Hip-Hop Highlight Film


Monday, June 28, 2010

"The Black Man's Fatal Rejection" by Looking For A Nation



First I want to speak in concise and unequivocal terms: shame on the rappers promoting failure through their rhymes about selling drugs, abusing women, and abandoning their responsibilities as men. You are all lost and a shame upon our people. Your values are decrepit; your values are out of sync with the norms of society. It amazes me how you promote a lifestyle that only leads to incarceration, broken families, and mass ignorance yet the youth still gravitates towards your message like it's the blue print to success. A lot of our men are a shadow of what they should be. A lot of our men have failed their women, failed their daughters, failed their sons and most importantly failed themselves. Not all black men are walking zombies with dicks but at times it seems that good black men are outnumbered by these buffoons. What of the black woman who gives birth to multiple children with different fathers? She has been an accessory to a culture of "baby mammas ," child support experts, and extreme mismanagement of money. Black men who are noble and becoming of kings you must wrestle the reigns of your people from the lost; if you won't we will continue to succeed as individuals but fail as a people. I do not jettison teaching and educating but we are in a perilous state in which we might not have time for pleasantries. Black men in America are two moves away from being checkmated and when our women abandon us en mass then the final piece will be played. The white man is not to blame, our fate always was, always is and always will be in our hands. One day, I do not know the exact minute nor the hour, we stop being lions, we stop being the lighthouse that guides the ships to safety, we stop being Malcolm, Martin, Marcus and Huey, we stop being conquerors....we stop being men.

My mother once told me that black men have rejected all the trappings of the white man. Some were necessary to establish a distinct culture; however, some were foolhardy. The black man rejected his dress, his opinion of beauty, his every mannerism, all that were necessary to establish a culture. What was rejected that shouldn't have been was his success. Instead of emulating his devotion to education we created a culture that looks down on the black child that performs well in school; a black child that excels at academics is less likely to have as many friends as his white counterpart that performs on the same level. It is truly a travesty that so many of us aspire to be criminals and "real niggas" more than we aspire to be law-abiding citizens and fathers of our nation. A people lives through their men, my brothers, don't you understand? We need families. We need large families with mothers and fathers. Family is an acronym that means father and mother instructing and loving the youth. Without the "F" it is just bad grammar. Look at what we've had to experience as black men: racial discrimination, upbringings in violent ghettos, and the constant defamation of our sex in the media. The black man has to be well versed, not only does he have to be able to navigate the world of black America he also has to be able to navigate the world of white America. So the question is: why aren't you great? All you have been through are prerequisites for greatness yet it still seems to elude you.

To the noble black men becoming of kings it is time for you to step up to the mantle. We don't need any metaphysical talk about gods and science if it remains mere talk that doesn't equate to actions. Why aspire to rule a city block that you don't even own? Why rep a decadent neighborhood when you are renting out the house from a slum lord? You die for what you don't own, what you pay rent for, what you are a slave to because you never understood the concept of private property. Your queens are hurting because they follow your lead. Their dress, their temperament, their mannerisms are determinant upon what they think will attract you. You set a higher standard for yourself then they will do likewise - or they will and you won't and then they will find somebody else. I shed no tears for my brothers in the ghetto, not because I don't love them but simply because I grew up. I shed tears for the kids. There are no victims in the ghetto except the kids. When I was young in high school listening to Dead Prez's "Lets Get Free" album I thought that the ghetto was part of a concocted plan to keep black people down but when I got older I realized that it was all about the choices we make. America won't give you anything but one thing, it is the thing that makes this county great, America will give you the opportunity. If you want to be a millionaire America will not give you one million dollars but it will give you the opportunity. The world is yours for the taking the only thing you have to do is seize it.

The ghetto culture is black America's Achilles' heel, it is the elephant in the room when ever any serious debate is under taken to address issues facing the black community. Although it comprises the smallest percentage of black America the influence it conveys is disproportionate to its size. Blacks in the ghetto as a whole have failed miserably, they have fostered a generational cycle of poverty, incarceration and out of wedlock children. They have created their own sub-culture and have become content to living within its walls. The black man in the ghetto has abandoned any semblance to an actual man, all he strives to do is get high, have sex, waste money on material objects of no intrinsic value and live up to the ethos of being a "real nigga". He has adopted a creed of criminality, he has rejected wholesale any traces of being an honest contributor to society. He has nothing. His living quarters is often with that of a woman who has a place to live thanks to social programs that incentivize broken families.

