Slain Rapper Left Behind a Song Addressing Killings in Chicago

Slain Rap Artists Johhny BWe are all gonna have to step up and demand a different social and political climate for us all…The recent passing of rap artist Johnny Boy Da Prince aka Johnny B in Chicago is becoming all too common…

On January 10th 2013, rapper Johnny B had just left the studio and decided to do a stop over to see a friend before heading home and was shot 8 times in the back and left for dead after leaving the friends house in the West side of Chicago. Police are still investigating and there are no suspects in custody at this time.

Johnny B wrote and recorded this song to highlight violence in Chicago and unfortunately he became victim to that violence he wrote about. This is the song he recorded. Unfortunately the song was not completed but I think its best to post it as he left..it’s called “Just Like You

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JO984JlT0PQ

 

 

Editorial: Stop Calling These Imposters Hip Hop

STOP CALLING THESE IMPOSTERS HIP HOP ARTISTS,

they do not do or cover all its elements of the hip hop culture

Emile YxThis version of Hip Hop that the worlds media promotes globally, is a strange sissified version of its true self. It consists of middle-class fakers acting like gangsters, so-called hardcore rappers, so-called underground heads and so-called superstars killing each other, while the white controlled global media celebrates. Who are these imposters?

Hip Hop is the MC (not rapper), DJ or turntablists, B-boys or B-girls (not breakdancers), Writer (not graffiti artists), BeatBoxer and students of Knowledge of Self. These according to the founders of the culture are the main elements of the culture. Now you have world media calling EMINEN, 50cents and the rest of the multi-nationally backed “rappers”, the upholders of HIP HOP CULTURE. Excuse me, but do they b-boy, write, MC and DJ ? HELL NO! so why do we perpetuate these lies. They have no right to call what our ancestors created and gave as a voice for the people, whatever the hell they wish to call it. Strangely enough we just allow this bullshit to continue without any protest. We even reduce ourselves to speak their names and titles they named what we do. Hip Hop elders have not been approached in their research about the culture, they just named things as they wished. We sit in front of the TV and hear them spread these lies to the world and accept this powerless position they have put us in. I HAVE HAD ENOUGH. It is time to set the record straight. These titles that make up the HIP HOP CULTURE are titles that practitioners of writing, MCing, B-boying, DJing, Beatboxing earn and no just given to anyone. It is something that is earned with time, dedication, research and sacrifice. Nowadays everyone is a rapper and maybe they are right, because an MC earns that reputation for skill as well as ability to be the “master of the ceremony” (Where the name MC comes from by the way). Many of these rappers are studio rappers that have no stage, microphone or crowd/ audience control skills.

Afrika Bambaataa & Kool Herc

Afrika Bambaataa & Kool Herc

A true MC or Hip Hop head would not lie to the audience about fake bling, bling that he or she does not have, especially knowing how many youths are listening to them on the radio and watching them on the TV. A true B-boy or Hip Hopper learns the history of the culture and gives respect to those who have gone before. Those like Afrika Bambaataa, Kool DJ Herc, Grandmaster Flash, Grand Wizard Theodore, MC Cowboy, the Rock Steady Crew, The Nigga Twins, Pop Masters Fabel, Phase 2 and Mr Wiggles to name but a few who contributed to the REAL HIP HOP culture.

There are also hip hop histories in countries around the world and those contributions by those individuals have to be given the credit that they deserve. This new mentality of forgetting the past as quickly as a new song hits the number 1 spot on radio or MTV, is a global mentality. This eliminates respect for elders and those that pave the way. It also separates the younger practitioners from those who have experience and who could help them not repeat the mistakes that they have made before these young kids who are now earning millions. It is my opinion that it is for this very reason that the gap between the elders and next generation are made bigger by record companies and the entertainment industry. Their intention is to keep these younger artists as blind to the realities of the industry as possible. EXPERIENCE CAN NOT BE DOWNLOADED.

Aerosoul Art Do you think that classical music lovers would allow the world media to call their music “Screeching noise” or simply rename it whatever they wish, without putting up a fight ? I think the arrogance of the world media is because HIP HOP is considered a black sub-culture or street culture. Even the usage of the prefix “sub”, implies something that is lesser than or under what might be considered cultural. Think about it a bit more. We name it b-boying/ b-girling, they rename it breakdance, we name it writing, they rename it graffiti, we name it MCing and they rename it rapping. It is an insult to our creative ability. They control the media and thus feel that they have the power to name whatever they wish and get away with it. Like Michael Jackson being called Wacko Jacko, this is like calling us “Nigger”and “Kaffer” all over again. We internalize the lies they feed us and start to believe what they call us. Attached to the medias version of hip hop are gangs, profanity and violence. The REAL HIP HOP is a powerful tool globally bringing youth together and enlightening them to their true selves. REAL HIP HOP is educating youth, fighting AIDS, exchanging cultures, breaking down racism, protesting against global dictators.

