Friday, March 18, 2005

"Good afternoon, I'm Jim McDermott and I represent Seattle."


Restoring Privacy to Young People
For Immediate Release - Thursday, March 17, 2005

Congressman McDermott delivered the following remarks at the opening of a press conference where he and Representatives Stark and Woolsey joined members of the punk rock band "Anti Flag" highlighting the groups launch of a nationwide petition drive to the fix the "No Child Left Behind Act." A provision in the act gives military recruiters access to student records.

Good afternoon, I'm Jim McDermott and I represent Seattle. Let me be clear. I own styling gel, but I left it home today. And before I had white hair, I sported a look not all that dissimilar from those here today.

Let me recognize my good friend and colleague Pete Stark, who represents Freemont, California.

I also want to introduce some very interesting young men from Pittsburgh. They are Justin Sane, Chris #2, Chris Head and Pat Thetic. I first met this Punk band- Anti Flag- last fall when they led a nationwide drive to get young people registered to vote.

If you want to know why voter turnout among young people last November was so large, these people are a big part of the reason. The future belongs to them and they are taking charge of it, and not a moment too soon the way things are going around here.

Pete and I are veterans. I served in the U.S. Navy and Pete in the United States Air Force. We support our soldiers. Don't let anyone mislead you into thinking otherwise.

We're here today to call attention to something that has no place in a free society and no place in a volunteer army. Under a provision buried in the No Child Left Behind law, military recruiters have access to private student information.

High schools across America are drug-free, alcohol-free and weapons-free; they should also be military-free. Every branch of the military has a multi-million dollar advertising budget; there's plenty of money and plenty of access without invading privacy.

When they are not doing concerts, Justin Sane and Pat Thetic are writing op-ed pieces that are appearing in major newspapers across the country.

Recently, Justin Sane wrote in an op-ed, "It's no secret that military recruitment is down, retention is down and U.S. forces are spread paper-thin."




"The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life."
- Muhammad Ali, Playboy, 1975

"I am just a person that has taken initiative, recognizes opportunity, plans, and then executes. We feel like we have to knock off the one guy that's on the top or whose career is going better than others. There is enough money for everybody."
- Ice Cube, Upscale, February 2005

"Reality is wrong. Dreams are for real."
- 2Pac (shaken in by Passion)

"I want to give you a baby."
- Flavor Flav to Brigette Neilson, MTV's Strange Love - (shaken in by MsKyle)

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."
- Nelson Mandela (shaken in by Alicia)

"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my friend."
- (shaken in by 44suthernladi)

"The most intense time I ever had in the studio was the first time I met Scarface. I told him I needed 16 bars for my album and I’d be at the studio at 9:30 p.m. At 9:30 he came walking in by himself. He sat down, took a pen and a pad. He wrote about three words and said, “I don’t need this.” He started rocking his head and just vibing out. He went into the booth and just started spitting.

It was so hard and so intense! By the time he hit about the 24th bar, he was just screaming, and he ran away from the mic. We were just standing there looking at him. He disappears and then runs back to the mic. He started doing jumping jacks, acting like he was boxing, and started screaming. And when he stopped, he ran out the booth and just left the studio. And he just jetted. He didn’t say, ‘I’ll see you later” or nothing. And the verse was so mean! The record ended up being "I Never Like Ya Ass" with Fat Joe, Scarface, and Raekwon on Streetsweeper Vol. 1 never seen no shit like that in my life."
- DJ Kayslay, Scratch, Mar/Apr 2005

"Here are a couple of steps you can take to make sure your mix sounds good no matter where it’s played.. Always be sure to A/B your own tracks next to tracks you are trying to emulate – if your track sounds as good as a commercial recording.. it should sound almost as good anywhere."
- Young Guru, Scratch, Mar/Apr 2005

"I was a fuckin’ nerd. And I’m still a fuckin’ nerd.. Every two years, I dramatically changed the way I dressed. Before I started getting notoriety, I was considered kind of a weirdo. When Prada sneakers first came out, I wore them with jeans, and people said, ‘Where are your Jordans?’ I would wear all these colors years ago, and dudes would be like, ‘What are you doin?’ Now it’s cool to be vivid.. Look at the trucker hat. I can’t say it’s me. I got it from The Dukes of Hazzard. It seemed like Uncle Jesse wore one in every episode. I just always thought there was something cool about it."
- Pharrell, Vibe, March 2005

"A mom and her daughter were walking by a house and the daughter sees these people having sex and the little girl asks, "Mommy what are they doing?" And the mom replies, "Baking a cake." The next day the little girl asks the same thing and the mom replies the same thing.. "Baking a cake." And the little girl says, "That's right. Thats what you and daddy were doing last night on the lawn!" And the mom says, "How do you know?" Then the little girl says, "Because I tasted some of the frosting."
- (shaken in by BKstyle07)

"ReaL eyes. Realize. Real Lies"
- (shaken in by DeeDee)

"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
- John Wooden

"All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure."
- Mark Twain

"When you die you're going to regret the things you don't do."
- Al Pacino, Glengary GlenRoss, 1992



Thursday, March 17, 2005

T-Dot Hip Hop: Keepin' It Realer Than Real...


I've been politikin' with a lot of thugs, backpackers, consciousouls, yuppies, headz, and other hip hop fans recently, and I've discovered that we mirror Toronto's mentality a bit too well...

Straight-up: Montreal is "cooler" than us.

Same with New York.

(Obviously? Sadly, that's our attitude...)

Now don't shit on me: T-Dot's my wife, I've been here all my life, and she's beautiful... with a healthy dose of shtrife.

(I'm not going to waste my time on irritating qualifiers, so you can insert a "but not everyone's like this!" wherever you want.)


We're neurotically arrogant, often talking about where we're going instead of where we're at, and lacking the confidence to simply explain who we are, where we are, and what we're doing right now. Being fairly comfortable in a very stable environment, we pick fights with each other to keep it "real" or chase that "paper", picking artificial enemies for some sort of "shtruggle" that mirrors the struggles of other cities in the hopes of producing inspirational music... that often ends up sounding hollower than most.

For years I've felt (like others I've said this to) that T-Dot hip hop has "the volume turned down", as the thugs ain't as "thug", the conscious ain't as "conscious", the backpack ain't as "packin'", the jiggy ain't as "jiggy", and so on. Part of this may be reactionary - we've got supposedly "real" hip hop from the U.S. getting major airplay to compete with, but we also prefer to hate before we relate - intimidating artists into not being great. There may also be the shaky foundation of trying to fake NY/LA or other "real hip hop" styles to compete, and then lacking the "real" soul of an artist by aiming to follow the rules of hip hop rather than using the rules to develop one's own new style. This can also keeps artists from putting enough feeling into what they're saying, since they execute their vision from a limiting template of "can't do this" or "can't say that"...

If we set rules on how we create, it limits us creatively...


Canadian culture has a defeatist attitude passed down through generations growing up seeing the difference between Canadian movies and television (bad lighting) and a superior American product, plus a lack of musical infrastructure - which is bullshit, you can see a thousand tiny pieces of it in the flyers you'll pick up over a week downtown, and an apparent lack of desire to cooperate in building it.

It's like too many wanna do it on their own, blow up, and come back and laugh at everybody for not supporting them coming up. Too many MC's also complain about their lack of shine in bland repetitive platitudes, like they're following the rules of "real complainin' hip hop", hardly the stuff of inspiration to anyone other than struggling MC's. I know: I'm on the inside and the outside, and I'll respect anyone doing what they want on principle, but paradoxically it'll be hella hard to crossover...


We've got phenomenal talent, with nice flows, lyrics and presence, but too many artists are unable to break through the metaphorical "wall" between them and the crowd, where you can't possibly turn away when they're on the mic since they're so passionate about what they're saying. And for a city that hasn't blown-up on the international scene (save for a handful of artists we often disrespect), our ideas on "keeping it real" seem really stupid.

First of all, there is no "real" hip hop, not with so many definitions that break down under cross-examination, just artists keeping it "real" by being true to who they are and their vision of what they want to create.

Even the "two greatest" (R.I.P. guys - if you can with all this nonsense going on) never did everything they rapped about: Biggie hardly dealt crack and didn't have a horrible upbringing in a "one-room shack" (ask his Mom - Nick Broomfield did), while 2Pac only sold drugs for two weeks because he was no good at it - surely not 700 songs worth of experience. Yet, they were both exposed to the 'hood and learned what they could, crafting street-tales that ring-true 10 years later because they were "feeling" what they were saying as opposed to "living" it all the time, while those "living" it all the time felt Big'n'Pac's honesty in "feeling" their struggle.

