FNV In Today's Issue: August 5 2000
*Hip Hop Announcements and Music Notes
*Things To Make You say Whoa.. [Jurrasic 5, Above The Law, Ice T, Salt, Run DMC]
*Confrontation Camp Strikes Bush
*Women Needed For New Hip Hop Kung-fu Movie
*Notes on the 23rd Rocksteady Anniversary

Send comments, questions and concerns to
The FNV Newsletter
written by Davey D
c 2000
All Rights Reserved

Shout outs and other announcements..

Birthday shoutouts to Chuck D, Professor Griff, Coolio and Funkmaster Flex who all celebrated their birthdays this past week. Chuck D and Griff celebrated their 40th..Flex will be celebrating his birthday this Sunday night August 6th at the reopening of the Tunnel nite club in the Big Apple.. Big shout out to MC Lyte for re-launching her site.. http://MC-Lyte.com. There are lots of pictures and other goodies..She dropped me a note the other day letting me know the following: "Just did a song, "Where U at Mama", with Rah Digga. The song will appear on her single and the Flipmode Squad upcoming CD.Working on new album with several different producers. Heading to VA Beach to work with Teddy [Riley] again and hopefully I will have something out in the last quarter."..

Bay Area rap star, B-legit is set to drop a new album entitled 'Hempin Ain't Easy' which will feature Snoop Dogg, cousin E-40, Mack 10 and Kurupt. The first two singles 'Keeping It Pi' and 'Destiny' are off the hook especially for those who are into that west coast style funk/mob sound. His cousin E-40 is also set to drop an new album called 'Loyalty and Betrayal' . His new single 'Nah Nah' was produced by Battlecat and is currently one of the hottest joints in the Bay Area right now. It's a bumping joint that features a sample from a song called 'The Champ'.

I ran into Hip Hop pioneer Grandmixer DST of the Herbie Hancock 'Rock It' fame. He's currently working on some top secret stuff.. which he later revealed will be another project with Herbie... Can you say Rock It 2000 and beyond? Speaking of old school I ran into Lil Rodney C of the group Double Trouble and Funky Four Plus One More.. He was on a panel during the Rocksteady 23rd Anniversary. It was good seeing him and building with him. He told me he is currently counseling young people in Manhattan and he may soon pick up the mic and do a little something. I asked him about Sha-Rock who was one of Hip Hop's fiercest female emcees back in the days. he told me she's the CEO of a company down in Texas..Also on the old school tip is Mr Kurtis Blow who is hard at work on a documentary dealing wit Hip Hop's history. Grandmaster Caz who was out and about and very active during the Rocksteady 23rd Anniversary has launched his own record label called Jazz-child.

Props go out to De La Soul for bringing back Hip Hop pioneer Chief Rocker Busy Bee. They let Bus get busy on a track off their new album.. For folks who remember Busy, its vintage material complete with the beat.. I wish more artist would take time to collaborate with some of the old school heads.. especially since so many are still around and still have skillz. This is especially true when you consider that so many artist are borrowing beats or remaking classic Hip Hop cuts.. For example, I definitely feeling Mack 10's new song 'From The Streetz', which borrows from Whodini's 'Funky Beat' but I feel he could've taken it to a whole other level had he gotten the fellas to bust a verse on it..

Props to Fresno's Planet Asia and San Jose's 427 for giving new meaning to the term rockin' the house. They tore it up and completely represented during the free outdoor concert at the Rocksteady 23rd Anniversary. There were no annoying sound problems as Planet Asia and 427 were in a zone.. They left no head un-bobbed.. They were definitely off the hook especially when Planet Asia left the stage and started rhyming from within the crowd. An interesting aspect about Asia, is he seems to be a part of two groups.. At the anniversary he hit the stage with two cats from LA who collectively called themselves the Three Kings.. Here in the Bay he rolls with San Mateo's Rasco and together they are known as Cali Agents. Thats what I call doing double duty. BTW Cali Agents is a dope album..I have one major pet peeve.. I wish the guys would put out a clean version so we can play some of the tracks on radio.. That goes for anyone else with skillz.. I know I speak for other deejays who hate getting a slamming album and not being able to play it because of obscenities..Remember if you press up vinyl.. make sure there are clean versions so cats on radio who do mix shows can spin it. I have a double vinyl Cali Agent album sitting in my crate that hardly ever sees the light of day..

Props to DJ Tony Touch.. he like Planet Asia also got wrecked at the Rocksteady Anniversary.. The man can do it all. He rapped, busted some break moves and deejayed all in one set. All he needed was a marker and he could've probably tagged up. Maybe it was me, but I could've sworn I heard him fill in and rap other people's lines who were featured on his album when he was performing. In other words after Touch would rock his own rhymes, he would do the other folks parts who he collaborated with since they weren't all there. The man has incredible talent. He definitely turned out the Rocksteady free concert..

