Diesel Nation
this is an audio post - click to play
  Jon of hiphopanonymous.net lists Eminem's past lawsuits including this new one:
Eminem is fighting a civil lawsuit over the Shady Ltd. name that is featured on his new clothing line. Shady Inc., a small Nevada based company, filed the lawsuit in Nevada federal court, claiming that they have been using the name since for their clothing since late 1999. Shady Inc. did not register the trademark until 2001. Shady Inc. targets the sports apparel market, selling T-Shirts and hats in Nevada stores and through the Internet and mail order. Eminem's lawyers contend that the Shady name is associated with Eminem so frequently, that it should have never been granted to the Nevada company in the first place. "We were first and we used it in good faith," co-owner Thomas Hession told the Detroit Free Press. "We did not know at the time that Eminem was planning clothes." Eminem's lawyer, Manny Pokotilow, said that Eminem has been using the name since 1999 on record and that the rapper registered the Slim Shady trademark in 1999.
Next Eminem should also tell 50 Cent's DJ Whoo Kid to stop using a name that sounds like his.  
  Rakim says his album will drop soon.
"Me and Dre, we about to do full-steam on it, [and] hopefully we should have a single out towards the end of the summer and the album will follow shortly after that," Rakim said two weeks ago at the BET Awards. "We finally got everything on track like we wanted." Rakim has logged 16 songs with the producer and hopes to finish seven more
This project is three years old which shouldn't be considered that long. The hip-hop audience has been spoiled with the DMX's and the Jay-z's dropping a complete album every year. My advice to Ra- take your time and craft a classic. The older heads will appreciate it.  
  5237421New J-Zone tracks. in RealAudio.  
  Just found this site off of google adwords. Peep All Mixtapes.com. Great selection and really cheap prices. Plus they give a history of the mixtape. I haven't bought anything from them so I can't comment on their service. 
  Hip-hop needs to show Dr. King the respect he deserves (and props goes to Chuck D for once again leading the way). Recognize- MLK was just as gully as Malcolm on his best day. Here's what Digital Gravel says about these t-shirt's that are sold in their store:
Contra wets down with a powerful stylized portrait of one of the world's greatest leaders in history that strove for the equality of all races.. Martin Luther King, Jr. The back features one of MLK's quotes embracing his principles of brotherhood and unity. "We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools." Truer than ever. Support the movement.
  I'm a beta tester for Type Pad now! Peep the new Diesel Nation test site. My job is to report bugs so please let me know what bugs you find as a user.  

Clear your calendar! This is the New York hip-hop event I wait for every year! Here's a list of the events:

JULY 24th THURSDAY Event: Celebrity Benefit Basketball Game Time: 11:00AM - 3:00PM Location: The Cage. 6th Avenue on the corner of 4th Street (NYC) Admission: Free Teams: Rock Steady Crew, TAT’s Cru and more to be announced! Event: End Of The Weak MC Challenge Time: 9:00PM - 2:00AM Location: S.O.B's 204 Varick Street at West Houston. Directions 212.243.4940 or www.sobs.com Admission: $15.00 in Advance $20.00 at the door! WWW.GROOVETICKETS.COM JULY 25thFRIDAY Event: H20 Film Festival Time: 1:00PM - 5:00PM Location: 410 West 16th Street. Between 9th & 10th Ave. Directions: 212.242.6555 Admission: $7.00 Donation. All Proceeds will go to the Greenwich Village Youth Council. WWW.GROOVETICKETS.COM Event: Lipton Brisk Flava Styles b-boy/girl Battle. 2 on 2 invitational. ''Punk Rock Rap Fashion Show''. Time: 3:00PM - 5:00PM Location: 311 West 34th Street between 8th & 9th Ave. Directions: 212.242.6555 Admission: $20.00 in advance $25.00 at the door. Artist: STIFFED WWW.GROOVETICKETS.COM "Brisk Flava Styles Breakin’ 2 on 2 Battle" Contestants. Bebe & Boo Rok. Ground Zero, Miami Ajax & Buckingham. Flexible Flave, Tango & Longshot. Bag Of Trix, Toronto Nemesis & Kom 3. Breaks Cru, New York City Macho & Bebo. Ground FX, Mass Vee & Omen. Problems Cru, Conn Naytron & Déjà vu. Head Hunters, San Jose Ms. Mighty & Blazin'. Shebang! Crew, Toronto Waka & Evol. Brickhedz, Chicago Popeye & Image, Cypher Designs, Conn Mega & Feenix, Flava Fematicks, New York City 4 more to be announced!! The Rock Steady Crew 26th Anniversary marks the introduction of its first ever fashion show titled “Punk Rock Rap�. This is an event that recognizes the fusion of street and skate culture and celebrates their unity under the banner of hip-hop. Highly acclaimed set designer and graffiti artist, Ernie Vales, has designed a stage that visually conveys and represents authentic hip-hop style and street flavor. Models will include B-boy/girls and street skaters. JULY 26th SATURDAY Event: Outdoor Concert Time: 1:00 PM - 7:00 PM Location: Pier 54 14th Street, Westside Highway NYC, NY Admission: FREE!!!!! ARTISTS: M.O.P FREDDIE FOXXX CANNIBUS Q-UNIQUE NON-PHIXION IMMORTAL TECK JEDI MIND TRICKS SOUL PURPOSE EVIL D TONY TOUCH I.T.F REGINALS JULY 27th SUNDAY Event: Concert B-boy/girl Battle finals Time: 3:00 PM - 9:00 PM Location: Manhattan Center 311 West 34th Street between 8th & 9th Ave. ARTISTS: RAHZEL & DJ JS1 CRAIG G JUST ICE SPECTAC 5TH PLATOON DJ RED ALERT 2 ON 2 FINALS Admission: $25.00 in advance $30.00 at the door. WWW.GROOVETICKETS.COM
  Even though the media focuses on the violence in rap, any true school historian will tell you that hip-hop was formed as a way to ease gang violence and create unity amongst Black and Latinos in New York. It seems that our music/culture is doing the same in Isreal for the Isreali and Palenstinian youth. Props to Rolling Stone and Loolwa Khazzoom for reporting that "Hip-hop Thrives in Israel"

...Israeli hip-hop cuts across lines of ethnicity not only between Arabs and Jews, but within the Jewish community itself -- featuring artists from Ethiopian, Mizrahi (Middle Eastern/North African), Sephardic (Spanish-Portuguese and Latin), and Ashkenazi (Central/Eastern European) backgrounds. And though Israeli rappers are overwhelmingly male, young women are beginning to take center stage, such as MC Shiri, who performed at the event. "It's very exciting to see female rappers," gushes sixteen-year-old Alma Ne'eman, who attended the concert with her gal pals. "It really got us going to see MC Shiri up on stage." Among artists performing were three Arab hip-hop groups, MWR (standing for Mahmoud, Waseem and Richard), Dam and Tammer, who sang in a mix of Hebrew and Arabic. "We talk about our problems," Mahmoud says of MWR's message. "As Israeli Arabs, we get it from all sides. To Arabs outside Israel, we're traitors. To Israeli Jews, we're dangerous Arabs. We're stuck between a rock and a hard place. Everyone hates us." Hip-hop concerts, these artists feel, provide a place where they can be recognized for who they are. "When we come, and the audience sees artists standing before them," Richard says, "they see the positive side of being Arabs." "Hip-hop is a great tool for building bridges between Jews and Arabs," agree Gabby Baruch and Shani Alder, two young women who attended the concert. "We hear each other's music and message, and we feel closer to each other." ...
  HA-HA! Where can I get this t-shirt?


  Barry White died. Hip-hop Music.com posts about it. 
  Terrorism Scares Are NOT Hip-hop

I had to walk to work from 18th Street because there was some type of anthrax scare on the train. Then at lunch time I couldn't walk back to work because they shut down half of the Brooklyn Bridge and had a barracade that stopped foot traffic over Chambers Street. Welcome to New York City.  

