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April 15, 2005

I'd Pay My Taxes, But What Would I Be Buying?

This is how we chill...12 years later...>

First of all, today's April 15, 2005 and I want to give a massive Happy Born Day greeting to one of my dear friends, A-Plus from Souls of Mischief/Hieroglyphics crew. Born just 9 days apart, he's an old soul like me and even though it's been some years, he'll always be close to my heart. He's finally about to drop the solo album his fans have been waiting for, and you can listen to a cut called "Leave Me Alone" on the front page at

Now, with regard to the tax thing, I just have to share this with ya'll. I would have filed this year, BUT I had a little problem. WHY DID I JUST RECEIVE MY TAX STATEMENTS FROM THE SOURCE PUBLICATIONS IN THE MAIL YESTERDAY???!!! Yes, yesterday, April 14. It's just one more brick in the wall of ludicrous lack of professionalism and standard business practices on their part. And now I have to give props to the other bloggers who've been relentless of late in covering the source drama...in no particular order

Jeff Chang
Danyel Smith
Hip Hop Logic
Byron Crawford
Adisa "The Bishop" Banjoko
Davey D
Mr. Irreverent

Well, I'm out for now. I'm soooo sleepy and I have mad shit to do in preparation for the
B-Girl Be gallery opening on April 22, not to mention to actual summit. Have I mentioned that Kuttin Kandi, Psalm One, Lady Pink, Martha Cooper, Asia One, and special guests from NYC, The Bay, Chi, and L.A. will also be in the house?! But I'll be back soon with another installment on the FHHC. For now those thirsting for FHHC info should check Davey D and Moya Bailey.

Until next time, don't forget to pay your taxes (if you're not like me), listen to some Hip Hop today, or read a book. And, as always, be easy...


April 14, 2005

Feminism in Hip Hop Conference Part Deux

Greetings From The Academy...>


(To the tune of “You Must Learn” and the entire Edutainment LP, thanks to KRS-1 and Boogie Down Productions…)

After much more chauffering, and the subsequent skipping of the morning panels at the FHHC, I finally found a parking space close to International House (not the international house of pancakes (nor hoe cakes)) and made my way inside the Assembly Hall just in time for the introductions to the 1 p.m. panel “The Hip Hop Archive: Standards and Questions in Hip Hop Research”. The panel included speakers Marcyliena Morgan, Dionne Bennett and Dawn-Elissa Fischer. Please accept my up-front disclaimer that I didn’t record this session (audio recording was kyboshed), and I’m working from my wild-style notes. Onward and upward, toward the Ivory Tower…

The Hip Hop Archive was once housed at Harvard, and is now at Stanford. The archive is a resource for academics and Hip Hop heads alike. First we heard from Marcyliena Morgan who is the Director and Founder of the archive. I took copious notes (no, for real, serrriously I did), so please bear with me and note that what I’m writing in this post comes from the presentations of the panelists, not my own sick & twisted mind.

Marcyliena spoke about Hip Hop’s legitimacy within the academy, which turned out to be a pivotal argument throughout the conference, and one of the underlying divisions. She let everyone know that the Hip Hop Archive is a resource for the Hip Hop community at large. This fall the archive will host a conference entitled “What’s Goin’ On – Hip Hop Scholars Meet Hip Hop Journalists” – interested parties should check the website for updates. She posed a few questions, simply as food for thought – what is Hip Hop within academia? For academics working with Hip Hop, how do you develop your career? She mentioned self-promotion and how as an academic you must continually promote yourself and your image in order to stay at the forefront. She also posited that it’s nearly impossible to maintain an academic schedule and a “Hip Hop schedule” simultaneously. And that it is literally impossible to maintain both schedules during exam time. She was serious.

She also outlined some of the “standards of Hip Hop”. She posed further questions. What are the gender differences in Hip Hop? She pointed out that the majority of Hip Hop researchers are women. I repeat, the majority of Hip Hop researchers are women. She also asked the audience to think critically about the race hierarchies within Hip Hop (assuming she meant both the business side and the music/creative side).

She then mentioned the next panelist sitting to her right, Dionne Bennett who’s an Anthropology PhD from Loyola. Marcyliena mentioned that Dionne is one of the foremost writers on Black love and emotion. Dionne went on to explain that she sees a number of General Principles, or GPs, of feminism in Hip Hop.

