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Clyde Smith on Hip Hop Culture & Politics
now at: www.hiphoplogic.com

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   Saturday, February 28, 2004

Large Amounts of Hip Hop Stuff

From the UK's Independent:
Interview with the Black Eyed Peas in England.

From Creative Loafing/Atlanta:
Cee-Lo Green on the creation of the soon-to-be released Cee-Lo Green Is The Soul Machine.

From the Riverfront Times:
Brief review of Trillville and their single Neva Eva.

From HipHopDX:
Review of Pangaea by Visionaries.
Review of Death is Certain by Royce da 5'9".
Interview with Jive Records' John Monopoly on working with Kanye West and rising in the hip hop game.

From the Miami New Times:
Interview with Ted Lucas of Slip-N-Slide Records.
Mosi Reeves considers problems in hip hop, Hip Hop Immortals: We Got Your Kids and the visit she made to Booker T. Washington High School.

Available from Amazon:
Black Eyed Peas - Elephunk
Cee-Lo Green - Cee-Lo Green Is The Soul Machine
Trillville - Wecome to Trillville
Visionaries - Pangaea
Royce Da 5'9" - Death Is Certain
DVD - Hip Hop Immortals: We Got Your Kids
Book - Hip Hop Immortals: The Remix.

   Friday, February 27, 2004

Hip Hop News and Album Reviews

The NY Times' Bill Werde weighs in on Grey Tuesday.

Mikael Wood reviews Floetry's Floacism "Live" for the Village Voice.

The LA Weekly's Ernest Hardy reviews hip hop albums by Ozomatli and multiple artists including Blackalicious and Michael Franti.

And in the, I'm just getting caught up on old news category, the Voice's Pazz & Jop 2003 Critic's Poll found hip hop difficult to ignore.

Available from Amazon:
Floetry's Floacism
Ozomatli's Coming Up
What About Us?.

   Thursday, February 26, 2004

Danger Mouse, Talk Radio, Gay Marriage

Well, Grey Tuesday's come and gone and there have been various responses including Danger Mouse's apparent desire to just focus on the art. Dude, if you can really show me someone who can separate art and politics, I'll show you someone in deep denial.

Jay Smooth has been discussing the whole phenomenon in recent posts including a press release and cease & desist combo and some critiques of the event.

Davey D has a nice piece on a liberal/progressive talk radio network as a response to the dominance of conservatives and assholes in that format. I had heard about this and thought it sounded like a pretty cool idea until Davey D laid out the details on the SWM focus of possible personalities. Honestly, there's such a diversity of interesting people with differing backgrounds, including a few that Davey D mentions, that I can't understand what these people have managed to shove up their asses.

And to complete my references to the big three, Oliver Wang explains why many of us feel it's reasonable to draw comparisons between black and gay struggles for liberation or at least the right to be a member of the Republican Party. That last bit about the Republican Party is mine. O-Dub treats the issue in the serious manner it deserves.

The impetus for such a discussion came most recently from the gay marriage issue. I don't get real worked up about that, although I believe gay marriage should be legal. I'm against the privileged status of married couples and am much more interested in undermining that status than expanding the boundaries of marriage.

   Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Hip Hop Movie Review: BEEF

I finally saw the documentary BEEF, about beefs in hip hop. I was relieved to discover that the film doesn't glorify beefs yet, at the same time, it's not overly preachy. Overall I'd say it's a great film for those concerned about beefs in hip hop and to those who are just spectators at the circus.

Actually BEEF starts out in fairly positive territory with early beefs in hip hop such as that between Kool Moe Dee and Busy Bee Starski. Using a combination of old footage with newer interviews, the historical stuff is enjoyable, especially when KRS-One gets going with his interpretation of old beefs, including his own.

Things grow harsher once we hit the NWA era and the documentary points to the various beefs among the former members of NWA as a turning point from reasonably benign battles to threats of murder or, at the least, "No Vaseline." I'd never really thought about the shift to G-consciousness in relationship to the increasing intensity of beefs. But it makes sense and kind of sucks because some of the great tracks in hip hop came from that crew.

Of course, the story of Biggie and Tupac is included, a story I'll always think of differently after seeing the documentary Biggie & Tupac which I wrote about last year. What's great about BEEF is not that it brings new insight to that tragedy, but that it puts it into a larger perspective.

