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

  Web netweed.com   
   Sunday, January 28, 2007
Hip Hop Album Releases for Jan. 30/Feb. 2 - Afrika Bambaataa, Busdriver, Frost, Messy Marv, PPT, Queen Latifah, Rob-O, RZA, Sean Price, Wu-Tang

grand jin cd

Busdriver - Roadkill Overcoat

For more album cover art, please check out Weekly Hip Hop Albums, a new releases blog or sign up for our free weekly newsletter delivered every Monday with Tuesday's releases.

The following new releases are available from Amazon.

Feb. 2 Release:

Wu-Tang Clan & Friends - Unreleased

Jan. 30 Release:

Afrika Bambaataa - Death Mix 2
Busdriver - Roadkill Overcoat
Frost - Blunts N Ballerz
Grand Daddy I.U. - Smooth Assassin [Reissue]
Junior Alvarez Presents - Crunk Magazine Volume II: The Atlanta Issue
Messy Marv - Muzik Fo' Tha Taliban
PPT - Tres Monos in Love
Queen Latifah - All Hail the Queen [Reissue]
Queen Latifah - Nature of a Sista [Reissue]
Rob-O - Rhyme Pro
RZA - Afro Samurai: The Soundtrack
Sean Price - Jesus Price Supastar

For a database of upcoming and past releases with updates, please see Hip Hop Albums.

   Sunday, January 21, 2007
Hip Hop Album Releases for Jan. 19/23: Grand Hustle, Cyssero, Deviants of Reality, Gangsta Pat, Romeo, Stones Throw

diesel compilation cd

Sickbay - The Diesel Compilation

For more album cover art, please check out Weekly Hip Hop Albums, a new releases blog or sign up for our free weekly newsletter delivered every Monday with Tuesday's releases.

The following new releases are available from Amazon.

Jan. 19 Release:

Grand Hustle - Grand Hustle In Da Streetz Volume 4

Jan. 23 Releases:

B.U.K.A. Ent. - Bringing It Home Vol. 2
Cuete - Heat Under the Seat
Cyssero - Protege of The Game
Decompoze - Decomposition
Deviants of Reality - Love, Sex and Situation
Dyablo - Profecias
Gangsta Pat - Greatest Hits: His Deadliest Verses
Lil G - Guess Who's Back
P. Blades - Coqui [w/DVD]
Polow - The Product
Romeo - God's Gift
Sickbay - The Diesel Compilation
Stones Throw - Stones Throw: Ten Years
Thump Records - Hi Power 2007
V-White - Perfect Timin'

For a database of upcoming and past releases with updates, please see Hip Hop Albums.

RIAA Drama, Artists Must Act Now

By Omowale Adewale

Artists need to become politicized within the music industry. Not because organizers say so speak about community issues, or because it's the right thing to do. The reality is, if you're truly a "boss" as Slim Thug maintains he is or a "king" or "president of Hip-Hop" as Nas and Jay-Z respectively claim then at least stop permitting former slave masters to break you off crumbs and utilize you like sheep. Run the music business not just a business within the music industry. The reports of DJ Drama and employees of Gangsta Grillz being raided in Atlanta, Ga on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 by SWAT, FBI, and apparently the RIAA for bootlegging mixtapes was a clear message to Hip-Hop. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) said blatantly, we run Hip-Hop and any music genre, whether considered black music or not.

Hip-Hop has been maneuvering their own independent companies for a long while within the music industry. However, there has been either a lack organization or a wealth of fear that has left Hip-Hop entrepreneurs, particularly black businessmen unable to distribute or manufacture in the tier that the "big 5" has managed. The term "big 5" comes from the oligopoly of music groups ( not major labels) Universal, Sony, BMG, EMI, and Warner. Each one is a branch of a conglomerate. Conglomerates are corporations with a variety of different interests in various unrelated industries. In this instance, music and to a lesser extent media is the main focus.

Each of the big 5's headquarters is strategically placed in one of the "G8" nations, which is a group of 8 governments that make international decisions for the world. Three of the "big 5" are located in nations which are permanent members of the Security Council, which are France, Great Britain, and the U.S. The Security Council essentially controls the United Nations. Only five nations make up the Security Council.

