Fresh off the Block

I was watching a rerun of "That 70's Show" the other day on FX, and I caught a commercial for a new show called "Black & White". Ice Cube's a co-producer, but I'm not sure about how they are going to try to portray the complexities of race in our society. I'm sure that overt prejudicial issues will be discussed, but what about issues of power, privilege, and insitutional racism? I have a feeling its just going to be some superficial look at race and how we should just be color blind, but we'll see. Maybe the Ice Cube that made songs like "Black Korea" came out of him again and the show will be highly critical and paradigm 2ish. Besides my critical pessimism regarding the show, I do have hopes that this show will give folks a quick crash course on how racial prejudices are played out in our society.

On a tangent: The making of the "Tell Me When to Go" video.

And I was listening to 95live yesterday when Nump made a guest appearance, and he spit some new (to me atleast) interesting Gorillapino slang:

"It's gettin' very pogi up in here" - I assume this phrase would be used for a setting where the vibes are gradually becoming more positive.

"Let's do lumpia" - This would be the equivalent of saying "let's do lunch." Or used more loosely, it could be used to say, "let's kick it some time."


Dave Chapelle's Block Party

Here's the trailer for the film, directed by Michel Gondry.

According to this site, the release date is March 3, 2006.


Its a celebration!!!...

This is day late, but I believe the celebration should still continue. Last night was definitely a good day to be Filipino. I have to admit I was scurred for a bit, thinking the fight might have ended up like the last match, but damn, Pacquiao straight up made me proud during the 10th round.

Real talk, if Pacquiao were to take a political stance right now in the Philippines, he would have the whole country following him.


Let me redirect traffic for a second...

FAB gets literal with his yellow bus antics

E-40 feat. Keak da Sneak - "Tell Me When To Go" (music video)

There has been a lot resting on this video to propel the Bay Area rap scene to be recognized by the mainstream hip hop crowd. Message boards have been flooded with posts arguing either the monumental rise or blundering flop of Bay Rap, particularly the hyphy movement, with E-40 now on Lil' Jon's label. I particularly believe that it is the time for the Bay to blow up. Crunk and the more recent chopped and screwed movement from the Swisha House clan have made their way to the mainstream bringing regional heroes such as Mike Jones to MTV status, but now is the era of hyphy. E-40 has definitely paid his dues, even though I have to secede and acknowledge the fact that his older stuff was way better, but the man still has skills. As for the video for "Tell Me When To Go", directed by the same director who did Keak's remade "Super Hyphy" video, Mickey Finnegan*, it is on point. Many cameos are in the video as well as a nice representation of Bay culture with the inclusion of the sideshows, displayed in a grimey black and white visual illustration. So is this the time for Bay? I certainly hope so; I just hope everybody else out there helps me out to get this all up in 106 & Park when it premieres.

*edit: I guess my sources were incorrect, the video is actually directed by Bernard Gourley.

On to another Bay related topic... I've been stuck on the Bay internet radio station, 95Live, for a minute now.

And while the focus on of today's post is the Bay, and many already know of the many struggles against Clear Channel with the Bay Radio stations, Emmis Communications has dropped Friday Night Flavas from LA radio station, Power 106. Fight for more diversity on our airwaves. Sign the online petition.


Can You Dig It??!!!

Fuck Mark Ecko's "Getting Up", it's all about the video game adaptation of the film "Warriors." Although I have yet to play Mark Ecko's game, thereby invalidating my comment about it, "Warriors" is about as hip hop as a video game can get. I have been wanting to pick this game up ever since I knew that they were going to make a video game for the classic film, but I finally recieved it in the form of a Christmas present. After playing the game nearly non stop for about a week, I'll have to give major shout outs to Rockstar for delivering yet another instant classic video game. I know that there lies many problematic issues with the game itself, with copious amounts of negative images of violence, drugs, and a glamourized portrayal of crime, but that aside, the video game encapsulates much of the grittiness and territoriality of the 1970's street gang. The essence of "Warriors" with the gang warfare depicted in the film/game and the attempted gang unity by Cyrus can be traced back to a lot of hip hop's roots with the rivaling gangs of the Bronx. Jeff Chang details much of the actual events that inspired much of the film in a chapter of his book, "Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation" titled "Blood and Fire, with Occasional Music: The Gangs of the Bronx." Risisng out of conditions greatly affected by politics of abandonment in the South Bronx, the street gangs unified to maintain street rep and to ensure safety within their own turfs. Attempts at gang peace treaty's, such as was attempted by Cyrus in the film, occurred and acheived some positive results. The average gaming nerd and movie watcher would likely dismiss much of the events in "Warriors" to be purely fictional, but as with most fictional stories, elements usually are pulled from actual events. The 1970's street gangs and their response to dilapidated conditions in the South Bronx helped build and create the atmosphere by which hip hop would be built around, and the "Warriors" is a fictional depiction of this environment. While no direct messages are conveyed in the video game, images of graffiti pieces by Cap, Seen, Dondi, and others shows the player historical art pieces. Missions in the game direct the player to bomb and paint over rival gangs pieces, and another mission also calls on the player to participate in a graffiti show down hosted by a fictional legend named Scopes, whose voice happens to be that of Fab Five Freddy. The elements of graffiti illustrate the rising importance of marking territories through artistic expression. If anything, along with the purchase of the video game should be an information (such as these intervies with the Ghetto Brothers) that elaborate on the New York street gangs of the 1970's. But until then, pop in the video game and go on a hip hop history lesson back to 1979.