Rapper B. Dolan Revisits ‘Film The Police’ video/ Song in the Wake of Recent Supreme Ct Ruling

B. Dolan of Providence Rhode Island is one of those cats who you can always count on to not only speak truth to power but back up his words with impactful and thoughtful actions. Him and his partner Sage Francis in addition to putting out dope music, also founded a great website called Knowmore.org which helps raise consumer awareness and shine light on various movements that are pushing back on the increasing encroachment of corporations that undermine democracy, workers rights and human rights. It’s a great resource and folks are encouraged to check it HERE

About a year or so ago, B.Dolan decided to put out a video to a song that came out of his concern repressive actions of the police during the Oscar Grant Movement in Oakland. The cut was a remake of NWA‘s classic song ‘F– Tha Police’. This new one was called ‘Film Tha Police‘. Featured on the song are rappers Toki Wright of the Rhymesayers, Jasiri X out of Pittsburgh who is with One Hood and Sage Francis.

At the time Dolan thought it was incredibly important that more people do what was done around the tragic Oscar Grant shooting in terms of documenting police abuse with cameras. What he didn’t realize at the time was police all over the country were attacking and brutalizing citizens who they saw filming them. The night that Oscar Grant was murdered in front of hundreds on the Fruitvale BART station Jan 1 2009, cops stormed the trains and snatched as many cell phones as they could, claiming they needed them for evidence. To this day many have yet to get their phones or pictures back.

Dolan also wasn’t aware that when he did the video that the police had gone into overdrive and pushed to get laws passed that borrowed on antiquated wiretapping/eavesdropping  laws which made it illegal to film the police in certain states.. In places like Illinois, people caught filming the police could get up to 15 years in jail. That’s right you read that correctly 15 years in jail.  This had a chilling effect especially amongst those who were involving themselves in the Occupy Movements where incidents of police brutality was heightened and happening daily.

Earlier this week the United States Supreme Court decided not to weigh in on case that dealt with this issue. The justices decided to let stand a lesser ruling that took place in the 7th Circuit court that allows citizens in the state of Illinois to record police officers performing their official duties.

In the 7th circuit court the ruling read as follows; “The Illinois eavesdropping statue restricts a medium of expression commonly used for the preservation and communication of information and ideas, thus triggering First Amendment scrutiny” and that the “statute restricts far more speech than necessary to protect legitimate privacy interests,”

We talked with B.Dolan about this latest ruling and he expressed satisfaction. He noted that its a big victory for communities who are subjected to police abuse to have a powerful tool like their cameras. He also noted there are more steps we need to case to once and for all eradicate police brutality. Below is our interview B.Dolan expounds upon  his feelings around this ruling. He also talks about the making of the video and what it entailed.

Dolan also talks about the racial dynamics of police brutality and how what was experienced during Occupy Movement at the hands of the police sent a clear message that anyone opposing the system in any form or fashion will be opposed by the state. The police are lackeys for the state.

We ended our interview by talking about crucial next steps as well as the new project B. Dolan has been doing around the plight of CeCe McDonald a Transgender women who is currently serving jail time for defending herself against a hate crime and attack.. You can get more info on Free CeCe McDonald campaign by clicking HERE

You can peep our interview w/ B.Dolan by clicking the link below




Which Side Are You On?  CeCe McDonald



3 Hip Hop Jams Everyone Should Peep To Prime You for the 2012 Election

Loving this new song from Jasiri X out of Pittsburgh, Invincible of Detroit and Grammy award winner and former political candidate Rhymefest .

“Candidates For Sale” was inspired by growing corporate influence over politics, and the ridiculous amounts of money now needed to win public office. “Candidates For Sale” was produced by Da Ricanstrukta, and is the first single off Jasiri X’s new mixtape “Rappers On X” which will be out next week.

In a recent interview with Rhymefest, he explained talked about a conversation he had with a Congressman who is a good friend of his.. This particular congressman noted that in order to sit on certain committees and caucuses he has to raise upwards to 500k per year. In order to run for election he is having to get at minimum 600k.. He told Rhymefest in order for him to get tat money in short periods of time, he has to rely upon on corporations.

By the time the dust settles, he said he has very little policy votes or bills to push on behalf of his constituents. He is essentially beholden to those big corporations.Rhymefest went on to add that the challenge before most folks who vote is not so much voting, but leveraging the vote.. He said its time for folks to move this political game to another level and change the balance of power.


Another song to peep is Face the Vote.. FTV is an incredible song that addresses the issue of voter suppression… It’s part of a very large community reaction to the Voter Suppression (Voter ID) bill. The concept behind FTV is simple. The Twin Cities Hip Hop community has decided to put a face on the voters affected by the suppression bill. So with artist from all walks and backgrounds FTV formed and sprang into action.

