Saturday, February 3rd, 2007

Plug Three With The Whole Committee

In my talks, I’ve often asked my audiences if anyone knows what the 1996 Telecom Act was about, and how it affected the quality of hip-hop we are hearing and seeing. I’m usually met with blank stares. Yet the story of media consolidation explains a lot about why reactionary shock jocks of color rule urban radio, why there’s so much crap on TV, and why the media justice movement has been growing by leaps and bounds over the last three years, especially in hip-hop circles.

There have been a raft of books in the media justice movement recently, but none as good as NYU prof and progressive journalist Eric Klinenberg’s new book, Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America’s Media. Eric breaks down the massive changes that have occurred and their human toll, including the firing of Davey D from KMEL. If you’re in the Bay, Eric will be appearing at the Commonwealth Club on Tuesday and the Berkeley J-School on Wednesday. Check his website for more info.

2007 seems to be the year to talk hip-hop arts. Spelman prof and all-around brilliant dude Jelani Cobb also has a book out now on the aesthetics of hip-hop, called To The Break of Dawn that is definitely worth checking. If that wasn’t enough, he’s got another book coming out in March–a collection of his essays provocatively entitled The Devil and Dave Chappelle: And Other Essays–and he also makes an appearance in Byron Hurt’s essential documentary, “Beyond Beats And Rhymes”, which airs nationally on PBS on February 21st. Much more about that important movie to come.

My man Keith Knight has been called America’s most dangerous man with a Sharpie. He’s got a new collection out called Are We Feeling Safer Yet? and it was so funny I put my back out again while reading it. Click here to see why, or if you’re in the Bay, just open a San Francisco Chronicle “96 Hours” section on Thursday and go straight to the back. Then, if you’re like me, just make sure you’re strapped into an ergonomically correct seat.

posted by @ 10:34 am | 4 Comments

4 Responses to “Plug Three With The Whole Committee”

  1. Polk says:

    While it may sound initially counterintuitive, media consolidation has resulted in a diversification of voices and the survival of local broadcasting. Without the resources afforded by corporate ownership, local broadcasters would find themselves unable to compete with cable, satellite, several incarnations of radio, and an ever-expanding Internet for the advertising dollars on which they rely. Were the FCC to tighten its ownership rules, many of these local broadcasters would find themselves unable to survive and would be depriving the public of an invaluable resource. And for what it’s worth, I work with the National Association of Broadcasters, an organization that historically has not advocated media consolidation.

  2. Jeff says:

    You forgot to add, “I also think that gravity is a lie and Princess Diana is very much alive.”

  3. chank says:

    heyy i was wondering if you couuld upload the whole ignant mix by dj mark marcelo please?

  4. Mister G says:

    Thursday, February 15, 2007 at Milk Bar, A Luv Supreme- Post Valentines Day Romp, Hip Hop/Soul Review Starring Brooklyn’s Mighty Raw Soul Phenom, Maya Azucena w/ full band. Sucka Free’s Saucy Lyricist, Melina Jones. Nightshift DJs (Derrick D, Myke-One), and special guest drummer Big G (808 Band).

    Thursday, February 15, 2007 at Milk Bar 1840 Haight St., San Francisco, CA (415) 387-6455 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. 21 +

    $10 at the door, $8 Advanced tickets at


    Born and raised in Brooklyn, vocalist Maya Azucena was described in The New York Post recently described her as having a “towering voice, which has echoes of old-school divas, like Chaka Khan and Roberta Flack.”

    In 2006, Azucena shared the stage with artists such as Roberta Flack, Bilal, Martin Luther, Jaguar Wright, Leon Ware, Richard Bona, Lupe Fiasco, “Rhymefest,” Sleepy Brown, Big Daddy Kane, CL Smooth, “The Isley Brothers,” Gladys Knight, Anthony Hamilton, “The Platinum Pied Pipers,” and John Legend.

    Most recently, Azucena recorded a duet with Stephen Marley for his upcoming Tuff Gong/Universal Records release. The duet, entitled “Dance Dance,” is designated for a music video and has spawned an ongoing working relationship with Marley, who is the
    producer and behind-the-scenes man for Damian Marley, Ziggy Marley, and more.


    Hailing from the city of San Francisco, Melina Jones takes a more classic approach. She has music in her blood, thanks to the influence of her father, a renowned local soul singer who has worked with a variety of acts over many decades. She’s been down for the cause ever since childhood, recording and performing diligently all over California since the early 1990s. Not confined to one specific talent, she can rap, sing, drop poetry, and play live instruments. She is the epitome of what they call “a total package.”

    # # #

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