The black woman is the life-line of the ghetto because she is the only one with any form of income and the only one with a place to stay due to the reason I stated above. You have whole "baby mamma" communities consisting of apartment complexes full of single mothers. Never in the history of man have you had a phenomenon such as this. Black society has under gone a transformation that has witnessed the complete separation of the sexes. If these problems were just isolated to one economic group then fixing it would be easier but somehow these values has trickled up. Hip-Hop has been the vehicle used to disseminate this pathetic lifestyle and its image is being tarnished because of it. The ghetto has hi-jacked hip-hop and flooded the airwaves with its decrepit message. A lot of these artists are nothing but hoodlums who if it hadn't been for hip-hop would be either dead or in jail (if it doesn't apply to you then don't take offense). Don't be alarmed by that statement because what else can you say? How long can you logically make excuses for them and the harmful music they are making? When are we going to man up and say enough is enough. It is as if the honest black man has acquiesced to his women being degraded, his young brothers being lead astray and his people destroyed from with in. He has forfeited his intelligence and leadership to hoodlums who never plan beyond a day. Malcolm didn't allow hoodlums to run rampant and neither did Huey, so why do we?

We have developed a parallel culture to that of mainstream America. Distinct and separate cultures are inevitable in a nation as diverse as the one we live in. However, certain values are ubiquitous through out all cultures: the desire to support one's family, the desire to achieve legitimate success, and the desire to be an honest and able contributor to society. I can not and will not make a blanket statement attributing this state of decadence that I am speaking of to an entire group of people. The black middle class is as vibrant and as successful as the white middle class; however, it seems that they have been unable to disseminate their values throughout the black community. This is what is most alarming, the values of black America are coming from the segment less likely to foster healthy values: ghetto black America. Several rappers bestow the values of that culture by promoting ignorance, misogyny, eschewing education, and constant usage of terms like "baby mama" that epitomize the destruction of the black family. It is so pervasive that terms like 'baby mammas" have become every day words in our vocabulary. The artists that are enlightened have to struggle for airplay and I'm not going to blame the corporate infrastructure because eventually, one day, we have to take control of what is ours. So this culture that is decadent is inundating all walks of black life and the crisis is exacerbated by the fact that it is attractive to young black males, especially those without fathers. So when a group of men who were historically alienated from mainstream society have an art form that speaks for them in some respect, that is made and created by others who look like them, it is not naive to say that they are going to gravitate towards it. It is their voice, their thoughts, their frustrations, their message being conveyed but what happens when the message conveyed becomes harmful?

So the natural rejection of an enslaved people to the culture of those who enslaved them inadvertently became personified by a culture created by young men that started with noble beginnings but went awry. It did not go awry because it changed from the happy, Afro-centric message of its heyday to the violent depictions of ghetto life. The depictions of ghetto life were necessary because hip-hop is the voice of the young black male and many did and still to this day dwell in ghettos. Where it went wrong was that the message became cliche, a message without an end to it, without a solution. The message became celebrated instead of learned from. It soon became the only message, any alternative was shut out. The rejection has been fatal, every day I am reminded of it when I see single black mothers, black boys aspiring to be trap stars, and a culture that still lives in its own segregated world. The year is 2010 and Black Americans still remain only twelve percent of the population, the numbers of Hispanics are growing exponentially yet we still remain stagnant.We now have a culture that deters the formation of large families due to the lack of able body men and social programs that incentivize broken families.

There is no one to blame but the men for men are the leaders. No matter how much society develops nature will always remain the same; men no matter their race are born larger, tougher and with a propensity for violence that allows them to remain dominant. Humanity has been able to mitigate some of the most brutal characteristics of man through civility yet nature creates for her own purposes and we are just left trying to govern what is innate. So my closing statement is not to reject wholly, throw away what you don't want, keep what you can use, don't create a parallel culture that only leads to broken families and incarceration, take control of what you have created and bask in the rays of greatness.

