April 4 2003

*Edwin Starr Passes Away
*New Radio Show for Ed Lover & Dr Dre
*Juvenile Reunites w/ Cash Money Records
*Paris Being Censored
*Hip Hoppers Team Up w/ Congresswoman Barbara Lee
*Chuck D to Record w/ New Zealand Artist
*More Drama For Ja Rule
*Queen Latifah Living Large & Under Attack
*Upcoming Hip Hop Events & Activities

The FNV Newsletter c 2002
Send comments to


A bit of sad news, as we announce the sudden passing of legendary soul
singer Edwin Starr. He suffered a fatal heart attack the other day at
his home in Nottingham, England. For those who are unfamiliar Starr
was best known for the hit songs '25 Miles From Home' and 'War'.

That particular song has taken on new meaning as thousands of people
all over the world have been chanting the hook from the classic cut..
'War-What Is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing'. Starr was scheduled
to perform in some upcoming major music festivals.

Starr also had a special place amongst Hip Hop's pioneers. The
percussion breakdown on his song 'I Just Wanna Do My Thing' was
something every emcee worth his her weight lived for. The beat made
even the wackest emcee sound good. Every deejay worth his weight
couldn't wait to cut the break down as well as the beginning. In
fact, because the percussion break down was so long a lot of deejays
honed their quick mix skills using this record. Starr gave Hip Hop a
premium break beat that we will forever be thankful for...He will be
missed and we extend our heartfelt condolences to his family.

On another note: Today was the day that Martin Luther King Jr was
assassinated in Memphis, TN, back in 1968..Let's not forget that this
man who stood for peace was seen as a threat to the US Governement
because he was unafraid to maintain his position. Isn't it funny how
a call for peace can be seen as threatening to some?


Props go out to Power 105's NY Morning team Ed Lover & Dr Dre. They
will be teaming up with mixers Mr Choc of LA's Power 106 and Power
105's DJ Kut to do a new syndicated 3 hour weekly radio show called
Jump Off.

The show will be three hours weekly produced in a cutting edge, fast
moving mix format complete with personality, superstar guests, humor,
and just hit-intensive mixing. The first weeks guests include Chris
Rock and 50 Cent. It'll be interesting to see how rival companies
Clear Channel and Emmis Broadcasting work out what stations if any
they air the show.. Mr Choc works for Emmis while Dre, Lover and Kut
work for Clear Channel. For more info, contact gary@superadio.com


The Hip Hop world is celebrating as Juvenile and his former label
mates at Cash Money Records set aside their differences, buried the
hatchet and reunited. Many will recall that Juvenile left the label
in 2001 in a bitter dispute over money. He claims the label cheated
him of millions and violated his trust. Label heads Baby & Slim
denied any wrong doings and saw Juveniles leaving as an insult to
them. They had less than kind words to say about him.

Apparently the two have concluded that its best for them to work
together and hence they are back together. We wish them much luck in
their future projects.


The NY Times reports that rapper Paris is being silently blacklisted
because he will not change the artwork of his upcoming CD entitled
'Sonic Jihad'. Few if any record store chains will carry it because
it depicts a jet about to slam into the White House."The reason I have
that cover art is not to offend the families of the victims of 9/11 or
anything like that,"Paris said by telephone from his home just outside
Oakland.The intention, he said, was to create a dialogue. "Nobody has
profited from the tragedy of 9/11 more than the U.S. government, the
Bush administration, defense contractors and large corporations," he
continued. "So people can't look at me and say I'm capitalizing on
this horrible event. That's not the case at all. In fact, I am using
this as a means by which to reach people with the truth."-courtesy

Here's a copy of that article...


April 3, 2003

LOS ANGELES, April 2 - The rapper Paris has been working on
his fifth CD for five years. Now, as he awaits cameos from
fellow rappers like Public Enemy and Dead Prez to make his
May release date, he feels that it his best work yet. It's
a pity so few may ever hear it.

This has nothing to do with record-label politics. Paris is
releasing the CD himself. This has nothing to do with legal
issues either. It has everything to do with the cover of
the album, which few if any record store chains will carry.
It depicts a jet about to slam into the White House. Making
the album even less likely to appear on record store
shelves is its title, "Sonic Jihad."

