"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one." - Charles Mackay
Thursday, April 28, 2005
An Official REACHip-Hop Press Release
Representing Education, Activism and Community Through Hip Hopwww.HipHopLivesHere.comemail: hiphopliveshere@yahoo.com

April 27, 2005: Join R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop at 11 am to confront urban broadcasters and advertisers at The 7th Annual Power of Urban Radio Symposium being held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on Park Avenue at Grand Central Station in Manhattan, NY 10017.

The Power of Urban Radio Symposium, co-hosted by Barry Mayo, General Manager of Hot 97, will bring together over 300 of the country’s leading national marketers, their advertising agency partners and senior executives from leading broadcast corporations to discuss and learn how to effectively target urban consumers.

R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop coalition will gather at 11 am to advise broadcasters that the best way to connect to the urban audience and utilize public airwaves is to first serve the community interest by immediately ceasing the promotion of racist and misogynistic content.

R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop wants to make it clear to symposium attendees that marketing to urban consumers should not mean their degradation through constant airing of the “N” word and other racial slurs as well as misogynistic content. Likewise it should also not include violent promotions like “Smack Fest” and shock jock stunts like airing “The Tsunami Song” which had nothing to do with Hip Hop. Should successful marketing to the multi-cultural Hip Hop community depend on airing songs that glamorize criminal behavior and glorify substance abuse and other social ills? Does targeting this demographic necessitate playing lyrical content which calls women “b*tches” and “ho’s”?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) states that it is illegal to broadcast sexually explicit content from 6 am to 10 pm, but songs with adult-themes are plaguing the airwaves and targeting children. It is illegal to play obscene content at any time, yet words like “b*tch” , “ho” and the N word are used daily on urban radio. Why do advertisers support this behavior and why do broadcasters think this is acceptable?

Hot 97 (NYC) and Power 106 (LA), both owned by Emmis Communications, are the #1 urban
Hip Hop radio stations in the United States. Emmis sets the pace for what the other radio stations will do to market more effectively across the country. Executives at Emmis surprisingly admit they do not understand Hip Hop, yet continue to promote racist and obscene lyrical content.

“The younger end of the audience is very much interested in these street records. If Hot 97 doesn’t play them, we run the potential at some point of being viewed by the audience as a sellout……I mean, there are a lot of things about the hip-hop culture that I cringe about. And look, I’m a 50-year-old white guy. I don’t understand it…I mean, do you understand everything you promote or that you are about? I don’t think so.”Rick Cummings, Vice President, Emmis Communications Hannity & Colmes Show (FOX News) 3/8/05

“That’s the hip-hop culture,” Smulyan said. “Do I condone some of the lyrics in hip-hop music? No. No more than I do Rush Limbaugh’s show…..We reflect contemporary culture.”Jeff Smulyan, Chairman/CEO, Emmis Communications The Indianapolis Star 3/27/05

“I find it interesting that Rick Cummings admits that he does not understand Hip Hop culture. I can only assume that this is his excuse to continue to promote negative stereotypes and sexually explicit content,” says Lisa Fager R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop advisory board member and Industry Ears, President. “On the other hand Jeff Smulyan thinks misogyny and racism ARE Hip Hop culture.”

R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop founder, Candice Custodio aka DJ Kuttin Kandi explains, “Unlike Rush Limbaugh’s audience, the Hot 97 audience is not made up of adult males, instead it caters to the youngest demographic - those not mature enough to always understand the indecent and obscene content.”

1. R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop is joining The Council Against Hate Media (CAHM) in asking New York City to divest their stock in Emmis Communications. Stock in a company whose radio station broadcasts racial stereotypes and misogynistic lyrics is not socially responsible. Help us continue to make investors and advertisers aware of the community’s growing disgust with Hot 97’s antics. As a result of Hot 97’s poor decision to air “The Tsunami Song”, Sri Lankans are asking President Bill Clinton to speak out against Hot 97. British Parliament has denounced Hot 97. Al Sharpton, Essence magazine, Zulu Nation, New York City Councilmembers, KRS One and foreign dignitaries are all speaking out against Hot 97. EVERYONE CAN’T BE WRONG!

2. ARBITRON: If you receive an Arbitron diary, DO NOT LIST Hot 97 or any other urban station promoting racist or misogynistic content anywhere in the diary. If just a mere 3% do not list radio stations which play offensive lyrics, radio broadcaster’s bottom line will be drastically effected. Stations need to know what you listen to so they can better meet your needs. They respond to your input by improving their programming. In the New York area Arbitron sends out over 10,000 diaries for each quarterly survey. Each diary represents hundreds of households. Arbitron tries to reach numerous zip codes and all ethnic groups.

3. FCC: File an FCC complaint form at www.IndustryEars.com. FCC complaints must be placed in a broadcasters public file and will be reviewed when the broadcaster’s license is up for renewal. Filing a complaint is more legally binding than sending an email or a letter to the radio station because the FCC is able to track the complaint and hold the broadcaster accountable.

BACKGROUND Since January 2005, the coalition has been centrally involved in the growing protest movement against Hot 97. With a long history of radio programming that is racist, sexist, and obscene, Hot 97 produced and broadcast an offensive parody of the We Are The World song which became known as The Tsunami Song. The parody included bold racial slurs and unapologetically mocked the deaths of Asians and Africans. In the aftermath of one of the world’s most devastating natural disasters, Hot 97’s racist Tsunami Song parody was broadcast continuously for 4 days in late January 2005. Though it was played exclusively on Hot 97 airwaves, it was disseminated internationally via that station’s website. The song not only offended people across the world, but especially the 5 million people abroad and in the United States. People around the world called for immediate action against the radio station. In New York, R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop has been at the forefront of that movement.

On March 4, the R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop coalition held a protest at Union Square in New York City. The protest generated a great deal of coverage in local and national media, but most importantly it led to increased support from youth, artists, politicians, educators, and grassroots organizations. Additionally, the coalition was instrumental in raising awareness about Hot 97’s Smackfest, aviolent and degrading competition in which women take turns smacking each other across the face for a cash prize. As a result of the coalition’s sustained pressure on the radio station, the office of New York State Attorney General Elliot Spitzer is currently conducting an investigation into the Smackfest.

R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop MISSION STATEMENT:The Hip Hop Coalition is dedicated to encouraging and creating fair and equal representation of the diversity of Hip Hop Culture, including, but not limited to; race/ethnicity, nationality, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and disability. We are a pro-active body made up of activists, artists, teachers, performers, organizers, and individuals all dedicated to positive changewithin our communities. We believe Hip Hop’s true legacy belongs to the people, and we strive to utilize Hip Hop as a vehicle of social and political justice to promote education, information, and empowerment for the masses, while preventing the dissemination of negative stereotypes, discrimination, and violence.

For more information about R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop please visit www.HipHopLivesHere.com or email hiphopliveshere@yahoo.com.

first off let me say that my post yesterday is the harsh truth of internet journalism. Until i finally take myself into the field and earn the right to be a jounalist i will have to maintain my perch as nothing more than an uninformed observer. So with that said lets get back into the fray (hell if the republicans can say their opinions as facts so can I.)

So any how the above report reminds me of a similiar situation that happened oh 15 years or so ago when C Dolores Tucker and Reverend Calvin Butts went out of their way to isolate the younger generations by devaluing their attempts to express themselves. and while i do agree the Powers That Be in Hip-Hop hold the actual cultural aspects of the lowest regard. I know that unless you get the highschool kids and the college kids behind this, this thing is gonna crash and burn. Have we not learned that the best intentions do not automatically mean the best results. Instead of just picketing lets go the extra yard and convince the kids this is the right thing to do. As much as we all would like to deny it, these kids opinions matter just as much as ours. They are after all the future. so hopefully they get these kids/teenagers/young adults involved.

