Killer Mike is a NRA Member, Says Black People Need Be Stockpiling Guns to Fight Domestic Terror

Killer Mike is one of my favorite artists, because he’s willing to speak truth to power with passion and conviction. Unlike many of his mainstream counterparts, Mike is willing to tackle important social issues and put it in his music..We saw him do that in songs like The Pressure w/ Ice Cube and the the song Burnwhere he had compelling videos..that captured the hearts  and minds of those who have long felt disenfranchised and voiceless.

The other day he sat down with Sway of MTV and expressed his anger with Reverend Jesse Jackson. He was upset that Jesse was directing people to lobby congress to get rid of assault rifles..He felt that Jesse who was speaking out on the back of the Trayvon Martin tragedy. He noted that Trayvon wasn’t killed by an assault rifle and that most people who die are killed by handguns not assault rifles.

Killer Mike said we shouldnt be banning assault rifles, we as Black folks should be stockpiling them and arming ourselves more. He noted that we should have  Black men at every corner who are armed, not just to protect ourselves against the George Zimmerman‘s of the world, but also to make sure our daughters aren’t being harassed by thugs on the corner as they go to school.

You can peep the video HERE

During his interview Killer Mike  also noted that we as a Black community need to get back to a point where we not only protect ourselves from fake authority figures, but also know how to survive on our own in case of mass blackouts or any other situation where we no longer have electricity and the modern comforts of life. In short, he talked about how important it is for all of us to know how to fish, hunt and survive the land. He said every family member needs to know how to handle themselves and be familiar with guns.

Killer Mike noted that we are under terrorist attack and we need to be protecting ourselves. He said its a damn shame that Black men as old as Dick Gregory to men his own age and little boys as young as 10 are afraid of the police when we see them.. He said no other group until recently with Arab-Americans after 9-11 has been subjected to that sort of terror.

Killer Mike during his interview noted that he recently joined Al Sharpton‘s organization National Action Network and he’s member of the NRA.. That remark drew a lot of raised eyebrows, primarily because the NRA is a lobbying arm that has long supported causes that have led to further eroding of rights and eventual suppression of Black folks.. Someone was upset and even posted a video where Malcolm X speaks to this issue.

This just in.. Killer Mike upon seeing this article responded in the comment section.. Here’s his take on the video..and the NRA

This Is Killer Mike. I joined the NRA as a Public display that WE as BLACKS can use that organization to “Protect” our 2cd amendment rights also. I think it be more important to stop blacks from joining the 700 club but, I digress. Here is why i joined.

My Father was a Cop. He taught me Gun Safety and has in his life been a member also. It’s about using every resource available at your disposal to ensure we can have the full American Experience. The NRA offers many classes on Gun safety and gun owner responsibility and rights. These are things all Gun owners need to know. In short their practicality for advancing safe gun ownership and rights out weigh their political stance because Black NEED that knowledge in the NOW.

WE HAVE NO BLACK NRA and until we do i will continue to use the organization that my white counter parts use to “Protect” them against law makers infringing upon 2cd Amendment rights. I hunt and Fish. I shot with my father and wife. My kids will begin shooting this year. I am glad that I have an organization that has programs and classes for all of us to use at our disposal.

Malcolm has a grand idea and I will be asking my black friends to join me in organizing a shooting club.

Salute and Love.

On a side note.. the way this conversation with Killer Mike has been framed is he is angry with Black leadership..I disagree, Killer Mike is angry with Jesse Jackson and at this point in time when you are over 30, have kids and a platform to speak to the masses you are also Black leadership. Many of the old guard i.e Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and others were all leaders in their community at young ages. They were folks barely out of their teens and in their early 20s. We saw this with many of the leaders in SNCC, The Black Panthers and numerous other organizations.

We can no longer be upset with 60 and 70 year old men who we call Black leadership as if we aren’t able to go out and help craft solutions and implement them.. This doesn’t mean we have to go and reinvent the wheel or be in some sort of competition, but at a date and time where there is so much need in our respective hoods, there’s no excuse for us not to be out there filling the voids and being ‘leaders’ in our own right.. We should be helping fortify or building institutions and not be to be tripping too hard with elders in our community. We can definitely disagree. We can and should debate. But again at this stage in the game we should all be helping lead those who are coming up behind us..and be factors in our respective communities.

Al Sharpton vs Tavis Smiley over Barack Obama and a Black Agenda

Civil rights leader Al Sharpton got into a spirited back and forth with TV talk show host Tavis Smiley on his radio show on Monday Feb 23 2010.. The dispute was over President Obama and whether or not he was going to have a Black Agenda.
Tavis felt Sharpton and Charles Olgetree who was also on the phone weren’t pressing Obama enough.. Sharpton felt Tavis was off the mark for his approach and accused him of ‘distorting their words…I gotta be honest alot of this felt like egos got in the way.. It felt like a case of hurt pride and postering for the sake of being the HNIC.. Take a listen and lemme know what you think…Hopefully both men will show leadership and set an example for others in the community on how you can have a blow up and still get along and show genuine love..This could’ve been handled off the air..

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

Michael Jackson’s Memorial:End of an Era-Close of a Chapter-Where Do We Go from Here?



Michael Jackson’s Memorial: End of an Era-Close of a Chapter
Where Do We Go from Here?

by Davey D

DaveyD-MJmemorialYesterday’s memorial for Michael Jackson was surreal, emotional, healing, inspiring and a heartfelt sobering wake up call. I’m glad I fought my initial urge to stay home and made the 5 hour drive from the Bay Area down to the Staples Center in LA.  The long drive done in the middle of the night gave me time to reflect on all that had taken place over the past couple of weeks.

The days leading up to the memorial were filled with lots of articles, commentary and musical tributes. For many of us Michael Jackson and his various incarnations throughout the years were rediscovered. From his early hits like ‘ABC‘, ‘I Want You Back’ and ‘Going Back to Indiana’ to his latter songs off the Thriller’, Invincible’ and ‘History’ albums, all took on new meaning. The brilliance behind them were better appreciated. When re-listening to his older material we came to understand that he and his brothers were years ahead of their time.

Over the past couple of weeks we discovered just how much of a global phenomenon he was. We learned how he kicked down doors and broke color barriers within the music industry. We learned how he gave over 40% of his income to charities. These aspects and so many more surrounding his life were often overlooked while we focused on his eccentric behavior and controversies.

