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February 2006 Archives

February 1, 2006

Prince Sends Lawyers After Youtube?

I knew it wouldn't be long before the Tube Raiding honeymoon ended, and the cease and desist orders started pouring in. Sure enough, looks like Prince is the first to strike, as all files featuring the man seem to have disappeared over the last day or so.

I'm not surprised he'd be the one, as Prince never been shy about sending in the lawyers.. I even received my very own purple c-and-d order once, straight from Londell McMillan.. back in the late 90's when Prince first discovered the internet, freaked out and tried to shut down all his fan sites.

Unlike that bout of lunacy, I can't really be mad at Prince for this, it's his right to make the move.. even though if I were him I'd just sit back welcome the free promotion, especially on all these files that aren't commercially available anyway so it's a win-win. But like I said he's within his rights, and I'm sure many others will follow suit as youtube continues to blow. In the meantime, here's one classic bit of Prince footage the man can't take away, yet.

February 3, 2006

How to Download and Save Youtube Videos

Since the Prince files disappeared I've seen a lot of other files come up missing, and I;m guessing this is only the beginning.. So if you see stuff you like you should try this hack for downloading the videos.

I'll get back to real bloggy blogging next week, I promise.

February 7, 2006

AUDIO: 50 Minute Mix from DJ Monk One

Odeo is letting me post files again so I'm gonna load as many treats as I can while they let me. Here's this week's mix from Monk One, with lots of goodies: An exclusive new version of "Ike's Mood" by the Visionaires, The Kane/G Rap "Raw demo," an unreleased alternate take of Wilson PIckett's "Get Me Back On Time, Engine Number 9," and the original sample for "Love's Gonna Getcha" which I bet you can't name.

  • DJ Monkone Underground Railroad Mix 2/4/06 - mp3

    Also I put up the interview we did with Jeff Chang last year, if you missed it.

    My Odeo Channel
  • Dave Mays Interview

    Dave Mays Wants His Stapler

    A loooong interview in mp3 form at streetsandindustry.com (via eskay) The sheer volume of BS boggles the mind.

    "..ever since Pac and Biggie died The Source had a very strict policy of not printing inflammatory comments in the magazine, and allowing things that we feel could be damaging out there.."

    Yeah, because there's nothing inflammatory about, say, publishing a cartoon of Benzino holding Eminem's decapitated head, right? (and it's not like a cartoon has ever caused violence)

    "In our view we still are running the company.."

    That's great Dave, so uhh yeah, we're gonna go ahead and move your desk to the storage room B.. can you just spray this can of pesticide while you're there? There's a bit of a cockroach problem.

    "..I consider ourselves the definition of integrity"

    ....okay, i give up.

    Sly Stone Performing At Grammys Tomorrow, Confirmed

    First it was ?rypto-Confirmed by ?uestlove, now prince.org has (ostensibly) the official lineup for tomorrow's Sly and the Family Stone tribute on the Grammys. Some of the other names listed are, uhh, slightly less exciting:

    Continue reading "Sly Stone Performing At Grammys Tomorrow, Confirmed" »

    February 9, 2006

    Grammy Notes (And Notes And Notes)

    Better show than I expected, almost every performance was solid if not spectacular. The only real duds were the Sly tribute and the Christina/Herbie.

    Alicia needed to step out of the way and let Stevie sing.

    This is the first time I've ever really listened to Coldplay. They sound very, um, miscellaneous.

    Next up John Legend, who proves that Stevie Wonder lite is better than U2 lite.

    U2 sounds perfectly fine, I suppose... damn, Mary is killing it! When did she learn to stay on key like that??

    Aw damn, looks like Kanye is entering is Eddie Murphy Red Leather phase. I guess this was inevitable.

    Okay we nodded politely through your new song Paul, now play some damn Beatles. Yes, there you go.

    Damn BEP are annoying as hell. STFU and read the names!

    Mariah's songs are below her natural range in the verses, she keeps struggling with that lower register.. and the Bone Thugs steez doesn't help matters. But when the chorus comes she knocks it out of the park. Hope she's enjoying this moment, cuz it looks like she's gonna get Color Purpled this year.


    Sly. Sigh. My expectations were low, but not low enough. I figured the "tributes" would terrible, and (except for the Patrice Rushen sighting) they were. But I was hoping for nothing more than to finally see the man, who along with Stevie is the foundation of my relationship with music. To see the man, and see that he looked happy and healthy, and felt our love for him. I can't honestly say I saw that.