I do this call out to all defenders of the TRUE HIP HOP CULTURE to use the correct terminology and free our culture from their verbal enslavement of it. Only once we do this will we be able to regain the financial control of this multi-billion dollar industry that they have almost taken complete control of. I know that everywhere in the world there are true soldiers of the REAL HIP HOP. Like Mr Devious, from South Africa, who was prepared to die for what hip hop has taught US. In the USA is the Universal Zulu Nation, Eazy Roc and Asia One that started the B-Boy Summit, also from the USA is Poe One and Cros One from the Freestyle Sessions event, in Germany is Storm and Swift of Battle Squad, also in Germany is Thomas of Battle of the Year, in Japan is Dance Machine, in Spain is Kapi, in Holland is Timski, in New Zealand is Norman, in South Africa is myself Emile of Black Noise, we have brothers in Brazil, Mexico, Sweden, France, Denmark, Zimbabwe, Australia and every other country on this planet. We are many my brothers and sisters and our voice can never be silenced, but we have to RE-IGNITE THE FIRE OF TRUE HIP HOP REVOLUTION. We have to insist that MTV Awards and Grammy Awards remove the false labeling of the best Hip Hop Artist, until they are willing to call up a group that have writers, DJs, MCs, B-boys, etc.

I hope that you will forward these thoughts to all those concerned with HIP HOP getting the respect it deserves.And hopefully we will enlighten more youth to the REAL HIP HOP and not the FAKE one that is spread MTV and other media.

Yours in the REVOLUTIONARY HIP HOP
Change must come
Emile YX?
Black Noise (South Africa)

Sept 2008

When a Rap Battle Gets Racial and Turns into a Brawl..

Rap Battle BrawlThis is when doing a rap battle and popping off on the racial and homophobic tip goes wrong… Here a cat is going off making disparaging remarks and talking greasy about his opponents sexuality and him being a Native .. He says something about defecating your race.. Apparently enough was enough and dude gets socked by a bystander… Not sure how sexual and racial insults showcase skillz..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yy1JQ-TWTwo

Jasiri X: They Not Real Gangstas ( A Few Thoughts About Rick Ross)

Jasiri X Know thyselfAt this point, even his fans know that rapper Rick Ross is far from the image he manufactures for his songs and videos. Slate Magazine even went as far to label the success of Rick Ross, in the face of his correction officer past, as the end of street credibility being necessary to Hip-Hop fans. So the news that Rick Ross canceled his tour due to threats from Gangster Disciplesposted online, shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone.

In fact, The Real Rick Ross, who lost his lawsuit against the rapper for using his name and image, was recently granted an appeal and has a trial date set for January.  According to The Real Rick Ross, the rapper Rick Ross, “doesn’t have the right people around him to explain the streets.” Freeway Rick Ross told AllHipHop.com. “You need to say that it wasn’t intentional or nothing like that. It’s ok to apologize and make things right with a real agreement out of respect.”

But what about the Gangster Disciples? Hakim Green, formerly of the rap group Channel Live, made a excellent point about the Gangster Disciples unity against Rick Ross, “How, just how, is it that gang members can unite and organize against fat ass Rick Ross, but can’t, won’t, don’t organize against police brutality, unemployment, drugs in the hood, poverty, racism, abuse or anything that would actually make a difference in our communities?”

Want to know what Real Gangstas are doing?

Claiming to ‘Fix’ the Debt, but really pushing for more tax breaks so their corporations, at the expense of taxpayers, can make billions

Pushing through “Right to Work” laws so their corporations, at the expense of unions, can make billions

Using “slave” labor so their corporations, at the expense of prisoners, can make billions

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CySzoJFkTA8

Here’s a video laying out who the Real Gangstas are here that we need to be concerned with..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=41s1oWM9vOQ

source: http://www.blackyouthproject.com/2012/12/they-not-real-gangstas/

What is Hip Hop?: A Historical Definition of Rap pt2 (Street Hustlers to Revolutionary Poets)

Davey-D-purple-frameThis is part 2 of an article we penned called  The Historical Definition of Rap pt1. In that piece we talked about how the term Rap had been around long before DJ Kool Herc and his sister Cindy Campbell threw that first landmark Back to School party August 11 1973 in the community center at 1520 Sedgwick Ave in the Bronx.

