FNV NEWSLETTER #111
December 12 2002
In This Week's Issue
*Jermaine Dupri vs. The IRS
*Sad News For TC Izlam
*Did Tommy Mottola Call Out Irv Gotti?
*Bill O'Reilly Is Hip Hop's Dopest MC For 2002
*DMC Records Song For Jam Master Jay
*Jam Master Jay Investigation Updates by Allhiphop.com
*A Eulogy to Hip Hop by Pierre Bennu
*Never Trust A Friend In The Music Biz by Jamall 'Slowjam' Powell
The FNV Newsletter c 2002
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JERMAINE DUPRI VS THE IRS
A few years back, Jermaine Dupri made everyone look when he hooked up
with Jay-Z and rocked the song 'Money Ain't A Thing'. he accentuated
that point a couple of years later when he announced that on his new
album Instructions that he was gonna be an even bigger baller and
accentuate his riches even more. I'm not sure if he was uttering
those words when the IRS came raiding his house the other day where
there confiscated computers, cars, furniture and everything else of
According to Uncle Sam, JD's attitude of Money Ain't A Thing' got out
of hand and he forgot to pay his taxes to the tune of almost 3 million
dollars. Hence the IRS came a took his stuff. Dupri on the other
hand is claiming there's some sort of accounting mix up and he doesn't
owe that much... I guess we'll know in a couple of weeks when all
this paper work gets straightened out.
SAD NEWS FOR TC IZLAM
Sad news for Universal Zulu Nation spokesman TC Izlam lost everything
including his dog, memorabilia, Hip Hop artifacts, recording
equipment, vinyl etc in a horrific fire that engulfed his New Jersey
home this past weekend. Despite the loss Izlam is ok and trying to
make plans to regain what he's lost although it will be difficult. If
anyone is in a position and is down to help reach out to TC via Sammy
Kane..1104 Washington st #7, Hoboken NJ 07030.. he's in need of
funds, equipment etc.. We hope he can land back on his feet.. God
knows what a set back a fire can be when you lose everything.
DID TOMMY MOTTOLA CALL OUT IRV GOTTI
Michael Jackson's brother Jermaine was on Connie Chung's 'Tonight'
show the other night where he claims that Sony Music's head honcho
Tommy Mottola called out Murder Inc mogul Irv Gotti. According to
Jackson Mottola called Gotti a 'big fat black nigger'. Now I know
there's a number of you reading this who are scratching your head
wondering if Mottola called him a 'Big Phat Black Nigga' [note the
spelling of Phat and Nigga] or if he said it the way I first printed
it.. Afterall, nowadays we have alls sorts of cats who like to play
mind games with themselves and claim that the spelling of the N word
makes a difference. 'Nigga' is supposedly friendly while 'Nigger' is
harmful and racist. I'll say it again for the record-That's totally
Any case there's been no response from Mottola, although I'm sure
there will be lots of industry types ranging from Russell Simmons to
Ricky Martin who will come to his aid and deny any wrong doing as they
did earlier this year when Michael Jackson levied charges of racism
against the music mogul. If this did go down and what Jermaine
Jackson is saying is true, do you think Irv and the Murder Inc fam
will go after Mottola they way they went after DMX? Now thats a
battle I'm waiting to hear and see.
BILL O'REILLY IS HIP HOP'S DOPEST MC FOR 2002
by Davey D
Since were on the subject, who will go after Bill O'Reilly? That's
the pompous idiot who every couple of weeks picks a rap artist to go
after. The latest artist in his scope is Jay-Z who was recently
profiled on '60 Minutes'. This time O'Reilly has problems with all
the schools who embraced Jay-Z and had him come to their schools and
serve as principal for a day. This was part of Jigga's tour where he
not only served as a principal but held high school assemblies. say
what you want about Jay-Z and I've had my share of criticisms from
time to time. Dude was not in the schools telling the kids to do
something foul. He's an iconic figure who kids admire... Perhaps
they will listen to him and stay in school if he stresses the
importance of education.. Wasn't the 'Terminator' Arnold
Schwartznegger in school the other day.. Most kids know him for his
violent action movies.. Arnold doesn't walk into school with a gun
and start 'terminating' people.. and Jay-Z who is a grown man is not
going to go to a high school with a gun, smoking a joint and being
inappropriate. There's a time and place for everything. We complain
that the artist aren't giving back and showing up for the kids. Well
damn that's what Jigga did..He showed up and represented... What's
Anyway maybe Jigga will hook up with Nas and they both go after Bill
and shut 'em down..but I gotta be honest at this point in time I have
to say this.. The dopest MC for 2002 was Bill O'Reilly. He's been
stepping up the mic all year long and blasting cats left and right.
He's been shutting cats down left and right and there's been no
audible response from the cats he targets. I mean I don't agree with
dude, but damn what else can I say? He's been on the air issuing
challenges.. He's been calling cats out telling them to step on up to
his show and he'll slap them something silly. He's been taking money
out of cat's pocket and totally rearranging the game. Man he even
shut cats down when he went on Ed Lover and Dr Dre's show on Power
105. He controlled the interview and it was their show! My question
is 'Who's Next'? You can't deny his skillz... He hasn't lost a
battle yet. Maybe Mobb Deep should re-record the song 'Shook Ones'
and let O'Reilly kick a verse cause he definitely got cats shook...
DMC RECORDS TRIBUTE SONG FOR JAM MASTER JAY ...
As folks are still dealing with the tragic death of Jam Master Jay ,
DMC is putting the final touches on his soon to be released solo album
'Checks, Thugs and Rock 'n' Roll'. On that offering will be a tribute
song called 'I'm Missing My friend'. If all goes well this will be
released as a 12" single that will be out before year's end. DMC
states that he wants the proceeds to go to Jay's family. DMC noted
that he wants to make sure that Jay's kids have enough money to go to
college. Whatever money he donates will go along ways considering
that the IRS and NY's Taxman have no intention of easing up on the
huge debt that JMJ left behind.
On a side note, more and more cats are running into some serious money
woes as of late... The plight facing JD and JMJ are just the latest
and most visible, but there a number of other cats who are in dire
straights. All this week on our Hard Knock Radio Show we've been
doing shows focusing on money and money management. Today E-40 will
be blessing our airwaves. He will explain the importance of not
buying an 85 thousand dollar car before you buy a house.
Several months ago E-40 sat down and explained how one can purchase 3
houses for the amount of a fancy expensive car. 40 who is somewhat a
financial wiz will be on to break down the science and art of handling
your mail. Also joining us on Hard Knock Radio on Friday will be
Paris. For those who don't know Paris graduated with a degree in
economics and has managed to set himself and his family up for life..
If you're not in the Bay Area or can't get our signal 94.1 FM check
out our show on the web kpfa.org.. Hard Knock Radio airs every
afternoon at 4pm Cali time.
JAM MASTER JAY INVESTIGATION UPDATES
With the death of JMJ folks are wondering if this will be one rap
tragedy that actually gets solved. We haven't heard a whole lot of
updates in the news as of late. But there's been a few prominent
theories floating around. My folks over at Allhiphop.com who have
been monitoring this case recently unearthed the following
The JMJ Theory
by Nolan Strong of Allhiphop.com
According to sources, investigators are checking possible links to Jam
Master Jay's business partner, Randy Allen and his sister, Lydia.
Before Jam Master Jay was gunned down, an insurance policy was taken
out, stipulating that if either Jay our his business partner were
harmed in the studio, the other partner would collect.
Sources told AllHipHop.com that the several men in the studio knew
that Jam Master Jay was going to be shot on October 30th. Michael
Bonds, Urieco "Pretty Tony" Rincon and Lydia were all present when Jam
Master Jay was gunned down as he sat playing a video game.
"How Lydia could open the door for someone she doesn't know is beyond
me," the source said. "All of these people that were present were
Randy Allen's people."
