Hip Hop Rules the Nation by Billy Jam
SHING02's Top Five of 2003
Todd Inoue's Funky Eight plus 1 more of 2003
Fuck the Bushit! by DJ Killabush
Hip Hop Music Rules The Nation: So Stop Whining in 2004!
by Billy Jam
Who would of thunk? That hip hop music would become America's most popular genre, overtaking
country and rock and every other type of music in sales and airplay. Yep, that once scorned
little bastard of the American pop music family who, since its earliest crossover hits
(Rappers Delight. The Breaks etc) was written off as "a passing fad"
- a "fad" that just wouldn't go away.... but instead overstayed its welcome
well into the eighties and beyond.....steadily building its audience numbers with such
landmark releases as 1992's The Chronic....and countless more into the nineties....up
to the point where it overtook all other genres and landed proudly atop America's pop
music heap. 2001 and 2002 were good years for hip hop/rap but 2003 was an amazing one.
The recently announced 2003 Soundscan figures placed 50 Cent as the
#1 selling album of the year with numerous other hot selling rappers close behind including
Outkast who placed #5 with 3million in album sales in 2003. And that's just the
ones they sold in the USA. You can be sure they also shifted additional millions of CDs
overseas ("Hey Ya" gets more damn play in Europe than here!). Additionally
Outkast also deservedly got nominated for a shitload of Grammys. As an old school
(old geezer) rap fan it still amazes me how this former underdog, which seemed destined
to remain an underground/alternative art form, would beat all the odds and rise to the
top of pop.
Props to all of the pioneers of hip hop, most notably the true creator/pioneer DJ Kool
Herc. And as for all of today's young, well meaning but whiney lil self-appointed
guardians of hip hop culture who, with frowned faces and backpacks full of downloaded
indie hip hop, bitch and moan that 50 Cent or Nelly or Ludicris or
whoever are "not really hip hop....where's the four elements?....blah blah blah"
- to them I say Stop Whining U Lil Biaaatches! And I point out to them that
rap is a part of hip hop even if 50 Cent's gangsta ways dont live up to
their ill-informed, narrow-minded, over-intellectualized, academically confining vision
of what they mistakenly believe hip hop to be. And I remind them of a time when rap/hip
hop got little or no airplay - a time just twenty years ago when artists like Huey
Lewis or even worse were in heavy rotation with no rap to be heard at all.... Think
about it: even the least likable current rap hit is a hell of a lot better to hear on
the radio than some fuckin Barry Manilow joint. Right? End of subject. And may
both you and hip hop have a positive and productive 2004!
FUCK THE BUSHIT!
by DJ Killabush
Bush in 30 Seconds is a contest put on by the MoveOn.org Voter Fund
to pick from all the participants the ad that best tells the truth about Dubya's policies.
For more info go to www.bushin30seconds.org/vote/view
where you can also log in to vote on other ads submitted to the contest.
WAR (if it feels good, do it!) the new anti-WAR compilation released
by Hip Hop Slam continues to get a good reception including write ups in the latest
issues of both WIRE (where Hua Hsu calls it "an excellent collection
of political raps and liberated and rearranged Presidential jibber-jabber....after a while
impossible to tell the splice from the truth") and the East Bay Express
(where Eric K. Arnold says the compilation's 28 tracks offer "examples of
extremely relevant and often satirical sociopolitical commentary").
Meanwhile online Tim Pratt from the PaperSpray BlogSpot wrote that it "serves
up some deliciously harsh critiques of the Bushies, including some clever cut-and-paste
speeches of Dubya...... it's refreshing to hear the hip-hop community coming together
with such a unified voice." (timpratt.blogspot)
Radio stations in Europe, including SPIN 103 in Dublin, Ireland, and many stations
in the US including WFMU and KALX, have been playing the CD. It's also been
getting honorable mentions by respected hip hop critics like Jeff Chang who included
it in his top picks of the year on his cool-ass BlogSpot (cantstopwontstop.blogspot.com).
Speaking of Year End Picks check out both Shing02's and Todd Inoue's Best
of 2003 lists below.
SHING02's TOP FIVE of 2003
1) V.A. "What About US?" (Hard Knock Records)
Much respect to the artists, Nick and Icewater.
2) V.A. "WAR (if it feels good, do it!)" (Hip Hop Slam)
Much respect to the DJs, and of course Billy Jam.
3) The Supplicants "Balance" (Isotope)
These guys are keeping free Jazz alive.
4) Live Human in Japan
It was such a treat to tour with them.
5) Dr. Lonnie Smith live at Yoshi's (Oakland)
Sitting right next to him, his vibe brought tears to my eyes.
* We made it through 2003! Lord willing 2004! *
Todd Inoues Funky Eight + 1 More of 2003
Ill never give up my tables but carrying 5000 songs and megamixes in a device
the size of a cigarette box is kinda fly. Now if the battery would last longer than four
While in New Orleans, I witnessed the impact of this New Orleans bounce pioneer and special
ed teacher. I was at a New Orleans club and the DJ threw on a couple of Jubes joints
and the place went berserk. There was an unbridled fun and purity thats missing
in most hip-hop these days. All his stuff is out of print but Ive lucked out (through
network of all places). Im spreading the Jubilee gospel out west in 2004.
Mighty Crown at StudioZ
My favorite show of 2003, by the Far East Rulers. Crazy amounts of designer dubplates
and foundation tunes. San Jose Earthquake Dwayne DeRosario was in the house, pushing up
Ghetto Celebrity by Donnell Alexander
Journalism, hip-hop, family relations and a lot of bullshittingI related to this
book in a major way
Speakerboxxx/The Love Below - Outkast
Worth the wait, above and beyond expectation. Thank you.
The Anti-War Mix by DJ Z-Trip
Not all DJs are so caught up with themselves so as to ignore the world outside. Also,
check HHSs and Hard Knock Radios consciousness-raising CDs.
2004 is the year I step up my cooking skills but I had some great meals at Defina, Papalote,
Commanders Palace, Acme Oyster House, Oodles of Noodles (Kona), Sam Choys,
Kaita, La Victoria and my neighborhood Vietnamese restaurant Pho My.
Oliver Wang's Classic Material book; Interviewing hip-hop author/UCSC professor
Tricia Rose; Jeff Changs So You Want To Be a Music Journalist class
at Media Alliance; David Choes anti-art; Transporting Kid Koala, DJ Jester and their
crew from North Beach to the Bomb Anniversary Party in the Upper Haight in my tiny ass
Honda Civic. We got there just in time for DJ T-Rock and DJ Quest. Driving through the
crowded streets of San Francisco, I kept thinking, This is waaay too much responsibility.
Getting a Dog
Shoutout to Foxy, the ill nana of Shetland Sheepdogs