There’s More to Election 2016 than Donald Trump

Davey-D-brown-frameBy now most people whether they are into politics or at are at the very least, remotely aware of the circus Election 2016  has become. The presidential race is bananas. Soap operas can’t compete with all that’s unfolded. Donald Trump and all his over the top antics are in the news every hour, every minute and damn near every second.

His recent disparaging remarks against the family of a soldier who died in combat and happened to be Muslim has resulted in a vicious firestorm and huge backlash. Folks who are fearful and absolutely hate the brand of politics Donald Trump stands for have been gleeful that all that push back against him has moved his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton up 10 points in the polls. Many are gleeful that the Republican Party seems to falling apart at the seams as more and more prominent figures are distancing themselves from Trump.

Some Republicans are publicly stating they are pledging support for Hillary Clinton citing that they see Trump as unfit. Is that a good thing? Does that mean Hillary will even further abandon her base to cater to an appeal to new right wing arrivals? Will she be gentrifying the Democratic Party?

Gary Johnson is gaing ground among Republicans angry at Trump

Gary Johnson is gaining ground among Republicans angry at Trump

Still others are staying they will either sit this election out or throw their support behind Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson who is on the ballot in all 50 states and is scheduled to be featured in a CNN backed Town hall.

With all this political turmoil going on at Trump’s expense, there have been a more than few who have done some premature celebrating. bad move. Don’t do it..

If there is one thing we should’ve learned over the years from 9-11 to Katrina to major storms and earthquakes, it is in times of chaos that dirt gets done. It’s in times of chaos that moves are made in relative silence by the most powerful among us. The political chaos caused by Donald Trump is no different. If anything it seems a bit manufactured. It keeps the corporate press focused on his antics vs investigating key issues and the merits of proposed policies

Karl Rove has quietly started a Shadow RNC and plans to toss unlimited amounts of money at specific contests

Karl Rove has a Shadow RNC and plans to toss unlimited amounts of money at specific contests

While we have been focusing on the Presidential election clown fest, we should be asking ourselves who are we NOT hearing anything from? For example, where is Karl Rove these days? Once touted as the brains behind President Bush and a master strategist for the GOP who has raised hundreds of millions, we should be asking why is seemingly so quiet? Did he pick up all his marbles and go home after Jeb Bush who he publicly backed was soundly defeated?

We should be asking ourselves what are the Koch Brothers up to? These are the guys who backed the Tea Party Movement, flipped lots of elections and have been key investors in ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) which have led to all sorts of regressive state side and voter suppression laws being passed.  Many people gave huge sighs of relief when it was made known the Koch Brothers would be sitting out the Presidential contest and not supporting Donald Trump. But did they totally disappear?

A recent article that appeared in Alter Net shows clearly their formidable ground game and Get Out the Vote apparatuses are set and will be in full effect come November. You can read that HERE.

There are  many who have been turned off by electoral politics who have famously asserted that it doesn’t matter who is in the White House. Many like to quote Malcolm X who noted Democrat or Republican are the same.  Thats probably true on a number of levels, but truth be told Malcolm wasn’t the only one who believed that.  Many others including the folks I mentioned Rove and Koch Brothers) understand that it doesn’t matter who sits in the oval office as long as you control the economics and politics of your community. That’s something Malcolm pushed us to do as well. How are we doing that in 2016?

Blue Lives matter bills are being proposed all over the country

Blue Lives matter bills are being proposed all over the country

So why are some of these powerful aforementioned forces and individuals so silent? Because while everyone is talking about Donald Trump, they have been steadily investing time, energy and laying out strategies to rule the day by winning stateside and local races. In short these folks haven’t disappeared they are literally out in these streets grinding. They’re allowing Trump to be the clown that everyone laughs at while they make sure hard-hitting, ruthless lawmakers are pushing and passing laws like the recent slew of Blue Lives Matter bills designed to give police even more power.