  Some great blogging has been going on at Beats and Rants. Yesterday's news round up is what I try (and have been failing recently) to do with Diesel Nation. 
  Watch El-P's Stepfather Factory video or go kill yourself. 
  Carl Chery reports that Russell Simmons Is In Hot Water Over Alleged Illegal Gifts To Politicians
Though scoring a small victory in his fight against the Rockerfeller Drug Laws weeks ago, Russell Simmons now faces a criminal probe into alleged illegal gifts made to powerful state politicians in conjunction with his lobbying for their support in Albany to eliminate the harsh and biased law. The probe was launched after The NY Post disclosed yesterday that secretary of state Randy Daniels flew to Albany for a drug-law meeting with NY Governor Pataki and legislative leaders on a helicopter chartered by Simmons. The investigation of the helicopter ride, valued at more than the maximum $75 gift donation allowed by lobbyist, comes 24 hours after the Commission commenced a "formal investigation" on Simmons over whether he should have been officially registered as a lobbyist for the high profile campaign. Simmons would have to cough up to $100,000 if found guilty of violating the lobbying law, which requires anyone spending more than $2,000 to persuade a state legistlator to register as a "lobbyist." Daniels states that no ethical mandate was broken as the ride was not a gift and Simmons would be reimbursed. Lobbying law forbids registered lobbyists from offering gifts worth more than $75 to senior state officials, whether they provide reimbursement or not. "If it is determined that Mr. Simmons should have registered as a lobbyist then a trip like this would constitute an illegal gift under the Lobbying Act and would subject Mr. Simmons to a fine of up to $25,000 and a possible conviction for a Class A misdemeanor," said Commission Executive Director David Grandeau.

I'm sure this type of illegal lobbying happens all of the time. Russell just needs to become as shrewd as the White folks in covering it up. 



The world's top-selling rapper delighted fans yesterday when he emerged on the balcony of his hotel suite in Glasgow, Scotland, holding a blond-haired baby doll over the balcony wall and gleefully tossing it into the air. Then, catching the lifelike infant by the head, Eminem, wearing a Jacko-like surgical mask, dramatically pumped his fist in the air and retreated back into his room with doll in tow. It was a sick but funny parody of the Gloved One's bizarre appearance on a Berlin hotel balcony in November, when he dangled infant son Prince Michael II over the edge as horrified fans watched from below. Eminem's Jacko joke came before playing a show in Glasgow during his European tour.  

  The 3rd Annual BET Awards Winners Best New Artist - 50 Cent Best Male Hip Hop Artist - 50 Cent Best Male Athlete - Kobe Bryant Best Group - B2K Best Collaboration - Snoop and Pharrell for "Beautiful" Best Female Athlete - Serena Williams Best Female Hip Hop Artist - Missy Elliot Best Female R&B Artist - India.Arie Best Gospel Artist - Yolanda Adams Best Actress - Queen Latifah Viewer's Choice Award - B2K Male R&B - Jaheim and R. Kelly (Tie) Video Of The Year - Erykah Badu for "Love of My Life" 
  I guess I've been sleeping and just woke up. Some great, great blogging has been going on at Hiphopanonymous.net. Too many good posts to link them all. Just browse for yourself. 
  Mars Sanford of Blogcritics serves up a good review of Prince Paul's new album "Politics of the Business".  
  Posh of the Spice Girls is working with Dame Dash on some hip-hop tracks. I'll suspend judgement until I actually hear the new stuff. But props to Dame for continually handling his business. Peep: Posh Spice Becomes Hip-hop Star 
  Marty Dodge of Blogcritics falls into promoting the same hip-hop cliches as the mainstream media 
  I found this atBlunted On Reality: The Lebron James Hype.

So the Cleveland Cavaliers will more than likely be drafting high school phenom Lebron James on June 26th. Good for them. Ever since Brad Dougherty left and Shawn Kemp became a crackhead, things haven't been the same in Cleveland.

A lot of people have a lot of things to say about Mr. James. No one doubts his skills on the court, but a fair amount of people have questioned his maturity and ability to play the NBA game after having his head pumped up full of hype. Some people are altogether opposed to basketball players skipping college, saying that the additional schooling is necessary to build maturity and add experience.

The funny thing is, other athletes slip right past the radar on this issue. Teenagers are often drafted into the National Hockey League and granted multi-million dollar contracts, and there's rarely a complaint. Tennis, soccer and golf players regularly go pro before their 16th birthdays, and no one seems to care. So why should the NBA be any different?

The maturity argument needs to be squashed as well. When Kevin Garnett became the first high school athlete to declare for the NBA draft since Moses Malone in the 70's, a lot of people questioned his maturity level. Same with Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady... and currently, all 3 are not only stars in the league, but are examples of upstanding human beings, as well. Meanwhile, Allen Iverson, Rasheed Wallace, Ron Artest, and Kenyon Martin, considered the NBA's "all-thug" squad, all attended college.

Lebron James didn't ask the media to hype him... he didn't call ESPN and request that they broadcast his high school games. What he did is show a tremendous amount of talent, which was then touted by NBA scouts, sportscasters, and fans alike. The ironic part about this is that should James become a 12 point per game scorer in his rookie year, he'll be labeled a disappointment by the same media that set the bar so high for him (see Harold Miner aka "Baby Jordan" for more on that). I'd hate to see this kid, who seems like he's kept a pretty level head, get pumped up only to be deflated and used as a punchline (see Harold Miner, Bo Kimble, Yinka Dare, Sam Bowie, Ed O'Bannon, Pervis Ellison, ad nauseum, ad infinitum).

Oh, and here's to hoping the Lakers don't draft another Mark Madsen!

  I can't tell you how much I like these new Wheat Bread shirts at Digital Gravel. I like the colors and print. I will definately cop some for myself.


  "All us Blacks got is sports and entertainment..." Jay-Z on Can't Knock the Hustle.

Well, Jigga now we got fashion. But can we please take over the book industry? 

  Nowadays everyone has a mixtape. And that's not a bad thing!

Indie hip-hop's dream team drops their own gem of unreleased songs and remakes of mainstream hits. Peep: The Weathermen "The Conspiracy"

Made You Shit Your Pants - Copywrite, Yak & Cage
Missy Done Justice - El-P & Camu Tao
10 Times - Copywrite
React Shun - Jakki, Copywrite & Tame One
Illuminati Guy
What Happened To Dat Toy - Cage & Tame One
Volume - Yak
Mhz Over Megahertz - Copywrite, Jakki & Camu Tao
Slick Talkin - Tame One (feat. Breeze Brewin)
Where I Wanna Be - Yak & Camu Tao
Columbus - Jakki & Copywrite
Beverly Crabs - Cage
Chris Lighty - Vast Aire (feat. Camu Tao)
Come To Daddy - Cage (feat. Camu Tao)
Concerto - Tame One
Gangster - S.A. Smash
Fried Fish - Breeze Brewin, Tame One & Cage
5 Left In The Clip (RJD2 Remix) - Copywrite, Yak, Tame One, Cage & Breezly Brewin
Every Rapper In The House Shut The Fuck Up - Copywrite, Cage & Yak

  New York City On Heightened Terror Alert...but like Boncrusher, "I ain't never scared!" 
  Good riddens to Hot 97's morning trash. With Sway taking the helm of the Morning Show I'll start listening again. 
  Free Ras Kass
  I did this review for blogcritics: The Matrix Reloaded Makes Strides in Racial Diversity. Here's what I wrote:

It seems that only other Black people have noticed (and appreciated) how the Matrix Reloaded sports a cast that is mostly people of color. Jay of hiphopmusic.com points out that “there are an astonishing number of people of color, for a sci-fi movie.” CalendarLive.com noted, “People of color outnumber whites in the world's population” so it only makes sense that “In the city of Zion, most citizens are people of color and many of the movie's leading actors are black (Laurence Fishburne, Jada Pinkett Smith, Nona Gaye, Harry Lennix, Harold Perrineau Jr. and the late Gloria Foster.)” In that article they interview Cornel West, the famous Black intellectual who counts the Wachowski brothers as fans of his work asked him to make a cameo in the film. West further explains that the great thing about the multiracial casting that “It's not just the representation in numbers but the humanity displayed.” For myself it was refreshing to see Black actors cast in roles that were not necessarily tailored as a Black character. The film falls short of reversing the taboo of Black sexuality that is deeply ingrained in Hollywood. This is strange since Cornel West has been the foremost critic of this form of racism, especially in his book “Race Matters.” West himself has condemned the movie industry for setting a sexual double standard- while Whites are able to have sex scenes in movies that are loving, Black sex has an air of pornography. The Wachowski brothers wrote a beautiful love scene for Neo and Trinity yet in contrast to that, when Link (the ship operator) came home he coarsely greeted his wife with “Where’s my (explicitive)!” Of course this wasn’t written like that on purpose, but if the taboos West have written about truly are as persistent as he claims, it will take a deliberate effort to correct it. So, with the concern of diversity let’s appreciate and praise the Matrix series for what it has done and hope that other movies follow suit and go even further.  

