November 14 2002
In This Week's Issue

*Condolences For LL Cool J
*Tha Row Records Raided By Police In Predawn Raid
*Jay-Z Set to Be a High School Principal
*Jam Master Jay Updates
*Hip Hop Peace Coalition Formed
*Hip Hop & Community Groups Set to Jam Up Bay Area Radio Station
*Rocksteady Crew Touches Down In LA This Weekend
*Planet Asia Assaulted by Minneapolis Security Guards
*An Interview w/ Sway of the Wake Up Show/MTV

* Check for HHPN Newsletter  November 15th Edition**

The FNV Newsletter c 2002
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Lot's of things going on in the world of Hip Hop.  First we wanna
offer our condolences to LL Cool J who recently lost his grandmother
to her battle with cancer.  For those who don't know LL's grandmother
not only raised him, but was his biggest inspiration.  She was the one
who brought him his first set of equipment when he first got into Hip
Hop at age 16.  She later appeared in his video to LL to the title
song to his comeback album 'Momma Said Knock You Out'.  He recently
penned a heartfelt song that appears on his new album '10' called 'Big
Momma [Unconditional Love].  That song explains everything about LL
feelings and his relationship to his Grandmother.  Again our prayers


As I'm penning this newsletter the local TV stations in LA have
interrupted their programming to talk about Tha Row Records [formerly
Death Row Records] .  The LA sheriff department has blocked off the
streets surrounding the record company and brought in a swat team to
the labels offices and kicked down the doors.  The spokesperson said
they have 17 warrants for folks throughout Southern California who are
accused of committing homicide or 'conspiracy to commit homicide.
Thus far they have made a number of arrests around LA including one
over at the Tha Row Records.  The sheriff department spokesperson said
Suge Knight was NOT one of the individuals wanted by police in this
round of arrests nor was he a suspect, however they were still
conducting their investigations.  However, the sheriff spokesperson
did say that there's a possibility that some of the arrests could be
connected to killings of rap stars 2Pac and Notorious BIG.  When asked
why they brought a SWAT team to his downtown offices, the sheriff
spokesperson said that the building is large and because of the nature
of the warrants they needed the police manpower to secure the building
and make sure it was clear.  Other details were still a bit sketchy at
the time of this writing so we'll keep you posted as we learn more.


Jay-Z is still doing big things.  He's just released his new album
'The Blueprint 2; The Gift and the Curse and is gearing up to launch a
tour to support it.  Jay-Z will be performing at small venues and in
each city he will play the role of principal at local high schools.
The way this works is that Jay-Z is holding contests in each city via
designated radio stations.  When Jay-Z comes to town he announces the
winner and shows up at the high school where he holds open forums and
addresses the student body....Jigga man is also gearing up to do a
Thanksgiving benefit concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NY.


Here's the latest on the Jam Master Jay situation.  An anonymous donor
has stepped up and is offering 250 thousand dollars to find the
killers.  So now there's a bounty of over 300 thousand dollars to find
Jam Master Jay's killer or killers.  Part of the problem is that a lot
of folks want to come forward but many are hesitant about dealing with
NYPD...  Jay's older brother Marvin Thompson wisely pointed out that
he's happy there's such a large reward, 'but it shouldn't take money
to put a killer behind bars...'.  He definitely has a point, Jay's
death should not be swept under any rug and it should be high profile
and investigated just as vigorously as they would any other high
profile icon..  Thus far the police claim to have been questioning
some folks but don't have anything solid as of yet..

In other news folks in LA should be on the look out for the special
memorial being put together for Jam aster Jay by KRS-One and his
Temple of Hip Hop.  This should be taking place on this Monday..
We'll keep you posted on the details.


On another front a coalition of artist are meeting and drafting up
some sort of plan to launch a Hip Hop Peace Project .  This is made up
of a broad coalition of hip-hop personalities ranging from Chuck D of
Public Enemy to members of Jam Master Jay's family to National Hip Hop
Summit Youth Council to elected officials like NY councilmen Leroy
Comrie.  Before folks get it twisted, this isn't some sort of Tipper
Gore type coalition where folks are trying to ban or censor, however
more and more people are becoming fed up with unbalanced, negative
images that way too many are buying into and believing.  The effects
of this are devastating with people all over the world believing what
they see.  Heck we now have law enforcement trying to see if Hip Hop
is somehow influencing terrorist.  More recently we had them trying to
make the connection between artist and the Beltway Snipers.

