NWA- Art or Irresponsibility an Intv w/ Eazy E & Ice Cube

These LA Rappers Never Asked to be seen as role models. But with their debut album ‘Straight Outta Compton’ headed toward platinum, they may not have a choice….

NWA colorNote: Out of all the interviews I’ve done.. this had to be the most intense… Both NWA and myself were very passionate about our positions at the time and both parties came away with a lot to think about.. At the time this interview took place.. there was a raging debate among the Bay Area’s main hip hop shows on KZSU, KALX and KPOO as to whether or not NWA should be played…

It was quite ironic considering KPOO and KALX were among the first stations in the country to not only play..but also grant NWA interviews… In fact NWA performed at a function for KPOO. The end result after a month of intense on air debates which resulted in all three stations droppin NWA for about two years because of lyrical content and the influence their music was having over impressionable listeners.]  The boycott was eventually broken when a couple of  deejays Billy Jam and G-Spot who were also fans of the group saw this boycott as a free speech issue and pushed back once they got shows of their own..

Below is the article that ran in BAM Magazine April 1989

The following conference call interview was conducted April 5, with KALX DJ Davey D in San Francisco, BAM editor Keith Moerer in Oakland, and NWA rappers Eazy E and Ice Cube in a Torrance studio. NWA’s first album, Straight Outta Compton, has sold 700,000 copies and generated almost as much controversy as public support.  In songs like the title track and ‘Gangsta Gangsta‘ NWA portray – some say glorify-gang violence, So far music critics have been kind, with NWA winning raves from Robert Hilburn and Dennis Hunt of the Los Angeles Times. But some college radio programmers, including BAM columnist Davey D, think the group – whose name stands for ‘:Niggers With Attitudes‘ – encourage a negative stereotype of blacks as gun-toting criminals…

Ice cube amerikka MostDavey D: You say that you’re underground reporters, telling it like it is, But do you perceive people, especially younger kids, understanding that you’re just underground reporters?

Ice Cube: OK, it’s like this. If you see a movie like Psycho III, the person in the movie might be psycho, But kids know what’s real and what’s not. Just because there’s a monster person in a movie who’s psycho and killing people, that don’t mean they gonna go psycho and kill people… Just because they hear something on record, we don’t expect kids to go out and kill people or whatever. Kids know what’s right and what’s wrong, regardless what our record says.

Davey D: But there’s a difference between Psycho III and Boys In The Hood and Straight Outta Compton. With Psycho III, that’s not a reality that a lot of people come across. But with “Boys In The Hood” and the whole album, people can look at that and say, “Hey, I can be just like this.”… It’s something they can gravitate toward, or see themselves getting into.

Ice Cube: Nobody talks about Colors, Nobody says, “Why y’all put a movie out like this?” There wasn’t no real message in Colors except that there’s gangs out the and there’s no way to stop them, We’re saying the same thing, but we saying it on wax. But everybody wants to come down on us, “You got a responsibility to the kids.” .. We got a responsibility to the kids to tell the truth. We don’t have to take a side, you know what I’m saying?… That wasn’t our tip in the beginning, and its not going to be our tip in the future. We just tell it like it is, and people swallow it if they can, and if they can’t, they can’t.

Keith Moerer: A lot of rappers feel there is a way of doing something to curb gang violence, and have gotten involved with the Stop The Violence movement. You could involved…

Eazy-E: If we wanted to..

Ice Cube: You can have a little influence, but rappers do not have that much influence, like everybody thinks…KRS-One can do, they can all do, a “Stop The Violence” record, they could have did it for twelve minutes straight. People gonna listen to the record, and they gonna like the record, but they’ll do a drive-by shooting listening to the record.

Davey D: Is there a solution to stopping it at all?

EazyEComptonEazy E: [When] the mother______’ police can’t do shit?…If you could just put out a record and it could stop violence you [wouldn’t] need police, we’d just need to do records. ‘Stop robbin’ banks, stop snatching purses..

Ice Cube: “Stop using drugs.” People been doing stop using drug rap songs every since the drug thing has exploded and it has not done a dent of good, not a dent of good.

