OFF the NET: We Mean Really “OFF THE NET”

by Shaheem Reid for MTV.com

Hip-hop Web sites SOHH.com and AllHipHop.com were forced to temporarily suspend access to their sites on Friday (June 27) after being targeted this week by an apparent hate group.

Both companies’ sites were hacked, and instead of the usual hip-hop related news articles and feature stories, readers were shocked to find fake headlines and obviously photoshopped pictures saturated with racial slurs and other offensive terms; the hackers also stole personal information about employees of SOHH.com. A group or individual going by the name “Anonymous” has claimed responsibility.

SOHH was first infiltrated earlier this week on its forum pages and shut itself down on Friday; AllHipHop.com also had its forums compromised. AllHipHop was back up on Friday evening.

SOHH CEO Felicia Palmer, who was attacked with derogatory comments by the hackers, released a statement Friday saying that she and the company were working diligently to solve the problem and have been in contact with authorities.

“It appears that hackers are specifically targeting Black, Hispanic, Asian and Jewish youth who ascribe to hip-hop culture,” the statement read. “Other websites, including AllHipHop and DatPiff[.com’s] forums have also been compromised or threatened this week. … Also, as this is an international issue, it is being addressed by the FBI and the Strategic Alliance Cyber Crime Working Group.”

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IN THE NEWS: DMX Arrested

It’s hard out here for a dog and for rappers.

According to Miami-Dade police rapper DMX was arrested Thursday afternoon as he tried to buy cocaine and marijuana from an undercover officer.

DMX, 37, approached the officer and asked for “30 powder and 15 weed,” or $30 worth of cocaine and $15 worth of marijuana. D gave the officer $45 before being arrested and is being held at Miami-Dade County jail.

He was also arrested Monday on a warrant for not having a valid driver’s license
and taken  in he was later released on a $500 bond.

The gruff-rapper has been dogged by brushes with the law over the last year.

He is awaiting trial on drug and animal cruelty charges in Arizona. Police in May
raided his home in Maricopa County, where deputies say they found 12 neglected pitbulls. He has pleaded not guilty in that case.

The popular rapper and actor also pleaded guilty in 2002 on similar animal cruelty and
drug charges out of New Jersey.

(EDITOR”S NOT- WTF!  DMX ya too old for all this dog, he looking like a straight basehead from the photo or somebody’s broke down daddy)

 

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MIX of the WEEK: The Candy Mix

Once again its on..

Since June is officially “Candy Month” why not call it the candy mix?  Besides you’ll notice all these children samples and songs up in there AND DJ- A-See actually plays Kandy by LL.

The Tracklist

(The day is coming when I will get these songs put in straight – DJ A-SEE)

1) Seame Street Theme
2) I’m The Cookie Monster – SM Krause
3) Charlie Hustle – Glory
4) Kanday – Instrumental
5) Kanday – LL Cool J
6) Kanday – Instrumental
7) Rock the Bells (ORIGINAL) – LL Cool J
8 ) Gimme Mine – Instrumental

9) Whylen Out – Diverse ft. Mos Def
10) Supa Jean – Jean Grae
11) Wrath of My Madness – Queen Latifah
12) Princes of the Posse – Queen Latifah
13) Just A Beat – Instrumental
14) Paris Tokyo – Lupe Fiasco
15) Say – Method Man

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OFF the NET: Still The Love of My Life

by Vincent Williams for citypaperonline

So, apparently, Puffy went and saw Kanye West perform a couple of weeks ago, and the concert was so good that it inspired the Puffster to, his words now, “fall in love with hip-hop again.” We know this because, being Puffy, he’s not allowed to do anything without broadcasting it to the world, and he released a video all over the internet proclaiming his transformative moment. All hateration aside, and God knows I’ve been hating Puffy now for, wow, almost two decades, I have to admit that he has a point. Many of us who love hip-hop do have to be reminded now and again why we actually stay around and put up with all the foolishness that goes along with it.

For the record, I’ve never really understood the “crazy relationship.” Everybody knows someone who’s been in one, and many of us have participated. There’s cheating and broken china and ransacked rooms and pathetic justifications for all that behavior. One of my best friends was in one of those relationships, and, boy oh boy, that was a wacky thing to behold. Every time we’d go out to his car, the rest of us would wonder, Well, what’s happened to Teddy’s car today? Slashed tires? Sugar in the gas tank? Brick through the windshield? Oh! It’s the word liar keyed out on the passenger-side door! Very classy. But them fools swore they loved each other and stayed together much longer than was healthy for all involved.

