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March 30, 2005

Miscegenation Nation: Race is Outta Control

An unknown man paints a mural for "Angry Black White Boy" somewhere in NYC...>

This week has been crazy. After being asked to
speak on a panel discussion about the book Angry
Black White Boy
, I immediately went to Gizoogle to
find out more about this. The title alone had me a lil' bugged out. So I found
an excerpt here,
read it, and I'm still kinda scratching my head. The kid's got a lot of science
in the excerpted chapter, but it's
all online nowadays anyway

Later in the day I went here for some Pop Life which led me to this crazy article about race and hair. As I read more of Angry Black White Boy, I think back to the days of the “one-drop” rule and I realize that angry black white boys are the new tragic mullatoes.

March 29, 2005

Ladies First

Ay, Yo, Lemme Take it From Here, Queen...>

Some think that we can't flow
Can't flow?
Stereotypes they got to go
Got to go

And right now I gotta go to the slave, so in the meantime get your Real Player crackin


1 Love

March 27, 2005

Woe, Woe, Whoa @ The Source

Well, damn, Fiddy's lookin so sexy nowadays I'm kinda hatin' on the groupies-with-pens who got to visit the candy shop and/or get beat with the magic stick...hmmmmmm...





Your girl is NOT going to speak on it, tweak on it, or spend a week on it. But she IS gonna give U some of the highlights…>

First off, on the biz side, from http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/news/print/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000846556, “...the title has for several years failed to report its publisher's circulation estimates on time to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Founding CEO David Mays attributed the tardiness to management changes in his circ department, as well as records having been destroyed when the magazine moved offices late last year.”

And furthermore, courtesy of http://kevinrscott.typepad.com/daily/2005/03/relaunching_the.html, “It seems the problem is The Source has been losing ground. It's newsstand sales are down, it's overall readership is down (from 500,000 to 430,000) and yet titles like Vibe has grown it's readership to over 860,000 (largely under Emil's reign) and has seen a 10% jump in advertising, snagging heavyweights like D&G, DKNY & Prada and yet both magazines feed the need of similar demographics. And if that wasn't enough, editor in chief, Kim Osorio left and was replaced by former deputy editor Fayhim Ratcliffe.” Shouts to the homie Fahiym, Love is Love, regardless to whom or what. That's my folks, and he's an excellent writer, a gifted editor, and a former student of Dr. Malachi Z. York. Can't nobody tell MJ nothin' bout no Fahiym.

Back to the business at hand, please note this revealing tidbit gleaned from the ePages of http://www.hiphopmusic.com/archives/000908.html, “Another unpaid writer: "[I'm owed] over $3000 for invoices that are 3 months to a year old. I got a check from them in December 2003 that bounced and it took them months to repay me for the bounced check. I've contacted nearly a dozen people about payment, and most of them have since quit or been laid off. I heard they're down to about 15 employees," the writer told SOHH.com exclusively. "I know of an editor that quit because he didn't get paid," the writer revealed. "It's only a matter of time until they file bankruptcy."”

We've always got to keep our ear to the streets, and hear from the people. So without further ado, from the peanut gallery, a comment from http://www.lynnedjohnson.com/diary/000490.html “i have successfully resisted buying the source for 4 months. i allowed my subscription to expire after seeing my beloved hip hop magazine turn into benzino's personal eminem hater guide. and then that ignorant drama about the "original" hip hop writers for the source pushed me over the edge.”

Can’t get http://www.sohh.com/ and their Source story to load, however here’s a little ditty from the blogs @ sohh, http://blogs.sohh.com/mr_irreverent/archives/2005/03/fly_the_hiphop.html...

"Fly The Hip-Hop Friendly Skies With Dave Mays

Dave Mays is really stretching the boundaries of Hip-Hop too far. In an article at Media Week, the co-owner of The Source said:

"For anyone who's 18 to 34, almost everything they do is determined by hip-hop, from what airline they fly to what food they eat..."

Now I may not want to use the airline that Aaliyah used, but I damn sure ain't flying based on what airline Memphis Bleek is using.

SOHH, you tell me, what airlines have you flown because of Hip-Hop?"

A must-read from http://www.qsviews.com/ (sorry Q couldn’t get a link to come up), entitled “Issues at The Source”

"Issues at The Source

Apparently there's some issues at The Source... peep this nugget from http://www.wwd.com/:

LONG WEEKEND: The steady trickle of employees out the door at The Source built to a torrent on Friday as staffers staged a walkout to protest not getting their paychecks. Managing editor Adila Francis, features editor Jerry L. Barrow, associate editor Thomas Golianopoulos and production manager Derrick Johnson were among those who left around lunchtime, according to a source with ties to the magazine. Staffers were told the delay in their direct deposits was caused by the company’s recent change of banks, and that they would be paid Monday. It was unclear as of Monday afternoon whether that happened, and whether all the employees who walked out returned to their jobs. No one from the magazine returned calls.

David Mays, The Source’s chief executive officer, was not on hand to finesse the situation, as he was in the Dominican Republic on Friday attending the taping of co-founder Raymond “Benzino” Scott’s new music video, according to the source. Predictably, this did not go over well with disgruntled Source employees. “With the kind of money problems they have, they should be shooting his video in Washington Heights,” quipped another insider. — J.B.

I remember a time that being a writer for The Source was the pinnacle for a hip-hop writer's career. Folks aren't even trying to give them even a shout nowadays. I see more credible hip-hop stories in Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly and now apparently CNN. And folks want me to hit up The Source? Give me NY Times, Denver Post, LA Times, heck even MTV before I come crawling to The Source..."

And finally, for any outsiders or folks who never worked for The Source, don't have any relatives who ever worked for The Source, or don’t know what The Source is, a more O.G. and comprehensive entry at http://www.hiphopmusic.com/archives/000334.html will get you right up to speed.

Audi 5000, G.

Roxanne's Revenge...The Bitch is Back

"Those who try to dis I just knock them out the box"

I've had a lot of female friends, and even more female rivals. The funny thing is, I have a lot more in common with Roxanne Shante than most them. Born Lolita Shante Gooden in 1969, Shante found a glitch in the matrix when UTFO recorded the song "Roxanne, Roxanne". She jumped into Marley Marl's soundbooth, and the rest is herstory.

"A lot of MC's today really know how to please
but I gave birth to most of them MC's
so when it comes around to the month of May
send me your royalty check for Mother's Day
Because yo, you know you can't deal with this
I'm Shanté the microphone grand mistress
a pioneer like Lola Falana
with a name that stands big like Madonna
Speaking of Madonna, some girls on the mic
rap like virgins and get real tight
but I get loose with the rhymes I produce
that's why I'm queen of the Crew with the Juice
cause I'm the super female that's called Shanté
and like Hurricane Annie I'll blow you away
Whenever I'm in a battle, yo, I don't play
so you best go about your way
and have a nice day"

That's how she broke it down on "Have a Nice Day." But it was really "Roxanne's Revenge" that sparked her career. Far from comedy rap, "Roxanne's Revenge" wasn't no joke. Shante broke it down by explaining "Roxanne's Revenge" is saying that guys should stop talking about girls because it's not working anymore. It's played out! Talking about girls is fine as long as you've got something good to say about them. Why do you always gotta say girls are stuck up?" In the book "Bring the Noise", authors Havelock Nelson and Michael A. Gonzales wrote "Roxanne's Revenge"] is - perhaps - best remembered for its brutal grit and casual spunk. It stood out, in stark, funky contrast, against more polished cuts by hitmakers Kurtis Blow, Whodini and the Fat Boys. And Shanté's vicious, profane style caught even the toughest rap customers off guard. She started off "Revenge" by bragging, in breathless, squeaky-voiced tones, about how effortlessly she could rock a jam. Then, over a sample stolen from the instrumental mix of "Roxanne, Roxanne", Shanté got nasty, directing to, among other things, "suck my bush." She was out to define a respectable place for women in hip hop, and her pointed rhyme cut through all the mysogyny and sexism associated with the artform. Not just another b-girl honey, Shanté cold-cocked all the skeezoids and, on rap's battleground she became a force to be reckoned with."

Supposedly selling a quarter of a million copies in New York alone, "Revenge" made Roxanne Hip-Hop's first female superstar. She is said to have performed up to three shows in three different states in one day, jetting around in private planes. But cutting full-length records was still out of the norm at that time. So until she finally released her debut album in 1989, she 'only' released a handful of 12-inches. At least five of them on Pop Art Records, all produced by Marley Marl: "Roxanne's Revenge" (84), "Bite This" (85), "Runaway" (85), "Queen of Rox (Shanté Rox On)" (85), "Def Fresh Crew" with Biz Markie (86), "I'm Fly Shanté" with Steady B (86) and "The Payback" (87).

A couple years back, Shante broke down some of the hardships she experienced as a pre-teen Hip Hop Queen when talking to www.allhiphop.com's Nolan Strong. "There was a clause in my contract that said they had to pay for my education. Regardless of how far it went. And what happened was, they felt like she’s 14. By the time I was 15 I was pregnant with my son. They felt like they could through that in there because they thought I would never use it. I mean they were like “look at her now.” They thought I was going to get on drugs. I didn’t. And as long as they had my school covered, I was good. I didn’t get school loans, so I had to copy pages out of other people’s books. I would stand in front of the machine with a bunch of nickels and make copies. Page for page for page for page. And every time I copied a page, my love for Hip-Hop was going away, more and more and more. My story isn’t a happy one, but it had a happy ending. I was straight out of the group home; they dangled the custody of my son over my head because I was so young, so Hip-Hop became a labor of love. If you don’t do this, this is what’s going to happen."

The bugged shit is that even though a lot of people think she dis-the-fuck-appeared, she's now a PhD, and speaks on a number of topics at universities. From her bio on http://sphinxmg.com/artist/roxanne.asp, "Shante's is recognized for her contribution to Hip-Hop and Rap in Libraries all across the Globe. Today she's a strong Independent woman holding more than just a microphone. Shante now holds a Degree in Psychology. DR Roxanne Shante' has retired from Hip-Hop and enjoys her new career and her new found freedom. Life after Hip-Hop hasn't been bad at all. DR. Rox hasn't turned away from the Hip Hop Culture or Rap Game as a matter of fact her direct relationship with today's Hip Hop and Urban Community enables this young Mother of 2 to successfully counsel and provide her clients with the best treatment available. The scope of her clients range from Hip-Hop artist to Corporate Executives. Her distinctive and uncanny approach places her in a class all by herself. Equipped with subtle tenacity and a deep understanding of the Hip Hop Culture and the Music Business Dr Roxanne Shante is considered by most a specialist in a much overlooked and complex area of today's Urban Community."

So while everyone's talkin that Jesus ish today, I just wanted to shout out Roxanne Shante, who took a little girl's voice in a little woman's body and made big noise.

Crayzee Rock

Feel Walz in Pantomime...>

"There’s no set formula. I see music like women. With each one, I have a different approach. Some, I may want to have sex with. Some, I may just want to walk and talk with them. Some, I may just want to spend a night with them and cuddle when I’m stressed out. Each beat has its own personality. Sometimes a beat is just so hot, I may just hear it in the booth and just jump in there."

From "Rain Forever" (WE LIVE: The Black Samurai EP)
<>I’m a stick up kid of the worst kind
On second thought
Let me go with my first mind
Before I burst nines
Rehearse rhyme and raw truth
Forget sixteens
From the eight
I show you what the fours do
I used to aim clappers
If you had chains like famed rappers
But I’m a changed man now
Your chain don’t matter
A bag of magic
Slash in the trash with a hatchet
I kill verses on purposes
My notebook is a casket
To be serious with you guys
I bust metal flies and crush floors
You don’t know me from the last Vulcan
You fucked raw
On instinct the next line would be
(Fuck off)
You stupid chickens ain’t shit
Without my duck sauce
I scream down to the ground
And cause an uproar
The reason for this?
Well, the floors reflect Walz
Install my cingular wireless
To unplug your mind
For 9.99
You could add a line
The Angel from Anaheim
Feel Walz in Pantomime
Next time we’ll rock
On the block
In Palestine
I used to drink Ballantine
Till Wu exposed the Steelo
Now I’m thinking long range
Like relive with Steelo

( * (* (*

"Everything is spiritual, physical and mental, so spirituality is 1/3 of my music. The other 2/3 is made up by the mental and the physical, because you can’t have one without the other. They all reflect off of each other.

My spirituality ends and begins at balance. Everything is a balance. It’s not all good. If it was all good, we wouldn’t be oppressed and gettin’ killed for no reasons. And it’s not all bad, because we find happiness out of even the sorriest times. It’s a balance.

Where we lost our spirituality, is when we started believing in things other than ourselves. We need to listen to ourselves more. We’re connected to the Most High directly, Nature."

Nuff 'said Rayz...>

Hear the rest at http://www.discogs.com/release/316073

Or check The Prelude at http://www.dango727.com/c_rayz_walz.html