Rickey Vincent & Chuck D Speak On the Legacy of Michael Jackson

Professor Rick Vincent-author of History of Funk drops a lot of insight about the musical legacy of Michael Jackson and his brothers

Professor Rick Vincent-author of History of Funk drops a lot of insight about the musical legacy of Michael Jackson and his brothers

Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 are considered stellar musicians and entertainers who changed the game in major ways. Oftentimes when we speak of them they are presented as if they came out of nowhere and their musical prowess came out of a vacuum. We wanted to give people some deeper insight into their music and what it meant to Soul, Funk and the Black community.

We sat down with Professor Ricky Vincent aka the Uhuru Maggot, author of the landmark book The History of Funk. We sat down and walked through the history of MJ and the Jacksons and talked in-depth about their influences ranging from James Brown to Stevie Wonder. We talked in-depth about their roots including how MJ and his brothers grew up in Gary, Indiana. We talked about the important role Gary played in Black America, both in terms of having one of the country’s first African-American mayors and the 1972 meeting by Black folks to set a nationwide agenda.

We talked about their father Joe Jackson and who he is and how he spent a lot of childhood and teenage years in Oakland, California. Vincent talked about the vibrant blues scene that was in full gear when Joe Jackson was around in West Oakland and how that may have been a foundation for his musical ambitions.

We spoke about Michael Jackson and his dancing history. We talked about his signature moves ‘The Robot’, The Moonwalk and locking and noted how these were popular dance styles well-known in various hoods throughout California for years prior to Michael introducing them to the rest of the world.

Michael-jackson-250We talked about the struggles the group had when MJ’s voice changed and how Motown executives wanted them to follow a particular pop formula while the group pushed to establish a new sound that was more soulful, funky and contemporary. Eventually the tension became so great that the group left Motown and joined Epic. Because Motown owned the name The Jackson 5, the group changed their name to The Jacksons. Complicating their situation even more was the fact that older brother Jermaine married Berry Gordy’s daughter hence he went on to stay at Motown and do a solo career.

We talk about the influence James Brown had on Michael and how he went out and pretty much adopted much of Brown’s delivery, showmanship and overall style. We explore the music from that time period in the mid 70s and note how the group found themselves under the gun as they tried to keep up with icons like Stevie Wonder, George Clinton, Sly Stone, BT Express and an array of ‘child groups like the Sylvers who had busted on the scene and were hitting hard.

Ricky reminded us of how George Clinton and his p-funk mob were in Detroit recording songs and that their style and influence was definitely felt. because he was connecting with the hood, the Jacksons were forced to step it up and become a little more raw with their music.

We end this segment by highlighting the various musical directions the group took.

Rickey Vincent Speaks on Michael Jackson pt1

Rickey Vincent Speaks on Michael Jackson pt2

Chuck D spoke about Michael Jackson's political side and how he influenced his love for Hip Hop

Chuck D spoke about Michael Jackson’s political side and how he influenced his love for Hip Hop

In pt 2 we are joined by Chuck D of Public Enemy where we have an in-depth discussion about MJ and his politics and how Chuck was introduced to Hip Hop via Mike.

Chuck talks about the important role legendary songwriters Gamble & Huff played in pushing Mike and his brothers. Author Ricky Vincent talks about how the message in the music is part of a much larger tradition within Black music.

Chuck D also talks about how some of Michael Jackson’s records which were used as breakbeats influenced him and made him embrace Hip hop more. In particular is the vintage cut ‘Music’s Taking Over’. Chuck also talks about the sample they used from MJ in the song By The Time I get to Arizona.

Chuck also talks about the important influence Michael Jackson had in the realm of videos.

We play lots of Jackson’s political songs as well as the cuts that inspired Chuck D.

We conclude the interview by talking about MJs War with Sony Music and Tommy Mottola, his charitable works and the importance of being named the King of Pop.

Chuck D speaks on Michael Jackson

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

DatzHott Exclusives: Big Boy — “I Am Still in Awe Of What I Do”

Big Boy and Michael JacksonIn this portion of an exclusive interview series by DatzHott.com, nationally syndicated radio show host Big Boy of “Big Boy’s Neighborhood” talks about the greatest wow factors of his career and the time he met the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson.



