IN THIS ISSUE OF FNV 3-3-2000|
*Chuck D Wants Your Music!
*Blind DJ Touch Tone Robbed!
*Hip Hop On Campus
*Things To Make You Say 'Whoa'!
*Hot 97 Feedback..To Boycott or Not To Boycott?
*Encore Interview by Adissa Banjoko
*Hip Hop Happenings
Chuck D of Public Enemy has been on the move as of late. He's been dropping off post cards and getting the word out to as many independent and up and coming artists as possible about the new Digital Revolution. He's been aggressively encouraging artists to 'break the matrix' and he's offering up his latest venture Rapstation.com as a viable tool. The post card/flyer reads as follows:
RAPSTATION wants you to get your joints posted for worldwide distribution. Upload your MP3 tracks and we'll automatically encode them to RealAudio. Got a gig coming up? Enter the details into the form and get on Rapstation's Concert Scoop. It's easy! All you need to do is click the link below to sign up. Got questions? Check out the help section and we'll tell you all about how to do it. If you're still having problems we'll even give you one-on-one assistance. What are you waiting for? Check it out now. http://www.rapstation.com/zmp3jamz/
Chuck goes on to explain that 'the old way is dead' and that Rapstation is looking to promote 'many independent rap labels, sites and Hip Hop artists to the new ideal for records and culture.. To get down with the program interested parties can either send their music to MP-3 Jamz c/o PO BX 310, Roosevelt, NY 11575 or 7139 Hwy 85 suite Riverdale Ga 30274....
While Chuck D is collecting music, some of the more established artists and labels may want to reach out to DJ Touch Tone of Philadelphia's WPHI. Folks may recall several issues back when I wrote about Touch Tone and his incredible turntable skillz. What made him even more remarkable is the fact that he's blind. This past weekend some unfeeling, knucklehead robbed Touch Tone of his entire record collection. Words can not began to express how devastated this brotha must be. For those who wish to reach out, drop an email to F-Sharp at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. He can hit you off with the proper mailing address and let you know DJ Touch Tones needs. Shame on whoever robbed him, I'm sure there's a nice hot inferno awaiting that individual in the afterlife.
As Hip Hop continues to evolve it is slowly but surely finding its way on college campuses as part of the everyday curriculum. For example, in Boston former label executive Will Strickland teaches a course on Hip Hop at Boston College. This past week I lectured at a class at Santa Rosa Junior College. UC Berkeley is known worldwide for its 2Pac class which may soon be spreading to UCLA and possibly John Hopkins in Baltimore. In San Diego theres Hip Hop University. An online curriculum is being established in the Bay Area for Hip Hop State. Hodari Davis who is behind this project, also teaches at Berkeley High School where he has long taught Hip Hop culture to his students. KPFA DJ, author and Professor Ricky Vincent includes Hip Hop culture in the courses he teaches at San Francisco State. Vincent's class is no joke and the material is extremely challenging.
Beni B who heads the Bay Area Hip Hop Coalition may be the grandfather of all this when he established Hip Hop 101 as a student run elective class up at UC Berkeley during the early 90s. The course was later taught by Hip Hop activist Kalil Jacobs-Fantauzzi. Lastly we can not overlook the work being done by KRS-One and the work he's doing in LA with the Temple of Hip Hop which now boosts more then 80 thousand members.
The newest Hip Hop clubs/classes is at the University of Virginia. I just got a note from 18 year old Chris Rodriguez who just established the OAHHC [Organization for the Advancement of Hip Hop Culture]. He explained that their main goal is to to organize as many hip-hop oriented events (i.e. open mics, battles, concerts) with local MC's and DJ's in particular, and have a nice lineup for an underground hip-hop concert once in a while. They've been doing a series of fundraisers and they're currently seeking speakers to come through and provide relevant information on Hip Hop culture. Drop Chris a line at mailto:email@example.com.
Another Berkeley inspired course may be among the first nationwide to have full University/departmental blessings and credit. In fact its on the list of required classes Entitled Power Moves, its a western civilization class that falls under the jurisdiction of the African American Studies department. The class is in its second semester and work is underway to establish a fall syllabus. Leading the charge is grad student Quame who happens to also be known within the Bay Area's underground scene as Superstar Quam-Allah. His current EP which features tracks like 'Just Rap' 'Properly Done' and 'Wit It' are favorites among the Bay Area underground. Can you imagine having a bonafide artist as a Professor? Hit me back and let me know if there are any Hip Hop courses or clubs in your area.. I'm trying to put together a directory. mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Props to Oakland's Punany Poets and their recent appearance on HBO's popular TV show 'Real Sex'. This gifted group of erotic poets who came through and represented in all their glory busted on the scene several years ago in response to Eazy E's death. Their mission was to reach the Hip Hop audience with compelling messages about safe sex. Although HBO played up the Punany's sexy side, what many people may have overlooked was their overriding message and themes of practicing safe sex. They also published a book of erotic poems called 'Punany The Hip Hop Psalms' which featured erotic material from a number local Hip Hop artists. What really made me say 'Whoa' was seeing some of the performers in their birthday suits.. Although I've seen plenty of their shows, I never had the pleasure of seeing the riske version that was featured on HBO :) Whoa!
