October 23, 2008

BET presents: The Cypher

DJ Premier, Ace Hood, Juelz Santana, Fabolous, & Jadakiss
Lay it down for a freestyle cypher, and really keep it classic.
Check it out!

October 21, 2008

Yes There's Joe Six-Pack... But What About Jamal Forty?

First off, props to Brother Gerard for the “Jamal Forty” line, but for real… why are both campaigns still ignoring the overwhelming struggles of middle-class Black folk?
Whenever I turn on CNN or MSNBC, I always hear about how the candidates need to appeal to middle-class, blue collar white voters. No one talks about the Black first-year college graduate, the Latino auto mechanic, or the Indian pizza guy. Why does American media always make it look like the biggest burdens only affect White America?

Now I know they’ve had specials like “Black In America” and they’re good & all, but it just makes it seem like those problems deserve coverage every once in a while as opposed to every single day. I think I’ve heard more about what life will be like for minorities in the future through Sen. Barack Obama’s debate points than from the newscasters that are supposed to be reporting these things. The focus of American media is completely on the wrong topics a lot of the time.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m not watching the right channels at the right time. Maybe I’m so ready for the Cultural Revolution that I see problems where there aren’t. Or maybe I’m right, and we should start standing up to various forms of media and demand proper attention and coverage of subjects that effect ALL of America.

Either way, I just hope this election goes in Obama’s favor and with America’s new image we can also change around the imagery that is broadcast around the globe through our media outlets. Whether or not that change is made by program directors, or the anchors themselves, it will be a much needed breath of fresh air for the average viewer.
What do y’all think?

- Steve Tyson Jr.

October 01, 2008

The Audacity of Dope

Doesn’t it seem nowadays that you can’t be a successful Hip-Hop artist unless you’re rapping about being deep in the drug game? Now, for those musicians who have been in the drug game and clawed their way out… this blog is not about you. (Just diversify your topics every now and again.) This blog is about those aspiring MC’s that think they’ll only get a reputation in the game if they can say they made more money trappin’ then rapping.

Since the dawn of Hip-Hop, there have been lyricists who wrote about the harsh realities of their lives and the lives of the people they grew up with. Sometimes those rhymes would include graphic, detailed imagery about life in the ‘hood and circumstances they found themselves in. Other times it would reflect the positive side of our communities and give an inspiration to the millions of other people in those neighborhoods that have no other beacon of hope. Then there are those times when young, talented MC’s pick up a pen to write what they live, and instead concoct a fantasy world that resembles a sh*tty imitation of “Scarface”.

Maybe it’s the appeal of sex & violence that captures the imagination of so many young people in Hip-Hop, but there has to be a balance. For example, if you go to the movie theater there are 12 screens that usually show 12 different kinds of movies. Now imagine instead, they played 1 original movie and 11 cheap imitations…

Now, I’m not trying to imply that every new rapper is all about gun play & drug references cuz that’s clearly not the case. All I’m saying is between the artists, their A&R’s, the labels, and radio stations; there could be some sort of collective consciousness that breaks through the typical mindset of what “Hip-Hop” is about and we can reconnect to expressing peace, love, unity, and having fun. But again… that’s just Tyson’s Take. What do you think?

- Steve Tyson Jr.