FNV NEWSLETTER #105
October 24 2002
In this week's issue
*The Wake Up Show Set to Return to LA.
*Who Shot Ya? Ernie Did!
*KRS-One Throw's Down at UCLA
*Boots & Black Panther Founder Bobby Seal Team Up
*Murder Inc Looms Large
*Ja & DMX Come to Blows
*Can The Record Industry rebound?
*Raekwon Leaves Loud Records
*More Radio Drama
see FNV / HHPN [Hip Hop Political Newsletter] pt 2
*Interview w/ Brother J of X-Clan by Anti-thug.com
*Is There A Hip Hop Vote? bu Lee Hubbard
*The Ballot or the Bullet 2002 by Adissa Banjoko
The FNV Newsletter c 2002
Send comments to
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HIP HOP NEWS SHORTS:
THE WAKE UP SHOW SET TO RETURN TO LA.
by Davey D
People are gearing up for the 'REBIRTH' of the Sway and King Tech Wake
Up Show in Los Angeles. If what I'm hearing is correct, it should all
be going down this weekend on Power 106. For those who don't know,
the Wake Up Show was aired on rival station KKBT The Beat for almost 8
years. It became an important fixture in helping boost LA's
underground Hip Hop scene. All sorts of noteworthy emcees got their
start on the Wake Up Show. Sway & King Tech were committed to
preserving Hip Hop's positive side and culture. Over the years the
Wake Up Show grew and eventually attracted an international audience
of more then 20 million listeners in 19 countries.
Sadly, when KKBT was sold to Kathy Hugh's Radio One company, one of
the first casualties was the elimination of the Wake Up Show. The
deal was, KKBT's management wanted the WUS to switch up their
playlists and stop playing 'underground' material best personified by
groups like Jurassic 5, Mykill Miers, Chino XL etc. Radio One wanted
more 'commercial viable groups like P-Diddy, Jay-Z, Ja Rule and other
to be the musical basis of the show...The rationale was, songs by
these acts would be more appealing to Black women between the ages
18-34 which was their target audience. Unfortunately that wasn't the
WUS foundation, nor was it the reason that so many throughout the
world were attracted to the show. The end result was Sway & King Tech
decided they didn't want to compromise the foundation of their show so
they wound up leaving.. and The WUS hasn't been heard in LA for close
to 2 years ...
Many are excited and eagerly awaiting its return. It's gonna be good
to hear DJ Revolution on the ones and twos again while Sway, Tech and
Carmelita banter back and forth. More importantly its gonna be good
to hear all those underground acts adhere to the WUS policy and bust
WHO SHOT YA? ERNIE DID..
THE HIP HOP COMMUNITY COMES OUT IN FORCE TO CELEBRATE
by Davey D
A PHAT Award goes out to long time photographer and community activist
Ernie Panicciolli. He just released his book 'Who Shot Ya? Three
Decades of Hip Hop Photography' .Words can not describe how dope this
book is and how incredible Ernie's photos are. He has intense photos
of everyone from Hip Hop's founding fathers Kool Herc, Afrika
Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash to a young Russell Simmons to west
coast cats like Snoop, Above the Law, 2Pac and B-Legit. Ernie went
above ground to capture cats like Ja Rule and Ludacris. And he went
underground to capture cats like Talib and Kool Keith. The best
picture in the whole book [in my opinion] is a candid shot he got of a
young Jay-Z. Let's just say Jigga has come along ways..
This book is a must have item and will make a great holiday present.
Author/ poet Kevin Powell edited the book and made sure Ernie and this
project were able to successfully navigate all the mazes that make up
the publishing world. He too gets a Phat Award for a job well done.
As for Ernie, he's one of those cats who has earned the respect and
trust of just about anybody who is anybody in Hip Hop. Many have come
to see him as a mentor, big brother or father figure type who has
definitely earned his place at the Hip Hop roundtable. The cat has
lots of insight and wisdom. The love people have for him was
evidenced by the more then 2000 people who showed up at BB King's
night club near Time Square to celebrate the book release. This
included people like MC Lyte who performed and simply ripped it.
Daddy O of Stetsasonic was inspired to hit the stage and show everyone
that he still had his rhyme skills in tact... Black Sheep came
through and took everyone back to Hip Hop's Golden Age of the late 80s
and early 90s.