On a side note i am excited by the prospect of this thing (even though it just feeds into the endless cycle in the black community of "Self Expression V. Best Impression) I mean I really am hopeful about this(though why we need to get people like Bill "Gentrification" Clinton involved is beyond my comprehension). But really no all the negatices aside, this could lead to organized demonstatrations on other issues that effect inner city colored peoples communities. Just possibly it has the potential to get at SNCC level or Good lord day iI say it Black Panther power (of course minus the white "devils" slogan to back it)
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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

well since im burned out from working i thought this pic would be appropiate. Posted by Hello
posted by R J Noriega at 4:50 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
killing time/ trying to get mine
well since the internet was made to give uninformed opinions the legitmacy of Facts. I have decided that being the friendly neighborhood social commentator is a losing battle since

1) truth is a matter of perception

2) fact is a matter of debate

3) half of what we think we know is haresay

4) and the other half is bullshit

So with that said lets me go and find something to write about
posted by R J Noriega at 9:44 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
By: David Drake
Stylus Magazine

Everyone loves a story. The problem is that every person’s story is its own truth, omitting and observing the facts as they see fit. Oftentimes hip-hop is forced into this literary structure, a dramatic arc from rise to fall to eventual death—and a shot at redemption. This classicist story is linear, a dialectic approach of dominant ideologies reacting to outdated modes of thought. Old school begot hip-pop begot gangsta begot native tongues begot bling-bling. It is a story of the rise, fall, and eventual death of rap music. (The story often concludes with redemption (i.e. the “underground,” where the old spirit is kept alive.) In actuality, hip-hop is a large and contradictory animal these days, and it defies such generalizations.

There seem to be a couple dominant themes that surface in the critiques of modern hip-hop, and for the most part, they are inherently conservative. Things were better in some imagined past and these old values have been compromised. Hip-hop is merely a slave to capitalism, misogyny, or violence. These descriptions of the genre today are, in part, accurate. The problem is that they imagine a fictional past of well-behaved politicos with either leftist or moralist agendas writing “positive” rap music while kids breakdance in the parks. There are all kinds of variations on this theme, but they all seem to deny the real history behind hip-hop’s rise. It came from violence and it came from the streets, it came from drugs and crime and although lots of it was positive, the idea that the music has since fallen from grace seems to deny the facts of its origins, origins that these days seem washed with the brown wood-panel tint of nostalgia.

So it started in New York, thanks to the mobile DJs of Jamaican sound system culture, MCs getting the party hype while the kids threw on party records. And it spread, and capitalism was involved from the second it spread, from the moment a rhyme was laid to wax capitalism was there. We can’t separate capitalism from the history of hip-hop as recorded music because capitalism was always there. If capitalism killed hip-hop, it was an abortion. Eric B and Rakim were Paid in Full. Rappers were gonna “make money money make money money money.” Likewise, politics were there but never defined the music; writer and R&B enthusiast Aaron Fuchs was quoted in David Toop’s legendary Rap Attack about his disdain for the “message rap,” arguing that it was “a capitulation to the adult norm who can’t accept the music on its own terms” (120). Hip-hop was inherently political; it began as the music of marginalized peoples, poor urban minorities whose cultural capital was relatively small. Explicit attempts to be political, while sometimes musically interesting, tended to have a superfluous impact. It was significant in more dramatic ways on a cultural level.

The real story of hip-hop isn’t a dramatic rise and fall, a linear tale of revolution and consolidation, of hardcore rap rejecting pop or “positive” Native Tongues rappers rejecting gangsta; hip-hop’s story is regional. Its rise is regional because of how differently it has been interpreted from place to place—from its beginnings in the boroughs of New York, moving across the country—hip-house in Chicago, bay area pimp shit, LA gangsta, and of course the massive conglomeration of styles that worked their way across the south, from Miami bass in Florida to the screw music of Houston and everywhere in between—rap is a highly adaptable music form, and as a result is extremely democratic. You don’t have to follow New York lyrical rules and you don’t have to make southern club anthems; the cultures of each geographical region would completely redefine the sound of hip-hop both at a regional level and, very often, on the pop charts.

Follow this idea further—hip-hop is worldwide. It has exploded beyond national boundaries with the same groundswell of partying and rapping. Worldwide rap is dance music that retains the edge of the streets and drugs and violence and love and sex and dancing and death and everything else that makes up the life of poor, young, and marginalized peoples. This may sound romantic to some people’s eyes—but it’s not. Where rap comes from sucks but it is also beautiful, and this is how it has always been. The slums (“favelas”) of Rio are not idyllic, they’ve got many problems, but they also are exploding with creativity and vitality, kids throwing together sounds using available technology and imitating imported rap stars (see 2004’s Favela Booty Beats compilation for an excellent example). 50 Cent is one of the biggest stars in the world, from Kingston to Capetown, and whether or not you like 50 is irrelevant; he’s a mythic figure who has attained a cultural relevance so massive that it is hard to comprehend from our perspective. Rap’s cultural capital is larger than ever before. A mixed blessing, because in the United States, and many other countries, cultural capital doesn’t translate into social justice, economic justice or any kind of justice—it’s just another opportunity.

Hip-hop as a genre is not dead, but perhaps hip-hop as a signifier is; we need to redefine the term, extend it, and make it more practical. Hip-hop’s romantic past is over, and the current understanding of hip-hop will soon be too diffuse to be useful. Current chart rap music is too influential, too strong, and too popular to follow obsolete descriptors. Its characteristics have become dependent on the location, time, and the cultures that continuously shape and reshape it. Hip-hop is really youth culture plus the basics: rapping and beats. Hip-hop is worldwide, and whatever you call it—favela funk, dancehall, Miami bass, hip-house, grime, kwaito, sleaze, freestyle, desi—it is polyglot street music, populist reinterpretations of American hip-hop informed by the culture of its geography, the technology of the time and beats that still shake your chest. “Hip-hop” is dead; long live hip-hop.

This article is i feel is only relevent as a sign in the overall change in attitude towards Hip-Hop. When once Rap music was consider "black noise" and Graffiti was considered acts of vandalism. Now it is more and more the soundtrack of Globalism and the American Values (or lack of ) which is being translated, and modified into the sound of the opressed people outside of America (well Europe has its own version of hip hop to but its aesthetic is more based on an appreciation of music not a need for self expression.) Hopefully in the end it will not be appropiated like American hip hop
R J Noriega
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Friday, April 15, 2005
How MTV Underdeveloped Africa:
Pimps, Pistols and Pan Africanism
Min. Paul Scott

A.F.R.I.C.A. Angola, Soweto, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique and Botswana

So let us speak....about the Motherland


Almost a century ago, the Honorable Marcus Garvey had a vision of a Pan Africanism that would unite all African people under a social, political and economic system of racial pride. In 2005, MTV has realized Garvey's dream with its own version of Pan Africanism: a world filled with Black men shooting at each other and scantily clad Black women, 'droppin it like it's hot.'

On April 20th, MTV will formally celebrate its recent launch of MTV Base, a local African network that is broadcast to over 40 African countries, with a massive 'Death' Jam in tha Motherland. However, based on the history of the media’s propaganda attack on Afrikan people, as well as MTV's role in the mental destruction of African children in America, this endeavor must be viewed with skepticism by those who realize that genocide is not only physical but a mental and spiritual reality, as well.

For my parents and grandparents the image of African people on the continent was one of a bunch of cannibals with bones in their noses chasing a white man in a loin cloth, swingin' from trees and hollerin' like he's lost his darn mind. As a child, I can remember 'Archie Bunker's daughter ' (Sally Struthers) making me feel so bad about starving Ethiopian children that I would break open my piggy bank so that I could get 50 cents so some poor child would have dinner that night. I didn't know that in some parts of Africa our Brothers and Sisters were chillin' in phat cribs watching cable tv.

For African people on the continent the image of Afrikans in America is that of a bunch of heavily armed Black men who only stop fighting each other long enough to put a dollar in Chocolate Thunda's thong at tha strip club. When Afrikans in America meet our Bothers and Sisters from "the continent' we have a fear that they may be considering to literally, have us for lunch. This misinformation by the MEDIA (MisEducation Destroying Intelligent Afrikans) has resulted in a deep distrust amongst Afrikan people, globally.

MTV'S role in anti-African propaganda cannot be overstated, from its humble beginnings in the early 80's when the only Black videos they showed were by Michael Jackson to the present where, as Fred Sanford would say, 'they got more Black folks than a Tarzan movie' MTV has, undeniably, helped shape the world's image of African people.

In its heyday, YO! MTV Raps, showed the world the diversity of Hip Hop and the pleas for Black unity of the Self Destruction video outweighed the sexually explicit 2 Live Crew joints. But the good ole days of MTV Raps is over and Kool Moe D's 'I never ever ran from the KU Klux Klan, so I shouldn't have to run from a Black man' lyric has been replaced by Lil John's ode to Black on Black violence' If ya fall up in tha club and them niggaz wanna mug. When ya step to they face...what they gonna do????'

