Between Reality TV, Media Pressure and Social Status, we now live in a world where people feel the need to live in someone else’s shoes. We have leaders walking around as followers and followers perpetrating as leaders. This comes from a lack of personal and cultural Identity. This is a battle that a lot of us have struggled with and some of us even find ourselves now.
Check out the trailer for the provocative new documentary Black Girl in Suburbia below.
Directed by Melissa Lowry, Black Girl in Suburbia explores the difficulties faced by young Black women living in predominantly white neighborhoods.
According the doc’s website:
Drake is clearly the most divisive figure in Hip Hop today.
And I’m trying to figure out why.
Now the easy answer is folks just ain’t feeling his music. But I’m not convinced. I know so many Hip Hop fans that really just don’t like Drake. By that I mean the very idea of Drake. Half white. Canadian. Middle class. Kinda clean-cut. Child actor. Always crooning. And pouting. And emo and shit. He’s almost the exact opposite of what our concept of an emcee has always been.
And that’s what’s so interesting about him. Like it or not, he’s breaking the mold. And he’s winning.
So don’t fight the feeling. And get comfortable.
Because Drake is coming into his own; and he’s about to go to the next level.
And here’s why…
The NYPD is at it again.
Audio has surfaced of an NYPD officer bragging about falsely accusing a young, Black male of resisting arrest, and then adding for good measure:
“I fried another nigger.”
According to the Root, the officer stopped the young man as part of the department’s racist “stop and frisk” program. The man had done nothing wrong; when he protested the unnecessary stop and asked for the officer’s badge number, Officer Michael Deragjati promptly arrested him for “resisting arrest.”
The rest of this story is like the best episode of Punk’d I’ve never seen.
In an article released last week for Time Magazine, writer Touré asserts that it’s not OK for white people to use the word nigger (or its crazy cousin, nigga).
According to Touré, white people can say nigger if they are:
1. Reporting on, commenting on, or writing some kind of think piece involving the word nigger.
2. Using the word as part of a play, film, song, piece of visual art or stand-up comedy routine.
Is that alright with you?
Should Black people care about marriage equality?
Writer, activist and friend of BYP.com, Maya Rupert has written a fascinating article for the Huffington Post on this very controversial topic.
We implore you to check it out.
Rupert is the Federal Policy Director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights. In a recent article entitled “Is Marriage Equality for White People,” Rupert condemns the increasingly popular position that marriage equality for LGBT people is a “white issue.”
“This narrative is untrue, and it is time we stop acting like marriage equality is only for white people. In fact, the fight for marriage equality is very much a fight about racial justice. Opponents of marriage equality are waging a culture war and, while the LGBT community may be the stated target, families of color are and will continue to be the collateral damage.”
Do you agree?
Escobar season has returned, ladies and gentlemen.
Allow me to present to you a brand new music video from Nas.
Now you see this, people?
THIS is how you make Hip Hop that’s dope and has sociopolitical relevance.
Check out the video for Nas’ “Nasty” below.
Gangster-Rap-Godfather Ice-T is really unhappy with the mainstreaming of Hip Hop. And outside the premier of his new documentary “Planet Rock: The Story of Hip Hop and the Crack Generation,” HE WENT IN.
On Rick Ross:
He thinks he’s [Freeway] Rick Ross, he thinks he’s Larry Hoover, he thinks he’s Big Meech, he thinks he’s MC Hammer, he thinks he’s Tupac. Like, who the f*ck are you really, dude?”
On Lil Wayne and Hip Hop Going Pop:
“Rap was a counterculture that went against pop. But when you have Rihanna singin’ on your records and you’re doin’ records with Katy Perry, that’s no longer rap. It’s pop music, pop using rap delivery. When you hear Lil Wayne sayin’ ‘I got a chopper in the car,’ you go, ‘Yeah, right you do.‘”
A few years ago I had an internship at the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition, where one of my chief duties was to spend hours looking through microfilm for newspaper clippings that dramatized the racial climate in Philadelphia throughout the years.
One article that stood out was a poll of Philadelphians that asked, “How would you describe the state of racial equality in America today?” The vast majority of whites (something like 60-70%) answered “Good.”
The year was 1968.
These people had no idea how dire the state of race relations was in America at the time because all they could compare it to was a not-so-distant past marred by lynching, sharecropping and segregation. But today we can see quite clearly that things were bad. Racism was alive and well.
And that’s why race is such a tricky issue in America. Racism grows classier and more refined every day, but it never goes away. How else can we explain the American people tolerating the unprecedented disrespect, racism, obstruction and outright legislative terrorism being perpetrated by the GOP?
Last Saturday night, Kreayshawn and the White Girl Mob played a sold-out gig in Hollywood. And according to Spin Magazine, it was an insane show.
“…the audience rushed the stage where they proceeded to completely freak out — bouncing, stripping, cooking, and flipping into the crowd — until the music was done and they were forced bodily from the limelight by the venue’s security. It was intensely electric.”
