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November 2006 Archives

November 1, 2006

Young Emcees Are, Uhh, Busting A Move..? (Sorry)

Via the featured pundit, Tamara Palmer:

For today's rappers, it's all about being 'Young'

Hip-hop has always been about youth. Yet these days, perhaps more than ever, rap has become a young man's game -- literally. With a generation of rappers sharing the prefix "Young'' -- Young Jeezy, Young Dro, Young Buck, Yung Joc, among others -- it's clear that today's hip-hop places a premium on not only what's new, but who's young.

Young Jeezy (born Jay Jenkins), 29, claims his alias dates to his days hustling in Atlanta, long before he even started rhyming professionally. "I was always the young dude in the clique, so the OG homies used to call me `Young,' '' he says. But at age 29, Jeezy -- who is preparing to release his sophomore disc, "The Inspiration: Thug Motivation 102,'' in December -- knows he may not be able to call himself Young too much longer.
"I feel young though. I feel I represent for the young; this is my way of kind touching base with them,'' he explains, before adding, " Yeah, ain't nobody want to (deal) with you if they think you old...''

November 10, 2006

Ultramagnetic on "Video LP" with Sherry Carter

We're expecting the legendary Ced Gee to visit us tomorrow at the radio show, so please pass on any questions you have for the man. And in his honor here's an interview clip from BET's "Video LP" in 1993:

Gerald Levert, RIP

One of the last true old-school R&B singers.. always thought he was the one we'd have around to show our grandkids how it used to be done. All our love to Eddie, and all other fam and loved ones..

(pardon the bad sound, but worth turning up for one of his best performances)

November 14, 2006

The Making of "Why You Hate the Game"

New Just Blaze TV.. as the young folks say, "first!"

November 15, 2006

Eric Dolphy, Jazzmatazz

1. To start with my own bit of blashemy, I've never thoguht Guru did a good job at all of mixing jazz and hip-hop on the Jazzmatazz albums. Few of those tracks rose above mediocre by hip-hop standards, and the "jazzy" elements were a muddle of aimless noodling over bland backbeats. It impressed me only as a testimony to Premier's genius, hearing how music suffers in his absence.

2. The Eric Dolphy thing made my head explode too, Noz, but I can understand how Horace Silver et al are better gateway drugs. I had to leave Eric and come back years later to really hear it. One side note though: calling Eric Dolphy "the clarinetist" is like saying "the rapper Pete Rock": not technically wrong but it doesn't look right.. he was equally virtuosic on alto sax, bass clarinet and flute, and rocked each regularly (with most of my favorites on the sax, just cuz it's my favorite instrument).

3. Props to XXL for putting Jalylah in the mix.. and for the record I asked her to guest blog for us way before this, so if you ever see her up in here it's not cuz we're biters.. we're just slow on the follow-through.

4. Do y'all have any other recommendations for hip-hop/jazz mixtures that worked?

November 16, 2006

The Youth Vote

Our old friend Upski of "Bomb the Suburbs" fame expounds in Mother Jones (via Jeff):

William Upski Wimsatt: Youth Vote Did it for Dems

In 2004, the mainstream media pinned John Kerry's failed presidential bid on youth apathy. Although there were many reasons Kerry lost, low youth voter turnout was not one of them. Four million new voters between 18 and 29 hit the polls in the biggest youth surge since 1972. Over half were African American or Hispanic. The 2004 election marked a demographic watershed, but because of the myth of youth apathy, the moment was largely lost on the media.

In Ohio, young people instigated the 2004 protests that led to Congressional hearings on voter disenfranchisement. This year, after knocking on 50,000 doors in that battleground state, we are organizing a major precinct-level effort to ensure that people who had been handed provisional ballots at their polling places—predominantly young, poor, or of color—had their votes properly counted.

These are not signs of apathy. They are signs of change and renewal. At a time when idealism is no longer expected of young people, young people are voting in increasingly significant numbers, inspired by their peers and their hopes. To newly elected officials, the question to ask is: what will it take to justify young people's continuing faith in electoral politics?

