Sunday, December 31, 2006


It's not illegal YET.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam Got Iced....

Silencing Saddam

Dec. 29, 2006

by Robert Scheer

It is a very frightening precedent that the United States can invade a country on false pretenses, depose its leader and summarily execute him without an international trial or appeals process. This is about vengeance, not justice, for if it were the latter the existing international norms would have been observed. The trial should have been overseen by the World Court, in a country that could have guaranteed the safety of defense lawyers, who, in this case, were killed or otherwise intimidated.

The irony here is that the crimes for which Saddam Hussein was convicted occurred before the United States, in the form of Donald Rumsfeld, embraced him. Those crimes were well known to have occurred 15 months before Rumsfeld visited Iraq to usher in an alliance between the United States and Saddam to defeat Iran.

The fact is that Saddam Hussein knew a great deal about the United States’ role in Iraq, including deals made with Bush’s father. This rush to execute him had the feel of a gangster silencing the key witness to a crime.

At Nuremberg in the wake of World War II the U.S. set the bar very high by declaring that even the Nazis, who had committed the most heinous of crimes, should have a fair trial. The U.S. and allies insisted on this not to serve those charged, but to educate the public through a believable accounting. In the case of Saddam, the bar was lowered to the mud, with the proceedings turned into a political circus reminiscent of Stalin’s show trials.

Monday, December 25, 2006

James Brown R.I.P.

Here's the song that got me into James Brown while I was in High School and made me go back and explore his music in depth..."I'm Real"

Thursday, December 21, 2006

New Year's Celebration...Dancehall Style

Check It Out....

"The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you." -Ezekiel 25:17

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

$99.7 Billion MORE To Keep Killing???

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon wants the White House to seek an additional $99.7 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to information provided to The Associated Press.

The military's request, if embraced by President Bush and approved by Congress, would boost this year's budget for those wars to about $170 billion.

Military planners assembled the proposal at a time when Bush is developing new strategies for Iraq, such as sending thousands of more U.S. troops there, although it was put together before the president said the troop surge was under consideration.

Overall, the war in Iraq has cost about $350 billion. Combined with the conflict in Afghanistan and operations against terrorism elsewhere, the cost has topped $500 billion, according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service.

The additional funds, if approved, would push this year's cost of the war in Iraq to about $50 billion over last year's record. In September, Congress approved an initial $70 billion for the current budget year, which began Oct. 1.

A description of the Pentagon request was provided by a person familiar with the proposal who asked for anonymity because the person was not authorized to release the information.

The cost of the war has risen dramatically as the security situation has deteriorated and more equipment is destroyed or worn out in harsh conditions. The Army, which has borne the brunt of the fighting, would receive about half of the request, a reflection of the wear and tear that the war has had on soldiers and their equipment.

An additional $9.8 billion is being sought for training and equipping Iraq's and Afghanistan's security forces.

The administration's request for more Iraq money will be submitted along with Bush's budget in February for the 2008 budget year, which starts next Oct. 1. The White House can add or subtract from the Pentagon request as it sees fit, and the total could grow if money is added for reconstruction costs.

In a memo several weeks ago, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England encouraged the services to include in their budget requests projects connected to the broader fight against terrorism, as opposed to costs strictly limited to Iraq and Afghanistan. Critics have said that could be interpreted to cover almost anything.

The budget request includes:

• $41.5 billion to cover the costs of ongoing military operations.

• $26.7 billion for replacing and repairing equipment damaged or destroyed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

• $10 billion for body armor and other equipment to protect U.S. troops from attack.

• $2.5 billion to combat roadside bombs and other improvised explosive devices.

• $2.7 billion for intelligence activities.

Whatever request emerges from the Bush administration will go to a new Congress controlled by Democrats highly critical of the Iraq war and Bush's handling of it.

Even so, there is much sentiment among Democrats to protect troops and much fear about being portrayed as unsympathetic to men and women in uniform. These factors probably would overwhelm any efforts by anti-war Democrats to use the debate over the Iraq money to take on Bush's conduct of the war.

Democrats have promised, however, to give the upcoming request greater scrutiny than Republicans did when considering Bush's previous requests.

"Democrats are committed to ensuring out troops have all that they need, but we're going to return oversight to spending on the war," said Jim Manley, spokesman for incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. "Our troops must have everything they need, but Halliburton shouldn't get everything it wants."

Halliburton Co. is a Texas-based oil services conglomerate once led by Vice President Dick Cheney. Bush administration officials have come under fire since the beginning of the war in Iraq for awarding more than $10 billion to the company and its subsidiaries in 2003 and 2004, some of it in no-bid contracts. There have been allegations of fraud, poor work, overpricing and other abuse, which the company has denied.

Democrats such as incoming Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad of North Dakota have grown increasingly critical of the fact that Iraq spending is kept on a set of books separate from the rest of government operations.

The Vietnam War cost an inflation-adjusted $121 billion at its height in 1968, according to the Congressional Research Service. The overall tally for Vietnam is $663 billion, adjusted for inflation, and Iraq costs are rapidly catching up.
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Vintage Dancehall Session....

This is when the dancehall vibes were cool....Wicked piece of footage.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Hustle Simmons & Blood Diamonds

Will someone please slap this fool?

By Davey D.

I watched Russell Simmons on CNN the other day and saw what many may have considered a strange sight. He was on there basically slamming the new movie ' Blood Diamonds' and demanding that its parent company Warner Brothers be responsible with what they put out there because it could unduly influence the public.

When I heard that, I said to myself, I will forever quote Russell whenever I engage some of these industry types about the type of material they are releasing to the public. After all if a big time music mogul like Simmons is calling for restraint and balance because he see the potential for undue effect, then its time for the industry to clean itself up. After all, who would know better?

But pushing that aside, this is not what that's about. In this CNN interview Russell said its important that all of us know our history. It is with that sentiment in mind, that I found it strange to hear Simmons defending the diamond trade in South Africa and Botswana, which were the two countries he recently visited on a 'fact-finding' mission.

Please note that the horrific bloodshed and genocide of the early 90s which the movie 'Blood Diamonds' focuses on took place in countries like Sierra Leone and Angola. In my opinion those conflict zones should've been included in any sort of fact finding mission. By only going to Botswana and South Africa and defending their diamond trade Simmons by default wound up defending the De Beers Company which for years had a worldwide monopoly and brutally ruled the diamond business in those two countries.
For folks who aren't old enough to remember, De Beers was set up by a colonizer named Cecil Rhodes (yes the same Cecil Rhodes who the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship is named after). He took over what we now call Zimbabwe and called it Rhodesia. His De Beers diamond company was and will forever be in many people's minds associated with the brutal Apartheid regime of South Africa.

I recall as a kid hearing all sorts of horror stories about how the Black majority population in South Africa were forced to work in diamond mines in subhuman conditions for pennies a day by the De Beers owners with the military backing and blessings of the white Apartheid government. Many Blacks were killed or crippled by cruel De Beer bosses and Afrikaner police when they went on strike to demand better work conditions. It was more then troubling to see how these workers were forced to mine diamonds off their own land and have these colonizers sell them all over the world thus making both the De Beers company and the White South African government rich and powerful.

It's interesting to note that we didn't call those South African diamonds 'blood diamonds' back in the 80s when many of us in the Hip Hop generation first became aware of all the atrocities, but in many ways they really were. The blood of Black south Africans were on many of those De Beer stones.

If that wasn't bad enough, De Beer had a nasty practice of keeping diamonds off the market so they could artificially raise prices and create an illusion of scarcity. This practice was highlighted in the 'Blood Diamonds' movie.

The brutality of Apartheid along with the horrors of the diamond trade was what motivated many of us as young college to become involved in the Anti-Apartheid Movement where we demanded that our universities and other US businesses divest any and all funds from South African businesses.

Many compared 'Apartheid' with the 'Holocaust' because of how harshly whites treated the Black majority. Sadly we had in people in power like then president Ronald Reagan, Senator Dick Cheney, and later President George Bush Sr. along with Israel all staunchly supporting this white terrorist Apartheid government every step of the way.
They refused to go along with and vetoed every single UN proposed sanction. They called then incarcerated Nelson Mandela and his organization the African National Congress (ANC), terrorists who were to be feared. There was even a point where right-wing knuckleheads in this country advocated that we actually purchase South African diamonds as a way to oppose the ANC because they were getting help from Fidel Castro and communist organizations. Remember the folks in power who guarded our beloved Democracy here in the US were doing very little to end Apartheid. This is the 'history', as Russell Simmons pointed out, we should always remember and never downplay or conveniently overlook.

Now during his CNN interview Simmons noted that he understood De Beers had a bad history, but times have changed and that this once notorious diamond company had also changed for the better. Simmons noted that up to 80% of De Beers diamond profits now go back to South Africans and that the money generated from diamond sales now allow Africans an opportunity to get a stronger economic foothold.

