Showing posts from May, 2008
Talking Loud and Saying Nothing

"Wack MC's have only one style, gun-buck! But when you say 'let's buck for revolution', they shut the f--- up..." KRS-One, "Ah Yeah", 1995.

So, in the aftermath of the judicial verdict in the Sean Bell case (New York City) and the pending lawsuit in the death of Maurice Cox in Los Angeles, folks in hip-hop circles are wondering about the seeming lack of outrage from most of hip-hop's premier recording stars. Both cases involved an unarmed man who was killed by a barrage of bullets fired by police officers.

Allegedly, 50 Cent meekly eked out a neutral answer when questioned on BET's popular 106 & Park show. In fairness to 50, Curtis Jackson is officially (as in, his tax returns) an entertainer.. as are, well, pretty much all of the hip-hop singers out there. To be sure, they can perform their songs (in the studio, anyway) with charisma, conviction and clarity (regional accents aside). Yet when it comes to, say…

May 3, 2008 @ the Fox Theater, Detroit, was the “Pioneers of Hip-Hop” concert, running from 8 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. The first act was the Sugarhill Gang—at least, the current ‘official’ lineup- four guys and a DJ spinning the discs: The only original member remaining is Big Bank Hank, with others filling in for the original Master G and Wonder Mike (according to Melle Mel’s website, the pair are currently touring as a duo, “The Original Sugarhill Gang”). The group warmed up the crowd spinning excerpts from recent hip-hop hits, then going into “8th Wonder”, “Apache”, and eventually “Rapper’s Delight” (and an encore of the latter closed the set).

The next act was Kurtis Blow. First doing some call & response ad-libs over the “Christmas Rappin” instrumental (via DAT or CD), he then performed “AJ Scratch”, “If I Ruled the World”, “Basketball” and “The Breaks”. He peppered his set with some b-boy moves, and announced that 2008 was his 25th anniversary as an MC.

The fo…