Thousands Flock to Remember Elvis..Why Don’t Thousands Flock to Celebrate James Brown?

Today (Aug 16th) all the stops are being pulled out to remember the death of Elvis Presley the so-called King of Rock-N-Roll.. Ever since yesterday we’ve seen national TV crews camp out all out at Graceland.. Special tributes on radio.. Even some urban outlets are giving Elvis his props.. In typical form Elvis like Ronald Reagan and our slave-owning founding fathers has been sanitized..Many forget when he died, he was an obese drug addict.. Contrast the celebrations around Elvis with the lack of tributes, shout outs & honoring we do for iconic figures like a James Brown..The Godfather of Soul, Marvin Gaye or Ray Charles. Sure folks will do a quick plug for Michael Jackson upcoming birthday, Aug 29th..Michael Jackson’s death day June 25th came and went w/o a peep. If these dates were or are mentioned, they’re usually accompanied   but not w/o reminding us of all his troubles..Sadly we see similar treatment around all our icons..Many of us were still talking about the Drake/Chris Brown fight which happened a week or so earlier..

From Elvis to the Beatles to Reagan, they are all celebrated, their troubles and misdeeds wiped away while our heroes are either demonized in the mainstream or completely obscured within our own circles. Meaning we have folks with platforms, resources and loud microphones who allow our heroes and sheroes to be overlooked. So while thousands flock to Graceland to talk about the greatness of Elvis, why don’t we start the process of talking up our own.. Where’s the equivalent to Graceland for James Brown?

Thousands flock to Remember Elvis..

The Death of Adam MCA Yauch is a Hard One to Shake

Yesterday Hip Hop lost a pioneering figure and legend Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch of the Beastie Boys. There’s so much one can say about him ranging from his pioneering status of being a member of one of the first successful white acts in Hip Hop (they sold more than 40 million albums) to his activism around Tibet and their independence movement and more recently around Occupy Wall Street.

It was pointed out by writer Dave Zirin that Yauch who had been battling cancer for the past 3 years was part of that infamous March last fall across the Brooklyn Bridge when police were shown beating and arresting over 700 protestors.Yauch risked arrest and bodily harm that day in his participation.. He was in the middle of cancer treatments when he marched.

We can talk about Yauch coming out of Punk Rock culture and and how there’s a rich and undervalued history that shows how early Hip Hop and Punk found kinship and natural alliance as members of both genres felt alienated and disenfranchised by society and back then,  a disco laden, formulaic music industry.

We can talk about Yauch being part of a crew who under the musical production of Rick Rubin as writer Dan Charnas recently noted, helped usher Hip Hop from the Beat Box era to the sampling era. We can talk about how Run DMC introduced the world to the Beastie Boys and later the Beasties introduced the world to Public Enemy.

We can talk about Yauch branching out and becoming a skilled music video producer and film director. He founded Oscilloscope Laboratories, an independent film production and distribution company based out of New York City.

Adam did great things. He accomplished much… and those who knew him personally described him as serious, sensitive, genuine and a really cool guy. He will definitely be missed.

Yesterday we did a tribute n Hard Knock Radio 94.1 FM  with Big Payback author Dan Charnas.  Here’s what he had to say about Adam MCA Yauch


Heavy D is one of many iconic figures to pass away from health related ailments before the age of 50

Above and beyond his music career and activism, for many in the Hip Hop Generation Adam’s death  underscores a very disturbing trend. Him dying at 47 is increasingly becoming commonplace where many of our icons, peers, family and friends are barely living to 50. In the past couple of years we’ve lost many legends including MIchael Jackson, Whitney Houston, J-Dilla, Guru, Professor X, Big Pun, Poetic, DJ Screw, Heavy D, Eyedea, MC Breed, Pimp C, Big Moe, ODB, Nate Dogg, Bernie Mac, and Special One of the Conscious Daughters just to name a few..

These names are on top of those we know and love who died violently or via accident like; Proof, Freaky Tah, Big L, Stack Bundles, Souljah Slim, Left Eye, Aaliyah, Dolla, M-Bone, Mac Dre, Left Eye and most recently football legend Junior Seau.

