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March 2006 Archives

March 1, 2006

Shooting at Kanye West Concert in Birmingham England

Ugh. Glad to hear everyone will recover..

Stewards Shot During Rapper's Concert

Two stewards have been shot during a UK concert by American rapper Kanye West, police said. The workers are thought to have been attacked as a group of people were being escorted from the NEC Arena, near Solihull, West Midlands, for not having tickets to the event. Police officers were called to the incident at the front entrance to the venue shortly after 10pm last night and the stewards were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds...

Continue reading "Shooting at Kanye West Concert in Birmingham England" »

March 2, 2006

AUDIO: New Mix from DJ 3D

3d covering some late 80s/early 90's basics:

DJ 3D on the Underground Railroad, 2/25/05

My Odeo Channel

  • Del - "Mistadabolina"
  • Kid n Play - "Last Night Changed It All" ..nobody takes them too seriously now, but at the time of this first album (when they were also ghostwriting for most of Hurby Luv Bug's other acts [allegedly]) they were among the most important emcees out there, bar none.. Gettin Funky is still one of my favorite 80s tracks.
  • Kwame - "The Rhythm"
  • Heavy D - "Overweight Lover's in the House" ...another guy who was among the biggest names in his prime, but is now pretty much a footnote in the hip-hop history books.. i'll rarely hear him cited when people discuss the Important and Influential Emcees from that era..
  • Diamond D - "K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid)" ..my favorite from that album..
  • LOTUG - "Chief Rocka"
  • EPMD - "Crossover"
  • Terminator X "Buck Whylin"
  • LL Cool J "Mama Said.." ..i always thought LL was saying "DAMMIT!" in that part, and when I found out it's really "damage" that kinda ruined the song for me..
  • Fu Schnickens - "True Fu Schnick"
  • Roxanne Shante - "Have A Nice Day"
  • Run-DMC - "Sucker MCs"
  • Main Source - "Looking At The Front Door"
  • Ultramagnetic - "Ease Back"
  • T-Ski Valley - "Catch the Beat"
  • Eric B and Rakim - "Don't Sweat the Technique"
  • Bizmarkie - "This is Something For the Radio" ..was this the first rap record that used a Prince loop?
  • Malcolm Mclaren and the World Famous Supreme Team

  • March 3, 2006

    Are You Feeling Okay?

    What are you talking about? Seriously, is something wrong with you?

    Mos Def, out of his depth

    Rapper Mos Def has enjoyed an inexplicable movie career. Despite not showing a lot of talent and only a modicum of screen presence, he has steadily failed upward...

    Shyne Converts to Judaism? Wasn't He Already Jewish?

    According to the Post Shyne has recently become Jewish, although I could have sworn he was already Jewish? Looks like the only actual news is that he's changing his name, perhaps to renew his faith, and the Post got confused? But either way, mazeltov! As long as this doesn't end with you hugging up on Rick Santorum or something..

    Jailed rapper Shyne is legally changing his name to Moses Michael Leviy - and he's taking out a classified ad in The Post tomorrow to make it official. Shyne, who hopes to get out of Clinton Correctional Facility upstate next year, was born Jamaal Michael Barrow in 1978. The Belize-born rhymer converted to Judaism while locked up and now claims to be descended from Ethiopian Jews.

    (via eskay)

    More Mixology from DJ 3D

    Here's 3D's other set from last week, with some newer music:

  • DJ 3D on the Underground Railroad, 2/25/06 (1st hour)

  • March 5, 2006

    Brothers and Sisters, I Have Made to the Promised Land

    ...I have seen a man named Crunchy Black introduced at the Oscars.

    .EDIT 30 seconds later: Dear lord, they actually won. I was inclined to agree with Fresh beforehand, but the Mafia's pride up there was so infectious, I think it was a pretty cool moment for hip-hop in the end.