One of the big issues raised is that of members of the various entourages that have their own agenda. This issue is discussed by a variety of folks within the documentary and the footage of Tru-Life's entourage is particularly designed to emphasize the thuggish possibilities. In an interview near the original release of BEEF, Warren G discusses that aspect of the problem in addition to discussing his own involvement with the documentary and the soundtrack.

I particularly appreciated the interviews with Kevin Powell, former Vibe writer and editor who reflected on the fact that, back when they were covering the final days of Biggie and Tupac, they were a bunch of twenty somethings who didn't really understand the ramifications of playing up the East Coast/West Coast rivalries. In fact, there's a general sense of regret and growing up from the older guys.

For me the most sobering element was the closing footage with 50 Cent who is rather matter of fact about his situation. The rather mundane fatalism 50 Cent projects makes one wonder if he'll ever get the chance to look back on his choices and wish that things could have been different.

Available from Amazon:
BEEF - The Soundtrack
Biggie & Tupac.

   Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Justice for Eminem and the Grey Album!

OK, Eminem probably doesn't need our call for justice, but he's suing iTunes anyway.

More importantly, today is a day of action for the Grey Album.

   Monday, February 23, 2004

Outkast, P. Diddy, Politics

The recent uproad around Outkast's Grammy performance was particularly unfortunate for Outkast at a time when they're really doing interesting things. Listening to Stankonia last night reminded me of just how important they can make pop music sound. That's one reason I have an Outkast Links page at NC Hip Hop Online.

I truly question whether or not I should be giving P. Diddy more publicity considering the NY Times is deeply in love with the man.

A hip hop retreat was held Saturday in the Boston area as part of the buildup towards the National Hip Hop Political Convention to be held in Newark in June.

   Saturday, February 21, 2004

Digital Music News

The RIAA began a new series of lawsuits this week and was countersued as racketeers .

In iTunes news, promotional Pepsi bottles were hacked.

UNC researcher finds that industry claims of lowered sales are inaccurate.

Fiona Morgan talks to folks, including Cesar Comanche of the Justus League, about their digital projects and the future of music.

   Friday, February 20, 2004

Hip Hop Album Review:
Smooty's Tame The Dark EP

At some point I got a cd from a cat named Smooty, an ep called Tame The Dark. I'm always slow to review things because, unless I really love it, I find it somewhat painful to say bad things about somebody's work, so it's taken me awhile to get to it. And sometimes I find it hard to give my opinion on things I like, cause it's hard for me to put stuff into words. So much respect to those reviewers who manage to articulate their responses to people's work. The difficulties entailed almost make me forget that I have a long history of really disliking reviewers in general.

So I'm conflicted on reviewing but not so conflicted on Smooty's Tame The Dark. I like it ok. I'm not blown away by it but he's a decent lyricist, has meaningful things to say, generates creative images, covers a range of topics from the personal to the political. One of the limits is Smooty's voice, a topic discussed by numerous reviewers including Tadah at urban smarts and Matt Jost at RapReviews.com. It just could use more range and it's the kind of voice that I hear and think if this guy gets some serious training as a singer it would open his voice up a lot. I think taking voice lessons would help a lot of rappers and I mean as rappers not singers.

Matt Jost has more positive things to say about the lyrics and includes some in his review. And the lyrics are pretty interesting, though sometimes they move between really nice lines and weak cliches. The beats are extremely low key and combined with the vocal quality it really does create a somber environment. But this approach has more potential than some reviewers seem to think, even if Smooty hasn't fully realized that potential.

King James offers a nice track by track discussion at Hip Hop Infinity and gave him 5 stars. Mike Breen dug him and gave him an A-. Adam Mico (I think) dismissed him and gave him a D+.

Ordering and sample tracks from Cellar Noise and Hip Hop Infinity.

Cool, a review built on other reviews. I really only had to write about two unoriginal sentences of my own here. I think I'm much better at providing links to interesting hip hop coverage and ranting periodically than I am at reviewing. Actually it surprised me to find so much online about Smooty, considering he doesn't have a website, a bizarre thing for somebody who's gotten such good coverage of his ep release.

   Thursday, February 19, 2004

CBS Boycott, Racist Scum, Chuck D and Grey Tuesday

You may have heard that CBS issued an apology for the Outkast Indians from Outer Space performance on the Grammys. However the apology has been deemed insufficient by Native American activists who are calling for a boycott of CBS.

You may also have heard about the racist flyers distributed in Wyoming by the National Alliance [of Racist Scum] denigrating hip hop artists and using Mystikal's fucked up behavior to attack black people and hip hop in general. I debated mentioning this story because the fascist fuckhead's own website points to the fact that distributing racist flyers when nobody's watching gets them a surprising amount of coverage.

