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Friday, April 30, 2004

End of the week (and month) notes... 

Couple more jumpoff's to end off the week (and month). So much stuff is happening right now I could be blogging around the clock, but since I actually have to try and live my life and make money, a lot of stuff will probably pass me by moving forward from here, but always peep the sites in the sidebar at left because, if I'm not covering it, one of those fine sites or blogs is.

Now back to that realness....

I kind of covered this earlier today, but I wanna reinforce the point that the media has been sleeping and giving Bush a free pass to run his bullsh!t for the past four years:
On his way to confirmation as U.S. ambassador to Iraq, the current U.N. envoy John Negroponte was busily twisting language like a pretzel at a Senate hearing the other day. The new Baghdad regime, to be installed on June 30, will have sovereignty. Well, sort of. Negroponte explained: "That is why I use the term 'exercise of sovereignty.' I think in the case of military activity, their forces will come under the unified command of the multinational force. That is the plan."

In other words, the Baghdad government will be praised as the embodiment of Iraqi sovereignty while the U.S. military continues to do whatever Washington wants it to do in Iraq -- including order the Iraqi military around. Negroponte talked about "real dialogue between our military commanders, the new Iraqi government and, I think, the United States mission as well." But ultimately, he said, the American military "is going to have the freedom to act in their self-defense, and they’re going to be free to operate in Iraq as they best see fit."

The disconnect between democracy rhetoric and imperial reality is glaring enough to require some media acknowledgment. [emphasis added] During an April 25 interview on NPR’s Weekend Edition, a former adviser to the Iraq occupation authority discussed the Bush administration’s concept of "limited sovereignty" for Iraqi people. "The sovereign of the country is the power that has the last say," law professor Noah Feldman commented, "and you can’t really have the last say in a country unless you command the army. So in a sense, you can’t really claim to be sovereign if someone else runs your army."

But the gaping holes in the U.S. stance are being largely papered over in news coverage. [emphasis added] Part of the process is for major American media outlets to simultaneously acknowledge and deny fundamental contradictions between the Bush administration’s rhetoric about democracy and its actual policies. (full story)
from "Staying the Media Course in Iraq" in the Media Beat column at

Wolfowitz can send the troops to fight but can't keep up with how many of them end up sacrificing their lives in Iraq. WTF? (Boston Globe)

Maybe he needs to watch Nightline tonight so he can get up to speed on the actual count, that is if the ABC station in DC will be carrying it:
Sinclair Broadcast Group, one of the largest owners of local television stations, will pre-empt tonight's edition of the ABC News program "Nightline," saying the program's plan to have Ted Koppel read aloud the names of every member of the armed forces killed in action in Iraq was motivated by an antiwar agenda and threatened to undermine American efforts there. (full story)
from "Some Stations to Block 'Nightline' War Tribute" (New York Times)
- What Sinclair Doesn't Want You to See on Nightline. (Common Dreams)

Scott Ritter, the ex-Marine who in 1998 resigned as chief weapons inspector for the UN Special Commission to disarm Iraq after accusing the Clinton administration of failing to stand tough against Hussein and risk a confrontation over the dictator's evasion of UN weapons sanctions, quoted in an Op-Ed by Robert C. Koehler in amNewYork today:
We are in a terrible bind, "a nightmare" Ritter told me. We put oursleves there, with 8,000 bombs, 130,000 troops. We toppled Saddam's statue. Yeah, mission accomplished. Quagmire accomplished. "The preseident went to war on a prayer."

So, we broke Iraq. We created a leadership void and set loose not just hope but all the country's desperate, vying factions, and opened doors for foreign interests as well to back their favorite militants and try to gain influence and control in the country. Like the sorcerer's apprentice, we created chaos.

"There is no plan. There is no exit strategy," Ritter said. "We are in a nightmare that will last at least four more years.... the longer we stay, the more radical it wll be."
Ritter interestingly blames not just Bush & co. but "every last one of us": "The American public has disassociated itself from citizenshhip. The only thing that could have stopped this war is good citizenship. Maybe we have to have a lot of Americans die before this country will wake up." Considering how many Americans still think Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11, all evidence to the contrary, Ritter may have a point there.

And this is definitely not a good look for the US (and Britain) as they scramble to save any semblance of control and order in Iraq: US military Iraq torture pictures spark outrage across the world. (Independent) At least Bush says he shares the widespread international revulsion at the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US guards. (BBC World News)
- Officer: U.S. troops untrained in Geneva Convention. (Globe and Mail) In my best Lil Jon voice: "Hooowhattah?" It just gets worse and worse.

Justice is (Duck) Blind. (I wish I'd found this one a couple days back but better late than never!) The Official Re-Selection Site for President George W. Bush. You gotta click the "Take Action Now" email links, they're crazy.

But in the interest of being "fair and balanced":

Amazingly, Bush Rebukes Ashcroft's Smear Tactics. (Center for American Progress)

John Kerry is a douche bag but I'm voting for him anyway.

Kerry Draws Fire Over Lack of Minorities. (New York Times) This issue keeps cropping up. Son needs to get his game tight 'cos if minorities stay home on election day because they feel they are being taken for granted or their issues aren't being addressed or represented in the overall campaign debate, Kerry is sunk for real.

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The real 50 cent | A new Mos Def movie | Masta Killa's masterpiece | The mystery of Blow-Up 

Get the story on the real 50 cent, the BK drug dealer Curtis Jackson copped his name from on the Infamous Times Vol. 1 DVD.

Mos Def stars in Something the Lord Made on HBO.

Dress like the #1 Stunna with the Birdman sneaker by Lugz dropping 5-15-04. (Promo magazine)

Heard on Kay Slay's Drama Hour radio show last night: holy smokes, Masta Killa's" D.T.D. (Do The Dance)" feat. Raekwon & Ghostface, produced by Mathematics and sampling Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness" is off the f-ckin rails. Man I need an mp3 link on that, can somebody help me out? I cannot believe how much hot music is coming out currently. If the albums coming out can match up in quality to these singles, 2004 could be an incredible year for hip hop.

Spotted while reading the new issue of Vibe magazine:

- Kells admits he's basically functionally illiterate. Respek to him for being man enough to go public with this admission.

- And I didn't know that Nina Sky is actually a group, not just one singer (and twin sisters, no less). Question though, I thought this song would be enormous by now but I'm not feeling it everywhere like I thought I would or am I just wrong in this perception?

For my peoples, once again:

move on up!
HotButtered Soul & ThunderClap Reggae
from the 1960's & 1970's

Special Guests David Judah
& IronWill
with Anousheh

Saturday, May 1
The Cloak&Dagger - 394 College Street

c'est free
c'est chic

And finally, Blow-Up, the classic existential murder mystery helmed by acclaimed Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni that also celebrates 60's mod London, is a great film that I only just saw for the first time this week despite being aware of it for years now. However, the commentary by Peter Brunette, author of The Films of Michelangelo Antonioni, a Professor of English & Films Studies at George Mason University and the chief film critic for, is basically useless at really explaining this arty but odd movie and, trust me, this is one film that really needs a great commentary.

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The mainstream media drops the ball yet again.... 

I haven't been keeping up with the news much in the last few days so these links/stories may be a day or so out of date but here's something to consider: why am I getting a fuller picture of what's poppin' in Iraq from New York's free daily paper amNewYork than from any of the "mainstream" media sources? WTF?

First off, I love how the New York Post gets down (wrt the cover story above):
In a stunning snub, two Democrats on the 9/11 commission yesterday abruptly walked out in the middle of the Oval Office interview with President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
Both early-departing panelists, former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey and ex-Indiana Rep. Lee Hamilton, insisted they had prior commitments - but their sudden slip out the side door of the White House left Washington and some fellow commission members in shock. (full story)
While even I have to admit that's it's tough to imagine any other commitment that could take precendence over sitting in on testimony from the president and vice president, I watched coverage of this story on CNN yesterday and apparently both Kerrey and Hamilton had advised the White House in advance that they would have to bow out if the session ran longer than two hours.

Meanwhile, even as he testified yesterday, Bush is still cock blockin' getting to the truth behind the intelligence failure that led to 9/11: Lawyers try to gag FBI worker over 9/11. (Independent UK)

And we're still trying to spend money on missile defense in 2004?! Not sure how a high-tech missile defense system would have helped stopped those planes two and a half years ago or help our soldiers as they get blasted in urban guerilla warfare with unidentifiable insurgents in Fallujah.
Whether or not North Korea has nukes or not, the US will be safe from them by the end of the year, Air Force Lt. Gen. Ron Kadish, director of the "Star Wars" Missile Defense Agency said yesterday [April 28]. But critics claim the multi-million dollar program is an overpriced waste.

Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.), a member of the Armed Services Committee, has called the missile tests "shamefully rigged" and said the money [a $1.12 billion budget overrun in 2003] could be better spent sending another 10,000 troops to Iraq.
from "Star Wars redux: This time it 'works'" by Chuck Bennett. (amNewYork 4/28/04) I love the irony of how during the Coild War when no actual fighting was done by the US Armed Forces (remember all the conflicts with the Communists were fought via proxy in Latin America, Africa etc.), military budgets went through the roof. But now that the US is actually engaged in a full scale, two-front conflict (f-ck it, war), they can't even get enough troops, armor or appropriate vehicles to protect themselves. WTF? BTW, how's this for lack of mainstream media coverage on the Missile Defense story: only 5 results come up when you google Ron Kadis' name. Why isn't anyone covering this??

And how's this for Irony?
L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Iraq, said in a speech six months before the September 11, 2001 attacks that the Bush administration was "paying no attention" to terrorism.

"What they will do is stagger along until there's a major incident and then suddenly say, 'Oh my God, shouldn't we be organized to deal with this,"' said Bremer at McCormick Tribune Foundation conference on terrorism on February 26, 2001. (full story)
from "Bremer criticized Bush on terrorism before attacks." (

Consider this stat from "April is Iraq's deadliest month" in USA Today:
By mid-April, it was already the deadliest month for U.S. troops in Iraq. By Thursday, the month's death toll had climbed to 134, more than the number of troops killed in the war's opening stages, from the invasion to the toppling of Saddam Hussein's statue in Baghdad. (full story)
And these losers couldn't even get changing the flag right. That f-ck-up just about epitomizes how this whole Iraq situation has been mis-handled: no pre-planning and inept execution from the get including the decision to even engage in this war. Why did we need to change the flag anyway? Aren't there more important things to deal with over there, like actually securing and maintaining the peace across the entire country that we're planning on handing back in just about 8 weeks! (Center for American Progress)

And on that note:
Iraqi's will have a "lot more sovereignty than they have right now" after the June 30 handover, but the US will still control security and the caretaker government won't be able to make laws says John D. Negroponte. They will [however] carry out the government's day-to-day operation [and] focus on organizing elections
from "US will limit new Iraq gov't." (amNewYork 4/28/04) So what eactly is being handed over on June 30?

But speaking of inept: Bush is actually releasing the terrorists from Gitmo as covered in Michael Isikoff's "Guantanamo: The 'Revolving Door' Sends Terrorists Back Out." (Newsweek)

And from "Iraq and Terror: Follow the Money" in this week's Newsweek:
After 9/11, Congress gave the Bush administration $40 billion worth of emergency antiterror funding. The money was supposed to finance post-attack cleanup, the global hunt for terrorists and improvements in homeland security. The funding bills instructed the administration to "consult" Congress about specific projects on which the money would be spent. But following allegations by author Bob Woodward that the administration diverted funds from the antiterror war to make secret preparations for war in Iraq, Democrats accused the administration of ignoring the legal requirement to keep legislators informed. Sen. Robert Byrd, top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, charged the "Bush White House provided no consultations as required by law." (full story)
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister has complained that criticism in the US is harming Saudi efforts to fight terror. (full story BBC World News) Erm, actually I think the fact that your corrupt Royal Family and government (which are basically one and the same organization) funds and appeases terrorist organizations, via money laundering "charities" and fundamentalist indoctrination/terrorist recruitment centers masquerading as "schools", is doing more harm than any soft-peddled US media coverage.

Karen Hughes is out of her mind equating pro-choicers with terrorists, WTF?:
"I think after September 11th the American people are valuing life more and realizing that we need policies to value the dignity and worth of every life. And President Bush has worked to say, let's be reasonable, let's work to value life, let's try to reduce the number of abortions, let's increase adoptions."

"The fundamental difference between us and the terror network we fight is that we value every life. It's the founding conviction of our country, that we're endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, the right to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

"Unfortunately our enemies in the terror network, as we're seeing repeatedly in the headlines these days, don't value any life, not even the innocent and not even their own..." (full transcript from
- Hughes rapped over abortion comments. (

And one more reason to fire Bush in November. (via Anousheh)

Meanwhile Kerry still doesn't seem to be inspiring the rank and file on the left (but don't get it twisted like James Ridgeway, Howard Dean was not the answer.) (Village Voice via Bol from

But to end on a lighter note: math majors or numbers whizzes, who can tell me how this works?

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Thursday, April 29, 2004

New Roots 12" giveaway | Does Shyne merit a cover story? | New Jadakiss heat | Trouble for J-Kwon and Irv Gotti 

From the website that manages to mix with Hip Hop Honeys: the latest i-jonez newsletter.

To some great stuff, as usual, in the current issue of the magazine that manages to do the same thing offline: XXL.

Featured in the June issue: an excellent interview with former Def Jam honcho (now Warner Music Group head) Lyor Cohen and an exploration of what went wrong at defunct late 90's kingpin indie hip hop label Rawkus Records. And XXL cements a puzzling movement that has been fermenting for a few years now that has transformed Shyne from new jack into a "hip hop icon" after only one album. Was getting railroaded into jail on questionable gun charges what really turned this promising-but-inconsistent BIG soundalike into one of the most checked for artists on the street? And not to get disrespectful but Shyne's moms, who is also interviewed, is kind of a MILF based on the pictures in her article.
- Must be something in the air because Ta-Nehisi Coates also does an article on the demise of Rawkus this week in the Village Voice.

Check the full audio on the new Roots single "Don't Say Nothin' here: wma | real.
Post some thoughts on this new jumpoff from their upcoming Tipping Point album below. How does it compare with previous singles, what the best single the Roots ever put out, best album? I know there's already been a lot of chatter online about what's really good with this new single. (NB: update, not video links like I first posted)

New contest!!
And thanks to the fine folks at Cornerstone Digital, once again we are able to offer another giveaway, this time of a 12" of the new Roots single "Don' Say Nothin'." Email the answer to the question: what is the name of the label that first released The Roots' debut indie album Organix? A winner will be selected from all correct responses. Contest ends Wednesday May 5 at 11:59:59.

(BTW: did ya'll catch D12 & Eminem featured as guests on FUSE TV's IMX show yesterday? Check their website: for more info on possible repeat airings if you missed it first time around.)

Pete Rock Soul Survivor II

And another Producer/DJ album mentioned previously that I finally got to check out. DJ Sharkey's hip hop/rock compilation is worth peepin' for fans of RJD2, DJ Shadow, David Holmes, Delakota etc. The ex-rude boy/mod in me is diggin' the ska-tinged "Summer in the City (Lovin' It)" track featuring Jean Grae. I just can't figure out who this Sharkey dude is that he gets to do an album like this?!

Seems like there's new heat droppin' almost daily nowadays: Jadakiss "The Champ is Here" produced by Green Lantern. This ish is double super-bananas. (via

Things get a little too hood for the Hood Hop kid J-Kwon. (Billboard)

And it's official unfortunately, Irv Gotti finally lives up to his name for real according to the Feds. (

the underground post...: rap and rap-related. politics of the business. spoonbills and other birds.

Luke Whittaker's Break in the Road music production game. (via Nadine S. NB: may take a long time to load)

Finally, good lookin to my man Chris Wash at Atlantic for the hookup on some of their recent wax including a blazin' new Timbo-produced Brandy jawn called "Turn It Up" and also the, ahem, Darkness CD. In all seriousness, I wish that cornball "I Believe in a Thing called Love" song came on wax 'cos, after fighting it for the longest, I finally realized that this track could fit into my 80's DJ sets really well which I guess is the ultimate compliment for these hacks. BTW, after listening to the Trina jawn again, which I also copped from Chris, I think the Neptunes sampled (well, actually replayed a part of) George Michael's "I Want Your Sex Part II" for the beat on this track. Anyone co-signing this theory?

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Wednesday, April 28, 2004

What's the deal with "traded to trading: Portraits of Wall Street in the Black"? 

From an old friend of mine:

Your support for "traded to trading: Portraits of Wall Street in the
Black," would be invaluable. As many of you know, Thursday, April 29,
, we are having a fundraiser. We are asking for a $100 per person.
However, we don't want that donation level to inhibit your attendance.
Thus we are accepting the minimum donation of $25 per person. RSVP at
212-465-7230 or by Thursday, April 29, 2004 at 12 AM
the latest. And please forward this email to others you feel would
like to make a monetary contribution to attend the fundraiser.