We recently sat down with Toki Wright of the Rhymesayers collective and Nick Muhammad who was one of the main driving forces behind this project. They explained it was important to protect the voting process. Toki noted that Minnesota for years has had one of the strongest and most progressive voting process.

In 2008, record numbers of people came out. Percentage wise it was among the highest in the nation. The new attempts to pass restrictive voting laws is designed to turn back that tide of voters. He also noted that proponents state its to guard against election fraud, but in the past few years only 3-4 cases of fraud have turned up..

Nick added that our political involvement has to go beyond just voting. Its all about political awareness and being vigilant. political awareness will of course keep people up to speed on any and all developments including attempts to strip away voting rights..

Face The Vote includes
The Lioness, Malley, Danami, Toki Wright, Maria Isa, Kaleem, B Dot Croc, Nazeem, Muja, Felix, I Self Devine, Master Mind & Jamecia Bennett


The last joint to check out is one from Bambu and Rocky Rivera called Rent Money..Definitely feeling the theme of this song which talks about poverty and the types of steps all of us will have to take to once and for all dead a situation where one out of seven are living below the poverty line..The song is especially on point when you consider both Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have focused on the Middle Class and have avoided talking about poverty.. props to Bam and Rocky for the jam.


Below is the full interview where we talked about the 2012 election and what it means to the Hip Hop generation.. Our guest included author Bakari Kitwana, Ohio organizer Angela Woodson, Shamako Noble and Prof Tina Bell Wright of Hip Hop Congress, Rappers Rhymefest from Chicago and  Toki Wright of the Rhymesayers and Nick Muhammad of Face The Vote out of Minneapolis..  Click the link below

4 Hip Hop Videos Addressing Key Issues Everyone Must See

This has been a good week for music, especially on the video tip as we’ve had three stellar offerings to raise your awareness and peak your conscience. Two of the videos deal directly with police brutality and I’m hoping folks will pay close attention, being that much that is shown happened over the past couple of years… As we peep these vids we should all be asking ourselves whats going on? How will folks be brought to justice and what will we do as individuals or a collective body of people..

The third video comes from Lupe Fiasco who gives us serious food for thought by laying out an array of movies many of us came up on and questions what sort of impact they may have had on the past few generations…

First up is a song called ‘Film The Police‘. It’s a remake of the NWA classic ‘Fuck Tha Police’ and features great performances from B-Dolan who steps in for Ice Cube, Toki Wright who fills in for MC Ren and Jasiri X who fills in for Eazy E..Sage Francis kicks things off as the judge ala Dr Dre.. He does a great job, but I gotta be honest it would’ve been nice to see what lyrics he would’ve spit on this song..Big shout out to producer Buddy Peace who actually reconstructed the beat..

The video has struck a chord with lots of folks as it chronicles a lot of violence we’ve seen directed at peaceful occupy protests. within a day of its release its garnered well over 40k views. These guys do a great job at connecting the dots to what has gone down in the Occupy Movement which all are a part of and what has gone on for way too long in communities of color…

The call to Film the Police doesn’t have a s strong a ring as fuck the police, but it speaks to the importance of us documenting and giving voice to our own realities especially at a day and time where police departments are fighting to make filming them illegal.


Next up is an incredible video from San Francisco rapper Metro P and Oakland rapper Mistah Fab. Their new song Price Tag hammers home the plight many in the Bay Area have been dealing with around the issue of police terrorism and the literal price tag on people’s heads.

They start off by bringing to light the Oscar Grant situation. They also highlight footage from the scandal that rocked San Francisco where police were found to have placed drugs and lied on the reports of 56 different felony cases …Metro P drops gems about the long struggle we as Black folks have had with the police as he takes us back to the March on Washington up to modern day situations. Mistah Fab’s lyrics focus on the point that far too many of us have started hating on each other vs turning that aggression toward the police..


On a related tip folks, we can’t really talk about police terror in SF without making mention of the drama surrounding Fly Benzo who has been kicking up a lot of dust by constantly stepping to SFPD.. His video ‘War on Terror‘ speaks to the issue and highlights the fact that he’s looking at 4 years for a trump up charges which all stem from him speaking out on police brutality in his native Hunters Point.


Our last featured video comes from Lupe Fiasco..This brother has been a roll lately and sadly is seriously underrated. He’s been speaking up on key issues and trying to make sure his music reflects the political sentiment many are feeling..

His newest offering is to a song called Double Burger w/ Cheese where he goes in the power of images and how they may have impacted several generations of Black Youth.. The video starts off by showing footage from the 1965 Watts Riots and then juxtaposes it with an array of videos and images from movies in the early to mid 90s that focus both on South Central LA and the crack era..

