reading this: arise and start a blog, dark lord!