Archives for August 2010

Is George Clinton a Pretender?… Shock G’s Open Letter Defending P-Funk

Shock G of Digital Underground found it necessary to pick up the pen and pad and respond to a recent damning article written by popular Soul Music Archivist Bob Davis of called ‘George Clinton and the Demise of Funk” In thjis article Davis takes Clinton to task for squandering his fame, fortune and influence. He also calls him a ‘pretender and a ‘bit player’ who hijacked the music direction being blazed by stellar artists Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis.

Bob Davis of says George Clinton is a Pretender who squandered away huge opportunities for us to advance

See for a lotta people FUNK starts and ends with George & in my mind nothing could be further from the truth and I suppose that I dislike the fact that he continues to receive so much adjuration for creating something that even he says he is not responsible for.One of the reasons that I discuss Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis here on the board is because the music that they were creating was where FUNK was headed circa 1971-1973. The influence that their music of the late 60s & early 70s has had over the past 20 years is nothing sort of phenomenal. It was kind of like music for a new generation and it was totally different from what had come before. This music was heavly influenced by the music of Sly Stone and James Brown and was primed to lead the way into the future.

George Clinton was little more that a “bit player” in all of this.
Funkadelic was just a “black rock” band that was the opening act at shows. They would be performing with the lights still on and people still coming in & trying to find their seats. Its no accident that Jimi & Miles were planning to hook up. These two revolutionary “brothas from another planet” both knew that the time for a change had arrived and that they were going to lead that change.

Unfortunately by the time 1976 had rolled around…Jimi was dead..Miles was “sick”….Sly was in his own world..& James was being hounded by the government!

None of these innovators was recording music at that point. There was a vacuum and that’s what George Clinton stepped into. When he transformed Funkadelic into Parliment. George knew exactly what he was doing. all he really did was to take the music of Miles, Jimi, Sly & JB and “commercialize” it.
He took simple rhymes that had been a part of “Black Vernacular” (See ebonics in the PC dictionary….lol) and put them to music rooted in the tradition of Sly, Miles, JB & Jimi.
In addition, George made up a bunch of cartoon characters (coon show???) and said they were funkateers. (some might even say that George “sold out !!)
This was a very different take on what Miles, Jimi, Sly & JB were trying to promote. George was only interested in making money. And make money he did …..GOBS of it !!!

Davis continues with this missive…

How much blame should George Clinton shoulder for Urban America indulging in cocaine?

George had the very “army” at his disposal that everyone else from JB to Miles to Sly to Jessie Jackson to Julian Bond to Jimi Hendrix all wanted to be the General of..(the generation of “funkateers”).
He was even in a position to influence the 1980 election & he said nothing (I think he was too busy “cashing” in to even to notice that there was an election going on too busy promoting his pro drug agenda, at a time when there were not only “bigger fish to fry” but during a time when here was a GOVERMENT SPONORED PROGRAM TO COMMIT GENOCIDE AGAINST BLACK AMERICANS BY FLOODING URBAN AMERICA WITH RELATIVLY CHEAP COCAINE AND DERIVITIVES.But enough of the past. today the act known as “George Clinton & TheP-Funk All Stars” bears little resemblance to the mighty force that dominated Black music in the late 1970’s.
I have seen them live within the past year and they were awful. I get reports from all over the place from fans who have been disappointed by the performances of the group at recent shows. Their performance on TV at the Sinbad Summer Jam was an abomination. I was personally embarrassed!
But ol George just keeps on pumping out bogus albums and bogus concerts. In my opinion he is perpetrating a fraud against younger music fans who keep expecting the “real deal” from him and don’t even know they are being ripped off.

In short..George Clinton broke my heart ….:(

Davis concludes..

We have sat by and watched an entire generation of people who squandered the gains of the Civil Rights Revolution because of their need to be “sedated” by Cocaine during the 1980’s. The “Maggot Overlord” played a role in this during that timeframe because of his public endorsement/support for using the drug.
Surely Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, etc did not die in vain so that the Maggot Overlord could allegedly peddle drugs to children from the stage?

Now here he is, as we approach the end of this century allegedly publicly promoting and even worse drug in crack. Many of us are sitting here in our 40’s and above, with children of our own, we can’t afford to sacrifice yet another generation of young people to the scourge of someone who is supposed to be providing leadership for the future, who instead chooses to be an active participant in the GENOCIDE of our people.

Personally I don’t care if the “Maggot Overlord” (or anyone else) wants to blow his brains with a crack pipe. Just let him do it in the privacy of his own home and away from my children.

-Bob Davis-



Not a pretender, not at all.

What we have in George Clinton is an enabler.

George’s gentle guidance liberated the musicians around him and drew the best out of them. George is the glue that held Parliament Funkadelic together, the mediator/referee who provided the “space” for Bootsy, Bernie, Gary, Michael, Junie, Eddie, Fuzzy, Glen, Fred and Maceo to create from and be their freest.

The best leaders leave the people thinking they did it themselves, and inspire them to their highest potential; precisely George’s role in P-Funk.

Now, as for the later cocaine-abuse period, I believe that functions more as a coping mechanism, aiding the bigger sacrifice; his continuance to tour and create budgets and sessions, and his tireless juggling act of keeping a family of 60-to-a-hundred people working every year.

I’ve been on tour with them this past decade, as a guest vocalist, and their rooming list was 60 names deep, every member with their own room. The tour I was on, back in ’02, had 4 tour buses, and 2 separate production trucks. Those great musicians you speak of, who gave their life blood to the funk through the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, are now adults with families, bills, grandkids, –many many mouths to feed. Meanwhile, their lives aren’t geared to earn a living any other way besides workin’ in P-Funk, which they each gave 20 to 40 years of their lives to help build.

We must realize the great sacrifice being made by George to tour and continue to work well into his senior years when most people his age retire and opt to spend time at home with their immediate families.

If George doesn’t tour, the frontier for P-Funk members becomes sketchy, and the threat of homelessness becomes very real. You think they don’t know the shows aren’t as tight and crisp as they were in their youth? You think they’re not aware that these most recent albums aren’t as creatively cutting edge or as relevant as their heyday material?

Of course they must. But what choice do they have, a cashier job at Walmart? Or playing at the local church? And it’s not only age, changing times, or substance abuse that causes these records to rate by comparison; it’s also the lack of lucrative working budgets, strong label support, well-connected and ambitious management, fresh energetic musicians, new equipment, etc–all the things that existed for them in their era but now belong to Jay-Z, Diddy, Black-Eyed-Peas, Snoop, G-Unit, Dr. Dre, & whoever.

Still, when P-Funk tours, it employs over a hundred people, from the musicians, managers, guitar techs, publicity people, roadies and merchandisers on the road, to the local office and field promotion teams involved, many of whom are veteran P-Funk members & lifetime contributors. If George quits, where do they go?

He probably would’ve loved to have had time away from it, I’m sure he’s contemplated it a few times.

Sly Stone

Consider Sly Stone‘s decision to not tour or perform for all those decades, but rather hide away and do his drugs in seclusion, to the disappointment of his fans and band members.

Consider the many ex-members of Barry White‘s Love Unlimited Orchestra, walking around LA for the past 20 years out of work, or barely surviving on session work (I personally know a couple of ’em),  some doing jobs that are not even music related, with no connection to the great legacy they helped build.

No disrespect or blame to Barry or Sly (I love them both, their talent and contributions to the world are enormous!) but the decision to stay home and live a simpler life may have been all they could handle mentally, physically, spiritually; who knows? Every man’s tolerance level is different, so perhaps they opted to retire, and take care of their immediate family, rather than continue to carry the weight of an entire organization like George is still doing today, even as I write this, selflessly sacrificing the victorious-grandpa home life for the greater needs of an entire organization. (He’s a Great-Grandfather too, by the way).

As for that 1970’s “movement” –the struggle against racism, the FBI, and Cointelpro– don’t knock George’s huge contributions just because his were different then Malcom’s or Huey’s, or Gil Scott’s, or The Last Poets’.

George’s approach was decidedly less militant, more Zen Taoist in nature, more introspective and personally active. Almost Buddha-like. George functioned as a living example of unity, employing vast networks of artists.

Gil Scott-Heron

Gil Scott-Heron on the other hand, who I caught live at Kimbles East in Oakland in the 90’s, and who was equally cracked-out (must’ve weighed 110 pounds), had 4 people on the road; his 3-piece act and a manager.

Lyrically, George’s contributions to the human condition are immeasurable, urging us to “free our minds so our asses can follow” and discover the “Kingdom of Heaven within” all of us.

“By Any Means Necessary” is but one approach, an approach which often led to more violence, pain and grief for all involved. One could also ponder, would cheap drugs had even been pumped into the hood if the Panthers & similar organizations hadn’t scared the shit out of the FBI and unknowingly provoked it?

In spite of all this, George was well aware of another rarely-acknowledged truth: Louis Armstrong, Sammy Davis Jr, Bill Cosby, Sidney Poitier, Berry Gordy, Arther Ashe, Muhammed Ali, and Dr. J all lived in the same America that Malcom -X, Huey Newton, and Gil Scott-Heron did, though they had very different perspectives about social limits and opportunity.

Where Tupac felt “trapped in a white man’s world”, Diddy felt boundless in that very same world. As Tupac believed it would, this “hopeless” world did him in; and as Sean Combs believed, the world was his, and the sky was the limit.

There’s no better example of “Free your mind and your ass will follow” than that.

Malcolm X

As a teenager and college student in the early 80’s, my homies and I used to love gettin’ all pumped-up on Malcom-X and Stokely Carmichael speeches, and we’d pledge to one day do something major for the struggle, like rob a rich corporation, or bomb a courthouse.

But the cosmic revolution not only challenged those feelings, it exposed them as dark tension-filled energy. Funkadelic’s mood and message always soothed the soul, loosened tension, and fed the intellect: “The desired effect is what you get when you improve your interplanetary funksmenship.” (even as kids we caught the bigger meaning: Acknowledge things beyond your immediate surroundings to live a richer, happier life).

It was broader than the usual revolutionary rhetoric, less demanding, more fun, and appealed to the basic humanitarian that dwells inside all of us.

“Everybody’s got a little light under the sun!” Wow, it was also less exclusionary, and invited all the races, (“One nation under a groove!”)  Even the animals seemed welcome, and sometimes George even inspired us to ponder the meaning of life in general– “Why must I feel like that, why must I chase the cat?” –which is a great accomplishment: to get kids to contemplate life beyond their immediate surroundings.

But most of all, it always seemed fueled by love rather than anger, or rage, or self-defense, or revenge, so it simply felt better in the heart. George offered cool, colorful and humorous solutions: “He just can’t find the beat, (the rhythm of life) so flash light! Help him find the funk!”

While Gil Scott, Marvin Gaye, and Curtis Mayfield opted to spotlight the ills (“What’s goin’ on? Fred is dead!”), other artists adored those very same years, like Stevie: “I wish those days, would, come back again…”

While the FBI/Panther reality dwelled in a racist, segregated, crime-ridden world plagued by war, some of us were busy celebrating our “Chocolate City” and danced our way out of our constrictions as one joyous nation under a groove thanks to George’s beautifully open and optimistic mind.

Digital Underground

That alternate world delivered Dr. Dre to his producing dream, Denzel Washington to the top of the box office, Prince to his magic Purple Kingdom, and allowed me to spark a place called Digital Underground and declare Peace and Humptiness to all!

In hindsight, I’m thankful that in addition to the straight-laced messages of say, Earth Wind & Fire, or the soulful messages of James Brown, we also had intellectual daredevils like Hendrix, Miles, and George to walk the outer edge for us, to experiment in the studio with acid and mushrooms, to risk their own health and sanity and bring us back all those amazing sounds, colors and philosophies.

These people went to war for us, physically and mentally, and are recognized and appreciated by many as real-life royalty-

Royalty earned, and not just because of whoever their parents happened to be. And like all geniuses, George has his flaws; his vulnerabilities. But what’s so different about his crack habit than Billie Holiday or Jerry Garcia’s heroin habits? Or Jimi Hendrix’s any-drug-he-could-find-that-day habit? Or Bob Marley’s weed habit?
The only difference I see is that George somehow survived his habit into his 70s, while the rest of their hearts gave out much sooner. (R.I.P.)

Bravo! Last man standing; the mighty, mighty Dr. Funkenstein! Not just standing, but standing on stage, giving, performing, traveling, and leading the greatest and largest funk band in the known Universe, PARLIAMENT-FUNKADELIC!!

Of course lately they can be a little rusty or uninspired up there airy-now-n-den, but that’s okay, us true fans, we allow it, because we can all imagine and appreciate that life inside of P-Funk probably ain’t no cake-walk either.

Chaos. Mayhem at times. The inside competitions and feuds are probably unbearable to the average musician, only the strong survive in P-Funk. Even Bootsy had to step out a few times, and catch his breath for a year or two. The truth is, most bands couldn’t endure what they’ve lived through (more live shows than the Rolling Stones or Grateful Dead.) Most of us can’t imagine the level of patience it requires to exist in a band of that size and essence. Think 6 basketball teams, including the bench, all traveling together, with their grandkids in the band, still doing a show per night to sold out audiences to this very day.

That’s P-Funk.


P-Funk isn’t just a band, it’s a phenomenon.

And George is for sure an extraterrestrial, the magnetic centerpiece to that phenomenon, who’s earned the right to do whatever he pleases in most of our eyes. Especially as long as he chooses to remain in the driver’s seat and take on such a mammoth responsibility, one in which he navigated for 50 years strong so far without complaint.

How many men in this world would stay in there and do that? Plus, have you ever actually been around P-Funk? These dudes are not your average Bar Kays or Kool & the Gang, nowhere’s near that normal or orderly.

We’re talkin’ some of the weirdest & most intense cats in the business, misfits. Most producers wouldn’t even work with some of these cats, but George welcomes ’em all, communicates with all their quirks and personal languages, and pulls a coherent performance out of them each night.