If we toss in names like Eazy E, Marvin Gaye, 2Pac and Biggie the names of untimely death is a long one.

Yesterday someone attempting to be stoic & cavalier upon hearing about the death of Adam, asserted,  ‘Oh well death is a part of life’..

I responded;  ‘What kind of life is this when so many who we, know, luv and admire are all dying before the age of 50.’

This is not just about people dying at the hands of violence, but so many on the list of names I noted above, are dying from health related ailments. This is unacceptable and should not be ‘just a part of life’. That’s called settling.

During our tribute show around Adam’s death  Paradise Gray of the group X-Clan came on and recounted his friendship with Adam. He also reminded our listeners how the Hip Hop Generation has grown up in a world during the Reagan era when society started dismantling  safety nets. Our generation saw the beginning of repressive forces gutting and further privatizing healthcare and other much-needed services..

Paradise said we are now starting to see the results of that societal divestment with so many people checking out before age 50.

‘Many in Hip Hop never had health insurance’, Paradise said. This is an issue he knows all too well having lost two of his groups members to untimely health related death, Sugar Shaft and Professor X.

Here’s our Interview w/ Paradise Gray:

It’s not just health insurance when your sick, but the ability to go to the doctor, get routine check ups and be educated on ways top prevent early disease. Paradise said over the next 10 years things will get worse, because many never really took care of themselves or had the opportunity or resources and as a generation hits their late 40s and then 50s illnesses will start to emerge and yield serious consequences.

We lost Adam to cancer, but in recent times we’ve some like artist/activist DJ Kuttin’ Kandi and pioneering photographer Ernie Paniccioli who have been saddled with massive medical bills after getting sick. Last year we were all out collecting money Ernie who was diagnosed with cancer as well as for the Father of Hip Hop Kool Herc who suffered from severe kidney stones and had no health insurance.   Kandi who was recently had her heart stop and had to get emergency surgery is raising money for her care HERE

In the wake of Adam’s passing, the Hip Hop Generation has much to reflect upon. The Black Panthers who were a couple of generations ahead of us, had the good common sense to open up free health clinics for the community. This act may have saved countless lives. We within Hip Hop need to step our game up in a big way and take the vast amounts of money and resources we have access to and follow suit. We should do this for ourselves and do this for those in our ranks who are ailing. We should do this in memory of Adam who we saw emerge as a keen activist, generous and thoughtful man….

RIP Adam MCA Yauch

Can We Honor Whitney Houston by Taking a Stand to End Addictions?

With the sudden and tragic passing of Whitney Houston, there’s no doubt there will be scores of tributes. There was a tribute last night at music executive, Clive Davis‘ famous Pre-Grammy Party. There will be one tonight at the Grammys.. Rumors are singers Jennifer Hudson and Chaka Khan will sing in her honor…

There are already tributes on various radio stations as we can tune in and hear Whitney Houston Music Hours… Many deejays are digging into their grates working on Whitney Houston mixes…

There’s no denying the artistic talents Whitney possessed.. If we had to take a poll and ask who has/had the best voice in music, Ms Houston would no doubt be in the top 10.. Songs like ‘I Will Love You‘ and  ‘Greatest Love of All‘ best personify her greatness.  She was a giant among giants who will surely be missed.

With that being said, as great as her singing has been. As inspiring and as jaw dropping as her songs have been.. As engaging as she’s been on screen and in concert we will have to do a lot more than a mixtape or Grammy tribute to honor Whitney Houston. We will have to do lot more than induct her into the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame or grant her a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.. . Our honoring Whitney will be us taking some decisive action and making a long-term commitment to end the scourge and dirty little secret that has long plagued this entertainment/ music industry-Drugs and substance abuse. It’s hard pill to swallow. It’s an ugly truth.. But we all have to step up to the plate.

Atthe time of this writing, I along with most of us have no idea as to what ended Whitney’s life so suddenly at age 48.

Sadly as people came out of their initial shock, speculation of drug abuse was on many people’s minds and tongues’.  CNN’s Don Lemon said during his breaking news broadcast yesterday that we have to talk about Whitney’s addictions because it was such a big part of her…Correction Don.. Addictions have been a big part of American society. I’m gonna come back to that in a minute..

