10 Cool Photos of Public Enemy at the Art of Rap Show

Public Enemy Art of Rap-097

What would Hip Hop be like without Public Enemy? For many, Hip Hop would be a stale genre that died off a long time ago. Many like to reduce Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Professor Griff,  DJ Lord and the S1Ws and the team to just being a ‘conscious‘ rap group that gave this culture political swag.

Yes, while it’s true there’s no denying Public Enemy broke ground as a politically minded group, it should be noted they were by no means the first to drop science.  Nor were they the only ones to drop science, during the Golden Era in the late 80s, early 90s when they first hit the scene. Groups like KRS-One, Poor Righteous Teachers, X-Clan and Queen Latifah to name a few,  all came to the table with message oriented raps. Prior to them we had groups like Grandmaster Flash, Whodini, Run DMC and Kool Moe Dee who gave us songs to grow on…

What often gets overlooked about Public Enemy is their innovativeness on a number of fronts. First and foremost they elevated the art of sampling and created a style called cram sampling. They made music that was built upon layers and layers of sound that was carefully curated. The group would spend hours hunting down obscure records and then chopping them up only to have them buried under other obscure records they chopped up and buried.

Group members like Professor Griff, the Minister of Information would spend hours combing through speeches and archival footage that would layer be woven into each Public Enemy song.  This was on top of the cuts and scratches  done by team members like Johnny Juice, Terminator X and now DJ Lord.

All that was complimented with the booming voice of Chuck D which cut through the noise and the well timed vocal punches, adlibs and quick verses of Flavor Flav.  The group took sound in directions music hasn’t gone before.

The way they made records via their production team called The Bomb Squad which included brothers Hank and Keith Shockalee along with Eric ‘Vietnam’ Saddler was done so that you heard something different each time you listened to a song and album. Public Enemy made living breathing recordings which we havent seen the likes of to this day.

Once the industry evolved and put laws in place that curtailed sampling, Public Enemy flipped the script and started using a live instruments and to this day travel the world with a live band called The Banned which is headed up by Professor Griff.

Public Enemy broke ground by seeing the world as their stage.  There were others who came before them that broke ground internationally, but PE took this to new heights. They have long called  themselves global citizens with Chuck D constantly advocating for us to get passports and see the planet. The group has circled the globe on world tours over 100 times with no end in sight.  Each  country and city visited was never such in which the group stayed holed up in a fancy hotel, but instead these were grounds where they fostered strong relationships that have lasted over their 30 years as a group.

We haven’t even gotten into the major ground Public Enemy broke in terms of the internet. They pioneered recording and using the internet as a distribution platform.  They been on the web long before most even heard of the word internet.  On their 5th album Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age, Chuck D and long time friend Harry Allen aka the Media Assassin recorded a song which was actually a phone conversation called ‘Harry Allen’s Interactive Super Highway Phone Call to Chuck D‘ where the two talk about the future of music and how it would play out over the internet. What was said in that song recorded in 1994 has since come to pass with eerie accuracy.

The show Public Enemy put on the other night during the Art of Rap tour in San Francisco was one to marvel at as they showed and proved the heights Hip Hop has and can continue to make. There’s is no wonder why the group has been inducted into the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame. Below are photos I took as they got busy. Enjoy

Public Enemy Art of Rap-098

Public Enemy Art of Rap-043

10 Cool Photos of Naughty By Nature at Art of Rap Show

Naughty By Nature Art of Rap-044

One of Hip Hop’s most enduring groups who over their 25 year tenure has delivered hit after hit is Naughty By Nature. Trigger Treach, Uncle Vinny (Vin Rock) and Kay Gee are in many ways taken for granted.

Perhaps its because they delivered some stellar crossover hits like ‘Hip Hop Hooray‘, ‘OPP‘ ‘Alright‘ and ‘Feel Me Flow’ that many have overlooked the fact that Treach is an incredible emcee with one of the best deliveries and flows in Hip Hop. He’s also a pretty good actor.