As I listened to him run all this down, I kept saying to myself 'Fuck That! De Beers shouldn't own any of those diamond mines. In the backdrop of all the brutality that occurred over the years, there should be NO splitting of any profits. It should be a full 100% controlled and owned by Africans. Hearing Simmons somehow defend the diamond trade while including De Beer company representatives at his press conference in NY last week, would be like Jewish leaders inviting the representatives of a company once owned Adolf Hitler to a meeting where they explain how and why it make sense to split profits with a company with a people that built a business around them being slaughter and their natural resources stolen.

I know in South Africa, they have this 'Truth and Reconciliation' thing jumping off where a lot of the atrocities of the past have been overlooked and forgiven. But for many of us here in the US there was no truth and reconciliation process. Many of us have vivid memories where we emotionally bled and emphasized with the plight of our South African brethren. The memory of De Beers being a stalwart of the White Apartheid regime is still firmly etched in many of our minds.
The money that De Beers and others have sunk into launching today's PR campaign to counteract the overriding message of the movie 'Blood Diamonds' was never used to by them to go around the world, apologize and try and make right the role they played in keeping the Apartheid regime running. In fact, the folks from De Beers hanging with Russell and explaining that things are now somehow different is the first time many of us have heard from them since the Apartheid days 15-20 years ago.

Heck, I don't even recall seeing or hearing any mass media PR campaigns from this company when all that horrific bloodshed and genocide was taking place in Sierra Leone. De Beers wasn't running around showing up on BET or CNN back in the early 90s explaining that they had nothing to do with Blood Diamond conflict in that region.

With respect to Russell Simmons, he said that on his fact finding mission he was asked by leaders of Botswana and South Africa to come back and deliver a message about the 'real facts' surrounding diamonds. First he pointed out that he went to the diamond minds in Botswana and everything he witnesses seemed up to speed and that there were no abuses taking place.

Next, he pointed out that blood diamonds are only 1% of the diamonds being purchased worldwide He also noted that the diamonds we buy today go and directly help Africans. He then cited Nelson Mandela as one of the leaders who asked him to pass this message along to counteract the message many would be getting in the movie 'Blood Diamonds'.

Now a couple of things need to be kept in mind. A good friend and fellow writer Nida Khan of the Source raised the question at Russell's press conference if he would've really been exposed to the harsh conditions and unsavory behavior that still goes on in many of these diamond minds? Would the governments of Botswana or South Africa really show such a high profile figure with media access the dirt that goes on behind the scenes and off camera?

The second thing to keep in mind, if Russell is delivering a message from Nelson Mandela, why didn't Mandela himself, a Noble Peace Prize winner who is admired and recognized all around the world, issue his own statement and hold his own press conference? No disrespect to Russell, but why speak for a guy like Mandela on such a volatile subject? Now perhaps I missed something, but I searched Google, Yahoo and a number of South African newspapers. I couldn't find anything about Mandela speaking on this issue. I did see a couple of articles with Noble laureate Bishop Desmond Tutu coming out against the Botswanian government and De Beers sister company bushing the Bushmen off their native land In fact as I am writing this I'm going to do one last search. I

Thus far I checked the following papers in South Africa
Business Day (Johannesburg)
Mail and Guardian (Johannesburg)
Sun Times (Johannesburg)
Sunday Independent (Johannesburg)
In all these papers I did not see one mention of Nelson Mandela talking about how us buying diamond encrusted pieces from Jacob the Jeweler or any other diamond dealer here in the US was somehow going to be saving Africans. Folks are welcome to do the search themselves. I'm not perfect, so maybe I overlooked something.

Most of the articles I read spoke about the connection and partial ownership De Beers has with the main diamond company in Botswana called Debswana. Many of the articles focused on how the Bushmen in Botswana have been tricked and forced to get off their native land so De Beers and everyone else can mine diamonds. Most importantly many of the articles focused on how the average person in Africa is not seeing the benefits of all those diamond sales. The whole scenario reminds me of how we been tricked into going along with the lottery. Everybody buys lottery tickets to help get much needed money to improve our school systems however, public schools from NY to Cali are still in shambles.

In the Capetown Daily News I did come across an interesting story that talks about how the United States state department is making all sorts of moves to counter the message of Blood Diamonds. They feel the movie can have adverse effect on the economy. It's a story I haven't seen here in local papers out here in Cali.

As I read the story I could only shake my head because when it comes to the people in power they are all too familiar with how influential pop culture can be. They understand the power of image and lyrics and all that. They clearly understand that this stuff is 'not just entertainment' as many would like to believe. So it's not just Russell running around defending the diamond industry it's our own government. Go figure. I guess some things never change. It's the same government that defended De Beers during Apartheid. It's the same Government defending De Beers now that movie 'Blood Diamonds' is out. Here's that article.

The only positive article I saw regarding how diamonds are somehow helping out Africans was in South Africa's Business Day newspaper. It's an opinion piece that was published in August 2006. I saw no other articles supporting this claim or remotely touching upon this in recent months and weeks leading up to and now that 'Blood Diamonds' is out. We should also note the recent so called studies that some are citing about the benefits of the diamond trade are financed by the diamond industry.

One thing Russell did say on CNN which I agree with is that Hollywood and many others had never given a damn about Blood Diamonds. He rhetorically asked where were all the movies and films when genocide was taking place in the early 90s? It's a good question that many will have to wrestle with. That would include then President Bill Clinton, The NAACP and dozens of other organizations and churches.

Sadly many of us within Hip Hop around the time of all this bloodshed had suddenly abandoned our leather African Medallions and started blinging out with platinum and diamonds. This would include some of the artists that Russell himself worked with. If you recall, when all this slaughter was going on in Sierra Leone, many of us were watching Biggie and 2Pac videos talking about how jiggy we were. We all have to own up to our collective silence and ignorance on one of Africa's most devastating periods.

But with all that being said, the debate is being raised now and it's important that we both understand history and the politics of the day. One thing that I find especially troubling is that while De Beers is launching an all out PR campaign and Russell is telling us to go buy diamonds to support Africa, I still have yet to go to a diamond district in NY, LA or here in the Bay Area and see some cats from Botswana or Black South Africans selling me some diamonds wholesale in store they own 100%.
I see commercials everyday from diamond retailers like Zales, Tiffanys and 'Paul from the Diamond Center', but I never see us Black folks doing the selling.

It seems like when half the rap community goes out to purchase diamond encrusted grillz to make their mouths look like 'disco balls', they are usually purchased from fellow rap star Paul Wall. Is the money he's charging for all those 30 thousand dollar plus grillz going to help Africans build a clinic to fight AIDs in Botswana? Is Lil Wayne, Nelly, Jermaine Dupri and other grill wearers sporting those gaudy mouth pieces with the intent of helping impoverished Africans?

I can't call it, but stuff don't seem right. As for me I'm not buying any diamonds, especially if they're from De Beers or any other company connected to them. If we really wanna help out Africa how about making sure the debts they incurred from first world nations when they got rid of colonizers is forgiven and forever erased. How about us demanding that they be allowed to use generic drugs to fight the scorch of HIV and Aids and not be caught up in some super rich drug company lobbying our government to put the screws to Africa because they violated some unfair trade agreement. How about we look at the insidious ways in which countries like Belgium manipulated things to help cause some of the wars that led to genocide over diamonds. Lets bring those people to justice.

Anyway in 2006 I'd rather buy some damn property before I buy diamonds. If you're really about blinging hold a land deed not a stupid diamond chain.

Something to think about…

Davey D

Friday, December 08, 2006

One To Ponder...

It is very nearly impossible to become an educated person in a country so distrustful of the independent mind.--James Baldwin

Hip-Hop Can Be Grown Up Music Too...

Who The Hell Am I? Has Jay-Z Outgrown Hip-Hop?
by Andres Hale

November 21st 2006 marked the day that Jay-Z returned from his proposed "retirement." The expectations were set ridiculously high for Young Hova but if anyone could exceed expectations, the Jiggaman could….right? Apparently not. Although "Show Me What You Got" became a burner in the clubs, some predicted that this Jay-Z album just wouldn't be up to snuff. Then the reviews began to surface. Definitely not up to Jay-Z standards. The marketing push that Jay put behind the album was unprecedented (from Monday Night Football ads to Budweiser commercials and, of course, the Jay-Z Hangar Tour) and resulted in first week sales reaching close to 700k but the critics and the streets began to speak.

