Saturday, June 30, 2012
OUR HOMIE KAZANOVA THE GREAT ONE CONTINUES TO CARRY THE FLAG FOR THE DIRTY POLITIC MOVEMENT WITH ANOTHER GREAT VIDEO Kazanova – “Closure (I'm Sorry For...)”. THIS SONG IS DEFINITLY ONE THAT WE CAN ALL RELATE TO ITS EVIDENT BY THE 300 VIEWS IT GOT IN THE FIRST WEEK IT WAS ON YOUTUBE. IT DEALS WITH A NASTY BREAK HE HAD WITH AN EX-GIRLFRIEND, I KNOW NOVA ON A PERSONAL LEVEL SO I KNOW THAT THIS WAS A SONG THAT WAS VERY PERSONAL FOR HIM AND I KNOW HE HAD TO GO TO A DEEP PLACE INSIDE HIMSELF TO WRITE IT. IT WAS FILMED AND EDITED BY THE GOOD FOLKS OVER @ DETOX LIGHTNING MEDIA. CHECK THE VIDEO AND A SHORT CONVERSATION WE HAD WITH HIM BACK IN 2010.
Monday, June 25, 2012
By Truth Minista Paul Scott
During a recent episode of BET’s (Black Entertainment Television), Friday Rap Battle, the crowd went wild as the champ, B. Grimey, dropped bombastic bombs on the challenger, MC Imhotep. By the time he said his third “yo mama so Black” rhyme, the celebrity judges were applauding loudly as hosts, Clarence J and Rosie danced across the stage. However, when MC Imhotep started rappin’ about how Grimey’s sneakers were made from sweatshop slave labor, his bling courtesy of South African diamond mines, and his swag a product of a dysfunctional educational system, the audience sat dumbfounded, and the judges ran for cover as Terence J yelled “cut to commercial….”
Hip-Hop has a long history of beef with intelligent rappers. I remember back in the day when Kangol Kid of UTFO dissed fellow group member EMD, “The Educated Rapper” in front of Roxanne, with the classic line “I know you’re educated/But when will you learn/Not all girls want to be involved with book worms.” Since EMD was just a character who wasn’t exactly known for droppin’ knowledge, it was understood as just part of the act.
However, when rappers infer that intelligent MCs are just hatin’ on him and his crew because they are “winning,” that, sir, means war! In fairness, over years more than a few commercially successful rappers have taken random shots at intellectual rappers. Remember back in 2002, Nelly aimed a diss at “tha Teacha,” KRS-ONE, when he said that people judging Hip-Hop are the ones whose album flop on his song “Number 1.” Ouch.
So, does Hip-Hop really despise smart rappers? Historically, America has always feared intelligent Black men. Even going back to the early 19th Century with Nat Turner. Although he is portrayed in history books as a mindless brute, runnin’ around slaughtering slave owners, Turner was intelligent. Also, even though the Black Panthers of the late 1960s were known for bustin’ their guns, it must remembered that the party was founded on a college campus, and their main threat to the power structure was their political education classes. Today, since Hip-Hop is dominated by Black male voices, the paranoia is still there.
Although Ice T is mostly known for his pimp and gun talk, his most threatening lyric was “my lethal weapon is my mind.” That still holds true today as, although White mainstream Americans profess to hate violent, misogynist rap music, the reason why they back it financially and give it a platform is because of their fear of the alternative; music that will inspire Black people to challenge the status quo.
So, it is not really hate that fuels the animosity against intelligence in rap, but fear. And when this fear is internalized, it morphs into self-hatred. As Marianne Williamson said in her oft quoted poem, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure.”
Although some rappers are actually intellectually challenged in real life, many are just playing dumb. One of the best examples is one of the hottest rappers in the game right now, 2Chainz. Although, he is rumored to be academically gifted and, according to his website, even down with the Hip-Hop Congress’s “Respect My Vote” campaign, the message that he sends our children does not reflect any of that. His latest songs, “Riot” and “Rich Man’s World” could have easily been the political anthems of the Occupy Wall Street/Trayvon Martin Era, but instead he chose to continue with the same misogynistic tales of murder and mayhem.
So what do we do? We declare war.
Contrary to popular belief, there has never been an all out war against Hip-Hop ignorance. The solutions are simple. First, we have to stop parroting the lie that the reason that Hip-Hop is in its present state because that is what “we” want. Uh…no, “we” don’t.