I don't have to be Rwandan to feel Hotel Rwanda or the awful genocide they experienced, I may even write a song about it if I feel inspired to. Plus, one of the goals of hip hop has been to bring stories of ghetto-struggles to the world, so after 25 years of hip hop don't be surprised when people empathize... wasn't that the point?


If we collectively agreed on "rules" for hip hop, then we wouldn't have the ATL, STL, L.A., Chi-town, Philly-soul, and all the hip hop created around the world that has the soul of the first global cultural revolution. Everybody should be allowed to create the music they want: can you imagine if someone told The Roots to put those goddamn guitars away 'cause "real" hip hop is always "two-turntables and a microphone"? And if Jay-Z stuck to his "Reasonable Doubt" style or rapped about "conscious" subjects exclusively? Would he be worth $300 million and dating Beyonce? Probably not... so can you knock this 'hood-hustler's hella-hustle? Do you want to be worth $300 million and dating Beyonce? And didn't these guys work together on an "Unplugged"? So where's the beef?



For everybody that craps on K-OS waiting for the Canadian 50 Cent to blow up (minus the exchange rate), we have to realize that we can't possibly mimic the conditions in American ghettos that produce their artists, and that for every bullet-riddled rapper that blows up there's a million others who simply do their crime and time and never get their shine. We'll (hopefully) never have black helicopters crusing the ghetto's doing fake military exercises designed to frighten and control the population, because: a) we don't have much of a military; and b) the Metro Toronto police were denied a chance to buy even ONE police helicopter.

(By the way, we should be thankful for this...)

Each scene seems to want to stake their own claim on hip hop, with various handfulz of headz claiming they keep it "real" by not being down with the "bling" - as if everyone shaking their ass and having fun is a complete idiot, and as if headz never want to party to old-school "pre-bling" party music. People do what they want, "bling" is so much damn fun that millions worldwide are feeling it - and allowing the old Anglo-Saxon world to be morphed by it, which is a good thing for all of hip hop as a unifying force for change. When Snoop Dogg and Lil' Jon are global icons still keeping it real pimpin' porno and crunk, that proves how far hip hop has come...


It's also been proven that if you make your music "musical" people will feel it no matter what you're saying. Hell, Bob Marley had a 100 million white fans screaming "Exodus!", like dead prez has 100,000 white fans screaming "I'm An African!"

The quality of the underground scene is not lacking in musicality, but any casual fans who roll up and are asked to "choose" between an artificial idea of "real hip hop" and their normal taste in music are simply being insulted: I owe you nothing, and if you make me choose, I'll choose crews that respect different views...

I'm calling for a truce, a fresh-start, 'cause at the end of the day when we're old and grey we'll look back on this beef as bullshit anyway - so why not start now?


I don't play anyone's music I don't want to, but I respect what they're trying to build and how they're reppin' themselves artistically, and in a country that's a source of a staggering variety of good music. As a nation we're supposed to represent harmonious diversity as a role-model for the world, and we're shooting ourselves in the foot by not embracing this naturally occuring in Canadian hip hop. The optics are awful - even to ourselves, and we can take over the world if we simply "feel" each other's struggles and points of view the way we should living here, and build our scene together as opposed to getting pissed-off at whose reppin' us differently than we want to. Can you imagine any 'hood or country reppin' as many different styles as well as T-Dot or Canada? We're already killing the game in rock music...

Jealousy breeds hate, and to logically justify this "keepin' it real" nonsense is intellectually bankrupt.

Peace and Change...

P.S. And NikeBasketball's "WHAT IS TEAM? STRENGTH IN NUMBERS." ads are slowing down my computer and trying to turn us into ants.

Still got some damn nice shoes though...


(the penultimate sacrifice...)


"In this week's Pulse Report, the streets are buzzing about P. Diddy recruiting Common and Talib Kweli..."

