*ODB Has His Day In Court
*Will Smith For President? Is This A Publicity Stunt?
*Letters And Feedback [Willie D, The Roots, NWA & Eminem..]

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The FNV Newsletter
written by Davey D
All Rights Reserved

A quick note..I've gotten a ton of letters with people questioning the answers to last week's Hip Hop quiz. The point of contention centers around Young MC and Tone Loc and the hit songs Funky Cold Medina and Wild Thing. Young MC wrote the songs for Tone Loc. Just like Kool G Rap would sometimes pen songs for Roxanne Shante or Big Daddy Kane would write songs for Biz Markie. Also a number of you pointed out that Too Short was in Menace II Society.. I overlooked that..sorry.

ODB Has His Day In Court

Wu-Tang's colorful and controversial member Ole Dirty Bastard aka Baby Jesus aka Mr Russell Jones had his day in a Los Angeles court this past Friday. He was convicted and sentenced for threatening a security guard at the House of Blues nightclub and he was convicted and sentenced under a new California law which bars felons from wearing body armor [bullet proof vests]. Judge Marsha Revel sentenced ODB to 3 years probation, fined him 500 dollars, required him to take anger management classes and commit to a year in drug rehab. ODB's body armor conviction is one of the first cases tried under the new California law.

Most people who are aware of ODB's zany behavior would not argue against him being in drug rehab. It hopefully could do homeboy some good. However, it was during the sentencing was when some colorful court room drama emerged. ODB explained to the judge that the police in New York City are conspiring to get him. He said because of his reputation, and the fact that he managed to be cleared of charges that accused him of shooting at two NYC police, he feared that the cops would go out of their way to harass him and plant false evidence on him.

ODB made the following remarks, "After I finish the [rehab] program, I live in New York...What I'm saying is, I got a suit on the city. All the officers know me there. They're going to be looking to lock me up. I don't want no officers to be just kicking on me...I'm talking about getting picked on."

Judge Revel suggested that ODB move to a more conducive environment after he gets released from the drug rehab in California. ODB responded by noting that all his kids live in New York. For those who don't know, the man has 13 kids. ODB then told the judge 'Jesus Loves You'. Revel responded by saying 'Thank you I need all the love I can get'.

ODB who has been arrested a total of 12 times over the past year and half was told he can have the felony terrorist threat reduced to a misdemeanor if he behaves himself for the next 18 months.

Will Smith For President?
Is This A Publicity Stunt?

Folks have been buzzing about actor/rapper Will Smith and his recent remarks in which he stated that he wants to run for the presidency within the next ten years. He noted, 'I've always thought I'd like to become America's first Black President. Now I'm not here to knock Will's political ambitions. If he's serious I applaud them wholeheartedly. What will be interesting is how he goes about using his popularity to impact various key elections around the country. In other words who will Will Smith endorse? There's a major senate race going down in New York. Will Mr Smith go out and encourage his legion of fans to support First Lady Hillary Clinton over current New York Mayor Rudoulph Giuliani. Right now the First Lady's campaign is in trouble as she is losing in polls to the popular yet controversial NY Mayor. At the same time Will Smith has been invited to hang out with the Clintons at the White House during the upcoming Millennium celebration. Could Will Smith political recommendation coupled with his star power sway public opinion? Perhaps he could come up with a catchy song?

It sure would be nice to see some of our more mega-popular stars come out and take some political stances. Back in the' 70s famous icons like boxer Muhammed Ali, Joe Frazier , singer James Brown and actor Harry Belafonte to name a few got their feet wet and shared their political outlooks and endorsements with their fans. As we head on into the year 2000 it's sad to note that some of our brightest stars have been extremely reserved and very quiet about key political issues. I'm definitely happy that more and more underground artists like Boots of the Coup, Common, Mos Def, Dead Prez to name a few are actively involved in politics. Their continued efforts should be encouraged and supported. I'm still waiting and hoping that the Jay-Zs, Puffys, Ice Cubes and Juveniles of the world will start using their star power to bring attention to some critical issues. For example, I hear all sorts of folks in New York complaining about their current Mayor..yet I see very few major stars actively blowing up the spot to sway public opinion about him.

Should Will Smith run for President? That really depends upon his qualifications and knowledge of the issues. In the meantime while he gets prepared for his presidential bid in the next ten years, I wish Mr Smith would make headlines by encouraging his fans to at least get out to the polls and vote. He could make headlines by weighing in on some key issues like affirmative action, immigration etc. Since Mr Smith lives in California, I think I'll shoot him a line and try and get him to lend his star power and come out against Prop 21 which is the Juvenile Crime Initiative. I rather see him make national headlines speaking out against that rather then his desire for Presidency. If Will Smith doesn't step up and speak out on some of these pressing issues of the day then I would have to conclude that his remarks about wanting to be President was nothing more then a shrewd marketing ploy and publicity stunt designed to bring attention to his newly release album 'The Willennium'.

