Tag: It’s Bigger than Hip Hop

Saving the Bronx

Dj Kool Herc photographed by Tyler Hicks

Fresh off the NY Dance Parade trail as Grand Marshal, DJ Kool Herc gets the front page of the NY TImes in a story about gentrification of the Bronx, and trying to save a landmark building that housed the birth of hip hop. Read about it here.

Tatiana

Russell Simmons is a Buzzard

Chuck D of Public Enemy

“A Buzzard doesn’t go around killing anything. It just takes advantage of the dead.”- Chuck D on Russell Simmons and Lyor Cohen’s pilfering of Hip Hop revenues and the failure to take a firm stand on the crisis in Hip Hop.

Courtesy Rhymes With Snitch
Tatiana

The Hip Hop Project: Opening May 11th


Last night I attended a second screening of The Hip Hop Project, a movie co-produced by Queen Latifah and Bruce Willis. It wasn’t my first screening; I’d actually went to a smaller screening in February for the then little known film. This time around I brought along Art Director Alana Salcer to get her take on the film.

The Hip Hop Project (HHP) is an ArtStart funded program that takes inner city youth and develops their freestyling talent into inspiring, lyrically thoughtful music. The end of each project culminates in a production of a professionally produced album. HHP offers a bright light into the endless dark tunnel of the misogynistic, consumer-driven, violent themes that litter rap music today. The film follows Chris “Kazi” Rolle on a personal and lyrical journey as he tries to make sense of his Caribbean roots as an abandoned child and his life growing up and adjusting to New York City. As the founder of HHP, he takes his own personal struggles and allows his students to learn from him and inspire their music by reaching inside their own true selves. The result is raw, gut-wrenching, and unadulterated hip hop.

HHP is an ongoing project and continues to take in aspiring lyricists and artists. Find out more about the Hip Hop Project by visiting the Hip Hop Project Online.

Kazi with Scott K. Rosenberg, Producer and and Matt Ruskin, Director
Photo: Alana Salcer

Scott K. Rosenberg and Bruce Willis
Photo: Alana Salcer

Kazi speaks after screening
Photo: Alana Salcer

Q Tip
Photo: Alana Salcer

Pras of the Fugees
Photo: Alana Salcer

Al Sharpton
Photo: Alana Salcer

The Hip Hop Project
Photo: Alana Salcer

Kazi and fiancé Kheperah
Photo: Alana Salcer

Ed Lover hosts the after party at Stereo
Photo: Alana Salcer

CaNNon, HHP alum
Photo: Alana Salcer

Princess, HHP alum and leader
Photo: Alana Salcer

The Hip Hop Project premiers in theaters May 11, 2007.

Tatiana

The Black Market

Some food for thought…

Tatiana

RZA’s Real Talk


Instead of dancing ( more like shucking and jiving) around the core of the problem in Hip Hop like Russell Simmons, RZA takes an unapologetically hard look at the problems that he and other Wu-Tang members helped to create:
“Hip-hop is just unbalanced. Right now, rappers are glorifying their hell. How you gonna tell me it’s cool to live in the ghetto? Who wants to live where you got rats, roaches, pissy elevators, shootings, killings, rapings, drug addicts, alcoholics, all in a four block radius? “Now, out of nine Wu-Tang members, seven are felons… We were the problem of our communities, but we never bragged about it. We kept moving on about life. “But right now, these hip-hoppers are stuck on one thing. They stuck on sex and violence and drugs and partying. Life is way more than that. Especially the day after the party ends. When you get the f**k up the next day, what you gonna do?”
Read Contact Music’s Article

Tatiana

Finally, Hip Hop Moves Forward


.. and hopefully this is not just all a bunch of wishful thinking and blabber talk. Russell Simmons’ Hip Hop Action Summit came to a conclusion and agreed to a recommendation to discontinue the use of bitch, ho and nigger in the media. They have called on the recording industry to voluntarily bleep out these words.
From the press release:
HSAN reaffirms, therefore, that there should not be any government regulation or public policy that should ever violate the First Amendment. With freedom of expression, however, comes responsibility. With that said, HSAN is concerned about the growing public outrage concerning the use of the words “bitch,” “ho,” and “nigger.” We recommend that the recording and broadcast industries voluntarily remove/bleep/delete the misogynistic words “bitch” and “ho” and the racially offensive word “nigger.”
Read the entire Hip Hop Action Summit press release here.

The next step? Encouraging rappers, comedians, and the general public to stop using these words, so that they won’t need to be censored out in the first place. Let’s stop putting the responsibility of censorship in the hands of others, and start checking ourselves.
Tatiana

The case for Don Imus

I didn’t wanted to jump on the “I hate Don Imus” bandwagon before carefully considering all the sides of this story. I, like most other people, was appalled when I first heard him refer to the Rutger’s University Women’s Basketball Team as a bunch of “nappy headed hoes”.

The video that everyone’s seen.

And I am happy that this has drawn so much concern amongst the people, and that it is generating a healthy civic response. What I am afraid of is the public’s outcry for his removal from the airwaves. Why I absolutely do not condone his choice of words, banishing this man because the general public does not like his form of expression is a dangerous precedent for us all. What would happen to all the Black comics who say racially offensive about White people? Or what about if a journalist offends a political group with some off-color statements. Pretty soon, everyone will be making a case for something offensive someone else said, and they will be able to use the Imus case as an example. I recall in 1999 when Rudy Guiliani tried to shut down the Brooklyn Museum because he found a few pieces of artwork offensive to his religion. “America’s Mayor” and his right-wingers never got their way, but what does it say about the people when a particular group allows their emotions to stifle freedom of speech?

Tatiana

Niggers Niggas & Niggaz

This word is never to be used lightly, as it has been in recent decades by the Black, Latino, and increasingly, non-minority youths. This is to all of the intellectuals who try to make a point for the “new” use of the word.

Tatiana

Vote!


Because there’s nothing more stylish than a socially conscious fashionista.
Tatiana

The Hip Hop Project

I was invited to attend an advanced screening of Bruce Willis and Queen Latifah’s hip hip documentary “The Hip Hop Project”. The following is a clip of Kazi the then-director of the Hip Hop Project at ART START in New York City, performing.
Tatiana

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