Not too long ago we talked about how kids in far off places like South
Africa had created 2Pac and Biggie gangs.  Sista Souljah in a recent
speech recounted when she was overseas being taunted by some guys in
Spain who were quoting lyrics to a popular rap song and acted
surprised when she retorted back.  They had brought into a certain
image.  Earlier there were fights that led to a shooting with kids in
New Jersey who brought into the Jay-Z vs. Nas hype.  NYPD in their
investigation to find the killers of Jam Master Jay they explored
various Hip Hop beefs.  They are now noting that perhaps this beef
between these rap titans wasn't all that real.  One report notes that
these two guys hang out with each other.  If that's true then what's
really going on?  It appears that the marketing of Black, Ghetto
pathologies is big business with us catching to short end of the

The Hip Hop Peace Project is initiating a 4 point code of principles
which include asking artist to curb offensive lyrics and negative
images in videos.  They are setting up a board to mediate beefs and
disputes within the industry.  They are extending invitations to
grassroots community organizations to help in this effort.  Far too
often what rap artist do and say undermine efforts put forth by
community organizations who are trying to change things for the
better.  While artist should take responsibility for what they put out
there, even more responsibility must rest on the soldiers who are in a
position to play or not play these messages to the masses.

That of course leads to perhaps the most important aspect of the Hip
Hop Peace Project.  They are establishing a media complaint review
board...  Say what you will about the artist, but the final say so is
in the hands of the cat that's on the radio or the cat playing the
videos.  If I told you there is a record label that to date has put
out over 10 slamming Hip Hop albums that focus on God and
spirituality, most of ya'll would be scratching your heads and saying
'Yeah right..  I don't believe it'.  Well actually there is a record
label http://www.syntaxrecords.com/.

Most of their material is slamming and straight Hip Hop, but none of
the local stations ever play them.  It's not like they don't have the
material.  At the end of the day a choice is being made.  Somebody
decided or was PAID to overlook those types of records and develop
lame excuses like: Our listeners don't relate' , 'It doesn't fit our
format' or 'It ain't popping-the streets aren't feeling it'.  They
will overlook those types of records and songs and instead play Lil
Jon' and the Eastside Boyz 'I Don't Give A Fuck' [clean edit of
course] Meanwhile the 9-5 single parent comes home to her kids and has
to compete with them being fed a constant bombardment of Lil Jon, Lil
Kim and any other artist with a negative message who was granted
access on the airwaves.

If that parent calls and complains or asks for some sort of balance,
she's given even more lame excuses like 'We're giving the people what
they want-look at our high ratings' or 'Tell your kid to not listen or
change the station' .  The only problem, all the stations are owned by
one company just one will target Blacks while the other one targets
Latinos or whites.  If they're not owned by the same company you'll
find they all play the same songs...  And to be honest it really isn't
what people want..  In anycase what about balance?  People are getting
fed up.

How many radio stations around the country ran that interview with DMX
spewing stuff about Ja Rule?  Excerpts on stations from that ran from
coast to coast.  That meant some 40 or 50 year old cat who PD's at
this station made the call and approved it..  What were they thinking?
How do they explain themselves to communities that are reeling from
all the unbalanced perspectives.

People often asked what can be done about this?  Its good that the Hip
Hop Peace Project is launching a media complaint board..  They should
definitely connect with folks here in the Bay Area who have also had
enough.  Here in the Bay Area a broad coalition of Hip Hop activists
and artists, church groups, community organizations and the Youth
Media Council are fed up with local 'Hip Hop' radio station KMEL here
in the Bay Area.