Michael Jackson over the past two weeks was a bigger than life figure and in our rediscovering him, many of us rediscovered some long forgotten aspects of ourselves. For many of us Michael was still alive.  He was still alive in spite of the incessant news stories about his death and the speculation as to what caused it.  With each music or video tribute, television special or retrospective walk down memory lane, MJ was still here. His energy was around. His spirit felt.  As I listened to his older material I found myself yearning for him to bust out with new material and resurrect a long-lost soulful sound from a bygone era. But alas he was gone.

Chuck D dropped lots in insight about Michael Jackson both on his Air America radio show and the History of Funk special

Chuck D dropped lots in insight about Michael Jackson both on his Air America radio show and the History of Funk special

Two days prior to me leaving for the Memorial I had done an in-depth radio show with Chuck D from Public Enemy and funk expert Professor Rickey Vincent– author of the book ‘History of Funk’.  It was a two-hour show chock full of never before inside facts about MJ and how he and his brothers were rooted in a much larger soul, blues and funk musical traditions within the Black community. We talked in-depth about where MJ and his brothers stood in relationship with their contemporaries at that time, George Clinton, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, James Brown and so many others. We played many of his soulful and adventurous cuts from the mid 70s that were out of print and all but hidden from a mainstream press that seemingly only wanted to focus on ‘Thriller’ and ‘Off the Wall’.  This two hour History of Funk broadcast was the sound track to my 400 mile trek down to the memorial. And as the hours drew closer, the more alive and vibrant his music became-so much so that I literally forgot the reality at hand.  I anticipated an upbeat celebration and a chance to reconnect to old friends. We were coming together to celebrate Michael – not mourn him.

Here’s our conversation on All Day Play FM w/ Chuck D

Conversation All Day Play FM  w/ Rickey Vincent

MJ-Fans-300As I arrived at the Staples Center and got my tickets I was there amongst thousands. The mood was upbeat and somewhat festive. There were smiles and light-hearted jokes. The mood was one of excitement as we all knew we were going to a historic event. The fact that we were among thousands of people who loved and appreciated this man sans the outright disrespect the media punditry playerhaterism who are increasingly out of step  with their viewers and listeners added to the jovial mood.

_MichaelJacksonstage-223It wasn’t until I got inside a darkened Staples Center and saw the stage adorned with flowers and the memorializing picture montage that it started to sink in what was really going on. As the place filled up we all could spot various celebrities who generally would cause a stir, the mood had drastically changed. It was more somber and definitely quiet except for the folks in the VIP section that seemed to be more animated and engaged as they smiled, exchanged pounds and hugged each other like this was just another industry event. I recall making note and tweeting about that.

When Michael’s gold casket adorned with roses was carried in…Then it really hit. The mood changed even more as it sunk in for all of us.  This was not some sort of celebratory concert even with Stevie Wonder, Usher and Mariah Carey all singing. This was all about us saying goodbye…Not just to Michael but to an era and to part of ourselves. There was a lesson or lessons that needed to be gleaned and I found myself deep in thought and reflecting.

MJ-mariahcarey-300The Memorial itself could be best described as beautifully sad. We all saw the highlights, the first being Mariah Carey singing as she tried her best to hold back tears and keep her voice from cracking. We understood how difficult it was to sing  with the casket in front of her.  People in the audience had teared up when it was first brought in. If she didn’t care nor had no love, then this would’ve been just another gig. But singing in front of MJ’s casket knowing that he was forever gone was something else.  Everyone at the Memorial felt her and appreciated the singing -cracked voice and all.

Magic Johnson sharing his KFC chicken story was nice.  It humanized MJ for us. Him talking about being asked to be in the ‘Remember the Time’ video was appreciated as we recalled MJ using an all Black cast for this video depicting Ancient Egypt. We as Black folks appreciated it, but back in 1992, when this video first premiered on prime time TV, it angered a lot of white media pundits who questioned why Jackson would show Egyptians as their real color – Black.  Folks need to ponder the deeper meaning behind that for a minute.

Stevie Wonder gave a heartfelt performance that brought us to tears

Stevie Wonder gave a heartfelt performance that brought us to tears

Stevie Wonder  and Usher moved us immensely as they sung their respective songs. Because I had done the History of Funk Show with Chuck D and Rickey Vincent, I had greater appreciation and understanding of what Stevie Wonder meant to MJ and the Jacksons when he took the stage.  I understood that Stevie was Motown’s first childhood star who at age 11 signed to Motown and was known as Lil’ Stevie – the Boy Genius. He was the one you saw rocking the harmonica as Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson and others within Motown held it down.

I appreciated that as Stevie got older and made way for the new child star – Michael Jackson. Over the years, Stevie would write a number of songs that Michael covered.  From ‘My Cheri Amour’ to ‘I Don’t Know Why I Love You’ Wonder was an ever-present figure  who over the years played a crucial role in helping shape and inspire the genius we appreciate about Michael.

I also understood that Stevie was arguably at the prime of his career winning Grammy after Grammy and dropping landmark albums like ‘Talking Book’, ‘Innervisions’  and ‘Songs in the Keys of Life’ as the Jacksons were emerging as pop sensations. With all this in mind, Stevie’s opening remarks about wishing he didn’t have to live to see the day we buried Michael along with his stellar performance of ‘Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer’ which was also covered by Michael took, on deeper meaning now that I had a historical and social context to put it in.

Usher’s heartfelt performance of Michael’s song ‘Gone Too Soon’ which had inspired dozens of video tributes found all upon Youtube including an incredible tribute done for the ill-fated BET Awards but was sadly never shown, was moving.

Brooke did her best to hold back tears while she talked about the great friendship she and Michael had.

Brooke did her best to hold back tears while she talked about the great friendship she and Michael had.

Brooke Shields’ speech was touching as was John Mayer’s performance. Many did not realize how close and long a friendship Shields and Michael had. It was touching and insightful. One had to respect Mayer for opting not to sing but to just play the riffs to the song ‘Human Nature’. He later noted that he could not do Michael justice.

