December 25, 2007

Free Atmosphere Album: Strictly Leakage

Message from Slug of Atmosphere:
as a way to thank all of our supporters, ant and i have put together this party favor.
it’s called “strictly leakage.” thirteen songs to chase away the winter doldrums.
free and downloadable.
it’s great for first dates, crappy house parties, or to play in the back ground while you google yourself again.

is downloadable a word?
what’s a doldrum?

nonetheless, thank you for the love, and please have a happy safe holiday.
oh yeah, i almost forgot,
“sad clown bad winter 11” is available now, and
new album from atmosphere, “when life gives you lemons, you paint that shit gold”
will be available on april 22 2008.


December 20, 2007

December 17, 2007

Q&A With MaGestiK LeGenD

Who exactly is MaGestiK LeGenD ? How'd you arrive at this name that you use?

Magestik Legend, for me, is a goal in itself. I feel like every song I write is another chapter in my story. I feel music is timeless. The music outlives most artist that make it. So when all is said and done and I pass on, my music will still be here speaking for me. That story will be my "majestic" legend.

When you ask artists about what performing in their locale is like often times they have a lot of gripes about their scenes lacking and or the people not being very supportive. What's it like in your neck of the woods? What could be better? What are some of the strong points?

Well, I'll start w/ the strong points. Due to the great amount of good artist in Michigan and the wide range of styles, I feel our music audience has a very experienced taste. They are a good judge of whats good and whats not. So they only support what they REALLY love. Most of the obstacles we experience usually boil down to our economy. A lot of people want to come out and support every show they just don't have the money or transportation. So when you get a big crowd in Michigan, you know they are really there to support You. We deal with unity problems amongst the artist community just like everybody else does. We also have a new trend of promoter/artist that decide to begin rapping over night then begin continuously booking themselves to open up for big acts instead of the many available experienced artist on the scene. We're getting it together though. A lot of artist in Michigan are starting to realize that independence is the key. If you want a show. Book it! If you want a tour. Make it happen! Don't wait for anyone.

A free album as of late seems to be the trend for most artists large and small in visibility. What made you decide to offer one up? What has the response been like thus far and do you feel like its benefiting you at all since making it available?

I didn't know that was quite a trend. I know right after I dropped the "FREE" album I heard about Radiohead and a few other major artist dropping free albums. I guess great minds think alike. The idea of me putting out the "FREE" album came from me wanting to give back to the people who have been supporting for the last 4-5 yrs without me even having an album. Shopping deals and researching distribution avenues takes time so I wanted to make sure I provided the deserving fans with something now to take home, listen to and spread the word about. The response for the "FREE" album has been great! There are people reaching out from all angles talking about possible deals, tours, videos etc. So far the investment is paying off.

When it comes down to show time. Up on stage in front of the crowd what are looking to do? What would you say you do differently that sets you apart from the rest of salivating self appreciating emcees?

My main goal on stage is to magnify the meaning of the songs I'm performing. I like to keep my show high energy and entertaining. I treat the crowd like we have a personal relationship, so they know that we play an equal part in the overall energy level in the venue. What sets me apart from other emcees is simply, Me. There is only one Magestik Legend. So I am not afraid to just be myself on stage. When you come to my show you get all of me, blood sweat and tears. I make sure you can actually FEEL where I coming from. Its not just a practiced act. It's real.

How long have you been producing? Who would you say would be your strongest influences?

I've been producing for about 10 yrs now. My strongest influences come from listening to records like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Bob James etc. As far as actual hip-hop producers, I would say I was influenced by early Rza, Ali Shaheed Muhammed, Organized Noize, Dr. Dre, Pete Rock, Dj Premiere, J Dilla, Dj Quick, Diamond D...I could go on for days! I listened to anything that caught my ear coming up. So I feel my influence is pretty well rounded.

What's the thought process of creating as emcee vs producer? Do you lean more to in either direction as far as what you enjoy more or is it pretty even?

I see myself as an emcee first. I started making beats cause I was too broke to buy beats. I made beats out of necessity but always looked at myself as just an emcee. Even today, if it wasn't for people around me complimenting my production, I would have probably stopped making beats a long time ago. I am still an emcee first. But I'm also starting to really enjoy being a producer. I really have no method to the madness. I just do what I feel. Sometimes I go into a writing zone where I'm writing 5-6 songs a day over any production I can get my hands on. Sometimes I go into a production zone where the writing shuts down and I concentrate on banging out as many quality beats as possible. I don't like forcing anything so when the creative feeling comes I just go with it. Whats dope is when I make a good beat it inspires me to write and vice versa.

Outside of music do you practice any other artistic forms of expression? If so, how do you?

Music is my only artistic outlet. This art consumes most of my time and energy. If I could find time to pick up a hobby one day, it would be photography.

Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions MaGestiK. Anything you wanna drop that you want the readers to know to wrap this up?

For up to date info on Magestik Legend StayConnected to and also look for updates @

December 12, 2007

Pikahsso Ft Tahiti Faleyuh Amercian Wierdo Pixtape

Wu-Tang 8 Diagrams Commercial | Album In Stores Now

Listen to the entire 8 Diagrams album: Click Here!

The Wu Tang Clan Mega Store
8 Diagrams Track Listing:

1. Campfire
2. Take it Back
3. Get Them Out Ya Way Pa
4. Rushing Elephants
5. Unpredictable
6. The Heart Gently Weeps
7. Wolves
8. Gun Will Go
9. Sunlight
10. Stick Me for My Riches
11. Starter
12. Windmill
13. Weak Spot
14. Life Changes

Crop Boys Vs. Roc Boys

So here we go. Brooklyn emcee Gif and Cav of 'The Dug Out' just dropped this song over the original beat that was sampled for Jay Z's Roc Boys song off his now critically acclaimed American Gangster album. Check it out!

Click Here to Download

December 10, 2007

Bombing Walls 4 Dilla

Kidz In The Hall Produce Song For Barack Obama's Presidential Campaign

Major League Entertainment is proud to announce that Kidz In The Hall have produced an anthem titled “WORK TO DO” in support of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Go to for a free download of “Work to Do!” In addition, go here to get an inside look at the making of the song. Having followed Obama’s political career from its early stages, Kidz In The Hall’s MC Naledge is very excited to be a part of the movement for change. “From Chicago’s Southside, to The University of Pennsylvania, Kidz In The Hall has always promoted positive change in American communities through social action. The message at the forefront of this soulful anthem is that no one should settle for less than success, because each one of us has the ability to change this world for the better. “Work To Do” is not necessarily a song that was meant as a “campaign song,” but more so a philosophy on how to approach life in general. I think much of what is wrong in my community is that hope has been lost by many of my peers. What many fail to realize is that one person can control his or her own destiny, it just requires due diligence and the ability to fight adversity. I happen to think that Barack Obama embodies everything that is promising for the future of our nation and represents the hope I sought to speak on in the song. Being from Chicago, I have seen his rise to prominence first hand and I can honestly say that I believe he is the best option for our next president.” -Naledge (Kidz In The Hall)

“We are thrilled to participate in this historic and meaningful race for the presidency in support of Senator Obama. Kidz In The Hall and Senator Obama both stand for hard work, focus, and honesty, while acting as advocates for those less fortunate. We hope the song “Work To Do” can help spread the Barack Obama message. This song could not be a better fit.”

-Matt Marcus, President Major League Entertainment
Many thanks to the entire Barack Obama campaign and to Todd Kane for his coordination on this project.

Kidz In The Hall’s sophomore LP, The In Crowd, will be released in March 2008 on Major League/Duck Down Records.

Wyclef Jean - Fast Car (Feat. Paul Simon)

AZ - The Hardest Out (Feat. Styles P) *WORLD PREMIERE*

December 7, 2007

The Lyrical Collective - July

Music Video for the song "July" off of the Lyrical Collective's newest album, "Another Summer".

Directed by Drew Witte and featuring Tamara Joy Clarke.

December 6, 2007

The Re-Education of Lauryn Hill

1. Music (intro)
2. Lose myself
3. Rebel
4. The passion
5. Selah
6. Social drug
7. A change is gonna come
8. Motives & thoughts (poem)
9. Take too much (rich man)
10. Guarding the gates
11. The makings of you
12. Freedom time
13. One higher soul (outro)

Support The Free Hiphop Now Movement!

Make a statement while rockin this pretty cheap t-shirt! Click the image above to find out more.

December 5, 2007

Duck Down Records Partners w/ Youtube & The History Channel

Theme Music

On the wake of announcing its music licensing agreement with ESPN a few weeks ago, Duck Down Records continues attacking the Cable TV programming world by inking a deal with the History Channel’s “Gangland Series”. In addition the label has signed a deal with YOUTUBE, joining their exclusive list of partnered clients, which will include their very own Duck Down Records channel.

Duck Down’s deal with The History Channel’s “Gangland Series” will include Black Moon and Boot Camp Clik’s own Buckshot, commissioned through Man Made Music, creating the original theme and promo music for the History Channel’s popular show “Gangland.” (an MP3 of “Gangland” is attached). Produced by Dirty Elegance, Buckshot was recruited to create a brief intro that would set the tone for the show’s gang related theme. Alternative versions were then created from Buckshot’s original piece; including one performed by Ice-T.

YOUTUBE has extended its exclusive list of partnered clients to include Duck Down Record's Channel. A content partnership representative contacted the label after seeing an increase in activity on their videos. The new partnership allows Duck Down to highly customize its page, upload larger video files, and receive video placement throughout YOUTUBE's featured playlists. Dru Ha, Co-Owner of Duck Down Records had this to say about the partnership: "I believe 5 years from now we're going to look back on Sites like YOUTUBE, MYSPACE, AllHipHop, HipHopGame, HipHopDX, etc and view them as marketing revolutions within the Music Industry. A few years ago (during our Triple Threat campaign) we were phasing videos out, because there were so few outlets for them to air, that it did not justify the expense. Today, we again have a reason to make videos, and while national TV networks like MTV and BET may not offer us coverage, YOUTUBE allows us to put our visuals in front of millions of people. It definitely levels the playing field and gives us a voice. In addition to our traditional music videos we've used the platform to air behind the scenes footage, comedy skits, concert clips and day in the life pieces that our fans are eager to see. I mean Sean Price has his own episode of MTV Cribs and Punk'd on the Duck Down /YOUTUBE Channel."

The Partnership with YOUTUBE comes at a perfect time as Duck Down prepares for the release of 9th Wonder and Buckshot's upcoming album, "The Formula," (March 2008). 9th and Buck have already filmed the video to the lead single “NO DOUBT” which stars Charlie Murphy in a series of short skits. Behind the scenes footage from the upcoming albums from Kidz In The Hall, “The In Crowd,” and Buckshot and 9th Wonder’s “Formula” are being planned to air on the channel in conjunction with the release.

View Duck Down's Channel Here and check out the making of 9th Wonder and Buckshot’s “NO DOUBT” Video featuring Charlie Murphy (Directed by Dru Ha and Rik Cordero) and to hear snippets of the single and the LP cover art:

In other related Duck Down Records news: The label has announced that they have officially re-signed one of its original core groups, Heltah Skeltah, and the duo will release a new album titled D.I.R.T. (Da Incredible Rap Team) in the summer of 2008. Buckshot, Co-owner of Duck Down Records lamented "It's a blessing to have the super-duo of Rock and Ruck, a.k.a. Sean Price, back together on Duck Down Records for what will be their 3rd Full-Length release. There is no denying that Sean Price has re-invented himself as one of the premier solo artists in the game, but his legacy is also that of one-half of Heltah Skeltah. Rock and Ruck have been in the studio daily working on this album with early production coming from Marco Polo, Evidence and Nottz; fans can expect that real gritty Heltah Skeltah feel. Trust me these two will not disappoint."

In addition, Duck Down will be releasing a new album from 9th Wonder & Buckshot titled "Formula". Co-Owner of Duck Down Records, Dru Ha says "While there has been tremendous growth and excitement surrounding Sean Price over the past few years, not to be lost in the mix is that from a sales standpoint Buckshot and 9th Wonder’s "Chemistry" from our Triple Threat Campaign (2005) has been our biggest independent release to date for the label. The combination of 9th's production and Buckshot's rhymes are as seamless as you get". “Formula” will be entirely produced by 9th Wonder and will feature appearances from Talib Kweli, Raheem Devaughn, Tyler Woods, and a video for the LP’s lead-single, "No Doubt" has already been shot and will also star Charlie Murphy.

November 26, 2007

Rawkus Network Launches The Eagerly Anticipated Rawkus 50

Rawkus, the brand synonymous with groundbreaking hip-hop returns to their roots in artist development.

The Rawkus Network (, home to blog favorites and taste-makers such as,,, and, announces the Nov. 27th all digital launch of The Rawkus 50, a who’s who of the hottest underground artists in Hip Hop today.

Chosen from hundreds of submissions, all Rawkus 50 artists’ profiles can be viewed on, a community platform that both blogs and artists share. A total of 650 exclusive tracks, representing 50 albums, will be available for digital download at I-Tunes and other relevant digital retailers worldwide. Each artist also has the option to independently release the music in physical CD form. To select the top 50 artists from a huge amount of submissions, Rawkus drafted veteran underground hip hop producer Slopfunkdust as Rawkus 50 A&R Director. All artists receive the marketing and promotion of Rawkus founders Brian Brater and Jarret Myer, who conceived of the Rawkus 50 as a countermeasure to falling CD sales and a general decline in artist development at music labels.

The Rawkus 50 member diversity, cumulative artistic strengths and touring capacity are evident; however, the Rawkus Network will provide coverage throughout its community of blogs with additional on-line promotion via its social network, worldwide digital distribution using IODA Distribution Alliance, print ads and a National series of Rawkus 50 events.

Below are some examples of what The Rawkus 50 has to offer. For more information and links to each artist’s profile page visit

-L.E.G.A.C.Y. is a widely respected Justus League member and Little Brother affiliate member.
-The Foundation’s members and session musicians have played live, recorded, and produced for Me’shell Ndegeocelo, Beyonce, Robert Glasper, Mary J. Blige, Tribe Called Quest, Bilal, Kareem Riggins, and Sa-Ra Creative Partners.
- Custom Made - Well known on LA’s mixtape circuit, Custom Made just signed a long term deal with Babygrande Records
- Mookie Jones, son of R&B Legend and original Def Jam roster artist Oran “Juice” Jones, was just 15 years old he won 1st place in 2003 National “Roc-The-Mic” competition sponsored by Roc-A-Fella Records. One year later he placed 1st in the Houston Source Battle and recently won Scion’s “The Prospect” competition.
-- Atllas, has been featured as a mentor of the highly rated MTV “MADE” series, and is headlining the official Phoenix Suns Tour with Hot-Rod (G-Unit).
-6th Sense, an Mc/Producer has collaborated/produced with Snoop Dogg, Aaron Carter, Scram Jones and Frequency. He is dropping his Rawkus 50 Mick Boogie tape now.
- SunN.Y was signed by Jermaine Dupri to Virgin Records Urban live on 106th and Park after winning over the BET MC battle
-Krukid, a Ugandan Native received a 4 Star OKAYPLAYER review for his Rawkus 50 album, “African” The respected Website wrote: “This is a great hip hop album, but above all it is a well crafted piece of art filled with substance.”

November 23, 2007

A Good Album is More than Just a Collection of Singles

Some people find it hard to understand my man Jay-Z's decision not to let iTunes break up his American Gangster album and sell it as single tracks. They say he's fighting the future and losing out on sales from fans who only want to download singles. But I say it was a stand somebody had to take in the music industry. Jay is speaking for all of us.

He's not the first. He's not the lone cowboy in all of this. Radiohead and AC/DC have turned their backs on iTunes for the same reason. Doug Morris, the CEO of Universal Group, has been fighting Steve Jobs on this for a minute now. But Jay is at a level people are going to pay attention to. He's had 10 number one albums. He may run Def Jam but he's also an artist who put his heart and soul into something that he wants people to hear all the way through. As the creator and investor, he has every right to demand this.

Not only that, I believe he's starting a movement that's necessary. More artists and producers are gonna take back control of how their art is sold because his strategy has paid off. Maybe Hova coulda sold another 100,000 to 200,000 units by playing it iTunes' way, but he still had the number one album last week. He STILL sold 425,000 units. Even more, he's proven you can still sell an album without those guys.

Jay made everyone realize that iTunes taking what we give them and doing what they want with it isn't the way it has to be. He put the light on and made other people realize, "Oh these guys are just selling our music, they ain't making it." If anything, WE made iTunes. It's like how we spent $300,000 to $500,000 each on our videos and MTV and BET went ahead and built an entire video television industry off of our backs. We can't let that happen again. These businesses exist solely because of our music. So if we as artists, producers and label executives stand up, those guys at Apple can either cooperate, or have nothing for people to buy and download on their iPods.

Apple thinks that's never gonna happen. They think that we as the record industry will never stick together. But Universal sells one out of every three records. All it'll take is for Warner Music to say, "You know what, I'm with you," for us to shut 'em down. No more iPods! They won't have nothin' to play on their players! We can take back the power if we're willing to sacrifice some sales to make our point.

These days people just assume that you need a number one single to have a number one album. But look at what's really happening. Soulja Boy sold almost 4 million singles and only 300,000 albums! We let the consumer have too much of what they want, too soon, and we hurt ourselves. Back in the day when people were excited about a record coming out we'd put out a single to get the ball going and if we sold a lot of singles that was an indication we'd sell a lot of albums. But we'd cut the single off a few weeks before the album came out to get people to wait and let the excitement build. When I put out Kris Kross we did that. We sold two million singles, then we stopped. Eventually we sold eight million albums!

Did consumers complain? Maybe so. But at what point does any business care when a consumer complains about the money? Why do people not care how we - the people who make music - eat? If they just want the single, they gotta get the album. That was how life was. Today we should at least have that option. Yeah, it's about the money, but it's also about quality. Creating each album as a body of work that means something gives the consumer something better to listen to, It's that simple. Otherwise all anyone would care about is making a bunch of ringtones.

A good album is more than just a collection of singles. American Gangster was a story with a beginning, middle and end. I came in at the end and did the last song, "Fallin'." But every joint was related. Each song gets better from listening to the one next to it, and the one after that. I didn't just sit by myself in my studio in Atlanta, crank somethin' out, and throw it in the pot.

That album was the product of the best minds in hip hop today: Jay, Puffy, the Neptunes, No I.D., Just Blaze and me. We all came together and threw ideas around. Me and Jay had long conversations about our favorite mafia movies, and that moment in all those gangsta stories - Scarface, The Godfather -- when the hero makes his big mistake and falls. We came in with respect for each others' craft so the whole album could do right by the story. We made quality music for our consumers. We made art.

None of this is new. Every record is in some way a concept album. The whole always strives to be better than its parts. I dedicate a whole chapter in my book to this process. Every thing I produce is a product of me spending time with the artist and getting to know where his or her head is at. Usher's Confessions album was all about where he was at that point in his life. Same with Mariah's Emancipation of Mimi.

Even if I'm not executive producing and I'm brought in at the end on someone else's album, I listen to what everyone else has done and try to make my tracks fit. I'm like an interior decorator who comes into a house and fixes up one room. It doesn't look like every other room, but at least it picks up some threads so that room looks like it belongs in the same home. Every album is created for you to hear the next song, especially on rap albums. Rappers make intros on their records for a reason- they want you to listen it to set the mood and get ready for that second song.

I'm not saying that music can't ever be sold as singles. Not every album is equal and consumers are always going to try to cherry pick the songs they like. But that doesn't mean the people who investing their time, money and sweat into a record shouldn't have the right to decide how it's gonna be sold, whether that's in single units or as a whole. My book, Young, Rich and Dangerous: The Making of a Music Mogul, came out in hardcover last month, but Simon & Schuster doesn't let the book stores tear it up and sell it chapter by chapter. A record is no different.

Asking us to let other people mess with all our hard work like that is disrespectful. It's like when you go an art auction, and an Andy Warhol painting is up for sale at $5 million, but a buyer is allowed to just by off the top right hand corner of the canvas for a hundred thou'

Apple, why are you helping the consumer destroy our canvas? We don't tell you to break up your computers into bits and pieces and sell off each thing. When you go to the Apple store you may only need one thing, but you have to buy all their plug ins and stuff. You have to buy their whole package, even if you don't necessarily want it, or your equipment won't work. We're just saying, if you have the audacity to sell your products like that, don't treat our products as something less than yours.

Respect the craft!


Jermaine Dupri, who was named the most successful R&B producer of all time by the Guinness World Records 2007, is a Grammy-award winning music producer, president of Island Urban Records and author of Young, Rich and Dangerous: The Making of a Music Mogul (Atria, October 2007).

November 6, 2007

Denzel Washington Hand Picks Songs For New Film, The Great Debaters.

The Great Debaters Soundtrack
Atlantic Records
In Stores 12/11
Pre-order Soundtrack Here


Atlantic Records has announced details of "THE GREAT DEBATERS - MUSIC FROM & RECORDED FOR THE MOTION PICTURE," the original motion picture soundtrack to the forthcoming Weinstein Company theatrical release. Due in stores on December 11th, the album features an extraordinary roster of modern artists - including Sharon Jones, Alvin 'Youngblood' Hart, and the Carolina Chocolate Drops - performing pre-1935 blues, folk, jazz, and gospel classics. Directed by and starring Academy Award®-winner Denzel Washington, The Great Debaters is set to open in theaters nationwide on December 25th.

The pre-1935 songs were hand picked by Denzel Washington for the various on camera scenes from over 1000 songs from the period. Recorded largely at Memphis' world-renowned Ardent Studios, "THE GREAT DEBATERS - MUSIC FROM & RECORDED FOR THE MOTION PICTURE" centers around Grammy Award-winning blues singer/guitarist Alvin 'Youngblood' Hart and Brooklyn-based soul sensation Sharon Jones, who are featured both as solo performers and in collaboration with The Carolina Chocolate Drops. Among the album's many highlights is a version of the traditional "Step It Up and Go," performed by Hart and legendary Hi Rhythm Section guitarist Teenie Hodges (Al Green, Ann Peebles). In addition, Hart unites with traditional African-American string band, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, for a series of songs, including a stunning take on Blind Willie Johnson's "Nobody's Fault But Mine" and the exciting Mississippi Sheiks hit, 'Blood In My Eyes For You."

Elsewhere, Jones pairs with Memphis' acclaimed community choir, Billy Rivers and the Angelic Voices of Faith, for soaring renditions of such classic spirituals as "We Shall Not Be Moved" and "Up Above My Head." "THE GREAT DEBATERS - MUSIC FROM & RECORDED FOR THE MOTION PICTURE" also features jazz favorites like Duke Ellington's "Delta Serenade," performed by the esteemed New York-based big band, David Berger and the Sultans of Swing. The collection is rounded off by period recordings from such luminaries as Marian Anderson, Art Tatum, and the Delmore Brothers.

"THE GREAT DEBATERS - MUSIC FROM & RECORDED FOR THE MOTION PICTURE" was produced by G. Marq Roswell & Denzel Washington. G. Marq Roswell is known for his work as music supervisor on over 50 films.


1. "My Soul Is A Witness" - Alvin 'Youngblood' Hart & Sharon Jones
2. "That's What My Baby Likes" - Sharon Jones, Alvin Youngblood Hart & Teenie Hodges
3. "I've Got Blood In My Eyes For You" - The Carolina Chocolate Drops & Alvin 'Youngblood' Hart
4. "Step It Up and Go" - Alvin 'Youngblood' Hart & Teenie Hodges
5. "It's Tight Like That" - Sharon Jones, Alvin Youngblood Hart & Teenie Hodges
6. "Busy Bootin'" - Alvin 'Youngblood' Hart & The Carolina Chocolate Drops
7. "City Of Refuge" - Alvin 'Youngblood' Hart & The Carolina Chocolate Drops
8. "Two Wings" - Alvin 'Youngblood' Hart, Sharon Jones w/Billy Rivers and the Angelic Voices of Faith
9. "Delta Serenade" - David Berger & The Sultans of Swing
10. "Rock n' Rye" - David Berger & The Sultans of Swing
11. "Wild About That Thing" - Sharon Jones, Alvin Youngblood Hart, & Teenie Hodges
12. "Nobody's Fault But Mine" - Alvin 'Youngblood' Hart & The Carolina Chocolate Drops
13. "How Long Before I Change My Clothes" - Alvin 'Youngblood' Hart
14. "We Shall Not Be Moved" - Sharon Jones w/Billy Rivers and the Angelic Voices of Faith
15. "Up Above My Head" - Sharon Jones w/Billy Rivers and the Angelic Voices of Faith
16. "The Shout" - Art Tatum
17. "Begrussung" - Marian Anderson


"Believe in the power of words"

From two-time Academy Award winner Denzel Washington and an ensemble cast lead by Washington that includes Academy Award® winner Forest Whitaker, comes "The Great Debaters." Inspired by a true story, "The Great Debaters" chronicles the journey of Professor Melvin Tolson (Denzel Washington), a brilliant but volatile debate team coach who uses the power of words to shape a group of underdog students from a small African American college in the deep south into a historically elite debate team. A controversial figure, Professor Tolson challenged the social mores of the time and was under constant fire for his unconventional and ferocious teaching methods as well as his radical political views.

In their pursuit for excellence, Tolson's debate team receives a groundbreaking invitation to debate Harvard University's championship team. The film is directed by Denzel Washington and stars Washington, Forest Whitaker, Jurnee Smollett, Nate Parker, Denzel Whitaker, and Kimberly Elise. "The Great Debaters" was written by Robert Eisele and Tom Epperson and produced by Todd Black, Kate Forte, Oprah Winfrey and Joe Roth. Presented by The Weinstein Company, "The Great Debaters," will be released by MGM on December 25th.

Official Wu-Tang Clan 8 Diagrams Mixtape | Album In Stores 12/11

Or you can visit the following link and there's a flash player with the songs in it...

Wu-Tang Clan “8 Diagrams” Mixtape, Download Here on! and the Wu-Tang Clan are whetting appetites for the Wu’s upcoming release with the "8 Diagrams" Mixtape and official mixtape widget.

The legendary Wu-Tang Clan will release their last album "8 Diagrams" on December 11th, 2007 through Loud/SRC Records. The "8 Diagrams" mixtape is available for FREE download exclusively through It features 29 tracks of new and unreleased Wu-Tang material. You can stream the full mixtape using the "8 Diagrams" widget (which fans can embed into their MySpace page or personal blog, free to pass along to other hip hop heads). If you’d prefer to bypass the widget, click this link and download the full mixtape for free from

And in case you missed it, check out RZA as he talks “The Heart Gently Weeps” here.

Mixtape Tracklisting:
1) Intro feat. Method Man
2) Watch Ur Mouf (Wu-Tang Exclusive)
3) State Of Grace (Raekwon Exclusive)
4) Break That Break (Unreleased)
5) Wu Banga 101 Remix (Unreleased)
6) My Corner (Raekwon Exclusive)
7) Stick Me 4 My Riches (Wu-Tang Exclusive)
8) Thug World (Wu-Tang Exclusive)
9) Maxine Remix (Unreleased)
10) King Toast Queen (Unreleased)
11) Strawberries & Cream Remix
12) Weak Spot (Wu-Tang Exclusive)
13) Intoxicated feat Macy Gray (ODB Exclusive)
14) Crooklyn Dodgers (Ghostface Exclusive)
15) The "W" Remix (Unreleased)
16) Real Nillaz
17) Ghost Is Back
18) Don't Go Breaking My Heart ODB feat Macy Gray
19) Violent Skit
20) Life Changes (Wu-Tang Exclusive)
21) Treez (Unreleased)
22) The Abduction
23) John 3:16
24) Good
25) Da Destroyer (Raekwon Freestyle)
26) Iron God Chamber
27) 4:20
28) Wise (Unreleased)
29) Presidential M.C. (Bonus Track - The Heart Gently Weeps)

November 5, 2007

Let Me Let Go - Michael Jackson

MJ is resurfacing again it seems. Recently he thanked his fans with a letter. He's on the cover of Ebony because it's been 25 years now since Thriller was released and changed the face of music.
MJ has a new song too... Check it out below.

[Click Here] Let Me Let Go - Michael Jackson

Herbie Hancock takes 'River' on the Road with 18 year old phenom Sonya Kitchell

NY, NY – Following the release of ‘River: The Joni Letters,’ “an intimate reinvention” (NY Times, 9/9/07) of Joni Mitchell songs, jazz master Herbie Hancock ( will embark on a brief tour of West Coast venues this November.

In addition to band members Vinnie Colaiuta, Nathan East and Lionel Loueke, Hancock will be joined by young singing sensation Sonya Kitchell. Kitchell will handle vocal duties for performances of songs appearing on the album, a tribute to Hancock’s friend and fellow music icon Joni Mitchell. The concert tour, which will include songs spanning Hancock’s illustrious five-and-a-half decade career, will makes stops in California, Arizona and New Mexico.

“When Sonya and I first met at one of her performances last year, I was blown away by her professionalism, her grace and, of course, her amazing voice,” said Hancock. “We brought her in to perform Joni’s ‘All I Want’ for ‘River,’ and I was sold. She’s definitely one to watch, and I’m thrilled she can join us for the West Coast dates.”

Citing Joni Mitchell as one of her key influences, the now 18-year-old Kitchell released her debut album ‘Words Came Back to Me’ in spring 2006 (Velour/Hear Music) to widespread acclaim. "With a knockout voice” (People, 4/17/06) and songwriting skills to match, the Massachusetts-born singer’s debut was selected for national distribution by Starbucks as part of their prestigious Hear Music Debut series. This tour marks the second live collaboration between Kitchell and Hancock, who last year invited the young vocalist to perform with his all-star band at the Sonoma Jazz Festival.

‘River: The Joni Letters,” which debuted at the top of the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart following its September 25 release, is a collection of songs, composed by or influential to Joni Mitchell. Arranged and produced by Hancock with legendary producer Larry Klein (Mitchell, Madeleine Peyroux, Brandi Shearer), ‘River’ “explores how old words resonate when interpreted instrumentally and offers beautiful insight into [Mitchell’s] conversational artistry” (LA Times, 9/23/07). The album features vocal performances by artists including Leonard Cohen, Norah Jones, Corinne Bailey Rae, Luciana Souza, Tina Turner, and Mitchell herself. Kitchell’s performance of “All I Want” appears exclusively on the version of the album.

October 31, 2007

Art For Progress presents, "A New Spirit of Progress"

Nonprofit arts collaborative Art For Progress (AFP) will host their annual group arts show, "A New Spirit of Progress" from November 2 - November 16, 2007. Held at World Culture Open in Chelsea, the show will exhibit works from their talented stable of underexposed and emerging visual artists. The diverse exhibition encompasses works that speak of progress, whether it is political, cultural or emotional.

Art For Progress holds the philosophy of Victor Hugo in high regard. The artist and writer spoke of artists coming together for the greater good, and to form a community that speaks to the world at large. "A New Spirit of Progress" was curated with this message in mind.
The show will feature works from AFP's most gifted visual artists. Philip Simmons' solo show opens on Friday, October 26th at Williamsburg's Front Room Gallery, while Melanie Prapopoulos will show at this year's Florence Biennale. Carol Caputo's show "Drawing Conclusions" recently ended on September 28th. Juan Pajares and Gabe Kirchheimer both had successful shows this past summer in France, and Lance Dehne had a solo show last year at NY Arts Gallery in Beijing, China.

Along with these recent newsmakers, we're also very excited to be featuring works from the following AFP artists: Sima Schloss, Jacquie Gouveia, Yuri Bobrykov, Wiktor Szostalo, Natalie Kates, Max Greis, Martin Deegan, Sara Conca, Michael Lorenzini, Diane Laraja, Kenneth Yee, Drew Maillard, Don Sipley, Aimee Hertog, Marina Reiter, Frieda Block, and Liza Lambertini.

The opening will be held on Friday, November 2, 2007 from 6-9pm. AFP artist Pete Nawara of Chicago will be creating live pieces for auction as part of the opening on November 2nd and also for the special performance of AFP's theatre production, Dossier: Ronald Akkerman on Saturday, November 3rd 8pm. Opening night will also feature a musical performance from an AFP artist. In addition, there will be a second performance of the play on Saturday November 10th also at 8pm.

World Culture Open is located at 19 West 26th Street, 5th floor, showing by appointment November 3rd through November 16th. For a private viewing of the exhibition, contact Art For Progress via e-mail at
For more information on the particpating artists click here.

"Supporting artists while sustaining the arts for children"

Brand new footage of Tyra B. making her new hit single, 'Givin' Me a Rush'

October 22, 2007

SRC Pres Gaby Acevedo on looking for new artists

SRC President Gaby Acevedo talks about what he's looking for in a new artist and how artists can use to its fullest potential.


New York, NY (October 18, 2007) – announced the second group of semi-finalists in their $100,000 on-line rap competition today. With six of the nine semi-final spots now filled, the next ten weeks will be the final opportunity members have this year to earn a chance at the money and a deal from SRC Records.

Grabbing first place and $25,000 for his efforts, North Cak emcee Drop ( won over the judges with a smooth, charismatic flow and an impressive following on the site. Coming in second and earning $15,000 was South Carolina’s Dirty Rap ( Hailing from the Boston-area and taking the $10,000 third place prize was The Franchise King ( All three noted that they maximized the interactive features on and used other outside web sources to increase their exposure.

“I had mad people helping me out this time around,” Franchise said. “I won a round in the first ten weeks but didn’t get picked. This time, though, we pounded the site even harder and it worked out. To be here, you have to love the culture first, with the music as an extension of that. But you also need to realize it’s a job, too. If somebody asked you if you wanted to get paid to write raps, what would you say, you know? This is how it happens.”

The and SRC Records A&R Department review all submissions, and music from the narrowed pool of weekly winners goes through SRC’s top brass before a decision is made. Coupled with the payout of $50,000 for each semi-final round (in addition to the grand-prize winner’s $100,000 purse), the entire process speaks to the level of commitment put forward from everyone involved with the site, be it the high-profile producers, the execs in the building, or the unsigned emcees that make the site function. Co-chairman of and hip hop pioneer Steve Rifkind commended the contestants on their efforts. As head of SRC Records, he will be the man guiding the career of the ultimate winner.

“We had some incredible submissions this round, and these are the top three that emerged,” Rifkind said. “There was a lot of debate because the voting in-house was so close, and we’re happy about that. It is a great example of commitment on both ends and, more important, it shows the direction is moving. This is a community-first site and we expect it to produce top-notch talent. This is an exciting time for everyone.”

All three winners were featured in exclusive interviews on their respective hometown urban radio stations this past week. The Franchise King was in-studio on WJMN JAM’N 94.5 in Boston at 3pm Monday, Dirty Rap visited KTTB Hot 103.9 in Columbia at 1pm Tuesday and Drop chopped it up on WQOK K97.5 in Raleigh at 12pm Wednesday. is currently featuring print interviews with the latest semi-finalists.



Hailing from North Carolina, Drop is almost a throwback to the rhymesayers that dominated the game during rap’s golden era – socially conscious, sick flow and in touch with the culture. Drop fronts the FIF GANG, with FIF standing for F.irst I.n F.light (“because North Cak niggas was the first to be fly,” he says. “My passion speaks more than my lyrics. I got a song for every occasion and I'm making enough music to live eternally. I’m socially conscious. I speak on poverty, police brutality, racism, single mothers, deadbeat fathers and lack of education (in our system). When I speak, the world listens.” Drop is associated with producers that have worked with Lil Wayne and Dipset, among others, and has a mixtape out right now, “Plead Da FIF Vol. 1,” available for sale.


At 28, Dirty Rap is no hip hop spring chicken. Splitting time between Arizona and South Carolina, he’s been around, having opened shows for Clipse, Juelz Santana, Ying Yang Twins, Devon the Dude, Twista, Paul Wall, Chamillionaire, Mack-10 and a host of others. He’s put out three solo albums and four albums with his crew, the Gnac Boys (Yak Boys). And he’s spoken to a lot of people. But what’s interesting is his unorthodox approach and perspective in making music. It’s a mature and calculated process, yet at the same time very much in the moment. Check out more of the “deep, aggressive voice and suitcase full of hope” at


It’s pretty arrogant to call yourself The Franchise King. But like The Game and King Tip before him, Sunny Shines is more than just swagger and flow. Repping just outside Boston in Dover, NH, Franchise is quick to point out that to make the music he makes, you have to love hip hop first. First piece of evidence – instead of a biography, he lists a set of rules (see “Commandments”) about how to go about your business. He’s opened for KRS-1, has an upcoming show with Wordsmith and Rhymeswell and is getting set to drop on Boston stages this winter. His crew’s mixtape “Everybody’s Listening Vol. 1” moved over 1,000 units independently, and Vol. 2 is on its way. Get on-board at


LOUD.COM is an online competition, open to all registered users. offers users the ability to download professional beats from Hip Hop’s hottest producers for just .99 cents, use a unique on-line recording tool to overlay raps over the tracks, have the songs judged by celebrity producers and compete for $100,000 and a record deal with SRC Records, home of multi Platinum, Grammy Awarding winning artist such as Akon and David Banner. LOUD producers have made hits for The Notorious B.I.G., 50 Cent, The Game, Jim Jones, Lil Jon, Rick Ross, Talib Kweli, Mary J. Blige, Kanye West, Busta Rhymes and many more. Log on to LOUD.COM now!

Royce Da 5'9" Track "Promise Land"


"Bar Exam Volume 2"
(Official Mixtape)

Brand new exclusive from Royce Da 5'9" from his up coming mix tape "Bar Exam Volume 2" called "Promise Land" produced by super producer Nottz!

Royce Da 5'9" - Promise Land
Download: [Click Here]

Coming Soon: Two Royce Da 5'9" studio albums "Street Hop" & "The Revival" featuring production from heavy hitter producers such as DJ Premier, Nottz, Carlos "6th July" Broady, Havoc, Bink Dogg, Hi-Tek, The Alchemist, Mario Winans & 9th Wonder.


October 9, 2007

Sponsored Post - Online Casino Bluebook

They say if your palm is itching then you're fixing to come into some funds pretty soon, there's also the possibility that you may have a mild case of dry hands. Whatever the case may be, if you're tired of trying to find the perfect online casino, Online Casino Bluebook is the answer to your dilemma. Bluebook provides a listing of the top online casinos that is updated monthly. You get a concise rundown of each sites sign up bonus amount and a detailed review of what you can expect to see when you enter. Why search till your pointy finger is sore when Blue Book's already done all the work? Aside from listing the top online casinos on the front page they have an itemized list of available online game types ;(i.e. No Deposit Casinos, Online Casinos, Bingo Halls, Poker Room and SportsBook). Aesthetically the site's design isn't too great to look at, something I believe may cause folks that stumbled upon it randomly, to pass it over. Even still, this has no baring on the sites ability to deliver quality content that is valuable when giving you the proper information you're searching for. One great thing about the site aside from the info they provide is the absence of annoying pop up ads, actually there’s not much advertising on the site which leads me to believe that they’re more concerned with serving up content then upping their click thru rate. Get ready to roll the digital die, spin the wheel of roulette while wearing your best poker face and give Bluebook a try. If you win something, make sure to share the wealth.

October 8, 2007

RZA on the Beatles' "My Guitar Gently Weeps"

RZA discusses the making of "The Heart Gently Weeps," the Wu Tang Clan's cover of The Beatles' "My Guitar Gently Weeps," featuring Dhani Harrison (George Harrison's son), John Frusciante, and Erykah Badu on the Wu Tang Clan's new album, The Eight Diagrams, available in November 2007. For the full interview, hit up KOTORIMAG.COM in November.

September 12, 2007

Queen Latifah covers Billie Holiday's Trav'lin' Light + more

Download Poetry Man

Queen Latifah
Trav'lin' Light
IN STORES September 25th
Verve Music Group

Queen Latifah’s new album Trav’lin’ Light will be released by famed jazz label Verve Records in conjunction with Flavor Unit Entertainment on September 25. Produced by three-time Grammy® winner Tommy LiPuma and by Geffen Records chairman Ron Fair, the album is the long-awaited follow-up to Latifah’s critically-acclaimed and Grammy® nominated release The Dana Owens Album (2004).

Trav'lin' Light is Latifah's second foray into the realm of jazz, soul, and blues. Once again, she embraces a sultry and saucy mix of fabled female vocalists who've inspired her. Exploring the songbooks of PeggyLee, Etta James, Sarah Vaughn, Nina Simone, Shirley Horn, Carmen McRae, Roberta Flack, Mary Wells, Phoebe Snow, and more, Latifah adds her warm vocals and playful personality to a hand-picked mix of familiar classics and forgotten jewels.


(Words and Music by Phoebe Snow)
QL's mom's favorite song. QL sought and received her mom's blessing before recording it. Top 5 Pop hit, #1 Adult Contemporary hit in 1975 for Phoebe Snow.
Produced by Ron Fair

(Harry Rosenthal, Jimmy Flynn, Alex Sullivan) Features harmonica solo by Stevie Wonder.
From an obscure Broadway production from 1921 called "Put and Take." QL discovered this song through a recording of it by Carmen McRae.
Produced by Tommy LiPuma

(Antonio Carlos Jobim, Gene Lees)
Antonio Carlos Jobim bossa nova classic from late 50s.
Renowned Brazilian acoustic guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves and harmonica player Toots Thielemans play on this track. Produced by Ron Fair

(Saul Bernie, James P. Johnson, Stella Unger)
1961 hit for Etta James. Performed by Bessie Smith in 1929, Erskine Hawkins in 1943. Many covers: Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin and many more.
Produced by Ron Fair

(Peggy Lee, Bill Schluger)
Co-written and performed by Peggy Lee in 1960.
Produced by Tommy LiPuma

(Mann Curtis, Al Hoffman, Walter Kent)
After hearing Sarah Vaughn's explosive recording, QL now considers this song to be her new anthem.
Produced by Tommy LiPuma

(Jimmy Mundy, Trummy Young, Johnny Mercer) 1940's Billie Holiday classic. QL inspired by version she heard version by Shirley Horn.
Produced by Tommy LiPuma

Tim Brymn, Brymn, J., Small, D., Clarence Williams Old blues number recorded by Bessie Smith and later popularized by Nina Simone.
Produced by Tommy LiPuma

(Graham Gouldman, Eric Stewart)
1975 10cc pop smash. QL's version inspired by Dee Dee Sharp's 1976 Gamble & Huff production which became a Quiet Storm classic.
Produced by Ron Fair

(William "Smokey" Robinson, Robert Rogers)
An early 60s Mary Wells gem written by Smokey Robinson. Also recorded by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles and the Temptations.
Produced by Ron Fair

(Anita Pointer, June Pointer, Patricia Pointer, Ruth Pointer, David Rubinson)
#1 R&B hit in 1975, written and performed by the Pointer Sisters.
Produced by Ron Fair

(Donny Hathaway, Leroy Hutson, Curtis Mayfield)
Inspired by Roberta Flack's 1970 cover of the Impressions's "Gone Away."
This song was also prominently sampled by T.I. in his 2006 hit "What You Know." Produced by Ron Fair

(Scott Wittman, Marc Shaiman)
From the film soundtrack for Hairspray.
Produced by Marc Shaiman


John Clayton - arranger on all Tommy tracks.
Jerry Hey - arranger on all Ron tracks, also worked on last album.

Rhythm section on Tommy tracks:

Joe Sample - keyboards on Georgia Rose, Trav'lin' Light, I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl
George Duke - keyboards on I Love Being Here With You, I'm Gonna Live Till I Die
Christian McBride - bass
Jeff Hamilton - drums
Anthony Wilson - guitar

Rhythm section on Ron tracks:

George Duke - keyboards on Poetry Man, I'm Not In Love, Gone Away
Alan Pasqua - keyboards on Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars, What Love Has Joined Together
Greg Mathieson - keyboards and organ on How Long (Betcha Gotta A Chick On The Side)
Abe Laboriel, Jr. - drums on Quiet Nights, Don't Cry Baby, Gone Away, What Love..., How Long..., I'm Not In Love
Paul Jackson, Jr. - guitar
Michael Landau - guitar
Alex Al - I'm Not In Love, Gone Away
Mike Valerio - bass on Poetry Man, Quiet Nights, What Love...

AUDIO: I'm Gonna Live Till I Die

September 10, 2007

Intelligent Outrage… They Just Don't Get It!

This article contains excerpts from Wise Intelligent’s forthcoming book … “"3/5 of an MC: The Manufacturing of a Dumbed-Down Rapper.”

Knowledge is the base of existence that I…
Build upon ya intelligence through the power of the real…
Wisdom is a purified word or an act…
That can bring rap back in fact I’m ill….

Get knowledge get the wisdom but in everything you gettin…
Hope you get the understanding so you’ll see the picture clear…”
- Wise Intelligent “I’m Him” from Wise Intelligent iz…The Talented Timothy Taylor

When I say that "Its No Longer Smart To BE Dumb" I am by no means referring exclusively to rappers and/or the Hip Hop community. Rather, I am speaking also of the greater "black" community and all of its parts!

In my hood, a.k.a. New Jersey, New Jerusalem or Dirty Jerz (which ever you prefer), the Department of Education (DOE) and all of its parts are doing more harm to black youth than the sum-total of all so-called "gangster" or "misogynistic" rap lyrics combined!

According to an August 17, 2007 Trenton Times article entitled "Schools Fall Short on Test Reports" we are informed that no less than 618 schools in New Jersey "did not meet their yearly progress standards." The report goes on to say that "517 schools went two or more years in a row without meeting the standards" and that "38 schools failed to meet the standards for seven years in a row." Seven?!

But here is the stinger for me. Trenton, NJ (a.k.a. The Land of Truth) which is barely 7.5 square miles in area has 15 schools on the list? This is damn near every school in the district. Not to mention that Trenton Central High School and every high school in the immediate suburbs (Ewing, Hamilton, Lawrence, Nottingham) are also on the list of 618 failing schools.

However this analysis is not to determine whether No Child Left Behind and its policy of policing schools works or not (we all no that it doesn't), the point is that the ineffectiveness of the American "educational" system at educating black youth was and has been a problem long before No Child Left Behind and is no new revelation. The heartache comes in seeing the doctors, ministers, and cremators of the black community launch national campaigns attacking the very same black children (the "Hip Hop" community) who have been failed by a system that is designed for them to fail!

I have heard all sorts of excuses to explain away the reality of the situation; excuses like "these children are uneducable" or that its "bad parenting" or simply "these children don't get it" or "their parents don't get it." Not once have we seen a thorough examination and evaluation of the system in which the children are embedded as the direct cause of their failure to "get it."

When we add the fact that 98% of all black youth attend these failing public schools the seriousness of the issue is made apparent!

In a 20/20 report entitled “Zoned Out of a Good Education,” John Stossel tells the story of 18-year-old Dorian Cain of South Carolina, who was still “struggling to read a single sentence in a first-grade level book” when he met him. This, despite the fact that his “public schools had spent nearly $100,000 on him over 12 years.” They squandered over $100,000, wasted 12 years of this boy’s life, and never taught him to read? This is a kid who’s trying to take advantage of Brown vs. The Board of Education [Mr. Cosby], but the system failed him. We are not talking about calculus, scientific notations or quantum physics, they couldn’t teach him to read?

Before you say that the child may have had a ‘learning disability” (excuse used by inadequate teaching staffs), lets see what happened next. So, Stossel says, the news program "20/20" sent Dorian to Sylvan, a private learning center, “to see if teachers there could teach Dorian to read when the South Carolina public schools failed to.” Astonishingly, the report tells us that this learning center “Using computers and workbooks, Dorian's reading went up two grade levels -- after just 72 hours of instruction.” In just three days the private learning center was able to boost this young mans reading by two whole grade levels?

“I was a seed with a seed, I mean a baby with a baby…
Half my teachers called me crazy when they failed to educate me…
They said I had a deficit, disorder of attention…
Couldn’t teach me to read so they pegged me for prison…”
- Wise Intelligent, “Go With Me” from “Wise Intelligent iz…The Talented Timothy Taylor”

The public school system is a joke, and an insult to parents and children who fail for want of a good education. It was Bill Cosby who went on an endless rant about how “the lower economic and lower middle economic people are [not*] holding to their end in this deal” and that “Brown Versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person’s problem.” I mean Mr. Huxtable went as far as mocking the broken English spoken by poor black youth, saying “It [your child] can’t speak English. It doesn’t want to speak English. I can’t even talk the way these people talk. “Why you ain’t where you is go, ra…” But, 18 year old Dorian Cain wanted to learn to speak English properly. His mother thought he’d be taught language arts and English literature in his 12 years of “taking advantage” of Brown vs. Topeka, but the system failed him miserably! Why are we so afraid to look at the root cause of our issues!

Dorian Cain’s mother, Gena Cain, summed it all up when she said that she was “thrilled with Dorian's progress but disappointed with his public schools.” With Sylvan,”she says ‘it's a huge improvement. And they're doing what they're supposed to do. They're on point. But I can't say the same for the public schools," she said. . “Gena Cain” the report says, “like most parents, doesn't have a choice which public school her kids attend. She followed the rules, and her son paid the price.” Yes, Gena Cain followed all the rules, but she had no idea that her son would end up dumber after twelve years of school than he was when he entered.

The large majority of today’s rappers – mainstream, underground, conscious or dumbed-down – are the product of the same machine that failed Dorian Cain. The average rap artist is Dorian Cain and Dorian Cain the average rap artist. No doubt, a young Dorian Cain entered the “educational” process willing and eager to learn, but the machine destroyed him. It mutilated his self esteem and devoured his self image and pride. Janice Hale in her study Learning While Black “compared the educational progress of children who had just entered Head Start with those who had been there for two years. She found that children who had just entered performed better, regardless of social demographics. The older children who attended Head Start the longest possessed lower scores.” After considering the results of her research Hale concluded that African American children do not enter school disadvantaged, they leave disadvantaged. There’s nothing wrong with children, but there is clearly something wrong with what happens to them in school.” – Jawanza Kunjufu, Black Students, Middle Class Teachers, p. 95, 2002

When we add the psychological effects of the racism and discrimination that many black youth have to deal with just sitting in most American classrooms throughout the school year the problem becomes even more serious. For all of us who are of the opinion that racism is no longer a factor in America’s schools just Google “The Jenna 6.”

Hell is the human bondage…suffered when inner conscious
Go undiscovered, due to ego and a lack of knowledge
You should go back to college, tell your professor’s for profit
They taught you nothing, then Molotov coattail bomb it!
Wise Intelligent “Intelligent Wise” for Wise Intelligent iz…The Talented Timothy Taylor

As it is our policy to never present a problem without presenting what we feel is the INTELLIGENT solution, here goes the solution. It is obvious what works and has been working in black communities throughout the country for the past 30 years and even before the 1960’s in some parts of the US. Wherever you find an independent black school with an Afrocentric curriculum educating black youth from a psychological perspective based on their history and experiences as a people, you also find a high percentage of exceptional students with high self-esteem and enhanced racial pride; two elements that are essential for any person or group of people to build! And if you don’t believe me then go ask every other racial group on this planet! From Jewish to Amish they NOT only teach their child Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, they teach them about their history (good and bad), the magnificence of their culture, and most importantly self-love and self-worth. Why are we so afraid to say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done to fix our problems!

The Council of Independent Black Institutions (CIBI) ( is a national model of the kind of curriculum that works for black youth. With about 40 small schools nation wide this institution continues to churn out some of the best and brightest black minds in the country. However, it is the “guards” at the gate of the black community who quickly say “that’s segregation?” But, where have they been? America’s schools have been segregated since before and after Brown vs. The Board of Education. In a report done by the Community Service Society of New York we read the following:

Public Education: Still Segregated, Still Unequal

“70 percent of black students across the country attend schools that have a majority of minority students. One out of three is in schools with at least 90 percent students of color.”

America’s schools are, today, just as segregated as they were before Brown vs. Board of Education. “More recently,” says Edwin Schur, “the “Coleman Report” on equality of educational opportunity has made clear that, almost fifteen years after the Supreme Court’s historic school desegregation decisions, segregated schooling is the rule rather than the exception across the nation.” – Edwin M. Schur, Our Criminal Society, p. 48, 1969; James S. Coleman, Equality of Educational Opportunity, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1966

The argument that independent Afrocentric schools or curriculums are based on the practice of “segregation” is evidence of a pathological flight from reality. The reality is that segregation, as stated in the above report “is the rule rather than the exception.” Yes the report was from 1966 but I used it to compare with the present situation and the following report:

“Those who do not want their children to be handicapped by the learning problems of others who have suffered generations of oppression, ignorance, and neglect simply abandon the city schools that these students were being integrated into and fled to richer suburban schools. Over 52% of Americans live in the suburban areas surrounding the large metropolises (Elam, 1993, p.196). Today, Blacks, Hispanics, and poorer children dominate 23 of the nations 25 largest urban school systems (Frady, 1985, p.13). This has raised a permanent fissure in our public schools and has separated them into two separate and unequal class systems - one suburban, privileged and mostly white; and the other inner-city, poorer and mostly non-white.” - Amy Golba How Does Education in Urban Schools Compare to Suburban Schools? Communicated by Marsha Heck.

In light of the above reality we must EMPLOY WHAT WORKS by “ANY MEANS NECESSARY!” But let’s get back to what works.

One highly publicized example of what works was highlighted on an episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show. On this show Oprah spoke with black educators from a Ohio school district I believe, who separated the black student body (who had lower scores than everyone else) and black staff from the rest of the schools students and staff so that the black students and teachers could really see what was at stake. This was effective because it allowed black students to step out of the system and view it from a perspective that spoke directly to their history and experiences. Today those same black children are well above average and in some areas achieving higher than their peers of other nationalities.

The point is that we have a severe and extreme crisis of inadequate, inefficient and incapable education that will require severe and extreme measures to repair. The ‘guards” that have positioned themselves at the gates of the black community must begin to employ what works for black youth regardless to who that course of action might offend. Our condition is too severe to burden ourselves with being “politically correct” or with upsetting the current power structure or some “underwriter.” OUR CHILDREN ARE DYING FROM THE INSIDE OUT!!!

This by far is the most important issue confronting the black community, but somehow Michael Vick, Akon and the rappers have garnered more attention and rebuke than a system of “education” that is responsible for creating more Michael Vicks, 50 Cents, Snoop Doggs, CamRon’s, Stan “Tookie” Williams and “Freeway” Rick Ross’s than all three decades of Hip Hop music combined!

And now the elders, act like we the reason why
As if our generation, fell from out the fu*kin sky
I guess the fruit are falling further from the trees
Cuz nobody wants to harvest, what’s become of black seeds”
- Wise Intelligent “Set U Free” from Wise Intelligent iz…Talented Timothy Taylor”

I guess the elders, leaders and guards of the black community, are like the black youth in my hoods public schools “THEY JUST DON”T GET IT!



September 5, 2007

The Project "The Light Feet" (The Truth Today album 9/18/07)

Music video for "The Light Feet" by The Project. The album, THE TRUTH TODAY, in stores September 18. Directed by Hilton Carter. Features Harlem's finest dancers including The Breakfast Club. Remix coming soon features AG Voice of Harlem.

Panacea "Pops Said" (The Scenic Route in Stores Now!)

Panacea dropped their album, The Scenic Route, Sept. 41th on Rawkus & Glow-In-The-Dark Records.

September 3, 2007

The Hiphop Association Helps Bring Light To The Unseen In London

September 3, 2007 – (New York City) The Hip-Hop Association [H2A] is proud to partner with the bfm International Black Film Festival (BIFF) to provide a diverse segment of global Hip-Hop film programming from throughout the African Diaspora. The bfm International Film Festival is taking place from September 7–14 in London, England at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) and Stratford Circus.

BIFF is one of the premier black events held in London each year. The festival was established in 1999 with the aim of filling a void within London’s film exhibition scene. The work of many filmmakers had become virtually marginalized, and audiences, particularly within the African-Caribbean community, were eager to see films that reflected the cultural experience of the UK’s black communities. The festival’s purpose was, and still is, to make a difference by “bringing the unseen to light”.

This year, the festival will showcase at least a dozen of the films from the 2007 H2O International Film Festival. They will be presenting the UK premieres of Bling: A Planet Rock, I Love Hip Hop Morocco and the H2O award-winning films: for Best Feature Narrative, Wholetrain (Germany), and Best Feature Documentary, Wu: The Story of the Wu Tang Clan, (US) and the Freshest Youth Award Winner, The Hip-Hop Project (US). The creator of the Hip-Hop Project, Chris “Kazi” Rolle, will participate in a Q&A and will do special performance.

Other films screening include: H2O’s winner of the Best Feature Documentary, Mr. Devious (South Africa); Best Music Video, When the Gun Draws (Pharoahe Monch) (US); Best Short Documentary, Guilty or Innocent of Using the N Word; Like an Ambassador For His People (Senegal/Germany), B.L.A.C.K.: An Aboriginal Song of Hip-Hop (Australia); and a special screening of Charlie Ahearn’s, Bongo Barbershop (US/Tanzania).

Mona Ibrahim, the Hip-Hop Association’s Director of Community Building and Program Development says “Once again, we are proud to partner with BFM this year to present a myriad of stories celebrating the rich diversity within our Hip-Hop community, globally. The voice of the Hip-Hop filmmaker echoes loudly, resonating throughout the world. We have been blessed to provide a forum of exhibition for these films not only at our own festival, but also at other festivals, conferences, museums, and educational forums worldwide. We are excited to team up with BFM to help facilitate their mission of bringing the unseen to light and look forward to continued partnerships in the UK.”

For more information about the BFM festival and a complete schedule, please visit

About the H2O:
H2O [Hip-Hop Odyssey] is the media initiative of the Hip-Hop Association. Our media activities includes the H2O [Hip-Hop Odyssey] International Film Festival, the Odyssey Awards, and the Defuse Media Lab, its mission is to support the use of Hip-Hop culture as a tool for social awareness and youth empowerment. Through the development of innovative technological tools, the Hip-Hop Association has created opportunities for media distribution and information dissemination.

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August 24, 2007

Wyclef Jean feat Akon + Lil Wayne - Sweetest Girl

Wyclef Jean
Carnival II (Memoirs of an Immigrant)
Columbia Records

Very interesting video and combination of artists considering the reputations that two of which currently have. Artists are making statements. Are we listening or are we more so concerned about who's doing the statement making...? End all is someone has to say something. But more importantly. We all need to do something...

Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill) featuring Akon and Lil' Wayne


windows media

August 23, 2007

Kweli On Tavis Smiley - Ear Drum

Talib Kweli Discusses his new album with Tavis Smiley on PBS and issues concerning why certain artists can sell records while others struggle.

Here's Kweli's interview with Tavis in 2004 before the Blacksmith label while he was still with Geffen.

Ratings and Recommendations by outbrain