"But what may cause the most arguments is that S. Carter seems to be representing Park Avenue more than the Marcy Projects on this album. True, false, or irrelevant?" – (rating 3.5 out of 5)

"The material shows a lack of direction from an MC whose age and position put him in uncharted waters." – (rating 3.5 out of 5)

"Not to abuse the tired cliche of "grown folks music", but this is it, defined." – (rating 4 out of 5)

"…like athletes, we expect rappers to disappear when they turn 30. We have no use for them as they become older and more comfortable with themselves-- even if their minds are as sharp as ever…But that's Kingdom Come: Jay boringly rapping about boring stuff and being totally comfortable with it" – (rating 5 out of 10)

"Jay-Z is hip-hop, yes, but the dirty little secret that he likes us to ignore is that hip-hop is not Jay-Z" – (rating 7 out of 10)

Wow…look at that last statement and then plant it alongside the other clips. Does anyone see a recurring theme here? While most of the reviews couldn't argue with how Jay-Z is the "kingpin of the ink pen/monster of the double entendre" the problems arise about Jay's subject matter. Gone are the days of "Sex murder and mayhem romance for the street" and instead we get riddles of "good credit and such." Sadly, in Hip Hop this has become blasphemy. But why has the dream materialized become so incredibly out of touch? Why does Hip Hop have to be hustlin', pimpin' and slangin'? Although Kingdom Come didn't deliver the goods as expected (according to the general consensus), it did tear open a gaping generation gap question that needs to be addressed. Has Jay-Z and artists like him outgrown his audience?
What Jay-Z has become is a dream materialized. Hip Hop has been deeply rooted in the struggle to come up and achieve a dream. But when that dream is achieved does that mean the struggle stops? Obviously so, according to many. See, there's a big difference in struggling for food as opposed to struggling to maintain wealth and health. Hip Hop has never really seen a dream materialize, rather many dreams have been halted abruptly. Just when Tupac and Biggie were hitting their collective strides their lives were ended by a hail of bullets.

The question has always been asked "What If…" and the answer is "Jay-Z."

Jay-Z has become the only artist that has allowed his growth to be caught on record. There were no voids where Jay grew and we didn't see it. Jay-Z has always been in the spotlight. So as he matured, so did his music. And now he's at a point where we have witnessed his growth into a successful black man with more money than you can shake a stick at.

There are two lines in "30 Something" that encompasses the "grown up" part of Jay-Z…

"I don't buy out the bar, I bought the nightspot"

"Young enough to know the right car to buy/Yet grown enough not to put rims on it…"

The former is about just being flat out rich. Nothing more, nothing less. Jay-Z has more money than you (or he) has ever thought of and can now do things that were out of Hip-Hop's collective reach. Instead of purchasing from someone, wouldn't it be better to own it? It's as simple as "why buy a drink for 'x' amount of dollars when I can own the club that has the bar that sells drinks for 'x' amount of dollars?" The math is so simple, yet so complex. Many of us love basketball, so why not own a team? Jay-Z did it, now you see how many others have followed in his footsteps. But wait…don't you need "good credit and such" to own a team?
The latter is about knowledge of wealth. As simple as the line is perceived to be, it speaks in volumes about Hip Hop culture today. Excess, materialism, etc. Jay-Z understands that rims look nice but have no added value for a vehicle and thus can be disposable. But how many of us understand that? I mean seriously…how many of us understand that owning a house is far more important than having a Dodge Magnum on 24's? Rather ironic that we are entrenched in a culture so obsess with money yet has no idea what to do once we have it.

But in a consumer driven economy, the truth is that we are supposed to like rims and spend our hard earned dollars on bullshit. We've all been through it one way or another. So when someone like Jay-Z flips the script and talks about "good credit" do you think that this is what the economy wants to hear? Better yet, do the old owners of rims, jewelry and other excess want you to consider saving your money and your credit so you can one day own a business or a team or a corporation or even them? Hell no!

Mass Media has done a helluva job convincing us that the glass ceiling is closer to our heads than we originally thought. By using Hip Hop as a tool to promote hamburgers, GAP clothing and cars instead of fighting against sexism, racism and other numerous forms of oppression, they powers that be have beaten us at our own game.

So back to this statement…
"Jay-Z is hip-hop, yes, but the dirty little secret that he likes us to ignore is that hip-hop is not Jay-Z"

So who dictates what is Hip Hop and what isn't? Why is Hip Hop not Jay-Z? Is that saying that good credit and financial responsibility are not Hip Hop? It has to obviously be scary to concede to the fact that it isn't Jay-Z and people that look like Jay-Z who make Hip Hop, rather it be the old white CEOs who sit atop their thrones while throwing to us what they think is hip hop. But we are no better because we believe what they tell us.
As much as we would like to believe that we are trendsetters and "exclusive", we are mere followers to the bigger machine. A machine that feeds us these vices and fills our little heads with pipe dreams and such to the point that achieving them isn't even important anymore.

The name of the game today is to go out there and try while looking good without actually achieving. Because if you do in fact "make it", you'll be labeled a sell-out. There's nothing flashy about a jump shot…except that its worth two points (and last time I checked the team with the most points wins). Instead we would rather dribble off of your head, do a cartwheel, and try a 360 layup with nobody defending us. We'd rather bask in the glory of oohs and ahhs and miss the fuckin' rim completely rather than sink a boring ol' jump shot. We love the journey but don't want to see the ending. Because when the proposed "end" comes…what is left? Winning the game is not an option. And this is what they feed to us thru Hip Hop. Scary isn't it?

"I came into a little bit of a revelation recently. I turned 31 and I'm starting to realize that a lot of this Hip Hop/rap thing is for kids. It's a young people's movement. And I know we as adults try to hang onto our youth as long as possible but my point is you gotta know when to let go because when you're 36 and you dress like you're 15 you look fuckin' stupid!" – Aries Spears

While that line is laugh out loud funny, it does make you rethink where you are as a hip hop fan. If you are young then I guess this may not apply to you (yet). But if you are an 80's baby you have to wonder how true this statement is. While Hip Hop may be rooted in the kids and the young people, it is the old man sitting up there getting his belly fat off of our work. You don't have to "look" rich to "be" rich. Rock & Roll used to be considered a "kids" movement but now you have artists like Aerosmith and U2 still making incredible and timeless music. Do they look like every other rock star?

Just because we grow up does that mean we have to leave hip hop alone and look for the nearest Celine Dion or Earth Wind & Fire album? Or can Hip Hop grow and mature with us instead of without us? Can Hip Hop become rich and successful while taking the struggle to new heights (Sudan Crisis, Water Shortage, AIDS, Electoral Politics, Racism, etc)? I think we can…I can't just leave my culture behind and look for a new one. I'd rather use it for a tool to educate and elevate.

But because of our mere willingness to settle for a dollar and a dream (and a plethora of other reasons) it is enough reason for me to suggest a ban on hip hop. Oh you don't know what I mean by "destroy and rebuild"? Well I guess you won't until the next editorial…and I'm just a critic…Who The Hell Am I? But the better question is…Who The Hell Are You?

"If the prophecy's correct, then the child should have to pay/ For the sins of the father/ So I bartered my tomorrow's against my yesterdays…/ I'm both saint and sinner…/ I'm on permanent vacay/ Life is but a beach chair/ This song's like a Hallmark card until you reach here." – Jay-Z

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

One Day Closer...

To my own mortality. My Earth Day was yesterday and I must say that these things (birthdays) seem to be coming faster each time. As I get closer to the big 4-OH, I'm noticing little aches and pains that I never dreamed of experiencing. I suppose that I'm supposed to say something profound about growing and maturity and crap like that, but I'm not there yet. LOL

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


By Chuck D. (courtesy of

November 30, 2006

Excuse me while I rant I'm gonna be all over the place with this one... Well, I turn and look at these times surrounding us and count the years. Forty One years after civil rights has seen the 'We' dissolve into the 'me' error - um, era. Someone told me recently that athletes and entertainers were the gods of the black community. If that is the case, it's the base of our tragedy, because the 'godmakers' remain anonymous amongst the idol worship.

What makes a person rebel against a situation, only to end up being the same cat they started off rebelling against? I never totally understood the flip. LA REID, initially a musician/songwriter, ends up siding with the UNIVERSAL legals to sue Myspace and threaten Youtube with similar sht. These are the best tools, as yet provided, in leveling the field for artists to get their music heard and seen, being endangered by the corporate greed monster. It's like screaming at the clouds on a rainy day. I've never understood when enough is enough. If a cat got fifty million in the bank, why the drive for one hundred million if you ain't sharing with anybody or building anything? I Hear that UNIVERSAL was blaming Myspace for the JAYZ ' Kingdom Come' leak, and I wonder if some of these cats are in the real world? As the domination of the record game business is over. As in JAY'S HP commercial, I'm wondering if they know it? JAY seems to understand it, as he said himself two years back that the music business was healthy while the record business was not. He need not worry as people will buy ROCKAWEAR, HP, and 25,000 cups of BUD sold at every sporting event in America.