Although MTV is promoting this endeavor as part business/part humanitarian effort, there are several reasons why the humanitarian aspect is subject to scrutiny. According to news reports MTV base will include performances by local groups to showcase Africa's rich culture. However, one must ask how much rich local talent doing positive Hip Hop is shown on MTV in America ? Also, it was stated that MTVbase will show programing focusing on Africa's AIDS epidemic. It seems hypocritical that a network that is known for videos that promote reckless ' Freak-a-leekin' in America would adopt such a puritanical ethic when across seas. You can't get on the plane in America as Paris Hilton and get off the plane, in Africa as Mother Teresa. It just doesn't work that way. One might also argue that if MTV Base is so Afrocentrically positive, then maybe it is needed more in the United States , where Black children have been exposed to MTV's ugly side for more than a decade, than in Africa.

Yet, while we may bemoan MTV's African Odyssey, the question that we must ask ourselves is why has MTV and Hip Hop in general, succeeded in uniting African people in ways that Garvey never dreamed and why have we not successfully applied these techniques in our effort to reach Black youth.

The failure of the Black Nationalist community to come up with a International Hip Hop Agenda cannot be overlooked. Why hasn't the Black Nationalist community implemented simple strategies such as a Hip Hop Peace Council that will be responsible for squashing "beefs" or groups of Black Power 'missionaries' in communities that will seek dialogue with Hip Hop artists when they travel to different cities.

The lack of a Hip Hop agenda makes many Black youth feel that Black scholars are more interested in teaching Black folks how to build pyramids out of soup cans and paper glue then teaching them how to use Hip Hop to change their realities. In the words of Doughboy from 'Boys in the Hood' 'either they don't know. don't show or don't care about what's goin' on in tha 'hood. '

Unless, we as Afrikan people develop a Pan Africanism to counter MTV's Pan Africanism, company's like MTV will continue to get rich off of our suffering while we continue to dance to our own destruction.

Minister Paul Scott represents the Messianic Afrikan Nation in Durham NC.

Both Che and Marcus Garvey had the same idea based on the same principles. We are all members of a larger race spread out through out the world because of european exploration and conquest. But we are not defeated we are simply lost to the realities of the power we hold.
-R J Noriega
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read the books. this guy was another great thinker. Posted by Hello
posted by R J Noriega at 3:56 PM | Permalink | 2 comments

Future Big Pun's of the World Unite.......Fuck McDonalds Posted by Hello
posted by R J Noriega at 3:30 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Yo who wants beef
Anthropologist Sends McDonald's "Big Mac" Hip-Hop Campaign To "Cold Shower"

WASHINGTON -- Kathleen Rand Reed, a California and Washington, DC-based applied anthropologist and ethnomarketer reacted to the new marketing plan by McDonald’s to recruit hip-hop artists to plug Big Macs in their song lyrics. Reed commented, “ I don’t know whose idea this was but it shows the importance of understanding culture and language, before jumping out into the marketplace. The problem with this campaign is that in street parlance a "Big Mac," or "beef" means penis.”

McDonald’s Corporation hired entertainment-marketing firm Maven Strategies, of Lanham, MD to integrate the Big Mac brand and the hip-hop artists with upcoming songs hitting the radio airwaves this summer. Ad Age reported that earlier Maven’s approach worked with rappers and famous brands such as Kanye West, Twista and Petey Pablo with Seagram’s Gin. Busta Rhymes song and product placement, "Pass the Courvoisier” increased sales for the spirits company, Allied Domecq. Rap stars 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z name-drop brands such as, Dom Perignon, Lexus, Bentley, Porsche, Gucci, and Versace in their songs.

Copy of original AdAge article: www.commercialfreechildho...ldsrap.htm

The “Big Mac/Hip-Hop” campaign according to MTV News is an offshoot of McDonald’s hip-hop outreach project and the company’s 2 year-old, “I’m Lovin’ It” ad campaign trying to reach 18-to-34-year-olds. However, according to Reed, “Liquor, cars, leathergoods, and fashions are not culturally embedded as deeply in this society as items such as food, body parts, and religion.”

Reed had to learn the hip-hop language when she conducted research on teenagers, prisons and genetics. In her report, U.S. Prison Policies, the “Baby Daddy,” and Genetics in the ‘Hood, she looked at how the removal and incarceration of young, Black males from inner-city neighborhoods affected the number of young men that were available as partners to young women. With so many men locked up, there was a limited supply of eligible men to be fathers and they often had a number of children in these communities with different mothers. Reed’s concern was the downstream genetic consequences of children not knowing the identities of their half-brothers and half-sisters.

As she presented this information to her scientific colleagues, she had to explain terms like, the “Baby Daddy,” and “Mama Drama.” Reed says that many of the young woman and young men she talked to referred to a penis as his “Big Mac” or “beef.” When she went out on the Internet, she was amazed at the number of branded euphemisms for sex and body parts.

The reference to penis enlargement surgery is called, "Supersizing Big Mac.” “There’s even a song lamenting the diminutive size of a ‘member’, sung to the tune of Gloria Gaylord’s, I Will Survive, that has as lyrics: ‘I was ready for a Big Mac and you've brought me a French fry,’ “ Reed says.

Advertising and marketing firms have long run into trouble with “cultural translations

Pizza Hut named a new calzone dish the P'Zone. But it was pronounced like "pezón", the Spanish word for "nipple". Hunt-Wesson introduced in French Canada its Big John products as Gros Jos, and then it was revealed that the phrase, in slang, means "big breasts". The Dairy Association's "Got Milk?" campaign expanded into Mexico, only to find out that the Spanish translation read, "Are you lactating?"

Given the number of immigrants currently now in the U.S. with various religious affiliations, ad and marketing firms need cultural consultants at their sides. Nike’s "flaming air" logo for its Nike Air sneakers offended Muslims because it looked too similar to the Arabic form of God's name, "Allah". Nike pulled more than 38,000 pairs of sneakers from the market.

Reed points out that often rap lyrics are so violent; the association of product to song is not in the best interest of any corporation. For instance, in Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo’s Take ’em to War lyrics, they refer to another hamburger outlet, White Castle--"You got beef? Go get yourself a wreath, because it’s murder. Cause I put holes in my beef like f******’ white castle burgers...” Reed says, “ Advertisers can no longer look at demographics like age and gender. Neither can they use loaded expressions like, “urban” or “inner-city,” which is sometimes code for a broad brush group called Black or Latino. They also can’t hire minority companies as intermediaries and access to these communities and their culture and language. Advertisers will have to spend qualitative time learning the intimacies of meaning---In short, they will have to “get down,” to “get up”.

I wonder what all of the sudden negative buzz is about. They have been using hip hop to sell everything from Old Navy Sweaters to Burger King burgers for year nows at this point Ronald should be able to come in and make everyone into a clown.

I also wonder sometimes after seeing all this needless stupid black economic marketing is this what Booker T Washington thought was going to happen, when he use to push for Negro economic equality with whites. That we would be exploited for our ignorance as well
- R J Noriega
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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Once you go black you can't go back!!! Posted by Hello
posted by R J Noriega at 8:28 AM | Permalink | 1 comments
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Honest Truths
Copied this from a much more self sustained (IE Better) site than my own to add to my informational foundation. heres the link to the site
The Difference Between Me And You: Honest CriticismBy
Harold M. Clemens

I might actually take what rap critics say seriously, if they usually weren’t spineless and opportunistic. The truth is the Wendell Talleys, John McWhorters, and Gregory Kanes of the world attack rap not out of concern for the future of Black people, but out of shame, elitism, and cowardice. If black uplift was their sincere agenda, they’d be as, likely more, vocal about a hell of a lot more than rap, but somehow the music and its primary base, poor Blacks, garner more of their attention than any other topic.

There’s a difference between these clowns and people like Cornel West and Louis Farrakhan, who both deal primarily with the Black experience and likewise, heavily criticize rap. The latter two rightly inveigh against the context of the music more heavily than they scream on the music itself. Also, they have expertise and are outspoken on countless topics outside of the rap realm. For example, Dr. West is obsessed with corporate hegemony, while Minister Farrakhan obsesses over America’s relationship with the Arab world. Both men are far from perfect, but they convey sincerity because they are curious, controversial, and vociferous about seemingly all issues, not just the one white folks wants to hear bad talk about. Further, each fellow incorporates his larger, global knowledge into his opinion on raps problems-a monumental feat considering the idiotic, moralistic blabber of his counterparts.

