Category Archives: Articles

6est7 – 6ROKEN

“Music makes me happy!! Like I don’t know what it is about it but it makes me move. I just love a great song and awesome vibes” – 6est7 

The inspiration for 6est7 ‘s new album “6ROKEN” has to do with everything and everybody around him. If you are a fan of legendary musicians such as The Weeknd, Drake and others like them, this album is a must have for your Hip-Hop collection. The vibes he gives off is nothing like what I hear today.

“For some reason music allows me to say what I want but just with a beat behind it!”, says 6est7. He views this album as the avenue that gives him the freedom to express what he really wants. Those of us who are working all day from 7-7 and have to keep a closed mouth (no profanity) can surely relate.

In case you were wondering about the artist’s unique name… It is actually his last name which is “Best”. He turned the “B” in best to a “6” and added “7” at the end. “Everything I do I just gotta do it different or if not different… special.”

Buy the album 6ROKEN here or connect with @6est7 on Instagram.

 

 

Source: ArtistPR Music Reviews

A Real Emcee

“My hearts bleeding” because the music, and concept presented by CynOzure on “My First Demo” is deeply inspiring. CynOzure is a 15 year old artist currently residing in East Connecticut, and its evident from efforts he revives the true essence of lyricism. As proof of his commitment, and dedication CynOzure went out, got two jobs, and saved a bundle of money ( $3,000 ) to put towards creating a 3 song demo album. He hired super production heavy weights such as “Kno, Johnny Cock, and El Keter, among others”, put money towards his own recording equipment, and hired Adi ( super-talent – has done artwork for Braille, Sankofa, Icon the Mic King ) to put together a highly eye candy intense demo cover. CynOzure, at age 15, went all out to put forth his best effort on his first demo.


Now lets talk music. His 3 track demo features some pretty good tracks, that do show room for improvement, but for a demo, the music is pretty damn great. With some help, refining, and growing his music will only advance forward. We are impressed here at DaHipHopPlace, and CynOzure with his ambition will definitely travel far in the realm of hip hop. The first song, “Searching-4 Wynnie Cooper” is a classic love story cut, classic, but glazed in reality, and anything but thugged out. Strong written lyrics, fair vocalization, and one damn amazing beat. All we got to say is whoever laced that female’s voice in the background in that fashion deserves mega props. Not only does CynOzure interest fans with his music, but he’s got you searching for Wynnie Cooper, as appose to every so commonly searching for Christina Agulara. Next up is rightfully the middle cut, Mental Rehabilitation, featuring well known, respected, and talented text / audio netcee ( has a strong rep for net rhyming ) Radius. Radius is extremely tight and on point with his skills, and him and Cyn make a good duo over another classic beat that helps fans feel the music as a whole. The last and final track, “Stress Test” is a sure shot hit as well, and is a very easy cut for most fans to relate. I mean who’s not stressed out in the age and times of current?? CynOzure does a great job on this track, and certainly proves his wide array of skills.


What can we do? Can DaHipHopPlace.Com help?


Well, we are going to offer to sign CynOzure, and either way, we are definitely going to work with CynOzure hand, and hand to give him the exposure, promotion, play, and press he deserves. Why are we going to do this? Because CynOzure impressed, and inspired us with his strong efforts, and hey, we do care, honest we really do. =)


Looking at the big picture, CynOzure really proves that any artist has the ability to put forth their best effort. We receive tons of material from artists, and nine out of ten times the material we do receive is on a beat up old tape, with a scribbled piece of paper we can’t read, and no information on the artist. We also receive tons of feedback from artists world wide who simply say… “we are the most amazing rappers, word!”, and our thoughts are, “ok, where’s your music”, and of course when we contact the artists requesting to hear “anything” from them, they never repond.


UrbanPowlers.Com is a great online community for the lyrically inclined mind ( one in which Radius, Cashmere, KNO, Sankofa, Phsyclone, and more hang out at ). Communities like these bring artists closer together to create some great musical tracks. They also are a great place to receive valuable feedback from other artists in the same struggle to succeed.


Last words, never give up, and always push forward with your best effort. You don’t nessessarily have to work two jobs and spend the amount of cash CynOzure did to complete your demo, but you do have to take pride in your work, and yes, even if that means going to the Library to type out some information about yourself, and your demo.


http://www.hiphophotspot.com


Mista BLaZe – I’m not a writer, I’m just someone who decided to scribble down some worthwhile thoughts.