The latest was proposed in New York which would make police a protected class of citizens where hate crime status could be applied to any attacks on them. The person who proposed this is NY Assemblymen Ron Castorina who blames Black Lives Matter for the recent polkice shootings. How do we plan to counter those bills and what will we do to law makers proposing them?

smash the police state-001Powerful forces like the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove  are looking into local races in key cities where they can flip school boards and further privatize education. They are looking at local city council races where they win contracts to control water, electricity and other entities and institutions that effect our day-to-day life.

These forces are looking to see who they can win key US Senate seats to continue controlling the senate as well as win key congressional seats to continue locking down the house. They are looking to see who will be district attorney and who will be sitting on benches as a judge?  The game for them is down ticket candidates and measures which has been a pretty effective for GOP over the past 6 years. The question we should all be asking how are we locking down the community on a local level?

Several City Council Seats are up for grabs in November

Several City Council Seats are up for grabs in November

In the city of Oakland there are 5 city council seats up for grab. What’s are thoughts on this? Did all those running for re-election do right by us on key issues? Were they on the right side for issues like Gentrification? Police accountability? etc..

In June, San Francisco saw a huge surge for progressive candidates. Does that momentum carry over in November? Who gets rewarded who gets booted? What’s our electoral strategy to leverage those contests and get whats needed in our community?

There are local elections ranging from Bart Board to state Assembly and Senate seat? What’s our relationship with the candidates running. Some of them are friends and steady do work in our communities are we supporting a Lateefah Simon or a Jane Kim over opponents who haven’t done right by us?

Are we talking to people like Nicole Lee of the Black Movement law Project about electable judges?

Are we talking to people like Nicole Lee of the Black Movement Law Project about electable judges?

With respect to judges. We saw a lot of attention being given to Judge Aaron Persky who gave a light sentence to a convicted rapist and former Stanford student Brock Turner. There is currently an attempt to recall this judge. But what do we know about other judges who are up for election  in November. Have we been speaking with folks from the National Lawyers Guild or the recently formed Black Movement Law Project or the NAACP Legal Defense to find out which judges are social justice minded vs corporate or prosecutorial minded?

Now is the time we should be sharing information with one another, making up voting guides and figuring out all the ways we can control our community from top to bottom, from dog catcher to mayor, from congressional rep to state and US senator. Leave no stone un-turned. Some will need to be political punished and ousted or recalled while others are rewarded with the clear understanding you will hold feet to the fire..

So again don’t be fooled by the silence of the Karl Roves and Koch Brothers types. They are plotting and scheming and plan to run the table in November, While we’re laughing at Trump, they intend to install people who hold ratchet views like Trump but can look and sound ‘respectable’. #staywoke #beprepared

Was President Obama’s Re-Election About Our Hopes or Our Fears?

There’s a lot to reflect and say about last night’s election. The re-election of President Barack Obama brought enthusiastic cheers from all corners of the country. But one should be cautious and not misread those cheers. They weren’t the cheers of 2008 where there was literally dancing in the streets as history was made and folks were left hopeful.

Last night what we heard were cheers of relief. It was relief that came from millions of people having to endure he humiliation of chaos at the polls , where many wound up standing for up 6 or 7 hours or were aggressively questioned by Tea Party backed True the Vote poll watchers who suspected their eligibility, and a range other widespread voter suppression efforts.

Last night the cheers were being relieved of having to deal with Neandrathrolic behavior from sitting lawmakers who felt that there was ‘legitimate rape‘ and that women should not only not be allowed to have abortions, but shouldn’t have access to birth control

Last night we heard cheers of relief, because folks were fearful of having what little safety nets were left to be immediate dismantled or repealed on the day those seeking power took office…

Like it or not, Obama won last night’s election because of widespread politics of fear..not hope. Many who voted for him, did so with lots of dissatisfaction and disappointment on an array of policies the President championed or did not champion, but what they perceived was coming down the pipe was so frightening folks quickly got in line and pulled the lever for the President..

It was clear with Mitt Romney that there was a 47% of the population that needed to be ousted. He and many of his supporters felt like many of us were ‘leeches’ and no longer needed to be seen as fellow human beings… The mean-spirited racially charged policies being proposed and brought before the floor in Congress, sent a strong message to many, that there was a helluva a lot of white folks who were not playing around and were going all out to roll back anything and everything that had progressed in the past 50 years. That frightened people and Obama was a beneficiary.