    March 6, 2006

    "Netbangers" Blowing Up Their Own Spot Online

    Looks like the "no snitch crowd is unwittingly snitching on themselves via the internets. I'm surprised it took the cops this long to think of it:

    'Netbangers,' Beware
    Street gang "netbangers" are going online to compare notes and pick fights. But the cops are right behind them. (via newsweek)

    ...The 15-year veteran cop used to spend most of his days on the streets, drawing a bead on gang activity by reading graffiti and chatting up members. But that changed in 2004, when his investigation into a deadly drive-by shooting stalled. Some teenagers asked if he'd checked the Internet for clues. Hermanson took their advice, and found himself transported into the little-known realm of "Netbanging." Across the nation, street gangs have taken their neighborhood feuds, colors and rituals online. Hermanson eventually found chat-room conversations that helped secure two convictions in the drive-by case. Ever since, he's spent 15 to 20 hours a week scanning Web sites for clues about local gang activity...

    Like everyone else, street gangs are staking out a place on the Web. Det. Juan Colon, who trains gang investigators for the New Jersey State Police, began researching online gang activity in 2000. "But in the last three years," he says, "there's just been an explosion of this stuff." Some of the more established cliques, like L.A.'s Mid City and Clanton gangs, have professional-quality sites. Click onto Clanton's Web site and you'll find a detailed gang history, complete with photographs dating to the 1970s...

    Continue reading ""Netbangers" Blowing Up Their Own Spot Online" »

    AUDIO: KRS-One Threatening Adisa Banjoko at Stanford University

    If you were listening to our show on Saturday night you heard us break what I'm calling the KRSgate story, as reports came into our chatroom about KRS One having some sort of meltdown at Stanford University, threatening to physically assault Adisa Banjoko and just generally acting a fool and turning everyone in the room against him.

    I held back from posting about it until more info came out, but one of our west-coast sources just hooked me up with some audio, so now you can listen and judge for yourself:

  • KRS-One Threatening Adisa Banjoko at Stanford Hip-Hop Conference

    A rather embarrassing display from the Blastmaster, if you ask me. Threatening to kick somebody's ass during a debate is the last refuge of those who know they can't handle the challenge intellectually. And just to be clear, this wasn't even a debate.. it was a roundtable with many others on it, including Davey D, Joan Morgan, Sheena Lester, Mark Anthony Neal.. and KRS just started picking a fight with Adisa from out of nowhere..

    By all accounts it kept getting worse from here. I know some of our fellow bloggers were there, hopefully more details will emerge.

    (For those who don't remember, KRS and Adisa had a back and forth years earlier about KRS-One's "I Am HipHop" philosophy, that ended with Adisa challenging KRS to a public debate and KRS refusing to meet the challenge..)

    3/7/06 EDIT: Clyde has additional audio up on his site. And another witness is weighing in on Daveyd.com.

  • Bashing "Crash"

    I've never seen a Best Picture winner get so much scorn heaped upon it as Crash is getting now.. Jeff Chang's essay, and other similar reactions from friends, made me shy away from renting it, but this new barrage of hate makes Jeff's piece read like a love letter. Now I really need to see it for myself.. but until then, here are some of the jabs being thrown.. do y'all agree?

    Jessica Crispin:

    "...the Best Picture award went to a stupid, shallow work of moral cowardice. "


    "..it's exactly the kind of portentous, piss-elegant middlebrow trash that many critics (and, unhappily, many viewers) see as Important Cinema..."

    Babies Are Fireproof blog:

    "...it wasn't just "Chicago" crap, or "Million Dollar Baby" crap, it was offensively (and righteously) stupid crap, the kind that will be remembered not as the vaguely progressive criticism of our era that it proclaims itself to be, but as aesthetic distillation of the times's most shallow impulses."


    ..."'Crash' is like a Creative Writing 101 demonstration of what not to do as a writer... The Academy is 78 years old and acting every bit of it, and last night they took another doddering step towards irrelevancy.

    March 8, 2006

    More Complete Audio from Stanford, Via Davey D

    Davey D coming through as usual.. also check his synopsis of the event underneath part one of the audio, gives everything a lot more context. Sounds like a lot of cool discussion went on outside of KRS's drama, and it would be a shame if that's all the event is remembered for. Looking forward to the rest..