  Oh no. Rapper killed in midtown shooting. 
  Check this out from Blogcritics: The Matrix Reloaded Reviews and News, From Every Flipping Angle. A handful of reviews and articles about the new movie. Great reading.  
  Baz Dreisinger writes about how hip-hop has changed the face of pop culture. He mentions the influence of our art form on not just music, but also movies, politics, and higher education. The article only scratches the surface and doesn't begin to examine the history of America embracing and popularizing Black arts until they either destroy it or claim it as their own (think rock and jazz).  
  The MTV M.C. Battle is finished and Def Jam gets another "man" next to Red and Meth. Reignman deserved to win it all so I give MTV props on that. 
  I think Floetry are corny wannabees riding the neo-soul wave in hip-hop. But some people like them. 
  Just hours after I blog that Joe Budden is the future I find out that he may need throat surgery. Man, I feel for this guy. This is like the D.O.C. all over again. Here's an excerpt:
Just as Joe Budden’s success has soared with his single “Pump It Up,” “Focus” and his upcoming self-titled set on Def Jam Records, the rapper has hit a sudden obstacle, he charges. “I’m having voice problems. I have a polyp on my right vocal cord,” Budden told AllHipHop.com. “I’m not even supposed to rap.” A polyp is a non-cancerous tumor that protrudes from the lining of an organ.. Budden said a doctor has recommended that he stop spitting his popular rhymes to allow his throat time to repair and, still, he may have to go under a surgeon’s knife to mend the damage. “I might have to get surgery to get my voice back. I got some swelling going on back there. It just comes from a lot of acid. I drink a lot of acidy sh*t. You’ll never see me without a beverage,” he said. “Even now, my voice is a whole lot deeper than normal. You can hear something is going on.”
I said a prayer for you, homie. Get well.  

Looky, looky here...Hip Hop Infinity is having a sale in honor of Kobe Bryant crying over losing in the playoffs! I say this is a good time to cop that Ego Trip: The Big Playback cd at only $7.50.  

  Boondocks is on point:


  This proves how out of touch mainstream radio is. The Philly group Bugsy & Snake dropped a blazing song with Freeway called Scratchin' & Survivin' yet it has been ignored by dj's like Funkmaster Flex and radio in general. So click on the link and enjoy...and don't ever say I don't hook ya'll up. 
  "Hop on the badwagon early. In half a decade you can brag that you saw the next phase of hip-hop" -Madison from the song Classic Composure

I predicted almost a year ago that Joe Budden would be the next big thing in hip-hop. So far he's not disappionting me.  

  Negro Please has some good advice for cheaters
  AllHipHop.com has a new site design. Check that out. 
  Interesting article on Russell Simmons. Other folks in hip-hop need to handle their money like he is. 
  Things get worse for Murder INC just days after they announce Ja-Rule will be taking a vacation. Let me go on record as saying I never liked Ja-Rule since his first album. 
  Aww yeah!

Russell Simmons' Hip-Hop Summit Action Network and the Mothers of the NY Disappeared are putting pressure on the city of New York, setting a June 4th deadline demanding the repeal of the Rockefeller Drug Laws.

The coalition hopes to set a precedent for the repeal of similar laws that have been established in other states since Nelson Rockefeller proposed the laws in 1973. The laws require mandatory prison terms, up to life, for possession or sale of small amounts of drugs. "Do you know how important this is to hip-hop?" Simmons asked Allhip-hop.com. "We are going to shut the city down." Simmons said 'The Countdown to Fairness' is the broadest coalition ever assembled on the issue of the drug laws. "The hip-hop community's active involvement will help Governor Pataki and other state officials to see and feel the will of the people as we demand the repeal of these wack laws," he said. The countdown has already garnered the support of a wide ranging group of political activists and entertainers. US Senators Hilary Clinton and Chuck Schumer, US Congressman Charles Rangel, Elijah Cummings, John Conyers, Gregory Meeks, Ed Towns, Major Owens, Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Former Senator Carol Mosley Braun are among the political heavyweights that support repealing the laws. "I don't think it's fair that a young person coming up could make a simple mistake and it can affect their entire lives, preventing them from evolving and moving forward," said Damon Dash, CEO of Roc-A-Fella Records. "It's also unfair that minorities are the main people who suffer in these situations. We need to repeal these laws so we can become better people and grow instead of locking these people up and throwing away the key." The Diplomats and Ghost Face have all pledged support and are now doing public service announcements on radio and television on this issue. "We intend to involve thousands of concerned youth on this vital issue," said Dr. Benjamin Chavis, President of the hip-hop Summit Action Network. "The momentum will build everyday through the 'Countdown To Fairness.' hip-hop culture has already shown that the energy, vitality and voice of the young will not be silenced as we move to put an end to these dumb laws."
  MF Grimm is now a free man. Hiphopmusic.com comments on it. 
  MF Grimm is now a free man. Hiphopmusic.com comments on it. 
  Complete your 50 Cent mixtape collection. Includes "50 Cent Is The Future", "No Mercy, No Fear", "God's Plan", "50 Cent Live DVD/VCD", "G-Unit Part 5: Bulletproof", "Automatic Gunfire", "50 Cent Joe/Budden's Holiday Jumpoff", "The Official Best of 50 Cent", "50 Cent from Central Booking The Holdin Pen".  
  Bush and Blair are nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. If they win I can no longer respect what the prize is supposed to mean. 
  Who says hip-hop is shallow? The users at Hiphopinfinity.com discuss the topic "Should the father have any right in deciding an abortion?" 
  Find out the government names of your favorite hip-hop artists. Mine is "Hashim." 
  A Jay-Z clone isn't exactly a bad thing. 
  Blame it on 8 Mile. Now battling has become mainstream. Check out MTV's MC Battle and decide whether this is good or bad for the art. Details:
1,000 MCs face off and you pick the winner Watch the elimination battles on Direct Effect starting Wednesday May 14 at 7:00 p.m. Final MTV MC Battle airs Live on Saturday, May 17 at 2:00 p.m. ET Hosted by Carson Daly, La La, DJ Clue, Sway and the legendary DJ Kid Capri on the turntables, MTV's MC Battle finale will turn the spotlight on 8 MC finalists as they battle for $25,000, a Def Jam recording contract, a spot on the Def Jam Vendetta Summer Tour, and their own character in the upcoming Def Jam "Vendetta 2" video game. The final MTV MC Battle on May 17 will feature performances by Ludacris and Joe Budden, plus appearances by Method Man, Cam'ron, Nore and Keith Murry. The winner will be decided by viewers on MTV.com as they vote during the live finale.
  Instapundit blogs on the problems Mike Bloomberg is having. My two cents? People elected him for his business savvy and all he has done is what the typical politician would do- raise taxes, cut city services, and layoff workers. What about stopping the waste government is notorious for? How about finding creative ways to generate revenue?  
  Hiphopanonymous comments on the Eminem vs. Weird Al drama.  

Sandbox Automatic has the new C Rayz Walz cd. It's called "Limelight: The Outroduction" Here's the tracklisting and some audio:

Intro (feat. Big Brother Tune & 00 da Silent Emcee
C-Rayz Walz
Everything (feat. Bridge)
Life Time Bid
Sports Ville
Post Up
We Don't Spend
Get It Poppin'
Street Talk (feat. Ryan Perfect & Wordsworth)
Spit Hard
Brain Dead
Barb Wire Fences
A.W.O.L. (feat. M-1)
The Outroduction
Sun Rise Setting
  I didn't want to bring further attention to this "news" story but it is spreading around pretty quickly and needs some commentary added to it. Instead of news sites reviewing Roc-A-Fella's new film "Death of a Dynasty" they are choosing to highlight only the incident of one of the movie's actors getting arrested for having a loaded gun at the premier.  
  It seems that Neighborhoodies.com did some site redesign (finally!). They hooked up Eternal with a hoodie so I'm giving them an official "shout out" right here. 
  They stole my idea! The Lyricist Lounge is releasing a DVD that collects classic hip-hop videos 

TIME Magazine Reviels the Secrets of the New Matrix. Here's the plot...don't read it if you don't want to know what happens.