Last night Mitt Romney had a voting base that consisted of 89% white people. That xenophobic angry base and how they see the world is best personified with the remarks of Bill O’Reilly and his Fox News cohorts. Its personified with the nasty tweets sent out by singer Ted Nugent where he refered to Obama supporters as whores and welfare cheats. Its personified by the angry tweets from Donald Trump who said the election was  sham and a travesty and America must fight to stop what had just happened.. (an Obama win)

Only time will tell if what we experienced was some grand exercise of Good Cop Bad Cop with the end game of getting everyone to reinvest into a system that has constantly failed people. But for now many are happy that they pushed back on something they felt would be irreversibly catastrophic. By voting and re-electing Barack Obama many who are part of a growing demographic of folks who feel they’re constantly marginalized felt like they were standing up and pushing back on the type of attitude expressed in the O’reilly video..

Unfortunately, it’ll take more than just voting. More push back is needed. It ranges from deading citizens united which allowed unlimited money to come into politics to having comprehensive election reform that restricts deceptive practices and voter suppression tactics. Close to 5 Billion dollars was spent for this past election..

It’s gonna require push back to stop the relentless attempts by corporate giants to own and privatize everything from our drinking water to FEMA which is what Mitt Romney proposed. It’s gonna require us to push back and demand economic and social justice..

All the forces that worried folks are still here, most likely plotting and scheming on how to better advance their cause. Bain Capitol and uncaring companies like it are still around and doing business as usual. In fact that might be vengeful and economically spurn their workers because of the win.

The forces behind banning ethnic studies books in Arizona have not left. Those who wish to public education and privatize public universities are back at work gearing up for the next round of tuition hikes. Police are still gunning down Black people every 36 hours..The people who obstructed Obama and demonstrated racial hostility are still in Congress and the Senate.

The policies that Obama embraced or didn’t embrace are still in front of us..How will we get him to match the words he uttered in his speech last night that left many feeling re-charged?  How will we become partners in reshaping America so that beneficial for all vs being disposable tools who are only tapped when its election time? In short there’s lots more work to do and hopefully all of us are up to the challenge.

written by Davey D

Election 2012: In the Final Days.. Go Hard or Go Home & Blame Yourself if You Lose

After more than two years of non-stop campaigning, scores of debates and billions of dollars spent we are coming down to final 10 days of Election 2012. The lay of the land is such that in the Presidential race two of the primary out of the overall 25 contenders Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are at virtual tie..

On the Senatorial tip, races that will determine whether or not the chambers are controlled by Republicans or still be in the hands of the Democrats, are still up in the air.

Unless there’s some real sea changes at work, congress is most likely going to remain in control by an extremist, obstructionist Tea Party mob.  Democrats have a good chance to gain 8-10 seats. 25 seats are needed to take control of the house which seems like a small numbers considering we have over 500 congress people, but during the 2010 mid-term elections those who won local and state-wide elections got to redraw Congressional district lines, resulting in a virtual lock for certain seats to a particular party for the next 10 years.

With all that being said, the question being raised is what will you do over the next 10 days? Many have been fond of talking passionately about how our ancestors shed blood and sacrificed greatly for us to have the right to vote..And that is true.. My question is;  Over the next 10 days is more sacrifice needed? Is it enough to simply show up to voting booth on November 6th 2012, and pat yourself on the back thinking your job is done? I say ‘No’.

More sacrifice is needed at a day and time, when voter suppression efforts are in full swing. At a day and time when we have  racist, extremist types pulling out all the stops to make sure a growing population of Black, Brown and under 30 folks are disenfranchised it is not enough for you to simply vote? Steps will have to be taken to make sure everyone who wants to vote can do so, and each vote cast is counted. Here’s a small sampling of whats going on..