Unfortunately, anyone who is smarter than a fifth grader is, somehow, always left out of the official Hip-Hop census. Also, conscious rappers and Hip-Hop journalists need to stop goin’ out like suckas. Although, playing dumb may be an entrance requirement for the cool kids table for high school freshman, when adults dumb themselves down to fit in with their kid’s homies…Well, that’s just wrong.
Finally, as unbelievable as it might sound, the best sage wisdom comes courtesy of the late Notorious B.I.G. on his song “Unbelievable”. “Dumb rappers need teachin’.” If we can’t make being smart cool, at least we can make being stupid, uncool.
So, we ain’t mad because you’re winnin’. We’re mad because of lyrics like yours, our children are losin’.
Although, school is out for the summer, we have to admit that for Hip-Hop, school has been out for decades. It’s time ring the bell and yell, “Class is back in session!”
A generation ago, KRS One proclaimed, “The age of the ignorant rapper is done.” Unfortunately, we’ve been singin’ that same song for 20 summers. Maybe this year, KRS. Maybe this year….
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Los Angeles rapper-turned-actor Ice-T made his solo album debut in 1987 with Rhyme Pays, waxing poetic with his pimp philosophies and hustler hijinks. While west coast crime scenes became the basis for Ice-T’s cinematic tales of fun and violence in the sun, the crafty veteran was always searching for other ways to challenge his artistic temperament. Flipping the script in 1991, Ice starred as a cop in the classic crack-era film New Jack City, and proceeded to establish yet another pimpin’ path that today includes various films, a regular gig on NBC’s Law & Order: SVU and the E! reality show Ice Loves Coco with his pinup-worthy wife, Nicole “Coco” Austin.
Now Ice is stepping behind the camera, making his directorial debut with The Art of Rap (Indomina Media), a documentary about hip-hop’s continuous rise in popularity. Ice gets personal with his lyrical peers, who reveal their own process of transforming life into a perfect blend of street swagger, urban poetics and pop-culture success. The film, which received positive reviews at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, is scheduled to hit theaters nationwide June 15.
Turn the mic up.
What was the motivation behind making this film?
ICE-T: I have a sincere love for hip-hop. Hip-hop had a lot to do with getting me out of trouble and putting me in the position I am in today. I’m totally aware of its power. With artists like Public Enemy, Queen Latifah, Ice Cube, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, KRS-One, the music was able to change the world. This film is my way of giving back to hip-hop. When I came into rap, I came from L.A. and kind of had to come and bow down to the Zulu Nation and have them co-sign me to get into rap. There were times if you weren’t from New York City and you didn’t have the right connections, you couldn’t rap.
Was that when you started working with Zulu member DJ Afrika Islam?
I was introduced to the Zulu Nation where hip-hop started, in the Bronx. They taught me that hip-hop required skill. If you wanted to be the DJ, the breakdancer, a graffiti artist, you don’t want to be a toy, you want to be a bomber. You want to be respected for your skills. But more recently, I started seeing this art form that I love becoming diluted, because once you take the skill level out of it, hip-hop just becomes a joke.
What do you want the audience to learn?
The passion and respect that should be connected to hip-hop, that’s really what I want. Ninety percent of the new rappers, they got skills, they can rhyme, but they don’t have any real guidance. But, there are 10 percent who don’t give a fuck, and it’s a joke to them. It’s about whatever they gotta do to get money. That is poisoning hip-hop. To some people, hip-hop is symbolic, like a church. If you say something bad about rap, muthafuckas want to fight. I hope my film helps hit the reset button on the hip-hop scene. I want to make the old-timers feel good and show the new kids where it’s been so they know where it should go.
Monday, June 18, 2012
BLACK MUSIC HISTORY MONTH
While I disagree with about oh.......98.9% of the shit that George Bush Jr + Sr did while they were in the White House and in other high ranking positions that they held in our government. I must give Jr his props on starting Black Music Month, or at least having the first one on 2005. It's a small step and may seem insignificant but hey he did something. Bush acknowleges the works of some of our greatest musicians but let me add some names to the list here
GILL SCOTT HERON
CHARLES "BIRD" PARKER
AND THIS LIST CAN GO ON FOR DAYS BUT YOU GET MY POINT
Praising their works as "...the voice of hope in the face of injustice,"
President Bush recounted the artistry of famed black musicians, like Robert Johnson, Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday, in proclaiming June 2005 as Black Music month. "Black music's origins are found in the work songs and spirituals that bore witness to the cruelty of bondage and the strength of faith," wrote the President.
