Friday, October 02, 2009

Monday, April 03, 2006

Thursday, March 16, 2006

My new blog has free music:

Crispin Glover's Soundtrack for the Undead

Monday, November 07, 2005

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

HeadyGooBalls (2005-?)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I Give Hip-Hop and Earful (Part IIII) and decide Hip-Hop has had enough

There once was a rapper named "The Teacher,"
Though at times he sounded more like a preacher.
So I put his name in my blog, and ripped this pedagogue, because I needed some words for this feature.

There once was a man named "The Poet,"
Who thought the revolution could not be promoted.
So he wrote a verse, about the TV curse, and "The Teacher" sat down and rewrote it.

Gather round nerds and I will spin you a tale of whimsy and rhyme about KRS-One (The Teacher) and Gil Scott-Heron (The Poet). Amidst growing racial tensions in West Coast inner-cities during the early 1970s, GSH whipped up a piece of legendary rhymery titled "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised."

Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville
Junction will no longer be so damned relevant, and
women will not care if Dick finally gets down with
Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people
will be in the street looking for a brighter day.
The revolution will not be televised.

Hip-Hoppers paid attention to the works of GSH (and people like the Last Poets - who Amiri Baraka called "the prototype rappers") as testament to black consciousness and early spoken word/hip-hop wordplay. One rapper even took it among himself to remix the hallowed work.

KRS-One has taken it on himself to become the international ambassador of "Hip-Hop as a Legitimate Culture." He got his moniker - the Teacher - from his history injected rap lessons. He even built a temple in honor of rhyming words together over sampled beats. So it came as much surprise to many when KRS reworded "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," not for a new track, but for new Nikes.

The Revolution is basketball/Basketball is the truth - KRS-One in 1995 Nike ad.

How many people got Nike's on?
If you got your Nike's on, put your feet up in the air
If you don't got Nike's on
I think you need to keep your feet down

- Boogie Down Productions song "Nervous Lyrics"

So when Rap Pages editor Sheena Lester confronted KRS for "loaning his mighty sword to capitalist devils," KRS was all like, "well ["well" is mine] Nike doesn't own niggas. Niggas own Nike."

Nike CEO Phil Knight in whiteface

Nike exploits. They exploit Third World labor. They exploit kids by tricking them into buying shitting sneakers. They exploit culture by twisting anti-corportate messages into advertisements. I can't stand it when Spike Lee does a Nike ad after the scene where he lectures high-school B-Ball studs not to be taken advantage of in Hoop Dreams. I simply don't like it when Common - who used to use 'commercial' as an explicative - designs a shoe for the company (at the low price of $300+). I heard KRS at the pulpit in London blabbering about the 'realness' of hip-hop culture to a polite BBC audience. KRS: "Principles are the condom you use when having intercourse with corporate interests."

Good image. I guess that means rappers have 'cut the resevoir tip' so they can get 'this rich bitch pregnant.' Better image.

The floodgates have opened when someone as revered as KRS sets the standard. Mos Def is a bitch for writing an original song for GMC trucks (although he may not be around for long because I heard he made fun of Suge Knight. And so my rant concludes, not with a bang, but not with a whimper, but with a whisper: Wait till you see my ohhhh

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I Give Hip-Hop an Earful (Part III)

No doubt...I went easy on Hip-Hop in the last post. Don't get me wrong - I got the much deserved type-lashing here. I left off last wondering where Hip-Hop might find its saviors. Early 90's caught a glimpse of what I am talking about. Arrested Development talked 'Afro-Centricity' and Tribe mentioned Steve Biko. It's funny: Queen Latifah used to be a revolutionary (circa '91), now she sells Pizza Hut detachable crust pizza with pizza-flavored dipping sauce in a new ad campaign. A good example.

After 10 years of gangster rap spawned from post-crack generation storytelling, a group of artists emerged to teach about love and 'knowledge of self.' These groups opposed the commericialism of product placement in mainstream rhymes - exemplified by the Roots 'What They Do' video which mocked the hood rich materialism of people like Biggie (and catalyzed a heated battle between B.I.G. and Black Thought). A video like that makes a point - and the Roots stand for something...or at least they used to.

Six years later I am standing front row at a Roots show in New Orleans. Front man Black Thought stops the show to tell fans to put out their cigarettes because he hates them and they kill people. Funny - I could have sworn that the newest Roots tour is sponsored by Kool cigarettes - a true G's smoke of choice. Its just this type of hypocrisy that breaks my heart. How hard is it to be commercially viable and not sell-out to companies who have no interest in your fanbase's well-being? Do the Roots have to dance on stage for Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper like the 'Alabama Porch Monkeys' they played in Lee's Bamaboozled ? Is it too much to ask for so-called 'conscious' artists to take responsibility for the effects of pushing harmful products? Should a supposed recovering alcoholic like Common really be sponsoring a liquor company? Put it that way (with successions of rhetorical questions) and socially-conscious hip-hop seems absent from the mainstream.

Oh I'm just getting started comrades. Nike you're about to get yours too...
Blog Directory Add Your Blog