Lydia Allen was also the bookkeeper for Jam Master Jay's JMJ
Randy Allen, who recently returned from Hawaii, also allegedly
withdrew money from a bank account that he and Jam Master Jay shared
and was allegedly looking for new recording studio space in Manhattan
just days after JMJ was gunned down.
The source also stated that Allen sent Jay's nephew, who was also a
member of the group Rusty Waters, to the barber shop minutes before
Jay was gunned down. "I don't think he [the nephew] had anything to
do with it," sources told AllHipHop.com. "He had nothing but love for
Jam Master Jay."
Police have not been able to locate Allen's sister Lydia, since Jam
Master Jay's funeral. According to the source, Randy Allen relocated
Lydia and his brother Teddy Allen to an undisclosed location in Los
Angeles with another sister, Lisa.
The theory is that Allen knew of a possible beef between Jam Master
Jay and Curtis Scoon, the original suspect in the shooting. Scoon's
beef with Jay may have been exploited to make it appear that the
shooting was the result of tension between the two men.
The source also discounted a connection between Scoon and another man,
who allegedly served as a lookout named Tenard. The source said that
Scoon and Tenard have a well documented beef.
Tenard was also living with Jam Master Jay's sister in a property he
owned in Hollis, Queens, shortly before Jay was gunned down.
According to sources, Jay took issue with Tenard living in the
property and requested that he leave, which may explain why
authorities are investigating Tenard's possible role in the shooting.
"I doubt that Tenard had anything to do it with, although he is
definitely capable. I think that Randy and other men present at the
studio were involved."
"All I know is this. These guys in the studio knew it was going
down," one source told AllHipHop.com. "If you won't talk to the cops
and you won't handle it on the street, then you had something to do
with it, period."...
You got further questions drop them a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
A EULOGY TO HIP HOP
written by pierre bennu
F&*K HIP HOP
I know you've been thinking it. And if you haven't, you probably
haven't been paying attention. The art we once called hip hop has
been dead for some time now. But because its rotting carcass has been
draped in platinum and propped against a Gucci print car, many of us
have missed its demise. I think the time has come to bid a farewell
to the last black arts movement.
It's had a good run but it no longer serves the community that spawned
it. Innovation has been replaced with mediocrity and originality
replaced with recycled nostalgia for the ghost of hip hop past,
leaving nothing to look forward to. Honestly when was the last time
you heard something (mainstream) that made you want to run around in
circles and write down every word. When was the last time you didn't
feel guilty nodding your head to a song that had a 'hot beat' after
realizing the lyrical content made you cringe.
When I heard Jam Master Jay had been murdered, it was the icing on the
cake. A friend and I spoke for hours after he'd turned on the radio
looking for solace and instead heard a member of the label Murder,
Inc. about to give testimony about the slain DJ's legacy. My friend
found the irony too great to even hear what the rapper had to say.
After we got off the phone, I dug through my crates and played the
single "Self Destruction." The needle fell on the lyrics:
"They call us animals
I don't agree with them
Let's prove em wrong
But right is what were proving em"
The only thing that kept me from crying was my anger trying to imagine
today's top hip hop artists getting together to do a song that urged
disarmament in African American communities, or promoted literacy, or
involved anything bigger than themselves for that matter. I couldn't
All I could picture were the myriad of hip hop conferences where the
moguls and figureheads go through the motions and say the things that
people want to hear but at the end of the day nothing changes. No new
innovative artists are hired to balance out a roster of the
pornographic genocide MC's .