The attitude of selfishness has seeped so much into society that the literal has almost totally obscured the sublime. Michael Richards resorts to calling his hecklers 'niggas' about six times. Across America it seems White liberals are the ones most pissed off, because smart Black folks know the treatment in Amerikkka runs way deeper than just hearing the damn word. Individual notion put the word in motion with some thinking that its power would be lessened. Coupled with the confusion triggered by rap, comedy, and unwritten social codes saying only black folks can flip it to use it as a word of love; As confusing is understanding someone trying to even sit through a Michael Richards' set. Yeah let's blame it on Kramer.

A Black man gets shot fifty times in New York, and a comedian saying 'nigger' on stage gets more media heat. A call going out to the hip hop community figures to result in a 'nigga please' from it. There are organizations set in place to lead hip hop into this discussion without the percussion. ZULU NATION, TEMPLE OF HIP HOP, POCC with Fred Hampton Jr. and a host of others. Folks like Rosa Clemente, Yvonne Bynoe, Kevin Powell, Davey D, etc. have been busting their asses with the 'We' concept of getting our sht together collectively in mind. The 'We' was born from the fact that our visual characteristics threw us all into the same racial box for hundreds of years, even if the box had certain areas for hue preference, it was nonetheless... a box.

Now in 2007, Black folks once considered 3/5 of a human life in the nations holy document. A people who were told that one drop of black blood (I thought blood was red as ketchup, then again that red is artificial) makes you automatically black in this land. Therefore making a separate racial category excluded from the one true race - human. This social bludgeoning still has us scattered, dysfunctional, and plain ole crazy... especially when we drink the 'We' Kool Aid of Amerikkka without any chaser.

Too many of us have abused our area of 'style' forsaken substance almost entirely, busily worried about getting our look on a bit too much. Visual stereotypes we're swearing by; programmed to choose prototypes instead. Hair, makeup, fashion, and face are paramount to artists, athletes, politicians and actor's careers, while ability takes a backseat and no one seems to care for what real people think. We are back to first grade judging too many books by their respective covers.

It's one thing to enhance the eye by enhancing the 'I'. But where does the 'We' come into play? As Black Folks our collective status has dipped to the powerlessness of children. Our topics are shallow and disconnected from the concerns of the rest of the planet because in a nation of Black and While our level is only buoyed by the collective Whiteface of this country. Yeah, like we're still handpicked (for slavery) chosen Negroes, thus continuing to flaunt across to the diaspora the same ways and means of the Amerikkka affluent illusion.

Toys satisfy us to silence. Our production of soul here is even owned and compromised like the diamond and gold mines of Africa. Where with the majority being African working and living around the mines, has anybody guessing how the hell did White ownership happen? Maybe 'mines' is exactly what it says, like the daffy duck cartoon claiming found treasure he couldn't carry. Like the audacity to claim a billion year old mountain and name it from a so called discoverer's perspective. Like the nerve to wipe out millions of people in wars, just because they don't share philosophies.

The 'We' is a civil rights understanding when the consensus was that even when someone characteristically among us made it 'big', that their toys, noise, and praise didn't raise their status far above the 'Them'. The 'I' age can only result in toys, platinum pacifiers, and temporary heat. What goes up must come down, and the individual thuds are silenced by the noise of false praise. As long as 'We' is tucked to the back of achievement, 'the masses' of us will always be treated as 'them asses'.

50 shots........damn....should take them guns away from scared dudes in foreign neighborhoods with badges , and job benefits.

Stay @ me. New slang I've come up with stay@me, which means I'm moving quickly at the speed of thought. Soon I'm to be on The Wendy Williams' Show and the producers wanted to ask what I was up to and I couldn't tell them quickly enough. So I had to write it down. Starting with the December tour of the USA... The Public Enemy comic book is headed into its third issue. The transition of PE's twentieth year, my second book - 'Lyrics Of A Rap Revolutionary'. Our fourth album project in the past two years as well as the fourth upcoming DVD (not including the two DVD's that appear with New Whirl Odor and Beats and Places) called 'Where There's Smoke'. The SLAMjamz label with thirty artists and fifteen CD/DVD releases plans to be a model standard for both licensing and technology. My sixteenth year of college lecturing from the Howards to the Harvards. 'Chuck D Mobile' hopes to magnify new media forms. The small screen. Air America radio where the show ON THE REAL is held down by myself and my co-host Gia'na Garel every Sunday night at 11 PM to 1 AM. My ELEMENTAL monthly writings have been sidelined by a selling of the magazine to a major publishing house My AOL Worldwide Hip Hop Countdown Show moves on to mobile.

RIP Gerald Levert , Ed Bradley, and the great Ruth Brown.

Heard Don Rumsfeld immediately is set out to speak at universities and businesses at 100k a lecture/speech or whatever it is. The games governments play on the people, eh? War is a silly game where old men usually sit around sending young people to die for their beliefs. It's old men's version of Playstation 3 with very graphic results. As said on Bum Rush The Shows subtitle '..the governments responsible'.

Boston WGBH is an incredible public TV hub, where I had the honor and pleasure of being a keynote speaker for their conference. There were a lot of innovating filmmakers and new media people that have realized the need to take advantage of emerging outlets. As I tell artists today, I haven't witnessed a better time than now. Myspace is a phenomenon. Youtube at the press of a button can be a better distributor than any television. Given these, will emerge with SLAM TV using a stream from on a loop system. Expect new systems I'll be discussing, soon delivering to you. Also featured there was Byron Hurt's 'Beyond Beats And Rhymes'. Meanwhile speaking of Boston... my second trip in a month has me lecturing at Berklee school of music. I've been looking forward to this event, I hope to bring a serious timeline discussion along with myself and hope to return with some information I can add to future discussions.

Best book and guide I've bought these past months is basketball legend Walt 'Clyde' Fraziers....... it's a great read and layout of how to adapt some old school values and tactics to not only make the game better, but how to parallel some of those thoughts in life. Personally I keep this book with me, as Clyde is privy and witness to the flow of generation 0 everyday. It all goes back to the schooling and teaching, how can we blame the young for what they do if the teachers and mentors don't hold their ground? Clyde holds his turf, and the NBA should head their schooling department with at least this book's values. Part of the problem is that there's so little common sense that the art of comparative analysis is low or lost. I've drawn parallels to the rap game, and most recently even JAY Z was heard calling for a hip hop board or council, calling out all wackness. He was sparked by his back and forth recent battle with Dipset's Jim Jones, accusing Jones of not having enough credentials to speak his name.

Also on television coming quite sooner is ALI RAP, a celebration of Muhammad Ali's sixtty - fifth birthday. It will be on ESPN December 9th, Yours Truly is the host, added to the fact that a video and song called ALI RAP THEME is done for December release to promote the program. Again here’s the point of sports being on the organized front and never being sloppy with their timing. Damn , why can't the rap game be the same?

Can't look to VIACOM for the answers, although VH1's HIP HOP HONORS totally makes the BET Awards look like a high school talent show. All hype aside there are nuances and statistics that seem to elude these broadcasts. It seems that actual facts have given way to hyperbole.

Public Enemy's fifty-sixth tour starts off on the Western side of the country. Alternating as PE DJs will be DJ LORD and hall of famer DJ JOHNNY JUICE. LORD will be doing a month of DJ residency in CHINA and ASIA and JUICE, who has been with PE since day one, will man the decks at the start of the tour. Also JUICE will debut with the baNNed, the backing musicians behind PE. Their album will debut on SLAMjamz early March 07. As for now there is no second band to the ROOTS. Hopefully the baNNed can get all those gigs the ROOTS don't want. Brian Hardgroove, Khari Wynn, Michael Faulkner respectively come with bass, guitar and drums, with Lord and Juice manning turntables. Add the possible occasional Professor Griff a percussionist as with JUICE and FLAV, and KASUF on keyboard, trumpet, sax ... is the making of something very sonically interesting and funky. I say JUICE is a hall of famer for his essential cuts and scratches on our two benchmark albums YO and MILLIONS, as with AL KOOPER when he played organ on Dylan's 'Like A Rolling Stone in 1965. Juice will be on his first PE tour, long overdue and fitting.

It's funny catching millennium commentary when explaining the recorded vocals behind early PE performances, such as the 1987's London gig at Hammersmith Odeon. Again I add that we stayed true to tradition in the beginning, using records instead of tape. It was the blessing and curse as a shaken stage resulted in a needle jumping across the disc. We were a very active act. We had special instrumentals but when they jumped, it was nearly impossible to pick up the spot where the disc jumped to. To alleviate much of this, the recorded vocals were EQ'd lowest as much as possible coming from the turntable, with myself an Flavor shout rhyming over the top. Lucky we had the voices that sounded just like the recordings. It wasn't until 1999, we did perform on hard disc rather than live turntables, although we do it in selected instances. But no, our attempts were the complete opposite of much for tradition.

An email going around has one figuring out the spelling of s-a-g-g-i-n backwards ....yeah check that out.

