September 26 2002
In this week's issue

*O'Reilly Goes After Snoop and the Muppets
*Hip Hop Fridays & Street Notes by Cedric Muhammed
*Hot 97 Backs Up Flex, They Go After Steph Lova
*Flava Flav Gets One Year, MTV to Play PE Video

HHPN Newsletter
Sept 26 2002
*LL vs P-Diddy: Who's Gonna Be The Next NY Governor? pt 2
*Can Hip Hop and Politics Mix? pt 2

The FNV Newsletter c 2002
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*** Looks like Bill OReilly is about to put a foot up the butt of
another rapper this time its Snoop Dogg.  Seems like O'Reilly has a
problem with Snoop getting down with the muppets and an upcoming X-Mas
Special which is scheduled to run on NBC.  O 'Reilly brings up the
fact that Snoop has served time, used to smoke weed, has made porno
films and the whole nine.  Not only that, O'Reilly is going after
Macy's which is scheduled to carry Snoop's line of clothing.

O'Reilly acknowledges that Snoop has gone on record about changing his
ways and his lifestyles.  For those who don't know, Snoop said he was
going to quit smoking pot and start living a clean life.  O'Reilly
says he doesn't care about all that because Snoop has already
corrupted millions of kids.  He feels like Snoop is being rewarded for
terrible behavior and therefore should not be allowed to enter the

He also dismissed the fact that the Muppets once had controversial
rock star Alice Cooper on a TV Special where he was trying to convince
the Muppets to sell their souls.  O'Reilly says Cooper was a character
in clown make up while Snoop is much worse.

The other thing is that did was rebuff any criticism about not
understanding the 'ghetto' O'Reilly pulled out his ghetto credentials
by running down a list of all the ghettos he has been in.  He named
off Soweto, South Africa, some places in Haiti, the back streets of
Saigon, Liberty City in Miami, Cabrini Green in Chicago and Roxbury in
Boston.  He said as a result of his visits he knows whats goes on in
these areas.

In typical O'Reilly fashion he says he doing it for the kids and to
better America, but its all about ratings.  I listened to his show
this morning and peeped how he teased his attack on Snoop all morning
long.  He kept encouraging listeners to stay tuned because he was
gonna bash Snoop.  He noted that his remarks would bring lots of
controversy and notoriety as was the case when he levied his remarks
against Ludacris and Pepsi.  He was definitely milking this for all
its worth.

I'm not gonna get too much into all this but it looks like homeboy is
going out of his way to try and regulate on cats.  At this point in
time its gonna be up to Snoop, Ludacris and company to step up and use
their talents to step up and represent themselves in this matter.
This is especially true for Ludacris who O'Reilly accuses of backing
out of a scheduled on air debate on ABC or one of the networks at the
last minute.

On a side note I couldn't help thinking about last week when Jesse
Jackson and Al Sharpton who have been regular targets for Bill
O'Reilly were up in arms because of the 'Barbershop' movie.  The whole
saga caused a national debate which got covered by CNN and everyone
else in between.  I kept thinking about the fact while Jackson and
Sharpton do war with Ice Cube and company [Hip Hop], O'Reilly disses
them all.  He has in the past accused Jesse and Sharpton of being
slimey.  He's accused Snoop, Ludacris and other rappers of being
slimey.  From Jackson to Ludacris from Reparations to Gangsta Rap it's
all comes under fire by this one cat who is on both radio and TV damn
near 7 days a week.  Is there a pattern here?  In the meantime cats
who are actually out and about trying to make a difference are never
mentioned.  Of course we know controversy sells so why should we be

Hopefully cats get the hint and start re-evaluating who they wish to
do battle with.  It's not enough that O'Reilly is voicing his opinion,
but he's using his reach to economically knock people down even when
they try to change.


by Cedrick Muhammed of Blackelectorate.com

The few that know about it are shaking their heads in awe.  A 60
Minutes feature on Jay-Z is in production right now.  A few weeks ago,
the still relatively camera-shy Brooklyn rapper granted CBS and 60
Minutes cameras rare access and the result, according to sources, will
be a 60 Minutes segment on the rapper, his musical impact, community
development projects, and business savvy.  Negotiations regarding the
taping emphasized that the spotlight be placed upon Jay-Z's
non-music-related and underreported involvement in community
activities as well as power broker business moves.  We'll see if 60
Minutes keeps to its word.  We have our doubts but however it turns
out, it is good to see a hip-hop artist seeking to emphasize their
non-music leadership roles and responsibilities.

Sources tell us that the project was masterminded by Island Def Jam's
Lyor Cohen.  CBS producers indicate that there is no air date as yet
for the segment but that a major promotion for the show featuring
Jay-Z will be executed through the CBS.com website.  In other
Roc-A-Fella "power"/business moves, with the purchase of Armadale
Vodka complete, the challenging distribution campaign moves forward.
So far, the company has distribution in Miami, Los Angeles and New
York and is aggressively negotiating deals to ensure expansion of the
two-grain vodka into other major cities...

Speaking of the ROC, it turns out that the creative life of an artist
has certainly changed in the post-September 11th world.  Turns out
that the Harlem Diplomats' album initially titled, "Diplomatic
Immunity", has been pushed back in order to make room for the Paid In
Full soundtrack (released the end of October) - the Damon
Dash-produced movie with the same title that features Cam'ron in the
starring role.  The new timeline, which would have the Harlem
Diplomats album coming out in February also gives the label and
producers ample time to edit out whatever lyrical references have been
made, on the album, that may be deemed offensive in the
hyper-sensitive and politically correct new environment.  So far, a
Juelz Santana reference to Mohammed Atta has been taken out and the
group's references to their local crew nick-named "The Taliban" are
coming under fire from inside and out of the industry...


***In still more news, successful Roc-A-Fella negotiations with street
and underground legends, M.O.P.  are almost a foregone conclusion but
still not a 100% done deal.  Talks continue and a free flow of
creative ideas remain in exchange between M.O.P.'s management and
Roc-A-Fella staff members who are very much looking forward to the day
that the Brownsville-Marcy marriage is consummated, but their is only
so much prep work that can be done before the paperwork is signed.
Look for this to be done before the year is out...


***Lost in all of the hoopla surrounding Funkmaster Flex's simmering
"beef" with Steph Lova and an expected assortment of legal problems is
what the charges could mean to the DJ's growing business empire.  From
various marketing contracts to a new deal to put out a limited edition
inventory of specialized trucks bearing his name, to a new TNN weekly
show called Fast Rides With Funkmaster Flex produced and hosted by the
DJ, featuring celebrities and their cars; Funkmaster Flex has a lot to
lose over what most are describing as a petty dispute between two
on-air personalities.

Nowadays, endorsement contracts have clauses that permit those paying
out to terminate the business relationship not on conviction, or
arrest but as a result of accusations and negative publicity.  It will
be interesting to see whether Flex has one of those deals.  If worse
comes to worse Funkmaster Flex could always fall back on his
partnership with a customizing shop, which has been offering a
Flex-version General Motors Yukon XL.  Its interior features handmade
leather seating, four flat television/DVD screens and the mandatory
Alpine audio system.  The DJ is rumored to have received up to 50
orders for his close to $100,000 trucks.

By the way, people would be wise to not look at the Nas - Jay-Z;
Funkmaster Flex vs.  Steph Lova; and Hot 97 against Power 105
scenarios at such low levels.  The real beneficiaries of all of this
controversy, aside from the record labels and distributors are two
media corporations - Emmis Communications, which owns Hot 97, and
Clear Channel Communications, which owns Power 105.  As of yesterday's
(September 26, 2002) stock market close, Emmis' market capitalization
was $1, 029,000,000 and Clear Channel's market cap was at
$21,197,000,000.  Funkmaster Flex and Steph Lova' are pawns and
pennies in all of this...

Instead of gawking at Ruff Ryders, Aftermath, Def Jam, Roc-A-Fella,
and Murder Inc.  those seeking to understand the business forces that
really drive Hip-Hop should take a look at Universal Vivendi - the
multi-billion conglomerate that owns Universal Music and thus owns
significant portions of and/or distributes all of the above record
labels.  This week was a rough one for Vivendi which is laboring under
the weight of a $17 billion debt overhang.  Vivendi let 6 of its board
members go (they officially "resigned") and is looking to sell as much
as $11 billion in assets in order to pay off/lighten its enormous debt
burden.  Barry Diller, Chairman of Universal Entertainment, and Doug
Morris head of Universal Music recently met with Jean-Ren Fourtou, the
new chief of Vivendi to discuss the nightmare scenarios that will
include restructuring their respective jurisdictions.  Fourtou had
made it clear, since taking over last month, that any asset of Vivendi
is a candidate for sale.  And with Universal music being one of the
most profitable parts of the struggling Vivendi empire, many Wall St.
analysts have suspected that eventually the company might be forced to
sell the $5 billion member of the Vivendi body.  Still others have
argued that it will be the music division that will survive any sales
and restructurings.

This week Fourtou announced that the struggling media empire would
speed up sales of assets and focus on entertainment and
telecommunications.  This seemed to indicate that its music and
entertainment divisions in America were safe, for now, but because
these businesses would become the focus of the new restructured
conglomerate, further job and budget cuts or freezes at Universal
Music could be expected soon, even in already diminished Hip-Hop and
R&B areas...


***How hot is 50cent?  How quickly things change.  After a 1999-2000
where he was hated by every rapper in the game and even shot in the
jaw, 2002 finds that right now, it is hard to find anybody hotter on,
the streets.  After signing with Eminem's Shady/Aftermath records this
summer after a bidding war that involved J, Universal and Jive
Records, the intrigue around the Queens rapper has only accelerated.
Right now there are 7 Best Of...  50cent mixtapes out on the street,
all moving, and according to the rapper, all by design.  Before
signing his estimated 1 million dollar deal with Eminem, 50 cent told
MTV, "I have full access to the streets through mixtapes - that's my
forum.  I take full advantage of it.  I don't have it where I can say,
'Put this on [the radio program] "Top Eight at 8,"' " he continued.
"When it gets to that point, it's gonna be terrible for them because
the artists that are out there don't control the street.  They skipped
over that and went to mainstream radio once they came out."  With the
mainstream power of radio-friendly Aftermath and Eminem behind him, we
shall soon see if 50's prediction is accurate.  Not everybody, however
is happy about 50 cents signing.  Most notably Ja Rule, who has
battled 50 on wax and with real fisticuffs.  Ja reportedly told The
Source, " If you're gonna be authorizing [50 Cent] to spew records on
me, then I wanna do what I gotta do to take your company under.  And
that goes for Dre, Em or whoever."...


***Speaking of The Source a bit of a controversy has erupted among
heads over the magazine's granting of 5 mics to the new Scarface
album, The Fix.  It seems that some of the die-hard 'Face fans were
disappointed with the release while a whole new audience of fans of
the artist from the 5th Ward of Houston love what they heard from a
more mature and introspective artist.  Our suggestion is don't worry
about the mic count, just enjoy the latest album by one of Hip-Hop's
top ten greatest MCs of all-time.  By the way, we hope you all will
remember the serious dues Face has paid with virtually the whole
government coming after him and Rap-A-Lot Records.  Read our
BlackElectorate.com article from two years ago, Hip-Hop Fridays: Rap
COINTELPRO Part IV: Congress Holds Hearings On DEA Rap-A-Lot

written by Cedric Muhammed of Blackelectorate.com


by Davey D

Well by now the the Hip Hop community is aware of the recent situation
involving Hot 97 DJ Funk Master Flex.  he made front page news when he
was turned himself into the police after rival female deejay and
former co-worker Steph Lova accused him of physically assaulting her.
According to the initial reports Steph Lova waited 36 hours to report
the incident which occurred last week in front of the Hot 97 studios.
She stated that she wanted to check with her lawyers and 'do the right
thing'.  As far as she was concern Flex's beat down on her stemmed
from the controversial interview she did with Nas back in June where
he accused Flex of payola.

The fallout and reaction was swift, Many saw Flex's assault as a
straight up 'bitch move'.  There's no excuse for laying hands on a
woman and more then a few people went on record to say so...  Ed Lover
of rival station Power 105 went on the air the next morning and not
only expressed his disgust but called for Flex to be fired.  On the
surface it appeared that Hot 97 which is owned by Emmis Communications
would discipline Flex.  Such was not the case.

Flex was back on the air the day the damaging headlines came out.  He
was taking phone calls and saying he 'doesn't get down like that' and
that he 'respects women'.  He didn't offer up any official comment but
it was apparent Hot 97 was backing him all the way.  First, they have
gone on the offensive and accused the media of distorting the story
and getting it twisted.  They maintain that Flex is not a violent
person.  This is the same Hot 97 that refused to comment or issue any
statements when this incident first occurred.  Phone calls and
requests to get 'the other side' of the story went unanswered and
un-returned when the story first broke, but that's a whole other tale.
It wasn't like people didn't call to find out what went down.  In fact
some news outlets had the info and waited a full day trying to get Hot
97s perspective before running with the story.

In any case, Hot 97's officials are not only backing Flex but they are
now going after Steph Lova.  The early word was the station itself was
looking into getting a restraining order against her.  She is being
accused of 'lingering' in front of the Hot 97 offices and 'harassing'
her former co-workers by showing up in front of the Hot 97 studios
uninvited.  Her constant presence has caused tension because she works
for Clear Channel station power 105 which is now neck and neck in the
ratings with Hot 97.

Of course one has to raise the question as to why didn't they seek to
get a restraining order earlier?  Most radio stations have security
that can intervene and remove unwanted visitors.  You would think that
after the shoot out that occurred a few months back between CNN's camp
and Junior Mafia in front of the Hot 97 studios that such provisions
would've been put in place.  And even if she did show up at the
studios is that an accuse for someone to lay hands on her?  Either
she's lying about the assault or she isn't.  If she is lying then Flex
and company should go after her full throttle.  But if he did hit
her...Her 'lingering' in the lobby of a rival radio station is a weak
excuse for that to happen and one has to question why he's still on
the air for something that egregious.  I'll guess well find out when
this goes to court.  Although many are speculating that this will most
likely be settled out of court.

The other thing to note is that NYPD has declined to investigate and
go after Flex on the payola accusations.  His manager, Joie Manda is
quoted as saying the allegations against Flex taking money to play
records is 110% false.  He also went on to say that the reason why
these allegations have been levied against Flex is because he's the
'biggest dog' out there and that all high profile deejays in major
markets come under suspicion of payola.

The other interesting thing to note that 'DaOperative' who wrote the
open letter to Flex last week threatening to go to the Feds if he
didn't stop taking payola has also backed off.  Here's an excerpt of a
letter that was written late last week before the Steph Lova 'alleged'
beat down:

["...It was brought to my attention yesterday two industry executives
from a major label got into a fist fight over the issue of payola.  If
this is true then I find that to be very disturbing trend because the
purpose of my open complaint was not to create chaos within the
industry but to alert everyone to the effect that payola has on the
hip hop nation.  I was contacted by a high profile entertainment
attorney who strongly advised me that it was in my best interest that
I should not pursue this matter any further due to the effects that it
will have on my longtime friends and allies who work within the

DaOperative went on to say that he/she has gotten threats and it would
be best to take the higher road.  He/she also noted that several
websites that were running the open letter were being told they would
lose ad money from Franchise Marketing if they continue to run the
piece.  Me personally I haven't heard from anyone, but then again I
don't run ads.  We'll keep you posted on how all this plays out..


Now on to Flava Flav.  For those who have gotten a chance to see the
Public Enemy show which features Blackalicious and Dilated Peoples,
you will have noticed the absence of Hip Hop's most famous hype man
Flava Flav.  Unfortunately shortly before the tour started Flav was
hauled off to jail and was facing the possibility of 4 years in jail
for ...  now everyone sit down for this one...  He was looking at 4
years in jail for unpaid parking tickets.

He also had a suspended license but who gets 4 years for that?  Flav
was not caught doing drugs, assaulting anyone, robbing a bank or
selling any sort of illegal narcotics.  he got busted in the Bronx
driving with a suspended license and was looking at 4 years.

The judge would not release Flav on his own recognizance.  He said
Flav was in violation of his probation.  He went to court this past
Wednesday in the Bronx where he had to endure a hostile judge and
callous guards.  For example, when Flav was being lead into court, he
was behind a glass partition.  Apparently one of the guards escorting
him did not realize he could be seen from court observers.  While
standing behind Flav he began to mimic him and do some sort of shuffle
dance in an attempt to clown.  That upset more then a few folks.

During the hearing, the judge wound up reducing Flav's 4 year sentence
to one year and we would get credit for time already served.  This
meant that Flav would have to spend another 9 weeks in jail.  His
release was timed for him to get out just as PE gets off tour.

Now I'm not going to sit up here and say Flav is an angel or anything
like that.  Bottom line he shouldn't have been driving with a
suspended license.  He should've also been paying his parking tickets.
From what I'm told they weren't that much maybe a couple of thousand
at most which is not unsual for a place like NYC or San Francisco etc.
Flav had started working at Power 105 as a deejay and had been making
moves to really put himself in a better financial situation.  This
tour was really important because it would've allowed him to finally
get everything together.  Many feel the judge knew all this and wanted
to stiffle that momentum.

Now I've watched guys who have pulled guns and assaulted folks get out
bail.  I've watched cats who done much more harmful things that got
shorter time for parole violation.  Maybe it's me..I'm not no lawyer
or nothing, but if I was a judge and knew that Flav was working and
getting a regular paycheck and he owed money for parking tickets,
couldn't you simply 'GARNISH' his wages?  Since he was scheduled to be
out on the road for the next couple of months couldn't they have made
it a provision that he take care of his license.  It's not like he
would be driving while touring?  Now the man's income sources are shut
down and he sits in jail for the next two months while cats still sell
drugs and do all types of crazy stuff around my old Bronx
neighborhood.  When he gets out he will be in serious dire straits and
will have to play a serious game of catch up.

Its interesting to note that Slick Rick, Gil Scott Heron and Flava
Flav all sit in jail with no possibility of bail.  Slick is in an INS
jail accused of not being a US citizen even though's he lived here all
his life.  He got swept up in this latest war on terrorism.  Gil Scott
is serving three years for smoking crack and Flav is looking at
another two months for unpaid tickets.  Meanwhile we have corporate
crooks who have stolen millions and put average ordinary folks in
serious financial jeapordy walking around like nothing happen.  Only
America folks Only in America.

Finally in other news.  MTV has announced that they will play Public
Enemy's new video 'Give the Peeps What They Need' without any of the
restrictions.  In other words we will hear Chuck D say 'FREE MUMIA'.
While this is great it's not satisfying.  We are wondering if MTV is
agreeing to play the video to avert a protest in front of their
studios by upset activists..mmmmm we'll keep you posted.  What will be
pertinent in this situation is to see how often they play the video.
Like Chuck D said, He didn't make the video for MTV.  It's simple the
principal of the matter.


The FNV Newsletter c 2002
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