Sunday, March 30th, 2008

Live From Berkeley

Home. If only for a nanosecond…

posted by @ 12:41 pm | 0 Comments

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Whoops…Phillips’ Story on Pac and Diddy Isn’t True?

Chuck Phillips’ investigative report in the LA Times last week on Diddy, Pac, and Biggie is now being investigated internally, after The Smoking Gun website called the new information Phillips used for his story a hoax.

Turns out Phillips’ main source all along was James Sabatino, who the Smoking Gun pretty much calls the ultimate Forrest Gump wannabe of hip-hop disasters:

The con man, James Sabatino, 31, has long sought to insinuate himself, after the fact, in a series of important hip-hop events, from Shakur’s shooting to the murder of The Notorious B.I.G. In fact, however, Sabatino was little more than a rap devotee, a wildly impulsive, overweight white kid from Florida whose own father once described him in a letter to a federal judge as “a disturbed young man who needed attention like a drug.”

Um, whoa.

No word on how the media will deal with the new rumor alleging the corpses of Biggie and Tupac both had red ribbons tied on their right wrists when they were found dead.

posted by @ 12:53 pm | 3 Comments

Monday, March 17th, 2008

Planet B-Boy Opening Across The U.S.

Hey fam, sorry for the radio silence. I’m now in the middle of a lecture tour, and have been encountering weather as cold and grimy as the people and hospitality have been warm and wonderful. I shouldn’t have left you without a strong beat to step to.

Here’s the movie I wrote about in last year’s Foreign Policy piece and have been talking up in my talks, an incredible celebration of hip-hop’s global impact and a bracing shot of visual adrenalin. Director Benson Lee has been traveling around the country showing the flick, and now he’s cut a deal to show it on Landmark Theatre screens around the US over the next month. Just click the poster above for more info, and don’t miss it. It’s everything it promises.

posted by @ 11:47 am | 1 Comment

Monday, March 17th, 2008

Chuck Phillips On Pac & Diddy

Sometimes a journalist makes the story and sometimes the story makes him. For the better part of the past decade, Chuck Phillips, an investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times whose beat included the music industry, has been pursuing the Tupac and Biggie murders. Today’s bombshell has been promised for a while, and now it’s here:
a front-pager claiming the FBI has evidence that Diddy’s henchmen plotted the ambush of Pac at Quad Studios in 1994.

The stories of Lil Shawn, his manager Jimmy Henchman, and mob-connected industry insiders James Sabatino and Haitian Jack have been circulating for years, and Cheo Coker discussed Haitian Jack in some detail in Unbelievable, his essential bio of Biggie. What’s new is that Phillips seems to have confirmed the story with a number of witnesses as well as an FBI informant. One, now in prison, even promised to produce the medallion snatched from Pac on that night for a price.

This morning, Diddy issued a terse press release, saying, “This story is beyond ridiculous and is completely false. Neither Biggie nor I had any knowledge of any attack before, during, or after it happened. It is a complete lie to suggest that there was any involvement by Biggie or myself. I am shocked that the Los Angeles Times would be so irresponsible as to publish such a baseless and completely untrue story.”

posted by @ 11:07 am | 2 Comments

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s The Break/s Opens This Week!

So I’m in the Dirrrty Dirrrty this week to do some talks–stand up Arkansas and Elon!–and to see my man Bamuthi Joseph open his play “The Break/s” at the Humana Festival, the premier American showcase for young playwrights.

It’s gonna be off the chain, with two turntables and video by Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi to support Bamuthi’s incredible spoken word text and movement. Bamuthi tells me it was partly inspired by Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, but when you check this I think you’ll agree with me that he’s on a whole nother level of the game that CSWS couldn’t reach.

Here’s a piece in Playbill that talks a little about the piece.

If you’re in the area, get tickets right now. If not, Bamuthi comes to the Walker in Minneapolis next month and the Yerba Buena Center in SF this summer.

Trust me, I’m not gonna miss any of the performances.

posted by @ 12:06 pm | 0 Comments

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