« June 2006 | Main | August 2006 »

July 2006 Archives

July 3, 2006

AUDIO: A Conversation With Prince Paul

Last year I contributed to a book named Bling Bling: Hip-Hop's Crown Jewels, an overview of hip-hop's relationship with diamonds and jewelry. With my contributions I tried to provide some dissenting views on the bling phenomenon, by interviewing artists from what's become known as hip-hop's "golden age" or "conscious era" when gold chains were pushed out of style by beads and medallions. This is one of the convos I had back then, with the great Prince Paul:

subscribe to us at ODEO

July 5, 2006

Why America is Mad Corny, in a Nutshell


Why America is mad corny, in a nutshell:

Yesterday's big event for the entire rest of the world:
Italy's last minute heroics in the World Cup.

Yesterday's big event here:
That little dude's last minute heroics in the annual Hot Dog Eating Contest.

(Notice for my New Yorkers: the Beer Garden in Astoria is the place to be on Sunday.)

Net Neutrality: Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

Like the Abstract, I've been slow on posting about this cuz I found it hard to make a pithy paragraph about it. But it's too serious to ignore so I'm just gonna let the experts speak for themselves:

  • savetheinternet.com

  • Emcee Battle: TheSaurus vs. Iron Solomon

    A long awaited clash of two titans from the battle circuit, Oakland's TheSaurus and the current king of NY Iron Solomon (who also came by our radio show last week, audio forthcoming). Great battle, and since is this my pet issue I have to note: yet another example of the guy who mixes in premeditated lines beating a foe who demands respect for staying off the top. Are y'all ready to admit yet that the "all battling must be off the top" orthodoxy was never a good idea?

    July 7, 2006

    Congrats to Elliott Wilson and Danyel Smith, Proud Parents

    Following yesterday's news that Danyel Smith is returning to Vibe comes another big announcement for Smith and her hubb, XXL boss Elliott Wilson: they are welcoming a son into the family!

    After some legal wrangling, the paperwork has finally gone through for their somewhat unorthodox adoption process, which makes them the legal guardians of man in his late thirties named Jeremy Miller, Editor-in-Chief of the Source Magazine. This middle-aged bundle of joy completes the Smith-Wilson master plan to place all hip-hop publishing in one family's control.

    In related news, police also came by the Smith-Wilson household yesterday to remove former Source owner Raymond "Benzino" Scott, who was reportedly knocking on doors and shouting "come on, don't y'all remember your long-lost Uncle Ray-Ray?"

    July 10, 2006

    AUDIO: Keith Murray Live on the Railroad

    keith-murray-012 keith-murray-009

    "Cats say 'Murray you'd go good with G-Unit
    But since you smacked P, 50 might not do it...'"


    A couple of weeks ago Keith Murray came by our radio show, and did some of that rapping stuff he likes to do, He also revealed a few possible titles he's mulling over for his upcoming album, including my favorite "A-rap-maphobia":

    July 12, 2006

    Department of Future News

    Gotta steal this from Joey:

    allhiphop.com headlines, July 12th 2036:

    Aging rap stars 50 Cent and the Game finally consummate the love they'd been denying all these decades.

    Another Hip-Hop Church

    Hmm.. I have no comment at this time. Have any of y'all been there and seen him in action?

    Jesus Is My Hype Man
    The South Bronx's premiere hip-hop pastor expertly mingles the dope with the dopey

    Reverend Timothy Holder, honorable 51-year-old white pastor of the South Bronx's Trinity Episcopal Church of Morrisania, would like it known that he came by both his hip-hop alias and his "beautiful bling cross" honorably. Both were presents. "Poppa T," he declares proudly. "A gift from the rappers. That's my street name. And I own it with all my heart."

    Poppa T's been here four years now, after a distinguished career in D.C. politics (involved with "every losing campaign in the 1980s") and five years in Alabama founding a Spanish-speaking parish. He deems the language barrier he faced there "instructive," as now he's attempting an even tougher translation: Introducing rappers to God, and his God-fearing congregation to the rappers they often fear for entirely different reasons. Trinity Episcopal's HipHopEMass, a two-year-old experiment in imbuing a typical church service with streetwise vernacular and freestyle rappers, invades the South Bronx streets about once a month, when Poppa T and crew aren't traveling the city—invading St. Paul's, near the World Trade Center site, for a June hoedown—or fleeing the state entirely for outreach missions in Ohio or Texas. "The goal, my brother, is to pull people out of the church into the street, and people just on the street into the church," Poppa T explains. "As the old Anglican priests said, 'If you don't have both, you have neither....' "

    Will.I.Am: Calling Black Eyed Peas "Hip-Hop" is an Insult

    Uhh yeah, I'm not commenting on this one either.


    THE BLACK EYED PEAS frontman WILL.I.AM is keen to distance his band from hip-hop, because the genre's music is "angry" and "negative". The LET'S GET IT STARTED hitmaker admits the group started out as a hip-hop act but he now wants nothing to do with the rap scene. He says, "When you compare it to today's standards of what hip-hop is... don't even call it that, 'cos that's, like, an insult. "Today's hip-hop is just angry, negative music that just makes black people look bad."

