Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

Barefiles Is Back

Dubsteppas rejoice! Check here.

posted by @ 9:10 am | 0 Comments

Monday, June 18th, 2007

Matt Birkhold on Hip-Hop and Patriarchy

Great piece in WireTap Magazine today by Matt Birkhold:

By the end of the 2005 Feminism and Hip-Hop Conference, it was clear that hip-hop was central to the identities of many people present. After Joan Morgan, author of When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost, said that hip-hop as she knew it was dead, many audience members grew visibly upset. They were further angered when Black Noise author Tricia Rose said that, because the music had internalized capitalism and misogyny, it was time to let hip-hop go.

The intellectual conflict between those angered by Rose and Morgan and those who were not was apparent during a panel that included video model Melyssa Ford and video director Jessy Terrero. Ford argued that there wasn’t a problem with her portrayal in videos because she was in control of her image. Terrero stressed that women were portrayed in videos in a manner that guaranteed profit for both the director and the label.

Terrero’s “sex sells” position was interrogated during the question-and-answer period, when Tricia Rose asked panel participants, “If having the Klan come through your video and lynch black folks is going to make you money, are you going to do it?” Terrero responded “No.” Rose followed up by saying, “We have drawn a line with race. When will we draw a line in regards to gender?” Terrero responded evasively (and elicited applause) by saying that if education were better, viewers would be equipped to make informed viewing choices and women dancing in videos would peruse other options.

Terrero’s response is problematic because it indicates an unwillingness to take responsibility for the sexist images he creates which are then televised around the country to a market that awaits subhuman, hypersexual images of black women. The crowd’s approval demonstrates their unwillingness to hold him accountable and also illustrates that they too would rather engage in a conversation concerning the failures of education than discuss the ways in which hip-hop has internalized patriarchy and sexism.

This squares with my recollection of the event as well.

A small sidenote: in Ms. Morgan’s defense, I’ve been on several panels with her since the 2005 conference. She taught a class on hip-hop journalism this past spring at Duke, and has told her students and her audiences her personal truth, which is that she no longer is as passionate a hip-hop fan as when she was in her 20s. I think she might say that, even though she said what she said at the University of Chicago, she certainly doesn’t believe hip-hop is dead.

posted by @ 1:22 pm | 3 Comments

Friday, June 15th, 2007

USA TODAY: Can rap regain its crown?

Cover story on USA TODAY: Can rap regain its crown?

Response from Hip-Hop World: Yawn.

posted by @ 8:09 am | 12 Comments

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

For Lovers (Of Art and Democracy)

So you say you were a lover–before this war? Fall in love again Friday night at the Picture Progress 2007 event tomorrow night in San Francisco. Serious art (Judy Chicago?!) and serious change will be afoot to benefit some of our favoritest hellraisers at the the League of Young Voters.

posted by @ 10:04 pm | 0 Comments

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

Eric Arnold :: Hyphy Not Dead Yet!

The debate over whether hyphy is dead continues, with Eric Arnold weighing in on the subject in The Chron. Here’s an excerpt including my mane D-Sharp:

Take Super Hyphy 17, an all-ages, alcohol-free event held Memorial Day weekend at Petaluma’s Phoenix Theater. That’s where about 1,000 youngsters of various ethnicities went dumb, shook their dreads and made thizz faces all night to live performances by Mistah F.A.B., Zion-I & the Grouch, the Pack, Haji Springer, J-Billion, J. Diggs and other local acts.

A palpable surge of energy moved through the crowd when the DJ spun the late Mac Dre’s now-classic 2002 anthem “Thizzelle Dance”; live renditions of recent hits like the Pack’s “Vans,” Zion-I’s “The Bay” and F.A.B.’s “Kicked Out Da Club” were greeted with equal exuberance. Though the tightly packed crowd was “in the building and feeling itself,” as they say, the negatives associated with hyphy were absent — there were no fights, no gunshots and nobody spinning doughnuts after the show.

“Is hyphy over? Not in Petaluma,” said concert promoter D-Sharp, looking around at a hall full of excited youngsters sporting multicolored hoodies, special-edition Oakland A’s hats, shiny grill pieces, Thizz Fo Life T-shirts and the oversize sunglasses — called “stunna shades” — which have become ubiquitous to hyphy culture.

Backstage, even more of the culture was on display, much of it emanating from Mistah F.A.B. The 25-year-old Oakland native who’s become hyphy’s official spokesman held court, dressed in a brightly colored airbrushed T-shirt bearing his likeness and sporting a matching bejeweled chain.

“How can hyphy be dead? They ain’t seen hyphy yet,” F.A.B. insists

posted by @ 5:07 am | 2 Comments

Thursday, June 7th, 2007

Marley Marl Has A Heart Attack

Nobody’s smiling. Article at is here. Link via Noz.

posted by @ 8:48 am | 1 Comment

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

This Weekend For Bay Heads

Summer weekend, lots of great music to go around.

Tune in Friday night to the Uhuru Maggot’s long-standing, definitive History of Funk show, 10pm on KPFA FM 94.1. We’ll be getting behind the Betty Davis story.

And on Saturday night, at The Independent, the Writer’s Block DJ crew–that loose-knit federation of writers who DJ and DJs who write organized by Weyland Southon of Hard Knock Radio, and featuring a growing cast of folks like Susie Lundy, DJ Ripley, DJ Emancipacion, Eric Arnold, the tragically Bosux-loving (1-3 vs. the A’s this year) Adam Mansbach, and yours truly–will be warming you up for the great Meshell Ndegeocello!

Come early to catch the vibe…

posted by @ 9:50 am | 0 Comments

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