Hip Hop’s reaction to the disappointing verdict reveals sentiments of sorrow for our Nation.
Lawyers for the family of 18 year old VonDerrit Myers Jr., who was shot and killed by an off duty St Louis police officer, decided to release the officer’s name to the public. Now we know it was Jason Flanery who shot at VonDerrit 17 times, with 6 of those shots hitting him from behind, consistent with VonDerrit running away.
Can an ambiguous California law created in 2000 turn rap lyrics into evidence for conviction?
Recently an African American rapper and Southern California resident is currently behind bars awaiting trial. The rapper in question, Brandon Duncan a.k.a. Tiny Doo, is facing life in prison not for rape, drug trafficking, or murder, but for the lyrical content of his latest album No Safety.
Last Saturday I was in Boston for a summit on social innovation at Harvard University. But, before I left I stopped by Dudley Library in Roxbury to do a workshop on Hip-Hop, Media, and Mass Incarnation called “America’s Most Wanted”. After the workshop I sat down with Boston Hip-Hop artist Catch Wreck to talk about my favorite and least favorite things in Hip-Hop nowadays, the creation of 1Hood, and why just being a conscious artist isn’t enough.
Recently I attended a Q and A and screening session for Time Is ILLMATIC at The City College of New York, which is the documentary chronicling the events that lead up to Nasir Jones A.K.A. Nas’s first album Illmatic from Director One9 and Writer Erik Parker. The feature length documentary, which opened the Tribeca Film Festival, is as heartfelt as it is insightful with candid moments from the rappers upbringing that really showcase life for the young MC in the years leading up to his 1994 magnum opus, Illmatic.
When it comes to Hip-Hop and politics, there are few voices as prominent and poignant as legendary Hip-Hop journalist and DJ, Davey D. On Saturday he took to his Facebook page to drop this powerful piece taking Democrats to task for the idea that if they lose the Senate majority, it will be the because of a lack of enthusiasm on the part of Black and Brown voters. This comes on the heels of a must read article by Hip-Hop artist and activist Tef Poe, who’s been holding it down in Ferguson, titled, “The Democratic Party IS Failing Us“. Check out Davey D’s blistering editorial below.
By: Mari Morales-Williams and Nuala Cabral
It’s April 5, 2014, International Anti-Street Harassment day and a crowd has gathered in Love Park, Philadelphia. Two teen girls next stand beside a milk crate while a teen boy stands next to them with a sign that reads, “Share your story on the soapbox.” The girls are telling the camerawoman about how moments ago a random stranger scolded them for wearing mid-drift shirts and “carrying [themselves] like prostitutes.”
When I first heard the legendary Hip-Hop producer Dr. Dre was donating $35 million in a co-venture with his business partner Jimmy Iovine for a combined $70 million towards opening a college, the Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology, and the Business of Innovation at the University of Southern California, I was thoroughly impressed. Upon further examination of the prospect of a notable Hip-Hop figure having an accredited college in his name, at an internationally renowned university to boot, I was able to see just how troubling that reality is. The University of California is held in high regard, but there is just one problem. What good does the bold move to create a collegiate institute do for the young Black and Latino’s who are from his Compton neighborhood?
Proposition 47 is a groundbreaking California ballot initiative to reclassify six nonviolent, low-level felonies as misdemeanors and then use the salary savings – in the hundreds of millions – for prevention, education and mental health treatment. Why is Prop 47 important? California has built 22 prisons, but only 1 public university in the last 25 years. California taxpayers spend just $9,100 per K-12 student while spending a whopping $62,300 per prisoner each year.
Well it’s that time again. The occasion for offensive costumes and ignorance to loom in the air. If you thought the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin costume was as far as someone could go, you were sadly mistaken.
The fools once again have taken this year’s holiday to an entirely new level: by dressing up as Ray Rice.
“Young, Gifted, and Black” featuring Jasiri X, Tyhir Frost, Haze the Kid, and L U C, is the first release from 1Hood, a collective of Hip-Hop artists with a mission to improve self-image, dispel stereotypes, and provide a positive forum of self-expression in a field were African American youth are either underrepresented or misrepresented in media. “Young, Gifted, and Black” was directed by Paradise Gray and Haute Muslim and is featured on 1Hood’s upcoming mixtape, “Welcome to Our World”.
Terio the 7-year-old Internet sensation was on stage dancing to Bobby Shmurda’s hit single “Hot Nigga” at this years BET Hip-Hop awards. After ruminating over the performance I started to think about the whose decision it was to have a child on stage dancing to a song about living destructive lifestyle and the politics behind it.
The media often report that young people are disengaged from midterm elections. Understanding how young people feel about President Obama and the major political parties, as well as their beliefs about how well they can effect political change, can shed light on the role they will play in this election cycle.