Also speaking of the N word I'm so tired of hearing about who has the right to use it, like its some savored term. Michael (Kramer) Richards goes berserk and spits the N -word six or seven times. I wonder what Jerry Heller, Jimmy Iovine think about it, since those are two white guys who've profited off it; not on the endorsed name but the attitude with it as well. When Kramer went off in a comedy club, I'm pretty sure it wasn't the first time uttered in that building. Different context yeah, and I'm definitely ain't defending him. But I think it was a 'white guilt' thing happening as well as a black wake up call. As said before, I do believe it's a word, any way you spell it, or smell it, but not a word of love. A fighting word I've maintained. The comedians make a living of walking the line of dangerous rhetoric. He said it with venomous anger, thus that's where he's guilty, but also saying it with a smile is both just as harmful and ignorant.

Similes and metaphors were a hot enemy board topic, as I choose to stay away from using rhymes with the, 'The word' like in them.

Calling for retirement I saw on some site that some rappers should quit. Will somebody tell somebody that artists never stop making art. The business of commerce is entirely another thing. Rappers need to think of themselves as artists and less on a hustler tip.

Air America is supposed bankrupt, but it's for restructuring purposes. The general public totally misunderstands that term. MC Hammer and LUKE are still alive and doing well, and Delta is still flying while expanding to cities across the entire planet.

The Sundance Channel could be the home of a show called the Chuck D Musician's Studio, which is a takeoff from the Actor's studio on Bravo. In the pilot my first guest will be the likes of Quincy Jones, Others like Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Bob Dylan ... yeah those types of giants are planned. Well, past the jitters this looks to be a natural televised fit for me. Taping pilot the day before tour , wish me well, if not, oh well. stay@me

Brigadier Jerry Live Pon Sound System....

The legendary Brigadier Jerry doin' the thang live 'pon Jack Ruby Sound....

Friday, December 01, 2006


How much did Beenie Man's album really sell?

What's the deal with Beenie Man's album sales? There has been a lot of debate about the sales of Beenie Man's album especially since last week when we reported on the website that Beenie Man claimed his album had sold over 300,000 copies. Well, our checks reveal that he may have shipped that amount, but to date, according to the Nielson Soundscan figures reported by the Billboard Reggae charts, he has sold 52,507 copies of 'Undisputed'

Sean Paul leads the pack of reggae artistes on the Billboard chart with impressive sales of 1,228,148 of his 'Trinity' set while Damian Marley has sold 596,946 copies of 'Welcome to Jamrock'. Matisyahu's 'Youth' album has sold 497,256 copies and his 'Live at Stubbs, Austin, Texas' set has sold a muscular 616,623. Dancehall act Baby Cham has sold 46,914 OF 'Ghetto Story' while Buju Banton has sold 10,081 copies of 'Too Bad'. Bounty Killer's 'Nah No Mercy - Warlord Scrolls' sold 862 copies after three weeks of release.

After 13 weeks, Beenie Man's 50,000 plus sales mark has not set the world on fire. His previous albums fared much better. 2002's "Tropical Storm," which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Reggae Albums chart and No. 7 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums tally, spawned the hit "Feel It Boy" featuring Janet Jackson, and moved 272,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. 'Art And Life', widely considered a commercial disappointment for executives at Virgin Records, did not move mega units even after Beenie Man teamed up with then-pop sensation Mya (on Girls Dem Sugar) and Wyclef Jean (on Love Me Now). It sold 386,000 copies in the United States, again according to sales tracker SoundScan.

Remember that Beenie Man broke through in the US market in 1998 with the 'Many Moods Of Moses' set for VP Records which contained the hit dance song, Who Am I, which had a strong run on the Billboard Rap chart and leading urban radio stations like Hot 97 in New York City. That album and song actually gave Virgin administrators the impetus to sign him in 2000.

Posted by yardFlex at December 1, 2006 08:44 AM

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Damn...Snoop Is A Cokehead Too

Snoop Dogg Arrested Outside NBC Studios
By Nolan Strong
Date: 11/29/2006 8:00 am

Snoop Dogg was arrested yesterday (Nov. 28) in Burbank, CA, as he was leaving NBC studios after a performance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Snoop, 35, and two associates were pulling out of NBC studios around 6pm, when police stopped their vehicle, armed with a search warrant. All three men were arrested after police found a handgun, and small amounts of marijuana and cocaine in the vehicle. Snoop was arrested for investigation of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, possessing cocaine, transporting marijuana and having a false compartment in his vehicle. Also arrested were Michael Mingo, 33 and Lovell Polk, 36. According to police, both men are acknowledged gang members who are associates of the rapper. Snoop Dogg, who recently dropped his new album Tha Blue Carpet Treatment, was released on $60,000 bail. The rapper will be arraigned on the charges on Jan. 11.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Damn...Kramer is a racist.

Kramer was my favorite character on Seinfeld too.

Michael Richards exploded in anger as he performed at a famous L.A. comedy club last Friday, hurling racial epithets that left the crowd gasping.
Richards, who played the wacky Cosmo Kramer on the hit TV show "Seinfeld," appeared onstage at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood. It appears two guys, both African-American, were in the cheap seats playfully heckling Richards when suddenly, the comedian lost it.

The camera started rolling just as Richards began his attack, screaming at one of the men, "Fifty years ago we'd have you upside down with a f***ing fork up your ass."

Richards continued, "You can talk, you can talk, you're brave now motherf**ker. Throw his ass out. He's a nigger! He's a nigger! He's a nigger! A nigger, look, there's a nigger!"

The crowd is visibly and audibly confused and upset. Richards responds by saying, "They're going to arrest me for calling a black man a nigger."

One of the men who was the object of Richard's tirade was outraged, shouting back "That''s un-f***ing called for, ain't necessary."

After the three minute tirade, it appears the majority of the audience members got up and left in disgust.

Attempts to reach Richard's reps were unsuccessful.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A Draft???

All I gotta say is, if they try drafting me I'm gonna either play crazy or go directly to Canada. This is some froggernockle bulltwinkies....

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Americans would have to sign up for a new military draft after turning 18 if the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee has his way.

New York Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel said Sunday he sees his idea as a way to deter politicians from launching wars. He believes a draft would bolster U.S. troop levels that are currently insufficient to cover potential future action in Iran, North Korea and Iraq.

"There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft, and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way," Rangel said.

Rangel, a veteran of the Korean War who has unsuccessfully sponsored legislation on conscription in the past, said he will propose a measure early next year.

In 2003, he proposed a draft covering people age 18 to 26. This year, he offered a plan to mandate military service for men and women between age 18 and 42. It went nowhere in the Republican-led Congress.

Democrats will control the House and Senate come January because of their victories in the November 7 mid-term election.

At a time when some lawmakers are urging the military to send more troops to Iraq, "I don't see how anyone can support the war and not support the draft," said Rangel.

He also proposed a draft in January 2003, before the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who is a colonel in the U.S. Air Force Standby Reserve, said he agreed that the U.S. does not have enough people in the military.

"I think we can do this with an all-voluntary service, all-voluntary Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy. And if we can't, then we'll look for some other option," said Graham, who is assigned as a reserve judge to the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals.

Rangel and Graham appeared on "Face the Nation" on CBS.
Polls show most Americans oppose a draft

Rangel, the next chairman of the House tax-writing committee, said he worried the military is strained by its overseas commitments.

"If we're going to challenge Iran and challenge North Korea and then, as some people have asked, to send more troops to Iraq, we can't do that without a draft," Rangel said.

He said having a draft would not necessarily mean everyone called to duty would have to serve. Instead, "young people (would) commit themselves to a couple of years in service to this great republic, whether it's our seaports, our airports, in schools, in hospitals," with a promise of educational benefits at the end of service.

Graham said he believes the all-voluntary military "represents the country pretty well in terms of ethnic makeup, economic background."

Repeated polls have shown that about seven in 10 Americans oppose reinstatement of the draft and officials say they do not expect to restart conscription.

Outgoing Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told Congress in June 2005 that "there isn't a chance in the world that the draft will be brought back."

Yet the prospect of the long global fight against terrorism and the continuing U.S. commitment to stabilizing Iraq have kept the idea in the public's mind.

The military drafted conscripts during the Civil War, both world wars and between 1948 and 1973.

The Selective Service System, an agency independent of the Defense Department, keeps an updated registry of men age 18-25 -- now about 16 million -- from which to supply untrained draftees that would supplement the professional all-volunteer armed forces.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Cipher...

This is where the true MCs hangout and sharpen their craft. The Cipher! Watch three real MCs drop some tight rhymes minus the bullsh*t and bling...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Escape 2 Soca!!!

I usually post reggae here, but I must post one of my favorite soca riddims in medley form on this video. The riddim is called "escape". I love the energy of this riddim.

Monday, November 13, 2006


The one and only...SHABBA RANKS!!!