Craven, black Big Heads preach and preach and preach, even more than the good Minister, but have sh*t to say about anything that could get they asses in trouble or, better put, put their popularity in jeopardy. For example, in his article from March 23 in The Baltimore Sun, farcically entitled “How Hip-Hop Drags Down Black Culture,” Wendell Talley calls hip-hop “a historic atrocity.” (Word?!) He moans later in his diatribe that, “[hip-hop has created] a celebrity class denoted by felons such as Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent and Lil' Kim who are intrinsically linked with vulgarity and criminality.” I hear him loud and clear (Right on, Brutha!), but in almost 600 words he failed to mention that mainstream culture has created a celebrity class, called movie stars, denoted by people that imitate felons and thus themselves are now “intrinsically linked with vulgarity and criminality” too. For example, Al Pacino is best remembered as the maniacal “Tony Montana” a.k.a. Scarface, or the sociopath “Michael Corleone.” This fact is more than worth mentioning, since rappers themselves adoringly imitate these characters; hence, the rapper, Brad Jordan’s stage name is “Scarface” and too many rappers, like Fat Joe and the deceased Biggie Smalls refer to themselves as “the Don.” Even the video for “Many Men,” by 50 Cent, who’s mentioned in the op-ed, is a sketch of a scene from the popular classic The Godfather.

F*ck dat! The joke of the mid-90s amongst true hip-hop fans was why in hell rappers would name themselves after white mobsters (real and fictional) that probably would think they are monkeys; e.g. Wu-Tang referring to themselves as “Wu-Gambinos,” “Capone” from Capone-N-Noreaga, Styles from the Lox adopting “Pinero” (Pacino plus De Niro), Biggie Smalls’ reference to himself as “Frank White,” the main character from the movie King of New York.

Would Mr. Talley argue that Al Pacino and others are responsible for corrupting rappers with their portrayals? I doubt it. On the other hand, I’m sure, given the tone and substance of his piece, that he would hypocritically hold somebody like Scarface, the rapper, responsible for corrupting kids of all colors. So much for consistency. He has beef with black, gangsta rappers, but sh*t to say ‘bout white, gangster actors, who have obviously influenced them. (Urgent Bulletin: Rappers are human too!) (Gasp!)

Mr. Talley probably knows that The Baltimore Sun wouldn’t have published him if he had written an article about rap’s popularity with suburban youth being White America’s own art coming back to bite it in the ass. Poor Black folk see gangster flicks and find significant currency in the “get money at all costs” mentality the characters possess because they themselves know intimately that by design, in this country, black people compose the bottom rung of the socioeconomic ladder and white people the top, with other ethnicities in between. They enjoy seeing the subversion and circumvention of state authority because they know too intimately its corruption and conspiracies. They bask in the violence on film because violence is the fastest way to gain power, of which they have none.

With sufficient incentive and in antisocial reverence, some street dudes roughly emulate and aspire to become the gangsters they see on screen. Subsequently, white kids ravenously consume rap, the music these disillusioned street kids eventually produce, and begin to emulate the rappers. The result is an ironic cycle in which white actors influence black youth that become artists, who then influence white youth.

In Talley’s piece he claims hip-hop culture has shunned morality, scholarship, entrepreneurship and personal accountability, the “socioeconomic characteristics needed for upward mobility.” (Word up! Horatio Alger represent, represent!) But again, he probably knows that his joint wouldn’t be too popular, if it also included a probable explanation of why people in the streets are skeptical of his “upward mobility” formula. Even if every black person in the country wholeheartedly embraced each characteristic, because of stigma, a wealth gap that started with slavery, cronyism, and other factors, we still wouldn’t achieve the same level of aggregate success as whites. More importantly, white America didn’t even earn its status through disciplined embrace of these principles. Perhaps the author didn’t notice, however, unlike himself, rappers have always been outspoken about this last

“Crime don't pay/ that's what they tell us/ But that's because the other motherfuckers gettin’ jealous/ But I'ma tell you this they neighborhood got the Goodfellas/ But they come arrest us for the same shit they sell us.”- Kool G. Rap, “Crime Pays”

If Mr. Talley were half as concerned with Black prosperity as he is with a pat on the head from white people, in addition to scolding rap for supposedly abandoning scholarship, he would have mentioned that Black people earn less and have higher unemployment rates than their white counterparts at every education level; while highlighting rap’s lack of morality, he would have mentioned the immoral example set by our president, whose family fortune, which facilitated his rise to office, came at the expense of mass Jewish extermination (see: Prescott Bush); at the same time that he rebuked rap’s violent content, he would have insisted that Hollywood directors tone down and/or make amends for depicting gratuitous violence that reaches impressionable eyes all over the world, including too many black ones.

Such comprehensive, contextual criticism requires courage and genuine love, not opportunism, shame, and cowardice though. Thus, I will never entertain craven Wendell Talley’s jabs at rap, or those of his ideological buddies. Neither should ya’ll

Mr. Talley: in the words of Common,
“I see the bitch in you.”

This report speaks a lot of truth. Unneccesary criticism of hip hop music is a class phenomenon within the black (and with the rise of reggaeton, soon to include Latino) community which at its best might be made from a real concern of what the ideology of hip hop (/Money rules everything around me/, or/ lifes a bitch and then we die)

but like most self criticism their is a place and a time for it. To so eagerly bad mouth artistic expression shows a loathing of it which is sad and scary considering that in the end none of his angry remarks did anything but make himself look better to the mostly white readers of the baltimore sun.
posted by R J Noriega at 2:05 PM | Permalink | 0 comments

nice picture here of some of the people who made hip hop, be it good or bad, what it is today Posted by Hello
posted by R J Noriega at 1:23 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Monday, April 11, 2005
Rhythm & Business: Hip-Hop Economics at 30
By Norman Kelley, AOL BlackVoices columnist

Hip-hop is arguably the most dynamic thing that blacks have created in the last 40 years. A worldwide entertainment phenomenon, marketing vehicle and profitable business product, the music has come a long way from its humble roots. America is no longer asking, "Is hip-hop here to stay?" The music has proved its staying power and displayed an incredible ability to reinvent itself, adapting to the cultural and commercial atmosphere of the times.

The fact that black youths in some of America's most depressed urban ghettos created this cultural product that now generates an estimated $12 billion a year is remarkable. But the fact that hip-hip was born out of nothing more than drums, catchy rhymes, synthesizers, turntables and the human voice is even more incredible.

However, when comparing the creative genius, political frustration and artistic hunger that spawned the music initially against its current high profile, complex ironies emerge. At 30 years old, hip-hop's largest consumer base is white suburban teens, its prevailing themes are sex and materialism, and the majority of its intellectual property rights are owned by white businessmen. Although there are many small, localized African-American hip-hop labels and businesses, all of them fly under the radars of the massive global networks that create, package and distribute the music and its auxiliary culture.

Born of the boogie-down Bronx and other pockets of urban blight under 1980s Reaganomics, the music has always prided its outsider status. With strong Afro-Caribbean and Puerto Rican influences at its inception, it has now grown into its uniquely African-American identity with regional inflections and a growing body of international derivatives.

But African-American hip-hop, especially the gangsta variant, may well reflect the economic and political status of African Americans as a whole. To repeat what Russell Simmons, former CEO of Def Jam and one of the most influential producers of the music, says, blacks have become "glorified employees" of their own culture. Today, not one freestanding black-owned recording company can independently distribute its music without dealing with one of the four major labels. Because of the way the music industry began to restructure itself, following the pattern of other industries, profit is made from distribution more so than actual production. Hip-hop fits into this matrix beautifully because of its low production costs.

African Americans exert very little power in the hip-hop industry. Except for the notable exceptions of Jay-Z, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Jermaine Dupri, Marion "Suge" Knight, Queen Latifah, Master P, Irv "Gotti" and a few others, who have owned or managed important firms in the business, most rappers still end up broke in spite of their fame or infamy. And black leadership in the industry is largely eclipsed by controversy, criminal activity and violence.

Marketing urban American social dysfunctions worldwide has become central to hip-hop. Booties, bling, blunts and other tropes of the criminal world -- the thug life -- remain the driving forces of the industry. Despite the neo-nationalist rhetoric of some groups like Public Enemy or the pop-consciousness of groups like The Roots, black-on-black crime and exploitative practices of hip-hop moguls are still common. The unspoken predicament of black music -- except for those brief moments in the 1960s and early 1970s -- is that it has always been under white control and domination, aided and abetted by small segments of African-American clients who profit from the business elite.

What does it mean for hip-hop, supposedly black America's highest artistic achievement, that the music and its message are managed mostly by white businessmen? That isn't, in and of itself, a bad thing. But what do we make of the fact that many young black rappers still enter predatory contracts with record labels? Or how do we make sense of the way many young black artists, seduced by record sales, transform themselves into prototypes of social dysfunction? Is it that the marketplace drives the "gangsta" image of hip-hop as a rebellious fantasy to the cultural norm? Or is it the music that floods the culture with images of gangsterism that create lucrative by-products that can be repackaged and sold to the American public?

What has made hip-hop internationally known on the microphone has been the worldwide media apparatus, especially that which hails from the United States. Hip-hop’s spectacular reach is due to two things: the bold and innovative brashness of it as a modern art form, and the octopus-like tentacles of the world media: film, television, CD, computers, cable, digitalization and compression of music, the Internet, etc.

Hip-hop also came of age during the 1980s, an era of rapid media consolidation and market penetration. Today, it has profited from those changes on the landscape of global business. But as hip-hop begins its creep towards middle age, the rank commercialization of the music has reduced black artists to being either funny or dangerous to sell records.

About the AuthorNorman Kelley is the editor of "Rhythm & Business: The Political Economy of Black Music" (Akashic Books). His latest book is The "Head Negro in Charge Syndrome: The Dead End of Black Politics" (Nation Books).


While i do not agree that every artist must either be a threat or a joke to sell records (since that statements makes hip hop nothing more that a stereotypical music genre.) i do agree that much of what has been said about American blacks being nothing more than "glorified Employees" in their own popular musical artistic expression.

The major reason for this is simple. While blacks obviously own the raw material of rap (lyrics, expressive ideas, slang, style, and to a degree production work) they have no real form of distribution/regulation of hip hop hop (meaning we dont decide what is sold and to when).

The greatest threat from this, is that hip hop might end up being the perfect soundtrack to globalization. Using the voice of the oppressed colored people of America to preach in sing song form the Capitalistic dreams of our opressors to the rest of the world.
posted by R J Noriega at 12:35 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Sunday, April 10, 2005
Either Stuntin or Frontin
Hip-Hop: Publicity Stuntin' 101?
By Seandra Sims

Hardly any recent story in Hip-Hop has buzzed quite as loudly as what some are now calling an overblown rift between rapper 50 Cent and G-Unit recruit, The Game. In a move that surprised observers, 50 Cent publicly dropped The Game from his clique on New York radio station HOT 97 in early March – the very same week his sophomore album, The Massacre, was slated to drop.

As soon as it occurred, many felt Game was a sacrificial lamb in 50’s unwavering drive to drum up sales. However, after one man was wounded by gunfire some questioned whether or not this was a press stunt or not. Nevertheless, The Massacre skyrocketed to the top of the charts, boasting sales of 1.1 million units in just four days.

Following a tried-and-true method, 50 Cent publicized his “Piggy Bank”, a track that disses Nas, Fat Joe, Shyne and Jadakiss. Initially, 50 got the public’s mouth watering for the song when he apparently attempted to premier it on the Hot 97, but DJ Funk Master Flex refused. However, as time passed and the release date neared, Flex bowed and played the song and even offered the scorned rappers the opportunity to call in and respond.

According to Fat Joe, he told 50 Cent almost three months prior that there were no problems between the two, and he says that 50 Cent was waging a press stunt. “[50 Cent] went on the radio and made a crazy move. He’s definitely a publicity stunt, no doubt about it.” Fat Joe added that he doesn’t know about The Game situation, but he said that he felt used, like 50 tried to gain additional credibility dissing him when they could have handled the situation differently.

In stark contrast, ‘hustler/rapper’ Cormega spoke with AllHipHop recently, and voiced the skepticism he shares with many of his rap peers about the whole ordeal being contrived. “[The beef] was three days old, but if it escalated any further, it could’ve gone to years of despair,” said Cormega. “You got a dude gettin’ shot downstairs at a radio station. You got a dude that’s affiliated with street people in the West, and a dude that’s affiliated in the East. It could’ve gone further."

As the old adage goes, “there's no such thing as bad press”, but some believe the media’s propensity to sensationalize disagreements within the Hip-Hop community has led to bi-coastal street clashes and even conflicts within crews - most having little to do with music and more to do with clout. Case in point is the still unfolding Lil’ Kim story. Just days ago the controversial female rapper was found guilty of two counts of perjury for lying to a grand jury about her knowledge of a high profile shooting outside Hot 97 four years ago. Kim’s efforts to duck the case’s media spotlight may have caused a riff within her Junior Mafia family, resulting in testimony against her and possible incarceration.

Still, there are artists, while they might not admit it, who are perceived to be readily seeking out the spotlight – and some of them choose to air personal problems or grievances over the airwaves and on CDs for more attention. Cormega said that another glaring example of artist hype is when rappers do things like give out turkeys on Thanksgiving. “I hate that s**t,” he fumed. “When people do good things for credit, that’s a publicity stunt.” Perhaps publicity isn’t entirely credited to violence.

Many of today’s popular rappers aren’t strangers to crime and violence – stories of their arrests for charges ranging from gun clapping to assault to drug possession are fixtures on the evening news and in magazines. Publicity about beef between artists is just as prevalent in the media – one needs only refer back to Eazy E vs. Dr. Dre, Common vs. Ice Cube, and Biggie vs. Tupac for proof.

According to journalist Adisa “The Bishop of Hip Hop” Banjoko, violence is a commodity. “It's cheaper for these rappers to get publicity for having a gun in the car or starting a fight than to pay a marketing company $200,000 to make a comprehensive marketing campaign," he explained. "Nothing sells in Hip-Hop like toughness. The more times you've been shot, stabbed or in prison, your stock rises.”

As far as 50 Cent and The Game are concerned, Cormega feels like more credit should be given to the two for squelching what could have turned ugly. “I think for people to say that it was a publicity stunt, it just shows how far we haven’t come in Rap,” he says. “These two [rappers] of epic proportions in the Rap game just squashed a beef.”

In today's record company frenzy to sell millions of units, an artist's well-timed or well-exposed drama can translate into another platinum plaque on the wall. It's not surprising that AllHipHop found some intriguing correlations in Hip-Hop – other rappers whose openly televised street theatre may have helped to lift them further into notoriety:

Back in 1999, Rap icon Jay-Z was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon for the stabbing of music executive Lance “Un” Rivera. Just three weeks later, this seemingly outrageous act involving Jay-Z helped draw attention to his CD Volume 3: The Life and Times of S. Carter , which Jay-Z had accused Rivera of bootlegging long before its release. Rivera later stated that his altercation with Jay was some type of business arrangement, but not quite a publicity stunt. “[The altercation] was business," Rivera stated in a previous interview with AllHipHop.com. "You know what I’m sayin’? Even in Hip-Hop you need hype to sell records. Back then I was known for the hype. Business people got alone and figured out how to sell the Hard Knock Life 2 album. At the time Jay-Z faced 15 years in jail. How likely is the notion that he'd risk all of his success for a press stunt of this legal type?"

Rapper Eminem made headlines in June 2002, just two weeks after the release of The Marshall Mathers LP, when he was arrested and charged with brandishing a weapon against members of the rival Insane Clown Posse. That same night, he was charged with possession of a concealed weapon and felony assault for pistol-whipping a man in a Detroit club who was kissing his wife.

In 2003, 50 Cent made his disrespect for Ja Rule known on the track “Beg for Mercy”, blasting Rule mostly for his lack of street credibility. The ensuing war of words culminated in a call for mediation by the Nation of Islam’s Minister Louis Farrakhan in November of that year. 50 Cent refused to sit down with the two, calling Ja Rule’s talks with the minister a “publicity stunt” in connection with the release of his CD Blood In My Eye.