Reloaded begins as The Matrix did, with green computer code drizzling down a black screen and Trinity kicking beaucoup booty as the Agents pursue her over and off rooftops. She demolishes several drone Guards with a virtuosic fury: fabulous helmet smashes and back-leg extensions. Soon she is hurtling streetward as an Agent blasts away at her. Thwock! One bad-guy bullet hits home. Trinity falls onto a parked car, terminally smashing it and her. Neo is jolted awake from this dream, or prophecy, as Trinity sleeps next to him. The Nebuchadnezzar, Morpheus' ship, heads for Zion, the one city on Earth whose humans are not under the spell of The Matrix. Except for Neo's fight with three upgrade-generation Agents, the film's first hour is spent on political wrangling among the Zion elite. Morpheus tangles with his rival Lock (Harry Lennix) and realigns with lost love Niobe (Pinkett Smith). If you thought the Jedi Council debates were the high points of the Star Wars films, you'll love this part of Reloaded. The red-meat brigade will have to wait a bit for their action satisfaction. Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving), Neo's nemesis, has been busy. At the end of the first film, he thought he had killed Neo; in fact, he was witness to the birth of the hero. Now that Neo has learned to fly, Smith has acquired a trick of his own: this computer virus can invade any form, human or Agent, and take it over. After invading Bane, a Zionite, Smith cuts a gash in his hand. He's fascinated by the humanity he has assumed—by the blood, the vulnerability, the pain. Smith was always more warped than we gave him credit for Neo is summoned by the Oracle and realizes that she's "a program from the machine world." She gives Neo a quest: find the door to the Source. To do so, he must find the Key Maker (Randall Duk Kim), imprisoned by a desiccated French dandy, the Merovingian (Lambert Wilson). First, Neo has a date with Mr. Smith—a lot of him—in a courtyard. Neo fights eight, then two dozen, then 100 Smiths. (He's a twist on an Austin Powers villain, the Many-Me.) In the "Burly Brawl," as the filmmakers call this sequence, numerical size doesn't matter. Neo deflects his assailants with his superior pole fighting or by swinging a spare Smith like an Olympic hammer to knock over many others. Flanked by Trinity and Morpheus, Neo meets the Merovingian and his luscious wife Persephone (Monica Bellucci). The Merovingian is a Frenchman out of the Bush Administration bestiary: cruel, supercilious, with a love of cursing in French—which he describes as like "wiping your ass with silk." He refuses to release the Key Maker. Persephone, livid at her husband's infidelities, tells Neo she will help him—at the price of a passionate kiss. Reluctantly, he gives her one, and she leads the Zion Three to the Key Maker. They are set upon by eight of the Merovingian's goons, including those fierce wraiths, the Twins. Neo grabs some ancient weapons and bests the bunch. Trinity and Morpheus depart for their wild ride with the Key Maker. Having survived their freeway adventure, Neo, Morpheus and the Key Maker enter a skyscraper—the building in Neo's Trinity dream. Neo insists Trinity remain behind, to stay alive. "One door leads to the Source," the Key Maker says; he adds that the door will be accessible for exactly 314 seconds. Eventually, after more fighting, Neo finds the right door and walks into a room where an old man (Helmut Bakaitis) sits."I am the Architect," he says. "I created The Matrix. I've been waiting for you." Watching the first film, skeptical viewers had to wonder: In a world where nothing was as it seemed, were Morpheus and his band the only realists, or were they the victims of a monstrous delusion? The Architect tells Neo he is a dupe: a false hope that springs among the tiny group of rebels who believe in a superman, a One, as their salvation. The coming of Neo and his five predecessors—for this is the sixth version of The Matrix, the sixth revolt of Zion—was programmed by "the mother of The Matrix." The Oracle. The Matrix Reloaded is sure to fuel avid speculation. Scholars will note that the Merovingians were a European tribe from the Dark Ages, and that Morpheus paraphrases King Nebuchadnezzar in the Book of Daniel. That strange number, 314: Could it refer to pi (3.14); or to Cerebral Cortex 314, the website for the Commander Keen computer game; or to the lifetime batting average of White Sox outfielder Bibb Falk? As for the Architect's apparently crushing revelation: Couldn't this be another lie—the biggest?
  Questlove wrote Jay-Z a letter giving him recommendations on his final release- "The Black Album". This is incredible!

?uestlove: damn...so i revised my list somewhat. y'all reminded me of some folks i forogt about. this is what i sent to jay: the black album by jay z (@@@@1/2 stars everywhere--cause lets face it @@@@@s get ridiculed to death) 1. INTRO-bring back PAIN IN DA ASS (that mofo shoulda been screming on "blueprint2" btw.) track produced by PRIMO you spit 200 bars no hook no nothing. straight bk shit. 2. PRIMO one two punch. he will give you A game. shoulda gave u the NYGs beat he made earlier this year. 3. JUST BLAZE track. FIRST SINGLE. 4. BEATNUTS track. they will give you A game everytime. every nuts record got 3 classic looped joints that scream NYC on it. and they need shine, and u need to shock us. 5. rope a dope punch. get back with SKI. assuming he got A game in him. make him submit 20 tracks--pick best one. this is it 6. THE KAYNE WEST second single comes here. make it some GET BY shit....by far his banger of 2003. some shit a backpacker/street nigga/stripper jawn can get down to. 7. NEPTUNES never mad at them single 3. i wish you had "beautiful" for B2 8.JAY DEE (the ummah/soulquarians) is the questlove blessed GOAT for beatmaking. he producer's producer (dream can vouch, he is from the D)--his worst beat is A game. so he will bring his AAA. 9. the shocker of all shockers DJ QUIK. need i say more? the nigga is so slept on. but i can't recall a quik joint i ever fronted on. i want this record guest free (is it still black album? no guest, cover? credits?)--but you and FREEWAY got something going on. so i designate him as lone guest---however! if you must shock the world? this would be the song the world been waiting for: the olive branch song with you know who (mr. kelis rodgers). 10. INSURANCE SONGS (in case dame/hip hop/or whoever has your ear bitches) DRE (and his minions---insist scott storch be present) beat must be single material. here you can get your 50 on. 11. nother NEPTUNES CLUB BANGER. cant go wrong again. 12. you save the sentimental stuff for last--eff that----leave like you came in spitting over MEGAHERTZ banger. some gutter street shit. 12 songs. little to no guests. short classic. all hip hop classics are short: criminal minded, great adventures, paid in full, illmatic, long live the kane)---this is my wishlist. JAY RESPONDS Were on the same page(almost) here's my list: Primo.(intro and first song) Just Blaze Kanye West Neptunes Dre Timbaland Rick Rubin(just think Run) Ski Quik(just added.haaa-thanx) Marley Marl. last song????????..I'll have Beatnuts,Jay Dee(who I love), fight this one out!  

  Pack FM won the Everlast Harlem Lyricist Championships 2003! Congrats homie. 

I tried to get the S. Carter Collection Mixtape at Harlem Music Hut but it was sold out. Tapekingz seems to have it though. I heard some of the tracks on Clue's new tape so that has me open to hear the whole thing. 