Many are not aware that when Herc and his partners Coke La Rock and later Clark Kent rocked the mic, they used the words ‘rhyming’ and ’emceeing’ to describe their vocal expressions. The word Rap became attached to Hip Hop in 1979 with the release of Rapper’s Delight by the Sugar Hill Gang.

Prior to ’79, the word Rap was attached to a variety of other vocal activities most notably slick, persuasive talk from street hustlers, pimps and players. Rapping was all about mesmerizing and dazzling folks with words with an end goal of convincing one to give up everything from money to property to sexual favors. if you were said to have ‘a good rap’, then it meant you had the gift of gab which in many circles was revered and respected.

Dolemite

Dolemite

With respect to the act of rapping, many seem to think that saying rhymes in a syncopated fashion over music is unique to Hip Hop. That’s a mistake. To not see Rap as something that is rooted in deeper histories, is to short change Hip Hop culture. Simply put Rap is part of a continuum. Every generation within Black America can point to an activity or music style that included rap-like vocal expressions. They range from little girls doing double dutch jump rope to young kids doing engine engine number nine type rhymes to determine who would be it when playing tag.

We’ve seen expressions that we associate with rap today show up in the form of popular artists like Rudy Ray More aka Dolemite who did tons of movies where he did routines like his signature Signified Monkey .

We saw it surface with singer song writer Clarence Reid aka Blowfly who did x rated songs like Sesame Street and Rapp Dirty which was released in 1980 but according to him was written in 1965.

Both More and Reid come from a generation where street talk that encompassed rhyme was not unusual. Sometimes called signifying, testifying or playing the dozens, such expressions are key foundations and precursors to Rap.

We saw Rap expression show up in songs like Here Comes the Judge released in 1968 by comedian Pigmeat Markham. Although not called ‘rap’ it clearly could stand alongside anything we hear today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvMBxlu62c0

We saw rap with Louis Jordan and his group Tympany Five and their landmark cut The Meeting which was released in 1962

In the same vein as Pigmeat is actor Lincoln Perry better known as Stepin Fetchit. The controversial character who many felt kept alive nasty stereotypes of Black people being lazy and shiftless was during his heyday in the 1940s,  the most successful Black actor in all of Hollywood. In this memorable scene from the 1945 musical Big Timers we see Perry hit up the piano and rap, decades before what we know as Hip Hop emerged..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qALvc-MIDY

Last Poets

Last Poets

We saw Rap expressions manifest itself in the form of revolutionary acts like the Last Poets, Gil Scott Heron and the Watts Prophets who are considered the grandfathers and godfathers to  modern-day rap. These acts emerged on the scene in the late 60s early 70s with the express purpose of providing sound tracks for the various Black liberation struggles taken place all over the country…Songs like When the Revolution ComesThe Revolution Will Not Be Televised and Tenements respectively exemplified the type of vibe they were kicking on the eve of Hip Hop’s birth.

Over the years not only have many of the songs from these acts have been sampled, but some of these acts have from time to time been featured in songs with popular artists. For example the Last Poets are featured on Common‘s song The Corner and NasYou Can’t Stop Us Now‘ which borrows the baseline from a classic  Temptations cut ‘Message to a Blackman

The Last Poets rap influence is shown on cuts like the White Man’s Got a God Complex which was featured on the ‘This is Madness‘ album (1971). It was remade 20 years later by groups like Public Enemy and Def Jef. Below is the PE version which keeps alot of original cadence in tact.

The Def Jef version of  God Complexx, shows not only the influence of the Last Poets but also Gil Scott-Heron as he uses the beat from Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

Ironically groups like NWA who were perceived as having an anti-revolutionary message sampled the Last Poets ‘Die Nigga‘ off their album ‘The Original Last Poets Right On‘ (1970) and made them known to younger generations with songs like ‘Real Niggaz Don’t Die‘ off the ‘Efil4zaggin’ (1991)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jy6Nebd_e0

GilScottheronGil Scott-Heron is often called the Godfather to Rap. It was a title he shunned, stating he preferred to be known as a bluesologist. Nevertheless, Heron was a towering figure whose signature song Revolution Will Not be Televised was redone by too many Hip Hop artists to name. Cuts like B-Movie and ReRon which were released in 1980 and 1984 respectively demonstrated his Heron’s rapping ability.

He was also one of the first artists from the 60s/ Black Power generation to jump on a song with than modern day rap artists..The anti-Apartheid song Let Me See Your ID  (1985) which features, Run DMC, Kurtis Blow and Mele-Mel to name a few was monumental. The content and purpose of the song was incredible, but also although unintended it contrasted the generational differences in rap styles.