    (via that good good)

    July 13, 2006

    African Hip-Hop in Minneapolis

    Peter Scholtes always brings the depth and detail with his pieces, this time covering his town's African hip-hoppers, and whether hip-hop's ties to Africa are sometimes over-mythologized.

    Also check Keith Harris' "Africa's Ultimate Beats and Breaks" on the same page (shoutout to Ben Herson), and Peter's exhaustive collection of African hip-hop links here.


    ... [Faada] Freddy, whose Senegalese rap trio Daara J performs for free in Loring Park on Monday, is a foremost advocate for the theory that, by finding embrace in Africa, hip hop has "come home." Collaborating freely (the crew recently recorded with Malian legend Salif Keita) and inflecting their tassou with dancehall toasts and R&B melodies, Daara J's sales pitch nevertheless relies on their association with the oldest of old schools.

    "The storytellers used songs to say, 'This is how we should act,'" says Freddy. "It was a way for them to remind us that socially, politically, we have to be involved. Back then there were no TVs, no Internet neither. The only way for people to communicate was through the griots. Pop music was a way to know what was going on in the countryside."

    These days, rap music has become a way for African immigrants, including thousands of Minnesotans, to connect with their home countries. No longer just black America's CNN, hip hop is a griot for a black planet.

    Which is why I'm surprised to learn that Freddy, who grew up speaking Wolof, has never heard of the theory that "hip" originated from xippi. At the mention of this, the expert rhetorician nearly leaps through the phone.

    "And xeupp [pronounced 'hop'] means 'to pour something,'" he says. "When you're just full of something, you pour it. Like when you're full of emotion, you give it to the people."

    Most African rappers hesitate to claim hip hop for Africa. "It's a good story," says Ghanaian-born M.anifest, smiling in a way that suggests he thinks Faada Freddy is full of something, all right (though he admires Daara J's live show). "Plus they named their CD Boomerang. Very smart marketing..."

    July 17, 2006

    AUDIO: Game Talks to Us About Change of Heart

    Now that it's been released on one of those "hood DVDs," Game's "Change of Heart" appearance is getting hyped as a scandalous rumor that nobody could ever verify until now.. but the truth is Game never denied he was on that show, he's been open (in a defensive sort of way) about that for years. He spoke to me abou it a couple of years ago, when I profiled him for Mean Magazine.

    I spent that whole day with him and he made a very good impression, better than he does with his drama-ridden public persona.. I found him a good-hearted, gracious and sincere young dude, but kinda immature/insecure and prone to losing his composure and acting out when he feels his manhood is put in question.

    Which is what happened when I asked the "Change of Heart" question, his whole demeanor changed and he jumped into this macho rah rah.. got awkward for a minute, you can probably tell on the tape that I was eager to calm him back down, on some "Ha ha ha this conversation is so funny and lighthearted! Please don't hit me!" Anyway here it goes:

    powered by ODEO

    Pardon the poor audio, I'll try and transcribe it if i have a minute.

    July 18, 2006

    Granny's Black Media Immersion Month

    Some of the best blogging this month has been at Granny Gets a Vibrator, where Granny has created an experiment she calls the Black Media Immersion Month:

    ...what this means is that for the next thirty days I'm going to be reading almost entirely blogs written by black people. I'm going to get my news and opinions from black publications, I'm going to read magazines and web sites published and written by and for black people. I'm going to read novels, drama, and poetry written by black authors, watch black films, listen to black radio stations, and so forth.

    This is an experiment for me. I'm not trying to be black, or become black or pretend like I'm black or any of that stuff. I'm just very curious to learn how looking at the world through this lens will affect me, my white thinking, and my white perspective. Will it sharpen my awareness, increase my insights, alter my feelings, improve my ability to understand what it's like to be black in this society? Of course, I already tend to think of myself as a Good Liberal Anti-Racist White Person. But I've been wondering, how deep does this identity really run? What can I discover about gaps and weak links and blind spots in my anti-racist commitment by indulging in this experiment?

    An idea that could be very cool or very corny depending on who tries to implement it, luckily Granny and her lively readership are sharp enough to make it worthwhile. The discussions on cultural appropriaton are a highlight (despite, or because of, the obligatory one guy who doesn't get it), but there's good reading all over the place in there.

    How to Suppress Discussions of Racism

    If you spend any time discussing race online, the tactics in this how-not-to guide may be painfully familiar:

    How to Suppress Discussions of Racism

    Tired of discussions of racism in literature, television, and film? Worn out from the unexpected criticism of your leisure pursuits? Exhausted by the effort of having to respond to each new argument carefully and conscientiously?

    We can help!

    We'll teach you how to suppress discussion of racism in six easy steps. Soon suppressing dissent will be so easy you can do it in your sleep!

    Just follow the steps below in order...

    About July 2006

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

    June 2006 is the previous archive.

    August 2006 is the next archive.

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

    Powered by
    Movable Type 3.34