  Jay-Z, Cam'ron, Dame Dash, Eminem, and 50 Cent all have their own authorized mixtapes. Now Nelly is giving the mixtape scene a try
  I read this article on Grandmaster Flash a few days ago and wanted to blog it but hiphopmusic.com beat me to it. They did a better job anyway. 
  I need to find an out-of-town girl who likes hip-hop but doesn't know much about Bronx/Harlem so I can take them on this great tour.
It's the Original Hip Hop Cultural Sightseeing Tour bus, and on board, DJ Red Alert - who used to spin records for Afrika Bambaataa's Zulu Nation and currently reigns on hip-hop station 105.1 - points to the site of Harlem World on 116th St., the club famous for its emcee and B-boy battles and $3 parties. A Met Food supermarket stands there now. The story told on the trip organized by Hush Tours seems as important to the guides as the visitors, who are given Kangol hats and gold chains to get in the mood. As the bus passes the apartment where Public Enemy's Flava Flav grew up, Grandmaster Caz - the uncredited writer behind the hit single "Rapper's Delight" - calls to say hi.
  I read this article on Grandmaster Flash a few days ago and wanted to blog it but hiphopmusic.com beat me to it. They did a better job anyway. 
  .::YAWN::. D-Block Inks A Deal With Universal Records and will release Sheek Louch's solo album as their first record. Is anyone really waiting for a Sheek Louch album? After the underachievement by Styles P and even Jadakiss I'm officially sleeping on those D-Block boys. 
  Finally Power 105 makes a move that I'm impressed with. Their bringing back Future Flavas with a rotating DJ roster of Marley Marl, Pete Rock, Evil Dee, Lord Sear, Premier, and Jazzy Jeff. I saw the heads up at Hiphopmusic.com. It will air every Friday from Midnight to 2. Yep!  
  Update on the story of Freaky Zeaky being shot. Here's the an excerpt:
One suspect has been arrested and another one remains at large in connection with the shooting of Diplomat member Freaky Zeeky and the killing of his friend, Eric Mangrum. On Tuesday, Chauncey Dillon, 29, of Brooklyn was charged with second-degree murder stemming from an incident on April 25. Police are also looking for another man, John K. Mingo, who they say was also involved.
  This week you can catch me at the opening of the film Death of a Dynasty. Here's the details:
The man behind Roc-a-Fella riffs on his own hip-hop empire in his satirical directorial debut. A young white reporter attempts to uncover the truth about Roc-a-Fella records and gets accepted into the dynasty's inner circle…or so he thinks. This hilarious take on the hip-hop world plays with public perceptions of the players and the game. Featuring cameos by Jay-Z, Carson Daly, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Lorraine Bracco, Run-D.M.C., and many, many more.
I'll review it for you guys later. 
  Following Jay-Z's success with Reebok Nelly And Nike will release limited edition sneaker called "Air Derrty." At first I was going to complain about the start of a new sneaker trend in hip-hop until I read that Nelly will be donating all of the money to charity. 
  Adam Heimlich reviews the 50 Cent and Clipse concert in Jersey. It seems like both acts fell into the trap of having too many people on stage and yelling their lyrics into a distortion causing sound system. 
  Oh snap. Blogger introduces "Dano" a new improved blogging service. I wonder how this will affect Movable Type's new Type Pad service which was annoumced days ago. This ain't checkers...these guys are playing chess. And that competition can only mean good things for the blogging community. 
  P Cutta's Street Wars Volume 7 just dropped. If you've never picked up one of his mixtapes I suggest vol 1 and 2 very highly. They have classic battles before it became a marketing tool. Tracklisting:
01 Intro 02 Ryan Banks (Street Team) - Street Wars 7 Freestyle 03 Ja Rule – War is On (Dissin Eminem, 50 Cent, Dre, Busta, Lil Mo) 04 Eminem, 50 Cent, Busta – Hail Mary (Dissin Jarule, Irv Gotti, & Murda Inc) 05 Ja Rule – Guess Who Shot Ya (Dissin 50 Cent) 06 50 Cent Speaks vs. Black Child, Cadillac Tah 07 Black Child f/ Jarule – Bang Bang Bang (Dissin 50 Cent) 08 50 Cent f/ 2Pac – Realest Killas (Dissin Ja Rule) 09 Benzino – Fallen Down (Dissin 50 Cent, Eminem) 10 Eminem f/ D-12, Obie Trice – Doe Ray Me (Dissin Benzino & Murda Inc) 11 G-Unit - Eye For An Eye 12 Hammerz - Freestyle (Dissin Shellz) 13 Lil Kim – Queen Bee Radio (Dissin Foxy Brown) 14 Foxy Brown - Freestyle (Dissin Lil Kim) 15 Agony aka Rookie - Freestyle (Dissin Foxy Brown) 16 D-12 – Smackdown (Dissin Royce 59) 17 Royce 59 f/ Tre Little, Kaz – Beat Yo Ass (Dissin D-12, Eminem) 18 Hard Money (Street Team) - Street Wars 7 Freestyle 19 Jay-Z - Freestyle (Dissin P. Diddy) 20 Scarface f/ UGK – Bitch Nigga (Dissin 50 Cent) 21 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks speaks vs. Charlie Baltimore, Ashanti 22 Charlie Baltimore – Get At Me Dawgs (Dissin 50 Cent, G-Unit) 23 Irv Gotti speaks vs. Eminem 24 Eminem f/ 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo – Bump Heads (Dissin Ja Rule, Irv Gotti) 25 KD - Freestyle (Dissin Petey Pablo) 26 Street Wars Freestyle Battle: (Veteran) “Jay-Z” aka Hova
  Tribeca Film Festival celebrates hip hop
Among the festival's more than 200 offerings are several that explore and celebrate hip-hop culture. "With Madonna rapping in her new music and suburban kids embracing the genre, hip hop is obviously a huge part of the mainstream," says David Kwok, a festival programmer. "[The festival's] hip-hop artists present original and quality stories that people might not be able to see at any other times." The roster includes "Death of a Dynasty," a satire of the hip-hop business directed by Roc-A-Fella Records founder Damon Dash; "Just Another Story," a musical set in Rego Park, and "Paper Chasers," a documentary about hip-hop entrepreneurs. The movies show a different community from the decadent, violent and oversexed version usually seen on screen.
I really want to see Paper Chasers and Death of a Dynasty. When I get the times and prices I'll share it with you. And if I'm not too lazy I'll review it to. 
  This mixtape is the must have of the week.

Pick up PUDGEE P & ENVY - DEADLY COMBINATION at TapeKingz.com. Here's the tracklisting: PUDGEE-P SIDE 1. Intro 2. Lil Mo - The Realest / Answer Back To Ja Rule 3. Joe Buddens - Walk With Me 4. Ludacris - Act A Fool 5. 50 Cent - Many Men ( Pudgee-P Mix ) 6. Busta Rhymes & Keith Murray - Smash 7. Jay-Z & Oscino & Sparks - Loving My Niggaz 8. Foxy Brown - Dirty 9. Nas - I Can ( Pudgee-P Rmx ) 10. Jadakiss & Infa Red - Do Ya Thing 11. Drag-On - Dirty Funk 12. Frankie Cruches - Freestyle DJ ENVY SIDE 13. Intro 14. Cocaine & Young News - Blok Freestyle 15. Benzino - I Donít Like / Dissin 50 Cent 16. Ja Rule - Who Shot Ya / Diss #2 17. Eminem, 50 Cent, G-Unit - Hailmary 18. Bone Crusher & Camron - Never Scared RMX (!!!) 19. Green Lantern & D-Block - Everywhere We Go 20. Rah Digga & Loyd Banks - Party Over Here 21. Lil Kim, Mobb Deep, Mr Cheeks - Jump Off RMX 22. BONUS TRACK - ASHANTI - AWW BABY  

  New video from 50 Cent. It's from the song "Many Men." Note: COPY AND PASTE into the url box in your windows media player


  Tom Moon examines the marketing lessons learned from50 Cent's rise to stardom. He points out that 50 built a buzz slowly with the DJ's then when the iron was hot he flooded the market with multiple offerings. Moon made some mistakes in the article that I hope gets changed. He says Floetry, the corny girl group riding the neo soul wave are from Philly, when really they come from the UK. Also, he misspelled Joe Budden's name as "Buttons." But who's counting? 
  When will artists learn that "...obscurity is a far greater threat to authors and creative artists than piracy? There has been some very good blogging going on about the RIAA's stupid fight against piracy.  
  I was at the rally yesterday. Thousands filled the street by City Hall in protest of layoffs. The best thing was a women speaker reminding us that layoffs are a choice- Mayor Bloomberg can raise revenue through fair taxes but he chooses not too. Forget that fiscal crisis rhetoric.