Watts Prophets Rapping BlackThe Watts Prophets have not only been heralded as important figures in the emergence of West Coast rap, but  in 1970 they released an album called ‘Rappin’ Black in a White World’. Many consider that to be the first to use the word ‘Rap’ to describe a  recording that featured rhyming, This groundbreaking album proceeds   ‘Rapper’s Delight‘ by almost 10 years. They also featured a woman vocalist named Dee Dee McNeil who isn’t often named when speaking of the Watts prophets

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHxM71rcQus

One artist who is in the same vein as these revolutionary poets but not as well-known is Stax Record recording artist John KaSandra nick named ‘Funky Philosopher‘. He did a bunch of black conscious songs in the early 70s including one that is many ways a head of its time for the emerging Hip Hop rap scene at the time..  ‘(What’s Under) The Natural Do’ (1970) is an incredible song that talks about Black power  and how folks are gonna have to do more than just wear an Afro hairstyle in order to uplift the community.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQow4jYVM9I

One can’t talk about the Last Poets, Gil Scott Heron and Watts Prophets and their influence on Rap without talking about the Black Arts Movement which proceeded them and exerted profound influence. BAM  introduced a style of spoken word that was hard-hitting, uncompromising and often recited over Bebop and Jazz. BAM co-founder Amiri Baraka than known as Leroy Jones illustrates that style with his famous piece Black Art.

Baraka’s ‘rap’ along with the spoken word and slang executed by others within the Black Arts Movement were such that it was hard for folks outside the scene to pick up and appreciate.It was for the Bebop crowd who coincidently called themselves ‘Hip’. It was deliberate in challenging the mainstream and being anti-establishment. It’s deliberately uncomfortable Many like to draw parallels to Hip Hop.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh2P-tlEH_w

BAM member Sonia Sanchez gives a brief history of that time period and how their spoken word paved the way for modern-day raps heard within Hip Hop. Sonia Sanchez: From Black Arts to Hip Hop

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtRffMdbB0Y

Members of BAM

Members of BAM

Just for added understanding, one may wanna peep this brief documentary on bebop which was the precursor to the Black Arts Movement. Again here you will be able to draw some strong parallel to Hip Hop, especially when you consider that Bebopers called themselves coined the term ‘Hip’ which is how they referred to themselves. Peep  Bebop Jazz the Evolution of Culture Through Music.

These are just a few highlights of the many artists and expressions that are akin to rap to be in our midst before the birth of Hip Hop..Look out for pt 3 which deals with the influence of Black Radio deejays on what we know as Rap..

written by Davey D

Art of Rap Opens this Weekend… Reclaim Your Humanity & Go See It..

This weekend Something from Nothing The Art of Rap opens in theaters this weekend and as I noted in my earlier review it is absolutely deserving of an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary. It’s compelling, witty and much-needed in terms of refocusing us on what Hip Hop and rap in particular is really about. Ice T who made the film really did his thing..

Earlier this week Chuck D of Public Enemy who is featured in this documentary alerted us to an excellent article On Blackness, Humanity and the Art of Rap that his wife Dr Gaye Theresa Johnson had penned for the Huffington Post. She absolutely nails it and I urge everyone to read it.. She kicks things off:

Blackness — in style and sensibility — has been one of the most admired, most reviled, most circulated, and least credited set of characteristics in the history of commodification. And there can be no better example of this than hip hop. When rap music first gained mainstream traction in the late seventies, its artists were dismissed and disrespected by politicians, pundits, and the music business itself. But by the late eighties, the same corporate bodies who had previously shunned it were making millions of dollars selling it. By 1990, label executives had created a “gangsta formula,” a business hook that repackaged rap’s depictions of black urban realities into a titillating buffet of hypermasculinity and glorified violence, relegating women artists to the margins and creating a new outlet of expression for what became its largest consumer demographic: young white men.

She also notes…

The Art of Rap writes humanity back into rap music in a moment when black people are more popular than ever in mainstream society, but in some incredibly damaging ways. We’ve mistaken the proliferation of black images in the media for the notion that there is some kind of equality of positive representation of black humanity.

peep the entire article HERE

Dr Gaye Theresa Johnson connects Blackness & Humanity to the Art of Rap

In reading Dr Gaye’s article and reflecting on the film, it wasn’t lost on me how the this weekend’s box office  opening was downplayed as we were met with lots of noise about the opening of the movie Rock of Ages starring Tom Cruise, Jay-Z opening his new 40/ 40 Club in the new Barclay Center and the ugly fight between singers Chris Brown and Drake. If you live in NYC the police killing of a young black women in Brooklyn who they say was in a stolen car has also dominated the headlines.

Don’t get me wrong, at this point in time, one shouldn’t expect the mainstream media to do right by us. The pedalling of corporate interests including sensationalized stories of Black pathology, death and violence, all big money-makers in America, will be highlighted before stories depicting our true selves. There will always be fierce resistance to acknowledging and embracing our humanity.

