FNV In Today's Issue: July 1 2000
*Russel Simmons vs Mayor Giuliani
*Hip Hop, HIV & South Africa
*Wendy Day Sues Cash Money
*Updates on H. Rap Brown Saga
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The FNV Newsletter
written by Davey D
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*Things To Make You Say Whoa....
New York's City Hall was supposed to be the spot for rap mogul Russell Simmon's press Rap The Vote press conference. Scheduled to be in attendance were Rev Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III, Mary J Blige and numerous other celebrities and political types. That press conference went down, but not at City Hall. It seems that New York Mayor Giuliani pulled the plug. He accused Russell of using the Rap The Vote press conference as a guise to bring attention and promote his new website venture. A city official cited a city ordinance that states you can't hold a corporate event or corporate launch under the guise of a non profit press conference. City officials also accused Russell of trying to manipulate a situation so that he would be denied access to City Hall which in turn would cause controversy and make the Mayor look bad. Simmons had the option to rent out the space, but his staffers waited until the last minute [Tuesday night for a Wednesday afternoon press conference] to apply for a permit.
Simmons sees it another way. He points the finger at Giuliani and notes the Mayor was upset with a flyer that his company had been distributing which lampoons the Mayor. It shows Giuliani scowling with the words 'I am Not Hip Hop' branded across the photo. The Mayor doesn't like to made to look bad. Russell said that the Mayor is not interested in reaching out to minorities and promoting voter registration.
Was Russell trying to pull a fast one and get a cheap photo op? Was the Mayor Giuliani merely following city laws? On one hand Russell was going to get publicity for his website anyway because 360HipHop was the primary sponsor for Rap The Vote. Its also where Rap the Vote is headquartered. How can you separate the two?
Ok maybe the maybe the Mayor didn't like being lampooned in Russell's ads, but too bad-He's a public figure. In addition if there is one person or issue that will quickly galvanize New York's Hip Hop community to go out and register to vote, that would be Rudoulph Giuliani and the insidious policies he stands for. recent polls show that less then 3% of New York's African American population like him. So why not use a poster of the Mayor with the words 'I am not Hip Hop'? If it gets people out and activated why not? If you want to get technical..the poster is true.. Giuliani ain't Hip Hop.
Lastly we have this whole issue about Simmons using the event to cause controversy and manipulate the press. How ironic that such accusations is coming from a man who is a master at doing this. The Mayor is known for photo ops at crucial and important events. Didn't the Mayor orchestrate a controversial event two weeks ago when he announced that he was getting separated from his wife before she even knew? wasn't that deliberate press manipulation. Didn't this same Mayor recently get up and publicly state before all the news cameras for the umpteenth time that he wants to reach out and heel rifts he may have caused with certain communities? TSounds good on TV, but to my knowledge he hasn't done anything except pull the plug on a worthwhile press conference.. Sure hope Rap the Vote succeeds in politicizing native New Yorkers.
HIV-HOP: HIP HOP RADIO AS A TOOL FOR EDUCATION
Bush Radio 89.5 FM, a community radio station in Cape Town, South Africa is currently running HIV-Hop, an innovative youth Aids awareness campaign utilising the power of radio and hiphop.
HIV-Hop consists of a five-week radio radio campaign that started May 9, with a weekly theme around HIV/Aids and sexuality. The campaign seeks for effective ways to educate the secondary school youth within Bush Radio's broadcast area, which includes the Cape Flats.
HIV-Hop goes beyond the boundaries of the traditional approach to Aids awareness campaigns by using hip hop in getting messages across. Rap music and hip hop have had a strong foothold in Cape Town ever since the eighties, with local crews such as POC and Black Noise using the art for the development of their communities. Hip hop has a large following in Cape Town's townships. The many unsigned and signed talents make regular appearances in Bush Radio's Friday night hip hop show.
HIV-Hop serves as a pilot project in the development of a new radio format for youth education. The show format is designed using Bush radio's research with students of schools in Mitchell's Plain, Guguletu and Woodstock. The outcome of the project will be made available to other radio stations through training. Research and the HIV-Hop campaign are supported by NIZA and Madunia foundation of the Netherlands.
The HIV-Hop campaign runs in May and June 2000, with radio shows on Tuesdays from 4 to 5 PM on the following dates: 9 May, 16 May, 23 May, 30 May and 6 June. In the 'Headwarmers' hip-hop show, every Friday from 22 to 01 hours, the weekly topic will be discussed with the listeners.
Features weekly themes around HIV/Aids and sexuality, which will be discussed by a panel consisting of secondary school students and Aids experts. The listeners can participate in the discussions by calling in.
Cape Town's best known rappers, including Mr Devious, have composed tracks on Aids that will be presented during the shows. These emcees will also be in the studio to explain their lyrics. Other hip-hop songs with Aids related content will be played.
The Aids awareness activities undertaken for HIV Hop are part of Bush Radio's YAA2000 (Youth Against Aids) campaign, which is running until December this year.
YAA 2000 started out in March with a week of broadcasts around HIV/Aids and a live concert at a secondary school in Mitchell's Plain, at which local rappers and singers performed their newly composed lyrics about Aids.
Later this year, YAA 2000 will offer more activities, which will be announced seperately.
For more info, contact:
Tel. 27 + 21 + 448-5450
Fax 27 + 21 + 448-5451
Wendy Day of the New York'based Rap Coalition was the one responsible for hooking up the now famous Cash Money Records deal for 30 million dollars. depite her great efforts she never got paid. hence she has filed suit against Cash Money Records and owners Bryan and Ronald Williams. fAlthough industry insiders estimated the deal to be worth $30 million at the time the deal was done, the deal is worth more like $75 million after 20 months according to Day's calculations. "I wrote an article for www.rapstation.com that just applies the mathematical formula from their Universal deal and
independent releases. Since I did the deal, I'm privy to that information," says Day. After she spent nine months shopping the deal, writing business plans, building hype, securing press, and helping to increase their independent sales, Ronald and Bryan Williams owners of Cash Money just didn't pay the agreed, or any, fee. Day claims they've contacted her 3 times in the past two year period to pay her, but just never get around to it.
Hip Hop Canada will be releasing a purely Canadian Hip Hop Compilation. The release date and name of the compilation have yet to be released, but we will keep you posted. The compilation will be distributed in Canada to start off, with possibilities of distribution in Western Europe and East/West Coasts of the United States.
For now, HHC needs anyone interested in having a track on the compilation to send the song(pref. on cd), a biography and a picture to:
Hip Hop Canada
45 Dunbarton Court
Please make sure to get your submissions in by Monday July 31st 2000.
Please forward this to anyone you know might be interested and check out Hip Hop Canada http://www.hiphopcanada.com
POLICE TAPE SAYS AL-AMIN WAS NOT SHOOTER
By Yemi Toure, Editor
HYPE Information Service
ATLANTA, GA. - - A dispatcher's tape of events that led to Jamil Al-Amin being charged with killing an Atlanta sheriff suggests that officials have arrested the wrong man.
In a copyrighted story in the May 25 Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the tape is described and excerpted:
"A sheriff's dispatch tape from the night [that Ricky Kinchen] and his partner Aldranon English were shot reveals fellow deputies searched for a wounded gunman and surrounded an abandoned house in Atlanta's West End where blood was found.
"English thought he shot his assailant. And minutes after the shooting, a man was seen bleeding and begging for a ride five blocks from the shooting scene, recently released Atlanta police records show.
"The only person charged in the case is Jamil Abdullah Al - Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown. Federal agents caught him in Alabama four days after the shooting. Al-Amin had not been shot and had no wounds.
"Al-Amin says he's innocent, and the case is a government conspiracy
. . .
" . . . The dramatic tape of Fulton County Sheriff's Department radio traffic is filled with discrepancies from deputies who showed up after the shooting was over . . . "
For the entire article, go to - -
SNCC Anniversary Statement on Jamil Al-Amin
A Statement from friends and associates of Imam Jamil
Abdullah Al-Amin (H. Rap Brown) at the 40th Anniversary of
the founding of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating
April 16, 2000
We are distressed by the recent arrest of our former
chairman and co-worker, Imam Jamil Abdullah Al Amin, whom we
knew as H.Rap Brown. Amin has been charged with the murder
of one Atlanta policeman and the wounding of another on
Thursday March 16th of this year.
The officers say they were attempting to serve what
authorities described as a "relatively inconsequential"
arrest warrant on Al Amin. But we wonder why the Atlanta
police would send heavily armed men, wearing flack jackets,
into Al Amin's neighborhood at 10 at night to serve such a
warrant. Additionally, why were 16 bounty hunters involved
in the "search" for a man whose whereabouts and regular
routines were well known?
We are also concerned by a number of glaring
discrepancies in the police version of events and what
appears to be a precipitous and uncritical rush to judgement
by the media. For example, in the immediate aftermath of the
shooting, the Atlanta police released in rapid succession
constantly changing and differing accounts of the incident.
The only constant in these changing official versions was
that the assailant had been so severely wounded as to have
left "a trail of blood" at the scene. Yet, four days later,
when Imam Al-Amin was arrested in Alabama, he was found to
be completely free of physical injury!
What most distresses us is that the facts as alleged
are so completely out of character for the man we knew. For
twenty years our brother has been a serious student of
religion, a devout spiritual teacher, and public spirited
community leader. Nationally, he is highly regarded by the
council on American-Islamic Relations which in 1985
described him as "one of the Muslim community's leading
We ourselves know him as a principled, compassionate
man committed to justice for his people and devoted to the
moral welfare of his constituency. Consequently, these
allegations are totally contrary to the character of the man
we know and greatly respect.
In the Sixties, Rap Brown was hounded by authorities
for his militant defense of all forms of black protest.
Moreover, five years ago police pressured an Atlanta
resident, who later recanted, into identifying Al-Amin as
the culprit in a shooting incident. Agents of the FBI, its
Domestic Terrorism Task Force, as well as agents of the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms converged in Atlanta
to arrest Al-Amin. In the absence of any evidence, the
charges were dropped. There has never been any satisfactory
explanation given for the presence and interest of this
array of federal forces in a "routine" local incident.
In the light of this past incident, the
inconsistencies in the accounts of the current case, and our
knowledge of his character, we urge a suspension of
judgement pending a thorough and complete investigation of
the events of March 16th.
10 FACTS CONCERNING ALLEGATIONS AGAINST IMAM JAMIL AL-AMIN
Published by the
Coalition for Imam Jail Al-Amin, Metro Washington, D.C-Area.
In 1999, Imam Jamil was stopped while driving by Cobb County
Police. During the stop, the officers asked Imam Jamil for proof
of insurance of the vehicle he was driving. He had a valid
driver's license but no insurance. According to the Imam, when
he went to open his wallet, an officer spotted a metal badge.
The officer was informed by Imam Jamil that the badge was issued
to him by the city of White Hall, Alabama when that city's Mayor
appointed him to the city's auxiliary police force. At no time
did the Imam Jamil represent himself as an Atlanta police officer.
(*Source: Essay of Prof. Natsu Taylor Saito, Georgia State University
Law School, 3/20/2000)
During the stop, the Cobb County policeman a check on the car
Imam Jamil was driving and their records listed the car as stolen.
Imam Jamil provided the authorities with a bill of sale for the
car, yet the police nevertheless arrested him for receiving stolen
property. He was also charged with diving without insurance and
impersonating an officer. (*Source: Prof. Saito, 3/20/00)
Imam Jamil attempted to seek legal representation to have these
charges dismissed. Wanting to avoid a trial and the attendant
publicity, he offered to plead to reduced charges and a sentence
of a fine and community service. However, the District Attorney
initially insisted on a minimum sentence of two years in prison,
never offering a settlement without jail time. (*Source: Prof.
Imam Jamil missed a court appearance in January of this year, in
connection with these small, non violent charges. A bench warrant
was issued for his arrest. On March 16th, the day in which Muslims
from around the world were celebrating one of their two holy days
-- Eid Al Adha -- two police officers came to a store which was
owned by Imam Jamil to serve the warrant. (*Source: Prof. Saito,
There have been various reports of what lead up to the shooting.
Some claim that the deputies went to serve the warrant at a grocery
store in the Black community of West End which was owned by Imam
Jamil. Other reports, state that the officers went to Imam Jamil's
home. Still others state that the officers knocked on the door of
Al-Amin's store, got no answer, walked away, drove around the
neighborhood, and then returned to the store. (*Sources: Prof.
Saito, 3/20/00; Atlanta Journal Constitution, "FBI Issues Warrant
for Al-Amin," 3/18/00)
There have also been inconsistencies in statements concerning how
the shooting occurred. Some reports claim that the police officers
were confronted with a man near a Black Mercedes Benz, near the
store (Imam Jamil does not own such a car). When they asked this man
to show his hands, the man fired upon the officers. Another report
states that the man was inside the car and when asked to show his
hands, the driver fired upon the Police. (*Sources: Prof. Saito,
3/20/00; Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Sheriff: Deputies blindsided
by attack," 3/18/00)
The shooting occurred at nighttime, around 10 P.M., in a inner city
neighborhood. Initially, the surviving deputy could not identify his
assailant, but nonetheless a nationwide man-hunt for Imam Jamil was
announced. The following day, in between operations, the deputy
identified Imam Jamil from a photograph shown to him at the hospital.
Despite these inconsistencies, the media reported that the
surviving police officer "positively identified Imam Jamil."
(*Sources: Prof. Saito, 3/20/00; Atlanta Journal Constitution,
Sheriff: Deputies blindsided by attack," 3/18/00)
Atlanta and Fulton County police wrongly told the media Thursday
night that the warrant which the police had sought to serve upon
Imam Jamil was for aggravated assault. They now admit that the
information they put out was false. (*Sources: Atlanta Journal
Constitution, "Sheriff: Deputies blindsided by attack," 3/18/00;
Hype Newswire "Media's Rush to Judgement in the H. Rap Brown -
Al-Amin Case," Mar. 2000)
The Fulton County Police reported that the "shooter" had been
wounded and that they were following a trail of blood. Some reports
claimed that the blood was identified as that from Imam Jamil.
However, medical officials have now verified that Imam Jamil is not
wounded and thus the blood trail could not have come from him.
(*Sources: Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Police doubt bloodstains
linked to Al-Amin case," 3/24/00)
Imam Jamil stated that this incident was a part of a government
conspiracy. This would not be the first. On August 7, 1995, Imam
Jamil Al-Amin, while driving his son to school, was arrested in
connection with the July shooting of a young man in Atlanta. After
the arrest, the police interrogated his 7-year-old son for six hours
before notifying someone to pick up the child. The victim initially
pointed to Imam Jamil as being his assailant. Later, in a news
Conference in Washington, D.C., this young man announced that he
did not know who wounded him and that the police pressured him into
making the identification. (Sources: Prof. Saito, 3/20/00;
Washington Post, "60's militant arrested in Alabama," 3/21/00,
"Al-Amin Calls Slaying Case A Government Conspiracy', 3/22/00)
============================END OF NEWSLETTER============================
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