Eazy E: Yo, I got something to add to that Check this out: Would you ask a news reporter if he’s promoting gang violence because he’s doing the news?

Davey D: Actually, yes, I would. What happens is, its a matter of perspective of what they choose to show right? When the only image people see is a negative one, gang killings and all that, people are gonna gravitate to that because that’s the only image they have of themselves…

Ice Cube: That means that you can’t deal with reality because…

Davey D: But that’s not the only reality, though, that’s the thing… That’s just one part of reality. That sort of stuff doesn’t go on every single day everywhere, but if you were just to look at the news you might get the impression that it does.

Ice Cube: Not everywhere. But it happens every day.

Eazy E: Every minute.

Ice Cube: It ain’t like we’re out here yin’, you know what I’m saying? Everything is true. If you can tell me I’m yin’ on the record, I’ll stop.

Davey D: It comes down to what you want to focus in on…I mean, there are people who go to school, there are people who do drug dealing, there are a lot of people doing a lot of different things…

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 10.17.36 AMIce Cube: We deal with reality, plus we say what kids want to hear… We talk about things that the news don’t go real deep into. Such as, they never ask a gangbanger how he really feels and get a true answer, Some of my friends are gangbangers, so I pretty much know how they feel, I know why they do the things they do, I just put in on wax… We’re gearing ourselves to kids who already know this stuff. The people who are scared are people who don’t know.

Davey D: But it is frightening, what you’re saying. The people who are getting scared, they don’t know about it, but should they not be scared or what? How should people who don’t know about it respond to your records?

Ice Cube: I don’t tell people how to react to our songs… I can’t rap about nothing I don’t know about, We can tell you what goes on in Compton. That’s why we get a lot of kids from the suburbs, they don’t know what’s going on, but they look and go, “Damn, its like that?”

Keith Moerer: “Gangsta Gangsta” begins with a drive -by shooting scenario [in which a innocent bystander gets shot]. You’ve got friends who are gangbangers who nay have been involved in drive-by shootings…So sure, they happen all the tine, but you don’t think they’re a good thing, do you?

Ice Cube carIce Cube: No. The beginning of “Gangsta Gangsta”, its’ just telling people, “Yo, if you hear shooting, don’t try to be nosy,” you know what I’m saying? Cause this guy comes out, “Oh, I wonder who these gangsters got today?” trying to be all nosy, and he gets shot…If you hear shooting, run. Don’t run toward the shooting.

Keith Moerer: So what’s your message, that people should hide out in their houses if they’re not gangbangers?

Ice Cube: No. I’m encouraging people to be aware of what’s gong on. How do you think NWA out to come off to the public.

Davey D: At this point in time? Well, your music is definitely some of the best that’s out there, For whatever reason, a lot of people are attracted to your group right now, I think that NWA needs to move forward, and needs to drop some serious science, just from the mere fact that you like it or not. It’s a responsibility that you have, even though you might not want it..

[If] NWA comes out and says “Stop the violence“, a lot of people are going to listen to it as opposed to Thurgood Marshall or Benjamin Hooks..’cause NWA is perceived by a lot of people as being down with the program- “These brothers are cool, they know what’s happening”-you’re real to the people…[In the past] past most rap groups thought that they were going to stay at the top for a longer period of time, and they were going to stay at the top for a longer period of time, and they changed a little too late, they changed as they were going on the downhill. I say that you guys are on the way up right now.


Ice Cube: We do drop science. Like “Express Yourself“. Songs like that are telling kids to be themselves no matter what. No matte what you say, or anybody else says, we gonna be ourselves no matter what.

Davey D: The problem with that though is that a lot of people don’t have an array of choices to choose from. You’re saying “Be yourself,” but if all I know is gang banging, I’m gonna continue to be myself cause all I know is gang banging.

Ice Cube: So you’re saying we should stop reporting it, and start trying to stop it…

Davey D: There’s nothing wrong with reporting it, but there needs to be a balance in such a sense that people aren’t going to misinterpret it… Right now people are looking up to NWA as role models, people listen to the music and get juiced by it – and some of them take it to heart…And rap is really the only music that gets the kids, that’s what people are listening to.