However, I've always been of the school of thought that when the Nazis, Klansmen, racist skinheads and other losers come to town that, rather than ignoring them, they should be confronted. They don't do so well in such confrontations, as this report of an attack on a Klan rally reveals. If this sort of activity interests you check out the Anti-Racist Action Network with groups particularly active in the U.S. and Canada.

In other politically minded hip hop news, Chuck D speaks his mind in Alabama and Tuesday February 24th has been designated Grey Tuesday a day of action against censorship of Danger Mouse's Grey Album.

   Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Brycon & Equal's Vagrant's Vacation

I'm listening to Brycon & Equal's 12" Vagrant's Vacation and it's pretty cool. The first two tracks are the most enjoyable, nice beats and fun lyrics without being lightweight. "Vagrant's Vacation" ft. G. Cutty is a fantasy trip about wanting to be on the beach while smoking out on a park bench, something many can relate to, no doubt. It manages to address being broke with big dreams without being bitter.

"Experts", a single about being weed experts and cogitating on weed awareness is also an upbeat fun track. I think Breez Evahflowin is on this track but I'm not sure cause of the way the press release is phrased and the fact that I have a promo cd without individual track credits. Whoever it is, it's nice.

"Samurai Code" definitely features Breez Evahflowin but, unfortunately, it's not so nice a track. The lyrics are well meaning in addressing a sense of values but the beat doesn't support it that well and the vocals don't quite communicate the sense of urgency that I feel they're trying to express.

Nevertheless, these guys are worth checking out and you can hear samples from some other projects at Topshelf Music in, yes it's true, Asheville, NC. That's the Appalachian Mountains in case you aren't up on your geography. Brycon & Equal are part of a unique hip hop scene that will ultimately make references to Deliverance irrelevant when speaking about that area, or at least the small city of Asheville that has also become a mecca for the new age movement.

Later this month Brycon & Equal will be part of the Respect the Hustle Concert Tour Part Two along with Breez Evahflowin and Pens & Needles hitting spots in NC, OH, VA, MA and PA. Check the site, I'm sure they'll post something soon.

   Tuesday, February 17, 2004

A Quick Hello

I'm having some serious Internet access outages as well as some unrelated but serious computer problems so I missed Monday's post. Usually I only miss a post when I've been out partying, plus I don't post on Sundays.

Here are a couple of quick links in case I can't get back at you right away:
Finding Crown Heights Peace: Hip-Hop and Hope
NY Times review of the Showtime movie, Crown Heights.

The Block Goes Bourgeois, and Barbers Draw Scissors
NY Times review of the movie, Barbershop 2.

Available from Amazon:
Fires in the Mirror by Anna Deavere Smith
Barbershop 2 Soundtrack.

More Hip Hop News

Still online, still posting hip hop news:
Dizzee Rascal overshadowed by a Truck

Hip hop fashions arrive in Little Rock, Arkansas

The Roots, Skillz and Jean Grae perform in Claremont, CA

Little Brother's 9th Wonder participates in a hip hop panel at NCCU in Durham, NC

Kids and hip hop:
Kids, even shy ones, come alive for hip hop

Multiplication hip hop meets Grammar Man.

   Saturday, February 14, 2004

Hip Hop Logic Taken to School

So now Jay Smooth has also responded to my Outkast Indian wannabe posting of two days back. You know, if I could emulate the reasonableness of these two guys, then I think I could focus my anger much more productively. Jay makes a good point about the fact that we all end up leaving out things that we probably should cover and that the blogger community provides more coverage than any individual. I used to think that a lot of the discussion about Internet based community was kind of wankerish, until I stuck with this blog for awhile and started connecting with folks.

There are a really interesting range of people doing blogs about hip hop and related topics. In the course of this blogged discussion regarding coverage of the Outkast atrocity, I found out about two blogs from O-Dub's site, 10 Reasons Why Hip-Hop is Dead and Mo Ca$h. And Jay posted an entry on Blogs Worth Reading not too long ago. Their responses also mention other venues in which the Outkast issue was discussed, so there are many conversations happening that aren't always visible. For my part, I'm going to try to remember that and also add some more links to this growing community of which I have become a part.

Thanks for schooling me, guys. I won't forget it.

