||FNV In This Issue:April 10 2000
*2Pac's First Recordings Recovered
*Things To make You say Whoa!
*Chicago House of Blues Demands and Press release
*The Chicago Boycott by Matt Sonzala, didUnet.com
Send comments, questions and concerns to
The FNV Newsletter
written by Davey D
All Rights Reserved
Back in 1991 the city of Oakland suffered one of the most devastating fires in the history of this country. Lots of lives and property were destroyed from what started out as a small fire from a burning coal. I recall that day vividly because Public Enemy was in town performing. I recall seeing a small fire in the Oakland Hills early that morning and figured that it would be put out in a relatively short period of time without much fan fare. Who would've thought in their wildest dreams that small fire that started because of a burning coal would become a raging inferno. There are very few people who in Oakland who don't know some one who was directly effected. I know several people who lost family members and at least 10 families who lost houses.
One of the casualties to that the Oakland fires was Digital Underground. Many within the group lived in an apartment complex that was completely devoured by the blaze. Shock G lost all his original music, old school tapes, art work and recording studio. DU co-founder Chopmaster J lost his house and recording studio. Among the items destroyed were the original 1989 recordings from a young brash brother named Tupac and his group Strictly Dope which included DJ Dizzy and Ray Luv. Chopmaster had recorded and produced much of Pac's earlier work and as far as he was concerned it perished in the inferno. Not too long ago Chopmaster came across a master reel that was stored in his mother's basement. To his surprise it was the original 2Pac recordings. Needless to say it was a treasure of a find.
Chopmaster after painstakingly cleaning up these 10+ year recording has released them on an album called 'The Lost Tapes'. Its 2Pac when he was 17 years old and just getting started in the rap game. Listening to him rhyme back then was incredible. The brother was talented, overtly political and slightly ahead of his time. Many of the beats had a definitive East Coast feel that was pervasive at the time while others reflected the early Oakland street sound. Tracks like 'Panther Power' and 'Let Knowledge Drop' show a young man trying to put forth his view point on social issues, while other tracks like 'The Case of the Misplaced Mic' pts 1 & 2 illustrate 2pac's willingness to to step to the mic and flex his skillz in an emcee battle. Other tracks like 'My Burning Heart' are precursors to his introverted, sensitive side. 'Minnie the Moocher' and 'A Day In the Life' demonstrate 2Pac's ability to tell stories and paint vivid pictures. It's a nice LP especially when you consider they are among his first recordings. I put up an MP3 of one of the songs..You can peep it at http://shadow.eline.com/daveyd/2pacmisplacedmic.mp3. For more info on the 2Pac album peep out the website http://www.herbnsoul.com
Chopmaster J offered to give away 20 copies of the 'Lost Tape' album...We are asking folks to send in an email with a short paragraph describing where would 2Pac be if he was alive today? What would he be doing? How would he have impacting Hip Hop? Hit me off at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org We will pick 20 winners and post them up on Thursday evening.. Good luck...
*Things To Make You say Whoa!
*Afrika Bambaataa will be dropping knowledge at this week's he Hip Hop Generation Conference in Madison Wi. On Sunday night [April 16th] he will be featured speaker on a panel entitled Hip Hop 101. Its great to see and hear folks acknowledging and attempting to build with our Hip Hop pioneers...
Chuck D of Public Enemy will be giving a keynote address on Friday nite at the conference. On Saturday they will have an all women's Hip Hop show case which will feature the Anomolies, Medusa (Goodvibe), Shortee (Bomb Hip Hop), Neb Luv (Goodvibe), and DJ Kuttin Kandi (5th Platoon). If you happen to be in the Madison area the conference is free.. For more info hit up Greg at mailto:email@example.com
*There's brand new video out called 'Beats Rhymes & Resistance: Pilipnos and Hip Hop in Los Angeles'. It features members of the Beat Junkies along with underground hip hop artist Kiwi, Faith Santilla and DJ Kid Wik. The film was original made in '97 but was completed and released recently.. For more info hit up.. mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
*San Francisco State joins the growing number of Universities now offering courses that study Hip Hop. Author Ricky 'Uhuru Maggot' Vincent who already teaches a class on Funk Music.. [you may to peep his incredible book 'History of Funk'] The class is called Hip Hop 101 and it' set to kick off in the fall semester..