    The whole thing made me sad. It made me cry, actually. I hope his life has a serenity we could not perceive tonight, and that one day someone gives him the tribute he deserves.

    Robert Johnson never got one of these till now?

    Nothing has ever tickled me more than the sight of Jay-Z exhorting Paul McCartney to "take em uptown." And then he gets his Zubin Mehta on. Well played, sir. But why did Ronald Reagan flash on the screen behind them?

    Can't complain about Bruce. Bring em home, indeed.

    For all the talk of the Academy getting younger and hipper, seems like pop/rock has-beens are still dominating the big awards. When Green Day won record of the year even Will.I.Am was straight up scowling in his seat, like "this is some bulls**t!"

    Jamie and Ye: Brilliant. Once again I say thank god for Kanye West. On a night when every commercial break had the 11 O'clock news screeching about "more hip-hop violence!!!" it was such a relief to see Kanye offering such a different vibe, and a wholly different set of iconography. Setting his own standard for what a rapper can look like and act like.. Showing hip-hop that there are other roads to the top, outside of that thug-life/streets/trap-or-die/realness orthodoxy we've lived under for far too long. It felt as if his performance was directly in response to those news blurbs, laying it out for hip-hop's sons and daughters like "these are your choices: you can keep going down that road, or free your mind and get out here with me." I hope somebody got the message.

    Also, as I just said to O-Dub, it's bugged that Kanye can make such an impression with a song that's so trite in its subject matter. Saying so much while the actual words say so little... here's hoping we'll have a long time to watch him keep growing.

    Christina's got such a great voice but has never learned to use it with discipline. The visiting jazz scholars (mom and stepdad) were appalled.. "The hell is she doing? She's not even listening to Herbie at all."

    The N.O. tribute was as good as you could hope, for that all-star supergroup kinda thing.

    So basically, Mariah got shafted, and the less we say about the Sly thing the better. But all told, not a bad show at all. And a good night for hip-hop, with all our representatives performing well and looking like grown folks with some sense in their head. Well, except for Kanye's outfit.

    February 10, 2006

    AUDIO: DJ 3D's Latest Mix

    Lots of new stuff on this one, but the new Alkoholiks track is the one I really care about:

  • DJ 3D on the Underground Railroad, 2/4/06

  • "Snitching" and the Busta Rhymes Shooting Incident

    I think y'all already know how I feel about these issues. Eskay is a little more diplomatic about it but he knows what's up:

    I don’t think anybody envies the no-win situation Busta Rhymes finds himself in after the murder of his longtime bodyguard Israel Ramirez. On the one hand he can talk to the police and tell then whatever he knows about the shooting that left Ramirez dead, a move that could very well amount to career suicide in the anti-snitch world of hip hop. On the other hand he can keep his mouth shut and allow the killer of a longtime friend and employee to go free. Since the hip hop community seems to be split about 60-40 in favor of NOT snitching, there’s a pretty good chance that either move will draw a backlash from fans, something any celebrity wants to avoid at all costs...

    ...I honestly don’t even want to think about what I would do if I ever found myself in the same predicament, but I urge those of you who will undoubtedly side with the Never Snitch camp to consider what your advice to Busta would be if that was your father, brother, or son laying in that coffin.

    James "J Dilla" Yancey Has Passed Away

    Confirmed by Okayplayer. Tragic beyond words.

    February 13, 2006

    AUDIO: Two Hours of J-Dilla on MP3

    Our DJ Emskee put together two hourlong mixes of music from the great J Dilla.

  • Underground Railroad J Dilla Tribute - Hour 1 mp3, 24MB
  • Underground Railroad J Dilla Tribute - Hour 2 mp3, 24MB

    Also here's a message from Jay Dee's fam, passed on by ?uestlove:

  • Continue reading "AUDIO: Two Hours of J-Dilla on MP3" »

    February 14, 2006

    Hot 97 Protest Tomorrow at City Hall

    From R.E.A.C.Hip-hop:

    City Council Resolution Condemns the Bigoted Remarks of Ms. Jones on The Hot 97 Morning Show

    WHEN: 10:30 am on Wednesday, February 15th, 2006
    WHERE: Steps of City Hall in City Hall Park across the street from 250
    Broadway (cross street: Chambers) Manhattan NYC 10007