In Arizona the home to harsh xenophobic anti-immigrant laws like SB1070, where ethnic studies in schools is forbidden and books extolling the virtues of Mexican-Americans are banned, Latino voters were sent out official pamphlets and ballots that put the wrong date for voting.. You can read about that HERE

In Florida which is considered a crucial swing state, thousands of fraudulent letters were sent out to voters in 28 counties stating they were no longer citizens and were being removed from the voter rolls. This was a very sophisticated, intimidating tactic that has now led to the FBI investigating.. You can read about that HERE

Voters in Black neighborhoods all over key swing states woke up 3 weeks ago to large Voter Suppression billboards put up by Clear Channel radio which is owned by Bain Capital, the investment banking company started by Mitt Romney.The billboards warned that anyone committing voter fraud would be fined and go to jail.

Now on the surface , that doesn’t sound too bad, except accompanying these billboards was a sinister ‘misinformation campaign‘ stating that someone trying to vote who had not paid their child support, had outstanding parking tickets or had not paid their cable or cell phone bill were in violation of the law and could be imprisoned for committing voter fraud. Needless to say the local Clear Channel stations in the area did very little to set the record straight.

Barbara Arwine

For folks who think what I’m saying is far-fetched and a gross exaggeration, I urge you to take some time and listen to this in-depth run down by Barbara R Arnwine, executive director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. You can peep it by clicking the link below to hear her presentation at a packed voter suppression town hall in Charlotte, NC

Earlier this week Clear Channel removed the billboards rather than reveal the name of the anonymous folks who sponsored them when they came under fire. Keep in mind, this is the same Clear Channel, which is home to many Hip Hop and R&B, urban formatted stations that didn’t bother to do any sort of voter registration drive, but saw fit to intimidate voters with these billboards. My question to those who talk about the sacrifices made by our ancestors, why are you still listening to Clear Channel knowing what they did? Here’s a list of Clear Channel /Bain Capital owned radio stations. Perhaps you’ll make sacrifices like our ancestors and boycott them.

Photo by Gage Skidmore

Joining the ranks of those employing voter suppression tactics are the billionaire ultra-conservative Koch Brothers along with Tea Party financiers  Americans for Prosperity who formed a company called True to Vote. Their stated goal was to get one million Tea Party folks to become poll watchers and head on out to Black and Brown communities all over the country especially in battleground states and challenge people at the polls. So over the top is True the Votes operation that congressman Elijah Cummings launched an investigation. You can read about that HERE

The list of Voter Suppression tactics being deployed in the 2012 election is a long one. Many think that the game plan is to prevent Barack Obama from being re-elected. Yes and No..While its true that racists types don’t wanna see Obama back in office, the real goal of voter suppression folks is to flip over hundreds of local elections which far too many have not been paying attention to.

For example in California, we have on the ballot Proposition 37 which would require food companies to label all their foods. The main point it to make sure we aren’t unknowing consuming GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) It’s being vigorously opposed by mega food giants like Monsanto.

We have another bill, Proposition 32 which is backed by Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers and is being marketed as an Election Campaign Finance Reform bill, states that corporations and unions can’t give to political campaigns.. When you read the proverbial fine print, you discover that exceptions are made for corporate executives and large corporations like Big Oil and  Big Banks who can continue to give unlimited amounts of money as they’ve always done.If this bill passes, the only ones who will be restricted will be unions who these corporate interest oppose.

From the elimination of the death penalty to the requirement that the 1% pay more in taxes to penalties levied on companies that outsource jobs, all sorts of local bills are in play and will likely be won or lost by small margins.  Its around those races where Voter suppression tactics come into play and will have major impact. Deciding some of these razor-thin senate races is where voter suppression tactics will make hay.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott

The voter suppression efforts have gotten out of hand that the UN is sending in election monitors, much like what we do in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and every other place we say needs to be transparent with their ‘democracy’.  The US has moved in the realm of being one of those countries that now needs to be watched to make sure elections are carried out and not stolen.. As the world watches, one would think we would welcome the monitors, if for any reason to show  ‘how things should be properly done’. Instead, what we have is stark resistance.

Two days ago, Greg Abbott the Attorney General of Texas which is a state long known for Voter Suppression and ground zero for the True the Vote outfit, threatened to arrest UN election monitors.. You can read about that HERE

All this is being mentioned as we come down to the final 10 days of this contentious election season to ask what role will each of you play to bring about a desired outcome? As I noted earlier, it should be more than obvious, it’s gonna take more than you simply showing up at the polls. It’s gonna take more than arguing on line with fathom bots that have now sprouted up all over twitter and Facebook. It’s gonna take some good ole fashion leg work and phone banking.