Ice T holding it down on the Jimmy Fallon Show

With that being said, the way to combat that is to take note and do as Ice T did, reaffirm who we truly our on our own terms and our own dime and do what Hip Hop momentarily forgot to do which is build its own institutions. In talking with Ice T the other day, he said it was important to uplift the culture and give something back. He also noted the importance of constantly hustling and not shying away from the grind. Hence even if this movie is not the main priority for some big wig media power broker, its gonna shine, because we make the moves to make it happen.

To help promote this film we seen Ice leverage his celebrity status to show up on outlets like Jimmy Fallon, The Today Show and Wendy Williams to name a few..

As for the rest of us, change comes when we revolutionize our thinking, readjust our values and take those first steps to shedding the dictates of out of control, consumerist corporate agendas. In other words ‘they’ are gonna stick to their game plan, will we stick to ours?

In supporting this movie we can stick to ‘our’ game plan by passing along the link below which lists the theaters where Art of Rap is showing in your city .http://bit.ly/NDe3XD

You can stick to the game plan by by talking this movie up the way we talk up beefs and petty gossip.  Lastly lwe can stick to our game plan by getting back in the habit of digging and seeking out new music and new artists vs waiting for them to show up via our radio or some other commercial outlet.. It used to be a time corporations chased the streets to try and discover what was new and hip. Today we chase the corporations who in turn sell us repackaged goods.. Let’s flip the script on that.. Enjoy the weekend and the Art of Rap

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h46tzQ7cZV0

Chuck D’s Open Letter: Never Have So Many Been Pimped

[Note: Chuck D wrote this essay as a letter to Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur (AllHipHop.com) and Davey D (DaveyD.com). With permission, the message by the Public Enemy leader, has been edited slightly into a scathing editorial about the media, Hip-Hop and the how the culture has been pimped by a mere few.]

Chuck D:

I really don’t know what constitutes for “relevant” coverage in  HIP-HOP news in America these days, but I really want to give you all a heads up. As you know I’ve been through three passports, 76 countries on the regular in the name of Hip-Hop since 1987 and in 2010, although I’ve never stopped traveling the earth this year, I’ve seen, heard and felt some new things.

As far as RAP and HIP-HOP, it’s like USA Olympic basketball, the world has parity now and have surpassed the USA in ALL of the basic fundamentals of HIP-HOP – TURNTABLISM,  BREAKING,  GRAFFITI, and now EMCEEING with succinct mission , meaning and skill. Skill-wise rappers spitting three languages, have created super rappers to move the crowd with intensity and passion. The “arrogant” American comes in blackface, but if there was a HIP-HOP or Rap Olympics, I really don’t think the United States would get Gold, Silver or Brass or even ass for that sake.

Personally, Public Enemy has been setting records in a record book that doesn’t really exist. The 20th year anniversary of FEAR OF A BLACK PLANET has become into a year and a half celebration of eights legs and five continents. All the while, looking at a HIP-HOP Planet across 25 countries while still somewhat supportive of American rap, the rest of the world has surpassed the U.S. in skill, in fundamentals and commitment to their communities. Public Enemy’s mission is to set the path, pave the road for cats to do their thing for a long time as long as they do it right.

Because of the lack of support from local radio, television and community in the United States, the ability for “local” acts to thrive in their own radius has killed the ability to connect and grow into a proper development as a performer, entertainer and artist. Rappers trying to get put on to a national contract hustle from a NEW YORK or LOS ANGELES corporation has caused the art-form to atrophy from the bottom, while never getting signed to a top echelon that really doesn’t exist, but to a very few.

HIP-HOP NEWS spreads like any other mainstream NEWS in America. The garbage that’s unfit to print has now floated on websites and blogs like sh*t. For example a rapper working in the community gets obscured while if that same rapper robbed a gas station he’d get top coverage and be label a “rapper” while getting his upcoming or current music somewhat put on blast, regardless of its quality which of course is subjective like any other art. RAP sites and blogs are mimicking the New York POST.

This is not mere complaint , this is truth and its coming down on Americans like rain without a raincoat with cats screaming how they ain’t wet. This is real. The other night upon finishing groundbreaking concert performances in Johannesburg we followed a special free concert in Soweto. To make a point that our agenda was to “show? and encourage the Hip-Hop community to be comfortable in its mind and skin without chasing valueless Amerikkkan values.

Never have so many been pimped by so few.

