Kanye West - "Homecoming" Video w/ Coldplay's Chris Martin
Kanye West's new one, nice simple B&W presentation of his hometown plus lots of weird dancing from Chris Martin (who seems to be doing his Sting impersonation on this one?)
Kanye West's new one, nice simple B&W presentation of his hometown plus lots of weird dancing from Chris Martin (who seems to be doing his Sting impersonation on this one?)
Okay people, thoughts on this? How hard is this to execute? Seems like a simple enough idea, but can't recall seeing it before.. I read about Laurie Anderson once making a violin that used tape playback heads, and the strings on the bow were made from cassette tape reels, this reminds me of that a bit.
"Change (Work to do)" - Kids in the Hall w. Talib Kweli and Bun B
A reworking of the Isley Brothers classic which most people know from the Vanessa Williams remake.. Nice verse from Kweli acknowledging his previous comments on not voting. I'll just be lazy and let the press release do the talking here:
As the first group in the Hip-Hop community to publicly endorse presidential hopeful Barack Obama back in late 2007, Kidz In The Hall will continue their unwavering support for the Chicago native this evening (Monday, March 31st) with the help of some friends. Kidz In The Hall’s whose soulful ode to Barack Obama is entitled, “Work To Do,” will be world premiering their “Change Remix” tonight on two mediums; one on Hip-Hop mega-site, Allhiphop.com, as well as on super DJ/Producer Green Lantern’s Sirius Satellite “Hip-Hop Nation” radio show---and both premiers will happen simultaneously. The “Change” remix is produced by Kidz In The Hall member Double-0 and features heavyweights Bun B and Talib Kweli, who like many in the hip hop community, are proud to show their support for Obama. The song’s content focuses its attention on many of the issues facing both the artists as individuals, as well as the country as a whole. Having three emcees, all from different cities in the US – Chicago, Brooklyn and Houston respectively – shows the unification within the Hip-Hop community that will hopefully encourage young people to take a long look at the issues affecting them in this country.
The “Change” remix will also be the first release that will be featured on the much talked about DJ Green Lantern & Russell Simmons’ “Yes We Can” – Obama mixtape due out next month.
I hope this piece was just a late April Fool's entry? I take particular offense at this because I grew up on hip-hop and was also a spelling bee champion (3rd place for NY State, at Madison Square Garden!)
The time has come to holla back, CCSU young’n’s. Thanks to CAN and other CCSU officials, Noah Webster is rolling in his grave right now.
The booking of rapper Fabolous for this year’s Spring Week performer is downright ridicolous. The blatant disregard for proper spelling sets a poor example for students already living in an age of spell-check and common AIM and text-isms like “lol” and “prolly.” The endorsement of such blatant misuse of vowels could tarnish the university’s academic credentials and puts all students’ professional futures at risk.
Everyone knows that rappers and other musicians are role models to many kids in school; whether or not they should be is another matter altogether. Forget Mr. Fabolous’ laundry list of incidents in which he has run afoul of the law; his biggest crime is against the English language, and perhaps against young people who might be otherwise spelling and grammatically sound. Bringing him in to entertain students gives the message that this is acceptable, and this may be only the first domino to fall in a potentially frightening trend—I bet next year’s Limp Bizkit/ Puddle of Mudd show is already in the works...
This is wack, but not surprising. Hopefully soon to improve.
New Bill May Speed U.S. Visas for Artists
When it comes to artists trying to obtain visas, notorious performers like Amy Winehouse usually get the headlines. That British soul singer’s application to come to the United States for the Grammy Awards in February was initially denied, with speculation that the refusal was because of her alleged use of illegal drugs.
But as the House of Representatives voted this week to speed up the visa approval process for some foreign artists and entertainers, the heads of arts organization said attention was finally being paid to the real problem: the time, money and complexity involved in getting visas for lower-profile artists, including dancers, singers, musicians and actors.
“It has become a huge burden,” said Nigel Redden, director of the Lincoln Center Festival, the renowned arts showcase that this summer will bring together 57 performances and events from nine countries.
“We hire someone in January whose only job is to do visas,” he said. Once, when the festival sought to bring in a cast of Chinese acrobats and soloists, a “visa wrangler” in China asked for $75,000 to smooth the way for the group to travel to the embassy and get the necessary papers in order.