But good news just came in. Last night New York Legislators started to pursue a budget that reverses cuts:

Defying Gov. George E. Pataki, state lawmakers began passing a state budget tonight that restores most of the cuts to education and Medicaid that the governor had proposed. The plan would raise both the sales tax and income taxes on the wealthiest New Yorkers to pay for it. Legislative leaders also promised to provide more than $1 billion in new revenue for New York City, though they had not agreed on specifics. Along with the restorations of school aid and Medicaid money, the plan would provide Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg with almost all of the assistance he had sought from Albany to help close the city's budget gap, the leaders said. But Mr. Pataki defiantly vowed to veto the Legislature's budget plan and to punish politically any lawmaker who went along with it.
Can we get rid of this guy? 
  Andy at hiphopanonymous.net believes that protest bands are just another niche. He mentions Public Enemy and says:
While certainly I believe an artist has the right, and if moved, the duty, to utilize his or her music to educate and persuade, base one’s work or reputation solely upon this mechanism is disappointingly incomplete. Truly great artist, be it in sights, sounds, images, or words, should reflect the human condition, a condition that goes beyond any single dimension. If we are to criticize gangster rappers for their singled focus on a certain lifestyle, should we not point similar attention towards politically oriented groups?
It's unfair for Andy to compare the gangsta rap glut to political hip-hop. Gangsta rap has been overdone and exhausted, so it's reasonable to expect artists to be more versatile in their lyrics than just hustling and gun clapping. However, the "conscious" side of our music is seriously understaffed and it's a disservice to critisize a group like P.E. for sticking to what they do best when what they do has been helpful to hip-hop year after year.  
  Philaflava Offers More Styles:
As the commercial realm of hip-hop grows larger, the underground, creative aspects of rap are sorely overlooked, but one independent movement hopes to change things. PhilaFlava presents...A League of Our Own, an independent CD, has released a mixtape album that offers a distinct, exclusive medley of hip-hop. “We are what [Rawkus Records Soundbombing] should have been,” said Jason Gloss, co-executive producer and partner of the project. Unlike other mixtapes, Abby O’Neil, the other partner, stated that this effort differs from others because it doesn’t attempt to compete with other street DJ’s. A League of Our Own offers songs never heard elsewhere. “Its all exclusive material with several songs custom made for me and this tape in particular,” she said. “There’s only a few joints on there will be released. We have a good diversified mix of styles, ranging from gangsta WC to Dirty South’s Devin Da Dude.”
  ALERT! This news came to me minutes ago. Old Dirty Bastard signed with Roc-A-Fella! Tell your friends and family but remember where you heard it first! 

Dope t-shirts from the Writer's Bench (sold by Digital Gravel).  

  Alternet.org asks- "Are We Dumb or Just Numb?"The whole article is interesting but I need to quote his piont on how we may actually be setting back Iraq's women:
The embarrassingly secular nature of the government was summarized in another Los Angeles Times story on the status of women: "For decades, Iraqi women – at least those living in Baghdad and some other big cities – have enjoyed a degree of personal liberty undreamed of by women in neighboring nations such as Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf emirates." Those freedoms – to drive, study in coeducational colleges and to advance in the professions – are now threatened by the fundamentalist forces unleashed by the invasion. The former U.S. general now governing Iraq has stated that he will not accept a reversal of those freedoms, but our long history of cozy relationships with the oppressive Gulf regimes can't be reassuring to Iraq's women.
  Hip Hop Infinity is having a 40% off sale on all of their vinyl and cd's. If you haven't ordered from them before this is certainly the time to do so. And while you're at it, peep the review they did for my group's album- Wordsmiths, Classic Composure  
  Hiphopmusic.com states the obvious concerning the new Apple music service.
"any attempt to make people to pay for downloads will always end in disappointment."
I slightly disagree. I commented on his post- "People may be willing to pay for downloads but certainly not 99 cents per song! That's 15 bucks for a 15 track album...and that's without the inserts and stuff. What they should do is offer a flat rate like $10 per month and allow unlimited downloads. The money will be shared by artists."  
  Misogyny in hip-hop is a major problem but shallow articles like Moya Bailey's "Being Pimped Ain't Easy" hurt the cause more than help it. She treats the problem as if there's something that needs to change in the music, instead of the music being a reflection of our culture. As Mos Def says, "Hip-hop is not some giant living in the mountains- hip-hop is us." And we have a problem with women. When 50 Cent says "I'm into having sex, ain't into making love," he's only expressing what many young men already feel. Does that make it right? No, but we must understand that whatever solution we come up with has to be at a cultural level, not musical. So let's educate our young men and women, not blame, ban, or boycott the artists.
I also hope that Moya, a Women's studies major at an all girls school, takes into account the history of Black men degrading women in music, while Black women have equally degraded us in print- with "Waiting to Exhale" and "The Color Purple" style novels. 
  He's from Harlem so I have to show love for my neighbor. Peep MTV.com - Mixtape Mondays: DJ S&S 
  It's been a year since WWPR (105.1 FM) sauntered into town to start a hip-hop turf war with WQHT (97.1 FM) - and both sides say they're winners.Moreover, they can both be right.

By the way, David Hinckley is very hip-hop.  