-Looking For A Nation

Dangerfield ft Sean Price - Da Finest (remix)

Common - Next Time

Common feat. Queen Latifah Next Time Just Wright Version

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Hip-Hop Belt: DJ'ing & Sampling By Design

No longer do you have to be a superhero to wear a do-it-all utility belt. Emily Carr design students Justin Alm and Jack Curtis created The Hip-Hop Belt, an “educational tool for younger children” to assist in learning about hip-hop DJ‘ing and sampling. The belt features a mixer, two turntables w/ rotary sensors, and an ultrasonic sensitive kill switch.

Visit Emily Carr for more details and hit the break for video of The Hip-Hop Belt in action!

The Hip-Hop Belt from Justin Alm on Vimeo.

Producer Battle in Los Angeles - Red Bull Big Tune Round 1 & Semi-Finals

Hi-Res, Style Misia, DiBia$e, Tauras, DeUNO, DJ Finyl, G Rocka, and Captain did battle at Los Angeles Red Bull Big Tune Event. Congrats to DiBia$e for the win and the nicely layered Patrice Rushen sample flip.

DJ Khalil: The Making of “Almost Famous” By Eminem

Making of...Almost Famous from The Hastings Set on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Superhero's Romance by Danny C. Anderson Jr.

Danny C. Anderson Jr. known through hip-hop communities by his pseudonym Sudan Six is about as witty and intelligent as they come. His innate sense of humor is displayed in his music by the skits he injects between his songs to give direction to his projects and bring instant chuckles to the listener. If you frequent certain Fayetteville hip-hop circles his name will be thrown up sporadically in conversations about good music being made and produced. Someone as diverse as Danny plays many roles simultaneously: that of a college student, college graduate, employee, aspiring entrepreneur, MC, producer, husband, son, father and more recently author. Yes, no typos folks an author. That brings us to "A Superhero's Romance" the first book by Danny that encompasses all the wit and humor that he is known for. A must read and remarkable blend of social issues, parenting, cynicism, childhood reflections and humor all in one."A Superhero's Romance" is masterfully written; the colloquial vocabulary allows the reader to become immersed in the stories without having to search for Webster's best seller. Danny takes on several characters as he spins tales of experiencing his first kiss to how he wants the president to expunge his college loans and ultimately give him a free tractor. "A Superhero's Romance" is filled with relatable stories about the lack of pride a barber takes on your hair once you become a regular to all the subtle benefits of being a father; however, what one finds the most intriguing is how Danny can tackle social/political issues with such humor that he makes you forget that he was speaking on a controversial issue in the first place. The book provides insight on interracial relationships, the decadence pervasive throughout Fayetteville, and the treatment of black women by their male counterparts without ever becoming polarizing or judgemental. "A Superhero's Romance" is a wonderful freshman effort by Danny and if you are a fan of his music you will definitely be a fan of this book. The same humor and ingenuity that he showed in his music is also present in this phenomenal piece of literature. A testament to the fact that humor can be used to tell life stories and tackle complex issues, "A Superhero's Romance", will definitely be a wonderful addition to your library. Here are the links to purchase or preview the book:http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1383982/, http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/a-superheros-romance-20/8819100

The Ritual

Some where in Fayetteville outside of an inconspicuous placed coffee shop several people are coalescing in the parking lot. There isn't any hostile commotion going on just a scene inundated with an aura of innocence and bliss. The collective known as El Solflo have just finished performing improv pieces with live instrumentation in front of a very satisfied crowd. What is going on in the parking lot at approximately 12 am is what has become sort of a ritual; several artists brought together by their passion for music are discussing the state of hip-hop and shooting ad hoc videos of them performing their craft. They are a motley crew consisting of artists who represent every spectrum of music from guitar players, singers, pianist, violinists, and Double MC who has mastered every musical instrument known to man. They are joined by Madoa the gifted MC from The Drop Squad and Shihloh Allah whose lyrical ability is unparalleled. JJ the lead vocalist of El Solflo gets a crowd assembled that now includes several patrons of the coffee shop that were so moved by their earlier performance that they refuse to call it a night out of fear that they might miss something magical. So the festivities are now commenced and don't let me dictate the narrative, watch it for yourself.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pac Div/Pacific Division

"Can the real hip-hop please stand up, please stand up"

I love this one it has so much substance, yet laid back.