I ran into Guru the other day who noted that he's extremely excited about his upcoming Jazzmaatazz Project.. He noted that allowed himself to have sit back, have fun and really enjoy the project. Trust me..Folks will not be disappointed in what he delivers.. Ill Bill and and the good folks from Non-Phixion have announced that they are leaving their record label Matador. While it was good label, the group needs to be on another level in terms of how their material gets presented to the public.. Non-Phixion is definitely one of Hip Hop's most talented yet underrated groups around. As soon as they land on their feet expect them to come out with some more off the hinge type songs like 'Black Helicopters' and 'How To Kill A Cop'.

Sway and King Tech of the world's famous Wake Up Show, have a new artist they're getting ready to drop named Alechia James. If memory serves me correctly she hails from Compton and has incredible voice. Sway & Tech are taking great pains to make sure when she comes out the whole world can catch feel her vibe.. Hence she spent the last week in Philly doing a song with the Roots.. She's definitely someone to watch for.. Speaking of The Roots, Dice Raw has just dropped a slamming head nodding single called 'Thin Line Between Raw and Jiggy'. It features Black Thought and Malik B.. The song has hyped up jazzy old school sound, that'll have you loving Hip Hop..

My Hip Hop picks of the week Craig Mack's ' Brand New Nigga'.. That's right homeboy is back with a vengeance.Also on point is AZ's 'Love Me In A Special Way' which is church sounding thugged out gospel type song..if that makes sense.. It hits and hits hard..Last but not least is Milano who hails from the DITC camp..His new singles 'rep For The Slums' and 'Deal With A feeling'


Things To Make You say Whoa......

*We wanna wish a speedy recovery to Charlie 2Na and his fellow members of the Jurassic 5 who were involved in a bus accident this past Tuesday night while enroute to Houston. Apparently the bus driver fell asleep at the wheel and drove off into a ditch. Charlie had to undergo surgery and should be doing fine. The group was currently a part of the Warped Tour which features groups like Green Day and Papa Roach. This is the second set back for the Jurassic % as the group was scheduled to be on the Rhyme and Reason Tour with The Beastie Boys and Rage Against The Machine, but that tour got cancelled when Mike D of the Beasties got into a serious bike accident. The group currently has plans for a 'Word of Mouth Tour' featuring the Dilated Peoples and Supernatural.

*Above The Law which features, Cold 187, KMG and DJ K-oss are back on the scene making major noise after a bit of a hiatus. The group which brought to us such classics like 'Murder Rap', 'Untouchable', 'VSOP' and 'Black Superman' are now hooking up with Suge Knight and his infamous Death Row Records. The group members see this move as one where they will have more freedom and creative control while being backed by a major powerhouse like Death Row.. On the other hand, Above The Law has the potential to put Death Row back in the spotlight.. We wish ATL much luck.. They are clearly one of Hip Hop's most underrated acts..

*Salt of the pioneering female group Salt-n-Pepa is set to go solo. The group doesn't have beef or is breaking up, but she has expressed her desire to branch out and explore her business as well as artistic side a bit more. hence she working on a new album entitled 'Salt of the Earth' which will be released on her new record label GavFam which is named after her husband Gavin. Look for the album to drop sometime next year.

*Young MC is set to get back in the batter's box and make another attempt at coming back. The Queens born emcee who lives in LA and brought us the classic joints 'Bust A Move' and 'Principal Office' is picking up the mic and working on his fifth album. About two years ago he dropped a project called 'Return of the One Hit Wonder' which didn't do to well. This time around he's coming with a west coast influenced project called 'Ain't Going Out Like That'. For those who don't know Young MC is also a gifted writer who was responsible for penning 'Wild Thing' and Funky Cold Medina' for Tone Loc. We wish him luck on this new project.

*People are talking about the upcoming Hip Hop Exhibition scheduled to take place this September 22- December 3 at the world famous Brooklyn Museum in New York City. Entitled Hip Hop Nation: Roots, Rhymes and Rage', the exhibit promises to showcase all sorts of artifacts including clothing, DJ equipment, and other Hip Hop artifacts.In addition there will be videos and exhibitions around the Notorious BIG, 2Pac, Puffy, Jay-Z, the Beastie Boys and Run DMC to name a few. There will also be spotlights on Hip Hop's pioneers from the '70s and 80s..

