In This Issue of FNV: 8-20-99

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written by Davey D
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I've always been a firm believer of giving respect where due.. The Source Awards which many of you will see tonight [Fri Aug 20 1999] on UPN gets major props. Let me quote rap star Busta Rhymes who I ran into today. He spoke passionately about the fact that for the first time in his illustrious music career he was treated with respect and 'catered to'. "It felt good to be treated like a superstar', he said. By that he meant that he was allowed all the tools and trimmings that he needed to perform. Busta put on an excellent show, complete with pyro-technics and all. More importantly, he won an award and found himself going up against people who truly reflected todays current Hip Hop scene. Nothing was diluted. This was a welcome change for a man who has been a part of all sorts of award shows ranging from The Grammys to the MTV Music Awards. Ice T shared similar sentiments when he noted that the only time he got a chance to win some sort of award was when he did a project with Quincy Jones..

The Source Awards drew everyone together. I saw boxer Mike Tyson in one corner. Promoter Don King was in another. Superstars like Janet Jackson, actress Rosario Dawson, Jamal White [Urkle] and numerous others graced LA's Panthas Theater. Sports stars like Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Allen Iverson and a whole host of others mingled with the Hip Hop Nation who came out in full force. From Dr Dre to Chuck D to Juvenile to Rahzel to Lady of Rage. Everyone came through the red carpeted press line. Anyone who had anything to do with Hip Hop was in attendence. From old white guys in tuxedos to thugged out brothers with gang tattoos, everyone came together under one roof and showed just why Hip Hop is so dominant. In short it was off the hook. I don't know how it will come out on tonites broadcast [Fri Aug 20 1999], but the energy level and pure excitement of Wednesday taping was infectuous. Almost every major news media from CNN to Entertainment Tonite was on hand. I saw news crews from Germany, Jpan, London. You name it they were there.

Big props are in order to Snoop Dog and Xzibit. With a giant No Limit dog house as a backdrop, the pair got wrecked and made everyone from the West Coast proud... They put on what I thought was a stellar and arguably the best performance of the night. Puffy came out all iced up [decked in diamonds] and ripped it when he performed his current single 'PE 2000' The place erupted when he dropped into the song 'Hate Me Now' and was joined on stage by Nas. Their flawless dancing and tight choreography made their 'on hit' performance look like a video. Puffy shocked it when he started sliding across the floor via a hidden conveyer belt. It made it seem like he was floating. Juvenile and The Hot Boys of Cash Money Click came through and rocked the house with a nice medley of all their hit songs including the ever so popular 'Back That Azz Up'. Master P opened up the show witha Mardis Gras type theme as 30 people came on stage to create a party move. I'm not sure how it will come across on tv, but it looked wack in real life. Mystikal was with the group, so folks need to kill all the rumors about him splitting up from Master P. Outkast was another group that came through and represented to the fullest. They had an elaborate set design that clearly showed that time , energy and money was put into this endeavor.

Funkmaster Flex of NY's Hot 97 deejayed in between commercial breaks and set changes. Somebody must've hipped him because he did a good job playing a healthy amount of West Coast music. Flex did a great job cutting up popular tracks like "I Get Around' and 'California Love' by 2Pac. Treach of Naghty By Nature and Left Eye of TLC did a pretty smooth job hosting. Treach should really consider comedy 'cause the kid was pretty funny at times. Janet Jackson wooed every guy in the house when she graced the stage to present an award.

The evenings funniest moment belonged to Dr Dre, Allen Iverson and Rosario Dawson. They were actually the first to give an award and when it came time to let the world know who had the best album of the year.. somebody goofed and gave Dre the wrong envelope. There was a 5 minute delay as they went to fix things up..Dre and company had to re-tape their segment. After all the trouble, the winner DMX wasn't there to pick up his trophy. I'm not sure if this is what will show on tv.. But that's what happened behind the scenes..Perhaps will see it on a blooper reel.

The most touching moment came during The Pioneers Award segment of the show. The Source put together a nice mini documentary that paid tribute to Hip Hop's founding fathers Grand Master Flash, Afrika Bambaataa and DJ Kool Herc. Herc and Flash were present to get their awards. Flash gave a really moving speech that expressed his appreciation and superbly captured the spirit of the evening and Hip Hop culture in general. He talked about the importance of giving. He noted that by giving, you will recieve love you from the world around you. The crowd gave him a standing ovation.

The evening's most ironic momement came when Mia X of Master P's No Limit camp had to give an award to Juvenile of Cash Money Click. These two camps out of New Orleans have a long and intense rivalry that goes back for several years. How the Source managed to get both camps to perform on the same bill much less be under the same roof was a feat onto itself. Seeing Mia X get a hug from Juvenile was to say the least interesting. Maybe the rivalry will now end.

There's just too much to really talk about.. As I said everyone who was anyone within Hip Hop was on hand..The atmosphere was festive. Just when we thought everything was going to be perfect, leave it up to outside forces to try and demoralize people. In this case it was LAPD who pulled off the most heinous assault on people I have ever seen. As I type this I'm still overwhelmed, pissed off and in total disbelief. There were two after parties that evening. The one I attended was at swank Hollywood Athletics Club. It was being given by The Ruff Ryders who were scheduled to perform. In the place was Mike Tyson, model Tyra Banks, Tek from MTV's Real World and an onslaught of Hip Hop luminaries. The fire marshall came through and noted that there were too many people and that no one else could be let in. He later said the place would have to be shut down. This in itself didn't seem to cause too much of a problem. Disappointed party goers could easily be accomadated at KRS-One's & Warner Brother Record party at The Palce which is a much larger venue.

