Archive for January, 2009

Obama; The Abridged Chinese Version

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

China is not really ready for Barack Obama or that is what it would seem like from China’s covering of Obama’s inaugural speech. Not only did the live news broadcast cut away when Barack Obama mentioned dissent but parts of his speech were censored when published by the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

According to the Associated Press:

BEIJING – The official Chinese translation of President Barack Obama’s inauguration speech was missing his references to communism and dissent, while a live broadcast on state television Wednesday quickly cut away to the anchor when the topic was mentioned.

The comments by the newly installed U.S. president veered into politically sensitive territory for China’s ruling Communist Party, which maintains a tight grip over the Internet and the entirely state-run media. Beijing tolerates little dissent and frequently decries foreign interference in its internal affairs.

At one point, Obama said earlier generations “faced down communism and fascism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.” He later addressed “those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent … know that you are on the wrong side of history.”

The Chinese translation of the speech, credited to the Web site of the official China Daily newspaper, was missing the word “communism” in the first sentence. The paragraph with the sentence on dissent had been removed entirely.

The censored version was carried by the state-run Xinhua News Agency and posted on popular online portals Sina and Sohu. Another portal, Netease, used a version without the paragraph mentioning communism, but retaining the part about dissent.

As much progress as China has made moving towards a “free-market” system, a lot of progress still needs to be made in terms of moving China toward the direction of freedom including the right to dissent. Free countries let people speak their minds China is clearly not one of them.

Link via Reason.com

The End of The Torture Age

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

Eric Holder, Barack Obama’s appointment for Attorney General testified to Congress yesterday that he believes that waterboarding is torture. This is a big change from the Bush administration in which none of the Attorney Generals said they were against torture. Thankfully, we will have an administration that will return to the rule of law in governing.

Wyclef Jean feat Timbaland – War On Our Hands

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Wyclef Jean has a new club song out featuring Timbaland called War On Our Hands This an okay song I found posted over at The Smoking Section. I notice this song mentions the recession and you know things are bad when dance music recognizes the bad times but then again that seems to do a lot with how hip-hop started.

New Music Stuff

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Here is an interview by that crazy Canadian interviewer Nardwuar of Flava Flav:

Antonio Starr has a new digital TV show with a lot of classic rap.

Nostylegia episode 2 from Antonio Starr on Vimeo.

Nostylegia Episode 4 from Antonio Starr on Vimeo.

Here is a video from ThisIs50 where Ron Brownz talks about “Pop Champagne” and producing generally:

Robbie at unkut.com has a run down of all the different variations of the Queens rap classic The Bridge.

Here is a recent video from Wordsworth speaking on the music industry business:

Paul Wall and Barack Obama

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Paul Wall told HipHopDX that he feels inspired to make more positive music because of the election of Barack Obama:

DX: This is the first time in history that we have a President Elect thats extremely in-tune with urban culture. What type of influence do you think Barack Obama has on Hip Hop?
Paul Wall: I think he has a huge influence because being that he likes Hip Hop, and listens to it; he’s real in touch with what’s going down. Also, I feel like we have a bigger responsibility to uphold our duties as Hip Hop icons, musicians or rappers – whatever you want to call it. We got a responsibility we have to live up to now. You got the President of the country thats down! What if he got my CD in his deck right now, or my new song on his iPod? It’s something that really might happen.

DX: So you feel pressure to make more “positive music”?
Paul Wall: Yeah a little bit man because I voted for Obama. But what if I come out talking ’bout I support Obama this and that, man they going to get on Fox News talking about they got someone like me supporting Obama and I’m talking about sex and drugs and street lifestyle. So I don’t know if he wants that kind of support from somebody like me, but at the same time, those same people talking about drugs and alcohol was supporting [George W.] Bush and he ain’t have a problem with it, so it’s all good. Dude definitely made me sit back and say, “Okay let me make some positive music. Maybe I’ll be performing at his inauguration! Bring my grills.”

It’s a good thing to have hip-hop artists involved in current affairs as influential as Obama has been on the youth.