Saturday, February 03, 2007
Plug Three With The Whole Committee
In my talks, I've often asked my audiences if anyone knows what the 1996 Telecom Act was about, and how it affected the quality of hip-hop we are hearing and seeing. I'm usually met with blank stares. Yet the story of media consolidation explains a lot about why reactionary shock jocks of color rule urban radio, why there's so much crap on TV, and why the media justice movement has been growing by leaps and bounds over the last three years, especially in hip-hop circles.
There have been a raft of books in the media justice movement recently, but none as good as NYU prof and progressive journalist Eric Klinenberg's new book, Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America's Media. Eric breaks down the massive changes that have occurred and their human toll, including the firing of Davey D from KMEL. If you're in the Bay, Eric will be appearing at the Commonwealth Club on Tuesday and the Berkeley J-School on Wednesday. Check his website for more info.
2007 seems to be the year to talk hip-hop arts. Spelman prof and all-around brilliant dude Jelani Cobb also has a book out now on the aesthetics of hip-hop, called To The Break of Dawn that is definitely worth checking. If that wasn't enough, he's got another book coming out in March--a collection of his essays provocatively entitled The Devil and Dave Chappelle: And Other Essays--and he also makes an appearance in Byron Hurt's essential documentary, "Beyond Beats And Rhymes", which airs nationally on PBS on February 21st. Much more about that important movie to come.
My man Keith Knight has been called America's most dangerous man with a Sharpie. He's got a new collection out called Are We Feeling Safer Yet? and it was so funny I put my back out again while reading it. Click here to see why, or if you're in the Bay, just open a San Francisco Chronicle "96 Hours" section on Thursday and go straight to the back. Then, if you're like me, just make sure you're strapped into an ergonomically correct seat.
posted by Zentronix @ 10:34 AM
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