Looks like the House of Blues boycott that got underway in Chicago this past Friday made some noise.It received news coverage from most of the media outlets and hopefully will set off a wave of artist activism. More then 100 Hip Hop artists and community activists came together and issued a list of 4 demands. Much of the problem stems from the fact that while HOB dues weekly Hip Hop shows, its mad difficult for local acts within Chi-Town to be showcased at the venue. Here are the 4 demands..
1-Chicago Hip Hop Showcase every season, starting with the Chicago 7 Show:
The Hip Hop industry is one of the fastest growing music genres out. It generates millions of dollars increased in popularity ten-fold since it's appearance a few decades ago. It makes sense that Chicago, one of the largest cities in the country, should support this phenomenon.
2-Cultural sensitivity training for HOB staff:
This boycott should not have been necessary. With mutual respect, all participants can enjoy the music. If we work together we can create artistry and partnerships unlike any the country has ever seen. For that to happen all participants must employ mutual respect and have a clear understanding of each's motivations, fears, concerns, and view points.
3-Open access for urban press:
The press is a almost always positive presence, and if we are to succeed we must allow all media representatives access to the news and Hip Hop in Chicago is big news. Individuals in the urban areas read some of the urban publications.
4-Working Relationship with HOB management:
We want to generate a peaceful and productive partnership with the House of Blues. In order to do that, HOB management must be willing to meet us halfway in forming a relationship.
These seem like reasonable demands, but obviously problems must be so out of hand that a boycott was necessary.. Here is the press release that was issues after the press conference launching the boycott.
CHICAGO - On Friday April 7, 2000, close to a 100 wet & cold, spirited demonstrators held a press conference in front of the House of Blues-Chicago. Representatives of Chicago's booming Hip Hop community and supporters of the industry first's independent Hip Hop coalition the Chicago 7 worked in complete unity as they held evocative signs and chanted "The House of Blues ain't got no blues," and "Keep us out, we'll shut you down" in a strident, clear voice. Passersby stopped to listen and watch as demonstrators called out to the deaf management powers at the popular venue."We've given them our demands," said Xavier "X-Man" Nogueras, organizer of the Chicago 7. "They have until Monday, April 10th at 5 p.m. to respond. We're being more than reasonable here. Now the ball's in their court; it's either respond now or we'll take it that necessary step further and approach Dan Akroyd for his opinion."
There has been quite a buzz going through the city and the hip hop community at large as a result of the conference and subsequent boycott of the House of Blues. Local radio stations like WGCI FM and WCRX FM have discussed the protest, and nationally syndicated TV media have also picked up the story. WGN TV 9 gave its noon broadcast live at the scene. WBBM TV 2 caught popular Chicago freestyle Hip Hopper Juice lending his support by demonstrating with protesters. WFLD 32,WMAQ 5 and CLTV also gave a healthy coverage all day on their news broadcast. Internet and print media have pricked up their ears as well. Popular Hip Hop news site www.daveyd.com, www.blaze.com, Support online hip hop (sohh.com) and www.rebirthmag.com have expressed full support of Chicago Hip Hop's efforts to bring some recognition and respect to their undervalued artistry.
"We've gotten mad support from everyone," said Lou lambert, organizer of the Chicago 7 and president of PLUGGED, a local magazine. "Chuck D was so interested and supportive, we asked him to act as an arbitrator between us and the House of Blues." The famous rapper has had numerous dealings with the House of Blues so the group thought that he would be a good person to help bring a positive outcome to this unfortunate turn of events. The Chicago Chapter of NARAS (Grammy Awards) has also been asked to intercede in the dispute.
Th House Of Blues has denied allegations that they told Xavier "X-Man" Noguers that
"You can have April 17 (Monday) for $20,000".
"It would be stupid of them not to take us seriously at this point," said Grimlock of hip hop's first cyberstars, La Junta. "Even a perceived threat or a hint of negative publicity could seriously affect the price of their stock when it goes public. I don't think they'll carry their dislike of urban culture and Chicago Hip Hop quite that far." For more information about the Chicago 7, a list of the group's demands and updates on the Chicago Hip Hop vs. House of Blues controversy check out www.chicagohiphop.com, the premiere site for information about the Midwest explosion in Hip Hop.
Big props to all the artists for coming together.. For more info peep out the website http:www.chicagohiphop.com Also big shout out to my boy 'Matt 'Pusherman'.. he hooked me up with a bunch of photos that you can peep out on my site... http://www.daveyd.com/hobprotest.html
April 7, 2000
Chicago's House of Blues Comes Under Fire From Chicago Hip-Hop Community.
