Make A Difference With Your Position Don’t Just Play It

His accumulated wisdom brings invaluable context to…

ColorLines publisher Rinku Sen sat down with music legend and civil rights icon Harry Belafonte this summer for a wide-ranging conversation on race and politics in the Obama era. When we revisited the footage in the days after the election, it became clear Belafonte’s perspective was urgently relevant for people trying to make sense of today’s politics. So we’ve pulled out selections from their discussion in the video above, as part of our ongoing analysis on what the November “shellacking” does—and does not—mean.

Belafonte has spent decades helping to lead reform movements around the world. He’s not just lent his celebrity, but has played meaningful roles in several human rights struggles, most recently in the founding of the Gathering for Justice. His accumulated wisdom brings invaluable context to the ups and downs of electoral politics. Most importantly, Belafonte stresses that our concern needn’t be over President Obama’s political well being; our concern must be with building a people-driven movement for justice, to which any elected official must respond.

In the new year, we’ll publish the full conversation between Belafonte and Sen, along with a profile of his latest human rights campaign, against youth incarceration. In addition to the conversation with Belafonte, you can check out all of ColorLines’ post-election analysis and reporting on our Election: Now What? page. We’ll keep the conversation going as the new Congress takes over next year—and as we all plot the path to the change that so many rallied around two years ago.

Source: ColorLines

Turn Your Speakers Way Up – Are You A Mental Slave?

David Augustine was originally a high school teacher. He released a series of mixtapes including Still We Rise and I Am Who I Am. Dee-1 collaborated with Dr. Rani G. Whitfield M.D., a.k.a. “Tha Hip-Hop Doc” and toured schools on the lecture circuit. Dee-1 has been featured in national media outlets such as CNN and Billboard Magazine. He has also received attention from Louisiana newspapers and music magazines. In 2009, he resigned as a teacher to focus on his first studio album.
[edit] 2009-present: David & Goliath

His first studio album David & Goliath was released April 13, 2009. Most recently, Dee-1 has performed alongside nationally touring acts such as Lil Wayne, Lupe Fiasco, Drake, Trey Songz, Akon, The Roots, Mya, The Clipse, Musiq Soulchild, Fat Joe, Lil Boosie, and Juvenile. In October 2010, he was named Artist of The Year at the NOLA Underground Hip Hop Awards. The video for his song “Jay, 50, & Weezy” was released October 11, 2010. It has received attention for its content and mention of Lil Wayne, 50 cent, and Jay-Z. The video has also aired on MTV Jams and according program director Tuma Basa has received a lot of positive feedback.

His latest mixtape “I Hope They Hear Me” was released April 20, 2010. It has received positive reviews.

Rapsody And 9th Wonder – U Sparklin’ – Blast It Or Trash It

Rapsody, (also know by the stage name Rapdiddy) is the new female force in hip hop

Rapsody – U Sparklin’ (prod. 9th Wonder)

DOWNLOAD: Rapsody – U Sparklin’ (prod. 9th Wonder) | Mediafire

Blast It Or Trash It?  Leave a comment below to let us know if you want to Blast It…. Or Trash It!

In case you didn’t know:

Rapsody, (also know by the stage name Rapdiddy) is the new female force in hip hop, and she’s about to blaze the trail for the new generation of women who rely on their skills to make marks in the music world. She is the first lady of North Carolina super crew Kooley High, and Grammy Award winning producer 9th Wonder’s protégé and first artist signed to It’s A Wonderful World Music Group / Jamla, the brainchild of his true school resurgence, setting the bar high for all succeeding label mates, male or female.

Below The Heavens Review – Again – Turn Your Speakers Way Up

Hailing from the West Coast emcee Blu was raised on the likes of Public Enemy and N.W.A

As I sat down to write this review I coincidentally got an instant message concerning this exact album I’m about to let you all know about.

random_dude: YO! Have you heard this Blu & Exile album?
shake: oddly enough I just sat down to write up this review
random_dude: That’s what’s up! I can’t believe how dope this is! Blu is so talented, I love the fact that he’s not afraid to be so personal with his rhymes.
shake: amazing emcee indeed…
random_dude: Easily one of my favorite albums of the year!