We see footage from everything like; Juice, Menace II Society, Boyz N The Hood, New Jersey Drive, Poetic Justice, Dead Presidents, South Central, Sugar Hill, New Jack City, Paid In Full,& Colors. Although many of the movies shown have strong anti-gang messages, many of us have come to romanticize and glorify the gang drama and trauma shown in them..

Many who have seen the video are really appreciating where Lupe is coming from. Each line he spits hits the issue hard. Sadly there are many who see the video montage and they fondly look back at the movies sans the politics.


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From Minneapolis to Arizona-Toki Wright & Rhymesayers Sayers react to Arizona Immigration Law

Shout out to Toki Wright of the Minneapolis based crew the Rhymesayers Crew ..he came through big time when the Arizona law first went into effect by re-doing the Public Enemy song ‘By the Time I get to Arizona‘.. He finally released a video to this.. Here he shows folks from Minneapolis who are now facing threats of having SB 1070 imported to there, marching on the May Day Rally. I like how all the marchers are wearing shirts that say ‘Illegal’.


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25 Joints to get U Through Tha Day#17: The Spectra of Music

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25 Joints to get U Through Tha Day #17 :The Spectra of Music

This week we come with a whole lot of goodies guaranteed to stimulate your dome.  We urge you to get w/ Toki Wright out of Minneapolis and down with the Rhymesayers camp. His new album Different Mirrors is being slept on. The man has skillz, intellect and according to many of my women friends, good looks.  More importantly the man is down for the community. He’s always out and about schooling the younstas. His music reflects his love for the people..The joint we picked features Scarub from Living Legends and together the pair wreck shop.

Lyrics Born on the cut revolution and how she gets down with the folks from Crown City Rockers. As Biggie used to say.. If ya don’t know now ya know..


Aima the Dreamer

Aima the Dreamer is an Oakland born female emcee who has been turning heads. People are seriously checking for her as she has been popping up in lot of places letting everyone know that don’t have to look too far for this elusive specimen (women) in Hip Hop.  Other emcees are wishing she wasn’t too easy to find, cause she’s a hard act to follow once she blesses the mic. If you don’t believe me. Peep out how she exchanges flows with

Two other stand out tracks on this weeks 25 Joints come from JenRO who hails from San Francisco. She comes with heat as her conscious raising song starts off  and ends with a skillfully woven clips from Martin Luther King. JenRo matches his words with her own choice lyrics that talk about the importance of being free of oppression.. Really dope song from another overlooked emcee. It’s off the album ‘My World’ .

People are buzzing about Chihualt Ce a Chicana emcee from Los Angles who many first got hipped to when she appeared on the Peace and Dignity  album. Her song the Dreamah is incredible and has become an anthem of sorts for a whole lot of folks both male and female..  She has a mix tape out you may wanna cop especially if your in LA..

Since I been highlighting women this week..it would be wrong not to shout out Rita J who pays tribute to female emcees on her song Body Rock  I haven’t fully peeped the entire album,  Artist Workshop but from what I heard thus far I likes very much.. I think you will as well

Here’s the link to this weeks 25 Joints..Enjoy



01-Toki Wright w/ Scarub  ‘Rise’ (Minneapolis/ Los Angeles)

02-Nas w/ Ceelo ‘Theme from Rush Hour 3’ (NY/ Atlanta)

03-J-Boogie w/ Zumbi ‘For Your Love’ (Bay Area)

04-Michael Franti ‘Hey World’ (Bay Area)

05-Akrobatik ‘Front Steps II  Tough Love (Boston)

06-Omar Akbar ‘On Point’ (Baltimore)

07-Rita J w/ Steph Saa ‘Body Rock’ (Atlanta)

08-JenRO ‘Rule the World’ (Bay Area)

09-Chihualt Ce ‘Dreamah’ (Los Angeles)

10-Eyrkah Badu ‘Real Thang’ (Rashad Ringo rmx) (Dallas)

11-Lushlife ‘Bottle Rocket’ (UK)

12-Chali 2na w/ Chokalat ‘Keep Going’ (Los Angles / Seattle)

13-Mistah FAB ‘The Biz’ (Bay Area)

14-Benzino “Stay 4Eva’ (Boston)

15-Indian Bambaataa ‘Broken Promises’ (India)

16-Uno tha Prophet ‘Red, White and Blue’ (Boston)

17-Immortal Technique ‘The Revolution of Philosophy’ (New York)

18-Conscious Daughters ‘Da Mack Hit’ (Bay Area)