"The reason I have that cover art is not to offend the
families of the victims of 9/11 or anything like that,"
Paris said by telephone from his home just outside Oakland.
The intention, he said, was to create a dialogue.

"Nobody has profited from the tragedy of 9/11 more than the
U.S. government, the Bush administration, defense
contractors and large corporations," he continued. "So
people can't look at me and say I'm capitalizing on this
horrible event. That's not the case at all. In fact, I am
using this as a means by which to reach people with the

Several major record chains, when called for comment on the
album, would not speak for attribution, for fear of
criticism from free-speech groups. But all said they would
carry the album only with an alternate cover. Independent
record stores, however, seemed less concerned.

"I would need to check it out musically before anything
else and see if the music would overshadow the cover art,"
said Bryce Holben, a buyer at Fat Beats, a hip-hop store in
Greenwich Village. "Whether or not I agree with him, he has
his voice and his politics. I wouldn't shun him for it."

When his first album, "The Devil Made Me Do It," was
released in 1990 on Tommy Boy Records, Paris seemed like a
sure contender for stardom. His voice, his rhymes, his
beats and his intelligence all made him a favorite newcomer
to the charts. But his strident politics and imagery, which
he refused to compromise (leading to a video from that
album being rejected by MTV), soon marginalized him. When
Ice-T and his rock band Body Count were dropped from Time
Warner after the fury over their song "Cop Killer," Paris
was also refused distribution by the company. The offending
song: "Bush Killa," a diatribe against the first President
George Bush.

"I hate being in a position to say I told you so, because
it means the world is really messed up," Paris said of his
latest single, "What Would You Do," which largely rails
against the current president.

Time has not blunted Paris's edge. Rather than tone down
the cover of "Sonic Jihad," Paris has decided to release
the album his way. Though four distributors in Europe
agreed to carry the CD, he said, in the United States,
where no store or distributor so far will touch it, he will
sell it though his Web site, www.guerillafunk.com.

"Since I already know that out of the gate `Sonic Jihad' is
not going to be in Wal-Mart and Target and all that, it's
important for me to find a way in which I can do it on my
own and bypass the traditional methods," Paris said. "And
the Internet is really the last great unclaimed territory
where I don't have to worry about payola or commercial
endorsements or diluting the music. I don't have to have
one foot in the commercial water and one foot out. I can
just kick you where it counts with it, like I know you need
to be kicked."

It would be easy to write Paris off as a shameless
provocateur. And some, after seeing the deliberately
shocking artwork, do. After all, he is well aware that most
people's first reaction to his album cover and title will
be, in his word, "opposition." But a look at his Web site
reveals a more complex character. A former stockbroker, he
has posted a detailed money management and investment
program, covering everything from setting up a 401(k) to
creating a diversified portfolio. In the politics section,
he narrates a documentary examining the events of 9/11,
writes articles on what he sees as recent threats to civil
liberties, urges rappers to research the exploitation of
African workers in diamond mines before bragging about
their newest jewels, and warns of the negative effects
current hip-hop videos have on African-American teenagers.

"If you keep objectifying women in videos and endorsing
black-on-black crime, then after a certain amount of time
you become an enemy of the community," Paris said of some
of his fellow rappers and the companies that release their

Paris left a distribution contract with Priority Records in
1995 because he didn't want to take his music in a more
gangsta - and thus more commercial - direction. Since then
he has been releasing his music independently. It seems as
if the closer Paris has cleaved to his politics and
beliefs, the less opportunity he has had to expose his
message to a mass audience.

"At the end of the day, you got to do what lets you sleep
well at night," Paris said of his decisions. "I want to
look back at this particular period in my life and say that
I made a difference and that I knew what was right - and
that I did it in a way that was still bumping."