By Matt Sonzala, didUnet.com
This past Friday, April 7th, one of Chicago's largest, most prestigious
venues was the target of a mass demonstration. Prominent members of the
Chicago hip-hop community have called for a boycott of House of Blues
charging unfair business practice, and faulty treatment of the Chicago
hip-hop community as a whole. While the House of Blues is known for booking
acts of all genres, it all but ignores the folks making it happen in their
own back yard. In the clubs initial press conference three years ago, part
owner Dan Ackroyd stated that the club would open it's doors to new, up and
coming acts. For the most part, House of Blues is only home to big name
touring acts and artists currently in the Top 100.
"I think (the club) was founded on the aesthetic and perspective that they
were going to preserve African American and Latino culture," local rhyme
legend Juice stated, "and I think hip-hop falls under that umbrella. If we
can't get our events in then they are denying that preservation and we need
to be here in protest. I really believe that."
The fact that House of Blues has denied access to the club to a few local rap
acts is not the whole beef here. The real beef has to do with finance and
abuse of power. On a normal weeknight a promoter can come in to House of
Blues and rent the club for about $8,000. On the weekends this price jumps to
about $12,000. When members of the Chicago ASCAP office and a local promoter
stepped to HOB about booking a showcase featuring seven of the regions top
rap and spoken word artists (currently featured on an ASCAP compilation CD
entitled "Chicago 7") they were completely ignored. When a representative
from the promoters office finally did get someone on the line they were told
that they could have a Monday night and that the price would be $20,000. Do
the math, the club is obviously trying to shut these cats out.
And we're not talking about street thugs trying to invade House of Blues to
throw a concert, we are talking about established industry veterans who have
built the backbone of Chicago's modern, urban music scene. A scene that used
to truly thrive.
Organizers presented the club with a list of four demands. First off they
want a Chicago hip-hop showcase every season. Secondly they want the House of
Blues staff to take a Cultural Sensitivity Workshop to learn how to respect
blacks, Latinos, and youth in general. When called out about the fact that
HOB books national rap acts at least a few times a month, Xavier "X-Man"
Nogueras of Chicagohiphop.com and the rap group LA JUNTA said, "Well the
Cotton Club back in the 20's used to book black acts, but they didn't let
blacks in. Just because you are booking black acts does not mean you are
culturally sensitive." In this case, the promoters were trying to throw a
concert for local industry folks such as Oprah Winfrey, in a distinguished
venue where such notable cats would feel comfortable. While a few rap shows
at the venue have been plagued with violence, X-Man charges that the club
just doesn't know how to handle/respect local urban youth.
"There are people putting this stuff together who aren't really Chicago
hip-hop promoters. If our promoters work with the artists we know that we can
avoid all that because we have relationships with people in the
neighborhoods. We have relationships with gangs and all sorts of people. So
when we throw these events, they will respect."
Third they want open access for working urban media. I feel this as I myself
have personally boycotted the club for the past year. Their no photo policy
makes it hard for urban journalists to get their coverage. The club video
tapes every performance, but no one from the press, or even from the groups
is allowed to bring any sort of video into the club. And for still photos,
you have to sign a contract with House of Blues, not the artists, agents, or
managers, to be able to shoot during the first two songs of the headlining
act only. Every time I have been there I have gotten the feeling that
everyone who is not completely yuppified is treated with disrespect, even the
press who's work promotes both the artists and the venue. Lastly, these urban
professionals want an open working relationship with the management.
The rally went off without a hitch and generated quite a lot of attention for
the organizers. It attracted all of the local media. The shit was on every
station, some sounded supportive, some took it as a bit of a joke, some did
not distinguish between the fact that they are rallying for support of its
local artists and just said they are rallying to get House of Blues to book
hip-hop. Which kind of misrepresented the whole cause as HOB books lots of nat
ional rap acts, and that is not what this conflict is about.
No one from House of Blues was available for comment during the
demonstration, and if the club does not respond by 5PM Monday April, 10th,
Nogueras and his folks will step to Dan Akroyd and his national board of
directors with their beef. While everyone would like a positive and speedy
resolution, the cats involved will continue to fight until their demands are
met. Ponyboy of Los Marijuanos mused, "We could either walk away or do
something about this. We chose to do something about it. We know we're going
against the corporate suits, but we know people in high places too. We're not
going to do anything violent, but we could shut this place down if we want.
We got the power. We got people."
______________END OF NEWSLETTER______________________________________
Send comments, questions and concerns to
The FNV Newsletter
written by Davey D
All Rights Reserved
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