Rebirth of Rap?

Skinny jeans, mohawks, nose rings, and bad attitudes. No, I’m not referring to grunge rock of the 1990’s. I’m actually talking about hip-hop in 2010. If you are still using terms like “gangsta rap”, it is time for you to go back into the time capsule with your jeri curl and platform shoes. Of course you still have a select few Southern rappers who remind you that they are skilled in the culinary arts with a speciality in cooking with baking soda. You even have a few rappers who talk so much about toting iron you would think they did bench presses all day. Nevertheless, I think the prominence of “gangsta rap” is long gone and has been replaced by Hipster/Rock Rap.  Hip-hop today has a greater global reach than ever before. Kids from Tokyo to L.A. know how to “crank that soulja boy” and I even bet there are some kids in Moscow who know how to do the “stanky leg”. Yes, hip-hop is  big and expanding. However, I believe that as hip-hop is expanding and evolving it is losing the core essence of what it is. Don’t get me wrong I have a very eclectic taste in music. At least my ears aren’t prejudice.


Emily Henochowicz: A Witness who became a Victim.

In last week’s post, I wrote about the Israeli raid on the Free Gaza flotilla fleet. I mentioned the many protests that took place here in the United States and all over the world. However, I did not mention the protests  inside Palestine. Demonstrations took place in the West bank, where the lawenforcement is the Israeli military and this is great to be able to point out the Israeli corruption and stick it in there faces, but on the other hand it also turned out to be very dangerous for the demonstrators. The same type of unnecessary violence and aggression that was displayed  by the Israeli military in the flotilla attacks, the type of unnecessary violence and aggression that people gathered in various places all around the world to object. This was exact what was projected forth onto the non-violent protesters. The Israeli Police has claimed that tear gas is kept to disperse crowds and only shot from distances and into the air.

Well, obviously this was not the case when art student from Cooper Union in Manhattan, NY, Emily Henochowicz, had one canister of tear gas land to her right, then one to her left and finally one that landed directly on her face.

May 31, 2010 – June 6, 2010

The Kansas City School District works to erase a tragic history
Rick Montgomery, The Kansas City Star, June 6, 2010

Teens face drought in summer jobs
Kathy McCabe, The Boston Globe, June 6, 2010

Outreach program spreads its wings
Monique Muise, The Gazette, June 5, 2010

Boys & Girls Club support literally opens new doors for youth
Opinion Page, The St. Augustine, June 5, 2010

Prisons and the Myth of Colorblindness
Tolu Olorunda, Counter Punch, June 4, 2010

Teens: No to soda but also to exercise
Cheryl Wetzstein, Washington Times, June 3, 2010

New Effort Under Way To Prevent Youth Violence
Staff Writer, WISN Milwaukee, June 3, 2010

Experts Explore Black-White Divide in Youth Employment
Joyce Jones, Diverse Education, June 2, 2010

Black Achievers receive more than $6,000 in scholarships
Staff Writer, Shelby Star, June 2, 2010

Al Sharpton urges black university students to set tangible goals
Deborah Gates, Delmarva Now, June 2, 2010

Unlikely path for south suburban charter school Uncharted waters for south suburban school
Patrick Ferrell, Chicago Tribune, June 2, 2010

Teenagers sought for youth strategy
Carly Udy, Bay of Plenty Times, June 2, 2010

Youth criminal justice bill gets rough ride in committee
Bryn Weese, Toronto Sun, June 1, 2010

Chicago’s Freedom School empowers youth to social activism
Gabrielle M. Blue, Medill Reports, June 1, 2010

Damn, Damn, Damn (LeBron) James

I’ve had my fill of LeBron James this season.  Seriously.  I’m not interested in being a witness to anything James-related until on or immediately after July 1.  I’m no longer watching interviews wherein James tells the viewing audience things we already know.  No more James free agency countdowns.  No more terrible renditions of “We Are the World.”  (Even if you were joking, Cleveland, “We Are Lebron” was just pathetic.)  No more billboards.  I care not about the rumor that it was James’ apparent discovery that his mother, Gloria, was having an affair with his Cavaliers teammate, Delonte West (allegedly) that altered the Cavs’ playoff fate.  This summer, I need James to do something constructive, like use his headband as some sort of tourniquet for the oil spill or something.