The lay of the land is two-fold. One, is getting folks who are registered to actually show up and cast ballot. Hopefully those folks are informed. You can help aid in those efforts by making your own voter guide or share the ones already made by people you know and politically trust.. Take a look at 

second, is opposing voter suppression tactics.. You can help by raising awareness and making  sure yourself and all your friends have this Election Protection phone number 1-866-OUR-VOTE

For those who feel there’s a lot at stake around the election of the next president, because of possible Supreme Court Justice appointments, the war on women and proposed harsh austerity measures etc, the action is in so-called swing states.

If you live in states that are pretty much gonna be red or blue, you best head on over to a phone banking place and start making calls to those battleground areas encouraging folks to get out. Don’t talk about how blood was shed for us to vote and how Martin Luther King marched, but you’re not willing to put in minimal amount of work when there is so much at stake.

This weekend I have several friends who are bypassing Halloween festivities and headed over to neighboring Nevada to walk precincts in what is considered an important swing state where its burgeoning Latino population are being targeted with voter suppression tactics.

I have folks in New York who are making the trip to Ohio and Florida to put in work. Others are staying close to home and bringing attention to key propositions and ballot measures. All next week on our HKR Radio show we will be going through the local and statewide propositions.

I have one friend who took vacation time and flew out from DC to California to do work around Prop 37. Her fear is that the GMO bill will have nationwide implications if it doesn’t pass.

I’ve also seen folks drive up to Cali from Texas and Alabama to do work around Prop 34 which will end the death penalty in California. A win here will give them momentum to fashion similar bills in their respective states.

Some folks are having fun and showing up to large football games and here in the Bay Area or the World series to do canvassing and GOTV work while wearing their favorite teams jerseys or colors sporting the names of the candidates they wanna see win.. Will you consider doing the same? Will you go to some of these large collegiate and professional sports outing which bring up to 80k people and make your political desires known? I think you get the point.

If this is the ‘most important election of our lives’ as many have claimed, then over the next 10 days you cannot simply sit at home talking smack while others put in work. It’s clear that those who wish to undo every single civil right hard fought for by people of color, women, LGBTs and others who have long been marginalized, are going all out to smash down.. To them their way of life where they could act with impunity and not have to share seats at the table is at stake so their not messing around. What’s the response to the efforts of these angry xenophobic types who are literally clinging to shotguns and perverted oppressive notions of religion? Whats the response to the increased corporatization of  the election process?

As we come to the final 10 days of the 2012 election either you go hard or go home and blame yourself for a less than desired outcome.

Davey D

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

FNV: King Sun Gets Served / M-1 vs Minister Ben over Voting

hip-hop-newsSo here we are in New York gearing up for all the activities surrounding next week’s GOP Convention. Lots of people are planning to descend upon New York from all over the country to show their displeasure to George Bush and his policies. There are estimates of up to one million people rolling into the Big Apple.

The powers that be are doing everything in their power to shut things down. Their weapon of choice is thus far to deny everybody a permit to protest. The other weapon is law enforcement has been going around undercover, infiltrating groups and gathering intelligence all in the name of fighting terrorism. It’s gotten to the point where law enforcement types from other cities are now in NY helping familiarize the NYPD and others on activists and protest groups from their respective cities..

While all this is going on and the struggle continues for a permit to be granted to accommodate all these people, a lot of New Yorkers especially within Hip Hop are leaving town. The first casualty is Russell Simmon‘s Hip Hop Summit Action Network. They were one of the few organizations to actually get a permit and even fronted the initial seed money… But they will be pulling out although they left the permits and money intact. Yesterday they issues a statement as to why.

Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons

Personally I think folks are being forced to bow out. The climate is such that all the stops are being pulled out to shut @#%$ down…This would include detaining folks at airports, looking for old warrants, jamming people up for past activities etc… Considering that Russell was one of the first to call for a demonstration to suddenly pull out suggests that there’s something more to the story. The fact that so many cats that were planning on being in town are now leaving for Miami and Vegas seems more then coincidental…

Many of the artists Simmons has access to are now leaving for Miami for the MTV video awards. Others are bouncing to Vegas for the Magic Convention. If that’s not enough on the day of the big protests many of the pioneers and old school cats are headed up town to the Bronx for the annual tribute to Hip Hop pioneer the late Disco King Mario…That’s expected top draw thousands.

Its hard to make sense of what’s going on, but everywhere I’ve been, the vibe seems to be ‘I’m leaving town and getting the heck out.. Its not so much that people think something bad is gonna happen, it just seems to be both confusing and hectic.. so a lot of folks are leaving the Big Apple as the Republicans and protest groups come in…

In the backdrop of all this have been a number of well attended events put on by the good folks over at Last night (Wed) they had an unsigned artist show case that was off the hook.. Saigon who has made a lot of noise with his political song ‘Kiss the Babies’ held it down as host while a who of NY’s underground came through and got busy. Groups like Unos Dos, Mims, Stimuli and many more rolled through SOB’s to do their thing. Many of the artists had some sort of political commentary in their songs..


King Sun

King Sun

The highlight of the event took place outside SOBs when the legendary King Sun came through and started flipping rhymes for the dozens of cameras filming the event. I’m not sure what happened but King Sun decided to turn his attention to a small bespectled white boy who said he was an emcee. King Sun wanted to drop some gems and let the kid know that he was a GOD and there were lessons for this young kid to learn. So King Sun in front of a few dozen people started rocking some choice rhymes… Moments later the little white kid had everyone hooting and hollering and making phone calls to friends who held up their phones so they could share in the witnessing of King Sun getting his ass seriously lyrically served.

Yep, you read it right here the white kid who broke him down was a cat name AM Boogie, a native New Yorker who would not let up on his relentless punch lines. His rhymes ranged from him thanking King Sun for comparing him to fellow white rapper Eminem.. because as he pointed out ‘We’re both nicer than you’. It was that line that had folks pulling out their tape recorders, telephone and cameras..

Other choice lines included AM Boogie talking about how he could walk a tight rope between the gaps of King Sun’s teeth. What knocked King Sun out the ring was when AM Boogie acknowledging that King Sun was a God and that AM was a short white boy serving Sun in front of all his brothers…He concluded the rhyme by talking about how he always screws King Sun’s girl…

There was no coming back after that..King Sun showed the kid some love, gave him a hug and a pound and promised he would be back with some harder stuff and that it wasn’t gonna be his night.. AM Boogie went on to battle a few other cats,and disposed of them quite quickly. Everyone was still buzzing because to see Sun get served was a rarity… The Battle made everyone night.. Don’t get me wrong Sun came with some heat…. But this other cat AM Boogie was on a mission to topple the 7 foot giant..

Hip Hop and Censorship



The other highlight of the week took place on Tuesday night when Allhiphop drew more then 700 people to SOBs for a social lounge discussion on Hip Hop and Politics. It was great to see a line out the door with folks from all over New York coming through to peep the discussion. The panelists included Ms Info of Hot 97..Some of y’all may know her as Minya Oh a well known Hip Hop writer for Vibe and other Hip Hop publications, Joe Budden, M-1 from dead prez, Minister Ben of the Hip Hop Summit Action Network, Amanda Diva from VH1 and the editor of Vibe Magazine..

The panelist started off with a discussion about censorship. Most were of the opinion that artists should not be censored because it would open the door to other types of censorship that would be hard to reverse. However, Ms Info raised a good point about Hip Hop defending indefensible lyrics and behavior from artists who want to use lines like Lil Jon’s ‘skeet skeet skeet’ (cumming over someone’s face).

Minister Ben and M-1 asserted that we need to exercise personal responsibility and the community itself plays a role in what they are willing to accept or not accept…He also opted that he was featured on Jim Jone’s newly released album and that it did have lyrics that one could question. He noted that part of our collective responsibility was not to be so quick to listen to outside forces that insist on setting standards for our community, but don’t know the community. He broke it down by saying we should not follow the ways of descendants of former slave owners who have long censored Black folks here in America. He spoke about the importance of us trying to understand why and an artist goes in the direction he does and dealing with the artists on that level. In short, there may be a lot more to them then you think..