Puff Daddy is set to star in a movie called 'Made' in which he will play a New York City crime boss. It's supposed to be a comedy. I certainly hope so because in the aftermath of Suge Knight and NY Mayor Giuliani running around shutting folks down, its hard to take Puff's aspirations to be a Crime boss seriously.. Nevertheless it made me say Whoa!
Earlier this week we told you about Israeli pop singer Ofra Haza [Eric B & Rakim 'Paid In Full'] suddenly passing last weekend due to kidney and liver failure.What we didn't know until the other day was she experienced the organ failures because she had AIDs. According to Lee Bailey's EUR Report, she played down the disease in order not to scare her fans. Let us all hope that one day soon we find a cure.
MC Hammer is back in the news again. This time to announce his upcoming TV show called 'Hammer & Friends'. Ham will breaking down barriers when he began's hosting TV's first nationally syndicated Christian Hip Hop TV Show. No thugged out, jiggy, moet drinkers- Whoa!
Last issue we told about the grievances and misgivings some in New York were having toward Hip Hop powerhouse Hot 97. There was a call to boycott the station because there appeared to be a lack of on air response to the Diallo verdict. We asked for letters and feedback and also issued an online poll. As of this morning with over 3200 votes casted, the call to boycott Hot 97 is 53% with a 'No to Boycott' receiving 46%. Check out the on line poll at http://www.daveyd.com There's a sampling of the dozens of letters we received on this explosive topic.
As a true hip-hop kid who grew up in NY. I gotta say that maybe a boycott is not the route to go. I am outraged by the decision to acquit the officers and agree that the officers should be suspended. I also believe that the station should have commented on the verdict, however, I am pronged to believe that the lack of commenting was more of a bad judgement call than an outright disregard to the importance and ramifications of such a verdict.
I now reside outside of NY, but remain a loyal fan of Hot 97. I say this because I have been a listener from the onset and I have seen the impact that the radio personalities, DJ's and other personnel have made upon the lives of NY's young listeners. HOT 97 has opened up opportunities for many Latino and black's, not only by providing a much needed outlet for our music, but also by providing job opportunities and a sense of awareness to issues relevant to our communities through it's programming such as Street Soldiers. Through such programming, HOT 97 has also opened the eyes of mainstream America. When I weigh all the positives of the radio station against this lapse of judgement, I see that a boycott would only hurt the people that HOT 97 has always sought to help. Maybe instead of a boycott, we should fight to get an apology or some sort of recognition fro the mistake. A boycott in this instance does us no good.
Asking a dog 2 quack is pointless. Asking a fish 2 walk is dumb. Asking a cannibal 2 B a vegatarian is futile. Asking ignorant niggas 2 get involved in something of substance B4 it's a trend or just 2 simply be Black is perposterous. Puffy, Trick Daddy, Cash Money Millionares, Hot Boys, the Missy/Timberland camp, Death Row, Aftermath, the DPG, Mo Thugs Family, Murder Inc., No Limit, etc R all ignant ass, blind, deaf, and dumb niggas who R happy 2 B niggas. Fighting on behalf of Black people, standing up 4 something other than the money in their pockets, respecting anything that is not material is a totally foreign concept 2 them. Standing up 4 themselves and doing anything that could affect their music contracts would be entirely 2 difficult 4 the whole lot of them and all those like them. Willie Lynch is dancing in his grave and showing all his teeth everytime one of those idiots release an album and everytime we respond positively 2 them.....
A boycott of Hot 97 will never happen. Too many influential Hip Hop artists are more concerned with getting their records played or getting an on air show then they are standing up and putting some one in check. Every week I read about the on going activism with the Hip Hop community out on the west coast and I've come to the sad conclusion, that no matter how hard and how down New Yorkers may wish to portray themselves, they are way soft when it comes to important matters like these. If you ever want to see some of these artists standing up for 'their rights', try shutting down Hot 97. Those Negroes will speak up defend Hot97 more then they did Diallo.
JB Bronx NY
*In Oakland, Dwayne Wiggins of Tony Toni Tone will be playing host at his Java House cafe to a voter education rally and tech in. Hip Hop organizations like Third Eye and Critical Resistance will be on hand to provide folks with information and insight into pertinent issues on the upcoming March 7th ballot. In addition to all that they will be conducting a 'know your rights' workshop for the youth. The Java House is on 3306 Lakeshore Ave in Oakland.
