IN THIS ISSUE OF THE FNV NEWSLETTER 7-23-99|
*Father MC Arrested In New York
*Tim Westwood Shooting Update.. Was It Drugs or Hip Hop?
*Lil Kim Finishing Up Album
*Will Smith To Do A New Album With Biz Markie
*X-Clan Is Set To Return
*Feedback Letters-GAYS IN HIP HOP
*Feedback Letters X-RAIDED COMMENTARY ON THE SOURCE MAGAZINE
*Feedback Letters / WHITE BOYS IN HIP HOP
Send comments, questions and concerns to mailto:email@example.com
HIP HOP NEWS UPDATES
Bad news for Timothy Brown who is better known as Father MC or now known simply as Father. According to Lee Bailey's EUR Report http://www.eurweb.com, Father was arrested in Nassau County for not paying child support. He supposedly owes close to $66, 000 in child support. He will be arraigned in court sometime next month. An interesting side note to this story is that a couple of years back, former Hot 97 radio jock Wendy Williams set up Father MC to be sited by police on similar charges. He was invited up to the NY radio station only to be confronted with police who were called in by Wendy Williams and the mother of Father MCs babies. Hopefully no one sues Father for false advertisement. $66 thousand dollars means you're not living up to your name 'Father'
Update on UK Tim Westwood shooting. There are all sorts of reports that are coming out that state that the famous Hip Hop jock was shot by local drug lords known as 'yardies'. The reasons range from him promoting reggae shows that were not appreciated by folks. There is also a racial angle being put forth. Some are saying that Westwood was shot because he was white and that his involvement within certain musical circles was angering people. Finally the most persistent rumor centers around Tim owing money to local drug lords for his own drug habit. We'll keep you posted as more info comes forth. A number of emails were sent concerning Westwood and how he's perceived by London's Hip Hop community. The biggest complaint is that he tends to favor US born rap artist during his show and that he seemingly goes out of his way to not show love to 'the locals'. Is this true folks? Are folks in the UK not being shown any love by the only dj to have a national Hip Hop show?
*Lil Kim fans watch out because the Queen B is finishing up her new album. There is no title to it, but it will feature folks like Puff Daddy [of course] and singer Grace Jones. It should drop in October. Also in the works is The Notorious BIG tribute album 'Born Again' which will feature unreleased tracks and remakes of some of his songs.. Featured artist include Mary J Blige, Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes and Will Smith. Viola Wallace, BIG's mom will offer narration. I'm surprised that Shyne won't be featured.
*The Fresh Prince Will Smith is working on a new lp with the help of the Trackmasters. This time around Will is gonna step it up a notch and drop some tracks with Slick Rick, Biz Markie, Sauce and old partner Jazzy Jeff. Personally I would like to see Mr Smith hook up with Young MC and have those two do a song together. On a side note Will will be clocking 20 million dollars for his role as Muhammed Ali in an upcoming movie based on the boxing champ.
*Got an email from my man Paradise who is holding it down over at MP3.com. He informs me that him, Brother J and Professor X have reunited and that we may see an X-Clan album before the new milliennium. For those who don't know X-Clan was one of Hip Hop's premier political rap groups during the late 80s early 90s. It'll be good to hear them return with a joint called 'X-Clan 2000'. Now there's one group I'd love to see return with a reunion album-Stetsasonic. Yeah that's right I'm calling you out Daddy O get the group together and return to rap game with a bomb. That was one group that was always years ahead of it's time.
FEED BACK LETTERS.............
*GAYS IN HIP HOP*
Here's a message to anyone wondering where the gay, lesbian and bisexual rappers are. This is Dutchboy, MC/producer for Rainbow Flava in San Francisco. I represent from the Phat Family crew, a worldwide organization of MCs, DJs, graf artists, b-boys and b-girls who REPRESENT THE 10 PERCENT. Anyone who is interested in us and our activities can check out my website at http://www.rainbowflava.com/ or the Phat Family website at http://www.phatfamily.org/
So where is the gay presence in hip-hop? It's a complicated question. The short answer is "everywhere - you just can't tell." Keep in mind that unlike many other minorities (such as women or people of color), many non-straight people are able to 'pass' within heterosexual society in order to escape its hate and prejudice. Not surprisingly, many gay, lesbian and bi people choose to avoid making an issue of their sexual identity in public. This is especially true in the hip-hop world, with its emphasis on aggressive masculinity, strict gender roles and "comin' correct" in general. You see this in battles, in which one MC basically rips apart every detail of the other MC's clothing, voice, mannerisms, etc., anything that makes him "different" and therefore not as "down." So it should come as no surprise that some of us don't exactly go out of our way to bring our personal lives into the hip-hop arena.
Another thing to remember is that in hip-hop, unlike many other musical subcultures such as punk/alternative or rock, differences of opinion are not always settled on talk shows or letters to the editor. Unlike the Freddy Mercurys and Melissa Etheridges of the pop world, many g/l/b artists and fans are aware that they may have to deal with open hostility and even physical violence if they choose to come forth about their sexuality. I have to wonder how many of today's MCs would rattle on so much about their heterosexual exploits if they had to face the same threats some of us have to deal with just for being ourselves.
Having said that, I must admit that there are times when I am disappointed with some of the artists, producers and innovators in the rap game who choose to hide or deny their gay, lesbian or bisexual identity. What that basically says to me is that they are more interested in earning a living in the corporate world than genuine artistic expression. I frankly don't see how it is possible to "keep it real" in a medium as personal as hip-hop while living a lie. Their silence is the biggest reason why homophobia and anti-gay violence are still tolerated in hip-hop today, and deprives youth who may be struggling with their own sexuality of the role models they need to realize they're not alone.
And the thing is, we really are not alone. Since launching the Rainbow Flava website back in 1996, we've heard from gay hip-hop heads on both coasts, down south, the Midwest and around the world. Some are "in the closet," some are "out" only to their closest friends, and others are totally up front about who and what they are. Some of us are struggling to come up in the mainstream rap game, while others are looking to build a following from within the queer community. We have our differences, but we do agree on one thing: things have got to change, and no one at MTV or BET or the Source or anywhere else is going to do it for us.
I know you must be thinking, "He still hasn't answered my question - why is there no gay hip-hop?" The answer is, it's been here all along. It doesn't take a Wendy O'Williams or Jamal X of _One Nut Network_ to "discover" us. If we can't get the mainstream to back us up, fine - we'll do it ourselves, the same way Sugar Hill, Tommy Boy and Def Jam found a market for hip-hop back when the major labels weren't interested. So enough talk. Like B-Real says: "Time for some action..." Shouts out to: DJ Monkey, Tori Fixx, Cyryus the Lyricist, N.I.Double-K.I., DJ Black, Sundance, Money the B-Girl, Morplay, Harith Miles, Wish, Dyamond Theory, Pam Pam, Tama Wise, Patrick Saunders, Streetism, Richard Scott, St. John, CWA, MeShell NdegeOcello, Me Phi Me, Nokio and all my peeps who are Down And Out and Out for the Clout in the 99!
I normally do not respond to most of your articles, but this one I have to touch. Without an overstated explaination, hip-hop is one of the most homophobic entities around, point blank. I doesn't take much to pick up a mob deep, dmx , any mc's album to here them refer to gays as "fagots", "dikes" and "homos". Every hip-hop song to date is charged with testosterone and overtones of "Screwing ho's and bitches". You have to ask yourself, does the hip-hop world want to here a gay mc's talkin about fucken other men? I don't think so. As for myself, I have seen gays in hip-hop, but it has been primarily on the women side. If you really want to speculate, there are prominate gays in hip-hop (Women), they just haven't told you and I. The bottom line is that hip-hop heads around the world might view gays as an invasions of thier masculinity..........it is an interesting question.
Being gay is nothing to be proud of. So don't expect a bunch of faggots to release a "Coming Out" compilation anytime soon. And even if they did speak up, what would they talk about?
Track 1: "Ain't nothing wrong with doing it in the butt."
Track 2: "Drop the Soap in the Shower"
Track 3: "Born This Way and Proud of It"
Track 4: "Sodom and Gomorrah"
Track 5: "Mel the Funky Homosexual"
Track 6: "Stranded on Uranus"
I mean come on. I can't believe you would actually waste time having a forum to discuss the role homosexuality plays in the hip-hop community. That time could be better spent educating people about why homosexuality is wrong.
The don't exist! They turn to R&B as there only salvation... Hip Hop has never accepted gays, its always followed the same view as Reggae (the W.I.)
