Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Is Hip-Hop Feminism Alive in 2011?

By: Akoto Ofori-Atta

Joan Morgan coined the phrase back in 1999, but what does hip-hop feminism look like today? Is it Queen Latifah? Nicki Minaj? Or the 10-year-old girl calling out Lil Wayne?

In 1992 Dr. Dre released his single "Bitches Ain't Sh--," complete with a chorus that emphatically reduces women to nothing but "hoes and tricks."

In 1996 Akinyele famously sang "Put It In Your Mouth," a song that flooded radio airwaves and clubs across the country.

Fast-forward to 2003, and Nelly releases a video for his single "Tip Drill," in which he famously slides a credit card between the cheeks of a video vixen's bottom. And then there was, of course, the Don Imus incident, when he justified his "nappy-headed ho" comment by arguing that black men regularly call their women out of their names in hip-hop songs.

There is no shortage of these cringe-inducing moments that have made women question their relationship to hip-hop. But these moments don't go completely uncontested. From Queen Latifah's "U.N.I.T.Y." ("Who you callin' a bitch?") to a 10-year-old's heartfelt plea to Lil Wayne urging him to speak highly of women, hip-hop feminism has almost always been just as audible as the crass catcalls. While one might be hard-pressed to find a song of the "Put It In Your Mouth" variety in heavy rotation today, hip-hop feminists still have a job to do in railing against a male-dominated culture.

Hip-hop feminists are like other feminists in that they advocate for gender equality. Where they part ways from other feminist groups is that they operate in and identify as part of hip-hop culture, as expressed in their choices in music, dance, art and politics.

Read the rest of this interesting feature at:


Mel B. Reportedly Pregnant with Third Child

Britain’s HELLO! magazine is reporting that Melanie Brown, a.k.a. Mel B of the Spice Girls, is expecting her third child — but her first with husband Stephen Belafonte.

The 35-year-old – who already has 12-year-old Phoenix Chi from a previous relationship and three-year-old Angel Iris with Eddie Murphy – is said to be thrilled with the news.

“We’re really excited. We wouldn’t have planned and waited for four yours to have a baby if we weren’t really excited about it and ready for it. Even though you can never really be truly ready,” says Mel.

Just last week, Mel – who along with Victoria Beckham and Emma Bunton is the third Spice Girl to currently be expecting – revealed she planned to be pregnant by the end of 2011 because she “loves” having kids.

Poor Chris Brown: Hitting Bottom Again!

So much for anger management.

Chris Brown went on a violent rampage backstage at “Good Morning America” because host Robin Roberts kept asking him questions about his beating of Rihanna.

According to TMZ, the blonde crooner smashed a window and stormed out of the New York studios without a shirt. 

During the interview Brown kept trying to steer the questions toward his album, but Roberts held her ground, insisting on discussing the legal issues surrounding his assault case.

According to TMZ, Brown erupted backstage, “storming into his dressing room and screaming so loud the people in hair and makeup became alarmed and called security.

As part of his probation, Brown completed anger management and is required to obey all laws.

UPDATE: Brown tweeted, “I’m so over people bringing this past s**t up!!! Yet we praise Charlie sheen and other celebs for there bulls**t.”

Friday, March 11, 2011

Esperanza Spalding Gets ‘A LOT of Advice’ from Prince

It was about a month ago when jazz singer and bassist Esperanza Spalding shocked the world by beating out Justin Bieber – not to mention Drake, Florence and the Machine and Mumford & Sons – to win the Best New Artist award at the Grammys.

The musician had mentioned that one of her mentors is none other than Prince. Us Magazine caught up with her to discuss their relationship and his influence on her music.

“Prince is a very kind and intelligent person,” she said. “We hit it off as friends at the same time we started jamming together, so his advice has always been musician to musician as well as from one friend to another.

“He gives me A LOT of sound advice about navigating through the business side of music, and he’s always my critical listener when I have a new musical idea. And that’s not even mentioning his musical genius which is of course a continual source of inspiration.”