1st – Yo Mama’s Not the Only Woman on Your Side

2nd – Poor women are drowning next to their brothers (Hip Hop ignores poor women)

3rd – Hip Hop Feminists are not ignoring misogyny but refuse to let the issue obscure the complexity of Hip Hop or limit discourse on Hip Hop. (insert gunshots here 10X)

4th – Calling yourself a feminist empowers you through naming, self identification, and joining a collective movement.

Another question for the audience (there will be a quiz later) – How do we recentralize everyday feminism and apply it to Hip Hop feminist discourse?

Now wake the fuck up, ‘cause she drops it HARD right here…

“THEY’RE NOT TALKING ABOUT ME!” – Refusing to acknowledge yourself as a target won’t prevent you from being shot. This exact theme/quote comes up in Rachel Raimist’s documentary film Nobody Knows My Name, when the illustrious Zenobia Simmons explains that “girls be like, oh they said Bitch, Hoe, but they ain’t talking about me though” and goes on to let those girls know, “YES, they are talking about you.” Again, refusing to acknowledge yourself as a target won’t prevent you from becoming one.

She cautions the audience to be wary of white academic feminists who tend to apply and appropriate others’ struggles upon themselves.

So what do the feminist movement and Hip Hop have in common? Both are LIFE and DEATH issues. Hip Hop makes a way out of no way. The movement is transforming marginal Hip Hop discourses (in other words, discussions of women in Hip Hop) and using them to create main discourses. To many young, feminist women of color, the “third wave” felt like a small puddle. “Hip Hop Feminism is the true third wave,” explains Dionne.

Next up to speak is Dawn-Elissa Fischer, a University of Florida student pursuing a PhD in Anthropology. Her company is Edutainment 4 Life, a non-profit organization. Dawn-Elissa prepared an amazing powerpoint presentation from her research on ethnography of Hip Hop artists in Japanese culture, which she had to cut short due to the familiar “lack of time” but a few key points she discussed were

1. State-Regulated Identities. For example, have you ever become confused when filling out those boxes? Are you Black, white, Asian, Latina, or other? Do you check one box, or a number of boxes, or no box at all? Those are the few choices for your state-regulated identity.

2. Hip Hop is a trope of blackness. In other words, when Japanese artists do Hip Hop music, they’re assuming a Black identity. They’re borrowing blackness, and to borrow blackness is to borrow gender and sexuality. This is a main reason why non-black youth use Hip Hop in their political strategies.

3. Hip Hop leaves behind a racialized/sexualized residue. Hip Hop is transnational and translational. Hip Hop simultaneously exploits and subverts Black/white and Male/Female binaries.

At this point the panelists broke for questions. I went up to the mic and posed a question about Hip Hop journalism, framed around the fact that the source does very little to fact-check, research or confirm quotes when they publish pieces. I asked how we can standardize fact-checking/research within Hip Hop journalism and in what ways we can control/regulate companies such as the source that we neither own nor operate. I think that the panelists weren’t expecting such a question, and they did their best to offer possible solutions.

Yes, solutions.

Dawn-Elissa suggested that we all write/publish opinion-editorial or Op-Ed pieces, and that we employ ethnographic research methods. Also she mentioned blogging as part of the solution, as a way to publish thoughtful, researched critiques of Hip Hop culture as a means to inform and educate. Good shit.

Marcyliena, in answering another question posed to the panel, gave one of the most awesome and dead-on quotes I’ve heard in a while.

“NOT KNOWING IS NOT HIP HOP”. She framed this by saying that Hip Hop is all about ego, and braggadocio, and all about Knowledge. And that it’s very much “not Hip Hop” to be ignorant, unaware, uninformed, or under-educated when exploring a topic.

Yes, these ladies were dropping it. I just fed ya’ll a lot of information and knowledge here. Mind you, this panel and question and answer session was stuffed into a chock-full one hour and fifteen minutes. Each of the panelists could have easily presented for an hour, and questions could have gone on for an infinite amount of time. I applaud the presenters of the Feminism in Hip Hop Conference for what I hope will be an annual event. Next year, I hope that there’s more time to build, and some time set aside for a town-hall meeting and/or group session at the end of the conference to plan and create strategies for action.

