||FNV In This Issue:April 7 2000
*Chicago Hip Hoppers To Boycott House of Blues
*Made Men Speak Out About Boston Drama
*Mack 10 To Get Married
*Chuck D Speaks At UC Berkeley Law School
*Dead Prez Hemmed Up 5-0 Because of Lyrics..
*D'Angelo throws Down
Send comments, questions and concerns to
The FNV Newsletter
written by Davey D
All Rights Reserved
It looks like things are about to heat up in Chicago. More then a 100 of Chi Town's Hip Hop community, including artists like Newsense (Drama Ward), Bigg Nastee', Rubberoom, Mercenaries, Ang 13, Malik Yusef, Pacifics, Hip hop's First Cyberstars La Junta and Rigamortiz to name a few, will be joining community leaders like George Daniels of Chicago's famed George's Music Room, Lou Lampert of Plugged, Xavier 'X-Man' of BOCA Music and Chicagohiphop.com, Mark Anthony of the African Journalist Association, DJ Spank Boogie of WGCI FM and community activist Byrone Price. They have all joined forces to launch a boycott against Chicago's premier venue The House of Blues. A press release was sent out explaining that Chicago Hip Hoppers have trouble with HOB not for allowing local artists to perform at their venue. They described the HOB actions or lack of actions as 'the gentrification of urban youth music in downtown'. They pointed out that groups from all over the country can grace the stages of HOB, but the local Hip Hop community is ignored and disrespected. HOB is also being accused of unfair business practices. The final straw was when the HOB turned down a professionally planned industry event.
This coalition of groups have put together a compilation CD called 'The Chicago 7' which includes a broad cross section of Chicago Hip Hop artists. The title was taken from the historic trial that took place in 1969 in which seven activist including Black Panther leader Bobby Seale were accused of conspiring to incite a riot at the 1968 democratic Convention. One of the demands being forth by the HOB boycotters is to have the House Of Blues provide show casing opportunities for the promotion of the CD and to open its doors and help bring to light Chi Town's underrated Hip Hop scene.
In the press release Sleepy who is the president of one of Chicago's more successful independent record labels Wicked Entertainment stated, "The House Of Blues uses the good name of blues to promote its venue. Well, were the new generation of Chicago blues artists who are being ignored now just like they were back in the day. We will not allow this venue to use the good name of Chicagos own Blues and ignore neighborhoods were the blues came from.". Apparently the HOB boycotters have a a lot of support within the city. Should their demands not be met they will not only boycott the venue but also target actor Dan Akroyd who is one of the founders. They also target the upcoming HOB initial public offering.
A press conference will be held this Friday April 7th at 11am Chicago time in front of the House of Blues which is located 329 N Dearborn Street. There a list of demands will be read. For more info drop an email to mailto:email@example.com. We'll let you know how the boycott unfolds this coming Monday.
The other day Joaquin Darren and Chivon Dean of the Ruff Ryders issued an official statement with regards to Monday nights backstage brawl at Boston's Fleet Center. In it they expressed their condolences to those who were stabbed and injured. They also sent out apologies to fans who attended the show only to be sent home before the Ruff Ryders took the stage. Unfortunately, the statement may not have been enough because two shows were cancelled. The show that was supposed to take place last night [Thursday in Tampa ] was called off and tonight's show in Miami was halted. There has been no official comment as to why..
One of the stabbing victims was identified as Antonio 2G of the group Made Men. Boston police are saying that people snuck in weapons backstage despite the added security. They also noted that they will pursue a vigorous investigation into the drama. Thus far more then 50 people were questioned about the incident. Unfortunately not much cooperation has come from any of the camps involved. The other group members held a press conference the other day in which they apologized to fans and vigorously denied their involvement. They also deny having any beefs with any of the groups on the bill. Peep the article at http://www.bostonherald.com/news/local_regional/flee04062000.htm. The show at the Fleet Center was to be the groups first large venue home town performance. The irony of this latest scenario is that it came at the heels of the Ruff Ryders publicly proclaiming how the tour had been going peacefully and without incident.
Congratulations are in order to the Westside Connection's ultimate rider-Mack 10. He is about to hang up his pipe and bachelor robe and jump the broom with T-Boz of TLC come this August. They are also expecting their first child.. Not to be out done, TLC fellow TLC member Left Eye will also be tieing the knot in a quick minute to her man Sean Newman who is a professional model. Both Left Eye and Mack 10 are finishing up albums. TLC is doing a solo joint which has yet to be titled. It will include everyone from Lil Kim to Lenny Kravits to country singer Garth Brooks. Mack 10 is helping finish up a new Westside Connection lp entitled 'Re-up'. That album should drop in mid May.
Yesterday, Chuck D of Public Enemy rolled through my old stomping grounds UC Berkeley as he went to Boalt Law school and talked to a class full of up and coming technical law students about music and the Internet. It was a dynamic speech in which Chuck spoke passionately about this being one of the first times in history where the consumer was ahead of the music industry in terms of embracing technology. This was a good thing and quite revolutionary. He explained how in the past the music biz had forced consumers to adapt to various new standards without much input and regard for them. For example, the labels almost overnight got rid of vinyl in exchange for CDs. The CDs cost less then the vinyl, but labels gorged people by charging as much as 17 dollars for a CD that cost 1 dollar to make. While this was happening the artist who created the music on the CDs weren't getting any of the extra profit. In fact in many cases they were getting less. Radio stations which were once more responsive and interactive with the community are now one big giant commercial that are 'programming to you based upon studies and the amount of money the highest bidder can offer. He went into detail about how much money is put behind promoting a commercially viable record-3-4 million dollars by the time you add everything from videos to promo tour up. At this stage in the game the young entrepreneur would find many traditional media avenues cost prohibit. The Internet managed to change all that and offer folks an opportunity to have equal access to their audience and not have a record industry middle man filtering things in or out. More importantly the consumer is no longer a passive individual being dictated to..He is now an active participant.