Managing P-Funk probably has the stress-level of managing 3 or 4 Wu-Tang Clans at once. Between touring and the studio, George hasn’t taken a break since the 1960s, so I think we owe the man a little cred here:

Some 90 or so albums-with the common lyrical thread of self empowerment, upliftment, humor, optimism, and mental liberation-running through all 90 of ’em.

Never an arrogant, cruel, or self-centered lyric through all his work, never talked down to his audience, always approachable and charming in person, and never used his platform to chase pussy. Also, he never imposes any rank when speaking with his bandmates, treats everyone with the same respect, young or old, new or 50-year veteran.

George Clinton is a true class act, an artist of immovable integrity. I’ve never been around a person with a more peaceful vibe, who’s mere presence relives tension in whatever company he’s in. He’s also one of the most influential poets of the 20th century, his magical wordplay and phrases still circulate today within the hip-hop, electro and rock communities.

And finally, he will go down in history as one of the great composers and arrangers of our time. He was not the last person to put his touches on their greatest songs, George was often the first person to touch it, the creative spark who set the ball in motion. “Atomic Dog” was one of those: in his first take he laid all his vocals as they are now in the song in one continuous take, improvising all the memorable hooks and key melodies that became the song’s theme.

“Flash Light” is another in which George was the first voice to touch it, even before Bernie’s keyboards. When George sung over it, it was just drums and guitar strumming; no bassline, no space-organ, no moog synth squeaks and chirps yet, and no group vocals. The essence of those two songs is all George, notice the keyboards following his lead next time you hear it.

Another one, not only the lyrics, but the chord changes to “(Not Just) Knee Deep” was George-inspired;  he already had the words & melody years before it was recorded, it was something he used to sing to himself. He sung it a cappella to Junie one day, who figured it out further on the keyboard, finding the chords & adding the bassline.

Quiet as it’s kept, most of the classic P-Funk hits, it’s George’s essence that rings through the most, that thing that makes it recognizably P.

Soooo not a pretender. On the contrary, he was the ears, the visionary, and the primary lyricist responsible for 90% of the P-Funk song titles and words.

Okay, and while we’re at it, one more juicy little-known gem about the man: He’s responsible for the rhythm arrangement of “More Bounce to the Ounce” by Zapp(!!) Yes, George Clinton, in a little bit of a fluke, a little studio savvy, and a bit of luck, actually gave Roger that sound, that formula that Roger went on to use on his next 3 follow-up singles; “I Can Make You Dance”, “So Ruff, So Tuff”, and “Dance Floor”, That chunky stutter bass against the thick handclap? Zapp & Roger’s signature sound and main money maker? It was a George Clinton creation. (Doh!)

Very true. That sound is the result of George cutting a 2-foot long piece out of the 2-inch multi tape, flipping it around backwards, looping it to itself, and then slowing it down to the current speed of “More Bounce”. Apparently, Roger’s original groove was faster and a lot busier. They said it was in a vein like his “Heard it through the Grapevine” song: fast and choppy with a busy chord progression, and the bass was all over the place, an elaborate melody.

George, who was producing Roger’s first album for his new Uncle Jam label that year (which is another fascinating story: how the crazy older brother Larry Troutman sneak signed the group to Warner Bros. behind George’s back while he and Bootsy left the studio to get food. Yes, the same crazy brother who shot Roger dead 10 years later.)

Anywayz, earlier that day, while Zapp was still set to be the first new act on George’s label, George got concerned that Roger didn’t have anything they could use as a single yet, and that he needed something simpler then what he had heard so far, and that’s when he performed the tape trick.

The new slower piece in reverse created the rhythm and melody that became the infamous “More Bounce” kick-drum and synth-bass “B-B-Bomp CLAP-Bomp-Bomp” arrangement. With a smile George said “That’s all ya need right there. Just build the song around that”, and the rest became that beast of a record. If you listen closely, you can still hear the backwards bass & drums underneath; that was the first thing they started with, and then began overdubbing more tracks on a second 2-inch machine.

They told me that Roger also had about 10-times the lyric content he wound up using and that George convinced him to eliminate most of it and just keep repeating “mooore boooounce” they way he did. I was told this first hand by Boogie the bass player and Gary Shider, who were both also there that day.

And speaking of George’s Zen-like integrity; get this:
-after he had a verbal agreement from Roger and had been grooming him for months to be the first release on the new Uncle Jam label, and also after producing a good portion of his album so far, (including literally creating “More Bounce” for him), after all that, when George returned and learned that a Warner rep had showed up, went in the back room with Larry and Roger, talked him out of signing with George’s label in 5 minutes they said, and signed him directly to Warner–

They said George looked at them with disappointed eyes that said “Really?” looked down at the ground for a second, shook his head no, shrugged and said “Well, so much for that”, and turned around and walked out the studio.

The remaining P-Funk cats walked out after George, and I think they said Bootsy was the only one who stayed behind to help finish producing it, which is why Bootsy’s name appeared in the credit.

But yeah, George gave that classic song it’s essence as well as named the group “Zapp.” He never sued or spoke about it again, he just let it go, but I heard he was sad and heartbroken by it, as he had a friendship building with Roger prior to that incident.

Okay, ’nuff said.
George is THE dude basically.
He’s the genuine article, and has well-earned all recognition he’s ever received and beyond..
He is a rare and true artist of artists.

Peace, love, & humptiness 4eva,
and thanx for allowing me to introduce you to Dr. Funkenstien.
(of 2Pac, digital underground, Luniz, Saafir, Murs)

“Think, it ain’t illegal yet.”
— G.C.

original article

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

Here’s What’s Driving the Racial Hysteria this Country is Facing…Dr Francis Cress Welsing Explains the Psychology Behind White Supremacy

Dr Francis Cress Welsing

Wanna know why we have this intense racially charged reaction to President Barack Obama being in the White House?  It’s not because people may disagree with his policies. That’s understandable and fair game, but when you have a 400% increase in threats and this over the top maligning of his character mired in racial stereotypes, there’s something else going on. Perhaps we can find some answers rooted in what psychologist Francis Cress Welsing talks about in with her Race and Color Confrontation Theory.

Cress Welsing states white supremacy is a system is practiced by the global white minority, on both conscious and unconscious levels, to ensure their genetic survival by any means necessary. According to Cress Welsing, this system attacks people of color, particularly people of African descent, in the nine major areas of people’s activity: economics, education, entertainment, labor, law, politics, religion, sex and war. Cress Welsing believes that it is imperative that people of color, especially people of African descent, understand how the system of white supremacy works in order to dismantle it and bring true justice to planet Earth.

Below are clips from an appearance that Welsing made on the film Donahue show where she breaks all this down.. You can read her works in the Isis Papers and The Keys to the Colors..