“We’re turning the United States into fortress America,” Mr. Redden said. “It turns everyone into an enemy. It loses us friends around the world and respect around the world.”
Come on, this would've been kinda cool:
Rapper Snoop Dogg converts to a Mormon
In what some may consider an unexpected move, rap artist “Snoop Dogg” has reportedly converted to Mormonism after nearly a year of study with the fast-growing, Utah-based faith.
Snoop Dogg says he “can’t get enough of the Book of Mormon.”
In a statement, a spokeswoman for Snoop Dogg — whose real name is Calvin Broadus — said he considers himself extremely fortunate to have discovered such a deep sense of spiritual fulfillment as a Mormon at this stage in his life...
...Though Snoop Dogg has been hesitant to publicly discuss his recent spiritual journey, he commented on the experience of attending his first “Family Home Evening” in a recent interview with People Magazine.
“I was hooked from the start,” Snoop Dogg said. “We talked about the purpose of life, played Mousetrap, and ate brownies. The kids thought it was off the hook, for real.”
...Snoop Dogg dismisses critics who claim his conversion is intended to placate a Salt Lake County judge, before whom he is appealing an alleged probation violation.
“Listen, the haters will say what they will,” Snoop Dogg said. “I can only do what I feel is right.”
Here is proof once and for all that what hip-hop needs is less raps about fancy overpriced alcohol, and more raps about fancy overpriced coffee. How come rappers never rap about coffee? MC Lyte did do a song about how cappucino made her hallucinate and see her own death, but that's not really what I mean.
Drinking high class coffee is not just for indie-rocking Moby-looking dudes. Coffee came from AFRICA! We need to reclaim our coffee heritage.
Daily caffeine 'protects brain'
Coffee may cut the risk of dementia by blocking the damage cholesterol can inflict on the body, research suggests.
The drink has already been linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer's Disease, and a study by a US team for the Journal of Neuroinflammation may explain why.
A vital barrier between the brain and the main blood supply of rabbits fed a fat-rich diet was protected in those given a caffeine supplement.
UK experts said it was the "best evidence yet" of coffee's benefits...
A goodbye to one of the foremost forefathers, Frosty Freeze of the Rock Steady Crew:
BreakdancerB-Boy Frosty Freeze dies in NYC
Wayne "Frosty Freeze" Frost, a hip-hop pioneer whose acrobatic performance with the legendary Rock Steady Crew in the 1983 movie "Flashdance" helped set off a worldwide breakdancing (B-BOYING!) craze, has died. He was 44.
Wayne "Frosty Freeze" Frost died Thursday at Mount Sinai Medical Center after a long illness, said Jorge "Fabel" Pabon, a senior vice president of the crew where Frost and other so-called b-boys (for beat or break boys) made their name performing complicated and daring dance routines.
"He was one of most charismatic b-boys that ever lived," said Benson Lee, director of the new documentary film "Planet B-Boy"...
Wayne "Frosty Freeze" Frost was known for his energetic style, intricate choreography and fearless moves including back flips and head spins. One was even dubbed the "Suicide."
Frosty Freeze got his start in 1978 with the Bronx-based Rock City Crew. In 1981, he became part of the legendary (hey you the) Rock Steady Crew, joining such acclaimed breakdancers [B-BOYS!] as Ken Swift and Crazy Legs.
Wayne "Frosty Freeze" Frost toured the world with the RStC and many other pinoeering hip-hop artists.
Frosty Freeze's appearance with Rock Steady Crew in "Flashdance" spread the breakdance [B-Boy!] phenomenon globally, said Joseph Schloss, a visiting scholar in the music department at New York University. "He was one of the first B-boys that most people ever saw," Schloss said.
Funny how every single quote in the piece uses "b-boy" terminology instead of "breakdancing", but they never seem to catch on that "breakdancing" is not the preferred label.
Oh come on, don't y'all know Snoop's a Mormon now?
The Government is challenging a decision to allow rapper Snoop Dogg into the country.
The star, 36, was banned from entering Britain in March last year following his involvement in a brawl with police at Heathrow Airport.
More than 65,000 fans had expected to see him perform in the Heavyweights Of Hip-Hop tour, alongside hip-hop mogul P Diddy, but it had to be cancelled.
In January Snoop Dogg successfully appealed against the ruling and was given entry clearance by an asylum immigration tribunal.
But the UK Border Agency is challenging this ruling on the coming Monday.