"Boom bye bye in a batty boy head, rude boy na promote no nasty man him ha fi dead." (Buju Banton)
"In the middle of the night, when ya need little lovin', na turn to bretherin, ca' a man do that, make we shot dem... sharpen mi cutlass" (Bounty Killer)
"Woman mi lotion, we na lotion man" (Capleton)
"Batty boy, bust the gun pon dem" (Shabba Ranks)
"Batty boy fire bun dem" (Scare Dem Crew)
To list a few... Dancehall Reggae and (East Coast) Hip Hop both have a very large influence on each other - you know that. Did you know, until only a few years ago, you could be arrested in Jamaica if you were found to be gay.
Buju Banton's "Boom Bye Bye" was the center of a large law suit in Jamaica, as a result the song has never been released on any of his albums. To this day, word is Buju's scared to do an "anti-gay" song... but I've got a few prereleases on 45 that he did.
Mike G.. Toronto
I'm sure there are gay/bisexual rappers out there, but does it really matter? They only difference between them, you and me is their sexual preference. Mabye one day things will change, but until then it would be smarter to use the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Maybe someplace else, but at least hiphop America is not ready for that.
There are too many dangers in coming out in such a fickle public eye. It's hard enough to stay at the top as it is, seeing how haters will call you a "sell out" at the drop of a dime. In coming out, You'd be embarrassed out of the public eye forever (ie other rappers dissing you in their songs, riots would break out, etc.). They'd have a field day with you. The general public wouldn't accept it (I mean how many brothers do you know that would listen to a male emcee rappin' about their boyfriend?). If there are any gay/bisexual mainstream artists out there, these are the reasons they haven't come out to the public.
I hope I haven't offended anyone (and if I did I sincerely apologize), but that's just how it is.
I think that the gay and bisexual rappers are scared to come out because established artists may feel afraid of a drop in record sales and new artists may be afraid that they won't have record sales. I believe alot of gay and bisexual performers watched the whole Ellen episode closely to see how it would unfold and saw how she was immediately always referred to as homosexual or gay or lesbian. Her sexuality overshadowed her talent and she was put in a really lonely place that I don't think any other artist wants to be. Male artists related to hiphop have this perception of being hard and gay men have this perception of being soft little girls constantly shreeking. They probably feel that they will have to constantly prove their manhood if they come out and other men won't respect thier lyrics. Alot of people don't realize that you can be a "man" while loving a man. Sex sells and if a label can't sell this male or female to the opposite sex then it will effect sales.
Gaile NYC WBAI 99.5 FM writes.......
****X-RAIDED COMMENTARY ON THE SOURCE MAGAZINE ALBUM REVIEWS.........
X-raided should be lucky he even got a review, I know a lot of groups, to this day, that never got recognized by the source ( Souls of Mischief, Organized Konfusions' Equinox, etc.) Just because Source gave him that rating really don't mean shit to the average hip-hop head. Everyone makes mistakes, especially them source writers.I do understand his view on Jay-Z they can be biased at times too. Whatever man, he should concentrate more on his promotions and thank them for the exposure. mailto:Dunderwerks@yahoo.com
I support X-Raided's commentary one hundred and twenty five percent. Not just because i handle street promotionz for Black Market Records and had a hand in gettin his album known to tha public and in some record stores, but because what he is saying cannot be denied. The Source magazine has shown a trend of harsh reviews and low mics for some of the best Westcoast artists and albums. What makes matters worse is their double standard for what is gangsta rap..... if your from the Westcoast and you talk about what is happening you arent breaking any new ground or coming lyrically tight. On the other hand if your from the Eastcoast it doesnt matter...... look at the reviews artists such as DMX, MobbDeep, and Noreaga get, i truly believe the Source needs to answer to this type of double standard reviewing before they can call them selves the magazine for the Hip-Hop Nation.
Jay a.k.a. Mr. 3-P loC
I agree with what X-Raided had to say about DMX. I know exactly which song he is talking about that has that line about raping your 15 yr-old daughter. I bought his first cd and then after listening to that song I quickly got rid of it. I will never buy anything else that DMX has a part of because those few lines in that one song are bullshit. Therefore I think that he should not get high ratings because of that disgustingly violent part of that song. Rape under no circumstances should ever be glorified like that in a song. I am happy that someone besides me, especially a rapper holds the same opinion I do. Maybe if DMX had any idea of what it is like to be raped he would think twice about taking shit like that so lightly.