Brother Jermaine Jackson singing Michael’s favorite song ‘Smile’ was sobering. We had heard early on that Jermaine was going to sing and it was met with excitement. Again when it finally sunk in that he was paying tribute to his fallen brother after Brooke Shields had referenced the song in her remarks, we were all moved.

Reverend Al Sharpton gave the speech of a lifetime as he encompassed many of the feelings many were feeling but simply could not articulate. He addressed the naysayers and MJ haters in splendid fashion when he reminded us how Michael through his music and videos brought people of all races together and helped erase many divisions especially when he kicked down the doors to segregated entities like MTV.  He reminded the audience that it was Michael who pushed and played trailblazing roles in charitable events like Live AID and We Are the World.

Sharpton noted that MJ’s bringing together of folks paved the way for the eventual election of President Obama. This drew loud applause. Sharpton spoke directly to Michael’s kids when he said; “There was nothing strange about your Daddy, it was strange what your daddy had to deal with.” This drew a thunderous standing ovation.

I knew right then, in spite 20 thousand people inside Staples beaming and rousing in agreement with Sharpton, that pundits would immediately be put in front of the TV cameras to discredit – and they were. The main talking points were; Michael Jackson was not an African-American icon, but an American icon and that Sharpton’s remarks were racist and would not be approved by Jackson. What’s funny about this was Jackson in later years came under attack for 3 or 4 things that drew the racial ire of some of Sharpton’s critics who say he plays the race card too much.

The first as I mentioned earlier was the ‘Remember the Time’ video where Michael caught flak for having African-Americans be cast as ancient Egyptians.

The second was Michael buying the Beatles catalogue. Him besting everyone including former friend Paul McCartney at the music industry’s publishing game, which over the years has left scores of Black artists destitute, may have been the spark that led to the onslaught of attacks MJ had to endured.

The third was him marrying Elvis Presley’s daughter, Priscilla Presley. That was too much for a whole lot of prejudice folks to bear. I recall the anger it caused to have the King of Pop who in spite of his so-called white appearance was still seen as a Black man marrying the daughter of the King of Rock-N-Roll. We all heard stories about Elvis’s daughter being called a “nigger lover”.

Prior to that, Michael caught racial heat for his very public friendship and relationship with Brooke Shields. Yes, the interracial dating thing even for the King of Pop was troubling for quite a few folks who want to insist that Michael be an “American icon” as long as he doesn’t marry their daughters. (The irony here is that Michael and Brooke never really dated they were just good friends, but even that was too much)

The fourth thing was Jackson going up to Harlem in June 2002 to Al Sharpton’s headquarters and speaking out about the blatant racism in the music industry. It was Jackson not Sharpton who referred to then lauded industry executive Tommy Mottola as racist and devilish. Sharpton tried to back pedal a bit on Jackson’s remarks and make it seem like a mistake in words, but it was just days later Michael went to England and underscored everything he said about Mottola and then some.

The bottom line is Sharpton captured the moment during the memorial. Sharpton’s words were a breath of fresh air when you look at the racial overtones that had been placed on Jackson ranging from idiotic Congressmen like Peter King out of New York, to the so-called liberal icon Keith Oberman.

As each speaker took the stage and paid tribute, it hit home that the King of Pop was not only gone for good, but along with him an enduring, inspiring spirit calling on us to live up to life’s challenges and be our best at all times. It would be up to us to hold on to that spirit and do something with it. This realization was underscored when Martin Luther King III and his sister Bernice King spoke directly to the family and shared with them lessons they learned from their famous Civil Rights leader father. They recalled his famous Drum Major Instinct speech where he told us to be the best at what we do no matter how insignificant it may seem. They also shared with us MJ reaching out to their mother, Coretta Scott King  3 weeks before she passed which reminded us just how big a heart this man had.

Brother Marlon Jackson and Michael's daughter Paris reminded us that Michael was not just an icon but a beloved family member who will be missed

Brother Marlon Jackson and Michael’s daughter Paris reminded us that Michael was not just an icon but a beloved family member who will be missed

It all hit home when Marlon Jackson spoke about his love for his brother which was followed by daughter Paris whose voice and cries about her love for her father were heard all around the world.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the building when she spoke.

After the Jackson family said their last goodbyes, the casket was removed the finality of Michael Jackson being forever gone hit. I found myself thinking how Michael meant different things to different people. Some saw him as only an entertainer while others saw him as part of a larger culture rooted in age-old traditions. Some saw Michael as transcending race while other saw him as part of a race. Some saw Mike as a meal ticket to sell t-shirts, records, tickets etc while others recoiled at him being commoditized.

I myself saw a man who left behind a rich legacy and I was wondering if it would be a legacy we exploit and squander or if it would be something we cherish and build upon?  Were my frequent walks down memory lane over the past two weeks a reminder for me to learn about myself and my people, build upon that, spread the knowledge and use that understanding to dwell deeper and bring forth the important aspects of the heroes and sheroes who do for us everyday?  In other words, start loving and appreciating while people are still around and not when their dead?

It was then that it hit me that Michael’s music was no longer alive. Not in the way it was when I was coming down to LA. It was no longer alive because it was time for us to move forward and add richness to the legacy and not keep using it. In other words stop, looking for comfort within Michael and his music and start using our talents and resources to comfort and be a blessing to others.

Michael Joseph Jackson was a constant companion-a sound track of sorts to my life. He was a constant who was there at every momentous occasion I experienced. And now he was no more. He’s the end of an era, a chapter closed and the start of new beginning if I so choose.

Michael Jackson was an iconic bigger than life figure prior to the Memorial. After brother Marlon and daughter Paris spoke, it hit hard that he was a brother, father, son and beloved friend who will surely be missed.

There will never ever be another Michael Jackson and for that I’m sad. But his memorial said to me, “The ball is in your court.  Michael’s  work is done. It’s on you, it’s on us –each and everyone of us who sought comfort in his talents and persona, to carry on and impact this world and the communities around us by helping move them to new and better heights. Will the world stop and pay attention when we die?

RIP Michael Jackson..May we build upon the foundation you laid for us.

