The FNV Newsletter
In Today's Issue: April 18 2002


Send comments, questions and concerns to

The FNV Newsletter
written by Davey D

c 2002 All Rights Reserved


First, things first, let it not be said Hip Hop music is not
versatile.  Since its inception in the early 70s the upstart music
genre has always managed to reinvent itself by merging with other
music forms to create a new sound, style and even genre.  Thus far Hip
Hop has emerged with Punk rock and New Wave in the late 70s and early
80s to create what some called Punk Rock Rap.  Some of you OGs may
recall Hip Hop pioneers like the Cold Cdrush Brothers doing songs like
Punk Rock Rap.  Others may recall the early years of the Beasty Boys
who started off as a punk band?  Other may recall early new wave/punk
icons like Malcolm McClaren hooking up with Hip Hoppers like the World
Famous Dream team to give us classic songs like 'Buffalo Girls', which
if I recall correctly was the name of a popular clothing line.  Still
others will recall punk rockers like Johnny Rotten teaming up with
Afrika Bambaataa to give us classic tunes like 'World Destruction'.

In the mid 80s Hip Hop began to experiment with jazz to create
Jazz-Hop.  The most noted collaboration was with Hip Hop pioneer
Grandmixer DST and jazz legend Herbie Hancock who gave us the classic
Grammy Award winning song 'Rockit'.  However, for those who were
around, they may recall there was a slew of jazzy flavored Hip Hop
songs that came out around that time.  Groups like Jazzy Jeff and the
Fresh Prince gave us classics like 'A Touch of Jazz'.  Others like
Guru of Gang Starr and Tribe Called Quest took the ball and ran with
it.  Jazz musicians like Brandford Marsalis, Roy Ayers and many others
have since recorded with jazz artists.  Jazz and Hip Hop have been
building ever since.

This jazz/Hip Hop fusion [Jazz-Hop] over the years evolved to create
what was initially called Acid Jazz and Rare Groove.  Nowadays many
will argue that those genres are at the root of what we now call
Neo-Soul i.e.  Erykah Badu, D'Angelo, Bilal, Jill Scott etc.  One
thing is definitely certain many of those popular neo-soul artists got
their start by coming through the doors of Hip Hop.  How many of you
folks recall first hearing to play Erykah Badu's first song 'On and
On' being played on Hip Hop shows while by many so called R&B stations
refused to touch her with a ten foot poll?  How many of you guys
recall hearing your first D'Angelo record being spun by your favorite
Hip Hop DJ in the mix?  Lets not forget all this.

In the mid and late 80s Hip Hop fused with House to create what we
called Hip House.  It was during this time House producers like Todd
Terry ruled the land as he provided beats for Hip Hop legends like the
Jungle Brothers who delivered the classic song 'I'll House You'.
Popular Hip Hop artists at that time like Twin Hype and King Sun
dropped Hip-House songs as did popular Chicago based House music
artists like Tyree, Fast Eddie and many others.  Heck, if you ask me,
Chicago's early Hip Hop scene seemed to emerge out of its early House
/ Hip House scene.  What we once called Hip house eventually evolved
to become what we now call Trip Hop and Drum & Bass.

There is no denying the direct influence of reggae on Hip Hop.
However, in the late 80s we say Hip Hoppers actively experimenting
with that 'island sound' to create what we called Raggamuffin.  If
folks recall in the late 80s, there were entire Raggamuffin albums
that were put out by groups like Asher D and Daddy Freddy with their
classic 'Raggamuffin'.  Since then everyone from Jamalski to Mad Lion
to KRS-One have followed up with Raggamuffin tunes of their own.  At
the same time, Reggae artists like Shinehead entered the arena and
gave us classics like 'Who The Cap Fits?'  Other reggae artists like
Shelly Thunder, Barrington Levy, Buju Banton, and Yellowman to name a
few saw their music being embraced by the Hip Hop community.  I recall
a time when all sorts of labels like 'Pow Wow, Profile and Sleeping
Bag had all sorts of raggamuffin/ reggae artists on their rosters.

Hip Hop over the years has merged with guitar based rock.  Who could
forget the landmark collaboration between Run DMC and Aerosmith to
give us the song 'Walk This Way'.  Since then Hip Hop and rock have
merged to give us a popular music form that is best exemplified by
artist like Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit and the Red Hot Chili Peppers and
Rage Against The Machine who proceeded them.  Now Hip Hop is evolving
and merging again.  This time it's with country music to create a new
genre that some are calling Hillbilly Hip Hop or Hick-Hop.