Farrakhan isn’t the only Black leader to step into the center of a potential rap war involving 50 Cent. The recent 50 vs. The Game incident prompted Reverend Al Sharpton to lay blame on the record companies that produce and market their music. “He threatened to boycott some of the labels,” said Rap legend Diamond D. “He had a meeting with the FCC, and I think [the label’s figured, ‘F**k it, let’s just squash it and move on.”

Banjoko tends to agree with Sharpton about the labels’ involvement: “They may not explicitly tell a rapper to go start some drama...but they'll do as little as possible to curb the violence and facilitate peace between rappers. They bank on beef.”

Though some feared that the media photos of crime scene tape and police cars outside Hot 97 a few weeks ago painted an ominous picture of what might come next, 50 Cent and The Game surprised everyone by calling an early truce to their battle. At a press conference held at New York’s Schomberg Center for the Research of Black Culture, the two reluctantly shook hands and The Game offered an apology for the hoopla they had caused.

“As far as past publicity stunts, I really don’t know of any,” said Diamond D, who also isn’t willing to concede that the actions of his peers weren’t genuine. “Hip Hop is like the streets. Nobody plays with nobody like that – we cool or we not.”

As the peace treaty was being declared between 50 Cent and The Game, signified with larger-than-life fat checks donated to the Boys Choir of Harlem and music programs for kids in California, announced via radio stations across the country. Perhaps Cormega’s point resonates. Is the record industry machine capable of burning our curiosity with beef, then soothing our consciousness with the charitable olive branch? Regardless of your opinion, and the intentions of the artists, it’s a proven trait – if you can get your name in the headlines close to drop date, you can’t go wrong.

I really really feel it was fake. For a rapper whose best titled sophmore effort was "Get Rich or Die Trying" why would you cut into your own pockets............or better yet the pockets of those who feed you. But like that great dead philosopher Socrates said before they killed him"nobody knows anything"
-R J Noriega
posted by R J Noriega at 6:26 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Monday, April 04, 2005
Freedom of Speech
Fuck America. Kill all People who aren't like me. Women are hoes!

These phrases might be disturbing but are protected under the only fundamental principle which make's America's democracy somewhat superior to that of ancient Greece and Rome's. for the concept of Free speech means that all citizens arenot only are allowed to have an opinion on the state of their countrys wellbeing and/or decisions. They are actually encouraged to have their own opinion, even if it goes against the government. Thats why both Malcolm X and David Duke are both figures of of historical improtance to different types of people, for different types of things.

So what has happened to this beloved belief of free speech, which at times was so powerful a force in America, people were willing to enlist in the Army during times of war in order to protect it. was it destroyed, defeated, outsourced, or maybe just marginalized. No it was forgotten. or maybe better interpreted as, misplaced by America's younger Generations as they got caught up in pipe dreams of joining the upper class in their lifestyle of the rich and spoiled.

Now instead of fighting the good fight as older generations had to maintain self autonomy (which is best exemplified by free speech.) the current generation of followers (aka fools) seem more than happy to spend their time dancing the night away to whatever whitewashed single that is on top the MTV music charts. with no modern day interpretation of " those who forget their past or doomed to repeat it" many people cannot fathom the obvious reprecussions of all the economic instability and overspending our current federal governement is doing in their crazy gambit for empire hood. For they are playing a dangerous game. Last time America tried to force its way into becoming an empire too quickly we suffered the great depression. a depression which occurred after the economic mecca that was called the "roaring twenties" so blinded were our great grandparents to the stupidity and greed of their leaders they had to live through hell for over a decade which was only ended by the loss of their children to WWII.

So the question then arises what are the modern day way's in which free speech is neglected. Well Eminem is a perfect example. While his lyrics were obviously homophobic the continual pressure to change to the mainstream non-threatening POV of willful neglect forced him to change his public persona from angry white boy ( with a need for exceptance from the black community) to maestro of expressing white liberal guilt (which he should feel especially since he is just a modern day Elvis)

Now I here protest has forced reggae act to change anti homophobic as well (which i feel they should change since these songs do in fact call for violence against gays.) But how I feel doesn't matter. No one's opinion matters since all dialogue and/or expression is free for public display and cunsumption thanks to freedom of speech. once people remember this we can once again start to practice being a democratic republic.

-R J Noriega
posted by R J Noriega at 10:49 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Saturday, April 02, 2005

/do you fools/ listen to music/ or just skim through it/ Posted by Hello
posted by R J Noriega at 7:30 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Is he a writer for himself and others?
First listen to the link. Then you got to say to yourself Duh he stole lyrics most people listen to the radio/downloaded single and dont listen to cds and compare tracks.


Jay Z Biter or Writer Lyrics

Biggie - "Hypnotize" "That's why I, squeeze first ask quesions last. That's how most of these so called gangstas pass"
Jigga - "Squeeze 1st" "That's why I, squeeze first ask quesions last. That's how most of these so called gangstas pass

Biggie - "The World Is Filled" "When the Remi's in the system, ain't no tellin will I f*&$ em will I diss em, that's what these h*& yellin I'm a pimp by blood, not relation Y'all still chase on, I'll replace on, punks Drunk of Dom"
Jay-Z - "Give It 2 Me" "When the Remi's in the system, ain't no tellin Will I f^%$# 'em will I diss 'em, that's what they be yellin I'm a pimp by blood, not relation Y'all be chasin, I replace them, huh? Drunk off Crist"

Biggie - "Who Shot Ya" Thou shalt not f%$# with or see Poppa feel a thosand deaths...
Jay-Z - "Squeeze 1st" Thou shalt not f%$# with raw me, or he face a thousand deaths...

Biggie - "Unbelievable" "Get ready to die, tell God I said hi And throw down some ice, for the nicest MC"
Jay-Z - "Friend or Foe 98" "Do me a favor dude, get 2 ice cubes I pass them take that ice up, for the nicest MC"

Biggie - "Kick in The Door" "Your reign on top was short than leprechauns"
Jay-Z - "The Ruler's Back" "Your reign on the top was shorter than leprechauns"

Biggie - "One More Chance" "isn't this great, my flight leaves at eight her flight lands at nine, my game just rewinds"
Jay-Z - "Girls...Remix" "isn't this great, my flight leaves at eight her flight lands at nine, my
game just rewinds"

Biggie - "Real N&^%s Do Real Things" "On the road to riches and diamond rings real n&^%s do real things"
Jay-Z - "Real N&^%s" "On the road to riches and diamond rings real n^%$ do real things"

Biggie - "Who Shot Ya" "Old school new school need to learn though I burn baby burn like Disco Inferno"
Jay-Z - "Frestyle" "Old school, new school need to know this I burn like Left Eye Lisa Lopez"

Biggie - "One More Chance" "I don't chase em I replace em"
Jay - "Is That Yo B!tch" "I don't chase em I duck em I replace em"

Big L - (on the 7 minute 95' freestyle with Jigga) "All I got for chicks is hard d%$# and bubble gum"
Jay-z - "A Million and One Questions" "All I got for chicks is hard d%$# and bubble gum"

Snoop Dogg - "What's My Name?" "From the depths of the sea, back to the block Snoop Doggy Dogg, funky as the, the, The D.O.C went solo on that azz, but it´s still the same Long Beach is the spot where I served my cane ....What's my f%$# name" "He is I, and I am him, slim with the tilted brim"
Jigga - "Jigga my n!gga" "From the crap tables down in A.C. back on the block Jay-Z motherf%$# from the, the, the Roc went solo on that azz but it´s still the same Brooklyn be the place where I serve them thangs ....You heard the name" "He is I, and I am him Slim with the tilted brim on twenty inch rims"

Nas - "Verbal Intercourse" "From the womb to the tomb, presume the unpredictable Guns salute life, rapidly, that's the ritual"
Jay - "Never change" "From the womb to the tomb, from now until my doom drink army from
one cup pass it around the room, That's the ritual"

2pac - "My Ambitionz Az a Rydah" "My attitude is f%$ it, and mothafukkas love it"
Jay-z "Blueprint 2" "My attitude is ff%$ it, and mothaff%$ love it"

2pac - "Against All Odds" "This is payback, i knew you bf%$ nf%$ from way back"
Jay-z - "Blueprint 2" "This is payback, i knew you bf%$ nf%$ from way back"