Many take for  granted the production chops of Kay Gee who has a knack for making memorable, sing along hit songs. he’s not only did it for Naughty By Nature but for other groups as well like:  Next, Queen Latifah, Jahiem and Kofy Brown to name a few. Many take for granted Vin Rock as the ultimate prototype of the Hip Hop hype man. He makes it look easy until you stand in his foot steps and try to duplicate.

Naughty By Nature has been there through the most challenging tribulations of Hip Hop from the days of the East West coast feud and PMRC censorship battles and its most soaring triumphs where Hip Hop was front in center in helping elect the nation;’s first Black president.  We salute them for their success. Below are photos I took during their Art of Rap Performance where they let it be known, after 25 years Naughty By Nature is still on the case.

Below are some of the photos I took of naughty By Nature and their dope performance the other night at the Art of Rap show in SF at the Regency Ballroom

Naughty By Nature Art of Rap-119

Naughty By Nature Art of Rap-004

Whose Gonna Take The Weight To Stop Donald Trump?

Davey-D-brown-frameIf you are observing the rhetoric and subsequent hateful action inspired and empowered by Donald Trump and you are calling for him to be stopped at all costs, then there should be some tangible things you are asking people to do and realistic directions you are pointing people toward.

How and why should anyone take you seriously when you say ‘We Must Stop Trump’, but you are not putting in consistent, and committed organizing work to make that happen? As Guru from Gang Starr once famously asked ‘Who’s Gonna Take The Weight’?

No matter how you cut it, it’s just plain ole laziness, lame excuse making and low hanging fruit grabbing to blame others for not sharing your political point of view then to actually put in the hard work and be about that political life you espouse and make things happen.

Donald Trump Speaking at RNC-029Yes, Donald Trump is a Klansman in a suit. Yes Trump will appoint conservative supreme court justices who make Clarence Thomas look liberal. Yes, Donald Trump will try and build a wall. Yes, Trump will push to put electronic monitoring devices on Muslims and declare anyone associated with Black Lives Matter a terrorist or a lethal enemy to police who should be curtailed.

Trump will do all these horrible things and yet in the face of this we have some who are sitting back and doing nothing while demanding everyone else put in work.  In the face of all this we folks who are demanding that people tow a particular political line while they themselves are not practicing what they preach. We have folks demanding that folks move a certain way while they are not making no moves at all.. What part of the game is this?

The other day I met a bunch of folks who are so committed to their political goal they are taking a semester off to go volunteer in swing states.. What are you doing to match that?

I interviewed a bunch of folks the other day who are working day and night to start a viable third party and working to get folks to run for office.. How are you matching that work?

protest Signs at RNC-005I talked to some folks who are hard at work researching key down ballot issues and making voting guides to pass out on college campuses.. What research are you doing? What voting guides are you creating?

To sit up here at this point in time with all that’s transpiring and demand that everyone drop everything and come together to Stop Trump while you yourself are not personally committing time and resources to that effort is akin to a someone stating we must do everything to stop lung cancer while they smoke 2 packs a day..

Either put up or shut up.. Be about that ‘Stop Trump Life’ and do like Rihanna and ‘Work, Work, Work, Work‘ or just admit you about the business of talking loud and saying nothing

Nuff said..

10 Cool Photos of Melle-Mel at the Art of Rap Show

Melle-Mel Art of Rap-013

Here are some of the photos I took the other night of Hip Hop pioneer Melle-Mel at the recent Art of Rap Show in San Francisco. He and Scorpio formerly known as Mr Ness did a dope performance. Gotta salute them and give them major props for still going strong after all these years. At this point Melle-Mel has been on the scene for almost 40 years.. Let that sink in for a minute…

Folks should know about Melle-Mel above and beyond him being an original member of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5 . Folks should know Melle-Mel above and beyond him and the group being inducted into the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame.  Folks should know him beyond his hit records like; The Message, Beat Street and White Lines.