During various broadcasts about Whitney’s passing, we heard discussions about her losing her voice and making a comeback. A comeback from what? Her demons.. Eventually all conversations about Whitney came back to that infamous interview with 20/20’s Dianne Sawyer where she talked about drugs and how crack is wack

Whitney & Bobby

Today everyone wants to honor Whitney, but yesterday she was the butt of jokes and comedic routines. While everyone pointed fingers at Whitney and acted all righteous about her abuse, many of us were ADDICTED to watching the train wreck that her life had become. We were addicted to the reality show with her and former husband Bobby Brown. We were addicted to the gossip around her. is she still dating Bobby? is she dating singer Ray J? Was she drunk or high at the last party?  How many times did we wake up and turn on some urban radio station to hear  a host getting their clown on about Whitney Houston..Now many of those hosts wanna lead the way to doing tributes for someone they routinely

She became the poster child for drug abuse and addiction in an industry that is chock full of people dead and alive who have all succumbed at one time or another to some sort of addiction. Over my 25+ years in this music industry I’ve seen a whole lot of ugly truths we like to keep hidden behind the glitz and glam. Anyone in the music/ entertainment industry can tell you stories of  executives & shot callers who routinely do lines of coke, pop pills, do speed, take ecstasy or drink themselves under the table while ‘moguling‘. Those abusive habits are far too often shared with the talent/ artists.. In a business where egos are massive and insecurities shallow, taking a ‘lil something something‘ to get amped up or ‘get you open’  is all too commonplace. People don’t wanna talk about it, but its true.

Even the King of Pop had addiction problems

If we look at the pantheon of great Black artists hooked on drugs of one type or another the list is long.. Billy Holiday, John ColtraneJimmy Hendrix, Dorothy Dandridge, Dinah Washington, Richard Pryor, Ole Dirty Bastard, Sly Stone, David Ruffin, George Clinton, Frankie Lymon, DJ Screw, James Brown even the King of Pop Michael Jackson and that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. Keep in mind these are just Black artists. If I start adding names outside our community like Amy Whinehouse, Kurt Cobain, River Phoenix , Elvis Presley and Jim Morrison to name a few, the list gets substantially longer…

Why are we not doing anything about addictions  in our community?

During the pioneering days of Hip Hop which is the generation many of us are a part of, many of those early pioneers who paved the way had serious bouts with an array of drugs.. cocaine, angel dust, freebase, sherm, alchohol etc..If you really look at the history you see by the mid 80s, many pioneering figures disappeared for time. Many had to deal with those demons. Some returned to the fold, many didn’t.  Many are still struggling 30 years later.

By the time the crack era hit in the early 80s all the way up to the 90s.. if folks weren’t hooked on taking it, they were hooked on selling it…A lot of that is outlined in the VH1 Documentary Planet Rock the Story of Hip Hop and the Crack Generation .

Our collective pride and addiction to looking good and being cool in the face of danger has not allowed us to even talk about this in any sort of honest way.. It’s not a pretty picture. But we lost another star way before her time and she was apart of that legacy-whether it was directly related to her cause of death or not..

Addictions are prevalent… They’re all around us and underscore the hypocrisy of America.. We got folks clowning Whitney for substance abuse problems while they sip syrup, shoot up, snort cocaine, do meth or literally sell their souls and their mamma’s soul for 15 minutes of fame..

Daughter Bobbi Kristina Lost Her Mother-Are we thinking about that?

So many of us our addicted to gossip, celebrity culture, living the fast life or a version of it. We’re addicted to money, cheating on spouses, material possessions. Many of us are addicted to high drama and raucous discourse. We’re addicted to shouting down one another, being vicious vs compassionate.  We’re addicted to pushing each others buttons. We’re addicted to wanting to know more about the drama behind Whitney’s death more than we are the state of her daughter Bobbi Kristina who just lost her mother. How many of us took a moment to say a prayer or reflect on what she might be going through?

Hell many of us are addicted to our iphones, ipads  and other gadgets that we feel we must have at all costs even as they make us go into debt to own them or give us brain tumors to use them..