After you watch the Phil Donahue excerpts you can scroll down and watch the historic debate between Francis Cress Welsing and Dr William Shockley

Francis Cress Welsing vs Dr William Shockley

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

4 Hip Hop Videos You Need to Watch on a Nice Summer Day in August…

Mistah Fab hits us across the dome with one of the better videos that speak to our conditions in 2010

This is one of my favorite videos for 2010.. Props to Oakland rapper Mistah FAB for spitting truth to power and putting this out. We need more videos and songs that speak to the conditions of the masses

I love this video from Bay Area rapper Paris featuring T-Kash. I don’t think it got the shine it truly deserves and yet it really captures and energy that was and still is here in the Bay.  Don’t Stop the Movement is energetic  and sadly fortlls the riots that broke out in the streets of Oakland around the killing of Oscar Grant

Invincible has been on fire with her videos and her songs.. Here she teams up with Waajeed to capture grittiness of Detroit. This cut Detroit Summer is on point. I like how she captures footage from the recent US Social Forum that was held there. Give this sista deserves our support and props.

This is a classic throwback that I almost forgot about.. Chuck D and Public Enemy cover a lot of ground in this video.. It ranges from Clarence Thomas confirmation to the Supreme Court to Mike Tyson being sentenced to prison to the riots at Virginia Beach during Spring Break and the riots and in South Central LA after the Rodney King verdict

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

Black Leadership in the Age of Obama: HKR interview w/ author/activist & Congressional Candidate Kevin Powell

Click HERE to listen to our Hard Knock Radio interview w/ Kevin Powell

The discussion around leadership especially in the Black community is an on going one that will continuously be revisited. For some its old news that needs to be avoided. With so much going on in our lives why have a discussion about leadership where one may wind up stressed out and left with lots of questions. For many others, as activist/ author  and Congressional candidate Kevin Powell points out such discussions are necessary if for any reason to keep people accountable.

The community needs to be accountable to those who speak and does things in their names. It’s understandable, when one looks at how messy politics can be.. but to not be political is political and far too often with dire consequences. Hence a community must constantly challenge, hold up high, push and agitate.

For those who see themselves as leaders such discussions are important in order to check in and make sure one is truly repping the interests of the folks they are trying to serve versus serving the interests of the institutions they are a part of.. In short a leader is in service to his community and constantly giving voice to the voiceless.

In our interview with Kevin Powell builds off many of the points he lays out in an upcoming article to be featured in Ebony Magazine. He gives an incredible and insightful breakdown of of what leadership should ideally look like in the Obama Era. He notes its not enough to simply have a few people who look like us in high places. It’s important to have a plan of action to help put into place the things people truly need.

In our interview Powell goes into great detail explaining the challenges our generation has of being lured by the ‘cult of personality’ and media punditry and how we must align ourselves with those who do the work in terms of organizing.He talks about the importance of bridging generational, class and gender divides. He talks about how we should build coalitions with others. He also talks about how we should look to make room for others to emerge. We also talk about Kevin’s run for Congress and the recent lawsuit that was launched against him by his opponent which was dismissed and seemed designed to be a distraction and a money drain versus being something of any real substance.

Like I said a lot of ground gets covered.. too much to write..

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

Breakdown FM Interview w/ Hip Hop Legends Kid-N-Play: From Their Rapping Days and Beyond

Click HERE to Listen to Breakdown FM interview w/ Hip Hop Legends Kid-n-Play

We caught up with Hip Hop legends and long time friends Chris Reed and Chris Martin aka Kid-N-Play who were the surprised guest for a special taping of Jamie Foxx’s Foxhole Comedy Tour in Sacramento and the debut of a new film company No Brainer. Foxx had an all-star line up of comedians and athletes ranging from Kevin Hart to Ron Artest to Danny Glover to Lloyd and with each appearance the crowd went nuts. However, the biggest applause went to Kid-N-Play who took the stage with a vengeance and reminded folks just how fun Hip Hop.

They dropped a bevy of classic songs and ended it by doing their trademark kick step dance routine which wasn’t a bad feat considering Play has titanium rods in his leg and ankle from an accident he suffered a few years ago while walking his dog named ‘Girlfriend‘. In fact lets clear up this crazy rumor that folks have heard. Play broke his leg when his dog chased another dog and got the leash entangled in his leg causing him to take a nasty spill. People heard the word Girlfriend and erroneously concluded that his mishap was the result of some sort of domestic abuse thing. It was nothing of a kind-not even close.

We sat down with the duo and covered a wide range of topics. We talked about their movie careers and the significance of the House Party film series. Many of us note that it those films opened the doors for rappers who made their way into acting and later producing and directing. In short Queen Latifah, Will Smith, Ice Cube and many others owe a bit of gratitude to Kid-N-Play. It’s interesting to note the roles Kid-N-Play did was written for Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff.

Comedian Martin lawrence is one of the many stars who was part of the House Party series

The pair talked about the many legendary entertainers who they worked with and came through House Party including the late comedian Robin Harris, Martin Lawrence and Tisha Campbell. There’s been talk of reviving the series with a whole new cast. We’ll keep you posted as to how that unfolds.

They also talked about the enormous talent that is coming up from today’s generation of artists especially along the dance tip. Kid noted that he was impressed with the ways folks have flipped things.

We talked about Kid’s comedy career and how he made the transition from rapper to stand up.

Play who had the dubious distinction of being kicked out of 5 different high schools while coming up in New York, today is teaching college courses on two different campuses in North Carolina.  One of his classes he teamed with producer 9th Wonder who now teaches his own Hip Hop culture class. Play also noted that he’s been filming and doing documentaries. He noted that there’s a big void in relevent and intelligent news stories for folks in the hood and he’s been trying to fill that void with his own project Brand Newz.

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

How Distracting Has this Debate About the Ground Zero Mosque Been?

It’s funny how many of us were kinda caught off guard when it was announced that we were pulling our ‘combat troops’ out of Iraq. We would no longer be engaged in day to day fighting, instead the 50 thousand troops left behind would be in an ‘advisory and consultant’ role. So in short, things are being framed as the War in Iraq has ended and everyone is happy but scratching their heads asking ‘How did we not know this’? “Why did we not see this coming?’

By now we all know that the mainstream media and those who have access to controlling or influencing its inner workings have perfected the art of distraction. Maybe it’s a Tiger Woods scandal to overshadow our increasing troops and funding for the War in Afghanistan. Maybe its Lebron James and his big decision to leave Cleveland overshadowing the beg decision made by an LA jury to hand down a light sentence to a murderous cop. (Oscar Grant/ Johannes Mehserle).

In any case most of us know by now that when corporate backed news outlets start over saturating us with an issue, then something else is going on. That something else is usually something we should be paying attention to.

So what have we been talking about over the past couple of weeks? The main topics that have gotten us heated center around race and religion. They include: Anchor babies, Terror babies, Changing the 14th Amendment, Dr Laura using the N word and the dust-up over building a Mosque/Community center near Ground Zero.

I’ll be the first to say discussions about race and politics are always important but only  if we are 1-equal participants in framing the discussion and 2-If we have a desired goal we wish to reach. The above mentioned topics seem to have come out of left field with the end result being a lot of folks being put on the defensive and reacting to a script and a narrative already laid out. Many of us have spent hours debating these issues with groups of people who have decided that no matter what is said or how much logic is used they’re still gonna push the issue and stick to the main talking points.

Texas Rep Debbie Riddle believes we have Terror Babies to Fear

We’ve seen this play out around the issue of terror babies. We saw political figures like Texas Congressmen Lou Gohmert and Texas State Rep Debbie Riddle riding this issue hard only to find that once questioned they had absolutely no proof and had their stories were categorically refuted by the FBI’s terror experts. Nevertheless these advocates stuck to their guns and kept fanning the flames of a Non-Issue.

We seen this play out with the Mosque/Community Center near Ground Zero debate . For the past two weeks our TV screens and radio dials were filled with whining voices of people who aren’t even from New York declaring folks as un-American for being insensitive to 9-11 victims. They claimed that the land around Ground Zero was sacred ground and we all need to show respect. All that was coupled with over the top pejorative remarks about the ‘Evils of Islam‘. Of course pointing that the initial proposals to make Ground Zero a building free memorial park were rejected by developers who wanted commercial buildings on this ‘sacred ground’ was done without one word from many of the people talking that hallowed ground stuff today, has fallen on deaf ears.

Ann Coulter said the widows of 9-11 were 'enjoying their husband's death

The ‘deaf ear’ treatment continued when pointing out that there was a huge silence when right-wing pundit Ann Coulter accused 9-11 widows of ‘enjoying their husbands deaths‘. We didn’t see all these pundits running around demanding she show sensitivity. She wasn’t banned nor were her books removed from bookstores near Ground Zero.

The main point here is while we been going in on these topics, we missed the run up to our troops leaving Iraq and in doing so, we never got to ask all the hard questions like:

1-Did Iraq’s oil reserves really pay for the War? This was one of the strong selling points or us going to Iraq. Are getting reimbursed by them?

2-Suicide rates are at all-time highs with many of our troops having served 4 and 5 tours of duty. Are we equipped to absorb them back into society? Are they gonna be able to cope? Did we provide enough money in our budget to take care of their needs?

3-Will they have jobs waiting or will the returning soldiers join the ranks of under employed and un-employed?

4-What is Iraq to us now? Is it a sovereign nation free to do as she sees fit? Is it a colony of the US?

5-People who have been against the Mosque have talked about how allowing it to be built will send a strong negative message of us ‘giving in’ if we allow it to be built. What signal (positive or negative) is being suggested when we pull out of Iraq? Are we seen as winners or a super power that couldn’t get the job done?

6-Does a pullout in Iraq mean we are gearing up for the war in Iran?

7-Us pulling out of Iraq today overshadows the premier of the Pat Tilman movie where its pointed that the military brass deliberately lied and deceived the American public not only about the circumstances around his death but lots of other issues related to drawing us into war. One of the more damning facets highlighted in this movie is the role of former general Stanley McChrystal played in all this? Why was he kept on to run operations? Was the Tilman coverup an isolated incident or widespread?

Forget a proposed Mosque being built on private property lets talk about the wars we been fighting and what’s behind them. Forget the Mosque, lets talk about the plight of those returning to college. last year we saw massive strikes from New York to Cali as students protested fee hikes that ranged from 30-38% percent. With the economy in shambles, what’s happened to all those who couldn’t afford high fee hikes?

We can go on and on with questions and pointing out issues we really need to be focusing on. We could be talking about the rise in private prisons like Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and how they are connected to the push for tougher immigration laws like SB 1070.

We have the situation with the Gulf and the BP Oil spill. In spite of all the assurances that everything is ok, there has been recent citings of an oil plume 22 miles long. How much damage has been really been done? How much is being covered up? Should we be discussing this or the Ground Zero Mosque/ Culture Center?

Karl Rove has quietly started a Shadow RNC and plans to toss unlimited amounts of money at specific mid-term contests

We can talk about the Jerrymandering and Redistricting efforts that will take place after the 2010 elections-Perhaps we should be talking about the secret Shadow RNC that has been formed by former Bush advisor Karl Rove and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie. They have raised close to 130 million dollars and will be taking advantage of the new supreme court rulings that allow corporations to spend whatever they want during elections. What will that mean?

Many of us have been remarking about how Sarah Palin has been defending Dr Laura and her using the N word. We definitely should shut that down, but we should also be paying attention to her Mama Grizzly campaign. She’s been stomping for a number of women to get into office where they can carry out her policies. Who are we stomping for?

Remember a distracted population is a dumbed down population. A dumbed down population is a population that’s easily manipulated and pimped.

something to ponder

-Davey D-

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

Wright: White Supremacy from Bacon to Obama: Are We Finally at the Moment of Reckoning?

White Supremacy from Bacon to Obama: Are We Finally at the Moment of Reckoning?

by Professor Tina Wright

A few months ago, I got into a debate online with a white woman I did not know. She was “scared to death” about the direction of this country and felt Obama and his policies were going to ruin the United States. She was worried about the “new world order” and saw Obama as the face of it. While acknowledging “problems” starting under Bush, she believed things were much worse now under Obama.

Her reasoning epitomized white privilege so I asked her one last question which i had a feeling she would not, or could not answer: When were things “better” in this country? Name one time.

as i suspected, I never heard from her again…

maybe she thought she was being set up for a history lesson…and she was. I wanted to ask her if things were better when the indigenous’ lost their land and lives? or Africans and African Americans were enslaved for hundreds of years? Or maybe during the rule of jim crow domestic terrorism? lynching? the great depression? segregation? crack? 50% youth unemployment in cities in the 80s? For her, today’s “sky is falling doomsday” is for many “just another day in the U.S.A.”.

I’m not sure she learned anything that day….but i know i did. James Baldwin’s Fire Next Time may be upon us.

“But it is not permissible that the authors of devastation should also be innocent.

It is the innocence which constitutes the crime.” – James Baldwin

Before Obama won the election, I knew his presidency would be the opportunity for reckoning. I wrote and said many times that this country was not ready for even the symbolism of a black man as head of state. White supremacists would revolt..and in many ways have (politically, rhetorically, and even in some cases, violently).

While Obama has no real power (or desire) to threaten white supremacy, the symbolism of him being the president is more than many in this country can bare. Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck have decided to employ the same strategy that has been utilized throughout this country’s existence to protect white supremacy and the status quo power structure: stroke white fears.

Bacon’s Rebellion: The Writing on the Wall

Early slavery was “indentured servitude” for many Africans and Europeans that were brought in bondage (some kidnapped). Many worked for years and then earned freedom. That is why there were free Africans in VA and other areas from early on (some of which even went on to own slaves themselves (but that’s another story). Chattel slavery “for life” as it came to be was a result of this fear of the poorer masses (white and black) coming together and threatening the planter class (elite). Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676 was a symbol of their greatest fear and THAT led to “African” based “slave for life” system, and white supremacy as an ideology to keep poor whites supporting a system that never benefited them…they were taught one thing: “at least you are not black”.