So the fire marshall gives the order that no one else can be admitted. Shortly afterwards, I see a squadron of LA's finest show up in riot gear.. With night sticks drawn and helmets dropped, the police seemd to be going through some sort of drill for crowd control. First they closed down all the streets. Then they barked orders for people to disperse. Since there was no sign of trouble or anythingf like that people began to question why. At that point the police began pushing people as they marched in unisom like nazi storm troopers. The brothers refused to back down and many demanded to be treated with more respect. Others demanded to know why the police were acting ill. Keep in mind, many of the folks in attendence at this party were industry people who tended to be older and established. More bully club weilding police showed up and the routine was on. The police would break off into groups of 10-15, form a human barricade and literally heard groups of people into garages or alley ways. They would charge the crowd, bark orders and try to intimidate people. Many people got scared as several officers began to hit folks with their sticks. While this was happening a much larger group of night stick weilding officers spread across the entire street facing in both directions. One group after another would break loose and chase down party goers as they exited the building. The people were like fish and the police were like vicious shrks in a feeding frenzy. As all this was going down, I called into our radio station [KMEL] and gave a play by play description of what was going on. It was hrad to believe. If I hadn't seen things going on with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed any thing which sounds so far fetched. Certainly the police would not attack without just cause. Think again.. cause that's what they did. When I saw the police yell at an older guy who sells flowers I knew things were far too gone.

At one point when I saw police threatening folks with their clubs I found myself seeking refuge behind on site camera crews who were filming the event. It was something out of a horror movie. You read about and you hear about this sort of thing, but to experience it first hand was something else. It's a helpless feeling because in order to effect change something drastic has to take place. It was either run up and start beating down cops which is what they seemed to be waiting for..or simply walk away and not get arrested, clubbed or shot to death. It's like you go to a history making event and you come away feeling good about things. I watched everyone come away from the Source Awards feeling juiced and tremendously proud of Hip Hop. In a few short terrorizing minutes LAPD ruined that. They left a bitter taste in people mouths and ruined the whole evening. Adding insult to this injury was LAPD heading over to the other after party and attempting to use the same tactics. When people filed out of The KRS-One/ Warner Brothers party, they were greeted by a line of night club bearing police who were lined up like storm troopers.

The next morning I awoke to watch LA's Channel 7 Eyewitness News reporting that there was a 'riot' at the Athletic Health Club and 50 police officers [There was closer to a 100 officers} were called in to prevent it. In the same breath the news reporters went on to say there were no arrests and no reports of violence. So where was this 'riot' that they were reporting. I called the New Department of Channel 7 Eyewiteness News to speak to the news director about them maligning Hip Hop and distorting the truth. I left three messages for the news director and for good measure I included my own journalistic credentials. I have not heard from them..

I'm sitting here thinking about the options I have available to me. This can't go unchallenged. I will be following up with some more phone calls to Eye Witness News.. and I will also shoot a letter to LAPD's Bernard Parks. I'm not sure what this will do since it was obvious LAPD's actions seemed deliberate and quite contrived. I guess I'm still pissed and I have to let all this sink in..But I can't let this pass without speaking up..If I don't who will? I'll keep you posted..


Some quick Artist Updates...

Chuck D of Public Enemy is working on a major project that is sure to literally flip the script.. Stay close for further details.. But the man is about to blow up and have a huge prescence real soon... Trust me..

KRS-One has set up his Temple Of Hip Hop in LA as well as the Bay Area. He has a bunch of folks representing him including the Bay Area's Iesha Bilal. Props to her. For those who don't know, Iesha and her brother Muhammed [MTV's Real World-SF] have been putting in work for years for Hip Hop. With Iesha hooking up with KRS things will be quite lovely.. On a side note.. KRS says he's real happy living in LA.. BET was following him around when I saw him. He did a under promoted show in Reseda California with Big Daddy Kane and Biz Markie. They all got off and show and proved they still have mad skillz..

Shorty of The Lynch Mob has started his own record label called Bow Tie Records. His new lp is entitled 'Short Stories' and is set to drop real soon. He hooked up with a Swedish born producer named Polar Bear who seems to be the talk of the town in LA right now. Shortie did some tracks with Kam, James Debarge and up and coming act Don Silver..

Bad news for Noreaga, Black Rob and Bizzie Bone.. While here in LA.. Nore gor robbed at gun point for all his jewels. He went outside his hotel for a smoke and got jacked. This is an increasing growing trend-to rob rap stars. Wearing jewels is like wearing the old expensive Corte Field Sheepskin coats like we did back in the days..Wearing such flashy items make you an unnecessary target for knucklheads.

Bizzie also got robbed at gunpoinmt from some one fitting the same description as Nore's assailants..Black Rob broke out of town when he discovered that his hotel was being surrounded 2Pac's old group The Immortal Outlaws.

WC is putting it down for his new label Affilaited Records with CJ Mack. His new lp is called 'Ghetto Hiesman' Here he collaborated with Jermain Dupri, DMX, and Rage Props to The Poetess aka Felicia for helping put together the Day In The West. It was truly history in the makng and very inspiring. Everyone from JJ Fad to YoYo to Rodney O showed up to downtown LA. It was absolutely incredible..and a bit overwhelming..I saw all sorts of heads like Tone Loc and The Boo Yaa Trybe.

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written by Davey D
All Rights Reserved

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