We should know Melle-Mle as the one who revolutionized rapping by changing the cadence and overall flow. Prior to Melle-Mel hitting the scene early rappers flowed in one of two ways. They either sounded like street hustlers who were talking in a slick, pimp like manner or they were sounding like radio disc jockeys puking on the mic.  It was Melle-Mel who  changed the cadence and  popularized the 4 count straight ahead rhyme flow used by most emcees today..

Melle-Mel is the one who personified the baritone big bass voice in rap. He’s the one who let us know how important the voice was and is in rap. Folks like Chuck D, Busta Rhymes and many more built off the big voice house that Mel built.

The brother was deemed the greatest rapper of all time by Kool Moe Dee in his book God on the Mic.

Melle-Mel Art of Rap-020

Melle-Mel Art of Rap-021

Melle-Mel Art of Rap-048

10 Cool Photos of Ice T at the Art of Rap Show

Ice T on mic copy

Great catching up with Ice T during the recent Art of Rap Show at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. Many forget that Ice T who is featured on the TV show Law & Order is an accomplished artist who helped pioneer Hip Hop on the West Coast.  He is also a seminal figure in what many refer to as gangster rap.

Ice T is also groundbreaking in the sense that he is also known for his work in the rock arena for his group Bodycount who caused a lot of controversy in the early 90s with the song ‘Cop Killer‘.

During his performance at the Art of Rap Show Ice T put on an incredible show.  The man hasn’t lost a step. He also introduced us to a new artist who is the nephew of the late Crip founder Tookie Williams.

Ice T and talked briefly just before he hit the stage. He noted the importance of keeping Hip Hop alive and providing space for artists who bring well honed skills to the table. It’s for this reason he developed the Art of Rap Tour.

Below are some photos I took of his stellar performance.. Enjoy

http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2016/07/29/14019/

Will Hillary Say Her Name? Remembering Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm

Davey-D-brown-frameWonder if Hillary Clinton during tonite’s historic acceptance speech for the presidency at the DNC (Democratic National Convention) will give props to the woman pictured above. My sense is she won’t even though she is aware of who this woman is… Some may call it ‘politics’. Others may call it an unwillingness to live up to the high standards of transparency and integrity set by this woman. For those who are unaware, the woman above is none other then Shirley Anita St Hill Chisholm.

Hillary Clinton will be celebrated tonight for ‘cracking a glass ceiling‘ and blazing a new path for women coming after her. But it was Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to Congress who served her Brooklyn district for 7 terms who cracked ceilings, busted down doors and put in work that laid the ground work for the historic presidential run not only for Hillary Clinton but also for the historic runs of Barack Obama and Jesse Jackson when he ran in ’84 and ’88. We should pull no punches and make no mistake about that-Shirley was the one who did that initial heavy lifting back in 1972.

Shirley Chisolm posterDuring that time she was considered ‘the people’s candidate‘ and was greatly admired by the public. As a Congress woman Shirley Chisholm boldly advocated for some of the same things Hillary is touting now  including a safety net for children and single mothers. She fought to expand school lunches for kids. She fought for increased education access, immigration rights and she fought to extend benefits for domestic workers.

In spite of her accomplishments in Congress and her historic run, Chisolm was shunned, marginalized and ridiculed by many who held power in the political establishment and yes that included members of the Congressional Black Caucus at the time.  They shunned her in the elite circles while organizations who held up the grassroots like the Black Panthers endorsed her. As a candidate Chisolm was kept at arms length by some who hold influence who are in the room at the DNC tonight cheering for Hillary.

Many holding power didn’t like the fact that Chisolm was disrupting the script and turning the ‘set up’ on its ear. Many didn’t like the fact that she lived up to her slogan: ‘UnBought and UnBossed’. She kept it 100 and wouldn’t sell her soul…

For her efforts, Chisholm received numerous death threats and had 3 assassination attempts on her life during her run for President. That’s even more reason why she should be given public props. In the words of Beyonce ‘Say Her Name, Say Her Name..Say her name for reals and don’t allow her to be erased from history.