And the pattern has been used ever since…Birth of a Nation was the visualization of white fear post Civil-War. Reconstruction time was a very progressive time for the African American community, including land ownership (some of which was seized from confederate former slave owners) education, & political representation (to the point we have not seen since – why you often here preface “first Black _____ since Reconstruction…etc.). Black progress was real and Black wallstreet (Tulsa OK) and Mound Bayou (Mississippi) were models of it … but white America was NOT ready and domestic terrorism as a strategy was implemented (KKK, lynching, white mobs and finally Jim Crow by law for a century). Trust me, history does repeat itself when we do not learn the REAL lesson… these days, I hear talk of repealing the 14th amendment?! exactly…

Obama’s presidency has been about nothing BUT the ongoing racial struggle in this country…it is the latest chapter if you will. I want to take a minute to give the historical context…i will use black history but this can also be done with Native Ameican History, Chicano history, and so on…

With progress made, there is always backlash…

TO secure our freedom:

1. David Walker’s Appeal (calling for enslaved Africans to secure freedom by any means)

2. Bacon’s Rebellion (class based revolt)


1. racialization of slavery (from indentured servitude to slave for life)

2. black codes for non-enslaved African Americans


1. Abolition movement to end slavery (from reform tactics like pressure though press and courts to radical revolts to moral religious tactics)..led to whole free state/slave state – congressional politics of representation 3/5 clause etc.



THEN to secure freedom we:


1. Federal FREEDMAN’S Bureau

2. gains in education, land, and political representation


1. Domestic Terrorism, birth of KKK

2. Legalization of Jim Crow


1. Booker T. – building institutions but not fighting racism,

2. DuBois – NAACP, tried reforming system, holding to its ideals,

3. Garvey – actually inspired by Booker T., self determination, building black institutions and economic empowerment with black money not white donors like Booker T. had


1. J Edgar Hoover hired first black agent to infiltrate UNIA.

2. Black leaders pitted against each other as tactic (Washington v. DuBOis, Garvey v. DuBois)

3. Internal strife (movements brought down from within/tactic used in revolts earlier too)


1. CRM – Emmitt Till, montgomery bus boycott – masses organizing, SNCC, BPP, etc



2. MLK v. MALCOLM,take sides (tactic divide and conquer which Malcolm X later rejected)


hip hop – voice for youth coming of post-CR era


commodfied – frame one dimensional and sell for profit while reinforcing stereotypes..see BAMBOOZLED




1. tea party

2. “liberal” squabbling on politics instead of organizing actions (which i argue is very purposeful and again refer to Malcolm X speech on foxes and wolves..liberals and conservatives)

3. the fear of a brown planet (immigration debate, 14th amendment, etc.)

I write all this to basically point out that we have to make sure we know not only what we are fighting for (freedom, justice, sustenance)…but WHO we are fighting for (people’s class), and who we are fighting against (elite)…because there have been many times in history we have been pitted against each other as a tactic when we could have united and been a powerful force for our own freedom…we can either learn lessons of history, or continue to repeat them…

Ms. Sherrod breaks it down plainly on why understanding and dealing with white supremacy is critical to building class consciousness…it has not only been A strategy but it has been THE strategy of the owning class since before this country formed…back to colonial days..

We cannot be free until they are free – James Baldwin

James Baldwin

For working people to come together (again – see Bacon) they must first recognize the humanity they share…and white supremacy is the roadblock denying that truth. That is what the white middle class has done for this system…people will continue to support a system that only benefits 1% until they recognize that they are not a part of that 1%…they are a part of the 99% masses across the globe of all hues…

so i say all that to say this:

If you really study the struggle of black history and the use of white supremacy to keep iniquity alive, as i have said many times before…even the symbolic aspect of a “black” man being the president of this racist empire and how it is driving white supremacists crazy was change enough for me to believe in…lol.

Obama’s presidency is an opportunity for this country if we seize it..Before Obama rattled white supremacists awake, they were able to hide behind institutional racism and now they have to come from behind the Bushes (pun intended), show their true color (pun intended) and let the fall out begin (AZ, tea party, 14th amendment now etc)…which will FORCE US to do what we have to do to …FIGHT FOR OUR FREEDOM…and THAT is what i’ve been waiting for…The Fire Next Time… it’s time and i’ve been ready..

as my son would say…LET’S GO!!

original story:

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

DJ Kuttin Kandi: Why Fat Beats Matter to Hip Hop


by DJ Kuttin Kandi

Fat Beats recently announced that they will be closing their legendary Fat Beats Record store in Los Angeles and New York City in early September (New York: Sept 4, Los Angeles: September 18th). Upon hearing this sad news many things came to mind, but first my emotions got the best of me. My heart stopped breathing and I felt as though I was going to choke. It was like the world suddenly ended. I felt like I lost a best friend and a big part of my identity. That’s simply because Fat Beats was truly like a best friend to me. But even more so, Fat Beats had much to do with my identity. Like many Hip-Hop heads I pride myself in stating the words of KRS One – “I AM Hip-Hop”. And like many true Hip-Hop heads know, Fat Beats IS Hip-Hop and Hip-Hop IS Fat Beats. So, it’s only natural when a Hip-Hop head like myself hears the news that the world famous Hip-Hop store is closing they know that it’s like losing a big chunk of Hip-Hop. Suddenly the words of “I AM Hip-Hop” can’t seem to ring true anymore when Fat Beats closes.

For those that are just now learning of what Fat Beats are I am saddened that you are just learning about Fat Beats now and that you won’t be witnessing the Fat Beats that many of us once knew and loved to heart. I will do the best that I can to give honor to the store that paved the way for all of us.

Fat Beats is a place for which many of us call “underground Hip-Hop” or “real Hip-Hop”. As much as many of us don’t like to divide Hip-Hop, the truth is the mainstream music industry creates those rifts where independent Hip-Hop just don’t get the opportunity to have mainstream airplay. The co-optation of Hip-Hop culture of big corporations many of which are record labels and etc. controlling and monopolizing mainstream airwaves, many of whom don’t know a lot about Hip-Hop history or culture, play a huge factor as to why many independent artists are never heard. So, many of those great legends in Hip-Hop and dope Hip-Hop top-notch-ill-lyricist who can actually rhyme, you might not ever get a chance to know about unless you went to Fat Beats or were part of that “underground Hip-Hop” scene in which Fat Beats played a huge role.

Before I even get into how Fat Beats played a huge role in Hip-Hop, let me start how it played a huge role in my life. Memories of Fat Beats are starting to play like a needle to the groove as I reminisce my earlier days in the scene. The year was 1995, and DJ Roli Rho and I walked throughout the Greenwich Village of New York City, looking for the record store we had heard about from other friends. The original store was located in a basement and if you were a regular passerby you probably would never notice it was there unless you were intentionally looking for the spot. The minute Roli and I walked in we were mesmerized. We knew we walked into a paradise of not just records, but pure, original, organic, and true Hip-Hop. That was the day we also met Joe Abajian aka DJ Jab, the owner of Fat Beats. When we left Fat Beats that day, Roli and I, like little kids who found a secret stash of candy, swore to each other to keep the place secret and to only show people who were worthy. I know, right? What the heck? Lol, why so secret? Well, quite honestly, we knew we found something so valuable. We knew it was a treasure we felt we had to keep safe. We had to protect Hip-Hop.  Eventually, we couldn’t be that selfish.  We knew we had to share it amongst folks and deepen the knowledge for others who were looking for really good music.

