Saturday, September 08, 2007

Why I Love Hip-Hop: Leaders Of The New School - Case Of The P.T.A. (Video)

1991...the key word in this post is yes.

Yes, that is Busta Rhymes along with Charlie Brown and Dinco D and yes, they make up the original line up of Leaders of the New School (Cut Monitor Milo/Milo in the Dance, cousin of Busta Rhymes, would join the group for the second album, T.I.M.E(The Inner Mind's Eye). Yes, Charlie Brown is wearing all Cleveland Browns paraphenalia. Yes, Chuck D of Public Enemy fame, christened this group, Leaders of the New School (known by heads as the LONS). Yes, this intensity while spitting rhymes that make sense is not seen enough today. Yes, this tape (yes, I had tapes) Future Without a Past stayed in my Walkman. Yes, this album helped me survive 10th worst year EVER. Yes, I still remember the words to this song. Yes, I screamed them when I saw Busta Rhymes perform last year. Yes, this was my second favorite group -- my first still being De La Soul -- until they broke up due to personal infighting.

Why I Love Hip-Hop - Nas - World is yours (Q-Tip Remix)

The Remix...House music and club music did it but hip-hop took it to another level. Yes, this is the same artist and song that I just posted...but Nas decided, well, let me change some lyrics here and there and get a beat from Q-Tip instead of the Pete Rock classic. It's the same song but reworked enough to give it a different vibe.

Why I Love Hip-Hop - The World is Yours

I am starting a series that combines my love for hip-hop with my jones for's called Why I Love Hip-Hop.

Hip-hop is catching a lot of crap lately. Hip-hop is the music of my life. The essentials of hip-hop, the writing (graffiti art), the rhyming (rapping), the djing and the b-boying (breakdancing) are the cultural expressions of working-class black and latino youth...but, it has spread world wide. Some of this spread has been perpetuated by those who wish to profiteer off of hip-hop. But there are some that still believe in the power of words and a beat and believe in the core of what made hip-hop special: stories told with honesty and dexterity. The flair doesn't come from jewelry, cars, and scantily clad women...those are machinations of those that see hip-hop as a cash cow. The music is about the rhyme, the beat and the interplay between both. I will highlight some examples that I feel that merit mentioning. There are so many more...this is just one fan's opinion.

Whose world is this? It's mine, it's mine, it's mine...

This song was damn near my anthem summer of 1994. I had just graduated 2 weeks earlier and I was participating in my normal Friday night ritual. Yo! MTV Raps! from 12am to 2am. I did it before I took the ACT and the SAT and I did it after I got back from prom. This is the second single from one of the most highly regarded hip-hop albums ever, Nas's debut Illmatic.

As soon as that Ahmad Jamal trio sample (from the song "I Love Music" hits), it takes me back to the optimism I had back in 1994. This was before 9/11, this was before the petty east coast/west coast stuff, this was before Bush's robbery of the White House, before Monica Lewinsky, before Katrina, back when Pac and Biggie were tight with each other...those were the days.

This is how hip-hop should should have this kind of soul, this kind of personality. This is why I love this music.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Do YOU know about the Jena 6?

This video is about a travesty in, not Katrina.

Chris (from Columbus) puts it extremely well.

While it's not right to meet intimidation with violence, our legal system doesn't seem to have come very far in the days of horribly lopsided and unfair trials that were consistent with the Jim Crow days. The legal system still dogpiles on people of color without the means to defend themselves. Speaking up for legal rights doesn't imply condoning of actions (the argument of many opponents to real judicial reform). It's just the right thing to do. If you are going to send people to jail, do it fairly.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Def Poetry - Common - A Letter To The Law

And y'all thought I was kidding when I called Cheney gangster...

KRS-ONE - Sound of Da Police

If anyone ever feels why black folks are hostile toward crooked cops (legit cops are too few and good human beings and the bad ones mess it up for them too.)...

TELL THE TRUTH - Mos Def - Immortal Technique - Eminem

Weapons of mass distraction...