Parents please teach your kids about the sister who really set it off..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3JCX3WxBik

Forget ‘Hope & Change’, Trump is About ‘Fear & Blame’ (A Report Back from the RNC)

Davey-D-purple-frameStill trying to process everything I took in this past week during the RNC (Republican National Convention) in Cleveland. It was the ultimate  reality TV show starring Donald Trump. First thing I wanna do is clear up any misconceptions because I’m not sure how things were conveyed on TV. It should be noted the overwhelming majority of attendees to the tune of 97% of the delegates attending the RNC were white.

One might have gotten the impression the RNC was somewhat diverse due to the fact that party leaders found Black and Brown speakers to put on stage at prime time. Network TV cameras panned the faces of Black and Brown journalists or Black and Brown vendors and janitors who worked at Quicken Loan Center which added to the illusion of diversity. Don’t believe the hype. It was a sea of whiteness and I have the pictures from the floor of the convention to prove it.

Donald Trump speech Floor shots-247Second, with respect to the Trump campaign, the man is no dummy. Don’t be fooled. Donald Trump is a masterful,  pop culture and media manipulator who should not be underestimated. I repeat do not underestimate him..Key word… ‘masterful’.

While many of us have clowned him and gleefully denounced his appearances on Reality TV as something far beneath our intelligence, Trump saw clear openings and embraced it. He clearly understood there is a sizeable, passionate audience that is attracted to celebrity. He understood, that many in that audience love Reality TV. They thrive on bodacious, over-the-top, in-your-face, boombastic showmanship which helps them escape the hardships of dead end jobs and never ending poverty.

TRUMP’S WHITE PRIDE APPEAL

Donald Trump Speaks at RNC-061 While many of us watched Trump give his spiel and responded by pointing out his numerous hypocrisies, scandals, offensive rhetoric and blatant wrong doings, his audience CONNECTED and continues to CONNECT with him. They don’t HEAR him. They FEEL him. Again I repeat, for his supporters it’s not about Trump being right or wrong. It’s not about him being caught in a lie or distorting the truth-Its about the way he makes his audience feel. His audience FEELS him.

For those who say they can’t understand that way of thinking, I would ask them to go back to 2008 and recall the types of things that were being said about Obama when he ran for the white house. Many openly talked about how Obama made them beam with pride. Many talked about voting for him so our kids could see a Black man in the white house. Many talked about being unapologetically Black in their support of Obama.

Crowd shots at RNC-020That mindset is not much different from the mindset many hold today with Trump. Contradictions and political shortcomings be damned. Exaggerations and distortions of truth be damned. Many rationalized their support for Obama and rode with him, no matter what.

Well, in 2016, we are seeing unbridled support for Trump by people who feel he is giving them a sense of pride… It’s White Pride and folks are increasingly vocalizing, that they are unapologetic about it.

TRUMP BORROWS FROM OBAMA

Donald-Trump-Fear-and-BlameWhen listening to Donald Trump we can see clearly that he’s borrowed from President Nixon with his ‘Law and Order’ rhetoric. What’s not so clear is seeing that Trump also borrowed from President Obama.

Trump is basically doing a ‘Hope and Change’ type campaign that specifically targets poor, anxious, angry, blue collar white folks who are feeling marginalized. For them, ‘Fear of a Black Planet’ is real. ‘Fear of a Brown Planet’ is Real. Trump is feeding ‘Hope and Change’ to this demographic under the guise of ‘Fear and Blame’.

There are 3 main clarion calls to Trump’s campaign. One is to ‘build a wall to keep out Mexicans. Two is to increase surveillance and ban of all Muslims who are depicted as ‘Radical Islamic Terrorists’. Third is to return to the good ole days of ‘law and order’ where criminal oriented Black folks are locked up and harshly punished. These are appealing to a disenchanted segment of the population.

