The FNV Newsletter
In Today's Issue: JUNE 25 2002


Send comments, questions and concerns to

The FNV Newsletter
written by Davey D

c 2002 All Rights Reserved



Lots of things to think about as so much has transpired over the past
few weeks.  First we have to some good news.  Remember the other week
when RussellSimmons Hip Hop Action Network teamed up with the New York
City United Federation of Teachers and got more than 100 thousand
people including everybig name rap artist imaginable to show up in
front of city hall to protest budget cuts to education?

Well, at the time Mayor Bloomberg tried to shrug it off and act like
it was no big deal.  But last week he decided to give in and
reverse many of his original cuts.  There's no doubt that huge
rally helped him see the light...


We may have to get a 100 thousand people to stand in front of the
offices ofMCA records to get a little leverage for Mos Def.
Apparently he is going through some Prince-like contractual
situations and has put his recording career on hold.  He told the
cats over at that he 'thought slavery was over.'
Mmmmm, that's the second or third time I've heard an artist use the
word slavery when referring to his contractual relationship to a
major label.  The fact that his beef is with MCA is troubling because
last year this time that same label was having beef with The Roots.
So two of HipHop's most talented and social conscious
groups/artists are having beef withthis one label.What's
really going on?

In any case Mos Def has been keeping busy with his Broadway play
Top Dog/Underdog which was nominated for a couple of Tonys.  Mos is
also set to do a movie called The Italian Job where he will play
opposite Mark Walhberg.  Ifthat's not enough, Mos Def recently
signed on to the 'Not In Our Name Campaign' This is an antiwar
organization that kicked off a nationwide day of resistance a
couple of weeks ago.  He along with numerous other people and high
profile celebrities have united to voice their concern and opposition
to some of the policies that have been championed by the Bush
administration since 9-11.

For more info:


If you happen to be in the SF Bay Area over the next couple of weeks
July 1-July 13th be sure to check out the Hip Hop Film Festival.
All sorts of films scheduled to be shown are: Freestyle; The Art of
Rhyme by Kevin Fitzgerald.  To me this is one of the best Hip Hop
documentaries I have seento date as it focuses in everyone from
the Last Poets to Supernatural to Juice to Freestyle Fellowship.
Its a must see film for anyone who is seriousabout Hip Hop.

Also on board to be shown are 'Battle Sounds',which focuses on Hip
Hop deejays, 'Breath Control' which deals with the history of beat
boxing, Nobody Knows My Name' which deals with women in Hip Hop,
'Estilo Hip Hop which focuses on Hip Hop south of the border and
'Straight Outta Hunters Point' which chronicles the street life of
cats living in San Francisco's Hunters Point District.

The film that will be premiered during the Film Festival that has
everyone buzzing is 'Street Legends' which focuses on the Fall 2000
tour of the Living Legends Crew.  The film was shot Real World
style and has gotten a lot of people hyped.  The premier takes
place just as the Mystic Journeymen are releasing their new album
'Magic' which is off the hook.  It features them doing a song with
Me'shell N'Ddegecello.

Look for the premier to take place on July 7th at the Parkway Theater
in Oakland.  For folks unfamiliar with the Parkway, this is the
spot where you can recline on a nice couch or easy chair and drink
beer and eat pizza whilewatching a movie.

For more info on the upcoming Hip Hop film festival drop a line to
Kevin Fitzgerald at


Also going down in the West coast...this week..are a couple of
dance festivals.  This weekend June 28-June 30 in LA you have B-Boy
Summit: A BBoyBGirl Manifesto.  There will be several panel
discussions and exhibits as well as battles. All sorts of
artists like Peace of Freestyle Fellowship, Blackalicious, Living
legends, Planet Asia, Divine Styler, Blackeyed Peas, Pep Love, Clik
Da Supalatin, Slim Kid Tre of the Pharcyde, Mr Choc from Power
106 and Sway of the Wake Up Show will all be on hand at this year's
gathering..  For more info peep their website

If you happen to be up in San Francisco the place to be is at Stern
Grove inGolden Gate Park this Sunday, June 30th.  Philadelphia B-Boy
dance legend Rene Harris of Puremovement will be town to put together
a production called Hip Hop legends.  Included on the bill will be the
pioneering crew The Electric Boogaloos, Untouchables, Catherine "Cat"
Golden, Richie Soto, Tracy Thomas "Evil Tracy," Forrest Webb, and the
rap group Newcleus.  For more info listento Hard Knock radio on KPFA
or direct your browsers to


Lastly with today being Tuesday, June 25th people are wondering do we
go outand purchase the new Nelly album 'Nellyville or do we
boycott it?  If folks recall, Blastmaster KRS-One recently found
himself engaged in a lyrical battle with Nelly.  It resulted him
releasing a song called 'The Real Hip HopIs Over Here' where he
calls for a boycott of Nelly's album. KRS noted that this battle
extended beyond the usual banter about who is better and who is

KRS sees Nelly as one who represents a mindset in Hip Hop that shows
little regard or concern for its history and the accomplishments of
those who laid down the path that he now embarks upon.  Nelly sees
KRS as someone who was simply picking a fight to gain publicity for
himself.  Whether you believe KRS or Nelly, the issues raised
cannot be ignored-which include 'commercial' versus 'underground,'
and 'young' versus 'old.' In any case it will be interesting to
see what unfolds.

To start there has been an all out assault on behalf of Universal
Records toput Nelly in the lime light.He sold 9 million albums
on his debut release 'Hot Country Grammar and they seem bent on
trying to repeat that success story in the midst of industry wide
dwindling record sales.His song 'Hot InHerre' is heard at
least 15 times a day on urban stations all around the country and
his picture graces the cover of this month's Source Magazine.

On the other hand, there are many that see Nelly as a manufactured
icon.  His constant exposure on MTV and on the commercial air
waves is often perceived as the result of the major label hype
machine at work.  This has been underscored by the fact that KRS's
song 'The Real Hip Hop is Over Here' which was done in response
to Nelly's swipe at him on Freeway's remix of 'Rock TheMic' has
been absent from the air waves while Nelly's dis verse is heard day
  in and day out.  Was it major label juice that kept KRS's song off
commercialair waves?  It's a question that have left many

In any case the ideal scenario would be for KRS and Nelly to do a
project together.  KRS has been in the game way to long to be
battling Nelly.. and Nelly whether you like him or not has managed
to pay his dues and take advantge of the opportunities that have
come before him..  A Nelly/ KRS battle has it place..  But the real
battle is outlined in this next story..  Thats where our
attention should be focused....

For those who wish to wish to read the full article on Nelly vs KRS
head on over to:



 From Dave Marsh's column.  Dave's at


Last week, the record company cartel for the first time gained a fee
from American radio stations.  That, not the specific rate, marks the
real breakthrough of last week's ruling by the Library of Congress
that established fees for webcasting recorded music.  RIAA mouthpiece
Cary Sherman shrieked that "artists and record companies will
subsidize the webcasting businesses of multibillion-dollar companies
like Yahoo!, RealNetwroks and Viacom."

The LoC actually played into the hands of both the RIAA's five member
label cartel _and_ the big webcast powers.  It did this by using as
its royalty model the agreement struck between Yahoo!  and the RIAA.
This meant rejecting a rate based on percentage of webcaster, like
that which songwriters and music publishers get from both broadcasters
and webcasters.  The per-song standard ensured an amount of money owed
far beyond what any small webcaster can pay.  Since the rates are
retroactive to 1998, some web stations owe several hundred thousand
dollars each, payable in October.  Smaller webcasters like SomaFM,
French ambient station BlueMars, and Tag's Trance Trip folded before
the ink dried on the decision.