AUDIO: Defining Hip-Hop's Golden Age

Our own DJ Emskee kicked off WBAI’s Hip-Hop Takeover with 2 hours of music from hip-hop’s "Golden Age," which he mapped out spanning 1988 to 1995. How does that match up with your definition of what's golden? Here’s the first hour of the show…

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November 17, 2006

Jay Z "Brooklyn High" (Jim Jones Diss)

Jay Z finally decides to take the Capo's bait.. is he just maximizing his media saturation for the first week sales push, or is the ubiquity of "ballin!!" sign getting to him?

This hits hard up until the Tyra Banks line, then loses momentum, but perhaps he's saving the best jabs for round 2.

Jay Z "Brooklyn High" (Jim Jones Dis)

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November 20, 2006

AUDIO: The Definitive Ced Gee Mix

Last week we welcomed a true hip-hop pioneer to our radio show, producer/emcee Ced Gee of Ultramagnetic. In honor of his visit DJ Monk One mixed a full hour of tracks from Ced's illustrious discography.

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(Needless to say, after Monk's set was done we also recorded the definitive Ced Gee interview, including a thorough rundown of his role in the Criminal Minded. Stay tuned for that any day now..)

November 24, 2006

Access of Evil

Hello, I'm Tamara Palmer -- my friends call me Teemoney. I'm a writer/editor/DJ from the San Francisco Yay Area. Mr. Smooth has kindly asked me to be a guest blogger here, which is an honor, and I can assure dear readers that he's given me a tough set of standards and practices to adopt in my posts. . .

Thought I'd start off today with something that really makes my bile boil, especially after the recent KKKramer drama. Two 13-year-old twin girls who call themselves Prussian Blue are at number four in the Billboard charts this week for selling 91K copies of an album called End of a Black World.

(thanks to stic.man of dead prez for pointing this out, as well as this background story that follows)

Young Singers Spread Racist Hate
Duo considered the Olsen Twins of the White Nationalist Movement

They may remind you of another famous pair of singers, the Olsen Twins, and the girls say they like that. But unlike the Olsens, who built a media empire on their fun-loving, squeaky-clean image, Lamb and Lynx are cultivating a much darker personna. They are white nationalists and use their talents to preach a message of hate. . .

[EDIT: Turns out this is a hoax, and I am so glad! I had a nagging voice in the back of my head that said to check the actual charts, but I didn't. But let me just say that I'd rather look silly for falling for this than to actually have it be true. My faith in humanity remains.]

AUDIO: Teemoney's "All Ways"

I couldn't leave you after that kind of downer without something to make you smile and (hopefully) get loose to, so here's my most recent DJ mix:

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The Definitive "Racist Kramer" Post (Updated)

Dan Charnas nails it:

Are You Really That Surprised?

...Don’t get me wrong: I love “Seinfeld,” adore Kramer’s character, and think that Michael Richards is a comedic genius.

But I harbor no illusions: The construct for “Seinfeld,” like so many other comic teleplays and films, is a monochromatic world where White People are central, and people of color — if they appear at all — are simply used as accessories, as added “color” for a scene.

When you think about “Seinfeld,” and you realize the only recurring Black characters were either there because they made our white heroes uncomfortable simply by being Black (like George’s nemesis Mr. Morgan at the Yankees); or to parody a Black celebrity (like Kramer’s erstwhile lawyer Jackie Chiles doing his best Johnnie Cochran), you get a peek inside the archaic white psyche. It’s a headspace where white people simply do not know how to deal with a world that is slowly become not their own. So they literally ignore it. “Seinfeld” is Ralph Ellison’s argument made visual...

(should be read in its entirety)


L.M.B. sent along this Danny Hoch video, also noted by Sparkle and Jeff Chang. I thought the clip's presentation was a little heavy-handed, with all the stunned-silence audience shots punctuating his big lines, but among other things it does illustrate Seinfeld's relationship to "otherness" that i mentioned below in the comments. When other ethnicities appeared on Seinfeld there was usually a joke that went beyond their ethnicity, but underneath it we were also invited to simply laugh at their funny accent... their otherness itself was presented as inherently comical. That's one of a few reasons I never got too deep into the show, though I did like it.

Also check this interview with Sinbad, who was actually there at the club that night.