Someone said Whitney represented a generation of people. Yep she sure did .. She repped the good, the bad and the very ugly and painful.. She was not alone in her addictions.. We all share them. Some minor some major.. In honoring Ms Houston will we talk about that or remain addicted to painting rosy pictures and acting like we aren’t touched by the scourge of addictions that’s systemic in our society? And if you don’t think our addictions are systemic, I suggest we take a long hard look at the so called war on drugs and the current carnage taking place South of the border in Mexico and Columbia.. Who do you think is the economic incentive for all the drugs being shipped into this country from those places? It’s us… Who do you think was the one behind funding secret wars ala Iran-Contra through the sale of cocaine?  Us again..

Heck if we really wanna get deep, lets talk about what our troops are dealing with on the battlefield and how they cope after 3 or 4 tours  and what many wind up doing to deal with life on their return.. No we don’t wanna talk about those addictions.. We wanna act like there’s no such thing..

In 2012 if the best we can do is a mixtape and few tribute songs then we missed the mark

If we wanna really honor Whitney, how about helping put an end to the demons that plagued her and so many others? If we wanna honor Whitney, how about us having a honest, impactful and earnest discussion about addictions and mental health so we can spare future generations of this pain.

Something to ponder..RIP Whitney Houston

Davey D

Rest in Peace Heavy D-A True Renaissance Man for Hip Hop

RIP heavy D

Needless to say this has been a tough week.. I don’t care what anyone says or how hard they act death takes a toll especially when its unexpected..That’s been the case all this week as we lost 3 iconic figures.. and while I understand that commentator Andy Rooney, boxing great Joe Frazier and golden era rap star Heavy D weren’t family members or folks in our immediate circles, they were important backdrops to our world.. For many they help define it. Their deaths can’t easily be shook, nor should they be.

Heavy D was a big part of Hip Hop. He helped shape it… Prior to Heavy D overweight men both in Hip Hop and the world in general for the most part were depicted as cartoonish..I think back to the days of the Fat Boys and recall when they first came out in the mid 80s it was all about them being comedic.

Heavy D flipped the script redefined what being big meant.. He made the big man sexy.. He made the big man fashionable.. He made the big man someone who can get on stage and dance with the best of them…Say what you will, but Heavy laid the ground work for artists like Biggie and Big Pun to bless the mic while being large and in charge while having much flava.

Heavy D opened doors…First he put his hometown Money Earnin’ Mt Vernon, which is right outside the Bronx, on the map. He helped bring his cousin producer Pete Rock to national prominence..

He did a song w/ which I think was the only in studio collabo w/ the late 2Pac and Notorious BIG called Let’s get It On..

Also as was pointed out by the tribute to Heavy D penned by AllHipHop, Heavy was the first to feature Biggie in a 1993 classic cut called A Bunch of Niggas.

Heavy was one of the first rappers to ever spit verses with the King of Pop Michael Jackson on his song Jam

Heavy opened doors on the acting tip being one of the first rappers outside of Fresh Prince (Will Smith) to have recurring role on a TV show..Him and Tone Loc were featured in the series Roc back in the early 90s..Later Heavy would have a recurring role in the TV series headed up by Queen Latifah called ‘Living Single‘. of course all of Heavy D’s acting opportunities came in the wake of him doing the theme song for the hit variety show In Living Color

Some note that Heavy D and his crew helped bring serious shine to a new fledging Coca Cola clothing line when they wore it in their debut video Mr Big Stuff. As was noted in this article HERE

The Murjani family who were the licensee of Coca-Cola apparel at this time, should really thank Heavy D & The Boyz for this free commercial and Product Placement spot. During the Golden era of hip-Hop this song and video helped mold the image of streetwear fashion of the time as well as helped propel Coca-Coal apparel to a $250 million dollar company.

What a lot of people didn’t know was the head men’s wear designer for the apparel licensee was a young man by the name of Tommy Hilfiger. After the brand dissolved due to poor management, brand quality control and the families rumored exuberant lifestyle. Tommy went to start his own brand named after his self a year later in 1988. Now the rest is history.

