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Clyde Smith on Hip Hop Culture & Politics
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   Thursday, July 28, 2005
Review: David Banner Certified

david banner - certified cd

Review by Guest Writer Rahiem Shabazz

Mississippi's own David Banner (Lavell Crump) is back again with his 3rd major release, rightfully titled "Certified". The lead single Play carries an infectious tune, with a funky-weird type of piano riff layered over a head-nodding induced beat. Dubbed the 'work out' song, Mr. Mississippi is found spewing lyrics to the ladies in a whispering tone ("work them hips make 'em run girl/ don't play with me"). Quite an unusual move for the man who in 2003 had club going fans feeling Like A Pimp. However, Mr. Banner does not veer too far from the soulful crunk sound that fans and critics alike honor him for on Lost Soul.

On X-ed he reunites with hometown word slinger and ex-partner Kamikaze. On Everything showing versatility and uniqueness, die-hard Banner fans gets treated to a back and forth verbal exchange between the Mississippi statesman and Twista that is reminiscing of the King of Rock (Run DMC). Gangster Walk, featuring Three 6 Mafia and 8Ball and MJG, is an ode to the once banned dance craze made popular in Memphis. New York's patriarch Jada Kiss and King of Crunk Lil Jon appears on the stand out cut Treat Me Like, where the raspy-voice lyricist teams up with the King of Crunk warning their adversaries that ponder disrespectful thoughts. "The new Nat Turner given it to the youth like Sojourner", rides out on Ridin' with revolutionary comrades Talib Kweli & Dead Prez.

David Banner, holds it down for the state of Mississippi, without releasing another cameo-crowded album (where the guest outshines the main attraction) as witness in today's rap album releases. If nothing else this album certifies that David Banner will continue on his platinum trail to success whether executing production or spitting gritty sixteens.

Pre-order from Amazon:
Dropping Sept. 20: David Banner - Certified.

   Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Hip Hop Album Releases - July 26th

The following new releases are available from Amazon:

Apsci - Thanks for Asking
Buck 65 - Secret House Against the World
Dayton Family - Family Feud
Eddie Cane - Eddie Cane Presents
The Game - Untold Story, Pt. 2
Frayser Boy - Me Being Me [Chopped and Screwed]
Koushik - Be With
Mike Mosley - Platinum Plaques, Vol. 2
Multiple Artists - Gang Bangin' Hitsmixtap, Vol. 1
Multiple Artists - The Source Hip Hop Hits, Vol. 10
Murs 3:16 - Walk Like a Man
The Psycho Realm - Psycho Realm and Street Platoon Present Sick Symphoniez
Ruff Ryders - Redemption, Vol. 4
S.L.A.B. - The Anthem
Twiztid - Mutant, Vol. 2
Young Jeezy - Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101
Young Jeezy - Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101 [Deluxe Edition]
Young Sicc - The Statement

For more current releases, see Hip Hop Albums.

   Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Hip Hop Album Releases - July 19th

The following new releases are available from Amazon:

Bodaiga - The Game Praise Me
Bodaiga - The Game Praise Me: Chopped and Screwed
Chalie Boy - Greatest Hits [Chopped and Screwed]
DJ Maj - Boogiroot
Doe - Big City Big Dreams
Doe - Scars and Tatoos
The Dukes Click - Gang Related
First Degree the D.E. - Gang War: Sactown Bloods vs. Sactown Crips
G.P. - The Best of GP the Beast 2000-2005
Gorillapits - Generation of Renegades
Lil Boosie & Pat Lowrenzo - Street Code
Lil Boosie & Webbie - Gangsta Muzik [Chopped & Screwed]
Lil' Rob - Instrumentals
Marvaless - Ready Made
Multiple Artists - Come Back: Back 2 the Streets That Made Us
Multiple Artists - Gangsta Rap [Disky] [Import]
Multiple Artists - Jermaine Dupri Presents...Young Fly and Flashy, Vol. 1
Multiple Artists - Known Felons
Multiple Artists - Lo Mejor del Urban Latino
Multiple Artists - Sur Side Riders, Vol. 2
MF Grimm - Scars and Memories
Mr. Lil One - Chapter Uno
Nutt Briddle - Save Tha Fictionary for the Dictionary
The Reason - Game Time
San Quinn - 4.5.7 Is the Code, Pt. 2
Sleepdank - Hot Shit

For more current releases, see Hip Hop Albums.

   Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Hip Hop Congress Report

No, I didn't go to the most recent gathering of the Hip Hop Congress, but I got a report from Aaron Berkowitz and I'm reprinting the full text below:

100 members representing 27 chapters from all over the country congregated in Chicago for the 4th Annual Hip Hop Congress National Conference on June 23-26th. Hip Hop Congress is an International Grassroots Network that educates, empowers, and unites individuals. We preserve and evolve Hip Hop by inspiring social action and cultural creativity within the community. The conference provided members an opportunity to layout a dynamic vision for the future of the Hip Hop Congress.