  Cool article on how thethrowback jersey craze got started.
...then Puff Daddy wears a throwback jersey at the 2002 American Music Awards. And Mitchell and Ness' sales jump from $2.8 million (in 2000) to $25 million (2002).
They need to cut Puff a check from that. 
  They love us! They really, really love us! Peep MTV2's "Sucker Free Sundays," an eight-hour block of R&B/hip-hop programming that will begin airing May 11 at noon ET/PT. A different artist will host each week, with 50 Cent, Ludacris, and Busta Rhymes already lined-up. The time slot will include the new series "Spoke N'Heard," focusing on what MTV2 calls "the new wave of hip-hop and soul videos from artists who are pushing the boundaries of the genre." 
  I really think that the Russell Simmons vs. Pepsi drama that happened weeks ago can spark a positive trend in hip-hop activism. Protesting is gay, but boycotts are gully. If a rapper can popularize a product he also has the power to bring it down. If we just learn that lesson we can really have an impact on American politics and decision making. 
  Jon of Hip-hop Anonymous comments on Kay Slay's call to end the feud between 50 Cent and Ja-Rule. Ironic that the "Drama King" is calling for peace, right?  
  These boys are doing their thing! I found two great hip-hop blogs that I will probably be reading and linking to alot...one is hiphopmusic.com (great find on the on the domain name!) and hip-hop anonymous. I'll also add them to my blogroll and link search.  
  It's officially not cool to say bling-bling anymore. 
  A few people have been google searching Diesel Nation looking for info on that new Jay-Z song with Punjabi MC. They mistakenly think Punjabi is speaking Arabic so they search "Arabic" amd bring up my post below about Saddam's raps. So here's a blurb about how Jay-Z Sweet-Talks a Punjabi Beat
PANJABI MC FEATURING JAY-Z: `BEWARE OF THE BOYS (JAY-Z REMIX)' (Sequence) A few months ago, this song was a surprise hit single in Europe. It was called ``Mundian to Bach Ke,'' and it mixed bhangra with a sample from the ``Knight Rider'' theme and a loping hip-hop beat, while a guy from Coventry delivered a sermon (sung in Punjabi, naturally) on female modesty. This new remix adds a couple of deft verses by Jay-Z, who never met a beat he couldn't sweet-talk. He's in a cosmopolitan mood, segueing from hotel-room boasting to anti-war rabble-rousing: ``Checking in daily, under aliases/We rebellious/We back home/Screaming, `Leave Iraq alone.'''
  This issue was on my mind and I should have wrote about it but Allison Samuels beat me to it. Her article- "Minstrels in Baggy Jeans?" speaks on the movie Malibu's Most Wanted 
  Now some good news. The hip-hop summit in Detroit was a success. I love how...
...Dr. Benjamin Chavis, President of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, announced the launch of the national voter registration and education program entitled, "Hip-Hop Team Vote." The goal of the program is to register 20 million new voters, four million per year over the next five years, primarily from the 18-30 year old age group, throughout the United States.
  Of course the police haven't found Jam Master Jay's killer. Why would they want to? 
  According to my hip-hop culture professor at John Jay College, hip-hop started as a fusion of Black and Latino styles, in the same tradition of Latin jazz and Boogaloo. Thus article on Black Latinos touches on this. Peep the excerpt:
Among the young, hip-hop has given black Latinos the confidence to express a black racial identity, said Raquel Z. Rivera, author of the just-released "New York Ricans From the Hip Hop Zone" (Palgrave Macmillan), which documents the Puerto Rican roots of hip-hop, particularly in the dancing. Some performers have even branched out from hip-hop to reclaim African rhythms of their parents' countries, rhythms like bomba, a Puerto Rican music form that has become popular among Puerto Ricans in their 20's and 30's in the last five years, Ms. Rivera said. Will Jones, a 26-year-old black Latino of Panamanian descent, said that when he was a teenager, hip-hop gave him a platform to rap about racial matters and bond with African-Americans who shared his urban experiences. "When hip-hop began, most people thought it was just black people, but it was really blacks and Latinos and it became the middle ground both groups could feel part of," he said.
  Get the drop on the hottest mix tapes of the moment. I just came back from Philly...I'll blog more tomorrow morning. 
  I added the ability to search NYC hip-hop sites. I'll be chose more sites later. Hopefully this can become a great resource for alot of you.  
  Freaky Zeaky of the Diplomats got shot. He's alive in the hospital but his friend died. I'm sure the press will mention the recent shootings and deaths in hip-hop as if they're all connected. 
  Hot 97's Summer Jam is New York's biggest hip-hop concert of the year. I'll keep you updated on when tickets go on sale and who will be there. Hopefully I'll get find a way in myself. Peep pictures of past Summer Jams: '95 (Biggie, Method Man, Total), '96 (LL Cool J, Busta, The Fugees, Mary J. Blige, Monica, the Lost Boyz), '97 (Puffy and the Bad Boy family ripped it down with a dedication to B.I.G), '98 (DMX, Big Pun, Redman, Wyclef, The Lox, Next, Charlie Baltimore), '99 (Nas, Ja-Rule, Missy, Timberland and Redman), '00 (Timberland, Eve, Snoop, and more), '01 (Michael Jackson and Jay-Z and other), '02 (Alicia Keys, Missy, Ashanti and a bunch more)  
  I have no idea why White kids in hip-hop hate themselves so much. You can tell this about Bryan Proffitt because his article about a hip-hop forum at his school starts off with, "Most days, it is pretty embarrassing to be white..." What the deal Bryan? Don't fall into the trap of feeling like you have to diss your own race and loathe yourself in order to be excepted amongst the Black folks.  
  Hey, I didn't know LOUD DIGITAL has a blog. I hope James keeps it updated. Being a hip-hop promoter in NY I'm sure he has a lot of great stories to tell 
  Jay-Z's sneaker, the S. Carter Collection is the first Reebok shoe for a non-sports figure. It comes with a cd sampler of his upcoming Black Album and it broke records as their fastest selling shoe. I'm sure Jigga-man will be bragging about this for months to come. 
  Hip-hop doesn't need to get more political, political movements need to get more hip-hop. So I don't agree with all of the complaining in this "Mobilizing the Hip-Hop Generation" article but this is a good quote:
...there are many philanthropists and large foundations out there scratching their heads trying to figure out how to fund movements of social change at the street or grassroots level. The problem is that because of invisible barriers like age, race, and class, the philanthropic world has been historically cut off from the underground world of hip-hop, a situation that hurts both the activists and the funders. "The people who are giving out the funding tend to be pretty conservative," said James Kass, founder of YouthSpeaks. "Once they’re set in their ways, it takes some time for them to change. There is a gap between the foundations and the organizations they want to support."
Word up. 

Blackalicious at SOB's. I will be there!! 

  "Golly I'm gully".

My small band of international stick up kids have a new song called "HOLD ON". In order of appearance: Agent Orange, Madison (that's me), Clarity, Eternal, and JOC. Enjoy!  

  How come I'm not surprised to find teens among Guantanamo detainees. This story doesn't fit in with the main mission of Diesel Nation but it's been ignored too long in the mainstream media.  

Finally, someone in hip-hop is taking a break from battling another rapper and is attaking the government instead. Public Enemy targets Bush with their new cd. It's a two-disc CD/DVD single called "Son of a Bush." Check for it on May 6 or die.  

  UPN adds White characters to casts of its Black shows in hopes that more White folks will tune in. Why don't they just focus on making better Black shows instead of the nonsense they have on now?  
  Sugar snaps! Rjd2 has a new site. It has a clean, slick design, just like his production. Also, Def Jux has a new design (finally). Peep both.  
  New York has more to offer in city services than most people realize. Now you can call 311 for all of your problems and concerns.  
  The Boondocks isn't that funny but it's the best we got (that is if you don't count Calvin and Hobbes as hip-hop). Here's a good one:


  Getting layed off is NOT hip-hop. I mentioned before how New York can avoid layoffs. Here's another article about it: Restore the stock transfer tax to raise $2 billion for the city and $2 billion for the state. Spread this far and wide in the blogosphere...this idea isn't getting the attention it deserves.  
  Since Eminem dropped his first record with Dr. Dre the mainstrem media has tried to dissect his importance and legitimacy, and the place White rappers have in hip-hop. The NY Daily News did the best job I've read so far as they reported on the incoming wave of White emcees. It's so on point I have to quote Jim Farber word for word:

On last year's "Eminem Show" album, the world's most popular rapper rhymed a snide prediction: "A concept that works/20 million other white rappers emerge." He may be off a bit in his math, but Eminem's forecast of a white rap invasion seems to be coming true. Thirteen years after the thawing of Vanilla Ice, and three years after Eminem himself became the most famous rapper in hip-hop history, a new wave of caucasian emcees is swelling. True, there have long been isolated pockets of palefaced rappers - from the Beastie Boys and Third Base to Bubba Sparxxx and Haystak. But the next few months will see the largest wave to date, including Stagga Lee, Poverty, K-Mo, DF Dub and the first white female rapper, Sarai (promoted by her label as "Feminem"). At the same time, other white rappers are busy trying to land solo deals, including the Italian MC JoJo Pellegrino (who has been aligned with the respected rap management company Violator), Kain (an associate of Puff Daddy), and the Jewish rapper Reuven Ben Menachem (a one-time collaborator with the Wu-Tang Clan). The most obvious impetus for all this is the nearly boundless success of Eminem. "If a label can sell even half of what he has with one of these artists, they're going to do more than okay," understates Mike Saunders, program director of the New York hip-hop station Power 105. But Poverty (né Tom Ferris), 23, believes Eminem's success has made it harder for caucasian rhymers. "If you're white and you rap, people see you as just another Emimen, no matter what you do," he says. As The Source's music editor Jerry Barrow puts it, "Eminem has set the record so high in terms of sales and skills, it's unfortunate for any of these other guys." On other other hand, Vibe music editor Erik Parker thinks non-black rappers have an advantage, since "it's still different enough. But they would have to be really exceptional to be taken seriously." In general, observers feel there's no longer the level of suspicion toward white rappers who came in the wake of Vanilla Ice and Marky Mark (who has since turned to serious acting under his real name, Mark Wahlberg). Their less-than-credible work in the early '90s hampered the efforts of white artists for years. Even now, you have a movie like "Malibu's Most Wanted" (opening tomorrow), which counts on the audience's belief in white hip-hoppers as hacks for its laughs. Still, Saunders says that in the real world "there's no racial barrier - there's a talent barrier. You can be the blackest of black rappers and have no skill, or the whitest of white rappers and sell a million." Poverty feels such open-mindedness extends more often to black audiences than to white. "I get more love from black people. I think white people are scared of liking what they do when it comes to rap. They wait for blacks to like it first. When Vanilla Ice came, white people liked him and then when he got no respect from black people, they felt tricked." The rapper says his label didn't realize he was white when he submitted his demo tape. When they found out, he says, they had to consider that in their marketing. "It's harder to prove your credibility," Poverty says. "When you're in the rap game, people check out where you're from and what you've been through." Which explains why Poverty's promoters have played up his history as a homeless child who grew up with little parental supervision, surrounded by drugs and prostitution in Portland, Maine. "Rappers still need to be authentic in their stories," says Parker. They also need to bring fresh influences to the fold. Parker thinks white rappers "can tell stories to white kids that black artists can't." But he also says it's a mistake for white rappers to make too many specific references to their skin color. "They should focus on delivery and lines," he says. Poverty agrees. "I talk about my life situation, not my race." Regardless, there lingers some muted worry in the hip-hop community that white rappers could change the complexion of the genre. "The danger comes if people accept white rappers without knowing the history of the form," Barrow says. But Parker feels it's unlikely hip hop will ever suffer the fate of rock 'n' roll, which often ignored its black pioneers to become identified as an overwhelmingly white art form. "Hip hop's history is too welldocumented for that." In fact, Barrow believes the form is now established enough to absorb as many different points of view as possible. "No one person - or even a group of people - can speak for the totality of hip hop," he says. "It's way bigger than race. Now, it can be anything."
  Hip-hop will never accept a gay rapper. But that won't stop some from trying. 
  More stuff from MTV news...the infamous Suge Knight says the song "Thug Mansion" with Nas and Tupac is disrespectful to the late great Tupac. However, Jay-Z's cover of Tupac's Bonnie and Clyde is just fine. Huh? I can't figure it out either. Maybe you can try. 
  Ghostface Killah announced that his album will drop in August on Def Jam Records. It's called "Pretty Tony" and will use plenty of soulful beats like his second album, Supreme Clientele. Finally, the world's most flavorful emcee will have the muscle behind him to be as successful as he deserves. Peep the article on MTV: Ghostface Killah Shows Ingenuity, Love For Soul On Pretty Tony 
  Because of cuts in the budget I'm in danger of getting layed off at my city job. I just read a plan that could raise billions of dollars for the city. The Daily News reports:

How tiny tax on stock sales could coin billions for city 

  This link won't last long but I'll post it anyway. Ever wonder what it takes to have a successful indie hip-hop record? El-P, Siddiq of Rhymesayer fame, Sage Francis, Blueprint, Kimani of Third Earth Records, Tonedeff, Pack FM, and others break it down for you (El-P's screen name is "hoppy harrington"). They discuss the importance of money, touring, talent, etc.  
  From the BBC Radio 'raps' Saddam Hussein Saddam's humiliation continues A radio station thought to be backed by the CIA has been broadcasting a gangsta rap-style parody of Saddam Hussein to Iraq. The radio has a Saddam impersonator in its comic slot rapping out a message in English and Arabic to the tune of Coolio's Gangsta's Paradise. Against a background of studio laughter, the singer proclaims he has had the devil by his side but now the game is up. "If you don't like me, I kill you. I am Saddam," he sings in an English segment. "Bush wanna kick me, I don't know why and if I call him, he does me goodbye. "Smoking weed and getting high. I know the devil is by my side "My days are finished and I will die - all I need is chilli fries." Switching to Arabic, the singer calls on his audience to dance, then continues in English: "I am so dead, I am so bad. Stop killing Iraqis... I am big daddy, this is my game. I don't have feelings, I don't have shame. "Forty-eight hours left, Bush said, all my troops left me and fled "Now I am sitting by myself... I am going to hell." Someone should make a flash animation based on the audio. 
  For some comedy check out VH1's 50 Greatest Hip Hop Artists. They really try hard to make a good list by adding alot of old school names to it and crowning Run-DMC as #1. But as someone at RMHH asks:

Ja Rule??? Ahead of Gang Starr? Kool Moe Dee?? Lil Kim and Master P ahead of MC Lyte and the Biz??????? DMX ahead of Ice Cube??!!? Puffy ahead of Nas AND RAKIM!!  

  I guess Foxy Brown wants to end her career with a bang. She went on the radio and gave a Nas-like rant about the music industry in general, Def Jam specifically. You have to hear it to believe it. 

I'm surprised that I like the new album from Cam'ron's Diplomats. It's a low priced double cd so I bought it without a second thought. One disc is all new music, the other is a greatest hits style collection from the four mixtapes they put out last year. It's funny because disc two sounds like a polished album, while disc one has that street level mixtape feel. And that's not a bad thing. The Diplomats play on their strengths- their infectious hooks and energetic overdubs shadow the shortfalls in lyricism. So don't listen to Dip Set hoping to find the cure for cancer. Instead, turn it up loud in your truck and roll through Harlem's 125th Street really slow. Only then will you understand. There are two highlights to this album for me. It is packed with incredible Roc-A-Fella style production even though most of the tracks were produced by the Heatmakers, with few by Just Blaze and none by Kanye West. Also, Cam'ron has a slew of funny adlibs that he spits on many of the songs- especially "This is What I Do" and the intro "Un Casa" Harlem stand up!  

  The Post says the government is trying to recruit NYC cops for Baghdad. The article doesn't make sense to me. Maybe it will for you.  
  I have just been accepted as a Blogcritic! Prepare for a hip-hop upgrade on their site.  
  Ever wonder why mixtape dj's shout their name over tracks? Is it just to annoy the heck out of a listener? Nope. Pete from RMHH breaks it down on this thread 
  El-Keter of Imageyenation just told me about his blog powered site. It's designed well, which is too rare for a hip-hop site. 
  I just saw this in my email: UPDATE ON SARS IN NEW YORK CITY A Total of 10 Possible Cases Identified in New York City; None Acquired Locally NEW YORK CITY - April 16, 2003 - The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) announced today that, to date, there have been a total of 10 possible cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in New York City. All patients recently traveled to affected areas abroad. They are doing well and no related illness has been detected in their close contacts. Seven of these cases were previously reported. Thus far, there is no evidence of locally acquired cases of SARS in New York City. Information on SARS is regularly updated on the DOHMH website at http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/cd/cdsars.html

At least they're actually admitting there is SARS in New York now. Before they kept saying "suspected cases."  

  Jeremy Richards is coming to the Urbana Poetry club this thursday. His most "famous" poem is T.S. Elliot’s Lost Hip Hop Poem. I'm on Spring break so I plan to be there with some friends. Yell out "Madison!" during an intermission and I'll come talk to you.  
  For those of you into mixtapes and such, DJ Green Lantern just dropped another Shady Records Invasion mixtape. The first one was better than many albums that dropped last year. From the tracklisting I'm sure this one will be good too. It features unreleased material from the Shady Records camp and diss songs towards Ja Rule. 
  Style Wars is finally on DVD! Kill yourself if you haven't seen it yet. Sandbox Automatic says about the dvd version:

"Style Wars" debuted on public television back in 1983, when Ed Koch was mayor of NYC and subways were a fertile battleground for "art crimes" and spectacular visual expression. Though never officially released on video by a major studio, independently distributed copies have been circulated for many years to generations of aspiring artists as well as general hip-hop fans. Now available in digital format for the first time ever, this deluxe double DVD set includes the original 70 minute film in its entirety, plus 23 minutes of original outtake footage, feature commentary from the filmmakers themselves, and a remastered Dolby 5.1 soundtrack of all time hip-hop classics by Grandmaster Flash, Treacherous Three, Trouble Funk, Fearless Four, Rammelzee & K-Rob and more. Then on disc #2, get ready for an additional 3-1/2 hours of previously unreleased material. 32 artist galleries and interviews with some of the all-time graffiti and b-boy masters like Daze, Dondi White, Duro, Crazy Legs, Kase 2, Ken Swift, Pink, Seen TC5, Shy 147, Zephyr and many more. Guest interviews with living legends like Fab 5 Freddy, Goldie, Guru of Gang Starr, DJ Red Alert, and photographer Martha Cooper. New music from Definitive Jux recording artists El-P, RJD2 and Aesop Rock. And the incredible "Destroy All Lines" video featuring over 200 entire cars and burners looped in full motion for over 30 minutes.  

  I just found another hip-hop blog. I haven't read much of it but I plan to keep my eyes on it.  
  Dame Dash says he's planning a Roc Army Tour with everyone from Roc-a-Fella except their frontman Jay-Z. In the interview Dame says he's not aware of a planned tour with Jay-Z and 50 Cent. Huh? He's the CEO of the record label! How could he not know? This makes the rumors about a riff in the Roc camp over the signing of Cam'ron even stronger, especially since Cam was missing from Jay-Z's big pre-Tyson fight Showtime concert last month.  
  This is where I'll toss dirt on the New York hiphop scene and let ya'll know great websites and news I come across. Stay with me as this place forms. 
New York, hip-hop, and me


Powered by Blogger