There was a recent article that I read by AP writer Roger Alford that
focused on the efforts of a Whitesburg Kentucky radio DJ named Nick
Szuberla of WMMT who has been bringing Hip Hop and country Bluegrass
folks together to do live performances.  His radio show is called
"From the Holler to the Hood" and his primary listening audience are
the nearby prison inmates.  His initial inspiration was to reach big
city and rural prison inmates from the Appalachians and provide a
forum so they would not clash.  He pointed out in a recent interview
that over the past 10 years prisons have been popping up all over
rural communities and as a result there's been a lot more mixing of
cats from the inner city hoods and cats from the rural countryside.
The article describes how Szuberla has hooked up Banjo and Fiddler
players like Dirk Powell with Hip Hop artists like Danja Mowf to do

If you really think about it, the two genres coming together should
not seem all that far fetched.  The Hillbilly music of the
Appalachians has a rich tradition that in many respects was born out
of the impoverished social and economic conditions of that region.  We
all know that Hip Hop was born out of social and economic hardships of
the inner city.  One can argue that hillbilly Bluegrass and mountain
music is the rural/country white kid's version of rap or Hip Hop is
the Inner city kid's version of Bluegrass.  It's surprising that the
two haven't met earlier.  Although I must admit to hearing a number of
Hip Hop artists sampling banjo licks and putting them in songs back in
the days when cats weren't being taxed so hard for sampling music.
Who could forget the valiant efforts of Seattle's Sir Mix-A-Lot who
humorously made that country connection years ago with classic songs
like 'Square Dance Rap' and 'Buttermilk Biscuits'?  Nowadays we have
white country cats like Bubba Sparxxx hooking up with Hip Hop
producers like Timberland to do a Hip Hop album.  The next step is to
seamlessly mix the genres which seems to be happening in Kentucky with
DJ Nick Szuberla and his 'From The Hollar to the Hood' show.

For now there are no immediate plans for anyone to do a big album or
anything like that, but in the world of Hip Hop that's only a matter
of time before all that changes.  We'll keep you posted.



Right now the Big Apple is buzzing about an upcoming Hip Hop show
featuring the return of Ice T and his new partners in rhyme Smooth Da
Hustler and his brother Trigger Da Gambler.  Last time I spoke to Ice
he explained that they have officially formed a group SMG [Sex Money &
Guns] and will soon release an album.  Folks may recall the Hip Hop
classic 'Broken Language' that Smooth DA Hustler' released a few years
back.  Ice hooking up with Smooth and Trigga should prove to be a
lethal combination.  Also on the ticket is Dice Raw of The Roots and
Joe Summa an Italian Bronx born emcee who is set to release an album
called Redemption on Motown records.

For folks who wanna peep the Ice T show, it's going down at BB King
Blues Club and Grill, which is located on 243 W 42nd St.  in NY...
Doors open at 9pm.  For more info peep the website at  Big shout out to my man Mickey Benson
who has been holding it down since day one in this thing we call Hip
Hop for providing the 4-1-1 and helping set this event up.


In other news...Just when you thought it was all over, Nate Dogg
proves that it ain't always smooth sailing as he managed to get
himself arrested the other night in Arizona.  According to early
reports, Nate's tour bus was stopped for speeding.  Arizona
authorities proceeded to search the bus because they smelled
marijuana.  The search yielded not only the weed but also Tech 9
pistol, Beretta and a 380-caliber pistol, which according to LAPD had
been stolen.  Nate was charged with possession of marijuana, drug
paraphernalia and a stolen firearm.  These charges are all felonies,
which isn't cool especially since Nate is on probation from some
serious charges he incurred last year.  He is currently out on bail.
The reports also note that Nate was in the bus with 8 other people,
yet he was the only one charged.  Why that happened is unclear.  Lets
hope brotha man gets it together.



In other news about rappers and the courtroom; Master P is dealing
with even more drama.  This time it comes in the form of a lawsuit
filed by a 79 year old Grandmother named Geneva Burger who did not
appreciate the fact that her voice was featured on a song called
'Sky's The Limit'.  Apparently a friend without her knowledge recorded
her voice as she had a discussion about marijuana.  Part of her
conversation was sampled into the beginning of a song performed by No
Limit artists Magic, Snoop Dog and C Murder.