IceTcop-225Eazy E: But still [Ice T] has a video, how I want you to live, peace and all this. People don’t pay attention to nothing like that…

Davey D: The thing I will say about Ice T is that he’s made himself very clear about where he’s coming from, And I haven’t seen that necessarily with NWA.

Ice Cube: A lot of gang bangers think KRS One is cool. That don’t mean they’re influenced by his music, He say stop the violence all day.

Davey D: We’re not talking about people who are already into it. We’re talking about people who are coming up and don’t know. They’re gonna gravitate toward the people that they think are coolest, for whatever reason, OK? And you already have a situation where drug dealers and hoodlums, they’re already looked up to because they seem to have the most money, seem to be making it the most, etc. etc. And you’re targeting that audience, that’s what you’re telling me.

What I’m saying is that if NWA was to say “Stop the Violence,” I say 800,000 people would listen – a lot quicker, than Run-DMC that have played themselves out – because you guys are the ones who are in the spotlight. But that goes for anybody who’s in the spotlight, You might not be in the spotlight next year, it might another group.

Ice Cube: We’re not telling nobody on the record to go out and be a Crip…We’re not saying to do that and we’re not saying not to….[We’re popular because] we’re so real, we ain’t intimidated or afraid of anything that’s trying to get in our way…We like the confusion. We like the controversy.Cause that’s what helps our group.

Keith Moerer: Helps it in some ways, but could end up hurting you. [KZSU‘s hip-hop show] won’t play NWA cause they think the lyrics are too negative. And the hosts of the hip-hop show on KALX are now considering not playing NWA because they think you’re negative.

Eazy E: You’re talking about the whole album?

Davey D: With Stanford University [KZSU], they won’t play [NWA at all] because they think the whole concept, starting with the name on down, is just a bad attitude, and it sends out a bad message to their listeners.

Eazy E: We need to get [up] there and let people know that we’re not all that they think we are.

Davey D: That’s kind of contradictory, right? Cause just a second ago you said you didn’t care what they thought-to each their own.

Ice Cube: We don’t ask everybody to like us… We don’t expect everybody to like us .. We shouldn’t have the burden put on us just ’cause we’re the top group, we shouldn’t have no pressure put on us to change the way we do records.

Davey D: People think the music is dope .. the music speaks for itself . I could play an instrumental of one of your tracks and get the same response.

Ice Cube: I can’t believe that…

Davey D: Well believe it because that’s what people tell me..

Eazy E: OK we gonna send you a bunch of instrumentals [ Eazy hangs up the phone]

Davey D: Don’t take what I’m saying lightly.. We had a poll on my show asking people if they thought we should play you. We had some people.. they sounded young on the phone, and we had other people who were adults. We had some adults who thought we should play you. They gave the same reasons that you were saying.. And we had younger people calling up and saying, “Hey, we live in San Francisco and there are Crips up here now” and they don’t like it..

Ice Cube: They say its our fault that there are Crips up there now?

Davey D: Well, they’re blaming you..

Ice Cube: There’s been violence since the beginning of time. There ain’t no such word as peace, There ain’t never gonna be peace.

Davey D: Do you perpetuate that, or do you try and stop it?

Ice Cube: What do you want me to do? Tell it like it is or tell people what to do? That’s where we’re at. Since we’re in the middle, they want us to side… Six months ago, they didn’t care, cause we wasn’t getting the attention like we are now.

Davey D: Six months ago or a year ago, Run-DMC was catching the same flak that you are. Whoever is on top is gonna catch flak, and whoever is on the top is gonna be the role model. It’s just like when Run DMC and Eric B came out with gold chains, people weren’t wearing them before they came out with them. When Public Enemy came out with the conscious beads, nobody was wearing em until they came out with em, So people do look up to you when you’re in the limelight.

Ice Cube: What happened to Run DMC? You think they went down cause they started sidin’, they started doing what the majority of people wanted them to do?

Davey D: No, what happened with them is that they played themselves out.