It was a who's who in Hip Hop that attended. Hip Hop Activist and
Media Assassin Harry Allen was there, as was Bambaataa, Grandmaster
Caz, DST, Popmaster Fabel and Bobbitto aka DJ Cucumber Slice who
incidentally did his last radio show at Columbia last week.. GW
Theodore, DJ Red Alert, designer Karl Kani and even the poka dot man
himself Kwame the rapper rolled through to pay respects.. These are
just the tip of the iceberg. The Universal Zulu Nation came out in
force as did famed professor and author Deborah Willis of NYU. You
name them they were there this past Monday night giving props to a man
who deserves it..
Anyone wishing to hollar at Ernie for interviews hit him up at
KRS-ONE & THE POETESS THROW DOWN AT UCLA
by Davey D
A PHAT Award goes out to KRS-One, The Poetess of KKBT and Fidel
Rodriguez of Divine Forces Radio show, which airs on our sister
station KPFK. This past Monday they invaded Westwood Plaza on the
UCLA campus where students were treated to a 30 minute performance
from KRS-One, while the Poetess and Fidel hosted. Their appearance
was part of a nationwide effort spearheaded by 'Rock The Vote' and The
'Yes on Prop 52' campaign designed to get people to register to vote
before the Oct 21st, midnight deadline.
For folks who don't know, the passage of Prop 52 will allow same day
voter registration. Should it pass, it promises to dramatically
increase voter turnout. The Poetess noted that seeing KRS do his
thing was inspiring and reminded her just how important it was to
continuously to give back and reconnect with the community.
KRS gets extra PHAT Awards because as of late has been on a roll doing
all sorts of civic minded events and activities. To start, he's in
the process of putting together an offical Hip Hop time line. He is
also putting the finishing touches on the Declaration of Peace
document which will be accompanied by a documentary. I saw parts of
this film and its incredible. We'll keep you posted as to when it's
BOOTS AND BLACK PANTHER FOUNDER BOBBY SEALE TEAM UP
by Davey D
A PHAT Award goes to Boots of the Coup, Oakland rap group Animosity
and Black Panther founder Bobby Seale. They along with a number of
community folks held a press conference in front of Oakland's Peace
and Justice HS where they spoke out against Measure FF which would let
the Mayor and City Council use 67 million dollars to hire 100 more
Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown insists that hiring more police is necessary
due to the fact that Oakland has a skyrocketing homicide rate. Thus
far this year 90 people been killed this year. However, there are
many who feel that 67 million dollars should be directed at programs
and policies that would get to the root cause of the violence. Many
feel that a lot of that money should also be directed toward jobs.
This was a key point hammered home by Bobby Seale. He also noted that
it was good to see the Hip Hop community stepping up and speaking out
forcefully against what he considered 'a short sighted measure'.
One of the members of the group Animosity noted that part of the
problem is that the police spend a lot of time harassing young kids
who dress a certain way, while being slow to respond to actual crimes.
He recounted an incident that had recently taken place at a school bus
stop where police officers came and jacked him up for 'no reason'. A
female student reiterated the point about officers taking their time
to get to a crime scene. It was suggested that this 'lack of
response' being done as a way for the police to get more money and
more of their demands met.
Boots reminded folks that in the aftermath of 9-11, many people have
been overreacting in a climate of fear... This has led to folks
quickly advocating for more police even though many of the on going
serious problems like police brutality have not been sufficiently
addressed. He also noted that even if Oakland had those 100 extra
officers on hand, the nature of many of the city's killings suggest
that its highly doubtful their presence would've prevented things from
jumping off. He feared that the more cops would result in more
profiling and harassment of innocent people of color in Oakland.. He
concluded by pointing out that they way Measure FF is written is to
suggest that 'Its a Crime Prevention Bill. that will help out social
programs. In reality less then 10% of the money will go to youth
crime prevention programs More then 90% would go toward police.. One
of the members of Animosity bluntly put it.... It would be a waste of
time and money.
After the press conference Boots, the rap group Animosity boarded a
bus with dozens of other students to join a other students in a city
wide rally against Measure FF and police brutality. We'll keep you
Since we're on the subject of police abuse... those of you who have
time may want to check out these 3 articles.. They concern an
upsetting, heartwrenching and very disturbing incident that went down
last week in 'Liberal' San Francisco. More than 60 police officers
came down to Thurgood Marshall high school academy and beat down kids
with batons and arrested a teacher who attempted to film the incidents
of violence.. The police were called because of a fight between black
and asian students that had gotten broken up..
INDUSTRY & STREET NOTES....