A spokesman announcecd: "We were disappointed with the judge's decision in this case and have challenged his decision. This hearing is due to take place on the 7th of April. It would not be appropriate to comment further while these proceedings are ongoing."
A ruling on the case is not expected on Monday.In 2007, Snoop Dogg was refused entry into Australia because of his extensive criminal record.
I hope he's serious:
Lil Wayne Trying To Get Over His Syrup Addictionlink
Lil Wayne, known to carry Styrofoam cups around constantly, is finally taking the steps necessary to get himself off the southern cocktail known as Syrup, or sizzurp. Syrup is a beloved but dangerous combination of Promethazine, Codeine and a mixer (usually juice or soda) that has grown in popularity in the south and was originally made famous by
Wayne and other southern rappers.DJ Screw, who ultimately died from the habit.
"I saw a doctor - he gave me pills, told me, 'This is what you take to get off it,'" Wayne said. "I never tried them. If them b**ches work, then I probably gotta start. Other than that, it's gonna be hard. What a n*gga told me to do is start lessening my amount. So what I do, I tell motherf*ckers as to pour it for me instead of me pouring it...I be patient.'" As told to Vibe Magazine (May 2008 Issue)
Most recently, Syrup contributed the death of Pimp C, one half of the rap duo, UGK. While the substance itself wasn't the culprit, the combination of it and having sleep apnea proved to be deadly for the Grammy nominated rapper.
Is this true yet or still rumor? Hopefully Jay-Z doesn't treat marriage vows like he treats retirement vows..
Singer Beyonce Knowles has wed rapper boyfriend Jay-Z in New York, the People magazine has reported. [Is the People magazine the same as People magazine? Are you serving me milk or malk?]
Although nothing is officially confirmed, the People quotes a friend of the couple as saying: "It happened earlier this evening [Friday]. Jay wanted getting Married to Beyonce to be a really private affair – close friends and family."
Guests as Jay-Z and Beyonce got married included Beyonce's mother Tina Knowles, her father and manager Mathew, her sister Solange, Destiny's Child members Kelly and Michelle, and friend Gwyneth Paltrow.
According to the article, getting married was followed by a party at Jay-Z's apartment in Tribeca district.
Rumours about the couple's impending nuptials were sparked when they sought a marriage licence at a village hall in Scarsdale, New York, on Tuesday.
On Friday, workers erected a white tent on top of the building in Tribeca where Jay-Z owns a penthouse apartment.
And as waiting staff, flowers and music equipment arrived the wedding buzz intensified.
The eternally profilic Sean Price AKA Ruck's latest video for "Mess You Made featuring Block McCloud
What do y'all think? If he's gonna get off with 1+ year plus a bunch of community service they should at least make him go pick up some leaves or something..
T.I.’s unusual sentence ignites controversy—but can it save his soul?
...A week after the rapper T.I. pled guilty to federal weapons charges and cut a deal that shortened the amount of jail time he’d have to serve, many—including his own fans—were still arguing that the hip-hop superstar wasn’t being punished enough.
“I don’t care how much money a person has, they shouldn’t be able to get away with stuff that a person with less money couldn’t,” an observer called NYCutie posted on the site of Atlanta-based photographer Sandra Rose, echoing the sentiments of a large swath of commentators. “Justice was NOT served!”...
NY Oil Pays tribute to Frosty Freeze with a video compiling clips of B-Boys from around the world, along with a new(?) track.
I think someone from the Y emailed me about this a while ago but I flaked on following up.. apologies to my Y benefactor.. but here's a cool clip via nahright
From earlier this morning..
Supposedly this audio has 50 Cent talking about why Young Buck is kicked out of G Unit, but I must have been spacing out cuz I didn't hear him mention that.. I did hear 50 Cent covering lots of other ground including why he made his now litigious girlfriend look so nice in his movie, and my favorite part: 50 Cent explaining the significance of his website's ranking on Alexa.com... "do not slumber / check alexa we got numbers!"
50 Cent interview here. I'm hit or miss on 50 Cent's music but I always enjoy him in interviews.
Spike Lee is a funny man (not that this is news):
What do you think of Obama?
Spike Lee: I’m riding my man Obama. I think he’s a visionary. Actually, Barack told me the first date he took Michelle to was Do the Right Thing. I said, “Thank God I made it. Otherwise you would have taken her to Soul Man. Michelle would have been like, ‘What’s wrong with this brother?’ ”
Does this mean you’re down on the Clintons?