In his sudden passing,which reports are saying was due to respiratory failure, I think folks will rediscover his catalogue and have new appreciation for his body of work and him as a performer. We listed some of our favorite cuts and videos below..

In closing the few times I met Heavy D he was a cool dude..Very humble, smart and peaceful. I recall back in 89 how many of us in the Bay Area got upset with him because of a huge riot that broke out at a concert at the Oakland Coliseum…

Heavy D was opening for MC Hammer and he refused to perform until the they dimmed the lights. After some back and forth with him again stressing his refusal to perform, about 30 cats rushed the stage and started what would wound up being one of the worse concert fights in Bay Area history..It was total mayhem that lasted more than hour. When all was said and done, folks were mad at Heavy D and blamed hi for the drama..

It was an incident he was deeply sorry for. He later noted that he wanted to give the fans a good show and thought the sound people were trying to short change the audience. He was attempting to side with the people and had no idea that the lights were kept on to weed out trouble makers..

Seeing him evolve over the years as an actor and performer has been a gift for all of us in Hip Hop..

May Heavy D Rest in Power.

Overweight Lover’s in the House


Mr Big Stuff


U Cant See What I can See


Blue Funk


Don’t Curse


Black Coffee


Somebody Who Loves Me (Arsenio Hall show)


Let’s Get It On w/ 2Pac, Notorious BIG & Grand Puba


On Point w/ Big Pun and 8Ball G


Jam w/ Michael Jackson


Jam Session w/ Notorious BIG


Living Color Theme Song


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Skin-Lightening Cream is Making a Comeback-Do We Really Hate Our Dark Skin?

I’m not sure if this is a resurgence from a bygone era or something thats always been around in some shape or form. But it looks like skin-lightening cream is making a comeback. Its obviously big business in India if Vaseline is making a special product for folks in that country. But even here at home we heard stories about prominent figures like Beyonce lightening their skin. We seen magazines frequently do this.. Of course we all know about Sammy Sosa and before him Michael Jackson.

Is being Black really that bad? Along with the skin-lightening do we bring with it an attitude that sees someone dark as inferior? Does this mean folks are gonna stop going out and getting tans? Next thing you know folks are gonna start straightening their hair and speaking with funny aristocratic accents to try and distance themselves from their roots… What a strange world we live in..

-Davey D-

Vaseline launches skin-whitening Facebook app for India

NEW DELHI (AFP) – Skincare group Vaseline has introduced a skin-lightening application for Facebook in India, enabling users to make their faces whiter in their profile pictures.

The download is designed to promote Vaseline’s range of skin-lightening creams for men, a huge and fast-growing market driven by fashion and a cultural preference for fairer skin.

The widget promises to “Transform Your Face On Facebook With Vaseline Men” in a campaign fronted by Bollywood actor Shahid Kapur, who is depicted with his face divided into dark and fair halves.

“We started campaign advertising (for the application) from the second week of June and the response has been pretty phenomenal,” Pankaj Parihar from global advertising firm Omnicom, which designed the campaign, told AFP.

Indian cosmetics giant Emami launched the first skin-whitening cream for men in 2005, called “Fair and Handsome” and advertised by Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan. It came 27 years after the first cream for women.

Baseball star Sammy Sosa Reminded us a couple of years ago there are many who can't stand to be dark-skinned

Since then a half dozen foreign brands have piled into the male market, including Garnier, L’Oreal and Nivea, which promote the seemingly magical lightening qualities of their products in ubiquitous advertising.

In 2009, a poll of nearly 12,000 people by online dating site Shaadi.com, revealed that skin tone was considered the most important criteria when choosing a partner in three northern Indian states.

“More and more, there’s an anxiety in the mind of men about having fair skin,” sociology professor T. K. Oommen at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi told AFP.

“Indians believe that if you have fair skin you belong to the higher caste, the Brahmins,” he added, explaining that a succession of light-skinned colonisers in India reinforced the association of fairness with power.

“The Aryans, who came from central Asia, in addition to the Portuguese, the French and the British colonisers ruled over the country and probably contributed to this negative perception of dark-skin.”

original article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100713/tc_afp/lifestyleindiainternetfacebookvaseline

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Joe Jackson blames Katherine Jackson for their son’s Death-How sad is that?