  • Full audio of the Stanford "Artist as Theorist" panel, part 1
  • Part 2 (plays in windows media player)

    Kierna Mayo's words in the second part pretty much sum up my thoughts..

  • March 9, 2006

    Joan Rivers at the Oscars

    Even with this, she's still less annoying than Billy Bush. Clearly time to retire, though:

    "And of course we have.. ethnic guys. Hi, ethnic guys! Muchas gracias. Whatever. Arigato. They all look so alike, you know. And the main thing is, we're a mixed bag here. We have our Black person. I'm not sure what he does, but we are absolutely color blind here at TV Guide. Right, Black person?"

    Adisa and KRS Squash It, With Bambaataa Moderating

    These RSS aggregators are ruining the web for me. The other day I noticed I hadn't been to Poplicks in like two months cuz I didn't have them in bloglines, and tonight I realized I was doing the same thing with Cocaine Blunts. Does this happen to anybody else?

    Luckily I caught this in time to see that Noz has transcribed some of Boots Riley's words at that Stanford conference. Noz echoes my sentiments that the event as a whole had some worthy words spoken, that deserve better than getting drowned out by the KRS/Adisa stuff.

    And hopefully it'll be easier for that to happen now, since Davey D just reported what should be the last chapter in that story:

    Just got off a conference call with Afrika Bambaataa..

    He a long with KRS and Adisa have all sat down and come to some sort of resolution.. that is a good thing.. Everyone sees the larger picture in terms of protecting Hip Hop from some very real enemies and they talked like men and agreed to put all this behind them..and move on to bigger and better things...Both men agreed that there were somethings said and actions taken that could've been done differently and more important more respectfully... They also clearly understood that its important to show that one can have a big disagreement and still come to peaceful resolution while maintaining a particular viewpoint..

    Big shout out to Bambaataa who demonstrated true leadership and years of handling and dealing with conflicts..His example and wisdom is one that we can all learn from and follow.. Hip Hop needs that.. Big shout out to KRS and Adisa for being real men and seeing the greater good..more info to follow

    Davey D

    March 10, 2006

    Getting Back to More Serious Matters

    I cannot stand to live in a world where Cameo only has 123 friends. We need to rectify this.

    (Sidenote to Cameo: It's okay to delete that sleazy Tom dude.. he is no one's friend.)

    Prince's Weirdest Moment Ever?

    He's had lots of them, but this one from '94 is hard to top.

    BTW I got 3121 last weekend, meant to review it but been sick all week. So far I'd put it a couple of steps above Musicology. Anybody else, err, Screened It For Promotional Purposes Only yet?

    New Law Enforced on MP3 Album Leaks

    Am I crazy or are a crapload of bloggers and message board posters looking at potential jailtime here? I'm surprised this hasn't gotten more attention:

    Ryan Adams file sharers face up to 11 years

    A pair of apparent Ryan Adams fans ran afoul of a new law making it a crime to publish songs before their release to the general public when they made portions of the singer's latest album available on a Web site frequented by his fans, federal authorities said Thursday.

    Robert Thomas of Milwaukee and Jared Bowser of Jacksonville, Fla., were indicted under a provision of the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act (FECA) law that makes it a separate federal crime to pirate music and movies before they are released to the public, Memphis-based U.S. attorney Jim Vines and FBI special agent My Harrison said.

    The indictments are believed to be the first under the prerelease provision of the 2005 FECA law. The men are alleged to have posted portions of Adams' "Jacksonville City Nights" on a fan Web site about a month before its official release last September...

    I doubt this would ever go beyond picking a few off here and there to make examples of them, considering the legal expenses that'd come with each case. But even still, I wonder how many people know they are holding a ticket for that lottery right now..