It is important to understand this international paradigm to recognize, that although consolidation is important to the RIAA, domination is foremost and is created in a web-like process, in strategic locations. For instance, EMI's position is significant, as it speaks for Great Britain or the UK. When Polygram's music group was bought by Universal which is headquartered France, it was all right with the former "big 6" because BMG was there in Germany, and no longer needed Polygram's positioning. True indeed, dead prez was right all along "it's bigger than Hip-Hop" and DJ Drama for that matter.

So, why raid DJ Drama? DJ Drama has been one of RIAA's important associates for a long while. Most of DJ Drama's music on Gangsta Grillz albums are exclusives with a couple of songs on the artists' album that are always available for legal promotion. If anyone is in trouble, it's the artists who come without the record company holding their hand. The record labels of the music groups pay DJ Drama to promote their artists. Rarely does the artist have that kind of money. The music group contacts DJ Drama, not so much the artists. DJ Drama charges a grip, a gwop. You're talking $50K into the six figures. DJ Drama has been upfront about his motives and ambitions in the game as he professes "I'm about to own Hip-Hop" on one of his collaborations." In the words of the Shogun Assassin's storyteller (ask GZA), "maybe that was the problem".

The RIAA wants total domination and the money that comes with it. Capitalism is about increasing profits annually. If the sales aren't doing well, they don't want an apology, they want to retribution from whomever they believe is responsible even if its their fault. In the late 1990's Universal sued MP3.com, settled out of court for $53.4 million over copyright infringement. Online music distributers provided a forum for the public to download and trade music through MP3 formats, which excluded RIAA members from profits. Universal later purchased MP3.com for $375 million. The RIAA forced Napster.com to settle a $170 million lawsuit over copyright infringement. What was key to RIAA's speedy win was the creation of the RIAA's Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) that only lasted for three years, as it took only a short amount of time to regulate the music business online. The SDMI was composed of individual professionals & companies in the internet technology industry. They used it to influence artists, legislators and the public. Will this same strategy be used to gobble up the mixtape business in Hip-Hop? Perhaps.

For them to go after their former helpful aid, DJ Drama probably began venturing into off-limit territory. He might have been looking to create a label or music group that excluded the RIAA or maybe rejected being an official member of their team. DJ Drama has the connections to change the game like some of the other mixtape organizers, such as DJ Whoo Kid who has an organization of DJ's. Drama's potential power was real and it was an obvious threat. Starting with southern DJ's was definitely the RIAA's order of the day through tactical planning. The Hip-Hop in the south has been an entity onto itself and has managed to force music groups and their labels to come to them. It worked for Master P and Cash Money. This wasn't just about DJ Drama, the south has been able to function without mainstream promotion and do quite well by their own standards.

Artists, especially emcees of Hip-Hop should be the main opposition to that strategy. Artists in Hip-Hop are the most rebellious force in music. I will not name the names, but artists are most times not permitted by contract to work without the permission of their record companies, yet they do. Hip-Hop artists are religiously rejecting that system of sharecropping and working with everyone to make money in the midst of having their albums pushed back. If DJ Drama is found guilty, it's the beginning of the end for recording in contract artists, specifically those under the big 5. Artists should envision their future going from jail to solitary confinement in prison. DJ Drama represents artists to a high level of degree, artists should represent him too, which includes watching what artists say to the authorities. DJ Drama is innocent ( I'm not a journalist, so I can say that). However, the black community knows how the police can be extremely manipulative to arrive at a conviction.

For the public, which also includes artists, I appeal to you in the strongest way possible. Please do not merely just demand "FREE DRAMA! FREE CANNON!" If they are freed, it's not like the RIAA will give up. I mean, seriously, they came in with dozens of armed men and attack dogs. They'll be back in Hip-Hop. Demand from legislators that artists have union rights. The International Artists Union (IAU) of the Grassroots Artists MovEment ( G.A.ME) for several years has been researching the methods of the RIAA, interviewing artists, meeting with congressmen and artist unions and non-artist unions. The Artist Freedom Act (AFA) influenced by Hip-Hop's rebelliousness demands that artists receive collective bargaining rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and that the specific media and music exploitation aimed dually at Hip-Hop and the black community be acknowledged. Right now, artists are considered independent contractors and not employees. In simple terms employees are told what to do and how to do it. Independent contractors are told what to do, but not how to do it. There are several artists admitting on albums and industry insiders that have said artists are told to alter their art to extreme degrees. Dame Dash publicly stated that Hot97 and MTV dictated what they dictated in the studio.

If artists have collective bargaining rights so will anyone they choose to work with. Artists would be placed on equal footing with the Universal or Warner. If artists have rights, they can exercise their creative rights to speak up for the community and not for their bosses owning their masters. If artists have rights, that means a change of what goes on in the music videos and on radio. In reality, it's good justice for any employee or artist to have these rights. In reality, collective bargaining through unions is good justice for any artist. Artists are supposed to have healthcare, artists should not be confined to a record label for an indefinite amount of years, and artists should not be forced to choose whether to make money and disrespect his/her community or be broke but, full of integrity. It's the right thing to do. If Hip-Hop is going to change, it must begin with changing the current situation of artists.

G.A.ME is meeting publicly January 23, 2007 and February 13, 2007 at 7:00pm at Hunter College to discuss moving forward with the Artist Freedom Campaign (AFC). Contact Terry at icebergsift@gmail.com regarding work with this campaign.

Omowale Adewale is the executive director of Grassroots Artists MovEment (G.A.ME) and coordinator of special services for Assemblymember Aurelia Greene.

Omowale Adewale
G.A.ME Director
917-239-8992 (direct)

   Sunday, January 14, 2007
No Hip Hop Albums Report For Jan. 16

I'm sorry to report that no albums made it through the complex and highly sophisticated process of creating this week's new hip hop album releases report.

Check Weekly Hip Hop Albums for recent releases and netweed's Hip Hop Albums for earlier archives.

   Monday, January 08, 2007
Oprah Winfrey, Bill Cosby Face Growing Challenge by Black Professors - Marc Lamont Hill and Boyce Watkins Appear on CNN to Discuss Concerns

Black Professors concerned that Cosby and Winfrey comments on black youth are ultimately detrimental.

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) January 8, 2007 -- Prominent African-American professors Dr. Marc Lamont Hill and Dr. Boyce Watkins have appeared on CNN recently to challenge Oprah Winfrey regarding her perceptions of black males and inner city students. Dr. Hill, a Professor at Temple University, appeared on Showbiz Tonight and Dr. Watkins (Syracuse University) made similar statements on CNN's Paula Zahn Now. Both men are respectfully concerned that Winfrey's statements and actions may have a detrimental effect on poor African-Americans, especially men.

How in the world can you look at the deplorable statistics in our inner city schools and say that the kids are to blame for this?
When asked why she built a school in Africa instead of America's inner cities, Ms. Winfrey replied, "I became so frustrated with visiting inner-city schools [in the U.S.. If you ask the kids what they want or need, they will say an iPod or some sneakers. In South Africa, they don't ask for money or toys. They ask for uniforms so they can go to school."

Dr. Hill questioned Winfrey's statements, saying that she is misdirecting her frustration with the poor condition of America's inner city schools. "[Her deployment of a Cosby-esque 'blame the victim' approach to the American educational crisis is both facile and counterproductive," says Hill, who makes regular appearances on CNN and Fox News. Hill says that it is unfortunate that "Oprah 'Everybody Gets A Car!' Winfrey sees no irony in the fact that her own show pushes many of the products that she says contribute to our youth's wanton consumerism."

Dr. Watkins agrees that Oprah's perceptions are misguided. "How in the world can you look at the deplorable statistics in our inner city schools and say that the kids are to blame for this?" says Watkins, the author of "Everything you ever wanted to know about College". "She can spend her money as she pleases, but don't attack and throw away our kids in the process."

Watkins also feels that Oprah's statements about inner city students may relate to her general perception of black males. On CNN's "Paula Zahn Now", Dr. Watkins questioned Winfrey's representation of black men on her show. "It seems that Oprah has no problem with the Grammy and Oscar winners, but when it comes to rank and file black males, she tends to ignore or misrepresent them. Her frustration with rappers even led her to edit out the comments by (hip hop star) Ludicris on her show. I was offended by that."

Hill and Watkins are also outspoken critics of Bill Cosby for his attacks on the inner city. Hill's comments in The Baltimore Sun Times and Watkins' comments on The Wendy Williams Experience have led to a powerful backlash from Cosby himself.