It does the people of the planet little good to hear that an an artist is famous and rich, will wear expensive jewelry straight from the mines, show it off, stay it the hotel, ride in limos, do the VIP with chilled champagne in the clubs, ape and monkey the chicks (meaning not even talking) and keep the dudes away with slave paid bodyguards when real people come close. The mimic of the VIACOM-sanctioned video has run tired, because it shows off, does NOT inspire and it says NOTHING.

Here in South Africa PUBLIC ENEMY has done crucial groundbreaking performances. Its the same level of smashing the house that we’ve done this year in Moscow, New York, Paris,  London , Chicago and other places this year. This is not news  We are not trying to prove any point other than to show that a classic work is timeless and doesn’t have a demographic per se. The Rolling Stones and U2 are NOT measured by mere tracks’ they are measured by the all-around event they present. The art of the performance has left Hip-Hop whereas somebody has led artists to do more performing off the stage than on it. The agenda here is to create artist exchange

This serves as a call to the infrastructure-less Hip-Hop game in Amerikkka. We know what your hustle is, but what is your work and job here? Faking it until making it runs its course in a recession, which is a depression for Black folks who increasingly are becoming more skill-less as they become jobless.

Never have so many been pimped by so few.

Since the music has so much power, and image has become everything to the point that it can dictate the direction of a person in their life, it is my mission now to really become a “freedom fighter” and stop this radiation. With Jay-Z and others who, for years would faint their worth, the statement of “with great power comes great responsibility,” is more true. Words are powerful and they can both start wars and bring peace. This cannot be taken lightly. Its important for the words to be body with the community. If not one dime of $250 million doesn’t benefit the people who contribute to it then why does that warrant coverage above the will and effort of many in the music who have done great things.

Never have so many been pimped by so few.

I turned 50 this year. Everyday I get the question whats up with Hip-Hop today. If nothing was wrong the question wouldn’t be the dominating question I get. I do massive interviews worldwide. I’m covered from varied aspects Hip-Hop, Public Enemy, social issues, musicology in general. So, my interactive world dialogue is deeper and more present than 140 characters. 

Never have so many been pimped by so few.

I am tired of the silence of people that know better. There is nothing worse than a person that knows better and does worse. Or says nothing.

And makes excuses for bulls**t.

You know damn well HIP-HOP in the USA has fell way the f**k off as the American dollar and much of America itself. Held up and dictated by White business lawyers, accountants in New York, and Los Angeles offices.

To dictate to a community and not even live or be with the people is offensive. VIACOMs reach into Africa to turn HIP-HOP in to Amerfrica, which is as exploitative as those slave-makers who carried us across on boats. The decisions made in a boardroom in New York City while these cats scurry to their high rises, and suburban mansions from cultural profiteering must stop. And I’m going to do something about it.

Never have so many been pimped by so few.

My agenda of Hip-Hop around the world is in line with its creators, who followed Black Music. The music had the people’s back. It has never been my personal agenda. Americans arrogantly have no back. Hip-Hop has followed this. I am disturbed by the fact that I tell artists that doing work in their community will get them little or no buzz for their effort, but in the same sense if they robbed or shot someone or did a bid they would get national and sometimes international attention.

Never have so many been pimped by so few.

So many of your favorite people suck up to the NBA and NFL, because it has order and when you make the game look bad David Stern or Robert Goddell is kicking their asses out . They are the indisputable HWIC, and negroes are in line and silenced. But here in Hip-Hop the dysfunctionality reward makes the money that puts food on many tables.

Its time, because I hear too many excuses. I wont allow what’s in the USA f**k up what I and others worked hard to instill. I drive a ’94 Montero, a ’97 Acura, and have no expensive jewelry. There is nothing on this planet materially that is better than myself. This is what I instill in many doing Hip-Hop that nothing is greater than what is given.  These games of people doing anything to get things has seeped into my way so therefore witness some radical virtual things coming from me in protecting the art-form of Hip-Hop.

Never have so many been pimped by so few.

So, I’m going after the few.

I’m tired of it.

Chuck D from CaPEtown, South Africa.

Public Enemy’s 71st Tour
6th Leg of a Fear Of A Black Plan Tour

Chuck D is an emcee, author, producer and civic leader, among other things. He also happens to front a legendary, revolutionary rap group called Public Enemy. Public Enemy is renown for their politically charged lyrics, frenetic production style and penchant for shaking up the power structure.

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

Straight Outta Beirut-Hip Hop in Full Effect w/ Clotaire K

Listen to our Interview w/ Clotaire K on Breakdown FM:

Breakdown FM-ClotaireK-05

Clotaire K

For most of us the city of Beirut has an interesting connection to Hip Hop in the sense that it often mentioned in rap songs as a way to describe toughness or indicate how violent prone a particular neighborhood is..¦What’€™s so crazy is that hardly any of the rappers in the US who raise up the name of Beirut have ever traveled there and have very little knowledge of the people or its Hip Hop scene. Sadly, most don’€™t even know what country Beirut is in-which is Lebanon for those who don’€™t know.

