This is disgusting!
On December 17th, an auction house will begin selling off the contents of the home where Michael Jackson died.
Among the items for sale: Michael Jackson’s death bed!
And that’s not all their selling.
Rolling Stone writer Tim Dickinson’s latest article tackles a question you’ve probably been asking yourself for quite some time now.
“How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich” is an epic piece of writing, and it’s more than worth a good read.
Dickinson takes us back to the early days of the Reagan Administration, when the concept of “Starving The Beast” first came to be. And we learn why, for today’s GOPers, going back on a pledge to Grover Norquist is like reneging on a deal with the devil.
According to Dickinson, the current mindset of the GOP is what happens when politicians sell their souls and votes to the wealthiest 1% of Americans.
Check out this fascinating article about Occupy Harlem, and why the Occupy movement ain’t just a “white thing.”
There are definitely prominent Black voices in the movement. Activists and scholars like Angela Davis and Cornell West have been major supporters of the movement since practically day one; Dr. West was even arrested on October 21st with 30 others in Harlem, protesting that racist “stop and frisk” program.
And by now I’m sure you’ve heard of Occupy The Hood.
The 99% percent is made up of a variety of people from a variety of backgrounds, with a variety of priorities. What unites them are a few common enemies; namely greed, corruption and economic inequality.
But will it be possible for such a complicated, motley collective to build a coalition strong enough to affect change in a way that will benefit everyone involved?
From the Huffington Post:
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…
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.
As a follow-up to The Viral Video, EBT: We Have Failed You Chapter…An Open Letter, I want to talk about a comment that I received frequently about Chapter’s character in the EBT video. Many people have emailed me saying that they agree with my blog, but that they also know black women who do those things. Those things . . . as if those things that they do are so vile that the actual act must not be named for fear of its appearance. Those things. What types of those things? Getting pregnant in order to qualify for general assistance?
It has been my experience as a mentor that when a young woman tells me she wants to have a baby it is because she wants someone—the baby or her boyfriend—to love her, and, of course, this rationale comes with its own set of consequences. But, my young mentee’s rationale is not far removed from why some single privileged or married privileged women decide to have babies. They too seek love or at least commitment from the men in their lives. The difference between my mentee and the privileged women is that their class privilege absolves them of blame.
I say all this to say that perhaps the reason why young women decide to have babies is not to “swindle” the government, but to secure that which all women are taught to desire in this society, what bell hooks refer to as the “male gaze.” And, the male gaze includes having the man’s baby or performing your feminine gender of being a mother. So, perhaps, the larger issue is not about “those things” single black girls do, but more about who they are doing those things for.
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.
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).
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.
Big Ups to Karl Marx and Angela Davis
The Black family house model has to be the most intimate institution of oppression for Black youth. I’m not being melodramatic with this one; especially, when the house model is regulated by contributions to capital, or money. To speak, to suggest an opinion, to participate in discussion, a young person must invest capital. Chores, labor given value by individual parental capitalist systems, can’t be exchanged for paying light bills. So we see this unfold in the Black family household as the condition by which materials—house ownership, checks and dollar bills—determine consciousness, the existence of a valid perspective. In other words, Black kids get in the attitude of survival and introversion, as opposed to an attitude of construction and communication, due to the house model.
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.
A couple days ago, Jay-Z and Kanye West unleashed their new single “Otis” upon the internets. Set to a fairly inventive (if awkward) sample from Otis Redding’s classic “Try A Little Tenderness,” Jay and Ye trade bars about money, wealth and….umm, money.
The song is really, really bad.
Now don’t get it twisted. The very idea of a Jay-Z-Kanye West joint album makes me all giddy and warm inside like any other Hip Hop (or Pop) fan. But if this “luxury rap” style is going to define Watch The Throne, Yeezy and Jigga might reemerge from their luxurious, million-dollar mansions in the sky to find themselves irrelevant to a culture founded on its ability to resonate with the common man.
Beyonce’s phenomenal new album 4 was released this past Tuesday to great critical acclaim, receiving an aggregate score of 72 on Metacritic.com.
Village Voice said “Beyonce’s art is delivery, and 4 is a gorgeous frame for her voice at its absolute best.” Meanwhile, the BBC proclaimed “Beyoncé slips from flirty to fragile to fabulous, and is in terrific voice throughout, reminding us that when she opens up there’s no-one else in the game.” And even the ever-thorny, hipsterrific Pitchfork Media thinks Beyonce’s the shit, explaining “The lion’s share of the album–along with its excellent deluxe tracks–has one of the world’s biggest stars exploring her talent in ways few could’ve predicted …”
So why is 4 already being called a flop? And should that matter?
Yesterday was Tupac Shakur’s 40th birthday. And though it has been 15 years since his untimely death, the continued fascination and adoration he conjures amongst black youth (and the world, at large) is a testament to an iconic, albeit brief career that truly transcended mere beats and rhymes. Subversive, contradictory and brutally honest, Tupac’s music told the story of the young black male coming of age in the 1990’s. It is a dichotomous story; one where an appreciation for unity and consciousness within the Black community collides with capitalistic ambition and the attainment of an American dream, by any means necessary. His work spoke truth to a racist, capitalistic power structure, while at the same time attempting to usurp and dominate that structure with its own values and tools.
And that’s what made Tupac’s music so powerful and dangerous.
The Black Youth Project examines the attitudes, resources and culture of the young black millennials.