-Courtesy of NY Times


Don't forget if you happen to be in Oakland tonight Paris will be
showing a special 9-11 documentary that he help produce along with the
Guerilla News Network

AFTERMATH: UNANSWERED QUESTIONS FROM 9/11 Narrated and scored by Paris
and featuring interviews shot by GNN syndicate producers in six
cities, AfterMath features nine (9) people answering eleven (11) of
the most pressing questions that emanate from the terrible and, as
yet, unexplained, events of that day. As you will see, these are
questions that continue to overshadow and critically challenge the
official 'version' of the story. Exclusive East Bay screening (film
makers present) April 4, 7:00PM Nahl Hall at the (South East Corner of
Campus) CCAC Oakland campus 5212 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94618 Phone:
510.594.3600 College Campus Number


Props to Blackalicious, Jahi, Goapele, Zion I and Deuce Eclispse..
They will be among the many Hip Hop artist who will be hooking up with
Congresswoman Barbara Lee and actor Danny Glover to participate in
tomorrow's [Sat April 5th] Anti-War Rally which is scheduled to take
place in downtown Oakland. Things should be kicking off at 12 noon at
Mosswood Park which is located on MaCarthur and Broadway..


Chuck D is keeping busy on the international tip. He is currently
lecturing overseas and will soon record a song with local artists from
New Zealand called 'Smoke & Mirrors'. The song focuses all the behind
scenes drama that goes on in the music industry...


Speaking of drama it looks like Ja Rule has another battle to deal
with. He recently caused a stir when he took some verbal shots on a
mixtape at Eminem and the entire Shady/Aftermath crew... Apparently
he didn't take too kindly to Eminem lighting him up on the song 'Go To
Sleep' which is featured on the 'The Cradle to the Grave Soundtrack'

There's word that Em is already set to respond. We'll keep you posted
when it drops. One thing to keep in mind is that this beef pits
several camps against one another... Ja taking shots at the entire
Shady/Aftermath camp will undoubtly receive the blessings from one of
his longtime buddies-Suge Knight of Death Row... [please note Suge
said he has gone back to calling his label Death Row as opposed to Tha
Row]. As we know there is no love loss between him and Dr Dre and his
Aftermath record label. He has never taken too kindly to Eminem.

In other Ja Rule news, you may recall a few weeks ago we reported how
members of Ja's camp got into a scuffle with a white New Zealand
newsreporter who asked him 'how many 'niggers' does he have in his
crew. Ja's crew didn't take too kindly to the use of that word...

Well after the dust settled, the TV reporter did not even get
reprimanded. His bosses pointed out the obvious fact that Ja Rule
uses the 'N word' all the time to describe not only himself, but other
people.. Hence he has no reason to be pissed. Oh well I guess what
goes around comes around..


If you happened to be attending the NYC Public schools the other say
you may have been lucky enough to see Hip Hop mogul Russell Simmons
and Hip Hop artist Wyclef Jean. They along with a host of other
famous folks including Rosie Perez and actor Ozzie Davis served as
Principal for a Day. It was the 9th year that the non profit
organization has put on the event. The program was designed to help
out the 1 million plus students who attend NY's public schools. LeI
wonder if conservative tv blowhard Bill O'Reilly made a big stink
about this the way he did back in November when Jay-Z served as
Principal for a Day?

Speaking of Russell Simmons, be on the look out for his new Visa debit
card. That's right you read that correctly. You will soon be able to
own a Russell Simmons debit card. It will come through the newly
established UniRush Financial Services which is a joint venture
between Simmons' Rush Communications and the Unifund Corp., a
Cincinnati-based firm that buys unpaid consumer debts.

Simmons says he plans to focus on the 48 million Americans who cannot
open a bank account because they don't have good credit or they don't
make enough money. The card will be offered to four million Unifund
customers. Outside of that, Simmons will attempt to market the card
by word of mouth.

There will be no minimum-income requirements for the card, Simmons
said. and to keep users from bouncing checks, UniRush will require
them to call a toll-free number to request that the company send a
check to them. The card will have a $19.95 activation fee, with a $1
fee for most transactions.


Looks like Queen Latifah continues to blow up the spot as she is
making big money from her plus size shape. For those who don't know,
she is the spokesmodel for new plus-size lingerie line Curvation.