19-Paris ‘Street Soldier’ (Bay Area)

20-J-Boogie w/ Lyrics Born Aima The Dreamer ‘Revolution’ (Bay Area)

21-Brother Ali ‘The Traveler’ (Minneapolis)

22-Crown City Rockers w/ Aima The Dreamer ‘Clap Your Hands’ (Bay Area)

23-Kellie Maize ‘Third Eye’ (Pittsburgh)

24-Menahan  Street Band “Tired of Fighting’ (New York)

25-Breakastra ‘Low Down Stank’ (Los Angeles)

26-NY Oil ‘Don’t get It twisted’ (New York)


Also on this weeks list are a couple of videos to definitely peep they include the up and coming spoken work collective from Houston called Meta-Four.. They got down w/ MC Lyte this past weekend.. who’s video we also posted We also have blazing new joint from Jasiri X who continues to deliver.. This one is called Silent Night-Do Rappers Watch the News) and finally we have a classic piece we did featuring Digital Undergound, Paris and Sway of MTV along with his partner King Tech.. Its called Time 4 Peace..

Below are the links

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4 Videos to Start Your Day: Jasiri X, Toki Wright, Gucci Mane & Usher, Akrobatik vs Sage Francis

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 Jasiri XBeware Young Girl

Beware Young Girl” explores the disturbing trend of horrific violence and injustice towards women, including the brutal gang rape of a 15 year old girl in Richmond, California, the case of Sarah Kruzan who was sentenced to life without parole at age 16 for killing her pimp, who raped her and forced her into prostitution at age 16, and the case of Heather Ellis, a college honor student who is facing 15 years in prison for allegedly cutting the line at Walmart. Episode 24 was produced by King Sym and was directed by Paradise the Arkitech of X-Clan

Toki Wright- Devil’s Advocate

This is the first video from the newest member of the Rhymesayers click. Its off the album ‘A Different Mirror’

Gucci man w/ Usher ‘Spotlight’

Say what you will about Atlanta’s Gucci mane.. He’s has gained a tremendous amount of momentum and has thoroughly crossed over as evidenced by this video and song. How are you feeling about Gucci Mane these days?


 Here’s an old emcee battle from 1999 that features Akrobatik vs Sage Francis. take listen and weigh in on this epic wordfest…

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National hip-hop conference in Seattle this week



 Hip Hop National Congress 8th national conference comes to Seattle’s Central District, July 29 to August 2.

Hip-hop is making a stand this week in Seattle.

Starting today, for a week, the Hip Hop Congress 8th National Conference comes to Seattle, at various venues across the Central District. Through workshops and concerts, the conference focuses on developing hip-hop business and educating the next generation.

“Seattle is a hotbed of talent, intelligence and leadership,” said Hip Hop National Congress founder and executive director Shamako Noble. “It only made sense to connect with that energy for our annual conference.”

Hip Hop National Congress is a grass-roots cultural organization with 70 chapters across the world. The nonprofit aims to preserve and move hip-hop forward through concerts, festivals and teach-ins.

Aptly themed “This is our time,” the weeklong Seattle conference moves away from analyzing hip-hop to doing it and being it. In addition to training on management and distribution, there will be screenings of the films “New Muslim Cool;” 2003 Sundance film “The Beat”; and hip-hop and education in South Africa documentary “Masizakhe.”

The Knox Fam will be performing at the National Hip Hop Conference this weekend in Seattle

The Knox Fam will be performing at the National Hip Hop Conference this weekend in Seattle

Independent artists from all over the country will perform throughout the week, including AKIL THE MC of Jurassic 5, The Jacka, DLabrie, Knox Fam, Black Stax, Mic Crenshaw, Quanstar, Toki Wright, Raashan Ahmad of Crown City Rockers, Rahman Jamaal and Congress founder Noble.

“This year we’re just bringing that love and energy to the 206, and we’re gonna take that same love and energy back across the world,” said Oakland rapper DLabrie, who has performed for the past four years at the annual conference.

The conference also offers free studio time with registration. Coordinators plan to compile all the rhymes recorded during the conference into an album.

There’s also going to be an exhibit of photos taken from Dope Emporium, hip-hop arts expos that took place in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Kentucky.

Dovetailing with the conference is the UmojaFest, which includes an African-American heritage festival and Parade. There will also be a youth rally.

“I just want to show people that there’s more than just living with violence … that you can be peaceful,” said youth rally coordinator Darrin Ravenel, 15.

The location of the conference reflects that message as well.

“The conference is in an area where there was a lot of youth violence last year,” said Noble of the Central District conference. “I hope we can contribute to the healing process.”

Marian Liu: 206-464-3825 or mliu@seattletimes.com


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