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|Thurs, September 15, 2005 at 11:59 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
David Banner has more than impressed the nation and I will dare say the world with his charity foundation "Heal The Hood," the articulate rapper is a native of Mississippi and proudly sports a tattoo across his back baring the name of his home state. Banner has organized a number of relief efforts, but Saturday, September 17, 2005, will mark his most significant effort by hosting a relief concert for the survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Heal The Hood Hurricane Relief Concert will be held in Atlanta at Philips Arena.
The concert is being supported by fellow rappers and industry friends and urban radio. Undoubtedly, Hurricane Katrina is the worst natural disaster in US History and has affected everyone in the country-every time you go to the gas station you are reminded. Banner feels that we all must unite to help our fellow citizens during this time of great need. The concert's proceeds will assist in the immediate needs of the underprivileged that have lost what little they had and may have been over looked by the efforts of other organizations.
The concert will be hosted by Lil' Jon and David Banner, who will also perform along with the incredible line up of Nelly, T.I., 8Ball, and MJG, Young Jeezy, Tango Redd, Lloyd, Ali & Big Gipp, Lyfe, D4L, Boyz N Da Hood, Chopper, 112, Dr. Charles G. Hayes & The Warriors, famous for "Jesus Will Work It Out," and Canton Jones, and more have committed that were not available by my deadline.
David Banner's Heal The Hood Foundation has been sponsored by Radio One, Clear Channel, Cumulus Media, Cox Radio, and Infinity Broadcasting to insure the concerts success. Competing stations have come together to aid the tremendous cause. A number of rappers and Hip Hop artist have been directly impacted by Katrina. Master P, C-Murder, Juvenile, Cash Money, and others who call the south home know the devastation first hand. A number of the artist slated to perform and more have already filled 18 wheelers of food, water, and other niceties for the victims. Additionally, 1000 seats will be reserved for victims of Katrina.
What is the big difference in a refugee and an evacuee? Both are displaced persons that do not have a home as they once new it to return to after a disaster. Most often we have heard the term associated with persons from third world countries and not American Citizens. The bottom line is not matter what they are called it took four days to get them help. How many lives could have possibly been saved if we had responded sooner? What are we going to be as a country to call the necessary individuals on the carpet that had the power to do something?
I do not think we are going to do any more then what he have always done and that is b!tch, moan, and complain like the New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagan. Those people wanted help and did not care what name you called them as long as they got taken to safety. Far too often African Americans are side tracked instead of dealing with the issue at hand. The adjective used to describe these people was not important, but the fact that it took four days to get proper assistance was.
Nagan proved to the world that he is not the best under pressure and convinced me that he was not capable of making sound decisions based upon his comments. No maybe you will get off your lazy tail and go to the polls. Unfortunately, it may have taken a disaster like this for the world to see how important it is to vote. Rev. Jesse Jackson could not get Bishop T.D. Jakes to join him while he was less than a half mile away from the Georgia Dome, where MegaFest was taking place, but he did stand at the side of Presiden
|Wed, September 14, 2005 at 11:59 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Hailing from Durham, North Carolina, Phonte, Big Pooh and 9th Wonder form the hip-hop collective Little Brother. Who is Little Brother? They are an incredibly talented group who are aiming right at the hearts and minds of hip-hop aficionados all over the world and showing them their sins.
What has happened to hip-hop? Everybody wants to know so BlackVibes.com sat down with Little Brother before a performance to find out.
BV: For those that don't know who you are, your style and what the name Little Brother means, let 'em know.
BP: The name basically pays homage to the people that we grew up listening to. People like Pete Rock & CL Smooth, EPMD, Geto Boys, NWA; people who made dope albums. They were like our big brothers as far as making music so we're like their little brothers, carrying on the tradition of making dope music.
BV: Tell us about the album, its flavor and what's gonna be different about it?
P: With this album you're getting a balance. Like in the early '90s it was possible to have groups like Public Enemy, NWA, Geto Boys and A Tribe Called Quest; all of these different groups with different views, from gangster to political to cool-out music. Now, the game is really just one-sided and so if you ain't talking about pimping and killing or shooting then you don't stand a chance of being able to do nothing or really getting that look. With this album, looking at mainstream hip-hop and a lot of hip-hop that sells, a lot of it does prey on violence and materialism so this album is to show people that it's possible to make a dope hip-hop album just by talking about real life; the stuff that happens after the club and in between pimping (laughs). This album is just us talking about our lives but not preaching to people because nobody wants to be talked down to or like you're on a soapbox pointing at them. All we do is just talk about our lives and try to give some type of introspection of ourselves and hope that reaches another person who will say "you know what? I was going through that same thing too." Maybe our songs can give them some insight as to how to deal with it. The album is just real life, reality rap. Dope music with a balance to it.
BV: There was an issue that occured at The Source magazine as it relates to your album. People want to know who is this group that caused the editor of a major hip-hop magazine to step down because he believed in them so much. What did you all think of that and what did it mean to you?
BP: The editor-in-chief, Joshua Faheen Radcliffe, resigned at The Source after the Little Brother mic rating debacle. The whole thing behind it is that Little Brother was the artist that he ended up resigning over but I know dude and he's a real stand up individual. His integrity meant a lot to him so whether it was a Little Brother album or MC so-and-so from Wichita, Kansas, he believed in the album. He believed the album deserved four and a half (mics) but hi
|Tue, September 13, 2005 at 11:59 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Late Registration, of course!
...Which, of course, provokes a host of issues up for discussion about the album. I've already had the discussion several times over about the hip-hop "purity" of Kanye's album. The general complaint I've heard is that while you have your Pete Rocks and DJ Premiers who grab a keyboard, drum machine, mixer and a few old soul albums, `Ye cops 20-piece orchestras, the help of movie score coordinator Jon Brion, and whatever knick-knacks he can pull out of his swell-headed a$$ to create the musical landscapes he does so well.
And apparently some people don't think this is hip-hop.
But I don't understand the hate from some heads surrounding this approach. Musical artists in any genre are always finding ways to alter the music in innovative ways. Sometimes it works well, as it does in Kanye's case, and sometimes it does nothing more than enhance existing garbage (i.e. "chopped and screwed").
And now for the gripes. A Kanye West album will always, ALWAYS be hindered by at least one thing: Kanye West as an emcee. I'm not entirely sure who convinced him that he was anything greater than a mediocre rapper, but he did warn us a long time ago that if we didn't like his rapping, beware his sophomore LP. Well one thing is for sure...Kanye's lyrics come in spades on this record. Though his subject matter is often innovative for hip-hop (conflict diamonds is a nice leap), his similes just don't cut it most of the time, and his puerile pitch changes and "Snoop-ification" of words is pretentious. Honestly, I imagine how much better other cats would've sounded over songs like "Bring Me Down," "Crack Music" and the still-amazing "Gone." The only thing that really separates him from the rest of the rappers who daily take huge musical dumps on the halcyon days of hip-hop is that there is actually substance behind a lot of what he says.
So what else is bump-worthy these days? Unfortunately, not much. My musical tastes these days have veered further away from the genre. Sh*t like the "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" soundtrack is keeping in constant spin...though I did finally cop that Buckshot and 9th Wonder Chemistry collaboration after carrying around a burned copy for months. It's good to hear the BDI Emcee back at it, but I have no reservations about declaring that his time has basically passed. If anything, the project makes me salivate for the new Little Brother album, The Minstrel Show, slated for a Sept. 13 release. I have mixed feelings about 9th Wonder, but I think his heavily soul-infused production style really hits at times, and Phonte is almost always reliable on the mic.
I recently downloaded the new AZ album A.W.O.L.. As much as I love listening to SOSA on the mic, he'll always, always be one hit away. So often his beats and rhymes are hot, but just not hot enough to really stir the finicky street buzz pot. That and he never had the mainstream to fall back on. I don't know what he and Nas' relationship amounts to these days, but I feel like if the latter had kept him under his wing since the "Life's a Bitch" days, his career and cred would be higher than it is.
Speaking of the erstwhile Escobar, I took the liberty of putting all his studio albums, as well as a number of quality guest appearances and random B-sides, onto one Mp3 album. The only bonus that resulted from a$$holes breaking into my car in Chicago and stealing my radio a few months ago is the fact that I was able to upgrade to an Mp3 player that basically allows me to listen to hours and hours of music from just one CD. So making my five-and-a-half hour journey home to Detroit from Illinois allowed me to soak in Nas' entire career. Honestly, I th
|Sun, September 11, 2005 at 11:59 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Its conspiracy time!!! You know, I'm one of those people who "thinks too much" as this one guy I dated put it, but I feel like most people don't think enough. What were you given a brain for, if not to use it? Didn't everyone learn critical thinking and problem solving in school? Remember story problems?
So why, now that we're grown, do we want to take the easy way out and undermine all the life tools we learned? I'm not sure, but I, for one, am going to keep looking at the bigger picture. If you think I'm crazy for what I'm about to say, you're probably close-minded or dumb. If you think I'm eccentric and a revolutionary, you're probably right.
Part 1 of 5: The Broken Levees and Evacuation
Boy, that sure was a rotten act of nature for an immense flood to follow that awful hurricane, causing the catastrophe that was New Orleans. Nature is a trip, right? Or is it? It must first be said for those that don't know; New Orleans is a city under sea level. Located between Lake Ponchatrain and the Gulf, the city forms a bowl shape; this is the reason why the water has to be pumped out of the city instead of draining. With a geographic set-up like that, it would be relatively easy for the city to flood. And this is the reason the levees are needed, to keep water out of the city. So what happened?
In the midst of Katrina, did the levees suddenly lose confidence and let themselves go? I think not. The truth is, city officials have been applying for years to the government, in hopes of receiving funding that would strengthen and re-structure the weakening levees. Guess which president consistently turned down the requests?(I'll give you a hint, his name rhymes with *mush*) So he was fully aware of the REAL danger that Katrina, water, and flooding posed on the city, and knew it was a death trap waiting to happen. But he was on vacation, chilling, when it hit. Hmmm, Bush is always on some vacation when disaster strikes, just like 9/11. It makes me wonder about him and his intentions. So I felt Kanye's awkward pain that made him ignore the telecasts and speak from his heart; I laughed with satisfaction and agreement when he blurted out, "George Bush doesn't care about black people!"
After all, with the threat that Katrina posed, why did the "mandatory evacuation" come so late and so unassisted? Usually, some type of enforcement comes with anything labeled "mandatory". In the movie "Outbreak", the mandatory quarantine was enforced by government vehicles and gates. Officials in New Orleans, if they were any kind of real politicians, should have known that a substantial amount of their citizens live below the poverty level and were unable to simply evacuate by their own means.
How can you leave if you have no money for a plane or a bus? What if you don't own a car and have enough gas to get out of town? What if you don't have money for a hotel, or out of town friends and family? For some of the citizens, their apartment and its contents were all they've ever known, owned, and had. Why would you trade the devil you have for the one you don't know? Maybe that's why they stayed, because they couldn't fathom gathering their belongings in a bundle and trailing off down the road on their own two feet, like the Hebrew exiles or the newly freed slaves. So they stayed, because Hurricane Katrina couldn't scare them much more than the hurricane of daily life, of simply trying to make enough to survive.
All the people with money hit the road when they heard the news, so only the poor, the have-nots, the blacks, were left hanging. Something tells me our government wasn't too pressed to save them, haven't you seen what
|Fri, September 09, 2005 at 11:59 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
The hurricane did not stop the parties in Miami and the show rolled on for the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards. A great night in music with many multiple winners, but Green Day cleaned up. Missy Elliot and Gwen Stefani, were tied going in with six nominations each and both walked away with two awards. Missy has been called a video visionary with a number of the Moonmen MTV awards at home, took Best Hip-Hop Video and Best Dance Video for "Lose Control" featuring Ciara and Fat Man Scoop.
Gwen Stefani won Best Art Direction for "What You Waiting For?" and Best Choreography for "Hollaback Girl," as well as the host P. Diddy's best dressed woman award of $50,000. Kanye West, who walked away last year with Best Male Video for "Jesus Walks" was the center of attention with his amazing performance of "Gold Digger," due largely to the part Jamie Foxx and the ease with which the actor/singer channels Ray Charles.
Alicia Keys pulled out a win, although she was up against herself for her duet with Usher, "My Boo." Her song "Karma" won Best R&B Video. Ludacris beat out 50 Cent and the Game by claiming a win for "Number One Spot" as Best Rap Video, while Fall Out Boy won another viewer voted honor as the MTV2 Award.
Awards were only a part of the night's high energy, it would not be as great of a show if it was not for the performances that are the talk of the town and often overshadow the actual winners. 50 Cent ripped into Fat Joe after his medley of "Disco Inferno," "Outta Control," and "So Seductive." "F*ck Joe. F*ck Terror Squad!" 50 Cent yelled. Not to mention he rushed and jumped onstage after Fat Joe joked about G-Unit's security presence while presenting. In deed that is what it took to get 50 Cent off stage, a battery of security. Not sure what type of altercation was going to break out, but security was so thick you could barely move. With the shooting incident involving Suge Knight from the previous night there was no time to play Russian Roulette.
The performances at this year's MTV Music Video Awards were culturally diverse show with performances from Latin inspired Luda and Bobby Valentino's "Pimpin' All Over The World," to Spanish Shakira and Alejandro Sanz's delivery of "La Tortura." MC Hammer made a comeback with "U Can't Touch This," and it was obvious backstage he is not a young man anymore. While gasping to catch his breath, I thought the 40-plus performer was going to need some oxygen, but the Oakland native still rocked the house. R. Kelly acted out all the parts of his latest installment of "Trapped in the Closet."
Not to overlook Chris Martin racing through the crowd; and screaming Mariah Carey's medley of "It's Like Thank," "Shake It Off," and "We Belong Together," featuring Jermaine Dupri, Jadakiss, and others. P. Diddy was great as host, showed us he can dance, and gave away his $50,000 diamond encrusted watch to a lucky fan. Diddy also honored his former artist, the late Notorious BIG with Snoop, who also won $50,000 for Diddy's Best Dressed Male Award.
Only a music and fashion mogul such as Combs could change the infamous red carpet to white for the Miami show and challenged the folks to "come with it" fashion and style wise. Although He did not walk the white carpet himself he still insisted that everyone, including his longtime girlfriend, Kim Porter arrive dressed to impress. Porter didn't disappoint and was a thing of beauty in an oran
|Sat, September 03, 2005 at 11:59 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Refugees??? Refugees??? That's what we are now??? Refugees??? Black folks. The same people who f*ckin' BUILT this country are now being called refugees by the American media? Are you kidding me?
How are we now refugees in our own land? How dare you call us, black Americans, African-Americans, refugees! Let's deal with the real situation as it relates to being black in America. It's been a gotd*mn long time since we've had a major quiz on what being black in this country truly means. Now we know. It means being called a refugee in your own country, in your own state, in your own city. It means still being considered a 2nd class citizen (at best!) in your own country.
It's interesting how this has all played out. The poorest, blackest folks, all concentrated in the most dangerous parts of the city, are also the last to receive support. We've heard the stories of looting and people shooting at authorities. What you HAVEN'T heard is that folks were shooting at authorities because only CERTAIN people (don't think I have to explain) were being given protection and being driven out of the city. The media is a muthaf*cka. I don't trust 'em now (ironic considering I'm part of the media) and never have trusted them.
I could rant and rave further and, believe me, I've got some s**t on my mind but I'll leave you with this: the next time white folks (or any other non-black culture for that matter) questions why black folks are always suspect of the government, the law and politicians, you be sure to tape CNN, watch what's happened and find the answer yourself. To my peoples in LA, MS and AL, keep ya head up and know that your people all over the world are watching and DO give a d**n.
D**n I love being black..
|Fri, September 02, 2005 at 11:59 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Picking Up the Pieces
It looks like the "Dirty South" is dirty for real these days, thanks to the tricks of Katrina, who ran through the Gulf coast this week causing major destruction. Florida, which is usually expected to bear the brunt of the hurricane season, only felt a piece of Katrina's wrath. It seemed she had her destructive eye trained straight on New Orleans, Mississippi, and Alabama. Hurricane Katrina sustained winds up to and above 130 miles an hour as she ripped through the Gulf Coast states. Like a true disaster, she left a scar that will be visibly felt for years to come.
It's expected that hurricanes will hit the U.S. every year, but Katrina was on another level. How do you submerge a whole city underwater? New Orleans is already below sea level, and when levies surrounding the city broke, it provided a horrible finishing touch. Now, eighty percent of the city is underwater and officials estimate that it will take 3 to 6 months for the water to be removed.
The irony is that as much water as the city has right now, none of it is useful to its inhabitants. Fires have erupted in the city as well, like the one reported on Bourbon and Canal in the historic French Quarter, but determined firefighters were hard pressed to locate working hydrants. There is no drinking water for residents, and the rivers that used to be streets continue to slow down and impede rescue missions for those still trapped in the water-logged city.
An estimated 25,000 people sought refuge inside the damaged Superdome, desperately seeking some form of shelter. But without power, the Superdome could provide little else to its temporary inhabitants. So Texas kindly offered use of their Houston's Astrodome for shelter. Grateful for a step in the right direction, buses have been prepared to carry citizens to Louisiana's neighboring state. Any other week, thousands of people would fill these "domes" to cheer on the Texans or the Saints in a battle for football glory. But today the goal is less jovial; these thousands are fighting a battle to simply stay alive and positive in the midst of a bleak outlook.
The mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, has estimated that hundreds, if not thousands, of people were killed in his city alone. Something tells me that most of those deaths were poor people who had nowhere else to go when the hurricane loomed over their heads. With no resources to escape or relocate, they probably hoped they could tough it out. But like we saw with the tsunami in Asia, you can't run from water. It's hard enough to move through it, even harder to survive it. The city may be facing a public health crisis with all the dead bodies floating across the now-stagnant waters. One reporter sadly stated that in some areas the focus has changed from a rescue operation, to a bag-and-tag operation.
Watching the news, I've also seen clips of survivors, anxious people who scream that there are still people stuck in the projects and they can't get out. The dilapidated projects of New Orleans were hit the hardest. They who already had so little, now have next to nothing. Can we really blame them for looting stores?
They're just trying to eat and keep clothes on their backs, because they have nothing. They don't even know if they have each other. News coverage continues to show frantic families searching for loved ones, children and mothers. It seems like the tsunami all over again, this time, much closer to home. In Mississippi, there are at least 20,000 people living in shelters; their homes and businesses were leveled by the 25 foot storm surges that accompanied Katrina.
Like with all national disasters, money and plenty of workers are desperately needed, so you'd hope that we have some money stowed away in the USA piggy bank to help our citizens and cit
|Tue, August 30, 2005 at 11:58 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Las Vegas, NV-Every February and August, MAGIC connects a global audience of serious buyers and sellers of men's, women's and children's apparel and accessories. Attendees were on hand August 29 through September 1 to access more than 3,600 companies, showcasing over 5,000 brands and 20,000 product lines - the largest number of exhibitors in the organizer's 72-year history. The MAGIC Marketplace covered approximately 950,000 net square feet of the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Las Vegas Hilton.
With the addition of Accessories at the Hilton; JCK at MAGIC, a partnership with the fine jewelry show; the ISAM swimwear Pavilion in WWDMAGIC; and the expansion of Platform, the juried showcase for the premium contemporary market, MAGIC continues to focus on key markets of interest for our attendees and deliver expanded resources in these areas.
"We always listen to our attendees feedback and it's clear that the additions we've made to the show this August answered many of their needs," said Laura McConnell, Vice President and General Manager, MAGIC International.
Key retailers in attendance this week include: Abercrombie and Fitch, Adrisen Morton, AK Rikks, Beams, Dillard's, Don Vincent Store for Men, Filene's, Foot Locker, Garmany, Gaup & Co., Gene Hiller, Inc., Godfrys, Gottschalks, Gymboree, Harvey Nichols, Hects, Hot Topic, Hub, Hubert White, Hurwitz at the Village, Irving Berlin, Isetan, J.S. Edwards, James Davis, JC Penney, Khakis, Kilgore Trout, Kohl's, LA Sporting Club, Levys, M.Penner, Macy's, Maloufs, Mario's, Mark Shale, Marshall Fields, Mervyn's, Metro Park, Mr. Ooley's, Nordstrom, Pacific Sunwear, Rolo, Ron Herman, Saks Department Store Group, Scoop, Ships Ltd., Stein Mart, The Closet, The Gap, The Limited, Tilly's, Traffic, Vilians, Xin, and Zumiez.
BEST BOOTH AWARDS
BEST OF SHOW
French Connection Menswear
BEST OF SHOW
I Love Liberace
BEST OF SHOW
Nzania Concept Studio
Of the Earth
ACCESSORIES AT THE HILTON
BEST OF SHOW
Big Baby, Inc
BEST OF SHOW
Weeplay Kids/Old School Clothing
Pura Vida nyc
BEST IN SHOW
Thailand Department of Export
FABRIC at MAGIC
BEST IN SHOW
Taiwan Textile Federation
Every August and February, the fashion industry converges on Las Vegas for the most influential four days in the business - the MAGIC Marketplace. The next event takes place February 21-24, 2006 in Las Vegas, NV. For information, call 818.593.5000 or log onto www.MAGIConline.com.
MAGIC International is a subsidiary of Advanstar Communications, the world's largest and most widely recognized organizer of trade shows for the apparel industry producing the MAGIC Marketplace in Las Vegas featuring MAGIC, WWDMAGIC, MAGIC kids, Fabric at MAGIC, and Sourcing Zone at MAGIC.