Tuesday, March 15th, 2005


I was on Michael Krasny’s show Forum on KQED this morning. What a long strange trip it’s been. (Didn’t 50 say that?)

Michael–yeah we’re on a first name basis now–is about the nicest host I’ve ever met. He makes you feel like the studio is his living room and you’re just chilling. He sets up a stack of notes, copious notes, on his little easel and talks quietly to you to get you warm. Then the on-air light goes on and he’s another guy entirely. Pitch goes up, volume goes up, and you’re sidin’.

I mean, the questions came fast and furious. In between, uh, novel uses of hip-hop slang. But for real, it was like intellectual kickboxing–exhausting and sometimes painful. You can hear on the audio (click on “The History and Future of Hip-Hop”) how I’m mentally breathless–running to catch up on previous thoughts.

Then they opened up the phonelines and the email and it got deeper. More running to catch up.

There were two comments in particular–they weren’t questions–that were interesting. The first was an email from a guy who said that Forum featuring the topic of hip-hop at all proved that NPR was continuing its mission to dumb down and destroy itself. I think he used the word “garbage”.

Then Dr. Cecil Brown called in. He’s the author of a widely acclaimed book, Stagolee Shot Billy, which Bill Adler highly recommended to me last year. I haven’t read it yet, and now I honestly might not for a while. Dr. Cecil Brown hated my book and apparently he hated me too. You’ll hear the specifics about 35-40 minutes into the audio. It’s too bad because I agree with his larger point, or at least the point that I think I thought he was making. Whatever. Can’t stop won’t stop.

Learned later that I’m not the only one on his shitlist. (His targets did respond, strongly, here and here.) Gotdam I’m happy I didn’t stay in grad school! Peace Dr. Brown, best of luck.

To my patient crew and fam, bear with me, tour stuff coming up in time. Sly Stone time. Keepin’ ya waiting like MIA.

Thank god, The Shield is back!

posted by @ 8:23 pm | 2 Comments

2 Responses to “On KQED”

  1. Jay Smooth says:

    Wow beef with cecil brown.. he is like this mythical figure to me , cuz of that old richard pryor album where rich gives him a shoutout from the stage.. (is that on “Bicentennial Ni**er”?)

    He was sort of making sense, in his own crotchety way, until he started making you the scapegoat for the issues he described.

  2. Jeff says:

    naw man, i’m vegetarian. and a professional scapegoat. i’m running for my record shelf right now, too!

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