Chuck also went into detail about how the music biz was once run by creative, music oriented people who were later usurped by lawyers and accountants who sought the bottom line as opposed to nurturing and encouraging the development of talent and innovation. Chuck warned the young lawyers that there will come a time in which they will have to battle with themselves about the types of decisions they will make on behalf of an industry that is notorious for exploiting people. He spoke about the importance of forging partnerships and evenly sharing profits and not having a master/slave type relations which is currently what exists in the biz. Isn't it disturbing how the hands of a few are in position to dictate the presentation of cultural expressions and emotions of so many to the masses? Chuck planted some good seeds of wisdom and left folks with lots to think about.. Hopefully by speaking to these future lawyers they took something with them that will inspire them to do the right thing when they find themselves in a position to effect change.. In closing all you emcees who got mad skillz get ready because Chuck D has something coming down the pipe that you will definitely want to be a part of... More details to come real soon..
Big Props are in order to Dead Prez and the nice set they did the other night when opening for D'Angelo. I caught up with them and their road manager Shaba to find out what was the scoop behind the news wire reports about the group having to chase down Miami police who hemmed up their road manager.. The way the initial stories came across was that a couple of weeks ago Dead Prez ripped a dope set during "Luke's Freak Fest 2000 Weekend Bash" at the Bayfront Amphitheater. The group got the crowd all riled up as the led a chant 'F*&K tha Police!. Well needless to say 'PoPo' wasn't feeling this and as a result began harassing the group. Somehow Shaba their road manger got into the mix and was charged on by the police. While this was going down lead rappers M-1 and Stic were being interviewed by BET.
It's at this point the story gets a bit murky. The reports I got said that Shaba after being thrown to the ground was arrested and put in a police car and driven off to a police station. Dead Prez and their posses jumped in their cars and took off in hot pursuit of the police. They went to two different jails only to discover that their road manager wasn't there. Everyone feared the worse until he called up on a cell phone to report that he was still in back of the patrol car but alright. The police were going to release him on the condition that he agree not to press any charges. Even after he signed the release he wasn't allowed to immediately be let go..
Shaba said most of what went down did happen but there were also some things blown out of proportion.. After the group settles down they will issue a more detailed and accurate account of what went down in Miami.They will also figure out how they ultimately want to handle this situation. In the meantime for more info..hit up
On a side note... Major props to D'Angelo for an incredible show the other night at Oakland's Paramount theater. He was a mixture of James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Parliament and Prince. He came to the table with an incredible concept and theme for his show which doesn't really hit you until the end. I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen it. Two things stood out in the show. One, was the presence and overwhelming appreciation the sold out crowd hadnot only for D'Angelo and his band The Soultronics but also for Roots drummer ?uestlove. People were definitely feeling this cat. Second thing that stood out was the length of D'Angelo's show. He stayed on stage and kept it rockin' for 2 1/2 hours...
It was incredible energy that brought back memories of the early Hip Hop jams. It made me yearn for us as Hip Hoppers to be on the same level as D'Angelo with hard hitting thematic shows. I'm talking more then fancy props and some one running through the usual routine of dividing the crowd up into different sections and seeing who is louder then who.. I'm talking about doing more then the standard routine of rushing through 1 or 2 verses of a string of hit songs. And I'm definitely yearning to see more then some half naked dancers gyrating back and forth. I'm looking to see a Hip Hop group come out with a theme to make you think..and artists who you can really feel. For example, when Dead Prez did their set..although they didn't have the props..at least they had an accompanying side show to drive home the point of their lyrics. I realize that a lot of artists aren't gonna be on the D'Angelo level, but being creative and a bit experimental with presenting a well thought out performance doesn't always require money as much as it requires brain power.
D'Angelo's show made me think about how in Hip Hop's early days we did shows that lasted damn near all night. Two or three hour routines were not unusual. Some of the Old Schoolers reading this will recall old Grandmaster Flash parties or DJ Breakout and Funky Four Plus One More parties where the guys came out rhymed, danced and rhymed some more for hours at a time. The mic was never put down..The music never stopped and emcees didn't walk around grabbing their crotches demanding you say 'Ho' for 30 minutes. These early groups mastered the art of entertaining the crowd. They had routines, costumes and 'rhymes galore'. Heck, I even have tapes of myself flipping rhymes for 90 minutes straight with no breaks.. It was what we did and it was what was expected. In any case I thought I'd drop that on folks to kind of think about. There's no reason why we shouldn't be moving the crowd and getting down like a D'Angelo.. It was inspiring to peep him...
* Riddle of the week....
What does Common, KRS-One and Nice-N-Smooth have that Busta Rhymes, Dead Prez and the RZA don't?
Hint; Ghost Face Killah has the same thing as Common and company.
Hit me back with the answer mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Send comments, questions and concerns to
The FNV Newsletter
written by Davey D
All Rights Reserved
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