    Can't believe they still haven't realized that this strategy of criminalizing the consumer will never work.. it's just dumb on numerous levels. I'm willing to bet that if you compiled stats for major label releases that did get leaked early and ones that didn't, the pre-leaked albums would turn out to have similar sales figures if not better.

    March 12, 2006

    Prince "3121" Album, Track-By-Track

    1. 3121 - Now this is exactly the kind of Prince track I love, that he never does anymore. None of that lite-funk or pop-funk or psuedo-rap-funk, this is that straight-up weird shit. The Weird Prince Funk, that's what made me a fan. Nothing mind-blowing here, it's a lesser work within his Weird Funk oeuvre, but a treat to hear him pulling it off at all.. I almost thought he'd forgotten how.

    2. Lolita - Catchy but too pop-syrupy. The lyrics, especially, make my teeth hurt. I don't hate it, but no way this is the hit single people are predicting.

    3. Te Amo Corazon - His touch as a producer makes it listenable, but I'm still not sold on this one. Did he decide to record this after Enrique Iglesias turned it down?

    Continue reading "Prince "3121" Album, Track-By-Track" »

    March 13, 2006

    Classic Audio: A Conversation With Dan the Automator

    By "classic" I mean "old," I make no claims as to the quality. But here goes an old interview I did with Dan Nakamura, about why Puffy's last album was underrated, among other topics:

  • Dan The Automator on the Underground Railroad, 2002

  • About Those SNL Raps

    Do we need another newspaper article for every skit these guys do?

    'Thug' Natalie rocks hip-hop world

    ...The shock value of the lyrics, which Portman co-wrote, is fueling the buzz over her "Gangsta Rap," which has become an internet sensation - just in time for next week’s opening of her new movie, “V for Vendetta..."

    "...They’re basically saying, 'I'm a white girl doing this and that’s funny, even though if I was a black male it wouldn’t be’,” said Cambridge rapper Elemental Zazen. As repugnant as some hip-hop artists find the comedy world’s attempt to co-opt rap music, Zazen says the phenomenon makes a larger point. "Lyrically, it’s (expletive)," he said. "But rap is so lame these days that you could package Natalie Portman like that and she would probably sell records."

    A couple of points:

    1. Poplicks pegged my reaction to the short itself: pretty funny, but compared to to "Lazy Sunday" it comes off, for lack of a better word, lazy. "Sunday" had lots of other cleverness packed inside it beyond the basic premise, while this one basically runs on the one joke, and borrows lines wholesale to fill space. I hope the Lonely Island kids realize this well has run dry, and figure out some new tricks.

    2. Gotta disagree with Elemental Zazen's suggestion that this rap wouldn't be funny if Black people were delivering it, because all the original tracks this skit references were also totally funny. The lines Portman cribs directly from Eazy E and Sir Mixalot, for example, were funny in the original songs just as they are here. Not for all the same reasons, but funny nonetheless, and intentionally so. To assume there was no wit or self-awareness in their gangsta (and no appreciation of this in their audience) is a major mistake.

    But this does raise other questions: contrary to Zazen's quote you really couldn't put Natalie's rap on the market now, because it doesn't sounds like current hip-hop at all. Instead draws entirely from the styles of 15-20 years ago, and it's intriguing to consider why that choice might be necessary.. how differently it might come across if they really did ape the style of current gun/snow/street/trap raps. Would it fall flat because today's versions lack that sort of self-awareness?

    I mean of course the 50s and Jeezys have their own sort of wit going on, but the basic posture they assume is meant to be taken seriously and at face value in a different way than the old stuff. Their gun-toting or hustling isn't really about shock value.. what might once be delivered as knowingly outlandish and over-the-top (if only just that tiny bit) is now offered as a straightforward, almost mundane/perfunctory verification of their authenticity in the role.. they don't expect us to be shocked by it, they just want us to buy into it.

    Maybe that's what makes some of us uncomfortable about these skits, that they bring home how today's rappers have lost track of the joke?

    March 14, 2006

    The Republican Shoplifter: Framed by His Evil Twin??