It was from that point on that my world changed. Through Fat Beats, I’ve met some of my greatest friends as well as some of my idols, inspirations and mentors. Fat Beats introduced me to a whole world of true Hip-Hop. They’ve introduced me to my crew the 5th Platoon. I probably would have never met my all-female-crew Anomolies had it not been for Fat Beats. So many moments, so many memories, so many people.  People we all grew up together with in this culture Hip-Hop we loved so much… Arsonists, Non-Phixion, Stronghold, Percee P i’ll never forget you chillin there!  I mean, i can’t name everybody, but we all were there.  Visitors all over the world, comin through to the tiny spot that moved to upstairs ave of america’s.  We moved on up!  Fat Beats was the place to be, the place to go to find out all the underground Hip-hop events. It was the place where I met Gangstar, and had it not been for that moment of truth time Guru (rest in peace) and I might not have been longtime friends. Fat Beats had seen me grow as a DJ, has helped me to become a DJ. They sold my mixtapes.  Then when I proved my skills, Fat Beats invited me on stage to perform with legends. One of them being in 1995, our very first Fifth Platoon show for Fat Beats Anniversary and for GrandMaster Roc Raida’s (rest in peace) birthday. That was the day I also made my debut. Fat Beats developed my name – Kuttin Kandi – could not have existed without Fat Beats. And right now, as I am 3000 miles away from Fat Beats NY, our 5th Platoon signed picture still hangs on their ceiling till Fat Beats closes.

Memories, so many of them. And I am sure it is not just me reminiscing….

Long before twitter, facebook, and blogging ever existed – people relied on fliers, word of mouth and real contact with people. Fat Beats was the place to find out all the upcoming Hip-Hop events, where’s the next open mic spot, who’s the next artist. You had to go to Fat Beats because there was going to be an MC Battle, a record release, a DJ Battle. You had to go to Fat Beats because they were going to tell you the newest artist. You knew they were going to be the first to play the artist before they blew up. You were going to see cats outside of Fat Beats selling you their CDs. There were going to be lines outside of Fat Beats. Tickets to the hottest Hip-Hop event were going to be sold at Fat Beats. They promoted our events. They pushed and moved our careers. They’ve seen us come up and make it. And they kept the buzz going. But most of all Fat Beats kept true to keeping vinyl alive. Even as I’m sure vinyl sales went down over the years and the rent on avenue on the america’s were going up, Fat Beats still kept trying to go on.  I’m surprised it stood ground for this long, but then again I’m not that surprised because they knew how important the music and the culture was to all of us. And because Hip-Hop knew how important Fat Beats was to keeping true Hip-Hop alive.

So what does this mean for Hip-Hop?  Well, the good news is that Fat Beats will still continue on with their website, retail and their wholesale distribution. Of course, on our ends will need to continue supporting Fat Beats. But while it’s a good thing that Fat Beats will continue online and etc, I am still saddened. Having a space for Hip-Hop heads to gravitate to is so important for the culture. Sure, I know we’ve got our open mic spots and other little spots.  And i know we’ll survive this just as we survived when the Stretch and Bobbito show ended.  Even recently good long-time friend dope ill battle MC Sara Kana from Grind Time reminded me and told me that, “We Are this Underground Hip-Hop”.

But this is big, at least this is big for me… having a record store may not be the full representation of Hip-Hop but it definitely plays a huge role in bringing us together.

Let’s bring this to the perspective of community.

Starbucks, and other coffee spots, a fairly known place, has been labeled a “third space”. “Third Space”, is a popularized coined term created by urban sociologist, Ray Oldenburg which is used to label spaces created by businesses that create an “anchor of community” to have conversation, dialogue and discussion. While I often enjoy a good latte once in a blue, hanging out starbucks will never be my “place to be” nor are folks from my community really chillin there. I don’t consider the “third space” of starbucks a place where I find a sense of community. And again, it’s not my community. Nor do I want it ever to be my community.

Fat Beats is that third space for me, and for many of us, particularly for us, people-of-color (and our allies) who love real Hip-Hop.  Fat Beats is that independent store we love to support, because they support independent Hip-Hop artists. They support people-of-color. They support our communities. They support our history, our culture, our passion, our friends, our music. And I am sad, that we lost this third space. Where and when will we have that space again?  A space where we can be truly who we are… where we can get down.. listen to what we love… and not conform to the mainstream status quo. Where will we have that space for us again?

While I love the fact that the internet has opened up doors, bridged some divides, and actually helps independent artists, it has also closed a few doors for us.

Again, don’t get me wrong, I still support newer technology. Serato has made things easier in my life, at the same time there is still a loss. Everything is so accessible to us now. We no longer have to dig in the crates and search for a record. It’s just with a stroke of a key that we can get that joint. You don’t even need to memorize the color of the label no more, because you just enter the title and the song comes up. Record shopping created relationships and friendships. Crate diggers know this, especially all of you who are true classic collectors. And I’m sure you all still do this in whatever record store still remains in your city. But losing Fat Beats is a sign for us to find ways to stay connected. It’s a sign for us to not lose ourselves completely to technology. We are losing human connection. While we connect with people, more than we can imagine, via the internet… we are still losing the human touch. We need to walk out the door, go to a record store, meet that lifelong friend who knows exactly how you feel when you put the needle to the groove. Listen to the music together at the record store. Nod your head. Bboy, Bgirl… cut it up… because it connects you to Hip-Hop. Hip-Hop connects you to your community. This is what Fat Beats taught us throughout the years.

Thank you for believing in me and thank you for supporting me all of these years.  Thank you Joe and for all the staff throughout the years (DJ Boo, Lalena, Max Glazer, and so many others), especially the legendary DJ Eclipse for holding it down all these years.  You will never be forgotten!

Thank you Fat Beats for a lifetime of memories, music, love, hope, independence, vinyl and true Hip-Hop.

With love,

DJ Kuttin Kandi

5th Platoon, Anomolies, Guerrilla Words, R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop

DJ, Poet, Writer, Activist

For more articles and videos on Fat Beats read here:

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

The Ground Zero Debate: Islam Did Not Knock Down the Towers…Immortal Technique, Mos Def & Paris Remind Us Who Did

As we continue this senseless debate about the building of an Islamic Cultural Center near Ground Zero, we should keep a few important points in mind..

1-Islam did not knock down the towers…If it did then we best be prepared to shoulder the blame for ‘Christianity’ burning crosses and lynching thousands of Black people throughout the South. If Islam knocked down the towers, then we’re gonna have to accept the fact that ‘Catholics’ raped hundreds of little altar boys and we’re gonna have to accept that ‘Jews’ killed Jesus. I’m sure if we sit back and think for a minute we can find all sorts of evil things done in the name of God, Jehovah, Allah etc and conclude that an entire religion was responsible for the wrong doing..Obviously that would be wrong-headed, so lets not be selective in what we want to demonize.

2-This country was founded on Freedom of Religion.. It doesn’t matter if you wanna pray to Frosty the Snowman or Barney the Dinosaur, you have that right and no one should be allowed to prevent you from practicing especially when the worship is being done on private property and other people are not being physically harmed.