Ms Burger was upset because she feels the song is vulgar and she
considers it gangsta rap.  She feels humiliated and says her privacy
was invaded and as a result she is suing Master P for 4.5 million
bucks.  Burger and her lawyers have calculated that about 900 thousand
people have heard the song and she wants 5 dollars for every listen.
Maybe its me, but don't you think Master P could've hired an actor or
a comedian to recite the remarks of Ms Burger?  We'll keep you posted
on the outcome.


With the overwhelming success of MTV newest reality show The Osbournes
which focuses on rock star Ozzie Osbourne, network execs are talking
about making this happen on the Hip Hop/ urban side of town.  Thus far
two names are surfacing in initial talks- Brandy and P-Diddy.  There's
no doubt with all the drama P-Diddy goes through that could actually
wind up being an exciting show although I think the show would've been
a bigger hit when he was rolling around town with J-Lo.  There's no
word if this is definite, but we'll keep you posted..

Last week I ran into a blast from the past in the form of Hip Hop
pioneer Kool Mo Dee.  The brotha who help changed the way we rapped
back in the late 70s with his patented speed rap style was in
Washington DC where participated in a Hip Hop and politics panel for
Black Youth Vote.  Wearing his trademark wrap around sun glasses, Mo
Dee kicked a lot of science about sexism, economics and the political
situation many are faced with today and how that impacts our ability
to move forward in terms of voting.  He also spoke at length about the
importance of the Hip Hop community becoming more spiritually
grounded.  He was impressive as he left everyone hanging onto his
every word.

Later that evening Mo Dee and myself got to chop it up.  He explained
that he's living in LA and working on his movie career.  He also noted
that he has been spending a great deal of time doing screen writing
and has some real gems on the table that I am not at liberty to
disclose.  However, what Mo Dee described sounds hot and should really
put him on the map when it comes to fruition.

Mo Dee has also been tinkering on the music front.  He has an
unreleased EP called 'Boombagedon Lyrical Apocalypse 2002' which has
several songs including a hot joint called 'Heat' that features his
old group the Treacherous Three and Spoonie G.  The song has an old
school feel to it and cleverly borrows from an old Cold Crush Brothers
routine.  Apparently Grandmaster Caz loved what he heard and has given
Mo his blessings for the lifted routine.  Mo, La Sunshine, Special K
and Spoonie G live up to the song's title as they show they haven't
missed a beat and have been able to hang with the times.  The EP has
another hot song which samples Blondie's classic song 'Heart of Glass'
over a Planet Rock beat.

Mo Dee explained that many of the songs were initially done in
preparation for an album they had intended to release on KRS-One's
Temple of Hip Hop label.  I'm not sure if that's still happening, but
we will keep you posted...  In the meantime look out for the song

I asked Mo Dee what he felt about all the rap battles that are going
on these days.  He noted that he's in a different head space from the
times he and LL Cool J did lyrical duels.  He still loves a good
battle and he insists he still has the skillz to maintain, but right
now he's focusing on his writing and movie career and will have to
watch from the sidelines.  However, I could tell from his demeanor,
that if someone handed Moe Dee a mic and said lets do this, homeboy
would jump out there in a minute and rip off heads.  His new material
proves without a doubt he still has what it takes.

While visiting the city of Boston I sat on a panel with Play
[Christopher Martin] of the legendary group Kid-N-Play.  That duo
deserves major props for all the work they did with the House Party
flicks.  I recently saw one of the their films the other day and
forgot just how funny they were.  Play explained he now lives
Birmingham Alabama where he's a witness for his church.  He's said he
needed a break from the hectic activities of the music industry and
has reconnected with God in a major way.  During our panel on Hip Hop
and Faith Play eloquently weaved his real life story, Bible scripture
and his personal testimony in his remarks.

Nowadays, he's working on a movie called 'Brother Lang's Last Call'
which features former new Edition singer Ralph Trasvent, singer
Shirley Murdock, rapper BB Jay and comedian Small Fry.  The plot
revolves around the religious awakening of a guy named Brother Lang.
Look for that movie to drop sometime in the fall.  Play didn't say
whether or not Kid will be in the movie.  He did note that his former
partner has gotten into stand up comedy.  So I guess we should look
for Kid to come to a comedy club near you soon.  That makes sense
considering the last couple of times I ran into Kid he was hanging out
with comedian Tommy Davidson.