   Friday, February 13, 2004

A Blogger Reflects

I can't believe I'm becoming one of those bloggers that rants about other bloggers. My last post brought my favorite bloggers to task and it provoked an even handed response from Oliver Wang at Pop Life. Apparently he didn't watch the Grammys either. Plus he comes correct in a style that makes me question my motives. The thing is, I agree that nobody can write about everything. We pick and choose our topics based, in part, on what we see being covered. If a writer sees that something has enough coverage, there's always something else to look at. So my apologies to both Mr. Wang and Mr. Smooth on lashing out rather than just focusing on what I felt I needed to cover. I guess I'm going to have to come to terms with the fact that some people actually are listening to what I'm saying.

If you want to get a better idea of Oliver Wang himself, check out this smart response to the dissing of college by Kanye West and this interview in Urban Smarts in which he talks about where he comes from as a reviewer. Plus, you can check out his pre-cease and desist review of the Grey Album by Danger Mouse.

Both Wang and Smooth posted links to Illegal Art's posting of the Grey Album mp3s. Thanks guys. And I'll measure my words more carefully next time.

   Thursday, February 12, 2004

Janet's Breast Fallout and Outkast's Grammy Win
Blinds Bloggers to Racist Bullshit

You know, Jay Smooth and Oliver Wang have been my twin stars in the constellation of hip hop bloggers, in part because they almost always come correct on the political tip. So when I heard that Outkast was being brought to task by Native American groups for their bullshit appropriation of Native symbols, I knew these guys would be on it. But they weren't.

At least Jay described his lack of commentary as a glaring omission, yet neither have anything else to say so far as I can tell as of this posting. If I'm wrong, let me know. But if you guys are going to keep up with things like the Grammys and bring other people to task for their misbehavior, then you've dropped the ball on this one.

So what's my excuse for not picking up on this already? I didn't watch the Grammys and I don't really give a fuck about the Grammys. But they are a major event for a lot of people, so I have to pay some attention to it when necessary. Actually, I didn't catch headlines on this subject till I peeped NativeWeb. That's when I went to my blog heroes to see what they had to say.

Now Jay and Oliver are impressive guys. Their credibility runs far deeper than mine and they can't do it all. I know they want to do the right thing, so I'm sure they'll have more to say in the near future. We won't discuss the fact that if Justin did blackface or some other loser showed up with fake slanty eyes, these brothers would be all over it. I guess Janet's breast remains a bigger distraction than I realized. And it's an implant, right?

PS - I'm happy to see Outkast get a Grammy or Grammies or whatever they got. I like those guys and think they've done some great work. But their politics has always been superficial. I remember Andre explaining his references to Anne Frank as being based on a memory of this chick stuck in an attic that he read something about in high school. That's as deep as it gets politically for these guys, although I think one could make a good argument about their influence as a form of cultural politics. I mean, how great is it that a drag queen like Andre could go so far in the macho world of hip hop?

   Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Hip Hop News, Hip Hop Albums

Hip Hop News, a part of netweed's Web Directory and News, has spawned a separate section focused on new hip hop album releases. This new section, Hip Hop Albums, tracks new releases and provides links to interesting hip hop websites. Please do check it out!


Matt Langdon, who blogs at Rashomon, requested the top ten albums list of various bloggers, including me. I chose to give my top ten hip hop albums. But I listen to other music too, every now and then!

   Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Hip Hop Movies: King of The Streets

The documentary film King of the Streets focuses on street teams based in New York City. It's an interesting flick and gives an inside view of street teams in action, yet it's also disappointing as a whole work.

Basically the documentary makers start by getting perspectives from a variety of people involved with the street teams of such labels as Def Jam, Bad Boy and Rawkus Records. Street team members are interviewed and street team action in Manhattan is investigated. The documentary maker or makers then follow a Rawkus Records street team to Miami where a major hip hop convention is occurring. There we see much more of the team in action, including doing various things like putting stickers on people's vehicles, the kind of shit that could get them shot in a lot of places.

Footage like that undermines the repeated claim that street teams aren't defacing property, they're just advertising their events like anybody else would. While it's true that street teams are a marketing vehicle, the claims to be as valid as anything else are a bit weak, unless, of course, you believe that major corporate entities have the right to invade your visual space no matter where you are. At the level of activity that this documentary focuses on, street teams are the footsoldiers of corporate invaders.

Comparisons are made to tagging and they just don't hold up. Even though I disagree with some choices made by taggers, nevertheless they are doing it for themselves and making an individual presence in the face of corporate monoliths. People working for corporate monoliths can't make the same claim, even when it's an "indie" label owned by a major corporate entity.