1. Common and Talib Kweli ghostwrite for Diddy.

Several months after his Vote Or Die campaign, sources tell that Diddy is apparently looking to express his new penchant for politics on his next album. Puff has enlisted the services of socially aware emcees Common and Talib Kweli to pen some of his material. Meanwhile, rapper/producer Kanye West is on board to produce several tracks for Puff's new project, which is currently in the works. The record is reportedly Diddy's last solo album.


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

"Well ma'am, I guess I'm just a "WHAT are you saying?" guy, in a "WHO's saying it?" world..."

Headlines for March 15, 2005

Democracy Now!
War and Peace Report

White House Defends Use of Video News Releases

In news from Washington, the White House is defending its practice of distributing government-funded video news releases to TV stations with the hopes that the stations will air the segments as real news. On Sunday the New York Times featured an extensive front-page investigation detailing the extent that pre-packaged news releases - produced by the federal government - are being used by television stations all across the country. The Times reported that at least 20 federal agencies - including the Defense Department and the Census Bureau - have distributed hundreds of television news segments in the past four years. Many were then broadcast on local stations without crediting the government as the source of the information. On Monday White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan claimed that the videos are appropriate as long as they are a factual. Last month the General Accounting Office however ruled that the videos violate laws that ban covert propaganda. But the Bush administration is ordering all agencies to disregard the GAO's directive.


Judicial Watch Sues Pentagon Over PR Project

In related news, Judicial Watch has sued the Pentagon for hiring the public relations firm the Rendon Group to develop an internet site aimed at school children. The website -- called Empower Peace -- was designed to look like it was part of a grassroots peace movement. The website featured interactive web broadcasts between New York and Jordan, as well as Boston and Bahrain, and interaction with school age children of Islamic countries.


"Jesus telling George to lie? That's un-possible!!!"




Epilogue: "Do You Support The Troops?"


"The Pentagon has estimated that since the start of the current conflict in Iraq, more than 5,500 U.S. military personnel have deserted..."

"The Pentagon has estimated that since the start of the current conflict in Iraq, more than 5,500 U.S. military personnel have deserted, and yet we know the stories of only a unique handful, all whom have publicly stated their opposition to the war in Iraq, and some of whom have fled to Canada. The Vietnam war casts a long shadow, distorting our image of the deserter; four soldiers have gone over the Canadian border, looking for the safe haven of the Vietnam years, which no longer exists: there are no open arms for such refugees and almost no possibility of obtaining legal status..."




Creepilogue: "What Really Happened Today?"


"What is interesting about this whole process is that all of the flights of wounded into the United States are scheduled to land at night. The wounded are arriving under the cover of darkness..."

"What is interesting about this whole process is that all of the flights of wounded into the United States are scheduled to land at night. The wounded are arriving under the cover of darkness. Also, at least at the two hospitals, Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Medical Center, photographers and the press are barred from seeing, watching, or taking photos of the wounded arriving. So, if you take those two facts, the fact that the wounded are only arriving at night at Andrews Air Force Base, and you take the fact that we in the press are not allowed to see them when they go to the two main hospitals here, we have a situation where we're several years into the war now, and we've seen essentially no reporting or no images of these wounded arriving; and to give you just a idea of the scope of this situation, if you take the wounded soldiers and then you add in the number of hurt soldiers that the Pentagon doesn't generally report (in other words, soldiers that are hurt in vehicle accidents and so on) we have 25,000 soldiers who have been flown out of the battlefields, mostly from Iraq, some from Afghanistan. Most of those come back to the United States — 25,000 — and images or reporting on them arriving in the United States is almost unheard of."




Crazilogue: "Behold: Bush Bushido"


Bush Insists Iraq Coalition Not Crumbling
By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush (news - web sites) insisted on Wednesday the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq (news - web sites) was not crumbling and he shrugged off Italy's decision to begin pulling troops from Iraq by September.

"Quite to the contrary," Bush said when asked if the coalition was falling apart. "I think the coalition has been buoyed by the courage of the Iraqi people."


"And... it's over Johnny! It's over!"



50 Ways To Pay...


thx dawgs, the shit was fun to write...

and look at what's popped-off since: the biggest badass in the history of music (Note: the #1 song in the world is just an invitation to lick his nutz) gets to look extra-badass on some crazy recycled East/West beef, then switches to showing the world his soft-side and seeking redemption...

...all very publicly in less than a week while his album drops.