    Say what now? Talking Points Memo just made me do a quick double take with their latest headline, "Niger Bamboozle Redux?" .. that turned out to be a boring post, but a little further down came this craziness: You know the Bush staffer Claude Allen who just got busted for shoplifting? Turns out it could be his evil twin brother who did it.. like for real..

    Wash Post reporter: "Yes, he does. He has an identical twin brother who even close friends can’t tell them apart when they see them. And people have seen him and close friends say that Mr. Allen has indicated to them that maybe his brother holds the key to this entire puzzling affair..."

    If this theory is true then I wonder if, on the other side of the coin, the evil shoplifting brother faces a similar dilemma? Like "people keep seeing my brother working for George freaking Bush, and thinking it's me! I've been trying to tell my shoplifting buddies I'd never throw my life away like that.."

    AUDIO: 2001 Mix from DJ Emskee

    This is a tight set from Em, I tried to make the sound quality a little better oin this file.. let me know how it sounds:

  • DJ Emskee on the Underground Railroad, 9/7/2001

    Kinda ill that to think that this was our last show right before 9/11.. our studio is a few blocks down from the WTC, that night was probably the last time I walked by it..

  • March 15, 2006

    The Weekly Blend: John Legend + D'Angelo

    I like doing these, so I'm gonna try and make them a regular feature on the site. Let me know how you like it:

  • Ordinary People in Africa - John Legend/D'Angelo, MP3

    Also as a bonus, I re-upped my Kanye/Coltrane/Public Enemy blend for anyone who missed it.

    (I'm discontinuing my usage of the word "mashup" cuz I just never liked the word)

  • March 18, 2006

    Lumumba "Professor X" Carson

    There's a party at the crossroads......

    March 20, 2006

    Papoose and Kay Slay Confronted at SOB's: "Stop The Demonic Violence"

    Straightbangin posted this moment of zen at SOB's, where Papoose and Kay Slay were challenged by an audience member to "stop this demonic violence." Which led, naturally, to an outbreak of violence.

    Here's the audience member, DJ Raedawn, with his side of the story:

    Continue reading "Papoose and Kay Slay Confronted at SOB's: "Stop The Demonic Violence"" »

    March 21, 2006

    Nevada Trying to Ban Hip-Hop from College Campuses

    What is it with Nevada and hip-hop? First the Sherriff in Las Vegas tries to kick hip-hop out of casinos, now this:

    Regents, chancellor debate hip-hop ban

    Violence, drugs, sex, obscenities and delinquent behavior were discussed openly by Regent Stavros Anthony at the Board of Regents meeting Friday as the characteristics of rap and hip-hop music that he proposes to ban from Nevada campuses.

    After the recent murder of Las Vegas police officer Henry Prendes by a budding gansta rapper, Anthony proposed rap and hip-hop should be prohibited from university campuses in an effort to protect students.He listed a number of instances where shooting, fights and at times, murders, occur after hip-hop concerts. "I'm not making this stuff up," Anthony said. "There are incidents of violence at those concerts."

    Anthony highlighted the precautions the Thomas & Mack officials take when hosting rap events where known gang members are present. Anthony read off lyrics about killing, drugs and living life as a pimp. He abstained from reading some lyrics claiming they were "absurd." He said they do in fact incite violence, contain obscene content and intend to promote others to commit violence.

    Chancellor Jim Rogers was one of the first to comment in response to Anthony's proposal, saying it contained "obvious unconstitutionality."

    (via grandgood)

    That NY Times Article About Black Men

    I'm sure you've all seen it by now. But undoubtedly there is one question that lingers in all of our minds: Who will be the first crotchety old Black pundit to publish a piece blaming this whole thing on current hip-hop? Please cast your vote below:

    Who will be the first crotchety old Black pundit to publish a piece blaming this whole thing on current hip-hop?

    John McWhorter
    Stanley Crouch
    Bill Cosby
    Spike Lee
    Jay Smooth

    Free polls from Pollhost.com

    Or nominate someone else in the comments..