Mase - "Lookin' at me" "Why you over here looking at me, while my girl standing here"
Jay-z - ???“ Yall Look it Up" "Why you over here lookin at me, while all these girls up in here"

Biggie - "Big Poppa" "I see some ladies tonight that should be having my baby.. baby."
Jay-Z - ???" I see some ladies tonight that should be rollin wit Jay-Z, Jay-Z"

Biggie - "Be Happy" (R.Kelly ft. Biggie) "Think About It While The Streets You Roam It's Don P And Cristie In The Fridge When You Get Home"
Jay-Z - "Best Of Both Worlds" (Jay-Z & R.Kelly) "Think About It While The Streets You Roam It's Don P And Army In The Fridge When You Get Home"

Snoop Dogg - "Aint no Fun" "Guess who's back in the mothaf%$# house with a fat d%$# for ya mothaff%$# mouth"
Jigga - "Ff%$# All Nite" "Guess who's back in my motherf%$# house half black, half white chick, I call her Minnie Mouse"

Slick Rick - ??? In these times, at least to me, there's alot of rappers out there tryin to sound like Ricky D"
Jay-Z - ???" In these times, at least to me, there's a lot of rappers out there tryin to sound like Jay -Z"

Rakim - "No Competition" "Competition is none, I remain at the top like the sun"
Jay-Z - "S. Carter" "Competition is none, I remain at the op like the sun"

Cappadona - "Slang Editorial" "I came to the fork in the road and went straight"
Jay-Z - "Renegades" "I drove by the fork in the road and went straight"

Nas "Seude timbs on my feet makes my cypher complete"
Jay-Z "S.dots on my feet makes my cypher complete"

Lil Wayne "Number one rapper, sipping mo mo's, dont make me come press ya with this fo fo"
Jay-Z "Number one rapper, sipping mo mo's, dont make me come press ya with this fo fo"

2pac - "Against All Oddz" Payback, I knew U b%$# n%$# from way back. witnessed me strapped with Macs, knew I wouldn't play that,"
Jigga - "Some People Hate" N %$# This the Payback, I know U b%$# n%$# from way back. n%$# wanna clown but the pound it don't play that,"

Dr. Dre - "Chronic 2001 LP" "You get zipped up in plastic when it happens that's it"
Jay-Z - "Takeover" "Get zipped up in plastic when it happens that's it

So their is little doubt Jay-Z is a biter, but he is far from the only one. Look at Nas, he bit off of Snoop Dogg for his crappy OOchie Wally verse. Snoop made a threat to sue him though, so maybe Jay-Z shouldn't use that example for his defense, but still can anyone deny Jigga's impact on the game (well Nas did, but Jay slept with his baby mother but ummmm yeah) . or maybe just like he explained his use of using Biggies lines as simply "I'm just bigging up my burough/ Bigging up my brother/ Cause I'm Big enough to do it" he was doing the same for the rest of the rappers on the list. I mean who can deny Mase's ability to create hip hop qoutables hmmm? just look at the lyrical skill he brought to the game . HA HA HA.

To tell the truth Jay-Z is a biter but everyone was so into his personnal AD campaign (you know how it goes "/everyone arguing/ who da best/ Big Jay-Z/ or Nas") that we automatically believed he was writing his own shit. even when Nas called him out on it (in Ether .........thank God for Ether as Eternal Evidence that Jay-Z is not the best) we let it slide. And the worse part about this entire thing is I know its gonna be forgotten sooner rather than later, and if he pulls a Mase 5 years from now everyone is gonna get hyped.
posted by R J Noriega at 7:18 PM | Permalink | 0 comments

before the west makes its triumphant return watch this movie and remember why it fell off. Posted by Hello
posted by R J Noriega at 6:57 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
does mainstream hip-hop sell demeaning black stereotypes to the same black audience it brutalizes, or is this wicked machine powered by white race tourist who pay to see this modern form of exploitation, or is it simply the black fans complicity which allows this behavior to go on unchecked?

Think about then try to formulate your own ideas.
posted by R J Noriega at 6:50 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Riddims by the Reggaetón
Puerto Rico's hip-hop hybrid takes over New York

by Raquel Cepeda

Tego Calderón enters stage right at Madison Square Garden. On cue, the crowd at last October's second annual Megaton concert—the largest reggaetón event in the country—erupts into a frenzy. They're drunk off the deafening riddims pulsating from the venue's enormous speakers. Midway through a medley of hits that secured Tego's position as the king of reggaetón in the U.S., Fat Joe and the Terror Squad join their Afro-Boricua counterpart to perform the year's pervasive "Lean Back" remix. And the sea of almost 20,000 screaming (and some sobbing) fans of all ages and races ripple enormous Puerto Rican, Dominican, Colombian, and Ecuadorian flags in the air. It looks like closing night at the summer Olympics.

Though he's a household name in at least 35 Spanish-speaking countries around the world, Tego—who, on Thursday, headlines the LIFEbeat Music Industry Fights AIDS benefit "Reggaetón Explosion" concert at the Manhattan club Spirit New York—is a reluctant representative. "When I got out of jail [after serving two years] for arms and assault, I resisted making reggaetón songs," he'll later say, between puffs of a Newport. "Back in the day I thought it was just a carbon copy of dancehall."

But today, the stuff is increasingly invading the U.S. rap and r&b charts, and a whole crop of stars have major releases scheduled for this spring. Last month, S.O.B.'s even kicked off its weekly "Picante Fridays: Latin Rap & Reggaetón Fiesta" at Joe's Pub. Other Megaton top-billers—Zion y Lennox, Trebol Clan, Nicky Jam, Mickey Perfecto, and the genre's next great brown hope, Julio Voltio, who is on Tego's own Jiggiri/White Lion label—blur the lines between hip-hop and reggaetón culture. Like rappers, reggaetón artists are driven by the competition of freestyle battles. And the incorporation of the DJ into sets is becoming the industry norm. "Musically, reggaetón was born in a hip-hop environment, with a little bit of Jamaican dancehall and Puerto Rico's own tropical flavor and ritmo," says Vico C, one of the movement's founding fathers. He's on a phone from Miami, one of the hotbeds of the culture in the States, followed by New York City, Orlando, and Chicago.

Almost single-handedly and perhaps unintentionally, the artist born Tegui Calderón Rosario, 33, steered his country's dominant youth culture out of the island and Latino neighborhoods, and into the American stream of pop consciousness. "Tego is someone who represents struggle, an underdog," says Tony Touch. "He's more of an MC, a product of late-'80s hip-hop."

The DJ, also known as Tony Toca, hosts a reggaetón show on Power 104.1 in Connecticut and dropped his first reggaetón album, Guatauba, in 1996. He's releasing The ReggaeTony Album, featuring Tego, Daddy Yankee, Zion y Lennox, Don Omar, and Ivy Queen, this June. But he's not alone in his praise of Tego. "I credit Tego a lot for making reggaetón big over here," says Fat Joe, who first discovered the music through C, when visiting family in Puerto Rico about 15 years ago. "It's like hip-hop all over again, in the '70s back in the Bronx, when it was just bubbling. But it's going to be huge."

Tego's 2002 debut, El Abayarde, has sold an estimated 210,000 to date, and El Enemy de Los Guasibiri—last year's greatest-hits collection—sold at least 102,000 and left fans salivating to hear (and record labels fighting a bidding war to release) his forthcoming third joint, The Underdog.

Back at MSG, the fruit of Tego's crossover appeal was palpable. Not only did attendance surge by thousands from 2003, but now masses of non-Spanish-speaking gringos were bopping their heads and flailing their arms to the universal beat.

"In 2003 when we performed at MSG, [it was] in front of nine or ten thousand people," says Don Omar later, on his way back to New York for a meeting with Sean John about the possibilities of distributing his clothing line, called Do. Tego and reggaetón pioneer Daddy Yankee are also planning to release clothing and sneaker lines this year—all in a race to capitalize on their newfound stateside fame.

Though he's only been recording for four years, William Omar Landrón Rivera, a/k/a Don Omar, is also lauded among the genre's biggest players. The former Christian minister-cum-super freak has spent time in jail for alleged arms and drug offenses, but his debut, The Last Don, and its Live version have sold over 745,000 copies combined. The 26-year-old lover boy has a set of perfectly groomed eyebrows, and he caps off the MSG show by unzipping his jeans and air-humping in the direction of the women in the front row. A Latino man standing up front consoles a hysterical Central American girlfriend, whose black mascara is running down her flushed cheeks. When the Don's humping goes into overdrive, she nearly faints.