However, when individual street team members are interviewed and discuss how tough it is and how it's their way of breaking into a difficult industry, then we feel the ring of truth. A lot of these guys are hard working brothers from the hood, just trying to get by and, maybe, if they're lucky, better themselves. When the filmmakers focus on the team members, then they get closer to something worth hearing about. As opposed to some corporate thug who's going to work poor black men to death in order to make Missy Elliot even more visible than she already is.

It's clear that the filmmakers lack some professional skills. Indoor interviews vary in quality, with some scenes looking yellow, indicating that they don't know how to do basic things with their cameras. Outdoor and in car interviews rely on the light on top of the camera. Those shots, and daytime shots outside, work okay when there's a lot of background light. But that's obviously just luck. My guess is that they're using digital cameras with everything set on automatic. If it's prosumer equipment that can be hard to get around, but it can be done.

Another problem is sound. Again, it seems like they're simply using the in-camera mic to pick up sound. I say that because the interviewees are audible but often the person asking questions can be barely heard and that generally seems to be the filmmaker from behind a hand held camera. A second mic to aid in postproduction is the most obvious solution, a fairly basic practice in filmmaking.

The other big problem is that, though the filmmakers set up an ok structure for the film, they drop the ball in the end. The overall structure involves the initial interviews and the view of street team activities in New York. That includes a lot of different people. Then a single street team is followed to Miami and the sense of their life is brought more fully into focus. And then it trails off without a sense of the end of the trip or any kind of closure other than a couple more interviews with street team members saying the things we've already heard a bunch of times. At least getting some footage of them leaving, talking about their experience, their plans when they get home, that kind of thing, would bring a sense of closure that this film really needed.

King of the Streets represents a lost opportunity to make a really strong documentary yet, at the same time, it's still worth seeing. The immediacy of certain sections, the realness of the team members desires to make something happen and even the corporate management of the teams are worth checking out. Plus, there were some approaches that I hadn't seen that speak to the relentless creativity of these guys.

Just remember, when a corporate hack has a street background and talks all rough and dirty, they're still a corporate hack. Part of how Russell Simmons gets over is that he's successful, smooth and talks however he feels. Reporters eat that shit up. They get all tingly from the realness. In case you don't know, lots of important people (Richard Nixon, Bill Gates) use really rough language in private and cover it up in public. But just cause you talk like that publicly, doesn't mean you can be trusted.

Nevertheless, I want to repeat the fact that this documentary is worth your time. Especially if you're not all uptight about the details like I am.

Available from Amazon:
King of the Streets.

   Monday, February 09, 2004

Regional Hip Hop News Roundup

Robert Gabriel has a nice profile of Austin's leading hip hop djs and Tony Ware discusses mixtapes with Atlanta djs.

Anna Klafter wanders around with San Francisco rapper Z Man to see if anyone understands his crazed terminology while Eric K. Arnold relates a visit to the Bay Area by Slick Rick the Ruler.

Christopher O'Connor profiles Arizona hip hop group, Cut Throat Logic. Michelle Beaver tells the story of a promising new online hip hop community, called Flexbeats, that's based in Tempe, AZ with Professor Griff as front man.

Javier Andrade profiles LA's Latino hip hop phenoms, Akwid.

And on the island of Manhattan, Carla Hay reports on a panel discussion about the music biz featuring Russell Simmons, Kevin Liles and Lyor Cohen and moderated by Harry Allen.

Special News - Got dvd player, will review hip hop movies!

Later this week: Review of the hip hop movie documenting street teams, King of the Streets, and long overdue reviews of two hip hop albums from NC artists.

   Saturday, February 07, 2004

Janet, John, Afeni, Assata

No one with good sense wants to talk about Janet anymore, but we just can't help it. Now that a lawsuit's been filed against her nastiness, the Smoking Gun's got the documents.

Who the fuck is John Mayer? At least he knows how to give hip hop respect when he's interviewed.

On a more serious note, Afeni Shakur's biography is out, written by Jasmine Guy. Afeni is the mother of Tupac Shakur, noted for her involvement with the Black Panthers and, later, with crack. It sounds like she's doing well now and will be doing a tour to promote the release.

Reading the news about Afeni reminded me of Assata Shakur, who I haven't heard about in a while. I think she might be related but I can't remember the details. However, her autobiography of her days as a revolutionary leading up to her escape from jail and flight to Cuba is one of the most amazing books I've ever read. Assata remains in Cuba and the U.S. continues to seek her extradition.