    March 23, 2006

    Rakim Giving Props to Dipset

    Hold New York down? Well yeah, as a NY hip-hopper I've often said to myself "these Dipset guys have really been holding us down." But I didn't mean it in exactly the same way..

    Are you a Dipset fan?
    No doubt. I like the Diplomats’ swagger, man. Juelz, Cam’ron, Jim Jones—they bring a lot of swagger back to the game. New York needs somebody right now to hold New York down.

    So when will there be a Rakim/Diplomats collaboration?
    Probably soon, man. They one of the cats in the game that I got a lot of respect for, music respect and street respect as well. And when I do do collabos, it’s gotta be respect. I’m not doing it because they sell records or just because they own a certain part of the market. I call ’em “smart collabos” because at the end of the day they makes sense. I don’t want people do be like, Why did Ra do a joint with this dude?…

    As far as I'm concerned Rakim will always be the GOAT.. but not for his gifts as a talent scout. After all, this is the same man who claimed, for many years, to believe that Eric B was a good DJ.

    (half kidding about the dips, I like some of their stuff)

    March 27, 2006

    $29 Mil for Spike!

    When I first saw the trailer for "Inside Man" I was tripping off how they only slipped in Spike's name at the very end, mad quick like how they sneak in the health warnings at the end of drug commercials.."warning:this-product-may-be-also-directed-by-spike-lee"..

    But their plan to go commercial with a stealth-Spike Lee joint has paid off big time, with an opening weekend of $29 million.. not only Spike's biggest opener but Denzel's as well.

    Congrats to you sir, this is long overdue. Can't wait to see where you go with the new doors this'll open up in Hollywood. Did any of y'all see it yet?

    Eugene Mcdaniels on WBAI Tonight

    My good friend Joyce will be sitting down tonight with the patron saint of beatdiggers, Eugene McDaniels.. you can catch the interview here, from 9 to 11 PM.. he should come on around 10.

    March 28, 2006

    Why Are There Still No Female Producers?

    Nice interview with Joi up at Honeysoul.. Among lots of other things, they discuss (in a Soul/R&B context) the question I've been asking about Hip-Hop for years: why are there damn near never any successful female producers?

    Joi: The industry is horrifically chauvinist. And racist. But horrifically chauvinist. There are no female producers. Name me one. Besides Missy!

    [Laughs] I was about to say Missy..

    Joi: Besides Missy, name me one. You can't. There aren't any. [...] Erykah is a woman of her own design and creation, but James Poyser is there. india is a woman of her own design, but she certainly has men that are a part of her crew [...] All of the women who are truly, truly 100% producing all of their stuff, you've never heard of them. And they're brilliant. So just that fact alone tells you that the business is incredibly sexist. It is very difficult to forge your own path as a woman.

    AUDIO: Another Internet Beef Rap

    Okay here's the story: every Friday some friends of mine kill time at work by having a little e-mail rap battle.. they each type up a verse, then get someone to judge all the raps and pick the hottest, err, keystyle.

    Last week I agreed to be a guest judge, and sifted through all the CCs to pick out what I thought was a clear winner.. my two friends also made the same pick, and we reported the unanimous decision. But one of the other contestants, who had offered his rap in the form of a Powerpoint presentation, was salty about seeing all that effort go to waste, I guess.. so he took a shot at the judges, writing back "If you can't write a good rhyme, don't judge them!"

    Needless to say, I could not let this chance to do something totally silly challenge go unmet. So here's the verse I threw together for him.

  • 26 bars of Jay Smooth acting all rough and tough (MP3)

    (salty emcees' names have been bleeped out to protect the innocent)

  • Just Blaze in the Voice

    Pretty solid profile from Tom Breihan:

    "...I'm not one of those dudes that needs to be living in the past all day, but there's got to be a balance, and right now the balance of hip-hop is totally like this," he says, miming an unbalanced scale. "That raw grittiness, the essence of it, is totally down here. I've done uptempo club records with no samples and keyboards; I'm not mad at that. But the more I notice things getting screwed up, the more I'm like I gotta play my part in balancing the scale a little more. And if I fail, cool. I just gotta do what my heart tells me, and right now my heart is telling me that somebody's got to be at the front of people bringing it back. There's not too many people from the boom-bap East Coast era who are even in a position to make a difference in hip-hop. I'm one of the few who anybody even has half of an eye on. A lot of my heroes wouldn't even have the opportunity to do it. It's almost like I have to do it."