There will be a third post on this, but I’ll let ya’ll digest this very large meal of Hip Hop and feminist discourse for a while before I get to the moment everyone is drooling for – Day Three and the Media Representations of Women in Hip Hop panel featuring Melyssa Ford, Jessy Tererro, Kim Osorio, and Cheryl L. Keyes.

Until next time,

April 13, 2005


Photo by B+, Words by MJ, Inspiration by U 1 Who U 17, nuff said...>





The Sunshine comin through

The clouds above

Love is rays of light

Like when U holdin me tight

Everytime we hug

I become energized

Love is Love

Love is raining down

Sun Rays from above

Love is Love

Love is your Sun

Who’ll be my daughter’s brother

When she finally arrives

Love is the struggle

And how we strive

To show and prove

Love is nothing to lose

Love is how we both make moves

Love is how we stay poor and right

Love is

How U fill me up

When U hold me tight

Love is Love

Love is

How we love each other

Too much to fuck

Love is the plum sauce

On the vegetarian duck

Love is cup after cup

Of hot tea not too sweet

Just a little



Love is


How I love you

Only U and not your money

Love is how I miss U

When you’re out on tour

Love is how U stay strong

We ready for war

Love is memories and scars

Love is the Sun Moon & Stars

Love is Allah U Akbar

Love is Love

All ways

Wherever U are

Love is Love

Love is my lips

Against your I Ching tattoo

Love is how I don’t sleep

And I only rest when I’m with U

Love is my head on your chest

Love is your back against my breasts

Love is sweet dreams

Of our little Kings and Queens

Love is a drug

How we get high off each other

Love is Love

‘Cause I’m your sista

Love is ‘cause you’re my brother

In the struggle

Love is how we juggle

Reality, spirituality, sexuality

And keep a loving mentality

Love is telepathy

Love is unconditionally




Love is patience

Love is virtue

True love is true

I love U and U love me too

Love is

May I ask

Next time that we’re together

Inside our forever

Even though we’re not there yet


Not quite yet ready

For our family

Can we finally

Make Love

And practice making these babies?

Love is whether U answer

Yes, no or maybe

Love is cool

Love lasts forever

Whatever the weather

Love is Rashida and Deborah

How they brought us together

Love is Love

Love is always and forever

Love is pain

And Love is pleasure

Love is our greatest treasure

With every measure and moment

Love is the place time forgot

Love is trust

Love is a must

Love is a plus

We add on and never subtract

Love from Love

‘Cause love is lovely

And Love is abstract

Love is lovely

‘Cause I know my place

But U are never above me

Love is how U love me

Love is how we both held rocks

On the block

Love is how we both

Had the presence of mind

To just stop

Crazy love is what I feel

Behind the wheel

With U beside me

Love is the slow jams

Bumpin in the Cee Allah Rule

In stereo Love

Love is your palm restin on my thigh

Love is love and the look in our eyes

When we reflecting each other

Love is respect and protection

Of one another

Love is honor

Love is trust

Love is admiration and adoration

Love is pure elation

Love is love and our desire

Love is U, I, and all we acquire

Love is love for the Earth

Love is rebirth

Love for God and the Universe

Love is love for unity

Love is equality

Love is balance

Love is love for reality

Love is life in the galaxy

Love is love and everything

Love is made from and of

‘Cause Love is Love

It’s all we know of

Love is Love

Shameless Self Promotion

MJ & Zulu King Afrika Bambaataa in Madison, WI circa 2001. This was the Hip Hop plane with Bobbito Garcia a/k/a DJ Cucumber Slice, Christie Z and Fabel Pabon, rapper The Bad Seed, and dozens of others, we literally had the entire plane full of B-Boys and B-Girls. Thank God we didn't crash...>

When I was fixing up my resume some years back, I reached out to some of my folks and people I'd worked with in the past. I was amazed at the responses I received, and in the name of shameless self-promotion I will post them here now. Also, this blog serves as the historical record of my existence on this planet, my work within the music and publishing industries, and the grand traditions of feminism, revolution, Be-Bop and Hip-Hop prevelant in the last six generations of my family - whether bound by blood or by bond. Without further ado...