Spike Lee: The Clintons, man, they would lie on a stack of Bibles. Snipers? That’s not misspeaking; that’s some pure bulls***. I voted for Clinton twice, but that’s over with. These old black politicians say, “Ooh, Massuh Clinton was good to us, massuh hired a lot of us, massuh was good!” Hoo! Charlie Rangel, David Dinkins—they have to understand this is a new day. People ain’t feelin’ that stuff. It’s like a tide, and the people who get in the way are just gonna get swept out into the ocean.
Taking a moment to remember the B-Boy pioneer Wayne "Frosty Freeze" Frost, who introduced breaking to the masses in Flashdance (though I remember him best for Style Wars)
Here are some of the tracks allegedly coming on the alleged album by Nas allegedly named "Nigger":
"This record is a lot more serious than hip-hop," says Nas, who tackles race and American history on his new "Nigger" album. Polow Da Don, Stargate, and Cool and Dre contribute beats to Nas' Nigger Album, which includes "Be a Nigga Too" (a play on Dr Pepper), the Fox News-slamming "Sly Fox," and "This Is Not America," on which he raps about sexism and racism in the U.S. "This album is like talking to your child about sex," says Nas. "It's uncomfortable, but it's important."
Allegedly. Can't wait to hear how he tackles Fox News (a move clearly inspired by my work).
Usually when industry promo people send me an email it's something useless like a photo or a crappy sound snippet, so props to XLR8R for actually sending something I can use..
This idea is very hip-hop, the unexpected synergy that comes from mixing pre-existing forms.. I think George Martin underestimates it a bit (mixing two artistic expressions aka two designs is different from mixing two random artifacts, as long as the forms are different enough to leave room for conversation it'll always spark something). And isn't sifting through the 95% of ideas that don't work how the creative process always goes?
Do you think randomness is an important element in creating innovative music?
George Martin: Randomness is good, up to a point, but it can be chaotic. Mind you, some people like chaos. In fact some people think it's the answer to everything--look at the chaos theory of the universe. but the idea of doing a lottery with music, just bringing in sounds at random--well, sometimes it works, but most of the time it doesn't. The Beatles were into randomness when we were doing "I Am The Walrus." when we were mixing it, we brought in a radio set and god smiled on is that day because there happened to be a Shakespeare play on, and that did work. But it could just as easily have been rubbish.
Paul used to spend a lot of time putting on a record and then [simultaneously] watching a movie. He was interested in the random juxtaposition of images with unrelated music. He once came to me and said "you know, it's remarkable how things do actually work out well in randomness." He was quite right, but if you do that, then five percent of the time you'll have the music hitting particular spots, and you'll say, "Wow, that brings it to life!" But of course, the other 95 percent of the time it doesn't, and you tend to forget that.
But it was also randomness that brought together two if the greatest songwriters of the century--growing up within a couple miles of each other, within a few years of each other, meeting. sticking together despite adversity, and then eventually connecting up with you. Surely, if the three of you hadn't found each other, the music would not have been as good.
George Martin: But that's life. That's like saying, "What would have happened if Hitler hadn't invaded Poland?" or "What would have happened if I hadn't met my wife? My children wouldn't have been born." There's the "if" factor. But that's what life is about; life is random.
-from this book, a great read for anyone who thinks about technology and creative process.
Smif & Wessun getting political, at least kinda sorta..
Good to hear some legends are out there carving out a good space for themselves:
Hip-Hop Hero Calls Tampa Home link
Mention Charlie Chase to a fan of Top 40 hip hop, and you'll likely draw a blank stare.
Mention Chase to a hip-hop head who knows the music's history, and you'll get an immediate smile of recognition and, probably, a few gushing quotes.
"He's definitely a legend," says Sandman, a Tampa DJ who spins Saturday nights on 95.7 The Beat and runs tampahiphop.com, a Web site that covers the Bay area hip-hop scene.
"He's one of the forefathers of the movement. He's a living part of history," says Idris Faruq, who runs Tampa hip-hop label Substantial Records and is a member of of Tampa hip-hop outfit the Villanz.
And now, the legend calls Tampa home...
Checking out google trends today, interested to find one of the top searches is the word "misogynist." Not sure whether to take that as a positive development or a depressing one. I guess a lot of people had actually never heard the word before Elton John said it in the news last night?