Sunday, November 12, 2006


The General and I went to see Borat this weekend...FUNNY!!!! Sasha Cohen is a genius.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


One of de wickedest men to ever hold a mic...De Don Dada...SUPERCAT!!!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Randy Watson & Sexual Chocolate...

I present to you, one of the greatest vocalists of all-time...the man, the myth, the legend....RANDY WATSON!!!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

YouTube Bans HipHop Video

NY Oil Calls for Negative Rappers to be Lynched-Video Gets Banned
by Davey D

There's a video put out by Staten Island native NY Oil that has set off a lot of controversy and for good reason. Here the upstart rapper goes for the jugular vein by calling for the lynching of rap stars who he feels are spreading negativity and poison to the community. In the controversial video NY Oil shows images of Jim Jones, Foxxy Brown and Lil Jon to name a few and talks about why they need to go.

According to NY Oil the video was recently pulled by You Tube because of it's inflammatory content. What makes this so crazy is that You Tube didn't pull the Ras Kass video where he threatens Game and is shown spitting bullets and brandishing a shot gun.

Anyway NY Oil has been making lots of noise and his banning is reminiscent of the KMD Black Bastards controversy from way back in 1994 where Elektra Records shelved the album due to its Black nationalist content and controversial cover art which shows a Sambo figure being lynched. The album was finally released without much fanfare and hoopla in 2001.

You can peep the video from NY Oil here:

As you peep the video and think upon the words keep in mind all the other banning incidents the music industry gate keepers have enacted. For example, Paris had his Sleeping with the Enemy album pushed back till after the 1992 election because he had a song on their called 'Bush Killer' where he called for the assassination of then President George Bush Sr.

Paris set things off in August of that year when he premeired the song in front of 22 thousand people at KMEL's sold out Summer jam concert and announced that he planned to influence the election with that album. Not only was Paris' album pushed back, but he also received a visit from the Secret Service.

Paris also ran into trouble with MTV when he put out his video for the song 'Break the Grip of Shame' and he showed a picture of Guns and Roses singer Axl Rose next to a picture of Tom Metzger who headed up the Aryan Nation. Paris noted that Axl had called someone a nigger and he wanted to respond with a message of his own.

Around the time paris was going through drama, Brand Nubian and Ice Cube's Lench Mobb were running into banning problems. Brand Nubian in one of their videos was pulled because they were shown burning an American flag, while the Lench Mobb caught heat for chasing and beating police officers.

In more recent days we seen Kanye West get censored in the song 'All Falls Down'. many radio stations and video outlets bleep out the word 'white man' after Kanye recites that drug trafficking and other social ills that impact the hood are things where 'A White man gets paid from that'.

Jadakiss saw his reference to George Bush bleeped out in the song 'Why' when he asks 'Did Bush knock down the towers.

Of course we saw what happened last month when comedian Paul Mooney got canned from a gig he had with Time Warner after he referred to Bush's daughters as 'Gin and Juice'.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saddam To Die By Hanging?

Saddam Hussein was found guilty and sentenced to death. What about the members of the U.S. government that had him on their payroll while he slaughtered thousands of Iranians? Does that count? Oh wait, I'm being logical....Nevermind.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Flavor Flav Editorial

The Flavor Flav Editorial: A Teacher's View
By The Hip-Hop Teacher

"Yo baby, can't you see that's nonsense you watchin'? Look, don't
nobody look like that, nobody even live that, you know what I'm sayin'? You watchin' garbage, nothin' but garbage. Straight up garbage. Yo, why don't you just back up from the TV, read a book or something. Read about yourself, learn your culture, you know what I'm sayin'?"

-Flavor Flav on Public Enemy's "She Watch Channel Zero" (1988)

As I entered my 6th grade classroom a couple of weeks ago, I asked the students "What did you do this weekend?"

Initially, I got the usual bland answers about movies, basketball practices, cheerleading activities, or just loafing around the house.

The day following the finale of season 2 of "Flavor of Love" I got a rousing response from one kid.

"Deelishis won the ‘Flavor of Love’ and New York was cussing Flavor Flav out and crying!" he exclaimed joyously. After that response, most students turned to each other and started discussing the graphic details of the show that has captivated the country.

Initially, I prepared to shut the conversation down because it was inappropriate for class, but I was curious to see where this was heading. More importantly, I wanted to see what my students actually knew about Flavor Flav. I'm completely familiar with Flav, from his musical genius to his Public Enemy days in the 80's with Yo! Bumrush The Show! to even his storied legal problems.

So I asked who Flav was, and my students replied with answers such as, "He's a pimp" and "He be doing these shows about love and trying to find different girls."

Not one mention of the Flav that I grew up on. “Flavor of Love” is not the first time my impression of Flav was crushed. I remembered “Only Out For One Thing” on Ice Cube's Amerikkka's Most Wanted. That was the first time I heard a member of Public Enemy rap in a more vulgar sexually explicit manner. I can remember thinking as a young teenager, "Why is Flav saying this? He's in Public Enemy."

In hindsight, that song was a premonition of things to come in the career of William Drayton.

These days, Flav has reinvented himself and has become arguably the king of Reality Television. This time the audience is morality-starved, rebellious teens and an attentive Middle America. His last three TV ventures ("The Surreal Life," "Strange Love" and "Flavor of Love" Season 1) have been without Public Enemy's Chuck D, the militaristic S1Ws, or Professor Griff. All eyes on Flav, and the flavor that he promotes is not so sweet to those of us that recall the Golden Era. The messages are void of revolution, social consciousness or intelligent thought, coming from the greatest hype man in the history of Hip-Hop. This is a mutation in my eyes.

Flavor has willingly allowed himself to be a part of the new minstrel show, as if Hip-Hop was short on sellouts. Most middle school children don't even know what a minstrel show is, but Drayton gives them a firm lesson and vivid examples with no assist from Miriam Webster’s dictionary.

Weekly, Flav managed to buck his eyes out, hunger for sexual attention, chase down big booties and buckets of chicken like wild jungle animals in pursuit of fresh prey. The toothy, ear-to-ear gold grin elicits more coonery than revolutionary free spirit. The females on the show are reduced to bickering over this 47-year-old man, flaunting around in bathing suits, shaking their assets, pandering for attention, and seemingly pretending to love him for him. [Oh, and most of them don’t know his legacy either.] Flavor's antics are endless, and seemingly without a lowest common denominator.

"You're blind, baby, you're blind from the facts on who you are
'cause you're watchin' that garbage."

-Flavor Flav on Public Enemy's "She Watch Channel Zero" (1988)

Is Flavor Flav a coon? A sellout? A corporate puppet, as New York’s mother bluntly put it. That's not for me to say – this is Flavor Flav we are talking about. What I do know is that his audience scarcely recalls Public Enemy, a group that he was once such an important part of history. Our children, the future of Hip-Hop and Black America, only know Flav as a guy who stands for nothing; a buffoon that VH1 runs 7 days a week, several times a day.

Flavor Flav's clock once meant that he "knew the time" about the plight of African Americans, knowledge of underground schemes and genocidal initiatives. Now, in mainstream history, that clock will be primarily associated with the dismissal of 20 women in a 8 week span - all in the quest for "true love." The odd thing is that most of the women on his show are strippers, clear-cut hoes, wiggers, alcoholics, aspiring porn stars, deviants and other "appealing" characters. Good girls need not apply, but unsupervised children [and some supervised] have something to aspire to be.

The Black fist has been replaced by a hand that is an equal opportunity groper.

I think its safe to place Flavor Flav in one of two categories: 1) Fun loving guy with a gigantic heart, great hype man for a revolutionary Hip-Hop group. 2) A jester exploiting the very people he attempted to uplift in the 80's and 90's. Putting Flav in just one of those categories may be difficult and perhaps a gross oversimplification, but he's not presented in any other way in media, interviews, television or otherwise. There is no voice of reason, as seen in spurts on “The Surreal Life.” We can only form opinions about what we see. At one point, Flav provided the perfect balance to Public Enemy - a group that epitomized a revolutionary moment in time. Chuck D’s was never a very successful solo artist and Flav was necessary. Despite his comical antics, he was the bridge that connected the less conscious with thought provoking messages. "9/11 Is A Joke" was an example of how everything fits together like a puzzle and Flav was allowed to march militarily to the boom bap of his own funky drummer.

"Yo baby, you think I'm jokin'? Do it look like I'm jokin'? I
ain't jokin', word up, baby. Yo, cut that garbage off now."

-Flavor Flav on Public Enemy's "She Watch Channel Zero"

It's unclear to me if Flavor was posing or being a character in the 80’s for the money the same way he is doing now. Maybe songs like “Only Out For One Thing”was an indication of who Flav really is. Maybe his multiple kids by multiple women and questionable support of those kids was an affirmation of the type of person flavor was. Maybe his well publicized battle with drugs or his brief stint in Rikers Island was the true Flavor Flav. Maybe the clown we see every week on VH1 is Flavor Flav. Maybe his is a master multi-tasker that can fight the power and slap that ass at the same time. He has reinvented himself and probably is better off financially than at any point in his life, but at this point I truly hope that after this season of 'The Flavor of Love 2' that his time is up.

