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July 06, 2005


(L-R) MJ, Venice High School, circa 1992; JUSTO R.I.P. MURAL BY DEZ ONE (DJ KAY SLAY), HALL OF FAME 2005; THE STARGATE CONSPIRACY - Pyramids, Extraterrestrials, Aliens...oh my!

First of all I conducted almost a dozen phone interviews today, starting at 6:30 AM cali time, and over half-a-dozen yesterday. If you know someone else who's interviewed Afrika Bambaataa, Bun B, DJ EFN, DJ Drama, DJ Jelly, Mr. Marc, Stage One, Risky Business, two high-level corporate executives, an attorney, two documentary filmmakers, and an assortment of other DJs and artists in a 36-hour period while finding time to sleep and cook a delicious Mexican feast with turkey burritos, veggie tostadas, refried beans and spanish rice...HOLLA.

Then just when I thought I was done for the night, the phone rang with The Drama King on the other end, promising to call tomorrow early for an interview. It might not be a popular opinion, but Kay Slay is one of my favorite people. He's an INCREDIBLE graffiti artist, a legendary DJ, and he's one of those cats who's been in the streets enough to know that if you're gonna be the shit in the industry, you've gotta be an ASSHOLE. Dame Dash ain't got nothin' on Mr. Smack Yo' Favorite DJ. It's all love though, just look at the piece he did above for this years annual Graffiti Hall of Fame. And you thought he just made mixtapes!

I have more energy than ever before because I made it through the wilderness. I'm home! Being in Cali, even though I've only been back home to L.A. a couple of times since I got here, I realize how much love people have for me and how much they respect my hustle. My organic shine gets lost in NY, is too big for ATL or MN, but back home I see there's a good balance for me right now. I'm shining like a diamond in my own right, as I have for so many years running, and I have a secret weapon now - a man on my team who's an O.G. - O.G. in the streets, O.G. in Hip Hop, and just straight up Original and Gangsta - who respects me immensely and calls me his "classmate", who is just a sweetheart, invites me to come chill with him all over the country since he's always working, and who calls me numerous times throughout the day to check in and make sure I'm having a beautiful day. He's so dope, and as a unit WE are so fly, I'm not even going to write about it (anytime soon). That unity right now is the summmer breeze that makes me feel fine, blowing through the Jasmine in my mind.

Fruition is here. I've been asked to do voice-over for a feature film that'll be released in 2006, and I can't divulge too much, but it's definitely Hip Hop game to the fullest. I got an email from Hip Hop's legendary writer, Harry Allen, and he's read parts of the blog and likes it! Harry says, "Great blog. A lot of writing, and a lot of energy." Definitely keep an eye out for an interview between The Terrorist Journalist and The Media Assassin in the near future. And amidst all of my interviews and hustling, a journalist from the Sacramento Bee hit me up yesterday after reading my "Trillions and Trillions Sizzerved" post and she interviewed me for a news feature on McDonalds, Steve Stoute and the power of Hip Hop culture as a marketing tool.

Sometimes people ask me why I move around so much, or why I haven't put down roots, or why I never stay in one place. My family, who used to be so laid-back, cool, avant-garde, and anti-establishment, now only wants me to "settle down" into a nice, square, corporate job. My homeboy Chace Infinite told me the other day on the phone, "Miranda, the only reason why you ain't married is 'cause you've been spending too much time on your work, hustling your ass off." And I realize he's right. I have a couple more years in the game, and I'm going to make them count. And unlike one MJ, you won't see me in court. And unlike another MJ, you won't see me retire, then come back, then retire; although I'm sure I'll end up coaching. I left behind all the rest, so I could manifest and be the best.