WILL TRUMP BETRAY OR EMPOWER HIS POOR WHITE BASE?

Crowd shots at RNC-002As I watched and listened intently to his speech on the final night of the RNC, I saw it resonating with that large crowd hungry for change and in need of hope. I also knew that one of two things will happen if Trump gets into office. He will either do like Obama and quickly abandon and betray many of the poor, marginalized folks that drove his campaign. That could result in violent reaction considering he has courted and attracted lots of armed anti-government militia types who have been preparing and yearning for confrontation.

What is more likely to happen is Trump as President, will find a way to incorporate these angry constituents and spread the love by empowering them to go full throttle on marginalized, poor folks of color.

It’ll be 1676 all over again when after Bacon’s Rebellion where the concept of whiteness was created and poor white indentured servants were granted privilege and power over their African indentured counterparts.

The payoff for those desperate to escape economic destitute and oppression was to buy into the logic that they were better then Africans and as newly minted ‘whites’ who were a step closer to the elites who ran the show, they would patrol and keep the enslaved Africans in check.

Bacon's rebellionThese poor whites back then were able to unite and form solidarity with the planter class elites over fear of slave uprisings. It should be noted that in many places enslaved Africans outnumbered whites as a result the oppression and brutality was harsher. It’s a mindset that would be a driving force around Black oppression for generations to come.

Trump’s message is plain and simple. Vote for me and I will keep you safe by putting all these Black, Brown and Muslim people in their place.

When you see outlaw biker gangs hanging with police which I did while in Cleveland (‘Bikers for Trump’) and popular anti government figures like Alex Jones riding for Trump and talking about Blue Lives Matter, it underscores the notion of white solidarity and empowerment which is being fostered by Trump.

ProfTinaWright-225As my good friend Professor Tina Bell Wright pointed out in a recent conversation what we are also seeing is a racialized backlash to Obama in much the same way the rise of the KKK and Jim Crow were backlashes to the Reconstruction era.

Professor Wright also noted that we are seeing a backlash to globalization and globalism which is being upheld by Hillary Clinton and Neo-Liberal policies she champions. In the face of corporate tyranny, the nationalism Trump is selling sounds good for many. It sounds rebellious and anti-establishment. people are emphatic about his willingness to protect ‘Americans’.

The question we are all faced with is at the end of the day, who does Trump see as Americans? Even more importantly who under Trump do we see his understanding of Americanism’ with all its privileges and protections get extended to? Its a direct throwback to the way the concept of whiteness were extended to certain immigrants in past generations?

IS TRUMP THE NEW AGE ANDREW JOHNSON?

Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson

I have long said Donald Trump is a new age Andrew Johnson. For those who are unfamiliar Johnson is the man who succeeded Lincoln after he was assassinated. He hated the elite and he hated the planter class establishment that ruled the South. He wanted them to crumble and kiss his butt. But he hated Africans even more and immediately went to work to dismantle Reconstruction, starting with the closing of the Freedman’s Bureau.

It’s with that understanding of history, I see Donald Trump and his proposed policies of containment, banning and surveillance. It’s with this understanding of history that none of us can afford to be apolitical at this time. It’s with this understanding of history that none of us can afford not to be connected or involved in organizing efforts to rebuff whats coming down the pipe…

All of us are going to step up. Black and Brown folks for now will be the obvious and immediate targets, but also everyone else from young millennials to women to LGBT etc are in line to catch this backlash.

BUILD A WALL & BLUE LIVES MATTER

Crowd shots at RNC-008Over the week, I saw thousands stand on the floor of the Quicken Loan Center cheer and chant in unison ‘Build a Wall’. At one point the frenzied cheering and jeering by an emboldened white crowd made it feel absolutely unsafe to be in the vicinity or outside in the adjacent courtyard.