Ice Cube: Here’s what happened to Run-DMC They got a record that crossed over, and the hip-hop audience said, “_______you”. So the hip-hop audience kicked ’em out and said “Who’s next?”

Keith Moerer: Since you’ve already told kids what the reality is on the streets right now, do you really need to tell them the same thing again on the next record?

Ice Cube: Maybe.

Keith Moerer: Eazy-E, is it true that you used to be a drug dealer?

EAZY-E: I stopped.

Keith Moerer: How long were you a drug dealer?

Eazy E: Years.

Keith Moerer: Why’d you stop?

EAZY E: Because I seen that it wasn’t really worth it, It wasn’t worth my life. My cousins got killed, It really wasn’t worth it so I got out of it, I figured I could do something right for a change instead of something wrong.

Keith Moerer: Why not put that on record?

Ice Cube: We did, that’s the song called “Dopeman” It tells what happens when you sell dope. You’ll beat up your friends, you’ll be on your hands and knees looking for dope…

EAZY E: And at the end you could get killed. In the radio version, the dope dealer ends up in prison.

Ice Cube: But see people don’t hear that, they hear what they want to hear.

Keith Moerer: But they hear a lot of different things, That’s one message that you send out, but “Gangsta Gangsta” sends out another…

Ice Cube: Just cause we don’t come out and say “don’t” That’s the word they want us to say. Don’t. It explains itself…. It’s like with the name. We wanted some people to get offended. We wanted people to say “Yeah, that’s cool” We wanted some people to laugh. We like mystery. We like controversy, We even like interviews like this..As long as what we say is true and what we say is real, then we don’t feel bad if somebody looks at it differently.

Davey D: In the Bay Area, if it wasn’t for KPOO, KALX and KZSU playing you initially, NWA wouldn’t be known – and that’s just the basic fact. And [at] two of the three stations, there’s movement to reverse that. One has already taken a stand and said, “We’re not going to do it,'” and the other one is debating it still, Is it a concern, is it something that you’re gonna think about, the same way that I would have to think about you telling me not to wear red when I come down to LA?

Ice Cube: It’s a concern, but will it change me?…No.

Davey D: Because the consequences aren’t as significant?

Ice Cube: It’s significant, but… I don’t really see all ourselves coming from radio, as would a ….

Davey D: But we’re not talking about commercial radio. I personally say that people are drawn to you guys, a lot of it has to do with your lyrics, but even more so your music.. I’m saying that if Eazy-A and NWA were to come out on a political tip..

Ice Cube: I got a song called ‘Murder, He Wrote‘ It’s’ telling about 400 people getting killing through gang activity in Los Angeles, but when five kids get killed up north, five Korean kids, now they want to ban AK-47s, But what about those 400 people..?

Davey D: Now that’s important stuff, to me at least. When you guys came up here last time, we gave away tickets [to your show, on the air]. We played a speech with Malcolm X, and asked “Who’s this guy talking in the background?” And it took about seventeen calls before somebody guessed it right. That’s a sad indication. People know your name, your lyrics, before they know now [though] is that there’s a lot of misconceptions…

Ice Cube: On the next record, there will not be no misconceptions, everybody will know which way NWA is going.



Ice Cube Disses the Hell outta Dwight Howard for Leaving the Lakers

ice cube scowlIce Cube is a diehard Raider fan and a diehard Lakers fan.. The other night during his concert, Cube let the world know how he feels about D12 rushing off to be with the Houston Rockets.. He predicts Kobe will win a championship before Dwight even smells one..


3 Dope Songs from Public Enemy: The Hard Rhymer Never Lets Up

public Enemy ptAs we celebrate Public Enemy being inducted into the Hall of Fame tonight.. We wanted to remind people of some of their work.. What they have on deck is impressive.. These were some of the songs I really dug.. Enjoy..

So Whatcha Gonna Do Now This is one of my favorite songs from Public Enemy.. It was off the Muse Sick in Our Message album and sadly was overlooked by a lot of folks..  This song spawned one of  the first videos to show a Black President…15 years before Obama takes office..