[Murder Inc, Ja Rule, DMX, Mariah, Dru Hill, Raekwon, Queen Latifah]
written by - Cedric Muhammed of Blackelectorate.com
MURDER INC LOOMS LARGE
Murder Inc. is deep this past weekend on the West Coast. People are
buzzing about Ja Rule's over-the-top, mini-movie-as-video to be shot
in Los Angeles and Las Vegas for his first single, "Thug Lovin'"
featuring Bobby Brown . The 3-day shoot has been described as one of
the most extravagant video productions, not only in Hip-Hop, but for
any artist. Usually video filming takes place over a day or two at
the most, but a three-day shoot in two major West Coast cities is both
unusual and pricey. Reminds me of the major $1,000,000 video shoot
that Wu-Tang had in May of 1997, for "Triumph", also shot in Los
Angeles. The budget for Ja Rule's video has to be well over that.
His album, "The Last Temptation", is slated for a November 19th,
release. By the way, look for Suge Knight's presence in the video...
JA RULE /DMX COME TO BLOWS
..."something" did happen weeks ago in the way of a confrontation up
at the Universal offices in Manhattan between two platinum artists. I
have been told by more than a few sources that the incident was
between Ja Rule and DMX and as a result of what happened, security
throughout the entire building has been tightened. Anyone who has
been there within the last month can bear witness to that fact - with
sign-ins, escorted walk-ups, and name tags, the rule of the day. With
Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam, and Murder Inc. all operating in the same part
of the building any beefs could rearrange the corporate furniture.
Lyor Cohen - Island Def Jam head has described himself as a referee
for the simmering tension among artists that he originally signed as
In a recent Philadelphia radio appearance DMX wisely side-stepped the
subject of problems between he and Ja Rule and spoke of how the music
industry financially rapes its artists when compared to the movie
business. But it is obvious and public that there is a problem
between the two platinum-plus artists. I now have confirmation that
DMX has an album release scheduled for Nov. 26, 2002 - just one week
after Ja Rule. Something just isn't right about this picture of
beefing artists, in the same record label family with albums released
so close together. Looks like the corporations (read non-Black) reap
the financial rewards for the personal problems of their artists (read
Black) -in the long and short-term...
...In other Island/Def Jam news, Mariah Carey, has completed the video
shoot for "Through The Rain" which features one of the Soprano show
actresses (we'll let you guess who)and her album is coming on December
3rd. Of course, we were the first to inform you that Mariah had
signed to Def Jam, months before it was announced and we can
authoritatively let you know that her album has the full-support of
the Roc-A-Fella roster. Everyone from Jay-Z and Cam'ron is featured
and production is provided by Just Blaze, Jermaine Dupri and Dr.
...In more R&B news Dru Hill is back. Releasing an album November
26th called the "Dru World Order". The album is being described by
sources as classic Dru Hill, with the usual assortment of love
ballads. The group has a new member named Scola, who is said to have
taken the the group's harmonies to the next level. The album is
executive produced by Nokio and features some home-grown production
from some of the hottest talent from the group's native Baltimore.
Let's see if Sisquo can rebound from a seemingly-endless array of
personal disses and innuendo thrown at him by everybody from Nas to R.
Kelly to Usher...
CAN THE RECORD INDUSTRY REBOUND?
...If you are noticing that all of a sudden the record stores are
about to be flooded with new Hip-Hop product you are correct. We are
looking at Jay-Z, Nas, 50Cent (December 3rd), Fabolous (December 3rd),
Ja Rule, DMX, and an Irv Gotti remix album (November 5th) all within 1
month of each other, when there were virtually no major releases from
June to October. Of course some of this is naturally the byproduct of
the desire of the record labels' to get what RZA from Wu-Tang used to
call, "Christmas money". I told a record label representative this
week that people, like myself, aren't buying the RIAA and music
industry argument that CD-burning and MP3'ing is responsible for the
dramatic slow-down in record sales.
My argument, has been that the record labels flooded us with Hip-Hop
product the last 3 months of 2001 desperately seeking to get
"Christmas money" because of fears that 9/11 had damaged the economy
so badly that the 1st and 2nd quarter (where many of these albums
should have been released) album releases for 2002 were bumped up into
the 4th quarter of 2001 . As a result, nothing came out of
significance in Hip-Hop until May with Cam'ron's album. The delays,
false-starts and non-releases that have devastated the traditional
second and third quarter album releases are at least as much the
problem as file-sharing and burning. Here is the response I received
to that argument:
"In the first quarter everyone is paying off their credit card bills
from Christmas and has no money left, so no real releases come out.