Trillions and Trillions Sizzerved

Ronald McDonald & the Hamburgler Max and Relax at Hot Import Nights...>

* UPDATE, there will be no "PhatDonald's" - "Not only is it not true, I'm not in talks with them [McDonalds]. I'm a vegan! It goes against my principles. I don't eat anything that runs away from me. I'm going to have to issue a rebuttal about this." - Russell Simmons

I need some help. Just when I think that co-opting of Hip Hop, Rap and all things "urban" can't go any further, sink any lower, or become anymore ridiculous; I'm proven wrong. After using Doug E. Fresh in advertisements a couple years back, McDonalds marketing department is gunning for us with a nickel-plated burner once again...this time, they plan to make their uniforms "more hip". Even my mother no longer says this word...hip. Now, I'm not mad at Steve Stoute (get that money Steve! holla @ me if you need another consultant at Translation, I'm the best plus I guarantee fucking with me you'd never get hit in the head with a bottle again in life...)

"To spearhead the uniform project, the world's largest restaurant chain has hired Steve Stoute of New York-based brand imaging firm Translation, Whitman said. Stoute, a former record executive, is responsible for hooking up rapper Jay-Z with Reebok International Ltd. (NYSE:RBK - news) and has worked with McDonald's previously on its partnerships with performers Justin Timberlake and Destiny's Child. According to Stoute, talks are underway with some of the world's best-known clothing labels, including Sean "P. Diddy" Combs' Sean John label, Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. (NYSE:RL - news), Giorgio Armani, hip hop mogul Russell Simmons' Phat Farm label, American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (Nasdaq:AEOS - news), Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF - news), Rocawear, and Tommy Hilfiger."

I'd bet good money that Stoute will finalize negotiations and roll with Sean John, Phat Farm, or The Roc. Next thing you know, you'll walk into McDonalds one day soon and instead of muzak piped through tinny speakers, you'll hear a Hip Hop soundtrack coming through a state-of-the-art speaker system installed to maximize your Hip McDonald's Experience. Lord have mercy. But the motherfathers still won't make a damn veggie burger, or serve fruit juice anytime after breakfast. I know, "Mickey Dee's" isn't the spot for healthful eats...but at least sometime in the near future its employees will be rocking the fresh fly gear. Word to Ronald.

July 05, 2005

READ THE CLASSICS, VOL. 1 - K.M.D.'s Black Bastards

The classic unreleased 90's LP, (re)released circa 2000...>

Originally published in STRESS, NY's Illest Magazine, Issue 25
by Miranda Jane

"The first joint I appeared on was Gas Face, with a group called Third Bass, back in 1989. I remember that like it was yesterday. I did a verse on that song, and came up with the concept. It was good exposure, so it was Peace," explains Zev Love X of the infamous K.M.D.

As far back as many heads today can remember in their personal Hip Hop experience, there has been K.M.D. In the early days of groups that made it, such as Brand Nubian, and groups that didn't, like the UMCs, K.M.D. stands out as one of the most memorable of the early nineties. Those years were some of the first where rap and Hip Hop videos were widely viewed on shows like Yo! MTV Raps and BET's Rap City. In 1991, we watched "The Gas Face" and "Peachfuzz" over and over again, soaking up K.M.D.'s brand of humorous yet conscious Hip Hop. Although Prince Paul is often credited as the father of a style, it was K.M.D.'s use of samples from television and movies, and of carrying skits through an entire album that paved the way for The RZA and many others who utilize this format today.

Following the release of K.M.D.'s Mr. Hood with a string of succesful guest appearances elsewhere, everything was going well for Zev Love. Then the weight on his shoulders grew heavy, as he suffered from the music business trauma that hit him with a one-two punch. First, the untimely death of his physical brother Subroc (PBUH) and second, the decision by Elektra Records that the cover art of the album Black Bastards was too controversial for release. K.M.D. was subsequently dropped from Elektra Records in 1995.

Today, K.M.D. remains somewhat of an enigma to many - what exactly is Kausin Much Damage? "K.M.D. is whatever you feel," explains an older Zev Love X whose modern-day attribue is MF Doom. Metal Face, Mother Fucken, Mad Flowin, Microphone Fiend. In real life, Doom assumes many characters and identities throughout the day. Historically, Doom is a Hip Hop legend but many people don't realize that he is also Zev Love X of K.M.D. So who exactly is MF Doom? "Doom is really a description of myself, more personally. Of course, it is still a character, people gotta keep that in mind. Doom is part of me."