*On Monday March 6th, there will be a special panel discussion on how the world of music can be different. Will there still be record companies? Will musicians still need day jobs to survive? How will you get paid? If we have a revolution in America, will there still be anything that will prevent EVERYONE from getting their music recorded and heard by the world? Panelists include: DJ Dusk, an organizer of the B-Boy Summit and one of the top hip-hop DJs in Los Angeles; rapper Brother Bank; Ernie Perez, lead singer of Atlantic recording artists the Boxing Gandhis; Carvell Holloway, trumpet player and leader of the hip-hop/jazz group Strokely; and Jorge Rodriguez of the Afro Cuban Ensemble. This FREE event is going down on Monday March 6th at 7pm inside the UTLA Building 3303 Wilshire Blvd #912 For more info call 323-969-1885 or mailto:email@example.com
If you got an upcoming Hip Hop Happening..hit me off with your event info at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Adisa Banjoko
Encore is an MC who has emerged outta the Bay Area underground almost over night. He is a lyrical tactician like no other from the "Yay.” His latest album, Self Preservation (75 Ark Records), will be on the shelves in early March. His single, “Water World” b/w “Sporadic” is rocking clubs and cars daily from coast to coast. You dig Gang Starr, Mos Def, Blackalicious or Planet Asia, do ya? Well, you gonna LOVE ENCORE. So here it goes . . .
Adisa: How did you and the Automator hook up?
Encore: Well, in early OE95 or OE96, me and G The Architect went to his studio. We went up there to record a song with Grand the Visitor. He was cool and we all got along. Then, later, we went to the studio again. He liked my stuff and wanted me to be on the Dr. Octagon album. But I thought it was weak.
Adisa: That was a mistake.
Encore: OH, BY FAR! Automator just played instrumentals. And Kool Keith’s lyrics weren't on it. Automator was like "Come up on Friday. We're recording vocals.” I was like "Aight, aight.” But I slept and didn’t go. I mean, it wasn't even a guaranteed thing that I would have been on there. But, most likely, I would have.
Adisa: So after faking on him, how'd you get a deal with him?
Encore: Well, we had done a single on Peanut Butter Wolf's label, and G The Architect went to his house and hit him with a tape of some stuff we were doing. I didn't even know. So, G called me up and was like "Automator talking about doing A, B and C.” At that time, Peanut Butter didn't have any history or background in running a label. And, by now, we had seen what Dr. Octagon was doing. Automator wanted to put us out and the rest is history.
Adisa: When you found out that your track, "Water World," was gonna be on the Handsome Boy Modeling School album, were you nervous knowing that cats like Brand Nubian, Mike D from the Beasties and other cats were gonna be on it?
Encore: I knew he was gonna have all kinds of muthafuckas on there. I didn't really try to compare. I guess there was pressure because I knew it was gonna get out to a lot of people.
Adisa: How would you describe the album, Self Preservation, to someone that has not heard it?
Encore: It's an appendage of me. I consider it soulful. Not in the vein of, like, R&B, but more of how you feel a Jimmy Hendrix record. It's not about me, but I made it for me. And a lot of artists are not doing Hip-Hop for themselves anymore; They're doing what the status quo dictates.
Adisa: Did the high honors "Water World" received give you more confidence when you were putting together Self Preservation?
Encore: Not really, because my album was pretty much done. But if people felt "Water World,” they will certainly feel this album.
Adisa: What cameo's you got goin' on?
Encore: Pep Love from Hiero, Dave Dub, Kedar, Holekost and Joey Chavez out in LA (he did a dope beat for the album) . . . Also, this cat named Turban. Me and Turban are doing an album together soon.
Adisa: What’s the most influential book you have ever read in your life?
Encore: Not to sound like a cliche, but “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” by Alex Haley.
Adisa: If you could do a fantasy track with 3 MC's, who would you have?
Encore: I'd have 86 Rakim. I mean, Rakim is dope right now! But, in '86, everybody was checking for him. I'd have to have a 1992 production team consisting of Large Professor, Pete Rock and Primo. I gotta have Big Daddy Kane, from the "Raw" era. And, first album, Illmatic Nas.
Adisa: Who is the tightest Black actress right now?
Encore: N'Bushe Wright, she's one of the tightest.That lady from Ally McBeal? She's nasty. Nah, ha ha. She was in Dead Prez, the Pro Black girl. She was also in Blade. Also, the lady that played Blades mom. She was tight. You can't front on Halle Berry; Lela Rochon, "Sunshine," from Harlem Nights.
Adisa: What female MC's do you think are tight?
Encore: [Smirks] As far as RHYMES, a few of 'em! Lil Kim is dope. People try to front because she let her titties hang out on MTV, but she can flow. Actually, she got skills. She's not the dopest. Lauren is the rawest. Actually, I’M TRIPPIN'! Somebody has to get outta my fantasy line up. She gotta be up in there. Sorry Nas [laughter] . . . not like he cares. He's like Encore who? Medusa is dope, lyrically. Eve used to be raw, but, now, I'm not feelin' her. There is definitely much more than there are now. But, we really need Latifah to come back and rock it.
Adisa: What about The Lady of Rage?
Encore:Rage is RAW! Where is she at?!She was slaughterhousin' muthafuckas! What you do is have Latifah sing the hook, and bust last! Aww, that would be raw. Her and Lauren could rock the hook together. I'd even let Lauren produce the beat.
Adisa: Any last words?
Encore: Yeah. Adisa Banjoko needs to stop smoking crack. Peace to all the Muslims out there.
Check out Encore’s latest, Self Preservation, available on 75 Ark Records. Adisa at mailto:email@example.com
Send comments, questions and concerns to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
The FNV Newsletter
written by Davey D
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