Elton John claims 'misogynist' Americans are hindering Hillary Clinton
Sir Elton John has staged a fundraising concert for US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and claimed that the “misogynistic attitudes” of Americans may be hindering her bid for the White House...
"tag spray rapper" = next year's "ringtone rapper"?
Highbrid nation and Info have the details and the necessary snark. Many questions: Can throwing more money than ever into a system that doesn't work make the system start working? Will the Jermaine Dupri/Def Jam/Tag Records label be exploring new means of promoting/distributing etc, or are they trying to do a Pimp My Ride to the half-sunk Titanic?
How does the standard requirement for the artist to recoup fit into this "SPENDING MORE MONEY THAN EVER!!" thing? And how exactly does Tag get a return on this unprecedented investment as people spend less than ever on music? Are they thinking the marketing/publicity benefit for the brand makes this worthwhile regardless of sales results? How does that affect the art, and the artist, if your whole career is based on being a pitchman?
Credit where it's due, Hashim saw these questions coming
Jermaine Dupri Def Jam-Tag Records Label
Island Def Jam Music Group
(IDJ) and Procter & Gamble's TAG brand announce the formation of a new
hip-hop record label, TAG Records. The new label will be led by hip-hop
mogul Jermaine Dupri, who will act as president of the New York-based
venture. As president, Dupri will set the creative vision for the label and
play an integral part in identifying and developing its musical talent.
Del on Craig Ferguson via nahright as usual
Some footage I caught last night at the Knittign Factory, Jeru Tha Damaja hopping on stage with Tha Alkaholiks..
Umm..ok then. I'm sure there is a sardonic comment to make about this but I haven't thought of it yet. Anybody?
Eminem to perform for Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday bash
Eminem has accepted a request to come out of retirement for a special one-off gig ... Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday bash.
The party for the 90-year-old South African freedom fighter and former president is being organized by Brian May, formerly of the classic rock band Queen.
May first contacted Em's managers about a month ago, but nobody expected him to join the lineup.
The celebration in London in June will be hosted by Will Smith, and performances will include Stevie Wonder, Annie Lennox, Razorlight, and Keane.
Eminem's lyrics have repeatedly been called offensive, cited for misogyny and homophobia and for condoning violence.
Insiders say his set list hasn't been decided yet.
The controversial rap star announced his retirement in 2005, but has been working on material for a possible future album.
We've posted before (or at least talked on the radio) about Canada's efforts to subsidize local musicians, putting government money into helping local voices shine.. but this article says the system may be slanted against hip-hoppers?
Hip hop gets bad rap from federal funders, documents suggest
Only four hip-hop acts received federal grants in 2007 according to documents from the Canadian Council for the Arts, making it the least-funded genre last year. Hip-hop music dominates Canadian record sales and radio play. Currently, on Billboard's top 100 chart, four out of the top five singles can be classified as hip-hop recordings. Dance classes are chock-full of middle-aged wannabes eager to stay hip and fit. With thriving scenes in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, notable hip-hop artists have also started popping up in cities such as Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Halifax.
But documents obtained under the Access to Information Act from the CCA indicate that the genre might still not be accepted by the federal agency committed to encouraging the arts...
Lupe's goes on award tour for his new video for "Paris, Tokyo." Very nice, expensive looking video.
Who says the system doesn't care about you? You are very important to them! Your bodies are their currency.
Less Crime: No Reason to Shut Prisons
For nearly a decade, one of New York City’s major exports — criminals — has been in decline, a result of less crime. In the alternative universe of state government, this is the textbook definition of catastrophe. A steady supply of criminals is the foundation of the economy of large swaths of New York State, which has 70 prisons that employ about 20,000 people as correction officers.
The prisons are also a source of political power to upstate Republicans because the inmates are counted as permanent residents when legislative districts are drawn — even though they cannot vote and their actual homes may be hundreds of miles away...
Everyone is acting all shocked at the Blender cover story with Alicia Keys in which she expresses a belief that gangsta rap was invented to keep black people killing each other, and the Tupac Biggie feud was orchestrated to eliminate the chance of a great black leader popping up.. The facts may not support these theories, but is it really so crazy for her to be suspicious? People are way too judgemental. All you latte drinking hip-hop elitists from the creative class, trying to throw Alicia Keys under the bus. You should be ashamed.