The year 2000 finds Doom with an underground sleeper hit in the form of Operation Doomsday (1999). And K.M.D. is alive and well - Black Bastards will finally be released this year on vinyl and CD. "Black Bastards, we came up with in 1992, right after we did the Mr. Hood album," explains Doom. "Black Bastards was me and Subroc. On the Mr. Hood album, K.M.D. was myself, Onyx the Birthstone Kid, and Subroc. On the new K.M.D. album it is me and my partner, (MF) Grimm."
(**Editor's note - After Grimm's incarceration and the discontinuation of his business relationship with Doom after his release, a "new" K.M.D. project was recorded with Lil Sci and I.D. of Scienz of Life, along with Doom. I have not heard of a release date for this album, and I'm unaware of whether or not it was ever completed).

No matter what K.M.D. does in the present or future, all of the efforts are dedicated to Subroc. "He went back to the essence. God bless, in a car accident, in 1993. I feel him in my heart, like he's still right here. I can't touch him, but I can feel him." Subroc lives on through Black Bastards, the first single being Subroc's solo joint "It Sounded Like a Rock" b/w "Stop Smoking That Shit" which features Lord Sear and Kurious Jorge. For Doom, Subroc's work from 1991 and 1992 still holds water in today's rap game, "Subroc, he was a great producer and an ill MC. If you check the rhymes on the Black Bastards album, he got two joints on there that's retarded! Right now, from '92, he'd be eatin mad niggas."

Operation Doomsday is a clear indication of Doom's ability to produce and record cutting-edge Hip Hop music. "I always wanted to do something solo. I thought about doing the MF Doom album when we were making Black Bastards. Everything was self-produced, the music, even the artwork. (** Editors note - In fact, much of the artwork made famous by Doom, as well as his metal mask, are the work of Graffiti legend LORD SCOTCH 79th (X-MEN) who was King of many train lines in the early days of Graffiti and responsible for many of the dopest Hip Hop album covers and advertisements of the 90s and 00s.)

K.M.D. have remained independent. Doom is currently adding on to the roster of his own imprint, MetalFace Records, which includes K.M.D., MF Doom,
MF Grimm, Kurious Jorge, and the M.I.C. (Monsta Island Czars). (** Editor's note - After releasing Grimm's critically-acclaimed LP, The Downfall of Iblys through MetalFace, as well as the Monsta Island Czars' first LP, Escape from Monsta Island, Doom no longer holds dominion over the music of Grimm, the M.I.C., nor Kurious. They're all a part of Grimm's company, Day by Day Entertainment, which is also an independent distributor of Hip Hop and Rock music.) Doom continues to work with all sorts of independent labels, both in the U.S. and abroad (MF Doom is more well known in countries like Australia, the UK, and Japan than in America). Black Bastards is coming to us from MetalFace/Readyrock Records, and both Doom and Grimm have upcoming singles on Brick/Landspeed Records. We can look forward to a second MF Doom creation in the near future, as well as a new album from K.M.D.

The addition of MF Grimm to the K.M.D. equation should equal lyrics of fury as Grimm is a seasoned battle rhymer who made it to the final round of the 1995 Battle for World Supremacy. Grimm was also featured on Kurious Jorge's A Constipated Monkey album, as well as Kool G. Rap's 4,5,6 LP. Paralyzed, blind and deaf from two attempts on his life, MF Grimm has shown and proven his sheer strength and tenacity by regaining his sight, hearing, and the use of his upper body. Although he currently rhymes from a wheelchair, the prognosis is good that he will stand and walk again soon. K.M.D. is an ever-metamorphasizing Hip Hop group proven to stand the tests of time and adversity. MF Doom will survive and beat the odds every time, because he has the unique ability to recreate himself during times of chaos, continuing to manifest Peace.

