BLOG ROLLIN', WHORIDIN', E-GANGSTA BOOGIE & THE MIXTAPE HUSTLE...PART I
Carlito's Angels do it Carlito's Way.
I bugged out the other day when I saw a link on Jeff Chang's blog for Carlito Rodriguez. Carlito is one of my favorite writers, and I sorely miss reading his column "Carlito's Way". He was EIC of the source in the more glorious days of the rag/mag; and I wish that I could have worked under the great man. I love to read Carlito for the same reasons I love to read Bonz Malone, Meshack Blaq, Monalisa Murray, kris ex, Kenji Jasper, and myself - 'cause we bring the street edge to life in print; not for the glorification or commodification but because we often write to kick some truth in addition to our opinions. So suffice to say, check Carlito's blog out right here, and show him some love in the the comments - let him know you're reading, you know?
I also want to stress that everyone pay a visit to the God CBS A'Life Allah's blog. He's been writing for YEARS, and dropping science online on the NGE.org, various Hip Hop message boards, etc. Regardless of your thoughts/feelings on the 5% Nation of Gods and Earths, all of the Hip Hop generation has been influenced heavily by Father Allah, the first 9 born, and all of the Gods and Earths from then until now. In addition to reporting on current affairs from the 5% perspective, CBS is a serious Hip Hop afficianado and old-school B-Boy, and anyone who wants to learn more should check the blog, stat.
In related topics, there's a new book called Five Percenter Rap: God Hop's Music, Message and Black Muslim Mission; which is a musicology text published by the Indiana University Press and written by Felicia Miyakawa. The first parts of the book include a "history and theology of the Five Percent Nation" which, in my opinion, should be taken with a grain of salt. However, the later chapters on Lyrics, Flow, Layering, Rupture, Groove, Sampling, Borrowing and Meaning are definitely interesting. The author is a musicologist and professor, so it's interesting to see how she analyzes the rhythms used by producers like DJ Khalil of Self Scientific and correlates them back to Supreme Mathematics. I think this book opens the floodgates for more nonfiction books about the NGE and other "schools of thought" which have influenced Hip Hop music and the Hip Hop generation so strong.
Over there on www.daveyd.com there's a heated convo about some church group that's "condemning" Afrika Bambaataa and KRS-1 for their teachings. I put in my two cents, below, in response, so check the links and judge for yourself. Feel free to drop any knowledge or wisdom on it in the comments here, or over on Davey D's board.
"Peace. First of all, there is no church or pastor or bishop or preacher-man or any other organization or entity that has the decision-making power to judge Afrika Bambaataa, KRS-1, Imam Isa (Dr. Malachi Z. York), Father Allah (Clarence 13X), Noble Drew Ali, or any of the other men or women who've had a hand in creating Hip Hop cosmology or who have been instrumental in leading the young men and women who together encompass the global Hip Hop community. That's A, #1. Hip Hop is a culture, a way of life, and a set of art forms. Hip Hop is fluid, swift and changeable. KRS-1 said quite a quotable when he dropped this one, "Rap is something you do, Hip Hop is something you live." True to this day. Those who are down by law within Hip Hop, whether their said birth date with the culture begins with DJ Kool Herc or with DJ Kool Akiem (Micranots) -- or even later than that -- know better than to let someone dictate to them what Hip Hop is. And no one can tell us what Hip Hop is not. Other than that, I don't know what to say about this "church," or it's "teachings". I ain't Hov, I just know what I know. Every day when I wake up, I'm blessed to be here and to still look 18 years old. Hip Hop is the fountain of youth that keeps me vibrant and alive. Hip Hop is my religion, and my masjid/temple/church for that matter. I know those outside of the culture love to stir up mess; but where I come from we live by one credo...DON'T START NO @#%$, WON'T BE NO @#%$
Peace, Blessings, Guidance, and Balance...>"
There's going to be a lot of good music comin' out soon. Counting down until August when I Self Devine drops Self Destruction on Rhymesayers, September when Tha Alkaholiks drop their much-anticipated LP through a joint venture with Koch, and October when Self Scientific will release the follow up album to their self-titled debut and the recent mixtape release Gods and Gangsters. The new joint will come out through DJ Muggs' and Self Scientific's joint-venture/label ANGELES Records. Until then I've been bumping Desdamona's LP "The Ledge", available now on CDbaby (she's a female poet/MC who is RAW and happens to have Sly & Robbie on production!), and DJ Stage One's "Street Cinema, Volume 1". Hit him up if you want to order a copy...for a DJ living in Minneapolis he's easily burning a lot of the NYC mixtape DJs. Except for the kid DJ Eleven, who along with Cosmo has the SICKEST mixtape out at the moment, "I'm Rick James Bitch"!. Hit him up to order this joint, ASAP, or check your local Fat Beats.
And be easy, 'til next time.