What’s wrong w/ Joe Jackson? How can he blame katherine Jackson for Michael’s death..what an incredibly hurtful thing to say


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Jackson’s Death Ruled as a Homicide



This is such a sad story all the way around and even with this assertion form LAPD, its still mired in controversy. For starters we have a guy, Michael Jackson who had a serious drug addiction. His money and fame allowed him to continue getting drugs in spite of interventions from family and friends.  Jackson is not unique in having addictions, he’s just more well known and richer then most.  What have we as a society done to deal with this problem? It goes above and beyond MJ.

Next we have a police department that seems eager to make a name for itself. What better way then to verociously after the folks responsible for administering drugs to Jackson.  Now by no means am I suggesting that Conrad Murray or anyone else should be let off the hook. If they gave Jackson drugs then they should go to jail if that’s what caused his death. In the case of Murray whats being reported is unbelievable. He made bunch of phone calls, didn’t tell the EMR folks he gave him propophol. The whole thing stinks.

My concern is that this is a problem of epidemic proportions especially throughout Hollywood. Why wait till now? Why haven’t we seen this ‘stellar’ police work when we saw other stars  dealing with drug addictions? Why haven’t we seen LAPD dedicating themselves to shutting down the network of doctors who illegally administer drugs? Is this about putting a dent in a problem or making a name off the King of Pop?

-Davey D-

MICHAEL JACKSON DEATH RULED A HOMICIDE: Coroner finds lethal doses of propofol in singer’s body during autopsy.


Police say that Michael Jackson's death was a homicide

Police say that Michael Jackson's death was a homicide

L.A. County coroner’s officials found lethal levels of the powerful anesthetic propofol after examining Michael Jackson’sbody, according to a search warrant affidavit unsealed today in Houston, reports the Los Angeles Times.      

The search warrant states that Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, told Los Angeles Police Department detectives that he had been treating Jackson for insomnia for about six weeks. He had been giving Jackson 50 milligrams of propofol every night using an intravenous line, according to the court records.       

But Murray told detectives he felt Jackson was becoming addicted to the substance and began trying to wean the pop star off the drugs. He lowered the dosage to 25 milligrams and mixed it with two other sedatives, lorazepam and midazolam. On June 23, two days before Jackson’s death, he administered those two medications and withheld the propofol. 

The arrest of Dr Conrad Murray may soon happen although he and his lawyers are maintaining his innocence

The arrest of Dr Conrad Murray may soon happen although he and his lawyers are maintaining his innocence

On the morning Jackson died, Murray tried to induce sleep without using propofol, according to the affidavit. He said he gave Jackson valium at 1:30 a.m. When that didn’t work, he said, he injected lorazepam intravenously at 2 a.m. At 3 a.m., when Jackson was still awake, Murray administered midazolam.       

Over the next few hours, Murray said he gave Jackson various drugs. Then at 10:40 a.m., Murray administered 25 milligrams of propofol after Jackson repeatedly demanded the drug, according to the court records.       

 Although Murray acknowledged to police that he administered propofol, authorities said they could find no evidence that he had purchased, ordered or obtained the medication under his medical license or Drug Enforcement Administration tracking number. However, police detectives saw about eight bottles of propofol in the house along with other vials and pills that had been prescribed to Jackson by Dr. Murray, Dr. Arnold Klein andDr. Allan Metzger.       

Other drugs that were confiscated in the search included valium, tamsulosin, lorazepam, temazepam, clonazepam, trazodone and tizanidine. They also found propofol in Murray’s medical bag. Murray told detectives that he was not the first doctor to administer the powerful anesthetic to Jackson.      

At least two unidentified doctors gave Jackson propofol in Germany. Between March and April 2009, Murray said he called Las Vegas doctor David Adamsat Jackson’s request to arrange for Adams to administer propofol. Murray said he was present at a cosmetologist’s office, where Adams used propofol to sedate Jackson. Since he began treating Jackson, Murray said he repeatedly asked the pop star what other physicians were treating Jackson and what drugs they were prescribing. But Jackson declined to provide the information, Murray told authorities.