You can’t really talk about Public Enemy without making mention of this classic song ‘By the Time I get to Arizona‘. The video to this song sent shock waves throughout the country as the group depicted themselves killing two Senators and Governor  who opposed the Martin Luther King Holiday in Arizona.. The resulting controversy had critics calling rap and Public Enemy violent and a bad influence on kids.. Others said Dr King wouldn’t have like the video.. Those of us who tired of Arizona’s out right racism cheered the group on…


Burn Hollywood Burn brought together 3 legends, Big Daddy Kane, Ice Cube and Chuck D who killed in both subject matter (Black stereotypical images in Hollywood and their performance.. This is a must for anyone who is a student of Hip Hop… It’s what made the so called Golden Era so powerful.


I know I said 3 Dope Songs, but I’m gonna toss this bonus cut in from Terminator X‘s album called Buck Whyling. Although known throughout New York for her activism.. Lisa Williamson became known to us as Sister Souljah and is the star of this video..She later went on to do her own album with production from the Bomb Squad … I wish PE and Souljah had done more songs together.. She was and still is a force to be reckoned with and her voice was able to cut through the noise like Chucks.. I don’t think America and maybe even the group itself was ready for that pairing..

On another note Terminator X’s album was butter.. he had a number of dope songs and was the first to pay tribute to Hip Hop pioneer Kool herc by actually having him do a song for the album.


Lastly what y’all know about this song and rarely seen video? I’ll let it speak for itself.. I remember when the group performed this outside the GOP convention..



A must see is this documentary about Public Enemy Prophets of Rage


The Revolution Has Come… Rebel Diaz Speak Truth in Times of Turmoil

I’m so proud of Hip Hop right now… Ice Cube,  Brother Ali, Boots from the Coup, dead Prez, Jasiri X and Invincible have all dropped material in the past few weeks that has uplifted the community and inspired us to fight for better tomorrows.. Adding to that list is Rebel Diaz who skillfully sampled and flipped the chant from the Black Panthers..’The Revolution Has Come‘ and added their own 2012 twist..

It was just recently we lead rapper Rodstarz on our Hard Knock Radio show to give us crucial updates as to how things were faring under Hurricane Sandy. The day after the storm hit Rod explained to our listeners how poor folks were getting mistreated and how Mayor Michael Bloomberg had shut off power to housing projects days before the storm came..

He talked about how folks in his community had to organize themselves and make sure the elderly were taken care of because the city wasn’t going to do it..The day we did that interview there was some criticism from punditary types who lived nowhere near Rodstarz’ South Bronx neighborhood, but insisted that he was wrong with his info..They were citing press releases from Bloomberg as their source to counter Rod’s arguments.

Now that the dust is settling and the waters are receding, we see that all over NY in poor communities, there’s been neglect in the recovery efforts and was Rod was accurate and on point to the fullest with his assessment and breakdown of the situation.

Him and Rebel Diaz are and true to the spirit of ones who loves their people and seeks justice..This is a song underscores that sentiment and should not be slept on.. Turn it up and let it be the sound track to your day to day struggle for freedom..


Brother Ali Brings Dope Music and Serious Political Heat…Real Talk for 2012

If you thought the Ice Cube video about political corruption was dope, then you’ll enjoy what Brother Ali is breaking down.. His album Mourning In America an Dreaming in Color is a masterpiece..The videos he put out are dope.. Here’s a  cool interview from the folks over at dazzhot where he goes in what’s challenging the world around us..Big up to Ali for holding it down in 2012 and waging war on the system.

Mourning in America


Only Life I Know


Interview w/ Brother Ali via the homies over at Dazzhot


Ice Cube Says Everything’s Corrupt Weighs in on the Political System & Capitalism

Looks like folks are coming out and making serious statements. I wish Ice Cube dropped this song a month ago, because it would’ve got a lot of folks thinking and asking hard questions before the election. nevertheless its a dope song and good video. props to the Don mega…


Ice Cube drops a serious jam

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.

If Rappers take Heat for Inflammatory Words Why Can’t Sarah Palin?

I have a few questions that have been nagging me about all the issues falling out around this past weekend’s tragedy in Tucson?