The Jackson clan wore white gloves in honor of Michael

The Jackson clan wore white gloves in honor of Michael

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

How Michael Got Gangsta With Sony Music Over Black Music & Racism



How Michael Got Gangsta With Sony Music Over Black Music

Michael Jackson was not as timid as one might think when it came to doing battle with the industry. Not too many people wanna talk about his battle with Sony Music

Michael Jackson was not as timid as one might think when it came to doing battle with the industry. Not too many people wanna talk about his battle with Sony Music

This is what I liked about Michael Jackson. Call him weird, call him eccentric, but the man was no dummy and he would step if needed to.. I am including a story we ran the day after Michael Jackson was in Harlem where he called out Tommy Mottola and Sony Music. He said Mottola was a racist which was bold  given that at the time Motola was one of the industry’s most powerful executives in the industry..

This is the article that we  ran in June 2002 in my FNV Newsletter

-Davey D-


The article below is reprinted with permission from  Ayana Soyini who documented this historic event which originally appeared on the website The new website is Khamouflage Productions


Greetings: On Tuesday July 9, 2002 I attended a music industry summit
in Harlem at the headquarters of the National Action Network.  The
Summit was called by Rev.  Dr.  Al Sharpton, Johnny Cochran, Michael
and many other prominent people in the entertainment, legal,
and political activist communities.  Contrary to what some of the
media has been reporting, the Summit was not solely for the airing of
grievances by Michael Jackson.  As you may or may not know, Michael
recently said some very candid, open and straightforward comments
about the historical racism and economic disparity that is prevalent
in the music industry.  This has been extremely detrimental,
specifically to the African-American community who has historically
been at the forefront of innovation in America.  One cannot talk about
the history of the United States without talking about the
contributions African-Americans have made.  Most notably, all
recognized popular American musical art forms have been created and
developed first from within the African-American community (i.e.
Blues, Jazz, Hip Hop, R&B, Soul etc…)

Our music was often called “race music” by white Americans to
highlight the fact that as a people, the African-American experience
is unique and our expressions culturally rich.  Let me emphasize once
again that the focus of this Summit was not on Michael Jackson.  No.
The focus of this Summit was on calling attention to the historically
corrupt, exploitative and one-sided business dealings perpetuated by
the music industry.  The focus was on what particular strategies can
be implemented to end the injustice.

Let me clear up some of the inaccurate reporting being done by the
larger media outlets.

THE LIES: Michael Jackson is disgruntled because his last musical
project “Invincible” only sold 2 million copies and he is desperately
trying to save his career.

THE TRUTH: Michael informed the audience that Invincible has actually
sold 10 MILLION copies worldwide to date and he is personally
satisfied with the numbers.

THE LIES: Michael has gone crazy and this is just another “bizarre
publicity stunt” to call attention to himself.

THE TRUTH: The larger media outlets have always been fond of attacking
him at random.  Michael was in Harlem just 7 weeks ago along side the
likes of former President Bill Clinton at a fundraiser for the
Democratic National Committee and the larger media outlets called him
an ICON then.  Why is he “Wacko Jacko” now for bringing up some very
real issues that directly impact peoples lives?

THE LIES: The idea that racism and economic disparity exists in the
music industry is farfetched considering the success of certain
individual artists and people like Will Smith, Mariah Carey, Sean “P
Diddy” Combs etc…

THE TRUTH: There are absolutely no Black owned public relations firms,
travel agencies, advertising agencies etc…  that have contracts with
any of the major corporate labels.  If $20 million dollars is being
spent on marketing and promotion of an African-American artist or
someone doing a recognized African-American art form, then why have
the talents of African-American business men and women been overlooked
and not deployed to help facilitate the process?  Are African-American
businesses unable to effectively market, promote and work in tandem
with any of the major labels?  With African-American consumers making
up a large percentage of the buying public through our extensive
spending power, how much of the monies generated from successful
commercial endeavors pushed by the music industry goes back into
African-American neighborhoods?  For every Will Smith who has
generated tons of income for his employers you have a multitude of
artists stuck in unfair contracts that find them in debt to their
label for expensive which they have no control or say of.

THE LIES: Many African-Americans in the music industry do not support
this cause.

THE TRUTH: This has been a long-standing concern in the
African-American community.  A broad based coalition has already been
mobilized.  Some of the supporters who were in attendance included:

Londel McMillan – the legal mastermind who helped Prince free himself
from a horrible contract with Warner Bros.  He also represents the
Artist Empowerment Coalition which includes members such as Stevie
Wonder & Chaka Khan.

Terrie Williams – founded the Terrie Williams Agency in 1988 and is
recognized as one of the top public relations and communications
firms.  She has written a number of best-selling books and has a
client roster which includes Fortune 500 companies.

Dave Mays – founder of The Source magazine.  One of the more popular
and influential publications geared towards Hip Hop music, culture and

James Mtume – Musician and Producer extraordinaire as well as a
longtime community activist and spokesperson.

Shakim Compere – Manager of Queen Latifah and Flavor Unit Enterprises.

David Patterson – New York State Senator.

Doug E.  Fresh – longtime Hip Hop entertainer and grassroots community

Also in attendance were reps from National Music Distribution, family
members of W.C.  Handy (credited with pioneering Blues music), the
daughter of Otis Blackwell (the man responsible for writing many of
the hit records for Elvis Presley) and many others just too numerous
to mention.  The room was packed and the media turnout was extensive.
There are many who support the issues being discussed and are
committed to lending support whether quietly behind the scenes or by
more visible and public actions.  Look for a possible Class Action
Lawsuit to be filed as well as an upcoming meeting being called with
the heads of the 5 major distributors and their respective label heads
(i.e..  Tommy Mottola, Clive Davis, Doug Morris etc…).

In closing, please don’t believe the false hype and negative media
propaganda tactics deployed by the larger communications outlets.
They are only presenting distorted facts in an effort to discredit
what is credible.  They are trying to put the emphasis on a few people
(i.e..  Michael Jackson…  who happens to be the best selling artist
of all time and has generated BILLIONS of dollars) to fool you into
believing that this issue is irrelevant and inconsequential to the
lives of the everyday person.  If you have any sort of conscious or
soul, please don’t make snap judgments as to the motives of this
movement and the people who are spearheading it.  It is really the tip
of the iceberg of a long overdue need to reform how big business
operates in the United States and globally.  It is also tied into the
growing Reparations Movement that has also attracted many heavy
hitters (i.e..  Russell Simmons).  It is time for this generation to
pick up the torch and continue to build on what our ancestors have
accomplished so far.  As Dr.  Martin Luther King Jr. so eloquently
stated, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.  Thank
you for reading and Blessed Love!!