All Or Nothing Soundtrack review

All Or Nothing, the urban drama centered the gritty underworld of L.A. Hip Hop, brings a story of love and tragedy to the big screen this spring. The film promises to catapult into the ranks of Boyz N The Hood and West Side Story with it’s portrayal of best friends split apart in the fervor of their aspirations for Hip Hop stardom and their impending rivalry. Love between one of the emcees and his enemy’s sister sparks a powerful scenario beyond the bounds of lyrical battles.

Creating a soundtrack that would properly chronicle the moods and emotions of such an intense screenplay is no easy task. Brave New World Records has facilitated an incredible ensemble of artists with a mixture of hard-edged lyricism and soft-spoken romantic undertones. Representation from the Dirty South on up to the rainy Pacific Northwest makes for a unique versatility.


The first single from the album, “Party On”, features the dynamic Shyan Selah in a crowd moving anthem. Glossy production elicits impetuous head bobbing to the bass-laden track. The flip side of the 12″ provides the magnetic pulse of Atlanta’s pimpafied glory with Ben Hated’s “Escalades and Navigators” which has already ranked at #28 on Billboard’s Rap Singles chart. A chunky second spliff of Shyan Selah’s Northwest homegrown vocals blesses the B-side as well. “Callin Me”, produced by Fabian Cooke (Michael Jackson, The Marley’s) predicates the depth of the soundtrack’s theatrical counterpart.


The All Or Nothing soundtrack delivers some R&B gems with Trina B’s “Casanova Brown” and TJ’s “If You Feel” featuring Ellen, along the creatively psychotic reality check of Cheddar’s frantic “Low Life” and GranDDaDDy’s “Goin Craz’za”. Master P and The Delinquents team up for “Doin It Live”, while Eightball contributes to Young Draper’s suave bounce hit “Who You Blame It On”.


Mr. Icky, C-Bo and Mississippi grill jagged cynicism and consuming passion on “Buried Treasures” while Iroc dips in with the harsh slap of “Worldly Things”. Universal Records artist Cool Nutz and Bow Wow Records Mr. D.O.G. regulate the saccharin on “It Ain’t Sweet”, while Twin G creates a buzz with “High Come Down”.

Mista Ocktober’s “Portrait of an Emcee” vibrates with a smooth piano accompaniment and even flow, and Wojack takes it “To The Brain” in his verbose concerto of acerbic battle rhymes. Rounding out the soundtrack is a club-bound banger from Black Caesar. “Walking On Water” will have party seeking headz doing just that.


The movie All Or Nothing was recently presented with the Grand Jury Award at the Black Hollywood Film Festival. Gaining such notable critical acclaim prior to the release of the film speaks volumes about the caliber of this project. The soundtrack to All Or Nothing will play a major role in the conveyance of the film’s strong subject matter, and will bring a new era of sound to this cinematic classic.


Various Artists

“All Or Nothing” Soundtrack


Dove

~Sheepish Lordess of Chaos~

http://www.bnwrecords.com

A Great Day in Hip-Hop

Seven months ago, when the staff of XXL magazine first thought of redoing the “Great Day in Harlem” shoot, they had no idea how successful it would be. The first “Great Day in Harlem” photo, taken in 1958, brought together 57 jazz legends on the front stoop of 17 E. 126th St., a brownstone between Fifth and Madison Avenues, for an Esquire magazine piece. (The picture appeared in the January 1959 issue.) At XXL’s historic recreation, 200 plus hip-hop greats flowed over three stoops – a new generation of cultural icons captured for posterity.



The shoot on Sept. 29 commemorated the 40th anniversary of Art Kane’s famous photo of jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Count Basie, Thelonious Monk and Lester Young. It also honored the innovators of rap – a musical genre that has impacted popular culture as jazz did in its heyday.



“I’m just thrilled that so many artists found the time to come out and be a part of this special event,” said Sheena Lester, editor-in-chief of the year-old magazine. “It was a glorious sunny day where there were East Coast, West Coast, Southern and Midwestern rappers acknowledging each other.”



Artists came from near and far, representing the past, present and future of rap music. A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Jermaine Dupri, Canibus, Fat Joe, Da Brat, Wyclef, Pras, Kool Herc, Grand Master Flash, Onyx, E-40, Mack 10, Crucial Conflict, Run-DMC, Slick Rick, Goodie MOB, Luke, Kool Moe Dee, Heather B, Paula Perry and members of Wu Tang Clan and Goodie Mob were all present. Laughter permeated the air on this tree-lined street, just west of the Metropolitan Community Methodist Church that served as the meeting place of all the stars. Icons met icons who turned out to also be fans.



Organizing a photo of this magnitude was a great feat in and of itself. The icing on the top was getting a renowned photographer to capture the moment. Though many could have taken the shot, only one had the historical significance which would add an exclamation point to the event: Gordon Parks, the legendary, 84-year-old photojournalist who directed the films Shaft and The Learning Tree.



In the ’40s, Parks shot for Vogue and Life, among others, breaking through the racism which permeated the magazine business and society.



Philadelphia was well represented in the photo: The Roots, King Britt, Kurupt, Jazzy Jeff and Schoolly D were among the legends in the photo. Ahmir Thompson of Philly group The Roots, who was documenting the event with a hand-held video camera, called the gathering incredible.



“I’ve been doing this for six years, and I never met Wu [Tang Clan]; I never met the essential people of hip-hop.” Thompson admitted he hadn’t met 60 percent of the artists there. Britt, a Central High School grad, was overwhelmed and honored to be a part of it.



“First, Gordon Parks taking the picture – in Harlem,” mused Britt. “This is where the soul is, from jazz to now.”



Other artists were also thrilled. Cee-Lo, from the Atlanta-based Goodie Mob, foamed: “I just met Greg Nice. I just met Daddy-O, from Stetsasonic, who I love! DJ Hollywood. All these people. I’d heard their names when I was young. These are my heroes. I feel blessed. And for them to tell me that they like what I’m doing? It’s a trip.”



Heather B suggested that the spirits of many of hip-hop’s fallen stars were present: “It was something in the air. You felt the presence of Biggie, you felt the presence Tupac, you felt Eazy E, Scott La Rock. They represented hip-hop.”



When the time came for this moment to be captured, there was so much to absorb. Sticky Fingaz of Onyx, striking a pose with no shirt, a camouflage jacket draping his body. Fat Joe standing erect, with the pride of the boricuas on his shoulders. Ahmir with the classic pick in his afro. Gordon Parks standing behind two cameras on tripods, eyeing his subjects as he has done for more than 50 years, hands shaking ever so slightly as he clicked the first and subsequent shots: the artists with their fists in the air, some looking away from the camera.



When the shoot was over, the crowd of rappers burst into applause, accompanied by yells of pride. The disassembled crowd continued to talk with their peers, their heroes, their fans.



Not unlike the jazz shoot, there were some key artists that were not present. But with so many that were there, it was hard to be distraught about those who weren’t there. A disappointed Lauryn Hill arrived 10 minutes after the shot was taken in a red Range Rover driven by her beau Rohan Marley with her son Zion in the back seat. A dejected Ras Kass from Los Angeles, who showed up too late, asked if there was some way he could be superimposed into the shot.



Things may have changed a lot in 40 years, but a magic moment is still a magic moment.



The rap elite recreates a Great Day in Harlem.



by Ogbonna Hagins

Anticon + Shapeshifters @ The Living Room

I stepped into the small local venue, The Living Room, unprepared for what my eyes and ears were about to experience from the Anticon collective. While DJ Rafiki warmed up the crowd on the tables, I kicked it with JON?DOE, Sankofa, and Spon before the show, learning from JON that Double Helix weren’t going to be performing as I had expected, and that Anticon were going to be a little late arriving due to poor directions. The 50 or so people in the small club waited in anticipation for the Anticon crew. As my hopes began to dwindle due to the setbacks JON?DOE had informed me of, Sole, the pedestrian, Dose, DJ Mayonnaise, Alias, and the Shapeshifters stepped through the door. Almost immediately, the Shapeshifters got down to business, rallying the crowd close to the stage while the rest of Anticon chilled in the audience enjoying the show.



The crew began with some moving freestyles for Rob One, and then got into their set. Circus AKA “Kid Zelda the Neanderthal” was the most entertaining of the three, busting insane freestyles, dancing like a madman, and rapping over the Zelda video game beat. Some moments of note were him ranting the “We’re not gonna take it” chorus from Twisted Sister, and having his DJ spin back the record so he could get into his “Axl Rose pose.” AWOL One, and radioinactive also came off tight. I’d never really heard much Shapeshifters material before, but I was very impressed and will be looking for more music by them.



Next up would be Anticon. I can not even begin to describe how amazing these 5 men were. Even without two of their major members, Buck 65 and Slug, they tore the house down, not giving a damn that the audience wasn’t very huge. Skater kids, underground backpack heads, and just plain lovers of good music crowded the stage as Anticon began with some impromptu freestyles/poetry. All four cats, the pedestrian, Dose, Sole, and Alias impressed with their very different styles. The collective did this throughout the night, filling in the gaps while DJ Mayonnaise was cutting up records. The most impressive of the crew was Dose. With his towering semi-fro and unique hand gestures, he spit such interesting poetry as “A fetus in a field and me in slacks… what’s the difference?” The audience all stood stunned and impressed at Dose-one’s extremely unique style. Along with these off-the-top a capellas, Anticon dropped some of their well-known tracks as well, showing what a live performance is truly about.



The crowd went crazy as the opening riff of “it’s them” came on, but as the record skipped, Dose showed his live experience, telling the audience “You didn’t hear a thing.” He then proceeded to rip the track, with everyone in the room shouting the song’s line of “HELP!” and mouthing every lyric. The same occured when Alias performed “Divine Dissapointment,” and the rest of Anticon showed some of their jaded views as he began, with Sole saying, “We all know there’s a God, right?” Alias gave a great performance of this track. Throughout, Anticon performed mostly new material, which was all extremely creative while maintaining the Anticon trademark of, “We’re different and we don’t give a fuck.” Sole did some stuff from the non-bootleg Bottle of Humans, and it was still that ‘5’ quality. After their closing number, which I think was titled “The Bigger The Biter The Harder They Fall,” Anticon did a seven-song encore, which was highlighted by Sole’s “Bottle of Humans.” Dose closed the show with his newest track, and then both Anticon and the Shapeshifters handed out free cds, posters, tapes, etc., and not just snippets but whole albums. I caught a copy of Dose’s Hemispheres album.



These down to earth guys showed that you don’t need a huge venue, fireworks, or a giant neon sign reading “ANTICON” to put on a great performance. You just need heart and creativity, which Anticon packs in abundance.



Anticon + Shapeshifters @ The Living Room

Written by C.A.M. (Originally wrote May, 2000)

ASCAP-NARAS MIDWEST MUSIC BUSINESS SEMINAR

Chicagoland’s heaviest hitters in or connected with the music industry

Thursday repeatedly embraced alternative marketing, alliances within and between music genres, savvy corporate diplomacy, artist development and more willingness to take risks as the keys to unshackling the local urban entertainment scene from marginalizing ghetto celebrity.



Those observations were the crux of a Midwest Professional Education Series seminar moderated by George Daniels, owner of the West Side music retailer George’s Music Room, that the Chicago Chapters of the American Society of Composers and Publishers and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences co-sponsored at Metro.



Some panelists like prolific hip-hop and R&B producer Xtreme fingered luck as a path to Chicagoland transforming from a vassal state to empire among music scenes. Xtreme’s gold hit beatmaking for the likes of DJ Clue?, DMX, the Lox, Edo G., and Jaÿ-Z was launched by Jaÿ-Z and Clue? heard one of his beat tapes on North Harlem Avenue while the Roc-A-Fella Records stalwarts were asking directions to North Riverside Shopping Mall. Others comments from the likes of Common’s business manager Derek Dudley suggested that aggressively selling the local vision of the scene to the major music industry cartels was a more prevalent reality.



“The biggest challenge in leaving Relativity and going to MCA was to get MCA to believe in our vision [of Common] as an artist-getting them to really believe in him as an artist from the director of marketing to the legal department,” Dudley said, sitting next to fellow panelist Common. “At Relativity, they were prudes, like one vice president who sat down with us one day and say, ‘We don’t know how to market your record.’ Once we got MCA to believe in us, we just put out a good product.”



Entertainment attorney Heather Nelson’s comments suggested that acts and independent labels should retain legal representation capable of litigating larger music power to make fair agreements with them, and Crucial Conflict’s management consultant Calvin Lyons of CMG Entertainment said that the most effective managers are active practitioners and students of entertainment administration. Urban author-journalist Robert “Scoop” Jackson advised the audience to look beyond conventional exposure through commercial radio and print magazine and create homegrown media outlets that get the word out about

the scene, such as content and broadband radio on web sites.

Grammy-nominated remixer Maurice Joshua suggested that Chicagoland musicians needed to get over their paranoia about being ripped off by each other and close ranks with alliances that inoculated the scene against the divide-and-conquer tactics of talent-raiding record labels.



The Midwest Education Series is designed to provide practical music

business guidance from music industry experts and professionals to local

musicians. For information about the next seminar, contact NARAS project coordinator Janielle Taylor at janielle@grammy.com or (321) 786-1121 or Midwest ASCAP representative Shawn Murphy at ascapkid@aol.com or (773) 472-1157.



MARK FITZGERALD ARMSTRONG

11706 SOUTH THROOP STREET

CHICAGO, IL 60643

markarmystrong62@aol.com



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Baby Drew, Not Child’s Play

Few rappers can spit emotional, confrontational trashy commentary-adorned with unsuspecting insults issuing fiery verbal challenges to wit or brawn — in a way that is still palatable. Baby Drew (Infinite-Unexplained.com) is part of an elite few, stemming from Milwaukee’s Center Street, among other boldly claim historical landmark boulevards and drives in their “Kil-waukee.” His utter hypnotic flow is relevant and devastating, reeling you into a myriad of lifestyles, survival mode mindsets and familiar gritty-told tales of success, selfishness, a smattering of danger and unbridled courage.



This mega-disc compilation is full of what this 5 foot 6 demure soulful, somewhat-sexy local rapper, hopes, to either offend, affect or assault you. His is a grainy impervious cored rap texture with Big Hank – as his producer, sharing grooves that are befitting to faithful head bobbers or new-fangled coochie poppers. Playboy “D” accents the project with his easy, “country-boy” banter. All of the voices on this CD are collectively willing to be challenging, storytellers, orating a type of “black history” few delve.



Big Hank also lays a musical foundation for his partner, the self-dubbed “Ghetto Hero.” And Andrew Green, his signature initially ill fitted voice mouthing off with whimsical ease similarities between he and another legend, Humphry Bogart. Both styles shift fans from side to side in a trance-like method.



Green once said to me, “98 percent of what I write about is real.” With this latest release and Street Music, Vol. 1, he maintains his spot among the elite reality rappers — even garnering support from long time Rap fiend, Too Short.



Soulja Slim’s music has been deemed “uncompromising, straight street, just street to the bone.” Similarly, Andrew Green’s symphony starts at street and ends at a place that would surely please jazzy “baritone bass bother,” Lou Rawls, and satisfy lippy slicksters like “Goldie the Mac” and even manage to oddly be the object of a bevy of a beautiful women’s attention. Expected and featured are lyrics about the “women of the street” and their projected wicked ways in need of “pimp” reform, especially in Pimp Tight, featuring Playboy “D.” Chevy’s are prevalent, as are money, drugs and yes, hoes.



Yet, as motley as this recent release of an arsenal of songs is, Disco Lady’s Baby Drew has grown, vocally maturing into the King of the Midwest, of sorts.



Street Music, Vol. I – CD Review



By Yolanda D. White for DaHipHopPlace.Com



Boom Bap Project – Circumstance Dictates EP

The Circumstance Dictates EP will have you wishing for a full-length album. The ever-present silhouette of the Hip Hop’s forefathers within the innovative production is evident. Jake One’s incredible aptitude for beat creation meshes perfectly with the lyrical prowess of Karim and Dialog aka Destro Destructo. DJ Tre adds his cultural couture on the turntables with flare. Vitamin D gives us a dose of his tremendous production skills on two of the tracks as well.

A number of solid guest appearances add to the appeal of the EP. “Odds On Favorite” features the witty L’Roneous, Black Anger blesses “All Stars”, and “Take It To The Stage” is taken to the hilt by the grandiose and controversial ranting of Kutfather. Pep Love of the Hieroglyphics crew maximizes the value of “Net Worth”, while Snafu, JFK and Toni Hill team up with Boom Bap for the memorable “All I Have Left”.

Karim and Dialog easily supply their own verbal weight on “Writer’s Guild”, “Who’s That” and the first single off the EP, “The Trade”. Their label, Stuck Records, is in the process of getting the retail orders shipped, however the group has had little challenge in moving units prior to distribution. They sold completely out of the EP on the road during their recent 17-city stint on the Fantastic Four Tour with Zion I, Micranots and Foreign Legion, and had to rush to get more units printed for release.

Circumstance Dictates is an intriguing interlude to the full-length album, which should be released this fall. Battle rhyming and turntablism are at the forefront of Boom Bap Project’s agenda, placing an appreciation for original Hip Hop in the top rung. The trio should find considerable pleasure in their climb to the top of the charts.



http://www.boombapproject.com



Dove

~Sheepish Lordess of Chaos~



CHICAGO CONCERT OF BOSTON, WEST COAST, MIDWESTERN ACTS

Despite lingering presumptions that Roxbury’s Edo G. was with Da Bulldogs and not the other way around, the Boston mic-controller incontrovertibly proved Friday at heavily billed concert at Bucktown’s Congress Theater that his Massachusetts Bay sound was and still is not determined by committee. Edo’s wild, free-flowing Afro was neatly braided and crowned by an Adidas

headband (in keeping with Boston area hip-hopheads’ preferences for their homegrown athletic gear company. That adjustment to appearance was the only major change for Edo since his April Chicago performance with the Ground Control All-Stars Tour at Metro.



Edo worked for his props from the sparse Congress crowd as if he were trying to win a record deal for the first time, unlike other over-30 hip-hop music legends who presume that their accomplishments rate them the same awe accorded the Egyptian pyramids. His mic-controlling was resounding but evenly

paced, his emceeing conversational, and his movement leisurely paced enough so that eyeballs did not have to pop-lock like lightning all over the stage to keep up with him and his hypeman Bret.



Some adulation was automatically built in as Edo served up samplings of his life’s work from the Bulldogs era “I Got To Have It” to the irresistible “Understand” from his current The Truth Hurts LP (Ground Control/Nu Gruv). But did not dissuade Edo from pulling out the stops to put on a thorough show. At one point, in a deconstructive of Run DMC, he and Bret donned pork

pie hats and went into a crowd-pleasing hip-hop soft shoe near the foot of the Congress stage.



Edo’s four Boston area kinsmen, The Kreators, were the propriety-bending Heinz 57 hale mic-controllers well met with their collective Afro-Portugese, Hebrew, and Italian backgrounds characterized by pretty boy studs Jaysaun and 6-foot-something Big Juan, Falstaffian XL, and stoic DJ-producer G-Squared as

the good-timing brothers you would blunt, booze, and broad with. Their swaggering, charming someone in-your-face abandon turn most apocalyptic when joined by Edo for the Boston anthem “Home.” And G-Squared enthralled the Congress crowd by momentarily abandoning his turntables to join the

mic-controlling on one Kreators’ number. The Boston acts’ fireside-chat of a lulling effect on the crowd was so pervasive that Oakland, CA’s Souls of Mischief found themselves putting in double duty to whip the crowd back into delirious frenzy.



Akbar’s performance was moderately compelling and evenly paced, although lacking the daredevil b-boy abandon of his underground performances with P-Lee Fresh in Mental Giants. Minneapolis-St. Paul’s Acupuncture proved livelier at times than it North Star State rivals Rhymesayers, with an

mic-controlling counterpointing relieved on the breaks by a windmilling and headspinning B-boy. Ang-13’s new femme group Lyrisis was the liveliest, with a rough and ready straight B-girl sassiness and precisioned hip-hop dance moves that left the Congress crowd spellbound.



Aztec’s collective flow was a tad discombobulated throughout much of their set, with the lead chicano with a fast-spitting mic-controlling that smothered the richness of his razapolitical verse. The group’s Dominican Papa Doc possessed a smooth, silky hepcat flow that was to die for. B-Movie Fiendz’ was slightly livelier than its live-band instrumentals despite the best efforts of his axe players. Gary, IN’s Mob Life needed to concentrate less on its smug gangsta-player lean and more on breathing some real life

into their mismatched and barely tolerable performance in an otherwise artistically fit lineup.



MARK FITZGERALD ARMSTRONG

11706 SOUTH THROOP STREET

CHICAGO, IL 60643

markarmstrong62@aol.com



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COCOA BROVAZ POST HIP-HOP SUMMIT REFLECTIONS

Although last month’s Hip-Hop Summit organized by hip-hop industrialist Russell Simmons in New York City has tentatively received high marks for its initiatives, Da Cocoa Brovaz are giving the gathering an incomplete.



During a Chicago celebrity basketball game Saturday for a mix tape tour that AND-1 sports apparel company sponsored in Jackson Park on the city’s South Side, the Brooklyn-originating duo with the Boot Camp Click clan said the summit’s initiatives will work when the emphasis shifts from grandstanding hot air in an ivory tower to hitting the streets for sincere grassroots community organizing.



I want to be hopeful about it [the summit], Cocoa Brovaz’s Steele said, accompanied by his mic-controlling kinsman Tek under a shady tent toward the Lake Michigan shore, where wares for the current record label they are signed with, Rawkus, were sold. Steele and Tek are scheduled to release their third Cocoa Brovaz LP album Still Shinin on Rawkus this summer, which would feature production by Beatminerz, Pete Rock, Easy Mo Bee, Rick Rock, E-Swift, and Tha Liks. I think that it’s positive to have those initiatives, as much as we can get together [over them]. We’ve got to have small summits in the community, where the rappers give back to the community, like what we’re doing here today.



Tek was more skeptical about whether the New York City summit’s implications would have progressive and effective applications. Among the key initiatives from that gathering are a political action committee that would lobby hip-hop’s issues on Capitol Hill, a think tank at Columbia University for hip-hop musicians and recording industry executives to exchange ideas, and voluntary guidelines requiring more parent advisory labels on music marketed online and offline to dig hip-hop out of its apathetically decadent rut.



This here [the AND-1 basketball game] is action. All that shit they talk about about [from the summit], it ain’t going to get done, Tek said. You can’t put a rap on something they’re not going to wrap up.



Outreach from the AND-1 basketball game, which was hosted by Joe Clair of BET’s Madd Sports show, included a clinic conduct by NBA players for youth with the basketball program at South Side-based St. Sabina Catholic Church led by activist priest Michael Pfleger, a $15,000 donation to St. Sabina for the Ark program that develops African-American youth, and $10,000 to the Chicago Park District for basketball court refurbishment.



In addition to emphasizing hip-hop’s rank and file applying a noblesse oblige off the mic, Cocoa Brovaz said more politicians and activist clergy would have effective voices in the hip-hop community if they followed the Rev. Al Sharpton’s example by rolling up their sleeves and regularly taking their rhetoric directly to the very people they want to reach. Last month’s summit in New York City was attended by Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, who delivered the event’s keynote address, and Muslim activist Minister Conrad Muhammad. Muhammad tentatively agreed to out his differences with Farrakhan, whom he split from, and with Simmons, who he has vigorously criticized as a drawback to progressive hip-hop organizing. Sharpton was in a Puerto Rican jail at the time of the summit on trespassing charges in connection with his role in protests against U.S. military bombing exercises on the island of Vieques that caused the immediate death of at least one civilian.



Most of them don’t listen to hip-hop, Steele said. We’re the true politicians, talking about the struggle and creating the movement. We’re already past the Million Youth March, and all I saw there was the bucket go around with no consensus, no programs. You’ve got white politicians trying to censor us and black politicians trying to organize us.



If they try to censor hip-hop, there will be a rumble in the jungle. Things will get bloody if comes to that. We’re the ones keeping things calm, we’re the ones the people listen to.



They [the politicians and activists] come to us because we’re already reaching the people they can’t reach and want to get at. We all have to be the politicians the people voting, us spreading the message [on the mic], journalists telling people what’s going on in the newspapers and on videotape because our elders don’t step up to our issues. Conrad and Farrakhan are busy fighting each other. So it’s like whoever cries the loudest gets the most attention, and we have to step up to our issues to get served. There’s still poverty, people are hungry, and babies mothers have to get their things with hardly any money.



Chicago was the first stop of the AND-1 Mix Tape Tour. The tour will also visit Philadelphia Aug. 4 and Los Angeles Aug. 18.



MARK FITZGERALD ARMSTRONG

11706 SOUTH THROOP STREET

CHICAGO, IL 60643

markarmstrong62@aol.com



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