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Posts Tagged ‘Rap Music’

ICE-T on The ART of RAP

In Communication, Griot, Movies, Music, Networking on July 25, 2012 at 8:54 am

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It’s still lunch time in the life of RAP MUSIC and while reading Ebony Magazine [July 2012], I came across a caption that read, “Where’s the beef? Finally, a documentary focusing on the process of Hip-Hop”.

Sounds interesting enough. It caught my attention – so I read on:

t would be a mistake to consider Ice-T’s first foray into the world of the documentary as just another hip-hop film. it’s different: It doesn’t care about beef’s or why so-and-so broke up or which rapper doesn’t like such-and-such. Rather, “Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap discusses the elements of hip-hop, how rhymes are made and how rhythms are born.

Musicians, hip-hop aficionados, and casual fans alike will appreciate Grandmaster Caz and Eminem’s description of how they make their rhymes and why they select the words they do. Rakim, Q-Tip, Immortal Technique, KRS-One and other granddaddies of rap explain their inventions. Here’s what Ice, now 54, had to say the latest endeavor, which is in theaters now.

“If your favorite rapper isn’t in it,
he ain’t in my address book.”

Why do this film?
Hip-hop started to dilute itself and [became] pop. I know I couldn’t get my point across in an interview or in a record I always wanted to direct movies. It was for me to interview my peers and break down what rap is to them and why it’s an art form that needs to be respected. It took two years to get everybody on film. Our only goal was to get it to Sundance. Now it’s coming out in theaters.

Although there are many big names in the movie, some are conspicuously absent, most notably, many rappers in today charts.
I didn’t interview anybody I didn’t know. All the people in the movie came out of my address book. This movie isn’t about seeing your favorite rappers; It’s more about seeing my favorite rappers. If your favorite rapper isn’t in it, he ain’t in my address book.

You’ve been in the game for a long time.
If you’re 18 now, then when I started on Law and Order: SUV, you were 5 years old. You don’t know about N.W.A. You don’t know about RUN-DMC. But there’s always that person who knows me from “Cop Killer” or gangsta rap, but it’s beautiful because that’s one of the reasons I’ll always be Ice-T. Even as an actor, I want people to know, I think that’s why Queen Latifah kept the Queen [even though she’s now primarily an actor]. I’m Ice-T till the wheels fall off.
[–ASG]


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I haven’t seen the documentary yet, though please believe I will within the next few days.
I’m a connoisseur of GOOD HEAD and for too long “sufficient rap” has been on-the-stay.

It used to speak to my mind and occasionally speak to my soul
and made me feel that WORDS were a pleasure to behold.

But nowadays, the radio’s constant rotating play
Is lack luster, a dream buster – yielding loads of verbal nays.

I eventually ditched the lyrics and opted for the instrumentals instead.
Then I realized I was missing the heart of proactive verbs in my head.

So I began to free style, constructing my own bars in Griot,
I’m Qui
and now that the documentary’s out – I’ll happily fare the reel ‘GO’.
Ice-T has the GOOD HEAD —>ya know?

Afrika Owes will soon “Cash In”

In Communication, Griot, Music, Networking, News on March 2, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Afrika Owes for thug life crimes???

And noshe didn’t win the lottery.

I learned of Afrika’s tale on BlackVoices & I was sobered. Naturally, I had to pass it on. It seems that RAP has birthed some pretty daunting realities for the kids that were raised on countless stories of “coming up in the hood – slanging dope for financial good”. Many took it to heart — and our countrys prisons are bursting at the seams with young African American adults who thought it was a good idea to: play thug.

Next to reside in the joint – Meet: AFRIKA OWES. It’s not a stage name nor is her story unique, but it sure is a huge and sad loss for a race of people to be losing IVY LEAGUE potentials to “the street game” that Jay Z has glorified and makes billions off of.

BlackVoices publishes the details in this scenario of adolescent hell:

Boyce Watkins, PhD recently spoke to a group of aspiring college students in a group called “Black Achievers.” He said, The group invited me to speak, because I talk regularly about the value of education as well as confronting the structural obstacles that make it difficult for our kids to find success.

One thing I brought to the table that the students and their parents might not have expected, though, is the need for us to confront the destructive elements of hip-hop culture, which teach our good kids that “keeping it real” is something that should be done at all costs, even when it causes them to lose their lives.

The reason I brought this issue to the forefront of the discussion was because of young women like Afrika Owes (pictured).

Afrika is a 17-year-old who was once headed to an Ivy League school, but rather than going to anyone’s university, she may be spending most of her adult life in prison.

Afrika was recently arrested for being part of a drug ring controlled by her boyfriend, who allegedly ran the operation from the penitentiary. “Head shots only,” he would reportedly tell her from behind bars as he detailed how he wanted people to be executed.

“She loves him,” a source said in court, “and she’s prepared to adjust her Ivy League dreams around him.”

According to police, Owes and her boyfriend were part of the 137th Street Crew, a gang in Harlem that is being charged with selling crack and other drugs in the community. They were not only charged with dealing drugs, but also with bringing in young women to carry their weapons for them. The men allegedly ran the drug operation from Rikers Island prison.

“She’s a good girl,” said Karen Owes. “This may be what’s happening right now, but we’re going to get through this …She’s well-liked and well-loved.”

Afrika is hardly the kind of young woman you’d expect to be involved in any kind of illegal activity. She’d won a poetry contest and a scholarship to Deerfield Academy, a prestigious prep-school with a tuition cost of $43,800 per year. She was also a vocal member of the school’s Black Student Coalition.

“She was a highly ambitious girl,” said prep school pal Lotanna Uzo. “Everybody knew who she was. Everybody liked her … always had a smile on her face.”

The indictment, which is 51 pages, presents Afrika in a Bonnie and Clyde role with her boyfriend, Jaquan “Jay Cash” Layne.
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Crazy right? Read the remainder of Afrika’s story HERE.

We blamed Boo-Boo’s moma when he went to jail
for raising him in a ghetto, crime infested hood hell.

Who knew we’d be in jeopardy for negating a mention
to the parents of the Ivy league potential who’s now bound for prison?

I’d hate to shallowly think that RAP MUSIC influences all bad –
But is it not true that our society is responsible for glorifying fads?

HIP HOP is not a fad – though it does glorify the nightmare that urban radio is;
Airwaves fancy pushing gutter trash for palm greasing cash – but have no spins for Will.

Wise Hip Hop exists though not supporting it — is the going phenomina.
I know I speak the truth. Ask Mos Def, Jasiri X, Talib and Common.

Afrika Owes is no different from your cousin who was caught selling;
such aspirations pending
could’ve been winning –
though todays headlines are opposite telling.

Why is the thug life so compelling?
Why are Tupac & Biggie eternally resting?

What kind of game did they build – what kind of game did they help sell?
It is our fascination with “the high life” that is sending our children to an early hell.

I ask you — because Afrika Owes is indeed our futures truths,
I’m Qui

and that trash called radio rap – needs to be re-written or perhaps rebuked.

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