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America
During Black Music Month, we pay tribute to a rich musical tradition and honor the many contributions African-American musicians, singers, and composers have made to the culture of our Nation and to the world. This powerful, moving, and soulful music speaks to every heart, lifting us in times of sorrow and helping us celebrate in times of joy.
Black music's origins are found in the work songs and spirituals that bore witness to the cruelty of bondage and the strength of faith. In the strains of those songs, we hear the voice of hope in the face of injustice. From those roots, black music has grown into a diverse collection of styles, and it continues to evolve today. Black music captures a part of the American spirit and continues to have a profound impact on our country.
This month is an opportunity to reflect upon the achievements of African-American artists and to look forward to the future. We remember Robert Johnson, Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and countless others for their love of music and their pioneering and passionate spirit. We celebrate today's musicians who continue to build upon the rich and vital heritage of black music.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
MANCHESTER, Tennessee — Questlove always has a few tricks up his sleeve, and the Roots drummer saved his one of his biggest stunts in recent history for Saturday night's (June 10th) "Superjam" session at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Just a couple hours after the Roots finished their own set on the festival's main stage, D'Angelo joined Questlove for his first U.S. performance in over a decade.
The Superjam session (billed as "?uestlove with very special guests") didn't kick off until well after midnight at "This Tent," and Quest wasn't on the stage for long before he proudly introduced the legendary R&B singer to the crowd, telling them, "I've been waiting 12 years to say this: Ladies and gentleman, D'Angelo!"
'What I wanted to do was recreate the magic of the songwriting process at the time when I was taking residency in Electric Lady Studios," he explained, referencing Jimi Hendrix's studio facility built in New York's West Village in 1970. "I made that my central location from 1996 'til about 2004, and during that time that's where D'Angelo's Voodoo album as created, Mos Def's Black on Both Sides was created, and even some of Phrenology and The Tipping Point was created," he said. "That was really the central location for our soul querying catalog, so what I've done [for the Superjam] is gathered a cast of characters to show what a night in that period was like."
And what exactly what a typical night in Electric Lady Studios like? "Around 3 a.m., we would sit around bored and decide what album to re-do," he reminisced. "So let's say Prince's Under the Cherry Moon album — we would get in the studio and karaoke-style do the album from start to finish. But if at any point we started playing something that sounded good, we kept playing the groove over it, then all the music would go away, the drums would still go ... and it slowly morphed into another song. That was our songwriting process. So tonight, eight musicians of historical significance will be on stage and when we're in that circle, it's just gonna be the eight of us. I'm not even gonna look at the thousands of people watching."
The thousands of people who were watching had a hard time believing that D'Angelo was really jamming at the late-night set, and it's safe to say that not one of them was "bored" as Questlove joked they might be. The next time fans will be able to catch D'Angelo live is at the upcoming Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, where he'll likely treat crowds to his own classics.
D'Angelo pops up on stage with Questlove for a jam session
Get More: Music News
D'Angelo Live in London 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
If you know anything about ATX hip hop history, especially from the late 1980s and early to mid 90s then you have to be aware of O.G. Fatal or M.C. Fatal or Mr.B as he has been know by in the past. I was one that always watched this cat from a distance yet i always looked up to Fatal and cats like Papa Chuck, DJ Casanova, Big Scar and many others that were pioneers in the local Austin hip hop scene. While Austins hip hop history does not get as much national exposure as the Dallas and Houston scene it is one that is rich with Hip Hop music. The thing about it is that most of the cats that were doing it on a local level have moved away to other cities or don't really talk about the early days of Austin hip hop. Meeting Fatal was quite an experience it was all that I expected and a bit more. I had to balance the time out. I wanted to pick his brain about the history of hip hop in the city but i also wanted to make sure that we got as many songs done as possible. I told him that he would have to come back and let me record his account of the early days of hip hop here in Austin. Anyway here is one of the songs that we got to complete called "Flyer Than I" it features Ghetto Angel and myself (MIRAGE512). This particular version will appear on Fatal's next album coming soon.
Saturday, June 9, 2012
In my effort to ramp up my media presence, I shot 2 videos this past May. I shot a video for my first single "Artistpreneur" off new project Art & Commerce. I also shot a video for a song that i was featured on with Austin Fuze & Kazanova The Great One. For Artistpreneur I commissioned a local graffiti artist Nathan Sloke Nordstrom to paint a custom burner for the video, I caught some footage of him painting the piece. Check it out and stay tuned for the official Artistpreneur music video coming July 2012 WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/MIRAGE512FILMZ