I realize being tolerant is hard for many to stomach, but too bad.  Feelings may be hurt and that’s understandable, we all have our feelings and opinions and we’re entitled to them.. However, that does not give anyone the right to stop someone from enjoying the main tenets this country was founded on. If someone doesn’t like the Islamic Center near Ground Zero being built because they feel the land around it is somehow sacred, then those folks with hurt feelings can walk right past it. You don’t have to visit it. You can go to the strip club that’s nearby and drown your sorrows in a healthy offering a naked dancers and porn.

3-Many Muslims died on 9-11 as did people of all races and religion. No one group gets to claim moral high ground or some sort of ultimate victim status. Many people lost family members on 9-11 and in the weeks, months and now years afterwards. Today we have first responders who are dying because of health issues related to 9-11 that wasn’t disclosed while they were doing clean up. There are thousands more who volunteered and joined the military and later perished on the battle fields of Iraq and Afghanistan. Those two wars were and are being fought under the guise of what took place on 9-11.

4-If folks really want to fight a battle about what should be built on and around Ground Zero, then do some homework. Initially many of the family members who lost loved ones came together and asked that the World Trade space be devoid of buildings and that space be made into a memorial park.

Sadly, that idea was shot down and ultimately rejected by developers and politicians who insisted that the best testament to America’s strength would be to replace those towers with new ones and essentially let the world know that America was back in business and would not compromise on her ideals..We didn’t hear one peep from anyone who is up in arms today. If people were so gung-ho they should’ve been riding for the family when they said lets have a ‘real sacred’ space. But since we decided to show the world America will rebuild and showcase her Freedom loving philosophy, its a shame to see that being shoved away by intolerance.  All these people crying and whining about the Islamic Center is not a good look for America.

5-Islam did not knock down the towers. The incompetence and political turf battles within important divisions of our Intelligence community led to 19 men with box cutters taking 3000 lives, damaging the Pentagon and creating Ground Zero. Maybe if Bush and his croonies had a better handle on things the warning signs and intelligence of Osama Bin Laden striking us would’ve been heeded.. but alas it wasn’t. Who knocked down the towers?

Immortal Technique and Mos Def got it right with their landmark song ‘Bin Laden

Immortal is not one to limit his thoughts to a record and not back up what he rapped about. He recently did an interview for Russia Today where he sheds further light on what thinks about 9-11.

Bay Area rapper Paris also spoke out forcefully about what took place on 9-11. He was probably the first of over 200 rap artists who eventually did songs on the incident. His opinion like many was and is starkly different then what was being pushed by George Bush and the White House.

Below is his song What Would YOu Do? and a link to an article he put forth with a challenge to debate anyone on the facts surrounding 9-11. He went on Fox News and a bunch of other places and handled business in terms of backing up his words and shutting folks down. He followed up his song with written responses to the questions folks had about  ‘What Would You Do?

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

Believe it or Not: The US & the UK are Assembling a Database of People that Predicts Crimes they Will Commit

I guess at this stage of the game, nothing should come as a surprise. Those who hold power have been going all out on the suppression/ oppression tip to smash on a growing population that  is increasingly angry and dissatisfied with the way things are being handled.. Here’s the latest efforts..Its called a Future Crime database..It sounds like something straight out of the movie Minority Report. As you peep it.. keep in mind the other thing that is going on..Operation Falcon which is a program designed by local police, the FBI and a number of other law enforcement types that will allow them to do mass arrests numbering in the thousands.  Yes folks this is going on in 2010. Shout out to the folks over at Holy Kaw for hipping us to this latest development

-Davey D-

How the Future Crime Database Will Work

by Shanna Freeman

Crime stories, especially stories about violent crimes, are often at the top of local news broadcasts. The news anchor explains the gory details of the murder, gives some background information about the victim and details the progress that law enforcement has made toward solving the crime . But imagine if the news anchor instead said something like, “Today John Doe was arrested by law enforcement for the future crime of murdering his wife.”

In the film “Minority Report,” people with precognition (a form of ESP in which a person learns information about future events) provide a law enforcement department known as Pre-Crime with the names of both murderer and murder victim. Images relating to the murders are transferred to a computer so that officers can examine them to get more information. Instead of being arrested for crimes, people in the film are arrested for crimes that they would have committed.

Although the movie takes place in 2054 and is based on a science-fiction story, some people believe that Pre-Crime prosecution could actually become commonplace in the future. The realm of the paranormal has not yet entered into it, but a real-life future crime database would instead be based on a number of elements that could be interpreted as pointing toward future criminal activity.

If you’ve committed a crime, some of your personal information is probably already stored in various databases. Exactly what is stored depends on where you live and the nature of your offense. But proponents of future crime databases suggest that they include information about people who have never committed a crime. As this idea has gotten more attention, so has the concern over potential civil liberties violations. In short, future-crime databases are highly controversial.

Before we speculate about all of the possibilities, let’s take a look at the databases that currently exist, starting with DNA databases in the United Kingdom and the United States.

National DNA Databases

In 2006, several crimes that had previously been unarrestable, such as not wearing a seat belt, were made arrestable. This increased the number of people  whose DNA samples were added to the NDNAD. Supporters said that more than twice as many crimes had been solved using DNA samples in 2005 as had been solved in 1999

 The United Kingdom's DNA database is now the second-largest in the world, with more than 4 million entries.

A number of those samples are from children, who have been arrested for everything from littering to skipping out on bus fares. According to Gary Pugh, the director of forensic sciences at Scotland Yard, any child who exhibits behaviors that may indicate a potential for committing crime in the future should have a sample of his DNA included in the database. Pugh stated that “We have to find who are possibly going to be the biggest threat to society”urce]

.In the United States, the FBI funds a nationwide system called NDIS (National DNA Index System). It officially began operating in 1994. It differs from the U.K. DNA Database in that smaller databases called CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) exist on state and local levels. Each crime laboratory in the country controls which information it shares with the national database. As of 2007, the NDIS had more than 4.5 million profiles.

Like the DNA database in the United Kingdom, the NDIS started as a way to index DNA samples from violent criminals (in this case, convicted sex offenders). Gradually it expanded to include almost all convicted felons. Some states collect DNA samples from all people who have been arrested, including children. In 2004, voters in California passed Proposition 69. Within that state, law enforcement officials can collect DNA samples from anyone arrested for a felony, as well as certain misdemeanors. DNA can also be collected from illegal immigrants for any reason.

New DNA techniques and databases continue to evolve. A company called DNAPrint Genomics sells a product called DNAWitness, which locates Ancestry Informative Markers in DNA samples. The companies claim that these markers can break down the racial makeup of the DNA and help to narrow down suspects based on race. Although it can’t perfectly determine the race of a suspect, the owners of DNAPrint Genomics claim that the margin of error is negligible. Most law enforcement departments have yet to use DNAWitness, citing concerns over racial profiling.

DNA is just one aspect of building a future crime database. We’ll look at other types of criminal databases next.

continue reading here….

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner