It's a long time since her last big hit. Six weeks or even more -- a long time in this digital age -- when Obama Girl arrived via YouTube with her sexy video "I've Got A Crush On Obama" that, while not endorsed by Sentor Barack Obama's office, it wasn't unappreciated by any means. The pro-Obama video got 2.3 million YouTube hits. That's way more than any Billboard hit single sells these days! It's also some of the cheapest publicity a presidential candidate can get. The new video, which debuted on YouTube just yesterday has, as of noon today (7/17), received about 160,000 hits, and looks well set to gain as many viewers as its predecessor -- or likely even more. Especially since the new vid ups the ante both in content and controversy: this time taking on rival Rudy Giuliani. The new video, seen below, is entitled "Debate '08: Obama Girl vs. Giuliani Girl" and features model Adelna Kristina playing Giuliani Girl part opposite Amber Lee Ettinger and her crew representing Obama.
For a long time the New York Times has cost one dollar-- just a dollar, whether purchased in New York City or a newsstand in California. But the price of today's (7/16) edition of the New York Times, which coincidentally seemed slimmer than usual, went up in price by a quarter to $1.25 -- which is still good value because it's a great newspaper (despite some faults) that does a thorough job and covers topics that others do not, and has been doing so since 1851 -- winning more Pulitzer Prizes (95) along the way than any other American news journal.
But regardless of its historic legacy, like all newspapers across the US today, the New York Times is also feeling the economic fallout of the new digital age in which advertisers are increasingly taking their dollars elsewhere, and news and information seekers are going online in increasing numbers. Simply put: people don't read newspapers quite like they used to. In a recently published study entitled "Young People and News," reported coincidentally in today's New York Times, findings showed that only 9% of teenagers surveyed read a newspaper every day. Meanwhile 18 to 30 year olds rated higher, with 16% of those surveyed daily newspaper readers.
Recently both the San Jose Mercury News (long considered among the country's finest newspapers) and the San Francisco Chronicle laid off a chunk of staff. They had no choice: the economy ruled, and journalists lost jobs. But the tragedy is that with these investigative reporters gone, or going, so too is good journalism. The idea of the traditional city newspaper office, filled with reporters who go out with a pad and pen to dig deep in investigative stories has pretty much become a thing of the past -- and that sucks. While there are now more and more news and information sources than ever before, with everyone and their mama blogging, it often seems in this new digital age that we've traded in quality for quantity.
Some of the best Bay Area parties from the early nineties onwards had some of the best DJs (that goes without saying -- da Bay is home of the DJ) ... and also some of the best fliers. Being an avid collector of fliers, I saved a bunch of them. Many others have saved them too, including the ever-evolving San Francisco music fan Porkchop and of course, the wonderful folks at SF Raves Dot Org, who have archived numerous fliers from the nineties on their recommended website.
This is Part I in a series that could go on forever. If you have any URL links to fliers of SF/Bay Area parties from the nineties especially -- or any memories to share of specific Bay Area parties or DJs, please scroll on down to the COMMENTS box and share. Thanks!
On a recent trip to the Haight Street Amoeba, I once again found myself drawn to the outside walls of Amoeba Music San Francisco -- specifically the top part of the wall outside from Haight Street down to the corner of the alley (away from Golden Gate Park) that leads to the parking lot where all that gradually changing wall of graf lays in beautiful, bright colorful wait. It includes the barred windows with their intricate tags that always remind me of stumbling upon some hieroglyphics in some ancient cave.
Luckily, on the day I took these pics I caught the Amoeba parking lot almost empty -- with only one car parked in front of those beloved droopy eyed heads that offer comfort to many an admirer. There will be another set of pics (Part V) posted in a week, also taken recently and featuring more of the graf around SF Amoeba.
Among graffiti artists there is a code -- many rules of the game -- and one rule is that you only tag businesses or public property -- not private -- meaning people's houses or dwellings.
But today I passed a red brick apartment building with an ugly ole tag rudely scrawled along the side of it and I thought to myself: I guess homeboy didn't get the memo!
Puerto Rican Queens, New York born and Bay Area raised emcee Rico Pabon loves hip-hop and lives hip-hop. He has for years. In fact, I first interviewed him way back in the day-- in 1991, right after he arrived on the Bay Area hip-hop scene with his group the Prophets of Rage. Sixteen years later, the conscious hip-hopper is still diligently putting it down in the Bay -- mainly in the East Bay. When not in Richmond recording or spending time with his family, Rico can be found at his other spot over in the Fruitvale district of Oakland -- Sofrito Authentic Puerto Rican Cuisine at 3451 International Blvd (E 14th St), which he owns and cooks for. As you know, there's no money to be made in conscious hip-hop these days. Besides, Rico treats the restaurant, like his hip-hop, with love. And he loves keeping his Puerto Rican heritage alive through its culinary creations and the concept that food can help create community and foster culture. The restaurant has become a needed gathering space for the East Bay's Boricua community. (14,000 Puerto Ricans in Alameda county alone!)
In the early days when Rico started, the Prophets of Rage consisted of himself, his good friend, known then as "Crazy" and his older brother DJ Park, who used to make most of the beats. By the time Prophets of Rage released the album My Power, the group was just Pabon and had been since then until recently, when he started using his own name on projects such as his recently released Louder than Fiction on Hard Knock Records. Note: Prophets of Rage also appeared on Independent Sounds: Amoeba Music Compilation Vol. III with the track "Make The Most."
AMOEBLOG: What is the exact meaning behind the new album title?