Not that anyone really cares what some random person on my buddy list had to say about an album that sadly not enough people will hear (hopefully I’m wrong) but his thoughts and mine are definitely one in the same…

Hailing from the West Coast; emcee Blu was raised on the likes of Public Enemy and N.W.A. thanks to his father; later gravitating towards Common, Mos Def & Talib Kweli (Black Star) and Black Thought (The Roots). It’s clear that the above artists were in the 22-year-old emcee’s mental tape deck while he was perfecting his craft. Blu is an extremely talented lyricist; clever rhymes, technically sound, intensely personal and witty. Add this to the fact that the entire album is produced by Exile (one half of the slept on duo Emanon) and you are in for a rousing eargasm reminiscent of that classic 90’s sound that so many people bitch and moan about missing and saying that it’s nonexistent. It’s there (I promise) you just have to dig a bit deeper than you used to.

The album begins with The Dells-sampled “My World Is…” which acts as Blu’s chance to introduce himself properly with lines like “I don’t pack stadiums yet, I still rock em/ and they still spell my name fucked up on they flyers, it’s B-L-U/ and if you see the E, drop em/ it’s like they droppin E from the beats E is droppin/ got you peeps eavesdroppin/ and the world keeps watchin him.” Next up is the lead single, “The Narrow Path.” After giving this song a few listens I’m convinced that Blu is far beyond an artist that only has flow and hot lines. Containing one of the many sung hooks (and doing it well, unlike others you may know of … *cough* no need to name *cough*) he speaks on the struggle an artist goes through within, (“I’m trying to tell my folks that flowin ain’t easy/ I’m driving down this yellow brick road until it frees me/ I need a pen, I need a pad, I need a place to go/ to get this shit lifted up off of my soul”).

“I got a call from my girl last week/ she telling me about that time of the month, and hot it may not come/ dropped the phone right before she said we have a son/ and I started asking God ‘how come?’/ I got dreams I ain’t reached yet/ aim’s I ain’t meet yet/ when it comes to being a man, shit, I’m barely getting my feet wet/ trying to hit reset, knee deep in debt/ trying to figure out how to feed a mouth that ain’t got teeth yet.” Even if you haven’t been in that situation you can’t help but feel emotionally attached to what he is saying. That is a talent that very few artists possess. Blu’s ability to be as personal as he is with his music leaves the listener with no choice but to relate. From his struggles of holding down his family by working two jobs, lady troubles (“First Things First,” “Greater Love”); and unexpected parenthood (“Good Life,” – see above) … the confessions pour from this man’s soul and are laid beautifully over Exile’s canvas.

I can’t stress enough that Blu is talented … VERY talented. This actually becomes the ONLY thing wrong with Below the Heavens. The fact that this album is so intimate and set as an autobiographical look into a man’s struggle, there really isn’t a need for guest emcees. Case in point – the Ta’raach (together as C.R.A.C. Knucks)-featured “Juicen’ Dranks.” If I had heard this song at any other time or on another album it wouldn’t be that bad. But for this album, it sticks out like a nun wearing a mini skirt and red lip stick. And while Exile does a really nice job on the production front, it isn’t always that good. Blu definitely steals the show every time.

While “keeping it real” seems to be the “cool” thing to do with most rappers, Blu does this simply because he wants his story to be heard. Comfortable enough in his own skin, he lays it ALL out there … not just concentrating on the extremes. I still feel I haven’t done this album justice but it’s impossible to include all the gems that are pouring from my speakers without writing a ten-page review. So just know: after hearing Below the Heavens I’d be damned if anyone still spells his name wrong on the flyers…

It’s B-L-U.

Source: HipHopDX

What do/did YOU think about this album?  Leave a comment below.

JKeyz – Breaking Point [Reply To Keri Hilson] Blast It Or Trash It?

This is the R&B version of a “beef track”, but its actually GOOD in my opinion. We would really like to know what YOU think though

OK  This is the R&B version of a “beef track”, but its actually GOOD in my opinion.  We would really like to know what YOU think though.  Blast It Or Trash It?

JKeyz – Breaking Point [Reply To Keri Hilson]

This will be on the upcoming JKeyz [Serum Music] mixtape “My Journey”.

Blast It Or Trash It?   Leave a comment below and let us know.

Is 2 Years Justice For Oscar Grant? Really?

After an emotional day of tearful testimony from both Oscar Grant’s relatives and

UPDATE 4:05pm ET After an emotional day of tearful testimony from both Oscar Grant’s relatives and Johannes Mehserle, Judge Robert Perry handed Mehserle simple probation, and a two-year prison sentence. Mehserle has already served 146 days in jail.