    DIRECTIONS: Take Trains 4,5 or 6 to Brooklyn Bridge; 2 or 3 to Park
    Place; N, R or W to City Hall; 1, A, C, E, J, M or Z to Chambers/W.T.C.
    website: http://www.nyccouncil.info/tools/contact_page.cfm?MHTN=YES

    The R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop coalition (Representing Education, Activism and Community Through Hip Hop) is proud to join New York City Council Members Yvette D. Clarke, John Liu and Leroy Comrie, along with Hip Hop artists Kuttin Kandi, M1 of Dead Prez and others as they introduce a resolution condemning the bigoted remarks by Hot 97.1 WQHT personality Tarsha Nicole Jones (aka Ms. Jones). Council Member Clarke will also introduce a resolution calling upon the Council’s Committee for Consumer Affairs to hold a hearing regarding the practice of payola at New York City’s radio stations. We are calling on members of the Hip Hop community to join us on Wednesday, February 15th, 2006 on the steps of City Hall at 10:30 am to demand corporate accountability and responsibility.

    Continue reading "Hot 97 Protest Tomorrow at City Hall" »

    Important Public Service Announcement

    It has recently come to my attention that even 20+ years later many people (including but not limited to the blogger known as catchdubs) still think "Oh Sheila" is a Prince song.

    I guess this is understandable.. in fact when our DJ Emskee spun "Oh Sheila" last week at his Brooklyn Museum gig, I was wracking my brain wondering which Prince track it was, until the vocals came in and I slapped myself.

    But no, ladies and gentlemen, let us set the record straight once and for all: "Oh Sheila" was written and recorded by Ready For The World. The same band who, decades before R Kelly, pioneered the art of lyrical absurdity in R&B slow jams with "Girl Tonight" and "Let Me Love you Down."

    These brave men and their bold jheri curls must not be written out of history!

    February 15, 2006

    What It's Like Working With Prince

    Speaking of Prince, I was looking through this book of interviews with pop producers and engineers, and came by some cool stories about Prince from Sylvia Massy Shivy, who started out in the lab with Prince before moving on to rockers like Tool and System of a Down. Here are some highlights:

    Continue reading "What It's Like Working With Prince" »

    February 16, 2006

    Las Vegas Sherriff Bill Young Banning Hip-Hop from Casinos

    Uhh, yeah. Our forefathers in organized crime spent decades building this city's reputation on a bedrock of gambling and whores. How dare these rappers come in here and tarnish that!

    Vegas Police Want Rap Out of Casinos

    A strange story is coming out of Las Vegas (home to many strange stories, to be sure): the city sheriff, Bill Young wants hip-hop artists banned from performing in local casino nightclubs. This doesn't come out of nowhere: Young is partially responding to the fact that one of his deputies, Henry Prendes, was killed on February 1st while responding to a domestic incident call; his killer was Amir Crump aka Trajik of the rap group Desert Mobb. Young is now arguing that hip-hop is a bad influence and therefore, should not be part of the image that Las Vegas wants to cultivate itself:

    "The entertainment industry should be ashamed of itself for promoting this gangster rap genre that espouses violence, mistreatment of women, hatred for the authority of police officers and emulates drug dealers and two-bit thugs. It's not a good message for our young people, and it's not a good message for our community."

    Sheriff Young has not asked for an outright ban – he's made his request somewhat surreptitiously by reminding casino operators that they are liable for anything that happens in their club – say, a shooting or stabbing. Notably, at a Nelly concert held at the Aladdin last May, there were two shootings.
    However, as the LA Times "Vegasblog" notes, since then, there haven't been any major incidents at the nightclubs and they are not certain what is spurring a ban from the casinos themselves, especially since Sheriff Young assumes all of hip-hop is equivalent to gangsta rap (Nelly, a gangsta rapper? Please...)

    February 20, 2006

    Zulu Nation emergency Meeting

    In case you haven't seen it elsewhere:

    Universal Zulu Nation Calls Emergency Meeting to Recapture Hip-Hop

    The Supreme World Council of the Universal Zulu Nation will hold an emergency meeting Feb. 22 to address what the group feels is an imbalance of Hip-Hop played on radio and TV stations.

    Expected to appear at the meeting to support the Universal Zulu Nation and founder Afrika Bambataa include Hip-Hop activists Kevin Powell, Davey D, Rosa Clemente and April Silver; rapper KRS-One; the Temple of Hip-Hop, educator and filmmaker Martha Diaz; Public Enemy frontman Chuck D; photographer Ernie Paniccioli; Rock Steady Crew member Crazy Legs.