Some say the RIAA's committed suicide, since little webcasters expose
so many kinds of records and targeted core audiences.  But this misses
the real point which, as Andrew Orlowski of points
out, is that the RIAA "want complete control."  The only way that the
RIAA cartel can achieve such control is through alliances with large
webcasters-the kind who _can_ afford the new rates.  None of the big
webcasting entities screamed loud.  The typical comment, from Alex
Alben, of RealNetworks, was "It's a step in the right direction."
Live365, the largest Internet broadcaster with 8.4 million
Arbitron-certified broadcast hours a month, has had a plan, based on
the projected rate, since February to pay $1.5 million in fees plus a
monthly charge of $200,000.  The new plan, which cuts the rate per
song from 0.14 cents a song to .007 cents, cuts those sums in half.

In contrast, Live365 points out that many of the 40,000 webasters who
use its service, some paying as little as $6.95 a month to do their
shows, would now face at least a $500 license fee and will have to
subsidize Live365's record royalties.."

Just as broadcast "deregulation" virtually wiped out small radio
stations, the LoC's new rates ensure that webcast survivors will
belong to very wealthy companies who can afford them.  Clearly, that's
now government policy, summed up by the LOC's rationalization:
"=E2=80=A6many Webcasters are currently generating very little
revenue, [so] a percentage-of-revenue rate would require copyright
owners to allow extensive use of their property with little or no
compensation."  As I've pointed out many times, protecting "copyright
owners" means protecting big business, not artists.  That the
Librarian of Congress views songs solely as property, discarding their
status as culture, is even more appalling.

As the stranglehold of big broadcasters became too much to endure in
the '80s and '90s, one result was the rise of a pirate (so-called
micropower) radio movement.  Pirate radio became so pervasive that
the FCC tried to create micropower licenses; big broadcasting
stopped that in its tracks by corralling a batch of its pet
legislators to object.

Some pirates became Webcasters.  They (and many others) will likely
become "pirates" again rather than pay rates set to destroy them.  If
the FCC couldn't police such stations when they needed relatively
large transmitters, how is the government going to catch Web

All Web pirates will be aware that it was the cartel labels who drove
them out of legitimacy.  This means an opportunity to expose more of
the RIAA's music will be truned into one more salad of snarling
hatred.  You don't even have to hope the RIAA chokes on it.
Plummeting sales figures show it already is.



I got a chance to catch up with author Bakari Kitwana the other day
when he swung through the Bay Area.  This former political editor
for the Source Magazine has been causing quite a stir as of late
with the release of his new book 'The Hip Hop Generation: Young
Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture' which deals
with Hip Hop's emerging political movement.  Its a good read and
something I highly recommend.  I shot off a number of questions for
  Bakari.  Here are his responses for you to ponder over...

DAVEY D: What is the overall premis of your book?  What do you feel
are the most important chapters in this book that readers should
really pay attention to..?

BAKARI KITWANA: The Hip-Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in
African American Culture is an exploration of the major social and
political forces that have shaped the generation of African Americans
born between 1965 and 1984.  Basically, I'm concerned with what I call
the new crises in African American Culture: racial disparites when it
comes to incarceration, education, employment in post-segregation

Also part of the crises is the negative impact of the globalization of
the economy on young Blacks in the 80s and 90s as well as the postive
and negative impacts of the civil rights and Black power movements on
the hip-hop generation in terms of the types of activism and politics
we are and aren't seeing amongst the younger generation of African
Americans.  Finally things like the economic success of hip-hop
alongside the anti-Black and anti-Women lyrics and images, the
generation gap, and the new war of the sexes are also explored.

If I had to choose which chapters I want readers to pay most attention
to, I'd say the second half of the book, which is more solution
oriented.  In the final three chapters, I discuss activism in the
hip-hop generation, the politics of the hip-hop generation and ways of
setting forth a political agenda that could begin to resolve some of
the crisis facing our generation.

My belief is that the economic
success of hip-hop as well as the infastructure created by hip-hop as
a cultural movement will provide this generation of African Americans
a formidible foundation upon which to build a political movement in
our lifetime as hip-hop makes a transition from a cultural force to a
political one in the days ahead. see FNV pt 2

Send comments, questions and concerns to

The FNV Newsletter
written by Davey D

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