Slang Rap Democracy

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Grand Puba X Public Enemy X Lynching

You can call it Grand Puba’s version of “Strange Fruit.” Eskay pointed out via Twitter that folks over at his Nah Right homestead were feeling a ways about the photo (1st pic below) Puba selected for his new single (“I See Dead People” f/ Rell & Lord Jamar).

No surprise there since lynching was such a horrendous fate for too many in the Jim Crow South. It’s not the first time such imagery has been used, though. Public Enemy used a photo of a lynching (2nd pic below) for the “Hazy Shade of Criminal” 12″ vinyl’s artwork. The song is from their Greatest Misses (1992) album.

Puba’s new album, Retroactive, drops June 23, via Babygrande.

Grand Puba "I See Dead People"

Grand Puba "I See Dead People"

Public Enemy "Hazy Shade of Criminal"

Public Enemy "Hazy Shade of Criminal"

June 12, 2009 Posted by | Freshness, Hip-Hop, Music, News | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fat Man Scoop, and Wifey, Talk Sex

I can still remember when I first noticed Fat Man Scoop on the back of OG issues of The Source in those Tommy Boy Records ads on the backpage. Scoop stays with a hustle whether it was promoting records for Tommy Boy, being a radio host on Hot 97 or rocking those Av8 break records enough [Fat Man Scoop f/ Crooklyn Clan “Be Faithful”] to go #1 in the UK and nab more Grammy’s than most rappers will ever see.

The sexually themed video talk show—think, Sex Ed for Grown Folk—he hosts with his wife, Shanda, was pretty entertaining when I caught it on MTV a while back. Good to see the couple try their hand at a daytime look with “Scoop and Shanda.” Who says Holy Matrimony ain’t Hip-Hop?

June 11, 2009 Posted by | Freshness, Hip-Hop, Music, News, T.V. | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Free Max B

How much can I record before sentencing?

How much music can I record before sentencing?

So Max B a/k/a Wavy Crockett was found guilty of murder conspiracy and robbery charges today. It looks like Biggavelli will be facing life with his sentencing set for July 31. Max’s downfall, besides plotting to rob two dudes, which ended up with one of them getting murked, was his girlfriend dropping dime on his criminal enterprise, if you can call it that.

Okay, so homegirl is a snitch. Duh. That still doesn’t change the fact that everyone involved was in on getting someone killed. So all the “Free Max B!” chants that are sure to have already started are asinine. Hip-Hop listeners—I won’t say it’s a “Hip-Hop” thing, per se—are quick to be on some Free (insert incarcerated rapper’s name here) ish despite the said MC possessing dirtbag tendencies which determined his or her incarcerated fate.

foxy-brown-mug-shotTwo examples: Foxy Brown had anger management issues coupled with unmatched narcissism that made her think assaulting nail salon workers was all good while Remy Ma put two hot slugs in her homie’s gut over some allegedly missing cash. [more after vid]

Why all the glorification of degenerate behavior? People in the hood—or the world in general, really—have long had a fascination with the criminal element (think Menace II Society to The Godfather). Most people aren’t built to live a life a crime, so the next best thing to idolizing actual criminal masterminds is blindly adoring musicians who usually act out their own illicit fantasies via music.

Also, saying “Free Max B” makes for a nice catchphrase, which is too prevalent in Hip-Hop (i.e. Stop Snitching, Hip-Hop is Dead, Keep it Real, etc.) Either way; do the crime, do the time. Lastly, considering considering his commentary below and at Rap Radar, Max’s lawyer has failed.

June 9, 2009 Posted by | Hip-Hop, Lamewatch, Music, News | , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Mos Def X Malcolm X

Nice hat(s).

Nice hat(s).

“You’re living at a time of extremism, a time of revolution, a time when there’s got to be a change. People in power have misused it, and now there has to be a change and a better world has to be built and the only way it’s going to be built is with extreme methods. And I for one will join in with anyone, I don’t care what color you are, as long as you want to change this miserable condition that exists on this earth. Thank you.”–Malcolm X

Mos Def uses the above quote in the intro song, “Super Magic,” off his latest album, The Ecstatic, which actually is dropping Tuesday, July 9.

Not the first, or last time a rapper will quote Brother Malcolm, the statement is the conclusion of his speech at The Oxford Union Debate on November 23, 1964. The topic of the debate was “Extremism in the Defense of Liberty is No Vice; Moderation in the Pursuit of Justice is No Virtue,” with Malcolm speaking for the affirmative position. [more after video]

Mr. Def, a Muslim, has never been one to mince his words when it comes to his politics. Black Dante’s mention of “tall Israeli is running this rap s**t” on “The Rape Over” from his The New Danger (2004) album is only one of those examples.

It’s probably coincidence, but the release of Pretty Flaco’s new album is almost 50 years since The Hate That Hate Produced, a 5-part look at the Nation of Islam (NOI) originally aired (July 13 – July 17, 1959). Co-produced by the esteemed Mike Wallace (60 Minutes) and the inspiring Louis Lomax (an African-American excelling in TV journalism in 1959? Incredible), the documentary offered an inside look at the “gospel of hate” being preached by the NOI. The entire documentary is on YouTube and thoroughly worth watching. [more after video]

The issues raised in the The Hate That Hate Produced, whether implicitly or explicitly—Black vs. White, Muslim vs. Christian, Jews vs. Gentiles—are still present today, contrary to anyone claiming some nonsense about the U.S. being post-racial thanks to our President being a Negro with the middle name Hussein. The fact that yesterday (June 2) Barack Obama made a speech in Cairo attempting to begin mending strained, to put it lightly, relations with the Muslim world is a testament to that reality.

Thanks to shady business like Donald “Halliburton” Rumsfeld seeding Biblical quotes into top-secret White House briefings, it won’t be an easy road. But we’re at least on the path.

By the time Malcolm made his speech at Oxford in ‘64, he had formally split with the NOI in March of the same year and made his pilgrimage to Mecca a month later. While his Hajj made Malcolm essentially rescind his divisive—or empowering, to many—rhetoric of years past, with hope that Islam would be a means to unify different people, the underlying themes of even his most fiery and incendiary of speeches remained. The disenfranchisement and oppression of the weak at hands of the powerful was unacceptable and could only by remedied “by any means necessary.” That’s the language they get. Word to KRS-One.


Mos Def “Casa Bey”

Mos Def Reads Malcolm X Speech [via Urban Daily]

1959: Sex, Jazz, Datsuns [via NY Mag]

June 4, 2009 Posted by | Freshness, Hip-Hop, Music, News | , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments