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MC ‘Single D’ Starkey does The English Riots Rap

Last week the British historian David Starkey got into a lot of trouble on BBC’s Newsnight by claiming that the English riots were caused by “Black” rap culture and praising the notorious politician Enoch Powell. As could be expected his views were jumped on by the far right British National Party, and there has since been a public outcry that many think spells the end of the broadcaster’s career.

Now YouTube user sweetbabyjesus has uploaded a great cut-up video turning Starkey’s statements on the news program into actually quite a passable little rap tune - for an English historian.

There’s also a sequel called “Even Starker”, you can watch it here.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
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‘Bombin’: Street culture from the Bronx to Britain
12:25 pm

Pop Culture

Dick Fontaine

1988’s Bombin’ is another fine documentary on hip hop and graffiti culture directed by Dick Fontaine (Beat This! A Hip Hop History). This time Fontaine chronicles how a scene born in the Bronx travels across the Atlantic and hits the streets of Britain’s ghettos.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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N.A.S.A.: The Spirit of Apollo

For those of our readers lucky enough to live here in Los Angles (try to get that earlier post out of your mind, if possible) tonight at the Hammer Museum as part of their Flux series, Dangeorus Minds pal Syd Garon will debut his new film, co-directed with Sam Spiegal: N.A.S.A. The Spirit of Apollo..

Syd writes:

I’ve been working on a documentary about the band N.A.S.A. and the making of their first record for a few years now. We took behind the scenes footage from recording sessions and mixed it in with animation on top of the picture as well as excerpts from the animated music videos. The animation was a collaboration between fine artists like Marcel Dzama, The Date Farmers, Sage Vaughn, Shepard Fairy and director/animators such as Logan, 3 Legged Leg, Florescent Hill as well as myself. The music is based around unusual collaborations, David Byrne and Chuck D., Tom Waits and Kool Keith, Method Man and E-40, Old Dirty Bastard and Karen O.

The show starts Tuesday Aug 2nd, 8 pm sharp at The Hammer Museum in L.A. The will be live custom screen printed t-shirts, food, drinks, N.A.S.A. will play a DJ set after the show, and a bunch of other stuff. The screening is free, open to the public and there is plenty of cheap parking. RSVP suggested.

An exclusive excerpt from the upcoming film N.A.S.A. The Spirit of Apollo. Sam records Kool Keith in his studio while Tom Waits literally phones it in. The animation here is incredible.

Below, N.A.S.A. “Money” (feat. David Byrne, Chuck D, Ras Congo, Seu Jorge, & Z-Trip). Art by Shepard Fairey. Directors: Syd Garon & Paul Griswold

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Funky ass summer song of the year: ‘Youtube Girl’

Photo: Clayton Cubitt.
The Bounce is still very much alive and Mr. Ghetto and Young Sizzle ain’t gonna let you forget it. “Youtube Girl” is my favorite summer song of the year so far. I love me some Bounce and just about anything from New Orleans, from the food to the music to the booty, makes me extremely randy.

The girls are Bouncin’ everywhere, even at the Walmart! The Bounce will not be denied. And it’s about time all those bouncin’ bootys on Youtube got a little respect and recognition.

Nutthin’ says summer like a steaming pile of gravity-defying gluteus maximus.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Download Ghostface Killah bootleg album ‘Ghostfunk’ for free

Ghostfunk is a Ghostface Killah mashup album by the producer Max Tannone, who describes it thusly:

Released in July 2011, Ghostfunk pairs one of my favorite hip-hop artists, Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah, with vintage African funk, high-life, and psychedelic rock music.

This is really good, and definitely worthy of a free download. You can get it from Max’s website or directly from this link.

Ghostfunk by Max Tannone
Thanks Tara McGinley!

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
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Beat This!: A hip hop history
04:55 pm


Beat This: A hip hop history

The terrific Beat This!: A Hip hop History takes us up through roots of hip hop culture starting in the late 1970s in the South Bronx and features Kool Herc, Planet Rock, Kurtis Blow, Jazzy Jay, Afrika Bambaataa, Malcolm McClaren and many more. Great vintage footage of Manhattan, the Bronx, beatboxing, graffiti and breakdancing.

Directed by the British film maker Dick Fontaine.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Sesame Street crew covers The Beastie Boys

The Sesame Street crew get crazy with the Beastie Boys’ “Sure Shot.”

This was put together by British branding and graphics company Wonderful Creations.

Grover is groovin’.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Lou Reed: 1989 Rock Against Drugs p.s.a.

Lou Reed and his specialized mullet dispense words of hard-earned street wisdom. You know, for the kids.

Drgz: I stp’d.
U shu’nt strt.


With thanks to Ian Schultz

Posted by Brad Laner | Discussion
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‘Nobody Canna Cross It’: Forget Auto-tune, Jamaica’s DJ Powa riddim-izes the news

If you’re looking for some news-video manipulation that’s funkier than the the Gregory Brothers’ oft-annoying high-register hip-pop treatments, you’re in luck. Out of Kingston, Jamaica’s University of Technology comes marketing student Kevin-Sean Hamilton, who as DJ Powa created the tune and video for “Nobody Canna Cross It (Di Bus Can Swim)”, the most viral video to come out of that country.

Cut from a TVJ report on flooding from the Yallahs River in eastern Jamaica’s St. Thomas parish, “Nobody Canna Cross It” spotlights the declarations of river worker Clifton Brown, who Powa’s made into a folk hero with a sick backing track and some deft video editing. It’s a perfect example of the unique way that Jamaicans find humor in bad news—or as they say in patois, “tek serious mek laugh.”

Of course, both Brown and the song  have their own Facebook pages, and thankfully, Kingston-based videographer Simon “Sno” Thompson (a.k.a. Yosef Imagination) is looking to set up a fundraiser to help build that bridge for the people of St. Thomas.

After the jump: DJ Powa’s take on last year’s deadly unrest in Tivoli Gardens in West Kingston…

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Discussion
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Richard Morris’ ‘Tyler: The Creator, or an Old Skool Sexist?’

Amid the ongoing internet brouhaha surrounding Tyler The Creator’s lyrical content, this article from the website Soundblab is the best I have read on the subject so far, and pretty accurately nails the problems I have with Tyler’s approach to writing about sex and abuse. Yeah, I get that he’s still a kid so hasn’t had a great deal of real life experience in these areas, but like so many of the other excuses brought up in this debate, that’s still pretty weak. Richard Morris writes:

Now, there are three arguments being put forward to explain, excuse and otherwise justify Tyler’s lyrical concerns. These arguments are the same ones which get put forward time and time again when hip hop artists produce dubious lyrics: he’s just reflecting his background; he just repeating what’s everywhere in hip hop culture; he’s playing with a persona. A moment’s reflection is all you need to work out that that last excuse can’t exist with the first two. Either Tyler is honestly reflecting where he comes from and the culture he’s surrounded by, or he’s concocted a character as satire or narrative aid. It can’t be both.


However, if you still want to buy into any or all of those arguments listed above, fine, but I have a question for you: where are all the songs by female artists about attacking and raping men? If that seems a ridiculous thing to ponder, ask yourself why. Why does it make sense for a man to rap about raping a woman but not the other way round? The answer, when you pick it apart, is probably that there would be no audience for those kind of songs. Similarly, there’s not much call for songs where gay artists have a go at straight people. No one would buy into that kind of stupid prejudice. Gay activists would condemn it as counter-productive.

Tyler, the Creator has identified an audience and, with the media’s help, he’s milking that for all it’s worth. That audience is primarily made up of white young men. A couple of weeks ago, Hamish MacBain took Tyler to task in the pages of NME, pointing out that Odd Future had bypassed the traditional hip hop audience, instead crossing over quickly to the kind of alternative music fans who read Pitchfork, the Guardian and, hey, Soundblab. It’s exactly these alternative, typically liberal-leaning fans who repeatedly let hip hop artists off the hook when it comes to misogynistic and homophobic lyrics.

For me the problem is not so much that these excuses are not applicable - it’s that twenty years after the release of Death Certificate we’re still having the exact same debate. We’ve not moved on. It’s disheartening to see that popular hip-hop has devolved into a negatized musical format whose primary function is to piss off suburban parents, and where shock tactics outweigh genuine insight. Much of the blame for this can be heaped on the feet of the media, but surely the music is just as much at fault too? Because to me Tyler’s lyrics do not feel in any way transgressive. Really, they don’t, they’re the same old thing I have heard countless times before. If you do think they are transgressive, then I would say you are part of a social group that has thankfully never been subject to the threat of rape or abuse. Tyler’s lyrics simply re-enforce the status quo, and as such they’re just boring.

Read all of Richard Morris’ excellent article here. Soundblab also has another article defending Tyler’s lyrical content, by James Bray, which you can read here.


Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
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