First, there’s been a lot of talk about how accused Tucson shooter Jared Lee Loughner is mentally unstable, crazed and out of his mind. People are looking at his smiling/ smirking mug shot  and concluding that only a genuine psychopath would display such demeanor after killing 6 people in cold blood and injuring 14 more.

Personally I don’t know.. I never been around anyone who’s killed 6 people so I have no idea how they would act. I would imagine if it was me I’d be remorseful, but when I watch folks like Fox News commentator Glenn Beck telling us he wants to kill filmmaker Michael Moore or  Bill O’Reilly saying he thinks Washington Post columnist Dan Milbank should be decapitated ,they seem to be jovial. They seem to relish in the idea of ending someone’s life.

Is that the mindset of a violent person? Are they all smiles? Is that why Loughner was smiling?

Accused Tucson Massacre killer Jared Lee Loughner smirking

When I heard former governor Sarah Palin unapologetically use gun rhetoric in describing how she wanted to eliminate her political opponents, she seemed pretty gleeful even after receiving complaints. One of those opponents who voiced concern was shooting victim Gabrielle Gifford, but Palin paid her no mind. She never stopped smiling.

Noting that a smiling Jared Lee Loughner indicates craziness, my question is; ‘Just how crazy is he?’

Is he too crazed to hold a political opinion? Does he know the difference between a socialist and a communist? Is he discerning the difference between a commentary from MSNBC host Keith Obermann and one by radio hosts Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage?

Perhaps a mentally unstable  Loughner reacted and followed the leads of the loudest  most ruckus voices around. After all, all the tough talk about ‘don’t retreat and reload’ is not hidden. It’s pretty much mainstream.Such rhetoric along with footage of angry Tea Party folks showing up to rallies with guns threatening to take their country back are shown on the highest rated news stations like Fox. Inflammatory rhetoric expressing violence comes off the mouths of  some of the country’s most visible hosts, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.

In a staunchly conservative state like Arizona it’s almost impossible to escape a steady of diet these loud, in your face personalities and their violent rhetoric. Whether he leaned to the left or to the right, there’s no doubt  he was exposed right-wing, Fox News-like pundits   routinely denounce civility in both words and actions. There’s no doubt in mind that had an influence.

580 Freeway Shooter claims he was inspired by Glenn Beck

Now some folks reading are thinking what I’m saying is a bit far-fetched. The argument they’ll try to put forth is it’s not about the speaker it’s about the listener. They’ll insist that the person on the receiving end of a political tirade needs to be RESPONSIBLE for their actions. In other words,  a pundit like Sarah Palin is not responsible for the way someone reacts to her public utterings?

A guy like Glenn Beck who fantasized about killing Michael Moore and crusaded against the Tides Foundation is in no way responsible for the near deadly actions of would be mass murderer Byron Williams, the 580 Freeway shooter who went toe to toe with police while en route to the Tide headquarters where he planned to lay in wait?

I asked these questions because some of the same people defending this violent rhetoric from political pundits  and politicians weren’t too kind when it came to rap artists who invoked violent imagery to make a political point.

The most famous among these is Public Enemy who 2o years ago did the song ‘By the Time I Get to Arizona‘.  Here, they wanted to bring attention to the fact that there were certain politicians who were refusing to allow the state to recognize the Dr Martin Luther King holiday, so they did a song that spoke to it.

Chuck D

In the accompanying video, the group  showed black and white re-enactments of Civil Rights demonstrations which were juxtaposed with images of Chuck D and his armed crew the heading to the office of one of the Senators opposed to the holiday where they handed him a box of poisoned chocolates. As the video ends we see Chuck D blowing up the car of an unnamed elected official.

Needless to say folks went nuts over the video. Chuck D and Public Enemy were accused of fostering violence with some critics stating that there would be blood on their hands if anyone resorted to violence as a result of this video.

Chuck pointed out it was basically political theater, but very few in the halls of power were trying to hear that. As far as they were concerned Public Enemy had crossed the line.