*Props to Run DMC who will not only be honored at the upcoming Brooklyn Museum exhibition, but are also set to make some noise in the literary world. Reverend Run has just released a book entitled 'Its Like That: A Spiritual Memoir' on St Martin's Press. The book offers biographical and historical information on the group Run DMC as well as personal insights into Run's journey to finding God. DMC is set to drop is solo album and the group ill soon be touring in Japan.

*Ice T has been catching heat-this time from the Nevada Correctional Association. They feel like it was a major insult and a slap in the face that the controversial Ice T was allowed to perform at one of their facilities There is no doubt that the prison officials were reacting to some of Ice T's songs ie 'Cop Killer' and his rhetoric about not liking cops.. To Ice T's credit, he took time out of his own schedule and spent his own money to perform for the inmates at the Southern Desert Correctional Center. The biggest irony is that Ice T has frequently performed at correctional facilities. he's always attempted to maintain a connection with those who are incarcerated. Sounds like the Nevada Prison guards were just player hating..


+++++Confrontation Camp Pushing The Envelope++++++++++++++

Chuck D, Professor Griff and Kyle James of the new group Confrontation Camp brought some serious heat to the Republican Convention the other night. They performed at a function outside the convention hall that was hosted by the owners of Ben and Jerrys Ice Cream. One of the tracks they performed was new cut called 'Son of a Bush' which takes aim at Presidential candidate George W Bush. I spoke to Chuck the day before the group's scheduled performance and asked him about the song's lyrics. He wouldn't expound upon them at that time, but he noted that the group intended to repeat the chorus 'Son of a Bush' a few hundred times and remind people the Texas Governor is a 'serial killer'. He was no doubt referring to Bush's recent decision not to grant a stay of execution for Gary Graham despite the huge number of protests and the fact that over 130 people have been executed on his watch.

Chuck D also referred to this past week's event in Philly as the Re-Pimp-lican Convention. This had a lot to do with the part parading all these Black and Brown faces on TV while keeping their platforms and policies in opposition to many of our collective interests. Chuck noted that both political parties leave a lot to be desired, but it was important for the Hip Hop generation to stay informed and up to date. In addition to performing, the group also spoke at the Shadow Convention. KRS-One and others are expected to participate at the Shadow Convention during the Democratic Convention in LA.

As for Confrontation Camp, their new CD is off the hook. The music is along the lines of PE/Rage Against The Machine/ Limp Bizkit and of course has serious political edge. Some one described it as the 'Funkadelic' side to Public Enemy. Whatever, the case, it definitely works. There's no doubt, there are some blazing cuts that'll definitely have you nodding your head and getting juiced up. For example, there's a track called 'Brake The Law'... note the spelling the word Brake' meaning 'Stop'. In the song Professor Griff raises the issue of 'how to shoot a cop?'. His answer is to hold up a video camera and record what their doing.


The group has a heartfelt blues like track called 'Jasper' which refers to dragging death of a Black man in Texas by white supremacists a couple of years ago. Another off the hinges track is self explanatory, 'Babies Making Babies Killing Babies' For more info peep out the website http://www.confrontationcamp.com. There you can hear tracks and peep out the lyrics. The cool thing about Confrontation Camp is that they're gonna take advantage of the Internet by releasing a track a month in addition to the songs already on the album. This will allow Confrontation Camp to comment on current situations in a timely manner. Chuck explained how in the traditional record world, after you hand in your masters to a record label, it may be up to a year before its pressed and released to the public. With the Internet, you can do a song in a night and have it out to the world in the next day. In addition to Son of a Bush, the group had already done an Internet only song dealing with Cuba and the Elian Gonzales Fortunately the problem got resolved..One thing is for sure with Confrontation Camp, musical and lyrically boundaries are definitely being pushed..

+++++++Women Needed For New Hip Hop Kung-fu Movie+++++++++++++++

*Folks may want to be on the look out for another Hip Hop Kung fu movie that is currently being filmed. Entitled 'Birth of the Hip Hop Dynasty Pt2; The Mixture', it is the second movie in a trilogy that is the brainchild of Milwaukee native Professor Pitt who is not only a gifted emcee but a ranking martial arts expert. Last year he release the first flick 'Birth of the Holy Dynasty' which featured artists like the Jungle Brothers, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, Blackalicious and Souls of Mischief. This time around Pitt has managed to get Afrika Bambaataa, Taje from Souls of Mischief and Casual of the Hieroglyphics. There are several other surprised guests but I can't speak on it until they sign their release papers.