Ayana Soyini, CEO Goldeneyes Entertainment

Below is a video we attached where, Jackson speaks before a crowd in London and explains whats really cracking off. He starts speaking about 3 minutes into this 9 minute video..

Below is an article where long time activist Dick Gregory

Dick Gregory’s Comments On Michael Jackson
By Bakari Akil II


Dick Gregory spoke about sinister forces at work trying to undermine Michael once he took on these record labels

Dick Gregory spoke about sinister forces at work trying to undermine Michael once he took on these record labels

Dick Gregory, activist, health guru, ex-comedian as well as advisor to many influential people is a man who has been a mainstay in American culture for decades. As a friend to Michael Jackson for many years he offered insight to the current situation involving Mr. Jackson and provided a perspective that has not been evident in many media outlets.

On a radio show entitled Make it Plain, hosted by WOL’s Mark Thompson in Washington, D.C., Dick Gregory stated in response to the mad media frenzy and tilt toward guilt coverage, that those who believe in Michael Jackson’s guilt or innocence should first ask for truth to be exposed. Whether it is damaging for Michael Jackson or not, he insisted that truth is the most important aspect of this issue.

However, Mr. Gregory does not believe that Mr. Jackson is guilty of the
charges and raised many questions concerning the events leading up to the actions of law enforcement and consequent media coverage. He asked why was it necessary for 40 police officers and 20 FBI agents to raid Michael Jackson’s property. More specifically, why were FBI agents present, especially since the allegations against Mr.Jackson are not a federal offense?

He also questioned the legitimacy of the claim of law enforcement that they did not know of Mr. Jackson’s whereabouts and the timing of the raid.  According to Mr. Gregory, there is a monetary element to this entire situation. He states that Michael Jackson purchased the Beatles catalog for nearly $48 million and it is now worth $1.5 billion. He also owns the rights to the Elvis catalog and found out after his purchase of the Beatles collection that these rights also included ownership of Little Richard’s catalog of which, Michael Jackson promptly called Mr. Richard and returned it to him.

His suspicions arise from the fact that Michael Jackson has taken out loans and his lenders wanted collateral, which was none other than his Beatles catalog. Mr. Gregory stated that Michael Jackson did not mind offering that up as collateral because every time he would come out with a record he would make around $500 million from his efforts. For those who doubt those claims, he explained that there is a mischaracterization that occurs when
people think about what is success for Michael Jackson. Although he  different. He also admonished the audience not to forget that Michael Jackson embarrassed SONY and music mogul Tommy Mottola when he claimed that they were racist and that they took advantage of and mistreated Black artists.

Not holding anything back, Mr. Gregory stated that Rev. Al Sharpton, who came to the defense of Michael Jackson during this time was soon
overwhelmed by media coverage of a video tape which showed individuals attempting to frame him in a drug deal.
He went even further stating that this type of behavior could be traced to Bill Cosby and the suspicious murder of his son Ennis, who was gunned down while changing the tire of his Mercedes on a California highway. He claims that this happened after Mr. Cosby hinted that he wanted to purchase NBC when it was up for sale.

Dick Gregory also alleged that when they showed Michael Jackson in
handcuffs, it was symbolic and when they handcuffed him, they handcuffed us all (Black communities). He stated that they allowed Mr. Jackson to board his private plane in Las Vegas, fly back to California and then handcuffed him and immediately took them off when inside the police station. According to Mr. Gregory, law enforcement had not judged him an extreme flight risk if they let him fly in and obviously not a danger if they immediately uncuffed him once inside, so why the posturing?

Mr. Gregory further intensified his discourse by reiterating that the value of Michael Jackson’s catalog cannot be underestimated and asserted that Mr. Jackson could easily be killed, have it consequently ruled a suicide and thus his collection will be forfeited in lieu of his debt.

He further commented that people such as Liz Taylor, whom he knows Michael would rush to their aid in times of need, have not come to his defense or spoke out on his behalf. He also talked about how many people take “Michael” for a joke, yet he is very intelligent and that he knows what is going on.

Yet for all his concerns, Dick Gregory stated that Michael Jackson will
“come out clean” in this dilemma and he called for people to say a daily
prayer for the “truth to come out” about this situation concerning Mr.
Jackson at 12:00 P.M., no matter what the time zone. He believes,
ultimately, people will be shocked at what that truth is.

In the final analysis, many may balk at the comments and observations of Mr. Gregory, believing that governmental officials, media organizations and corporations in the music business may be beyond collusion or conspiracies (when two or more make a conscious effort to bring about a certain reality), which is fine. Yet, free and independent thought that Mr. Gregory exhibits is absolutely necessary, especially in an era where fact and fiction has taken an equal seat in mainstream media and thought.

 Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

Paul Porter: Black radio Speaks w/ Forked Tongue



Black Radio Speaks with Fork Tongue

by Paul Porter of

Paul Porter is a 30 year industry vet and former music programmer for Radio One & BET

Paul Porter is a 30 year industry vet and former music programmer for Radio One & BET

It is time that broadcasters start telling the truth. The recent flood of one sided information by radio on the pending “HR 848 – Performance Rights Act” is uncovering a much larger problem. The First Amendment calls for “Freedom of Speech”, but unfortunately broadcasters continue to feed misinformation to millions of Americans, without a murmur of opposing opinion.

Radio One, Founder Cathy Hughes has rediscovered her microphone after a ten year hiatus. While shaping the Performance Rights Act as an end to Black Radio, Hughes and her staff have done a great job of concealing the facts.

In a series of PSA annoucements, Hughes has framed HR 848 as the end of Black radio. Broadcasters, in this difficult economy have not allowed advertising dollars to be spent by denying air time to supporters of this Bill.

In Detroit, on Tuesday, Congressman John Conyers held a hearing on HR 848 at Wayne State University. While Joyner, Baisden and Hughes have continued to deliver blatant lies on air, the forum was the perfect situation to finally hear both sides.

Although invitations were extended to the entire broadcast community, only one representative stepped up to the mic. Rev. Al Sharpton, who’s syndicated Radio One show airs nationwide, presented his side and left without listening to the audience that pays his check.

