A clip from KRS One's show this weekend at the Prospect Park Bandshell in Brooklyn. He tells the crowd how 25 years ago he was homeless and sleeping right in this very bandshell, and he told himself back then, "one day, I'm gonna rock this park."
I also went to Lauryn's show in BK last night. But the less we say about that, the better.
Also BTW, we are gonna get things moving again in here soon!
Much as I love them both, normally I'd say that the only thing scarier than Cornel West trying to do hip-hop is Prince trying to do hip-hop. But I'll reserve judgement until I actually hear it.
New Cornel West Hip-Hop Album: "Never Forget: A Journey of Revelations" Cornel West teams up with artists like Prince and Talib Kweli to release a rap album that paints a powerful portrait of life in Dubya's America. alternet
...It's technically the second album headlined by the acclaimed best-selling author and activist, but this one, called, Never Forget: A Journey of Revelations, boasts a heavier presence of stars like Prince, Talib Kweli, KRS-One and Andre 3000 of Outkast. While West is by no means a seasoned rapper, he isn't a slouch either. Even though a middle aged Princeton professor, he delivers vocals with authority and panache. In a recent Baltimore Sun article West says:
The rumors have him taking over for Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby? WABC has traditionally been a haven for doddering misanthropes (word to Bob Grant) so I suppose Imus would fit in.
Don Imus Settlement With CBS Sets Up Move to WABC
The voice of Don Imus could resurface somewhere on the radio dial as soon as this fall, after Mr. Imus and CBS announced that they had settled the remaining differences about his firing in April over remarks deemed insensitive to women and blacks...
You know times are hard for an artist when nobody cares enough to re-edit their Wikipedia entry:
"Jeffrey Atkins (born February 29, 1976), better known by his stage name Ja Rule, is an American rapper and actor from Hollis, New York He is known for being a homo when it comes to beef. (example: He has a beef with Eminem, but only makes diss songs against Eminem's Daughter.)His voice is a play off the cookie monster's, his idol."
I never told anyone about this, but last year I saw bunch of Scientologists in times Square, huddled together with a group of Black Israelites as if they were hatching secret plans.* I believe this is the next step in their plan to join forces and conquer the world.
For real though, as much as I'd like to be pleased about the community programs they say they're bringing, this seems like bad news.
Scientology Making Moves on 125th Street
The Church of Scientology, known for its celebrity devotees, is making a big push to expand its empire along 125th Street, purchasing three properties there last week, and planning a major recruitment drive in the neighborhood.
The Rev. John Carmichael, president of the church in New York, declined to give details about the purchase, but reports put the total sales price at $10.2 million.
Carmichael said the three buildings - 228 through 232 E. 125th St. - will house a main Scientology complex and a community center that will offer literacy programs and drug counseling...
*this actually happened.
I love Kweli's explanation of the phenomenon. I wish people gave answers like this more often, cuz most journalists never grasp that rappers are musicians who make choices for musical reasons. Also note: Talib Kweli doesn't vote. Scandal!
Barack Obama gets name-dropped in hip-hop
...It also doesn't hurt that his name just works better in a rhyming verse than, say, "Kucinich."
"More than anything his name is a nugget of lyrical gold," said Kweli. "It sounds like a gunshot going off ... Obama rhymes with a lot of things."
This is about 12,363,656 times more important than when Detox is coming out:
The Invisible Manuscript wash post
Ralph Ellison died leaving four decades' worth of scribbled notes, thousands of typed pages and 80 computer disks filled with work on an ambitious second novel. For 14 years,a pair of literary detectives labored to fit the pieces together. Now they're ready to share with the world...
AKA hip-hop is dead, volume 276. Any thoughts?
Hip-hop's Down Beat
...Longtime rap fans are doing the math and coming to the same conclusions as the music's voluminous critics. In February, the filmmaker Byron Hurt released Beyond Beats and Rhymes, a documentary notable not just for its hard critique but for the fact that most of the people doing the criticizing were not dowdy church ladies but members of the hip-hop generation who deplore rap's recent fixation on the sensational.
Both rappers and music execs are clamoring for solutions. Russell Simmons recently made a tepid call for rappers to self-censor the words nigger and bitch from their albums. But most insiders believe that a debate about profanity and misogyny obscures a much deeper problem: an artistic vacuum at major labels. "The music community has to get more creative," says Steve Rifkin, CEO of SRC Records. "We have to start betting on the new and the up-and-coming for us to grow as an industry. Right now, I don't think anyone is taking chances. It's a big-business culture...."
At last night's Screamfest. A great moment in hip-hop? If you haven't seen it go here and here. Contrary to Ian's assertion, I can't say that missing this makes me want to Sean Kingston myself, but it's damn sure refreshing to see.
I love the smile on 50's face. As much as he always talks like it's all about the money, and as much as I might loathe half the stuff he puts out, you can't tell me 50 Cent doesn't love hip-hop. I wish he felt more comfortable with expressing that and showing it in his work.
I can think of reasons to quibble with aspects of the "Read A Book" vid, but it seems like Jesse just didn't get the joke?
The following is a statement released on behalf of Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, from Attorney Janice Mathis, Vice President and Executive Director of Peachtree Street Project, Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Mathis's commentary comes after the release of a rap video, "Read a Book" on YouTube and BET.
It doesn’t matter that dog fighting has been around since the colonial era. It doesn’t matter that, under the current circumstances, one might just as easily link football playing to dog fighting. It doesn’t matter that, if one were to look with a level head, that dog fighting is probably more closely linked to poverty than any particular culture, or ethnicity, or race. Yet, blaming hip-hop has become as much of a convenient journalistic crutch to explain complex social problems as is, say, getting virtually anyone with a conflicting opinion to discredit a reputable source and make one’s reporting seem “fair and balanced.”
Watch Adisa Banjoko’s sober response to the DMX affair here.
What I want to know is this: If hip-hop is to blame for dog fighting, what music do we blame for cock fighting? Jazz?
Somebody had to do it.
Phil Ford, an assistant prof at Indiana University, published this article in Inside Higher Ed magazine asking how Biggie's Ten Crack Commandments could be applied to a Professor's work in the Academy. Check the comments section too, where other professors were aghast at his usage of profanity (and his temerity to even reference hip-hop at all). Ford answered those haters here in his blog.
We’re staring down the barrel of another academic year. Time for a refresher course in professional deportment — by which I mean “The Ten Crack Commandments,” by The Notorious B.I.G. All you professors starting out at new institutions (like me) will be getting orientation sessions to show you the academic ropes — procedures on academic misconduct, FERPA guidelines, sexual harassment policies, etc., but you can save some time and just listen to hiphop. “The Ten Crack Commandments” only looks like it’s about drug dealing. All hustles obey the same logic, so heed Biggie’s words...
Just Blaze has the hookup. Gotta give him his due since we've been hard on KRS in the past, he's on point for most of this session, discussing the death of the industry and the future of the culture. Much as he might frustrate us half the time, KRS is still one of the greatest artists, thinkers, and ambassadors we've ever had in this thing of ours.
Guess we should have seen this coming:
Wedding Chapel Is On The Map For Beauty Queen and Rap King
Just days after his controversial statements about black and white women, rap producer Polow Da Don shocked the world again today with his surprise announcement that he will marry Lauren Caitlin Upton, Miss Teen South Carolina.
"As soon I saw her video on Youtube, I felt weak at the knees," explained Polow. "She is truly the girl of my dreams, and everything God wants a woman to be."
Ms. Upton agreed, "I personally believe me and the scary black man will have us a very nice wedding, per se, vis a vis, and it might could even lead to a marriage one day."