Recently I got a chance to visit Lebanon and get the 4-11 on the politics that have come to shape this country and its music scene. First, let me say this, Beirut is an incredibly beautiful city. Before I came there I thought it was gonna be nothing but bombed out buildings and folks running around in fatigues ready to bring the drama. There are definitely those areas. And yes, you do see soldiers in the streets carrying machine guns, but other then that, the place is on fire. It’s not what you think.

At the height of Beirut’€™s infamous wars less then 5% of the city was impacted. Since those dark days, everything has been pretty much rebuilt. The nightlife is off the hook with clubs getting packed around 3am and closing at 7 the next morning. Everybody is dressed with all the latest styles and are amazingly beautiful especially the women. And as I was told prior to arriving, that once I set foot in Beirut, I would not want to leave. That prediction was right. Beirut is easily the Miami Beach or Los Angles of the Middle East-Nuff said.

We sat down with well known local rapper Clotaire K who gave us the breakdown of Beirut’s burgeoning Hip Hop scene. Clotaire K has made major inroads with a slamming album called ‘Lebanese’€™ which has a lot politically charged lyrics rapped over boomin’€™ beats.

He noted that he a long with many other middle east rappers have a love for old school Hip Hop from the US, but Southern France is where he spent most of his days. It is also Hip Hop’€™s epicenter in that part of the world. Clotaire who spits many of his rhymes in French felt it was vitally important to also include music and references reflecting his native Lebanon. The mixture is music that will not only make your head bob, but also let anyone who thinks Hip Hop begins and ends in New York or in the US, that it’€™s a new day and time.

Clotaire K explained that most people in Lebanon are influenced by mainstream US culture which is imported via TV and videos. Hence rappers like Eminem have huge following amongst the general public. During our interview Clotaire pointed out the irony of Eminem mentioning Beirut in his raps followed by gun shots, yet for all his tough talk has not set foot in the country. Clotaire K noted that if he showed up he would get lots of love from the people.

Clotaire K also spoke about touring and how he’€™s focused a lot of his efforts in countries throughout South America, Africa and the Middle East. When I last spoke to Clotaire K he had just embarked on a two week tour throughout Egypt. He noted that it was a shame that more US artists have not blessed these places with their presence and while he understand it’s not always easy to touch down in far off lands, US rap artists have left an impression of being paranoid.

Clotaire also noted that for many, Hip Hop is seen as truthful expression that is easily accessible and has allowed people to make important political statements in an overtly politicized region. With regards to him, he says that he was influenced by Public Enemy and has great love for Bay Area rapper Paris who he feels has never been given his full props.

During our interview Clotaire K gives a full rundown about the very tricky and volatile political situation that involves Syria, Palestine and of course Israel. He notes that since the city has been rebuilt, there has been huge separation between rich and poor and that while Lebanon has evolved to this trendy destination spot for the rich and famous, the stark reality is that 95% of the population is poor. Gentrification out of the downtown area seems to be the order of the day and that these are the types of conditions that lead to conflict as well as anger being reflected in the music.

You can holler at Clotaire K by visiting his website http://www.clotairek.com/ or drop him an email at clotairek@clotairek.com

Below are links to our Breakdown FM intv on YouTube

Lastly.. when I met Clotaire K I was apart of the Freemuse Music conference on censorship.. in october 2005… Below is a link to the report they issued on their findings from that year..

http://www.freemuse.org/sw11193.asp

What is Hip Hop? A Historical Definition Of The Term Rap pt1

A Historical Definition Of The Term Rap pt1

microphoneWhat is rap? Depending on who you ask and from which generation the word  ‘rap’ will take on different meanings. At one point in time ‘a rap’ was a set of excuses a con artist handed you in an effort to deceive you.

In the 70s rap were the words a person used when trying to persuade you. This particularly applied to the persuasive efforts of a young man trying to obtain sexual favors from a female..

Today rap means saying rhymes to the beat of music making it’s one of the four major element within hip hop culture. Because the other elements which include deejaying, breakdancing and graffiti aren’t as widespread, the words Hip Hop and Rap have been used interchangeably over the years..