The 'Bringing Down the House' and 'Chicago' star is thrilled with her
new role because she grew up being ridiculed for her shape and her
ample bust.

She says, "When I was in high school I was shy about the size of my
breasts and people would pick on me. Now, people pay for these."

Latifah, real name Dana Owens, is hoping the new line will force other
clothing companies to be more honest about their sizes: "Most women in
America are size 10 or better so I don't understand why when you go
into a store and you pick up a size 10 it's really a size eight. I
mean, come on."

While Latifah is doing well with her plus size figure, she has some
folks who are coming after her to get some plus size money. She was
recently named in a 15 million dollar lawsuit from an attorney named
Marie Flaherty, who claims she wrote a screenplay called 'Amoral
Dilemma', whose plot is very similar to that of 'Bringing Down the

The only difference is that in Flaherty's screenplay about a lawyer
who unknowingly picks up on a prisoner is that her approach was meant
to be a drama while the current box office hit is a comedy.

Latifah was named in the suit along with many others including Disney
which distributes the film. We'll keep you posted on the outcome of
this suit.

Lastly Latifah is catching major heat from Boondock's comic strip
writer Aaron McGruder. He's come out and slammed her in two days
worth of strips because he feels she resurrected some nasty
stereotypes about black women in the movie Bringing Down the House.
In the strips Aaron has the character Huey write a letter to Queen
Latifah claiming that she has revoked her crown and can no longer be
called Queen. It'll be interesting to see what is said when the two
cross paths.



The Chicago
Chicago, Illinois * 312-455-9092 * chihiphoppac@aol.com

The MPR Report
Hip Hop Political Activism: Fact or Fiction?

Join Chicago's Hip Hop Political Activist Community in a pointed
discussion About hip hop's growing involvement in political affairs.

Can Hip Hop Save the Community Without Saving Itself ?
Is Generation X Willing To Take It To The Next Level?
And What The Hell Happened at the E2 Memorial Concert Anyway?

Panelists include (in Alphabetical Order):
Ayinde Baptiste, TJ Crawford, Maze Jackson, Keith Lewis,
Temar Manessah, Mark Payne and others.

Performances by Blaq Dawn, Jay Self, SB and Theoretic

Date: Friday, April 4, 2003
Time: 7:30 - 9:30 pm
Location: IIT's Peristein Hall, 10 West 33rd Street
Admission is Free

"Our Lack of Political Participation is Like a Modern Day Lynching.
Only This Time, We're Holding the Noose."

This Month's MPR Report Is Being Conducted As Part of The Urban
Studies Program Spring 2003 Conference: The Culture of Youth Activism.
Call 312.915.0919 For More Information On How You Can Participate.

Once again the good folks in Madison Wi, unfold the red carpet to host
the Hip Hop As A Movement Conference which is now an annual tradition.
All sorts of folks will be on hand including Civil Rights Legend,
Human rights anti-war activist and comedian legend Dick Gregory who
will deliver the keynote speech to open the fourth annual "Hip Hop
Generation-Hip Hop As A Movement" Conference, April 11-13, 2003 at the
University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

Gathering under the banner of Peace and Anti-Militarism, the weekend
event will feature panels, strategy sessions, and performances. The
conference will also feature panels on the "Gentrification of Hip Hop"
and "Hip Hop and Prophecy" in addition to film screenings and

Dick Gregory will give the keynote address on Friday, April 11th. In
the tradition of his work with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and social
justice movements, Gregory joins the event in its call for peace and
an end to inequality at home.

Other confirmed panelists and performers include Smiff N Wessun
(Rawkus/MCA), Buckshot, DJ Evil Dee, and Sean Price aka Ruck of Duck
Down Records, Charlie Ahearn (Wild Style), Mario Africa (Move/AWOL
Magazine), Billy "Upski" Wimsatt, Ernie Paniciolli, Eyedea feat. Bro.
Ali and Musab (Rhymesayers), Kuttin Kandi (5th Platoon), Wordsworth
(Lyricist Lounge), Greg Watkins (allhiphop.com), Davey D (daveyd.com)
Rosa Clemente (WBAI, activist Know Thyself Productions) Rise & Shine,
Cristina Veran, Immortal Technique, DJ G Brown, Black Elephant, Pri
the Honey Dark, and many more.