In their place, we're presented with yet more examples of arrested
development - the portrayal of grown men and women acting and dressing
like 15 year olds. Balding insecure men in their mid 30's making
entire songs about their sexual prowess and what shiny toys they have
and you don't. The only hate I see is self-hate. The only love I see
All one needs to do is watch cribs and notice none of these people
showing off their heated indoor pools or the PlayStation Two consoles
installed in all twelve of their luxury cars have a library in their
home. Or display a bookshelf, for that matter. No rapper on cribs
has ever been quoted saying: "Yeah, this is the room where I do all my
To quote Puffy in Vogue magazine Nov, 2002: "Diamonds are a great
investment... They're not only a girl's best friend, they are my best
I like the way diamonds make me feel. I can't really explain it, its
like: that's a rock, something sent to me from nature, from God, it
makes me feel good... It's almost like my security cape."
If rappers read, they might know about the decades of near-slavery
endured by South African diamond miners. Or the rebels in Sierra
Leone whose bloody diamond-fueled anti-voting rampages leave thousands
of innocent men, women and children with amputated limbs.
Often, hip hop's blatant excess is rationalized with, "We came from
nothing." That statement rings hollow given even a little bit of
context.African Americans have been "coming from nothing" for 400
years. That didn't stop previous generations of artists, activists,
and ancestors from working toward a better situation for the whole,
not just themselves. It's grotesque to see such selfish materialism
celebrated by a generation who are literally the children of
The time has come to re-define the street and what it means to come
from the street. Yes, criminals & violence come from the streets, but
so do men and women who live their lives with kindness, and within the
realm of the law. The problem with making 'street' or 'realness'
synonymous with criminality is that poor black children are demonized.
You never see the image of middle class white children killing each
other promoted as entertainment.
I respect the ability of an artist to explore the darker side or
extremities of their personality but when that's all there is, there
is no balance. In previous years, NWA existed simultaneously with
Native Tongues, Cypress Hill and Digable Planets, Gangstar and 2 live
There's room for thugz, playaz, gangstas, and what have you. My issue
(aside from the fact that rappers spell everything phonetically) is
that they have no heart. Rappers reflect what has become a new image
of success where money is its own validation and caring is soft unless
you're dropping a single about your dead homie.
Question: Why haven't these so-called "ballers" gotten together and
bought a farm, a prison, a super market chain, or chartered a school?
But they all have clothing lines. Smells like a sucker to me. The
lack of social responsibility from people who claim to 'rep the
streets' is stunning.
Yet we still have had the hearts and minds of most of the world. We
negate this power if we don't step up to the plate. Our perspective
needs to change; our whole idea of power needs to globalize. Gangsta
shouldn't be shooting someone you grew up with in the face "Gangsta"
is calling the United States to task for not attending the World
Summit on Racism in South Africa. "Balling" shouldn't be renting a
mansion; it should be owning your own distribution company or starting
a union. Bill Cosby's bid to buy NBC was more threatening than any
screwface jewelry clad MC in a video could ever be.
As a DJ, it's hard: I pick up the instrumental version of records that
people nod their head to... and mix it with the a cappella version of
artists with something to say. It is expensive and frustrating. But
I feel like the alternative is the musical equivalent to selling
crack: spinning hits because it's easy, ignoring the fact that it's
got us dancing to genocide.
There are plenty of alternatives today but you'd never know it through
the mass media. Hip hop has become Steven Seagal in a do-rag.
Meanwhile, media radar rarely registers artists like Cannibal Ox,
Madlib and the whole Stones Throw crew, Bless, Saul Williams, Bus
Driver, Del, Gorillaz, anything from Def Jux, Freestyle Fellowship,
Anti Pop Consortium, Kool Keith, Prince Paul, shit Public Enemy...
the list goes on for ever. I get some solace from knowing and
supporting these artists, and from the fact that around the world from
Germany to Cuba to Brazil to South Africa, hip hop's accessibility and
capacity for genius is still vital, thriving, and relevant.
And yes even amongst the bleak landscape in this country, wonderful
things do happen. Like Camp Cool J and various artists donating money
to research AIDS and even lend their faces to voting campaigns.
Russell Simmons, among other socially conscious endeavors, led a rally
to stop NYC's mayor from cutting the school budget and donates part of
the proceeds from his sneaker sales to the reparations movement. The
lack of coverage of efforts like this is as much to blame as any wack
MC with a platinum record.