The truth of the matter is the word rap wasn’t always used to describe this activity. The act of rhyming to the beat of music was initially called emceeing. The term rap first became associated with Hip Hop around 1979 with release of two records in ’79. The first was called King Tim III [Personality Jock] which is considered Hip Hop’s first record. This was track put out by the Brooklyn based Fatback Band. This song was said to be inspired the old rhyme styles of popular Black radio disc jockeys of the 50s and 60s  like Jocko Henderson, Jack The Rapper, Magnificent Montague and Daddy O to name a few. These Black radio deejays would eventually go on to influence pioneering club deejays like DJ Hollywood..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcTP4cvXSP0

Suagrhillgang-old-225The second song that popularized and associated the term Rap with Hip Hop  was the landmark song Rapper’s Delight by Sugar Hill Gang. I’m not quite sure how Sugar Hill came up with the term ‘Rap’. Some say it was already being bantered about within the mainstream media who were then mystified by this new phenomenon.

Others say that the term was coined by older folks within the community in this case Sugar Hill record label owners Sylvia and Joey Robinson who saw similarities between young hip hoppers from the ’70s and the word manipulators of earlier generations where the term rap was used..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljUnyv5XUA8

H-rap-brown-yellow

H Rap Brown

Ironically within the song Rapper’s Delight contains a well-known rhyme which appears to have been borrowed from the former Black Panther and SNCC chairman H.Rap Brown now known as Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin.The rhyme in question appears in Brown’s auto biography written in 1969 called  ‘Die Nigger Die‘. It spoke about his militant approach toward solving some of the ills afflicting Black America. Within his book he spoke about how he obtained his name ‘Rap’. He detailed that when he was growing up in Louisiana people used to play a variety of word games including one called The Dozens.

The purpose of the game was to totally destroy somebody else with words. He noted that in his neighborhood and bear in mind we are talking about the early 60s, there would be close to 50 guys standing around competing against one another in this rhyme game in which people talked about each others mothers. The winner was determined by crowd reaction… Rap Brown got his name his name because he was considered to be one of the most skilled…

In his book H.Rap Brown gives some examples of his rhymes…

I fucked your mama
till she went blind.
Her breath smells bad,
But she sure can grind.

I fucked your mama
for a solid hour.
Baby came out
screaming, Black Power.

Elephant and Baboon
learning to screw.
Baby came out looking
like Spiro Agnew.
[Spiro Agnew was former Vice President under Richard Nixon]

Brown also explained another verbal game called Signifying. He noted that this was verbal game which was more humane than The Dozens because instead of dissin’ someone’s mother you would dis your opponent. He also explained that a skilled signifier knew how to skillfully put words together so you could accurately express your feelings. He concluded that signifying could also be used to make some one feel good. He dropped a rhyme which was used in the movie ‘Five On The Black Hand Side‘ and later immortalized several years later by the Sugar Hill Gang.

Yes, I’m hemp the demp the women’s pimp
women fight for my delight.
I’m a bad motherfucker. Rap the rip-saw the
devil’s brother ‘n law.
I roam the world I’m known to wander and this .45
is where I get my thunder…

The fact that H.Rap refered to his .45 caliber gun may have inadvertently been a precursor to what we call gangsta rap. (This of course is being said with tongue in cheek)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkbKKnKg7dk

Isaac Hayes

Isaac Hayes

As was mentioned earlier the term rap has changed from generation to generation. In the 70s the term not only meant the art of persuasion but it was also used to describe the monologue talking styles used by singing artists like Isaac Hayes, Barry White, Bobby Womack, Lou Rawls and Millie Jackson. Albums like Isaac Hayes’ ‘Hot Buttered Soul’ and Millie Jackson’s ‘Still Caught Up’ best personified these styles called ‘Love Raps’.

The art of rappin’ with respect to hip hop was characterized by one’s ability to syncopated to a beat. Ideally an emcee rapped from the heart. His rhymes were spontaneous, not memorized or read aloud from a written document.

Of course we now know that most of the great pioneering emcees like Mele-Mel, Grand Master Caz and Kurtis Blow to name a few, all rehearsed and pre-wrote their rhymes. But the approach was to present yourself as if the rhymes were coming off the top of the dome. ..

Ideally a rap is a group of rhymes that are thrown together so everything has meaning. Nothing said is frivolous. It reflects the here and now and ideally the lifestyle of the one rapping. Rap’s ideally projected the emotions and feelings experienced by the rapper. Ultimately and historically an artist rapped for no one but himself. His rap was a call for attention to himself.. He was ideally saying..’Hey look here I am world-Somebody hear my song!’.

And the beat goes on an on an on
It don’t stop rocking till the crack of dawn
when the people hear me rock the funky rap song
The whole damn world wants to hum along
Cause I’m e-lectricic..I’m bigger than life
An everyone calls me Jesus Christ
To The beat y’all check me out..
To the beat y’all check me out..

-Davey D-
Double D Crew..’78

c 1984.. The Power Of Rap..
By dave ‘Davey D’ Cook