Hot joints to definitely peep.. There's an unreleased song from E-40
and Fabolous called 'Automatic'.  The song is like a 2002 Hip Hop
remake of the Jackson 5 classic 'Dancing Machine'.  Its definitely a
head nodder and will be featured on E-40's upcoming album 'Grit and
Grind'.  This is the second time there has been a Brooklyn-Bay
collaboration.  Folks may recall when Too Short hooked up with Lil Kim
to do the classic song 'Call Me'.

Props go out to the Bay Area's M-1 DJs and their recently released Mad
Idiot Wesside Mix Tape 11...  It features all sorts of west coast
joints and definitely captures the essence of whats going on out in
these parts..DJ T-ski works the one and twos..  for more info peep out

A couple of weeks ago we told you about a cat out of Philly named
Shortyo who is set on challenging Beanie Sigel.  He took issue with
Beanie going on Hot 97 in NY and proclaiming himself as Philly's best
rapper.  Hence Shortyo decided to bring the heat..  Unfortunately he
got heated on when folks noticed he was using the N word.  A lot of
folks weren't feeling too comfortable with Shortyo who is white using
the word and let their feelings be known.

So homeboy has gone back into the studio and rerecorded his dis song.
He noted he did not want that to be a distraction as he continues his
lyrical assualt on Beanie Sigel.  He dropped me a line the other day
and said someone from Beanie's camp was down to set up a battle and
put 10gs on the line....  That ain't small least for me..
Its probablky a drop in the bucket for Beanie.  In anycase, will there
be a battle between Beanie Sigel and Shortyo out of Philly for
10gs..??  We'll keep you posted..  For more info peep out Shortyo at



Looks like Russell Simmons is still making moves.  Last week we told
you how he and Def Jam records were going to release a new tennis shoe
called Phat Classics and donate most of the proceeds to various
organizations that are fighting and doing research on Reparations.  We
also told you how he and Def Jam have set up a new label called Def
Jam Classics where they will be releasing new material from newly
signed artists, Barry White and James Brown.

Now Russell is hooking up with fellow Hip Hopper Ras Baraka to
"celebrate the future of tri-state politics and one of the most
important voices of the hip hop generation"    He along with Kevin
Powell and Eisa Nefertari Ulen are chairing a fundraising event for
Ras Baraka who is running for City Council in Newark New Jersey.  The
way things are shaping up, Baraka stands a good chance of winning...

Now for those who do not know about Ras Baraka, he is perhaps one of
the first bonafied Hip Hopper who has released an album who is running
for public office   A recent article had this to say about Ras;

'   Ras Baraka is a modern-day Paul Robeson: the manifestation of art
and politics merged.  He has also been called "one of the most
insightful artist-activists of his time."  The son of revered
writer-activists Amina and Amiri Baraka, Ras is dedicated to making
political empowerment a reality for the people of Newark, New Jersey.

Co-editor of IN THE TRADITION, poet, and former Youth Coordinator for
the Commission for Racial Justice, Ras earned his B.S.  in Political
Science and History at Howard University, and an M.A.  in Education at
St.  Peter's College in New Jersey.  Prior to obtaining his current
position as vice-principal at a Newark public school, Ras taught
elementary school for ten years.  In fact it is Ras and his former
students whose voices you hear throughout Lauryn Hill's landmark album
THE MISEDUCATION OF LAURYN HILL.  Baraka's love for teaching is
matched only by his passion for facilitating political equality.

Ras is running for an at-large City Council seat and is well poised to
capture a victory on May 14, 2002.  When asked why he is running for
office, Baraka explains that "the people of Newark need a voice that
fully represents them.  My focus will be on redistributing resources
to the hands of the people, especially in areas of education,
employment, and recreation.  I believe this is critical to Newark's

This fundraising event will feature Hip Hop artists and activists like
of others.  The event will be hosted by FAB 5 FREDDY.
This is all going down on Friday May 3 at OHM which is located at
16 West 22nd Street between 5th and 6th AvenuesThe time is 6pm to 11pm

To RSVP for this event Lauren Summers at

Send comments, questions and concerns to

The FNV Newsletter
written by Davey D

c 2002 All Rights Reserved

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