I'm not dissing the innovators of the art form, or those of us who got
it where it is today. I will always play and support what I feel is
good work. I guess this rant came more out of what Chuck D said at
the end of Self Destruction: "We've got to keep ourselves in check,"
and no one has checked hip hop for some time.
I've entertained the idea that I might just be getting old. But if
it's a function of my age that I remember hip hop as the peoples
champ, so be it. I was raised on a vital art form that has now become
a computer-generated character doing the cabbage patch in a
commercial, or a comedian 'raising the roof.' That's not influence to
me, that's mockery.
Hip hop my friend, it's been a great 30 years filled with great
memories, and it's been fun to watch you grow. We've got dozens of
broke innovators and plenty of mediocre millionaires out of the deal,
but I really need my space now and we've got to go our separate ways.
I will always love you, but it's time for me to move on.
Yo, what happened to peace?
Wanna see this article in your favorite hip hop, teeny, style or music
magazine. Make one or more copies go to your local drug store
supermarket and stick them there. If that act is to guerilla for your
tastes just email it to friend.
Have fun stay blessed and smile today
send all comments and questions to www.exittheapple.com
WHEN FRIENDS BETRAY.....
NEVER TRUST FRIENDS IN THE INDUSTRY
LEARN HOW TO USE YOUR ENEMIES
By Best Selling Author and Radio Host
Jamell "Slowjam" Powell
The Leader In Artist and Personal Development
Good Morning Everyone,
Welcome, once again, to the longest email about the music business
that you' ll EVER receive. Why, because we care. Yes, we take pride
in admitting that our emails are long, but that's because we pack it
with useful, powerful, and strategic information that NO OTHER
executive will take the time to send to you. These Monday Morning
emails are a extension of what we are about in this business.
Information that you can actually use. By attending our seminars,
studying our book, motivating yourself with our emails, informing
yourself by listening to our radio show, and keeping yourself focused
with our audio series, you'll get Real Artist Development. Say what
you want, but the information that Jamell gives you is like No Other
in this music industry......
Since our last email, titled The Gift and The Curse, The REAL
Blueprint, Jamell "Slowjam" Powell, attended and spoke (along with
James Elam , Howard Weinstein, and Mary Austin-Hilley) in West
Philadelphia, for a Music Workshop called Starting and Running Your
Music Business Venture. Hosted by the one and only Docta Shock, it
was here, that the artist named Supreem (who already has three movies
under is belt, including the movie "Crime Partners", featuring Ja
Rule, Ice T, & Snoop Dogg) blessed Jamell with his autograph picture.
Well ya'll, we guess that some of you actually do read ALL of our long
emails! Thank you Supreem (and DarkWorld Entertainment), and keep
making your music business HOT! Jamell is with you 110%.
Now Back to business......
This email is going to be powerful so get prepared now. If you have a
weak heart or a weak mind about this music business, hit the delete
button right now. If you want to grow and move from your comfort
zone, keep reading......
Yes, you read the topic correct. And yes, we said it. Be wary of
friends in this music business - they will betray you more quickly,
because they are more easily aroused to envy. As a professional in
this business, you should learn how to surround yourself with people
who proves their own merit and worth.
While some of us feel that just because our "boys/girls" gives us a
pat on our back, attend a few of our shows, or forwards you some
inspiration emails, that we owe them lifelong of gratitude. More
often than not, we actually create a monster in our friends. You
allow them to see power up close - especially if they have the same
goals that you have. So instead of relying on friends, learn how to
use your enemies by transforming them into far more reliable partners.
Friends in this music business expect more favors, and secretly
seethes with jealousy, while former enemies expects nothing but gains
Learn The ART OF WAR for the Unsigned Artist...........
It is natural to want to employ your friends when you find yourself in
times of need. We understand that you're just starting a business and
money is tight. You figure that friends are perfect. They'll will
work for free. You also realize that the music business is a harsh
place, and your friends soften the harshness. Besides, you know them.