Pitt describes this second installment in the following manner:

The world has been unbalanced for many generations the energy that has been tipping the scale in the negative favor has been the entertainment industry. Many years ago a man was given the power to re-balance the world and that man never did what he was supposed to. Subsequently that power has been passed through generations waiting for someone to assume the responsibility and proper role. Now an unsuspecting MC Professor Pitt whose family is deeply rooted in the entertainment industry has the chance to bring about balance and harmony. As he gets closer to the position where he can induce this change humanities enemy number one has got its sights on convincing Professor Pitt to change his rap style by any means necessary from conscious hiphop to gangster rap. Professor Pitt must take all of the positive teachings of his father and all the martial arts styles and combine them into one,to meet and overcome this colossal challenge.

The movie looks to be interesting. Right now Professor Pitt who is in the SF Bay Area is putting a call out to women, in particular Black women who have martial arts skills to be in his movie. Part of the script calls for Pitt to showcase the skills of women who will play the role of his blood sisters. If anyone is interested drop Pitt and email at mailto:professorpitt@hotmail.com . Also drop him a line to obtain more information regarding his past works and upcoming projects on Dirty Lenz films.

++++Notes on the 23rd Rocksteady Anniversary++++++++++

Major props are in order to one of Hip Hop's oldest and most vital organizations The Rocksteady Crew. Their unwavering commitment to 'keeping it real and all of us who are involved with Hip Hop, in touch with our B-Boy and B-Girl roots and heritage, should not be taken lightly. These guys in addition to holding it down for Hip Hop are also mainstays in their communities. Rocksteady president Crazy Legs told me how the group has always made it a point to give back and do things for those who have less then them. For example, for years RS has raised money for various youth organizations including the Point Community Development Center in the South Bronx and the Greenwich Village Youth Council. Legs explained that the proceeds would help send kids to summer camp. It is their desire to one day open a dance school, do a play and perhaps write a book. Group member Fabel who I had a chance to chop it it up with is currently working on a documentary and a book on the roles Latinos in particular Puerto Ricans played in the birthing and evolution of Hip Hop. He was running down all these stark similarities between modern day Hip Hop and Latino cultural, musical and dance expressions from past generations. It was deep and I'm sure his documentary and book will bring to light a perspective and understanding that is oftentimes overlooked. I know a few years ago we had him on one of our radio shows and dropped some serious science.

Legs also noted that headz have been speaking out and active and bringing some much needed attention to the situation surrounding the Bombing of the island of Vieques. Here we have the US navy that continues to to test bombs and other weapons off the island near Puerto Rico even though there are inhabitants and lots of protests. This does not include the high rates of cancer and other health issues that have been caused by the bombings. As legs put it, you don't see the US Armed Forces test bombing in places like Martha's Vineyard so why Vieques?

One of the first things I noticed when I touched down in NY last week was the fact that not once while listening to powerhouse Hot 97 which once billed itself as the epicenter of Hip Hop did I hear any mention of the 23rd Rocksteady Anniversary. There wasn't even a shout out. Now this could've occurred during the times I wasn't listening.. but I heard others mentioning the same thing. I heard their on air personalities giving on air props to record label executives, eateries, you name I heard it.. But not to Rocksteady. That of course shouldn't be surprising, when you consider how so many commercial Hip Hop stations are on a whole other page, but I found it strange that an an organization that help give birth to an culture people profit off of would at least be acknowledged. It was too a point that if you did not know about the events you would not have known Rocksteady was around and doing things..

With that being said.. the events I attended were great. One highlight was an incredible film festival which featured all sorts of documentaries and early flicks including Wild Style, Style Wars and a soon to be released documentary called 'The Freshest Kids'.

This film was incredible as it featured all kinds of hard to find rarely seen footage of the early B-Boys from as far aback as '74 and '75. There was footage from the pioneers who inspired the pioneers especially on the dancing side like the Salsoul Crew and TBB [The Bronx Boys]. The Freshest Kids featured rare footage of a young Kool Herc. All this was capped off with insightful interviews from Rocksteady Crew members who addressed an array of issues ranging from the use of the term 'B-Boy' as opposed to 'Breaking' when referring to the dancing aspects of Hip Hop to their roles in the movie 'Flashdance.' I have seen a lot of documentaries on Hip Hop over the years. I even been a couple myself, but this one really dug deep. It really brought into perspective some of the various dance styles that existed before the flamboyant acrobatic spinning that we now associate with Hip Hop dancing. The Freshest Kids even dug deep and highlighted many of the west coast B-Boy pioneers. The director whose name is Isreal was on hand noted that the film should be out by September.. Its definitely worth peeping out...It's a must for any classroom that intends on teaching Hip Hop culture. You can see excerpts from this film by heading over to http://www.thefreshestkids.com

=========END OF NEWSLETTER==========================

Send comments, questions and concerns to
The FNV Newsletter
written by Davey D
c 2000
All Rights Reserved

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