-AllHipHop’s columnist illseed contributed to this editorial, but is an admitted addict of “Flavor of Love.”

PAPAMOBILE 1989-2006

Everyone that knows me knows that my Papamobile has been with me for several years. After so many years of dedicated service, he gave up the ghost. I'm not into material things, but memories are tied to that awesome piece of machinery. The Papamobile took me all over and was with me as I grew from a cocky college kid into a confident grown man. (breaks into song)..."It's so haaaaaaaard to say goodbyyyyyyyyye to yesterdaaaaaaaaaay". Stop laughing!

I Love Music

Of course, everyone that reads this blog regularly knows about my love for creating and listening to music. Well, I just discovered some cool software that allows me to play around with music files so that I can create cool effects and stuff (to entertain you ungrateful jabronies that I make CDs for). I've been using the trial version of the fleximusic wave editor. I'm going to download the trial of the "music maker" and see what madness I come up with. Although I fool around with Reason and stuff, I gotta say that for the casual music lover, this fleximusic software is pretty easy & good. Peep the link for Fleximusic software and let me know what you think. is the site, there's a link in my link section.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Someone Please Beat The Crap Outta This Fool

LAWRENCEVILLE, Georgia (AP) -- A jury found an Ethiopian immigrant guilty Wednesday of mutilating his 2-year-old daughter in what is believed to be the first criminal case in the United States involving the ancient African tradition of female circumcision.

Khalid Adem, 30, was convicted of aggravated battery and cruelty to children. He could get up to 40 years in prison.

Prosecutors said Adem used scissors to remove his daughter's clitoris in his family's Atlanta-area apartment in 2001. The child's mother, Fortunate Adem, said she did not discover it until more than a year later.

During her father's trial, the girl, now 7, clutched a teddy bear as she testified on videotape that her father "cut me on my private part."

Federal law specifically bans the practice of genital mutilation, but many states do not have a law addressing it. Georgia lawmakers, with the support of the girl's mother, passed an anti-mutilation law last year. But Adem was not tried under that law since it did not exist when his daughter was cut.

During the trial, Adem testified he never circumcised his daughter or asked anyone else to do so. He said he grew up in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, and considers the practice more prevalent in rural areas.

Adem's attorney acknowledged that the girl had been cut, but implied that the family of the girl's mother, who immigrated from South Africa, may have been responsible.

The Adems divorced three years ago, and attorney Mark Hill suggested that the couple's daughter was coached to testify against her father by her mother, who has full custody of the child.

Adem, who cried throughout the trial and during his testimony, was asked what he thought of someone who believes in the practice. He replied: "The word I can say is 'mind in the gutter.' He is a moron."

The practice crosses ethnic and cultural lines and is not tied to a particular religion. Activists say it is intended to deny women sexual pleasure. In its most extreme form, the clitoris and parts of the labia are removed and the labia that remain are stitched together.

Knives, razors or even sharp stones are usually used, according to a 2001 department report. The tools often are not sterilized, and often, many girls are circumcised at the same ceremony, leading to infection.

It is unknown how many girls have died from the procedure, either during the cutting or from infections, or years later in childbirth. Nightmares, depression, shock and feelings of betrayal are common psychological side effects, according to a 2001 federal report.

Since 2001, the State Department estimates that up to 130 million women worldwide have undergone circumcision.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Ya know, my late granny used to always warn me about my tendency to run my mouth. She'd always ask "How ya catch a fish?" I'd laugh and say "His mouth Granny"....Kerry needs mint flavored shoes.

By David Jackson, USA TODAY
The White House pressed Sen. John Kerry Wednesday to apologize for a comment Republicans say was disrespectful of U.S. fighting forces in Iraq, saying he "put gasoline on the fire" of an already sizzling midterm election campaign.

"Sen. Kerry may have botched the line, but what he said was insulting to the troops, and what he ought to say is, 'Look, I botched the line, but I'm sorry for giving offense,' " press secretary Tony Snow said on CBS's The Early Show.

A bitter dispute about Iraq that dominated the 2004 campaign between President Bush and Kerry resurfaced Tuesday as they traded barbs a week before voters decide control of Congress.

Kerry told a college crowd Monday: "You know education, if you make the most of it, and you study hard, and you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

Bush said Kerry's comments were "insulting" and "shameful" to U.S. troops. "The members of the United States military are plenty smart, and they are plenty brave, and the senator from Massachusetts owes them an apology," the president said Tuesday at a rally in Georgia.

Kerry, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, said his comments at Pasadena City College in Southern California were distorted by "assorted right-wing nut jobs." He said he was trying to make a joke about Bush and his team's preparations for the Iraq war.

The dust-up came a day after Rep. Charles Rangel called Vice President Dick Cheney "a son of a bitch" for saying the New York Democrat doesn't know how the economy works.

Stephen Wayne, a government professor at Georgetown University, said the barbs foreshadow "two years of strident, partisan rhetoric" regardless of who controls Congress after Nov. 7.

Polls show Democrats are in a position to win control of the House of Representatives and possibly even the Senate.

"It does not facilitate compromise," Wayne said. "It does not facilitate legislative output."

Thomas Mann, co-author of The Broken Branch, a book on Congress, said Kerry gave Republicans "a target" just days before the election, the outcome of which will affect the remainder of Bush's presidency. He's not sure, however, if the Bush-Kerry flap will have a long-term impact.

"These things have a shelf life of about a half-hour," he said.

The Cheney-Rangel spat began with the vice president's warnings about a Democrat-controlled House. If Democrats pick up 15 seats, Rangel is in line to lead the House Ways and Means Committee, which writes tax laws.

In two TV interviews Monday, Cheney cited Rangel's objections to Bush's tax cuts and predicted Rangel would block efforts to renew them. "I think Charlie doesn't understand how the economy works," Cheney said on Fox News.

Rangel responded, when asked by the New York Post, that Cheney is "such a real son of a bitch, he just enjoys a confrontation."

On Tuesday, White House press secretary Tony Snow said Cheney did not take Rangel's comments personally and "had a big hearty laugh" when told of them.

Rangel expressed regret in an interview with USA TODAY but did not back down. "It's not the first time the vice president has taken a cheap shot at me," he said. "I should have just ignored it."

A year ago, Cheney said Rangel might be "losing it" after the New York Democrat compared Bush to Bull Connor, the segregationist Alabama official who resisted civil rights in the 1960s. Rangel, a Korean War veteran, has also accused Cheney of "sending other people's kids to war." Cheney did not serve in the military.

Rangel said he tends not to deal with Cheney on policy issues and prefers to work on fiscal matters with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, whom he has praised.

While not predicting the results of Election Day, Rangel said Americans are tired of all the political bickering: "Republicans and Democrats are going to have to work together if we don't want gridlock."

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I can't say that I'm sorry that this old fart finally croaked.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) -- Former South African President P.W. Botha, the defiant face of white rule at the height of the anti-apartheid struggle, died at his home on Tuesday aged 90, the South African Press Association reported.

"Botha died at home, peacefully," SAPA quoted a member of his security staff, Frikkie Lucas, as saying.

Botha, known widely as "The Great Crocodile" for his adamant stance against black rule in South Africa, died at his home in Wilderness, about 350 km (220 miles) east of Cape Town, SAPA said.

Botha, who presided over some of the worst excesses of the apartheid era during the 1970s and 1980s, had been in hospital in October for what were described as routine tests.

He was toppled in a cabinet rebellion in 1989 and replaced by F.W. de Klerk, who repudiated almost everything the finger-wagging hardliner had stood for, including the laws that were the foundation of apartheid.

De Klerk later guided South Africa's white rulers through the delicate negotiations that ultimately brought the African National Congress (ANC), led by Nelson Mandela, to power in multi-racial elections in 1994.
Denied knowledge of torture, killings

Although Botha's security forces killed more than 2,000 people and an estimated 25,000 people were detained without trial and often tortured, he refused to apologize for apartheid and denied he had known about the torture and assassinations.

Known for his frequent defense of white rule in South Africa, Botha remained unrepentant to the end.

Asked in a television interview what would have happened if the black majority took control in 1948 -- when Botha's National Party took power -- he remained unwavering.

"I think by this time we would have been in the drain already," he said.

He declined to appear when summoned by the state-appointed Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which in its final report in 2003 blamed him for much of the horror of the last decade of white rule.

Since leaving office he had lived a quiet life with his second wife Barbara in a lagoon-side home on the Western Cape coast for almost two decades, occasionally emerging to launch broadsides at the ANC.

The ANC, which under President Thabo Mbeki continues to lead the country, issued a brief statement on Botha's death.