Over the past few months they have been monitoring the station, taping
it and noting its content or lack of, and have now compiled a report
that they are set to release to the public over the next couple of
weeks....  The report is titled 'Is KMEL The People's Station?  A
Community Assessment of 106.1 KMEL...It's a pretty thorough document
that covers everything from what messages the deejays are conveying on
air to what songs get played and what sort of issues are discussed or
not discussed on air.  They also logged all the different types of
PSA's and phone calls that were ignored by the station from community
groups that reached out to the station for everything from voter
registration to electoral issues to anti-war rallies.  They are now
soliciting more community input and testimonials and intend to bring a
delegation up to the station sometime in December.  For more
information on this project contact amy@youthmediacouncil.org Anyone
interested in seeing part of what's in their report can peep the
website http://www.youthmediacouncil.org/publications.html


Folks in LA are gearing up for a few things..  To start we have
Rocksteady Crew.  They are touching down to celebrate their
anniversary this weekend November 15-17 .  There will be an emcee
battle as well as a b-boy/b-girl battle.  They have sorts of people on
board including Rahzel and DJ JS1, Skillz, Breakestra, Q-Unique,
Planet Asia & Rock Steady Crew.  DJ's: DJ' Evil D, Sake and Mane One
of 1520 Sedgwick Ave DJ's.  Also on board will be Hip Hop pioneer
Whipper Whip.

On Saturday November 16th at 2:45 pm I will be in the house hosting a
panel discussion on 'Hip Hop Media: What's Wrong, What's Right and
What Needs to be Done to Make It Better' Some of the panelist include
Sway of the Wake Up Show/ MTV, Popmaster Fabel from Tools of War
Newsletter, Poetess from KKBT , Fidel Rodriguez of KPFK, Kam and MC
Lyte who has just released a new single and several others

Most of the events will take place at the Palace [1735-North Vine
Street, Hollywood, CA 90028] 2-9pm.  Folks can get tickets online at
www.GrooveTickets.com or phone orders call toll free (877) 71-GROOVE
or (877) 714-7668 More information and tickets are also available at:
DMC Records - (323) 651-3520 - 7619 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
and Higher Source - (714) 965-5997 9122 Adams Ave, Huntington Beach,
CA 92646

On Sunday November 17 there will be a 3-On-3 Underground Celebrity
Basketball Tournament benefiting The Wake Up Show Scholarship Fund.
Confirmed Teams include the elements of Hip Hop: B-boys: Rock Steady
Crew & Style Elements DJ's : The Wake Up Show vs ?  Aerosol Artist:
Tribal Gear Team vs ?  Rap Artist: ?  vs ?  Location: Inglewood High
School Time : 11:00 AM - 3:30 PM

Anyone that wants to get a booth to sell merchandise or become a
sponsor can reach out to Crazy Legs at rsczulu@aol.com


In other Hip Hop news it looks like Planet Asia is seething from a
recent encounter that had racial overtones at a Minneapolis nite club
called 1st Avenue.  According to reports he had performed just
performed at the venue when he came from backstage.  When he tried to
re-enter the security guards who saw him perform would not let him
back even though they just saw him perform.  The conversation was
between Planet Asia and one guard who soon called backup.  7 other
guards showed up and assaulted Planet Asia..  He told the folks over
at AllHipHop who first reported this story

"It is tragic to recognize that in 2002, we are still physically
living the parallel dramas as Rodney King," Asia told AllHipHop.com.
"It is serious business when you can perform at a club in 2002 and
security that watched you perform can assault you afterward."

In my humble opinion Mr. Asia needs to reach out and sue them cats for
laying hands on them.  Maybe he can wind up owning the club and change
the name to Club Planet Asia.  Over the years I've noticed that what
happened to Planet Asia isn't all that unusual.  Yes, I realize a lot
of times there are artist who come to a place and put on bad
attitudes.  At the same time, I've seen a lot of situation where cats
working security either get jealous or go on some sort of power trip
where they go out of their way to cause drama with artist.  It's
usually done when they know they have the upper hand meaning they have
police backing..  In some instances the guards are off duty police
holding a grudge.

One incident that comes to mind went down at BB King's in NY when Guru
was hanging out.  Guru lit up and some cat rolled up on him and just
snatched his smoke from his lips..  He didn't say a word or give him a
warning.  Needless to say things quickly escalated with the guard
calling for back up and telling Guru I don't care who you are and what
you do..  I'm the Man'..  He then pulled out a bully club and acted
like he was ready to use it...  Luckily there were some Zulu Nation
cats on hand who calmed it down, but it left a bad taste in everyone's
mouth.  Of course this bold guard had about 10 NYPD officers upstairs
ready to back him.  It was definitely a punk move on his part.