Why depend on this egotistical Jamell "Slowjam" Powell when you have a
friend at hand?
We'll tell you why. The problem is that you often do not know your
friends as well as you imagine. Friends often agree on things in
order to avoid an argument. They cover up their unpleasant qualities
so as to not offend each other. Since honesty rarely strengthens
friendships, you may never know how a friend truly feels. Friends
will say that they love your music, adore your style, and think that
you're the best thing since sliced bread - maybe they mean it, often
they do not. Imagine your reply if they told you that your CD is
whack, or to get off your ass and do some real work.
So over a period of time when you hire/work with a friend, you will
gradually discover the qualities he/she has kept hidden. Strangely
enough, it is your act of kindness that unbalances everything. People
want to feel like they deserve their success. The receipt of a favor
can become oppressive: it means that you have been chosen because you
are a friend, not necessarily because you are deserving. This will
secretly afflict them and the injury will come out slowly. A little
more honesty and you'll receive flashes of resentment, envy here or
there, and before you know it your friendship fades.
See, the problem of hiring or using your friends is that it will
inevitably limit your power. The friend is rarely the one who is most
able to help you; and in the end, skill and competence are far more
important than friendly feelings. All working situations require a
kind of distance between people. You are trying to work, not make
friends; friendliness (real or false) only obscures that fact. This
Monday Morning, learn and apply the ability to judge who is best able
to further your interests in all situations. Keep your boys/girls for
friendships (including sexual relationships), but work with the
skilled and competent in the music business.
Finally, the problems with working with friends is that it confuses
the boundaries and distances that working requires. Never let down
your guard down if you do decide to partner up with your friend in
this music business, however; always be on the lookout for any signs
of emotional disturbance such as envy and ingratitude. Nothing is
stable in the realm of success in the music business, and even the
closest friend can become your worst enemy.
So.........How do you use your enemy?
Your enemies, on the other hand, are an untapped gold mine that you
must learn to exploit. Enemies will form a union so powerful that the
unlikely partnership will generate much interest in the cause. Look
at Jay-Z and Nas....you'll pick one or the other but the competition
will breed more business for both. Learn how to use your enemies for
your own profit. In fact, a wise man profits more from his enemies
than a fool from his friends.
On the other hand, without enemies around us, we grow lazy. An enemy
at our heels sharpens our wits, keeps us focused, alert, and praying.
It is sometimes better, then, to use enemies rather than transforming
them into friends.
Things that make you go mmmmmm......
Pick up a bee from kindness, and you'll learn the limitations of
An old friend - who needs him? It is two men of equal wealth and
equal birth who contracts friendship and marriage, not a rich man and
a pauper.......an old friend - who needs him?
So on this Monday Morning, realize that you have more to fear from
friends than from enemies. Keep your friends away from the music
business.....and if you have no enemies, find a way to make
Have a great Monday morning!
written by Jamell'SlowJam' Powell
PS: Make sure you listen to the same motivation, advice, strategies
from us on the live radio talk show called:
Jamell "Slowjam" Powell is the most recognized expert in Unsigned
Artist Development. Leveraging sixteen years of hands-on experience
in developing, supporting, marketing, and selling worldwide, his
advanced selling strategies and tactics enable unsigned artists and
other professionals to win in highly competitive, politically charged
music environments. This Best-Selling Author of the guide Making Your
Music Business HOT! What To Do Starting Monday Morning, is also a
radio personality, hosting his own show called "Unsigned Artist
Development LIVE" With Jamell "Slowjam" Powell on WGBB 1240AM and on
Promo Radio 91.9FM. He is also the founder of The Motivational Youth
Foundation (Feeding The Soul, One Spoonful At A Time), where he speaks
to Teens-at-Risk and at other community events. You can reach him by
email at JIPYouthFoundation@hotmail.com or by calling 1-888-776-0206.
The FNV Newsletter c 2002
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