August 9 2002
In this week's issue:
*RIAA WHOO-RIDES ON MVREMIX.COM
*INTERVIEW w/ CHUCK D
I-REVOLVERLUTION-MAKING OF THE ALBUM
II-OLD SCHOOL, NEW SCHOOL, BEING INTERNATIONAL & SOUL
III-SLOGANEERING, MUMIA AND SON OF A BUSH
IV-MEDIA AND THE TRANSMISSION OF INFORMATION
V-AIR PLAY & GREED
The FNV Newsletter c 2002
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What up folk's.. this week's FNV comes in 3 parts.. Normally we don't
do this.. we figured with the interview we did with Chuck D of Public
Enemy and all the things he breaks down, it was worth it.... We hope
you enjoy it.. However before you get to the Chuck D interview please
note the disturbing email we got form our friends over at
Last week we alerted you to the fact that the RIAA along with
California Congressman Howard Berman were working on passing
legislation that would allow the RIAA to simply come along and shut
down your site w/o advance warning, or permission from a judge. If
the RIAA was mistaken you the 'victim' would not be able to sue them
back for damages unless granted permission from Attorney General John
Ashcroft. Some of y'all thought I didn't have the correct
information.. Well, this next letter shows not only was I correct but
now things are getting worse.
Currently there is legislation being floated in the Senate by Joseph
Biden THAT WOULD IT MAKE A FELONY if you upgrade your computer to
circumvent any of the 'protections' deployed by the RIAA. So in other
words if a cat figures out how to copy a CD by using a magic marker
that would be a felony. If you can add software to your machine that
allows you to read files that could not be read.. then you have
committed a felony.
The bottom line is you got a bunch of yoyos who were late the Digital
party.. who now can not keep up with technology, so now they are
donating hella money to Congress and the Senate [buying them off] to
pass legislation that would keep you from being technical. If you
don't believe me please read this article..
After you read the article..head on over to these websites..
So you can send off letters of rebuke and protest to your
Congressperson and Senator. Come election time.. vote and vote
often... Lastly I say simply start dealing with local music. and
bypass all this stuff, although with the new legislation and as
evidence by what has happened with MVPRemix.com cats at RIAA feel they
can try and jam you up even when its your own material your streaming
and sharing with the world. ..
I want you to keep all this in mind while reading the interview we did
with Chuck D and you might understand where I'm coming from a bit
better. This is not about money. It's about CONTROL... and its MIND
CONTROL at that..
PS..Here's the open letter from MVPRemix.com
OPEN LETTER FROM MVPRemix.com
To whom it may concern, and if you're being emailed to, it concerns
MVRemix.com is a website which has been independently funded and run
for several months. You may be also familiar "Tha-Real" (a four
Online Hip Hop Award nominated website), its predecessor. Last week,
the RIAA shut down our audio server without contacting us or the
record labels which we were associating with.
MVRemix.com, specifically http://urban.mvremix.com/ is one of the most
well known spots for new Hip Hop audio online. But, it was all in
streaming Real Audio. For those unaware, Real Audio is approximately
1/20th of the quality of an MP3, and if it's only available to be
played online - downloading and burning is quite a task. Bootlegging
from MVRemix has never been heard of, and frequently drops are weaved
into the audio file to further prevent this.
The audio on the site is used to promote the material, to get it out
to the people looking for it. So that they can sample the music in a
low quality, but listenable fashion so as to be able to decide whether
they'd be interested in purchasing the product when it is released.
The RIAA threatened our audio server with their lawyers, citing we had
MP3's available for download of unreleased songs. This was entirely
untrue, but our Audio server, afraid of what may happen, shut us down.