Alicia Keys: Tupac Biggie Gangsta Rap Conspiracylink
‘Gangsta rap’ was a ploy to convince black people to kill each other. ‘Gangsta rap’ didn’t exist.”
Keys, 27, said she’s read several Black Panther autobiographies and wears a gold AK-47 pendant around her neck “to symbolize strength, power and killing ‘em dead,” according to an interview in the magazine’s May issue, on newsstands Tuesday.
from vivir latino:
Puerto Rican poet and writer, Piri Thomas, best known for his depiction of barrio survival in Down These Mean Streets, suffered a stroke.
The 79 year old author is recovering in his now home of California.
Capicu Poetry is compiling email and audio messages to send to the poet, to serve as a source of strength for Piri, since he has been a source of strength to countless Latinos (and others).
If you want to send Piri Thomas a get well message please email CapicuPoetry@gmail.com or call their community hotline (208) 723-5966.
Audio here courtesy of Davey D:
Tupac's Mother Speech 'Brings Heat' In Memphis
Afeni Shakur, mother of the late legendary rapper and Hip Hop icon, Tupac Shakur, recently made a speech in Memphis at the Dream Reborn Conference and brought what some are calling 'the heat'.
"Everything, I'm about to tell you is because of God's Glory," started Afeni Shakur at the beginning of her speech. "April 4th, 1968 Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King was murdered in this place, [and] that started something in this country. April 2nd 1969, 363 days later, 21 Black Panthers was arrested in New York City-- 1 year later. So, the other day I just celebrated 39 years of my arrest in where did I celebrate it at-- Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech. Yes! There's so much healing to be done in our places...," she continued.
Afeni went on to ask, "Where are the women?," and encouraged them to tell their stories as she continued to share her story with them...
Umm.. I'm posting this but I'm not gonna pretend I care about it. Other than my hopes that the event will lead to a Jay-Z/Leonard Cohen collabo.
Some People Reportedly Still Listening When Noel Gallagher Talks
Noel Gallagher, the notoriously outspoken Oasis guitarist, criticised the organisers of the Glastonbury Festival yesterday for featuring the American rapper Jay-Z as a headlining act, declaring hip-hop "wrong" for the annual event.
Saying that the festival was "built on a tradition of guitar music", Gallagher said that the scheduled appearance of a rap star on the central Pyramid stage could be the reason why tickets for the summer festival had not yet sold out.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it," he said. "If you start to break it then people aren't going to go. I'm sorry, but Jay-Z? No chance."
Gallagher added: "Glastonbury has a tradition of guitar music and even when they throw the odd curveball in on a Sunday night you go 'Kylie Minogue?' I don't know about it. But I'm not having hip-hop at Glastonbury. It's wrong..."
Was planning to ignore this, but with Ced Gee involved I'll have to downl- err- pick up a copy. Does Bill Cosby know that Ced Gee is best known for producing a little album named Criminal Minded?
Cosby Formally Unveils Hip-Hop Project
Formal details about Bill Cosby’s upcoming hip-hop album are finally emerging. Billboard.biz has learned exclusively that the comedian/actor/author will serve as executive producer and co-writer on “Cosby Narratives Vol. 1: State of Emergency.” The album is expected to drop within the next several weeks.
Collaborating with Cosby is his longtime musical colleague Bill “Spaceman” Patterson and Patterson’s partner Ced-Gee. Patterson, whose musician/production credits include Miles Davis and Mariah Carey, has worked with Cosby on a variety of film and television projects including “The Cosby Show.” Ced-Gee is a co-founder of the pioneering hip-hop group Ultramagnetic MCs...
The Roots doing our Star Spangled Banner for Stephen Colbert on the Colbert Report.
According to Smoking Gun, Akon is the Margaret Seltzer of R&B?
Akon Fabricated Criminal Record, Jail Time?
...Akon's ad nauseum claims about his criminal career and resulting prison time have been, to an overwhelming extent, exaggerated, embellished, or wholly fabricated, an investigation by The Smoking Gun has revealed. Police, court, and corrections records reveal that the entertainer has created a fictionalized backstory that serves as the narrative anchor for his recorded tales of isolation, violence, woe, and regret. Akon has overdubbed his biography with the kind of grit and menace that he apparently believes music consumers desire from their hip-hop stars.
