Archive for June, 2002

Sunday, June 30th, 2002

PunditWatch is back!

Friday, June 28th, 2002

The big hip-hop story on the Internet is Nas’ diss of Hot 97. Nas complained about the staff on Hot 97 and accused some of the popular artists they play of having no redeeming social value.

Nas claims he was “bamboozled, hoodwinked and the whole nine.” How was he bamboozled and hoodwinked? Hot 97 did not let him perform on their annual summer concert known as Summer Jam. Hot 97 would have let him perform just not perform his song “Ether” which is a song dissing Jay-Z in explicit terms that can not be used on radio. It sounds like Nas is being a big baby.

The more I read about this story the more I hate Nas. Nas complains about current artists putting out music that “does not do anything for the community,” but at the same time Nas encourages fans to rob and assault a radio DJ he doesn’t like. I’m sure Nas would have been doing a lot for the community by having a “mock lynching of Jay-Z”. When asked on another New York radio station if the planned mock lynching as claimed by Hot 97 was true Nas did not deny it. Hot 97 may not be perfect but Nas just looks like a fool.

Friday, June 28th, 2002

Reason has a good story on the recent fees that webcasters have agreed to pay.

Friday, June 28th, 2002

I remember watching commercials for Enron and thinking what the hell does Enron do? I had no idea from watching the commercials. I still don’t know exactly what Enron claimed to do beside from fuzzy math. I think the lesson to learn is if something seems to good to be true it probably is. People should figure out what they are doing before they invest instead of being dumbasses. If the demand for Enron had not been as high not as many people would have bought it and when it fell apart know one would have given a flying fuck.

Thursday, June 27th, 2002

The 9th Circuit decision on the pledge was a plot to make the liberals look bad. That is what I have been told by several communists anyway.

Thursday, June 27th, 2002

Israel would be much better off if the crazy Palestinian youth put their energy into rapping rather than blowing themselves up.

Wednesday, June 26th, 2002

I have to agree with Radley Balko who calls the 9th Circuit’s decision on the pledge of allegiance “profoundly unimportant.”

Wednesday, June 26th, 2002

Holding a U.S. citizen without a trial is unconstitutional. Padilla should brought up on RICO and conspiracy charges at the least but I guess Ashcroft would rather have civil libertarians pissed off at him.

Tuesday, June 25th, 2002

The Washington Post has an article in today’s paper that brings up the subject of political activism in hip-hop. The article does a good job of illuminating some of the positive interaction between hip-hop and the community. In some ways, the article does seem like a puff piece for Russell Simmons. The article does a good job of describing how there has always been a split between party music and “conscious” rap.

Despite the impression one may get from reading the article, hip-hop has always been political. A political element definitely was present in early classics such as the Furious 5’s “The Message” and Kurtis Blow’s “The Breaks.” Hip-hop has always dealt with social conditions such as poverty and political issues such as police brutality. To ignore the long history of activism within hip-hop is to ignore the popular works of many artists.

The article is in many ways a fluff filled piece mainly concerned with saying how great Russell Simmons is. Well he is not perfect. Russell is a typical Democrat who has put all of his energy towards supporting Democratic candidates such as Mark Green. The money that Russell spent on advertising for the demonstration held outside of city hall would probably have gone a lot further, if he had actually given his money to the city school system. But I guess Russell would rather have the government fix the problem.

Looking back at the beginning of hip-hop, I am surprised a bigger portion of the hip-hop following do not lean more towards the libertarian persuasion. In hip-hop, as in punk rock, there has always been an expression of discontent with the status quo system. Instead of turning the resentment against the current system to call for reform of the governmental problems, such as the drug laws, hip-hop followers have taken the dislike of the current system to call for a socialistic system. How to convince the punk rock and hip-hop followers to seek a libertarian solution is a good question that I can not answer. Any ideas?

Link via Dave Tepper

UPDATE: If you haven’t heard of Russell Simmons he is responsible for the management of a group called RUN-DMC. Most people probably know RUN-DMC from doing a collaboration with Aerosmith called “Walk This Way” with the Rock group Aerosmith.

Tuesday, June 25th, 2002

In a recent article the LA Times had an article reporting the record industry’s claim that hip-hop sales fell during the first quarter because of bootlegging and file-sharing. That is not the case! Hip-Hop record sales dropped because the record industry did not put out any new material in the 1st quarter. QUOTE:

The overall problem was this: because of the post-Sept.11th effect and the recession, the record labels, last fall, decided to go for broke in pursuit of Christmas money, having little confidence in what the first quarter of 2002 would bring. Any retailer will tell you that the albums that came out in November and December were peculiar. You had Wu-Tang, Mobb Deep, Jay Z’s live album, Nas, Fat Joe, Ghostface Killah, Outkast, Ruff Ryders Vol. III, Ludacriss, Lil’ Bow Wow all dropping albums. Half of these releases would have come out in the first quarter in normal times. In addition, the record labels held back other artists who often relish the first quarter’s traditional opening to make a name for themselves.

It doesn’t make any sense to complain about no sales from new product, if there is no new product. The music industry could expect the consumer to buy old product but I guess not because they do not keeep the shelves full with old product.