Sharpton, on his show later that day only mentioned the forum as “one-sided” and failed to mention any of the stories shared by a short list of living legends, Dionne Warwick, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Sam Moore, Duke Fakir, George Clinton and writer performer Rhymefest informed those in attendance of the simple facts on why performers should be paid for radio airplay.

Maybe if Sharpton, Baisden, Hughes or Joyner stop talking they might take the time to listen to some alarming facts.

*Performers are paid in over 30 countries, for radio airplay. Only the U.S., China, Iran and North Korea do not pay performers for radio airplay.

*Performers are paid for television, satellite radio, cable stations and Internet radio but not paid for terrestial (AM & FM) radio airplay.

*An additional $70 to $100 million will be paid to American artists for airplay from foreign countries.

What Black Radio is not telling you:

*Urban radio continues to be the most syndicated music format. While limiting voices and local issues, Black adults are 25 times more likely to hear syndication than Whites. Eliminating the messengers, by limiting the voices.

*Radio One, the nation’s largest African American broadcaster, has cut staff and 401k benefits for staffers, while awarding CEO Alfred Liggins a 10 million dollar bonus.

*Radio consistently makes millions from the recording industry, requiring Free promotions, Free product and Free performances that get charged back to the artist bottom line.

No matter what the color of radio ownership — serving local audiences with better music, information and content is the key to thriving business model. American radio must finally catch up with the rest of the free world and pay performers their just do.

It is time that radio broadcasters allow audiences to hear both sides of this important issue.

Paul Porter

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

Hot 97 Protest…Now Sharpton Wants to Jump in-What’s the Hustle?

Now Sharpton Wants to Jump In… What’s the Hustle? Hip Hop Activists Respond…
by Davey D

DaveyD-Raider-frameToday the NY Daily News ran an article about the Reverend Al Sharpton wanting to write letters to the FCC and call for a 90 day ban on ‘gangsta rap’ and anything that reeks of violence and has the potential to spill out in the streets.

This sounds good on the surface and considering what took place last week at Hot 97 in New York it sounds damn near practical… But there’s always a catch and a behind the scenes story to the one being sold to us.

First we have to ask ourselves where Sharpton was over the past few years when these media reform campaigns were first conducted, the most prominent being the ‘Turn off the Radio Campaign‘ that was launched and supported by community activists Bob Law, the December 12th Movement, Chuck D of Public Enemy, dead prez, The Zulu Nation and numerous others community organizations in New York.

A huge tribunal featuring a number of NY City Council members, artists ranging from Hip Hop luminaries like Stetsasonic, Public Enemy and Afrika Bambaataa to legendary R&B crooners Ray, Goodman and Brown who filled a church on Madison Avenue in Harlem in January of 2003 to address the important issue of how Black folks were being depicted in media outlets serving New York.

There were at least a 1000 people in attendance and the tribunal went on for at least 5 hours with community member after community member speaking and airing out their grievances. Sharpton was no where to be seen. Nor was he around to lend his considerable clout in the months that followed when Law worked tirelessly to get this campaign off the ground. Sharpton was not around when the Turn off the Radio Campaign sparked off in other cities like Kansas City, and Cleveland to name a few. Sharpton was no where to be seen when similar efforts were launched in places like Detroit (Black Out Fridays), Seattle, Chicago and most recently Miami.

Al Sharpton

Al Sharpton

Sharpton was absent from the fight when the huge media reform campaign called the ‘People’s Station Campaign‘ sparked off in San Francisco. Here members of the Hip Hop community including artists and numerous organizations got together monitored the Clear Channel owned Urban Music stations in the area and issued a report to the community and various media outlets. The efforts not only forced change on the big Urban giants KMEL and KYLD, but it was the subject of numerous media stories including a huge front page story penned by author Jeff Chang called Urban Radio Rage How Clear Channel Wrecked KMEL on front of the Bay Guardian.

Many of the issues that Turn off the Radio campaign as well as the other efforts around the country, were similar to the ones raised by the coalition that protested against Hot 97 last Friday at Union Square Park. People have grown tired of the racist remarks directed at the communities of color this station serves. They were tired of the type of degrading music that is constantly being pumped. The recent shooting in front of Hot 97 involving 50 Cent and Game’s entourage was just icing on the cake for the momentum that had already been brewing within the Hip Hop community.

Hopefully people do not forget that what was the real catalyst behind Friday’s March 4th protest was the insidious, racist Tsunami song that Hot 97’s executives allowed Miss Jones and her morning crew to put on the air. Initial complaints to the station were ignored and dismissed until websites like owned by the Grammy Award winning Hip Hop band the Roots and WBAI DJ J-Smooth and his blog alerted their readers what was going on.

This in turn sparked more people to come forth as Smooth, Okayplayer and other Hip Hop oriented websites began chronicling the tireless efforts of organizers with the Asian and Southeast Asian communities that had now taken up the fight against Hot 97. Because of the similarities and concerns raised in previous efforts, folks from all backgrounds were able to come together and re-address the grievances at Hot 97.

Protest at Hot 97

Protest at Hot 97

Again Sharpton was absent. During the whole Anti-Asian Tsunami incident there were no headline making statements from Sharpton about media reform or restraint. He was absent from this highly publicized fight. No phone calls, no letters, no nothing. He didn’t even come to the first protest at Hot 97 which was attended by City councilmen Charles Barron and John Liu who helped organized this effort along with Asian Media Watch. He certainly wasn’t at any of the planning meetings or any other media reform gathering.

In addition to all this, let’s go back into time when the Turn Back the Radio efforts were underway and we had all these FCC hearings about how many stations Radio station owners could have in a market, you did not see or hear Sharpton raising this issue. You certainly didn’t see him at too many of the hearings. I know because we covered most of them on our airwaves at Pacifica and I spoke at three of them. (Monteray, Seattle and San Francisco)

So what’s this all about? Why is Sharpton jumping in at the 12th hour? Is it because this is the hot topic of the day and he wants to be a part of it? Maybe… Maybe not. The media reform and media justice argument has been around for the past 3 years and have been hot topics. He could’ve ran to the bank with this during his Presidential campaign. But he didn’t. He certainly never had any of the main Hip Hop activists who have been dealing with this from day one come on his Sunday night 3 hour radio show on WLIB which is now home to Air America. We spoke with Bob Law who let us know that not once did Sharpton ever help out with the widespread efforts behind this campaign.