During the weekend the Hip Hop Congress elected Shamako Noble as the second President in the organization's history. Noble, an emcee out of the bay Area, also works at the Riekes Center for Human Enhancement in Menlo, California. The Riekes Center is a nonprofit mentoring organization that utilizes a multidisciplinary approach toward education. Given his background in Hip Hop and education, Noble's launched the national initiative to develop a Hip Hop and education program. The conference drew educators from all over the country, as well as representatives from the Hip Hop Association, Teach For America, University of Hip Hop in Chicago and the Universal Zulu Nation.

In a joint effort with other groups such as IMAN (Inner-city Muslim Action Network), Southwest Youth Collaborators, Temple of Hip Hop, Fly Paper and others, Hip Hop Congress took part in a full day of free festivities. The event, titled, "Takin' It To The Streets" included free performances by Jurassic 5, Brother Ali, Chicago's own Capital D, and the legendary b-boy squad, the Rock Steady Crew. The event also showcased local emcees, deejays, breakers, and beat-boxers. Indianapolis deejay da Metrognome held it down with local deejays Roosevelt Treasurechest, Jaidot, E Dubble, deejay Xander and Chicago breaking crew Chi-rock was also on hand. Along with the music, the event featured guest speakers and comedians demonstrating that large scale Hip Hop events can be a very peaceful thing.

The 29 chapters of the Hip Hop Congress now go back to their respective communities energized, organized, and revolutionized until they reconvene in Boulder, CO for next year's conference.

For more information on Hip Hop Congress check www.hiphopcongress.com or email aaron.berkowitz@gmail.com (314)809.2502

   Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Hip Hop Album Releases - July 12th

The following new releases are available from Amazon:

Astronautilus - You and Yer Good Ideas
The Away Team - National Anthem
Bigg Tripp - Hazardous Material
Bow Wow - Wanted
Bow Wow - Wanted [Dual Disc]
Buckshot & 9th Wonder - Chemistry
Capone - Pain, Time and Glory
Dipset - More Than Music, Vol. 1
Felt - Felt, Vol. 2: A Tribute to Lisa Bonet
Flipsyde - We the People
Frayser Boy - Me Being Me
Gucci Mane - Trap House [Chopped and Screwed]
Hot Karl - The Great Escape
Knowledge MC - The Book of Knowledge
L.E.G.A.C.Y. - Project Mayhem
Metal Fingers Presents - Special Herbs, Vol. 9-10
Multiple Artists - Dirty South Ballin, Vol. 2
Multiple Artists - Ill Audio, Vol. 1 Hosted by: Casual
Multiple Artists - Old School Rarities: Ol' Skool DJ Throwdown
Multiple Artists - Underground Crown Holders
O.G. Spanish Fly - Real Gangsters
Rehab - Graffiti the World
Slum Village - Prequel to a Classic
Sniper - Du Rire aux Larmes
Urban Infantry - Urban Infantry

For more current releases, see Hip Hop Albums.

   Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Hip Hop Album Releases - July 5th

The following new releases are available from Amazon:

2 da Hard Way - Patience Determination
80 West - Chip on My Shoulder
A.K. - The Teflon Don
Bucwheed - Rethuglican
Diamond Cut - Diamond Cut
Fusion - Blend of Poetry and Music
Ginja Bread Man - All Out Hustla
Hollow Tip - Best of 10 Years
Indiggo Child - New Bearth Compilation, Vol. 1
Lee Majors - Scraper Muzic
Leo Aces - For Real
Lil' Keke - Don't Mess Wit Texas [Chopped and Screwed]
LK - Unsolved
The Luniz - Greatest Hits
Mark B. - Friendship Ends Where Business Begins
Missy Elliott - The Cookbook
Mista Ian - Conspiracy
Multiple Artists - Texas Game Spitterz, Vol. 1
Webbie - Savage Life
Young Meez - Ghetto Resume

For more current releases, see Hip Hop Albums.

   Sunday, July 03, 2005
The Revival of Ill Crew Universal

Ill Crew Universal has reappeared. Their press release states:
"ICU is determined to restore balance to Hip Hop culture and secure an accurate documentation of Hip Hop culture's progression."

They aim to meet these lofty goals with the following projects:
"1. Summer 2005 release of a new ICU compilation album featuring HipHop artists from around the world.
2. HipHop Artist education and resource programs intended to aid independent artists in the creation, distribution, exposure and promotion of their work.
3. The official Hip Hop Encyclopedia presented by Ill Crew University. This project is our effort to properly document Hip Hop history as told by the HipHop community. Please visit
http://www.hiphopculture.com for more information.
4. Ill Crew Universal membership program which offers services, information and resources to people who wish to ACTIVELY participate in the empowerment of authentic HipHop culture."

Although I have serious questions regarding the concept of "authentic" hip hop culture, since I gave up such modernist notions as authenticity long ago, nevertheless these guys mean well and are worth checking out. Whether they can return to the status they claim to have held in the late 90s remains to be seen, but I look forward to seeing what they accomplish.