Showing posts from August, 2011

Gucci Gucci, Louis louis, Fendi Fendi, Prada
The basic bi*ches wear that sh*t, So I dont even bother
I put that on my partner, I put that on my family
Oakland city representer, address me as your majesty
Kreayshawn, "Gucci Gucci"

Over the 30+ years of its wax-based recorded history, hip-hop has birthed a number of artists with unusual motifs. Afrika Bambaataa, Digital Underground, and Cee-Lo Green/Gnarls Barkley, come to mind. One of the genre's current stars is Nicki Minaj, whose performance-art/cartoon-inspired outfits and antics easily make her a hip-hop analog to Lady Gaga.

Where it concerns racial and gender diversity, the white female rapper has, surprisingly, been starkly rare stateside. Over the years, several mainstream pop and rock artists have dipped their toes into hip-hop based rhythm tracks for singles (Debbie Harry, Madonna, Paula Cole, ChristinaAguilera) and others like Fergie and Ke$ha have integrated…

Currently, Detroit Public Schools are under the control of a governor-appointed Emergency Financial Manager, former General Motors executive Roy Roberts. Plans are underway to merge the lowest performing 5% of statewide schools into a single district, targeting reform until academic standards/graduation rates are raised. Roberts has only been in office since approximately May of 2011, but his tenure has been controversial. Among the complaints against him are a recent announcement of an across-the-board 10% wage cut for teachers in the system, as well as a recent voiding of all contractual based services pending a re-evaluation. Labor interests such as the Detroit Federation of Teachers are promising to fight Roberts' reform efforts in court. This week, controversy struck again, but from a different corridor.

Just the other day, a new federally funded pilot program has been announced for this fall. All children in the …

On August 8, 2011, radio hosts and political commentators Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West's "Poverty Tour" of the United States came to Detroit, Michigan. The event was hosted at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center (Detroit City Hall), in an upper-level auditorium.

In recent years West and Smiley have come under fire for their harsh criticisms of President Barack Obama. Within the past year alone, both men have had on-air arguments with National Action Network president and radio host Rev. Al Sharpton.

There was a contingent of local protesters who came to voice their dissent with West and Smiley as they spoke at the event.

A blog site has uplifted the counter-protest as sensible Detroiters standing up for themselves:

(Incidentally, I really hope their use of 'refudiate' was with ironic intent, since, well, it's not a word)

I'm of the opinion that not all criticisms are created equal. It tak…