BYP Blogger Edward James III Delivers Keynote Address at MLK Breakfast

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23qY0dBElyI

Our very own Edward James III was the keynote speaker at the 19th annual MLK Day Breakfast in Sarasota this past week.

Delivering a speech entitled “Writing Our Own Narrative,” Edward spoke eloquently and passionately about the plight of today’s Black youth, and the importance of enterprise, civic engagement and community support to stem the tide of violence and self-destruction in our communities.

Is It Ever OK For White People To Say NIGGER?

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).

Well…he does list some exceptions.

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.

 Or

 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?

MUSICNEWS: Ice-T Doesn't Like Hip-POP, Record Execs Trafficking COCAINE, and Rihanna's New Album

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.‘”

Dayum.

Why You Should Be Taking Tyler, the Creator and Kreayshawn Seriously

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.

Did 3 Little Girls Inspire Lil Wayne's "How to Love?"

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.

 

THE WEEKND Continues To Astound With New Mixtape "THURSDAY"

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.

Not Even Black Toddlers Are Safe From Media Slander

Yes, the CBS station in Chicago chopped up an interview by a 4 year old to make it look like he was a thug in training, when he really wanted to be a police officer. I guess scary black men are an old hat and now we need a new boogie…um…boy.

Check how the boy’s “reaction” to the violence was characterized as “disturbing” and “Very scary indeed”. This was a planned, orchestrated and intentional act of character assassination on a 4 year old boy.

It’s also interesting that this comes on the heels of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to impose a new curfew for Chicago children under the age of 12.  With the school to prison pipeline in full effect, propaganda like this leads to more black youth being criminalized and brutalized by the police.

Sadly, this also takes away from the very real problem of violence in our communities and how to effectively solve it, without demonizing children for ratings.

WBBM communications director Shawnelle Richie issued this statement:

“We accept responsibility for the mistakes that were made, both in the reporting and editing of the story. The video of the child should not have aired. As soon as news management identified the problem, they took immediate steps to ensure that the video would not air in subsequent newscasts. In addition, we have followed up with our employees to make sure that we all have learned from the mistakes that were made.”

Yeah right

The Era-Defining Legacy of Amy Winehouse

At this stage in the game, it’s really impossible to know the true nature of Amy Winehouse’s legacy. This kind of thing becomes clear with time and distance.
 
It might be easy to compare her with other beloved singers that left us too soon, like Billie Holiday or Sam Cooke. And perhaps we’ll position her alongside her cohorts in the 27 Club, like Janis Joplin or Kurt Cobain. To be clear, I’m almost certain Amy will be looked upon with similar admiration and awe; her voice, style and songwriting were unmatched by anyone else of her generation.
 
But its important to recognize that we experienced Amy in a very different way. There are no youtube videos of Kurt Cobain shooting up heroin. There is very little footage of Jim Morrison’s many disastrous concert meltdowns. Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix had more than a few nights out on the town drunk and high. But the paparazzi didn’t follow their every move, and random onlookers weren’t armed with camera phones in the late 60’s. 
 
Yes, Amy Winehouse’s legacy will be very different from theirs because her many highs and lows were witnessed en masse, in real time, via. youtube, tabloids and blogs. We saw practically every moment of it. For better or for worse. And though it may be difficult to admit, there is just no way this won’t influence the way we perceive her life and work.