--Jennifer ( Kennewick,WA)
Having never heard of X-Raided or therefore listened to any of his material it is impossible for me to judge his album. However I feel that he has hit the nail right on the head. The Source has to be the most biased magazine in hip hop, period. The Source is constantly giving rappers great reviews and just average mic ratings. I am reminded of Cypress Hill's latest album which only recieved 3 mics and recieved a great review where no bad point was even sad about the album. Also i dont see how the reviewers can knock of marks for using violence, money and women when pretty much 80% of all hip hop is all about that. How can you give Juvenile 4 mics, the Geto Boys latest 4 mics, Master P 4 mics and Sillk the Shoker 4 mics when pretty much all of their music is based on women, violence and money, knocking off marks for using these subject matters is basically a cop out for not reviewing an album properly. Basically all that the Source is, is a No Limit advertising magazine. I find it a little strange also that no No Limit artist has recieved no less than 3.5 mics when it is clear that everyone on that roster has very little talent at all. Remember when the Source increased it's size of the magazine in the summer of last year, I honestly believe it is to keep up with the amount of advertising space needed for all the No Limit albums which are being released, do we really need a two page advert with the same exact album on each page, I don't think so.
It is also quite clear that the Source gives out a "contraversial" review just to prove that they are still a good magazine, this dosen't fool me. In particullar I think of Canibus's album, which was quite clearly on of the best of last year which only recieved 3 mics. The review that the Source gave was clearly trying to rock the boat of hip hop. They obviously saw a big divide between the hip hop community and decided to pick there sides even before they had heard the album. This then resulted in a perfectly good album selling on the dismall side. I can guarrantee now that when LL brings out his new album he will be on the front cover of the Source (unless there is a No Limit album released at the same time) whereas Canibus will never recieve his due props.
Another thing which really irritates me about the Source is the fact that they often just seem to forget about albums. They are doing this more and more. Good examples of this are not reviewing the most recent Wu-Tang album, Snoops Doggfather album, Eminems new album and of course Makaveli. The Sources excuse for not reviewing these albums was that they consider their review section as a service to their readers. This, the same service that gives every No Limit artist over 3 mics, gives Jay-Z 4.5 mics when it was clearly his worst yet, Canibus only 3 mics and the Hieroglyphics 3 aswell.
Peace for now
***WHITE KIDS AND HIP HOP
I agree totally. White kids acting out negative scenarios is not limited to the USA. Here in Australia, the perverbial " G ", is a 12 - 18 year old, usually lebanese, but mostly white, wearing the commercial down the street, acting as if they had a million years of harrasment. Pathetic. The hip hop WE see here in Australia, is limited by the media to the champagne, money and luxury car video. Mad hip hop headz, ultimatly, seek knowledge, not image. It is trully time we change our feild of perception. lyrical expression is about saying what we feel, and all situations occour, BUT, the glamourisation of success to be champagne, paper ,fine women, and fuck about the rest attitudes, is not right. Its time for educating, before OUR children, become that way.
the chronic dog
I am sorry, but I don't share The Joker's sentiments about whites in hip-hop. To be honest, I think that he exposed the major problems with whites in hip-hop:
1) They can come in and get credit and attention for a music that they didn't invent...more so than the originators
2) Whites seem to see hip-hop as a fashion, just like their Tommy and FUBU gear, rather than a statement about the lives of oppressed people and
3) Using your love for hip-hop as an excuse to in his words, get drunk, beat on random people, sell drugs, etc. ,shows that white people are more into the video images on people of color than into learning about and dealing with REAL Black people.
As an African-American, while I don't condone or even like everything that I see and hear I know where it comes from. People who have limited options do what they can to survive and those who have "survived" are in celebration mode because they don't know when it will end. Peolple of color live in a different reality than whites and that is at the core what rap music and hip hop are about. Black life is always in danger of being extinguished at the hands of whites, i.e. Abner Louima, James Bryd, Jr, Yusef Hawkins, etc. Black people regardless of their economic status will be Black,.whereas a white boy who is down with hip-hop today, can be part of "rulers" tomorrow.
I personally don't feel that people of color should be more inclusive and more we-are -the worldist---to date our generosity has only netted us more ass kicking and more thievery from whites. When are whites going to step and acknowledge their prejudices and ignorance and then invite US to the table?
Before I step off of my soapbox, let me say that I am defintitely not down with white people calling me or any other Black person NIGGER. If artists had done their jobs, they would have said that shit a long time ago, but dollars obsured their view. Black people themselves need to decide the relevence of the word to their existence, however with known history of the word and the continuing racial problems, white people who are shouting Nigger are showing mad disrespect and NOT LOVE for Black people or hip-hop.
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written by Davey D
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