The week before guards jammed up Big Daddy Kane and wouldn't let him
backstage even though he performed.  The list of incidents goes on and
on...  I guess things won't change until we start running are on night
clubs from top to bottom..  In any case we're sorry to hear what went
down with Planet Asia...



Sway an Optimist And A Gentleman
By Dove
~Sheepish Lordess of Chaos~

The mass marketing of Hip Hop music, dance, and art often causes a
divide between cultural purists and mainstream onlookers.  The role of
media in Hip Hop is often point of contention amongst those who
believe that there is a lack of proper representation for the culture,
ultimately giving people outside the culture inadequate or haphazard
information about a lifestyle that so many people take to heart.  When
Sway Calloway began hosting the Wake Up Show with his partner King
Tech on San Francisco's KMEL in 1990, he set out to balance the scales
of the world's perception of Hip Hop.

As the Wake Up Show grew in popularity, it was eventually syndicated
into Los Angeles and then into other major cities.  Sway was later
given his own morning drive-time show on KMEL in 1995.  He and Tech
worked relentlessly at breaking new artists, and they earned respect
in the critical Hip Hop underground as innovators in media.  In 1997
the duo was given the opportunity to release an album on Interscope
Records, and they went about recording it in the same way they
produced their radio show - bringing the newest and freshest talent to
the table.  By the dawn of the new millennium, Sway was approached by
MTV to work in the news department.  Ten years in the making, this
emcee-turned-reporter saw his chance to make a difference.

Sway explains that his first thoughts on the job offer at MTV were not
necessarily agreeable.  "I wasn't sure quite how I could save
integrity in what we built through the Wake Up Show, and be on MTV,"
he says.  "Not to knock MTV, but most of the rap guys other than Ed
and Dre that were on there, or even Black men for that matter, played
roles that I wasn't interested in being in.  Trying to entertain
people by making them laugh - that wasn't me.  Not that I'm not funny,
but if I'm gonna be on TV and the world is gonna view me, I'm gonna
try to put out images to balance those kinda images.  When someone
from MTV finally contacted me, they told me the nature of the job I
would be doing, which would be coming through the MTV news department.
Everyone used to watch 'Ten to the Hour' when Kurt Loder or John
Norris would come on - you always sat down and gave it that minute or
two of your attention - and I always liked MTV news.  I felt like if
it was news, I could keep my integrity and I wouldn't have to
compromise myself.  At the same time I have the ability to talk about
Hip Hop as a culture - not just rap as a by-product of Hip Hop - and
give a balance of information to the millions of people that watch MTV
and only know the pop artists and commercial artists, and don't really
know the fundamentals of the culture.  I thought that would be a great
opportunity and that's why I agreed to do it."

In what he describes as a very "fun" environment where every person's
opinion is heard, Sway learned that he could do television work
without having to forget everything he had learned in audio
broadcasting.  "Radio was a great training ground for any type of
media.  Even though it's audio and you're not being seen, it's very
fast - with TV everything is scripted, which I had to get used to.
I'm used to coming off the top of the head.  When I first came there I
wouldn't use the teleprompter, and I had all this information that had
to come out, so I would just take all the information in and
regurgitate it - initially I was stiff at it - then I realized, 'you
know what, just say what you know and say it how you speak'.  I write
a lot of my own scripts, so when it's delivered it's me.  It's not
brain surgery, and I try to make it look that way."

Sway's calm and positive energy is rarely affected by other people,
even when they approach him in less than desirable ways about his
motivation for choosing to report on Hip Hop at MTV.  He doesn't feel
that people question his knowledge, but rather his choice of networks.
"I don't really get negative in terms of 'what are your
contributions?'  cuz really, I'm from this," he states adamantly.
"When you're immersed in Hip Hop you got a certain pride factor - most
people are prideful about their craft.  If you're an emcee you're
cocky, if you're a deejay you're arrogant, if you're a graf writer you
feel like you got that edge, if you're a B-boy you got that attitude.
That's just a part of the culture - so when somebody challenges me on
'what are your contributions?'  I'm gonna give you a list from the
late 80 's to now [of] what I've started to contribute - not just