Now, we will be dealing with the RIAA directly. So far we have had
every label we've approached support us. What we're looking for is a
simple email reply stating that you have no problem in MVRemix putting
online material sent to us by your labels in streaming real audio for
promotion. That's all. We just find that the RIAA not only has
stepped on our toes, but yours also. They've taken things a step
further by deciding the constraints of promotional usage of your
I hope to hear from you with support soon,
thanking you in advance,
The Melancholy Vibe Remix
INTERVIEW w/ CHUCK D pt1
Part I-REVOLVERLUTION-THE ALBUM
DAVEY D-We here on 94.1 KPFA with Chuck D, You know it's always hard
to interview someone that you know...But it's gonna be all good! I
mean, this is a landmark situation and maybe a crossroads of sorts,
with you at this stage and your career and the rest of the P.E.[Public
Enemy] Camp, comin' out with a new album. How do you see it and why
at this point in your career did you return to the fold with a new
CHUCK D-Right-well, number one, I just think other aspects of music,
are revered because they are more organized and Hip-Hop has never been
one to organize itself properly. I just look at other genres and they
still talk about Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones and the Beatles who
have been a part of 30 years of rock and they are still a part of
In Rap music why can't it be the same for us? Or why can't it be the
same for me? And I just made it up in my mind as Public Enemy to be
able to make a statement with each one of my records, especially after
I made up my mind in '95 that I would do so. I mean "He Got Game" was
the first time that a rap group, did an entire sound track ala Isaac
Hayes or Curtis Mayfield. Then in 1999 we released the album, There's
A Poison Goin'On with the first down loadable album from a mainstream
The statement with this new album [Revolverlution]is how it was put
together, partially by it being the first interactive record and as
well as just creating a standard for classical old skool artists and
showing how they could be relevant to the mainstream. We redesigned
the structure of making albums so that you could use your past for you
as opposed to your past being used against you. That is what
Revolverlution is about. It's about revision and it's revolutionary
and the process of it's structure and also it's ingredients.
DAVEY D-Now you mention a couple of things that I want you to build on
a little, one of them is you mention the fact that the album is
interactive so explain how that's the case....
CHUCK D- Well, we have all our accapellas done over thanks to the idea
that you- Davey D made years ago!(laughing)...And we just said that we
go one step further. Our interaction with the Internet and starting
with PublicEnemy.com in 98' which is a world of it's own. We then
established Bringthenoise.com, Rapstation.com and Slamjamz.com which
is our online label. We said we could launch the online label just by
having the audience being a participant and this shows people that
technology's allowed artists, producers, record labels across the
world to actually upgrade their music and they not just be demos and
demonstrations, but real records.The fat wires [broadband] on the
Internet have allowed for people to actually distribute these real
records across in MP3 format which is to be transferred back to a wave
format which is the same sound format you hear on an everyday CD. We
said we want to be able to use this process to see who's out there in
the world of Hip-Hop and see what they could bring to the table
production-wise. So we looked at a whole new way of production.
In the past, the usual way of doing production was, you got words and
rhymes, you got together with a guy making beats and you go in the
studio together and you make a song. Well, in this new production
method,we say alright we got the flow, here is the lyrics, put it out
there and have people find their music and see if they could attach it
the same way that the remix was founded.
For the Revolverlution project, we put up 4 accapellas on slamjamz.com
last August. They were downloaded 11,000 times. 462 mixes came back.
Our virtual staff of 50 people on slamjamz had to go and diagnose 462
mixes to come up with 4 winners and that was how history was made.
DAVEY D-Now you had already kind of done some unique stuff before
'cause I know there's a cat Bill the Pharmacist who's out of Santa
Cruz. I know early on, people like you and him were hooking up and
doing these virtual recordings with cats from all around the world.
Could you speak on that and also just the fact that now with the
Internet you've been able to bring in people from far off places like
Argentina to work on your album. Maybe you could talk a little bit
about the world wide impact this has?
CHUCK D-Well, first speaking about the winners... The first winner
was chosen by our virtual staff. They were just strictly the winner
on what they thought was the most eclectic sound. So the first winner
who remixed the Public Enemy #1 accapella was this group called "The
Geronimo Punx Redu" which came from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The second winner who remixed one is on The B Side Wins Again, were
these guys were college kids from Madison,WI called "Scattershot".
And they actually put together their song in their dorm room.
The third winners came from Austria, his name was "The
Funktionist"-he's a beatmaker from Austria. He remixed the song 'Shut
The fourth winners came from Long Island, he was named Mike-His stage
name is the Moleman. So the virtual staff was the first virtual staff
of it's kind with 50 people who would all take these links of these
songs and they would put them on a virtual board in the back of
slamjam's admin area and they would have discussions over the
selections on what was hot or top 5 and what was not. So it was the
first virtual staff of it's kind that discovered and evaluated the
music. So that is how the different cats from the different parts of
the world were chosen.