Now, me, I always thought this kind of thing was ridiculous. In my mind, it’s hard enough just navigating through the world without having to deal with foolishness in your life. Your house should be about peace, not chaos. But, as I was thinking about this column and Puffy’s declaration of renewed love, I realized, Hip-hop is my crazy girlfriend.

Like Common, I met this girl when I was 10 years old, but, unlike him, it wasn’t love at first listen at all. No, I liked a couple of songs, and, yeah, as I got older, I thought Run-DMC was real good and, boy, that Rakim sounds like an actual poet, and doing the cabbage patch to Rob Base’s “Joy and Pain” is the thing to do, and Public Enemy certainly is giving me a lot to think about, but hip-hop as a form? Well . . . it’s a’ight. No, my Road to Damascus moment came with A Tribe Called Quest’s People’s Instinctive Travels and Paths of Rhythm. After staying in my room for five hours straight, only moving to flip the demo over on my DJ roommate’s stereo, like millions before me, I fell heads over heels in love with hip-hop.

FOR THE REST OF THE STORY CLICK HERE

 

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OFF the NET: Voting Ain’t Enough, Ya Gotta Organize

by Vanessa E. Jones for the Bostin Globe

Hip-hop has always been political. It was founded as a genre that detailed the socioeconomic problems New York City youths encountered in the 1970s. But four years ago hip-hop stepped into the arena of electoral politics. Sean “Diddy” Combs launched the Vote or Die campaign to encourage people to vote. Russell Simmons’s Hip-Hop Summit Action Network took an active role in registering voters. A Hip Hop Convention in New Jersey sought to create an agenda of issues important to the community.

more stories like thisThe political engagement was at least a numerical success. In 2004, 49 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds voted in the presidential election, a 9 percent increase over turnout among that age group in the 2000 race, according to a February report by Rock the Vote. But for some people, the end result of the activity proved disappointing.

“I was not happy with what I felt was a lack of an agenda,” Jamarhl Crawford, the 37-year-old founder of the Boston chapter of the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, said of the 2004 Hip Hop Convention, which he attended.

Hip-hop is taking another stab at politics this year. Mariah Carey, Russell Simmons, and Jay-Z have endorsed Barack Obama. Simmons launched Hip Hop Team Vote just before the Pennsylvania Democratic primary to register voters. Another Hip Hop Convention is scheduled for Las Vegas beginning July 28.

But this time, the grass-roots organizations that previously provided support to the national programs are exploring ways to effect political change locally. These groups introduce people to issues affecting their communities – as Crawford has done by educating those in Roxbury and Dorchester about a Boston Police Department plan to search homes without warrants – or teach people how to change public policies they don’t like through their political representatives and grass-roots organizing.

During a recent panel discussion at Northeastern University about hip-hop and politics, Jeff Johnson, 37, a former vice president of the Hip Hop Summit Action Network who’s on the BET programs “Cousin Jeff Chronicles” and “Meet the Faith,” attributed the disconnect felt by some participating in the hip-hop political movement in 2004 to the organizers’ focus on the presidential campaign. “The problem with it,” Johnson said, “was there was very little substance underneath that movement. Vote or Die, but I’m not going to tell you how. Vote or Die, but I’m not going to help you organize.”

FOR THE REST OF THE STORY CHECK HERE

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The HIP-HOP PURIST

Gnarls  Barkley’s Odd Couple Unexpectedly Moving

I have read a few reviews of The Odd Couple by Gnarls Barkley. The negative ones piss me off.

I know they shouldn’t, but they do. Everyone wants another “Crazy.” Please STFU!

The first Gnarls album was an underground project that caught on to the Britney Spears crowd. That does not give the Britney Spears crowd the right (oh, the audacity!) to judge any form of genuine art. I don’t mean for my hatred of the mainstream to come out so blatantly, but it is what it is.

A friend of mine did a post on Gnarls on a small forum I administrate way before the first album was released. I heard “Crazy” and immediately related to the lyrics. I’ve been there before — and I may be there again. It brings me comfort knowing I’m not the only one. I still bump the rest of St. Elsewhere, only skipping “Gone Daddy Gone” and “Necromancing.” It’s a solid album.

The Odd Couple is just as solid. I downloaded it before the release date. I burned a copy before work one day and gave it a listen on the way into the plantation. “Who is Gonna Save My Soul” took my attention off of the road. I almost had to pull over to get my bearings. I had no idea why that song hit me so hard at first. When Ceelo asked “But what about what I need!?!?”, it moved me. I replayed that song a few times too many that day. I even snuck a listen in the parking lot during work hours (shhhhh). I cannot listen to the song anymore, but the reason it hit me so hard is because of my Great Grandfather.

Daddy Yank died when I was 12. I was an altar boy at his funeral. It disturbed me how many teary eyes I saw in the audience because of the way he died. As a pre-teen, I even felt I could do more to relieve his suffering. That man had an everlasting effect on me. I still make my decisions based upon what I think he would think of me.

That song, as far as I am concerned, was written by someone who had a similar person in their life. Ceelo opens with “I got some bad news this morning, which in turn made my day.” I remember the phone call telling me Daddy Yank was dead. That is exactly how I felt. My tears were delayed for a few months. They still show up every now and then when I am alone.

Daddy Yank’s daughter died recently — which brings me to “She Knows.” This is obviously a song about Ceelo’s mom. He doesn’t explain what <i>she knows</i>, which makes that knowledge seem boundless. He sings “It wouldn’t surprise me to see her ghost — she would like me to know she knows.” If that ain’t my Grandmother, DJ Premiere is wack. To me, that one line is the song. The beat is fast-paced, simple and muffled. This only makes me pay more attention to the lyrics. That was a song that snuck up on me.

There is one song on the album that is actually rapped. “A Little Better” is yet another song I seem to have a close personal connection with. We have all had problems. We will all have more problems. While dealing with our problems, it is helpful to know they are temporary. And more importantly, the problem is not as important as it seems. Ceelo reminds us that “everything is fine, take your time. What would be on your mind if you knew you were dying?” Exactly!

There a few one-liners to live by on this album:

”Anyone who needs what they want and does not want what they need – I want nothing to do with” – from “Going On”

“Hurt people hurt people” – from “Would be Killer”

“But when the child grows to have more than just your eyes — don’t be surprised” – from “Surprise”

“I am no coward, so I’ll only die one time” – from “Open Book”

Maybe my kindred feelings for the songwriter bias my opinion of the album. Maybe I am reaching to think that the humanity of the topics should automatically give the album mainstream appeal. Or maybe, just maybe — no one is listening in the first place.

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CLIP of the WEEK: I’m Not Scared of Ice Cube Anymore

Some folks here at grownheadz thought this clip was kinda funny. Some others thought differently.

Point/Counterpoint: “I’m Not Afraid of Ice Cube Anymore”

Point: This dude’s song is cute on the surface. To use his own words against him, Ice Cube “used to be hard, now he’s all red and soft.” Is he done yet (laugh track here)?

But underneath it, something in this smacks of condescension and ownership. We all know what happened the last time white folks got too comfortable with ownership.

Is it Cube’s job to keep middle-aged white guys scared? Is his artistic/commercial merit dependent on providing the children of the power elite with vicarious thrills of a ghetto life they know they’ll never have to confront?

I know Cube isn’t the gangsta he used to be (at least, on wax). I want him to put out realer music too. I want to hear Cube rap about his bougie-ass kids trying to be gangsta, the political process behind making his movies, being married, Black Hollywood and the rich man remix of “Today was a good day.” I don’t need Cube to scare me with tales from the hood; his lyrical talent is monster enough.

Counterpoint: This song is funny, though.

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BOUGIE – Reap What You Sow

Reaping Rewards

In the previous week, I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of “sowing.” In two unrelated spheres, it’s stood out to me as a concept to examine and embrace.

First, an e-mail quote by Robert Louis Stevenson: “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.” I have a tendency to look at life by what’s NOT being accomplished. The to-do list tasks that pile up, undone. The unreturned e-mails. The contacts to contact that I haven’t contacted. In the missing blanks of a thriving business, a successful relationship, a fat bank account — that’s where I look for proof of what’s going right.

But if I were to start judging my days on the seeds I’ve planted, I would see a fertile plain and a rich crop for the future. There are emails I have sent, applications I’ve put in, people I have connected with, encouragement I’ve given, prayers I’ve prayed. And the result of yesterday’s seeds planted me in the life I lead now — why should it be any different going forward?

The other forum on the seed/planting concept arose from a discussion I had the other day with a young man who is “sowing his wild oats.” To his way of thinking, he wants to experience everything early on, so that by the time he settles down and gets married he won’t be tempted to cheat. On the surface, it’s a great idea, and certainly one answer to the classic “why men cheat” question. But when I thought about it a little deeper, I found it to be naive. Unfortunately, we can’t safeguard against future circumstances.

What if the root of infidelity in a marriage comes not from lack of youthful experience, but from boredom? Or loss of a child, creating distance between partners? Or workaholism, alcoholism, chauvinism? Why not have the seeds we plant today show us how to bond with one another, and seek to find the ultimate experience in one person rather than a multitude under the guise of “sowing wild oats?”

If a seed bears the fruit of the tree, then what can you expect from the seeds you’re sowing?

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ALBUM of the WEEK: Akrobatik – Absolute Value

This week we feature Akrobatic straight out of Boston Mass. Ak has been around for a minute in fact its been 5 years since his last release Balence, in 2003 (we’ll have put that up one week it’s  nice ).  In between he hooked up with Mr. Lif and DJ Faktsone  to become  The Perceptionist, and dropped Black Dialogue (another true banger) in 2005.  Anyway if you like fat beats, and clever rhymes Absolute Value is definately one to pick up. Just a reminder: these are not the complete songs, just 90-second clips so you can get a feel for the music. If you like what you hear, buy the CD. If we want good hip hop to flourish, we’ve gotta support the artists.  Check out the interview below of Akrobatic discussing his the album from few months ago on Nobody’s Smiling.com 
MusicPlaylist

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OFF the NET: Akrobatik- One Man Show

by Silver Garnier from NobodySmiling.com

His rhymes are filled with references to his hometown as if he was trapped in a cocoon, and never traveled outside the city limits, even though the same Massachusetts metaphors have brought him all around the globe. This one-third of the trio known as The Perceptionists can usually be spotted wearing something that lets the anyone who comes in contact with him know exactly where he’s from, via New England Patriots or Red Sox jerseys. With his full beard, trademark dreads, a physical stature resembling a linebacker more than an MC, and his conscious way with words—he can easily be thought of as the anti-Christ of commercialism and an A&R’s worst nightmare. But luckily for you, he’s not the type to give a damn about what you think. He first came to prominence back in 1998 and by 2000, his sociable content and his ability to pronounce words properly caught the attention of hookah-smoking rebellious college students everywhere through college radio. By 2003, his first album released, Balance, and he had placement for his material on shows like HBO’s The Wire. With five years removed from his first project, he returns in 2008 with Absolute Value. And the title fits the LP that boats a lineup that would make any artist salivate, mainstream or not. During this conversation he assures those that choose to read it why he has no plans on changing to secure a spot with the “in-crowd,” and how a safety net is not needed for his tight rope act, because he doesn’t plan on falling down anytime soon.

Nobodysmiling.com : What’s good with you these days Akro?

Akrobatik : It’s crazy, it’s been unbelievable for like over a month right now, and it’s staring to catch up with me. But physically I’m geared up right now, so I’m good.

Nobodysmiling.com : Are you still feeling any effects from the Patriots hangover? [Laughs]

Akrobatik : Oh we going right to that huh? [Laughs] Yeah it was a tough one man, definitely. It was a tough game to be at, but it was a fun trip. Like everything leading up to the game was a good time, I can’t really complain. It would’ve been nice if the boys pulled it out, but the reality is—they’ve already given us three Super Bowl victories and that would’ve been the icing on the cake. But we’re still a good squad, and we’ll be back next year.

Nobodysmiling.com : So what’s the difference between 2003’s Balance and 2008’s Absolute Value?

Akrobatik : On this album, I feel like I had more of a focus on just keeping it funky, man. I didn’t necessarily have too many conceptual songs on this record—I just wanted to have fun. Just to put out some quality Hip-Hop. I feel like that is what Hip-Hop is missing man, just having fun with some dope rhymes. Everybody is so focused on just coming up with a formula, to sell something. So I figured that if I just put out a quality CD, it would speak for itself.

Nobodysmiling.com : Why such a long layoff in between albums?

Akrobatik : Well there were groups projects that took a lot of time and energy, and plus we were touring. I spent a lot of time on the road. And also I had to take the time to secure the project because there are so many people on it. There were so many different things I had to get. Like people had to write their verses, and I had to get-up with so many different people. There was a lot of legwork involved. 
 

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