So what’s the motive behind Sharpton suddenly wanting to write the FCC and call for a ban on gangsta rap? Well, he’s seems to be redirecting the argument back to the artists and away from the media owners and executives who are really responsible for giving them air time.

Jeff Smulyan CEO of Emmis

Jeff Smulyan CEO of Emmis

In the NY Daily news article, you don’t see him calling them into question the role Jeff Smulyan, Rick Cummings and Barry Mayo who are executives at Emmis. You don’t see him calling for a meeting with John Hogan, Steve Smith or Doc Winters who are key executives at Clear Channel. You don’t see him calling on Cathy Hughes or Alfred Liggins or Mary Catherine Sneed (MC Sneed) who run things at Radio One. He covers his steps by saying, he doesn’t wanna mediate between the artists and that this is a recurring problem, but he stops short of placing blame where it really belongs on the owners of these outlets. Many of them not only grant platforms to these artists but they also grant platforms to other activities that help promote beef like the infamous Smackfest where they have sistas from around the way smack each other for cash prizes. Everyone knows this hence the protests and objections over the past three years.

This is important to note, because folks who have been organizing around media reform are very clear that artists like 50 Cent and Game have to own up to the role they play in these conflicts, but this is bigger then them. This goes back to those who have final say so as to what gets aired and how they ultimately profit off of these divisions. So now we have Sharpton who has good working relationships with Kathy Hughes at Radio One and Barry Mayo the General Manager at Hot 97 coming to the rescue.

Sharpton was strangely silent and didn’t shoot off letters to the FCC a few weeks ago when members of Game’s entourage brutally beat a deejay (Xzulu) and hospitalized him after an interview they conducted on Radio One’s WYKS in DC. He never asked for a 90 day ban when Radio One banned and then un-banned the Game’s record from being played on the air. Industry insiders are wondering if pay for play tactics were behind that move.

Many see Sharpton’s involvement as a subtle but soon to not be so subtle smoke screen to protect the attacks on his media buddies at these outlets. Today he’s calling for ban. Tomorrow he’ll start focusing on the artists and will do all that he can to downplay the role and responsibility of this executive friends at these stations. Who knows perhaps they will even grant him a weekly show so he can air out these important issues.

My point being is that what sort of ‘off the record’ conversations has Sharpton been having with these folks that he has not been able to come forth and say something like ‘I just got off the phone with Radio One and they agreed to do a 90 day ban, or I just spoke to Barry Mayo and convinced him to do an on air truce and dedicate a day to conflict resolution which is what Pittsburgh radio station WAMO did the other day. ‘.

One would hope and suspect that Sharpton had these conversations with them before making his announcement about going to the FCC. One has to wonder what’s really going on? Did he speak to them and they told him ‘No Way’? I find this hard to believe.

In the words of Public Enemy.. ‘Don’t Believe the Hype’ and ‘Can’t Truss It’ cause we aren’t.

Rev. Al airs gangsta ban plan


The Rev. Al Sharpton

The Rev. Al Sharpton is calling for a 90-day ban on radio and TV airplay for any performer who uses violence to settle scores or hype albums.

“There has to be a way to step in and regulate what’s going on with the airwaves and with violence,” Sharpton told the Daily News yesterday. “The airwaves are being used to romanticize urban violence.”

The activist minister plans to ask the Federal Communications Commission and the country’s major radio broadcasters to back his proposal.

His call follows last week’s shooting outside Hot 97 radio’s SoHo studios that apparently was sparked by a feud between rappers 50 Cent and The Game.

A member of The Game’s entourage, Kevin Reed, 23, of Compton, Calif., was shot in the buttocks after 50 Cent bad-mouthed The Game during an on-air interview at the radio station.

Bad blood between 50 Cent and The Game continued to boil over the weekend when The Game challenged his former mentor to “Come get me, you little bitch!” during a concert in Long Beach, Calif.

Last night, 50 Cent was escorted through LaGuardia Airport by Port Authority cops “for his own protection” when he arrived on a plane from Detroit about 8 p.m., a Port Authority spokesman said.

Said Sharpton, “We may not be able to stop people from shooting, but we can stop people from profiting from the violence.” Sharpton declined to comment specifically on the beef between 50 Cent, who was born Curtis Jackson, and The Game, whose real name is Jayceon Taylor.

Sharpton said he has no intention of trying to broker peace between the two rap stars, who have both recently released top-selling CDs.

“You can’t deal with this on an artist-by-artist basis,” he said. “I’m not going to become a mediator between artists. This is a recurring problem.”

In a letter Sharpton plans to send to the FCC and broadcasters, he said the outcry against violence among entertainers should be just as loud as the response last year to Janet Jackson’s breast-baring Super Bowl stunt.

“I recall the outrage that the FCC and others displayed in response to the Super Bowl performance of Janet Jackson,” Sharpton wrote. “Yet, when acts of violence happen around radio stations that actually have caused bloodshed, there has been a strange and disturbing silence from all quarters.”


An on-air personality at one of Hot 97’s sister stations says he was booted off the air after complaining about a song that features the lyric “Beat that bitch with a bat.”

Paul Porter said his falling-out with KISS-FM came after being told by the embattled hip-hop outlet, “Make up your mind: Do you want to stand up for kids or the company?”

The freelance announcer, who is also a volunteer instructor at a public school in Queens, told The Post that he voiced his concern last year after a 12-year-old student asked him, “Why does Hot 97 play these records?”

The offending song, “Party and Bulls- – -” by rap artist Rah Digger, was a favorite of the little girl’s father – who had recently beaten her mother, Porter said.

“I was shocked that a sixth-grader was so aware, but saddened that I had no answer,” said Porter.

Although the announcer’s complaint led to a new zero-tolerance policy for on-air profanity, Hot 97 just five months later launched a violent on-air contest called “Smackfest.”

That’s where young women compete for a $500 prize by striking one another in the face, not only to try and produce the loudest slap but do the most physical damage – including drawing blood.

These revelations come less than a week after an associate of rapper The Game was shot outside Hot 97’s Manhattan studio by a man believed to be an associate of rival rapper 50 Cent, while “Fitty” was inside promoting his new album.

50 Cent had just said on the air that he was ejecting The Game, a former protégé, from his posse.

Six weeks earlier, the station came under fire for playing “The Tsunami Song,” a twisted “We Are the World” parody mocking victims of the natural disaster that killed more than 200,000 people.

Porter says the Hot 97 DJs told him soon after the shooting that the controversies stem from programming director John Dimick’s inexperience with hip-hop.

Emmis Communications, the parent of Hot 97 and KISS-FM, hired Dimick in November from Jefferson-Pilot Communications in San Diego, where he oversaw country, jazz and alternative-rock stations.

“It’s been a zoo up there since Dimick took over. He doesn’t know what he’s doing,” Porter says one DJ told him.

The Source Magazine, Eminem, Hip Hop and Race

Here’s an interesting article dealing w/ growing skepticism of the Source magazine, Hip Hop and Race..



It was a press conference called by a high-profile congresswoman, the founder of a magazine once considered “the Bible of hip-hop” and a respected Los Angeles community activist. The goal: to tackle issues of racism in the music industry and to announce a plan “to reclaim ownership of hip-hop for the African American community.”

On the podium in Beverly Hills on Friday were Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles), Source magazine founder David Mays and activist Aqueela Sherills, who helped broker a 1992 truce between rival gangs in Watts. Presidential candidate the Rev. Al Sharpton even put in a surprise appearance.

The participants decried what they characterized as a deliberate effort by the music industry “to redefine and repackage hip-hop for mainstream America” and outlined plans for a national peace campaign with a series of hip-hop festivals aimed at reinfusing money generated by rap music back into communities where it was born.

But there was also an elephant in the room, one that all on hand did their best to ignore: the ongoing feud between the Source and the world’s most popular rapper, Eminem, who is white.

Following a presentation that ran more than an hour, Mays, who is also white, called for questions from the press, but the Q&A session wrapped in less than five minutes. There were barely half a dozen reporters in the 150-seat ballroom.

The light turnout appeared to reflect increasing media skepticism toward the Source since the publication launched a series of attacks last year against Eminem.

Just as the magazine has assailed his character and integrity in the world of hip-hop, the mainstream press has been asking the same things about the Source. In its Jan. 12 issue, Time magazine writes that “outrage has boomeranged on the questionable journalistic judgment of Mays and the Source.”

The public skirmish began in the Source’s February 2003 issue, which included an article critical of Eminem and an illustration of rapper Benzino holding the Detroit rapper’s severed head. Benzino, whose real name is Raymond Scott, is Mays’ business partner.

The attacks escalate in the Source’s February issue, which hit stands last week — with Eminem on the cover. Several articles again paint him as a racist and a culture thief, a white kid who has profited enormously, and unfairly, from an art form created by blacks.

The magazine comes with a CD containing excerpts of a tape Eminem made at least a decade ago in which he denigrated black women.

The Source, which made the tape public in November, argues that the comments refute Eminem’s long-espoused position that he respects the black culture that gave birth to rap and fueled his career.

Eminem issued a short statement at the time apologizing, saying it was “something I made out of anger, stupidity and frustration when I was a teenager.”

The Source frames its questions about Eminem as symbolic of a pervasive racism threatening hip-hop music today, a problem Friday’s press conference tried to address.

“That debate [over Eminem] is necessary to force the discussion to the next level,” Mays said after the conference. “There’s no question Eminem is a powerful force. As a leader, he has a tremendous influence…. As painful as it might be, we’ve got to deal with the issue of racism.”

Yet many in the music press view the situation simply as mudslinging by Benzino and Mays.



Benzino’s role at the Source has been a point of contention before, prompting wholesale resignations of its editorial staff twice when the rapper, described by Village Voice music critic Robert Christgau as “an obvious second- or fourth-rater,” received glowing coverage in the magazine of which he’s “co-founder and chief brand executive.” The February issue has a cover reference to more Benzino coverage.

“There are issues worth debating about Eminem’s rise — the rise of a white figure to the top of the hip-hop game — and how it reflects racial attitudes in America,” says Craig Marks, editor in chief of Blender magazine, which covers rock, pop and hip-hop. “Unfortunately, the Source may not be the best-qualified magazine to lay those out.”

The Source’s discussion of racism and hip-hop, says Chuck Eddy, music editor at the Village Voice, is “completely colored by the feud” between the magazine and the rapper. “We haven’t done a piece on it, and we don’t plan to.”

The magazine’s new issue also charges Eminem, who has been widely embraced not only by Anglos but by black, Latino and Asian fans and other hip-hop artists, with using phrases derogatory to all African Americans. These are based on comments from a former associate, and this time the magazine has offered no audio clips as proof.

“We don’t have any further response to the Source,” a spokesman for Interscope Records, Eminem’s label, said last week. “We’re out of business with them.” Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers, gave an exclusive interview to XXL magazine, the Source’s chief competitor, which will appear in its March issue, arriving on newsstands next month.

“I don’t think anyone around me is questioning where my heart is at,” he tells XXL, which once attacked his credibility because he is white. “I know what I do is black music. I know how it started, I know where it came from. But instead of trying to solely capitalize off it, I’ve been able to get in a position where I’m able to help other people.”

Editor in chief Elliott Wilson said XXL let Eminem address its rival’s questions about his racial attitudes because “despite the fact that you may not be able to trust the messenger [the Source], if an African American kid who’s an Eminem fan has heard that he used the N-word, he deserves answers.”

Dave Mays

Dave Mays

On Friday, some participants tried to draw a line between the Eminem debate and the discussion of ways to incorporate hip-hop music and performers into a broad campaign to reduce violence in inner cities and to channel the music’s economic power toward the improvement of those communities.

Mays pondered the question of whether the Source’s focus on Eminem might undermine efforts to promote meaningful debate on the wider issue of who deserves to reap the rewards of hip-hop’s transformation from a street art form to an international cultural phenomenon.

“He’s up there. He’s the tool being used by the corporations,” Mays said.

As to whether targeting Eminem will do more harm than good in the long run, “that,” Mays said, “remains to be seen.”

Randy Lewis, Times Staff Writer