Speaker after speaker blamed Brown folks for everything ranging from ruining our economy to stealing precious resources to setting off murderous crime sprees against ‘innocent’ American citizens. The hateful rhetoric was validated by the RNC including a Black or non Latino Brown speaker to parrot the anti-immigrant vitriol.

The ‘Build a Wall’ chants and tough talk against Latinos were accompanied by the equally vitriolic demonization of Muslims who were called ‘Radical Islamic Terrorists’… And while RNC speakers attempted at times to qualify their statements by noting that ’not all Muslims’ are terrorists’, what was being advocated was the wholesale surveillance and banning of Muslims along with a call for policies to be put in place to eradicate Muslim practices like Sharia Law which were grossly distorted.

Police at RNC 2016 cleveland-001Just as frightening as thousands chanting ‘Build a Wall’ was thousands chanting of ‘Blue Lives Matter’ and cheering wildly to the news that one another police officer connected to the killing of Freddie Gray was acquitted. The unapologetic upliftment and all out debasing of the Black Lives Matter movement was beyond disconcerting.

Everywhere you went you saw Blue Lives Matter buttons and t-shirts being sold like hotcakes ironically by Black vendors desperate to capitalize on sales who were lined up all up and down Euclid Avenue, one of the main streets in downtown Cleveland.

Police at RNC 2016 cleveland-003This was accompanied with the presence of several thousand police officers from all over the country including Florida, Massachusetts, Indiana, Montana to name a few, running and executing what amounted to be crowd control drills against demonstrators who were all forced to be confined in a park blocks away from the RNC called Public Square. 300 of those police were from California Highway Patrol.

It was not lost on me the irony of RNC attendees chanting ‘Blue Lives Matter’ in the same Quicken Loan arena where Lebron James, Kyrie Irving and other members of the World Champion Cavaliers who were openly revered from the stage of the RNC, showed support and helped increase visibility to Black Lives Matter and the police accountability movement when they famously wore ‘I Can’t Breathe’ t-shirts in response to NY Police choking Eric Garner to death in 2014.

It also wasn’t lost on me the irony of this week being one in which while ‘Blue Lives Matter’ was being loudly chanted in a sports arena, the WBA (Women’s Basketball League ) had threatened to fine several players for wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirts. The WBA felt it was wrong to use a sporting platform to put forth a political position. The threats of fines had been rescinded after much public pressure and WBA players promising a media boycott.

It was here in Cleveland during the RNC we saw police unions flex and attempt to get Ohio’s open carry law suspended for a week once it was made known that Black protestors would show up with their guns especially after it was made known that white militias would be in Cleveland ‘exercising their second amendments rights.

Just to show you how deep things got, prior to us coming to Cleveland, our radio station got a visit from the FBI warning us of credible threats by armed white supremacist militias. There was no attempt to suspend the Open Carry law when that took place.

CONCLUSION

Kali Akuno

Kali Akuno

Kali Akuno of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movements recently noted in an article, that progressives minded folks will have to fight a war on two fronts. One will be with the white supremacy being uplifted by Donald Trump, the other will be the corporate back Neo-Liberal and equally repressive policies of Hillary Clinton.

A Trump presidency is not something to romanticize about or even see as ‘business as usual’ especially for those who have not prepared in terms of establishing strong networks to help sustain you and your family economically.

Trump in office is not something to take lightly if you don’t have a strategy in place to deal with an anticipated rise violent racist attacks backed by and in many cases initiated by members serving in various police departments that have been infiltrated by white supremacist types.

Old Man with trump t-shirt RNC-001Many Trump supporters are experiencing economic hardships coupled with deep seated fears of being outnumbered and overwhelmed by a growing Black and Brown population. That anger under a Trump presidency will be directed at our communities with the full unapologetic backing of the state. How prepared are we for this?

