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Public Enemy Bring The Noise & Fight The Power in NYC Concert with DJ Kool Herc, Son of Bazerk, Cold Crush Brothers, Kendo the Almost Famous, and Blitz the Ambassador

Posted by Billyjam, August 19, 2010 12:48pm | Post a Comment
Pulblic Enemy
Despite the wet afternoon's non-stop downpour plus a sketchy job by the sound man for over half of the four hour event, Sunday's Public Enemy headlined show in New York City's Central Park was both inspiring and entertaining. The always outspoken Chuck D shared many insights and personally invited hip-hop creator DJ Kool Herc onto the bill, as well as genre pioneers the Cold Crush Brothers, the recently reformed group Son of Bazerk, Kendo the Almost Famous, and Brooklyn-based, Ghana-born emcee Blitz the Ambassador. Add to that a supercharged (musically & politically) set by Public Enemy (PE) with a full live band, featuring a drum solo by Flavor Flav and scratch routine by DJ Lord, that included PE ripping through a barrage of familiar hits like "Don't Believe the Hype," "Bring The Noise," and "Fight The Power" that had the rained on but happy and totally packed outdoor audience singing and dancing along every note of the way. The concert was also a celebration of 20th year anniversary of Fear of a Black Planet.

Constantly touring the world, it is not often that Public Enemy gets to play back on their home ground. "We only play New York City about every five years-- like an eclipse," noted Chuck D, adding that PE have nothing but major love for NYC. And clearly from the enthusiastic reaction of the all ages but mostly mature hip-hop audience that had packed into Central Park's SummerStage, everyone else felt similarly about the political hip-hop group from Long Island. 23 years ago they released their landmark debut Yo! Bum Rush the Show and in the years since the Chuck D led group has never stopped demonstrating their love of hip-hop or their commitment to always being outspoken against social & political ills.

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MISSION DISTRICT CELEBRATED IN BEN STOKES' ANIMATED AZEEM VID

Posted by Billyjam, March 4, 2009 01:21pm | Post a Comment

The brilliant, Ben Stokes-directed video above for Azeem's Air Cartoons' album track "Latin Revenge" (on Oaklyn Records with music production by DJ Zeph) takes place in the Mission District of San air cartoons azeemFrancisco. Inspired in part by Terry Gilliam's work and also by Azeem's music, the animated piece also puts a spin on the role of how police are perceived in society. In the video Azeem gains popularity as he peruses the streets of the Mission (eventually becoming a King Kong-like menace) as meanwhile a host of local neighborhood characters take notice. The police in the video are described by the maker as "enablers and cheerleaders."

I called up Azeem the other day to ask him what he thought about the new video. "It made me a fan and it's my video," he laughed, adding that, "All I can say about that video is that I can really almost take no credit for it. I just made the song. Like you and anyone else, I am fan of the video and I am amazed at the level of artistry that it incorporates." The video's animation was done by Ben Stokes (the video's producer/director) with additional animation by Patrick Siemer, who drew from the thousands of still photographs they shot, then cut up, mixed and matched, and then painstakenly animated using After effects.

Ben Stokes, also a part of Tino Corps, D.H.S.,, &  Meat Beat Manifesto, has been professionally making music videos for about 20 years. The Mission District, San Francisco-based Stokes started out doing videos back in 1990 in his native Chicago where he began directing & producing a lot of the pioneering hometown WaxTrax industrial music artists' videos such as Ministry and the Revolting Cocks.

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