    ...For his part, Just says that he has no interest in becoming a solo artist. "I could rap," he says. "I could rap right now if I wanted to. I rap probably better than most rappers. . . . But do I want that lifestyle? Do I want that hecticness? No. I got bad asthma. I don't want to be running around onstage for an hour..."

    Hey now. I think I might be challenging someone else to a battle.

    March 29, 2006

    Last Night A DJ Saved My Immigrant Rights

    I've seen folks on some lefty list-servs complain that the focus on these DJs takes too much credit away from the activists who worked in the trenches making this happen. Still, heck of a story:

    How DJs Put 500,000 Marchers in Motion

    He's one of the hottest Spanish-language radio personalities in the nation. So when Los Angeles deejay Eddie Sotelo joined hands with his radio rivals to urge listeners to turn out for a pro-immigrant rally in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, organizers hoped for a big turnout.

    But many said Monday that they were stunned by how many responded to the call to march against federal legislation that would crack down on undocumented immigrants and penalize those who assist them.

    As a result, what was initially expected to draw fewer than 20,000 ballooned into a massive march that police estimated at 500,000 and said was one of the largest demonstrations in Los Angeles' history. The march topped a wave of protests drawing hundreds of thousands of participants in cities around the nation, which organizers said influenced the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee's approval Monday of legislation that includes legalization for undocumented immigrants...

    SF Weekly Feature on Adisa Banjoko

    Tamara Palmer caught up with Adisa right when he was on his way inside San Quentin, then came along for the fateful day at Stanford (also covered in the East Bay Express, in case you missed it)

    Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos
    The misunderstood adventures of the Bishop of Hip Hop

    ...For the release of his latest effort, Lyrical Swords Volume II: Westside Rebellion, though, he's forgoing the pavement to visit a place few big-name authors tend to tread — the California prison system. After speaking with Muslim inmates in Vacaville earlier in the month, today the San Jose resident is working the exercise yard at San Quentin. His goal: to educate the public about the importance of black and Latino unity, an issue especially important in light of tumultuous race tensions behind bars in this state.

    "The black man is not the only one with a struggle worth remembering," Banjoko says to men of various ethnicities. He's been invited here by KMEL's Tony Ng and Rudy Corpuz Jr. of the SF-based youth violence-prevention organization United Playaz; they're hosting a day of culturally diverse speakers and live performances that includes San Francisco rap star Messy Marv and East Palo Alto's Hoodstarz. "You have to understand yourself before you understand the value of others," Banjoko continues. His sermon gets mixed reactions — some are listening attentively, others are busy catcalling the females in our entourage. To make matters worse, approximately two minutes after Banjoko and I leave the gates, a fight breaks out in the yard between Norteno prisoners and a rival group of black inmates. Desks are thrown, at least one person is critically stabbed, and nearly half the prison goes on lockdown for the next 48 hours. Danielle Steel never had a book signing like this...

    AUDIO: New Mix from DJ Emskee

    I'm trying to get the sound quality a little better on these Odeo files, let me know how it sounds for y'all.. I'll try to get a playlist up later.. unless one of you want to give it a shot? I'll be impressed if you can name them all. Heck I'll be impressed if you can name the first song.