Drake's "Thank Me Later": The Review

Drake’s official debut album Thank Me Later is arguably the most feverishly anticipated Hip Hop release since his mentor/boss Lil Wayne unleashed the instantly classic Tha Carter III back in 2008. And in all honesty, they are both fantastic albums…but they couldn’t be any more different from one another.

Do we still play Black Girlhood Games? Little Sallie Walker Vs. Nicki Minaj’s Vibe Magazine Cover

Little Sally Walker
Sitting in her Saucer
Rise Sally Rise
Wipe your Blinking Eyes
Put your Hands on your hip and let your backbone slip
Oh, shake it to the very one you love the best

I remember playing Little Sally Walker with the neighborhood girls. Each one of us had an authentic way of rising and letting our backbone slip. Some put hands on hips. Some went handless and allowed their pre-puberty bodies to sway to the rhythm of the chanting.  Now, that I look back on it, in some very fundamental ways we learned about our bodies . . . how to shake them . . . how to shimmy them . . . how to whirl them . . . ultimately in pursuit of the  “one you love the best.” We did all of this within the safe space of a girl circle.

Yes, boys would come and tease us and some very brave, but yet foolish souls would attempt to break the circle up only to be met with fire pink nails scratched into their boyish faces. Our dance circle and girlhood chanting was for us and not for them. Mind you, the same boy we scratched in the face was usually the same boy we made out with behind the garage later in the day, but that was later in the day not while we were playing Ms. Mary Mac, Twee Lee Lee, and Mama Lama.

Banks in schools allow teens to cash in on financial literacy

The Grio | June 4, 2010

According to some studies, fewer than half of all high school seniors can pass a basic financial literacy course. That number drops to below 30 percent when those students have parents that make less than $80,000 a year. Numbers like that make many hope that programs like the bank at Thurgood Marshall Academy in Harlem, will help students with much more than just schoolwork. (Read more)

Former transit officer goes on trial for fatal shooting of unarmed man

Former transit officer goes on trial for fatal shooting of unarmed man
CNN Wire Staff, CNN, June 2, 2010

Los Angeles, California (CNN) — Jury selection begins Wednesday in the case of former Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer Johannes Mehserle who is accused of fatally shooting an unarmed man on a California train platform on New Year’s Day last year.

Mehserle, who is white, has pleaded not guilty to killing Oscar Grant III, a 22-year-old black man.

The shooting was captured on a bystander’s cell-phone video camera, widely circulated on the Internet and on news shows, and spurred several protests and riots in and around Oakland.

The trial has been moved from Alameda County to Los Angeles due to pre-trial publicity.

Bay Area Rapid Transit police were called to Oakland’s Fruitvale station January 1, 2009, after passengers complained about fights on a train. Officers pulled several men, including Grant, off the train when it arrived at Fruitvale. (Read the full article)

From Wiz Khalifa to Drake: Musik Groupie or Junkie?


So, I’m like the biggest music junkie ever and I listen to all types of music with the exception of country. Yes, I do not do the Carrie Underwood’s or Taylor Swifts’ of the world. Honesty, I just never really got into that whole genre of music even though I live in the heart of music city–Nashville. Crazy huh?

Oh well, the latest music that I’ve put on my iPod is Wiz Khalifa. Thanks to my “friend boy” as my daddy would call him. I’m listening to Wiz Khalifa like there are no other artists in the industry including Lil’ Wayne. Just in one week, I’ve downloaded three of his mix tapes and have listened to all of them every day if not every other day. I love it. Wiz Khalifa’s music is nothing like Boosie, Travis Porter, or Soulja Boy. Don’t get me wrong, I listen to all of them, but Wiz Khalifa is definitely a head bopper with a calm aesthetic. I like him because he sounds so different from all the other artists out there. He’s a mix between hype and calm. To understand what I mean by this, you must first listen to Flight School, followed by Kush & OJ, and end with Star Power.

On to the next artist . . . pretty boy rapper, Drake.