In the Spring you get the R&B releases and in Summer, you have the
spotty releases but kids are out of school and spending their money on
other things. You naturally get an increase in the third and fourth
quarter when kids have back-to-school money and of course, Christmas
...Next year is projected to look different in the way of release
volume, as we are learning of a suprising volume of 1st quarter
releases. Keith Murray and Redman have albums scheduled to come in
the Winter as well as the hot-again, now-down-with P.Diddy - Foxxy
RAEKWON LEAVES LOUD
...In news from my old group Wu-Tang, Raekwon has left Loud Records,
which was swallowed by Columbia earlier this year. He is now a
free-agent and is fielding record deal offers as he continues to
pursue his entrepreneurial interests in New Jersey and Philadelphia.
Don't count out Def Jam or Jive as the eventual home of the Chef. If
room can be made I would put the safe money on Def Jam. In a meeting
Lyor Cohen once told me of his great respect for Raekwon and his
belief, at the time, that "Only Built For Cuban Linx" was the best
album any individual Clan member had put out. GZA is looking for
"Christmas money" shooting for a December 10th release for his new
album "Legend of the Liquid Sword." which features production from
RZA, Mathematics and DJ Muggs. Earlier this week the video for the
first single, "Knock, Knock" was shot, of course in New York...
QUEEN LATIFAH IS 180% HATER PROOF
Is anyone else feeling Queen Latifah's The Unit's new posse cut,
"Hater-Proof", or is it just us? My circle is head-nodding in respect
to the track which features some exceptional rhyme-skills, delivery
and presence. The video is excellent featuring an avalanche of cameos
from Hip-Hop's hottest stars, as well as appearances from several
Sopranos cast members. It's a Jersey thing. Shout out to Latifah and
you must give Shakim his due. "Our current roster of artist reminds
me of the hunger that groups like "Naughty By Nature, Outkast and LL
Cool J had when they came to Flavor Unit Management" says CO-CEO
Shakim Compere. Watch the "Hater-Proof" video, I think Shakim is
MORE RADIO DRAMA
by Cedric Muhammed of Blacklectorate.com
...Remember what we wrote in the March 22, 2002 edition of
BlackElectorate.com's Hip-Hop Fridays: Industry And Street Notes:
....[Sources have told us that the higher-ups at Radio One, Inc. the
billion-dollar Black-owned radio network have admonished D.J.s and
hosts against consistently spinning music that is not on the station's
playlist until an assortment of record labels begin to "pay to play" -
offer up money in exchange for airplay. The sources, from within,
have informed us that on some Radio One stations across the country,
if a Hip-Hop or R&B record that is not on the playlist is played more
than five times the person responsible for such action risks being
The drama inside of Radio One continues to unfold after the radio
station made a controversial decision to hire an independent promoter
Ventura Media Group, to pitch songs to program directors at its top 25
urban stations. Reportedly, the financial arrangement works like
this: Ventura pays a fixed annual fee to each Radio One station for
the right to serve as a promotional intermediary and in turn Ventura
charges labels that sell urban music -Hip-Hop and R&B - $2,500 every
time a program director (PD) adds a song to a station playlist. Radio
One has reportedly defended the arrangement as a way to clean up an
otherwise dirty system. Radio One Chief Operating Officer Mary
Catherine Sneed has explained the standard corrupt process of "pay to
play" in urban radio in the following manner, in a Black Voices.com
"The way it works now at urban radio is that (middlemen) give cash
under the table to the program director at the station and then kick
back money to the vice president of promotion at the record label,"
Sneed said. "It's not legal. We can't operate like that. Radio One
intends to clean up this mess."].......
Well, it looks like the Black-owned Radio One loses out and the RIAA
and larger corporate Radio outlets win. This, from today's (Oct. 18)
edition of the Los Angeles Times, in an article written by Jeff Leeds:
"....[Cox Radio Inc., one of the nation's largest radio chains, plans
to sever its ties with independent record promoters to distance itself
from a payola-like practice rampant in the music business.
The decision makes Cox the first big broadcaster to revolt against the
record labels' three-decade-old practice of hiring independent
"middlemen" to push songs to radio programmers. Critics say the
promoters' existing deals with major radio companies smack of payola,
or undisclosed payments made in exchange for airplay.
"We felt uncomfortable with these relationships because the system
does invite abuse," said Robert Neil, Cox Radio's chief executive.
"The record companies have been trying to get people to play records
in different ways for a long time. The more we found out about this,
the less comfortable we became."
...Hilary Rosen, chief of the Recording Industry Assn. of America,
applauded Cox's move, saying, "I'm sure regulators will look favorably
...We have a lot to learn about "the system" and the people who run it
solely for their benefit...
See FNV/ HHPN pt 2