The "Hip Hop As A Movement" conference has garnered the praise of both
Hip Hop pioneers and music industry opinion leaders and has
distinguished itself nationally as the premier collegiate Hip Hop
event. This year promises to be a milestone in the Hip Hop activist

For more information and updates visit the official conference website
at www.hiphopgeneration.org



Hiphop Speaks
"The leadership we are waiting for is us"
Founded 2001


Hiphop Speaks

on Saturday, June 7, 2003

12 Noon-8PM

490 Riverside Drive
between 120th and 122nd Streets
New York City

(Take Broadway local trains to 116th and Broadway or, if driving, take
125th Street exit off Westside Highway)

Moderated by DAVEY D, www.daveyd.com...
(Panelists to be announced in a future emailing)
On the 1 and 2s: DJ Drama...www.djdrama.ne

Admission is FREE and seating will be on a first-come first-serve

FOR ONCE this will be an all-day forum on hiphop that will include
pioneers and new school hiphop heads, all the major elements of hiphop
manifested in one way or another, all races/persuasions, women and
men, industry insiders and the underground, and the community
at-large, both young and not so young.

Topics to be discussed (in no particular order):

1) The blatant hatred and disrespect of women manifested in
hiphop/America today 2)) Hiphop Culture vs. the Hiphop Industry 3)
Fighting for control over corporate media's representation of hiphop
4) Anti-rap police task forces and FBI surveillance of the hiphop
community 5) The media blackout and lack of commercial airplay for
certain hiphop artists 6) Historical amnesia: why we do not know
hiphop/American/world history? 7) Internal beefs: rappers, radio
personalities, magazines, and on and on....  The self-hatred of a
generation (where did it come from?) 9) How Bush, the war, and the war
on terrorism affect the hiphop community/America 10) The class divide
in hiphop: thugs vs. backpackers, commercial vs. underground

We are clear that hiphop has been the most important artform on the
planet during the past 30 years or so. We readily acknowledge the
power and influence it has had on young people from all walks of life,
from all backgrounds, although we are also clear that hiphop was
created by Black and Latino young people in America, particularly
those from poor, working-class environments. And while many people
are quick to cite the most negative aspects of hiphop, and we MUST be
critical of that which is now destroying us, without apologies or
moves to protect our personal interests, we also applaud the recent
events that reveal another side of hiphop: the 40-plus anti-war hiphop
songs now circulating; the 15-plus hiphop-related books that have come
out in recent months; the recent Academy Award nominations for Queen
Latifah, Eminem, and Adrian Brody (A. Ranger is his hiphop producer
moniker); the emergence of hiphop generation leaders like Alabama's
Malika Sanders, Philadelphia's Aishah Shahidah Simmons, Newark, NJ
Deputy Mayor Ras Baraka or Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick; and so on.

ABOUT Hiphop Speaks

Hiphop Speaks was created by Kevin Powell and April Silver in 2001,
and is a series of quarterly forums (March, June, September, and
December of each year) geared toward the healthy exchange of social
and political ideas related to the hiphop generation/era and beyond
(as the rap group Dead Prez has stated, it is bigger than hiphop,
after all), and led by voices from the hiphop community. As suggested
by hiphop godfather, pioneer, and Universal Zulu Nation founder Afrika
Bambaataa, we acknowledge the five primary elements of hiphop culture:
djing, mcing, dancing, graffiti writing, and doing the knowledge (know
thyself, know history, know hiphop history). With all humility, we
would like to add and acknowledge the art of beatboxing as an integral
part of hiphop history and culture as well.

MEDIA INQUIRIES for Hiphop Speaks: Lauren Summers, Sapphire
Communications: sapphirecom@yahoo.com

Interested in being a SPONSOR (we reserve the right to be mad
selective), holla at us: hiphopspeaks2001@aol.com

The FNV Newsletter c 2002
Send comments to

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