...y'all check the A&E Bio in a couple of years, we're part of it...


as for the rest, the only thing i'll say is it's not a matter of principle, it's just a matter of taste, and i hate it when those two get confused and people lose their friggin' minds...

if you like hearing Biggie say "..sit back, and take notes, while i take tokes, of the marijuana-smoke, throw you in a choke: gunsmoke! gunsmoke!...", etc., etc., or any Kool Keith or other freaky shit, then really you can hear anyone say anything, and no rapper can be denied a spot because someone objects to their subject matter...


i dunno... it seems a lot of us really wanna clique up and beef - like it's cool to start shit with the next man, kinda like we're being pitted against each other like slaves on some cultural bullshit we don't need to suck up to...

i'd say if someone likes it then it's got a spot, 'cause i don't want the jiggy side winning and taking my "Reflection Eternal", "Illadelph Halflife", "Midnight Marauders", "It Takes A Nation Of Millions", "Me Against The World"...



Black Krishna Brand

Philosophy -

Music -



Sunday, March 13, 2005

World's top 10 'forgotten crises'


World's top 10 'forgotten crises'

Thu 10 Mar 2005 7:53:14 GMT

LONDON, March 10 (Reuters) - Devastating conflicts in Congo, Uganda and Sudan are the world's three biggest "forgotten emergencies", attracting little media interest despite massive suffering, a Reuters poll of experts showed on Thursday.

Reuters AlertNet, a humanitarian news website run by Reuters Foundation, asked more than 100 relief professionals, media personalities, academics and activists which "forgotten" crises they would urge the media to focus on in 2005.

Following are key facts on each of the 10 emergencies.


Democratic Republic of Congo is plagued by violence after a devastating 1998-2003 war which killed nearly 4 million people.

* Violence has exploded in the east since late last year.

* Some 100,000 people have fled their homes in the latest bloodletting in the Ituri region, where tens of thousands of women and children have been raped in recent years.

* Some 3.3 million people now out of reach of aid groups


Northern Uganda has suffered 18 years of war between the Ugandan military and the brutal Lord's Resistance Army rebels.

* 20,000 children have been abducted by LRA and forced to serve as soldiers and sex slaves.

* Up to 100,000 people killed since conflict began, and 1.6 million have been driven from their homes into squalid camps.


Sudan has suffered Africa's longest-running civil war in the south and a 2-year-old conflict in Darfur in the west.

* Darfur rebels say Arab militias armed by the government have conducted a campaign of killing and rape against non-Arabs.

* Tens of thousands killed and up to 2 million displaced, four million may soon need life-saving aid.

* In south, a fragile peace deal holding after a 21-year civil war which killed 2 million and uprooted 4 million.


Some 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, two thirds in sub-Saharan Africa.

* 30 percent of adults in southern Africa infected and 14 million children orphaned by AIDS.

* Explosive growth rates in China and India.


Liberia, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone struggling for peace after conflicts forced children into war.

* Ivory Coast threatening to implode as pro-government forces break a 2003 ceasefire with rebels.

* Almost 400,000 Liberian refugees still to return home two years after the war.

* Half of Sierra Leone's population of 5 million displaced and 20,000 killed by war that ended in 2002.


Almost 3 million displaced after four decades of conflict.

* Civilians caught up in fighting between armed militias and government troops fuelled by drug wars and breakdown of law.

* 35,000 people killed since start of the 1990s.


Tens of thousands killed and hundreds of thousands displaced in a decade of conflict in Russia's breakaway republic.

* War displaced 600,000 Chechens, 210,000 yet to return.

* Doctors say 80 percent of children suffer trauma.


Political turmoil and lawlessness is threatening food supplies and health services for hundreds of thousands.

* 55 percent of Haitians living on less than $1 a day

* 42 percent of children under five malnourished


About 11,000 people killed in nine years of conflict between Maoist rebels and constitutional monarchy.

* 100,000-200,000 people uprooted and cut off from aid.

* Half of children aged under five underweight.


Malaria and tuberculosis kill millions each year.

* Malaria kills an African child every 30 seconds

* TB kills about 2 million a year worldwide, including people also infected with HIV.

Sources: Reuters reports, U.N. agencies, IFRC, Migration Policy Institute.

(For more news about emergency relief visit Reuters AlertNet email:; +44 207 542 9484)

© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.