The next day, she hit the VMAs, where she was nominated (and a favorite) for the Best New Artist Award. She lost to like-minded and equally controversial Tyler, the Creator. Like Kreayshawn, Tyler and Odd Future rose to prominence through YouTube, blogs and social media, don’t fit in any radio format, and have sharply divided critics and fans.
A lot of people aren’t taking Kreayshawn and Odd Future seriously. And that’s understandable. When something comes along that is so alien to mainstream standards and tastes, it always gets dismissed.
But don’t be fooled. Their success is organic and real; not some record label’s scheme. The rise of artists like Odd Future and Kreayshawn (as well as Lil B and Waka Flocka Flame) is subversive to Hip Hop’s status quo. And it might end up being a big deal.
I know the big topic in regards to Lil Wayne is his “beef” with Jay Z and whether Jay will respond and blah, blah, blah. But I want to reexamine a older “diss” that I believe actually lead to Lil Wayne responding albeit in a different way. I like most of you, especially if you listen to urban radio have heard Lil Wayne’s “How to Love”. It’s an OK song and definitely a departure for Wayne, in that he’s not degrading woman, but it wasn’t until I saw the video that I put 2 and 2 together.
The video is an incredibly powerful visual of how a woman’s decisions and personal self esteem can effect the choices she makes in her life which can lead to dire consequences. It made me wonder what would inspire Lil Wayne, a artist that has made millions objectifying woman in almost every song, create such powerful and uplifting imagery? Then I remembered this video.
Yes those adorable little girls who took Lil Wayne’s “I’m Single” and created an irrefutable argument about how Wayne’s music made them feel as young women around the same age as his own daughter. I spoke briefly to the father of “Watoto From The Nile” Jabari Natur, he had yet to see the video for “How to Love” but he heard the song and felt Wayne didn’t go far enough. He wanted a pledge from Lil Wayne and other Hip-Hop artists to no longer debase women in their music, and he mentioned Wayne’s new song with Drake as evidence that Lil Wayne has a long way to go towards that end.
I believe the moral of the story is to keep up the pressure on mainstream artists and demand that they talk about more than “money, clothes and hoes” and if you get really inspired, make a video about it, you’ll never know what effect it might have. In fact “Watoto From The Nile” have a new letter directed at Rick Ross and P.Diddy.
So Lil Wayne’s highly anticipated (and routinely delayed) Tha Carter IV leaked onto the internets earlier this week. And it’s pretty damn good. But thus far, all anyone can talk about is that Jay-Z diss.
Confused? Well, it all started in a 2009 interview where Birdman declared that Lil Wayne is a better rapper than Jay-Z because he “do the most and make the most money.” Perhaps you’ll recall Jigga’s response earlier this year on the song “H.A.M.”:
“Like these rappers rap about all the shit that I do daily/I’m like really, half a billi, nigga, really you got Baby money/ Keep it real with niggas, niggas ain’t got my lady money.”
Clearly, Wayne was not impressed with Jay’s not-so-sublte double entrendre. And that brings us to C4’s most controversial track, “It’s Good.” “It’s Good” is essentially a traditional, solid slab of hardcore Hip Hop, opening with a flawless verse from Jadakiss. Drake does his best to keep up before Wayne hits the ground running with a closing verse.
Then he says this:
“Talkin’ bout baby money?/I got your baby money/Kidnap your bitch, get that ‘how much you love your lady’ money”
This is a clear and direct jab at Jay-Z (and Beyonce, technically haha).
Our prayers were answered yesterday, people.
Last night, Toronto-based R&B mystery man The Weeknd unleashed his brand new mixtape Thursday. You can follow the link below to snag the free download.
Things have changed drastically for The Weeknd (real name Abel Tesfaye) since the release of his first tape House Of Balloons earlier this year. For one thing, there was absolutely no pressure. But since then, House of Balloons has been the most positively-reviewed album of the year thus far. Tesfaye now releases his follow-up to an audience hungry for another dose of a dark, haunted and debauched majesty that we now come to expect (i.e. demand) from The Weeknd.
And our hero does not disappoint.
Mitt Romney and Jay-Z have a lot in common.
Like Jay-Z, whose widely considered to be the most influential and important figure in Hip Hop today, Mitt Romney is currently the front runner for the Republican Presidential Nomination. In fact, like Jay-Z, he’s been the de facto “front runner” in the race for a while now.
And like Jay-Z, Mitt Romney continues to hold onto this position for no good reason at all. And probably won’t be holding onto it for long.
For those that don’t know, in one of Marvel’s most famous comics, White Peter Parker has died and now an interracial male will be Spider-Man. Of course, popular talk about the new Spidey, Miles Morales (a combination of traditional Black and Latino names), yields more props to Obama. In order to do right by colored peoples’ voices there must be a distinction between governmental agendas and the liberating actions of the oppressed. The new Spider-Man series is not a government-issued reparation, but a takeover of meaning and race by racialized people.