Rudy Giuliani

Another group that caught heat was Queens based group Screwball who had an issue with then Mayor Rudy Giuliani. In ’99 around the time that police shot and killed an unarmed Amadu Diallo 41 times, the group  did a song called ‘Who Shot Rudy?’ The song was widely cheered and accepted throughout many of NY’s Black communities where residents were at odds with the police. Many in the establishment including the Mayor weren’t happy. The group got a visit from NYPD who confiscated their recording equipment and CDs. I recall the outrage that was voiced toward the group..

‘How dare they call for the shooting of a public official ‘? , is what critics howled.

Like PE Screwball was told there would be blood on their hands should any violence go down.


We can list at least a dozen more examples where artists have caught heat over what was described as troubling politicized rhetoric. The list includes Sista Souljah who got a harsh rebuke from then president candidate Bill Clinton when she made racially charged remarks around the Rodney King riots. Clinton went after a Souljah as a way to prove to skittish voters he could stand up to Black leaders.  When he heard that Jackson had invited Souljah to speak at his Rainbow Push convention, he dropped his harsh critic which is now known as Sista Souljah Moment.

Bay Area rapper Paris had his album delayed and he got a visit from the Secret Service when he released a song called ‘Bush Killa‘ which was featured on the album ‘Sleeping With the Enemy’. The track starts off with the mock assassination of President George Bush Sr . That caught folks attention. But what really made people angry and perhaps triggered the Secret Service visit was the inner sleeve album cover that showed Paris in a knit cap holding a rifle ready to shoot the President.

Paris described the song as a ‘revenge fantasy‘ and political art. All conversations along these lines went out the window as political pundits soundly rejected the political rapper accusing him of having gone too far.


In June of 2001, Boots Riley and his group the Coup released an album called Party Music where they had the World Trade exploding. Boots explained that he wanted to show a symbolism of capitalism being destroyed to underscore the political content of his album. It was no different then the video released a few years prior  during the East-West Coast Battles where Snoop Dogg was depicted knocking down a building that characterized the NY skyline. It was symbolic.

When the 9-11 attacks took place, the Coup, who weren’t on too many people’s political hit list, suddenly found themselves under the microscope. The symbolism was taken seriously in quite a few circles. Some wanted to know if this album cover would encourage other acts of terrorism. Words like Unpatriotic and Treasonous were bantered about when referring to a group that had been consistent with their political views for almost a 10 years before 9-11.

One of the more infamous rap songs where an artist came under fire for ‘influencing’ the public into destructive action was Ice Cube‘s ‘Black Korea‘ . This was a racially charged song where Cube targets Korean merchants in the hood for not liking Black people.

Fresh in his mind was the shooting death of 15 year-old Latasha Harlins,a Black girl who was killed by a Korean grocer. It sparked racial tension between Blacks and Koreans in LA and the Black Korea took things to new heights.

Ice Cube

When the Rodney King riots occurred, many Korean merchants were on the receiving end of anger being expressed. Cube was caught in the firestorm and blamed for helping bring harm to innocent people.

Cube defended the song as being a reflection of the political and racial climate at the time. Many others including quite a few political types though Cube was irresponsible with his words.

The point being expressed by citing these examples is that law enforcement and many of these political pundits when on the receiving end of harsh words no longer wanna uphold the ‘sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me’ adage . Suddenly we’re not having conversations about listeners being responsible. Sudeenly we’re’ concerned about the influence of the artist.

Is the GOP and Right wing trying to have it both ways?

I guess if we had time and space we could have a lengthy discussion about the war around cop killer type songs. Numerous artists ranging from Ice T to NWA and Ice Cube to Mac Dre to 2Pac have all faced not just a firestorm of criticisms but saw their songs banned, concert venues stipulate they could not perform their respective songs, lawsuits, a stinging letter from the FBI, labels dropping them etc. The list is long.

From where I sit, if everyone from the FBI on down to law and order politicos feel that a rapper and his video have undue influence on the public then the same rule applies to these right-wing talk show hosts and politicians like Sarah Palin.  Glenn beck himself said it best.. He’s an entertainer. Sarah palin says she uses colorful rhetoric to appeal to folks.