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Too Many Funerals, Too Many Early Deaths-No Time to Grieve



The passing of Baatin is sadly one of many high profile deaths we had to deal with this year.

The passing of Baatin is sadly one of many high profile deaths we had to deal with this year.

With the recent passing of Baatin of Slum Village, many of us have found this to be a bit too much. For fans of the group and Hip Hop in general, one is left wondering how in the world two mainstays from a group could be gone before 40?  It’s been two years and I am still going to parties where DJs are doing tribute sets for producer and Slum Village co-founder Jay Dee aka J-Dilla. Some people say these tribute sets are done because dude was so dope and he was.. but I think deep inside we play Dilla’s music to reconnect. It’s a way for us to consciously and unconsciously mourn and heal although we don’t all openly admit it.  With Baatin passing there is no doubt tribute sets will intensify.I can only imagine what Baatin’s passing means to a city like Detroit which is still mourning the deaths of J-Dilla and Proofwho was the unofficial mayor of the Motorcity. How has it effected people’s psyche?

I know in the Bay Area where there was a rash of high profile deaths within including the passing of 2Pac, Mac Dre, Cougnut, Mike Dream, Hitman and Mr. Cee to name a few, people are still trying to make sense of things. Same thing in Los Angles where folks within a 2 month period were faced with the loss of three icons DJ Dusk, Michael Mixxin’ Moore and Skeeter Rabbit of the Electric Boogaloos.  In Houston people saw the quick passings of DJ Screw, Big Hawk, Big Moe and of course Pimp C. You can’t say this doesn’t have an effect on people’s outlooks considering so many of us live vicariously through these iconic figures. They become soundtracks and important backdrops to our world.

The sudden passing of Pimp C left many in his native Texas as well as throughout the Hip Hop world mourning

The sudden passing of Pimp C left many in his native Texas as well as throughout the Hip Hop world mourning

The death of Baatin is troubling because it was unexpected and it comes on the heals of the death of Michael Jackson. There’s been little time to even began processing. We had to deal with the shock of his death and then reconcile ourselves with the media onslaught that followed where one too many pundits  were gleeful in taking an adversarial point of view. In short we could not grieve in peace. Many of us were reeling from Michael while simultaneously still struggling to put our heads around the deaths of  other high profile figures  ranging from comedian Bernie Mac to singer Isaac Hayes and James Brown to entertainer Eartha Kitt to Civil Rights icon Coretta ScottKing all of these folks and many more have left us within the past two years.

Adding to our angst are what sometimes appears to be the routine passings that occur everyday in our communities.  I was just in Omaha, Nebraska for their big event and came to find out that a whooping 15 people had been killed within a 10 day period.  Sadly this is not all that unsual when you state this to people. We’ve gotten used to early deaths to the point that we have concluded that death is part of life and we keep it moving. We’ve become hardened to it. For some they say there is no time to grieve. But if we adapt that sort of attitude- then we best be prepared for the unintended consequences which is ‘No time to grieve-No time to live and No time to care’.  I’ll let that sink in for a minute.

The hostile treatment levied on public figures and icons we hold dear has made it difficult for us to fully grieve and heal

The hostile treatment levied on public figures and icons we hold dear has made it difficult for us to fully grieve and heal

When death becomes such a matter of fact occurance in our lives, then we behave callously in other areas. We stop looking for ways to uplift ourselves and our communities. Life offers little or no hope and our full participation in things ranging from community  activities to even parenting  is next to impossible. It simply doesn’t happen. We’re so busy trying to escape the pain that sudden and early losses bring that we create a cycle that eventually brings more death.  To not properly mourn and to constantly seek escape  means we behave recklessly.

From this day foward lets promise ourselves to take time to reflect on those who have gone before us. Cherish their good parts. Learn from their mistakes and lets take some crucial first steps to love one anotther and live fully. The video we put together is dedicated to those who left too early. Its taken from the song ‘Too Many’  from spoken Word artist D-Knowledge. Its off his album ‘All that and a Bag of Words’.  Check for it and  lets stop that trend of early deaths.

Something to Ponder

-Davey D-

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