    According to representatives for the Universal Zulu Nation, Bambaataa hopes steps will be taken to bring consciousness back to Hip-Hop.

    "We are not saying to stop playing what you are playing on the air or showing on the TV, but to have balance and play it all, old-school to new-school to be true school," representatives for Bambaataa said in a statement.

    The group hopes a plan of action will be devised to curtail "death and destruction playing on radio and TV music video shows."

    The coalition of artists and activists hope to stop being scared to expose "record labels, radio stations, TV Hip-Hop shows or whatever shows that show us in a BS vision of just being pimps, playas, gangsters and hoes, straight up niggers, wiggers or any other derogatory words that they use and we use to call ourselves."

    The emergency meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the National Black Theater, 125th Street and Fifth Ave. in New York City

    Also, check the coverage for last week's Hot 97 protest.

    February 22, 2006

    Suge Knight's Lawsuit Against Death Row Partner Michael 'Harry-O' Harris

    So uhh, explain to me why this isn't "snitching" by Suge Knight? Actually nevermind. Don't explain.

    Suge Knight Files Lawsuit Against Michael 'Harry-O' Harris

    Marion "Suge" Knight and Death Row Records have filed a $106 million dollar lawsuit against Michael "Harry-O" Harris and others in Los Angeles Federal Court.

    Harris and Wasserman Comden Cassleman and Pearson LLP are named in the lawsuit, which claims Harris, who is serving a 28-year-sentence in a California State prison for attempted murder and drug dealing, attempted to blackmail people and businesses in the music industry, by threatening to allege that proceeds from his drug enterprise were invested in legitimate businesses.

    In 1997, Harris told the Los Angeles Times that he struck a deal with Knight to fund Death Row Records. Harris said he helped create Death Row along with Suge Knight and his lawyer David Kenner, but was excluded from his due share of profits from the label's releases...

    February 23, 2006

    Not A Good Look

    Sleeping on The Daily Show.

    Blogging about tang.

    Rhyming about rape.

    This guy's chin.

    Prince's white rapper phase of 2000.

    Dilla's Last Days

    If this isn't in every other blog already, it should be:

    Jay Dee's last days

    The untold story of the noted Detroit hip-hop producer's drive to make music in the face of life-threatening illness

    It was near the end of summer 2005, and James Yancey was sitting in a hospital bed at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles.

    He couldn't walk. He could barely talk. And after spending most of the winter and spring in the hospital, receiving treatment for a rare, life-threatening blood disease and other complications, he had been re-admitted.

    His body was killing him, and little could be done about it.

    It was a grim prognosis, but it wasn't deterring him from tinkering with his electronic drum machine...

    Continue reading "Dilla's Last Days" »

    Public Enemy Golf Commercial??

    We don't have TV here in the hiphopmusic hobbit hole, but sources tell me there's a commercial running now that uses Public Enemy's "By the Time I Get to Arizona" to promote the PGA Tour. Can anyone help eradicate what remains of my sanity by confirming this? I never thought anything would top the "Revolution Will not be Televised" Nike ad, but this just might do it.

    A warning: if I ever hear "Strange Fruit" in a Dannon yogurt commercial or something, I'm going to build a nuclear weapon.

    February 24, 2006

    Justin Warfield's "Goth" Band

    Seems like yesterday Justin Warfield was coming up to my show with his "Season of the Vic" 12 inch, and his handlers were telling me "please don't ask about the Q Tip thing." Which of course meant I could only think of the Q-Tip thing whenever I heard him from then on.. I should go back and give the album another shot though. Our other guest that night was Ghetto Communicator, anybody remember him? When he resurfaces with a new wave band i'll really be excited.

    EDIT: In other comeback news, MC Hammer's blog is a damn good blog.

    L.A. hip-hop dudes channel Joy Division

    The debut from Los Angeles' She Wants Revenge is a sleek, haunted slice of New Wave revivalism with lyrics like "Take your hand, and smack me in the mouth, my love" and enough electro-rock intensity to send goth kids onto the dance floor -- not exactly what you'd expect from two thirtysomethings with hip-hop credentials. During the Nineties, frontman Justin Warfield, now thirty-two, was a rapper who recorded with Prince Paul; Warfield's partner, Adam Bravin, 36, was a producer and club DJ who rocked parties for NBA stars and P. Diddy. The duo convened in L.A. in 2003 to make hip-hop but wound up rekindling their teenage love for Prince and the Cure on a series of demos that landed them a deal with Fred Durst's label. Now they're generating big buzz thanks to "Tear You Apart," a darkly catchy single that's a massive hit on L.A.'s KROQ and taking off on MTV...