Juvenile To Drop A new Album

One of the hottest artists for the year 1999 has been Juvenile. His last album '400 Degreez' went triple platinum and his B side single 'Back That Ass Up' became a summertime anthem. Apparently Juvenile believes in striking while the iron is still hot as he getting set to drop his third album 'Tha G-Code'. It will be released on December 7th.. That's same release date as the highly anticipated Notorious BIG album. I wonder who will sell more? Juvenile's first single 'U Understand' is 'off the hinges' at least here in the Bay Area. Finally be on the look out for Juvenile's upcoming straight to video movie 'Baller Blockin'. That should be dropping around the first part of the new year.

DJ Premier Gets Shoed At Concert

Props to Gang Starr and Dilated Peoples for their recent performance with Rage Against The Machine. Friday night Dilated opened for Rage at a sold out Oakland Coliseum. According to Beni B of the Bay Area Hip Hop Coalition. It took some time for the group to get used to going from small night club with a couple of hundred people to a cavernous venue with 15 thousand people.. However,the Rage crowd showed both groups much love.

During Gang Starr's set DJ Premier had to watch flying debris including a shoe that was tossed at his turntables. When I first heard about it I was left with the impression that people didn't like Premier's scratching abilities or music selection. . Quite the contrary, people loved him.. Shoes and other clothing were being tossed after they were taking off of individuals who were being body surfed through the crowd. It was just mere coincident that Premier got shoes tossed at him during both the Oakland and Sacramento shows. Well at least it wasn't a smelly sock.. or a pair of stained drawers.

As for Gang Starr, after the Rage Against Machine Tour, they will be heading back into the studio to work on another album which should drop by June of 2000. Premier and Quest Love of the Roots are scheduled to do production. The new 'Jazzmatazz Volume 3' album should be dropping real soon. Herbie Hancock and D'Angelo are among the many guests expected to appear on the album.


[Willie D of The Geto Boys]

Dave in regards to Willie D

I worked at KBXX and at numerous times I would be answering the phones for his show, which was titled "Reality Check", the show focused on the people of Houston, stating their feelings on major issues going on in this society. The show did leave the airwaves..I don't know the full reason, but some politic issue was brought up, and later on Willie D did continue his show on another public station. He was supposed to be syndicating his show, nationwide in many areas, to get the feeling for all the people not only in Texas, but other states as well. Willie D, as a person is very talented, gifted, and aware of his surrounding, much respect to him , of what he has done, what he's doing, and what he'll be doing in future.

peace out

[the Roots Show in SF]

Davey D

First of all let me start by saying I am not big on words. But at last nights show (Friday) the Roots put me back in love with H.E.R. [Hip Hop] I've been following these cats since "Do You Want More" and recently rounded out my collection with the obscure album that started it off "Organix". The truth is with all that is going wrong with hip-hop (lack of creativity and pursuit of almighty $ice$) this soon to be father was thinking it's time to hang it up and grow into a nice comfortable smooth jazz station. These mutha&^* made me feel like a kid again. ?uestLove showed superior skillz on the drum kit and all in all I had a ball. So now I'm thinking that I will definitely get my 'seed' [child] to pickup a musical instrument. It definitely bridged the gap as I read the liner from the album "Things Fall Apart" and found MFSB kicking licks with none other than 'Illadelphia's' finest. Local rap group 75 Degrees was in the house and I think they are on the right track.

What impressed me most is that we have brothas who travel the world (and obviously getting paid) not having to come on stage with a fuckin' platinum plaque around their neck. They just put it down and let the music speak for itself (imagine that). Anyhow, just thought I'd say something for those of us that do remember when creativity was all that hip hop had for itself. Now I'm going to find that Limp Bizkit CD before the wife sells all my collection.

A. D. Smith
Microsoft Certified Professional

[Hip Hop & Politics]

Wasup Davey D.

At my radio station here up in Burnaby, B.C. Canada we're getting prepared for a special day of focused programming on Hip Hop and Free Mumia, or in other words hip hop and social activism/politics. We're trying to promote and support the idea that hip hop heads need to become more socially aware and engaged in grassroots activism. I thought I'd write you cause you do a lot of this already.

I was wondering how you get hip hop people motivated and started in grassroots activism? You seem to have a lot of success with this so I'm interested in hearing what worked for you and what did not work for you. Also is there any resources or points of information that I get get a hold of where I can get more info on hip hop activism? I guess what I'm saying is that can you tell me who within the hip hop community is already socially active and what they do? I want to be able to present to people some of the positive aspects of hip hop artists and such that usually and otherwise go unspoken. Both as a motivational tool as well as a means to say, "Hey look this issues are important, let's all get involved, and raise the awareness together as a community." Any help in this would be great appreciated. We, about five different groups, are meeting tomorrow to set up direction and focus and outline what we want to do and accomplish and how to go about doing it and - basically gettin ourselves organized. Thanks for your time and help.


Davey D responds:


There is no one answer to your question.. your ability to motivate Hip Hoppers in your area will be dependent upon your relationship with them already. In other words you will have to have 'one on one' conversations with the people you wish to get motivated. You will also need to find ways in which they could easily plug in and utilize their skillz. Some artist will be committed Activist like Dead Prez, Boots or Micheal Franti are some examples. Other artist will be spark plugs that can attract people. From experience, as much as you would like to use artist to promote a cause, if they do not want to be down, don't try and force the issue. Build your cause around Hip Hoppers who are down. Make heroes out of the artists who are willing to support and step out. Far too often we chase individuals who don't want to do anything and completely overlook and take for granted the artists who are willing to put in the work and be down. These are the individuals that should be uplifted by the community. Make sure the artist you target are aware of the issues..because by default they will be spokespersons..

For example, Boots recently contacted 35 emcees to do a song for a big issue here in Cali. He spent a lot of time working with the artists and making sure they were educated on the cause he wanted them to address. he also brought to light how the issue was related to them as people. This made it easier for them to get involved. He also conducted a number of workshops to help bring this political education. Afterwards he was able to send many of the artist out to be spokespeople. Make sure these artists are educated on your cause..If not, they will do more harm then good.

Finally see how you can work with the local rappers and Hip Hoppers.. Can the graf artist make flyers. Will some of the artist donate talent and time to do concerts or voice commercials and PSAs. Can you put their picture on a flyer with them endorsing your position? All this boils down to one on one communication.. Mos Def noted that when he wanted artists to take part in the anti-police brutality song he and Talib put together, he picked up a phone and reached out. You will have to take similar measures.

Davey D

[Who should be the 5th member of NWA?]

Davey D

I had always thought DJ Quik would have made a good replacement for Eazy, with the comparable voice range, but with a much better flow, and comin' straight outta Compton. I think Eminem might just be a seriously right move, though - and might give a crazy new spin on the group. Good idea - you should use your position to spread that vibe around in the industry as it's possible that no one has pondered that possibility yet. Snoop - no; Xzibit, possibly, but the group could really use some new blood in there with a unique flow. I don't think that any of the usual suspects" (i.e., Mack 10; Snoop; WC; etc. should even be considered - it needs to be someone who could step-up the anticipation and excitement levels. Rass Kass might just be the shit, or even a hot-ass "no name" kid would be risky, but could just be another good career move if he blew up like Snoop did on Chronic. In any case, I can't wait - I've waited years for this shit to go down, and I hope that it finally comes to fruition.

Peace - Todd

Dear Davey D,

I just heard the new NWA "untitled" reunion track on Power 98 FM (WPEG-Charlotte) and it was mediocre for the most part. The song sounded more of a modern-Ice Cube/Dre sound instead of the classic NWA sound but that's understandable since times and the artists have changed so much. Oh, Snoop Dogg is replacing Eazy-E (at least on this song) and he does his usual antics.

Kam Moye

Do you think Eminem could be the 5th member of NWA? What comes around goes around I figure / Now we got white kids called Niggers... Anyway if there is a NWA reunion (which IMO is not a good idea : they are legendary and probably can't do better than their past work) they should not replace Easy E. He wasn't the main man in the group (even if he was the executive producer). Half of their songs did not include Easy. With MC Ren's delivery, Ice Cube's lyrics and Dr Dre's voice you already have a strong group (If Dre is on the board of course). I always considered Easy was a joker in NWA, just like Flavor Flav. But I doubt that they can get together again as a real group ten years after they broke up. OK they can make one track under the name NWA but they are not friends anymore, they probably don't want to stay together in a studio for weeks, to go on tour together for months. After all that has been said and done between them !!! Niggers With Attitude are part of our History.


------------------------------------ This could never work. While I rate Eminem as a lyricist much more than any of the NWA members, there are a few things which mean this just could never happen....