Film and Fundraiser Details:

Kindred Spirits and Film Video Arts, Inc. Announce the unveiling of a
portion of a historic and monumental documentary film entitled "traded
to trading: Portraits of Wall Street in the Black"by Robyn M. Greene-
Arrington and Drunia M. Duvivier

An Inside Look at the Evolution of Blacks on Wall Street

New York City – The unveiling of the trailer for the documentary film
"traded to trading: Portraits of Wall Street in the Black" is scheduled
for Thursday, April 29, 2004 at 6:30 pm, at Tribute, 26 Broadway.
The New York event, which is also supported by strategic partners
including, Film, Video Arts; the National Association of Securities
Professionals (NASP-NY Chapter); the Museum of American Financial
History; the National Black MBA Association; and KIP Business Report,
brings a rare look at African-American experiences on Wall Street that
is vital to our rich, robust and diverse American legacy.

One of the first commodities regularly traded on Wall Street was
slaves—even before the establishment of the American financial markets
in the 1790’s. From then on, African-Americans have continued to
influence the United States economy, first as “property,” then as keen
investors, critical laborers, and major consumers, and now as renowned
players in the securities industry.

"traded to trading: Portraits of Wall Street in the Black," is a
one-hour documentary that takes an up-close and personal look at the
experiences of a variety of seasoned and up and coming Wall Streeters,
exploring the challenges these individuals faced, and currently face,
as people of color navigating an industry that, until the 1960’s, was
almost exclusively made up of white, male professionals.

Cynthia Franklin of the Kip Business Report will serve as the Mistress
of Ceremonies for the evening. Additionally, outstanding individuals
and organizations will be honored for their contributions to increasing
the participation of persons of color on Wall Street. The Robert Toigo
Foundation will receive the Award for “Outstanding Contributions on
Wall Street.” This event is designed as both a celebration of this
monumental film and a means to raise funds to complete the film.

In support of helping to empower young people with new role models
and alternative career options, traded to trading includes revealing
interviews with a star-studded cast of professionals who have built
remarkable careers for themselves on the Street. Some of the
individuals that have already been filmed or who are confirmed for
interviews are: The Honorable William C. Thompson, Jr., New York City
Comptroller, Melvin Van Peebles, First black trader on the American
Stock Exchange; Milton M. Irvin, President, Imbot and 1st black
Managing Director at Salomon Brothers, Ernesta Procope, President &
CEO, E.G. Bowman Co., Inc.; Joseph L. Searles III, 1st black floor
member and floor broker on the New York Stock Exchange; Ernest G.
Green, Managing Director, Public Finance at Lehman Brothers and one of
the “Little Rock Nine” that integrated Central High School in Arkansas;
Christopher Williams and Janice Savin Williams, founders of the
Williams Capital Group and William Capital Management; Bernard B. Beal,
Founder & CEO, M. R. Beal & Company, Fourth largest black-owned
investment firm in the US; Patricia Winans, Chairwoman and CEO of Magna
Securities Corp; Harold E. Doley, Jr., CEO, Doley Securities, Inc.
and Dr. Eugene Flood, President & CEO of Smith Breeden Associates and
Guest co-host of Squawk Box on CNBC.

We are also honored to have in attendance, several notable participants
appearing in the film and others supporting this project including
Senator Carl Andrews, Tony Perkins of Good Morning America, and
Advisory Board member Sam Pollard. Mr. Pollard has been a filmmaker
for over 25 years, and has produced the acclaimed PBS series Eyes on
the Prize and Academy Award-nominated 4 Little Girls before becoming
Spike Lee's editor on such narrative features such as Mo' Better Blues,
Jungle Fever, Clockers, and Girl 6.

Congressman Charles B. Rangel wrote “I applaud your efforts to bring to
the forefront the contributions made by African Americans in this
area. My very best wishes for your success in this venture.” Author
Gregory S. Bell who wrote “In the Black: A History of African Americans
on Wall Street,” expressed “The trailer is wonderful. I am sure that
it is an indication of the great things to come in the full length
film. This is an important work because for far too long, television
and film have not recognized our stories on Wall Street. Traded to
Trading helps correct this.”

Additional information may be found at

Reservations: $100 General, $75 for Professional Organization Members,
$50 Students with I.D.

Make your reservation by calling (212) 465-7230 or mailing to: T2T
Benefit Office, Attn: Drunia M. Duvivier, P.O. Box 844, New York, NY
10268. Make check payable to Film/Video Arts, a nonprofit 501(c) 3
organization. Donations are tax deductible to the extent provided by

Warmest Regards,

Robyn Greene Arrington
Support this film by helping to spread the word if you can.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Pez Goes Hip Hop? | DJ Whoo Kid on Hold | Hi-Rise Records turns 8 | A new Kanye production guide | It's The Joint 

Image courtesy: Brooklyn Botanical Garden

Spring is here in NYC (despite a lot of rain over the past few days). You know it's on when the Cherry Blossoms are, erm, blossoming in the garden next door to my apartment building. Not to get all soft on that azz, but it really is beautiful to look at on a sunny day.
- Celebrate the Annual Cherry Blossom Festival at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.
- Listen to Air's "Cherry Blossom Girl." (mp3 link via Astralwerks)

I'm hearing that DJ Whoo Kid's first official mixtape album, that was set to be released via Capitol Records, is on hold now because Capitol can't get any clearances for all the featured collabos. Word is they're trying to sell the album back to G-Unit.

Not sure how comprehensive this is, but worth peeping anyway: a list of all Kanye West's productions with comments and ratings from The Mack. (via Hardly Art, Hardly Garbage)

NYC indie Hip Hop label Hi-Rise Records celebrates their 8th Anniversary with an event at SOB's tomorrow (April 28) from 6-8pm. For more details, email here.

Icons of Rap Pez Dispensers. (via

Blog alert: The Joint "a superdope blend of hip hop, house, dub and rock n roll" out of New Zealand.

The set list for my DJ gig at Bar Below in Brooklyn last night (not a real gig, just an Open Turntables event, hence no announcement):
Too Short -- Burn Rubber
De La Soul -- Ring, Ring, Ring (Ha Ha Hey)
Whatnauts -- Help is on the Way
Central Line -- Walking into Sunshine
LL Cool J -- Jingling Baby (Marley Marl Remix)
BT Express -- Everything Good To You (Ain't Always Good For You)
EPMD -- Get the Bozack
The Razcalz -- Northern Touch feat. Kardinal Offishal, Thrust, Choclair and Checkmate
DMX -- Get At Me Dog feat. Sheek of the Lox
The Lennox Ave. Boyz -- Move Back
Ghostface - Ghostface
Ruste Juxx -- Short'ee
Mystikal -- Oochie Pop
Jadakiss -- Kiss of Death
My mixing was a little hit and miss but that's what Open Turntables events are for, right?

And good lookin' to my man DJ Colin Flava from Boerum Hill, Brooklyn for passing me his What Da Funk? mixtape of techno and breaks stuff last night too. Not really my thing generally but pretty good sounding nonetheless. For more details email Colin here.

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Supporting a Good Cause 

From a very good friend of mine:


An afternoon soiree to celebrate global human rights defenders

in conjunction with the 2004 Reebok Human Rights Award



A.I.R. Gallery
511 West 25th Street
Suite 301
Between 10th & 11th Avenues

Trains: C/E to 23rd Street (use 25th Street exit)

Donations gladly accepted at the door.

RSVPS or info: / 212-845-5269

Forefront is a network founded by leading human rights defenders around the world which provides grassroots activists with critical technical assistance, access to technology and support in times of crisis.
Check us out on the web at:

We invite you to share this invitation with interested friends & colleagues.

Please support this great organization by coming through and also by spreading the word to your network of friends, fmaily and colleagues via eblasts or on your own websites/blogs etc.

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Monday, April 26, 2004

Monday Beats & Pieces on Iraq and the War on Terror | Kerry's really wack poll numbers | Can a brother get a cab? 

Image courtesy: Newsweek

Richard Clarke says we're having "The Wrong Debate on Terrorism" in his New York Times Op-ed yesterday.

Maureen Dowd on living in Bushworld. (New York Times)

Thomas Friedman on what's wrong with the US post-war strategy in Iraq and how to fix it:
That's what we're now up against. It is the wrath of a local population that has begun to view its liberators as worse than occupiers — because they can't even provide what tyranny does, i.e. control and security, which are the necessary foundations for economic or political development. That people would stone their would-be rescuers is also a reminder of how broken, traumatized and messed up Iraqi society is by decades of Saddam's rule, and of how it is caught up in some of the same anti-Western conspiracy theories that you can find on any Arab street today.

We are now in the middle of a low-grade civil war in Iraq for who will control the place after we leave. That's the bad news. Here's the good news: I doubt we will be in Iraq a year from now — certainly not in large numbers. One of three things is likely to happen. First, the security and economic situations could continue to spiral downward, creating a Mogadishu-like situation in which we will have to fight our way out.

Second, we might manage, with the help of the U.N., to organize a reasonably legitimate Iraqi caretaker government to which we can hand `'limited" sovereignty on June 30. But that won't stop our opponents. They will go on attacking U.S. forces to provoke a U.S. retaliation that will embarrass the caretaker government, make its leaders look like our stooges and pressure it to throw the U.S. out.

Third, the least-bad scenario is that we will be able to stick it out and, with the U.N., conduct a decent election by the end of the year that brings a legitimate Shiite-led Iraqi government to power. I doubt that such a government is going to want to have U.S. troops protecting it for very long, and it will either invite us to leave gradually or insist that we put our forces under a U.N. umbrella.
From "Rue John Kennedy" (New York Times)

And how are we doing on that War on Terror anyway?

Militants in Europe Openly Call for Jihad and the Rule of Islam. (New York Times)
- Although, on the other hand, we should all be glad for this: Jordan says major al Qaeda plot disrupted. (

Jose Padilla's moms on her son's 21-month imprisonment as an "enemy combatant":
"Why are they doing this to an American?" she asked. "If we go to all these other countries to promote democracy — hello? — why can't we practice it at home? I'm like, `Give me proof.' If my son did something, charge him. Give him his day in court."
From "Terror Suspect's Path From Streets to Brig." Good question. Mr. Ashcroft, care to take that one? (New York Times)

Since the media is dropping the ball on really looking into this potential $700 million misappropriation story, I'm gonna give it some shine here courtesy of the good work by the Center for American Progress: the real deal. (The Progress Report)
- Bush's Legal Obligation to Tell Congress About $700M for Iraq. (The Progress Report)

And also while we're at it:

Bush's Saudi connect. (The Progress Report)

And Cheney talking out of both sides of his mouth about Kerry's supposedly weak record on defense considering his own record. (The Progress Report)

Recent Stuff in the news that somehow is all related in some twisted way? The NFL Draft this past weekend ---> A former top NFL draft pick forgoes millions after 9/11 to becomes an Army Ranger instead ---> A propsed new military Draft?

BTW, could you believe even one word coming out the mouth of Saudi ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan on Meet the Press yesterday? Duke embodies slimey liar-ness, it was oozing out of his pores.

But, even with all this, the recent Poll numbers are not a good look for Kerry. He really needs to step his campaign game up. I don't know why the Dems keep getting sidetracked by bogus "controversies" like this one. Somebody please help these idiots before it's too late. (USA Today |
- "So inept a spinner that even his stellar military record is tying him up in knots. P.S. What's your message again?" (Newsweek)
- More bad poll numbers for Kerry. (

And more FCC double-standards: While the FCC cracks down on Howard Stern, Hispanic shock jocks are as raunchy as ever. So far. (from "Under-the-Radar Radio" Newsweek/MSNBC)

The disabled cab access protest in New York last week. As far as I know all the cabs on the road in NYC right now are fully-outfitted for fully-abled black person access yet I still can't get one to stop for me. Maybe I need to organize another protest on my own behalf? (via NY1)

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Trina, cotdamn you a bad b-tch: new hip hop mp3 jawns to peep.... 

Image courtesy: EURweb

Some new club bangers-in-the-making worth checking out:

- Dirtbag "Here We Go" (prod. by Timbaland)

- Mystikal "Oochie Pop"

mp3 links for both via Sandbox Automatic.

I'm loving the Mystikal jawn (aka "P-ssy Pop" and from his upcoming Prince of the South album), that ish is crazy. Curious how this is gonna get promoted though, isn't duke in jail or something? The Dirtbag track is just aight to me despite the Timbo assist, but there's a little buzz on him, at least within the industry, from what I can see. Watch him and see what moves he makes (thanks to my peoples Max N and Sledge at Jive for the wax hook-up on those two).

And via a hot new site for hip hop mp3's I just discovered called (apologies if I found this site via one of the blogs I read, didn't mean to bite your linkage without credit):

- Tony Sunshine feat. P Diddy & Dirtbag "Oh My God." So here's one of Dirtbag's moves on a jawn I mentioned last week. On further listens this is somwhere between Usher and Justin Timberlake style-wise but nowhere as hot as either of them. Still, OK for the right now though.

- Trina feat. Pharrell "Put It On Top" I smell summer 2004 radio smash. Y'all fronted when I said "Tipsy" was gonna be one of first big bangers of this year back in early December last year. Don't sleep on this one. It's very commerical sounding but a f-ckin' banger, no doubt. Seriously, I think I like this better than "Frontin'" and I'm not even a Trina fan (of her rhymes or otherwise). Now my second favorite new rap record behind Nas' "A Thief's Theme."

- Cam'ron feat Jahiem "Lord You Know" This is the "no homo" duet I mentioned last week. All joking aside though, it's actually a great record. Cam playing at his full potential is always a happy thing to witness.

Also worth checking out:

- Red Handed "Horny (On Me)" from legendary mixtape DJ Kid Capri's new Def Jam-distributed label No Kid'n Records. This one is heating up some mixshows and clubs in NYC already. Good lookin' to my man Sam C on the wax. (NB: the mp3 link may not work.)

BTW: "Lord You Know," "Oh My God"... is that the Kanye effect leading to all of these spiritually-titled jumpoffs?

More evidence that hip hop has almost completely lost it comes via MTV2's new show Video Honeys:
Video Honeys profiles the lives, looks and interests of the girls who normally don't get heard from, but simply seen in hip hop videos. Industry insiders from XXL talk about the girls in videos who use videos as jumpoffs for their big career moves. Enjoy the stories, often surprising, always compelling of life on and off the set in Video Honeys.
Whatevs, watch and laugh as some of these women absurdly attempt to jumpstart careers as "rappers" with an absolute seriousness of intent despite their almost complete lack of talent. Scheduled air dates.

Meanwhile, never wanting to let my disco-punk jones go unsatisfied for too long, I copped this compilation album from the Plant Bar/Records crew on newly-released double wax last weekend at Turntable Lab (it's been out on CD for a while): The Sound of Young New York. Disco-punk, quality house and some DFA-esque electro stuff. Pretty much all good with a couple exceptions.
- Check out "The Sound of Young New York," the party with DJ Dominique every second Friday of the month at Apt in NYC with guest DJ's (including my man, Stretch Armstrong).

Some interesting news: Tobacco Company Ordered To Stop Using Hip-Hop To Market Cigarettes. (

Also, did a little gear shopping this weekend 'cos my stuff is starting to look a little raggedy. Besides the fact that I bought some their shirts, I also happen to think what they do is mad cool and worth publicizing: check out clothing by American Apparel, the sweatshop free, progressive T-shirt maker out of Los Angeles, California.

Didn't buy any of their stuff (yet) but Evolve Universal had some nice looking shirts in stores. Recommended if you're into LRG or old school 555-Soul and 2 Black Guys urban wear.

Finally, I can't even believe these look like they are making a comeback. Do I have Kanye to blame for that also?

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Sunday, April 25, 2004

Spinning at Joya tonight 

Kind of last minute: I'll be spinning at the excellent Carroll Gardens Thai restaurant Joya tonight from 7pm on. Strictly mellow, lounge-style grooves. Come through if you don't have plans already. The food is fantastic and cheap too.


By subway:
1. Take the Coney Island-bound F train to Bergen Street station in Brooklyn.

2. Exit station onto Smith Street, head West 1 block to Court Street and walk South 2 blocks or so. The restaurant is between Warren & Wyckoff (I think).

Alternate subway options:
- Take the Brooklyn-bound A or C to Jay St.-Borough Hall station in downtown Brooklyn. Cross the platform to change to the Coney Island-bound F train.
- Take the Smith/9th Street-bound G to Bergen Street.
- Take the N or R to 4th Ave.-9th Street in Brooklyn. Change to the Manhattan-bound F train and take 3 stops to Bergen Street.

In all cases, follow the directions from #2 above.

By car:
From Manhattan:
1. FDR South to the Brooklyn Bridge.

2. Take the first exit off the bridge, keep to far left lane and make the left onto Cadman Plaza.

3. Take this road all the way as Cadman Plaza turns into Court Street. You will pass through Brooklyn Heights and cross Atlantic Ave.

4. The restaurant is about 5-10 blocks past Court Street (not sure exactly). There is parking available on the surrounding streets.

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The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq reviewed (finally!) 

Image courtesy: Seven Stories Press

Well I've been sitting on the book The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq for literally months after having received it from the publisher Seven Stories Press way back at the end of last year and then not completing reading it until early February. Frankly, the prospect of writing a book review reminded me too much of school work (as long ago as that was). Besides, by that point, any major news around the war seemed to have already happened and the book no longer felt relevant enough to still review. However, with the rise of the insurgency and the Coalition seeming to lose their grip on both control of Iraq (did they ever have control?) and members within the coalition, the debacle of the Iraq war is in fact still ongoing and seeming to only get worse by the day even as the date for the "power transfer" back to the Iraqis rapidly approaches. Because of this, it seemed apropos to make good on my promise and finally give some shine to a book that looks at how Team Bush manipulated their way into this mess in the first place.

The Five Biggest Lies book is based on a widely-read and circulated article, first published on the progressive news website AlterNet, called "Ten Appalling Lies We Were Told About Iraq." The book is a quick and easy read (despite how long it took me to finish) that takes the original ten lies and counterpoint facts rebutting them and refashions them into a five-part thesis of the major misrepresentations used by the Bush administration to justify the war. Obviously, the book is written from a perspective of believing the war was neither necessary nor justified but, throughout, book authors Christopher Scheer, Robert Scheer and Lakshmi Chaudhry lay out a balanced, precise and detailed case supporting their hypothesis. The Five Biggest Lies is probably the best read for people who, in the run-up to the war, didn't delve into the op-ed section of the newspapers and weekly news magazines and, instead, got their information from the mostly jingosistic TV news coverage served up in the US during that period.

Readers for whom this description applies learn in greater detail why it was obvious before the start of the war that there were no ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda ("Lie number one"); about how regime change in Iraq was part of a long-standing foreign policy goal for the neo-cons in the Bush administration whose dreams of a Pax Americana included establishing a greater (and more permanent) presence in the Middle East; and, with respect to the WMD issue (lies number two: "Iraq had chemical and biological weapons"; and three: "Iraq had nuclear weapons"), about how purported discrepancies between known quantities of Iraqi nerve agents and what was verified as destroyed after the last Gulf War was irrelevant as any remaining agents would have already been rendered useless through degradation or having long passed their expiration date.

They'll also be reminded, if they were paying even just marginal attention to the news, of the fact that the efforts of the UN inspectors were working when they were ordered out of Iraq so the US could invade and that most of the intelligence used to justify the invasion was known to be weak, wrong or, at best, circumstantial long before Bush and Powell et al. admitted as much earlier this year.

But for those who have been closely following the news about the Iraq, whether the yes-man, rah rah propaganda on Fox News or the passive, unquestioning gruel delivered by CNN et al., Five Biggest Lies might still be worth a read though. It serves as a handy primer or reference guide to talking points and evidence to use when you debate the last of your idiot conservative friends who still refuse to admit that, just maybe, the war was a bad idea or, at least, badly planned and excuted.

If there's one major criticism about the book, it's the same one you can make about any book attempting to cover current events: when you try to write history on the fly and rush release a book like this (Five Biggest Lies was first published in October 2003, a scant five months after Bush declared an end to major combat operations in Iraq last year), they tend to suffer from the lack of perspective that more time would allow. Often, as is the case here with the events still unfolding, arguments used will eventually either resonate more deeply in the future or end up becoming completely irrelevant. Seven Stories have attempted to address this issue by printing an updated edition of the book in January with a more in-depth exploration of issues and revelations that have arisen in the post-war period.

If you already bought this book and don't want to buy it twice to get the updated material, you can read excerpts of it here in the article "'Five Lies' Lives On." Even after this update though, the story of how we ended up at war in Iraq continues to have chapters added with no end in sight. Other books like Clarke's All Enemies and Woodward's Plan of Attack have thrown new evidence into the debate and probably do a better job of painting the big picture about all the forces that led to the war. You can be sure that third and fourth editons of Five Biggest Lies could easily come out this year and probably still be out of date by December with all the developments that continue to unfold on a near-daily basis.

The scary thing to consider is that, depsite most of the evidence used in the book being easily corroborated via basic research or issues that got an airing in at least one mainstream media source somewhere, Bush was allowed to hoodwink the public and the US Congress into giving him their support for this faulty foreign policy action without the media calling him on the less-than-compelling evidence for its necessity and an overwhelming lack of international support. Hopefully, the media will start asking those hard questions now. The public deserves answers so they can form a more complete picture and have a real basis from which to make an informed judgement in November as to how successful Bush has been as commander-in-chief. After all, just over one year on from the "end of major combat operations", do you feel safer and do you think terrorist activity has increased or decreased based on the US action in Iraq, Bush's execution of his oft-mentioned "war on terror" or his management of security of the US homeland with tools like the Patriot Act?

The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq can be purchased online at Seven Stories press here or at here.

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Friday, April 23, 2004

Be very afraid of the Diebold e-voting machines | More evidence of US missteps in Iraq | What's really good with the Kingdom Holding Co. & Kerr-McGee? 

Image courtesy: Daily News

Pentagon Ban on Pictures of Dead Troops Is Broken (New York Times)
Now that these pictures are out everywhere, will Tami Silicio and her husband (who was also fired) get their jobs back at Maytag Aircraft?

Bremer Says 'Baathist' Policy Poorly Applied. This might be as close as we'll get to an admission from Team Bush that the Iraq post-war strategy has been botched from the get for now. (Reuters)

More on the controversial e-voting machines made by Diebold (owned by admitted GOP booster Walden O'Dell) to be used by many key battleground and swing states in the Presidential election this year: California Grills Diebold Over E-Voting Foul-Ups. (Common Dreams | story via Slashdot)

Randi Rhodes on Air America Radio has just started ranting about this in the last couple days, but they've been running for at least a few weeks now: what's up with the heavy advertising campaign the Saudi-based Kingdom Holding Company has been running on CNN? This company has ownership stakes in Boeing,, Citigroup as well as many other major "American" companies. While KHC is buying airtime on there, don't expect CNN to do any exposes any time soon on how our Saudi "allies" and the Royal Family (who own the Kingdom Holding Company, I believe) are in fact major sponsors of Al Qaeda and other Islamic fundamentalist terror groups in the Middle East. Or that they bankroll many of the Madrasa schools that teach the anti-Western, miltiant Wahhabist strain of Islam practiced by these groups and supply most of their recruits too.

Ditto for Kerr-McGee and the feel good ads they've been running for months on CNN now. Seriously why does an oil exploration company need to do an extensive consumer-targeted PR camapign?

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Meet Organic Thoughts | 2nd Annual International Beatbox Convention | Vinyl Stitching | New Roots (?) and Pete Rock with Dead Prez 

Image courtesy:

Not really my bag but a decent listen nonetheless for those into more "backpack," underground sounds, check out The Purest Form album by the all-Asian, co-ed hip hop group Organic Thoughts. If you're into stuff like Dilated Peoples, Camp Lo, Digable Planets and Bahamadia, this might be right up your alley. Features collabos with Prince Po of Organized Konfusion and Large Professor on the excellent "World Renowned." Good lookin' to Lucy from Elemental for the hook-up once again. True School heads need to investigate this.

Speaking of the True School, the 2nd Annual International Beatbox Convention jumps off today and tomorrow at CBGB's in NYC hosted by hip hop legend Doug E. Fresh. Those outisde of New York may be able to watch the event online via CBGB's website here.

Another option for online shopping for 12" wax new and old via Vinyl Stitching.

Pete Rock feat. Dead Prez "Warzone." (mp3 link via

And finally is this the new Roots single? It's got a bit of a Dirty, Dirty vibe which is unexpected: "Don't Say Nothin'" (mp3 link via

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Thursday, April 22, 2004

Tami Silicio: world's most courageous journalist? | Exporting America | A Chalabi-helmed Kanagroo court in Baghdad? | The world of Iraqi bloggers 

Image courtesy: Seattle Times

I'm sure most of you can easily find links to the Riyadh and Basra bombing stories everywhere on the web so I'll skip coverage on them and future ones unless something monumental happens. Depressingly, I expect there to be plenty more of these stories in the future unfortunately.

The U.S. media is beginning to be more sceptical in reporting on the war in Iraq, with reporters less willing to accept Bush administration pronouncements at their face value, media experts say. (ed note: finally) (full story at Reuters)

Think Saddam will get a fair trial with Ahmed Chalabi's nephew chairing the US government-funded tribunal that'll be trying him? (San Francisco Tribunal)

Woman loses her job over coffins photo. (Seattle Times)
Related reading:
- Finally, The Price of War (

Gotta respect CNN's Lou Dobbs for supporting American workers by going on a now long-running crusade against free traders who support outsourcing with the "Exporting America" stories on his show Lou Dobbs Tonight.

Iraqi bloggers. (via USA Today)

Speaking of blogging, multiple blog-readers, f-cks with Kinja, an easy to use, low budget way to catch up with all your favorite sites whether they are syndicated or not.

Final note: the weather in NYC has been beautiful the last few days but the smog this year is bananas. Looking into Manhattan from my subway stop in Brooklyn this morning reminded me of times I've been to LA and experienced their infamous smog. Last night when I was coming home from a Talib Kweli/NikeLab party I couldn't even see any of the buildings there at all, just a light brown glow through all the smog. Bloomberg/Pataki: sort it out!

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Nas & Mobb Deep audio links | Cam & Jahiem together (no homo) | Blue Note Revisited | The lowdown on the Tribeca Film Festival  

New sh!t:

- Nas "A Thief's Theme": this is the hottest jawn out right now, hands down. (wma mp3 via Mo Ca$h | another mp3 link via

- Alchemist feat. Nas & Mobb Deep "Tic Toc" (wma mp3 via Mo Ca$h yet again, peep this site it's hot like that. NB: Cut and paste the URL into your wma player if clicking this link does not open the file.)

- Tony Sunshine feat. P Diddy "Tonight": sounding club-ready and very Justin Timberlake-esque. I'm diggin' it, but this might be a year too late sound-wise and 2 or 3 years too late for Mr. Sunshine. Let's see how this one develops. Sorry no linkage yet.

Heavy D is signed to Bad Boy now? So said Diddy to DJ Absolute last night on Hot 97.

Should I be reading anything into the fact that "Harlem Thug in Pink" Cam'ron is dueting with Jahiem on a hip hop remake of Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come"?

Blog alert: Hardly Art, Hardly Garbage, worth peeping.

Hot bucket hat action by Timberland on a Norman Jay B-Boy meets Rude Boy steez that I saw the other day but that, damn, didn't quite fit me right. A closer look.

From Lucy at Elemental Consulting & Marketing:
Classic jazz imprint Blue Note Records allowed 13 unique remixers access to their archives with stunning results as heard on Blue Note Revisited which hits stores this week. Remixers include DJ Spinna, Jazzanova, DJ Cam, 4Hero, Kyoto Jazz Massive, Madlib, J Dilla and more. For more info and sound samples, check out the Ecard (requires Flash)
Something to do Friday:

Join us in celebrating
the birthday of KEVIN POWELL

FRIDAY, APRIL 23, 2004
89 Washington, at the corner of Rector
lower Manhattan (right off the Westside Highway)

Trains...1, 9, N, R, 4, or 5 to Rector

Admission is FREE but you MUST RSVP at OR at
212-560-2624, as we'll be checking the list at the door. We HIGHLY
recommend you get there early....

Cash Bar ALL NIGHT (you MUST be 21 and over, WITH I.D. please)
Light Fare will be available throughout the evening

The Bandleader...DJ BLESSED PRODUCTIVE on the wheels of steel

PLEASE come dressed to impress....

Films of possible interest playing at the Tribeca Film Festival running from May 1-9:

- Coffee & Cigarettes: directed by Jim Jarmusch with a cast including Tom Waits, Steve Buscemi, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Iggy Pop, The White Stripes, Wu-Tang Clan, and others.

- In Search of Ted Demme: A hilarious sendup of the tribute-film genre (or so says the program guide), this documentary trails Demme's urn as his ashes spend time with a rich cast of buddies (Don Cheadle, Gina Gershon, and many more among them), painting a vivid portrait of the director and the man. (NB: Ted Demme was one of the founding creative forces behind the seminal Yo! MTV Raps TV show and then went on to become an acclaimaed director behind such films as Blow)

- Men Without Jobs: A comedy about best friends and roommates, Ish and Oz, whose main goal in life is to avoid work at all costs. Determined to start their own hip-hop band, the two eccentric slackers make a pact to swear off the dreaded nine-to-five, but ultimately realize that sooner or later everyone has to get a job.

- Saddam's Mass Graves: Kurdish/American filmmaker Rosebiani returned to Iraq with the specific goal of documenting the legacy of Saddam Hussein's regime. Interviews with survivors and with relatives of victims drive home the point that, as one official notes, while bloody dictators usually attempt to hide their crimes, Saddam enjoyed showing off his brutality.

- Sneakerheads: no link or info about this film on the site for some reason but this is a documentary by a dude named Israel examining "the global sneaker collecting phenomenom [and] the link between sneakers, basketball and hip hop."

- Sweet Sweetback's Baad Asssss Song: A blaxploitation and indie film classic. Raw, jagged, and real, Van Peebles' tale of a black sex show performer who becomes the target of a police manhunt is a landmark in American independent cinema. Shot guerrilla-style on the streets of Los Angeles, Sweetback kickstarted blaxploitation and provided a blueprint for maverick moviemakers everywhere. "Rated X by an all-white jury" upon its release, it's lost none of its ability to shock, incite, and entertain. (See also Baadasssss)

And finally, speaking of films still, what's really good with Kill Bill Vol. 2, what do people think of it? I'ma try and post my thoughts about it tomorrow.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Native American hip hop | Twista on Fuse | Green Lantern's Hot 97 mixhsow | Kanye's new clothing line | Gregory Isaac's classic Night Nurse  

How long has Green Lantern been doing this Tuesday Night mixshow (12-2am)? Based on what I heard last night, this might be the hottest mixshow on Hot 97 right now, nothing but back-to-back exclusives including Lantern's patented "In the Lab" remixes (read: hip hop mash-up's). The hottest one I heard: Dead Prez's "Hell Yeah" over the "Overnight Celebrity" beat. Also blazing though: a new Alchemist-produced Nas/Mobb Deep collabo from the upcoming Alchemist solo album.

Speaking of the Overnight Celebrity though, watch for Twista hosting Fuse TV's Authentic Hip Hop Viewer's Poll show airing April 24th at 4pm EST (encore airtimes: 4/24 at 8pm EST | 4/25 at 4pm, 7pm and 1am EST). Click for more details here at the Fuse Authentic Hip Hop Viewer's Poll site.

Cristina Verán on Native American hip hop in "Rap, Rage, REDvolution." (Village Voice)

And I don't think I mentioned this last week, but in a real obvious move, the ROC is doing a Kanye West clothing line. Could the timing be any more perfect? Right now every stores' menswear dept. look like Kanye's closet anyway with the mid-80's throwback preppy styles that are jumping off this Spring. I predict smash success on this one, at least short term. (trendcentral)
- Kanye West Teams With Jacob The Jeweler For New Line. Son is really trying to cash in crazy while the iron is hot. Can you blame him? (

Image courtesy:

Since there aren't many new albums out worth mentioning that I haven't already blogged about and I haven't copped any mixtapes recently, I thought I'd mention that you need to get up on Gregory Isaac's Night Nurse album which I just picked up a used copy of yesterday. This is classic roots reggae with amazing songs and Isaacs' beautiful voice that instantly soothes your soul. Absolutely recommended, without reservation or qualification. Go pick this up, you need it in your life. Reggae heads out there: comments below appreciated on what are some of the best roots and lover's rock albums out worth investigating 'cos I'm real spotty as far as my collection goes and need some suggestions on how to step up my classic reggae game. I'm talking even the obvious stuff like the equivalent of The Chronic or Low End Theory but in this genre. I have neither the time nor the money to get all trainspotter-ish and obscure with any CD's I pick up right now.

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The CPA-predicts-Iraqi-civil-war scandal jumps off | George Pataki, jackass | The GOP's latest b-tch move | Iraqi Idol 

Jason Vest argues in his article "Fables of the Reconstruction" that Iraq's chances of seeing democracy succeed have been severely imperiled by a year's worth of serious errors on the part of the Pentagon and the CPA. A Coalition memo reveals that even true believers see the seeds of civil war in the occupation of Iraq. (Village Voice)

Kerry Releases Some Records On His Service In Vietnam War. (Washington Post) How much of a non-issue is this? Son has multiple purple hearts and a silver star (I might have that reversed). Meanwhile Bush couldn't even complete the full service commitment in the National Guard in Georgia that his pops hooked up to get him out of the Draft. I can't even believe there's any kind of debate around Kerry's ability to be an effective leader in the war on terror, on national security or as Commander-in-Chief. Yet one more b-tch move from the GOP, they should be ashamed of themselves for even going here.

But CNN's Carlos Watson says Kerry's inner circle lacks color. (

It's clear now: George Pataki is a f-cking idiot. The window he ever had for a shot at running for the GOP nomination for president has long since closed so now he has to make jackass comments like this for attention: Pataki Blames Dems for Pre-9/11 Failures. (Fox News)

Iraqi Idol. (Village Voice)

And finally, I generally want to punch George Will when I read his bi-weekly op-ed's in Newsweek but I think I actually agree with much of his latest one "Shock and Awe in Iraq." Here's a great quote:
U.S. Army Sgt. James Amyett told The Washington Post, 'I guess the Iraqis didn't get the memo that the war is over.'
Read the full column here.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Can we impeach Bush yet?  

Cartoon courtesy:

On the CNN website:
Bush made his decision to go to war [with Iraq] without consulting Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld or Secretary of State Colin Powell [emphasis added]....

Powell was not even told until after the Saudi ambassador was allowed to review top-secret war plans [emphasis added] in an effort to enlist his country's support for the invasion, according to Woodward, who has written or co-written several best-selling books on Washington politics, including "All the President's Men" with Carl Bernstein.

The book also reports that in the summer of 2002, $700 million was diverted from a congressional appropriation for the war in Afghanistan to develop a war plan for Iraq.

Woodward suggests the diversion may have been illegal, and that Congress was deliberately kept in the dark about what had been done [emphasis added].
From "Woodward: Tenet told Bush WMD case a 'slam dunk'" (full article)

Washington Post Op-Ed: Afghanistan's Descent.

Poll Shows New Gains for Bush | Lead Over Kerry Widens On Issues of Security. (Washington Post)

Seriously, what is it gonna take for Americans to realize Bush is incompetent and probably should be impeached?

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Hip Hop Box contest results | The "Freek-a-Leek" video girl revealed | Hip Hop reps on the Blender 50 Worst Songs of All Time 

OK the Hip Hop Box contest is now closed, thanks to everyone who entered. Congratulations to our winner Steve Peter from Brooklyn, NY (I swear I don't know this kid even if he is in BK like me, honest). See below for the answers to the contest questions:

Disc 1 question:
- What was the name of the independent label that released Too Short's first album?
A: 75 Girls

Disc 2 question:
- What was the name of the song and which artist recorded it that Chubb Rock used as a sample for the chorus of "Treat Em Right"?
A: First Choice "Love Thang"

Disc 3 question:
- What was the original name of the group Naughty By Nature?
A: New Style

Disc 4 question:
- What is the name of the first record Craig Mack ever appeared on, under what name and what year was it released?
A: "Get Retarded" as MC EZ of MC EZ and Troup released in 1988.

Thanks again to our sponsors Cornerstone Digital and Hip-O Records. Check out the Hip Hop Box in stores today.

Also in stores: Ghostface's Pretty Toney (see yesterday for my thoughts on the album) and Mario Winans. I'm not really a fan and wasn't paying much attention but apparently that Fugees/Enya/Jodeci/EPMD-biting (choose your own ref. points from that list) single by Winans is enormous.

Blender magazine picks their 50 worst songs of all time: Ja Rule's "Mesmerize" (#45), Will Smith "Will 2K" (#32), Puff Daddy feat Faith Evans "I'll be Missing You" (#25), Hammer "Pumps and a Bump" (#17) and Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" (#5) are your hip hop representatives.
- An interview with Dizzee Rascal, a short piece about Lil Jon working on his next album Crunk Juice and BIG's "Hypnotize" examined in "The Greatest Song Ever!" column can all be found in the same issue also.

Chuck D has moved from Air America Radio's weekday morning show to Saturday night's Bring The Noise show co-hosted by Bay Area activist/journalist Davey D and a couple others who I'm not familiar with. Wonder what prompted the change? I never got to check out the original show and hear how it was but I'm guessing Chuck was chafing under that format and probably wanted to do a show more hip hop in vibe (?).

Finally, for those of you who've been looking for info or images and ended up up on my site, click here for a gif avatar of (I guess) Heidi Hunter, the much-searched-for star of Petey Pablo's "Freek-A-Leek" video. I won't lie, after seeing this avatar now I want to see the video so I guess I'm doing it backwards from everyone else. (link via Max N)

Blender 50 Worst Songs of All Time" title="Bookmark using any bookmark manager!" target="_blank">AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, April 19, 2004

"There is a higher father that I appeal to." 

George W. Bush, the "War President":


While from Newsweek:

- Bush wanted to invade Iraq. What's striking, Bob Woodward's new book reports, is how little he discussed it with anyone. (full story)

- The Gospel According to George: the press wanted contrition. Maybe they don't understand the man. Bush's faith will guide him—in Iraq and at the polls. (full story)

Pre-9/11 Files Show Warnings Were More Dire and Persistent. (New York Times)

Frank Rich on the deja vu nature of the US occupation of Iraq in "'Lawrence of Arabia' Redux." (New York Times)

Meanwhile soldiers keep dying at an alarming rate, Coalition military leaders admit they have no control in Iraq, Spain's pulling their troops out of Iraq and other countries may be following. (Washington Post | Telegrahph UK | The Globe and Mail | Daily Kos )

from Dude, Where's My Weapons?

ReDefeat Bush and W, You're Fired.

Do yourself a favor and read Jeffrey Sach's article "A Simple Plan to Save the World" in this month's issue of Esquire magazine.

Roger Ebert says "Stern belongs on radio just as much as Rush." (Chicago Sun-Times)
Related reading:
- Slightly late, but here's more on CBS/Viacom chief Mel Karmazin finally standing up for Howard Stern against the FCC lunacy. (New York Post)

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Nas' new heater | Danger Mouse's favorite CD's | Ghostface, Joe Budden & Def Jam | Who is Ruste Juxx? | Info on the new Ma$e mixtape 

Have you heard Nas' "A Thieves Tale"? This rock-flavored jawn is double-super bananas and is my new favorite rap record. Between this and "Star Wars" the outlook for his upcoming Street's Disciple album is ridiculous. Linkage as soon as I can find it (and suggestions on where to find that linkage would be very welcome in the comments section below).

What I thought was "Move Back" by N.I B. is actually a track by the Vacant Lot Boyz. Good lookin' to my man Sam at Def Jam for the wax hook-up though. (mp3 link courtesy: Vacant Lot Records)

Shyne Signs With Def Jam although I hear Capone N Noreaga might be outta there soon.

And speaking of Def Jam, no doubt I'm biased because I'm a fan, but I just can't call Joe Budden a mad rapper when I hear his "Def Jam Diss" because it sounds like the truth to me give or take a few lines. (mp3 link via:

Meanwhile, Def Jam is banking on Ghostface's Pretty Toney album to be the next success for the label dubbed the "Yankees of Hip Hop." I got a copy last Friday and have played it several times since then. Frankly, while I'm a big fan and like the album, this is not gonna happen like it did for Hov, DMX, Ja Rule, Ashanti etc. Pretty Toney is probably Starks' weakest album to date and, while it may outperform his sorely underrated and ignored Bulletproof Wallets set from 2001, this is sadly not the kind of hip hop album that does well in the 2004 marketplace for mass appeal hip hop. His emotional, soul-drenched MC style trawls a middle ground between ODB's stream of consciousness lunacy and Raekwon cinematic crime rhymes. Even an assist from Missy Elliott on the "Tush" single is unlikely to help as that track has, as far as I can tell, gotten a mixed reception so far and Missy has her own issues trying to match her level of fame and awareness with a similar level of sales.
- Pick cuts from Pretty Toney: Tush, Metal Lungies feat. Sheek Louch and Styles P, Ghostface, Tooken feat. Jackie-O, Beat the Clock, Love feat. Musiq & K-Fox. (mp3 links courtesy

I Want My Old-School Hip-hop: Eric Arnold asks how come there's no Pharcyde or De La Soul on the dial? ( via Global Pop Conspiracy)

I didn't know that Sweetback had just dropped a new album. Anyone know whether it's hot?

Blogsite Royal Magazine is blazing hot though, check it out. Had to permalink it in the sidebar, no doubt.

Image courtesy: Reuters

Chappelle says "F-ck you, pay me." (Reuters via Nadine S.)

Premo is interviewed in the new Wax Poetics. He comes off a bit curmudgeonly and I wish there'd been more discussion about his music making process on some of his classic tracks but it's cool though. O-Dub has an article in the same issue too. Britain's biggest online music site?

Will J-Kwon have to resign his post as "The Teen President" within the next year due to age violations? (via

The New York Times' Kalefa Sanneh on the N*E*R*D show I reviewed on Friday...

... and on Lil Flip (whose U Gotta Feel Me album I still haven't checked out despite liking the single and being impressed by his mixtapes cameos in the run-up to this album's release).

While Danger Mouse lists his current favorite CD's. (New York Times)

Bumped into Evil Dee outside Turntable Lab on Saturday evening while trying to cop some last minute wax for my gig at Sage that night (which turned out to be kind of wack in the end). He told me he was working on a new Beatminerz album for Studio Distribution Records while Black Moon and Smif N Wessun (apparently no more Cocoa Beez, thankfully. I always hated that name and thought they should've just ran with Tek N Steele as an alternate moniker back then.) are now on Koch.

And I'm also hearing Lil Kim was dropped by Atlantic and is now on Koch too? People laughed when Koch first jumped off calling it the label of last resort but now everyone seems to be signing with them.

Shout to my man Trouble who came through to the Sage jumpoff and hit me with his excellent new underground 12" release "Short'ee" by Ruste Juxx. Remember when there was actually an NY underground hip hop sound and tracks still had enough bump to bang in the clubs as well, not a bunch of NY MC's and groups doing fake down south or midwest bounce records? "Short'ee" is the kind of track trying to bring back that sound back. I even managed to drop it into my set on a first listen no problem where it mixed lovely with Busta's "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See" (a song that I inexplicably never liked when it first came out, but which I belatedly acknowledged as a classic after the fact and still keep in my crates when DJ-ing now despite it being like seven years old). Email Trouble for info on how to cop this jawn or to book time at his Brooklyn-based Glass Cage Recording studio.

How does Chris Ryan list the essential Gangsta Rap albums of all time in Spin magazines "record guide" column but miss including BDP's Criminal Minded, perhaps the definitive Crack Era hip hop album? At least he remembered to include Schoolly D, who arguably invented this subgenre, albeit with a Best Of... album rather than with his classic Saturday Night! The Album.

Jim Derogatis on the "Kanye effect" on Chicago's hip hop scene. (Chicago Sun-Times via Coolfer)

Anyone know what happened to the American Black blog?

In Return of Ma$e news, look out for the new Harlem Knights mixtape featuring unreleased freestyles and tracks from the man now known as Pastor Bertha (still?) and his former Harlem World cohort Blinky Blink hitting streets soon.

And finally one more time: don't forget to enter the Hip Hop Box contest. Click here for details. Remember, contest ends tonight.

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Friday, April 16, 2004

N*E*R*D at Roseland NYC | Talib Kweli's Beautiful Mix mixtape | Virtu's See Level | DJ Simply P goes deep | I-Queue spins again 

Saw N*E*R*D last night at Roseland and was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. No sign of Chad Hugo anywhere, Pharrell's still got work to do to become a great vocalist and I'm still not quite sure what Shae does but, with Spymob holding down the live instrumentation, the group's spare new wave-inflected hip hop/soft rock sound came to life on stage and, dare I say it, often sounded better than on record. Jay-Z also made a guest appearance for "Frontin'" and the whole place went bananas. Missed the Clipse who I didn't even know were scheduled to perform but unfortunately caught most of the Black Eyed Peas' set. Man, they are so corny I have to stand by my comments in my Grammy Show wrap-up report of describing them as the poor man's Fugees. If Lauryn ever regains her sanity and her and Clef can make up, it's over for these ass-clowns. That moment can't some soon enough for me though, seriously.

Good lookin to my man Corey for the hook-up on the Talib Kweli Beautiful Mix CD: Best of Talib Kweli mixtape. The disc sounds great but the guest list (including Styles P, Fabolous & Paul Cain, Busta Rhymes and The Game) may raise a few eyebrows for those who think he might have already strayed too far from the Black Star/Reflection Eternal formula on his last album. Don't worry, there are joints with Kanye, Common, Consequence, Jean Grae, Res and Black Thought on the mixtape too for the purists. The "Eleanor Rigby" sampling "Lonely People" joint which might already be a minor classic (?) is on there as well. Look out for this.
- Kweli is part of the "New York State of Rhyme" show at Roseland in NYC on April 27th. The $32 ticket price is kind of steep but the bill also has Ghostface, the G-d Rakim Allah, Royce as well as Kay Slay and Cipha Sounds DJ-ing. Might be worth f-cking with?

Eating crow, part 1. After I clowned all the jonny-come-latelies jumping on the Black Album remix tip on Tuesday, embarrasingly I now have to admit that I will be checking for this one: The Black Album (Pete Rock Remix) CD.

KMD Mr Hood now available on double-wax? Holy-moley. For those of you too young to catch this first time around, find out what your grandfather was listening too before Zev Love X morphed into MF Doom, Viktor Vaughn etc.

Feeling mellow? Cop the 4 Hero Remix Album. Recommended for those into Air, Zero 7, Philly neo soul (Jill Scott, Bilal, Musiq), Badu, Slum Village etc.

Still feeling mellow? My man Tom Ryan of Virtu sent me the first volume of his subscription Virtu music CD series entitled See Level and it's f-cking excellent. The track selection is impeccable and the artwork and packaging are amazing too. Disc 1 is all chillout, downtempo stuff and disc two is more on the Metro-Area retro-disco steez. if you like quality music and have trouble finding it all in one place, don't worry, Tom's taken the guess work out of the entire process and done it for you. Don't be an asshole, you need this in your life. Man cannot live by hip hop alone.

Still feeling mellow but wanna tap your feet a bit more? My man Paul Washington of ADA aka DJ Simply P of Soulphonix, who spun an amazing set at my Different Kitchen party a couple weeks back, just dropped a ridiculous new mix CD of deep, soulful lounge-friendly house and other club vibez. Highly recommended. For more details on how to cop his latest mix CD, go to the soulphonix website or call (877) 570-5523.

Producers, win an Audi TT by entering the "Never Follow" David Bowie mash-up remix context sponsored by Audi.

Yo, I'm spinning again tomorrow night:

Brithday party for Suzanne Smith

Who she?! Nah, she's a friend of my man Mori who I'll be DJ-ing the party with at

331 Park Ave South, NYC (at 24th Street)

Saturday, April 17

9:30pm until

Open Party | No cover!

Come through!

I didn't see the finale yet so don't spoil it for me but is this really gonna fly? (via Nadine S.)

And finally from trendcentral:
“Friendster for your mobile phone”

Trendsetters who are tiring of Friendster are looking to as a new way of keeping in touch with friends. Unlike the internet based Friendster community, Dodgeball keeps users in touch by mobile phone. For example, if you are in a bar on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, you can alert Dodgeball via text message and they will alert all your enlisted friends of your whereabouts and will also let you know where their Dodgeball friends are, all within 10 blocks. With this “friend of friend” feature, users have the opportunity to meet new people if they so desire, making Dodgeball a potentially great social/dating tool.

Choosing Dodgeball friends promises to be a lot more elitist than Friendster, because by enlisting too many friends subscribers run the risk of having their phone message them 24/7. This will soon beg the question “Is he/she Dodgeball worthy?”. If you decide it is not friends you are after, but a pool table, then Dodgeball can also act as a city guide and will tell you, for example, the closest pool table to your location or where a specific bar is. Dodgeball is currently only available in New York City, but we’re guessing it may not be long before it comes to other big cities.
Is it me or does that seem like a really wack concept. Friendster is kind of ass to me frankly although it's helped me reach some cats I fell out of touch with so I guess I can't hate on it too hard.

And finally, don't forget the Hip Hop Box contest. Click here for details. Remember, contest ends Monday night.

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