Well if they’re entertainers and choosing words to ‘appeal’ to folks why can’t the same criticism and censoring actions that that Ice Cube and other rappers had to endure not apply to Sarah Palin and her gun totting rhetoric.  What’s good for the geese is good for the gander.Right?

something to ponder-

Davey D

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Battle of the NFL Fight Songs; Raiders Vs Steelers- Where the Niners At?

Ok today its time to throw down the gauntlet.. Battle of the NFL songs.. Today some fool had the nerve to send me the song they considered the pride and joy of the Steeler Nation.. I listened to it and to say the least I was not impressed…We checked to see if there were any good songs from the 49ers.. there were none and that city is home to hella rappers.. We checked to see if there were songs for the Patriots..Sadly with all the talented musicians in Bean town, none stepped to the plate.

We now see the NY Giants are doing like every other NY team and attaching themselves to Jay-Z and Alicia Keye’s Empire State song.. I guess they realized Jim Jone‘s Balling got played out quick..We in the Raider nation are willing to take on all comers.. Until then..let’s laugh at the wackness of these Pittsburgh Steeler fight songs

Here the Steeler Nation song actually there’s so weak I’m gonna let you hear both..


here’s the other song..


Below is the Raider Nation songs.. This one by Ice Cube..


This one is from the Luniz the group that gave us ‘I Got 5 on It’


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The World is Mine…Breakdown FM Episode #32 w/ Ice Cube

Click HERE to listen to this weeks Mix & Interview photo credit: Ani Yapundzhyan


It’s always a fun to do our weekly mix show because we can not only dig deep, but also re-live memorable Hip Hop moments. One of the highlights we experienced was our interview with Ice Cube during the height of the Hyphy Movement. You’ll enjoy this conversation we had with Ice Cube where he gives his take on the Bay Area, rapping vs acting and what it takes to be an emcee and a B-Boy. He talks about how he finally took time out to focus on his album. He also talks about Black-Brown relationships..

During our second hour we go digging in the crates and pull out some classic Digital Underground, Digable Planets, Fu-Schnickens, Tribe Called Quest, Gang Starr and Queen Latifah to name a few..We added a couple lf videos for you to check out as well..Lots of tasty beats to move your feet.. enjoy
-Davey D-

01-Superstar Quam Allah w/ Taj ‘I Want More’
02-Gang Starr – ‘ALONGWAYTOGO’
03-Ice Cube & Dr Dre – ‘Natural Born Killaz’-clean
04-Big Noyd-Ice Cube Intv
05-Westside Connection – ‘Bow Down’
06-Ice Cube – ‘Who’s the Mack’
07-Ice Cube – ‘Legal Paper’
08-Ice cube – Hello  (Ice Cube intv)
09-Ice Cube – ‘Growin’ Up’
10-Ice Cube – ‘Bird in the Hand’
11-Ice Cube – ‘Ghetto Bird’
12-Raekwon – ‘Ice Cream’
13-Digital Underground – ‘Underwater Rimes’ [Remix]
14-Digable Planets – ‘Dial 7’ (Axioms of Creamy Spies)
15-A Tribe Called Quest – ‘Buggin’ Out’
16-J Boogie’s Dubtronic Science – ‘Alive’ feat. Crown City Rockers & Jrod Indigo
17-J Boogie’s Dubtronic Science – ‘For Your Love’ feat. Zumbi of Zion I & Rithma
18-Zion I-‘The Bay’ rmx
19-Gang Starr -‘Here Today, Gone Tommorow’ (Jesse Jackson 1984 speech) rmx)
20-Gang Starr- w/Big Shug & Freddie Foxx – ‘The Militia’
21-Fu-Schnickens – ‘True Fuschnick’
22-Black Moon – ‘Who Got The Props’
23-Kofy Brown – ‘Playing fields’ rmx
24-Queen Latifah – ‘Evil That Men Do’
25-Roxxane Shante – ‘Have a Nice Day’
26-Mobb Deep – ‘Still Shinin’ (Martin Luther King-Been to the Mountain top)


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