This is Kool Keith. This is my first time writing you all personally,
because this is a serious issue. I love all my fans, but I am a little bit
angry with my record company. Aren't you mad? I am on a big label, but I
am getting no promotion.
The label fucked up a lot of stuff that you kids want to have access to.
The video should be on TV for you kids to see. The video was done before
my tour. You can call and email the following people to ask them what's
going on. My project is available, but I know it's hard for you not to get any of the material, and latest updates.
You should really e-mail these people constantly, to give you the
information that you need about the Black Elvis CD.
Visually, radio time, show updates, and next singles and albums.
You can email these people 24 hours a day, and you will get a response.
Write in your complaints about the album not being seen in your local
stores, or wherever you can't find Kool Keith product.
Email these people and tell them why you're angry that you haven't seen
my new video. Email these people 24 hours a day nonstop, you will get a response. Ask for wigs, product, posters, videos, radio,and etc.
And that's it.
Here is who you can ask what:
Why is Kool Keith getting no Promotion?
Why is Columbia Records not supporting Kool Keith?
Why is nothing getting done?
Why do I never see Kool Keith on TV shows like Letterman or Moesha?
Why do you not care about Kool Keith?
Have you ever heard of Kool Keith?
Why is Kool Keith not getting played on the radio?
Why hasn't Kool Keith been on Howard Stern?
Why isn't Kool Keith's video getting played on MTV?
Why isn't Kool Keith's video getting played on BET?
Why isn't Kool Keith's video getting played on THE BOX?
Why is KoolKeith.com owned by Columbia Records?
Why haven't you given Kool Keith the digital camera you promised him?
Why is http://www.Koolkeith.com never updated?
Please be nice and professional to these people. Don't curse them out or
harass them. But please, ask them the questions you want answered. Even if
you don't see the questions here, feel free to ask them any questions
pertaining to Kool Keith and Columbia Records. Fell free to email them
often, until you get the response you are looking for. Remember, it is up to you fans to make your voices heard. Tell them what you think they should be
doing for Keith. Let us know what you are writing these people. Please forward a copy of all of your letters to mailto:KEITHELVISBOX@AOL.COM
DJ Quik To Hook Up With
Rage Against The Machine
Looks like Urban Hip Hop fans will soon have an opportunity to peep out Rage Against The Machine just like they did Limp Bizkit. Apparently DJ Quik has been enlisted to do a remix of one of their songs... 'Guerilla Radio'. I'm not sure if Quik will rap on the song, but we'll have to wait and see how he does on the remix. While this is going on somewhere down in the 'Dirty South', Outkast is set to do a remix for the rock/rap group Korn. With all this cross genre collaborations going on, I have to ask do you think it's balanced? Is it a fair exchange in the sense that both groups are getting equal exposure to the others respective audiences? I recall talking to Boots of The Coup and he pointed out that there are many so called alternative rock stations that to this day will not touch rap unless its The Beastie Boys or Eminem. Some of them hardly played the Limp Bizkit song featuring Method Man while many urban stations did? On the same token I noted that a whole lot of folks fronted on that recent Ice Cube record entitled 'Fuck Dying' featuring Korn. When I touched on this subject a few weeks ago many readers wrote back and pointed out that the cut 'N2gether Now' by Limp Bizkit while ok, was by no stretch of the imagination among their best songs. That sparked the question in my mind as to whether or not such collaborations are diluting the sounds of both artists.? Hit me back on this one. Has radio and video shows been friendly and fair and presenting these rap/rock collaborations? Have the various audiences and fans been receptive? Are their respective sounds being diluted? mailto:email@example.com
Hip Hop Record Promoter To Run For Office
Big props are in order to Ms Andretta 'Ann' Lyles. Now many of you outside the Bay Area may not know her, but here around town, many of us deejays know her for her work on the Hip Hop scene as a local record promoter. I recall her putting in work at Sony Music where she not only hooked us up with records but also put together events like listening parties for Lauryn Hill and others. More recently she was the one who laced us with all the new material from the whole Quantumm MCs camp [formerly known as Solesides featuring Blackalicious, Latyrx, DJ Shadow etc]. In any case this recent Stanford Grad is stepping into the political ring and launching her campaign for a seat on Oakland's school board. I know her work and activities at Stanford make her more then qualified and she'll do good if elected. I'm just happy to see one of our own from the Hip Hop arena stepping up and making that move into public office. She'll at least have the sensitivity and understanding of the kids the school board should ideally be trying to reach. At the very least we know she has the marketing and promotion skillz and savvy to get people motivated. I know I always played her records..:) We wish her much luck. It's interesting to note that Tavis Smiley with BET did a show on politics and how to reach The Hip Hop generation..With all the Hip Hop activism going on out here it sure would've been nice to see some representation from this side of the country on the show. Ms Lyles is one of the first, but there are a few more folks within the Hip Hop arena that are preparing and setting their sights on some of these political offices here in the Bay. Keep watching.
Lil Kim Gets Nasty
Lil Kim is blowing up the spot and she hasn't even dropped a new record yet. Her album 'The Notorious Kim' has been pushed back to March of 2000. In the meantime she has managed to grace the covers of The Source Magazine in their special 'Sex and Hip Hop' issue. She is also set to be featured in an upcoming gay magazine called 'Out'. Here Kim will speaking on the topic of Gays in Hip Hop'. Kim was recently featured another magazine [the name escapes me] where she stripped down and tattooed with Louis Vutton logos. All this is coming at the heels of Lil Kim garnering national attention and controversy during the MTV video awards show when Diana Ross took advantage of Lil Kim's provocative see through outfit by fondling her breasts. If that's not enough Lil Kim is also letting her objections be known about the upcoming Notorious BIG album that is slated to drop on December 7th. She feels that Puffy shouldn't have released the project because it doesn't reflect the level that BIG was on before he was killed. In addition she feels that there are way too many guest emcees on the track. We'll have to wait an see when the lp drops. At least Lil Kim sounds good on the new single by BIG entitled 'Notorious'.
Spice One: Crazy, Deadly, Cool
By: Adisa,"The Bishop"
Those who cannot go beyond death, can never truly come to life- The Buddha
When most people think of mention O.G.'s, and innovators of the West coast rap scene, the name Spice One is not often the first to come to mind. But review the history of the west side and you will find his name over and over again.
At the same time, It's kind of easy to forget about Spice One. You don't see him hustling somebody's hats or shoes or soda pop. He does not moonlight as an actor, or a social activist. He's a rapper- straight up. And he's diligent about sticking to his script. This, is precisely why he'll silently go gold and platinum, with little fan fare. Spice has a strange kind of fame. Possessing the record sales and money of a true innovator and O.G., but lacking the immediate notoriety of other rap artists who don't have not sold half as many records.
Still he is a true artist, a rare breed in a time of one hitter quitters and synthetic MC's. "I don't even want people to call my music rap and I don't want people to call my music Hip Hop. I want them to call it thug poetry" he tells me."My lyrics are straight poetry".
His latest release, "Immortalized", is destined to be a west coast classic. " I called the album 'Immortalized' because I feel like Pac and Biggie and Eazy they are all immortalized. They'll be around forever, you know? And I feel my albums, and what I've done in the past are gonna keep me out there in the streets and in the hood and in the clubs and on the radio. Not sayin' that I'ma die soon or anything, but just talking about the power of music. What does immortal mean? It means forever. Thuggin' is forever."
Here we go, that THUG thing again. Everybody has been claimin' to be a thug as of late. But under the marketing ploys, is a true blue ghetto culture dominated by thugs. Eazy was the Hip Hop Thuggster, Pac lived the "Thug Life". Both died young, quick, passionate lives. Why carry the "thug torch" when the end result is so crystal clear?
"When you really a thugged out nigga, man, it's hard for you to get away from that lifestyle whether you rappin' or not" he says sharply. "Their lives was gonna be short whether they was rappin' or not. The thing is, if I'm crossed- I WILL ride. That's just a mentality that I grew up with. Some of these niggas out here ain't even knocked a nigga out before. Ain't never shot a gun. Ain't never GOT knocked out. Ain't never did nothin'. And they rappin' all of this hard ass shit. I can ride around block that I started. And I done knocked niggas out cold. I done been jumped before and shot at and all of that. Knock on wood that I'm still around. But when it went down, I wasn't just a talker". You can clearly see that whether it was a personal brush with death, or maturity kicking in- Spice has transcended the mortality. This makes him a more passionate artist within', and thug without. He's seems almost proud of some of his dastardly deeds (as he highlights all of his felonies, misdemeanors etc. in a segway on the album). Most involve firearms violations in various states.
He's a platinum MC, period. And while being gold or platinum is not necessarily a proof talent- Spice has it. Immortalized is a true west coast record. A little bit of violence, a little bit of the drug game and some cold hearted violence. All set to music you can smoke to, fight to or dance to."I don't want every body to think 'Oh this is the same Spice One' blah, blah, blah. It's not the same Spice. It's totally different. "
Indeed it is quite different. Production credits range wide from DJ's like KMEL's Dave Meyer to Rick Rock, R&B Producer Kirk Crumpler and also features one of the last recordings of the immortal Roger Troutman. His new album, showcases a maturity and creativity not seen on his previous releases. He ventures into unknown territory on a few songs like the title track by sprinkling western acoustic guitars over the drums. The sonic clarity of "High Powered" makes you forget that he's jacking a beat from Scooby Doo. He even did steamy lil sex song "Can I Hit it Tonight" for the freaks in the industry. But make no mistake. This album was made for the west side enthusiast. So murder, mayhem and fist fights permeate "Immortalized" from the first track to the last. On "Make 'Em Bleed" he promises "You tell 'em Bossalini calls the shots/ I'm still lookin' for the bitch ass niggas who murdered my homie Pac".
This album also has unthinkable cameos. The first song on the album, has Spice unloading clips at point blank range teamed up with N.O.R.E on "What the Fuck". Another track "Thug Poetry" is a down tempo track with Saafir. The contrast of their voices as well as their rhyme patterns are a pleasant surprise. And Spice is clear on who he does collaborations with and WHY he does them.
"I don't have to have twenty to thirty muthafuckas on my album, that sold a million copies for me to sell a million copies. That's showing weakness to me. I feel that if you claim you a rapper and all of that shit- and you can get them niggas on your album, cool. But if they askin' you for 50, 80 and 90 thousand [dollars]? Potnah, I need you on my shit nigga I'm Spice One. And even if I wasn't Spice One, I would have more confidence in myself as an artist to just bust and be raw. I do songs with my home boys because we cool and we get down like that".
Spices mission was to make an album that reflected the true mentality of the west coast. That mission was accomplished on "Immortalized".
" I'm not mad at nobody. But ever since Pac and Biggie got killed. It seems like niggas been scared to spit the real. This shit [the rap game] came from the streets. And when it leaves the streets- it's gon' die. " Rest assured that as long has his lungs keep breathing, Spice One will never let that happen.
by Adisa banjoko mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
FEED BACK & LETTERS
As a subscriber to your newsletter and a former active journalist, I never thought I would be compelled to write to you. I am someone who has seen you walking and riding around the Bay for years and someone who has heard you speak at all the media events like the Bay Area Black Journalist townhall meetings and the Bay Area Black Media Coalition conferences. We have even written articles for the same local papers.
Anyway, I must weigh-in on the Eminem/NWA/Niggaz thing:
I just moved back to the Bay Area after living for two years in my small hometown of Rockford, Illinois and it was quite an experience.
I saw white people in my old 'hood, selling and smoking crack, listening to a lot of Hip-Hop and, yes, calling each other
At first, I thought this was just to fit in, but then when I looked at the contexts in which the word was used, I saw something deeper.
The word was used to express anger that was not necessarily hatred. As in "Niggah, I'll kill you!"
The word was used as a term of endearment as in "That's my Niggah, right there."
However the word was used, it was used to show a sincere emotion that could hardly be mistaken for a racial slur.
My mother would come by my house and hear my white neighbors use the word and she just wrote them off as "white trash." And my girlfriend, who was Native American looked at them with some disdain, also. But I understood.
The point is, the term has been so co-opted by so many races as to have become mostly benign. It's just become another noun that could be easily applied to anything and anyone. How the word is received depends largely on the listener and the circumstances and circumstances don't necessarily have a color.
As for Eminem, I can't see him with the Straigh Otta Compton clique, but I believe that if I got to know him, I'd be telling people, "That's my Nigga!"
Luv the website and the newsletter, Dave. Keep on doin' what you're doing on the air and on the Net.
Terry Andre Woodard
In response to your comments on Eminem being a "nigga".
I firmly believe that in 1999/2000, the detrimental associations with the word nigger have diminished in certain cultures in our society. As long as I can remember, some 27+ years now, my friends and I have greeted each other with "What up nigga", "Yo nigga" and many other hello's along those lines. It is nothing to hear us saying things like "That's my nigga" or "Nigga you crazy". The fact that I am white has never played a factor in being a "Nigga". In the hip-hop culture, it is equivocal to being "one of the guys". Even the women that we hang around with who are down become "niggas" from time to time. The word has become a badge of honor of sorts that validates and solidifies your acceptance in the hip hop culture. It is our brand of tattoo, letting all who hear know that you are accepted, "down with the movement".
It is far past the time when we as citizens in the various neighborhoods and burroughs of the hip-hop community live such contradictory lives. We preach "keep it real" when the reality is that we all have bills to pay and mouths to feed. We adopt and conceive to create our own dialect of the English language and then change the rules of application to suit our own needs in any given situation.
Is Em black, no. But is he a nigga? Yes. Didn't he go through his own set of trials and tribulations in the course of life in the hip hop culture to earn that title. His skills alone, which are considerable to date, we'll see if he has lasting value, should grant him access to the hip hop elite and thus wear the title.
Color doesn't make you a nigga. If we as a culture have adopted this title as a term of endearment, we cannot be selective about who can be endeared with its use.
Knowledge Giving Birth Enterprises
Basically white rappers calling themselves niggas has already started.
Example White Dawg on his album shit poor accuse of an album Thug Ride.
I forgot which track, but he says it and pays it no mind.
As for Eminem I give him respect for being a good lyricist (not the saviour
of Hip-Hop) and for knowing not to go near the word.
In terms of white kids and blacks using the word in the public at large, it
seems to me that the true impact of the word won't reach them until they
encounter the racism attached to it.
Recently here in the UK there have been a host of race crimes committed by
right-wing racist groups, and the police.
Things are so bad that a man who attacked, doused with petrol and set
alight in a race attack outside a bar, was deemed by the police to have
committed suicide (???).
Biggest influence for the use of word outside of the Ku Klux Klan ARE
rappers they seem to be ignorant of its impact when nicely edited, packaged
and sound engineered. It is no longer something that you say within your
crew, but becomes public domain e.g. Quentin Tarantino's frequent use. I
do find it weird however that whenever a rapper performs to a crowd which
is not predominately black that they don't tend to say nigga (as anyone
else notice that?). It is as if they realize they sound stupid calling
themselves a nigga in front of whites.
Something has to be done in term of when (if at all) it should be used,
because I'm sick of having to punch white kids who say as a term of
endearment (whatever that means).