Amoeblog

Amoeblog Interview With Author Jeff Chang on his Timely New Book "We Gon' Be Alright: Notes On Race and Resegregation"

Posted by Billyjam, September 20, 2016 03:18pm | Post a Comment


The publication of provocative, powerful, prolific, pioneering hip-hop generation author/scholar Jeff Chang's latest book We Gon' Be Alright: Notes On Race and Resegregation is most timely. The book by the author of the award winning hip-hop history book Can't Stop, Won't Stop arrives at a time in America when race clearly matters, and when unfair and unlawful treatment by police against African Americans appears to way beyond out of control.  Just last week in the days since the book's publication (paperback & audiobook read by author) there were two more shocking shootings of black American males by police: 13 year old Tyre King in Columbus Ohio, and 40 year old unarmed Terrence Cruthcer in Tulsa,OK last Friday. The latter, whose police video footage was just released this week, is the most shocking and disturbing of the two because of the footage. In it you see an unarmed, complying black man stopped on freeway by a row of armed cops, been shot down dead in the street. The video footage at every angle includes even an aerial shot from the police chopper above in which one cop is recorded on the police radio for all others to hear just moments before the killing, in a glaring example of racial profiling, that the unarmed victim "looks like a bad dude."
 
Last week Chang began a hectic cross-country tour in support of his new publication. The book tour is a series of readings plus interviews and lively discussions at universities (including Princeton, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and University of Chicago) and varied literary venues across the country.  At many of these readings the widely respected author of  the acclaimed Can't Stop, Won't Stop is joined by a series of scholars, social observers, and fellow hop-hop generation journalists. Scroll down to see listing of book tour dates. "Linking #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, Ferguson to Washington D.C., the Great Migration to resurgent nativism and exploring "the rise and fall of the idea of “diversity”, the roots of student protest, changing ideas about Asian Americanness, and the impact of a century of racial separation in housing" while arguing that "resegregation is the unexamined condition of our time, the undoing of which is key to moving the nation forward to racial justice and cultural equity" is the activist author's apt summary of his latest book.  This week the Amoeblog caught up with the author from on the road to ask him about his book, the book tour, the social ramifications of his books' subjects and the hip-hop music that best expresses outrage on these topics.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Public Enemy and X-Clan's Role As Part of NYC's Revolutionary Rap Soundtrack of Unrest of 1989/1990

Posted by Billyjam, March 8, 2016 11:50pm | Post a Comment

In 1989 Public Enemy's raw rebellious rap anthem "Fight The Power" reigned supreme. An across the board hit, it was the theme driving the soundtrack of Spike Lee's classic movie Do The Right Thing. Public Enemy performing live and the striking imagery of an emotionally charged political rally set the tone for the accompanying music video. Spike Lee directed the music video, which included clips from his film Do The Right Thing. Perfect and perfectly complimentary, the Brooklyn set video captured both PE and Spike Lee at their respective creative peaks. Each used their art to reflect life in a pitch-perfect way. 

Meanwhile, in real life Brooklyn of 1989, thousands of agitated protesters took to the Brooklyn Bridge. The September protest that upset traffic and authorities ended in riot cops going against protesters. "A mile-long protest march against racism and the recent killing of a black youth…a predominantly black crowd of 7,500 demonstrators breached the police lines in an attempt to cross the bridge and carry the protest into Manhattan," reported the New York Times on this "Day Of Outrage" protest. Led in part by the late X-Clan member Professor X under his Blackwatch political organization, the protest was designed to bring the city to a halt and bring attention to injustices. As well as protesting the August 23rd murder of 16-year-old Bensonhurst resident Yusef Hawkins by a gang of white youths, the protest was also about the August 22nd slaying of Huey P. Newton. The shooting of the 47-year-old former Black Panther leader occurred in Oakland, CA. Hawkins was shot and killed near his home by a bat-wielding white mob who believed he was dating a local white girl.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: July 1991 Radio Rap Chart Top 40 Proves The Golden Era Was No Joke

Posted by Billyjam, August 18, 2015 09:26pm | Post a Comment


With just a quick glance over the forty records included in the rap/hip-hop chart, courtesy of the defunct Gavin Report radio trade magazine from the week of July 5th 1991, it's evident that this period in the still growing urban music genre was a truly incredible time in hip-hop history with so many soon-to-be classics being recorded and released! These include singles and album tracks, all very popular to this day 24 years later, from such legendary, influential hip-hop acts as De La Soul, Gang Starr, KMD (featuring a young MF Doom), Leaders of The New School, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, EPMD, Main Source, and Brand Nubian. Also included are such hip-hop legends as Big Daddy Kane, Chubb Rock, LL Cool J, Kool Moe Dee, Ice TRodney O & Joe Cooley, Naughty By Nature, 3rd Bass, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Ice Cube protege/female rapper Yo-Yo and the late great NJ producer/rapper Tony D to name but some.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Early '90s Hip-Hop Record Label Promo One Sheets To Radio DJs

Posted by Billyjam, July 28, 2015 11:59pm | Post a Comment








Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Digital Underground Spin-off Acts

Posted by Billyjam, July 21, 2015 06:14pm | Post a Comment


From when they first formed in the East Bay in the late 1980s, the funk/rap/hip-hop ensemble Digital Underground (DU) was as much a collective of creative-minded artists as simply a singular rap group. As such, these young P-Funk disciples tended to have an ever-rotating stable of members and associated artists. Digital Underground, whose consistent core members over their two-decade timeline were Shock G (aka Humpty Hump, aka M.C. Blowfish) and Money B, spawned several spinoff acts in their prime years (circa '88 - '93) that included most notably a dancer and roadie turned actor and rap superstar Tupac Shakur or 2Pac, Raw Fusion (DJ Fuze and Money B), Gold Money (who were also signed to Tommy Boy for a minute, but long enough to do the cool money-themed promo items pictured below), Saafir (f/k/a The Saucy Nomad), female emcee/singer Mystic (who was also down with Conscious Daughters), and Pee Wee. Pee Wee, who was part of the aforementioned Gold Money along with Bigg Money Odis, would go on to produce for 2Pac as well as being a member of another Bay Area collective, Too $hort's extended Dangerous Crew rap family.

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