What the Industry is Saying About MIRANDA JANE…

“Miranda Jane has been a valuable asset in helping me to build Ecko Unltd's west coast marketing headquarters. She is a rare example of a colleague whose contacts and relationships are as extensive as her follow-through is thorough. Her calm, patient demeanor is the perfect complement to her meticulous organizational skills. I choose to work with Miranda every chance I get, and she has truly helped me shine.”

Raphie Aronowitz
VP Marketing - Western Conference
Ecko Unltd

“Miranda Jane is a beautiful spirit with a dedication to Hiphop culture that is unmatched. I am fortunate to have met and worked with her.”

Hard Hittin Harry
Chief Financial Officer/Partner
Meridian Entertainment

“Since i've had the pleasure to know Miranda, I have only been impressed with her as a person and a journalist. The topics that she covers are always informative and inspirational. Unlike many journalists, Miranda speaks as a voice of reason and I think that she will be a powerful voice in the entertainment industry for years to come.”

Business Manager for The GZA and Inspektah Deck of Wu-Tang Clan

“Peace. Miranda Jane has helped Prophetix in various ways. Mainly, when we released "Da Unfold" EP she helped us get it to press, radio, etc., and we still utilize those contacts to this day. One such contact was Day By Day Entertainment, and that relationship has led our company to a manufacturing and distribution deal that will give us more exposure.”

Carl Mello
Asylum Entertainment, Inc.

“Miranda Jane is dope because she doesn't get involved with pretense or ego; she's willing to help out and do what it takes to get the job done. One time I was swamped with work, and I called her hoping she'd transcribe a few interview tapes for me. Not only did she do it, she finished in a couple of hours what usually takes me a week. Her organizational skills are bananatastic. She doesn't trip offa titles, position or prestige. she just does the damned thing and rides 'til the wheels fall off. Word is that she can actually write, too. Why wouldn't you want to work with her?”

kris ex
Esteemed Music Journalist

“Working with Miranda on location in Miami during winter music conference in 2001, I realized what a trooper and dedicated journalist and professional she is. Whether she had to chase artists, wait for hours, shoot video herself, travel to strange places, or but up with artists’ b.s., she pulled through with great interviews (not one or two but 6!). I'd send her on assignment in a second.

Alan Ket (a/k/a KET ONE)
Vice President
Complex Media
Former Publisher, STRESS Magazine

“Miranda Jane is definitely the best I’ve worked with. She has literally helped me to revitalize myself, my art and my well being. I wouldn’t want to deal with anyone else as far as my business, instead I would rather give her command over my work. She gets it done, regardless to being overwhelmed or not. Miranda Jane is what most artists need in their corner. Respect her gangsta!”

MC/Rap Artist

“Yeah I got a chance to meet and build with the one dem call MJ. Miranda from off the top is dope to me. Her style and personality is unmatchable because she questions you straight from her heart for she intends on getting a response from that same source when she talks with you. She's definitely one of the best!!!”

MC & Member of Finesse & Synquis/Five Deadly Venomz

“Miranda Jane is one of the few journalists that I actually see at underground events and she is well informed regarding the cultural elements of Hip Hop. She has a great disposition and work ethic and I can't imagine anyone not getting along with her. She is very down to earth and easy to work with.”

Christie Z-Pabon, Tools of War
Publicist, Events Coordinator, Promoter, etc.

“My experience working with Miranda Jane has always been insightful, fun and encouraging ever since I used to assigned her record reviews in Rap Pages magazine in 1995 up until now when I had her interview members of the Wu Tang for their international press day. Her passion and knowledge of hip hop has always been impeccable. Miranda has an amazing ability to always bring a new energy to a project that resembles bringing new life onto the planet. I plan to always keep her name in the front of my rolodex for whenever I need to pick her brain, refer her a project or just to to recharge my battery. Miranda Jane is the consummate professional and ultimate " hip hop head".

Bilal Allah
CEO, Enlight Entertainment
Former Director of Urban A&R, MCA Records

“Miranda Jane’s diversified skills of organization and mobilization, combined with her personal relationships with key people within hip-hop and business makes her one of the most valuable players in the game today. Her abilities are limitless and i count on her involvement in all of my projects.”