"Our greatest enemy in the black community is the elitism that leads some of us to think that we are better than others," says Dr. Watkins, the author of 'What if George Bush were a Black Man?' "It's easy for Bill and Oprah to says 'What's wrong with those Negroes?' It's much harder for them to engage in critical and constructive dialogue."

Dr. Marc Lamont Hill is Assistant Professor of Urban Education & American Studies at Temple University and the editor of www.barbershopnotebooks.com. He makes regular appearances in the national media, including CNN, FOX News, and various other media. Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Finance Professor at Syracuse University and author of "What if George Bush were a Black Man?" He makes regular appearances on ESPN, CNN, FOX and other networks. For interviews, call Lawrence at (502) 640-8155 or visit www.MarcLamontHill.com and www.boycewatkins.com.

   Sunday, January 07, 2007
Hip Hop Album Releases for Jan. 9: Crunk Hits 3, Freedom Writers, Memphis Mafia, Sqad-Up, Ultramagnetic MCs

sqad-up's we here now cd

Sqad-Up - We Here Now

For more album cover art, please check out Weekly Hip Hop Albums, a new releases blog or sign up for our free weekly newsletter delivered every Monday with Tuesday's releases.

The following new releases are available from Amazon.

Clubhouse Music - Juke Juice: Power 92 Chicago
Memphis Mafia - Drum And Bass Tribute To Three 6 Mafia
O.G. Ron C. - F Action 46
Soundtrack - Freedom Writers
Sqad-Up - We Here Now
TVT - Crunk Hits 3
TVT - Hyphy Hitz
Ultramagnetic MCs - Best Kept Secret

For a database of upcoming and past releases with updates, please see Hip Hop Albums.

   Thursday, January 04, 2007
BUSH MUST GO! Demonstration at Opening of Congress, 12 noon, Jan 4


'If War Crimes, Torture, and Crimes Against Humanity Are Not Reason to Impeach, What Is?'

WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On January 4, people will demonstrate at the opening of Congress. Protesters from up and down the East Coast, some dressed in orange Guantanamo torture jumpsuits, will demand that Congress investigate and hold accountable the Bush administration for criminal liability, and that the House of Representatives immediately initiate Articles of Impeachment against Bush for "high crimes and misdemeanors."

1. DEMONSTRATION, 12noon, Thursday, January 4

Upper Senate Park (Delaware & Constitution, just north of Capitol), Washington DC

2. "VOICES FOR IMPEACHMENT" evening program featuring DANIEL ELLSBERG, MICHAEL RATNER, JOHN NICHOLS, CINDY SHEEHAN, DEBRA SWEET, video message from GORE VIDAL, 7pm, Thursday, National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW

Millions thought they were voting against the war and the president, but the Democratic leadership of the new Congress has declared that impeachment is off the table.

That night at 7pm, DANIEL ELLSBERG (Pentagon Papers), MICHAEL RATNER (pres., Center for Constitutional Rights), JOHN NICHOLS, CINDY SHEEHAN, DAVID SWANSON and DEBRA SWEET will speak at a forum sponsored by World Can't Wait. GORE VIDAL will send a video message.

Debra Sweet, National Director of World Can't Wait: "A regime as criminal as the Bush regime should not be allowed to remain in office. This unjust war was started on lies and has continued despite an election where millions thought they were voting to stop it. The Democrats allow debate only on how to run the war more effectively, and refuse to even consider impeachment. This is unacceptable. If George Bush is not removed from office before 2008, then everything he has done -- his doctrine of preemptive war, legalization of torture, undermining the rule of law, and inserting fundamentalist Christianity into the laws, culture and institutions of the country -- will continue no matter who becomes the next president. As people of conscience living in the U.S. we cannot allow that to happen."

Endorsers include US Green Party; Rep. Cynthia McKinney; AfterDowningStreet.org; ImpeachBush.org; Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Hip Hop Caucus; ImpeachForPeace.org; ImpeachBush.tv.

Interviews available.

http://www.worldcantwait.org/, press@worldcantwait.org

CONTACT: Connie Julian of World Can't Wait, +1-718-825-9119.

Source: World Can't Wait

CONTACT: Connie Julian of World Can't Wait, +1-718-825-9119

Web site: http://www.worldcantwait.org/