Eminem is not 'Straight outta compton', or even from LA for that matter. Eminem is white. How could he still get respect calling himself a NIGGA WIT ATTITUDE?

Oh yeah, one more thing, its BIG BANK HANK from the Sugerhill isn't it? not BIG BAD HANK. I used to be sure it was Bank, but someone of your stature differing has me reconsidering...

take it easy, and keep up the good work with the site,

Dublin, Ireland.


I think the perfect replacement for Eazy-E could be Cold187um aka Big Hutch from Above the Law. Cold187um was Eazy's right hand man and took over much production when Dr. Dre left the group. Other possible replacements could be MC Eiht, DJ Quik, or even Mack 10. I don't think Eminem would be a good replacement for Eazy because the name of the group is Niggaz With Attitudes, and Eminem in not a "nigga". Furthermore he is not the gangsta rap type.


Davey D Responds:

I've gotten quite a few letters with people emphatically pointing out that Eminem could not be in NWA because 'HE IS NOT A NIGGA'?. That's an interesting reaction when one considers all the Non-African Americans who have used this term and defended such usage with a variety of flim flam excuses. I've constantly argued that the word Nigga is offensive especially when used by non-African Americans. Now there are many of you who have maintained that this word has somehow dropped all it's negative associations and has become a 'term of endearment'. Others maintain its a Hip Hop expression that is now 'universal' or multi-ethnic. Many have claimed that it means 'ignorant person' and some have gone so far as to flip the letters and make the word stand for some fancy sounding stuff.. 2Pac did this a long time ago when he claimed Nigga meant 'Never Ignorant...blah blah blah..' Others have pointed out that the spelling of the word N-I-G-G-A-H takes on a different meaning as opposed to when it's spelled -N-I-G-G-E-R.. So over the years I've endured all sorts of white kids greeting each other with the term 'What's Up my Nigga?'. I've seen others get upset when asked not to use it.' I've seen folks from other countries adapt this terminology with no real understanding and appreciation for its historical context. It would be on par to me adapting the swastika and claiming its no longer offensive and that it's symbol is now benign. Folks who dealt with the Nazis would have a fit and never let it go down.

The real problem with this word Nigga being used is that the majority of people still see this word as one that describes an individual of African descent. Far too often the negative and stereotypical beliefs associated with Blacks and this word are also conjured up. Bottom line is there ain't too many of y'all saying 'What's up Nigga'? and envisioning in your mind anyone else but a dark skinned brotha.. It doesn't matter if you live 10 thousand miles away in some place where there are no Black people..or if you live in a place full of brothas like Washington DC. The word still conjures up that image of Black folks.

In all seriousness, I tossed out the idea of Em being a member of NWA and all of a sudden I'm getting deluged with letters from Non-African Americans who insist on using this term claiming its Hip Hop terminology, now taking the position that Em can't be a 'Nigga' because he's white. Why not? Isn't this word universal? If white kids call themselves Nigga can't be Em be a full fledged member of a group sporting that name?

A whole bunch of Black folks have written and taken offense to Em being called that. Now that's hypocritical. All of a sudden Black folks who have gone out of their way to carelessly use the word in public environments are now stepping up and claiming this word as one that exclusively describes and belongs to them. Is this right after so many Black folks have given license to those outside the community to use the word?

NWA claimed that they were 'Niggaz For Life'. That meant they were in it for the long haul. They would endure the good times and bad times. They would take on the good, the bad and the ugly. Far too often people wanna be 'niggas' when its hip and cool and it's the fashion statement of the month. But soon as they leave the confines of the Hip Hop arena.. these same folks aren't down to have that name stick with them forever. They don't want their boss calling them that. They don't want a police officer calling them that. They don't want the societal oppression and disrespect that often comes with that word impacting them..

Oh well I guess I got ahead of myself when I thought that people really believed they were 'niggas' when they kept using that word. I guess they were 'fairweather niggas'. Here today while the going is good.. gone tomorrow when the kitchen gets hot. They were '[niggas of convience'. Brothas and sistas who continuously use this word, you can't conveniently claim this word and take offense if some white or non-Black kid ever decides to form a group where he uses this word in a name. Yes Eminem can be a NIGGA WITH ATTITUDE'.. Why? Cause may of brothas and sistas thought it was ok to stand in silence or even encourage Non-Blacks to use that word. Many of you said being a Nigga ain't a black thang anymore. So don't hate if a white boy with sick rhymes winds up being a Nigga With Attitude. Am I off base to follow the rules that so many have ignorantly insisted on laying out?

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written by Davey D
All Rights Reserved

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