DAVEY D-But you had been doing that stuff on the internet just
recording with people sending tracks and things like that prior to
CHUCK D- We tried it on our own with Bill the Pharmacist who's out
there in Santa Cruz. He teaches out there at the School of Media Arts
in Emeryville. Bill is actually a producer for this group that we
called the first interactive Rap squad called " The Impossibulls".
There are 8-12 cats from around the country. Bill would send the
tracks around and we all rhymed to it and re-uploaded it back to Bill.
He would put the song together based on the uploaded versus on his
track. The project has since been picked up by C. Doctor Warhammer
who operates out of Kitana,PA near Pittsburg. He has pretty much the
first cat to have a virtual lab studio. He is the orchestrator of The
Impossibulls and also he also one of the head virtual A& R cat in
slamjamz. The funny thing about it is half of the cats I never even
met and they all worked on this Revolverlution album.
The album cover was put together by a guy who said that he just wanted
to be involved in making some of the covers because on slamjamz.com we
had released MP3s and we would include a cover with each one. We say
that MP3 is the new 45. We believe that a record label is just
delivery of music and art and we're able to do that digital-wise and
interactively, deliver music and art and MG [Mike Gorney] came along
and he actually took to doing the artwork for the album. The inner
sleeve and liner notes is done interactively by a guy named Josh from
the UK, who I didn't meet until last year.
DAVEY D- I know you did a cut w/ Paris. How did that come about?
CHUCK D- DJ Johnny Juice did "Give the People What They Need" & the
fact is that Paris went to the Enemy Board on PublicEnemy.com &
inquired about being on the album. They passed his email to me and I
corresponded w/ him. Paris later did his verse, flipped it over to
wire [Internet] and Johnny Juice, laid another version of "Give the
People What They Need". Brothas came together from East to West and
got it done through the new technology of the Internet.
In the same form, myself and Flava Flav are gonna do what Paris needs
to do on his upcoming album 'Sonic Jihad'. I can't explain how
thankful I am for Paris who is always a warrior and detonating verbal
bombs. I am more than happy to be involved w/ whatever he does.
DAVEY D- Lets talk about the overall structure of the album
CHUCK D- I just think that we put together an album the way that
people put together albums on the Internet. You got young people out
there that assemble their own albums so when we had to put together an
album Public Enemy wise we put together a combination different of
things. We included some old classics mixed in a new way. We have
live joints & some new joints that represents some new flava, that is
the most I can do. We have a live version of'Miuzi Weighs A Ton'
which we did last time we performed here in the Bay Area. To me
that's invigorating. I made up my mind in 1999 that I was gonna
change how I recorded & how I approached the concept of a whole album.
How things existed in existed in the 90s,80s,70s, is outta here.
You ask a young cat which cut that they like and they'll say: " Well I
like track 9." They don't even try to figure out the title. So we
have to be able to think, that's how the climate is out there. So we
wanted to put something together that was a combination that some new
heads will bop to & some old heads will say; " Oh yeah I know that".
That is what is gonna keep my CD in there. It is very hard to keep
albums in the CD rotation. It is very hard to get albums played from
cut 1 on down to the last cut. So you gotta program an album like a
radio show. That's where a lot of cats are falling short- they are
making albums that are really extended singles. There are a lot of
albums out there. People want to her compilation albums w/ a lot of
different things so we made a compilation of ourselves. So in this
record Revolverlution, we have come full circle, we are revisionists &
we are revolutionary & that is what makes this record come full circle
b/c we use our past to our advantage regardless of what anybody says.
When they hear this Revolverlution album, they will hear song like
Fight the Power Live in Switzerland 1992. They are gonna say;
We first did this on It Takes A Nation. There I segwayed those live
parts in the middle of It Takes a Nation to show us here in the states
that these are people in London who are into Hip Hop. The first
impact was people here in the US saying;
"Well I didn't know it was like that in London?"
Hell yeah that's right... In a place like London, they are loud &
they are more into Hip Hop then you! You gotta use the psychology of
what already is happening to let a person know. We are in charge of
our own media so we gotta let people know directly. I just overstand
too much that we are too much of a present people in order for me to
fall victim of not using my past & not being able to scope out
something from the future.
Continued on FNV pt 2