- Miranda Jane, 2000

Doom if you're still with us, come back to your family. You know who we are. Grimm, you've already exceeded the vision for Day by Day, and it's just begun. Love is Love.

July 04, 2005


INVENTOS::Hip Hop Cubano

Since I've already been, at one time or another, a target of the fbi, cia, cointelpro, lapd, nypd, hip hop cops, and other dubious "governmental" agencies; I'm not shook about getting it said. You can barbeque and get drunk all day if you want, but while you're doing that there are soldiers killing innocent people in Iraq, RIGHT NOW. Plus they're torturing "prisoners of war" in Guantanamo. Not to mention that every time you drive by a park full of Mexicans in Los Angeles, you're looking at indigineous people who are celebrating "independence" on the very land that was stolen from them where they now come to make minimum wage - or to be the mayor.

Today, I celebrate Independents. The ones who are making it on their own. The ones who are making a difference. The ones who are bombing, bucking, and dismantling the system. As Ludacris would say, the 4th of July is just another "hoe-liday" so while you're eating your "whore-dourves" and downing that 7th glass of insert-name-of-alcoholic-beverage-here; YOU BETTER THINK. Come up with an idea of your own that'll get you on next year's list of Top 5 Indepdendents. You'll thank me for it.

HIEROGLYPHICS IMPERIUM - I remember hearing Casual and Tajai and 'em battling Saafir and Hobo Junction and 'em on The World Famous Wake Up Show. I was sitting with my best friend Stacy and Bilal Allah (who would go on to A&R Mary J. Blige's Share My World for MCA, and eventually form his own company, Enlight Entertainment) in our apartment in Oakland, CA listening to every word. Between being pummelled, if not beaten, on the air; nearly every member of Hiero would go from having a major label deal to having a pocket linted. Turns out, they were down, but not out. Hiero reformed like Voltron and, modelling themselves after rock bands and indie punk labels, they created their own company, their own entity, their own label. They focused on merch and touring, while steadily pumping out a quality selection of CDs, vinyl, DVDs, and songs. Instead of spending their money, they reinvested in themselves, and recently these brothas bought a large warehouse building in Oakland to house their empire. They have major distribution from Red Urban Music/Sony, and they make more $ per record sold than any multi-platinum artist on a major. Furthermore, they develop talent and sign other acts to the label. That's why they're #1 on my list of great indepedendents.

EVOLVE UNIVERSAL - This Los Angeles-based clothing company is the brainchild of one woman. We'll call her Evolve. Some call her Jenny. She's the hardest-working woman in the clothing business - what started with a couple of t-shirt designs has blossomed into the finest independent clothing company money can't buy. An artist with roots in Graffiti and fine arts, Evolve designs every image, graphic, t-shirt and piece herself, by herself. And while she recently did a fashion show with high-fashionista shop Fred Segal, her line remains grounded in reality. With messages of Peace, positivity, Knowledge, upliftment, and Itations, Evolve Universal is more than a piece of fabric; Evolve Universal is a way of life. I salute this independent woman who has stayed strong and kept her business going all of these years; while never sacrificing quality for quantity, or the real for the fake. A true independent.

INVENTOS: HIP HOP CUBANO - This independent film, created by Clenched Fist Productions and Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi, is a testament to independence. Who else but a Puerto Rican-Jew Hip Hop head from the Bay Area would travel to Ghana and Cuba, come back, and decide to make a film about Cuban Hip Hop? I'll let the words of the film speak for themselves...to quote one of the artists "We care about the world we are living in. We talk about how the rich are getting richer, while the poor are getting poorer." To quote another, "a lot of people say we're crazy, that this isn't Cuban culture. It isn't Cuban culture, but it's African culture, understand? And we are all children, descendants, of Africa." Say word. Eli edited, executive-produced, produced and directed this amazing film. Please support him at Clenched Fist Productions. Viva Inventos, y Hip Hop Cubano.

