Thursday, June 29, 2006
PBS Blog: Hip-Hop Activism Arrives + More Gratuitous Plugs
Hey fam, been dealing with health and home, so I apologize for the delays in getting the next entry together for this and the PBS blog. But now it's live!

For those of you who have been around me for a minute, this may be some old stuff, but it's a prelude to some killer interviews on Native American hip-hop and the National Hip-Hop Political Convention coming next...

Here's the teaser:

Hip-hop is hardly the sum of the images you see on video shows or the sounds you hear on commercial radio stations. The truth is: at its most elemental, hip-hop remains a lived, local culture. It's not just a CD or DVD being hawked by well-dressed folks posing in a magazine. It's a culture practiced — and evolved — daily by millions of young people all around the world.

So it makes perfect sense that the young woman or man who goes to the poetry slam, the b-boy/b-girl competition, the turntablist exhibition, or is just hanging in the park playing the latest jams on the weekend, would on Monday be angry with the way their school has been turned into a series of security checkpoints, the way the plant next to their house is spewing toxic fumes, or the fact they have no place to gather in their city without harassment from authorities. Hip-hop provides a way for young people to express not only joy and a love of life, but pain and a desire for change...


Also, just wanted to mention that the great Linyee Yuan put together a very cool piece on your boy for Theme. I was already a mangous fan of the Theme crew, but then they went and did this. I'm super humbled.

Big shout out to the AMC and Clamor Mag crew and everyone I met (the dog was mad cool) for an awesome weekend. Big love to Detroit Summer and Invincible. You're my heroes. And thanks to all for putting up with my general incoherence. Finally, to Amanda with the cool stretching advice, I never went to Antioch! I checked. I think you meant Oliver. Ha!

What's up, Bakari! Another big shout out to the good people at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for hosting me on Monday. Dr. C, holla. Edmonton native power in the house. It was a wonderful way to end a tour. Del Fuegos, baby!

Finally if anyone has any more good tips on dealing with travel-induced sciatica, holla! Right about now I just feel like I want to amputate my ass. Which would be a shame, because it's the best part of my body and I talk out of it so much.

posted by Zentronix @ 3:45 PM   1 comments links to this post



Tuesday, June 27, 2006
New York Magazine's "A History of Graffiti in Its Own Words"

Third rail leaps!

Just a brilliant piece of the NYC graf pioneers in their own words (with some add-ons from the peanut gallery of 'experts' like this old peanuthead) assembled by Dimitri and Gregor Ehrlich, in the same magazine that brought graf to "serious" attention 23 years ago with the form's first great advocate, Richard Goldstein. Wish they had gotten PHASE 2 or JAMES TOP or covered the mid and later 80s perhaps with the help of the great folks from At 149th, but still, all in all, a must-read!

posted by Zentronix @ 8:37 AM   0 comments links to this post



Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Two Steps Forward Six Steps Back

How say I lacist? Hmmm, ret me latiocinate...

Hey fam, the summer continues and so does the blogging at PBS. Today's entry is Part 1 of an interview with John Jay, the creative director of advertising giant Wieden + Kennedy.

If you didn't know, W+K is the famous firm responsible for the Spike Lee + Michael Jordan ads that changed representations of race forever, and has been a pioneer in the globalization of hip-hop.

We're continuing the thread about race images in the hip-hop era. Despite what you might think, John is a second-generation Chinese American of late baby boomer age, and he has a lot to say about hip-hop and images of Asian Americans. I think you'll find this one fascinating.

On a related tip, our man Mosi Reeves sends us this link wherein Dave Kehr waxes on, but mostly off, about Charlie Chan:

In a medium founded on action, Charlie Chan remains one of the few heroic figures in American film to function proudly as an intellectual. Chan's adventures in ratiocination were first recounted by Earl Derr Biggers in a series of six successful novels and eventually in 47 films made from 1926 to 1949 (as well as in a few parodies and semi-parodies that came after).

This courtly detective — an employee of the Honolulu Police Department on seemingly permanent leave — stands as one of the best-loved characters in American movies, a tribute above all to the warmth and gentle humor that the Swedish-born actor Warner Oland brought to the role during his 1931-to-1938 tenure as Chan...

Are the Chan films racist? Not, I think, by the standards of their time. Mr. Biggers is said to have created Chan (based on a real detective, Chang Apana, who worked for the Honolulu police) to counter the negative images of Asians being fueled by the Hearst papers' "yellow peril" campaigns and embodied most repellently by Sax Rohmer's sadistic "Oriental" villain, Dr. Fu Manchu.


Oh yes, we so happy to have "best-loved character" once again. We love him long time!

(Actually, we'd be dancing in the streets if it weren't for these rickshaws. To think our clients only used to have Dr. Fu. How did they ever trust us?)

As Billy Bragg once said, still waiting for the Great Leap Forward.

By the way, if you haven't seen Oliver's take on F&F: Tokyo Drift, it's worth the time.

posted by Zentronix @ 3:51 PM   1 comments links to this post



Wednesday, June 14, 2006
At PBS: An Interview with Reginald Hudlin of BET | PBS
Hey yall, just another thank you to my regular readers who have been checking out this June blog at PBS.org. Keep on commenting! We continue today with
an interview with Reginald Hudlin of BET, as he talks about the changes that have occurred in representations of race in the pop landscape during the hip-hop era. Check it...

posted by Zentronix @ 8:20 AM   1 comments links to this post



Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Everyone Loves Ronaldinho

The $100 million man.

It just rolls off the tongue better than "Everyone Loves Kaka."

SI.com asks "Any Chance For Croatia?" Uh, no. Watching Brasil is like watching the American League in the All-Star Game. Yes, my baseball jones has been complicated by World Cup fever. (The Mavs already have it.) Here's my summer reading.

And by the way, how great are these Adidas Jose+10 ads? Part 2 is here.

posted by Zentronix @ 12:30 PM   1 comments links to this post



Monday, June 12, 2006
Cham: "This is my real ghetto story"
Cham's "Ghetto Story" has been banned in Jamaica. This isn't the first time--previous releases written by Cham and the great Dave Kelly, including "Desperate Measures" and "Ghetto Pledge", and Bounty Killer's "Anytime" were banned during a period of pre-millennial upheaval over the Jamaican government's gas tax.

You can see the video for "Ghetto Story" here.

Here's the lyrics to "Ghetto Story" from Jacquie:

GHETTO STORY
(85 Riddim by Dave Kelly)

I remember those days when Hell was my home
When, mi & Mama bed was a big piece a foam
And mi never like bathe & ma hair never comb
When Mama gone a work, me guh street guh roam
I remember when Danny dem tek mi snow cone
An mek him likkle bredda dem kick up Jerome
I remember when wi visit dem wid pure big stone
An di bwoy Danny pop off sup'm weh full chrome
I remember when wi run, Fatta get him knee blown
An mi best friend Richie get two inna him dome
I remember a suh di avenue turn inna war zone
An Mikey madda fly him out caa she get a loan
But Mikey guh to foreign & guh turn Al Capone
Mek whole heap a money & sen een our own
Now a we a lock di city & that is well known
Yesterday Mikey call mi pon mi phone, Mi seh “Mikey...

Wi get di ting dem, dem outta luck now
Mi squeeze seven & di whole a dem a duck now
Wi have whole heap a extra clip caa wi nuh bruk now
Raa, raa, raa, raa!
Wi get di ting dem suh, dem afi rate wi
Caa wi a tek it to dem wicked of lately
An now di whole community a live greatly
Raa, raa, raa, raa!"

I remember bout ’80 Jamaica explode
When a Trinity & Tony Hewitt dem a run road
Dat a long before Laing dem & even Bigga Ford
When Adams dem a corporal nuh know di roadcode
I remember when wi rob di Chiney shop down di road
An rumour have it seh di Chiney man have a sword
But, wi did have a one pop weh mek outta board
Suh yuh know di next day mama pot overload

I remember when wi stick di poll clerks
An dump di ballot box pon Tivoli outskirts
An hold a plane ticket & guh chill over Turks
When mi come back a still ina di hole mi a lurks
I remember those days when informer Derks
Get one inna him face & wi nuh get nuh perks
Caa di bigga heads dem are a couple of jerks
Cuz a dem a get di money when a we mash di works (but)

Wi get di ting dem, dem outta luck now
Mi squeeze seven & di whole a dem a duck now
Wi have whole heap a extra clip caa wi nuh bruk now
Raa, raa, raa, raa!
Wi get di ting dem suh, dem afi rate wi
Caa wi a tek it to dem wicked of lately
An now di whole community a live greatly
Raa, raa, raa, raa!

Jamaica get screwed true greed & glutton
Politics manipulate & push youths button
But wi rich now, suh dem caa tell man nutt'n
Caa a we a mek, mama nyam fish & mutton
Hey, over deh suh mek mi tell unu sup'm
True mi deh a foreign now a guy kill mi cousin
Yo mi hear seh T did deh deh but him seh him wasn't
Anytime mi fly down him a get bout dozen
(Caa)

Wi get di ting dem, dem outta luck now
Mi squeeze seven & di whole a dem a duck now
Wi have whole heap a extra clip caa wi nuh bruk now
Raa, raa, raa, raa!
Wi get di ting dem suh, dem afi rate wi
Caa wi a tek it to dem wicked of lately
An now di whole community a live greatly
Raa, raa, raa, raa!

I remember those days when Hell was my home
When, mi & Mama bed was a big piece a foam
And mi never like bathe & ma hair never comb
When Mama gone a work, me guh street guh roam
I remember when Danny dem tek mi snow cone
An mek him likkle bredda dem kick up Jerome
I remember when wi visit dem wid pure big stone
An di bwoy Danny pop off sup'm weh full chrome
I remember when wi run, Fatta get him knee blown
An mi best friend Richie get two inna him dome
I remember a suh di avenue turn inna war zone
An Mikey madda fly him out caa she get a loan
But Mikey guh to foreign & guh turn Al Capone
Mek whole heap a money & sen een our own
Now a we a lock di city & that is well known
Yesterday Mikey call mi pon mi phone, Mi seh “Mikey!"


posted by Zentronix @ 9:49 AM   1 comments links to this post



Sunday, June 11, 2006
Damon: "We Stink"
That's what Johnny "There's No 'D' In Yankee" Damon said yesterday. Then he went out and gave up like 17 hits and an in-the-park homer (after "Steel" Damon collided with Melky "Magnet" Cabrera in left center) today. Well, you certainly stink, homeboy, all by yourself. Hey, I'm not complaining! S-W-E-E-P. 2-1 A's for the season. Get used to it! And welcome Mike Rouse, wait to show the Small Unit...

posted by Zentronix @ 5:08 PM   0 comments links to this post



Thursday, June 08, 2006
The Definitive Desmond Dekker Post
Peter Scholtes does it again, placing the great Dekker against the backdrop of Jamaican history. Ample links, photos, and music!

He also revives an old National Review piece from 1977 (!) that labels punk a thoroughly conservative music. More belly laughs ensue.

posted by Zentronix @ 10:05 AM   0 comments links to this post



Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Election Day In CA
Here's some handy hip-hop gen voter guides:

+ The League of Pissed Off Voters Guide

+ Jane Kim's voter guide (San Francisco-specific)

Yes on Prop 82 and Prop A!

posted by Zentronix @ 9:41 AM   0 comments links to this post



Monday, June 05, 2006
Me On PBS.com: Hip-Hop And American Identity


Hey fam, PBS.com's Border Talk series has given me a chance to blog on the topic of Hip-Hop and American Identity this whole month. Who knows if that was such a good idea, but hey! You get to decide.

(Apologies to the great Nelson George, BTW, because it looks like they bit your book title for the blog. Sorry for that.)

Over the next month, we'll hear from people like Reginald Hudlin, president of entertainment at BET, and Cristina Verán, Rock Steady Crew member turned UN writer on indigenous people's movements, and many more.

Here's a teaser from today's entry:

Is it strange for an Asian Pacific Islander who grew up in the suburbs of Honolulu to be writing about hip-hop? I didn't think so.

But when I went out to promote my door-stopper of a book last year, I found out differently. Seemed like everyone wondered how someone of my background might have come to write a 500-plus page biceps-enhancer on the topic. (Thankfully, I never met the ones who didn't think there were 500-plus pages worth of the topic.)

I mean, did they live on the same planet as me?

When I got over being so defensive, I realized that unpacking that question could actually be quite interesting...


Read it all here. And definitely comment if you feel the spirit.

posted by Zentronix @ 1:39 PM   0 comments links to this post

 

Previous posts
Coming Soon!
Notes On The Eve Of Day One
Students Occupy The New School
Farai Chideya's News And Notes on NPR Has Been Can...
I Am Nixon
Shouldna Lef Ya...
2G2K Is Back! :: On Hillary, Again, And Foreign Po...
The Impact of The Hip-Hop Vote
UCLA Education In Action Keynote Speech
A Great Day In Baseball History


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