M-1 also pointed out that some of these outlets are quick to censor artists when they have something political to say, but remain complicit when they say foul things. He noted the solution was to not bother chasing down radio and video play because those are mediums we don’t own or control. He noted that these outlets would ultimately define who we are as a people and that the best thing any artists could do would be to build directly with the community. Once that happens censorship would not be as much as an issue.

Joe Budden addressed the controversy that swirled around his song where he talked about kicking a pregnant woman in the stomach on the remix to Usher’s song Confessions. He noted that what he said was misinterpreted and that he was describing what some brothers who felt they had their back up against the wall would actually think. He noted that he himself would never dream of doing anything so foul, but as an artist he wanted to play a character and let you hear what that character who he admitted was irresponsible and foul was thinking. He also noted that the song despite the protests was very popular.

To Vote or Not to Vote: Dead Prez vs Minister Ben

Ben Chavis

Ben Chavis

The discussion quickly moved to a topic that really set off fireworks. This was on the issue of voting and politics. It was pointed out that there was a lot of activity going on designed to register people, but at the same time popular artists like Nas, Talib Kweli and Slick Rick have gone on record to tell people not to vote..

Minister Ben set it off by talking about the work he and the Hip Hop Summit Action Network had been doing. He noted that he was on a mission to get folks political involved and one way to do was getting them registered to vote. He pointed out that there were many within in Hip Hop who were afraid to step up and seize power and by not getting involved was a punk move..

M-1 countered by noting that he was one of those artists who encourages folks not to vote. He pointed out that voting in this corrupt system would not bring about any significant change and that ultimately we had more important work to do in the community then run around voting… He also said that he didn’t want to appear to be in opposition to Minister Ben and his work. He said he supported the efforts and if one felt like voting was the way to go then he would not stand in their way, but at the end of day when they discovered voting doesn’t work, he and his organization would still be in the hood ready to work with them to bring about change..M-1’s remarks drew lots of applause

Ms Info and Joe Budden were of the opinion that voting is what is needed. Joe Budden pointed that no matter what happens either Kerry or Bush are gonna be in office and that we should be in record to make a statement.. He noted that there were other issues connected to voting.. not just Kerry and Bush.. He concluded by noting that he didn’t see too much difference in the two..except that one would screw you with Vaseline while the other wouldn’t..

Ms Info pointed out that right now the only currency elected officials are dealing with is the vote.. so until that changes we’re gonna have to get out there and try and push the envelop. Like Joe Budden she agreed that we’re gonna have some one in the white house making laws no matter what we do so we can at least try to get on the record and be heard…

Minister Ben came back and noted that the vote was not the only thing for us to do. He said the vote had to be connected to a larger plan of action. This is just a small step that leads to many. He noted that when he was younger he was of the same mindset of M-1. He spoke about how he spent most of the 1970s in prison for fighting to bring about social change. Over the years he learned to use every weapon including the vote. He also told the crowd if they wanted more wars in Iraq, less healthcare services in the hood and relief from a variety of other ailments then ‘Don’t Vote.. He pointed out that its not just about Bush and Kerry.. Its about all the local election where we need to vote. He pointed out a few laws that were on the books around the country that people could vote on to help end mandatory minimums prison sentencing.

He said when he was in jail there was nothing romantic or cool about it. Prison was not a place to ‘go find yourself’ and all he wanted to do was get out. It was heartbreaking to hear folks say right on and not vote to help bring about change that would help get him and others out. He agreed with m-1 that it is crucial to do work in the community and to build up institutions.. but we need to vote to make sure our hard earned money and tax dollars are brought back to the community so we make that happen.. Ben’s remarks drew loud applause.

In the end Ben and M-1 came to the conclusion that they both wanted social justice and true freedom for the community and in many ways they were saying the same thing. They just had different methods in how to go about doing things.. The discussion despite the messed up microphones was riveting and left folks with a lot to think about..

Props to Allhiphop for pulling together this forum…