    Damon Wayans Trying to Trademark "Nigga"

    I assume Paul Mooney sewed up the the "-er" spelling ages ago:

    Damon Wayans Tries to Trademark 'N' Word

    The actor Damon Wayans has been engaged in a 14-month fight to trademark the term "Nigga" for a clothing line and retail store, a search of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's online database reveals.

    Wayans wants to dress customers in 14 kinds of attire from tops to bottoms, and use the controversial mark on "clothing, books, music and general merchandise," as well as movies, TV and the internet, according to his applications.

    But, so far, his applications have been unsuccessful. Trademark examiner Kelly Boulton rejected the registration dated Dec. 22, citing a law that prohibits marks that are "immoral or scandalous." A previous attempt by Wayans was turned down on identical grounds six months earlier.

    "While debate exists about in-group uses of the term, 'nigga' is almost universally understood to be derogatory," Boulton wrote to Wayans' attorney, William H. Cox, according to the application...

    February 27, 2006

    Hip-Hop Bloggers in San Quentin

    Two of our finest citizens in Blogville, Tamara Palmer and Adisa Banjoko, recently made a visit to San Quentin prison, leading to some great reading/listening:

  • Tamara: part 1 and part 2
  • Adisa: there's a bunch of them, just scroll through

  • Octavia Butler, 1947-2006

    Whoa.. seems like we're losing all the voices we can least afford to lose, lately.

    A couple of friends have passed along their interviews with her:

  • Blackplanet: Interview by DM Lockhart
  • Democracy Now: Octavia Butler on Race, Global Warming and Religion (transcript and audio)

    AMY GOODMAN: Octavia Butler, could you read a little from Parable of the Talents.

    OCTAVIA BUTLER: I'm going to read a verse or two. And keep in mind these were written early in the 1990s. But I think they apply forever, actually. This first one, I have a character in the books who is, well, someone who is taking the country fascist and who manages to get elected President and, who oddly enough, comes from Texas. And here is one of the things that my character is inspired to write about, this sort of situation. She says:

    "Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought. To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears. To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool. To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen. To be led by a liar is to ask to be lied to. To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery."

    And there's one other that I thought I should read, because I see it happening so much. I got the idea for it when I heard someone answer a political question with a political slogan. And he didn't seem to realize that he was quoting somebody. He seemed to have thought that he had a creative thought there. And I wrote this verse:

    "Beware, all too often we say what we hear others say. We think what we are told that we think. We see what we are permitted to see. Worse, we see what we are told that we see. Repetition and pride are the keys to this. To hear and to see even an obvious lie again and again and again, maybe to say it almost by reflex, and then to defend it because we have said it, and at last to embrace it because we've defended it."

  • February 28, 2006

    "World Music" and "Global Hip-Hop"

    I always thought the label "World Music" (at least in some of its applications) was a funny sort of arrogance/myopia.. as if Philadelphia decided that cheesesteak is the only thing normal people eat, and everything on earth that is not cheesesteak belongs to one secondary category known as "exotic food". Susana has a similar reaction both to that phrase and "Global Hip-Hop", and has sparked a nice discussion in her blog about the relative merits of the terms. Susana says:

    In both cases it feels as though there's a grand division of sorts, where the Western world is placed in the centre of everything as an authentic norm, and the rest of the planet is lumped together as one uniform Other in juxtaposition. In the context of broader conversations on diversity, globalization, and multiculturalism in the West, this separation becomes more like a relationship of oppositions. The most vocal critics of multiculturalism cite how, too often, so many diverse and dynamic identities and expressions are reduced to either a single mass, or a series of static "tiles" (flowing from the metaphor of a cultural mosaic) held in place by a neutral mainstream. In either case, the normalized core culture (typically white, traditionally Western) is always the centrepiece and the measure by which all others are contextualized and discussed...

    One difference that springs to mind for me is that unlike "music", "hip-hop" does describe a particular form that has a specific place and culture of origin, so phrasing that positions this place of origin as normative is not quite so absurd, though it may be debatable.

    What do y'all think, about both or either? I think I have some questions, too, about David Dacks' response in the comments, but I need to go back and reread.

    About February 2006

    This page contains all entries posted to hiphopmusic.com: in February 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

    January 2006 is the previous archive.

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