  • DJ Emskee, Underground Railroad Mix 3/25/06

    My Odeo Channel

  • Where Your Weave Really Comes From

    Aina Hunter's been doing a lot of good work at the Village Voice, I think this one's the best so far:

    The dark roots of New York's hair trade

    ...In 2002 a grad student from the University of California at Berkeley took a video camera to Shandong—a northeastern Chinese province—to locate a village with an economy centered around the hair harvest. Ly Franshaua Pipkins found entrepreneurs bicycling the countryside in search of hair to sell to traders working for one of China's hundreds of processing plants. But you can't say that the short-haired women and girls of the village were actually earning a living from their low-yield crop. The freshly shorn Dong Qi Li told Pipkins she'd bought a pair of pants and a coat with the cash she got for the hair it had taken her years to grow.

    The hair she sold was most likely bleached, kinked, and otherwise Occidentalized on-site—most hair that passes through U.S. Customs has been. Only a fraction of what the International Trade Commission calls "unworked" hair is exported to the States, and every year about 95 percent of this fumigated, sorted, and bundled virgin hair is gobbled up by New York's hair makers. But whether worked or not, whether it's been shorn from Eastern European, South Asian, or provincial Chinese heads, much of the human hair that enters the U.S. has done a stint in an enormous processing plant human and labor rights organizations are calling illegal and exploitative...

    White Progressive People Fight Racism

    Found on blackademic:

    White Progressive People Fight Racism "A Documentary of White Progressive people fighting racism the only way they know how"

    Could be a little shorter maybe, but funny stuff.

    March 30, 2006

    The Weekly Blend: Missy Elliott and Foreigner

    I got the idea for this mix after seeing Gob Bluth's rendition of Cold As Ice on "Arrested Development".

    It didn't turn out quite as well as I was hoping because.. well mainly because I had never really listened to "Cold As Ice" past the first 30 seconds and didn't realize it had, like, a bridge or a chorus or anything. So I wasn't sure what to do with all that stuff in the middle, but I think the main verse gels pretty well with Missy's beat..

  • Cold As Ice / Sock It To Me

    (Sorry I didn't get one up last week, was busy with the rap)

  • March 31, 2006

    Los Angeles Paying Biggie's Mom $1.1 Million

    No substitute for justice, but I'm glad she's getting paid.. and that The Man is taking a much-deserved L:

    L.A. to Pay Notorious B.I.G. Family $1.1 Million

    The Los Angeles City Council approved a $1.1 million payment to the family and estate of Notorious B.I.G. for legal costs incurred during the botched civil case brought against the City of Los Angeles. The money will also cover other costs incurred, such as security for witnesses.

    Three days into the wrongful death suit, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) was found to be withholding relevant and important documents. As a result, US District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper was forced to declare a mistrial in July 2005.

    According to the BBC, "Lawyers have said that an appeal to overturn a judge's order to pay compensation was now unlikely." Notorious B.I.G.'s estate has said they plan to continue on with another wrongful death suit, alleging one or more rogue LAPD officers were involved in the shooting. A date for the trial expected to be set April 26th...

    Black Folks Online: Closing the Digital Divide?

    Michel Marriott, haven't seen that name in a while. We had him on the radio show, way back when he broke that story about Timberland not wanting to be associated with the "urban" demographic.

    Digital Divide Closing as Blacks Turn to Internet

    African-Americans are steadily gaining access to and ease with the Internet, signaling a remarkable closing of the "digital divide" that many experts had worried would be a crippling disadvantage in achieving success...

    ...According to a Pew national survey of people 18 and older, completed in February, 74 percent of whites go online, 61 percent of African-Americans do and 80 percent of English-speaking Hispanic-Americans report using the Internet. The survey did not look at non-English-speaking Hispanics, who some experts believe are not gaining access to the Internet in large numbers.

    In a similar Pew survey in 1998, just 42 percent of white American adults said they used the Internet while only 23 percent of African-American adults did so. Forty percent of English-speaking Hispanic-Americans said they used the Internet...

    AUDIO: Fresh Meat and Funk 45s from DJ Monk One

    Lots of goodies, old and new, in this one:

  • DJ Monkone, Underground Railroad Mix 3/25/06
    - MP3, 43 min.

  • About March 2006

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

    February 2006 is the previous archive.

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