Available from Amazon:
John Mayer's Heavier Things
Afeni Shakur's Evolution of a Revolutionary
Assata: An Autobiography.

   Friday, February 06, 2004

Janet Cartoon, Dawn Raid

Ok, ok, one more Janet Jackson related item, a cartoon that makes a nice political comment.

I love empire building stories, even though I often dislike the empire builders themselves. That's true for me in many realms, not just hip hop. But this article on Dawn Raid, a New Zealand based project has some of that early empire building flavor from what I think is a Samoan hip hip business.

   Thursday, February 05, 2004

OK, Janet Jackson It Is!

I'm generally trying to avoid overly publicized topics but I finally saw some interesting aspects of the Janet Jackson tit exposure controversy worth posting. Though Janet is not a hip hop artist per se, and neither is that grotesque character who assaulted her during the Super Bowl, still this issue seems to have caught the attention of the hip hop nation.

When I first saw a still photo of the big moment (No, I didn't see it on tv. The only sports I watch on tv are basketball, the Tour de France and the World Cup) it seemed to me that Miss Nasty looked upset and I briefly thought that the fact that she was being attacked was kind of fucked up but nobody else seemed to care and it was all such nonsense that I didn't really think about it again.

Ah, but DJ O-Dub and others did. Peep his brief statement at Pop Life (scroll down, look for Nipple Gate) which also links to another blogger's response. Righteous indignation! It makes me feel less alone.

Sadly, I was not moved to address this issue by the points above. Actually I'm more interested in the fact that it was the biggest event in the history of the TiVo and that it has now apparently tied September 11th as the most searched for topic of all Internet time. I'm just glad all those motherfuckers online have their priorities straight!

PS - By the time you read this, that last link will probably have been archived. I normally don't post items without permalinks but I'll update this one when it's archived.

   Wednesday, February 04, 2004

You Got Served - Movie Coverage

Since You Got Served did so well at the box office, I thought I'd provide some links to the variety of coverage available online. In addition to the official website, you can find the trailer at Apple's Quicktime site, basic facts at the Internet Movie Database, more of the same at Yahoo and massive numbers of reviews at Rotten Tomatoes.

I was going to list more individual reviews but the links from Rotten Tomatoes will hook you up if that's your kind of thing. However I do want to connect you with this worthwhile review/article from Africana Reviews. Better yet, check out this blog coverage by Julianne Shepherd. Tip o' the hat to DJ O-Dub who listed that entry on his Pop Life blog.

I should also warn you about teen riots at the movies! And express my regret that the reviewer for the Catholic News Service did not like the show for some reason and that the AP reviewer thought it was garbage.

Available from Amazon:
You Got Served - Soundtrack
You Got Served - Double-Sided Poster

So what did you think about You Got Served? Write me a few quick lines, tell me what name to use and I'll try to post as many responses as I can. Write:

Late Breaking News

I just checked in on Davey D and he's got a post about a hip hop cable network that Chuck D's involved with. Writing those two names in the same sentence makes me wonder if they're related. Anybody know about that?

   Tuesday, February 03, 2004

From Boston to Korea

Recently a coworker, ok, a former coworker (see last post - Bad News and Good News), was surprised to hear about my NC Hip Hop Online website. He didn't think of North Carolina as being much of a hip hop state. But hip hop is everywhere these days and somebody in all those places is writing about it.

The Boston Globe covered a hip hop battle won by Diabolic that included prebattle performances by KRS-One and Akrobatik.

You Got Served has raised the profile of hip hop dance in San Jose and Houston.

In Korea, Epik High is building and working with other hip hop artists to build hip hop in Korea as part of the Movement Crew.

Some Bad News

Although I tend not to follow hip hop crime too closely, this story about Bay Area hip hop promoter Eugene Cockerham caught my eye. It sounds like his youth events are just poorly planned, fly by night affairs. Davey D is also quoted on the issue in what is overall an even handed piece by Lisa Fernandez.

   Monday, February 02, 2004

Bad News and Good News

To start off the bad news, I just got fired. And, as much as I'm glad to leave certain managerial figures behind, I sure needed that job. I'm hoping this isn't the beginning of a devastating downward spiral that results in me running this weblog from the public library. I'll keep you posted.

In other bad news, according to reviewers for the NY Times, both You Got Served and Just Another Story kind of suck. So much for hip hop movies and tv. However the review of Just Another Story is interesting reading once you get past the introduction. A good example of damning a film by describing what happens.

In happier news, Ice Cube's movie career has grown quite nicely.