"The ANC wishes his family strength and comfort at this difficult time," the party said.

Copyright 2006 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Cool Ruler

By popular demand, the great "Cool Ruler" Gregory Isaacs in 1984 (his prime). This man's nasal crooning goes great when you're all alone with that special someone.

BUBBA is a Bad Word

I just told by a co-worker that the term "Bubba" was like a racial slur. Yeah, that's right...BUBBA. In the African-American community the word was used in the place of "brother". I was talkin' about G.W. Bush and referred to him as Bubba and my co-worker, we'll call her Gertrude stopped me in my tracks to tell me that the word was offensive. Did I miss something? I never even mentioned to her that my mother-in-law calls me Bubba and that my Pop usually greets guys with "What ya say Bubba".Another co-worker joked that it's only ok for white people to say it to each other....Here is how Wikipedia defines the term.

"Bubba is a relationship nickname formed from brother, given to boys to indicate their role in the family, especially the oldest male sibling. For some boys and men, bubba is used so pervasively it replaces the given name. The nickname may also be used outside the family by friends as a term of affection.

Because of its association with the southern part of the United States, bubba is often used outside the South as a pejorative meaning low economic status and limited education. Former President Bill Clinton, who is from Arkansas, was sometimes called bubba by detractors, although he is said to like the moniker."

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Modern Minstrel Shows

New York Daily News -
All rhyme, no reason for rap world's modern minstrels

Sunday, October 22nd, 2006

Like it or not, the precious First Amendment right to free speech gives every one of the hip-hop minstrels currently being hyped by cynical record labels and television execs a constitutionally protected right to act like complete jackasses before a national audience.

It also gives the rest of us the right to speak up and denounce such buffoonery as what it is: a direct throwback to the days of burnt cork and blackface, when fortunes were made from America's seemingly bottomless appetite for demeaning images featuring black folks shuffling, cutting up, dancing jigs and generally behaving like fools.

As recently pointed out by Byron Crawford, a blogger for the hip-hop magazine XXL, industry-backed racial clowning is so popular that it now constitutes its own subgenre: minstrel rap.

"Record labels are rushing out to sign the most coon-like Negroes they can find," Crawford wrote, citing the popularity of "Chain Hang Low," a song by a St. Louis teenager named Jibbs that is all the rage on the record charts and on YouTube, the online video service.

The song is an anthem to flashy jewelry set to the tune of "Turkey in the Straw" (Do your chain hang low? Do it wobble to the flow?/ Do it shine in the light? Is it platinum? Is it gold?).

As a New York Times music critic recently noted in a review of Jibbs' song, "Turkey in the Straw" is actually an altered version of a 19th-century minstrel song called "Old Zip Coon" (Ole Zip Coon he is a natty scholar/ For he plays upon de Banjo "Cooney in de hollar").

Jibbs is neither the first nor the biggest star in the world of minstrel rap. 50 Cent's album and movie "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" carry an unmistakable echo of a hit minstrel song from 1856 called "Root Hog or Die" - a tune based on a folk saying that carries pretty much the same meaning as 50's title. Even the lyrics barely need tweaking to sound like modern minstrel rap: (I'm right from old Virginny with my pocket full of news/ I'm worth twenty shillings right square in my shoes/ It doesn't make a dif of bitternance to neither you nor I/ Big pig or little pig Root, hog or die).

Other modern minstrel rap tunes include "Chicken Noodle Soup" and "Fry That Chicken," both of which have videos showing kids dancing little jigs while grinning and eating soul food.

It's sad to see musically untrained youngsters shucking and jiving for a bit of money and fame. Most could never dream of succeeding in a serious artistic setting like a church choir, dance ensemble or jazz band, places that require study, discipline and hard work. Many would be swiftly laughed off the stage.

Those who think that trafficking in racial selfabasement for cash is a harmless business should remember the controversial, tragic career of Lincoln Perry, whose stage and movie performances as Stepin Fetchit - a mumbling, dimwitted servant billed as "the Laziest Man in the World" - were popular in the 1920s and '30s.

Perry's minstrel act made him a millionaire movie star, but he ended up bankrupt, condemned by black audiences and all but forgotten by the time of his death in 1985.

Today's minstrel rappers are unwittingly racing down that same path - fooled by false financial promises, too lazy to hone their talent and condemned, like all who ignore history, to repeat it.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Bill Clinton as VP???

VP Bill? Depends on Meaning of 'Elected'

By Peter Baker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 20, 2006;

The prospective presidential candidacy of Hillary Rodham Clinton has given rise to plenty of speculation about the notion of Bill Clinton as the nation's first gentleman. But what about another role? How about, say, vice president?

Politically, of course, the idea is a non-starter for all sorts of reasons. But that doesn't stop the parlor games, especially on the Internet. The issue came up last week during a chat on What if Hillary picked Bill as her running mate? A Post reporter rashly dismissed the idea as unconstitutional. But that only proved the dangers of unedited journalism. The answer, it turns out, is not so simple.

Could Bill Clinton be Hillary Rodham Clinton's No. 2? He could not be elected president again, but some say he could succeed from the vice presidency.

A subsequent sampling of opinion from professors of constitutional law, former White House lawyers and even a couple of federal judges reveals a simmering disagreement on whether a president who has already served two terms can be vice president. Some agree with the conclusion that the presidential term limit embedded in the Constitution bars someone such as Clinton from returning to the White House even in the No. 2 slot. Others, though, call that a misreading of the literal language of the law.

As the former president might say, it all depends on the meaning of the word "elected." Under Article II of the Constitution, a person is "eligible to the Office of President" as long as he or she is a natural-born U.S. citizen, at least 35 years old and a resident of the United States for 14 years. The 12th Amendment says "no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President."

Okay, so that means if you're not eligible to be president, you're not eligible to be vice president. Makes sense. What would be the point of electing a vice president who can't succeed the president in case of death, incapacity or vacancy?

But then Congress and the states added the 22nd Amendment in 1951 to prevent anyone from following the example of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who won four terms. That's where things get dicey. "No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice," the 22nd Amendment says.

On its face, that seems to suggest that Clinton could be vice president because he is only barred from being elected president a third time, not from serving as president. That's the argument of Scott E. Gant, a partner at Boies, Schiller & Flexner in Washington, and Bruce G. Peabody, an assistant professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. The two wrote a law review article in 1999 called "The Twice and Future President" and reprised the argument this summer in the Christian Science Monitor.

"In preventing individuals from being elected to the presidency more than twice, the amendment does not preclude a former president from again assuming the presidency by means other than election, including succession from the vice presidency," they wrote. "If this view is correct, then Clinton is not 'constitutionally ineligible to the office of president,' and is not barred by the 12th Amendment from being elected vice president."

Others share that opinion. Three former White House lawyers consulted by The Washington Post (two who served President Bush and one who served Clinton) agreed that the amendment would not bar Clinton from the vice presidency. A federal judge, who noted that he has "no views on the matter," said the plain language of the amendment would seem to allow Clinton to "become president through succession."

Kathleen M. Sullivan, director of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center, said the 22nd Amendment, "as I read it, does not preclude a Clinton-Clinton ticket." She added: "Bill, if elected VP, could become president in the event that President Hillary became incapacitated; he just could not run for reelection from that successor post."

Still, that view is not universal. Judge Richard A. Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit said by e-mail that "read literally, the 22nd Amendment does not apply" and therefore Clinton could be vice president. "But one could argue that since the vice president is elected . . . should he take office he would be in effect elected president. Electing a vice president means electing a vice president and contingently electing him as president. That interpretation, though a little bold, would honor the intention behind the 22nd Amendment."

Bruce Ackerman, a constitutional scholar at Yale Law School, also pointed to original intent in addressing the issue in his book this year, "Before the Next Attack: Preserving Civil Liberties in the Age of Terrorism." The amendment, he wrote, "represents a considered judgment by the American People, after Franklin Roosevelt's lengthy stay in the White House, which deserves continuing respect" and "should not be eroded" by a narrow interpretation allowing someone to manipulate his way to a third term.

Eugene Volokh, a law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles who was a clerk for Sandra Day O'Connor when she was on the Supreme Court, focused on the broader meaning of the language in the amendment in reaching the same conclusion. "My tentative answer is that 'eligible' roughly means 'elected,' " he wrote on his Web site, the Volokh Conspiracy, this summer, meaning that if Clinton cannot be elected president, he is no longer eligible at all.

One constitutional lawyer not heard from on the issue is William Jefferson Clinton, Yale Law class of 1973. But he has offered thoughts on the 22nd Amendment. Before leaving office and again in 2003, he suggested amending the amendment to let a two-term president leave office and then run again: "Since people are living much longer . . . the 22nd Amendment should probably be modified to say two consecutive terms instead of two terms for a lifetime."

Now, who might he have had in mind?