November 27, 2006

Chino XL and Tupac

chino xl's corner of my hip-hop sticker wall of fame

Our man Dan breaks down Tupac's history with his friend and mine, Chino XL (actually I have no idea whether Chino would remember me, but I was among the first supporting him on radio, dating back to the Art of Origin days. (we also shared a stage once, rhyming at a Bobbito-hosted open mic at the Village Gate.. a moment mercifully forgotten given the caliber of my contributions.))

A couple of supplements: Regarding Chino's rhyme on "Riiot," rumors of Pac being raped in jail were all over town at that time, thanks largely to the ever-helpful Wendy Williams.. so though I don't doubt Chino's explanation, no one should judge Pac as paranoid for taking it as he did.

Also, I swear I remember Chino going at Pac with a lengthy freestyle on 105.9 WNWK.. does anyone else remember this or possibly have the audio? DJ Mecca? Kevin Keith are you out there?

EDIT: Clearly the Gods have deemed this Chino XL day throughout the universe, since he just popped up on the "Reno 911" DVD I've got on right now.

November 28, 2006

Melle Mel Now Grandmaster of Children's Books and Professional Wrestling

Melle Mel talks about his new children's book "The Portal in the Park," which comes with a bonus CD of his rapped narration. he also briefly addresses his pro wrestling aspirations, tersely reported elsewhere as "Old Rapper Tries Out For WWE".

My Day: Wrestling with rap, children

What message will kids learn from your book?

It teaches them self-awareness. A lot of kids go through certain emotions and, especially nowadays, they grow up quick and they don’t have time to catch up to how they feel about certain things. So, it’s all that confusion between growing up and handling confusion and handling fear. The book teaches them to adjust to that and deal with it... Right now, rap is way too negative. This book is proof that you can use rap for more than just describing what goes on in your neighborhood. I’m quite sure there are kids who are going to school in your neighborhood that have problems dealing with their emotions...

What else are you working on?

If the album and the book are successful, I’m going to try some professional wrestling. I went to a wrestling school called “Deep South Wrestling” during the summer and learned a few moves. I kind of like the whole vibe and the demographic in terms of the type of people you could reach. A wrestler’s audience is very diverse. It’s more or less branched out to the hip-hop field. One of the champs out there is a rapper so I figure if he can rap, then I can wrestle.

Also check the interview here..

Paul Mooney Renounces the "N Word"

Amidst the standard posturing of Jesse and Kramer's Apologypalooza came a genuine surprise, as the N word's foremost champion declared he is renouncing his throne..

Paul Mooney Says Goodbye to N-Word

...Mooney pledged Monday to stop using the word after seeing the video of Michael Richards using it and other racial slurs to attack hecklers at a recent performance, the Los Angeles Times reported. "I've used it and abused it, and I never thought I'd say this," Mooney said, but Richards "is my Dr. Phil ... he's cured me"

Mooney, who wrote for the late Richard Pryor and the TV show "In Living Color," joined with African-American leaders, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., to get the world to stop using the word...

I don't use the word, and can't say I'd particularly miss it, but I'm not sure what we accomplish by crusading against it. Does making a word taboo ever do anything but increase its power? If we did succeed in eradicating it, would it do anything to change the sentiments or thought process of those who use it? Or does it bring merely a cosmetic change in the vocabulary we use to reveal those thoughts, and make us less likely to put our cards on the table?

To quote another comic known for wielding the word: seems to me that if we do somehow to strike "nigger" out of existence, we'll all find ourselves twiddling our thumbs and waiting for our OJ Prize, in a world just as racist as it was yesterday..

But i'm open to persuasion on this.. what sayest thou? Is this a battle worth fighting?

November 30, 2006

AUDIO: Defining Hip-Hop's Golden Age, Part Two

Here's part two of DJ Emskee and G Man's "Hip-Hop Takeover" special highlighting hip-hop's "golden age," which they carved out as the stretch from 1988 to 1995.. personally I've usually drawn the lines around 1986 to 1994, or maybe 95. In 1986 we start with the "Raising Hell" album, the pinnacle of hip-hop achievement up until then, one I thought at the time could never be surpassed.. then we get the first signs of the coming revolution, as Ra and KRS lead in the new generation of emcees just as the pandora's box of digital sampling is pried open..

But anyway here's the music. Emskee dug a little deeper in the crates on this one:

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About November 2006

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

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