Some will try to avoid this harsh backlash by seeking favor and cutting deals in an attempt to obtain what I will call overseer or buffer status. In short many will seek relief and protection by betraying their community and taking on the role of oppressor. How prepared are we for that?

For many, the goal is defeat at all costs Trump with Hillary being the viable option. We can debate the pros and cons of that at another time. But for those who see casting their lot with Hillary as a solution, I will say this, inaction, lackluster political engagement and uninformed political analysis will cost you dearly. Believe that..

Don’t believe out of touch TV pundits, 30 second sound bites or brought and paid for polls. One will have to do more than just pull a lever in 2016. In most elections 50% of the population stays home. One had best figure out how to get them to the polls…

If you are not volunteering your time, door knocking, phone banking and vigorously engaging, organizing family neighbors and friends not just in your own community but also in so-called battle ground states, then you will lose this election, Trump will be your President and you will have no one to blame but yourself.

While in Cleveland, I saw a sign in Cleveland that said: ‘Love Trump Hate’. During the RNC, Trump provided his supporters with lots of policies to be angry about and lots of people to emphatically hate. Hatred of the the ‘Non white American will be a powerful, motivating incentive that will turn out many come this November. Trump folks will be riding hard.. The question here if ‘Love Trumps Hate’ who are we loving and how deep is that love?

Silicon Valley Investor Says Raider Fans Should Pay Fees

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 9.53.43 AMIt should come as no surprise to long time Bay Area folks that are seeing this cherished place they call home becoming more and more gentrified, that along with all the fancy luxury million dollar condos, over priced coffee shops and bike lanes comes a level of blatant disrespect and intolerance that is beyond unnerving.

Not only is it coming from newcomers freshly arrived from the Midwest and back east, but also from folks who have harbored hatred for a long time who live here but have been empowered by this new out of town tech presence. It used to be many who were intolerant saw it was wise to keep their homophobic, racist, xenophobic perspectives to themselves or get seriously checked, but now they are stepping out..

We all have experienced or heard the stories. The climate is beyond toxic with affluent newcomers armed with tech money moving to the Bay Area and feeling entitled to displace and remake this region with no regards to the people and history that proceeded them.

IMG_0387Late last year a bunch of Silicon Valley angel investors moved to Oakland with a concept and company called Remake Rebrand 3.0. They have been quietly lacing all sorts of new businesses with cash flow, infrastructure and cutting edge tech support. They specialize in ‘creating non traditional income streams. You may have seen their work as many hole in the wall places have been transformed to vibrant gathering spots for newcomers.

This past week its come to light they have been meeting with city leaders with their eyes on the coliseum which is been in flux with the eventual move by the Warriors and a possible move by the Raiders unless they make more money.

They are claiming that the Raiders are not utilizing the space efficiently and the city could increase revenue by millions of dollars if they get rid of the Raider’s infamous Black Hole and turn it into a members only VIP Beer Garden.

Silicon Valley Angel Investor Ron Poway

Silicon Valley Angel Investor Ron Poway

CEO Ronald Poway a brash 30 something who originally hails from New York City stated that he and his wife visited the coliseum last year during Raider games and found it to be ‘extremely ghetto’ and ‘very scary’.

He said his wife and kids did not appreciate the ‘thug-like’ atmosphere but understands it may be an Oakland tradition that eventually needs to change if the city wishes to be ‘more appealing’ to Oakland’s newcomers.

Poway in an email sent to city leaders, noted that Oakland could increase revenue and attract more affluent Raider fans while simultaneously eliminating the element that makes ‘regular’ people feel uncomfortable by only allowing VIP members into the ‘Raider Beer Garden’, complete with a kids zone for families and food from many of the new gourmet restaurants that have recently opened up in Oakland.

Poway said Oakland has the potential to be a world class city but needs to shed its old image. He noted that many tech firms in Silicon Valley would be willing to subsidize this VIP Beer garden for their thousands of tech workers who need a place to play during the weekends.

Raider fansPoway has been missing great opportunity by not charging a fee for fans to wear costumes. He estimated the city of Oakland and County of Alameda stands to make an estimated $15-20 million dollars a year if they charge a modest ‘costume fee’ that ranges from $50-$100 per person.

He also noted that additional revenues can be garnered by handing out tickets to non fee paying fans who wear masks or don ‘false disguises’ to the game which is against California state penal code 185. He also suggested that the city look into possible trademark infringement by thug fans wearing non sanctioned costumes.

fans

Raider fans will have to pay a costume fee if Silicon Valley has its way

Poway noted this is the current trend in stadiums all over the country. He also noted the Raider Beer Gardens can also be open to accommodate VIP Raider fans when the team is away where they can watch their team on giant Hi-tech TV screen.

He also noted the Beer Garden can be made into a high end night club with top deejays from around the country and special VIP shows on non game days and nights. This makes sense especially if Oakland resurrects or does some other version of the Coliseum City. Remake Rebrand 3.0 plans to put the finishing touches on this plan at the next Alameda/ Oakland planning meeting…

Click here for more details and see the proposed coliseum plan.. http://bit.ly/1VgplT9

An Open Letter to RZA Claps Back at his Hurtful Remarks

Recently Wu-Tang founder and leader RZA stirred up a lot of controversy when he made some off-color remarks that suggested Black youth were victims to police terrorism because they dressed wrong. He asserted sagging pants and street gear should be replaced with nice suits to avoid police harassment. Rza also shouted out the police, said he always wanted to be a cop and concluded that ‘All Lives Matter’.. You can read his remarks HERE..

In response to RZA’s remarks was this powerful open letter penned by Demetrius Clayborne who tactfully reminded RZA how flawed hsi remarks were. He also reminded him of Wu-Tang’s unique role played over the years  influencing people and their style of dress..Read the letter below

Black man hung with suitDear #Rza,

Peace to the God. I come in the name of All Powerful Allah. I had the pleasure of meeting you in 2012 during the “Man With The Iron Fist” Tour in Detroit; I was one of the individuals responsible for promoting your event.

With all due respect, I must say that I was very disturbed by your comments in regards to black youth and their choice of style/dress as it relates to police brutality. A man of your intelligence and experience can’t possibly think that the way our youth dress will change how they are perceived by law enforcement. Surely you must know that logic only applies to the workforce, and even then it isn’t full proof.

How can you make such statements when in the 90s you, Power, and your associates fed us Wu Wear; making millions as we ate it religiously. Hoodies, denim, shoes, t-shirts, colorful button ups with bees on them and countless other ‘street’ and ‘hip hop’ fashion came directly from the Wu brand; your brand. You never sold us suits nor told us to button our shirts up because that was not the brand you were selling. I get the concept of growth and development however you should be careful in the words you choose to convey the message of your newfound understanding. Wu-Tang Clan helped born a generation of army fatigue wearing, hoodie rocking, Timberland boots sporting, hip hop lovers who never stepped foot on New York City soil; and now you condemn the product of the same people you helped create?

RZA

RZA

Brother we grew up and had children of our own and guess what…we played YOUR music for them. We showed them YOUR videos. Why? Because you were one of the few who weren’t sending negative messages to us so we knew it was safe for our children. Now you are telling us that the same image you advocated and made you the wealthy man that you are today is contributing to the rise in police brutality and senseless black death? Well if that’s true then you too my brother are directly responsible for the murder of our lost young brothers and sisters.

You cannot play both sides of the fence whenever it is convenient for you and we as black people can no longer have an open door policy for people who get rich and famous then switch channels on us. With all that being said, I respectfully disagree with you my brother and hope that the negative blowback of your statements forces you to reevaluate them. Besides, most of the slave and free blacks that hung from trees were well dressed or wearing suits. So I must ask you, why were they murdered?

Peace God, your brother in mathematics,

All Powerful Allah

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CE3hb__ylG4