Asia One
Founder, No Easy Props/BBoySummit

“Working with Miranda Jane is always a pleasure. She has so much insight on so many different things that I have come to rely on her on many different levels. Business discussions, editorial assistance, or just as a friend; Miranda is always someone that will go that extra distance, and most of all can be trusted.”

Greg Watkins
CEO/allhiphop.com/Standard East Holding Co.

“Miranda Jane has always been very professional in all of my business dealings with her. She is very honest, eager to help others and a true team player. Who could ask for more? “

Adisa Banjoko "The Bishop"
Co-Author to Chicken Soup for the Hip Hop Soul

"Miranda Jane looked out for me on a work project at a time when I needed her most. We were introduced over email through a mutual industry colleague, and without even having ever met me in person, she provided me with a list of information that, at the time, meant the difference between the success or failure of my project. Needless to say, she helped usher me towards success!"

C. Zawadi Morris
Principal, The Original Media Group, LLC

“Miranda Jane is the main publicity and product placement connection to the United States for the Joint One Radio Show and Record Pool. No one else has the key connections to the U.S. Market.”

Joey Slick
Owner of the Joint One Record Pool Los Angeles and Japan, Creator/Host/Dj/Music Director of the Joint One Radio Show on 76.1 InterFM Tokyo, Japan (Japan's 1st Hip Hop and R&B show in commercial radio history)

April 12, 2005

Radio...Suckas Never Play Me

Reppin' 4 Hard Knock Radio...>

I promised more content from the FHHC, and I still don't have all my notes together, but the rest of this week I WILL post more observations and haps from the conference.

In the meantime and in-between time, tune into to Hard Knock Radio to check out what some of the panelists and artists attending the conference had to say about the state of Women in Hip Hop. Big props to Davey D., Maya X., Anita J. and Robin, who held it down throughout the conference. The shows will air live in the bay on KPFK Monday through Friday from 4 to 5 pm, as well as stream online and be archived here.

I myself appeared on two shows - one alongside Rachel Raimist, director/filmmaker (Nobody Knows My Name) who's working on a new film about Hip Hop moms; and Desdamona, a dope Poetess out of Minneapolis. I also appeared with Kim Osorio, former EIC of the source, Joan Morgan, author of When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost, as well as Jessy Tererro, video director and director of Soul Plane. We dropped a whole lot of science, so definitely tune in online.

'Til Next Time,

April 11, 2005

By Popular Demand...FHHC Part I

Feminism in Hip Hop Conference? U damn skippy...>

After a seven hour road trip, we arrived in the Chi and I immediately went into “event mode”. I packed my “conference bag” with pens, flyers for B-Girl Be, sharpies, notepad, blade, smell-good sauce, and cocoa butter. I stashed snacks, gum and water. We rushed through showers (four ladies to a room at the Hyatt’s like WHOA, thank goodness for double beds) then mashed out to the International House just in time for the opening presentation. Rae was presenting her film, Nobody Knows My Name, which I’ve seen being edited, and re-edited, and screened, and screened again, many times over the six years I’ve known her. I still love to watch this movie. I was really impressed with Booty Nation, by Canadian filmmaker Alison Duke, however after watching Nobody recently to make sure the event copy was right and exact, then watching Booty Nation, I began to realize that the FHHC was a portent for things to come.

In working toward the eradication of too much scantily clad, faceless ass in television, videos, films and other forms of media, I would be subjected to a sensory overload of these images. In the fight and struggle to change the way media speaks to us and about us and deflect the negative stereotypes perpetuated by terms such as bitch, hoe, chickenhead, gold-digger, and all of their myriad variations I would have to endure hearing these terms over, and over, and over again.

Looking around the assembly hall, I realized that comes in many shapes, sizes, colors, and genders. We’re not all granola-ey. Many of us are extremely attractive and wear things like makeup and high heels and dresses. Some wear their hair in beautiful naturals, while some choose press-and-curls or perms. We’re not a bunch of angry lesbians. Those of us who happen to be lesbians are not necessarily angry. The fat lot of us seem to really love and appreciate men. As “Hip Hop Feminists” we comprise a group of people that includes members of every race, class, color, nationality, sexual orientation, political party, religion, shape, size and gender. We epitomize dichotomies, diversities, differences, binaries, and paradoxes. I hope you’re sitting down now, because – clutch my pearls – some of us are men.

The film I will not mention by the filmmaker I will not name, about masculinity in Hip Hop, was an eye-opener. I saw and heard things that shocked me. Some stereotypes were reinforced. Others will shattered. I will not say anything more about this film, except that I’m longing to see a feature-length version.

The panel following the films let me know what I was in for at FHHC. There was limited time. Each panelist had a plethora of valid points to make and important things to say to the audience. There was limited time. After the panelists spoke, the floor was opened to questions. There was limited time. For each pertinent, thought-provoking, and provocative question asked, there would be an ignant question to follow. There was, after all, limited time. Succinct responses were mandatory. Time was limited. Just when a panelist was getting to the crux of their answer, breaking it down to a fine…ooops, sorry, we’re out of time.

Don’t get me wrong, compared to the industry conventions I’ve attended, such as Gavin, Urban Network, BRE, Mixshow Power Summit, etc.; and the academic ones I’ve been to FHHC was incredibly well organized and moderated. There just simply wasn’t time for nearly 2,000 beautiful, strong, powerful sistas to speak on everything they needed to speak on. (Insert gunshot sound here, repetitively.)

I missed some things ‘cause I’m an auntie, and a chauffer, and a production assistant, and a street promoter, and a girl who can’t go to a city without thoroughly investigating the surrounding hood and checking out the young D-boys. I want to know what people are wearing, what they’re bumping in the cee allah rule stereo, what’s the new slang bangin on the block, and what’s good in the bodegas, licka stowes and storefront churches. Chicago has Soul Vegetarian just like ATL. Everyone puts hot nacho cheese sauce on everything. Chicago still has crack fiends and crackhouses. After many meanderings through the blocks, the city was re-christened “Crackago”. The mosques are amazing, although they’re outnumbered by chuuuuch 122 to 1. People don’t stop for yellow lights, red lights, stop signs or other traffic-control mechanisms. Furthermore, the city of Crackago need not have painted all those white and yellow lines on the roads – drivers meander from lane to lane as if they’re pushing their whips through the jungle roads of the Phillipines. Oh, yeah, more cheese sauce. It’s on your chicken fingers, it’s on your gyro, it’s on your scrimp, it’s on your fish sandwich. The cheese sauce. It’s on your Doritos. Yes, Doritos. The cheese sauce is like crack. Think about it, the cheddar is the pure, uncut raw. They cook it up, add some baking soda and chemicals, then, voila…the block is hot. But it doesn’t matter, ‘cause there’s Soul Vegetarian, and they don’t allow cheese sauce.

Just wait until tomorrow when I get all woosty and feminista with ya’ll. I’m going to use big words and trick everybody into thinking that I’m an official resident of the Ivory Tower, with multiple PhD’s to my name. I’ll discuss Hip Hop’s legitimacy within the academy, in addition to breaking down the patriarchy through discourse on the etymology and ethnography of Hip Hop. Further discourse will include pontifications on gender equality, race hierarchies, and the negotiation of misogyny. But you know me. I’m under-educated than a m’fucka. I dropped out of SFSU undergrad after three semesters, and you know this, man. But I can tell you who, what, when, were, how and why women got down and represented the elements of Hip Hop. I hardly have a journalism degree, but I’ve got plenty of journalistic integrity. I ain’t got no PhD, but I’ve got Pure Hip-Hop Dedication. So will the academy accept me? Will the purist womanist-feminists denounce me? Find out next time on How’d We Get From The Pyramids to the Projects. Same B-Girl time, same B-Girl channel.

Peace & Balance,


The Source of Our Pain

I got 99 problems, and a bitch is 1...>

They built it by walking across our collective backs. When I was at the source, Women ran shit literally and figuratively. We led the editorial meetings, we held down the fort, we provided the research, development, fact-checking, writing, planning and scheduling it took to print the most popular rap magazine on the planet. But we also provided the ass. I've said it many times before - in order to be considered for employment at the source, as a woman, in addition to having (in most cases) the skills to pay the bills and the resume to back your shit up - you had to have a big ass, a passably-pretty face, and at least a few pairs of painted-on jeans in your wardrobe. Regardless of race, color, creed, skin tone, or nationality - Black, Latina, mixed, white, Russian, or Jamaican; it was required for your booty to be at the forefront as if it were the sixth element of Hip Hop. And it was definitely a case of shake yo ass...watch yo'self. So now the truth is seeing the light of day as far as how we as Women at the source were treated. As Jay would say, it's...about...to go...down.

Press ReleaseSource: Thompson Wigdor & Gilly LLP

The Source Magazine Hit With Employment Discrimination Claims By Former Top Women, announces Thompson Wigdor & Gilly LLP
Monday April 11, 11:26 am ET

- Former Editor-in-Chief and Vice President Accuse Owners of The Source of Subjecting Women to Gender Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and RetaliationEEOC Charges Filed on Behalf of All Current and Former Female Employees

NEW YORK, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Earlier today, two of the highest-ranking former female executives of The Source magazine, the self-proclaimed "Bible of Hip Hop," filed charges of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accusing co-owners David Mays, the Chief Executive Officer, and Raymond "Benzino" Scott, the Chief Brand Executive, of committing gender discrimination, sexual harassment and unlawful retaliation against women at the Company.

The charges were filed by Kimberly Osorio, who was the first female Editor-in-Chief of The Source, and Michelle Joyce, who was the Vice President of Marketing. According to the charges, female employees were consistently discriminated against on the basis of their gender in favor of male employees, particularly with respect to hiring, promotions, compensation and benefits, working hours and discipline. The charges also allege that:

    * Raymond "Benzino" Scott has taken virtually complete control over The
Source from David Mays, and has placed many of his male associates from
Boston on the payroll who performed no meaningful work and/or did not
adhere to the same rules, policies and procedures that all female
employees were required to follow.

* Scott and Mays have fired or forced out of the Company without cause
many competent, dedicated and hardworking female employees and have
replaced them with men.

* David Mays yelled and cursed at female executives at The Source, whereas
he would not treat or talk to comparable male employees in such a

* Scott and Mays allowed another male employee to openly utter profanities
at Ms. Osorio, degrade her and threaten her with physical violence
without being punished for his actions.

* Women at The Source were repeatedly subjected to degrading acts of
sexual harassment.

* The sexual harassment was so severe and pervasive that the former
Managing Editor at The Source would often hide in her office and avoid
walking through the corridors out of fear of being sexually harassed.

* The Source engaged in a gender-based smear campaign against Hot 97 radio
personality and recording artist Angie Martinez.

"After dedicating five years to The Source, I could no longer endure the blatant gender discrimination and harassment so I spoke up, but it only hurt the situation because I was fired shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, discrimination and harassment in the workplace is very common and now I must speak out for all women who have been victims of this same type of treatment," said Ms. Osorio. "I chose to take a stand for women of the Hip Hop generation and for all women who quietly endure such treatment for fear of retaliation and for those women who have suffered in silence and quietly surrendered," said Ms. Joyce.

"Ms. Osorio and Ms. Joyce have shown extraordinary courage in coming forward, and we will fully vindicate their rights at trial," said Kenneth P. Thompson, their attorney and a former Federal Prosecutor who prosecuted the Abner Louima federal civil rights case. "All women should be treated fairly and with the utmost respect whether they are in the world of Hip Hop or not and we will prove that in this case," said Thompson.

According to the charges, both Ms. Osorio and Ms. Joyce complained about the discriminatory treatment against women at The Source, all to no avail. Instead of taking prompt action to end the discrimination, they allege that Messrs. Scott and Mays unlawfully terminated them despite their outstanding work performance. In fact, Ms. Osorio alleges that she was fired shortly after she refused to give in to Scott's and Mays' repeated demands that she rescind an email that she sent to Human Resources complaining about the unlawful conduct.

About Thompson Wigdor & Gilly: Thompson Wigdor & Gilly LLP http://twglawyers.com/ is a recently founded firm, specializing handling high- profile, complex litigation and investigations as well as counseling clients in a wide array of substantive legal areas, including employment law, criminal law, sports and entertainment law, labor relations and civil rights. They can be reached at 212.239.9292 or info@twglawyers.com.

The rebuttal cuts both ways like the double-edged standard that it is. It was fine for him to fuck N'Bushe, or Kelis, or insert-nameless-woman-of-color-here. But gender is hardly the great equalizer...

Thanks to www.allhiphop.com for this choice quotation from mr. mays,

"Neither of those women ever filed any complaints during many years of working at The Source it raises alot of questions when these types of charges are made subsequent to valid and legitimate terminations of their employment," Mays said in a statement. "Also it is a fact that Ms. Osorio had sexual relations with a number of high profile rap artists during her employment as Editor-In-Chief."

Mays also said Joyce may have falsified health claims in an affort to attack The Source upon learning she would be terminated.

"We look forward to our day in court on this matter," Mays said."


I got 99 problems. This one's a real bitch.

It's Bigger Than Hip Hop

I'ma break it down just to tell U a story, straight out the box, sex harassment category...>

Oh hell no. Hot damn ya'll, here we go again. Just when you thought it was safe to go back to work here these MF'ers go again! No wonder there's so much difficulty solving the problems of the AIDS pandemic. What, you haven't heard?

And it's not just the government pulling this shit. We're about to go deep, deep, deeper than Atlantis, down into an abyss that's been going on for far too long. Get your oxygen tanks ready, it's about to go down. Oh, and, I for one am certain that little tidbit had nothing to do with this.

Too cryptic? Go 'head and click it. Don't say I didn't warn U. It's bigger than Hip Hop. Will all the real men please step up front, it's time to respect and protect us. Right now... READ MORE FROM PYRAMIDS 2 PROJECTS HERE.

April 10, 2005

Just a Little Sample (How I Could Just...)

Who U Callin a Bitch???!!!...>

This is the first post of many to come expressing my views and reporting the news on what went down this weekend in Chicago at the Feminism in Hip Hop Conference. I'm so burnt from the road trip and the emotional highs and lows that I don't have all my shit together yet.

First of all, shouts out to

The intelligent young ladies of Spelman College, who've started a movement that's gaining momentum

Rosa Clemente. Bush is the "pres" but I voted for Rosa Clemente. She'll see to it that these HOT97 10%ers get their just desserts.

Kim Osorio. Honestly we were adversaries at The Source but she came with some honesty and candor at the conference. I want to help her reach some of the goals she discussed during the media panel (more on this later).

Davey D and his Hard Knock Radio Crew. Put me on the air not once, but twice... Not for 5 minutes...for two full hours of talk radio. Links to follow but believe we were droppin' science.

Invincible and Angie Beatty. Invincible came out and signed up for the open mic like she's not a supastar on the underground. When her CD wouldn't cue up right, she brought Angie Beatty onstage who dropped the SICKEST beatbox a woman has ever busted. Word.

Desdamona. Where are all the lovelies at?

Raquel Wilson & Brooklyn of Verbalisms Magazine. They're boldly stepping where no one's gone before. www.verbalisms.com. How can I be down?

Rachel Raimist. Nobody Knows My Name is still the most relevant documentary film about Women in Hip Hop. This means that more women need to make movies...and we have to help Rae get her in-progress works funded, edited and distributed, ASAP.

Jeff Chang. He's all Asian, all amazing. A true male feminist who takes no shorts.

My valet parking cat @ the Hyatt. He looked out ex amount of times, I've never parked so much in my life.

NOW the moment you've all been waiting for, this is just the tip of the iceberg though, don't trip.

Quote of the year:
"NOT KNOWING IS NOT HIP HOP" - Marcyliena Morgan, founding director of the Hip Hop Archive

Shook One:
Video Model Melyssa Ford who ran off after the media panel when she was supposed to do the radio show. Guess she had to catch a plane or something.

Save the Best for Last:
Fred Hampton Jr., who some seemed to want to keep out of the conference, jumped onstage at the end of the last panel in an attempt to deliver an impassioned speech. The room was promptly shut down. There are numerous issues at play behind this whole thing, which I'll go deeper on when I'm not running on empty.

Highlight Off Campus:
Handsome Boy Modeling School show at the Chicago House of Blues. Backstage passes, dressing room love, Prince Paul, Domino, Casual and Opio (Hieroglyphics!), Davey D in the house, Oakland Love, DREZ FROM BLACK SHEEP, oh my goodness, so much handsomeness, so little time. They rocked til 4:30 a.m., fuck it, sleep is for the weak.

Keep it tuned right here, I'll drop the event science throughout the week as time allows.