Tuesday, May 16, 2006
I Have Not Yet Begun To Fight...
As most of you know by now, news broke last week that the National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the telephone records of tens of millions of Americans: http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-05-10-nsa_x.htm.
Whenever something of this magnitude is revealed about the loss of privacy and civil rights we are suffering at the hands of the Bush administration, I become hopeful that the American people will finally wake up and be pissed. However, as usual, the majority of us are relatively apathetic. Spokesmen for both AT&T and Verizon have indicated that they've received relatively few complaints from their customers about their phone records being turned over to the NSA: http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-05-15-phone-customers-nsa_x.htm. On the flip side, Florida's state hotline has been overwhelmed by a high volume of calls from citizens concerned about recent alligator attacks: http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060516/NEWS01/60516001/1075.
Don't get me wrong. Scholar doesn't fucks wit alligators...mainly because most of them would be more than happy to eat my ass for a mid-afternoon snack. However, I still think it's kind of silly to have a greater fear of this particular breed of reptile than the evil snakes who comprise the Bush administration. Even if alligators just so happen to scare the shit out of you, you still have to accept the fact that certain things in our environment are largely beyond our control. I'm sure that the fine people who answer the phones at the gator hotline have some wise words on reptilian safety, but for the most part, we can only do so much to outwit Mother Nature.
On the other hand, we can do something about our snake-infested government. So, why don't we? We don't even seem to have the energy to pick up the phone and tell AT&T that they suck for failing to uphold the basic privacy rights of their consumers. We don't vote...and if we do, it's usually for a total asshole. Our silence on matters of importance has given the Bush regime all the power it needs to fuel its crazed agenda. All of this leads me to the Question of the Day...
What the fuck is wrong with us?
I can't offer a simple and/or reasonable answer to that, but I do hope that you'll find time to ponder that question as you go about the ordinary business of your day. If we truly feel that there's nothing we can do to change what our government is doing, we can at least exercise our right to think. Do it quickly though...before Congress realizes that the ultimate way to defeat terrorism is through mandatory lobotomies for all...
"Every revolution was first a thought in one man's mind."---Ralph Waldo Emerson
"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any."---Alice Walker
"My peoples--- if you with me, where the fuck you at?"---Method Man
And now, from revolutions in government
to rotations on the turntable...
Some Velvet Blog recently featured a post entitled Toots, Boots and Roots. Download a remake of the classic song "Funky Kingston" by Toots & The Maytals (featuring Bootsy Collins and The Roots). There are some other great tracks available also---"Reggae Got Soul" (Toots), "Bootzilla" (Boots), and "Thought @ Work" (The Roots): http://somevelvetblog.blogspot.com/2006/05/toots-boots-and-roots.html.
Also at Some Velvet Blog, you can cop a couple of Ice Cube joints---"The Nigga You Love to Hate" and "Straight Outta Compton" (w/ NWA): http://somevelvetblog.blogspot.com/2006/05/nigga-you-love-to-hate.html.
Spend a few moments with the late J Dilla inside of his music studio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OxH8riGZl8.
If you like soul, jazz, and/or blues, you definitely need to know a thing or two about Little Jimmy Scott (if you don't already). Currently, you can read a fairly informative biography and download a generous number of his songs at Lil' Mike's Last Known Thoughts & Random Revelations: http://lilmikesf.blogspot.com/2006/05/at-last-little-jimmy-scott-just-wont.html.
James Brown's "I Know It's True" is available for download at La Blogotheque: http://www.blogotheque.net/mp3_art.php3?id_article=1701.
Trees Lounge recently featured artists and songs reppin' the state of Minnesota. Included are mp3s by Eyedea & Abilities, Prince, Slug/Atmosphere, Andre Nickatina, and more:
A new DangerDoom track---"Korn Dogs"--- is available at Gorilla vs. Bear: http://gorillavsbear.blogspot.com/2006/05/korn-dogs.html.
For the most part, I've supported MF Doom through every project and personality he's produced. As time goes by, it seems that fewer of his fans remember the KMD days, when Daniel Dumile was known as Zev Love X. Here are a couple of KMD videos that will educate the babies and allow the dinosaurs to reminisce:
"Who Me?": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37NB8C0ktY4&search=kmd.
One of the only hip-hop artists who has reinvented himself as often as MF Doom is Kool Keith. I mentioned his recent project (Mr. Nogatco) in an earlier post, but a few additional mp3s are now available via Freemotion: http://www.freemotionhiphop.com/freemotion/?p=179.
This week, Breath of Life posted a track that I still consider to be the most heartfelt Ghostface joint ever---"All That I Got Is You" (feat. Mary J Blige): http://www.kalamu.com/bol/.
Peep the video for the track here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDKLAzsYw6g&search=ghostface%20all%20that%20you.
If you've ever read my pathetically uninspired Blogger profile, you already know that I'm a Vast Aire fan. That fact sometimes makes the thuggish kids make fun of me on the playground, but I can't even begin to give a shit. I'll throw my backpack down and kick dat ass, son. Anyway, there had to be a reason why I started this paragraph...oh, yeah. Palms Out Sounds recently posted Blockhead's remix of "Suburb Party" (The Majesticons) w/ Vast Aire and El-P. As always, Remix Sunday offered an eclectic selection of mp3s, and featured artists such as Diplo, dead prez, Danger Mouse, Roots Manuva, and more:
Download two tracks by Earth, Wind & Fire at Feel It---"Mom" and "Time Is on Your Side": http://darcysfeelit.blogspot.com/2006/05/elemental.html.
Video interview with DJ Premier:
Part One: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rlcftm6revQ&search=dj%20premier%20.
Part Two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ee2_Nvrvau8&search=dj%20premier%20.
A handful of tracks from Sadat X's Experience & Education LP are available at The Broke BBoys: http://www.brokebboys.com/2006/05/dx-from-bx-returns.html.
I can't tell you much about Piakhan, except that he's a rapper from Cincinnati, OH who's worked with Reflection Eternal (Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek). Nordy posted several of his tracks at Miblog Weighs A Ton. Don't be the last to know: http://miblogweighsaton.blogspot.com/2006/05/piakhan.html.
Download two dope Kool & The Gang joints at MonoCrave---"Jungle Boogie" and "Let the Music Take Your Mind": http://monocrave.blogspot.com/2006/05/blog-post_114747617588664376.html.
Read an interview with Cee-Lo Green at BallerStatus:
(Discovered via Spine Magazine: http://www.spinemagazine.com/index.php?task=).
If you liked that Pete Philly & Perquisite joint that I posted a link to the other day, check out their track "Mindstate" at Adoru:
The artist of the day is Kolongi, boys and girls. You know I'm not good at this whole art critic thing, but I can definitely say that his paintings are an expression of his perspective on African-American life, culture, and music. View his website here: http://www.kolongi.com/.
Damn...that shit was exhausting. Enjoy the fruits of my labor, bitches...