R.E.A.C.H.IP HOP - Founded by DJ Kuttin Kandi, and with support from Afro-Puerto Rican Hip Hop activist Rosa Clemente, the Godfather of Hip Hop Afrika Bambaataa, and support from dozens of powerful, revolutionary individuals within Hip Hop, R.E.A.C.H. is where Hip Hop lives. Through rallies and a campaign of letter-writing, emails and phone calls to Clear Channel, the group single-handedly put Hot97 in hot water when the major-market-share NYC station broadcast racist and defamatory songs satirizing the Tsunami disaster. And according to their website, it wasn't that difficult to accomplish. "R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop (formerly known as the NYC Hip-Hop Coalition) is a diverse coalition of artists, activists, hip-hop historians and writers, educators, students, and parents within, and in alliance with, the greater hip-hop community. Our initial call to action was in late January 2005, when commercially owned Hot 97 aired its now infamous “Tsunami Song.” As other communities who were targeted by this incident began to speak out and organize against Hot 97, it became apparent that a crucial voice was missing in this public protest: the voice of the hip-hop community. Thus, with the help of a few hip-hop heads, artists, and community organizers, the Hip-Hop Coalition was born." I thank the members of the coalition for showing the world we have power over everything when we choose to exercise our independence.

MIRANDA JANE/PYRAMIDS 2 PROJECTS - I have to celebrate myself today, because I've survived the temptations of the music industry. I built myself up from a crack-selling college dropout to become an editor of three major magazines. I did it without a degree, and for the most part without the support of my family. And when I reached the "top" in my field, becoming associate editor of The Source magazine, I recognized it for the sham that it was and made a promise to myself and to Hip Hop that I would never again be governed or directed by the politics of devils. I may not have a million dollars in the bank, or a platinum or black credit card; but let's face it, when the shit goes down everything ya'll "rich" folks have in the bank will be confiscated and you'll wish you'd had the forethought to put up a little cash, or learn how to survive with nothing. I've seen, with my own eyes, my friends turn to enemies. I've witnessed individuals and entities "turn" from good to evil. I've battled the devil, style for style, and my B-Girlisms reigned supreme. I'm sure he'll be back for round two, and again, he'll walk away with his head down in defeat; while still I rise, walking with my head held high, the Angels of my three dead sons on my shoulders. Only on a day where true Independence is celebrated can you truly appreciate my mission; the mission to inform, educate, uplift, and elevate. Even if I'm not clocking major-label dollars, to the true and righteous, my poverty and my wisdom are making a whole lot of sense.

July 03, 2005

BOOK REVIEW: CAN'T STOP, WON'T STOP (and interview with Jeff Chang)

Cover by Brent Rollins Design Explosion, with Photos by Henry Chalfant

Originally published in Verbalisms' Power Juice, this is an exclusive - the original, full-length version of the interview with author Jeff Chang! I highly recommend Can't Stop... to ALL readers, regardless of expertise on or interest in Hip Hop culture. It's simply an amazing read. This is the book I'd ask my own father, jazz musican Buell Neidlinger, to read if he cared enough to discover and understand MY culture, music, and life the way my generation is expected to understand the Jazz era. And don't miss the mixtape that comes with the book (depending on the retailer)...IT ROCKS.

And It Don't Stop: Documenting Hip-Hop's Power and History
Miranda Jane

Jeff Chang is a powerhouse. He is a hip-hop activist, father, proud male feminist and author of the authoritative book Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation. Can’t Stop is a must-read—with an introduction by the legendary DJ Kool Herc, and chapters spanning from the history of Bronx street gangs all the way to Ice Cube’s "Death Certificate" LP—once you pick it up, you can’t stop reading and you won’t stop learning.

Miranda Jane: Can't Stop Won't Stop is one of the most comprehensive books on Hip Hop culture and history that has ever been written. When and how did you make the decision to take your interviews and historical research to th next level and put them out in nonfiction form?

Jeff Chang: I started thinking about the book when solesides ended in 1997. it was a way of working through all that i thought i had learned up to that point. back then it was going to be a book just about ice cube's death certificate. as time went on, i realized i had a much bigger story: the story about how the hip-hop generation emerged in this post-civil rights, globalized era.

Of all the interviews you conducted, which individual made the most significant impression on you and on the outcome of the book? Why? What particular quote from that person could sum it up?

So many people had such an indelible impact on me. i think meeting benjamin melendez and carlos suarez from the ghetto brothers brought a lot of things together. the 1971 gang peace treaty organized in the bronx still affects us today--in many ways, it made hip-hop possible. it's the ultimate example of a butterfly effect, something that happened amongst a small number of forgotten youths in an abandoned borough of the big city still touches us more than three decades later all around the world. yet you can't read about it in most "official" histories of new york city, let alone hip-hop. the thing that sticks to me about all of these bronx pioneers--from benjy and carlos through dj kool herc, afrika bambaataa, grandmaster flash, and others--is that they felt they *had* to do what they did. they weren't getting paid at first, they did it out of love and passion and a desire to live. dj kool herc says in the introduction, "it was something we did for fun." that's the beauty and power of hip-hop right there in seven words.

3.) How do you follow up a project like this? What's next for Jeff Chang? How/where can people learn more about what you're up to?

i'm working on an anthology on the aesthetics of hip-hop, a book that will be artist-centered and move beyond just rap music to look at how hip-hop has moved into performance arts, visual arts, literature, and all kinds of other forms. the next book is top secret but i'm beginning to think about it a little bit right now. i'm taking most of the summer off--though i'm still doing some appearances, and there's always hip-hop activist work to do--and then i'll be back out on the road a little bit in the fall. people can always catch up with me at my website,
cantstopwontstop.com and check out my blog to see what i'm obsessing about at any given moment. i don't know if that's healthy, but that's what's up!

DVD REVIEW: Scratch::All the Way Live

It's All the Way Live...>


SCRATCH::All the Way Live (DVD)
Artist: Various Artists
Title: SCRATCH::All the Way Live (DVD)
Rating: ****1/2/*****
Reviewed by: Isis the Alchemist

The original Jazzy Jay, legendary former member of The Soulsonic Force; renowned throughout the universe for his collection of wax over 500,000 pieces strong. The X-Ecutioners, the spin-off crew (no pun intended) formed from the original X-Men founded by DJ Steve Dee. Mix Master Mike, former Beastie Boys DJ. Z-Trip, a vinyl junkie known for juggling and party rocking. This was the lineup for the SCRATCH U.S. tour. All the Way Live (Scratch Recordings/Immortal), the DVD, takes the 95% of you who've never been on tour behind the scenes at Los Angeles' own House of Blues for a glimpse of these multi-talented DJs and turntablists in action.

Even if you saw the Scratch show when it was in your city, shit, even if you were ON the tour -- this is still one to watch, regardless. Comprised of concert footage intercut with behind-the-scenes shots and one-on-one interviews, plus never-before-seen glimpses into the lives and crates of these DJs, this flick lives up to its billing as "an all-star DJ spectacular". All the Way Live breaks down the inner workings of the turntablism scene for those who give a mad fuck; and documents live routines from Jazzy Jay, the X-Ecutioners, Z-Trip and Mix Master Mike for those who just want some action on the 1s and 2s.

For anyone who wants to learn how to cut, scratch, juggle, party rock, or transform from the best, All the Way Live could easily be utilized as a how-to guide for your DVD player, laptop or Playstation 2 system -- alongside two Technics 1200s, a pair of quality headphones, and a Rane mixer. Basically, there's something for everyone on the DVD, except those who want to see footage from a rap concert...Sorry, B, this ain't it. Strictly Hip-Hop from the DJ's perspective, all the way live, real raw deal. Immortal Records & Palm Pictures dropped it, ya'll should cop it then rock it; 'cause you just can't stop it.


Bless Luther Vandross's Life...>

Ever since I first fell in love with Stephan (Rest in Peace) I've been a huge fan of Luther. His voice is one of the few truly electric voices of the post-R&B generation. You know, not Teddy Pendergrass or Marvin Gaye or Al Green, just Luther. I was a fan of the jams like "Never too Much" but it was the slow jams of his like "Creepin'", "If Only For One Night" or "A House is Not a Home" that really got to me. And I always said I wanted to see him live.

I was in the surgical waiting room when the news announced the sad truth - that Luther Vandross had gone back to the essence. I broke down into tears for a moment, and sent blessings to him and to my friend in surgery. He was 54 years old.

Of all of Luther's contributions, one of my favorite songs of all time is a duet with Cheryl Lynn (even though she's a bitch who's anti-Hip Hop, she still has a pretty voice), "If This World Were Mine". Let's see how much I remember....

"If this world were mine, I would place at your feet, all that I own, you've been so good to me, if this world were mine...I'd give you each day, so sunny and new, and if you wanted to moonlight, I'd give you that too, if this world were mine."

Sometimes life takes sharp, devastating turns. It ain't no mystery, when Luther had that stroke and came back from it, he was on a path. He had something left to do. With the song and video "Dance With My Father Again," he made a name for himself among a whole new generation of music lovers, and he sent a message to his Pops. I know that today, Luther is getting the chance to dance with his father again.

Until we meet again, "Oh, my love, A thousand kisses from you is never too much, I just don't wanna stop, Oh, my love, A million days in your arms is never too much..."

VIDEO REVIEWS: Please Stop Re-Making Hip Hop Songs...PLEASE?!

Rims bigger than car...hmmmm...

My ongoing bout with insomnia has me watching videos on Yahoo! Music. For some reason.

Worst new song/video
"I Need Dubs" by Master P
If the rims-n-tires phenomenon weren't already ridiculous enough before this video...do you really need diamonds and other "precious" gems installed into the metal of your rims? Really? There are journalists broke in San Gabriel, P. Bottom line - I'm not happy when rappers take old songs and bastardize them. LL Cool J's "I Need Love" was the pinnacle of Hip Hop simping. To take such quasi-romance and update it with lyrics referencing twenty-inch rims and tires a/k/a "Dubs" should be a crime. Punishable by having a doll made in the rappers likeness, attired in an army suit, that says "uuuggghhhh" when you squeeze it. Oh, shit, that already happened to Percy Miller bleems ago. Oh well. Shit still sucks the big one. COLD WACK
Rating: 1/3*/*****

Best new song/video
"I Ain't Heard of That" by Slim Thug, Bun B and Pharrell "4Real" Williams
YES! I love the Neptunes sound. I love UGK. This is like a musical Reese's Peanut Butter cup. Two great tastes that taste great together. Houston and Virginia Beach, now you know you're in trouble. The visuals only serve to improve the enjoyment of the song. I love the split-screen action. Feelin Phrll's bling-grill. Pharrell look good. I heart Bun B. If you ain't screamin FREE PIMP C, then what is U saying? Slim Thug is my least favorite of the three, but he'll pass in a mad rush. Yes, they're talkin about how they don't pay for women to get their hair and nails did, and that they instead prefer to put women on the hoe stroll while they sip hot cocoa or sizzirrup somewhere until it's "bitch betta have my money time". Still, as guilty pleasures go, 4Real and Bun B rank high, high, high on the list. TASTY.
Rating: ****/*****

Groupie Luv/Hate

Another male groupie (sigh)...>

Okay I've been in the hospital again so I couldn't blog. My friend had a surgery, she's still in a lot of pain. Still can't find a good doctor who respects the Hippocratic oath and don't need his/her PhD revoked; to do the surgery she really needs to truly get better. What was that movie where Denzel hijacked the hospital staff at gunpoint to get the care his family deserved? I haven't yet brought a piece of steel into the hospital with us, but I have a very large boxcutter and I'm not afraid to brandish it. Fix her or get buck-fiftied, bitches!!

Anyways, I was (re)searching something and I came across some old comments I made on UrbanExpose. The topic was Urban Box Office's demise and the sub-topic was, as I like to call them, "groupies-with-pens". People were calling out the name Dream Hampton, and I was saying...well...this

"I'm certain I'll catch mad flack for this post, but fuck it, here goes nothing. I am SO FUCKING SICK of the double standard. I don't know Dream Hampton personally, but I have to give her props for being a female journalist in this shit - I know how hard it is. I am tired of hearing people talk shit about her, and other women, because of who it is rumoured that they may have slept with. Why is a woman a hoe if she sleeps with X amount of men, while if a man sleeps with X amount of women, he's given props and accolades? Fuck that, I know 'nuff male hoes. Furthermore, you don't see Foxy Brown getting reamed in the media for fucking Ron Isley, R. Kelly, Allen Iverson, AZ, Kurupt, and other assorted industry/music/sports figures. And finally, the only reason you don't hear about male journalists sleeping with female artists is that the majority of the boy writers are fat and/or ugly and/or old and/or white, and very few of them have any semblance of game about themselves. However, if as an example Elliot Wilson slept with Lil Kim, he would be given props, pats on the back, kudos, big ups, etc. - UNLESS IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT HE ALSO ATE HER PUSSY. I'm done. The real, thinking people here know that this shit is a double standard and is mad tired. No more whispering in the hallways please. Keep it real. MJ"

Then I said this... "Well. First let me say this - it is not that we should defend Dream. I am simply using her as an example. Just like the Elliot Wilson/Lil Kim aside is not factual, just juxtaposing that possibility against the female journalist/male MC, DJ, Producer, etc. thing. Now "Lisa" I have never seen you apologize, and I accept your apology. However, I am heterosexual, and if I weren't so what? How would that skew my integrity or my standpoint at all? It would not. And if I were a lesbian, and I chose to have lesbian love with Lyte, or Latifah, or Missy, or any number of the rumoured-to-be-gay female artists out there - again I would be labeled a "hoe". The problem is not Dream Hampton. The problem is the treatment of women within the industry. I can't tell which came first - the chicken or the egg - did women become "groupies and whores" to get ahead in the industry, or did "groupies and hoes" push their way into jobs without the resumes to back them up? The point is it doesn't matter as long as there is this incredibly obvious lack of social equality. Men and women are not the same, I would be the last person to define equality as the two being identical. I'm just saying, CAN MYSELF AND MY SISTAS GET SOME MOTHAFUCKEN RESPECT UP IN THIS BITCH!?! Peace y'all. MJ"

In between the two, someone called me gay, someone else called me cute, someone else called me fat...the point is that these posts are ANCIENT, UE was crackin before I moved to NY the second time to work for Complex, which was in 2000. So nothing has changed about my politics or thoughts or rhetoric. Just thought I'd share. And Dream, if you're out there, I've still got your back. And to all the women out there, in the industry or not, get yours. People are going to hate on you, regardless. They're going to talk shit, regardless. Folks will call you names and downplay your worth, regardless. No matter what you do, especially if your work-product sells like hoecakes or makes a lot of money for your company or boss, don't worry - you will not receive credit, thanks, accolades, or the bare minimum of respect for your efforts. It's all just part of the joy of having ovaries, a uterus, and all that good stuff. And 99% of us wouldn't trade it for anything, well, maybe we'd trade the excruiciating menstrual cramps...



p.s. A B-Boy invited me to be his guest at a jam out of town a couple of days ago, and I'm thinking of going. He said he hates having other B-Boys all up in his mix, but that he "Don't mind them seeing him whisper in my ear" the whole weekend. I am 100% sure he's never heard "the whisper song" and when he said what he said, it was the antithesis of that bullshit. Definitely a signpost on the path. God is great.