Ivy Queen, as the first lady of the male-dominated genre, has just as much power to incite a crowd. Daddy Yankee calls her "the Celia Cruz" of reggaetón. "Ivy definitely holds her own," adds Wyclef Jean, who made a guest appearance on her The Original Rude Girl album in 1998. Born Martha Ivelisse Pesante in Spanish Harlem but raised in Puerto Rico, Ivy Queen has worked with Fat Joe and Swizz Beatz. Her success is owed in part to her around-the-way-girl charm (think Mary J. Blige, circa My Life), and rugged, almost baritone rasp (think Lauryn Hill, circa The Score). "When we started, our voices sounded like Alvin and the Chipmunks because the beats were really, really fast," she remembers.

"In Puerto Rico we started doing reggaetón a lot because El General and Nando Boom were hitting hard. When they came out, it wasn't called reggaetón," says Tego, taking a pull from yet another cigarette. "In Panama, there's more soca influences. It's faster and more of an emulation of dancehall. They were purists, like rudeboys," he continues. "In Puerto Rico, we slowed down the pace, sang in different tones, and sometimes shrill pitches." Now, they are taking that formula global.

At MTV's TRL studios in midtown Manhattan, Nas and his father, bluesman Olu Dara, are sound-checking their track "Bridging the Gap." Meanwhile, N.O.R.E. and a wolf pack of cohorts are inside the green room, trading spanking new shirts airbrushed with Big Pun and Tony Montana. Raymond Ayala, who bills himself as Daddy Yankee, is taking it all in. The 26-year-old is waiting his turn to hit the stage for the very first time on American television, unaware of the fawning women pacing up and down the studio's hallway.

At 13, Yankee became one of the fore-fathers of reggaetón, along with other characters like Rankin Stone, Wiso G, Blanco, Boricua Guerrero, and Michael & Manuel. Yankee's third album,
Barrio Fino, which he released on his own El Cartel label last summer, has moved over 315,000 units. As with Tego, major labels have been vying to distribute Yankee's forthcoming greatest-hits LP, Los Homerunes Part II, which will also feature eight new songs. "Every major player has his own kingdom and we're economically independent," says Yankee, his large, gaudy diamond "D.Y." pendant glistening in the light. "Whoever wants to sign me has to talk to me about big money, because I already make real money."

Reggaetón artists have learned a lot about business by studying hip-hop's history. "Hip-hop had people who abused it and the first artists were taken advantage of," says Daddy Yankee. "We learned from it. And much like early hip-hop, the record labels ignored us."

A sex symbol for thug-loving mamis (and the antithesis to Don Omar's R. Kelly appeal), Yankee survived being shot at close range by an AK-47. And while he's never been arrested, the authorities in Puerto Rico have investigated him numerous times: All these experiences inform his lyrics and help to feed his 50 Cent-like legend. But, thanks to rap, he chooses to keep beef among his peers to a minimum. "We learned from the examples of B.I.G. and Tupac," he says. "You just can't take away someone's life over music."

Back at home, beef in reggaetón does exist between the major players and lesser-known, struggling artists. However, it hasn't escalated to the point where artists are regularly calling each other out in public. "Nobody has died yet, thank God," says Tego. "But I think that's on the way because reggaetón is getting bigger. And because I'm popular, all the cannons are aimed at me, even the police's."

While it's been widely reported that rap stars here in the States have had a Hip-Hop Task Force trailing their movements, reggaetón artists are now drawing part of the heat. Tego's last trip to New York City over the summer proved a dramatic one.

A few hours before Tego headed out to perform at a Pepsi-sponsored show, the DEA paid an impromptu visit to Tego's hotel room, looking for drugs and guns. When they failed to find anything—at one point mistaking a bar of herbal soap for heroin—the cops who were trailing Tego all day tried to befriend him. One invited him to dinner next time he was in town, another Cuban officer struck up a conversation about the Yoruba-derived Santeria religion, noticing the green and yellow íde of Ifa on his left wrist, which patrons wear for spiritual protection. "I know my rights were violated," says Tego, staring down at his wrists. "But then again, Biggie did say, 'more money, more problems.' "

Maybe the police have heard about the past conflicts with the law—or perhaps they are interested in monitoring the money, 'hos, and clothes content that drives much of the music. Ironically, Tego offers up a powerful proletariat image (he has a newborn son named Malcolm X and a daughter named Ebony Nairobi). And as a guest on tracks by Cypress Hill, 50 Cent, and Wyclef Jean—and, most extraordinarily, on Tony Touch's remix of Fat Joe's "Lean Back"—he delivers uplifting messages in a laid-back, almost lazy fashion.

Since Tego mainstreamed the music, upping the ante for producers like Dominican beat tailors the Luny Tunes—reggaetón's answer to the Neptunes—the genre has spread all over radio like a virus, eclipsing salsa artists. "The music has become less underground and considerably more commercial and far better produced," says Leila Cobo, the Bureau Chief for Billboard's Miami-Latin division. "Today, reggaetón very judiciously mixes tropical beats, pop beats; it uses samples, making it easier on the listener's ear, and certainly, easier on radio. Now you have many English-language rappers tapping into reggaetón acts."

One such artist is Lil Jon. "I think it has the energy of Miami bass," says the crunk impresario, who became acquainted with the sound at a strip club in Puerto Rico while hanging with his Cuban American protégé Pitbull. For his part Lil Jon produced "Culo," Pitbull's reggaetón-influenced ode to the derriere, and appeared on the remix, along with N.O.R.E., to Yankee's "Gasolina." "Reggaetón, much like Miami bass," he says, "is all about the girls dancing to it."

The rowdy rapper N.O.R.E. often notes his "half-Spanish" roots (he was born to an African American mother and Boricuan father). The overwhelming response to "Oye Mi Canto," which features Nina Sky, Daddy Yankee, and N.O.R.E., has made him an important component of the reggaetón movement in the States. The video for the song was the first to expose the music to MTV and BET television audiences. "This is the first time in my career and in my life where I feel like I am representing both sides of me," he says. "Even if I don't benefit from this 100 percent, per se, I am setting off a whole culture that I had nothing to do with creating, but I have something to do with helping promote."

The day after the MSG extravaganza, Tego finds himself in midtown Manhattan's Ameritania Hotel, where he's just back after shooting a scene for his forthcoming "Voltio" video. His dozy eyes are hidden behind his trademark dark shades (he wears them even at night). And a black-on-black Yankee cap barely crowns his massive Afro, which swells out from every side. When he speaks, he lisps in Spanglish. He's since grown to respect the power of what the genre has evolved into. And on the way to seizing the masses in his homeland of Puerto Rico, he says, "it caught on" in the States.

To say that reggaetón—an approximately 20-year-old fusion of dancehall, born in the poorest neighborhoods in Puerto Rico, with mostly Spanish-language rap and tropical rhythms—"caught on" is a modest assessment coming from Tego. "I didn't know I did anything for reggaetón until I came to New York City," he says with a laugh. "In Puerto Rico, they might like you but they won't give it up. Believe me, you do not get gassed up."

While Ivy Queen, Daddy Yankee, and Don Omar have the power of record sales, Tego Calderón remains perhaps the most respected—though even he didn't realize it until recently. His upper lip curls up on the left side to form a wry smile, revealing a rather engaging gap parting his front teeth. "The way I see it, calling me the king of reggaetón is almost like calling me the king of pop," says the Latin Grammy-nominated Hennessy pitchman. "In Puerto Rico there is a school of hip-hop, of purists that consider me a sellout because I'm commercial and I have success. But I used to be the same way, so I'm not trying to dis them. I used to hate reggaetón too." But now, it's all love.

Reggaeton is getting bigger and bigger. Basically its taken the title of "best minority niche" music from reggae and rap and get's to enjoy all the die hard fans and backyard parties thrown by people who actually know what the fuck the music stands for (and due to the language barrier what it means). Everyone should enjoy it while it last because i really doubt reggaeton's sudden popularity had nothing to do with the census showing Latino's on the rise. And even more i doubt it will get whitewashed to its very minimum so it can be used to sell burger and fries. I really do
-R J Noriega
posted by R J Noriega at 6:43 PM | Permalink | 0 comments

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