While the performer's rap sheet does include a half-dozen arrests, Akon has only been convicted of one felony, for gun possession. That 1998 New Jersey case ended with a guilty plea, for which the singer was sentenced to three years probation. Another 1998 bust, this one in suburban Atlanta, has been seized upon by Akon and transformed into the big case that purportedly sent him to prison (thanks to his snitching cohorts) for three fight-filled years. In reality, Akon was arrested for possession of a single stolen BMW and held in the DeKalb County jail for several months before prosecutors dropped all charges against him.
So there was no conviction. There was no prison term between 1999 and 2002. And he was never "facing 75 years," as the singer claimed in one videotaped interview.
Akon's invented tales appear to be part of a cynical marketing plan, but one that has met with remarkable success...
Even Soulja Boy hated last night's debate.
I like this anecdote, passed on by my friend Bob Fass:
Years ago I asked Dick Gregory why he used that word as the title of his autobiography, and he said it was so that when his mother heard the word she would think people were talking about her son's book.
A leak of the first single from Nas' "Nigger" album, not surprisingly titled "Be A Nigger Too".. Honestly my first reaction is that "Be a Nigger Too," though he gets some hot lines in, is basically an inferior version of NYOil's What Up My Wigger. Nas should've just repurposed that track like Kanye did "Jesus Walks." But what do y'all think?
The latest video from The Roots, "Rising Up", which (with the horn section and percussion) captures the sound of their most recent tours more than most of their studio tracks. Rising Up also featured the roots' friends Wale and Chrisette Michelle, and some all-star b-boys and girls including some of our friends from Fox Force 5.. The Roots "Rising Up" video is directed by Rik Cordero who seems to direct everything these days..
In case you missed this. (via eskay)
Detectives Charged In Sean Bell Shooting Acquitted On All Charges
After two months of testimony by more than 50 witnesses, Detectives Michael Oliver, 36, Gescard Isnora, 29, and Marc Cooper, 40 have been found not guilty on all charges...
...Shouts of "No! No! No!" and swearing erupted outside the courthouse immediately after the judge read his verdict, followed by cries of "Not guilty!" from the huge crowd of people that had gathered outside the Queens courthouse. Some women were heard weeping loudly. Later, shouts of "Murderer! Murderer!" were heard.
Bell's family and supporters left the courthouse without commenting, trailed by the crowd that had gathered in a march along Queens Boulevard. While many appeared angered and shared their frustration with members of the press, there were no significant disturbances. Police did have to break up at least one angry scuffle, but that was peacefully accomplished. The crowd was carefully corralled by police barricades as well as police and court officers.
Many Bell supporters expressed disgust at the verdict, including Bell’s uncle.
"The verdict is not fair and I'm hurting inside and I don't see what the Judge sees in this case,” said,” said Bell’s uncle Kenneth Shepard. “These guys are guilty. You just don't go around killing people. When is it going to stop? When is it going to stop? The main thing, should have been a jury here...”
Quoting Too Sense:
This was not a murder trial. The men were given lesser charges that I believe were more suited to their crime. These did not sound like bloodthirsty men who just wanted to pop somebody, they sounded like cops who got scared and behaved recklessly. A man is dead because of that, and I don't see any justice in allowing them to go free without consequences.
And I will say this: 50 shots at an unarmed target. That kind of thing never, ever seems to happen to anyone else.
Prince's appearance on Jay Leno last night, singing "Turn Me Loose".. enjoy while you can, cuz this video may not live 2 C the dawn if you know what I'm saying. (I see you Londell!)
The lyrics are below, which are pretty damn raunchy, almost remind me of G Rap "Talk Like Sex. And it's not one of Prince's fake-outs like "lets have sex, and by have sex I mean read the bible."
P went a long while without taking it there, but after Black Sweat, Glasscutter and now this, seems like he's easing up on the super-sanctified steez just a bit. How does Larry Graham feel about this?
Complete video of Reverend Jeremiah Wright's speech to the NAACP
(NOTE: I also have also posted his complete speech at the National Press Club, here.)
Rev. Wright NAACP Speech PART ONE
Rev. Wright NAACP Speech PART TWO
Reverend Wright NAACP Speech PART THREE
Reverend Wright NAACP Speech PART FOUR
Okay, by popular demand here is the complete speech by Reverend Jeremiah Wright at the National Press Club this morning, 4/28/08: