Monday, March 31, 2008

Carrie Bradshaw Gets Evicted


Waiting for cities to become affordable is like waiting for
a rich Mississippi
slave owner to turn into a Boston abolitionist.

It ain't gonna happen.

Two articles reminded me of this issue.

The first article is about how the middle class in New York
is secretly happy about the implosion of Bear Stearns,
because now they may have a chance to buy an apartment.

For many of the city’s middle class, especially those in the creative class, who have felt sidelined as the city seemed to become a high-priced playground for Wall Street bankers, the implosion of the brokerage house Bear Stearns raises a tantalizing possibility: participation in an economy they have been largely shut out of.

Few romanticize the nearly bankrupt New York of the 1970s or the recession of the late 1980s. But if the city suffers an economic downturn, as many now predict, there are fantasies of New York returning to a pre-Gilded Age, before the average Manhattan apartment cost $1.4 million, SAT tutors charged $500 an hour and dinner entrees crossed the $40 threshold.

Andre Anderson, 34, an account executive at, a financial news Web site, would like to buy a Manhattan apartment with his girlfriend, but he said their combined incomes still make it nearly impossible to afford one.

This article misses the point entirely.

In order for people OTHER than investment bankers to
be able to afford the city, social policy has to reflect the
vision for our cities.

This does not happen on accident. It is the result
of vision, planning and work.

Housing that costs between fifteen and twenty percent
of ones salary.

Access to high quality, inexpensive K-12 public education.

Support for families who work in the sub working class
who are a paycheck away form living in a shelter.
Factory worker moms with families, and 2 full time jobs.
Dads who work full time and attend school at night.

For more details about how this plays out read the
posts on Daniel Brooks book, Trapped.

Back to The Times article. It mentioned that no one
wants a 1975 New York, damn near bankrupt,
The Bronx Burning, etc.
What people want is a city where a social worker can be a
social worker and afford an apartment with
one roommate,
NOT 4.

Which brings us to Carrie Bradshaw. The other article in The Times
mentions how young women moving to New York City in 2008
looking for The Carrie Bradshaw Plan are quickly finding out
that the writers salary will not allow you the lifestyle presented
on the television show

Yet young women coming to New York these days in search of Mr. Big, or at least the perfect Cosmopolitan, are finding that money and technology have altered the urban paradise that Carrie inhabited.

The city has become such an expensive playground that much of what Carrie and her friends took for granted — a Manhattan apartment, taxis for any trip longer than a half-dozen blocks, dinner at the newest four-star restaurants — is no longer easily in reach of a young woman on a budget, much less a young woman on a writer’s budget.

Apartment prices in the stratosphere, for example, never really made it to television. Carrie’s apartment, a one-bedroom rent-controlled walk-up in an Upper East Side brownstone, was hardly palatial, but these days it would be a Holy Grail in the world of singles real estate. According to the Real Estate Board of New York, the average rental for a one-bedroom apartment in a nondoorman building on the Upper East Side has jumped to $2,448 this year from $1,542 in 1998. It’s no wonder the singles scene has long since decamped to Brooklyn, a borough that even Miranda, who was compelled to move there in the series’ final season four years ago, found beneath her.

Egalitarian Cities, like any other equitable system,
don't occur on accident. Egalitarian cities most certainly
don't result from hoping that the investment bankers
will cut back on spending so the teachers and graphic
designers can scrape together a down payment on a condo.

Where is the agency in that?


Why do people wish for sh-t that they know
they WILL HAVE to fight for?


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Thoughts on Men, Emotions and the Feedback Loop


It wasn't until December that I learned the extent to which SJ
was looking
at the front door.

We were talking, something that we did 2 or 3 times a day,

and he casually mentioned "This is the best conversation
that we
have had in like 6 weeks".

I was like errrrrk record scratch.

I knew the relationship was going over a rough patch,
but sh-t,
on a scale of 1-10, 10 being good, I though it
was at least 4.5.
Apparently he was on some 2.5 type
I have always contended that without feedback, you just
can't get better.

To be fair, I was not in the place to do something
constructive with the feedback. Anger at life got in the
way. But there is something to be said for stating,
", yo, this, this and this is a deal breaker and
if it doesn't improve, I'm out. No threats, just putting you on".

I also know that this is a culture that teaches, rewards
and instills
in men that emotions are feminine and to
be avoided at all costs

The lack of feedback reminds me of how, in law school,
there is this expectation that you
are suppose to just "figure out"
arcane jurisdictional rules
with other students who
are fumbling around just as blindly as you are.

There is nil feedback. In fact you have to fight for it.

That being said, the only way you learn is by constantly
participating in the feed back loop, like a second seed team thats
gunning for the upset

You practice. Play. Review your success. Watch last week's
game tape. Review your mistakes. Watch your
opponents game tapes.
Takes note. Adjust your strategy.
Turn around, start over gain at practice.

So yeah fellas. Mentioning the extent and scope to which
you are unhappy would really help us in deciding how we will
respond if at all. I am sure that the ladies could stand to do the

This post is brought on in large part by the fact that Filthy is here.

Last night he continually asked me, "How you Feel?"

For him, it's reflexive. For me that sh-t was annoying.

Now you know me. I am more inclined to answer a question,
an inquisitive in the gristle question, provided I know that
the other person is going to reciprocate.

Upon reflection, I get it. The "How you Feel's?" are
an effort to instill a continued Feed Back Loop and
I ain't mad at that.


Men and Emotions and looking at the front door.

You give feed back or you just let 'em dangle in the
and keep and eye on the door knob?


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sex Sells, But No One Wants to Talk About Buying It.


I have been thinking about Spitzergate.

The Duke Rape Case.

Karrine Stepans, her books and the reflexive venom
she elicits from those in the online hip hop world.

I have been thinking about my voice in the

Been thinking about Akon and his assault case with the 16 teenager
that looked older than 16.

I remember, when we were discussing issues, being the lone female
voice in a largely, cyber, male environment. Not complaining.
I got agency. Spitzergate reminded me of Akon, which
inspired me to try and draw some connections.

Feeling better than some head on a Sunday afterno0n
feeling better than a chick that say yes too soon
Until you have a daughter, thats what I call karma
Then you pray god, that she don't grow breasts to soon

~We Major, Kanye
When the Akon event happened,
cats were talking about "I would hit it, she look good".

I came back at them with a question.
I asked, "Have you ever rocked with a girl, and it soon became
clear that while she consented to something sexual that
she was in over her head?"

I also reminded cats that the girl, no matter how grown
she looked, was someone's underage daughter.

With the Duke Rape Case, I went back and forth with Dallas
about his perception of the extent to which "the responsibility"
for the Black Family fell on the Momma. I took a issue with notion that
it overwhelming fell on the mothers and many others did as well.

I remember going hard with dudes, after Karinne's book
came out. To them, she was the scummiest scum, because
she kissed and told. Same with Nas's baby momma.

During these times, all I kept thinking was we can listen
to Fat Joe, 50 Cent, Mobb Deep, Wu Tang, Boot Camp,
Jay Z, The Clipse, Freeway, talk about selling crack and
they get the STRAIGHT PASS,
but a woman has sex with
a rapper and talks about
it and she is as wrong as 10 snitches.

I was instantly reminded of this when I saw this Jay
Smooth video where he talks about the "irony" of Ashley Dupree
capitalizing on her situation to getting a deal ".

Last week, Kirstoff at The Times
shared some gems on
Spitzergate and the sex trade. He writes,

Reading between the sheets, the world of “Kristen” and Eliot Spitzer may seem relatively benign. She may have been abused as a child, and tangled with drugs and homelessness, but she was also a consenting adult who apparently kept half the cash that customers paid for her.

That’s a dangerously unrepresentative glimpse of prostitution in America. Those who work with street prostitutes say that what they see daily is pimps who control teenage girls with violence and threats — plus an emotional bond — and then keep every penny the girl is paid.
Sometimes I meet a girl who says, ‘I have a really good pimp — he beats me only with an open hand,’ ” said Rachel Lloyd, a former prostitute who runs a program for underage prostitutes in New York City. “Many of the girls see the pimps as boyfriends, but violence is integral to everything that happens in the sex industry. That’s how you get punished for not bringing in your quota for that evening, or for looking your pimp in the eye.”
I have a really good pimp... That's some bugged out sh-t.

Every evening she must earn a quota of money before she can sleep. She may be required to tattoo the pimp’s name on her thigh. And in exchange he may make presents of clothing or jewelry.

It’s complicated: What keeps her isn’t just fear, but also often an emotional connection.

“When somebody wields power over you to kill you and doesn’t, you feel this bizarre thankfulness,” Mr. Myles said. “It’s trauma bonding.”

When a middle-class white girl ends up controlled like this — think of Elizabeth Smart, the Utah girl who was kidnapped in 2002 and apparently did not try to escape — then everybody is outraged at the way the kidnapper manipulated her. But when the girls are black, poor and prostituted, there is either indifference or an assumption that they are consenting to the abuse.

I couldn't believe Kristoff said this. I read it a few times,
thinking that
perhaps, it was a quote, but he said it.


Sex Sells, But No One Wants to Talk About Buying It.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Hot Tubs, an Oakland Institution


I came across THIS hilarious video.
Hot tubs are a very Bay Area
It wasn't until a visit to The Bay a few years ago,
when a historical
homie offered to "take me to the 'tubs" that
I remembered
that was something that as a junior high
school student fast girls/bad boys did.

Looking back, I probably should have been offended,
but then again, I am a late bloomer.

This video reminds me of the Cupcakin' video.

What is it with Bay Area dudes and their tongue in cheek

R-Kelly Opera-esque songs and videos?
Its like
musical theater run amok.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Beautiful Struggle, Ta-Nehisi Coates


Full disclosure. I wrote about Ta-Nehisi in this blog about
a two years ago after reading an essay he had written in "O Magazine".
In the post, I encouraged him to write a book.
Imagine my surprise a month ago, when
I received an e-mail from him
asking me to write a review,
a request I gladly accepted.

The Beautiful Struggle
by Ta-Nehisi Coates is the first book that
I have ever read
and felt that it was incomplete because
it wasn't accompanied by a mixtape. Some Mos, Kweli,
and Lupe would be perfect.

While he doesn't have a mixtape, yet, the book contains some other
treats, jewels and all ambitious moments.

Ever since I read The Dying Ground by Nichelle Tramble,
I have been eager to see someone tackle

what it means to be a young Black man, who who daily

navigates the streets home, and school with the full blown
awareness that his life could change at any time from the
moment he steps out his door.

Ta-Nehisi's book does precisely this and more.

It opens, focusing on his brother and his father.

When reading about his father, I remembered a statement
Filthy made, which was "If you are honest as a writer, the reader
will let
you take them to another place".

Ta-Nehisi lays out the good, the bad, and the ugly for all to see,
with an almost uncomfortable honesty.

For instance, we learn about his dad, a Panther, a conscious dude,
a man who loves his family and does not take ANY sh-t from anyone.

We also learn that Pop's kept it moving. Ta-Nehisi writes,
Here is the cast of my last name. My father had seven kids by four women.
Some of us were born best friends. Some of us were born the
same year. My elders come first in ....
Our parents are human and imperfect. Ta-Nehisi captures this with
eloquence when he writes,
You could find my father at the kitchen table shaking his head at the Sunday paper, in the living room stewing over the evening news. His charges were five boys and two girls and when he died, they would be his only words. He balled his fist and hardened his face. he was called to fatherhood like a tainted preacher. The root was his own alcoholic father who seeded so many children that Dad simply lost count. He impregnated three sisters, and so Dad had stepmothers doubling as aunts.

He writes more about his dad, saying,
All of us knew he was flawed, but still he retained the aura of a prophet. On our life map , he drew a bright circle around twelve through eighteen. This was the abyss where, unguided, black boys were swallowed whole, only to emerge on corners and prison tiers.
He displays the same deft hand when discussing his brother
Big Bill. He writes,
By mere months he was my fathers first son, but he turned this minor advantage into heraldry. he began sentences with "As the oldest son..." and to turn all his younger siblings into warriors. Big Bill was never scared. He had a bop that moves the crowed and preempted beef. When bored , he'd entertain himself, cracking on your busted fade, acne or your off-brand kicks.

His description of The Knowledge- that amorphous information that bubbles up
from the concrete in the hood, that can be found thick in a barber shop on

a Saturday afternoon- is so insightful its ridiculous. He describes it, writing,
The Knowledge was taught from our lives' beginings, whether we realized it or not. Street professors presided over invisible corner podiums, and the Knowledge was dispensed. Their faces were smoke and obscured by the tilt of their Kangol's. they lectured from sacred texts like Basic Game, Applied Cool, Barbershop 101...There was the geometry of cocking the baseball cap, working theories on what jokes to laugh at and exactly how loud; and entire volumes devoted to the cross over dribble. Bill inhaled the Knowledge and departed in a sheepskin cap and gown. I cut class, slept through lectures, and emerged awkward and wrong.
In a society where we are bombarded The Black man as a Thug/Black
Man as the President Dichotomy, it is affirming to see
the evolution of a boy into a man from a standpoint that reflects
honesty and reflection.

While reading this I realized how we have very about the first
time ANY OF US heard, Criminal Minded/Kool G Rap/ Public
Enemy/NWA... Beautiful Struggle is an eloquent, gut punching
moment in this conversation, our conversation about our
hoods, our families and our music.


Read anything good lately?

Why haven't more people written about
experiencing hip hop?

Is it because we are spending all of our time
Partying and Paying the rent?

Black folks need to party less and write more?


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dear Black People, Your Anger is Killing Us, It Turns to Rage and Poisons the Babies. I Love you. You are Mine - Senator Obama


Apparently, I can't catch Bronchitis in an election year.

I went to sleep with a 101 fever on Tuesday, and woke up a day
later and Obama apparently went TRUTH and RECONCILIATION
on us.

and addressed the divisiveness of Affirmative Action in an election
year speech.

And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions - the good and the bad - of the community that he has served diligently for so many years. I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother - a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe. These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.


Its so funny. Ironic even. At Glide on Sunday, where you hug
person next to you at the begining of service, I swear I
hugged this dude that smelled like
not ONE but two cans
of OLD E.
I was like, errr, what part of the game was that?
Then I had to remind myself that THIS IS part the reason why
I come
here. Less Pretentiousness More Acceptance.
There are all kinds of people in the congregation.
From the Lawyer mommas
to the Baby mommas and
everyone else in between.

Senator O's statement about anger hit my small of my back.

My position with SJ about why I can't come back
is that my NY trip showed me I need to be able to hear
god, and I need to be able to hear my voice, and anything
that keeps me arguing, agitated, frustrated and flustered, which
is what our relationship was doing at the time,
was going to prevent me from doing that.

So Senator O, I know about the anger, it ain't even the anger
that has me shook, its when the anger turns to rage.
It's the rage that the kids take on like its nothing. Then WE
turn around and wonder"what happened to them?" As if they
sprouted and grew like weeds that had no need for or contact with us.

All last week, I was thinking, If I had the opportunity to design and
implement rage retreats, what would they look like?


My other favorite part of the speech.
Dear Blue Collar White Folks,

Affirmative Action and
Negros ain't take your
jobs, the Corporations did.
They took the negro jobs too.

-Senator Obama

I wonder how much of the speech was influenced by
John Edwards.

Can you believe Obama had the courage to say
what he said?

The Hope Machine is in the Building AND on them 'Roids.


Thomas Jefferson, The Original American Gangster


My fascination with Thomas Jefferson crystallized recently.
I have been checking for him since last fall. I was researching
the subprime crisis
and I came across the following quote,

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.
Thomas Jefferson, Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin (1802)
3rd president of US (1743 - 1826)
Then I learned that he founded the University of Virginia.
U of V, the flagship state institution which, as of 2007, retained
and graduated a higher percentage of Black students than
all other high ranked state schools in the country.

In the conclusion of the book, Trapped, Daniel talks about
how conflicted Jefferson was over the enslaved Africans that
he owned. Some of which were the children that he had with
Ms. Sally Hemmings. The personal was always political for
Jefferson, no?

I am fascinated by the idea of being a more human human,
and reconciling that notion with the dark side the comes
with being a simply being alive.

One day while struggling with these ideas, I thought of
how having love for a dude that hustles is really no
different then having love for slave owning president.

We need to see the humanity in both individuals.
(Believe it or not, I ran this idea to by a few friends,
from the most radical to the politically neutral, and they were ALL kind
put off and intrigued by the connection that I was trying
to make).

I realize that the same way white folks have a
hard time seeing how folks in the hood could have love for d-boys,
i.e., Denzel in American Gangster. It is similar to how many
Americans employ patriotic deference towards Jefferson, but
many of us just see him as another slave owner who was a President.

In reading Daniel's book, I came across some of Jefferson's
thought's on his critque of slavery, and his unwllingness
to free the enslaved people he possessed when he felt so
conflicted over it. Daniel writes,
Jefferson was no Saint. When the rules of society are unjust, saints follow their own sets of rules. They answer to a higher authority. A Saint Thomas surley would have freed his slaves, martyring himself in the cause of equality, impoverishing himself and his family in order to do what was right. But Thomas Jefferson was unwilling to unilaterally free his slaves because it would put him and his family at an economic disadvantage relative to his contemporaries who would not free theirs. Instead he endorsed changing he rules to that no one could own slaves, setting a baseline of ethical behavior beneath which no one could sip, no matter how alluring the profits.

Humanity for all?

D'boys, Slave owners, and everyone in between?

Have I been drinking some of that hope Kool-aid?
Lil' bit...


I have been terribly under the weather this week blog fam.
It feels great to connect with you. I am locked out of AIM as well.
I dunno what happened. Whutareyougonnado?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Some Thoughts on the Police, Accountability and the Internet


I noticed a little piece on Wired's site about Go
removing a police
watchdog/ rating website from its server.
The rationale they used was, "This may endanger the
police officers".
Kevin Poulsen of Wired writes,

A new web service that lets users rate and comment on the uniformed police officers in their community is scrambling to restore service Tuesday, after hosting company GoDaddy unceremonious pulled-the-plug on the site in the wake of outrage from criticism-leery cops.

Visitors to on Tuesday were redirected to a GoDaddy page reading, "Oops!!!", which urged the site owner to contact GoDaddy to find out why the company pulled the plug.

RateMyCop founder Gino Sesto says he was given no notice of the suspension. When he called GoDaddy, the company told him that he'd been shut down for "suspicious activity."

When Sesto got a supervisor on the phone, the company changed its story and claimed the site had surpassed its 3 terabyte bandwidth limit, a claim that Sesto says is nonsense. "How can it be overloaded when it only had 80,00 page views today, and 400,000 yesterday?"

Police departments became uneasy about RateMyCop's plans to watch the watchers in January, when the Culver City, California, startup began issuing public information requests for lists of uniformed officers.

Then the site went live on February 28th. It stores the names and, in some cases, badge numbers of over 140,000 cops in as many as 500 police departments, and allows users to post comments about police they've interacted with, and rate them. The site garnered media interest this week as cops around the country complained that they'd be put at risk if their names were on the internet.

The entire time I am thinking of how information
gathering, contribution
and distribution is incredibly powerful.


Then I thought of this video of a police officer tasering a man
and thought hmmm, I wonder what the CEO of GoDaddy would
think if the tasered man were his son.
(sh-t hits the fan @ 2:41seconds)

His wifes screams are heartbreaking.


I wonder what the CEO of GoDaddy would think if his daughter
was the woman assulted in a housing project on Thursday morning
in Brooklyn, on a night where two police officers lied about making
their rounds

In investigating the rape, detectives from the housing bureau spoke to two officers who said they were doing “vertical patrols,” walking up and down the stairwells of the building, at the time of the attack and had marked it in their memo books. But investigators who reviewed the videotaped images found no evidence of the officers’ being there.

As a result, the officers, whose names were not released, were placed on modified assignment on Thursday and stripped of their guns and badges, said Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman. The investigation of the police officers was reported on Friday in The Daily News.



Any interactions with officers lately?

Thoughts, reactions?


Buckshot /9th Video was Made for This Blog. Sorta.


I just had to feeling that this video was made for this blog.

Buckshot being the epitome of boom-bap, and all.

Is it me or is Buck getting more mature and starting
to favor Rakim?

No wonder I have always flirted with his grimey @ss when I've
seen him.


New Living Legends. I am so glad these cats are still rapping.
I use to go to their shows as a teenager and try and get my
"hip hop photographer" on.
(via Grand Good)


Wendy Day has written about how to put out your own music.

Regardless of the reasons, controlling your own project and proving to the world that your music is marketable, while making money, is very attractive. There are many successful examples of self-released artists and labels who have come before: Too Short, No Limit, Cash Money Records, Esham, Slip-N-Slide, E-40, Luke Records, 3-6 Mafia, Big Oomp, Swisha House, Lil Boosie, Webbie, Young Jeezy, and many, many others.

There is a lot of money and prestige in owning your own shit in this industry, provided you have the financing and staff to do it correctly. It isn't rocket science, so provided you have the proper tools and determination, you can make it happen for yourself. That's our focus: doing it correctly-- meaning profitably.
I like how most of the independents are in the South and the West.


Some of the most honest sh-t I have read about the music industry
in a long time. From the Blenders 20 Biggest Record Screw Ups of All Times:

#19 The industry kills the single—and begins its own slow demise
In the early ’80s, the music industry began to phase out vinyl singles in favor of cassettes and later, CDs. Then, since it costs the same to manufacture a CD single as a full album, they ditched the format almost altogether. But they forgot that singles were how fans got into the music-buying habit before they had enough money to spend on albums. The end result? Kids who expect music for free. “Greed to force consumers to buy an album [resulted] in the loss of an entire generation of record consumers,” says Billboard charts expert Joel Whitburn. “People who could only afford to buy their favorite hit of the week were told it wasn’t available as a single. Instead, they stopped going to record shops and turned their attention to illegally downloading songs.”


I have been on a Mobb Deep twirl. In fact post break up, I have moved from
Erykah, Mary and Donny Hathaway to...........Mobb Deep.
It's 4:23am and I am listening
to The Realest from Murder Muzik.
I guess the poetry
is so rugged and dark, its matching my "get my soul
clean" mood. Besides I haven't listened to them for a while

and it reminds me both of Filthy and of wanting to live in NY as a teenager.

That being said, imagine my surprise to find the Mobb Deep Originals
for the songs Tip produced on The Infamous at From Da Bricks.

Q-Tip’s contributions to Mobb Deep’s seminal sophomore LP are without a shadow of a doubt some of the very best examples of his work behind the boards. Nestled in amongst the dark and grimy soundscapes created almost exclusively by Havoc, The Abstract’s three additions to The Infamous are priceless, aptly providing the listener with moments of melodic respite in the midst of a collection of songs that are otherwise deeply shrouded in the shadows of the Queensbridge housing projects. With ‘Give Up The Goods (Just Step)’, ‘Temperature’s Rising’ and ‘Drink Away The Pain (Situations)’, Tip not only provides the LP with a depth that it would otherwise have lacked but also solidifies his status as a producer who was able to effort.


Boom Bap Lives.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Birkhold Sonned Me on Spitzergate: The Hillary-Spitzer Connection


Yesterday, I mentioned to Birkhold that I felt bad for Elliott's wife,
Silda Spitzer.
He asked why? Because, its embarrassing.
B: F-ck that. She has agency (an ability to act on her own behalf. In this
this case, acting would have meant leaving Elliott). Yeah, but still.
B: Listen M. A man who is married and getting prostitutes
not treating his wife right at home.
B: I am waiting for a woman, some woman to stand up, and point
out all the kinky sh-t he has done so folks can see exactly who they
elected. Dude, isn't that a puritanical, witch hunt?
: Hell naw. Think about it. This is about the compromise that women
make with their dignity in order to remain with certain cats. Like Hillary who sat by and watched her husband screw god
knows what, because she wanted to be president?
B: Exactly.
Then I turned around and read this and while it wasn't directed
at me, I was like, sh-t, I just got sonned. When I reflected on my
rambling Spitzer post yesterday,
I felt like a lame feminist. He writes,
Our society expects so little of men that we see Spitzer’s involvement with a prostitute as normal male behavior. We live in a society where men commonly refer to sex in violent terms like “beat it up” and “hit it.” Consequently, we minimize the seriousness of sexual violence towards women. In truth, if our society were to examine Spitzer’s misogyny, it would be like holding a mirror up to the politically powerful men calling for his resignation.
I couldn't help but think of the notion of the "Soft Bigotry
of Low Expectations" and how it plays out in
both our political and school systems.

It became clear how low expectations are toxic to our democracy.

This idea will fortify me the next time someone tells me that
I expect too much.

It became clear to me how accountability just isn't a word,
it is a rigorous, daily action, that requires the moral nimbleness
of a ninja. (I like saying moral nimbleness of a ninja).


Why do we deny people the right to agency?

Why do we, reflexively, think of people as victims
not as folks who are capable of acting?

I guess as a victim, you are automatically someone
who is acted upon, not someone is committing an act.

Don't forget the school of thought that counts INACTION
as an action as well.


The Demise Music Industry is Like the Demise of Our Cities


Noz's post on the end of KMEL has me thinking about both
the decline of the cities and the record industry in general.

In order for any partnership to work, there has to be
a meeting of concerned parties, so that everyone with
a vested interest has an opportunity vet, discuss, criticize
and new plans or procedures.

Functional cities and record labels follow this process.
The ones that don't, well, you can predict their demise
with precision.

The notion of demise brings me to Eric Arnold's recent piece on the

end of the Hyphy movement in SF Weekly.

... the largest single factor in hyphy's decline may have been the withdrawal of support for local music by KMEL 106.1FM, the Bay Area's top urban radio station and a powerful industry tastemaker.
The article is interesting in that it points how how
a record company can afford to be profitable
and major, while steadfastly refusing
to include
local voices in its programming.

What better way to kill a vibrant city by bowing to non-local interest
for short term gains.
Think about it.


Ball stadiums hyper subsidized with city taxes
with promises of jobs for the community

In another twist on the future of the music
R.M. London speaks on bootleggers
at Rhymehouse,
I got in touch with, Krooked1, one of the main contributors of HipHopBootleggers, the most popular hip hop album download blog on the internet that has received an amazing 1.5 million hits since the summer of 2006, and asked him that very question, he confidentally told me: "Well, if you look at hip hop at the moment the record labels do not do enough to get their artists the promotion they want and need. We get artists asking US to promote them, and they even resort to sending there albums to us to post. I don't think we're doing anything wrong. If it wasn't for the internet a lot of people would not know about what has been released, or what is due to be released. Yes, we are doing a service to the artists who do not get what they deserve (promotion wise). If you are signed to a record label, your album is about to come out, and the label is not doing shit about it before its release-- what is that? What is the artist to do at that point to get their name out? Yea, we put it online, but if we like what we hear we will purchase. Artists moan about their shit getting leaked on the net-- they should just not send it to the press."

This in turn affects how artist, the most out of the trunk guerrilla artists
remain regional, but get can't catch that one Big Break
which would allow them to go national.

Another example of how local support can be used as leverage to
do other things.
KMEL's provincial attitude toward local rap artists is perhaps best exemplified by the station's treatment of Mistah F.A.B., a charismatic Oaklander sometimes referred to as "hyphy's crown prince." According to F.A.B., a "personal situation" with current music director Big Von Johnson has existed for years. The rapper speculates that jealousy might be the cause: "Von wanted to be an artist." Still, "It's no bad blood, it's no hatred from me," he now emphasizes. (At press time, Johnson hadn't responded to several requests for an interview.)
I can't imagine how it feels to another city and asked why
your music isn't played on your local station.

A city, like the record industry is a delicate ecosystem.

But then again, arn't all ecosystems, by their very nature delicate?

Then there was a post at artstechnia where Nate Anderson
discusses why Music 1.0 is dead
. He writes,

An anecdote in a recent Economist perfectly summed up the problems facing the major music labels. After EMI, the smallest of the Big Four, invited a teen focus group to its London headquarters in 2006, it wanted to give the teens something for their time. The response is worth quoting in full.

At the end of the session the EMI bosses thanked them for their comments and told them to help themselves to a big pile of CDs sitting on a table. But none of the teens took any of the CDs, even though they were free. "That was the moment we realised the game was completely up," says a person who was there.

He then goes on to discuss independent movement and their
current and growing market share.

Greg Scholl, boss of indie label The Orchard, pointed out that the music business is not just four companies, and that indie music's market share is now approaching one-third... and it's growing. Indies have also been more open, historically, to experiments such as selling music without DRM. If the major labels take more than a decade to turn the ship around, they risk running a ghost ship with little in its cargo hold but a valuable back catalog.
So we have independent gaining more of a market share
and millennial's disinterested in taking free cd's.

Perhaps there is hope.


30% for independents?

Thats a good look.

Local food, Local music, Local......Power.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008



Man. Elliot. I liked you dude. You went after the white collar cats
with a vengeance.

Bill- Clinton. Monica.
Kwame- Detroit Mayor. Had an affair with his assistant.
Gavin- SF Mayor. Really offended men by sleeping with his best
friends, wife.
Ted Haggert- Republican. Denied having sex with young boys.
Antonio- LA Mayor. Had an affair with TV news reporter.

Men and sex with women who are not their wives, or in Ted Haggerts
case, young men.

Perhaps we need
more women mayors?

Just read in the paper that.
Peep game. Gavin is getting ready to run for governor.

As a politician, when you hold yourself out
to be a morally accountable, the definition of
political accountability at work, you are all the more delicious
of a target.

Perhaps like so many people, politicians an non politicians alike, he
believed the hype and got zapped.

I am uber curious about one thing.

This man has been in public life for years.
He has presumably been doing this for years.

Why the investigation now?




Monday, March 10, 2008

Back to the My Life Album


I was suppose to go to Dallas this weekend.

I called SJ last Wednesday.

The ticket was purchased during the post
break up "lets see" era.

I asked him if I could still come.
He replied
neutrally, "ummmm, don't know if you want to do that.
I would love to see you but, it just may not be..."

I told one of my homies I wanted to go. I want to go to Dallas.
Homie: Ok. Why?
: I want to say goodbye in person.

Homie: Hmmp. I can see that. But....
: But what?

Homie: Its natural to want to do that. What do you
expect to get out of it?
: I want to see him and say good bye in person. But...

Homie: yeah... He prolly gonna make me mad, and we will fight and I
will end up at the airport early.
Homie: Ok....
: Whhhhhhhhhhhat?!?^&?& ***Gets irritated. Say it!
Homie: Don't you think by going to the epicenter
of the pain
you may hurt yourself further? Yeah. You have a point.
Sunday evening I caught it. I was good until about 6pm.
It was warm all day. About 62 degrees and sunny.

My momma stopped by the Whole Foods
to kick it with me. I thought she was gonna clown me
about how boogie it was, but she didn't. She liked my hat.

Around 7pm, walking home, after I blogged, I just felt
unshakably blue.
Upon reflection, I should have posted this last night.

I mean I had quite a weekend. I got my stuff out of storage.
Old clothes can be like old friends. Snug and comfortable.

I saw dig dug. Mis favorito, even though those Gemini's in him
drive me nuts.

And I learned that Filthy is coming to visit Cali, he got people
in The Bay.

Then at 7pm, it was like the sadness socked me in the grill.
I missed him. I missed my friend.
Not because I wanted to talk to him per se, but because so many
things happened this weekend that, in the past, it would
have been so natural to share.

Spiritual things, transformative things. In a way, Sunday night was
about accepting that they won't be shared, at least not the
way they were before puddle Friday.

In a lot of ways, I imagine that the conversation
that I had with myself last night is the same one
that cats have when they are about to serve a bid.

Hold ya head.
Even if your in pain, its temporary.
It's uncomfortable, but it will pass.
This isn't harder than anything else you have done before. (~gotty)

Erykah's joint couldn't hold me down anymore,
I had to take it back to the My Life album.

And I'm good better now.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Black Wonkett on Why You Need to Read "Trapped" by Daniel Brook, Part II.


Now that we have established that $250K is the
new $100K.

Let's revisit why our social workers, teachers, and
filmmakers are choosing to go into finance.

Daniel suggests that young people
don't want
to be investment bankers because they
want to be rich
, they want to do it because they want
to live in the city and and they are scared of being poor.

Thats real talk.

Daniel posits that tuition costs are high because
the trustees can set them high. When he wonders
aloud, "Where is the sticker shock, and refusal to pay?"

I think of the "keeping up with the Jones's
syndrome" and how that can impact a family's decision to give
their children the "best education" even if that means saddling
the child and the family with $150K worth of debt.

I understand that school is expensive.
However, Daniel wonders out loud why Dartmouth and Harvard's
tuition is within $500 of each other when they are both located
in two different states, with two different costs of living.

And don't get me started on their billion dollar endowments
and their rarely criticized tax exempt status.

I am obsessed with school finance. But, you knew that.
So it was interesting to learn from his book that
U.C. Berkeley used to be free
Yes. Cal was tuition free for 100 years. It was only in the
the late 1970's that Cal instituted in-state tuition.

It wasn't that long ago -- not as long ago as you'd think -- that UC Berkeley cost $212.50 a quarter. When it went up to $236, there was serious debate in the Daily Cal as to whether it would cause the unfortunate to drop out, at the least, or cause blood in the streets, at the most.

It's a quaint story that doesn't mean much in the post-Proposition 13 world of public education. But these numbers mean something: Spread over 30 years, from 1975-76 to 2004-05, Cal has gone from $637 a year to $6,730, an increase of about 1,060 percent. Then as now, education at the University of California is tuition free for residents, a tradition since 1900 that was reaffirmed in the 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education. What students pay are "fees," a sleight of hand similar to the way executives who are fired have always decided to "spend more time with family."

CUNY was free until New York's fiscal crisis in the seventies and the city
and the state decided to charge working and middle class students tuition.
According to Wikipedia,
CUNY has historically served a diverse student body, especially those excluded from or unable to afford private universities. CUNY offered a high quality, tuition-free education to the poor, the working class and the immigrants of New York City until 1975, when the City's fiscal crisis forced the imposition of tuition. Many Jewish academics and intellectuals studied and taught at CUNY in the post-World War I era when Ivy League universities, such as Yale University, discriminated against Jews.[2] The City College of New York has had a reputation of being "the Harvard of the proletariat."[3]

Filthy astutly pointed out, that a city that decides to charge
poor and working class students tuition, in the middle of
a recession INSTEAD of charging more to corporations,
is pretty clear about its priorities.

Accessible, high quality k-16 education is
connected to
health of a city, and the health of the
families that reside within

Daniel closes his book with a reflection on Thomas Jefferson's
vision for this country. He writes,
"Jefferson understood that his Aristocratic birth and private eduction had given him the ability to pursue his talents. Cognizant of his good fortune, he understood that a just and dynamic society should not leave th flowering to talent to chance. The gifted, not merely the high born must be able to contribute, both for their own sake and for the sake of society and humanity."


College debt makes investment bankers
out of teachers,
social workers and it's
a problem for all of us.

We need teachers, bankers, lawyers,
filmmakers and social
They are the thread that hold the cities

New York and SF is looking
at a New Gilded Age and
it doesn't
have to be this way.

We can change it.
They have ideas.


The Silent Treatment


Tonight I saw The Savages.

Great Movie.

Horrible audience.

Seeing a neurotic movie about putting your dad in a nursing
home and preparing to, as if YOU CAN prepare to, watch
die, should be seen in with particular kind of audience.

I felt loud in the movie because I laughed. I chuckled at, cheered on
disagreed and identified with the characters.

I was on some "hell naw dude" and "she did THAT sh-t blood?"
and it was like crickets.

Watching that movie was like quiet, bad, sex.

Whereas movies in New York are a cross between
church and theater. Call and response and audience
participation are in full effect.

For instance, the last movie I saw in the theater
"Vantage Point" at one my top 5's spots to catch a
film in NYC- the jawn on
17th and Broadway.

At first the movie seemed intriguing like a espionage
laced version of 24.

Then half way through it went dumb over the top.

Two thirds through, people were actively smacking their teeth,
talking sh-t to their homies, not rudely, but loud enough
to express their discontent enough for the rest of us to
nod in agreement.

Filthy stanky a*s fell asleep two thirds through.

I realize now, that going to concert, can be like going
to the movies, in that the audience can impact
the overall experience of how we perceive the event.


Bad crowd experiences anyone?

Awkwardly quiet movies are like bad, quiet. sex.

My homie Slinky
cracked the f-ck up at that analogy.


Friday, March 07, 2008

From E-40 to the Juice Crew


Apparently the Juice Crew is reuniting & performing. I was just geeked at the
young Masta Ace flick.

courtesy of young Brandon @ Urb

"I don't care who first or who's last but all I know is that y'all better rock this at the drop of a dime, baby!" It's been roughly 17 years since the original Juice Crew last performed together, but this month in Atlanta, GA at the A3C Hip Hop Festival, you'll be able to witness history as Biz Markie, Big Daddy Kane, Marley Marl, MC Shan, Craig G and Roxanne Shante reunite to perform some of the songs which steered the course of Hip Hop music as we know it today.

It's rare that I come across someone with an appreciation,
greater than mine, for Bay English, but it happened.
40 is single-mindedly fixed on linguistic contrivance, on the verbal play of game, on “the gift of spit” as he calls it. He’s ridiculous sometimes, but that quality is of a piece with his charm; he’s always willing to risk silly for the sake of invention. There’s never been a rapper as in love with language as 40–never, none, not one. And by way of long-term contributions to rap aesthetics, only Kool G. Rap and Mikah are competitive.
**peep how g rap is in this post twice already?


Real Talk. Im bout to start a side hustle as
a fact checker.
I mean this woman writes about and lies to kick
it about
growing up in the hood and hustling
and her sister turns
around and rats her out. Keep Snitching?

(NEW YORK) — A memoir by a white woman who claimed she was raised in poverty by a black foster mother and sold drugs for a gang in a tough Los Angeles neighborhood has turned out to be pure fiction, a newspaper report says.

In Love and Consequences, published last week by Penguin Group USA imprint Riverhead Books, author Margaret B. Jones writes about growing up as a half-white, half-Native American girl in South-Central Los Angeles in the foster home of Big Mom. One of her foster brothers, she writes, was gunned down by Crips gang members outside their home.

I am seriously contemplating creating a list of White women, who
over the last ten that have lied on Black people to Popo, to the media
or just in general.

I mean. For certain.



Why did I have a neurotic Mobb Deep moment.

I woke up this morning, with the beat playing.
A while back, Filthy was playing this blend tape with girl
singing over a
Mobb deep track that I had long since forgotten.
Man. I woke up, this morning and spent 20 minutes looking for
the joint.

The song is Trife Life.

Queens story telling at its finest.

So dark and ominous. I don't know if anyone since,
perhaps Pac, has matched their criminal mentality,
sense of dred. Oh wait, Ready to Die, duh.


LA's Skid Row is Vegas for Junkies. Damn Homie.

He just blew my bird back.
"How we do anything, is
how we do everything".

The City of LA/State of California needs to be sued.

Skid row has to be violation of their Civil Rights.
Thats my emotion's speaking.

I know, with my limited understanding Con Law,
that that sh-t is legal.

But we can do it the OTHER way, and make it illegal
by enacting legislation that says so,
and get it cracking like that.

Good Video's Are so Euro Money, just good.

Its like. 4 minutes. Blam. My mind is spinning.


Mick Boogie got a fresh as*s blog.
I am surprised at how good it is.

On a recent post he interviews Pete Rock,
who breaks down his career, song by song.

On producing “Shut ’Em Down” by Public Enemy...
Pete Rock: This was when I was born man. Big up to the Bomb Squad, Keith, Hank Shocklee, and Chuck D for even giving me a shot to do this for them. By the time I matched the tempo, and matched the beat to the vocals, I fell in love with it. I just started mixing it down, I did it all in one day. They didn’t think I’d get it done in one day. The shit was incredible.
“Down With The King” by Run DMC...
Pete Rock: I thought I was dreaming working with Run DMC. It was like ’92, ’93. I really worked with [Jam Master] Jay and D [DMC]. I had a little difficulty with Run in the beginning of the song. He didn’t really like it, and we had to convince him to like it. When the beat was done, D put his vocals down, but Run put his vocals down after CL put his verse on it. I think CL inspired him to jump on the joint.

Passion of the Weiss is one funny dude. Often times he light weight
offends me, and he is also funny as sh*t at the same time so I
appreciate it his work.

Case in point. His post on the Bone Thugs titled,
first of the month Why the "First of the Month is the Greatest song
ever written about Welfare

Sometimes, I feel sorry for the 13-year olds of today. I can’t even begin to imagine how disgruntled my adolescence would’ve been had I been forced to listen to “A Bay Bay” and “Low” everywhere I went. We got “Regulate,” and “Hip-Hop Hooray,” they got the Soulja Boy dance. And of course, there was “1st of Tha Month,” a song that pretty much defined the summer of 1995. Those were a weird couple of months. O.J. tried on the infamous “if it don’t fit, you must acquit” bloody gloves, Jerry Garcia died, and really not much else happened. It was the 90s,
The thing I like most about Bone Thugs is how completely untethered from any sort of reality they seem. Somebody at their label had to be advising them not to release a five-plus minute paean to welfare as their lead single. The beats, provided by the terminally underrated DJ U-Neek, are as anti-pop as possible, with sinister, sinuous synth lines and slow hard drums. And I can’t imagine that anyone thought it’d be a good idea for them to pose as male fortunetellers staring into crystal balls (unsurprisingly, Bone’s short-lived 1-900 psychic hotline had very little success). But while Bone always seemed completely unconcerned with any sort of commercial compromise, they still managed to sell roughly 20 million CD’s worldwide in the 90s alone. “1st of tha’ Month” is as good a record as they ever made, one of the decade’s finest singles and a perfect distillation of what made Bone great: the fact that they were willing to wear Mark Price jerseys.

From 40 to G Rap.

Vallejo to Queens.


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