Monthly Archives: April 2007

UCLA JAZZREGGAE Lineup Announced


Lupe Fiasco, Les Nubians, Soulive, J*Davey, Dujeous, Luciano, Cham, General Degree, Mr.
Peppa, Triniti, Joseph Israel, Syren,
and Eljai to perform at LA’s 21st Annual JazzReggae Festival on UCLA’s very own Intramural Field during Memorial Day weekend.

The festival kicks off Sunday, May 27th on Jam Day with an eclectic mix of jazz-inspired world, soul, hip-hop and R&B. The weekend closes Monday, May 28th with Reggae Day, showcasing performances from international Reggae masters. Highly anticipated by thousands of music enthusiasts, the 21st Annual JazzReggae Festival has not only become a staple of Los Angeles tradition, but also one of the West Coast’s premiere concert venues.

The Grammy Award-winning and chart-topping Jill Scott leads the Jam Day roster which already highlights the best in hip-hop, R&B and jazz with Lupe Fiasco, Les Nubians, Soulive, Christian Scott, J*DaVeY, and Dujeous. International roots legend, Luciano will head Reggae Day with dancehall superstar, Cham, General Degree, Mr. Peppa, Joseph Israel, Triniti, Syren, and Eljai.

In addition to a roster of critically acclaimed musical acts, the 21st Annual JazzReggae Festival is taking the first step to becoming a no-waste, sustainable festival with eco-limos to transport our artists, planting of trees to offset our emissions, a sustainable resource area to educate festival-goers, recyclable plates and utensils offered in our international food court, and much more.

Limited $25 Advance Tickets for either Jam or Reggae Day and $45 Two-day Packages will be available April 30th via the special Fusicology Ticketmaster Code – check back for details! Tickets can be purchased for $30 on the day of the event. You won’t want to miss this incredible sell-out event!

To find out more about the “Greening” of the festival and get the latest updates on the artist line-up, log on to their newly launched website,

State of Hip Hop

On April 16th, Russell Simmons, Chairman of the HSAN (Hip-Hop Summit Action Network), called for a ‘closed door’ meeting discussing the status of Hip Hop. The meeting was to once again come up with different ways Hip Hop can be moved forward in a positive direction. The meeting took place at Lyor Cohen’s Manhattan Residence on Wednesday April 18th.

Many activists are now shifting their attention to Hip Hop. Much of this recent debate was brought on by,shock jock, Don Imus’ remarks recently. Some are comparing Imus’ remarks with Hip Hop lyrics. Russell Simmons and many others have had meeting after meeting to attempt to make Urban music more positive to no avail. I feel like as long as there are people profiting from these stereotypical images being broadcast all day long through all forms of media, Hip Hop will remain the same. Sad as it is true, only time will tell.

Words: Thoth

The N word: Where do we go from here?

Recently, Don Imus referred to the Rutgers women’s basketball team as “nappy head hoes.” Since then there has been a virtual chain reaction of racial issues sparked in the media the past weeks. The most central one being the use of the “N” word.

Oprah discussed the issue on a show recently. BET had a special on it. It spurred the recent meeting Russell Simmons announced with key figures in the Hip Hop community. Media perhaps trying to distract us from our ever-growing more corrupt-by-the-day administration in the White House? Anyway, moving along. It has gotten way out of hand. Coincidentally, the day after i watched the BET special, I went to a Hip Hop show in Indianapolis, IN. While there I saw white rappers on stage using the word “nigga” like they invented it.

Initially, I was startled, but as I looked around and saw that the “thugs/thug wannabe blacks” weren’t bothered…I simply just stood in utter awe and disbelief. I tried to put a positive spin on it. Perhaps, America becoming a society where everybody’s a “nigga” would finally blur racial lines to a point where we can stand as one. A nation full of “niggas” of all different cultures and walks of life. Hmmmmm…nah that just won’t do. I’m not really feeling that.

While contemplating this, mysteriously, “Bamboozled” came on. Then I realized that movie was prophecy. Spike Lee is so in tune with the effect that audio-visual media has on society, that he saw this coming. Is Spike a super psychic? I don’t know about that, but i think he realized this has happened before. Could it be that our baggy pants and bling is modern day “blackface”. And I choose to use the term “blackface” because most pop urban garb is “artificial-blackness” just as “blackface” is. Just because you dress and talk a certain way doesn’t make you black. Although, many white youth believe it does.

Our culture and identity has become the jester of society. The least articulate and most barbaric of us is held in high-esteem in this society to amuse the masses. I’m sure we’ve all seen “Flavor of Love.” No offense to Flav, I love the guy. He’s a regular genius that speaks several languages and plays several instruments. But what’s funny is you watch 2 seasons of a reality show centered around one person and you don’t hear of any of these accomplishments. So now, just as it was in “Bamboozled”, white kids and other races are all walking around wearing blackface and saying “nigga.”

Once again blacks’ dehumanization in pop culture has reached catastrophic levels while everyone asks,“What’s the big deal?” Who is to blame when both sides are ignorant? Blacks ignorant of the fact that everyone emulates what’s put into the “pop culture” machine. If you say “nigga” alot in your hit show or multi-platinum album, odds are everyone is going to start saying it. Other races ignorant of the fact that blacks took pride in the word not because of the word itself. Blacks took pride in it because it was used negatively against blacks while other horrors were inflicted on blacks. I repeat “While other horrors were inflicted on blacks.”

So when blacks use it as a term of endearment, its their way of saying “I flipped it and used it to embrace my brother..but i dare you to say it because times have changed.” Honestly, I sit staring at my computer wondering where I’m going with this. What meaningful punchline will i end this article with? I don’t know. I think its too late. It may be irreversible. I think in the future as white men walking around saying “nigga”, it may serve as a reminder for future generations to watch what they inject into pop culture. I don’t think Arabs will ever walk around calling each other “terrorist” and putting it into songs after this collective mistake.

From now on black people, lets be a little more conscious in how we choose to portray ourselves in order to make a buck. Because historically, white culture has always tried to emulate our culture. Even when we’re at our worst. Do we want to be remembered for our worst? The next time you see the white kid in over-sized clothes and gold teeth saying “nigga” and you’re thinking of how foolish he looks. Think of how foolish we look. Because we’re all just mirrors for one another when its all said and done.

Written by: Thoth

Hip Hop Docs

Two impressive Hip-Hop documentaries are making there way into a theatre near you in the near future. The first is titled Time A Tell about slain D12 rapper Proof. The film gives an in depth look at the Detroit Hip Hop Scene and features Proof and DJ Jewels as they put together an 18-track cd full of original lyrics and beats in a mind-boggling 24 hours for a segment called The Challenge. Presented by Jewels, Priceless Music and Iron Fist Records, Time A Tell is the last creative work of Proof, who was fatally shot a little over a year ago (Apr. 11 2006) at the Triple C club on Eight Mile Road following a heated argument with 35-year-old Keith Bender Jr. Time A Tell premiered at 8 p.m. Thursday (April 12) in the GM Theater at the Charles H. Wright Museum in Detroit.

The next film is the Bruce Willis and Queen Latifah produced, The Hip Hop Project. Spanning four years, the documentary, which is executive produced by Willis and Latifah, centers around Chris “Kharma Kazi” Rolle, a homeless teenager who eventually builds an outreach program for at-risk kids to stay out of trouble by utilizing hip-hop. While Kazi and two of his students were in the process of recording an album, Willis and Russell Simmons funded a studio for their “Hip-Hop Project.” Doug E. Fresh also makes an appearance in the film. The movie will debut in theatres in Spring of 2007.

Soul: Dallas in April, Atlanta in July

We are honored to be on several panels concerning the future of music, distribution and internet marketing at 2 great soul events. First up, Neo Soul Café’s I Got Soul weekend in Dallas kicking off on April 27th. A weekend filled with Panel Discussions, a Saturday night affair hosted by Erykah Badu and a Sunday Brooklyn Jazz Brunch with many guest artists and speakers all weekend long.

In July, The International Soul Summit (ISMS) returns to The Downtown Marriott Hotel in Atlanta July 25th-29th with a new theme, Underground Meets Mainstream: It’s Time To Connect.”. Registration is FREE if you book your rooms at the host hotel before this Sunday April 15th! For more info go to the ISMS website.

Sa-Ra 4.24 Release

Sa-Ra Creative Partners

April 24th is the release date on Babygrande Records for the debut full length album ” The Hollywood Recordings” featuring Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli, J. Dilla, Pharaohe Monch, Bilal, Kurupt, Capone –N- Noreaga & more.


A3C Festival in Atlanta


“It’s like a desert out here and we are the oasis in the middle” says Brian Knott, one of the coordinators behind the Third Annual A3C Festival, as he speaks on the state of independent hip hop in the Southeastern United States. The irony falls in the fact that Atlanta is far from being known as the epicenter of independent hip hop, but rather, the city stands as the birthplace of the synthesized “crunk” and “snap” music from the likes of Lil’ Jon or the Ying Yang Twins.

Although, from April 12-14th, the festival will stand tall in the face of the crunk music machine, barking loud as the underdog in the South’s capitol. As more than twenty five indy hip hop groups and breakdancers from all around the country converge at the A3C to add heat to ‘Hotlanta,’ the well water from the Southeast’s oasis will overflow for three straight days of non-commercial hip hop culture.

As for this year’s A3C guests performers, gracing the stage will be Souls of Mischief of San Francisco’s Hieroglyphics, Sol.Illaquists of Sound, Giant Panda, Black Milk, Simple Complexity, The Strange Fruit Project, Ken Starr, Oddisee and many others. In line with day time events of the years past, 2007′s A3C will have a breakdancing battle sponsored by Red Bull Energy Drink featuring a legendary surprise host. Other events surrounding the music performances will include a panel on women in hip hop, exclusive movie screenings, and a panel discussion on hip hop’s origins.

The festival will take place at The Loft, 1347 W. Peachtree St and ticket prices are $15 per night or $32 for a weekend pass. For more information, visit