The AP reported that Mehserle gave a ten-minute statement expressing his remorse for Grant’s killing. “I want to say how deeply sorry I am,” the AP reported. “Nothing I ever say or do will heal the wound. I will always be sorry for taking Mr. Grant from them.”

After a long summer spent in Los Angeles County Jail, ex-BART cop Johannes Mehserle is back in Judge Robert Perry’s courtroom today to receive his sentence for killing Oscar Grant on New Year’s Day 2009. A Los Angeles jury convicted Mehserle of involuntary manslaughter with a gun enhancement charge this summer, and faces up to 14 years in prison.

Amanda Fuentes, Thandisizwe Chimurenga and Jennifer Courtney report for Bay Citizen that this morning Judge Perry read from a stack of the 1,000 letters he said he received urging him to give Mehserle the maximum sentence. San Jose Mercury News’ Paul Rosynsky reported that Perry was dismayed that many of the people who wrote to him urged him to give Mehserle the harshest jail term but seemed unfamiliar with the legal terminology. No matter what Oscar Grant’s family and outraged community members believe their son was murdered, Perry insisted that what Mehserle was convicted of was involuntary manslaughter, an unlawful but unintentional killing.

The Bay Citizen reports that Perry seemed unlikely to grant Mehserle a new trial, as his defense had requested in early October. Mehserle’s defense demanded a new trial based on new evidence they said they uncovered that showed that Taser-gun confusion had indeed happened in the past, contrary to the prosecution’s arguments. Mehserle’s defense relied on a two-prong narrative that Oscar Grant and his friends represented a dangerous threat to Mehserle on the train platform, and also that Mehserle accidentally pulled his gun when he meant to pull his Taser.

Judge Perry also discussed other post-trial controversies surrounding the jury’s controversial verdict. The jury found Mehserle guilty of involuntary manslaughter and attached a gun enhancement to their charge.

In their jury instructions, jurors were told:

If you find the defendant guilty of the crime of second degree murder or the lesser crimes of voluntary or involuntary manslaughter, you must then decide whether the People have proved the additional allegation that the defendant personally used a firearm during the commission of that crime.

Judge Perry’s jury instructions told the jury that a person intentionally used their firearm if they displayed their weapon “in a menacing manner,” hit someone with the gun or fired it. The conviction then says that Mehserle was guilty of a an accidental killing, but that he knowingly pulled out his gun.

However, today Perry seemed receptive to the defense’s motion to throw out the controversial gun enhancement charge, which could tack on an extra ten-year jail sentence jail sentence to the involuntary manslaughter conviction. Involuntary manslaughter alone carries a two, three, or four year sentence. Legal experts suggested that if Perry does not throw out the gun enhancement, he could allow Mehserle to serve his time for both concurrently. Should Perry throw out the gun enhancement, Mehserle could also receive probation.

In deciding Mehserle’s jail term, Perry is expected to weigh victim impact statements, of which the organized community response is one part. Perry also heard testimony from Sophina Mesa, Grant’s fiancee and the mother of their six-year-old daughter as well as Grant’s mother Wanda Johnson.

The trial was moved from the Bay Area to Los Angeles because the defense was worried about the intense local community interest. Oscar Grant’s killing, which was caught on multiple cell phone cameras and immediately uploaded on YouTube, outraged the community and led to several nights of large protests in the Bay Area.

Mehserle shot Grant in the back while Grant lay face down on a train platform. He and his friends had been pulled off the BART train for allegedly starting a fight, and several were in the process of being handcuffed when Mehserle pulled his pistol out of its holster and shot Grant.

Source: ColorLines

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Dare Iz A Doxside – Dope Hip Hop – Download Now

Doxside Music Group and Presents Dare Iz A Doxside, an array of songs from the vaults of Doxside’s distinguished and versatile roster

November 1st is here! Doxside Music Group and Presents Dare Iz A Doxside, an array of songs from the vaults of Doxside’s distinguished and versatile roster mixed by Eric and St. Mic of the Bloggerhouse family. “Dare Iz A Doxside” features exclusive tracks from Doxside artists IMAKEMADBEATS, MidaZ the Beast, Synopse, J Freedome, Ponce Beyond, TzarizM, Heart & The Brain, Butta Verses, Intelx, Phantomshino, Relz, and more. This collection serves as a heads up of what’s to come from the Doxside artists. Download it now and enjoy!  Get it HERE

Leave a comment below and let us know what you think