Saturday, March 5, 2011

NeoSoul Rhythms 117

NeoSoul Rhythms 117

1. This is how I feel - Amp Fiddler

2. Amadoda - Black Coffee Remix/ ft. Bucie
3. Amorous - Jesse Boykins III
4. Far Away - Marsha Ambrosius
5. Walking - Mary, Mary
6. I Understand - Dwele
7. INI - Amel Larrieux
8. Swept Away - The Roots
9. Bonita Applebaum - Tribe Called Quest
10. Gwebindlala - Culoe de Song/ ft. Thandiswa

Charlie Wilson, B.o.B., Cee-Lo Booked for Beale Street Music Fest

Charlie Wilson, Macy Gray, B.o.B. and Cee Lo Green are among the headliners for this year’s Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, according to an announcement from organizers Thursday.

The 35th annual festival will be held April 29 to May 1 at a scenic park along the Mississippi River. It’s part of the month-long Memphis in May celebration, which includes a world barbecue championship.

Other artists on the roster include Ke$ha, John Mellencamp, Stone Temple Pilots, Godsmack, The Flaming Lips, Buckcherry, Mumford & Sons, Jason Mraz, MGMT, Lucinda Williams, Cake and Everclear.

Jerry Lee Lewis, Kirk Whalum, Lucero, Al Kapone and other Memphis-related performers are scheduled to appear.

Reported by Eurweb.

Da Brat: ‘Every Female In Prison Wanted Me’

Newly free rapper Da Brat talked to TMZ about her nearly 2 ½ years behind bars, declaring she did not have romantic relations with any of the other inmates…even though they all would’ve jumped at the chance.

“Every female in prison wanted me … all of them wish they could have gotten these goodies,” she told the website.

Da Brat just completed a three year prison stint for attacking a waitress with a bottle in 2007. In her first post-jail interview with Vibe magazine, Brat said she was visited by her sister Lisa Raye, Katt Williams, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon.

She told TMZ, “Jermaine Dupri sent me the most money … and Omar Epps and his wife looked out. ”

Brat is currently on house arrest for the next 3 to 6 months — but says the first thing she plans on doing when she can leave her home is “making it rain at a club.”

Reported by Eurweb.

Dru Hill on New Album

Courtesy of Singers Room.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Verdict is in: Michael Baisden Suit

What Say You? A Houston Federal Court reached a verdict in the copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Michael Baisden. The mixed verdict allows for the return of Baisden’s copyrighted rights and allows him to proceed with upcoming movie and television projects.

In the lawsuit, Baisden claimed damages from past conduct of I’m Ready Productions and Image Entertainment for the unauthorized distribution of DVD’s based on two of his best-selling novels The Maintenance Man and Men Cry in the Dark.

I’m Ready Productions filed a counterclaim against Baisden seeking compensation related to a movie based on one of Baisden’s best-sellers that Baisden had originally planned to write and produce. In the end, neither Baisden nor the defendants were awarded monetary damages. “I have mixed feelings about the case.

On the one hand I am ecstatic that my copyrighted rights have been returned to me to allow me to proceed with upcoming movie and TV projects without continued interference from Image and I'm Ready Productions,” said Michael Baisden.

The Urban Buzz.

Return of the Dating Game

Snoop Dogg, Warren G and the “golden voice” Ted Williams are appearing in a series of new commercials for Metro PCS to help them introduce their new Samsung Galaxy Indulge.

In a spin off from the ‘70's & ‘80's Dating Game Show, Williams plays the role of the announcer for the “G-Connection.” Warren G is the host while model Brittany Dailey plays the bachelorette and Snoop takes on three comical characters, himself, the unemployed Reggie, and a poet named Greg. This is a fresh new hip look for the pre-paid carrier Metro PCS who’s gained serious market share over the past five years against rival Boost Mobile. Look for the commercials to air this week.

From the Urban Buzz.