"What I get is 'Oh you're on MTV so you sold out', and I say 'What
makes you sell out?'  Me and King Tech have put out records from
independent distribution - freestyles from our shows that don't sell.
It's so people can be exposed to emcees that they never heard before,
and those emcees have never been heard are getting exposed to people
they couldn't reach before.  Even when we got a major record deal on
Interscope and did This Or That - it was like what do you prefer,
'this' - and we had something that represented the bling bling era -
or 'that' - and we had that to represent the B-boy mentality.  We
didn't go out and try to get the biggest names, which we could have,
and make a lot of pop records.  We got our opportunity to stay true to
what it is we'd done.  If you see me on MTV, yeah I got a report on
Hoobastank and System Of A Down - but at the same time you're gonna
see Jurassic 5 now being covered by MTV, J-Live now being covered, the
X-ecutioners, and so on.

"Usually it's a young buck that says 'you sold out', but they don't
understand when you reach a certain age."  he pauses briefly, then
continues with a passionate burst, "KRS-One told me once that if by
the time you're 18 if you're not a part of a movement or organization
that's fighting against the system then you have no heart, and by the
time you're 25 if you're not a part of the system then you have no
brain.  Everything we feel is wrong in the system we're not gonna be
able to alter, change, or redirect unless we' re immersed in that
system.  I'm older now - I gotta be in that system - that 's my role
to play, so I always say 'What's your role?  Play your position.'
When I was [younger] I was out in the streets, but when I got a little
older I started putting the concerts on, we started doing the tours -
Carmelita [Sanchez], Tech and I.  We were always giving people
opportunities through our radio show and still do.  Even on our
website we give people opportunity to be seen and heard.  So many
people come on that site it's ridiculous.  When people come at me like
that I don't get hostile, I just take a moment and school em."

In addition to being the father of a four-year-old daughter, Sway
feels a strong connection with youth in general.  His concern for
their well-being and education extends into various aspects of his
activities.  He talks to young people from every walk of life about
his work - beyond the basic 9-to-5 job description.  "When a kid just
approaches me strictly because they see my face on MTV, that's fine,
that's great - but if they inquire about what it is I'm reporting on,
then Ima give them the truth.  I'm also gonna encourage them to seek
the truth.  You figure it out - things weren't just handed to us in
our laps comin' up in this game - and if you're really passionate
about it and truly interested, then here's some information, here 's
some names - look up Kool Herc, Busy B, Cold Crush, and at the same
time look up DMC, the Beastie Boys, Big Daddy Kane, look up Nas in his
early career, Dre in his early career, look up Rock Steady Crew, New
York City Breakers, Jazzy Jeff, whoever.  Do your research.  I might
even write down a list and encourage them - you know if you really
want to find out about this culture then be immersed in it, don't just
receive it from the outside looking in.  If they're just coming at me
on some 'hey I see you on MTV thing ' that's okay - I'm flattered by
that, because I know they're gonna see me say something about somebody
meaningful that helped create this culture and they're gonna learn
from it, and they're gonna see a balance."

Power 106 in Los Angeles recently picked up the Wake Up Show on
Saturdays.  It can also still be heard all over the world through Sway
and Tech's website: www.WakeUpShow.com.  Sway recommends that
net-surfers stop through to check out new talent, make their own beats
in a specially designed room (with loops supplied by King Tech and DJ
Revolution), and of course, listen to the show.  They have been
working with new artists including West Coast emcee Sly Boogie, and
Sway has been developing his Temple Effectives clothing line.  Sway
Calloway is a man on a mission - and he is bringing Hip Hop reporting
and entrepreneurial vision to the next level with something special:

Courtesy of RIME Magazine http://www.rimemagazine.com Email newsletter
and information: http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/rimemagazine Check
out issue #5, in stores this month!  Features include WC (cover), Star
Trak Entertainment, Jazzy Jeff, Raphael Saadiq, Freeway, Jurassic 5,
Babu, Mekhi Phifer, MF Grimm, Mario, Shade Sheist, Kuttin Kandi, Damon
Dash, plus massive coverage of B-boy jams, regional events, concerts,
graf galleries and much more!

~Sheepish Lordess of Chaos~

The FNV Newsletter c 2002
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